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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 72 °F, and today the temperatures start to drop a wee bit in preparation for a plunge on Friday. Expect highs in the low 80s, some clouds, and a small chance of rain this afternoon.

Water cooler

Yesterday, I wondered what reasons members of City Council would come up with to vote against Councilmember Jones’s RES. 2018-R073, a non-binding resolution that would request from the state city authority over Confederate monuments. In their 3-6 vote killing the resolution, Councilmembers first argued that we need to lobby the State for increased school funding, not for local control over monuments. To that, Superintendent Jason Kamras said, “Council, please don’t use RPS funding as reason to not support monument proposal by @thedrmikejones. 1) If we don’t stand up for what’s right, what are we telling kids about our values? 2) Nothing’s been stopping you from introducing paper before tonight to increase $ 4 RPS...” Dang! Then some Councilmembers said that since the Monument Avenue Commission only recommended taking down the Jeff Davis statue, that it’d be improper to ask the State for the authority to take them all down. Please keep in mind that this resolution said absolutely nothing about taking any monuments down at any time, just that the City would like to ask the state for authority over them. It was almost a resolution about absolutely nothing, yet only Councilmembers Jones, Newbille, and Robertson voted for taking the SMALLEST POSSIBLE step away from white supremacy. This was an easy one to get right, but a majority of City Council got it wrong.

After last night’s embarrassing shenanigans at City Council, I’m definitely feeling some schadenfreude over this bit of chaos between Chesterfield’s School Board and its Board of Supervisors. Is the School Board’s decision to withdraw from a joint audit committee a good one? I have no idea, but it’s nice to read about.

The Virginia Mercury’s Ned Oliver steadfastly provides us with ongoing redistricting coverage. Now that the General Assembly has given up arguing over drawing maps, they’ve moved on to arguing over which expert the court should appoint to draw the maps.

Every time the State builds a huge parking deck in the City and does not allow City residents to use it—especially on nights and weekends when these things sit mostly empty, smugly radiating the fact that the City will never ever collect tax revenue from some of the most valuable property downtown in existence—a small part of me turns to dust. Michael Martz, at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has some more details on just such a thing planned for Broad & 9th.

Councilmember Gray, who voted against the Confederate monument resolution discussed above, will host a community meeting tonight from 5:30–7:30 PM at the VMFA to hear from the public about renaming the Boulevard to Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

The RTD has posted 200 old aerial photos of the City that include a lot of sad pictures of neighborhoods destroyed to make way for highways.

Landon Shroder has some much less depressing photos in RVA Mag: People launching off stuff on bikes at the State Fair! I don’t know why sometimes they’re launching off stuff surrounded by fire, but they sure are.

We’re about a week out from the deadline to register to vote (or update your voter registration information). If you haven’t done so already, you can register right over on the Department of Elections website.

This morning's longread

Raised by YouTube

I love how this fits in with all the stuff I’ve been reading/watching about attention lately. What impacts will irresistible, infinite video content for kids have on them? Literally no one knows!

Five years on, ChuChu TV is a fast-growing threat to traditional competitors, from Sesame Street to Disney to Nickelodeon. With all its decades of episodes, well-known characters, and worldwide brand recognition, Sesame Street has more than 5 billion views on YouTube. That’s impressive, but ChuChu has more than 19 billion. Sesame Street’s main feed has 4 million subscribers; the original ChuChu TV channel has 19 million—placing it among the top 25 most watched YouTube channels in the world, according to the social-media-tracking site Social Blade—and its subsidiary channels (primarily ChuChu TV Surprise Eggs Toys and ChuChu TV Español) have another 10 million.

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

Good morning, RVA: A monument resolution, inspiring words, and an incredible shutout