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

Good morning, RVA (lite): Citizenship on the Census, where do monuments go, and the polar bear

Good morning, RVA! It's 74 °F, and you should expect highs in the mid 90s. Looks like you might could avoid thunderstorms today, though!

Water cooler

Somehow I missed this column in the RTD by Mayor Stoney about keeping a citizenship question off the 2020 Census. If we want to know how many people live in Richmond (and beyond) we need to make sure folks aren’t intimidated to fill out the dang Census questionnaire. Why’s this important? Fewer people living in Richmond (as determined by the Census) could mean fewer federal dollars when those dollars are distributed in a per-person way. You can let the Department of Commerce know that the citizenship question is a bad idea by filling out this form—you’ve got until tonight at midnight. The Southern Poverty Law Center has some language to help you with your response should you need it.

NPR has a good piece about what’s done with Confederate monuments after they come down. It’s a national piece, but does have some quotes from Christy Coleman, the CEO of the American Civil War Museum. She says they can’t take them, so don’t get any ideas. The best quote, and one that we should think long and hard about as we process the recommendations of the Monument Avenue Commission, comes from Ben Wright of the Briscoe Center for American History, “[The monuments] say things about gender, they say things about race, they say things about militarism that would take more than a plaque to sanitize.” Let’s keep that in mind as we begin talking about what “adding context” looks like on Monument Avenue.

Related, kind of, the RTD Editorial Board is in favor of this idea floating around to rename the Boulevard to Arthur Ashe Boulevard. Richard Hayes at RVA Hub has some more details about David Harris, Arthur Ashe’s nephew, and a presentation of the proposal to the Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association. Two things: First, I couldn’t disagree more with the Editorial Board’s claim that the Maggie Walker statue is “near, but not quite in, [a] high-profile spot.” That claim certainly says something about how they view Broad Street vs. Monument Avenue. Second, is Richmond allowed to rename its streets? I feel like sometimes, depending on the road, it’s a state-level thing? Maybe someone from VDOT can let me know and point me toward what that process looks like?

Don’t worry, y’all, while the owner of the building is moving to Florida, the Fan’s polar bear is staying put. Mike Platania has more details on averting the crisis.

Hey! This is a great aerial photo of Richmond, by Reddit user RVAWRTFBBQ.

Finally, I got super confused about Trump’s recent tweet circus about the California wildfires and diverting water into the Pacific Ocean. This article in the Pacific Standard clearly explains how every single thing he said is inaccurate, wrong, or a lie.

Good morning, RVA (lite): A dumb rally, a strategic plan, and a call for more transparency

Good morning, RVA (lite): Stop-and-frisk, vandalism, and unpleasant aesthetics