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

Good morning, RVA: Public art, new apartments, and Bob Woodward

Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F, and today we’ve got highs in the mid 80s and probably a respite from the rain. Enjoy!

Water cooler

At last night’s City Council meeting, councilmembers approved a resolution in support of the off-track betting emporium proposed for an old K-Mart on Midlothian Turnpike. They also adopted ORD. 2018-205 (which I forgot to talk about yesterday), making the Public Art Master Plan an official part of the city’s existing Master Plan. You can read through the amended plan (PDF), which has some fascinating edits that illustrate a bit of the tension in deciding who controls what when it comes to public art. Also on this topic, last night several councilmembers spoke in support of public art and of its importance to the community. Just so we’re all on the same page, here’s the list of councilmembers who supported taking $2 million from the Percent For Arts Fund this past budget cycle to pay for their own amendments to the Capital Improvement Program: Andreas Addison, Kim Gray, Kristen Larson, Ellen Robertson, and Cynthia Newbille.

Tammie Smith at the Richmond-Times Dispatch says new apartments could pop up on Brook Road near the Post Office. The area surrounding VUU is about ten seconds and a couple interesting retail options away from becoming a small, complete, and self-contained neighborhood. I can’t link to this piece, though, and not complain that 1.2 parking spots per unit is way too many in an area adjacent to two transit lines (one very frequent) and two bike lanes (fingers crossed).

One time, long ago, someone pointed out to me that the number of jobs per acre in these massive tech-company data centers is super, super low, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. So while it’s neat that Facebook has decided to expand their data center in Eastern Henrico to the tune of a billion bucks 💸, we’re only talking about 150 jobs after construction. For comparison, Benny’s, the pizza-as-big-as-your-face restaurant, will employ about a 10th of that in a tiny building on the corner of Main and Davis.

Katie O’Connor at the Virginia Mercury has an update on the General Assembly’s attempts to add a work requirement to Medicaid, which was part of the the agreement state legislators landed on earlier this year to expand the program. Work requirements aren’t great, and in Arkansas they led to 4,350 folks with low incomes losing their coverage.

The Richmond 300 meetings continue, and tonight they’ll host an open house at the Bellmeade Community Center (1800 Lynhaven Avenue) from 6:00–8:30 PM. If you can’t make this or any of the other meetings, you can and should fill out this online survey instead. I’d recommend taking a quick look at the questions and then giving your brain a second to mull over your responses. Some of the questions are deep and will require a bit of thought: ”If Richmond were to add 30,000 new residents by 2037, where within the city would they live?” Great question!

Bob Woodward, yes, that Bob Woodward, will give a talk tonight at VCU titled, “Truth, Freedom of Expression, Democracy and the Age of the American Presidency.” This, somehow, is free and open to the public, but is first-come-first-serve; doors open at 5:00 PM at the W.E. Singleton Center, so maybe get there earlier just in case.

This morning's longread

How Millennials Killed Mayonnaise

Basically an old-man-yells-at-cloud article about mayonnaise—but I love mayonnaise! And this seems like an appropriate farewell to summer.

Besides, the impetus seemed righteous. In a world torn asunder by the Great Depression, the Holocaust, and two World Wars, our citizenry needed to come together, be united, rally behind a collective vision of what it meant to be an American: You lived in a single-family house, you drove a station wagon, you wore bowling shirts and blue jeans, and you slathered mayonnaise on everything from BLTs to burgers to pastrami on rye. How do you think “Hold the mayo” became a saying? There was always mayo, and if you were some kind of deviant who didn’t want it, you had to say so out loud.

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Good morning, RVA: Scooter ordinance, Monroe Park returns, and ZZQ

Good morning, RVA: City Council, the Land Trust, and Westhampton School