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

Good morning, RVA: Sports tourism, pickles, and ways to get involved

Good morning, RVA! It's 75 °F, and, today, we might could squeak by without anymore rain. Fingers crossed. Expect highs up in the 90s, though.

Water cooler

Michael Paul Williams at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has some more/different thoughts on the proposed Coliseum redevelopment 💸. The surrounding counties have mostly decided that sports tourism (a huge lacrosse tournament, for example) is a safer investment than glitzy, sportsy spectator events (like the A-10 Tournament). The former you build a couple fields here and there, the latter you construct an arena. Reading this MPW piece really highlights for me how wild it is that both Chesterfield and Henrico are basically like nah when it comes to supporting an arena that would definitely be used by the entire region. I mean, you don’t fill a 20,000-seat arena on the regular with just City residents.

Marc Cheatham has an editorial titled “The ‘invisible’ line about black on black criticism.” I learned a lot by reading this, maybe you will, too.

Ned Oliver at the Virginia Mercury reports on an interesting story about the types of jobs filled by folks on the federal H2B visa, a program for temporary non-agricultural workers, and what the lack of those workers means for some Virginia businesses. I would not have guessed “seafood processor” was the second most popular job for people in the commonwealth on this type of visa.

The lede of this story at RVA Mag by Sarafina Sackey took a surprising turn: “She owns and manages Taboo, the largest sex shop in Richmond; he plays three gigs a week. Yet, couple Alison Miller and Amir Al-Qaddafi still find time to manage their pickling business, Pipe It Up Pickle Co.”

Alright, this Friday I’ve got a stack of school-related ways for you to get involved in your community. Here we go:

First, have you bought your Barack Obama Elementary T-shirt yet? If not, you’ve got about two days left to do so. The proceeds from these shirts will, of course, go to covering the costs associated with renaming J.E.B. Stuart Elementary—things like floor mats, stationery, and refacing the stone facade of the school. They’ve already sold 2,679 shirts and need just a few more to reach their goal of 3,000.

Second, the Better Housing Coalition is hosting their annual backpack and supply drive. Get a group of folks together, buy a backpack and all the items from the surprisingly long list of school supplies, put the lime in the coconut, and drop the supply-stuffed bag off at the Better Housing Coalition’s main office before July 31st (23 W. Broad Street, just take the Pulse and get off at the Arts District stop). There! I’ve given you an excellent weekend project!

Third, do you totally know what all the tools do? Can you use them to fix pipes and other physical items often found in a bathroom? Then Richmond Public Schools needs your help! RPS is looking for folks with plumbing and general contracting experience to help ensure that all bathrooms in every school are fully functioning and look sweet before the start of the new school year. If you can help, sign up here.


  • Squirrels beat Reading, 3-1, and will keep at it tonight at 7:05 PM. Tickets are available online.
  • Kickers head south to take on the Charleston Battery on Saturday at 7:00 PM.
  • Nats mashed the Marlins, 10-3, and continue that series tonight at 7:10 PM—and through the weekend.

This morning's longread

How Food Can Be a Platform for Activism

There’s a lot of wise words in here worth thinking about.

Our multiracial movement building needs to be fueled by reconciliation and atonement. Food spaces and food people are unique champions to create room for, and facilitate, this healing. Unpacking this racial trauma is best served over warming bowls of peppery oxtail stew or silky dhansak. These conversations should occur everywhere and all the time, particularly in school cafeterias, food pantries, church kitchens, public parks, and at dining room tables. And white people will have to examine themselves, and with each other first; unexamined privilege is a conditional dinner invite.

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

Good morning, RVA: Police training, new housing, and bike-related adventures

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