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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 41 °F, and today should be warm, wonderful, and bring us highs in the low 70s.

Water cooler

Alright alright alright, Virginia’s House of Delegates voted yesterday to pass a budget that included expansion of Medicaid, and Michael Martz at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has the details on the path forward. I’m confused by this next bit and would love an explainer on how Virginia’s flavor of Medicaid expansion works. To secure their votes, Republicans have requested an initiative that “would allow Virginia to develop ways to stabilize the crippled individual market for commercial insurance and reduce premiums for middle-income families that don’t receive subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. The initiative would rely on federal money from reducing the subsidies the federal government pays for low-income participants in the insurance marketplace the government operates in Virginia.” What? We’re reducing subsidies to low-income folks to give subsidies to middle-income folks? Did I read that right?

I really enjoy DPU’s Storm Drain Art Project. Call me Marie Kondo, but finding a brightly painted drain when I’m walking around town definitely sparks joy. If you’re an artist and want to submit a design, you have until May 6th to do so, after which Richmond City staff will select four winners to paint their designs at the super-high traffic intersections of Cary Street and Belmont/Sheppard Streets. Coveted drain spots, for sure!

Vanessa Remmers at the RTD updates us on the progress (or lack thereof) on Chesterfield’s megasite. I link to it mostly to illustrate that we rarely blink an eye at the massive funds needed for huge road-building projects—up to $176 million in this case. Meanwhile, the teensy costs to connect John Tyler Community College in Chesterfield County to the rest of the region via public transportation, is something for which we must beg and plead and rend our garments.

Speaking of rending garments, I got the April 16th City Council budget work session posted to The Boring Show, and...it is 7.5 hours long. Time to crank your podcast players up to 2x mode and dig in! Anyone? Just me? OK.

Eggs are delicious. Look at all these egg dishes I need to eat at a bunch of local restaurants—LOOK AT THEM (via Eileen Mellon in Richmond Magazine).


  • Squirrels extended their winning streak to five with a 1-0 win over Bowie. They’ll try to make it six tonight at 6:45 PM.
  • Nats beat the Mets again, 5-2. That series wraps up tonight at 7:10 PM.

This morning's longread

Architecture, Aesthetic Moralism, and the Crisis of Urban Housing

Whoa a smart thing about how the way a building looks probably has nothing to do with whether it’s Right or Wrong.

Aesthetic moralism—the belief that one aesthetic is inherently better or more righteous than another—is a common fallacy many of us inadvertently fall prey to. This is especially true when the aesthetic in question is politicized, as in the case of the crisis of housing. There’s no doubt that constructive criticisms of an architectural aesthetic are useful and important. Additionally, there are types of architecture whose critiques are tied to specific philosophical and political problems, such as cultures of consumerism, or environmentalism. However, the distinction between constructive architectural critique and aesthetic moralism is that the latter is emotionalized and metaphorical—the supremacy of one style over another comes from the idea that the preferred style is inherently “right” or “great” without being tied to any supportive concrete political, material, or philosophical argument.

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Good morning, RVA: Health insurance help, big bus news, and nominate a student

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