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

Good morning, RVA: Pulitzer winners, extra money spenders, and Richmond punk rockers

Good morning, RVA! It's 38 °F, and while we’ll get some more sun than yesterday, the highs will remain in the mid to upper 50s. Warmer weather returns tomorrow.

Water cooler

The New York Times lists and links to all of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners! It’s like they’ve put together a guaranteed excellent reading list! Ryan Kelly, formerly of the Daily Progress now freelancing in Richmond and running social media for a brewery in town, won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for his photograph of the moment a driver killed Heather Heyer in Charlottesville on August 12th. This particular photo does show up in the NYT piece, so if you do not want to visually relive that day, you can find all the winners over on the Pulitzer website in a less user-friendly format (but with no ads or paywalls).

Justin Mattingly was at the School Board meeting last night and has a breakdown of how Superintendent Kamras wants to spend the chunk of one-time funding allocated to the District in the Mayor’s budget. I am confused, and I know that no one is surprised by this! First, the Superintendent proposes using $8.8 million in one-time funding to pay for a bunch of recurring expenditures—like hiring nurses, bringing on ESL teachers, and starting new programs. That seems worrisome, and I’m already getting the stress sweats about next year’s budget process. Second, School Board Member Liz Doerr said just the other day in her 1st District Newsletter (PDF) that the Board only has $6.1 million to play with because the rest is already allocated. So what’s the deal? I don’t know, and it’s times like these that I wish I had better access to the materials presented at School Board meetings.

Heads up, if you’re walking out on Friday—whether from school, work, or whatever—to protest gun violence the places to be are Brown’s Island and the Capitol. Things get started at 12:00 PM on the island and then folks will begin marching to the Capitol around 1:00 PM. The best way to get down there is, of course, to eschew driving and parking and take the bus or bike.

In the Good Morning, RVA Slack, Patron Maggi shared this thought-provoking episode of NPR’s Invisibilia about sexual harassment and the Richmond hardcore scene. Sexual harassment is a part of almost every American culture, unfortunately, so it’s not surprising to find it in Richmond hardcore, but I was surprised where this story ended up, and I definitely didn’t know about “callout culture.” Also, while I’m not a part of the hardcore scene in town (hardcore adjacent, though), I appreciated the respect that the reporters give the people and the culture—especially given the difficult subject matter. Finally, be aware! This episode does contain a bunch of swearing and descriptions of sexual harassment and assault.

If you’ve ever wondered how Richmond (and Virginia) is so steeped in the false Lost Cause narrative, Rex Springston has part of the answer: Racist textbooks. A lot of this will not surprise folks who grew up and went to school here, but send this article to some of your Northern or West Coast pals and see what they think.


  • Squirrels continued their winning streak, beating Bowie 4-2. They’ll pick it up again tonight at 6:35 PM, tickets are available online.
  • Nats picked up an 8-6 win over the Mets and continue that series tonight at 7:10 PM.

This morning's longread

Angels And Ages

Just a really long thing about Lincoln and the words used to proclaim his death. I learned a lot!

What strikes a newcomer to Lincoln’s speeches, however, is how rare those famous cadences are; their simple, resonant language—“with malice towards none, with charity for all”; the concluding and opening lines of the Gettysburg Address—is memorable in part because there isn’t much of it. The majority of Lincoln’s public utterances are narrowly, sometimes brilliantly, lawyerly—even, on occasion, crafted to give an appearance of inevitability to oratorical conclusions that are not well supported by the chain of reasoning that precedes them. The undramatic, small-print language in which Lincoln offered the Emancipation Proclamation is the most famous instance of his mastery of anti-heroic rhetoric. (Karl Marx said that it reminded him of “ordinary summonses sent by one lawyer to another.”)

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Good morning, RVA: Medicaid creeps forward, storm drain art, and eggs

Good morning, RVA: Schools, athletes, and pickles