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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F, and today’s forecast looks a lot like yesterday’s: Highs in the mid 80s and plenty of sunshine.

Water cooler

I enjoyed reading this long piece from Sarah King at Richmond Magazine about Alina Kilpatrick—Abbie Arevalo Herrera’s lawyer. Herrera is the woman seeking asylum from domestic violence at First Unitarian Universalist Church, and Kilpatrick seems uniquely suited for the job of defending her and guiding her through the legal system.

Yesterday, the Mayor announced he’ll introduce a scooter ordinance at this coming Monday’s City Council meeting! Yes and finally! From the press release, we know that the ordinance will at least require a permit fee based on the number of vehicles—which I’m a fan of. What‘s missing in the release, that may or may not be in the ordinance, is: data sharing with the city and/or public, a requirement for equitable distributions of scooters or bikes, and a way for unbanked folks to use these systems. If you really want to dig in, read through Seattle’s dockless bike permit requirements (PDF) to get an idea of what Richmond could ask for. We’ll have to wait until Monday or Tuesday to see the actual text of the ordinance—if you can even contain yourselves until then.

While I continue to poorly understand taxes and finances, I do completely understand that I distrust the RTD Editorial Board which is against Governor Northam’s plan to use money from Trump tax cuts to give tax rebates to low-income Virginians. They, the Board, have decided folks making $100,000–$150,000 are not “rich,” even though a quick search shows Virginia’s median income to be just $68,000. Admittedly, this is a dumb thing for me to get upset about, but I already spent a bunch of time this morning Googling and reading about the topic, so here we are. The Commonwealth Institute has a longer piece explaining the Earned Income Tax Credit if you want to learn a thing or two rather than listen to me complain.

Richmond 300, the City’s master planning process, will kick off their next series of open houses tonight at MLK Middle School (1000 Mosby Street) from 6:00–8:30 PM. There are a ton of these meetings to choose from, so pick your poison (or whatever works for your calendar) and go have a say in how our city grows over the next couple of decades. Oh! Also! Read the Insights Report while you’re at it (PDF). It’s a wonderful look at the past and present of Richmond through a bunch of different lenses—plus a ton of maps!

Fascinating update to the Blackwell Historic District saga: The Hilds, who initiated this whole thing, have put half of the properties they own in Manchester up for sale. J. Elias O’Neal at Richmond BizSense has the details.

Pssst! Wanna see some drone footage of the angry James River full Hurricane Florence water?

This morning's longread

We’re Not Ready for Mars

Y’all! I did not agree with a lot of this! And then I was like “Hmmmmm,” and then “OOOOOK, maybe,” and then “Alright, probably.” Some of the sentences are just so intense!

Even the language and rhetoric of the latest space wave, which Musk is happily at the helm of, is the same. Colonizing. Taking over a “dead” world. Bringing our wonderful gifts of technology and culture to some godforsaken place. The saving of a race, the saving of an entire world, the nationalistic pride, the promise of an unfettered new land, the promise of bounty, the extraction of new resources. I am sorry, this leads nowhere good, and the reason is that there is no spirituality involved. If we enter space without a spiritual reckoning for what we’ve done to the Earth, we will kill space just as we are killing Earth. In fact, our contamination of space is well on its way.

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Good morning, RVA: Park(ing) Day, and a bunch of other stories I make relate to transportation

Good morning, RVA: Violence, redistricting, and Pridefest