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

Good morning, RVA: Florence, big bike lane meeting, and Coliseum spending

Good morning, RVA! It's 72 °F, and today you can expect reasonable highs in the mid 80s and a pretty good chance of rain scattered throughout the entire afternoon.

Florence-related rain, though, begins on Thursday, and weather-related cancellations are starting to trickle in. Prepare accordingly and double check with event coordinators and websites if you’ve got something on your calendar Thursday through Sunday.

Andrew Freiden from NBC12 says there’s maybe a bit of good news for Virginia with the latest hurricane update.

Water cooler

Tonight’s the night! Councilmembers Gray and Hilbert will host a meeting to discuss the Brook Road bike lane tonight at the Richmond Police Training Academy (1202 W. Graham Road) from 6:00–7:30 PM. As far as I’m aware, this is the last chance to weigh in on the nonsensical ordinance (ORD. 2018-194) to ban the proposed, planned, and paid-for bike lanes on Brook Road before the September 18th Land Use, Housing and Transportation committee meeting. Show up, preferably by bike, and let the Councilmembers hear why this bike lane is important to you. Know in your heart that the bike lane is Good and True but are having a hard time condensing those feelings down into talking points? No worries! Just read this absolutely epic 12-page FAQ from the Department of Public Works (PDF) which addresses just about every concern you could have about these proposed bike lanes. I’ll see y’all there tonight!

Mark Robinson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch says the City has spent “close to $500,000 since January” vetting the Coliseum redevelopment proposal 💸. I dunno, does this surprise anyone? Do I wish we would have had a city-wide conversation about whether or not Richmond even needs a new arena downtown before issuing an RFP for one? Yes, of course. Am I super aware of all the other ways the City could spend half a million dollars? Obviously. But here we are, standing in the long and everlasting shadows of the 6th Street Marketplace and the Washington Training Camp, and Council has demanded a thorough (and expensive) vetting of the Tom Farrell proposal. I’m with Councilmember “hates unnecessary spending” Agelasto on this one: “If it’s a billion-dollar deal, I think you’d want to make sure everything has been thoroughly looked at.”

One small update from City Council’s meeting last night also via Mark Robinson at the RTD: Councilmembers can now spend up to $5,000 of District funds without submitting a corresponding resolution.

I like this photo essay in the RTD about moving houses, it’s very specific. It’s also a bummer, as almost all of these houses were moved to make way for highways and other Urban Renewal projects.

Michelle Hankerson at the Virginia Mercury says a new study suggests the state Department of Elections could be doing a better job. Virginia has a ton of elections every year, so I can see how the workload is significant, but still. I’m not trying to hear about “political bias” at the Department of Elections!

This morning's longread

Covering poverty: What to avoid and how to get it right

I really enjoy these guides to reporting on certain topics, because they’re also guides to reading the reporting on certain topics.

Together, Bryant and Ordway created this tip sheet to get journalists to think more deeply about how they select and cover stories, who their audience is and how current journalistic practices can limit lower-income individuals’ ability to access the news. “Most news coverage isn’t created with people experiencing poverty in mind — as part of the audience,” Bryant says. “Impoverished people are often separated from other subject groups that are affected by policies and participation in civic and community life.” She adds: “When people in economic hardship are included, their socioeconomic status is typically the reason for their inclusion and the central framing of their identity or it’s used inaccurately as a shorthand for things including race, geography, education level or employment status. And finally, the depiction of people experiencing poverty is problematic in ways that are often exploitive, dehumanizing or insulting.”

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Good morning, RVA: Models trending down, bike lane recaps, and learn stuff about housing

Good morning, RVA: Violence, tax breaks, and hurricanes