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

Good morning, RVA: Heat wave, bus volunteers needed, and a small distillery

Good morning, RVA! It's 61 °F, and, what the heck, today’s highs will zoom up into the 90s? Joey Lawrence Whoa! Expect these highs to continue right on through to the weekend.

Water cooler

Richmond Police are reporting an 80-year-old man, Johnny R. Battle, was murdered on Saturday afternoon near the intersection of Hull Street and E. 32nd Street.

OK, let’s get some bus stuff out of the way. When the Pulse launches on June 24th (!!), alllllll of Richmond’s bus routes will also change. To make this switchover possible, someone(s) needs to literally switch over alllllll the bus stop signs. You’ve probably seen the new bus stop signs out there covered with vinyl bags? Well, GRTC needs volunteers to help remove all of those temporary bags on Friday and Saturday, so you should go ahead and sign up now! It’s an easy way to have a hand in this massive change to our City’s transportation system.

Justin Mattingly at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has the details on the failure of RPS to correctly implement their grading policy...for the past four years! Dang. You can and should read Superintendent Kamras’s apology and some of his planned next steps. Mattingly also has the news and schedule on renaming J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School. Dang! (Different kind of dang than the previous dang, though).

Here’s an editorial from the RTD Editorial Board that kind of disagrees with City Council’s plan to strip funding from public arts to pay for ongoing street and sidewalk needs. Ultimately, though, the Board lands on this idea that art galleries should just do art all around town for free. Didn’t you know? “All it takes is a little imagination, time, and effort.” Go ahead, ask the folks behind the Richmond Mural Project and the RVA Street Art Festival how much time, effort, and money those things took to put together. Or maybe poke your head into a gallery in the Arts District and ask them how they feel about asking artists to do work for free because City Council took away the money set aside to pay for it.

I was rolling by Bombolini, the fresh pasta shop in the Fan, the other day and saw a sign for Trial & Error and wondered what it was. Mike Platania at Richmond BizSense says its a small, 55-gallon distillery inside the pasta place! What a cool idea, and I love the name. And at $25 for a 750 milliliter bottle of rum, that sounds like something I could get into. Now I just need to pick up some limes from the grocery store...

For your calendars: The annual ¿Qué Pasa? Festival takes place this coming Saturday from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM down on the canal. There’s a whole piñata situation going on that sounds interesting—plus the event benefits the Virginia Hispanic Foundation’s Pasaporte A La Educación program which helps reduce dropout rates among Hispanic students.


  • Squirrels acquiesced to Altoona, 2-8. They’ll pick it up again today at 10:35 AM.
  • Nats crushed the Pirates, 12-4, and that series continues tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • I’m bad at covering hockey, but after a 4-1 win, the Caps lead the Penguins 2-1 in the second round of the NHL playoffs.

This morning's longread

The Strange History of the “King-Pine”

“A pineapple of the finest flavor” is the best saying of all time.

By the Georgian era, pineapples could be raised on the British Isles. Cue countrywide madness. As the Enlightenment period made the rich richer, the landed aristocracy began to engage in a frenzy of new hobbies, including gambling, boozing, and time-consuming, expensive pineapple cultivation. Pineries needed care around the clock, custom-built greenhouses, and mountains of coal to keep the temperatures high. The fruit took three to four years to bloom. The cost of rearing each one was equivalent to eight thousand dollars in today’s money. The sheer expense meant it was considered wasteful to eat them, and they remained, as during Charles II’s reign, dinnertime ornaments. A pineapple would be passed from party to party until it began to rot, and the maids who transported the pineapples placed themselves in mortal danger should they be accosted by thieves. For those who did not have the funds to grow their own, a bevy of pineapple-rental shops sprung up. By the 1770s, it had entered the lexicon as a commendation. “A pineapple of the finest flavour” was a phrase used for anything that was the best of the best. (For instance: “My birthday party was a pineapple of the finest flavour.”) In Sheridan’s 1775 play The Rivals, a character compliments another by pronouncing, “He is the very pineapple of politeness.”

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Good morning, RVA: Goodbye, friend; true crime podcast; cheerleaders

Good morning, RVA: A Pulse opening date, a meals tax wall of text, and some neat postcards