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

Good morning, RVA: Arthur Ashe Boulevard, get involved, and river kayakers

Good morning, RVA! It's 35 °F, and looks like we have some overnight rain that’ll taper off through the morning and pick back up later this evening. Temperatures out there are much colder than last week, and you should expect highs today to hit 40 °F—if that.

Water cooler

City Council meets tonight for their regularly scheduled meeting at 6:00 PM. You can stream video from the meeting on this page—you’ll see an “In Progress” link in the video column. Compared to last month’s meeting which was packed full with exciting agenda items like bike lanes and scooters and expanding VCU Police’s jurisdiction, this month’s agenda seems kind of tame (PDF). We do have, on the Regular Agenda, Councilmember Gray’s ORD. 2018-228 to rename the Boulevard to Arthur Ashe Boulevard. Some of the public comments on this ordinance at the last Land Use, Housing and Transportation committee meeting were wild, some were offensive, and some were wildly offensive. I imagine folks will show up—on both sides—to speak on this ordinance tonight. Councilmember Robinson also has a couple affordable housing papers on the agenda, including (RES. 2018-R083) that would establish an administrative policy to not consider ordinances dealing with City subsidy of development unless that development reserved 15 percent of its total units for affordable housing.

Today, I’ve got two ways for you to get involved in your City! First, you can apply to City Council’s Navy Hill Development Advisory Commission (PDF). Scroll down to the bottom of the enabling legislation (PDF) for a full description of what this commission will do. They’re looking for seven “experts in fields relevant to review of the North of Broad Development proposal.” As with all things like this, if you think you’re even the slightest bit interested and the teeniest bit qualified, I think you should apply. You should also go real broad with what “fields relevant” means, too. Second, the next meeting to gather community input on the new police chief will take place tonight from 5:30–6:30 PM at the Richmond Police Training Academy (1202 W. Graham Road). You can also fill out this online survey if you can’t make the meeting.

I took the weekend off from Virginia’s executive branch crisis—the crisis, however, did not take a similar break. Del. Patrick Hope from NOVA will file a resolution this morning to begin an investigation into whether or not the House of Delegates should impeach Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax. Graham Moomaw has some of the next steps and reactions over on the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Meanwhile, the Governor decided to describe the earliest enslaved Africans to arrive in Virginia as “the first indentured servants from Africa.” I don’t know if this was a slip-of-the-tongue, foot-in-the-mouth thing; a unconscious recitation of some of Virginia’s Lost Cause narrative; or a guy who has previously given bad soundbites because he’s so focused on the specific details and context of a thing that he misses the larger impact of his words. I don’t really want my Governor to be doing any of those things, especially during a crisis (of his own manufacturing).

VCU announced that they’ll build a new inpatient children’s facility as part of their downtown Children’s Pavilion. I think this puts an end to the independent, free-standing children’s hospital conversation spearheaded by Bill Goodwin a couple years back. The issue then, and now, was that children must crisscross all over town to get the services they need from handful of different hospitals. I’m not smart enough to know if what VCU plans to build obviates that need or not. Someone should tell me, though!

Via /r/rva, a photo album of some kayakers getting after it in the James River right below Hollywood Cemetery . Look like a ton of fun—cold, but fun.

This morning's patron longread

A New Breed of Hunters Focuses on the Cooking

From Patron Alexis, this piece about hunting is both interesting and involves a restaurant in Harrisonburg that Dukedogs of a certain age are most likely familiar with.

They spend as much free time as they can fishing and hunting, with the express goal of trying to eat only protein that they kill. They haven’t bought meat in over a year, except pork fat and chicken wings. Sausage needs pork fat, Mr. Truong said, and “there really isn’t a substitute for chicken wings.” They are the face — or at least two faces — of a new generation of hunters.

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

Good morning, RVA: Arthur Ashe Boulevard!, Black and Bold Awards, Fulton history

Good morning, RVA: One week later, Brookland Park Boulevard, and the Green New Deal