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

Good morning, RVA: Violence, statewide school funding, and vacant properties

Good morning, RVA! It's 46 °F, and temperatures today should climb back up into the low 70s. Enjoy the relative warmth, because cooler weather returns tomorrow!

Water cooler

Richmond Police are reporting that Rolando D. Williams, Jr., 24, was shot to death yesterday afternoon near the 400 block of Melmark Court on the City’s Southside. According to the RPD’s website, this is the 40th murder in 2018.

Mayor Stoney has a column in the Virginia Pilot encouraging Hampton Roads to get behind his push for more state funding for K–12 public education. There seems to be some real political momentum building ahead of next year’s General Assembly session to get the state to modify the Standards of Quality formula and increase their at-risk add-on contribution. If the momentum is to amount to anything, regular ol’ Virginians will need to start leaning on their delegates and senators and let them know that school funding is a priority. It’s super useful to have leaders like the mayor leading the charge, but the hard work of continually yelling at legislators falls to people like you and me.

Hey, look at this! Mark Robinson from the Richmond Times-Dispatch got the list of vacant properties from the City and plotted all of them on a map. This is a thing I’ve done before in a previous life, back when I understood how computers worked, and I think it’s a valuable resource. Filtering a map like this by owner is a great way to see who owns vacant property in your neighborhood and to maybe start putting together a plan to make those properties un-vacant. P.S. My personal experience is that folks don’t like it when you point out that they own vacant property, but your mileage may vary.

After that IPCC report dropped, I’ve been linking to a bunch of climate stories lately. Here’s another! Trip Pollard has a column in the paper about how Virginia can shift our transportation policies and habits and lead on climate change. Yeah we’ve got to electrify personal vehicles, but we also need to encourage/incentivize/bully folks out of single-occupancy vehicles and into more efficient ways of getting around—like public transportation, biking, and walking.

Ooooo Richard Hayes at RVA Hub says that crews are currently painting the Semmes Avenue bike lane as we speak!

Today’s takeaway from Rail~volution: We need to get Barbara Brown Johnson (who lives just down the road in Charlottesville) to come to Richmond and help us learn how to do better community engagement. I heard her speak about her book Resilience For All

Good morning, RVA: Education confusion, Medicaid work requirement, and dense zoning

Good morning, RVA: Pittsburgh, endorsements, and stairs