Good morning, RVA! It's 49 °F, and, whoadang, we’ve got highs in the 70s today—so much for chilly fall weather! It’ll take most of the day for us to reach those temperatures, so maybe don’t leave the house wearing your sockelss slip-ons.
Somehow, I missed that yesterday, Richmond’s Weinstein JCC hosted a vigil for the victim’s of this past Saturday’s antisemitic mass shooting in Pittsburgh. I feel really bad about that, but Ali Rockett at the Richmond Times-Dispatch was there and has a few quotes from the speakers and folks in attendance.
It is Halloween! If you’re out and about in a vehicle tonight, please take your time and drive slowly. Tonight, of all nights, the streets are filled with kids losing their damn minds and running back and forth while definitely not paying a ton of attention to anything other than themselves.
Colleen Curran at the RTD says tonight may be the last Halloween Parade, which would be a huge bummer as it’s one of my favorite weird Richmond things. Tonight’s (maybe final, ack!) theme is “A funeral march for the Patriarchy, a celebration of the divine feminine.” If you want to join a couple thousands folks and take it all in, meet at Monroe Park tonight no later than 7:00 PM. To steal from the Facebook event, “Guys, gals, and all non-binary conforming pals” are welcome! And so are giant puppets! (I told you, it’s a weird/awesome thing)
WTVR reports that TWO different drivers hit a pedestrian with their cars at the intersection of Grace and Belvidere. This is a dangerous intersection—with at least six reported bike/pedestrian crashes since 2013—that’s filled with humans moving to and from the main section of VCU’s Monroe Park campus. To fix this, we should do more than shrug our shoulders and suggest that pedestrians dress like reflective traffic cones. We could redesign the street to make it slower and safer, or we could just do nothing and watch as young people continue to get injured. It’s up to us to demand that the Mayor, Councilmember Gray, and the City’s Department of Public Works do a better job at making this intersection safer for people.
Check out this interesting data point: VCU will not host a university-wide commencement ceremony in 2019 because the Coliseum “will be unavailable to us,” says VCU President Michael Rao. Hmmmm probably because it will have been razed to the ground as part of the “Still just proposed, right?” Coliseum redevelopment plan? I’m interested in what happens if the Coliseum just stops booking events and the proposed redevelopment falls through. At some point we’ve got to get rid of that gross thing, but the question (which we never bothered to collectively ask ourselves) is do we even need a dang arena within the City limits?
Creighton Court update: Developers have begun on Phase 1 of the apartments planned for the old Armstrong High School site. Jonathan Spiers at Richmond BizSense was at the groundbreaking and has all the details.
Speaking of BizSense, here’s a meta-news piece about how they plan on getting into local government coverage—through the lens of business, of course. They’ve also got a neat idea about tracking interesting Council and Board of Supervisor agenda items, which is something that I’ve been working on this past week, too. Folks want to know where in the process the most recent zoning and rezoning ordinances are, am I right??
If you live in the 7th District, make sure you read Style Weekly’s sit-down with all three School Board candidates ahead of the special election next week.
This morning's longread
Emerging From Michelle Rhee’s Shadow, Jason Kamras Focuses on Building Trust in Racially Charged Richmond Schools
I’m quoted a couple of times in this piece about Superintendent Kamras, proving that, yes, that’s just how I talk.
Ultimately, of course, Kamras’s tenure will be judged by whether academic outcomes improve. The strategic plan Kamras released in September, Dreams4RPS, is nothing if not far-reaching. Its 40 proposed actions range from expanding pre-K to creating more integrated schools. Notably absent is any mention of teacher evaluation. Kamras told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in May that he won’t seek to replicate D.C.’s system in his new role, saying “his thinking had evolved.” “I think he has grown dramatically and become a much more supple leader than perhaps he had been early on in his administrative work in D.C.,” Toch, of FutureED, told The 74. “That’s to his credit. That’s what experience and maturity do for you.”
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