Y'all!

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

Good morning, RVA: The Boulevard, a new mural, and the Folk Festival

Good morning, RVA! It's 72 °F, and today we’ve got some sun and highs in the mid 80s. Of note: Rain from Hurricane Michael moves into the area tomorrow evening.

Water cooler

Police are reporting a murder in the City’s East End. Monday night, officers arrived to the area near Accommodation and Coalter Streets and encountered a person driving a shooting victim to the hospital. The victim would later die from his injuries.


The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Mark Robinson has a recap of Councilmember Gray’s meeting last night at the VMFA to talk about renaming the Boulevard to Arthur Ashe Boulevard. Councilmember Gray, who voted against a resolution petitioning the State for the authority to deal with the City’s Confederate monuments, said renaming the Boulevard would be “an opportunity for us as a city to demonstrate to the world that we’ve evolved and we’re willing to be more accepting of all Richmonders, regardless of their skin color, who they are or where they come from.” I’m into this! I’m also, obviously, into this as a reason for why we need the authority from the State to pull down our Confederate monuments, too. Sarah King at Richmond Magazine has some more quotes from residents at the meeting—both for and against the renaming. Slight tangent: We’ve got to stop using education funding and Richmond Public Schools students as a reason to never do anything at all. At Monday’s Council meeting, some councilmembers said they’d rather focus on education funding than monuments (including Councilmember Gray), and you can see the same argument come up here against renaming the Boulevard. This, from a resident: “The money this would cost would be much better spent going to Richmond Public Schools, which are in dire need.“ The cost of renaming the Boulevard is a rounding error compared to the huge stack of cash needed to pay for the facilities issues facing RPS. To suggest that we shouldn’t do this or that while failing to address the enormous need for more money is some real bad faith arguing. I’m not the only one who thinks so: If you missed it, Superintendent Kamras weighed in on that line of thinking Monday night.

In other pretty huge Confederate-renaming news, Washington and Lee (yes, that Lee), will rename some buildings on its campus and replace a portrait of Lee in a military uniform with one of him in civilian clothes.

Christina McBride at RVA Mag says we’re getting a new (SoongeBob) mural down at E. Franklin and N. 18 Streets. Swiss muralist BustArt hadn’t planned on making a stop in Richmond but he lost his passport in Greensboro and is muraling his way up to D.C. to get it replaced. His loss, our gain!

Whoa, one day after Narcan training, this guy saved someone’s life who had overdosed. The top comment on the /r/rva post about this has a big, long list of where you can get yourself some Narcan and the associated training to save someone’s life.

The 2018 Folk Festival kicks off on Friday and Style Weekly has posted their unofficial guide to the fest. There are about one million artists you should learn about and listen to, but definitely make time for Mavis Staples. She is a Huge Deal™.

This morning's longread

Portrait of a Campaign

From my favorite bookmarking-service-turned-Democratic-fundraiser comes this absolutely fascinating piece about how a small-time campaign works and how the national Democratic Party is broken.

Our candidate began her run in mid-2017, initially working out of her home, more recently working from a small campaign office tucked away in a strip mall or shared office building. Her paid staff consists of three to six people, most of them also working on their first election, a few of them the kind of young political science addicts who rove from campaign to campaign, never finding succor. The campaign is run mostly by volunteers, a mix of retired people and students. Campaigning has required our candidate to put her life on hold. She is either retired or has the kind of job (like non-profit public service) that allows her to take a leave of absence, but the decision to run has had a serious impact on her family and her financial well-being.

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

Good morning, RVA: Blackwell Historic District, he’s running, and the 34th best bike city

Good morning, RVA: Council embarrassment, state-owned parking, and lots of photos