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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 68 °F, and after the clouds clear up this morning, we’re headed for a wonderful day. Expect highs in the mid 80s and a bunch of sunshine.

Water cooler

The Richmond Police Department announced that a man shot this past weekend—Victor A. Harris, 57—has died of his injuries. At 10:21 PM on Saturday, officers arrived at the 3200 block of 5th Avenue and located Harris and a juvenile female victim, both had been shot.

Ali Rockett and Mark Robinson recap the mayor’s press conference on violent crime. The concrete changes coming to public housing neighborhoods mentioned in this piece (which is most likely not an exhaustive list) include: assigning two officers to patrol Gilpin Court, adding lighting and cameras, requiring decals on residents’ cars, and stricter lease enforcement.

34% of the words in this RTD editorial about the recent violence in Richmond and its causes are dedicated to explaining why guns aren’t the problem.

I haven’t talked about it in this space yet, but I’m sure you’ve heard about the planned CSA II: The New Confederate States of America (🙄) rally this coming Saturday at Lee Circle. Police have instituted a no parking zone on Monument and Allen for the adjacent blocks from 9:00 AM Friday through 11:00 PM Saturday. They’ll also, along with the mayor, address public safety concerns at a press conference tomorrow. Additionally, the Chief himself will host a community meeting tomorrow at 6:00 PM at First Baptist Church (2709 Monument Avenue) to address and answer questions. I have absolutely zero idea what will happen on Saturday. These embarrassing jokers do not have a permit for assembly as far as I know. The Governor has banned the state from issuing permits for Lee Circle, and the City requires permit applications to be submitted 45 days before any publicized event. It seems to me like there are a sackful of legal and legitimate ways both the city and the state could shut this thing down should they so choose. My gut says there will be far more counter protestors than NüConfederates, but, like I said, I have no idea.

It’s rad to see the weird overpass to the parking lot at Regency Square torn down. I never understood why the mall needed its own super highway to get in and out. The new plans look slightly more pedestrian-scale.

Are you aware of VPAP aka the Virginia Public Access Project? Madelyne Ashworth writing for RVA Mag has a nice profile of the nonprofit, which I use alllll the time during election season.

Vox has their first interview with Hillary Clinton as she starts her book tour. I haven’t watched it all yet, but they begin with a discussion of universal basic income. Fascinating!


  • Nats got blanked by Atlanta, 0-8. That series continues tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning's patron longread!

Inside the renegade Republican movement for tackling climate change

Patron Sarah sends in this longread about Republicans who believe climate change exists.

For now, the White House hasn’t been very responsive, but it might be just too early to tell, says Bozmoski. Some proposals coming out of Washington — like the carbon tax and the climate change resolution — seem to bode well. “It really stokes our optimism on the Eco Right, that our family has gotten bigger and more powerful,” Bozmoski says. At the same time, he says, it will take time for Republicans to come together and put forward a climate change policy — they will need to get over the divisions within their own party and develop an actual policy. That’s what groups like republicEn are there for, Bozmoski says. And he has high hopes. “The prospects for a coalition of lawmakers moving forward with a solution is better now than it has been in any point since 2010,” Bozmoski says. “There’s no more pussyfooting around climate change out of fear.”

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This morning's longread

9/11 THREAD: Afghan War Rugs and the Lossy Compression of Cultural Coding

Today’s longread is a super fascinating thread I stumbled across on Twitter about Afghan War Rugs.

Afghan rug-makers began incorporating war equipment into their designs almost immediately after the Soviet Union invaded their country. War rugs had a resurgence when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2002. The most famous example is shown below.

Good morning, RVA: Health insurance, school accreditation, and the Afrikana Film Festival

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