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

Good morning, RVA: Devil’s Half Acre, interim auditor, and iPhone day

Good morning, RVA! It's 62 °F, and while highs are stationed pleasantly in the upper 70s, we may see some rain this afternoon.

Water cooler

Police have released the names of the four people shot to death this past weekend: Marvin Christopher Eley, 26; Aaron Robinson, 50; Jenelle Smith, 26; and Cynthia K. Williams, 26.

Michael Paul Williams weighs in and asks the mayor to show up and pull more focus to the gun violence in some of our City’s neighborhoods. I agree with the mayor that we desperately need some changes in state law that allow local jurisdictions to get rid of some/most of the guns on our streets. But, I also agree with MPW: The prospect of a state-level change is dim, and blaming the General Assembly in the wake of terrible violence is not the best look (even if that’s where a lot of the blame should be directed). Mayor Stoney will host a press conference with Chief Durham and RRHA CEO T.K. Somanath this morning to address the recent violence.

The draft statement of purpose for the Lumpkin’s Slave Jail / Devil’s Half Acre project is out and available for public comment. First, note the intentional use of both “Lumpkin’s Slave Jail” and “Devil’s Half Acre” in naming the project. Second, it looks like this project will focus on the Devil’s Half Acre site, complement the existing Slave Trail Interpretive Program, and “act as an additional catalyst for further revealing of the Slave Trade story in Richmond and beyond.” Third, this is a dense and weighty document that I look forward to reading in its entirety. Your feedback on the draft is due by September 20th, so get reading and thinking!

Mark Robinson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that City Council did not appoint Amarilis M. Hernandez as the City’s interim auditor last night, but they did appoint William C. Barrett III. Welcome to the party, pal! P.S. I’d still love someone to change Council’s process so that the agenda is finalized on the Friday before the Monday meeting. Last minute agenda changes bum me out.

The Draft Enviornmental Impact Statement for high-speed rail is out. I have to admit, this is an intimidating document (the Executive Summary alone is a 15 MB PDF!). The pages in that summary you’re probably looking for are the ones on Ashland (p. 15) and Richmond (p. 17). The table on page 20 will definitely give you an idea for which station setup the state’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation prefers (spoiler: it’s the combined Staples Mill and Main Street Station option).

Sportable will host their 6th Annual RVA Tailgate this coming Saturday, September 16th from 6:00–10:00 PM at St. Christopher’s. There’ll be food, drink, Jackass Flats, and Andrew Frieden(!). All proceeds benefit Sportable, which is a pretty rad nonprofit focused on proving sporting opportunities to people with physical disabilities and visual impairments. You can, and should, learn more over on their website.

It’s Apple Event Day! Expect all of the Apple nerds in your life to slowly disappear around 1:00 PM as we learn about new iPhones, new Apple Watches, and new whatever else that we can spend our money on. You can stream the event here.


  • Nats return to action against Atlanta tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning's longread

Seven Days of Heroin

This is a lot of important reporting, and a lot of it is really hard to read.

It’s a little after sunrise on the first day of another week, and Cincinnati is waking up again with a heroin problem. So is Covington. And Middletown. And Norwood. And Hamilton. And West Chester Township. And countless other cities and towns across Ohio and Kentucky. This particular week, July 10 through 16, will turn out to be unexceptional by the dreary standards of what has become the region’s greatest health crisis. This is normal now, a week like any other. But a terrible week is no less terrible because it is typical. When heroin and synthetic opiates kill one American every 16 minutes, there is little comfort in the routine. There is only the struggle to endure and survive.

Good morning, RVA: Addressing the violence, Saturday’s rally, and tearing down an overpass

Good morning, RVA: Gun violence, City Council, and spaghetti