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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 43 °F, and today we’ve got warmer temperatures in the 70s, some wind, and maybe some rain later this evening. There’s still a possibility for snow tomorrow, and I simply don’t understand how that’s possible.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s John Boyer breaks down the chance for legit snow in the region over the weekend.

Water cooler

Richmond Police have upgraded a March 31st death investigation to a homicide. Officers arrived at the 4900 block of Government Road and found Latifah A. Hudnall, 18, suffering from a fatal gunshot wound. A suspect was arrested and originally charged with involuntary manslaughter, that suspect has now been charged with felony homicide.

Sometimes stars align, moons turn blue, and the RTD editorial board and I end up on the same page. Here’s a piece from them calling Paul Goldman’s Ballot Referendum a distraction and an unfair mandate from state legislators. Of course it’d have been nice if the Board would have used their platform to speak out before we all voted on the referendum, but I guess I’ll take it.

Yesterday, GRTC announced that Bon Secours and VCU Health have secured sponsorship rights for the Pulse—to the tune of $425,000 annually! If large hospitals sponsoring BRTs rings a bell, that’s because Cleveland’s BRT, the HealthLine, is sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. I know it doesn’t work this way, but I can’t stop thinking about what I’d do with an extra $425,000 of bus money each year. Would I make an existing bus route more frequent? Would I add bus service to part of the City that does not currently have it? Maybe extend hours a teensy bit for some routes? So many (theoretical) possibilities! Also: This influx of cash should not be interpreted by Council or anyone else with budget powers and responsibilities as a reason to delete a similar amount from the bus company’s current budget. OK? I’ve got my eyes on you!

Michael Paul Williams writes about the proposal in front of City Council to get rid of the residency requirement for a bunch of city employees (ORD. 2018-110 (PDF)). There are bunch of angles to this story—including some personal drama between Councilmembers Gray and Jones (which, full disclosure, I have not yet listened to the encounter that’s described in the paper so I don’t have an informed opinion yet)—but the best angle is from UR professor Julian Maxwell Hayter. Hayter wisely notes that rather than forcing certain employees to live inside the city limits, we should be doing everything we can to make sure city living remains an affordable possibility for local government employees.

The Richmond Public Library will host their annual spring book sale today and tomorrow at the Main Library down on E. Franklin Street. Books are priced to go! Hardbacks, $2; paperbacks, $0.50; children’s book, $0.50; DVDs, $1; and sheet music, $0.25.

Also today and tomorrow: United Blood, one of the hardcore festivals (and the one with the best name). Brad Kutner at Style Weekly has more if you’re confused, and here’s a link to Count Me Out’s album 110 for you to listen while you read.


  • Squirrels tripped up at Trenton, 2-5, and resume that series tonight at 7:00 PM.
  • Kickers host the New York Red Bulls II on Saturday at 5:00 PM at City Stadium.
  • Nats lost to the Mets, 2-8, and try again tomorrow at 1:05 PM.

This morning's longread

The Last of the Iron Lungs

Polio is terrifying. Get your dang vaccines.

Being in an iron lung was the most relief and discomfort I have ever felt at the same time. I slowly got used to the mechanical rhythm and began feeling a little relaxed. I tried closing my mouth, and air still rushed in through my lips. I felt like a vacuum cleaner. As I climbed out, Lillard warned me to be careful and not break any of the switches or pulleys. If I damaged anything, and she wasn’t able to get someone to repair it within a few hours, she might not have made it through the night. A few weeks earlier, the collar-opener broke and she was trapped inside. Fortunately, her housekeeper was there to help her force it open, and a friend who does custom metal fabrication for motorcycles, planes, and other machines, Tony Baustert, came a few hours later to repair it.

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

Good morning, RVA: Eviction, budget work sessions, and a chatroom

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