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

Good morning, RVA: General Assembly!, auditor reports, and DACA

Good morning, RVA! It's 33 °F, and as today's highs top out near 50 °F, you can expect a little less sunshine than yesterday and a few more clouds.

Water cooler

The 2018 General Assembly Session begins today! Good luck to all of the new and returning legislators, the advocates and lobbyists, and pages, staff, and everyone else that makes the whole thing work. If you're from out of of town and you need food or drink recommendations (or if you'd like to know how to get around on the bus), let me know! Dear readers: Does anyone have good, GA-focused twitter follows to recommend? If so, send them my way.

Yesterday, the Governor and Governor-Elect released their join legislative priorities. Highlights include: Expanding Medicaid, universal background checks for gun purchase, and raising the felony larceny threshold to $1,000 (Arsenio Hall noise!). Tangentially related: Pending approval, Governor-elect Northam will have the first majority-woman cabinet in state history.

Mark Robinson has an interesting story in the Richmond-Times Dispatch about recommendations from the City Auditor going unfulfilled. He says there were 161 recommendations made over "several years," 121 were outstanding at the end of September, and of those 51 predate 2012. I'm interested in how the new auditor (working with the Mayor and his administration) will handle this backlog—clearly some of these recommendations folks are unwilling or unable to implement, and I imagine cost is a primary factor in both. For some context, here are two examples of open requests from a 2017 look at the budgeting process: 1) "The Mayor and the CAO need to prepare the budget using realistic estimates of revenues and expenditures for the City." and 2) "The CAO needs to ensure that departments routinely do not use funding for the vacant positions to cover unfunded cost." If you'd like, you can look through all of the Auditors reports (including which recommendations have been "closed").

Justin Mattingly at the RTD reports that, at the moment, Hanover County Schools have no plans to rename Lee-Davis High School or Stonewall Jackson Middle School. Here's an actual quote from a supporter of the current names: "As always, go Confederates."—a problematic sentence if ever there was one. If you're a Hanover resident (and especially if you're a Lee-Davis or Stonewall alum) keep a lookout for an official, County-sanctioned public feedback mechanism on changing these schools' names.

Laura Ingles at Style Weekly has two pieces about the recent activism around the RRHA and its failure to heat apartments in Creighton and Gilpin Courts. The first looks at a rally that took place in Gilpin a couple days ago, and the second is an interview with Art Burton. I know almost nothing about public housing policy, but it really seems to me like we need gobs of federal and state money to even put a dent in our current maintenance / redevelopment needs.

A federal judge has blocked Trump's decision to end DACA—at least for now, while a lawsuit is pending. More details over on the Washington Post.


  • Rams dunked on Duquesne, 78-67.
  • Spiders lost to Dayton, 81-87.
  • Hokies head to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest tonight at 7:00 PM.
  • Wahoos sunk Syracuse, 68-61.

This morning's longread

The Case for the Subway

From Patron Steve comes this really interesting look at the New York subway system and how it is and always has been the lifeblood of that city.

The case for the subway is the case for mobility: physical mobility, economic mobility, social mobility. The business leaders, politicians and engineers who made the subway all those years ago understood that promise, and it remains the most profound message of the system even in its decline: The city can be built, and the people can come, and they can thrive — millions of them, then millions more.

If you’d like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol’ Patreon.

Good morning, RVA: GA underway, Baliles moves on, and Nate's Bagels

Good morning, RVA: Bill picks, Council politics, and segregated schools