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

Good morning, RVA: Redistricting, HIV testing, and public bus art

Good morning, RVA! It's 70 °F, and highs today will settle in around 86 °F. Will the rains return? Possibly! Keep an eye on the sky.

Water cooler

Whoaaaaa, Graham Moomaw at the Richmond Times-Dispatch says that a federal court has ruled “the Virginia House of Delegates unconstitutionally packed African-American voters into 11 legislative districts and ordered the General Assembly to draw new district lines by October 30th.” Packing is a gerrymandering technique where you concentrate a bunch of folks you disagree with—in this case, Black people—into a small number of districts so that those voters end up with fewer elected representatives in the legislative body. The opposite strategy, cracking, dilutes voters you disagree with across a large number of districts. Republicans say they’ll appeal this decision to the United States Supreme Court. If you believe that Virginia’s legislative districts should be drawn in a nonpartisan way (currently, legislators drawn their own districts??), head over to One Virginia 2021 and get involved in the work to bring fair redistricting to the Commonwealth.

Today is National HIV Testing Day, and you can super easily figure out where to get free and confidential testing at the aptly named gettested.cdc.gov. Locally, the Richmond City Health District had their big event last night (oops, my fault), but their Doing It RVA campaign is still a resource that you should know about!

I don’t know what this means, but “Lee Enterprises” will take over management of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Folks who do know more than me are...not stoked. There’s lots of change going on in Virginia’s media landscape at this moment in time, and it’s hard to keep track of it all.

Bus-related things continue to pervade my world! Art180 has a new partnership with GRTC and will display art from 20 local artists on 160 buses—just look up near the ads next time you’re on a bus. And should you look up and find a beautiful piece of local art? In addition to thinking about how nice it is to see public art on the inside of a bus—reward enough on its own—snap a pic and share on social media and you’ll be entered to win some free stuff.

Hey, speaking of bus things, we probably need a park-n-ride out at the western terminus of the Pulse. A long, long time ago, the Anthem parking lot off Staples Mill was supposed to fill that need, but the deal fell through for some reason. As of today, the options are limited, and if you’re thinking about parking at Willow Lawn for an extended period of time do so at your own risk!

Last night Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District primary. She seems great, her platform seems great, and her campaign video and branding are also great.


  • Squirrels still couldn’t get it done against the Yard Goats, losing 5-11. They’ll try again tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • Nats got blanked by Tampa Bay for the second straight time, 0-1.

This morning's longread

Body Positivity Is a Scam

Pointing out the problem is not the same as addressing the problem.

What brands and individuals alike are less enthusiastic to talk about is how having a noncompliant body — whether it’s fat, nonwhite, trans, disabled, or some combination thereof — impacts someone’s life, how those external conditions affect someone’s sense of self-worth, and how corporate interests have long benefited from and upheld the structural forces that create inequality. There’s nothing an ad can (or intends to) do to ameliorate any of the actual problems that harm people’s self-perception, but that doesn’t stop brands from taking enormous credit for their newfound surface-level wokeness. There’s no radicalism in the sales department.

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Good morning, RVA: Brook Road bike lane, school funds, and Jeff Davis Highway

Good morning, RVA: Civility, a bad use of bus money, and dive bars