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

Good morning, RVA: A public meeting, gentrification, and border policy

Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F, and it’s gonna be hot today! Expect highs in the upper 90s and plenty of sun. Stay cool, and stay hydrated!

Water cooler

GRTC will host a public meeting tonight at 6:00 PM (2300 W. Broad Street) to discuss removing a stop at Davis & Broad. They’ll also solicit feedback on a proposed permanent redesign of the three routes that turn around on the block bounded by Broad, Davis, Grace, and Robinson. The fact that a single block of humans and a single councilperson were able to force GRTC into redesigning our new bus network—a system used by tens of thousands of Richmonders every day—just weeks before that new network even launches is...not promising. Council does not and should not have the authority to design bus routes and place bus stops, for good reason. I’m attending tonight’s meeting to hear what GRTC proposes as their permanent redesign and to ask them how much it will cost to implement. Any additional costs to move service away from these folks in the Fan likely means cuts in service from folks living elsewhere in the City. It’s a fixed budget, that’s how it works. However, I do hold out some hope that GRTC’s planners have found a clever way to expand service as part of their permanent plan to remove these three bus routes from this Fan neighborhood. We’ll see. If you can’t make tonight’s meeting but would like to weigh in, you can email .

Gentrification is very complicated. Read this thorough piece from Mark Robinson in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about an attempt to expand the Manchester Historic District to include Blackwell 💸 and you’ll probably have some complicated thoughts. Then you’ll get to the part of the article about CONSPIRACY and will maybe roll your eyes the folks involved. Ultimately, if you are a white dude trying to wholesale modify a majority Black neighborhood—a neighborhood that was once bulldozed under the guise of “revitalization” and never rebuilt—you’ve got to go talk to the community and neighbors first. And, to be fair, maybe the Hilds did just that, I don’t know!

The Richmond Public School Board will meet for their regularly scheduled meeting and will consider, among other things, new names for J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School. You can read all of the suggestions and the top seven finalists in this PDF, while the final three will be revealed at tonight’s meeting. My personal vote would go to either Oliver Hill or Barbara Johns.

Something to keep an eye on: Planning Commission meets today and will consider Bon Secours’s request to rezone the Westhampton School from R-4 Single-Family Residential to B-7 Mixed-Use Business District (PDF). Staff supports the rezoning but is “not supportive of the lack of provisions for the preservation of the 1917 and 1930 portions of the historic Westhampton School.” We’ll have to see how the Commission feels!

RVA Mag has an editorial by Rabbi Michael Knopf about Trump’s policy to separate children from their parents as they come into this country illegally seeking asylum. “Ultimately, we must decide whether we will abide by these pharaonic policies, or whether we will rise, like the biblical midwives, to oppose them.” If you want to learn more about the awful policies behind this, read Dara Lind’s explainer at Vox.

It’s been a while, but there’s a new episode of the Sam and Ross Like Things podcast. Give it a listen and a subscribe!


  • Squirrels went 1-2 over the weekend and have the day off today.
  • FC Cincinnati blanked the Kickers, 0-4.
  • Nats got swept by the Blue Jays and will start to make up some games against the Yankees today at 5:05 PM.

This morning's patron longread

FIU had grand plans for 'signature' bridge. But the design had a key mistake, experts say

From Patron Alex comes this really interesting piece about the bridge that collapsed on the FIU campus. Just enough nerdy engineering analysis, but not too much as to make it impenetrable.

The single row of support struts, meanwhile, is precisely the kind of "non-redundant" design T.Y. Lin's specs sought to avoid. On the FIU bridge, the failure of a single strut could — and in fact, did — cause the entire span to fall because there was no backup support for it, the outside engineers say. "It's only as strong as its weakest link," said Howell, the Texas-based bridge engineering expert who reviewed FIGG's calculations for the Herald. Making things even more complicated was a decision to mimic the look, but not the function, of a cable-stayed bridge, Beck and Howell said. FIGG, which has said publicly the bridge is a truss design and not cable stayed, added a central pylon with mostly decorative steel pipes, instead of cables, connected to the bridge's canopy. FIGG said the pipes would help dampen vibrations from wind and people walking across.

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

Good morning, RVA: Obama Elementary!, a Bon Secours delay, and a need for bus route creativity

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