Good morning, RVA! It's 76 °F, and today you can expect highs right around 90 °F. There’s also a chance for rain this afternoon and through the evening.
Jenna Portnoy in the Washington Post writes about the results of an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against former governor Doug Wilder in his role as a VCU professor. The investigation “found Wilder was responsible for ‘non-consensual sexual contact’ but cleared him of three other allegations made by [Sydney Black]: sexual exploitation, sex- or gender-based discrimination, and retaliation.” VCU has an internal process that they’ll now follow which could result in a variety of outcomes. To me, though, abuse of power that leads to sexual harassment is gross and awful and means you’ve got to go. We’lI see if that happens, and I imagine we’ll hear more about this throughout the rest of the summer.
Local twitter user @MzFtz has a short thread to pair with today’s longread that highlights three car crashes on the Northside that all happened yesterday. I don’t know the full details on any of them, but the intersection of Laburnum and Hermitage (at the AP Hill statue) is incredibly dangerous and could have been improved 10 years ago with a roundabout, but Councilman Hilbert prevented that and still hasn’t offered any alternatives. Also, I’m going to guess that speed was a factor for the driver who ended up in a house on W. Laburnum injuring two children in the house and two children in the car. These kinds of incidents are exactly what we mean when we talk about Vision Zero and how injuries caused by vehicles are preventable—but you must put in the work to change the streets and enforce the laws.
WCVE’s Roberto Roldan says Councilmember Jones is on a mission to fix the stormwater system—in as much as it exists—on Richmond’s Southside. This article features a surprise cameo by annexation, because much (all?) of the 9th District was annexed from Chesterfield County in 1970 and was built using suburban and rural development patterns. That means no sewers and sidewalks, just ditches and culverts. Additionally, Climate Scientist Jeremy Hoffman says that as a result of climate change we should expect stronger and more frequent precipitation and so more flooding in areas that don’t have modern stormwater infrastructure—like Jones’s 9th District. This reminds me that I need to start adding stormwater infrastructure to my growing list of Things That Cost Hundereds of Millions of Dollars That We Can Only Get By Raising The Real Estate Tax.
Whoa, Gregory Gilligan at the Richmond Times-Dispatch says that Loving’s Produce Co. has shut down 💸. If you spend any time in the city at all, you’re probably familiar with the brightly-painted Loving’s delivery trucks. Gilligan’s piece has some interesting history about the company, too. For example, did you know they started after Harry Loving, a farmer, returned from World War II?
Here’s a story I missed last month about some folks trying to reintroduce freshwater mussels into the James River. The Virginia Fisheries and Aquatic Wildlife Center, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the James River Association have planted (?) 3,700 alewife floater mussels just east of the Mayo Bridge in an effort to continue to help the river thrive. Because of the Rappahannock Oyster Company, we all know how oysters do an incredible job filtering the water in which they live, making them both delicious and good for the environment. Mussels have the same vibe, and while I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to eat this batch down by the bridge, they can filter 30,000 gallons of water per day. So cool!
Mike Platania at Richmond BizSense says you still have a chance to own a piece of Richmond’s scooter history! Only 25 of those impounded scooters were sold at auction earlier this week, and now they’re up for sale individually for $105 each. Beware: There are some caveats, though.
This morning's Patron longread
Via Patron Brantley. I told you I had a stack of anti-car articles headed your way, and here’s one from The Atlantic about how a bunch of our laws—across a variety of topics—are set up to favor, encourage, and promote driving cars.
Less well understood is how the legal framework governing American life enforces dependency on the automobile. To begin with, mundane road regulations embed automobile supremacy into federal, state, and local law. But inequities in traffic regulation are only the beginning. Land-use law, criminal law, torts, insurance, vehicle safety regulations, even the tax code—all these sources of law provide rewards to cooperate with what has become the dominant transport mode, and punishment for those who defy it.
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