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

Good morning, RVA: Violence, Amazon HQ2, and a megasite

Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F, and highs today will again creep past 85 °F. Maybe this will be our last surprisingly sweaty week of September before things start to cool off?

Water cooler

Richmond Police are reporting a homicide that occurred on the 3300 block of Frank Road on Tuesday afternoon. At 1:46, officers arrived and found Montez A. Matthews shot to death.

Michael Martz in the RTD, working off some reporting in the Virginia Pilot, says the state is working on a bid to bring Amazon's second headquarters to somewhere in the urban crescent—NOVA, Richmond, or Hampton Roads. Unsurprisingly, the state is also looking for financial contributions from the three regions to pay for the consulting work to put together the proposals. Already local jurisdictions are dishing out cash to lure a mega profitable company inside their borders! You can practically hear the incentives pilling up in local budgets around the nation. Also, if you must entertain the idea that Amazon could choose Richmond, here's a quantitative piece that looks at actual data and pulls together a list of about three dozen cities that meet some portion of Amazon's requirements. RVA ends up somewhere in the middle.

Danny Avula, the city's public health director, has a column in the paper celebrating the city winning the 2017 Culture of Health Prize. This sounds boring, BUT!, read it anyway and see the fascinating—and holistic—view Avlua takes on health. He talks about affordable housing, gentrification, access to healthy food, living wage, public transportation, education, and all kinds of other factors that affect health and well-being in Richmond. I have to quote one of his closing sentences because it speaks to me: "We are beginning the difficult work of confronting our long history of division and injustice so that we can be known not as the former capital of the Confederacy, but as a city committed to resilience, reconciliation and healing."

Chesterfield had their first public meeting about a proposed industrial megasite, and folks are not super stoked about the proposal or the public outreach process. The "Boards and Easels Open House" (where planners set up a room full of presentations boards for a couple hours and the public wanders around, inspecting them, and theoretically asking questions) is a super common public meeting format and one that I don't particularly like. So I'm totally unsurprised that a million folks showed up and felt like their concerns weren't being heard. Chesterfield Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle said that they expected fewer people and will reevaluate the format before the next meeting (October 2nd).

Jonathan Spiers at Richmond BizSense has an updated on the J. Sarge culinary school going up at 25th and Nine Mile. The renderings of this building look wild, and I'm excited to see it start to take shape in the real world.

There's a new episode of the Sam and Ross Like Things podcast! I had a ton of fun recording this episode, and you may have a ton of fun listening to it. You'll never know until you try...

I love when Vox asks Republican senators what their attempts to repeal Obamacare actually do. I mean, it makes me really, really sad, of course, but I still love it.


  • Nats beat Atlanta, 7-3, and wrap that series tonight at 7:35 PM.

This morning's longread

The Banality of Bikeshare

After the second round of bikeshare hits the ground (which, as I understand it, is paid for and has its dock locations already picked out) we need to have some serious conversations about how to continue to expand the system in a more equitable way.

Philadelphia, a model for how to expand bike share equitably, worked toward inclusiveness from the beginning. It involved local neighborhood organizations in decisions about dock siting. Aaron Ritz and Wafiyyah Murray of Philadelphia's Indego bikeshare system spoke to the Beacon, and emphasized community outreach. Murray said, “you can develop as many programs as you'd like, but if people don't know them, it's pointless.” Talking about where they put stations, Ritz added, “we may be the experts on bikeshare, but people who've lived in the neighborhoods are experts on their own areas.”

Good morning, RVA: Vision Zero, City Council, and a beautiful new Diamond

Good morning, RVA: School Board details, affordable housing on hold, and street art