Good morning, RVA! It's 75 °F, and today you should prepare for heat. Temperatures will reach the mid 90s but probably feel way hotter. My eternal advice: Stay hydrated.
Apparently, a couple of poorly-named, pro-Confederate, white supremacy groups plan to hold a Lost Cause rally in Richmond on August 19th. First, these people are just not good at coming up with names for their groups: “CSA II” and “Virginia Task Force of Three Percenters aka the Dixie Defenders”? Lol! (If you were wondering, the VTFoTPakaDD are so named because “only three percent of the population of the Thirteen Colonies fought against the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolution,” says Wikipedia.) Second, this quote from Dixie Defender Wendy Hayslett is illustrative, “Once we found out that the mayor is pushing more about taking Jefferson Davis down, putting signs around our statues, we knew we had to defend Dixie.” If you thought “adding context” in the form of small, tasteful plaques would keep white supremacists from parading around Monument Avenue with their little flags, think again! As for this upcoming rally, in the past these events have been laughably attended, so I will continue with my eyerolly tone, but I guess be aware. Oh, also! Mark Robinson answers my questions about who got cleaning crews out to the Lee Monument so quickly on a weekend—it was the state’s Department of General Services.
I am OK-pleased with this headline from Justin Mattingly at the Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Richmond Public Schools has fewer teacher vacancies now than at this point last year.” This easily could have gone towards something like “Richmond has the most teacher vacancies in the region yet again.” The district, just like Henrico which has 62 vacancies, plans to have them all filled before the start of the school year. Keep in mind we’re still a couple weeks out before school starts.
The survey on Richmond Public Schools’s strategic plan is still open, and you should set aside 10 minutes of your day today and get it done. I knocked it out yesterday, and really appreciated the thoughtfulness of the language and the self-awareness that the District can’t successfully focus on all 15 action items across each of the four categories. Your input will help them prioritize where to concentrate on over the next five years.
Stewart Schwartz, of the Partnership for Smarter Growth, has a column in the RTD about the Coliseum redevelopment proposal. Dang do I also wish that there had been some community conversation upfront about whether or not we even need a new Coliseum in that part of town, but, alas, that obviously did not happen. I’m still kind of wait-and-see on this whole thing, and am reaaaaaally interested to look at the final financial situation (which I will probably be too dumb to understand but do look forward to reading other smart people’s takes).
Tina Eshleman at Richmond Magazine has some updates on the candidates running in Henrico’s Brookland District special election. I cannot stress how huge it was to finally have a Democratic majority on the Henrico County Board of Supervisors for the first time in forever. The outcome of this special election, and the regular election next year (exhausting!) will have a massive impact on the future of the region. Although this quote from Democrat Tyrone Nelson assuages some of my fears “I think the general perception of the public was that things were going to change because we had a Democratic majority on the board...The Truth is, things were already moving forward. Having a colleague on the board helped moved them along quicker.”
Mike Platania at Richmond BizSense says that Ellwood Thompson’s has bought the old Burger Bach building which, and correct me if I’m wrong here, was originally home to...an Ellwood Thompson’s cafe, right? Am I making that up?
I link to this explanation on how to use the City’s new mobile parking payment app, because, fingers crossed, one day we will have so little free parking that you’ll be forced to use this if you want to park your car in the City.