Good Morning, RVA: It’s a concrete jungle

The heat and humidity return, and for some of us downtown, we’re stuck in a shadeless concrete jungle.

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Good morning, RVA! It’s 69 °F, and heat and humidity are back in the forecast. Highs will creep back into the 90s, humidity will make you sweat, and socks should most certainly come off of you feet–they have no business there today.

Water cooler

Oysters are on the rise in the Chesapeake Bay! After years of overfishing and crap water conditions, Virginia’s oysters–the most delicious of oysters–are making a huge comeback. From the Governor’s office: “Over the past 12 years, the oyster harvest in Virginia has increased from 23,000 bushels in 2001 to an estimated 504,000 bushels last year. This is the highest level seen since 1987.” That’s $4.4 million more in oysters than last year.

Michael Paul Williams has a good piece in the RTD about the poor and crumbling state of Kanawha Plaza. You’d think a park smack dab in the center of downtown would be the spot for lunching office dwellers. Instead it’s “seldom a destination, except for the homeless and the occasional skateboarders.” Step one, in my book, would be to get some more shade over that dang concrete wasteland.

Some worrisome news about the future of the 17th Street Market: the plan to revamp the market cannot be finished by the 2015 bicycle race. One option is to tear down the existing sheds and wait until after the race to finish improvements. Honestly, this sounds like a great way to end up with another shadeless dang concrete wasteland.

Hundreds of Freeman High School students and alumni have signed a petition to bring back Rebel Man as the school’s mascot. The rising senior who created the petition says: “I know at one point the rebel man had a musket and a Confederate flag, but those things have been taken away, so now he’s just this harmless man running around in gray and blue at football games.”


  • Squirrels squeak by Akron, 2-0 , continue tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • Kickers take on Charleston Battery in Blackbaud Stadium at 7:30 PM.
  • Nats rock the Rockies, 7-2, return to action at 8:40 PM.

This morning’s longread

West Philadelphia, Reborn and Razed

To stabilize and improve its nearby neighborhoods, Penn instituted a generous employee home purchase assistance plan. It worked with local landlords to upgrade rental properties. In some cases, the university bought houses, renovated and sold them at a loss simply to help stabilize an important block. Perhaps most importantly for the neighborhood, Penn invested heavily in a new kindergarten through eighth grade public school. Though there had long been private university lab schools for children of faculty and staff, what became known as the Penn Alexander School was a pioneer in university-public schools partnership.

A really interesting look at how Drexel is working with its neighbors to transform the surrounding area.

Photo by: GrungeTextures

This morning’s Instagram

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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