2015 in review: Q3

Summer was hot, the Big Bike Race™ was hotter.


A law allowing mothers to breastfeed wherever she wants, basically, goes into effect.

Kristen Stewart, the Valentine’s Curator of Costume and Textiles, told me so, so many fascinating things about American fashion and what it means about us. Guys, the things we wear over the years says so much about us!

Then FIFA went pretty much insane. But we won the Women’s World Cup!

We love Grant Martin’s history pieces, and this one, about VUU’s Friendship Building is one of my personal favorites.

Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton sure is wonderful to talk to, and now we can follow up on a lot of these things and be like “Booya!” except we would never say that to her because we respect her too much. We might, however, say “Could you explain to me the progress of this one? Because it seems like not a ton has happened?” And then follow it up with many apologies and offers to buy lunch.

Remember when Wilder called the City out on its neglect of the Arthur Ashe statue??

Remember when Susan Hill explained so many things to us about solar power??

Oh yeah, Booze Week! That sure was a fun thing to do. Jamison Davis’s explanation of Richmond’s connection to the beer can was an intriguing read. Really, all of the Booze Week stuff was.

And here’s our media timeline of Confederate stuff, although we probably should update that to include today’s “Correspondent of the Day,” at the RTD, who tells us that they will win the battle (battle!) over the flag, because they love it more than the haters hate it. Look, fly it in your house! Fly it on your lawn! Fly it on your truck! That’s fine! Just get the dang thing off public stuff.

Our most-read story in July

New breastfeeding law goes into effect today by Valerie Catrow.

Our best headline

Mystery women in gorgeous found photos by Richard Hayes, who may have been a little in love.

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We decided to get REALLY into the Bus Rapid Transit system that Richmond is pretty much definitely going to adopt. And hence, the BRT FAQ (aka “Ross’s Personal Transportation Blog”) was born as a way to give everybody every possible data point they could ever need, all in an easy-to-read way! Basically that means we explain something carefully but with a lot of jokes, as is our wont. Anyway, here’s the first one, that explains what a BRT even is and you can read the rest of them here.

The Watermelon Festival came and went, as it always does, and we used that opportunity to begin “series” called Fake Richmonder. Here is why: Sometimes we have ideas for humorous pieces that make us laugh, and we don’t really have a way right now to have a “THIS IS HUMOR” section, so we title them all with Fake Richmonder somewhere in there. Why “Fake Richmonder?” Because Ross didn’t believe that people would understand that Watermelon Festival one was fake. We argued about this for ages. “The People will totally not think this is real! How could they possibly!” said I. Said Ross, “I guarantee you, if we don’t explicitly call it fake, someone will INSTANTLY be like ‘Awha?'”

Well, we called it fake, and people were instantly like “Awha?” anyway, which made us all laugh more than the piece itself did. Since then, Fake Richmonder has been our satirical arm, and it’s written by “RVANews Staff” only because it’s usually a collective effort. I have learned since that if people either don’t get a joke, don’t think it’s funny, or don’t agree with the point the piece is trying to make, they will get super angry and say really rude things about how we are all terrible writers. To us, that probably makes them feel good on some weird level, so we have achieved our mission no matter what!

Will BridgePark be a thing?

Folks went nuts over David and Anne Shultz’s Our House story about their little girl triplets. Go nuts again, for the first time!

Bummer that this is absolutely not what it looks like down on 17th Street.

I happen to have a very old friend who is also a taxonomist AND a writer, and the answers to the questions I asked him about Target getting rid of their pink and blue toy-store shelving were SO good, they became a piece in themselves!

Sweet Fix opened! We celebrate their entire catalogue!

Bike Race coverage heated up to a simmer as the Big Week approached. Here’s a thing we did on the Ana Edwards-led reproach of holding so much of it on Monument Avenue. And here’s how excited we were about the Capital Trail.

Coffee with Strangers featured our very own Lauren Millard! We were pleased as punch. She told us all to stop talking about it, please.

Oh! It looks like August was when Heaton Johnson started doing photoessays for us. Now we talk about him with misty eyes, because he is a prince among photographers. He’ll be back in a bit, and Heaton, we hope you are doing well and feeling better every day.

My personal favorite Fake Richmonder yet.

Our most-read story

Trevor Dickerson’s photos of Stone Brewing’s slab-laying. And this was just a slab being laid! Imagine when we can get a tour of the finished product!

Our best headline

Dammit, Richard. Sidewalk swallows a human by Richard Hayes.

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ARCpark was the talk of the town for a couple of weeks. And Maggi Tinsley’s Our House about adopting two girls on her own was the talk of our readers, too.

You can interpret this article about the grossness/relative cleanliness of the James River any way you want. I sure did.

Kathryn Pullam, one of our best and brightest newer freelancers, graciously agreed to come up with a comprehensive list of active events for you and yours every couple of months or so. If you see her around, thank her with a sweaty hug. (Ask permission first, I don’t want her to get mad at me).

Speaking of new freelancers, Brett Stonecipher won our hearts with a really nicely done piece about RVA’s bike culture.

Weathered and seasoned freelancer Valerie Catrow (JK, Val, you are young and sprightly) wrote an adorable and heartfelt thing about forcing herself to be interested in her son’s beloved Minecraft. I think about this article a lot, not just because she spawned two dogs in it.

This Armenian genocide memory is sobering to say the least.

Rumors were swirling madly around the Big Bike Race™, which we decided to fake trademark.

When it began, we pretty much put every other piece of scheduled content on hold and devoted our time and energy to covering as much of it as we could, including a morning briefing, which both sapped our energy and ignited our enthusiasm.

For a trip down Bike Race Lane (God, how much do I wish that existed!), view all of our coverage here. It’ll really bring you back.

Our most-read story in September

Cyclist Matt Crane and I had lots and lots and lots of feelings about the UCI Road World Cycling Championships and its impact on the City, the citizens, and the future. You may barf at all our emoting again if you like, if you read The Big Bike Race™ is gone but it’ll never be forgotten.

Our best headline

Sorry, Richard, it’s Hayley DeRoche this time. Kid-friendly music that won’t make your earballs bleed.

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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