Good morning, RVA! It's 73 °F, and you should expect another hot and sunny summer day. Look out for highs in the mid 90s and plenty of chances to sweat through your shirt.
Alright, before we get started, a quick correction/clarification. My favorite PDF of all time, which I was so stoked on yesterday, was not created by the clerk transcribing Councilmember Agelasto’s do-it-live resolution. It was Agelasto’s notes requested by the clerk to make sure they got the right text read into the record. This does not lower my level of stokedness at all, and I think that’s dang solid work by the clerk. Yesterday’s link to this PDF is busted, but you can now find it here.
Ben Campbell and John Moeser have a good column in today’s paper walking through some of the actual, awful history of what city planning did to the neighborhood that was Navy Hill and how the proposed North of Broad project is a missed opportunity to repair some of that damage. This bit has been my general take since the project’s full details came out: “If non-resident investors are eager for a new Coliseum, they can build it somewhere else. They can use their own money instead. They can build the parking decks, promote the events and assume the significant risks of failure.” But this section, though, I really love: “The community’s needs must no longer come second. Richmond does not need the massive debt of another developer’s fantasy North of Broad. Navy Hill’s resources belong to the community who built Navy Hill. The wealth of the community must be used to remedy the lasting shame of its destruction. Schools, housing, hope. Now. Finally.”
For folks following the 5th District special election: Tonight, the Woodland Heights RVA Civic Association will host a 5th District Candidate Forum (Facebook) at the Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts from 6:30–9:00 PM. All eight candidate should be there, and someone should try to get them all on the record about the proposed North of Broad development.
Justin Lo, writing for the RTD, has a review of Taqueria Panchito 💸 which I appreciate. Mostly because I appreciate authentic Mexican tacos, but also because of this line: “As I’ve come to learn, though, Panchito isn’t a place that people don’t know about; it’s a place that people hope everyone else won’t know about. To the protectors of this jealously guarded secret, I apologize in advance for this review.” Taqueria Panchito is located at 6531 Midlothian Turnpike, which is right at the City limits and just a couple of stops before the very end of the #1A bus.
The Chesterfield Observer’s Jim McConnell writes about the “urban-style residential” development planned near the old Cloverleaf Mall site—which is right over the City line, super close to Taqueria Panchito. These urban villages—think West Broad Village—are increasingly popular, and this one is particularly interesting to me from a public transportation point of view. There’s already a bus that goes out that way (the aforementioned #1A), and the specific bus stop at the Stonebridge Kroger is one of the busier bus stops in the system. With 1,250 residential units planned, it seems like a no-brainer to begin looking at making the bus service more frequent and improving the pedestrian connections in the area. I mean, how are you supposed to safely walk from your fancy Stonebridge Apartments to the taco shop without good sidewalks?
Tonight, from 5:00–7:00 PM, Gallery5 will host Brantley Tyndall, the Guy Who Literally Rode His Bike Across the Entire Country. He’ll talk about his experience literally riding his bike across the entire country and hopefully answer some burning questions I have about what the heck do you eat when you’re on a bicycle zooming through the middle of nowhere Oklahoma. Tumbleweeds? Seriously, I have no idea.
The Afrikana Film Festival kicks off tonight at the Valentine at 7:00 PM with a showing of a few clips from the forthcoming Harriet film (on which local and CEO of the American Civil War Museum Christy Coleman consulted). A panel discussion will follow as will more films and events throughout the weekend—you should definitely check it out!
This morning's Patron longread
Submitted by Patron Casey. I kind of love stories about family histories. Here is a neat one in Style Weekly that tells some great stories about the family behind the Richmond Free Press.
When Raymond graduated from East Suffolk High in 1955, he was an honor student and president of the youth chapter of the NAACP. People often whispered that he looked more Asian than black, but they didn't question his ambition. They saw a young man determined to write about the injustices they knew too well. Raymond went to Norfolk State, the local branch of Virginia State College. He became editor of its newspaper and worked at the Boston University student publication where he later transferred and graduated. He was a reporter in Massachusetts, taught at Howard University in Washington and served as editor and vice-president of the Afro-American Newspaper Group in Baltimore.
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