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

Good morning, RVA: A critical error, a cool streetcar map, and a draft master plan

Good morning, RVA! It's 77 °F, and, as you probably guessed, today’s gonna be hot. You can expect highs in the mid to upper 90s, and you should know we’re back under a heat advisory. Temperatures are only headed upwards over the weekend (there’s actually an excessive heat watch through Sunday evening), so stay hydrated, stay cool, and stay safe.

Water cooler

Megan Pauly at WCVE has some of the history and background on Richmond Public Schools’ 2013 rezoning which, at the time, put even more White kids into Fox Elementary. It’s good context for the current conversations folks are having about a pairing of Fox and Cary elementary—one of the options recommended by this year’s planned RPS rezoning. At some point, though, I’m hoping we expand our conversation about rezoning beyond Fox and the Fan, because there’s a whole city out there with changes and tweaks to their school zones.

Graham Moomaw at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has the unexpected news that Republican Delegate Nick Freitas, one of the three state legislators who just plain failed to file their reelection paperwork properly, will withdraw as a candidate 💸. Moomaw has a bit more on Twitter, including the section of code that applies when a nominee withdraws—although was Freitas ever the actual nominee? I guess we’ll learn more over the next couple of days about what Republicans plan to do, but, in the mean time, Ann Ridgeway is the for-now unopposed Democratic candidate.

Tip of the hat to Jimmy O’Keefe writing at RVA Mag for pointing me towards this contemporary print of Richmond’s streetcar system circa 1891. If you look closely, you’ll notice a few neat things like the horse-drawn line over the 8th Street bridge; the Seven Pines line, which was the first line in Richmond to be segregated by race; and the Broad and Main Street lines that make up much of the route taken by the Pulse today.

I haven’t had but a minute to look through it yet, but here’s a PDF of the draft James River Park System Master Plan I talked about earlier this week. Because I am me, I scrolled right to the transportation strategies section and was stoked to find a bunch of recommendations about reducing parking and personal vehicle trips to the park.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but the State is looking for public input on how to “improve” I-95. I imagine that somewhere, deep within the inner workings of state government, folks want to spend billions of dollars to widen I-95 in a futile attempt to alleviate commuter traffic. That, of course, never works, and the results are always the same: A wider highway filled with even more traffic, a couple billion dollars down the drain, and further damage done to our ailing planet. But! Perhaps there’s hope! The I-95 Corridor survey, that you should all take less than five minutes to fill out, isn’t focused on driving at all! It’d be a heckuva thing to expand the capcity of 95 through bus and train service rather than adding lanes for more and more cars. The draft report will drop this fall, stay tuned.

From The Onion: “Virginia Agrees to Remove Confederate Ghosts From State Capitol.” This bit is perfect: “Thomasson went on to add that most Confederate ghosts did not begin regularly haunting government buildings until the Jim Crow era, decades after the Civil War.”

The popular HOW DID THIS GET MADE podcast, for which I’m always coming across recommendations, will host a live show this Saturday at the Carpenter Theatre. Tickets are still available, and I’m sure a hilarious time will be had by all.

This morning's longread

The Bicycle Thief

Another, classic example of scofflaw cyclists.

The street was empty: no cars, no pedestrians. Suddenly the man spotted a police officer riding a four-wheel ATV. Squeezing the shopping bag, he settled into a relaxed gait. As the ATV approached, the robber smiled and waved hello, as would anyone who had not just knocked over a bank. Returning a stiff nod, the officer kept rolling. And so did the man, descending into a parking garage. Not 60 seconds later, he emerged, carrying an aluminum bicycle on one shoulder and a messenger bag over the other and wearing a red, white, and blue spandex bodysuit, a silver helmet, sunglasses with yellow lenses, and a pair of cycling shoes. He climbed onto the bike, clicked into the pedals, and began to ride leisurely. It had been less than three minutes since he exited the bank. There were no sirens or alarms — only the sound of the 11:26 a.m. Metra rumbling into the station three blocks away. By the time the train was gone, so was the thief.

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Good morning, RVA: A bucket of updates, medical drone deliveries, and a playlist

Good morning, RVA: A ton of meetings, alcohol laws, and a neat map