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

Good morning, RVA: Email your councilmember, meet the new sheriff, and get a tour of state politics

Good morning, RVA! It's 23 °F, and, it’ll take a while, but by the end of the day we should see temperatures in the 40s. Stay warm out there!

Water cooler

Mark Robinson of the RTD has done the work of polling City Council to see where they stand on the meals tax to support school facilities, should the vote be held right at this moment. YES — Jones, Newbille, Robertson; UNDECIDED — Hilbert, Larson; SKEPTICAL — Agelasto, Trammell; NO — Gray, Addison. Robinson follows up with a few more details in the paper. Personally, I’d move Addison up into the skeptical bucket, based on some of the disclaimers in his recent 1st District newsletter. Either way, the proposal needs five votes, so there’s work to be done. If you support the meals tax, which, my Totally Official Policy Position is that you should, then please email your councilmember—especially if you live in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 8th Districts. I was just at Councilmember Hilbert’s 3rd District meeting the other day, and his liaison said the most effective way to get in touch is to email both the councilmember and the liaison! You don’t need to pen an eloquent treatise on the history of meals taxes in America, just simply tell them you live in their district and would like them to vote for the meals tax to support school facilities. The Mayor has officially introduced his proposal as ORD. 2018-017, which will (theoretically) head to the Organizational Development Standing Committee of City Council on February 5th. As Mayor Stoney says in Robinson’s piece, “No more delaying. No more waiting. No more punting.”

50 years after the passing of the Fair Housing Act, Mallory Noe-Payne at Radio IQ has the wonderful story of the Carillon neighborhood—a community that worked hard to remain racially integrated during the period of Jim Crow and red lining.

Jackie Kruszewski, writing for Style Weekly, has an excellent profile of new sheriff Antoinette Irving that you should read. I am inspired by Irving—from Creighton Court, to point guard at Shaw University, to the Henrico Police Department, to Richmond’s sheriff! She seems awesome.

I enjoy the title of this piece on The Cheats Movement: “Chief Wahoo will go away and the world will be fine.”

It’s hard for me to get into the policies of state-level government, let alone the politics; the General Assembly is so big and moves so fast compared to our teeny and sometimes plodding nine-member City Council! But I enjoyed this long piece by the RTD’s Jeff Schapiro that illustrates some of the current GA politics related to Virginia’s attempts to expand Medicaid.

Sometimes brewers will switch out one ingredient of a beer while keeping the rest consistent—this lets you really taste how something like the hop varietal can totally change a brew. Center of the Universe is doing just this thing with their Chameleon India Pale Ale, and Annie Tobey at Style Weekly has all of the details. I love this sort of thing, and I double love that each variety will come in a different colored can.


  • Hokies head north to take on Boston College tonight at 9:00 PM.
  • Wahoos host Louisville tonight at 7:00 PM.

This morning's longread

Lawyers Faced With Emojis and Emoticons Are All ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Don’t ever send anyone any combination of emojis that could mean “stud muffin.”

Debra Katz, an employment lawyer in Washington, D.C., says she was stumped by a combination of emojis that included horses and one that “looked like a muffin” in text messages associated with a harassment case. She solicited opinions from her colleagues in the office about what it might mean. Her client told her it meant “stud muffin.” She says her client viewed the emojis as an extension of the alleged unwelcome advances at issue in the dispute. “There are no limits to the emoji possibilities,” Ms. Katz says. “The reality is people are just going to keep using their technology to communicate.”

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Good morning, RVA: Schools, schools, and more schools

Good morning, RVA: Affordable housing, a call to Hanoverians, and burgers