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

Good morning, RVA: Housing instability, parking, and City Council

Good morning, RVA! It's 70 °F, and today looks cloudy with a continued, but smallish, chance of rain later this afternoon. Things will dry out and heat up beginning tomorrow.

Water cooler

Katie O’Connor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has written an excellent piece on mental illness and housing instability in Richmond and Virginia. Please block out some time this morning to read it in full, because the picture it paints is a dark one: “And even though the state has made some efforts to address the issues, people with mental and behavioral issues still wind up in hotels, tents and jail cells.” Those are not great options. And while the state’s recently passed budget does include more money for mental health services, we’ve still got a long way to go to adequately provide for the thousands of Virginians with mental health issues floating between unstable housing and homelessness.

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about where and how much parking Richmond has and needs? Do you dream of removing parking spaces and replacing them with sidewalks, bike lanes, and bus lanes? No? Just me? As part of the Richmond 300 master planning process, the City will host seven public meetings about the parking in seven different neighborhoods. These meetings will share and discuss the data collected as part of the ongoing parking study and will focus on these neighborhoods: Libbie & Grove, Scott’s Addition, Carytown, the Fan, Brookland Park Boulevard, Downtown, and Manchester. The meetings kick off with a Carytown-focused meeting tomorrow at 8:00 AM at Studio Two Three (3300 W. Clay Street), and you can download the full schedule of meetings (PDF). I’ll try and get all the PDFs that these meetings are based on for folks that are interested but can’t make seven meetings in a single week!

City Council meets tonight at 6:00 PM for their regularly scheduled meeting. You can download the agenda (PDF), but be aware it can and will shift under your feet like lightning sand. It looks like the ordinance to create a Human Rights Commission (ORD. 2018-044) sits on the consent agenda as well as a handful of tax-delinquent property sales to the City as part of Creighton Court redevelopment. On the regular agenda we’ve got the proposal to modify residency requirements for city employees (ORD. 2018-110). Something to also tune in for / keep an eye on: Tonight a bunch of folks have signed up to speak during the citizen comment period on Marcus-David Peters and justice reform.

A couple weeks back I mentioned the ICA’s upcoming summer film series. Good news! It begins this week, on June 13th, and Craig Belcher at Richmond Magazine has the details on what you can expect. The first film—actually a showcase of three films—looks great.


  • Squirrels went 1-3 against Harrisburg and take a breather today.
  • Kickers picked up a home win against the Charleston Battery, 2-0.
  • Nats lost two out of three to the Giants over the weekend.

This morning's longread

Downtown Nashville Is Supposed to Be the Model of the Walkable 21st-Century City. I’m Not So Sure.

Sound familiar?

Yet many longtime Nashvillians watch the celebrations from the sidelines, which keep getting moved farther back. “The influx of jobs means an influx of people with high incomes, coming to a state that’s relatively cheap,” says The Tennesseean’s editorial writer David Plazas, who spent a year documenting the disorienting and sometimes traumatic effects of the boom. “We have to ask ourselves a question,” says Paulette Coleman, an affordable housing advocate: “In our efforts to grow and improve, do we address the people of Nashville of all economic levels?” So far, the answer is no. The city is constantly playing catch-up, waiting until affordable housing shortages, inadequate transit, and financial inequities reach crisis levels before addressing them with half-baked measures. The emergence of affluent sort-of walkable areas is pushing African-Americans and immigrants into far-flung areas like Goodlettsville, lengthening their commutes and creating more congestion on the roads. Density is making the city more, not less, car-dependent.

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Good morning, RVA: Primaries, a Human Rights Commission, and a civics lesson

Good morning, RVA: Unsolved murders, scooters, and GO CAPS!