Good morning, RVA! It's 56 °F and rainy. The rain will continue through the morning as temperatures warm up a bit—gross start to the day, though.
Richmond police are reporting a murder that occurred the evening of November 2nd. At 6:46 PM, officers arrived to the 5700 block of Westover Village Drive and found Brandon Law, 22, shot to death.
The proposed Coliseum redevelopment project’s third-party analysis PDFs exist and are now available for you to download, read, highlight, and tweet about. I’m not yet halfway through (it’s a real long PDF) but have been sharing my thoughts, as I have them, in this Twitter thread. After I get through the whole thing and have a second to process, I’ll try to share some cogent and comprehensive thoughts. Until then, though, I’m building a list of questions to ask about the proposal and would love to hear yours! You can either reply to this very email or hit me up on Twitter.
Instead of writing an email on Mondays, I should just forward y’all Superintendent Kamras’s Message from the Superintendent. It’s so good. First, in this week’s edition, he says RPS and VUU have worked out a deal to provide 50 8th graders with full scholarships to the latter when they graduate. Can you imagine what a huge deal knowing college is on deck and taken care of as you begin high school? Massive! Kamras also digs in to the District’s chronic absenteeism problem and some of the (surprising) ways he’s addressing it. For example, he’s working with the Washington Football Team Charitable Foundation to open laundry centers: “The goal of this program is to remove barriers for school attendance as well as participation in sports and other programs by providing students with a discreet solution to the challenge of having clean clothes—at no cost to them or their families. Studies have shown that placing washers and dryers in schools and offering laundry services to students can help boost attendance, class participation and interest in extra-curricular activities.“ Small aside: That is definitely not the name of the charitable foundation, but those are definitely the words Kamras used in the email to describe it. That fills me with joy.
I am confused by this piece from Jeremey Lazarus in the Richmond Free Press about the plan to redevelop Richmond’s public housing. It sounds like the RRHA will now consider renovating existing public housing neighborhoods rather than rebuilding them with an eye towards more mixed-income neighborhoods. I think this would be a significant shift in Richmond’s housing strategy, and I’d like to learn more. RRHA commissioned a study to figure out some of the costs and timelines, and that should be ready by spring.
Tomorrow is Election Day and we’ve got two constitutional amendments on the ballot, which you can read in full by putting your address into this form on the Department of Elections website. Ned Oliver at the Virginia Mercury has compelling reasons to vote no on the flood-related amendment. Do we really want to start incentivizing folks to live in flood-prone areas as we stare, unready, into the oncoming, gaping maw of climate change? That’s a tough question that Virginia in particular needs to grapple with.
Weather and schedules permitting, Congressional Candidate Abigail Spanberger (who was recently endorsed by Republican and former U.S. Senator John Warner) and Henrico Board of Supervisors Candidate Danny Plaugher will do the meet and greet thing today, from 7:00–8:00 AM at the Willow Lawn Pulse Station. You know I love seeing (potential) elected officials supporting transit!
Looking to leaf peep locally? /r/rva has some suggestions on where you can find the best fall foliage in town.
This morning's longread
All those pure-white marble statues you’ve seen? Lies! Mind blown emoji!
Bond told me that she’d been moved to write her essays when a racist group, Identity Evropa, started putting up posters on college campuses, including Iowa’s, that presented classical white marble statues as emblems of white nationalism. After the publication of her essays, she received a stream of hate messages online. She is not the only classicist who has been targeted by the so-called alt-right. Some white supremacists have been drawn to classical studies out of a desire to affirm what they imagine to be an unblemished lineage of white Western culture extending back to ancient Greece. When they are told that their understanding of classical history is flawed, they often get testy.
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