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

Good morning, RVA: Snow!, the land trust, and editorial progress?

Good morning, RVA! It's 28 °F, and we are officially under a winter storm watch (remember watch < warning). Today you can expect highs in the upper 30s and plenty of sun. This weekend you can expect snow. Andrew Freiden says most of Richmond is in the 3–6 inches zone which now includes a quarter inch of sleet or freezing rain. The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s John Boyer says 2–4 inches but with the standard science-y caveats.

With the winter weather arriving mostly on Sunday, I...don’t have a lot of hopes for Richmond’s institutions on Monday. Remember: Check event websites and Facebooks and Twitters before heading out, because a lot of things already are or soon will be canceled.

Good luck out there, y’all.

Water cooler

Whoa look at this affordable housing news: The Maggie Walker Community Land Trust has received a $1 million grant from Altria (PDF). This is the second massive grant the MWCLT has scooped up in the last six months—back in September they scored a million bucks from the Community Foundation. I know there’s a lot of jargon and programs when we talk about affordable housing, so, just as a reminder: The Land Trust, which is different from a land bank and an affordable housing trust fund, sells homes to folks making less than 80% or less than 115% of the Area Median Income but retains ownership of the land (by the way, for a family of two that’s less than $53,250 or less than $76,600). When the home is sold to a new owner, the land value is not included in the price—which makes the home more affordable. The seller and the trust split the equity accrued in the land. This continues, down the line, to all sellers in perpetuity. Land trusts are not a magical, omnipotent solution for creating all the affordable housing we need in the region, but they are a tool that we definitely should use.

Michael Martz at the RTD has the details on the Amazon-related portions of a new public policy poll from VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. I didn’t know that “twice a year, the Office of Public Policy Outreach provides policymakers with an up-to-date snapshot of public opinion via our Public Policy Poll.” In fact, you can download pieces of the most recent version of that public policy poll (as PDFs) focused on why folks voted in 2018, which party Virginians want to win the GA in 2019, thoughts on armed teachers, and, of course, what people think of Amazon HQ2. I haven’t read any of these, but what an embarrassment of PDF riches! How did I not know that this existed in a regularly recurring way?

Richmond Magazine’s Taylor Mills asked five local elected officials from various levels of government what they were reading. The results are interesting but a little too on the nose for me. I guess as a poorly-paid elected official you don’t have time to read Outlander?

Compare and contrast this new editorial from the RTD Editorial Board about women in the Marines to this one from November about women in the Navy. Unlike last year, today’s piece doesn’t end with a condescending zinger contradicting all of the words before it, a gross nudge and wink to the reader—something that was a common RTD Editorial Board rhetorical strategy. Since the retirement/removal of Bob Rayner as editor of the Board, the tone and tack of their work has shifted slightly. While it often feels like the Board is uncomfortable and inexperienced writing in this new, more reasonable, and less utterly offensive way, I do think it is progress.

This Saturday—way before any of the inclement weather moves in, so no excuses!—the RVA Women’s March will begin at the Arthur Ashe Center at 9:00 AM and make its way down Boulevard to Broad Street. After the march, at 10:00 AM, you can dip into the Expo and check out speakers, music, vendors, a silent auction, and all sorts of stuff supporting Richmond women. You can get to the Arthur Ashe Center on either the #14 or #20 bus—use the Transit app to find the best route for you.

This morning's longread

Goal Setting: A Scientific Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals

I talked briefly about goals yesterday, and Patron Caitlyn shared this longread in the GMRVA Slack. It’s great and is filled with links to even more goal-related reading—if, you know, you’ve got some extra time early next week when you can’t leave your house.

Imagine a small row boat. Your goals are like the rudder on the boat. They set the direction and determine where you go. If you commit to one goal, then the rudder stays put and you continue moving forward. If you flip-flop between goals, then the rudder moves all around and it is easy to find yourself rowing in circles. However, there is another part of the boat that is even more important than the rudder: The oars. If the rudder is your goal, then the oars are your process for achieving it. While the rudder determines your direction, it is the oars that determine your progress. This metaphor of the rudder and the oars helps clarify the difference between systems and goals. It is an important distinction that shows up everywhere in life.

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Good morning, RVA: Crystalline city, lots of apartments, and the ABC update

Good morning, RVA: Weekend snow?, the Governor’s speech, and 2019 goals