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

Good morning, RVA: Boycotting the commemoration, Education Compact attendance, and a snake eating a fish

Good morning, RVA! It's 72 °F, and today looks a lot like yesterday: hot and sunny. Expect highs in the 90s—maybe even before lunchtime.

Water cooler

In more Trump Boycott news, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus has decided to skip out on today’s events and instead “have arranged alternative commemorative events for this week.” Here’s a quote from Del. McQuinn, “It is unfortunate that the leadership of the American Evolution Board decided unilaterally to invite the President without consulting all of the members of the Board...If I had been asked my opinion, I certainly would have expressed that the President’s offensive and inappropriate tweets have not added value or been aligned with Democracy.” 😬 The VBLC will host a handful of events in town today, beginning at 9:00 AM, at the Capitol, Devil’s Half Acre, and the Virginia Museum for History and Culture.

Justin Mattingly at the Richmond Times-Dispatch took attendance at yesterday’s Education Compact Meeting 💸. Here are the (disappointing) results! School Board: Liz Doerr (1st District), Scott Barlow (2nd), Cheryl Burke (7th), Dawn Page (8th), Linda Owens (9th). City Council: Kristen Larson (4th), Cynthia Newbille (7th), Michael Jones (9th). Plus: the Mayor and the Superintendent. That’s not great, and more of our elected leaders should takes these meetings seriously. These are ultra-infrequent, quarterly meetings that are one of the only chances for the folks in charge of various parts of our city to hang out together. Just put the meetings on your dang calendar! You can download a PDF of the presentation from the meeting here. Mattingly also says that construction costs for the three schools going up at the moment have increased by about 4%. I’ve no idea if that’s something you should expect when building three massive buildings over the span of several years. I also don’t know if the contingency funds they built in to pay for some cost overruns will cover this increase or not. Obviously, there’s a lot I do not know. Story of my life!

This headline from Mike Platania at Richmond BizSense made my morning: “Tattoo parlor-haunted house combo slated for downtown.” I’m pretty stoked about every sentence in this article. For example, “We were really open about how we want it to look and the type of vibe we’re going for, and we were pretty much told ‘no’ by everybody...We wanted to make sure landlords are OK with painting the walls, the ceiling and the floors black with skulls and dark art everywhere. (Dodson) was super cool with it.” Let it be known: If you’re looking for a cool landlord, maybe check out Duke Dodson.

Yesssss, via /r/rva a photo of a brown water snake eating a fish at Texas Beach. Nature is awesome, and Richmond is awesome for having so much nature running right through the middle of it.

Two public meetings tonight that you should be aware of. First, from 6:00–8:00 PM, the Richmond Public Schools Rezoning Advisory Committee will meet at Thomas Jefferson High School (4100 W. Grace Street). Before you show up, do a bit of homework and make sure you take a look at the set of proposed maps. You can see the entire rezoning meeting schedule here—things really kick off on August 13 with a ton of meetings between then and the end of the month. Second, the Mayor will host his penultimate community office hours tonight, this one in the 3rd District at Pine Camp (4901 Old Brook Road) at 6:30 PM. Stop by and holler at him about the need for more sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, and bus stop amenities across the city—especially on the Southside!

Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road now holds the all-time record for longest time spent at #1 on the Billboard charts. 17 weeks! Freaking Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s One Sweet Day and Despacito ft. Justin Bieber previously held the record. I think that’s amazing, and good for that guy.

This morning's longread

The Man Who Built The Retweet: “We Handed A Loaded Weapon To 4-Year-Olds”

I enjoyed this reflection on how the tools we use to consume information really impact what we end up consuming. This article, oddly, is in the same vein as The Egg Is Bigger Than Before.

The benefits of creating such content accrued disproportionately to the fringe. When someone retweets something, they’re sharing the content with their followers, but also sending a signal to the person they’re amplifying, said Anil Dash, a blogger and tech entrepreneur. The more fringe the original tweeter, the more valuable the retweet. “If I retweet the New York Times, they don’t care,” Dash said. “But extreme content comes from people who are trying to be voices, who are trying to be influential in culture, and so it has meaning to them, and so it earns me status with them.”

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Good morning, RVA: New school rezoning options, dangerous road rage, and pay for parking

Good morning, RVA: Summertime joy, downtown arena news, and the black waffle