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

Good morning, RVA: Violence, redistricting, and Pridefest

Good morning, RVA! It's 69 °F at the moment. Today you can expect highs in the mid 80s and...no rain! Just sunshine from here to wherever—enjoy!

Water cooler

Richmond Police are reporting that Joshua A. Grey, 23, was shot to death on Monday afternoon at the intersection of Mechanicsville Turnpike and Carver Street.

His is the 36th murder of 2018, and you can read through the full list of murder victims on the RPD’s website.

Ned Oliver at the Virginia Mercury has the updates on General Assembly redistricting and the new, proposed map that Republicans released yesterday. They, the Republicans, claim the new map was drawn “without racial data,” which is weird because the whole problem with the existing map is that the federal government found it racially gerrymandered enough to get involved. This quote from a legal analyst at the Princeton Gerrymandering Project is telling: “He called Republicans’ proposal to shift more black voters into three of the districts the court ruled unconstitutional ‘a very strange move in a plan supposedly remedying a racial gerrymander.’” That same group has a map which’ll let you compare the existing districts to the proposals from both the Democrats and Republicans. Federal courts get involved next month if the GA can’t sort this out themselves.

Dang, these are some incredible transit quotes from Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas about this week’s launch of new and expanded public transportation in the County. While we’re talking transit, it’s time for a ridership stats update! Now that VCU’s onboard, the Pulse averages about 6,000 riders per day, annihilating the goal of 3,500. Additionally, while not Annihilation Level, local routes have seen a significant increase in ridership, too. Build useful transit and more folks will ride!

This Friday is Park(ing) Day! Across the country, cities will install tiny, temporary parks in parking spaces for folks—not cars—to hangout in. I love Park(ing) Day because it really makes clear how much of the public space in our cities we give away to store empty cars for hours and hours. I’ve been working with a few folks from the Richmond City Health District, Sports Backers, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the City departments of Planning and Parks to put together Richmond’s own Park(ing) Day park. Stop by the SunTrust building at Main and 10th on Friday from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM to hang out in a parking space! It’ll be rad—way radder than your typical hangout in a parking space, at least.

Virginia Pridefest begins today on Brown’s Island at 1:30 PM with Mayor Stoney raising a Pride Flag to kick things off. Brad Kutner at Style Weekly has the Virginia Pridefest Preview you’re looking for, and you can head on over to the Pridefest website for the full calendar of events.

Here’s a really terrible and gross editorial about Brett Kavanaugh that the RTD Editorial Board decided to syndicate. It diminishes rape by equating it to recreational drug use and has a general boys-will-be-boys vibe. The Board is not forced to run pieces like this. It could just not.

This morning's longread

No, I Will Not Debate You

I loved this piece, because I’m really, really bad at in-the-moment debate and would way prefer turn-based written exchanges instead.

People rarely change their minds in the course of formal public debate. Not the people on stage, and very few of those in the audience. Years of robust debate in my capacity as a commentator and journalist have taught me that you don’t change minds simply by pointing out where someone is wrong. As a dear friend once told me, trying to bring someone over to your side by publicly demonstrating that their ideas are bad and that they should feel bad is like trying to teach a goat how to dance: the goat will not learn to dance, and you will make him angry. The ways people actually change their minds is by reading the mood of those around them and then going away and thinking about it, by being given permission to think what they were already thinking, or by being shamed into realizing how ignoble their assumptions always were.

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

Good morning, RVA: Lawyers, scooters, and Richmond 300

Good morning, RVA: Tornadoes, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and Southside Plaza