Good morning, RVA! It's 68 °F, and temperatures are headed into the mid to upper 80s today. Things heat up even more tomorrow. In fact, Climate Scientist Dr. Jeremy Hoffman says if we hit “90°F or above twice this week like it is supposed to, 2019 will tie 1977 for the second-most such days (70) since we started keeping track out at the airport (1930). Summers like this one are projected to be the ‘usual’ by around 2040.” Sweatybleh.
Well here’s this week’s bananas story: The Chesterfield County GOP has kicked state Senator Amanda Chase out of the local party for talking trash about the County’s Republican sheriff. Chase has been in the news for variety of embarrassing things recently, which, whatever—it’s her unabashed love of guns that’s disqualifying for me. My only interaction with the sheriff has been to give him a mental high five for being the only outspoken Republican supporter of bringing public transportation to Chesterfield County (that I’m aware of at least). Remember! Every person in the entire General Assembly is up for reelection this November, and Amanda Pohl is the Democrat running in the 11th Senate District against Chase.
This week’s RPS email from Superintendent Kamras is almost unsummarizeable because there’s just so much going on. You really should tap and read—you’ll learn more about new accreditation numbers, VUU scholarships to RPS 8th graders, and a shoutout for the District’s work supporting LGBTQ+ families from Side by Side. A quick note about accreditation: You can download the raw data from the Virginia Department of Education here, but beware because its in an enormous hard-to-parse Excel spreadsheet. What you’re probably after, instead of an intimidating spreadsheet, are these School Quality Profiles—which, honestly, are less a measure of school quality and more a measure of a set of quantitative metrics set by the State. When you look at these reports, remember, like 8th District City Council Candidate Amy Wentz said on Twitter, it’s not just about accreditation, but sustained improvement across all categories.
We’re at another important public feedback moment in the City’s master planning process! Folks all across the city have put a ton of work into Richmond 300, and now it’s time for everyday people to give their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and comments on allllll of the draft content. There is A LOT going on here, and, unless you’ve followed along for the last forever it’s probably overwhelming. So, to get started, here’s what I want you to do: Head over to the page of neighborhood surveys, pick out the neighborhood in which you work and fill out that survey. That’s it! It should only take you a couple of minutes.
Have you been out on the Capital Trail? Surely you have, but if not, it’s this wonderful paved path stretching from Richmond all the way east to Williamsburg. It’s a pretty incredible bit of biking and walking infrastructure and a great example of what can happen when we think regionally in a transportation kind of way. Not content to sit on their trail-building laurels, VDOT will hosting a open house tonight from 5:00–7:00 PM at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to collect feedback on another separated trail—this one would connect Ashland to Petersburg and provide a lovely north-south connection across the region. As always with these sorts of things, if you can’t make the meeting, you can provide input through their online form/map. Because I can’t help myself, a big chunk of the proposed alignment would overlap the soon-to-be bus route on Route 1 in Chesterfield County. A separated, paved path would sure give folks easy access to the rest of the region’s bus network.
This morning's longread
I was not aware of surf racism until I read this.
That sea wall swastika in Santa Cruz, after all, wasn’t just a skull-and-crossbones any more than the genocidal racism it represented was a German import. Like Noll’s and Dora’s swastikas, and also the more recent swastikas and sieg-heils and Confederate flags throughout California, it was, rather, pus from a boil festering since the Anglo-American invasion of this glorious place. My reading of that swastika as no more than a toothless warning — like my confidence that it would not apply to me for long — was an act of historical ignorance and naked racial privilege.
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