Good Evening, RVA: Welp!

There it is!

Michael Chronister

It was a difficult day in RVA.

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First and foremost

We announced something really sad.

Thank you guys so much for being such a cool readership–we had a lot of fun, and today has been seriously painful. Please feel free to get in touch, especially if you have a lot of tissues you want to give me. I would like to give a personal thank you to everyone who has contributed to the site–we were carried by a whole lot of good talent who I loved working with so much. I’m not sure what is more upsetting, the idea that I won’t get to interact with everyone on a daily basis, or that…no wait, that’s what it is. There is no other part to that sentence. Those people did a lot of work for not very much money, and they all were so dang cheerful about it all the time. If you find anyone with RVANews on their resume and you would like to hire a good person, those are the people you need to hire. We wouldn’t steer you wrong.

But let us all stop hand-wringing and get onto the content that all of those talented people put together today!

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Let’s discuss Stephanie Ganz

In this second edition of Stephanie’s biscuit round-up, you’ll learn a lot of things about local biscuits and also Stephanie’s Bojangles-laden past. But it also gives me the opportunity to talk about how I truly believe that Stephanie Ganz is the city’s best food writer. I’m really sorry, other food writers, but I am partial. She’s so frigging funny, knows so much about what she’s talking about (culinary school, what?), and has been a long-running member of our team. Her business, The Apple Cart, applies those incredible talents towards food-related businesses, and I suggest you give her a shout if you need her services. Thank you so much, Stephanie. It is my pleasure to have had you as a writer and a friend.

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Let’s discuss Heaton Johnson

Heaton came to us via a cold email, but his photography portfolio was so amazing that I told him to come by ASAP and introduce himself. I quickly found out that he was the hardest working person I’ve ever met–ask him for one thing and he will give you 20. I hope we haven’t taken advantage of his overachieving work ethic, but I do hope we have taken advantage of his talent appropriately. Today, we bring you photos he took while on a field trip with Blue Sky Fund, even before he knew they’d be launching their three-day crowdfunding campaign! Heaton has a huge heart that just about matches his huge talent, and we don’t know why in the world he bothered to work so hard for us, but we’re so glad he did.

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Ram bhagat

Photo by @tedxrva

Let’s discuss Rachel Marsh

There is not a week that goes by without me shouting something in the office about how much I love Rachel Marsh’s writing. She picks up any assignment I give her and adjusts her tone perfectly, from funny to heartwarming to informative. I love what she’s done with 5 Things, which I felt a lot of ownership over. It was tough to hand that over to someone else, and she did it so perfectly, I couldn’t believe it. This week she talks to 2016 Peacemaker of the Year Ram Bhagat, who is an Important Person for the City. I really hope Rachel gets snapped up by another publication soon, because I am desperate to read more of her writing. Preferably every day.

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And of course, Valerie Catrow

What can one even say about Val? She had my job long before I did, and she was my editor long before I was hers. She is incredibly easy to work with and she’s also a very dear friend. When I have a piece on the calendar the next day that’s by Val, it’s like, “Oh, well, that one will need zero work from me,” which is a wonderful feeling to have. Val has written our family content for…gosh, who knows how long…and she absolutely always makes me laugh. Three times a week. Sometimes via text. Val also has a sixth sense for when you are upset about something and will text you immediately during that time with something that is perfectly planned (or maybe not planned?) to make you feel better. And because I love libraries, this piece by her about the new Varina library sure made my day brighter.

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Susan Howson

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

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