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

Good morning, RVA: Housing, General Assembly update, and a shameful list

Good morning, RVA! It's 55 °F, and highs today will be in the 70s!? OK!

Water cooler

Tammie Smith at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, has a story about project:HOMES, a housing-focused nonprofit. project:HOMES is a piece of Richmond’s affordable housing puzzle, running rehabilitation and revitalization programs for households making less than a certain annual income. They’ll also build affordable homes and have built 150 thus far at the rate of about 20 per year. Whenever I read stats like that, I think about the mayor’s State of the City promise to create 1500 new, affordable housing units over the next five years. To hit this goal, we’re going to need all hands on deck, new investment in our existing programs, progressive policy from our legislators, and a laserlike focus all around. We can do it, but it’s going to take some work.

Don’t forget, the City’s Finance and Economic Development Standing Committee meets today at 5:00 PM at City Hall to discuss Councilmember Agelasto’s proposed cigarette tax to further fund Richmond Public School facilities. The tax would add $0.80 to the cost of a pack of cigarettes and generate upwards of $5 million annually.

Here’s a rare story (although, increasingly less so, I guess) about a break in the ranks among Henrico Government folks about using an old Best Products building to temporarily house J.R. Tucker students. I love stories like this because typically Henrico Government business is neat, tidy, and finished up before it ever even makes it to the paper. A peek behind the curtain!

Yesterday, in addition to Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, was also Crossover Day, when bills in the General Assembly flip-flop chambers from the House of Delegates to the Senate and vice versa. This is all very exciting, but it also means that any bill not passed by one of the chambers is dead. Sorry, bills! The RTD has a high-level view of some of the items they’re interested in.

Big news from the Virginia Historical Society, says Jessica Wetzler in Richmond Magazine: They’ve changed their name to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. While definitely a more accurate name, I do think it connotes less of a Great Gatsby vibe which kind of bums me out.

Also in Richmond Magazine, by Megan Wilson, is this great piece on the Sarah Garland Jones Center in the East End. It houses the Front Porch Cafe, but, as a program of Bon Secours, it also offers all kinds of food- and health-related ways for the community to get involved. I’m impressed by just how many folks are involved in and around this single physical space.

If you’ve been waiting for it, YouTubeTV is now available in Richmond. $35 / month gets you just about every network you’d need to watch college sports. Hmmmmmm...I’m listening.

I don’t have a ton to say about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School yesterday. Other than vote out every single Republican that refuses even the smallest move towards ending gun violence, I just don’t know what to do. Maybe start by calling these Virginia State Senators (all Republicans) who voted NO on a bill to ban bump stocks: Bill Carrico, Siobhan Dunnavant, Ryan McDougle, Steve Newman, Tommy Norment, Mark Obenshain, Frank Ruff, Richard Stuart, Jill Holtzman Vogel, and Frank Wagner. Shameful. Vox has a What We Know if you want to read more about the shooting in Florida.


  • Rams fell to Davidson, 63-74, and have now lost three of the last four.
  • Hokies got crushed by Duke, 52-74.

This morning's longread

Changing My Mind About Pig’s Feet and Cornrows

What happens when a middle class kid suddenly loses their family?

On my first night at Greer, they serve pickled pig’s feet in the dining hall where the whole school gathers for dinner. I’m thoroughly disgusted. A couple months earlier, I was ordering my dinner from the menu at our family’s restaurant in the Poconos. Pork chops and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy and South African lobster tails broiled in butter were my favorites. One week, I ate lobster tails for five days straight until the cook told on me and I was banned from ordering the dish again. I’d heard about pig’s feet but never ever expected to confront one on my plate. “It’s good,” Shelly insists, so I try it and am disgusted. The slick greasy meat compounds the feeling that we are all throw-away children eating throw away food.

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Good morning, RVA: Cigarettes, Q&As, and Lucy Dacus

Good morning, RVA: Hearts, ashes, and cigarettes