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

Good morning, RVA: PARK(ing) Day was awesome, City Council is busy, and restaurant people are fascinating

Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F, and 90-degree, summer heat returns for today and several days later this week. That’s fine, we’ll get through it!

Water cooler

C. Suarez Rojas at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a recap of this past Friday’s PARK(ing) Day 💸, plus I took a handful of pictures for StreetsCred as I biked around town. Now that the parklets are packed up and the (boring) parking spaces have returned, Venture Richmond and the City will work with a couple of the PARK(ing) Day participants to create permanent parklets. But that’s not something limited to just the victors of this particular contest! If you are like, hey, wait a second, I want to convert a parking space into a permanent parklet, you can and should check out the details of the City’s Parklet Program.

Quickly, two PDF updates to things I’ve written about previously. First, as promised, here is the Inspector General’s report that led to the Mayor firing his Chief Administrative Officer (PDF). It’s a simple, 8-page document that will give you an idea of the timeline of events and who all was involved. Second, here is RES. 2015-R26-35 wherein City Council expressed its interest in getting some archaeological research done on the parking lot at 212 N. 18th Street. This is the parking lot that would have been paired with some new development in Shockoe and was sent to Council, bypassing the Shockoe Alliance. Mayor Stoney has since said on Twitter that he’s “instructed [his] team to work with the Alliance to consider the possibility of an archaeological investigation at this site and to recommend next steps.” I really like the second tweet in the Mayor’s thread: “Although the lease agreement didn't initially go to the Shockoe Alliance because no ground disturbance of the site was proposed or allowed, it should have.” It’s nice to see a straightforward “we messed up and are going to fix it.” One other thing to note, the original 2015 resolution mentions nothing about that area’s history as a place dedicated to selling enslaved Africans, just that the property was the Seabrook Tobacco Warehouse in 1810 and later a receiving hospital for Confederate soldiers.

City Council meets today for basically the entire day. They’ll start off with a three-hour Navy Hill Development Proposal Work Session at 10:00 AM, head into their informal meeting at 4:00 PM, and then roll right into a regularly scheduled meeting at 6:00 PM. Here’s the agenda for the informal, (PDF) which is packed with North of Broad topics, and here’s the agenda for the regular meeting (PDF). There is just a ton of stuff on Council’s agenda, but a couple things caught my eye: Appointing Haskell C. Brown, III, to serve as the Interim City Attorney and a resolution supporting allocating $3 million for participatory budgeting.

Citizens of Henrico! You have an opportunity to participate in a complete streets open house tonight from 4:00–7:00 PM at the Tuckahoe Library (1901 Starling Drive). “Complete Streets” is the semi-opaque name for when we start designing our streets to safely accommodate all users—not just drivers. Some national-level folks (Smart Growth America) will be on hand to facilitate a conversation around how Ashland’s complete streets work can service as a case study for the rest of the region.

Richmond BizSene’s Mike Platania has a really interesting interview with Stone Brewing CEO Dominic Engels. They talk about the once and future Stone Bistro, why other craft beer expansions into Virginia have failed, and the national taste for craft beer. He seems pretty positive that some sort of Stone Bistro will eventually exist on the Intermediate Terminal site—which I am becoming increasingly skeptical about. I’d love to see it, though.

Restaurant people fascinating me. J. Elias O’ Neal, also at Richmond BizSense, says the owners of Maya will open up a new spot, Pink Flamingo, just down the street in the old Pasture space. It sounds like they’re cutting tacos and ceviche out of Maya and pasting them into this new spot. I love tacos, and I am super interested to see how this works out.

This morning's longread

Idea: Get Politicians Out of Cars

Here’s perhaps the shortest longread of all time, but it’s an excellent idea and something maybe we should advocate for in Richmond.

Public space is inextricable from urban issues. But many politicians have become disconnected from the physical reality of the people they serve, which leads to a disconnect from their constituents. I propose a movement to get all politicians—or at least mayors and other urban politicians—to spend at least one day a week working car-free.

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

Good morning, RVA: Education funding, commission members, and bus-stop seating

Good morning, RVA: PARK(ing) Day, school desegregation, and a City mistake