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

Good morning, RVA: Medicaid rap battle, rezoning, and gas station food

Good morning, RVA! It's 74 °F, and today you can expect highs in the mid 80s plus...some more rain. There’s a pretty good chance of thunderstorms beginning around lunchtime and lasting through the end of the day.

Water cooler

It looks like, fingers crossed, that Virginia could have a budget today and it could be one that includes Medicaid expansion. To get to this point, yesterday the Senate Finance Committee experienced the General Assembly version of a rap battle in which Sen. Emmett “also a Republican” Hanger left Sen. Tommy “anti-Medicaid evil genius” Norment crumped and discarded like a used tissue. To normal people, this is pretty boring, but as far as things in the General Assembly go, it was the ultimate, sickest of burns. People in the room gasped! Here’s a thread on twitter that’ll give you the blow-by-blow, but to quickly summarize: Norment got the committee to pass his anti-Medicaid amendments to budget. This was fine because the votes to expand Medicaid exist in the full Senate. But then, in a sneaky-like-a-fox move, he wanted to reconsider for a second time Hanger’s pro-Medicaid amendments which had failed earlier. For whatever procedural reasons, should this have happened the full Senate would not have been able to pass a pro-Medicaid budget. Hanger figured out what was going on and gaveled the committee meeting adjourned before that could happen (that’s when people gasped). OH SNAP / THAT’S ACTUALLY PRETTY BORING. Stay tuned today for the exciting conclusion of Virginia’s Attempts at Medicaid Expansion in 2018.

Mark Robinson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has this week’s zoning and rezoning news. Last night City Council rezoned a property near the 17th Street Farmers Market from M-1 Light Industrial to TOD-1 Transit-Oriented Nodal District, which allows for more height and less parking. You may remember TOD-1 from such great rezonings as Scott’s Addition last fall. By the by, if you ever wanted to know the zoning for any neighborhood or property, you should check out the City’s zoning parcel map.

The Monument Avenue Commission says the Mayor has granted them a one-month extension to finish up their report, which will now drop on July 2nd. They needed some extra time to work through additional feedback, including the two recent meetings which you can watch in full on the City’s YouTube. Did you know the City had a YouTube?

tronc, the media conglomeration that sounds more like a robot malfunction noise than a faceless corporation, announced yesterday that they’d bought the Virginia Pilot and related properties—which includes Style Weekly. I’m interested in what, if any, impact will this have on our weekly alternative.

Kendra Bailey Morris in the RTD has a list of gas stations with delicious food. This is no joke, and, honestly, I hear folks talk about the one in Glen Allen at least once a month!

Reminder: Tonight, at 5:00 PM, the Partnership for Smarter Growth will host a forum on the Pulse and related transit-oriented development (see above about TOD-1!). It’s a free event and a great chance to ask all your burning bus questions to GRTC’s Carrie Rose Pace and the City’s Director of Planning Mark Olinger. You can RSVP here.


  • Squirrels fell to Bowie and will try again tonight at the Diamond at 6:35 PM, assuming the weather cooperates.
  • With a 3-2 win over Baltimore, the Nats have now won five in a row. They’ll finish up that series tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • Caps face the Golden Knights in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight at 8:00 PM.

This morning's longread

The search for Jackie Wallace

The tone of parts of this piece is a little off, but it’s still a powerfully sad story about addiction.

Jackie still had money coming in, which he poured into his drug abuse. “I was still getting the NFL pension checks — about $650 a month,” he said. “It wasn’t enough to get a place, but it was enough for me to go out and get loaded.” He called it “the 28-day game.” “With the checks coming on the first or the third, I’d get loaded,” he explained. “So from the fourth to the 28th or the 29th of that month … I knew I was going to be poor. But around the 30th or the 31st, I’d start perking up because I knew my money was going to be there. And that’s how the drugs had me living. The only purpose of the disease is to kill you. That’s all it wants you to do, is to overdose. That’s all they want you to do is to get to a point where you either kill yourself or you get killed in the cycle of the dope gang with boys shooting.”

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Good morning, RVA: Medicaid expansion!, a rezoning survey, and baklava

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