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

Good morning, RVA: Northam should resign, State of the Schools, and canal dredging

Good morning, RVA! It's 35 °F, but, this afternoon, highs will hit 70 °F! Sure! The unseasonably warm weather will continue through the end of the week, even.

Water cooler

One entire day later, and we are, if anything, further away from having a new governor. Yesterday, Ralph Northam said not a single new word to the people of Virginia, while the sexual assault scandal circling Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax intensified, leaving us all incredibly confused about what happens next. First, Northam’s still got to go—that needs to happen before anything else. Second, the Washington Post says Fairfax’s characterization of his accuser’s story as having multiple red flags is incorrect. Third, this is a garbage exchange between Fairfax and a reporter about whether or not Mayor Stoney could possibly be involved, in any way, with the Lt. Governor’s sexual assault accusation. It’s not helpful—or a good look—for Fairfax to insinuate and shift blame like that. This is his own mess, and he’s got to deal with it, which, at the moment, he’s doing poorly. Also, and I know absolutely nothing about state-level politics, but I don’t see how trying to blow up the Lt. Governor’s career would be good strategy for the Mayor. This is not and episode of Survivor. It’s Virginia politics, there aren’t that many folks involved and they all have long memories. Personal opinion: It’d be a career-ending strategy by Stoney to move on Fairfax like that. Fourth, I am exhausted by this whole thing. Maybe we should just elect women for a while?

Mel Leonor and Patrick Wilson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch have some more on Fairfax, including some quotes from Adria Scharf, the local woman from whom the right-winger website sourced their story (the same right-winger website that posted the Northam yearbook photos). I believe these Scharf quotes. Also, at the end of that article there’s a big wall of text featuring Democrats—including a bunch of women—declining to comment on the Fairfax sexual assault accusations 🤔.

Michael Paul Williams has some thoughts on the whole thing, as well.

Look at all those words I just wrote, and yet there’s not a single non-intrigue news in there at all! Yet, somehow, the world and the General Assembly still turns, and stuff’s gotta happen—like passing a budget. Mayor Stoney, Council President Newbille, School Board Chair Page, and Superintendent Kamras released a joint statement about the budget, a budget which Republicans stripped of all new spending yesterday. I like this sentence in particular: “The governor’s proposed budget should have been a floor – and not a ceiling – for K-12 funding, and the Virginia General Assembly has let us down again.”

In Richmond Magazine, Iman Shabazz has another remembrance of Lillie Estes that you need to read this morning. A memorial service will be held on February 12th at 11:00 AM at Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church.

I’m sure Superintendent Kamras will mention this budgetary disappointment tonight at his State of the Schools address (6:00–7:00 PM at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School). I haven’t heard if anyone will stream the speech, but I imagine we’ll at least get a PDF of the remarks as prepared afterwards.

Also tonight, VAratifyERA will host a panel discussion on “the Equal Rights Amendment law and business issues” which sounds real interesting. It’s free and maybe a way to peace out from everything else going on at the moment.

Every so often the canal down by Brown’s Island gets dredged, and I always love the photos. What do they find down there? Strange and ancient artifacts? Sunken kayaks? Bird scooters? Here’s a picture of the current dredging via /r/rva.

If you want to chase the Superintendent’s State of the Schools address with an hour of rancor and rhetoric, the president will deliver his State of the Union at 9:00 PM on every available platform and device.

This morning's longread

You Don’t Need Sports Drinks To Stay Hydrated

I hesitate to share this with you, in case you interprete it as pro-dehydration propaganda. But it’s not! Just drink water, and drink enough of it so that you are no longer thirsty! It’s easy.

Heneghan and his team concluded that claims about sports drinks rely on small studies with comparison groups that favor the products being studied, a lack of rigorous blinding so that participants were likely nudged to perform better while taking in the sports drinks, and measurements of effectiveness that might not be meaningful in real life. Add to that statistical sleights of hand that inflate the benefits of the drinks (for instance, one study increased the benefit of carbohydrate drinks from 3 percent to 33 percent by excluding a segment of the test from the analysis), and sports drinks don’t come out looking so impressive.

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

Good morning, RVA: Hands-free driving, State of the Schools, and #govwatch day...5? 6? idk

Good morning, RVA: The Governor should resign