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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 76 °F, and highs today will stick around in the mid 80s. I think by tomorrow, the penultimate day of September, we should start to see temperatures drop a bit back towards something more fall-like.

Water cooler

Yesterday, the Virginia Department of Education released their on-time graduation data. If you're into that sort of thing, you can dig directly into the giant Excel file of school division data. Justin Mattingly has a brief summary of the numbers in the RTD, and RPS has issued a statement vowing to do better this school year and highlighting schools where graduation rates went up. Interim Superintendent Kranz says the district hopes to increase on-time graduation rate by 5% this school year.

Speaking of schools, Jackie Kruszewski, writing for Richmond Magazine, has a rundown of the 3rd District School Board candidates. Remember: The Board appointed Cindy Menz-Erb to temporarily serve after Jeff Bourne left for the loftier chambers of State Government. Menz-Erb is one of five candidates running to hold the office for realsies, the others are: Dorian Daniels, Kenya Gibson, Joann Henry, and Kevin Starlings. Some of those names should sound familiar if you've followed 3rd District races before.

P.S. Anyone interested in temporarily filling the newly-vacated 7th District School Board slot has until tomorrow to get their resume in.

I've been talking about it for six million years, but this past Monday City Council finally approved the new zoning tweaks as recommended by the Pulse Corridor Plan. What does that boring sentence mean? Jonathan Spiers at Richmond BizSense will tell you just that in a totally not boring way.

Oh man, this headline makes me feel some kind of way: "McAuliffe: Amazon wants Richmond to bid on HQ2 even without mass transit." Instead of spending how ever many thousands of dollars on a bid begging Amazon to bring their second headquarters here, how about we start investing in the infrastructure that makes Richmond a more attractive place for national-level employers? Also, if the Governor wants us to put in a bid so badly, maybe he should get the state to fund it (and begin funding a regional transit system while he's at it). Double also, ten points to Graham Moomaw (unlike the RTD editorial board) for explicitly pointing out that our system doesn't begin to cover the entire region. One small quibble though: I'd argue that it's not the lack of congestion that keeps folks from getting on the bus, it's that it doesn't go where it needs to go (yet).

I really enjoyed reading Edwin Slipek's description of the new Eggleston Plaza building at 2nd and Leigh. Your mileage may vary, but "guy who enjoys reading prose about a building" is pretty much who I am. More architecture / urbanism reviews! Fewer restaurant reviews!

RTD meteorologist John Boyer has this neat story about a personal-sized weather station that's made from mostly 3D-printed parts! This one is installed at the Science Museum, but...I kind of want to install one at my house?

Trump announced his tax plan, or framework, or whatever, and Vox explains it all.


  • Nats lost to the Phillies again, 5-7. A series against the Pirates begins tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning's longread

How the NFL watered down Colin Kaepernick’s protest

After Jerry Jones linked arms with the Cowboys this past Sunday, taking a knee and then standing for the National Anthem, I'd been casting around for someone smarter than me to put to words how it made me feel. I found it in this Jamil Smith piece in the Washington Post.

But at a moment when wealthy white men banding together to fight white supremacy might actually have an impact, Snyder and several of his fellow team owners opted for an empty gesture. Standing between cornerbacks Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland, who are both black, Snyder had to know that he wasn’t actually protesting anything. This past weekend, the NFL took an opportunity to throw its weight to aid the cause of racial justice and turned it into a bland exhibition of corporate “unity.” What began with Colin Kaepernick taking a knee for a specific purpose mutated into generic displays bereft of any meaningful message.

Good morning, RVA: VISION ZERO, the State Fair, and contemporary art

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