Good Morning, RVA: Baklava, security details, emotions, and nemeses

Hot and humid today, folks! Summer in Richmond!

Photo by: stevendepolo

Good morning, RVA! It’s 69 °F, and today’s highs will approach 90 °F. We’ve got some clouds out there, but things should stay pretty dry most of the day (but pretty humid also, so maybe, like, your armpits will not stay dry).

Water cooler

The Greek Festival opens its 41st year today at 11:00 AM and runs through Sunday at 7:00 PM. Hitting up the Greek Festival for a weekday lunch has definitely become an early summer ritual that I look forward to every year, and this year is no different: I had a legit dream involving spanakopita last night. If you’re somehow unfamiliar with the festival’s culinary offerings, check out the menu before heading over. Side note: Every year I am reamazed that our Greek festival owns the URL.

The Mayor’s security detail is officially kaput now that the deadline for him to issue vetoes on Council’s budget amendments has passed. The detail costs about a half a million bucks, and those officers will now be reassigned to other duties. This is definitely a mostly symbolic, but publicly appreciated, act by our government to eliminate some spending–but we’re only talking $500,000 and no spending was actually eliminated. Baby steps, though.

Speaking of spending, every panelist at last night’s RVANews Live–the Executive Director of Peter Paul Development Center Damon Jiggets, School Board Chair Jeff Bourne, Richmond Forward’s Garet Prior, and a handful of students from George Wythe High School–all said Richmond Public Schools need more money to get the job done. And we’re not talking, like, a fanciful, gold-plated job. Just the base-level, regular-type job of safely educating kids. And right now it feels like we’re failing at that. It’s tough to hear a high school student say that we’ve given up on him.

Folks who have Anthem health insurance: You can now go to Patient First again and they will accept this insurance!

Yo, bike thieves might be the worst kind of thieves–especially ones that steal kids’ bikes. Get out of here with that garbage!

This is a pretty neat story in Style Weekly about the Poe Museum’s acquisition of some new anti-Poe materials: Papers from his nemesis Rufus Griswold, who has maybe the best nemesis name ever! Also, you gotta click through and check out the painting of this guy who definitely looks like a total nemesis.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. NASA posted a super detailed photo of the surface of Pluto and nobody told me?? For shame people. FOR SHAME. (BTW, the resolution of that amazing picture is 260 feet per pixel, that’s about 50 miles across)

From the NYT’s daily briefing, I learned that Donkey Kong debuted in the U.S. 35 years ago today.


If the NBA is your thing, the finals begin tonight, FYI.

  • The Fort Lauderdale Strikers eliminated the Kickers from the U.S. Open Cup on penalty kicks yesterday. That’s a bummer.
  • Flying Squirrels split yesterday’s double header with Bowie. That series wraps up tonight at 6:35 PM, and you can get tickets online.
  • Nats swept the Phillies and now take the the day off to celebrate.

This morning’s longread

Confessions of a Wasteful Scientist

Read this immediately, then, to be fair, read the Senator’s report (PDF) which is surprisingly compelling and readable. I wonder how much government time/money went into putting it together? Words just don’t write them self, y’all!

Last week, U.S. Senator Jeff Flake released his list of top 20 science investigations that he considered most wasteful uses of government funds. The list is meant to be read. It’s written in fifth-grade language and filled with colorful cartoons of animals. When I see the report, I think of my own two children, 5-year old Harry and 3-year old Heidi, who will soon be able to read about the featured studies. When my children read it, they will learn two things. First, there is such a thing as wasteful science and that it is rampant. Of the 20 studies listed, there are likely thousands of others that beg for explanation and motivation. The second thing that my children will learn is that three of the 20, or 15 percent of America’s most wasteful science, was contributed by their father.

This morning’s Instagram

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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