Once upon a time I ran a news site, now I just have opinions on the news. 

Good morning, RVA: Vision Zero, Westhampton School, and Hurricane Harvey

Good morning, RVA! It's 66 °F, and cooler temperatures will fill your weekend. Expect highs around 80 °F accompanied by clear and sunny skies. Patio weather, dead ahead!

Water cooler

Richmond Police are reporting that one of the two women shot on Creighton Road on Wednesday—Oyana T. Carlyle, 27—has died. This is the 36th murder of 2017.

Catherine Komp at WCVE has an excellent, in-depth piece about pedestrian deaths in Richmond and the City’s nascent (or lack of, depending on how cynical you’re feeling) Vision Zero program. She mentions that the Mayor has a recently-prepared Vision Zero action plan in hand, which I’m excited about and look forward to seeing—and more specifically, look forward to seeing implemented. People should not die because they want to get around the city, and we can make that a reality. We just have to start doing the work.

It took a million years, but the RTD Editorial Board has finally started to poke holes in Paul Goldman’s Bizarro Ballot Referendum. Yes! The City Charter is obviously the wrong place to require the mayor to fix school facilities without raising taxes or admit that it’s impossible (a sentence that’s maddening to even write). Why in the world would something like that go into the document that creates the structure of our city government? It makes no sense?? Did I slide into an alternative universe where somehow this is totally the way we do things??? City Council will hold a special meeting today to discuss Goldman’s Bizarro Ballot Referendum and hear some of the legal ramifications of the thing—mainly, is it, like, even legal in the first place?

Here’s a great statement from VCU President Michael Rao about VCU’s collection of Confederate monuments and imagery: “I also have directed members of my senior leadership team, in consultation with faculty, students and community members, to conduct a comprehensive audit of our campuses to determine what symbols of the Confederacy, slavery, white supremacy or other items of an exclusionary nature may exist at VCU and what the future of any such items may be. This includes statues, plaques, building and facility names and other honorific symbols. We will also be looking at applicable policies and procedures.”

Whoa, big Near West End News: Mark Robinson at the RTD reports that Bon Secours has decided NOT to tear down the Westhampton School. While there’s a kind of “...for now” vibe to this piece, I’m impressed by the good work the community and Councilman Addison put in that ultimately changed the hospital’s mind about this property. Great job, y’all!

Richmond’s first Tesla store opened up out at Broad and Gaskins today.

The Texas Tribune has a “Here’s what you need to know about Hurricane Harvey” piece. I’m sure they’ll do ongoing coverage as the situation changes throughout the weekend. The New York Times has a live forecast map that you can continually refresh over the next couple of days.


  • Depending on the status of Hurricane Harvey, the Spiders will kick off their 2017 season against Sam Houston on Sunday at 6:00 PM. That contest, should it happen, will air on ESPNU.
  • Squirrels turned Trenton, 5-1. That series continues tonight at 7:00 PM and though the weekend.
  • Kickers host the Charleston Battery on Saturday at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available online.
  • Nats wrapped up the series against Houston, 5-4, and take on the Mets tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning's longread

W.E.B. DuBois on Robert E. Lee

This piece is from 1928. Read it now in 2017, and if, at any moment, your brain—like mine—says “But! But! But!” maybe take some time and think through what that means.

It is the punishment of the South that its Robert Lees and Jefferson Davises will always be tall, handsome and well-born. That their courage will be physical and not moral. That their leadership will be weak compliance with public opinion and never costly and unswerving revolt for justice and right. it is ridiculous to seek to excuse Robert Lee as the most formidable agency this nation ever raised to make 4 million human beings goods instead of men. Either he knew what slavery meant when he helped maim and murder thousands in its defense, or he did not. If he did not he was a fool. If he did, Robert Lee was a traitor and a rebel–not indeed to his country, but to humanity and humanity’s God.

Good morning, RVA: Flooding in Houston, a stack of monument news, and affordable housing in Chesterfield

Good morning, RVA: Welcome back, a bizarre saga, and the Public Art Master Plan