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

Good morning, RVA: Violence, looking for a Public Art Coordinator, and (of course) scooters

Good morning, RVA! It's 75 °F, and expect more of the same: Temperatures in the mid 80s, plenty of humidity, and a decent chance for rain. If you’re moving around the City today by foot, scooter, bike, or bus, may you successfully find the dry spots in today’s weather.

Water cooler

Ali Rockett at the Richmond Times-Dispatch lists out the four times this year an officer from the Richmond Police Department has shot someone.

I took two things away from this Mark Robinson update on the Historic District situation in Blackwell 💸. First, the Hilds—who originally said that if the decision to expand the Historic District was delayed they would pull out of $250 million of investment in the area—had no comment for this story. 🤔. Second, the state Department of Historic Resources says they have “never done as intensive community outreach for any historic district” as they have for Blackwell. I can’t decide if this means that maybe they consistently don’t do enough community outreach for these things or that they’ve definitely gone above and beyond in this case.

Scooter update: I finally found one of the Bird electric scooters and had the chance to zoom it around town, and let me tell you, those things are fun. The mayor’s office had a meeting with Bird yesterday, so it sounds like we may eventually see an update to the City’s current policy of impounding scooters on sight—although it looks like Bird is only dropping a handful of scooters out each morning. I’m hoping things get sorted so we can see enough scooters out on the street to make the system a useful way to get people from here to there. Also, while we’re at it, check out this piece from Baltimore about the launch of their scooter share, and keep in mind that they have the same bike share vendor as we do when they say things like, “Soon to replace the disastrous Bike Share program are 2,000 dockless scooters promoted by two cool, entrepreneurial companies that have agreed to give discounts to low-income users and ensure that at least a quarter of their fleets serves mixed-income neighborhoods.”

Brent Baldwin at Style Weekly reminds me that the City is looking for a new Public Art Coordinator. Ellyn Parker left the City a bunch of weeks back and is now at Lewis Ginter (which has made some really fascinating hires over the last couple of years). Are you the City’s new Public Art Coordinator? You totally might be, and if you even have the slightest spidey-sense tingle that you’d be great at this job, I encourage you to apply. You’ve got until September 23rd to do so.

Jeff Schapiro in the RTD has some commentary on the General Assembly’s scheduled redistricting session coming up on August 30th 💸. According to Schapiro, the results of this session should fall somewhere between nothing and useless bloviating.

Michelle Hankerson at the Virginia Mercury has an update on the State Water Control Board meeting yesterday where the Board talked about the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipeline projects. I am embarrassed by how little I know about this issue.

This morning's longread

Drawing a Line in the Sand Over River Rights

I had no idea this was how rivers worked!

Fifty yards or so above this quiet stretch of the river is a vacation home owned by Mark O’Flynn, a lawyer from San Francisco. Nearly four years ago, O’Flynn posted his first NO TRESPASSING sign. Like many property owners, he had come to equate public access with broken glass, poop in the bushes, and bad music blaring from drunk strangers’ speakers. The problem, as Harreld saw it: the sign stood in flagrant violation of federal law. As he would explain to anyone who’d listen, the beach was subject to a public easement below a line called the ordinary high-water mark—a calculation roughly analogous to the average high tide. In 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed in Montana v. United States that this easement trumps private ownership in navigable rivers.

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Good morning, RVA: SOLs, VCU is back, and historical horse races

Good morning, RVA: More bike lanes, school spending, and a board of barbers