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

Good morning, RVA: Dirtwoman, lead, and tattoos.

Good morning, RVA! It's 73 °F, and today we're looking at highs near 90 °F. <Will Smith voice> Summer-summer-summertime!

Water cooler

Dirtwoman (Donnie Corker) died yesterday. Ned Oliver in the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a touching profile of the Richmond icon, Harry Kollatz's introspective piece in Richmond Magazine will remind you just how different 80s/90s-era Richmond was, and Taber Bain's Twitter thread is the one you should read.

Water fountains at two Richmond schools tested positive for lead. This seems not awesome. This story from WRIC suggests that the tests were carried out by a local parent group, and now the school system will conduct its own tests. I kind of wonder what would happen if we tested all the City- and State-owned buildings in town. Richmond is old! We've got lead pipes all over the dang place. The first piece I linked to up there, by Justin Mattingly, is ultra short which makes me think we'll hear more about this soon. Stay tuned.

Ooo look at this: The Mayor's making some moves with his administration. First, he's appointed Bob Steidel as the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Operations. That's an inside hire—Steidel has served as the head of the Department of Public Utilities for a while now. The DCAO of Operations heads up DPU, the Department of Public Works, and Richmond Animal Care and Control. Second, the Mayor's hired Christopher Frelke to lead the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. Frelke comes to Richmond from Raleigh where he spent a bunch of time in that city's Parks and Rec department.

Did you know Richmond has one of the longest-running annual tattoo conventions? I did not! Style Weekly sits down for five questions with one of the organizers of the Richmond Tattoo and Arts Festival. The festival begins Friday, and you can learn more over on their website.

This story on ESPN about bribes, corruption, and paying high school basketball recruits six-figure sums is wild. We're not talking about NCAA recruiting violations, here. We're talking about the FBI, federal charges, and going to jail.

The most recent Obamacare repeal is dead...for now.


  • Nats fell to the Phils, 1-4. That series wraps up tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning's longread

This Tiny Country Feeds the World

This is super interesting. Putting the farms inside! Why didn't we think of that??

One more reason to marvel: The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country, with more than 1,300 inhabitants per square mile. It’s bereft of almost every resource long thought to be necessary for large-scale agriculture. Yet it’s the globe’s number two exporter of food as measured by value, second only to the United States, which has 270 times its landmass. How on Earth have the Dutch done it? Seen from the air, the Netherlands resembles no other major food producer—a fragmented patchwork of intensely cultivated fields, most of them tiny by agribusiness standards, punctuated by bustling cities and suburbs. In the country’s principal farming regions, there’s almost no potato patch, no greenhouse, no hog barn that’s out of sight of skyscrapers, manufacturing plants, or urban sprawl. More than half the nation’s land area is used for agriculture and horticulture.

Good morning, RVA: School stats, infrastructure, and 3D-printed weather stations

Good morning, RVA: Always monuments, density, and Batman