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

Good morning, RVA: Bike Month!, greenhouse gases, and a local author

Good morning, RVA! It's 63 °F, and highs should be back up in the mid 80s. Expect this kind of weather to continue for the rest of the week.

Water cooler

It’s May 1st, and that means it is the very first (official) day of Bike Month! Bike Month is an ENTIRE month of bike-related events of all intensity levels, ranging from “Oh, hey, I can do this ride in my business clothes!” to “Whoa, do you even spandex, bro?” I want to point out out just a few events that I think deserve your attention: Bike to School Day (May 8th), Better Housing Coalition Tour (May 15th), Bike to Work Day (May 17th), Max and Ross Bike Things: Infrastructure Tour (May 20th), Breakaway RVA (May 23rd), Pizza Crawl X (May 24th), and the 3rd Annual Treasure Hunt (May 25th). And that’s just, like, 1/5th of the entire set of bike events! Obviously, I’m stoked on the infrastructure-tour-by-bike that I’m hosting with my pal Max. Put it on your calendar, and look for more info in this space at a later date.

There’s a lot going on in this piece by Micheal Martz in the Richmond Times-Dispatch 💸 that is way over my very-locally-focused head. This week, the Governor has the option to veto a budget provision that prevents Virginia from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative—well, really, the provision “blocks any state spending for Virginia’s participation” in the initiative. Because of how Virginia’s government is set up, should the Governor decide to use his veto, the (Republican) House Speaker and House Clerk will get together and decide if the veto “meets constitutional standards or whether to simply refuse to recognize it as valid.” House Clerk, sounds like you have a lot of power in this situation! Anyway, here’s a 43-page annual report from the RGGI (PDF) if you really want to get into the details of carbon caps and CO2 emissions allowance auctions. Incidentally, I am embarrassed that this regional initiative has exited for ten years, yet Virginia’s Republicans are still waiting for Hampton Roads to fall into the ocean before doing anything about climate change.

Yesterday, I talked about my hopes and dreams of taking the train in and around Virginia. Today, I read that the Department of Rail and Public Transportation has started to offer an in-state 15% discount for any Amtrak travel within Virginia and Washington. D.C using the promo code V552. Offering a discount is not the same as revamping our passenger rail network, but encouraging more folks to consider taking the train is probably part of that process.

The New York Times has a chart of the 30 most profitable companies that paid no federal income taxes in 2018. Number eight on the list: Dominion Energy. The second half of the article digs into the policy positions of several Democratic presidential candidates, if you’d like to know where they all stand on corporate taxes.

Richard Hayes at RVAHub has the schedule for the Movies in the Park, which is put on by the City’s Department of Parks & Rec. Mark your calendars for August 1st at Battery Park for a showing of Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse aka the best superhero movie to come out in a good long while!

Hey, look at this! RVANews alum and person whose writing I very much enjoy Hayley DeRoche has written an actual book which you can preorder on Audible right now. Hello Lovelies! (amazing title, btw) “takes listeners inside the cutthroat world of mommy blogging,” says the Amazon page. There’s a cruise, people who are not here to make friends, and a blogger talent scout, which all sounds very hilarious to me as an outside observer of the mommysphere. Give Hayley a preorder, and support Richmond writers!

This morning's longread

Putting Down Your Phone May Help You Live Longer

Yet another article that conflates “phone” with “social media,” but still! There are some actual science reasons for changing the way you interact with social media, and I like this article’s advice of beginning with awareness. How does your body feel when you think about opening Twitter or Facebook? How do you act around others afterwards?

“Your cortisol levels are elevated when your phone is in sight or nearby, or when you hear it or even think you hear it,” says David Greenfield, professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. “It’s a stress response, and it feels unpleasant, and the body’s natural response is to want to check the phone to make the stress go away.”...And chronically elevated cortisol levels have been tied to an increased risk of serious health problems, including depression, obesity, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, fertility issues, high blood pressure, heart attack, dementia and stroke.

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Good morning, RVA: Say thank you, a persistent narrative, and the Innovation Lab

Good morning, RVA: Budget consensus!, baseball stories, and opportunity zones