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

Good morning, RVA: Snow Day 2, Secret of the Ooze

Good morning, RVA! It's 29 °F, and everything that was wet has now frozen solid. Expect temperatures today to creep up into the 40s later this afternoon, melt everything, and start the whole process over again.

Some things are closed, some things are operating on a delay, and some thing are open for business. Check a website before you do a thing!

Water cooler

Ned Oliver at the Virginia Mercury has the report on a new Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) study about the state of Virginia’s foster care system. Sen. Janet Howell calls the report “devastating.” If you’d like to dig in further for yourself, here’s JLARC’s summary, their actual report (PDF), and their list of recommendations (PDF).

This is from a while back, but I’m just now getting around to it: Richmond’s Climate Wizard, Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, sat down with Richmond’s Weather Hero, Andrew Frieden, for a chat about how climate change will impact Virginia and our region. Related to this (and my interests, of course) is this piece by International Transit Genius, Alon Levy, about how transportation needs to be the focus of any serious climate change mitigation efforts. Perhaps envisioning a Green New Deal with a strong focus on public transportation spending isn’t the most realistic thing to pine for, but reading about it inspires me and gets me excited.

Ah! I’m late on this as well: The Campaign to Reduce Evictions (CARE) will host a tenant town hall (PDF), “a forum for tenants to tell their stories and to begin organizing with CARE to reduce evictions on a state and local level.” The event takes place tonight from 6:00–8:00 PM at the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church (1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike). If you’ve faced eviction—or have had your family impacted by eviction—this is probably a great time and place to get involved.

Gregory J. Gilligan at the RTD says the Kinsale Capital Group will buy a piece of land out near the Cookout on Broad Street to build “a five-story office building and a four-story parking deck with 600 spaces.” Do you know what else is near the Cookout on Broad Street? A Pulse station! It’d take just seven minutes to walk from this location to the Pulse. Here’s the real question: Can we use this private investment opportunity to improve the pedestrian infrastructure in that part of town? Specifically improving the crossing at Broad and Maywill so folks can get to the eastbound Pulse station (or, actually, creating a crossing because one does not exist at all currently)? Also, too many parking spaces, but you already knew that.

Soccer fans, or fans of generally fun things, the Richmond Kickers have announced their 2019 schedule, and it begins with a March 30th home opener against Lansing Ignite FC. You can still put in your deposit for season tickets if you plan on spending the summer chilling at City Stadium with tons of other sports folks dressed in red.

In what could become a regular segment, here’s a beautiful picture of Richmond—a snowy James River as seen from Maymont—via /r/rva.

This morning's longread

Taking the Bus: Nonprofit Conferences and Integrity of Purpose

I’m the guy who will respond to your event email asking that you include transit directions, so this definitely resonates with me.

If these were corporate events, I could chalk this up to snobbishness, but the events I travel to are universally concerned with some aspect of fighting poverty and developing healthy, affordable communities, and it’s extremely clear that a strong public transit system is a core component of those goals. As Dace West, former executive director of Mile High Connects in Denver wrote in NPQ, transit can “enhance access to opportunity for low-income communities and communities of color by connecting them to affordable housing, healthy environments, quality education, and well-paying jobs”—or, of course, lack of transit access can impede access to these things. Our nonprofits often advocate for local transit spending, but when we gather, we seem to forget these values. How would we know what the transit of a given city is like if we never ride their buses? Worse, we typically support ride-hailing services with our dollars that often contribute to the very problems of poverty our conferences aim to address.

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Good morning, RVA: Snow Day 3, with a vengeance

Good morning, RVA: Snow day!