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

Good morning, RVA: Guns, Massive Resistance, and trail building

Good morning, RVA! It's 36 °F, and today you can expect highs near 50 °F. Soak it up, because the rain returns this weekend and cold temperatures arrive on Sunday.

Water cooler

Ned Oliver at the Virginia Mercury has the disappointing but predictable gun bill update from the General Assembly. Everything, even a gun violence proposal supported by President Trump, was voted down by Virginia’s gun-obsessed Republicans. I should note, however, that Senator Glenn Sturtevant, who represents parts of Richmond, was the only republican to vote for the Trump-supported bill. Related, why are media still talking to Philip Van Cleave from the Virginia Citizens Defense League as if he’s a person with a reasonable point of view? Remember, he’s the guy who showed up on Sasha Baron Cohen’s This is America to support giving stuffed-animal guns to four-year-olds. This man is not representative of a sane positions on gun violence, no one should present him as such, and lawmakers who side with him should be ashamed.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Mark Robinson points me to a new report by VCU’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis about the economic impact of the Washington Training Camp project. You can read the full report from CURA here (PDF). I feel dumb and skeptical, y’all! In a bunch of different ways! It’s pretty clear that the City screwed the pooch on this project, and, honestly, I’m surprised that we’ll ever break even. So, upfront, there’s that. But, I just don’t know enough about how city money stuff works to intelligently evaluate sentences like these: “Molster took issue with VCU researchers front-loading the full cost of the training camp facility in their analysis of the short-term return when the city is repaying the sum over two decades. The researchers’ short-term figures also exclude the value of the training camp facility, which the city owns.” After reading through and disagreeing with some of the methodology behind CURA’s recent GRTC report, something I do know enough about, I can’t help but be a bit skeptical. Please don’t read this paragraph as me supporting the Washington Training Camp, OK?

I’m also not sure what to think about this story by C. Suarez Rojas in the RTD about GRTC’s revenue projections. They’re $1 million short of projected revenue, but “cost savings on the expense side of the budget and other revenues are balancing out the worse-than-expected revenues.” I don’t know what that means exactly, but it’s certainly not a reason to cut service. If the bus service we’ve got now costs more to run than projected, the localities should bare that burden—not riders through service cuts or fare hikes. Also, buried in this piece is the news that ridership is way, way up no matter how you look at the numbers. Now is the time for the region to continue investing in public transportation, not start making cuts.

I just can’t with this RTD Editorial Board editorial about nouns, of all things. Almost every single editorial they write exists to subtly continue and extend the paper’s embarrassing legacy of Massive Resistance. It is terrible, and it needs to stop.

It’s easy for me to forgot that President Trump’s government shut down has real, human consequences, but here’s a reminder from Feed More: They’ll distribute food today from 2:00–4:00 PM for folks impacted by the shutdown. It’ll take place on Feed More’s campus in the parking lot of Building II at 1601 Rhoadmiller Street, and will be limited to the first 150 households.

This Saturday, from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, you can help folks build a new North Bank trail connector (Facebook link)—which sounds like a cool way to spend a Saturday morning. This project will allow folks walking, hiking, and doing whatever it is trailpeople do, to stay trailbound instead of heading up to Kansas Avenue. It’s a big project, so I imagine you’ll have other opportunities to get involved if you can’t make it this weekend. Meet at the Texas Beach parking lot and bring work gloves and water.

This morning's longread

Laziness Does Not Exist

I liked this piece, especially the idea of responding someone’s “ineffective behavior with curiosity rather than judgment.”

For decades, psychological research has been able to explain procrastination as a functioning problem, not a consequence of laziness. When a person fails to begin a project that they care about, it’s typically due to either a) anxiety about their attempts not being “good enough” or b) confusion about what the first steps of the task are. Not laziness. In fact, procrastination is more likely when the task is meaningful and the individual cares about doing it well.

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Good morning, RVA: An apology, a bunch of GA stuff, plus Brook Road bike lane

Good morning, RVA: Volunteer opportunities, distracted driving laws, and micromobility explainer