Good Morning, RVA: Dang unseasonable

Weather, are you feeling alright? Do you need to talk or something?

Photo by: rob surreal

Good morning, RVA! It’s 62 °F…!? Highs today will hit the mid-70s, and there’s a good chance of rain later this afternoon. I will not be wearing socks today.

Water cooler

Katy Burnell Evans and Ned Oliver bring us this disappointing piece about Richmond’s school facilities. The three phases of our government–the mayor, city council, and school board–tasked with fixing a decades-old problem of school buildings literally falling apart are unable to make the hard choices to get it done. The mayor’s office says that since only 11% of Richmond’s population is served by schools, maybe the rest of the tax payers don’t feel like it’s their responsibility to help through the higher taxes required to build new buildings and fix the ancient ones falling down around students daily. 11% is the number of children enrolled in Richmond Public Schools in 2014 (23,957) divided by Richmond’s 2013 population (214,114). This number does not include current parents, children under the age of five and their parents, prospective parents, RPS employees (over 3,500 in the staff directory), and people who are unwilling to move to Richmond because they heard the school buildings are literally falling apart. Combined, the number of humans impacted and serviced by Richmond public schools is bigger than 11%. Mayor Jones won the 2008 election by just 2.5% of Richmond’s population. Keep that in mind as we start to hear about 2016’s crop of mayoral candidates.

City Council meets tonight, and you can check out the agenda right here. The gross couch ordinance (no inside furniture allowed outside) and creating a new official Office of Community Wealth Building are both on the consent agenda, as is the ordinance to close a teensy portion of Brook Road which may or may not lead to the Treechopapocalypse. Councilman Baliles’s resolution about Boulevard redevelopment remains on the regular agenda, but the mayor’s similar resolution has been continued. Tune in tonight at 6:00 PM and on Twitter at #rvacouncil.

Tina Griego’s Sunday column in Richmond Magazine makes me sad. Anam Shah and Hiba Ahmad–both Muslims, VCU students, and all around inspiring people–say the responsibility to counter insane anti-Muslim rhetoric falls on their shoulders. This bums me out. I wish their responsibilities were, like, finishing college, finding a job, and hanging out downtown. But this is not the case.

The 2016 Elbys nominations–think the Oscars but for the Richmond food scene–exist and are ready for your consumption. You will recognize many, many names on the list plus see a few new ones that will remind you to make some reservations over your holiday break.

Vox has a good explainer on the outcome of the Paris climate talks and how it differs from previous global climate agreements.


  • #7 Richmond upset #2 Illinois State, 39-27. They’ll now head to the semifinals to take on #3 North Dakota State on Friday.
  • Richmond (roundball) put up a 77-59 win over Longwood.
  • Hokies (roundball) dominated Lamar, 80-45.
  • Washington beat the Bears, 24-21. With a 6-7 record they sit atop the NFC East standings, tied with the Eagles.

This morning’s longread

Two degrees: How the world failed on climate change

Apropos of the conclusion of the climate talks in Paris, here’s how we decided on 2 °C as the magic climate change number.

Around this time, an advisory council of scientists in Germany proposed a stunningly simple way to think about climate change. Look, they reasoned, human civilization hasn’t been around all that long. And for the last 12,000 years, Earth’s climate has fluctuated within a narrow band. So, to be on the safe side, we should prevent global average temperatures from rising more than 2° Celsius (or 3.6° Fahrenheit) above what they were just before the dawn of industrialization.

This morning’s Instagram

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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