Good morning, RVA! It's 59 °F, and today we’ve got highs right around 70 °F and lots of sunshine on deck. Enjoy!
Richmond Police are reporting a murder that occurred Monday evening on the 600 block of Westover Hills Boulevard. Officers arrived and found Lee M. Hudson, Jr., 19, shot to death.
Yesterday, I stopped by the Land Use, Housing and Transportation committee (whose official name does not contain a serial comma, and that constantly bothers me) to check on the stack of interesting bills on their agenda. Well: They were all continued. We’ve made no progress on the Brook Road bike lane, renaming the Boulevard after Arthur Ashe, or adopting an ordinance to allow dockless/shareable scooters. Bummer. I’m particularly disappointed with why the scooter ordinance was pushed back yet another month. In presenting the ordinance, Department of Public Works staff read aloud a long list of proposed amendments but, when asked, wouldn’t provide a written copy to committee members. Understandably, the committee didn’t want to vote to send something to full Council without even having read the dang amendments—at least one of which was to fix a bug in the original ordinance that unintentionally capped the number of scooters at 100. So now we wait another month because DPW didn’t have their ducks in a row to fix an ordinance that was, when introduced, not as clean as it could have been. All of this delay has been totally unnecessary, and I continue to wonder if having a high-level City position dedicated to transportation would help shepherd along things like this (and bike lanes, and bus lanes, and bike share, and everything else transportation related).
Often I feel intense anxiety about having opinions on school policy. Crumbling facilities is one thing that’s easy to point to and say, “Hey, this is terrible! Let’s get it fixed!” But once we get into state-level operational funding, zoning, and school choice, it starts to feel like I’m surrounded by third rails. Related to the latter in particular: Justin Mattingly says a group of RPS parents are looking at starting a charter middle school in the City 💸. The Superintendent, however, says, “I would love to work with them to figure out how we can make middle schools in Richmond meet their needs and the needs of all kids in Richmond...Our destiny as a city and as a school system is contingent on all families going in and not opting out and creating separate schools for particular subsets of kids.”
C. Suarez Rojas at the RTD has more on why the Chesterfield School Board has withdrawn from an audit committee shared with the Board of Supervisors 💸. I’m not super knowledgeable about Chesterfield politics, but reading the quotes in this piece makes me feel like there are issues between the two elected bodies that go deep beyond this audit committee.
Rodney Robinson, Richmond Public School Teacher of the Year, is now officially the 2019 Virginia Teacher of the Year! The National Teacher of the Year, for which Robinson will now compete, will be announced this coming spring. Win and advance, Rodney!
Jason Roop, writing for Style Weekly, has a good, if slightly cynical, recap / FAQ on everything that’s happened thus far with the Coliseum redevelopment proposal. It’s been over a month since we last heard from the Mayor’s office on the matter, and I wonder if we’re getting closer to a Major Announcement? You can bet there are a bunch of folks eagerly anticipating getting their hands on the project’s finance PDFs.
Eileen Mellon writes about Southern Exposure Seed Exchange for Richmond Magazine! This gets an exclamation point from me, because I buy a bunch of heirloom seeds from them each year and picking out which varietal to plant is always a joy.
Did you hear Sears filed for bankruptcy? Here’s an excellent Twitter thread on how important the Sears catalogue was during the Jim Crow era.
This morning's longread
Ross’s quest for IPCC reading continues! This piece from Vox does a decent job of explaining the particulars, but lacks...humanity, maybe? I don’t know, but it’s a place to start.
Why examine the prospects for limiting global warming to 1.5°C? Because under the Paris agreement, countries agreed that the goal should be to limit warming to below 2°C by 2100, with a nice-to-have target of capping warming at 1.5°C. The report finds that it would take a massive global effort, far more aggressive than any we’ve seen to date, to keep warming in line with 1.5°C. Without such effort, we will continue at our current trajectory toward 3°C of warming. What’s more, even if we hit the 1.5°C goal, the planet will still face massive, devastating changes. So it’s pretty grim.
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