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

Good morning, RVA: A packed committee agenda, an open City Council race, and InLight photos

Good morning, RVA! It's 50 °F, and highs today look like they’ll top out around 60 °F. The extended forecast is looking dry until this weekend.

Water cooler

The City’s Land Use, Housing and Transportation Committee will meet today at 1:00 PM and has a couple of interesting things on their agenda. First, ORD. 2018-153 would add an unnecessary left turn lane from southbound Belvidere onto eastbound Broad Street. Councilmember Gray introduced this ordinance back in May of this year, right before the Pulse opened and during the height of Pulse Panic. Turns out the new bus did not destroy the very fabric of reality, everyone lived, and now we don’t need to go adding in more ways for cars to disrupt our public transportation. This ordinance should be withdrawn. Second, ORD. 2018-194, the anti-bike lane ordinance, is still, somehow, on the agenda. Aside from my personal, very pro-bike lane opinions, I‘m real against this political strategy of introducing legislation to prevent a planned, funded, and approved project and then just continuing it forever and ever. It de facto kills the project and is not how our City government is supposed to work. This ordinance should also be withdrawn. Third, ORD. 2018-288 is the new scooter ordinance! I feel bad because I still haven’t had time to really kick the tires on this new attempt to regulate dockless vehicles, but I do know that the City tweaked the vehicle fee structure, bringing it down to something that works out to $265 per vehicle per year for 100 vehicles, $207.50 per vehicle per year for 200 vehicles, and $123 per vehicle per year for 500 vehicles. These aren’t technically per-vehicle fees but application fees based on the number of vehicles you’re putting out on the street. After a quick skim of the legislation, it does look like all the big pieces I was after are in there—although the bit about preventing bikes and scooters from operating after sunset seems too intense.

Richmond City Councilmember Parker Agelasto announced that he would not seek re-election in 2020 (PDF). That election is...a ways a way, but the extreme lead time does give the 5th District plenty of time to find some high-quality candidates. Is that candidate you?

Justin Mattingly at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a recap of the RPS high school transcript shenanigans. You should already know most of this information, but I did want to point out this sentence that my brain had forgotten: “In Kamras’ first few months as superintendent, he asked the Education Department to expand its existing review of credits from just Armstrong High School to all five of the city’s comprehensive high schools.” The Superintendent voluntarily and proactively expanded the audit, so we’d all know what’s what. Keep that in mind when you hear City Council, School Board, or some rando on the street talk about trusting the school system.

Also on the schools tip, the City will officially break ground on three new schools on December 19th in what sounds like three simultaneous ceremonies. Fingers crossed, these new schools should be ready for students by fall 2020.

Remember when the Cheats Movement had that really star-laden live podcast at the ICA? Here’s a quick video that’ll make you feel bad about yourself if you missed it.

Remember when I said InLight was one of my favorite weird Richmond things? Here’s some photos from this past weekend over on RVAHub that’ll make you feel bad about yourself if you missed it.

This morning's patron longread

Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?

From Patron Julie, here’s the Atlantic’s incredibly thorough look at the many, many reasons people are keeping their hands to themselves.

Over the course of many conversations with sex researchers, psychologists, economists, sociologists, therapists, sex educators, and young adults, I heard many other theories about what I have come to think of as the sex recession. I was told it might be a consequence of the hookup culture, of crushing economic pressures, of surging anxiety rates, of psychological frailty, of widespread antidepressant use, of streaming television, of environmental estrogens leaked by plastics, of dropping testosterone levels, of digital porn, of the vibrator’s golden age, of dating apps, of option paralysis, of helicopter parents, of careerism, of smartphones, of the news cycle, of information overload generally, of sleep deprivation, of obesity. Name a modern blight, and someone, somewhere, is ready to blame it for messing with the modern libido.

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

Good morning, RVA: Holiday break, scooter update, and little trains

Good morning, RVA: Participatory budgeting, annexation, and a bike share expansion