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

Good morning, RVA: Slippery slope, rent increases, and city planning

Good morning, RVA! It's 65 °F, we’ve got another beautiful day on deck. This weekend the rains return, and don’t even look at next week’s forecast yet—I’m sure it’ll clear up, right?

Water cooler

Update: Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham will hold a press conference today at 11:15 AM and update media on the killing of Marcus-David Peters by a police officer. The title of the RPD’s media release says “Release of Videos - Security Cameras and Body-worn Camera,” but the body of the release doesn’t mention any footage, so I’m not really sure what’s going on with that. Check your favorite online news source this afternoon for more information. New Virginia Majority will host a meeting this Saturday from 2:00–4:00 PM at Second Baptist Church (1400 Idlewood Avenue) for folks to speak out and mobilize.

Michael Paul Williams has a really thoughtful piece about the possible slippery slope Richmond Public Schools could encounter while changing J.E.B. Stuart Elementary’s name and contemplating other name changes. Confederate generals are easy: The reason we remember them at all is for waging a literal war against America to protect slavery. Thomas Jefferson, though, is way more complicated: We remember him for lots of reasons, but some of those, inescapably, include owning and raping slaves. Do you get a “body of work” pass? Especially if your body of work includes inventing America? Would we, today, name a school after Bill Cosby due to his body of work? I honestly do not know what the answer is, but it’s complicated and fascinating to think about. Also, to be completely transparent, I’m pretty sure I said those exact words about schools named after Confederate generals just a couple of years ago, so...

The rents are too damn high, says Ned Oliver at the RTD. It seems like every day there’s another affordable housing red flag. We need City leadership to get moving on smart policies to protect and increase affordable housing (and transportation), like, yesterday.

Speaking of smart policies to help the City, are you interested in participating in Richmond 300, the City’s master planning process? They’re looking for ambassadors to fill a variety of rolls, including hosting meetings and giving presentations (PDF). If you’re interested, you need to fill out this questionnaire by next Thursday, May 31st. If you’re a nerd for the City (and especially if you speak a language other than English), you should get involved!

I just had a meeting over at the Front Porch Cafe in Church Hill the other day, and got to see the new Legacy Wall installation by Hamilton Glass. The installation features portraits of 21 Black doctors who founded the nearby Richmond Community Hospital each rendered in Glass’s bright and iconic style. Style Weekly has a bit more information, plus bios of all the docs. If you’re over that way, check it out!

Scott Catro at RVAHub continues to deliver the Friday Cheers preview goods! This week down on Brown’s Island it’s RVA Music Night featuring Butcher Brown, Dharma Bombs, and Piranha Rama. Tickets are just $5 and can be purchased online or on-island.

Monday is Memorial Day, and I’ll be taking the day off. As a person whose last familial connection to the military fought in World War II, it’s easy for me to forget that the day’s not all about sleeping in and grilling out. Thank you to @knownhuman on Twitter for putting it well: “Friendly reminder from a vet - please don't say ‘Happy Memorial Day.’ It's a somber day to remember those we lost. Thanks in advance.”


  • Squirrels fell to Binghamton, 4-6. They’ll open a new series against Akron tonight at 6:35 PM.
  • Kickers host the Charlotte Independence tomorrow at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available online.
  • Nats head to Miami to take on the Marlins tonight at 7:10 PM.

This morning's longread

Here at the End of All Things

If you’re a fantasy novel nerd, a map nerd, or a fantasy novel map nerd, have I got an article for you!

Books with maps set you apart in the `80s, even among bookworms. There was a stigma to them, but also a snobbishness. I remember well the feeling of unfolding the map of Middle Earth at the beach or on the train. Rifling through poster-sized maps studded with runes in public places was like catnip to bullies, of course. And yet I always treated my expertise in nonexistent geography as a point of geek pride. I may have opened maps more often than was strictly necessary.

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Good morning, RVA: Cool tool, Council meeting, and unsafe streets

Good morning, RVA: Buses, bikes, and robogirls