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

Good morning, RVA: Violence, power, and empathy

Good morning, RVA! It's 63 °F, and these excellent temperatures will stick around throughout the week. Today, you can expect highs right around 80 °F and a chance to see the sun.

Water cooler

At 4:51 PM on Monday, a Richmond Police officer heard gunshots near the 1800 block of N. 30th Street. The officer arrived and found Joie M. Wyche, 26, shot to death.

The RTD has hired a new education reporter, Justin Mattingly (@jmattingly306), and you can read his first bit about Richmond Public Schools and their last-minute teacher vacancies. I know there’s, like, six million things going on with the school system right now, but I’d love to see/read a plan to fix the HR issues that led to so many vacancies left to fill so close to the first day of school.

Style Weekly’s 2017 Power List is out and divided into four sections: Politics, Economy, Arts & Culture, and Food & Drink. These are the top 40 folks that Style thinks “might shape the polices and culture that affect us on the day-to-day level—the people, in other words, who drive change in our city.” You’ll recognize a lot of these names as the Typical Richmonders Who Appear On Lists. I’m not sure if the lack of surprising names here is a result of how power is slow to redistribute, or because Richmond is a smallish place, or because there’s lots of folks who don’t end up on lists like this and so people don’t know who they are and so they don’t end up on lists like this. You know?

Also in Style Weekly is this interview Brent Baldwin did with producer Michael Gottwald about his new film PATTI CAKE$. Gottwald, whose last name you might recognize from various buildings around town, also produced Beasts of the Southern Wild, a film I loved. You’ll probably start to hear more about PATTI CAKE$ as we head out of Summer Blockbuster Season and into Serious Movie Season when folks start to dip their toes into Oscar buzz. There’s a Q&A with Gottwald at Movieland tomorrow at 5:35 PM if you’re interested, which you definitely should be!

John Reid Blackwell in the RTD says that Lickinghole Creek opened up a Shockoe Bottom spot this past weekend. Their new spot, which is just a couple blocks away from both bike share and BRT, will open a couple days a week as they continue to renovate the place. So many breweries! At some point, for safety’s sake, I’ll have to break up my genius plan to do a multimodal brewery crawl into a couple phases.

Landon Shroder at RVA Mag sat down with Ralph Northam to talk Charlottesville, Climate Change, the transgender ban, and all kinds of other stuff.

Here’s a thinkpiece from the WaPo about Melania Trump’s heels. Do we need a thinkpiece about the first lady’s heels? Remember when everyone split their bananas over Obama’s tan suit? Is this any different? I mean, other than the implicit idea that a woman in power must be judged by her appearance? No ink spilled on the president, shlubbily standing adjacent to her attemping to convey empathy with an awkward thumbs up.


  • Squirrels fell to Altoona, 1-3. No matter! That series continues tonight at 6:35 PM, and tickets are available online.
  • Nats knocked the Marlins, 8-3, and will wrap that series up today at 4:05 PM.

This morning's longread

What Charlottesville Means & What We Can Do Now

Read this post by Adria Scharf at the Richmond Peace Education Center and then think about joining their Peace Center Advocacy Team.

In June 2015 an avowed white supremacist murdered nine African American members of Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church. In a powerful act of civil disobedience 10 days later, Bree Newsome scaled the flagpole in front of the capitol building and brought the flag down. That action was so courageous, so visually dramatic, symbolically potent, and well timed, that it created ripple effects that still continue today. Shortly after, SC Republican governor Nikki Haley, with the support of the SC legislature, signed a law to remove the battle flag permanently–a remarkable development. For Haley, who’d previously expressed support for the flag as a symbol of “Southern heritage,” events had forced a change in perspective. Some are now saying that “Charlottesville could be to Confederate monuments in Central Virginia what Charleston’s tragedy was to the flag in South Carolina.” This is true–if we make it true.

Good morning, RVA: Waffles, burritos, and athletic trainers

Good morning, RVA: BIKE SHARE, human life, and a tunnel under Ashland