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

Good morning, RVA: Charter changes, felony thresholds, and letters to Richmond

Good morning, RVA! It's 39 °F, and I guess it’s coldish again? Expect temperatures in the mid 50s for most of the day paired with lots of sunshine.

Water cooler

The Governor has signed Paul Goldman’s Ballot Referendum into law, says Justin Mattingly at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. As I’ve mentioned in this space one trillion times before, this change to our charter does exactly nothing to help fund the $800 million of necessary RPS school facilities and maintenance needs. It’s a distraction, a way for the state government to pat themselves on the back while continuing to avoid funding public schools at an appropriate level, and a tool for Paul Goldman to...honestly, I have no idea what he gets out of this. Fame? Glory? Leverage for a political candidate to use in the future? I truly can’t figure it out. Remember several months ago when Goldman promised to scour the budget and present a tax-free plan for finding the nearly one billion dollars of needed funds? I guess these five bullet points in Style Weekly are that plan? Note that those points total a savings of just $5,255,000—less than one percent of the total need. So after waiting months for a revolutionary, tax-free way to fund school facilities, it looks like the Goldman Plan is not magically finding a billion extra bucks hiding in the City’s budget but is to borrow a bunch of money at the expense of the lowering City’s bond rating.

I want to highlight one other bill that the governor signed into law yesterday: SB 105, which increases the felony larceny threshold from $200 to $500. This is a big deal—how many things even exist that are less than $200? If you were wondering, increasing the felony threshold does not lead to an increase in crime.

Style Weekly has five letters to Richmond written by residents of low-resource communities—some public housing, some not. This is a project out of the Richmond City Health District to “help fight stereotypes and false narratives that plague those who live in low-resource communities.” Take some time and read them all, please!

Justin Mattingly also covers some of yesterday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. remembrance at Virginia Union, at which the Mayor spoke.

Oh man, urbanism and design nerds are going to want to download this PDF about the proposed wayfinding signs for Monroe Park. They’ve used old materials as inspiration for the park’s typography and the angular paths of the park to inspire the design of the sign posts. The Urban Design Committee will chat about this proposal at their meeting today.

It’s unacceptable to use your vehicle as a weapon against pedestrians and cyclists. You’d think this would go without saying, but apparently the driver of this blue Mustang needs to learn that lesson. If you have any information about the driver involved in this hit and run, the police would like to speak with you.


  • Squirrels open their 2018 season tonight against Trenton at 7:00 PM. You’ve got to wait until April 13th for their home opener.
  • Nats fell to the Braves, 1-7, but start a new series against the Mets today at 1:05 PM.

This morning's longread

Outside Voices

Density, living so close to so many people and things, is part of what makes city living great—that is until your neighbor is an annoying kid named Jared.

Smell is reportedly the strongest trigger of memory, but let us not underestimate the bone-chilling power of sound. The sound of cigarettes being packed against a table. The sound of tracks being skipped. The sound of a porch door banging. These were the harbingers, the sounds of my torturers clearing their throats. Sometimes Jared would leave the music on after he left, a tactic generally employed by war criminals. But mostly he and his friends stayed put, multiplying like gremlins.

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Good morning, RVA: Bus sponsorships, residency requirements, and a book sale

Good morning, RVA: MLK, MAC, FOIA