Mike Randle (@RandleRant) talks with Wayne Epps Jr. (@wayneeppsjr) of The Richmond Times-Dispatch to preview the VCU Rams for the 2021-2022 season. Mike talks with Wayne Epps Jr. about replacing the great Bones Hyland, the leadership of seniors Vince Williams and KeShawn Curry, transfers Marcus Tsohonis and Jimmy Nichols, and can VCU position for a late-season run when Ace Baldwin returns?Follow us @STheSPodcast on Twitter. Rate and subscribe on Spreaker, iTunes, Stitcher, and TuneIn Radio!Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0r14k3YJBdOaT9Lz6RJTEwEmail the show StheSPodcast@gmail.com
Today on The Fast Lane with Ed Lane: - Ed and Trey Lyle discuss if there should be changes to the Targeting rule - Richmond Times-Dispatch's Mike Barber on the #Hokies & #Hoos - DJ Bland of Double Take Sports & SportsJourney.com on Gruden, #WFT, #NASCAR & Stewart to NHRA.
Today on The Fast Lane with Ed Lane: - Ed and Trey Lyle discuss if there should be changes to the Targeting rule - Richmond Times-Dispatch's Mike Barber on the #Hokies & #Hoos - DJ Bland of Double Take Sports & SportsJourney.com on Gruden, #WFT, #NASCAR & Stewart to NHRA.
Today on The Fast Lane with Ed Lane: - Ed and Trey Lyle discuss if there should be changes to the Targeting rule - Richmond Times-Dispatch's Mike Barber on the #Hokies & #Hoos - DJ Bland of Double Take Sports & SportsJourney.com on Gruden, #WFT, #NASCAR & Stewart to NHRA.
The boys are joined by Former Saints/Washington Running Back Tim Hightowe and Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times Dispatch to get their reaction to the 33 to 22 loss to the Saints. Plus we get their thoughts on Curtis Samuels injury and a look into the Alumnis plans for this weekends game! Support the show (https://burgundy-zone.creator-spring.com/?)
The Athletic's Ben Standig is here to tackle a busy Monday including the latest on a DEA criminal investigation into Ryan Vermillion, the Washington Football Team's head trainer, and Week 4 thoughts with Michael Phillips from the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Ben explains what's happening here and the rough injury news on both sides of the ball including Jon Bostic, Brandon Scherff and Logan Thomas. Then Michael joins the chat (13:10). The fellas ponder where Washington stands at the rough 1/4 pole mark of the season and circle back to their pre-season predictions on Chase Young, the rookies, quarterbacks and more.
Hour 2 of Overtime w Craig Hoffman features NYT best-selling author Christopher Clary, and Michael Phillips of Richmond Times Dispatch. To close the hour Hoffman gives his take on the vaccine mandate in the NBA See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch joins the show to discuss the upcoming game this weekend between the Falcons and Washington Football Team. There are also Super Bowl Halftime shows getting booked years in advance. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Athletic's Ben Standig kicks off the 2021 Washington Football Team season with a deep-dive preview. Ben and Michael Phillips from the Richmond Times-Dispatch ponder over/unders for Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chase Young and Washington's offensive production,, predict the team's Rookie of the Year and key stretch on the schedule, plus talk Terry McLaurin, Cole Holcomb, Landon Collins, Sam Cosmi -- and what we'll be talking about when the season ends. You'll also here season predictions from The Athletic's Rhiannon Walker and the Washington Times' Matthew Paras. Ben also shares the latest on Curtis Samuel's status for week 1.
Chuck opens hour two with 'CFB 365' and a look at the college football headlines. He then talks Virginia Tech with Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. We then talk Florida State with Ingram Smith of the NoleCast. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Chuck opens hour two with 'CFB 365' and a look at the college football headlines. He then talks Virginia Tech with Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. We then talk Florida State with Ingram Smith of the NoleCast. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
1:01 - Nick Ashooh, filling in for Travis, discusses what can't go wrong for Washington this year if they want to return to the postseason 17:09 - Guest: Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch on the initial 53-man roster 36:52 - Is the Washington Football Team the biggest threat to the Bucs in the NFC? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On a sweltering day in the summer of 1925, Rudolph Disse went on a shooting spree in Richmond Virginia killing the woman he loved, his rival and a cop Want more Southern Mysteries? Patrons get monthly bonus content called Southern Mysteries Shorts! Join today at patreon.com/southernmysteries Connect Website: southernmysteries.com Facebook: Southern Mysteries Podcast Twitter: @southernpod_ Instagram: @explorethesouth Email: email@example.com Episode Sources Boy Slayer Cool, Little of Criminal About Him. The Richmond Times Dispatch. July 29, 1925 Marvin W. Peers Had Won Divorce. The Richmond Times Dispatch. July 30, 1925 Trial of Disse Underway. El Paso Herald. August 14, 1925 Disse Case Again Postponed. The Danville Bee. August 15, 1925 State Rests in Trial of Disse. The State News and Observer. August 18, 1925 Disse Sentenced to Electric Chair. The Danville Virginia Bee. August 20, 1925 Rudolph Disse Must Die in Chair. The Newport Daily Press. August 21, 1925 Beauty Fatal to Two. Casper Star-Tribune. September 27, 1925 Has Condemned Man Lost Calm at Trial? The Richmond Times Dispatch. November 18, 1925 Drug Addict Slew Girl He Loved and Other Man. The New York Daily News. July 24, 1927 Episode Music Tranquility Base and Drone in D by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com Gloomy Night by Marwan Nimra Licensed under Creative Commons Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use.
G&D open up hour 2 with the question of will the WFT win the NFCEAST, if not them, then who? Mike Phillips of the Richmond Times Dispatch joins the show to preview tomorrow nights preseason finale. As they do every Friday, G&D go to the phones for "Winning off the field" See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Lester Brocklehurst, Jr was a Sunday school teacher who grew bored of his life. In 1937 he and his girlfriend hit the road on a multi state crime spree that ended with dozens of armed robberies and three murders Want more Southern Mysteries? Patrons get monthly bonus content called Southern Mysteries Shorts! Join today at patreon.com/southernmysteries Connect Website: southernmysteries.com Facebook: Southern Mysteries Podcast Twitter: @southernpod_ Instagram: @explorethesouth Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Episode Sources Officers of Four States Hunt Pair. Anniston Star. May 9, 1937 Holdup Killer Caught in N.Y. Abilene Morning News. May 14, 1937 Three States Attempt to Get Brocklehurst. Fort Worth Star-Telegram. May 14, 1937 Killer Gives Own Story of Crime Career. The Sacramento Bee. May 14, 1937 Sanity Question Stirs Anger of Accused Slayer. The Daily Oklahoman. May 27, 1937 Brockelhurst, Ordered to Die, Falls in Faint. The Richmond Times Dispatch. June 26, 1937 Killer's Companion Freed of Murder. The Richmond Times Dispatch. June 26, 1937 Bernice Felton Is Indicted by U.S. Fort Worth Star-Telegram. September 25, 1937 Brocklehurst Fights for Life As Child Is Born. Kenosha News. December 17, 1937 Girl Begins Time for Crime Tour. The Wichita Eagle. May 29, 1939 What's Behind the Man Behind the Thumb? The News Tribune. July 30, 1939 Gangsters, Mobsters & Outlaws of the 20th Century. Legends of America. February 2020 Gangsters During the Depression. American Experience PBS. Bernice Felton, Half of a Serial Killer Couple – Illinois, 1937. Unknown Gender History. January 2, 2021 Episode Music Ossuary 1 The Beginning, Dark Times, Despair and Triumph, Ambient by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com No 2 Remembering Her - Esther Abrami Licensed under Creative Commons Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use.
R.J. Anderson from CBS Sports joined the show to talk about the Nationals rebuild, the NL East and the potential playoff matchups in the MLB. MIchael Phillips from the RIchmond Times-Dispatch joined the show to share the latest news with the Washington Football Team training camp. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In hour 2 we go all in on the Washington Football Team. WFT insider Michael Phillips of The Richmond Times Dispatch joins live from WFT training camp and shares his thoughts on the teams vaccination rate, Landon Collins and much much more. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Lawmakers return to the Capitol next week for a special session to spend federal stimulus money and appoint judges to an expanded appeals court. Richmond Times Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro and Michael Pope break it all down for us in a new weekly conversation about Virginia politics and government.
The OG with Ovies and Giglio, heard weekdays from 3-6:30 on 99.9 The Fan. On this edition of the show, Lauren Brownlow joins Ovies to talk about College Football realignment and what ideas are being floated for conferences not named the SEC. The duo also discuss the Olympics as Simone Biles steps aside for mental reasons. From The Athletic, Nicole Auerbach stops by to talk about realignment from the national perspective including what leagues like the Big 10 may have to do. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, David Teel drops by to discuss things from the ACC's point of view, and what moves if any we could see in the near future. Lastly, High School OT's Nick Stevens joins the show to talk about the NCHSAA and the bill in place to dissolve the organization.
ESPN Sports Writer David Hale joins the show to give us the latest on conference realignment. And David Teel from the Richmond Times-Dispatch shares his thoughts on conference realignment and how the ACC will react to it.. Plus we replay our visit with Pitt QB Kenny Pickett from The ACC Football Kickoff.
Good morning, RVA! It's 68 °F, and cooler temperatures are here! Today, you can expect highs in the mid 80s—which I don't know if I'd call “cool,” but it's something.Water coolerYesterday, the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education announced their mask guidance for the 2021–2022 school year. Here's the important bit: School divisions will be given “the ability to implement local mask policies based on community level conditions and public health recommendations.” Basically, it's up to the individual school districts, which should sound familiar because it mirrors last year's guidance for returning to in-person school. VDH does, however, recommend that unvaccinated individuals remain masked (which, at this point, means allllll elementary school students), and also points to this CDC list of reasons why districts may want to require masks regardless of vaccination status. Richmond Public Schools, via the superintendent's email, has already announced that they'll “be maintaining [their] 100% mask-wearing policy for all students, staff, and visitors.” I haven't yet seen announcements from Henrico or Chesterfield. If I were to prognosticate a little, I would guess that not every school district in the region will follow RPS's lead. I think we'll probably even have a majority of regional school districts only requiring masks for unvaccinated individuals, with vaccination status checks left up the honor system. We'll have to see how this plays out at some of these school districts in areas with lower vaccine uptake—especially as the Delta variant spreads and we learn more about it. Also, for context, via the VDH dashboard, the percentages of 12–15 year olds and 16–17 year olds vaccinated in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield respectively are: 33.4%, 42.0%; 47.5%, 63.1%; and 42.5%, 54.3%. This data would have looked nicer in a table.Take a minutes and read this piece from Mark Robinson in the Richmond Times-Dispatch highlighting the nine winners of RRHA's Tomorrow's Promise scholarships. These nine students will each receive $4,000 dollars toward their college degrees, and, for at least one, they'll be the first person in their family to go to college!Ian M. Stewart at VPM reports on a zoning update in Chesterfield—a chicken zoning update! Later this summer, the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors will vote on a change to the zoning code that allows backyard chickens, increasing the minimum area per chicken from five square feet to eight square feet. I know I'm all about denser development, but this kind of chicken-based sprawl seems OK.It's Thursday, and that means I have missed most of a Richmond-based Duke's Mayonnaise week. Richmond BizSense's Noah Daboul has the details, and I have the sads. Sounds like a handful of local restaurants have put together some tomato- and mayo-based menu items, which are my favorite kind of menu items. Also, as part of this promotion, Duke's and Sauer will donate $10,000 to Shalom Farms, a local farm that works on improving food access.This morning's longreadLife in the Stacks: A Love Letter to BrowsingSome of this piece is a little too “kids these days with their dang cellular telephones!,” but I really vibe with the idea that we're losing something when we give up browsing and let the algorithm serve up whatever it thinks best.The aisles of the Blockbuster were themed, though less aggressively, less knowingly than the rows that march relentlessly down the Netflix home page. A particular shelf didn't remember if you had selected one of its videos before and thus didn't try to push a similar title at you. The real-world tiles didn't proactively rearrange themselves in anticipation of your unique wants. In lieu of tailored algorithms, there were a few shelves given over to staff recommendations. These challenged you to ignore the new-release walls, decorated by market forces, and defer to the taste of an authority (or, at least, a part-time employee majoring in film).If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the Day
Good morning, RVA! It's 69 °F, and today looks hot and humid with sticky highs in the 90s. Hold on tight, though, because (slightly) cooler weather shows up tomorrow.Water coolerA quick update on two papers floating around during yesterday's Land Use, Housing and Transportation committee meeting! First, the Richmond 300 amendments resolution (RES. 2021-R026) which I say bad things about was recommended for continuance, and, second, Councilmember Jones's resolution to ask the CAO for a report on how to evenly distribute affordable housing across council districts (RES. 2021-R043) was recommended for approval. Stoked on the latter, and wondering if the former is in the process of death by a thousand continuations. Introduced back in April, RES. 2021-R026 is now one of the older items on Council's agenda. Shoutout to current Methuselatic Ordinance titleholder, ORD. 2019–275, which was introduced way back in October…of 2019!There's not a ton of new information in this article by VPM's Alan Rodriguez about the School Board's decision to issue their own RFP for a George Wythe replacement. However, I do think it's worth reading to squeeze out a little more of the situation's flavor. With School Board now having drawn a end-of-August line in the sand for issuing an RFP, how do we react when the RPS administration fails to meet that possibly (probably?) unrealistic deadline? Or what do we do if the administration somehow crushes it out of the park and pulls off getting an RFP out the door in the next 41 days—while also reopening in-person school for the first time in over 400 days?Look at this great news: Jessica Nocera in the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Henrico County will give Church Road, way out by Short Pump and 295, a road diet! Not only will the County reduce the number of lanes, thereby slowing traffic, but they'll use the newly created extra space to install bike lanes. Check out these incredible results from their public engagement process: “71% of respondents overwhelmingly favored the final option.”Rich Griset in Style Weekly has an update on all of the the updates going on at a lot of the city's museums. The VMFA, Virginia Museum of History & Culture, Science Museum of Virginia, and the Valentine are all in the midst of expansions, renovations, and reorganizations. I'm glad these museums survived the last year and are even in a place to expand.I've spent the last 18 months aging in place and have lost track of the number of new arcades/barcades in Scott's Addition. So it is new news to me that DawnStar Video Games and Arcade will open not one but two mini pinball rooms. One, the Starcade will feature “brighter, more nostalgic machines” while the other, the Mooncade, will host “darker, horror themed machines.” Honestly, I love everything about this article by Noah Daboul in Richmond BizSense, especially the header image.This morning's longreadThe new real estate normalThis is what a housing crisis looks like!They'd seen more than 50 houses in the past three months, and the only thing that had changed about their housing search in Boise was that the prices continued to rise. They'd gone from looking at homes listed for a maximum of $400,000, to stretching their budget up to $450,000, to now considering spending $500,000 or more. “It's on the far, far end of our range,” Craig said. “We'd be looking at five times our old house payment.” “We need somewhere to live,” Heidi said. “If we keep going like this for another few months, we might be looking at the same places for $600,000. What choice do we have?”If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the Day
We continue to run through the list of players and coaches each school plans on bringing to the ACC Football Kickoff on Wednesday. Plus David Teel from the Richmond Times-Dispatch joins the show to get us ready for the ACC Football Kickoff this Wednesday from Charlotte. And we update you on some of the latest Name Image and Likeness news.
Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F, and today looks hot and dry—well, super humid of course but no serious chance of rain. Expect temperatures near 90 °F today and for the rest of the week.Water coolerWelcome back, to myself! I had a lovely and much-needed break from early-morning emails but am now ready to dive back in. I am, however, using my two-week vacation as a reason to stop updating my coronacounts spreadsheet each and every day. I started updating that thing way back on March 14th, 2020 and did so every single day for 475 days! It'll live on as a historical record, and, if you're still after current data, you can always find the most recent statewide numbers on the VDH dashboard. I imagine I'll pull updates from said dashboard from time to time—and even reserve the right to revive the spreadsheet should the need present itself (fingers crossed it will not). Finally, of note to fellow datawatchers, the aforementioned VDH data dashboard has a new update scheduled and will no longer update on weekends.The City's Planning Commission has a packed agenda for their meeting today, which you can scroll through here. Most interesting to me are the plans for a proposed newly temporary GRTC transfer plaza. This new temporary transfer plaza would replace the current temporary transfer plaza that has taken up the eastern side of 9th street for a bunch of years at this point—a location that's about to become a demolition site as the City tears down the old Public Safety building. The new plaza would replace most of the weirdly sunken surface parking lot across the street, which seems like a much better use of that space. As I've said many times before, I have a real hard time understanding engineering diagrams, but it looks like the new proposal includes shelter from the sun, benches, trash cans, and a bathroom for bus operators. It also includes a fence “at the request of DPW Parking Services to prevent bus patron access to the [remainder of the] parking lot,” which as this public comment points out, seems unnecessary. Also of interest on CPC's agenda: Getting rid of a small Confederate monument pedestal in the triangle park at Meadow, Park, and Stuart; and permitting an accessory dwelling unit that's a treehouse (love this quote from the staff report: “a Special Use Permit is necessary because the short-term rental regulations do not pertain to accessory structures such as the tree house”).I'm excited when citizen scientists do pretty much anything, but especially when they help with Richmond's heat mapping efforts. Patrick Larsen at VPM reports on an update to the 2017 temperature study data that you're probably very familiar with at this point as it basically kicked off a national focus on the correlation between the urban heat island effect and redlining. This new work will update that data, plus a bunch of other cities in the Commonwealth will collect their first, baseline data. Putting it out into the world: I would like to ride my bicycle around and collect temperature and particulate matter data as a citizen scientist.It's hard not to feel a sense of overwhelmed hopelessness when reading this article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch by Colbi Edmonds: “More than 80% of a 20-year Richmond region transportation plan is dedicated for highway projects. Some want that changed.” I don't fault the regional planners too much for this particular plan's intense focus on highways and road widenings—there's only so much they can do to steer a massive group made up of nine localities, most of them suburban and rural. It is wild to me, though, that leadership in our region can look around at the world today and pour billions into infrastructure that will bake climate-destroying development patterns into our communities for the next several generations. As I am frequently reminded, most of our region is only accessible by car. This is by design. We could, instead, use this pile of money to try and retrofit those existing car-dependent communities as best we could rather than building more of them.Richmond Public Schools will put together welcome baskets for teachers when they return to in-person instruction this fall and needs your help. If you'd like to chip in, you can donate supplies for the baskets by filling out this form, or you can volunteer to help assemble or deliver the baskets by filling out this other form.This morning's longreadWho's Afraid of the Four Day Work Week?Here I am linking to an article about the four-day work week after taking a bunch of time off. Read this, though, and tell me it doesn't sound like an experiment worth trying.Harmony doesn't mean balance. It suggests each part of one's life supporting and complementing the other: you're a better person at work because of the person you're able to be when you're not working, and vice-versa. And that harmony is possible because you're able to nourish the area of life that so many of us have allowed, or been forced, to let wither. Harmony is a beautiful thing. Once found, you can't forget it. Other sounds and experiences feel meager and reedy in comparison. But it takes real work to achieve.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the DayNow you have to deal with pictures from my vacation for the next several days.
Hour 3…In the power hour, it's the Roth Report. Rick and Bill talk about foreign born players in professional sports, accountability in broadcasting and the MLB draft. In part two, it's the SMA update, the Louise Baker Game of the Week is Sox/Yanks series starts Thursday and the New River Heart Clinic top 3. In the bottom…Rick is joined by David Teel, Hall of Fame Writer for the Richmond Times Dispatch. They discuss the ACC front runners and surprise teams and NIL payouts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
John speaks with Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times Dispatch on this bonus pod after the NFL announces it's punishment of the franchise following a year long investigation into a toxic workplace culture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Good morning, RVA! It's 77 °F, and you should expect more of this week's hot weather until this evening—and then you should expect some rain to roll through. Highs tomorrow, though, look like they'll stay below 80 °F!Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 172, 16, and 6.7, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 17.1 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: -2; Henrico: 15, and Chesterfield: 4.1). Since this pandemic began, 1,359 people have died in the Richmond region. 46.7%, 58.4%, and 55.0% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Yep, Richmond is once again reporting a negative 7-day average of new cases. VDH reports that the city now has had 17,139 total cases of COVID-19—the exact same number they reported back on June 10th (and again on June 14th and June 17th). Perhaps if you're trying to get a feel for the amount of community spread of the disease (something Emily Oster recommends as a starting point to assess the risks of various coronadecisions) you're better off using the regional case count.As of today, adult use of marijuana is now legal in Virginia. Things you can now do: have up to an ounce of marijuana; use marijuana in your private residence; grow up to four plants in your private residence; and share marijuana with an adult friend (as long as you're not pulling any ”marijuana is given away contemporaneously with another reciprocal transaction between the same parties” shenanigans). Things you still cannot (or should not) do: sell marijuana, drive while high, have marijuana on school property, or use marijuana in public. The state's new website, cannabis.virginia.gov, has a good FAQ that you should read. I still have a hard time believing that URL and its weed leaf favicon exists. Mel Leonor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on reactions from a bunch of folks hoping to grow—or make money off of folks hoping to grow—and a nice look at what's next for the General Assembly to tackle while we wait the interminable amount of time until legal sales start happening in 2024. I still say something changes to shift that 2024 timeline forward. Spending three years in this weird in-between space just seems untenable! And I'm not the only one, the Virginia Mercury's Ned Oliver reports that Virginia NORML's 2022 legislative priority is “to expedite retail access for adult consumers, both through already operational medical dispensaries and by moving up the date VCCA can begin issuing new licenses.”Also, as of today, you can no longer keep a box turtle as a pet. Rex Springston has the details in the Virginia Mercury.Via /r/rva, a picture of yesterday's train derailment down at Rocketts Landing, news I first heard about from this jarring GRTC tweet: “ATTENTION GRTC PULSE RIDERS, WE CANNOT SERVICE THE ROCKETTS LANDING STATION DUE TO AN TRAIN ACCIDENT.” This is the second derailment in, what, about a month?Today at 3:30 PM, the Library of Virginia will host a panel discussion about Virginia's 1971 Constitution. I mean, sign me up: “Join us for a stimulating conversation about the advances made possible by this constitution and the work that still remains.” I live for stimulating conversations about old documents/PDFs! The event is free, but you'll need to register ahead of time. Also, remember, today is the last day for you to stop by the library to see the original copies of Virginia's Constitutions of 1776, 1869, 1902, and 1971.Tonight at 8:00 PM, VPM will premier How the Monuments Came Down over on their YouTube. This local film “explores Richmond's complex history through the lens of Confederate monuments, supported by an extensive visual record never before presented in a single work.” If you're ready to relieve the events of last summer, check it out. You can learn more about the folks behind the film here.This year, assuming things go as planned heading into the fall, the Richmond Folk Festival returns to the riverfront bringing with it live, loud, and in-person music. Trevor Dickerson at RVAHub has the run down on the first set of announced bands, plus…a scavenger hunt?This morning's longreadEnjoli and Sesha Joi Moon's JXN Project is an effort to tell Black Richmond stories ‘truthfully and completely'I've been writing a lot about Enjoli and Sesha Moon's JXN Project over the last couple of weeks. Here's a nice Q&A with them.Last December the Moon sisters combined their research and storytelling skills and co-founded The JXN Project to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Jackson Ward, the nation's first Black urban neighborhood registered in the National Register of Historic Places. Through the project, they hope to educate people on the overlooked history of Jackson Ward, which dates to April 17, 1871, and had a pivotal role in the Black American experience. The sisters are currently working to rename Jackson Ward's streets to honor some notable Black Richmonders, such as Maggie L. Walker, the first African American woman to charter a bank in the U.S., and John Mitchell Jr., editor of The Richmond Planet, an African American newspaper.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the DayZinnias!
Good morning, RVA! It's 72 °F, and you can probably guess today's weather forecast: More highs in the 90s with triple-digit Feels Likes. Cooler temperatures move in tomorrow afternoon, though! A reprieve is in sight!Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 165, 8, and 6.4, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 14.4 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: 0; Henrico: 11.9, and Chesterfield: 2.6). Since this pandemic began, 1,359 people have died in the Richmond region. 46.6%, 58.3%, and 54.9% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.The conversation and coverage of the deltavariant and WHO's recent decision to recommend that fully-vaccinated people wear masks indoors continues. The timing is particularly noteworthy, as the Governor's state of emergency ends tonight, which, technically, makes wearing a mask in Virginia (to conceal one's identity) illegal. Sabrina Moreno at the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on a bunch of local folks' thoughts and recommendations which basically boil down to “we need to learn more, but, in the meantime you should definitely get vaccinated.” Alan Rodriguez at VPM has some quotes from Dr. Danny Avula on the subject, too: “I think the context domestically — given our much higher rates of vaccination than many countries because of access and the efforts people have made to get vaccinated, paired with relatively low, or extremely low, rates of COVID — I think we can still cling to the guidance of: If you're fully vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask.”How cool are these massive banners hanging up on City Hall (pictured below)?? They're part of a collaboration between Performing Statistics and RISE for Youth: “The installation features two, 160ft. tall portraits of Ta'Dreama McBride and Clyde Walker made in collaboration with artist and Performing Statistics creative director Mark Strandquist. They will be installed on the north and west-facing sides of the City Hall building. McBride and Walker are both youth leaders from RISE for Youth, a state campaign that promotes the creation of healthy communities and community-based alternatives to youth incarceration.” Performing Statistics will host an unveiling and rally tomorrow at 12:00 PM at City Hall, if you want to get up close and personal with the banners. Although, at 160 feet, you can see these things from alllll sorts of places! So cool.I'm way out of the loop on the conversations around setting up our regional transportation authority, but I was poking around on the CVTA's website this morning and found this draft document of Recommended Project Eligibility for CVTA Regional Funding. I assume this is how the CVTA will decide which projects are eligible for their “regional” bucket of money, which makes up 35% of the total. You can see, just from word count alone, where this document's priorities lie: Highways, highways, highways. I don't know why any transportation authority, in 2021, is considering building new highways, but sure. It was 120 °F in Portland this week, but, yes, let's build highways to encourage development patterns that will significantly contribute to climate change. While I don't think that any new highways or highway expansions should be eligible for this money at all, I do hope that there are at least plans for the Authority to include climate impact as part of their eventual project-ranking process. But, like I said, I am way out of the loop and will try to dig through some of these PDFs to learn more.The Richmond Times-Dispatch's Colleen Curran has all the details on the VMFA's recently announced $190 million, 100,000-square-foot expansion. It all sounds very impressive. Because I am an old person, I feel like the VMFA just wrapped up their last massive expansion, but that was, in fact, 11 years ago. “The new expansion will add a new 100,000-square-foot, five-story wing for African art, photography and 21st-century art off of the existing Mellon and Lewis Wing,” plus new special exhibition space and special events space.Via /r/rva, this list of seven booze-related laws that go into effect tomorrow (alongside the legalization of marijuana). I had no idea that the cocktails to go legislation got extended for at least another year. My household is excited to celebrate continued cheap margaritas with takeout Mexican food!This morning's longreadAirbnb Is Spending Millions of Dollars to Make Nightmares Go AwayAll sorts of trigger warnings for this piece about how Airbnb deals with sexual assaults and other horrible things that happen on their hosts' property. How companies handle “risk” is fascinating to me.Although the settlement doesn't bar the woman from cooperating with prosecutors, it does prevent her from blaming or suing the company. That was especially important for Airbnb because the woman wasn't the one who'd rented the apartment, so she hadn't signed the company's 10,000-word terms of service agreement—another important way Airbnb keeps incidents out of court and out of the public eye. Anyone registering on the site is required to sign this agreement, which bars legal claims for injury or stress arising from a stay and requires confidential arbitration in the event of a dispute. Former safety agents estimate the company handles thousands of allegations of sexual assault every year, many involving rape. Yet only one case related to a sexual assault has been filed against Airbnb in U.S. courts, according to a review of electronically available state and federal lawsuits. Victims' lawyers say the terms of service are an important reason.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the DayPhoto via Performing Statistics.
Good morning, RVA! It's 72 °F, and today you can expect highs in the mid 90s with Feels Likes above and beyond 100 °F. We're deep in dangerous heat territory, and if you've got to go outside, be smart about it! We've got at least a couple more days before temperatures cool down.Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 165, 7, and 6, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 15.4 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: 2.1; Henrico: 10.1, and Chesterfield: 3.1). Since this pandemic began, 1,358 people have died in the Richmond region. 46.6%, 58.2%, and 54.8% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.The big COVID-19 news this morning is that a WHO official urged the public to continue wearing masks indoors—even if fully vaccinated—as a precaution against the delta variant of COVID-19. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health quickly followed suit and issued the same recommendation for its residents. I've seen this new variant-related mask recommendation framed a couple of ways in the media, mostly as “we don't know enough about the delta variant, and wearing masks helps keep you—even if you're vaccinated—from spreading this highly transmissible variant to folks who may be unvaccinated.” But I've also seen the actual quote from the WHO official, taken out of whatever context it may have originally been in, and it reads way more intense: “People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves…Vaccine alone won't stop community transmission.” According to the NYT, yesterday the CDC “pointed to [its] existing guidance and gave no indication it would change.” So, here we are again with seemingly conflicting mask guidance, and I don't love it! To give you some context on the local spread of the delta variant, the VDH Variants of Concern dashboard reports 48 total cases in Virginia, with zero in Richmond, 14 in Henrico, and three in Chesterfield.Kenya Hunter at the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Richmond Public Schools “anticipates a 14 percentage point boost in its graduation rate, with Latino students and economically disadvantaged students seeing the most significant gains.” This year, according to preliminary figures, 85.7% of students will graduate on time, compared to 71.6% last year. That's a lot of dang percentage points to increase, and I wonder what it all means given the year students just had. Will those numbers hold for next year? Was something about virtual learning better for high school students? Or maybe, as RPS's Chief Academic Officer Tracy Epp, says “This is the culmination of three years—we're seeing that we're finally gaining traction, based on the past three years of our efforts.”Quick City Council update: Last night Council passed all of the Jackson Ward street dedication ordinances. DPW will now get to hanging up some new signage!I'm fascinated by ghost kitchens, and Richmond BizSense's Mike Platania reports that Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick will bring one to Broad Street near Arthur Ashe Boulevard. If I'm being honest with myself, I'm mostly fascinated by the generic, keyword-heavy names that some delivery-only restaurants using ghost kitchens come up with. Mine would be called “Wings are Good.”Twitter user Doug Allen made this super useful map of all (?) the Richmond-area bike shops. I know bike shops are like tacos—everyone has a favorite spot—but, if you don't already have a favorite of your own, check out the map and try one out near you. I definitely prefer taking my bike(s) to the shop and having them actually fix a thing rather than watching a YouTube and getting frustrated that my brain can't understand simple machines for some reason.Brent Baldwin at Style Weekly talked to Chris Haynie, cofounder of Happy Trees Agricultural Supply, about how to grow marijuana in your house. Honestly, sounds waaaaay too complicated for me. I do love this quote, though, which makes me feel like I could at least keep a plant alive as an ornamental, “Cannabis is not some crazy plant that aliens gave us from some other world, it grows like a pepper, man. It's a fast-flowering annual.”The Washington Post has a nice article from a couple weeks back about how Virginia is crushing it when it comes to expanding passenger rail. It'll still take the better part of a decade to realize some of the planned improvements, but I'm pretty stoked to take the train everywhere when I'm retired.This morning's longreadWhy ‘tiny forests' are popping up in big citiesI live in a very shady, tree-filled neighborhood—which we know is because where I live was never redlined and has seen decades of investment in its trees and other infrastructure. Many neighborhoods near me—in fact, the one just across the street—haven't had the benefit of all that investment and of all those trees and sits sweltering and shadeless in 100 °F heat. I wonder if strategic tiny forests could be part of the solution?The small-footprint projects are based on the work of Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, who, beginning in the 1970s, pioneered a method of planting young indigenous species close together to quickly regenerate forests on degraded land. Miyawaki, who extensively studied and catalogued the vegetation of Japan, surveyed forests near potential Tiny Forest sites for a mixture of their main species. “The planting should center on the primary trees of the location, and following the laws of the natural forest,” he wrote in a 2006 essay upon accepting the Blue Planet award. Competing for light, the saplings grow quickly, explained Miyawaki's collaborator Kazue Fujiwara. According to Fujiwara, the method can work anywhere, even in plots as small as one meter wide, though she said a minimum of three meters is easier to plant a mix of species.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the DayTake-out bike is back!
Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F, and today looks like another hot and humid scorcher. You can expect temperatures in the 90s and Feels Likes closer to 100 °F today, tomorrow, and, honestly, straight on through until Friday. As always: Stay hydrated.Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 169, 7, and 6.6, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 16.1 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: 1.7; Henrico: 10.3, and Chesterfield: 4.1). Since this pandemic began, 1,356 people have died in the Richmond region. 46.5%, 58.1%, and 54.7% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.We reached some big vaccination milestones over the weekend: Over five million Virginians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 50.4% of the entire commonwealth is now fully vaccinated, and more than nine million total doses have been administered since late last December. Those are big numbers! Great work, everyone. The daily rate of new folks getting vaccinated looks like it has started to level out, which you can see in this graph. Leveling out is better than continual decrease, but, at this rate, it'd take more than a year to vaccinate the entire population of Virginia. That's not a reasonable goal, though, as some folks will never choose to get vaccinated.Thursday is the big marijuana legalization day, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Mel Leonor had a good piece over the week working through how the new law is still just one step towards equity. There's lots of work left for the General Assembly to do on clarifying legal gray areas that will, undoubtedly, lead to inequitable enforcement—open container definitions, application of the laws to renters, and, of course, undoing previous marijuana convictions. I imagine the newly created state agency will start working on some recommendations in the coming months and that, fingers crossed, the GA will take up a few clarifying weed bills this winter.City Council meets tonight, and you can flip through the agenda—as it stands—here. Of note, the agenda includes a handful of small rezonings, but both the rezonings of Greater Scott's Addition and of Broad Street between the Science Museum and the VCU & VUU Pulse stations have been continued until July 26th. Also a dozen or so honorary block dedications in Jackson Ward have ended up on the Regular Agenda. These dedications are part of the JXN Project and would honor residents of Jackson Ward like Lucy Goode Brooks, Neverett Eggleston, Lillie Ann Estes, and Charles Sidney Gilpin. The ordinances are definitely worth tapping into to get a brief biography of each person and their contribution to the neighborhood and beyond. I'm not sure why they're all on Regular Agenda instead of the Consent Agenda. Maybe to give folks a chance to speak in support of each ordinance? Chris Suarez at the RTD has some more details on the project.John Reid Blackwell, also at the RTD, has an extensive look at the future of whatever we're calling the area around Hardywood—which developers want to call “Brewer's Row.” I'm stoked to see a mostly industrial wasteland turn into a place for people, and I'd love to see more trees, more shade, and more pedestrian and bike infrastructure as the area grows!Speaking of places for people, Mark Robinson at the RTD has an article focusing mostly on the cost of the market-rate homes that are part of the larger Armstrong Renaissance development, a development which I love and find beautiful from both an urbanism and aesthetic standpoint. Just 28 single-family homes in the 256-unit neighborhood are market-rate, which makes them way unaffordable to, well, most folks. But this is what you get when you build mixed-income communities, and I'm not surprised when the (limited) market-rate components reflect the current market rate. As Robinson reports, the Armstrong Renaissance is a, “mixed-income community, which also features deeply affordable and workforce rentals,” and we should build more of this sort of thing throughout the region.I loved reading these RPS graduates' strong and determined reflections on this past school year via Alan Rodriguez on VPM. I am inspired and encouraged! Listen to Open High School graduate Jasmine Twiman when she says, “I'm proud of us. It was touch-and-go for a while, but I'm proud of us.”This morning's longreadWhere Did the Coronavirus Come From? What We Already Know Is Troubling.Well this was fascinating and also scary.Years of research on the dangers of coronaviruses, and the broader history of lab accidents and errors around the world, provided scientists with plenty of reasons to proceed with caution as they investigated this class of pathogens. But troubling safety practices persisted. Worse, researchers' success at uncovering new threats did not always translate into preparedness. Even if the coronavirus jumped from animal to human without the involvement of research activities, the groundwork for a potential disaster had been laid for years, and learning its lessons is essential to preventing others.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the DayMe and this guy are fighting.
Good morning, RVA! It's 56 °F, and coolish temperatures remain today. Andrew Freiden says you can expect humidity to make its sticky return, though, and possibly bring with it some rain. Temperatures steadily increase from here straight on through to the middle of next week. Enjoy what looks to be a pretty great weekend!Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 134, 10, and 6, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 11.4 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: 3.1; Henrico: 4.4, and Chesterfield: 3.9). Since this pandemic began, 1,353 people have died in the Richmond region. 46.0%, 57.5%, and 54.0% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. I know we're nearing the end of the usefulness of all these charts I have, but you should really take a look at this week's stacked chart of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Look at that precipitous drop in new cases and that strong steady decline in new hospitalizations! There are probably lots of reasons why we're seeing these dramatic decreases, but they all match up pretty well with the middle of April, when Virginia opened up vaccination to the general public.I like this line from a column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about how scientists can and should reach out to folks who are hesitant about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, “To be clear, I am not shaming Thomas. I frequent Starbucks twice a day because I know that the vaccines are just as safe as my caramel latte.” I think a lot of the vaccine work over the next several months means making vaccination as regular, commonplace, and boring (but life-giving nonetheless) as your morning coffee.Yesterday, Brendan King at WTVR celebrates the third anniversary of the Pulse—and I totally missed it! The Pulse had such smashing success its first two years of operation, and it still exists after an entire year of pandemic so I'm counting that as a big win. King also talk to Dr. Scientist Jeremy Hoffman who reminds us that, “Really, it is transportation that's driving our contribution to global climate change. What's one way that we can tackle that? It's investing in reliable, frequent, public transit.” He said this while literally getting on the Pulse, which is beyond charming. Next up for rapid transit in our region will be painting the bus-only lanes red this coming spring and using that pile of new regional transportation money to start planing for a second BRT (most likely a north-south route).Quick City Council update: It looks like the Land Use, Housing and Transportation committee decided to continue that laundry list of changes to Richmond 300 for another month. Because I'm a delight at parties, I love keeping track of which legislation has been kicking around on City Council's agenda the longest, and, turns out, it is this very same resolution (RES. 2021-R026)! Introduced on April 26th, it's now 60 days old—which is nowhere near Council's record but now definitely something I will keep an eye on.It's Infrastructure Week! Again! Yesterday, the Senate came to an agreement on $579 billion in new spending on our country's infrastructure—with lots of that earmarked for roads and bridges ($312 billion). For insight on federal transportation-related things I always turn to the Ubran Institute's Yonah Freemark, and, if you're interested, you should spend some time scrolling through his timeline this morning. Fascinating to me, is that it sounds like Biden will only sign this bipartisan bill if it's paired with another massive bill that can be passed through the 50-vote reconciliation process. Here's a quote from the president, “If this is the only thing that comes to me, I'm not signing it…It's in tandem.” So we'll see if we get any of the promised investment in health care, child care, high education, and climate change in the coming months.This morning's longreadEdgar Allan Poe's Other ObsessionAs a Richmonder, I feel obligated to link to Poe stuff.By 1840, Poe was working at a men's magazine, where he launched a feature called “A Chapter on Science and Art,” consisting of the sorts of squibs on innovation later found in Popular Mechanics. (“A gentleman of Liverpool announces that he has invented a new engine,” one entry started.) With this column, Tresch suggests, “Poe made himself one of America's first science reporters.” He also made himself one of America's first popular skeptics—a puzzle master and a debunker, in the vein of Martin Gardner. Poe wrote a column on riddles and enigmas, and he made a gleeful habit of exposing pseudoscience quacks.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the Day
Good morning, RVA! It's 53 °F, and we have another beautiful day ahead of us. Expect a continued break from the humidity, highs in the mid 80s, and lots of opportunities to wander around your neighborhood. Enjoy, because tomorrow could bring a bit of rain.Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 130, 15, and 5.4, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 13.3 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: 1.7; Henrico: 6.6, and Chesterfield: 5). Since this pandemic began, 1,352 people have died in the Richmond region. 45.9%, 57.4%, and 53.9% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.As we talk more and more about variants, especially the delta variant, I wanted to surface this Variants of Concern dashboard on the VDH website (which is updated weekly on Fridays). You can see a pretty deep breakdown of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths by variant type. Variants are scary, especially the way in which they're covered in the media sometimes, but two things reassure me: 1) Getting vaccinated is your best protection against all of the variants of concern at this point, and 2) thus far, just six people have been hospitalized as a result of the deltavariant across the state. That's a small number, but, of course, still certainly one worth keeping an eye on.City Council's Land Use, Housing and Transportation committee meets today and will take up, once again, RES. 2021-R026, the laundry list of councilmember-proposed changes to Richmond 300. I think last we spoke of this, each councilmember who wanted to change the master plan—a plan which just won the Master Plan Heisman for the depth and extent of community engagement involved—would grab a meeting with City staff. I have no idea if those meetings happened. I also have no idea how the committees plans to make sense of this list of changes and get the appropriate level of community involvement and buy-in that any amendments to our new master plan should require.The Richmond Times-Dispatch's Chris Suarez found a single story that ties together Richmond's housing shortage, lack of public transportation options, and restrictive zoning. Unfortunately, I don't know what the short-term solution is for Mike, who lives in a convenient but illegal trailer. Longer-term, though, allowing and building hundreds and thousands of Accessory Dwelling Units would help a lot of folks like Mike.The Governor announced that he will call the General Assembly back for a special session on August 2nd to “fill judicial vacancies and allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding.” That is a lotof money, and I'm on pins and needles over here waiting to see how the GA decides to spend it. A month ago the Governor and a handful of GA leaders released this joint statement outlining their priorities for the ARP money, but you never really know what'll come out the other side of a lightning-quick special session until it's all said and done. Also, I wonder if localities will get their share of ARP money before the state? Or does the state need to figure out what to do with their share before Richmond and Henrico see the federal direct deposits show up in their bank accounts?Ben Paviour at VPM has a nice look back at the 1971 update to Virginia's Constitution on the eve of its 50 year anniversary. I had no idea that so much Jim Crow language was embedded in the actual 1902 Constitution, which was written as a sort of white supremacist middle finger to the federal government and the 14th Amendment. The Library of Virginia will host a panel discussion on the Constitution on July 1st, plus they'll have original copies of four of Virginia's constitutions on display from June 29th through July 1st! Deeply nerdy, deeply cool.Via r/rva, I will just quote the title of the postin full: “About a week ago, I went on a run near Clover Hill High School & came upon a guy who hit a bear with his car. Cop was positioned nearby with tranquilizer gun and was waiting for the injured bear to come out of a woodsy area. I just moved to Midlothian from South Dakota. Are bears common around here?”This morning's longreadThe Lie We Tell Ourselves About Going to Bed EarlyAs I get older and my body is less willing to stay asleep, I can totally relate to this concept of “revenge bedtime procrastination”—but in the reverse. Sometimes I just want to out of bed even earlier, that'll show…myself??According to the CDC, about 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems. Insomnia affects between a third and a half of U.S. adults at one point or another. And we Americans are not unusually afflicted—one 2016 study reported that worldwide, 10 to 30 percent of the population experiences insomnia; some studies find rates as high as 50 to 60 percent. But behind this torment resides an opportunity to increase our quality of life, if we can change our relationship with our slumbering selves. Instead of worrying about how we can more efficiently induce sleep, we need to stop resisting it. And to do that, we need to stop seeing sleep as purely physiological and start considering its transcendent significance.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the DayLife finds a way.
We've all been hearing about the difficulties of hiring and retaining staff – those challenges are not unique to the hospitality industry, but they are being felt particularly acutely in the club space. In this episode, we cover recruitment and retention in clubs and chat with David Conforti, PGA, of Palos Verdes Golf Club about his success with recruitment. Then we're joined by Anne Stryhn, CCM, and Tom Prest of The Country Club of Virginia. Entering the Richmond Times Dispatch's competition for the first time this year, the country club — one of the largest in the country — placed No. 3 in the Top Workplaces large company category. We discuss this impressive honor and what it means for the Club and its employees.
Good morning, RVA! It's 77 °F, and, later today we should get a reprieve to the opressive heat. You can expect highs in the 80s, but rain should move in late morning or early afternoon to cool things down. Tomorrow's forecast looks like a real winner, so get excited.Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 136, 21, and 6, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 18.7 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: 0.9; Henrico: 11.9, and Chesterfield: 6). Since this pandemic began, 1,352 people have died in the Richmond region. 45.8%, 57.2%, and 53.7% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.Despite the VDH dashboard's stubborn refusal to tick over from 69.9% of adult Virginians with at least one dose to the full 70%, the Governor declared victory yesterday at Hope Pharmacy in the East End. From the release, “Virginia is the 16th state in the nation to meet this goal set by President Joe Biden in early May and reaches the key vaccination milestone two weeks ahead of the nationwide July 4 target. To date, over 8.8 million doses of vaccine have been administered in Virginia and more than 4.2 million individuals, or 60.3 percent of the population 18 and older, are fully vaccinated.” That's pretty rad, and we're seeing some good progress at the local level, too: 53.6%, 69.1%, and 65.9% of adults in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have had at least one dose. We should celebrate this local progress but also take these local number with a grain of salt. According to the dashboard, a full 1,080,323 people have not been “mapped,” which I assume means they aren't tied to a locality. That's 22% of all people with at least one dose! Doing some reprehensible napkin math and assuming that those one million untethered folks are distributed equally and evenly, (aka just adding 22% to the local-level percentages), we'd end up with 65.4%, 84.3%, and 80.4% of adults across our three localities with at least one dose. Now, of course, I have no reason to think that's how the math would actually work out—in fact, the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Sabrina Moreno reports that it may be weighted towards people living near the North Carolina border—but a million folks is a lot of people in a state with a total population of 8.5 million. Anyway, good work everyone, and good luck in the continued work!Welp, add one to the enormously long list of “shows what I know”s. The RTD's Chris Suarez reports that “On Monday, the Richmond Planning Commission declined to recommend whether the City Council should authorize the mayor's administration to remove the bases for the J.E.B. Stuart, Jefferson Davis and ‘Stonewall' Jackson statues on Monument Avenue, along with the one for the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Libby Hill. The commissioners did not vote on whether to endorse the removal of the Matthew Fontaine Maury monument's pedestal and several smaller monuments on Monument Avenue and in Monroe Park after ending their meeting early Monday evening because of technical difficulties. The commission did, however, endorse plans for the removal of the A.P. Hill statue at the intersection of Hermitage Road and Laburnum Avenue, citing traffic safety concerns there.” I certainly did not expect that! And I certainly did not expect that the Governor's office, who sent a letter of opposition via Chief of Staff Clark Mercer, would get involved, either! What seemed like a straightforward plan to get rid of racist garbage and present the community with a blank slate from which to work, now seems incredibly messy with differing levels of involvement and expectations from the City, the State, and the public. We'll see what City Council decides to do next, but I'm not sure they're going to love the State weighing in on on this particular issue at this particular moment in the process. I also have some thoughts on this Reimagining Monument Avenue group, which is not directly associated with the City or its Department of Planning, but seems to be who everyone assumes will do the eponymous work of reimagining Monument Avenue. But! I would like to learn more first.I have to link to this editorial in the RTD supporting GRTC's decision to remain fare-free for another year, because I never thought I would read these sentences in our local paper: “And in the long term, we have to find better solutions than our dependency on cars. Multimodal transit is the answer, and GRTC is a key part of that emerging framework.”Tonight at 6:00 PM you can attend an actual in-person, indoors public meeting—if you feel comfortable with that sort of thing. The City will host a conversation about the draft City Center Plan at the Convention Center and, of course, simultaneously on Microsoft Teams. This, I think, is the only public meeting on this plan before it works its way through the legislative process, so, while you'll have plenty of public comment opportunities moving forward, this might be your best chance to influence tweaks, changes, and edits. You can read the full plan and leave comments using Konveio here. I know Konveio is a drag to use, but if you've got thoughts and feelings I really encourage you to go drop a bubble or two—I already see a handful of “WHERE'S THE PARKING??” comments that probably need some balancing out.This morning's longreadGaslit: How the fossil fuel industry convinced Americans to love gas stovesGas stoves are maybe terrible, turns out. This is like when I learned the auto industry invented jaywalking to help sell cars.Beginning in the 1990s, the industry faced a new challenge: mounting evidence that burning gas indoors can contribute to serious health problems. Gas stoves emit a host of dangerous pollutants, including particulate matter, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. One 2014 simulation by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that cooking with gas for one hour without ventilation adds up to 3,000 parts per billion of carbon monoxide to the air—raising indoor concentrations by up to 30 percent in the average home. Carbon monoxide can kill; it binds tightly to the hemoglobin molecules in your blood so they can no longer carry oxygen. What's more, new research shows that the typical home carbon monoxide alarms often fail to detect potentially dangerous levels of the gas.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the Day
Good morning, RVA! It's already 74 °F, and today you can expect highs near 100 °F with Feels Likes above and beyond that. I love being outside, but, dang, not today. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay inside if you can.Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 129, 21, and 6.3, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 17 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: 0.9; Henrico: 10.6, and Chesterfield: 5.6). Since this pandemic began, 1,349 people have died in the Richmond region. 45.8%, 57.2%, and 53.7% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.OK! I think, when VDH updates their COVID-19 dashboard later this morning, Virginia will have reached President Biden's goal of 70% of adults with at least one dose of a vaccine! Right now, looking at yesterday's numbers, the Commonwealth sits at 69.9%, and the Governor has an event scheduled at Hope Pharmacy in the East End this morning to “celebrate vaccination milestone.” That's pretty good work, Virginia, as it looks like the country as a whole will not hit Biden's goal by July 4th (and some states may not even hit the goal period). Of course, I immediately want to know where we go from here and what numbers I need to start putting in my spreadsheet next. I do wonder if July 4th and Biden's “freedom from COVID” language is a sort of pandemic mission accomplished banner. Maybe I should take a hint and hang up the spreadsheet? But, for now, here is the graph of new people with at least one dose across the state and the graph of total people with at least one dose in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield.The City's Planning Commission meets today with a hefty agenda that's sure to generate plenty of discussion. Not only will they take up two significant rezonings—one in Greater Scott's Addition (the Diamond District) and one covering the area between the Science Museum and VCU / VUU Pulse stations—but they'll also discuss the plans for removing the remaining Confederate monuments and plinths. My prediction is that all of these things pass and head on to the next step. For the rezonings, that's City Council, for the monuments…I'm not really sure. Planning Commissions might could have the final say, and then, assuming they approve, the Parks Department (?) can get to work. While I'm obviously not super clear on the process, I'm incredibly supportive of the effort and excited for the City to make some of these intersections safer and more humane (in a bunch of different ways).Clara Haizlett, reporting for VPM, has the details on a “green street”—a cool piece of infrastructure that's in the early stages of implementation in the Bellemeade neighborhood. It's part of the larger Bellemeade Walkable Watershed Plan (a lovely PDF worth your time), and you can learn more about the plan itself and how the green street plays a role over on the James River Association's website. I absolutely love thoughtful infrastructure to connect communities to resources like parks, schools, and community centers.Jessica Nocera at the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Chesterfield County School Board has joined the entirely made-up Republican war on Critical Race Theory. I really love how Nocera opens her piece: “The Chesterfield County School Board condemned racism last June and affirmed the school system's commitment to an inclusive school environment amid a national reckoning on race. A conversation series followed. The board recognized Pride Month for the first time and shortened the school year by a day to observe Juneteenth. But this month, the all-white, predominantly Republican body presiding over a school system comprising mostly students of color joined a nationwide conservative backlash to teaching about systemic racism, issuing a formal statement at a board meeting denouncing critical race theory.” Like I said last week, almost every conversation about Critical Race Theory is one held in bad faith with Republicans uninterested in actual discourse. That's made pretty clear in Nocera's piece: “Harter, the School Board chairman, declined to answer a list of questions, including about his understanding of critical race theory, instead only saying that critical race theory is not part of the state education curriculum.”Also in the RTD, Mark Robinson reports on the state of the Gilpin Court pool. This story covers a lot of ground and lays out a lot of the problems Richmond needs to tackle over the next couple of decades. First, in Richmond (and in most cities), some of the hottest parts of city are where some of the poorest people live. Second, Richmond needs dramatic investment in its public housing neighborhoods—like big, big ten-digit investments. Third, Richmond needs the leadership and the plans to secure and guide that investment. So, when Gilpin Court residents, who live in a sweltering-hot part of town, rightfully want their pool fixed, a whole entire conversation about the long-term future of housing in Richmond unspools and you end up, instead, with a pool sitting empty for the better part of a decade.School's out for the summer across the region! Again, congratulations to everyone involved, from students, to staff, to families, and teachers. What a thing everyone accomplished. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you watch this end-of-year message from RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras—regardless of your age or locality! I think it sums things up nicely.This morning's patron longreadJust Be RichSubmitted by Patron Susan. I loved everything about this piece, especially the title. Rich people, just get off social media and have fun being rich!But let's not get hung up on a cancel culture debate, because the issue here is people choosing to be rich and famous in a disastrous way. They are not doing this thing properly. The whole point is to style yourself as an aloof semi-alien species, permanently adorned with sunglasses and a half-smirk as you roll away from the paparazzi in the back of a jet-black Escalade. You are getting paid large sums of money to do interesting things—star in movies, play concerts for tens of thousands of people—and also, basically, to just exist. Why are you tweeting? What are you doing here? As someone who has a professional obligation to marinate in the ocean of awful, it instills in me a cocktail of mad and sad to watch others do it willingly.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the DayI went on a bike ride in the mountains.
What is Virginia telling us on this trademark off-year election? Guests: •Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Michael Pope of Virginia Public Radio •GOP strategist Taylor Keeney •Ghazala Hashmi (D), who was elected Virginia's first Muslim state senator
Good morning, RVA! It's 58 °F, and today looks beautiful. Expect highs in the 80s, plenty of sunshine, and all the reason in the world to hold hands in the park. Temperatures increase over the long weekend, so get out there and enjoy it today.Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 145, 27, and 10, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 17.9 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: -0.3; Henrico: 9.9, and Chesterfield: 8.3). Since this pandemic began, 1,345 people have died in the Richmond region. 45.4%, 56.7%, and 53.2% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Welp, we'll have to wait until next week to see if Richmond's miraculously negative cases sort themselves out.OK! Virginia continues to creep closer and closer to President Biden's vaccination goal—like, really, really closer. As of this morning, 69.4% of adult Virginians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. I think, fingers crossed, by Wednesday we should have this thing in the bag. Then, I wonder, what the next fairly arbitrary goal will be? 70% of adults fully vaccinated? 70% of kids? 70% of everyone before the end of the year? Maybe something with booster shots? Like I keep saying, this next phase of vaccination work will be slower and more methodical, and, as much as they're kind of made up, these point-in-time goals do create a way to regularly measure progress (and create a thing to write about in this section of the email multiple times each week).Chris Suarez and Kenya Hunter at the Richmond Times-Dispatch have a surprising update to ongoing George Wythe…story? saga? drama? Yesterday, Mayor Stoney announced that he will “request design proposals for a new George Wythe High School this week against the wishes of the Richmond School Board, which recently voted to wrest control of school construction projects from the city administration.” Stoney said, “This is me exhausting my legal ability to do everything I can to ensure that a new school is built as quickly as possible.” What happens next is anyone's guess, but School Board has a meeting on June 28th at which, I imagine, they'll at least discuss this whole situation. To me, and you may disagree, the tenor of the public narrative about building a replacement for George Wythe High School is decidedly against the School Board. The way the stories I read are framed, the Board comes off like they're unwilling to compromise, unwilling to even have a dialogue with the City, and dug in over their heads. We'll see if and for how much longer the five board members driving this process can keep their alliance intact while, at least in my eyes, public pressure against them grows.Local coverage of Pulitzer Prize Winner Michael Paul Williams continues, and VPM's Ian Stewart has an interview with Williams about what's next (you know, now that he's won the Pulitzer Prize).Today at 12:00 PM, RVA Rapid Transit will host another Transit Talk, this one featuring Sean O'Brien, Director of Community Health with Bon Secours, and Julie Timm, CEO of GRTC. They'll talk about Bon Secours's recent work to get 14 fancy, new bus stop shelters installed in the East End and RVA Rapid Transit's new Better Bus Stops program.Today is the last day of school for RPS and Chesterfield Public Schools students! Congratulations! You made it through the most bizarre school year of your entire lives, and things are looking up as we head into the summer. I hope each of you finds the time to rest, relax, play Fortnite, swim in the river, ride bikes, eat pizza, and do all of the things that I wish I were doing for the next couple of months. You've earned it!Related, and if you can handle thinking about school for just a minute more, RPS families and students can attend the Southside reopening conversation tonight at 6:00 PM. Zoom-in info here.Because it feels very summery, single-game tickets go on sale today for the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Baseball, nachos, beers as big as your head: A classic part of a Richmond summer.Logistical note! I will be taking tomorrow off from this email as it's a state holiday—Juneteenth (observed)—and it sounds like, as of yesterday, it will soon be a federal holiday, too. The New York Times has a nice Juneteenth explainer if you've not heard the history of the holiday before. And, finally, I've seen a handful of Juneteenth events floating around, if you're looking to celebrate locally: Juneteenth Jubilee in the Park and a Juneteenth Celebration at Dorey Park to name two. Meredith Moran at Richmond Magazine has a longer list if you want to stack your calendar.This morning's longreadThe Back to the Office MaximumAnne Helen Peterson! She really hits on a lot of the things I've been thinking about when it comes to returning to offices and workplaces. Y'all should really subscribe to her newsletter.The “good” news is that the pre-COVID, the in-office playing field was unlevel as shit. It favored and advanced a certain type of worker, with a certain type of working style, and a certain availability and eagerness to work in person in an office. It favored extroverts, it favored dudes, it favored neurotypical workers with no physical or psychological conditions that would prevent them from sitting in a chair for nine hours a day, five days a week. It privileged people with the desire and ability to live in proximity to their industry hubs. It implicitly or explicitly promoted those without care responsibilities and/or those most effective at masking or ignoring care responsibilities. We should stop buying the farcical argument that in-office work was some ideal opportunity scenario. It was deeply, deeply exclusionary for many — it's just that those people aren't the ones asked to write the thinkpieces about the benefits of returning to the office.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the DayWithin this bear hides a trash can.
Jeff Schapiro is a politics columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He has covered campaigns and government for more than 35 years. He has been recognized by the Virginia Press Associated and was inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame in 2015. We discuss the evolution of Virginia politics, the challenges facing gubernatorial candidates running for office in 2021, and a lot more. Let me know what you think by tweeting me @FromTheSwampPod! Jeff's Twitter: @RTDSchapiro Jeff's Website: https://richmond.com/users/profile/jeffeschapiro/ ___ Watch: https://youtu.be/3WW5qq78tos Share/Comment: http://amalfimedia.com/swamp/faculty-lounge-jeff-schapiro More Shows: http://amalfimedia.com/shows Amalfi Instagram: @AmalfiMedia Amalfi Twitter: @Amalfi_Media Email Matthew: email@example.com
The nonprofit Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative released a map this week detailing the environmental vulnerability of state residents; Chesterfield teenagers have the opportunity to get vaccinated today; and Ian Stewart speaks with Michael Paul Williams from the Richmond Times Dispatch about his Pulitzer Prize for Journalism.
Good morning, RVA! It's 64 °F, and, dang, how nice was yesterday? Today you can expect more of the same with sunshine and highs in the 80s. Enjoy—for at least another day, too!Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 134, 27, and 10.7, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 11 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: -1.6; Henrico: 5.3, and Chesterfield: 7.3). Since this pandemic began, 1,345 people have died in the Richmond region. 45.2%, 56.5%, and 53.0% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. I thought Richmond's data would have sorted itself out by now, but, what do I know? VDH reports a negative number of cases in Richmond for five of the last nine days!For fellow data humans, VDH has updated their vaccine dashboard to now include a map of percent of the adult population with at least one dose by locality. Because I'm sure you're curious about how our region is progressing towards the Biden Goal: 52.9%, 68.4%, and 65.2% of adults in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have had at least one jab. Henrico definitely has a chance to hit the Biden Goal before July 4th, but I'm not too sure about RIchmond and Chesterfield. I have to keep reminding myself that this goal—and it's impact on the health of our communities—is pretty arbitrary. There are lots of real, legitimate, and complex reasons why we see differing uptake rates across differing localities.I love this public transit update: GRTC will continue their free fares for (at least) another year. Yesterday, the GRTC board met and voted on a new budget which extends zero fares through June 30, 2022. That means, by then, Richmond will have had free bus service for all who care to use it for 833 days. From the aforelinked press release, the money to cover the now-missing revenue from fares will come from “federal COVID relief funds.” This is great news as it lets our region (for now) use its public transportation dollars for improving and expanding the bus system.While we're talking about it, I find this Systemwide Ridership Three Year Comparison graph endlessly fascinating. Bus ridership has already started to creep above pandemic levels, but still trails numbers from two years back—when folks had just started to use the bus system at record-breaking levels. I mean, look at these comparisons of this past May's numbers (p. 51): they're down 1% from a month ago, up 20% from a year ago, and down 18% from two years ago. A heckuva rollercoaster! I am really interested to see what happens to systemwide ridership when VCU returns to in-person instruction this fall. October is typically the highest-ridership month of the year, and returning students plus possibly returning office workers could also make for a big, joyous return to the bus.The Richmond Times-Dispatch's Chris Suarez has some more reporting on this past Monday's City Council meeting, specifically their conversations about how (or how not) to earmark the as-yet-received ARP money. It's a great background piece if you've been ignoring this thrilling conversation for the past couple months. I am on the whole entire same page as 4th District Councilmember Larson who says of the resolution attempting to earmark future ARP funds for district-specific needs: “I personally think it's in our best interest to vet these projects … and see if they actually qualify before we send anything to the mayor…We need to look at the whole picture and decide as a body what's best for the whole city.” Yes! Please look at the entire city and make a cohesive plan for how best to spend this once-in-a-generation pile of cash. Important note! That does not mean we should divide this money up evenly across the whole city! I would, for example, be totally OK with a massive investment in Southside infrastructure. Equality ≠ Equity.Pulitzer Prize Wining Columnist Michael Paul Williams has a very gracious first column back after winning the Pulitzer Prize. To quote a bit: “But there is undeniable joy in the recognition that Richmond, and the staff of this newspaper, are putting in long-overdue work. Now is a time to celebrate. But after we put the champagne down, there's plenty of work that remains.”VPM's Alan Rodriguez has a piece about Critical Race Theory, the Loudoun County School Board, and our gubernatorial candidates that you should read to get an early lay of the land ahead of November's election. While Critical Race Theory may be a real and actual thing in some academic circles, when used by Republican politicians it means nothing and is almost always an indicator of someone acting in bad faith. If you find yourself explaining, supporting, or arguing for “Critical Race Theory,” you've already lost. Republicans' campaign against this mostly made up thing is a poorly-executed slight-of-hand to distract from what they actually oppose: the work to make our communities a more equitable place. I'm with this quote from Loudoun County Supervisor Juli Briskman: “She calls the backlash to these reforms ‘the Massive Resistance of our generation…It's basically along the same lines as the fear of integration, and this is just an evolution of that.'”This morning's longreadHumpback whales can't swallow a human. Here's why.Read this to get well-actuallyed about whales by National Geographic.On Friday, a lobster diver made headlines when he described miraculously surviving being “swallowed” by a humpback whale off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Michael Packard told the Cape Cod Times that he felt a shove, and “the next thing I knew it was completely black.” He recalled struggling inside the whale's mouth for about 30 seconds before it surfaced and spat him out. Though a humpback could easily fit a human inside its huge mouth—which can reach around 10 feet—it's scientifically impossible for the whale to swallow a human once inside, according to Nicola Hodgins of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a U.K. nonprofit.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the Day
Good morning, RVA! It's 65 °F, and, wow that was a lot of lightning in the storm that rolled through last night. I think, however, it brought with it cooler temperatures, because we can expect highs in the mid 80s today. NBC12's Andrew Freiden says the next couple of days look stellar.Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 140, 32, and 10.4, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 11.3 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: 0.7; Henrico: 2.4, and Chesterfield: 8.1). Since this pandemic began, 1,343 people have died in the Richmond region. 45.1%, 56.4%, and 52.8% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.Do you still need a reason to get vaccinated? How about this set of headlines: “Distorted, Bizarre Food Smells Haunt Covid Survivors,” “Many Post-Covid Patients Are Experiencing New Medical Problems, Study Finds,” or “Coronavirus infections dropping where people are vaccinated, rising where they are not.” While the least serious of these headlines, the first one terrifies me. I once lost my sense of smell for a week and it was awful—so much of eating is smell-related! Don't lose your sense of smell or have it rewired by a coronavirus infection! Go get vaccinated today!City Council met last night and adopted a bunch of papers I had my eyes on: the rezoning of the Southern States silo (ORD. 2021–115), a resolution to earmark $7.1 million of ARP money for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (RES. 2021-R028), and, of course, the casino resolution (RES. 2021-R034). The Richmond Times-Dispatch's Chris Suarez has the meeting recap and reports that, as foretold, the casino resolution passed 8–1, with Councilmember Jordan as the only No vote. Now the decision of whether or not to build a casino in the 8th District moves to…us! If the gubernatorial election was somehow not enough to motivate you to vote this November (which, gasp), maybe having a casino on the ballot will?Ali Rockett at the RTD reports on the RPD's crime data meeting, which ended up going in an entirely unexpected, billboard-related direction. The Richmond Coalition of Police, who you may remember from this year's budget discussions when they demanded double extra raises for police, has put up a billboard saying “The safety of the city is in jeopardy. Public safety is in a CRISIS due to poor pay & staffing.” I imagine the Mayor does not love having every person driving down 95/64 see such a billboard, and I bet it puts his police chief in a tough spot when he has to answer questions about it. About the data though, making any sort of year-over-year comparisons—about crime or anything else—will be tough given the year we just had.I hesitate to even share this ConnectRVA constrained project list. It's part of our larger region's long-range transportation plan, and represents a whittled down list of potential projects the region wants to build (down from the “universe of projects”). It's an important list because it will ultimately guide future big transportation projects—like sprawly road widenings or new bus rapid transit lines—that will stick around for our entire lifetimes. Typically this sort of thing is totally my jam, but, unfortunately, these are an almost indecipherable set of documents. Here's the four-page spreadsheet of projects if you dare. It includes things like a “widening with added capacity” of Old Hundred Road (boooo) and a bunch of segments of the Fall Line Trail (yaaaay). Theoretically, this here is a map of that entire spreadsheet on which you can leave comments or you can just comment on this blog post. I don't know how a person who cares is even supposed to intelligently interact with this information. I guess you could leave a general anti-road widening, pro-climate comment? It's honestly pretty shocking the number of road widenings and expansions we're considering over the next twenty or so years given how quickly we're incinerating our planet. Anyway, you have until 5:00 PM on June 17th to share your thoughts and opinions!It's wild to go from road widenings to this piece by Sarah Vogelsong in the Virginia Mercury about the impact sea-level rise will have on the 757. Here's a quote from Virginia Beach's stormwater engineer: “We want Virginia Beach to remain a viable coastal destination for people to come to…the discussion in Virginia Beach is learning to live with water.” Bleak! It's just bananas we're over here in Central Virginia planning on ways to incentivize more and more driving and more and more climate-destroying sprawl while our neighbors down the road slowly slip into the sea.Richmond Public Schools will host their East End-focused reopening conversation tonight at 6:00 PM. If you've got questions about how in-person school will look in the fall, now is the time to ask them. Although, honestly, maybe keep a list of those questions somewhere because there's a whole lot of time until the first day of school (85 days), and who knows what will change between now and then. Zoom-in information here.This morning's longreadA treasure map for an American tyrantThe Boston Globe put together a series of short pieces describing the top reforms they'd like to see to keep our American democracy safe from future Trumps. This is pleasant to read, but it all hinges on the idea that Republicans should be motivated to make these changes because the next autocrat could be a Democrat. That's a little naive as Republicans at the federal and state level seem intent at warping our democracy to prevent Democrats from being elected entirely. Kind of eliminates the incentive to limit power, doesn't it?Trump may not have destroyed the American presidency, but he did put the institution on a perilous path. Because while Trump himself has been sitting in Mar-a-Lago brooding over his loss to Joe Biden, all the weaknesses in our legal and constitutional system that he exploited remain, waiting for a future presidential miscreant to take advantage of them — maybe even for Trump himself, if he is reelected in 2024. That's why Congress and the current president must act fast and impose more durable legal guardrails on the commander in chief. By passing stronger anti-corruption laws, strengthening existing norms and creating new ones, and deterring future presidents from abusing their power by making an example of Trump and holding him accountable, the country can protect itself against future — and potentially far more devastating — presidential corruption and misconduct. The nation can, and must, prevent the rise of an American tyrant.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the DayI bought a bead curtain.
Good morning, RVA! It's 64 °F, and today looks like another hot and humid day with a chance for storms later this afternoon. You can expect delightfully cooler temperatures the next couple of days, though!Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 143, 30, and 10.1, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 11.7 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: -0.1; Henrico: 3.3, and Chesterfield: 8.6). Since this pandemic began, 1,340 people have died in the Richmond region. 45.1%, 56.4%, and 52.8% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. For what it's worth, I have no idea what's going on with Richmond's case numbers. The VDH dashboard has reported a very small negative number of new cases for the past several days, and now we have a negative seven-day average of new cases. I suspect it'll sort itself out later this week.Well, we're still a full percent short of President Biden's goal of getting 70% of adults with at least on dose of a vaccine. I think, given the recent rates, we'll be super close 10 days from now. Let's check in next Thursday or Friday. Related, an interesting thing has happened with the graph of new people with at least one dose in Virginia: It has flattened out. Finally, here's the graph of our region as a whole inching closer and closer towards (mostly) Biden's goal.As expected, the University of Richmond announced that they will require students to get COVID vaccinated before returning to campus this fall. A couple of interesting differences between UR's policy and VCU's: UR will require the vaccine only once one receives FDA approval (remember, they're all currently authorized for emergency use), and UR will also require faculty and staff to get jabbed.Whoa! Huge news! The Richmond Times-Dispatch's Michael Paul Williams won the PULITZER PRIZE. Williams won it for commentary, and for his “penetrating and historically insightful columns that led Richmond, a former capital of the Confederacy, through the painful and complicated process of dismantling the city's monuments to white supremacy.” You should definitely tap through and read the the reactions from around the RTD newsroom—and especially the reaction from Williams himself. You should also definitely read through the list of columnsthat won him the PULITZER PRIZE in commentary in a year when literally everyone had lots of commentary to say.City Council meets tonight and will consider a handful of interesting papers I've mentioned over the last couple of weeks. Most sit on the Consent Agenda, but the regular agenda holds RES. 2021-R034, the casino resolution, and a handful of papers about earmarking portions of the American Rescue Plan money. I can't see a world where the casino paper faces even the slightest opposition from councilmembers (but can totally see a lonnnnng line of public commenters). Tune in tonight at 6:00 PM…if you dare!Possibly related to those ARP money papers, Mark Robinson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the City will consider buying a hotel to serve as an emergency shelter. Robinson also says Council will consider a handful of other creative options like partnering with VUU to convert a motel they own and plan to redevelop or repurposing an old elementary school. I don't know enough about the physical needs for an emergency shelter, but I do like the idea of exploring all of the resources available to the City. Better than collectively shrugging and throwing up our hands!Kate Masters at the Virginia Mercury reports on the staffing issues facing daycare programs across the state. This stuck out to me: “Statewide, nearly 10 percent of Virginia's 6,047 licensed child care facilities were still closed as of May 28, according to data from the Virginia Department of Social Services. But even when centers reopen, they may be doing so with less capacity.” I have to imagine that the impending summer plus a lack of childcare options will have a pretty wide-reaching impact on employment opportunities for folks.Richmond Public School will host a Regional Community Conversation for the West End tonight from 6:00–7:00 PM. They'll discuss the plans for fall reopening and have some doctors from the Children's Hospital of Richmond to answer any of your burning kid-COVID questions. Zoom info here.Today at 10:00 AM the Richmond Police Department will report out and analyze crime data for the first half of 2021. In Chief Smith's words: “We'll share the information on crime trends and discuss our collaborative efforts with the public as we focus on a successful second half of 2021 and beyond.” You can either wait until reporters write it up for tomorrow's news or tune in and watch for yourself on the RPD facebook.Via /r/rva, a video of a blue heron stabbing a fish out of the river and then flying away with it. Nature!This morning's longreadWe're Gonna Carry That Weight a Long TimeHere's a kind of meandering essay about the stuff we accumulate and the mark we leave on the planet through all of that stuff. It's something I think about a lot!Like Woolf, Landy discovered that losing everything he owned was a negotiation with memory. His artist's archive—the record of a lifetime's work—was broken up. The most difficult thing to destroy was a sheepskin coat that had belonged to his father, which he saved until the very end. Despite this, the experience was “a huge rush,” he later recalled. And yet by eviscerating the material evidence of his entire life, he was guaranteeing that he'd be remembered in a particular way. “I kind of knew that as it was going on,” Landy said, “that I would always be known as that person who destroyed all his worldly belongings.” And in any case, “destroyed” is really just a euphemism. The remains of Landy's things ended in landfill, to begin a new, patient existence among the 16 million metric tons of household waste that enters UK landfill every year.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the Day
0:30- With the most dominant pitcher of the decade here in DC, we discuss whether it's time to move on with Scherzer and trade him for prospects in this segment. 16:15- We get you guys all the highlights around the sports world for your five at 5. 30:50- We react to reports stating Heinicke has looked better at minicamp than Fitzpatrick, could he be our guy to start week 1? 36:40- Michael Phillips, WFT beat writer for the Richmond Times Dispatch, joins us as he writes about Heinicke performing better than Fitzpatrick so far at camp. What is your reaction to this news? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F, and who's excited for more of the same?? Today you can expect highs in the 80s and a chance for downpours. NBC12's Andrew Freiden says we could catch a break this weekend, though.Water coolerAs of this morning, the Virginia Department of Health reports the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as: 198, 31, and 7.7, respectively. VDH reports a seven-day average of 19.4 new cases in and around Richmond (Richmond: 3.9; Henrico: 6.6, and Chesterfield: 9). Since this pandemic began, 1,331 people have died in the Richmond region. 44.7%, 55.9%, and 52.3% of the population in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This week's stacked chart is really something to look at—across the board you'll see the lowest levels of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths pretty much since this pandemic began. I know a lot of folks are holding their breath until fall—when things took a turn last year—but, for now, the data is down and things are looking up!Biden Goal update! With 68.5% of adults in Virginia with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and one day to go, we're definitely going to miss my projection of hitting 70% on June 12th. Honestly, at the current rate, hitting July 4th might turn out to be a photo-finish. Either way, this is a dumb thing to be so focused on! Vaccinating the rest of these folks will take long, slow, methodical work—like over the course of this entire year. Shouting about the president's fairly arbitrary goal won't get us there any faster (I will continue to shout about it for reasons I don't really understand!).Y'all! Richmond 300, like, the plan itself, has won a major award! The American Planning Association announced that Richmond 300 won the Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan, making it the #1 comprehensive plan in the country. As one friend put it, this is like winning the master plan Heisman. Congratulations to all of the City staff who worked so hard on Richmond 300, and congratulations to many of you who also served on committees, attended meetings, and submitted public comments. Let me quote a bit from the APA writeup: “Expansive community engagement, unlike any seen in the city's history, led to the creation of Richmond 300: A Guide For Growth…Recognizing the city's history of racist policies that left many residents distrustful of the planning process, Richmond's planning team took special care to ensure all Richmonders can see their influence Richmond 300….After extensive outreach—including the formation and training of a community engagement team to help reach Latinx, Black, and low-income residents—planners succeeded in helping to elevate voices that had gone unheard for decades.”Chris Suarez at the Richmond Times-Dispatch covered yesterday's Urban Design Committee meeting, which, after a bunch of discussion, approved removal of nine Confederate monument remnants. Sounds like the plans will now move to the Planning Commission and then to full Council before the end of the month (assuming things don't get caught up along the way).Richmond BizSense's Mike Platania reports that Torchy's Tacos will open up a shop in the new Carytown Exchange shopping center in 2022. I know they now have tons of other locations, but time was that friends who went to SXSW would rant and rave about a trip to Torchy's.I don't think there's any new information here, but how weird is it to see a virginia.gov website with a marijuana leaf as its logo? Also, I know we already all know this, but some of these rules are farcical, and I have to believe that next year's General Assembly will try to speed up the 2024 commercial sales timeline. I mean this is what we have to live with for three years: “Beginning on July 1, adults 21 and over can grow up to four marijuana plants per household (not per person), for personal use,” but “It will remain illegal to sell marijuana seeds, clones, flower, or any other part of the marijuana plant in Virginia before 2024. Although there are some states that already have legalized marijuana sales, it remains federally illegal to move marijuana across state lines.” I guess if you can apparate a marijuana plant into your house, you're good to go!This morning's longreadGrowing up queer in AppalachiaAnother great essay in Scalawag, this one from back in 2017 around the time North Carolina was kicking around its transgender / bathroom legislation.I visit often, but I never moved back home. In large part I stayed away for the same reason anyone from the rural South does: to find work. That said, I'm not the only person from our small school who came out and moved to New York. There's a reason it's a classic. Lots of us left, or tried to. Some of us have been forced back into the closet. Some were able to stay put and strike a balance, but not nearly enough. I have a very typical queer Southern expatriate chip on my shoulder: furious at what happened to me there, furious at what still happens to my people, furious that anyone else would use their suffering as a rhetorical cudgel to distract from the exact same shit happening in their own backyards. Guilty for leaving them behind.If you'd like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol' Patreon.Picture of the Day
1:00- 20 Questions with Pete Hailey. Are the guys able to figure out the mystery player? 19:15- BMitch gives a list of the loudest stadiums that he has ever experienced. 31:10- Michael Phillips from the Richmond Times Dispatch joins the show to talk about day one of mini-camp for the WFT. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Athletic's Ben Standig gets everyone ready for the Washington Football Team's three-day minicamp with Michael Phillips from the Richmond Times-Dispatch. What's the pecking order at receiver? Will Washington add a veteran pass rush rusher? Anyone in line for an extension beside Jonathan Allen? The fellas also discuss quarterbacks, training camp back in Richmond and offer their view on reporters in the locker room.
Before going their separate ways for Memorial Day, JP Finlay, Mitch Tischler and Pete Hailey got together for one last Washington Football Talk. To begin, they discuss the rumors that Jay-Z is positioning himself to buy into the Washington Football Team and re-hash the day JP first brought that up. Then, they react to Ron Rivera's decision to cancel an OTAs session and explain what that means and whether they like it. After that, they throw to a recent interview with tight end Logan Thomas, who covers everything from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Tim Tebow to his family's new business venture. And lastly, ESPN's John Keim and the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Michael Phillips hop on and join JP, Mitch and Pete as they give out some super-early predictions on who'll star for Washington in 2021. That portion has plenty of punchlines but also solid analysis, too. If you like podcasts where Phillips goes on a weird Adam Humphries tangent for no apparent reason and Mitch's sleeveless shirt is brought up multiple times, then this is the episode for you.
John talks to Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times Dispatch to discuss their impressions from the rookie mini camp held in Ashburn over the weekend. Sign up at Monkey Knife Fight for free real money games and a match of up to $100 for first time deposits. Monkey Knife Fight gives out great props and offers incredible opportunities to test your sports knowledge with real payoffs. Use Code: JKR https://learn.monkeyknifefight.com/jkr Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices