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

Good morning, RVA: A re-nomination, a cool new trail, and the trailer for HARRIET

Good morning, RVA! It's 67 °F, and today looks lovely. We’ve got highs in the mid 80s, no real chance of rain, and a couple more days before temperatures return to their summery spot in the 90s. Enjoy!

Water cooler

Graham Moomaw at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has an update on the whole Del. Nick Freitas situation 💸. Predictably, Republicans have re-nominated Freitas after he withdrew a couple days ago. With a ton of really specific legal questions floating around—like was he ever actually a nominee? did he ever actually get disqualified?—I’m gonna guess that this ends up in court eventually. I think I’ve landed fully in the “idk, just file your paper work properly” camp. If you don’t have the attention to detail to get your candidacy paper work turned in correctly, you’ll probably bring that same distracted demeanor to the important job of writing laws for the Commonwealth.

Do y’all know about the great new trail behind Pine Camp on the Northside? I discovered it this past weekend, hadn’t heard about it before, and so I sent our the City’s trails guy an email to learn more. Turns out, it’s brand new—built just this past spring as a short loop for folks on foot or on bike and for programs hosted out of Pine Camp. You should definitely check it out for the views of Horse Swamp Creek. Pretty amazing natural stuff, just tucked away within the City limits. Richmond is great.

I thought this was neat and humanizing: Yesterday the Mayor paid off his student debt. It sucks that 15 years of education debt is common enough experience to make a person relatable, but that’s where we are until huge changes in the makeup of our federal and state governments.

Have you seen the trailer for HARRIET, the new Harriet Tubman movie? You should watch it, because, duh, but also because Richmonder and CEO of the American Civil War Museum Christy Coleman consulted on the film! So cool!

Richmond Magazine has an interview with the RTD’s Pamela Stallsmith who heads up the paper’s opinion pages. It’s fine, I guess—there’s a lack of strong opinions, which is maybe weird for an opinions editor. Honestly, though, since Stallsmith showed up (and the previous old-white-man squad hit the road) the paper’s editorials have been much, much less offensive. I honestly can’t remember the last time I angrily linked to one, and I think that’s an improvement.

Breakaway RVA’s July bike ride takes place tomorrow, and, unlike the last bunch of months, I’ve actually remembered to tell you about it beforehand so you still have time to register. If you’re unfamiliar, Breakaway RVA is a group bike ride that starts in various locations across the city and then forms like Voltron at a single agreed upon spot. It’s a super chill, casual bike ride that’s a ton of fun and a great way to meet other super chill, casual bike people.

The Mayor will host his 4th District community office hours tonight at the Huguenot Community Center (7945 Forest Hill Avenue) at 6:30 PM. Here’s the presentation he’ll give (PDF), which does cover a lot of ground, but you can ask him about any dang thing that’s on your mind.

This morning's patron longread

A world of pure imagination

Submitted by Patron Casey. Puppets and puppet people are great.

“Puppetry has always been marginalized. That’s the nature of it, the way the puppeteer hides, that it’s self-effacing to a degree. That may speak to the profile of the Center’s role in Atlanta,” says Basil Twist, heralded puppeteer and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, aka the Genius Grant. “But there’s nothing even close to [the Center] in the United States. People might assume there’s something bigger than it in New York, but there’s not. Atlanta is where the heart, soul, and brains of the puppetry community are in this country. And compared to the other institutions I’ve been to in France, it is no small potato. It’s an important institution.”

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

Good morning, RVA: Changing of the guard, affordable housing, and a police chief interview

Good morning, RVA: Teacher diversity, new zoning, and mini golf on Thursday