Good Morning, RVA: Memorial garden, a word to the wise, meat fests, and writing well

The weather today: Absolutley the best. The weather this weekend: Hot as a snake.

Photo by: jon starbuck

Good morning, RVA! It’s 65 °F, and today looks perfect. Which is great, because…Friday! Expect highs in the mid 80s, a gentle breeze, beauteous sunshine, and me to cut out of work and head to the pool at some point. Join me!

And then continue to join me as I try to escape from weekend temperatures that could approach 100 °F.

Water cooler

Somehow, I’ve missed the new garden at Floyd and Colonial, which is dedicated to a 2002 murder victim. It looks beautiful and should serve as a reminder for just how much Richmond has changed over the last 15 years. Back in 2002, Richmond saw 83 murders, with 14 both in November and December. Even this year, which a lot of folks feel like is an extremely violent year, we’re “only” on pace for 54 murders. Fatal shootings in the Museum District and those 2002 numbers are just so hard for me to envision now, in 2016.

There is a thing that I’m struggling with whether or not to talk about because I fully believe in the value of earned media. So instead, I will just encourage folks who may be downtown or on campus tonight to express their anger and emotion in legal ways that don’t end with them in jail and with Richmond on the front page of the New York Times.

There are, however, a lot of other things going on this weekend that I feel no apprehension calling out by name! Behold! Two meat-based festivals: The Bacon Festival and the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival!

Delete your account happened. Compare that bit of inspired writing to this overly dry description of it in the NYT: “Mrs. Clinton’s tweet telling Mr. Trump to delete his Twitter account was one of the most widely shared of the campaign.” Writing, man, it’s hard, but when you get it right, it feels so, so good.

A federal appeals court in California ruled that you can’t just carry around a concealed gun in public. What does that mean for gun laws across the nation? Probably not much since the Supreme Court is not yet (and may choose not to be) involved.


  • Squirrels swept New Hampshire! Not, like, they tidied up New Hampshire’s floor. No, they beat the Fisher Cats three times in a row and now move on to face Portland tonight at 7:00 PM.
  • Kickers host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds tomorrow at 5:00 PM. Check out this cool promotion they’re running: For $20 you get a ticket, a beer, and a rad USA/Richmond scarf. My sources tell me it is a summer-weight scarf, a thing I need more of in my life.
  • Nats fell to the White Sox 1-3 and begin a new series with the Phillies tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning’s longread

We R Cute Shoplifters


In the summer of 2015, Barbie and her longtime friend, who goes by the handle Unicorn-Lift, had just discovered Liftblr. Liftblr, Tumblr’s notorious shoplifting community, is an ever-changing group of mostly young female bloggers who trade tips, write about criminal exploits, and post images of stolen merchandise known as “hauls.” Unicorn-Lift actually discovered the community through an anti-lifting post, written by someone enraged by the existence of the “shoplifting fandom.” She showed Barbie, and the pair found themselves drawn into the Liftblr world. They wanted to be part of it and earn a “lift” title. The only way to do that was to steal something. Unicorn-Lift, also 15 years old, hit the local Wal-Mart. Barbie found herself at the Dollar Tree.

This morning’s Instagram

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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