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

Good morning, RVA: Supervisor Lynch, Black-owned restaurants, and a programming note

Good morning, RVA! It's 61 °F, and you can expect temperatures to stay just where they are. Any chance for rain has dried up, so enjoy another unseasonably warm February day!

Water cooler

I’m late to listening, but this episode of the Cheats Movement’s show on WRIR featuring Henrico Supervisor Courtney Lynch is worth a listen. It’s incredibly refreshing to hear an elected official talk in a real, positive way about regionalism. I’m so used to folks from the counties espousing exceptionalism and isolationism that Lynch’s friendly, progressive tone had me doing whatever you call the audio equivalent of a double take.

Ahead of the Richmond Black Restaurant Experience (née Black Restaurant Week; March 4th–11th), Todd Kliman sat down and talked with Mama J’s owner Lester Johnson for Richmond Magazine. As with everything, literally everything, in Richmond, this conversation centers mostly on race. Read and think about this quote for awhile: “For a lot of black people and black businesses, it comes down to capital. For most black people, there’s no family member loaning us the startup money. We don’t have that access to capital. Or access, period.”

Ed Slipek has a long piece in Style Weekly about two of Richmond’s massive event spaces—which, weirdly, are/were both train stations. I learned about a dozen cool history facts by reading this piece. For example, did you know the Science Museum almost ended up in Byrd Park before Governor Mills Godwin was convinced to buy and convert the old Broad Street Station in 1975?

Hey! This weekend, you’ve got a chance to attend TILTED, an unconference for small businesses and entrepreneurial types. I have attended in the past—when I had a small business and did a bit of entrepreneurializing—and I valued the time to get together with likeminded folks.

Space nerds! There’s a SpaceX launch today at 9:17 AM, if you like watching rockets blast off. Who does not like this?? I demand to know!

It’s an hour and 46 minutes long, but I think you should probably watch last night’s town hall about gun violence on CNN. It was intense, hard to watch at points, while simultaneously thrilling to see the Republican position on guns shift after just one week of activism by these teenage survivors (well, Republican Senator Marco Rubio’s position at least). You can read the WaPo’s write up of the town hall and Rubio’s new thoughts and feelings on guns here.

A programming note: Yesterday, I linked to a Richmond Times-Dispatch story about layoffs and changes to the paper’s business model to stay (or become?) profitable. I think these changes have manifested themselves this morning as a Wall Street Journal-style paywall in front of each and every article. Meaning: Without a digital subscription, you won’t be able to read anything at all from the paper. I’m conflicted. I appreciate the pants off the work the journalists over there do to keep us informed, but I think the editorial board is...bad for the region. I’m going to noodle on it for a while, and until I get some clarity you may see a dearth of RTD links in this space. I’d love to hear y’all’s thoughts and feelings, too.


  • Rams held on to beat Massachusetts, 82-78.
  • Spiders got handled by George Washington, 77-103.
  • Hokies canned Clemson, 65-58.
  • Wahoos took care of business in Atlanta, downing Georgia Tech, 65-54.

This morning's longread

Keepers of the Seed

All this warm weather has me planning my garden and learning about heirloom varietals—but nothing like this!

The last 50 kernels of Eagle Corn were kept in a mayonnaise jar, the last seeds of a mother corn that had nurtured the Pawnee people for generations and was taken with them when they were exiled from Nebraska to Oklahoma in the 1870s. But the corn wouldn’t grow in Oklahoma. Deb Echo-Hawk, the “Keeper of the Seed,” was worried her people would never eat the beautiful Eagle Corn again—a brand so unique that its pure white kernels sport a purple spot that expands as the corn grows, eventually looking like the spreading wings of an eagle.

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Good morning, RVA: The state budget, body cam footage, and Strava data

Good morning, RVA: School budget sequel, newspaper industry woes, and pedestrian improvements