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

Good morning, RVA: West End rezoning, bike lanes are good, and beer + BBQ

Good morning, RVA! It's 74 °F and rainy. We could see rain and possibly thunderstorms for most of the day, so buckle up—seriously, there’s a flash flood watch until tonight. Temperatures are pretty chill, though.

Water cooler

Mark Robinson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has your Westhampton School rezoning update from last night’s City Council meeting. I don’t think I even mentioned it in yesterday’s preview of Council’s agenda because it seemed, at that point, not super controversial. Councilmember Addison had done a ton of legwork with the community and his constituents, plus Planning Commission just approved the rezoning last week. However, Council’s 5-4 split vote in favor of the rezoning shows you what I know (Y: Addison, Gray, Larson, Robertson, Newbille; N: Hilbert, Agelasto, Trammell, Jones)! The no-votes seem to have a mix of concern for the preservation of the old school building that sits onsite plus a touch of still-fresh angst over the Washington Training Camp deal. Forcing Bon Secours to preserve the school—which they say they’ll do, although now they can technically raze it to the ground—would have been an easy way to remind Bon Secours that the current Council is still unhappy with the Training Camp situation.

Michael Paul Williams, also at the RTD says bike lanes, especially the ones planned for Brook Road, are a good thing 💸. He gets ahold of Najeema Davis Washington, co-founder of Black Women Bike, who says: “Given the economic environment, the needs of people, anything that limits access to more affordable transportation options does everyone a disservice, but particularly people of color.” This is true for bikes, for public transportation, and even for pedestrian infrastructure like sidewalks. The proposed bike lanes on Brook Road would provide a way for folks living nearby on the Northside—which includes some incredibly dense neighborhoods with majority Black residents—to safely ride downtown to school, work, whatever. If you live in the 2nd or 3rd Districts, consider letting your Councilmember know what you think about their proposal to prohibit a safe, affordable transportation option on Brook Road (make sure you copy their liaison).

Here’s a gross editorial from the RTD editorial board about arming teachers with guns out in Lee County. You don’t have to read it, but I did want to call out how when it comes to guns, local rule prevails, but when it comes to literally anything else—taxes, liquor, heck, even gun control—the state knows best. OK, sure.

Brent Baldwin at Style Weekly interviewed Abbie Arevalo-Herrera, the woman who took refuge at the First Unitarian Universalist Church last month. She’ll stay inside the church pending the results of a motion to remand filed by her lawyer.

Style Weekly’s beer issue is out with a handful of beer-related articles for you to read. I want to specifically link to this one by Hilary Langford about cheap beers at high-end spots. There’s always room for a Miller High Life, if you ask me—which, by the way, you can totally get in a 16oz can at Rapp Session or spend just $5 for a High Life and a shot of cheap whiskey at Greenleaf’s. Related (kind of), Richmond Magazine just put out their barbecue issue, so maybe pair your beer reading with your BBQ reading?


  • Squirrels fell to Erie, 4-6, making it five in a row. They’ll try and snap the skid tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • Nats lost to Milwaukee, 1-6. That series continues tonight at 8:10 PM.

This morning's longread

America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats

That America’s electoral system favors smaller states isn’t news, but its interesting to read about it from folks outside of America. I wish, though, they would have spent five seconds thinking about why living in close proximity to a variety of folks tends to make one a Democrat (or is attractive to Democrats).

America’s various disproportional representations are the result of winner-takes-all voting and a two-party system where party allegiance and geography have become surprisingly highly correlated. Places where people live close together vote Democratic, places where they live farther apart vote Republican (see chart 2). Under some electoral systems this would not matter very much. Under America’s it has come to matter a lot, in part because of an anti-party constitution.

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Good morning, RVA: ICE, electric scooters, and the ERA

Good morning, RVA: Chamber support, dead malls, and a Council meeting