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

Good morning, RVA: The Game of Chance, Creighton Court, and a Coliseum survey

Good morning, RVA! It's 24 °F, and at this moment in time, at this physical location in space, it is snowing. Expect the snow, intense wind, and cold temperatures to continue throughout the morning, with the latter two continuing throughout the day. Seriously, listen to RTD weatherperson John Boyer and watch out for that wind!

Take note: Chesterfield County Schools, Henrico County Schools, Richmond Public Schools, University of Richmond, VCU, and VUU are all closed.

Water cooler

Richmond Police are reporting a homicide that occurred on Tuesday at 11:21 AM. Officers arrived to the 1300 block of Coalter Street and found Davon R. Daniels, 30, shot to death. This is the first murder of 2018.

OK! It looks like the game of chance to choose the winner of the 94th House of Delegates district election will take place today...pending the snow situation. The Richmond Times-Dispatch's Graham Moomaw is on top of all the recent developments, including the court's decision not to reconsider their original decision (which includes a reference to the Webster's dictionary definition of "scratch") and a look at the bowl from which they'll pull the Film Canisters of Fate to decide the winner. As of 1:09 PM yesterday, the State Board of Elections still planned to hold the game of chance today at 11:00 AM.

Ned Oliver at the RTD reports on the failed furnaces in Creighton Court. I'm disappointed by several things in this article. First, temperatures will sink down into the single digits over the next three days. It's unacceptable to keep people living in homes without heat through this sort of weather! The RRHA/City/whoever should pony up the money to put these folks up in a hotel or some sort of legit temporary living situation until the heat's back on. The Mayor weighed in on Twitter saying, "It is shameful and unacceptable that some residents in Creighton Court lack access to properly heated buildings. The city will do whatever it can to assist RRHA as it addresses the current situation and works toward ensuring this does not happen again." Second, the CEO of the RRHA points to a lack of money to fix the 70-year-old furnaces, while Congressman McEachin says he hasn't heard a single funding request from the RRHA. "This was all news to us," he says. ORLY??? Here's an entire op-ed from October by CEO T.K. Somanath about the lack of federal funding for public housing. Here's a piece from Style Weekly back in July that details federal funding problems. And it was huge news when the City lost out on a $30 million federal grant to redevelop Creighton Court back in 2016. There's simply no excuse for not knowing that the RRHA needs more money.

At WCVE, Saraya Wintersmith sat down with Mayor Stoney to talk about his priorities from this past year and how he'll continue to work on those this coming year. Personal opinion: There's a lot of opportunities for Richmond to take a bunch of very large steps forward in 2018, but it'll take a new, focused type of leadership and collaboration from all parts of our government. I remain optimistic!

If you read the aforelinked interview, you saw the Mayor mention what he wants out of the Coliseum redevelopment plan, but what do you want out of it? The Southern Institute of Research is conducting a survey to collect citizen input on the project, and you should 100% fill it out. It'll take about 12 minutes of your snow-filled day.

In super boring, but super apropos transit news, the Urban Design Committee (should they meet today) will consider a new type of bus shelter that GASP! has walls to keep the howling wind and driving snow off of transit riders. You can scroll down to the bottom of this PDF to see the design they'll consider.

I neglected to mention this a couple days ago, but Charlottesville has chosen a Black woman as its mayor for the first time ever. Congratulations Nikuyah Walker!


  • Rams fell in overtime to Saint Joseph's, 81-87.
  • Spiders lost, also in overtime, to Fordham, 65-69.
  • Wahoos crushed the Hokies, 78-52.

This morning's longread

Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain

What even is a blockchain or a bit coin? I dunno, but I enjoy how thorough a job this article does at shooting down many, many possible uses of the blockchain.

Everyone says the blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, is going to change EVERYTHING. And yet, after years of tireless effort and billions of dollars invested, nobody has actually come up with a use for the blockchain—besides currency speculation and illegal transactions. Each purported use case — from payments to legal documents, from escrow to voting systems—amounts to a set of contortions to add a distributed, encrypted, anonymous ledger where none was needed. What if there isn’t actually any use for a distributed ledger at all? What if, ten years after it was invented, the reason nobody has adopted a distributed ledger at scale is because nobody wants it?

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Good morning, RVA: Vision Zero, update on the 94th, and a weed explainer

Good morning, RVA: School funding, beer, and redeveloping the Coliseum