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

Good morning, RVA: Meat juice, OJ, purple stuff

Good morning, RVA! It's 56 °F, and the rain has moved on (for now)! Expect highs in the 70s, some sunshine in the sky, but possibly some thunderstorms late this evening.

Water cooler

The folks who own that old grocery store building on the Southside, Michael and Laura Dyer Hild, are at it again. Previously, they’ve announced plans to revive old Richmond brands of soda, pickles, and now they’re resurrecting the infamous Valentine’s Meat Juice, says Gregory Gilligan at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. I just took a trip to Cleveland and was amazed by their West Side Market, a massive old market filled with vendors selling some weird and quirky, but all delicious-looking, food—btw, what’s with the Midwest and Jell-O salad? I know you can’t just plop down a food hall in a Richmond neighborhood and expect the same success as a centuries-old market in Cleveland, but the quirkier the news about this spot gets, the more interested in it I become!

Vanessa Remmers from the RTD was on hand last night as the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors passed the Northern Jefferson Davis Special Area Plan. This plan includes a lot of good things, like much needed sidewalks, but lacks any recommendation for extending bus service down the corridor to John Tyler Community College. It also lacks funding for much of its recommendations, but that’s an entirely different issue.

The kid-gloves tone of this RTD editorial board piece on Henrico School Board spending is such a dramatic contrast to the tone they typically deploy when talking about anything related to Richmond proper. But beneath that restrained mood, however, is the same familiar message that we can find an infinite amount of money simply through cuts and being more efficient. Pfft.

I finally got around to posting Monday’s City Council budget work session over on The Boring Show. I haven’t listened all the way through yet, but the same confusion and distrust between Council and the Mayor’s Administration over the Capital Improvement Program amendment process brings this meeting screeching to a halt. I’m guessing that’s why there’s a new, additional budget work session scheduled for today, from 9:00 AM–4:00 PM. Total tangent: After listening to many, many hours of this process over several years, I’m more convinced than ever that City Council needs to be a full-time job that comes with at least two full-time staff positions.

This is already a pretty boring newsletter, but I can’t help myself: Ordinance 2018-127 (PDF), submitted by Councilman Addison, would require that datasets presented to council should also be published to the City’s open data portal. This is along the line of something I asked for last month on Twitter, and I’m hopeful that this legislation will pass quickly.

The Valentine’s new exhibit, Pretty Powerful: Fashion and Virginia Women, opens today. Stop by to “examine the role of fashion in the professional, creative and social advancement of women in Richmond, Virginia.”

What the heck is going on with Kanye West and Donald Trump? Vox explains thusly, “Explaining exactly what’s going on here might be beyond our or anyone’s abilities.”

Finally, Marc Cheatham invited me on to the most recent episode of the The Cheats Movement on WRIR podcast to talk about the cigarette tax. I haven’t listened to it yet, so be warned! I may say a dumb thing like “we’re going to have to raise the property tax if we want to get to work on major issues like schools, housing, and transportation.” JK, that’s a smart thing, and I totally did say it.


  • Squirrels fell to Bowie, 2-3.
  • Kickers triumphed over the Toronto FC II, 2-1.
  • Nats beat the Giants, 15-2, stopping their four-game skid.

This morning's longread

Welcome to Pleistocene Park

Is this real?? It’s so long and in the Atlantic that I feel it must be?

Nikita is trying to resurface Beringia with grasslands. He wants to summon the Mammoth Steppe ecosystem, complete with its extinct creatures, back from the underworld of geological layers. The park was founded in 1996, and already it has broken out of its original fences, eating its way into the surrounding tundra scrublands and small forests. If Nikita has his way, Pleistocene Park will spread across Arctic Siberia and into North America, helping to slow the thawing of the Arctic permafrost. Were that frozen underground layer to warm too quickly, it would release some of the world’s most dangerous climate-change accelerants into the atmosphere, visiting catastrophe on human beings and millions of other species.

If you’d like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol’ Patreon.

Good morning, RVA: Stealing public art, beer dogs, and bike month

Good morning, RVA: Schools data, taxes & budgets, and a really BIG show