Good Morning, RVA: Feelings and frustration

Yesterday sure did blow, but maybe today will be a lot better.

Good morning, RVA! It’s 63°F, and today looks free and clear with a high of 84°F, a heck-no chance of precipitation, and a twinkle in its eye.

Water cooler

Yesterday turned out to be terrible, with two TV newspeople from WDBJ in Roanoke shot and killed by a disgruntled former employee. By now, you probably know the rest: a manhunt ensued, the guy was posting on Twitter and Facebook (including a first-person video of the shootings), and he shot himself and later died.

It’s tough to know how to talk about this stuff. Since Ross has been on vacation, he’s had to update our too-complicated-for-me-to-grok homicide page three times. And I’ve had to say to him things like “There was a shooting in Gilpin Court but the victim lived, so I’ll be in touch if I need you,” (there were two shootings there on Tuesday, and the police basically had to move in). My heart truly goes out to the families of Alison Parker and Adam Ward–and the family of Vester Flanagan too–but being a journalist puts you in a weird position of having kind of a birds-eye view of what moves The People and what The People want to know about. And, The People, we should be moved a lot more by the violence that’s all around us, every day. It is real, and it is alarming.

This was the best article I could find about yesterday, guns, social media, and live television. Here’s another from Vox that rounds up some good stats and editorial feelings. And this was one of only a handful of pieces I could find about why these rampage shooters–and a huge majority of an kind of shooter–are men.

And to make our disenchantment complete, the tiny surprise panda at the National Zoo has died.

I promise I’ll lighten up in a second, but first, read this great editorial by A. Barton Finkle at the Times-Dispatch about how the City has handled some majority-Latino poverty areas by slapping them with a bunch of fines.

VCU Medical Center is now VCU Health, but it’s still accurate to use VCU Medical Center in some cases. Which…great! I try hard, but “MCV” is what comes out of my mouth.

James L. Thornhill’s new Black Cyclone mural has a neat background, which Peter Galuszka at Style will tell you all about!


  • Nats lost to Padres by one run last night, and this very evening, we shall determine who will go home the winner of this series, and who will just go home to weep.
  • Squirrels sold out their game last night, as I was well aware, being caught in the Diamond-area melee, and won the day AND their series. They go on to play the Akron “Angry Ducks” tonight.

What to expect

  • Food news!
  • 5 things to do this weekend!
  • A truly gorgeous photo essay on what “back to school” really feels like on the VCU campus.
  • All of the ways to reuse your recycling bin (for real this time).

This morning’s longread

A Gorilla Match (or 5) at the Bronx Zoo

Man, the process of getting animals to make more animals is more complicated than you’d think. Also, “stud registry number.” Heh.

“There’s sex without bonding in humans and other animals,” he said. “Is there any romance in a one-night stand? Well yes, some, but it’s not very high quality, very deep or long lasting.”

Lions and elephants make male gorillas look like family men. Ernie plays with his babies, and can stop a young gorilla from too much roughhousing just by arching his sagittal crest. The male gorilla will protect the troop if it is threatened, and because female gorillas will leave if they are unhappy, Ernie has an incentive to behave himself.

This morning’s Instagram

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Susan Howson

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

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