Good morning, RVA! It's 53 °F, and, this afternoon, you can expect highs in the 60s! Better than that, you can even expect warmer days later this week—perhaps an opportunity for things to dry out a bit.
It’s really and truly budget season, and that means City Council will begin holding their epically long meetings at which representatives from each City department make a presentation, answer questions, and try to justify their existence. It’s fascinating, an excellent way to learn about the status and needs of our City, and I love it. Today, up first through the gauntlet: Richmond Public Schools; Public Utilities; Economic Development; Housing and Community Development; Planning & Development Review; and Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. This year we’ve got the interesting twist of the Mayor’s proposal to roll back the Recession-era real estate tax cuts. Lots of departments will have an influx of cash, and I’m looking forward to hearing them advocate for keeping that cash. The best way to consume these sessions, in my opinion, is to subscribe to The Boring Show podcast and listen at 2x speed.
It’s not just budget season in Richmond, but it’s budget season for the entire region. Chesterfield has released their proposed budget, and Henrico’s should drop sometime this week. C. Suarez Rojas at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has the good news that Henrico will join Richmond in upping their funding for GRTC 💸. Maybe this budget increase is for all new bus service, maybe it’s to cover additional unexpected costs (the region did just totally redesign its entire bus system, which I imagine isn’t the easiest thing to cost out). Regardless, it’s promising to see both Richmond and Henrico continue to invest in public transportation. The Richmond region is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to how much it spends per capita on transit, and we’ve still got a long ways to go to catch up to our peers.
City Council has a long and busy day today—and please keep in mind that serving on Council is technically a part-time job. In addition to their six-hour budget meeting, they’ve got their regularly scheduled meeting tonight to get through as well. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they just continued everything after so many hours of budgeting. Scrolling through tonight’s agenda (PDF), just in case, I found the Office of Community Wealth Building’s 2018 report (PDF). It’s OCWB’s fourth year in existence, and you can read through their report—which starts with an interesting discussion of the intersection between race and employment (or lack thereof). One number that popped out to me: Folks that participated in OCWB workforce activities ended up in jobs making an average of $11.32 per hour.
It’s a Monday, and, for the first time in a couple of weeks, I have not forgotten to link to the Superintendent’s email. He’s got a look through the Mayor’s proposed budget, some straightforward thoughts on the District’s transfer policy for teachers, and an apology for how the open enrollment reveal went over this past weekend (not well, apparently).
Mel Leonor has collected some tweets from members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus reacting to last week’s RTD story about the Governor and Virginians for Racial Reconciliation. The sentiment in the tweets is...not super positive—which I totally get. Everyone, myself included, is out here asking for Northam to do something to advance racial reconciliation using his position of power and privilege.
This five-minute time lapse video of the construction of the new Dominion building is so incredibly soothing. Thanks to the /r/rva for pointing me to it.
Richmond Magazine has announced the nominees for the 2019 Elbys, their annual food awards. Bamboo Cafe is nominated for Neighborhood Anchor Restaurant, and, while the other nominees are all solid, for me, nothing beats Bamboo.
Venture Richmond has released the 2019 Friday Cheers lineup, with the first show on May 3rd featuring Landon Elliot and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. The series ends with Lucy Dacus on June 28th, which is neat since she’s from Richmond but is also a big dang deal so she can headline the whole entire lineup. Cheap music down on Brown’s Island: A classically Richmond way to spend the spring!
This morning's longread
Daylight Saving, two ways
Readers Jeremiah and Casey, both sent dueling Daylight Saving longreads, so I thought I’d share each of them.
First, from Jeremiah, this piece in the New York Times titled As Daylight Saving Looms, Suppose we Spring Forward, and Never Fall Back:
Lifestyles and patterns of work are different now than they were when daylight saving first became entrenched nationally during and after World War II. Research, Mr. Chu and others said, has shown that human beings just aren’t as flexible about their daily rhythms as they once seemed; accidents, heart attacks and strokes tend to occur in greater numbers around the time shift.
And then, from Casey, this piece from Dr. Drang’s blog (a blog which I love and read on the regular) titled Why I like DST:
I like Daylight Saving Time, and the advantages it brings more than make up for the slight disruption in my schedule. In fact, the most annoying thing to me about the DST changeovers is hearing people complain about them. The “lost hour of sleep” is especially rich. Who are these hothouse flowers who always get exactly the same amount of sleep except for that terrible day in March? To hear them talk, you’d think they never stay up late watching a movie or reading a book. Only prisoners have such regimented lives.
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