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

Good morning, RVA: Goodbye museum, Chamberlayne apartments, and beards

Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F, and temperatures will drop just a tiny bit throughout the day as rain clouds move in. Cooler days await!

Water cooler

Colleen Curran at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has an update on the Museum of the Confederacy, which will close this weekend. The American Civil War Museum has already subsumed the Museum of the Confederacy way back in 2013, and finally moving the latter down to Tedegar from their enclave deep within the VCU Medical Center seems smart. It’s definitely weird to have a ton of Confederacy stuff, with no other context or interpretation, stuck in the middle of a hospital complex. I’m glad to see it move!

Monroe Park was already kinda open, but today at 3:00 PM it officially opens with a ribbon cutting ceremony ft. the Mayor, VCU President Michael Rao, and Monroe Park Conservancy President Alice Massie. I rode through the park yesterday, and it was filled with folks just hanging out. I loved it, and it’s great to have what was a huge hole in the city filled back in with green space.

So this is an interesting article by Jonathan Spiers in Richmond BizSense: “Court-ordered sale lines up buyer for condemned Chamberlayne apartments“. These apartments hold a lot of affordable housing— we’re talking about 600 units with rents around $800 for two-bedrooms. For context, the Mayor wants to build 1,500 new affordable units by 2020. Currently, these apartments are in a dangerous state of disrepair and need immediate attention, so let get that taken care of first. Then, after that, I’m really interested in hearing more about how folks are “interested in helping revitalize the entire Chamberlayne Avenue corridor.”

Over at the Virginia Mercury, Ned Oliver says Republican Delegate Chris Jones has dropped a new redistricting plan for the General Assembly to consider. VPAP has updated their maps so you can do some before-and-afters on each district impacted by the now three different plans.

If you must, Patrick Wilson at the RTD has a recap of last night’s debate between Senator Tim Kaine and Corey Stewart that focuses mostly on questions about the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

This Saturday, beards from across the country will gather at the National for the 2018 Great American Beard and Moustache Championship. Tickets are available online for both competitors and spectators—something for everyone regardless of their facial hair status. I’m really into the event poster.

They sure have packed a lot of these Richmond 300 meetings into a very short amount of time, haven’t they? Tonight your chance to get your thoughts, feelings, and dreams into the City’s next master plan takes place at Huguenot High School (7945 Forest Hill Avenue) from 6:00–8:30 PM. As always, you can read the Insights Report and participate in an online version of these meetings over on Richmond300.com.

This morning's longread

Brett Kavanaugh and the Cruelty of Male Bonding

I know this is triggering for some and overwhelming for others, but I thought this was a sharp take. Keep in mind that this was written before the most recent woman accusing Kavanaugh of assault and rape stepped forward but exactly matches the tenor of those new accusations.

And yet both the Kavanaugh accusations share certain features: There is no penetrative sex, there are always male onlookers, and, most importantly, there’s laughter. In each case the other men—not the woman—seem to be Kavanaugh’s true intended audience. In each story, the cruel and bizarre act the woman describes—restraining Christine Blasey Ford and attempting to remove her clothes in her allegation, and in Deborah Ramirez’s, putting his penis in front of her face—seems to have been done in the clumsy and even manic pursuit of male approval. Even Kavanaugh’s now-notorious yearbook page, with its references to the “100 kegs or bust” and the like, seems less like an honest reflection of a fun guy than a representation of a try-hard willing to say or do anything as long as his bros think he’s cool. In other words: The awful things Kavanaugh allegedly did only imperfectly correlate to the familiar frame of sexual desire run amok; they appear to more easily fit into a different category—a toxic homosociality—that involves males wooing other males over the comedy of being cruel to women.

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Good morning, RVA: Cold weather shelter, racial disparities in Henrico schools, Chamberlayne housing

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