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

Good morning, RVA: Change the names, transit funding, and Goldblum BBQ

Good morning, RVA! It's 32 °F, and we’ve got a chilly, sunny day ahead of us with highs just in the 40s. Better than yesterday’s rainy mess, if you ask me!

Water cooler

The Petersburg Public School Board voted unanimously to change the names of three schools named after Confederate generals, the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Vanessa Remmers reports. I realize there are some other things going on in Richmond Public Schools right now, but we’ve got a J.E.B. Stuart Elementary, too...

Also in the RTD is this interesting piece about statewide transit funding by Michael Martz. There’s a desperate need at the state level to find reliable capital funding (the money that pays for stuff like new buses) for transit systems (like GRTC) across the Commonwealth. Currently, this money comes from bonds, but some folks in the General Assembly say that these bonds take up too much of the state’s debt capacity. This concern should sound very familiar to those of you following the Mayor’s proposed meals tax increase to fund school facilities. Anyway, one possible source for dedicated transit funding is an increase of the sales tax on ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft. P.S. You can send an email in support of the bills that would provide this transit funding over on the Virginia Transit Association’s website.

OK, I swear this the only meals tax news for today: The Mayor’s proposal has picked up the support of Richmond’s faith leaders and education advocates. Pending any shenanigans, Council will vote—for real, for real—on Monday.

In boring PDF news, the Urban Design Committee will consider a plan to partially revamp the Temporary Transfer Plaza behind city hall with new bus shelters (PDF). The proposed shelters are actual shelters with walls that, you know, offer at least a modicum of protection from the elements unlike the existing dealies. This still doesn’t address all of the concerns with the Transfer Plaza, but it helps, and with this spring/summer’s bus network redesign, there’ll be less of a need for folks to transfer at once central place.

Jeff Goldblum ate our barbecue!

Do you know anyone that fits this description: “grassroots leaders—especially members of historically underrepresented communities—who champion improvements in the built environment, engage residents in low-wealth communities, and work to create healthier, stronger neighborhoods for all people are especially encouraged?” If so you should probably nominate them for Richmond Memorial Health Foundation’s 2018 Equity + Health Fellowship. RMHF is doing some cool things in town, and this is just one of them. Note! This fellowship does come with a $10,000 stipend!

Dang, y’all. Nancy Pelosi gave an eight hour speech on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday—the longest speech ever given by a member.


  • Spiders beat the Rams by one, 77-76.
  • Hokies knocked out N.C. State, 85-75.
  • Wahoos finished Florida State, 59-55.

This morning's longread

Oakland Gets New DOT for a New Kind of Transportation Planning

Richmond doesn’t have a Department of Transportation—but we could! Read through this with Richmond in mind, and tell me you don’t want to restructure our city’s orgchart a little.

Until this summer, like many other midsize cities, Oakland has had no Department of Transportation. Decisions about streets have fallen under the jurisdiction of public works or planning instead. Now, nearly a year after Mayor Libby Schaaf announced its creation as part of the city’s 2015-2017 budget, Oakland’s first DOT is taking shape. Earlier this month, the city announced that the transition would be led by Jeff Tumlin, a transportation consultant and director of strategy with planning firm Nelson/Nygaard. The department’s creation couldn’t come at a better time. The city is considering putting a $600 million infrastructure bond on the November ballot, which could yield $350 million for transportation if approved.

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Good morning, RVA: Shockoe, felony larceny threshold, and the Olympics

Good morning, RVA: Budget season!, the referendum returns, and rockets