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September 22nd, 2016 

Good morning, RVA: The Roanoke 40, annoying actuallys, and Monroe Park renovations

The perpetual clouds, drizzle, and dampness are on the way out (I think).

Good morning, RVA! It’s 69 °F, and the temperatures will slowly climb to about 80 °F. The pervasive dampness of the last couple days should clear up later this afternoon, and we may even see the sun! Remember that guy?

Water cooler

I love these Richmond Forward updates about the school funding haps! In this one they explain The Roanoke 40, a plan the Star City has in place for schools to receive 40% of all property tax and other local tax receipts but, in exchange, agree to pay 100% of the debt services associated with capital projects. This seems like a nice compromise that allows for a dedicated source of funding for facilities, while tempering some of a school district’s enthusiasm for building schools that actually do have a pool on the roof. The best part of the update is when they list out all the stuff that’s way more important to focus on (advocacy to improve/remove SOLs, parent involvement and communication, examining suspension practices) that we can’t even get to until our buildings stop falling down. Truth!

On the school funding tip, the Finance and Economic Development Standing committee will hear a bunch of papers related to school funding today—check the agenda here (PDF). All of these papers are patroned by Councilman and mayoral candidate Jon Baliles.

Here is an editorial in the RTD that literally actuallys the fact that police are killing black people. Their words: “Some recent research has suggested that while the police use force more often against minorities, they actually use deadly force against whites more often.” Unbelievable. Not everything always needs to be about white people!

Meanwhile, in Charlotte, protests continued last night after police killed a black man on Tuesday who was either armed or reading a book.

I missed that the Richmond Crusade for Voters endorsed Joe Morrissey on Tuesday night. Scroll down to the bottom of Ned Oliver’s article to see their endorsements in each of the City Council and School Board races, too.

Yesterday, the Monroe Park Conservancy announced that they’d raised enough money to begin renovations to the city’s oldest park—that’s $3 million in private funds to match the City’s $3 million. This agreement between the City and the Conservancy is a public-private partnership and means the Conservancy will operate the park for the next 30 years. First, let me say this: Apparently this is a pretty common practice for parks (the Conservancy says Central Park and Maymont operate this way), but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m woefully underknowledged on the subject and would happily listen to someone talk about it for a couple of hours over beers. Second, once construction gears up, the park will close for about a year and a half. As some services to homeless people are provided in the park, this gives me pause.

Richmond Magazine’s Susan Winiecki is interviewing all the mayoral candidates…in a boat. An actual boat! TIL: Jack Berry built a canoe.

The language being used in these Petersburg Woe Watch™ articles continues to grow in intensity. Today, a lawsuit over “unpaid sewer bills has pushed Petersburg one step closer toward financial ruin.” The City Attorney’s response to the lawsuit is rough, too. He basically says, “Come on guys, have you been reading the papers? We’re working on it.”


  • Nats broke their losing streak with an 8–3 win over the Marlins. Now they rest up and wait for the Pirates on Friday.

This morning’s longread

A Conversation With Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine was just named a 2016 MacArthur genius grant recipient. This is an interview with her from last year.

One of the things that writing this book has helped me do is call out those moments immediately. In the past I was clocking them and then later on thinking about them. Since writing Citizen, I don’t do that any more. Now you say something to me, I say, “You know, that’s racist.” And the person’s like, “No, no, that’s not what I meant,” and I’m like, “I don’t know what you meant – I’m telling you it’s racist.” In fact, I don’t even care what you meant. And whereas before I felt like I didn’t want to be the person that makes you feel uncomfortable, now I don’t give a shit about your comfort. What about my comfort?

This morning’s Instagram

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Richmond, VA 23260-5315