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

Good morning, RVA: Violence, George Mason, and access to jobs

Good morning, RVA! It's 75 °F, and whoa cooler temperatures! Today, expect highs around 80 °F due to some thunderstorms rolling through the region this morning and through the afternoon.

Water cooler

Saturday evening, police were called to the 1000 block of St. Paul Street where they found Nyjai Johnson, 18, shot to death.

Tonight, at 5:00 PM on the 17th floor of City Hall, the Richmond City School Board will meet to discuss / decide on the future of George Mason Elementary School. There are a bunch of different options on the table—including leaving students in Mason and focusing efforts on building a new school (the option favored by Interim Superintendent Kranz)—so stay tuned for their decision tonight.

This past Friday, Katy Burnell Evans dug into a Wilder School report about how the region's jobs and affordable housing are disconnected. A lot of those jobs are scattered throughout the surrounding counties, inaccessible by public transit, adding an often expensive commuting burden on the worker, limiting the applicant pool, and creating congestion. It costs about $4,000 per year just to own and operate a car—that's a significant percentage of the annual income for folks working these modest-wage jobs. Btw, it costs just $720 to ride the bus for a year.

Saraya Wintersmith at the Richmond Free Press has an update on the Monument Avenue Commission, which had its working groups meet a couple of times last week. The Commission will meet today at 11:00 AM at the Library of Virginia to review the subgroup reports, and then the first large-group public meeting will take place this Wednesday, August 9th at 6:30 PM at the Virginia Historical Society. I'm bummed at the apparent shift towards milquetoast plaques, but I guess we'll see what the vibe is on Wednesday and go from there.

Hey! Here's some good news out of Petersburg: "one of the major credit rating agencies boosted the city's credit outlook from 'negative' to 'stable.'" Any more of this and I'll have to retire the Petersburg Woe Watch™! Vanessa Remmers at the RTD has the details.

The New York Times has a neat feature that'll generate a playlist of the most popular music in your zip code. Check out the cool maps of artists' regional popularity. If you want an early-morning cynical take on these maps, compare them to this racial dot map of the US.


  • Squirrels have the day off after winning two of three against New Hempshire this past weekend.
  • Kickers fought for a 1-1 draw on the road against Pittsburgh.
  • Nats also took two of three against the Cubs over the weekend. The new series against Miami begins tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning's longread

A Team of Their Own

I read this story over the weekend, and then read this other story about the disqualification of the Atlee girls softball team FROM THE WORLD SERIES for posting a snap of their middle fingers.. I have to imagine that should this have been a boys little league team, the response would have been "boys will be boys" or even an encouragement of this kind of modern-day trash talk.

The hate doesn't just happen on the field. After the first game the Prime Team played in Miami, Julie Clines, whose daughter Olivia plays on the team, saw a grown man standing near the field, flapping his arms around, mimicking the girls, saying "I'm a girl ballplayer." Clines told the tournament director, but there was nothing he could do. "We're used to it," she said, angry but resigned. The girls use this type of behavior as motivation. Olivia Clines, 12, loves proving the naysayers wrong. "I like beating the boys. I like shoving it in their face when they say, 'Girls can't play baseball,'" she says. "Then we come out and pitch a no-hitter against them, and they're like, 'What?'"

Good morning, RVA: George Mason decision, Carytown signage, and rotisserie meats

Good morning, RVA: 17th Street Market, principal swaps, and Vision Zero