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

Good morning, RVA: Outstanding women, narrative shift, and Brookland Park burgers

Good morning, RVA! It's 18 °F, and today's highs will eventually top out in the 40s which should help get rid of whatever snow remains on the ground.

As of this moment: Chesterfield and Richmond Public schools are closed; Henrico has a 2-hour delay; and VCU, VUU, and UR will all open at 10:00 AM.

Water cooler

Justin Mattingly at the Richmond Times-Dispatch continues to break down the beginnings of the Richmond Public Schools budget (I assume this document will exist as a public PDF at some point for our own breakings down). Highlights include: Salary increases and more ESL employees. Keep in mind that changes (or, really, lack of changes) to the state's education funding formulas could throw a serious wrench into RPS's current budget.

YWCA Richmond has announced the 38th Outstanding Women Awards honorees (PDF). Spoiler alert: Lisa Sims, Laura D. Lafayette, Miriam Davidow, Bonnie B. Price, Anna Lou Schaberg, Cynthia I. Newbille, Frazier Millner Armstrong, Jeanine Harper, and Patte Koval. The luncheon to celebrate the honorees and their commitment to YWCA's mission of eliminating racism and empowering women (did you know that was their mission??), will take place on April 27th. Congratulations, all!

Patrick Wilson has the update on a couple bills that would give localities the authority to move Confederate monuments. You can guess how they fared in the General Assembly. What I want to point out, though, is Wilson notes in his description of a Leesburg monument that it "was erected in 1908, a time of state laws and policies designed to disenfranchise and intimidate black citizens and deny them civil rights." This is huge shift from even a couple years back in how the media talks about Confederate monuments—they didn't even get quote from a Flagger, man-on-the-street type to dispute the facts! So while the General Assembly dilly-dallies—especially senators like Amanda Chase who thinks removing monuments will have a negative impact on tourism—the zeitgeist around them shifts.

A person drove/slid their dang car off the Lombardy bridge yesterday! The occupants walked away from incident, so I'm allowed to talk about how I'm bummed that they took out another section of the neat iron fencing on that bridge, which is one of the older ones in the City.

I missed the news that the Luncheonette on Brookland Park Boulevard is closed for good, but I also missed the news that Dixie Bell's Burger Bar has opened in that same spot. J. Elias O'Neal at Richmond BizSense has all the details, both positive and negative.

The federal government has until Friday at midnight to avoid a government shutdown. Republicans have proposed a bill that would keep the ship afloat for another couple weeks while they fight among themselves, but Democrats seem mostly unfazed.


  • Spiders dominated the Rams, 67-52.
  • Wahoos head south to face Georgia Tech tonight at 8:00 PM.

This morning's longread

The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal

Dang this is a long and thorough look at the history and economics of Appalachia's coal country.

The costs of this subsidy aren’t tallied on corporate or government balance sheets. The destruction of central Appalachia’s economy, environment, social fabric and, ultimately, its people’s health is, in a sense, hidden. But they’re plain enough to see on a map. It could be lung cancer deaths you’re looking at, or diabetes mortality. Or try opioid overdoses. Poverty. Welfare dependency. Chart virtually any measure of human struggle, and there it will be, just right of center on a map of the US—a distinct blotch. This odd cluster is consistently one of America’s worst pockets of affliction.

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

Good morning, RVA: Amazon HQ2, Creighton, and a government shutdown

Good morning, RVA: SNOW!, a poem, and metal