Y'all!

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

Good morning, RVA: A tank, some testing irregularities, and a land purchase

Good morning, RVA! It's 65 °F, and, with highs in the upper 70s, today has some amazing potential. Use it wisely!

Water cooler

Last night, a man stole a tank (more accurately, but less fun, an armored personnel carrier) and drove it from the Fort Pickett military base in Nottoway County, all the way to Richmond, through the Fan, and ended up out front of City Hall. @RichmondGL has put together a comprehensive set of videos that bewildered folks shot on their phones as this thing sped through the City (warning: those videos mostly all contain NSFW language, which is a completely understandable reaction to seeing a tank and dozens of police vehicles drive by on Broad Street). Jokes aside, it’s really hard not to immediately think of Marcus-David Peters. One man—naked and unarmed—was shot to death by police, while another man—who stole a military vehicle and led police on a inter-city chase—was apprehended without issue and without a single shot fired.

Henrico County made it official yesterday, and announced they’ve hired Dr. Amy Cashwell as the next superintendent of Henrico County Public Schools—she’s the first woman in County history to hold the position. Previously, Cashwell worked as Virginia Beach Schools’ chief academic officer in the Department of Teaching and Learning. She also served as the principal at Deep Run High School when it opened back in 2002. Note the focus on equity in the aforelinked County press release.

Well this is not great: Students at Carver Elementary will have to retake SOLs after “potential irregularities with SOL testing procedures.” I haven’t seen any details about what those irregularities entail or how extensive the retesting will be. Here’s the superintendent’s statement. I’m the parent of just one RPS elementary student, but my limited anecdotal evidence suggests that SOL testing is extremely stressful for some students. To make them go through the whole procedure again—during what was supposed to an entire week of Field Day-like, end-of-year celebrations—seems unfortunate, unfair, and unnecessarily anxiety inducing.

Do you remember when the owner of the parcel directly south of the ICA proposed building an awkward 18-story tower that’d include a bowling alley? At the time I said, “Here's a conspiracy theory I will entertain: Developer proposes a tall building that will literally cast a shadow on the ICA to drive up the price VCU is willing to pay for the property.” Today, Mike Platania at Richmond BizSense says that the VCU Real Estate Foundation has purchased that property for $3.78 million. VCU has dumped over $10 million into land purchases around that intersection alone. Dang!

Tonight, from 7:30–9:30 PM, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities will host the RVA Ramadan Community Potluck Iftar Dinner at Bon Air United Methodist Church. Bring a dish to share and support the local Muslim community during Ramadan.

There were a ton of primaries around the country yesterday, and FiveThirtyEight has the update from the wee hours of this morning (1:43 AM). It’s a liveblog, but you can just read the summary post at the top to get the results you’re after.

Sports!

  • Squirrels fell to Trenton, 1-8, but have another chance tonight at 7:00 PM.
  • Kickers got crushed and eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup by the Philadelphia Union, 0-5.
  • Nats beat Tampa Bay, 4-2, and close out that series today at 1:05 PM.

This morning's longread

Prequels are bad. Stop making them

I love the idea that prequels “by and large lack a narrative imperative to exist.”

Hollywood, how about we stop with the prequels? The box office failure of Solo—the first of Disney’s Star Wars movies that’s likely to lose money—should be a wake-up call to film studios already on the lookout for the next big franchise to prequelize. Not only do prequel movies by and large lack a narrative imperative to exist, but they’re also bad financial investments that drain major resources from, I don’t know, literally anything else. It’s enough, right? All the creatively and commercially floundering prequels forced on audiences?

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

Good morning, RVA: More apartments, an idea about parking, and headline semantics

Good morning, RVA: Schools, baseballs, and beers