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

Good morning, RVA: Rain totals, body cam footage, and voter registration

Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F, and today’s highs will hit about 80 °F. There’s a bit of a chance for more rain this evening, but we might, if we’re lucky, skate by rain-free. Speaking of, please note the active River Flood Warning, which means: Stay out of the river! Emergency responders have way better things to do with their time than fish you out of a ragin’ James.

Water cooler

Richmond police are reporting a murder that took place the afternoon of May 17th. Officers arrived at the 4200 block of Walmsley Boulevard and found Elizabeth M. Zeigler, 34, fatally shot.

Meteorologist John Boyer says that this past week’s storm dumped the most rain on Richmond since Gaston. Whoadang! The rain totals he has put together for May are absolutely bananas—and we’ve still got two weeks left.

Tammie Smith at the Richmond Times-Dispatch digs into some of the data surrounding the supply and demand of apartments in the Richmond region, and, as usual for me when reading about housing, I came away with the stress sweats. Here’s a key sentence: “Since 2000, Richmond has added about 18,000 more households than housing units.” As you can imagine, that means rents are on the rise and affordability is in decline.

Richmond Police have decided to release the body cam footage taken from the officer who shot and killed Marcus-David Peters last week. In a release, the RPD said they will hold a news conference to share the video with the media and “review the department’s policies and training covering the use of deadly force.” That news conference will be scheduled after the victim’s family has had a chance to see the footage.

Do you wish to vote in the June 12th primary? If so, and there’s no reason not to, the deadline to register to vote is today! You can find the list of those June primaries in this PDF and more information about how to get registered on the Department of Elections website.

FYI, tonight there’s another opportunity to weigh in on renaming J.E.B. Stuart Elementary. Join the Richmond School Board for their meeting tonight which will be held at J.E.B. Stuart (3100 Fendall Avenue) at 6:00 PM. Related, Tina Eshleman and Sarah King at Richmond Magazine recap this past weekend’s Monument Avenue Commission meetings. Out of the 1,700 online comments (and I’m not suggesting online surveys are the best way to get public engagement), 35% would like to see the monuments removed or relocated, 27% favor adding context, and only 22% of folks—a vast minority—want to keep the monuments just as they are. If you really, really want to avoid getting anything done today, you can read all 1,700 of those public comments on the Monument Avenue Commission website.


  • Squirrels went 1-2 over the weekend and will take the day off today.
  • Nats lost a bunch of games to the Dodgers, but will forget all about it and start a new series with San Diego tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • Tampa Bay now leads the Caps, 3–2, in the NHL conference finals. They face off in a must-win for Washington tonight at 8:00 PM.

This morning's longread

The Robot Assault On Fukushima

“Robot assault” is a pretty intense way to describe a bunch of cute helper robots trying to solve an important science problem.

More than six years had passed since an earthquake and tsunami hammered northeastern Japan and reduced the Fukushima facility to radioactive ruin. In all that time, no one had been able to locate the hundreds of tons of fuel inside the three reactors that had suffered core meltdowns. The uranium fuel had overheated, turned into lava, and burned through its steel container. That much was known. What happened after that was the big question. Did all the fuel flow out of the reactors, or was some still inside? Did it pile up in a heap, spread out in a puddle, spatter on the walls? Without knowing the answers to those questions, it was nearly impossible to devise a plan to get rid of it. And getting rid of it is imperative. Every day, as much as 165 tons of groundwater seeps into the reactors, becoming contaminated with radiation. And there’s always the possibility that another earthquake or some other disaster could rupture the reactors again, sending radiation spilling out into the air, sea, or both.

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

Good morning, RVA: Budget maybe, bike lane tips, and scary books for kids

Good morning, RVA: Courthouse phones, police violence, and a packed weekend