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

Good morning, RVA: A weird fundraiser, the Capital Trail, and great ribs


Good morning, RVA! It's 70 °F, and highs today are once again back up in the mid 90s. Yesterday was the hottest October 2nd on record, with temperatures of 98 °F shattering the previous record of 91 °F set in 1986. The hottest October day ever? October 6th, 1941 when highs hit 99 °F. Tomorrow, though! Tomorrow looks brilliant.

Water cooler

Earlier this week I had you fill out the Richmond 300 survey about the neighborhood in which you work. It was an easy way to participate in the City’s master planning process—good work team! If you want to kick the difficulty level up a notch, though, tonight you can attend the first of seven Richmond 300 Forums. at Huguenot High School (7945 Forest Hill Avenue) from 6:00–7:30 PM. Here you can ask all the burning land-use questions you may have, like “what’s a land use” and “who owns the air above my house,” and “can we tear down or at least hide the highways that run through our city?” That last one is totally included in the draft Future Connections map! Anyway, you can expect a 30-minute presentation, 60 minutes of Q&A, and to learn a whole bunch of stuff about how to plan for the future of our city.

So, this exists: Former Governor McAuliffe and Democratic Senator Dick Saslaw held a fund raiser for Joe Morrissey yesterday, says the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Patrick Wilson. The fundraiser was held at Morrissey’s home on Richmond’s Northside which is definitely not in nor anywhere near the 16th Senate District that he hopes to represent. I’m sure this is part of a plan to keep Morrissey toeing the Democratic line once he gets elected, but I don’t know what data from his past suggests that this sort of thing (or any sort of thing) would lead to predictable behavior on his part. State-level Democrats are so close to total control of the House, Senate, and Governor’s Office that they can taste it and are willing to do whatever it takes to get there. Sometimes that’s hosting fundraisers for Joe Morrissey, I guess.

I feel like I’ve been writing about the Capital Trail a lot recently, which is fine because it’s awesome. So awesome, in fact, that you should help keep its awesome levels extremely high by signing up for their new Adopt-A-Trail program. It works like VDOT’s existing Adopt-a-Highway program: You agree to pick up trash along a specific mile of the Capital Trail four times a year for two years and then VDOT puts up signs with your name on it for you to brag on whenever you roll past. I would imagine that folks will sign up for the Richmond-adjacent portions of the trail almost immediately, so, if this sounds like something you’re interested in, you better tap that link in a hurry!

Writing for the RTD, Justin Lo has a review of The Original Ronnie’s BBQ—which is right off the Capital Trail. You can believe whatever you want and have your own thoughts and opinions, but the fact is Ronnie’s has the best ribs in the region. I also agree with Lo that the smoked wings are fantastic. If you haven’t already, you should grab a bunch of friends and make it a priority to get out there.

Here’s a small City Council update: The Education and Human Services committee will consider ORD. 2019-266 today at their regularly scheduled meeting. This ordinance would allow Richmond Public Schools and the City’s Parks Department to share facilities and equipment whenever possible. The two already work together in some capacities, and this sounds like a way to make the relationship between Schools and Parks even stronger (and more efficient).

This morning's patron longread

Inside the “largest launch of a produce item in American history”

Submitted by Patron Alistar. This longread about a new type of apple, the Cosmic Crisp, was so dang interesting. If we don’t get the new variety out here in Richmond I will be very disappointed.

Barritt, then the head of the apple-breeding program at Washington State University, made the cross that led to Cosmic Crisp in 1997. (Because of how long it takes test trees to mature and produce fruit, 22 years from cross to launch is fairly quick when it comes to bringing a new product to market. “Biology is just a real problem here,” said Barritt.) Its parents were Enterprise, a robust, late-ripening, long-storing apple, and a relatively new player called Honeycrisp — much despised by growers, who found it finicky and frustrating, with at least a quarter of its fruit never making it into grocery stores. Still, the latter’s large cells gave it a texture, juicy and explosive, unlike any other apple on the market; before long, consumers’ demand, and the prices they were willing to pay, was so high that growers were planting the damn thing all over the place in spite of themselves — and also starting to think differently about apples in general.

If you’d like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol’ Patreon.

Good morning, RVA: Some school rezoning numbers, a civic victory (for now), and you can start Topgolfing this morning

Good morning, RVA: Bike network at risk, monument feelings, and sea level rise