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

Good morning, RVA: Goodbye supervisor, hello Coliseum, and new ice cream options

Good morning, RVA! It's 74 °F, and today’s highs are back up in the 90s. Expect tons of sun, tons of fun, and probably some sweaty underclothes.

Water cooler

Michael O’Connor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has the astounding news that Courtney Lynch will resign from the Henrico County Board of Supervisors this month 💸. Lynch’s election and vote were critical in expanding public transportation into the County, and her public insistence on higher teacher pay—which ran totally counter to The Henrico Way—ended with the $3.2 million more allocated for Henrico County Public Schools. I don’t get it, like, those are some serious successes in a really short period of time. The Board of Supervisors will soon make some decisions about when and whether to hold a special election, but now it’s hard not to feel like progressive Democrats are toast in the Brookland District of Henrico County.

The City has taken another step toward redeveloping the area around the Coliseum by entering into negotiations with the NH District Corporation. These are the folks led by Dominion’s Tom Farrell and the only cats who submitted a response to the City’s Request For Proposal. The Mayor says he believes “there is potential in this proposal to provide transformational change in an underutilized portion of downtown, without negatively impacting the city finances or debt capacity.” We still haven’t seen the group’s juicy proposal PDF, which would give us some insight into how the NH District Corp plans to meet all of the kind of numerous requirements set out in the RFP (PDF). I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it and hope it checks some of my boxes like: reconnecting the street grid; returning Leigh Street to grade; good pedestrian, bike, and transit infrastructure; affordable housing; not a ton of parking decks; and, fingers crossed, zero surface parking lots. Did I miss anything?

Love this tweet from Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras: “For next year’s graduations, I’ll be recommending a gender-neutral cap/gown policy (rather than different colors for males/females, as is current practice at some schools). Let’s make sure ALL of our young people - however they identify - feel welcome at their own graduations.”

I promised to put the audio up from this past Monday’s City Council meeting and have done so. Remember, at this meeting community activists and family members of Marcus-David Peters gave public comment about the need for police and justice reform.

This good piece in RVA Mag by Amy Rector helps me remember that my lived experience as a Richmonder is not the same as many, many other Richmonders. We have to get better—as media, as nonprofits, as employers, as elected leaders, everyone!—at telling stories that reflect a broader and more representative range of Richmonders. This is hard work, and I am consistently bad at it, but it’s work that makes our city a better place.

Sometimes the Mayor’s Office sends out his public schedule, and it’s usually chock full of standard appearances, ribbon cuttings, opportunities to shake hands—that kind of stuff. However, his plans for Saturday at 1:00 PM caught my eye: “Mayor to raft down the James River.”

RVAHub has some pictures of a coyote walking around downtown. No big deal.

Are ice cream shops the new doughnut shops? A doughnut in every pot, and a scoop in every bowl! Eileen Mellon at Richmond Magazine has the details on a new spot coming to the Fan, and yet another reason to hang out in Scuffletown Park after dark.

OK, OK, we’re all tired of hearing about the Richmond 300 parking meetings, and yet the meetings continue (PDF). Today you’ve got the Downtown meeting at 10:00 AM (101 E. Franklin Street) and the Manchester meeting at 6:30 PM (Zero E. 4th Street). This is your penultimate reminder. The end is in sight!


  • Squirrels blanked the Sea Dogs, 3-0, and keep at it tonight at 6:35 PM. Tickets are available online.
  • Nats beat the Yankees, 5-4, evening out that series.

This morning's longread

“The Dangers of a Fake Tubman Quote,” by Dr. W. Caleb McDaniel

If you’re like me, you’ve definitely heard this fake Harriet Tubman quote, nodded knowingly, and then gone about your day.

Modern historians know the truth: enslaved people resisted their condition in countless ways, large and small. If they were not able to attain freedom, it was not because they didn’t want it or because (as the fake Tubman quote would have it) they “did not know they were slaves.” It was because powerful forces were arrayed against them. The idea of “tacit consent” distracted attention from that fact.

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

Good morning, RVA: RVA311, La Milpa, and more breweries

Good morning, RVA: Primary results, scuffle in a park, and sustainable fashion