Good Morning, RVA: Mowing, finances, combopacks, America!

Yeah, there’s a chance of rain today.

Photo by: givesmehell

Good morning, RVA! It’s 58 °F, cloudy, and there’s a chance of rain–it’s a mostly small chance, though! Temperatures will be back up in the mid 70s, so if you take a second and squint just right, today looks pretty OK.

Water cooler

Terribly long grass growing in a median, park, or school playground near you is just one of the million ways the City’s budget crisis impacts your life. Last year’s cuts, coupled with this year’s mostly flat funding, leave the Department of Public Works in a tough spot to get all 416 locations (65 schools, 25 city-owned facilities, 38 playgrounds, 150 parks and recreational areas, 138 right-of-ways and medians) mowed with the staff and cash they have on hand. At this past Monday’s City Council meeting, Councilman Agelasto said he’d be out there with a weed-eater attacking some of the overgrown medians in his district (skip forward to 2:19 in the meeting audio to listen). While Councilwoman Trammell called him out and questioned if such a thing was even legal (they’re gonna look into it), I love Agelasto’s call for “all hands on deck when it comes to beautifying our communities.” Ned Oliver has more on the situation, including some quotes from the Deputy Director of Public Works about whether or not the public can get involved in doing the work.

Kind of related, WRIC would like to remind us that the City has still not completed their 2015 CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report), which was due to the state back in November. They were 11 months late on 2014’s, so there’s still plenty of time to beat last year’s record. Note that this article also mentions underfunding and vacancies as the reason a City department cannot perform a mandated service. This is just like cutting grass in medians, but, like, figuring out the city’s finances. Although I don’t think we want Joe Citizen jumping in on the weekends to help fix this one…

Ooo, I’m into this idea of somehow combining bike share membership with BRT bus fare. I have absolutely zero idea how that would work since both programs are funded in completely different ways and subject to all sorts of their own constraints–still a neat idea though. Also, when I talked to the City’s Bike Guy a couple months back, he definitely said one of the aims of the bike share was to augment people’s commute and that totally includes making access to the BRT convenient! If you’d like to give the City your thoughts and feelings about bike share, their online survey is still open.

It’s a million years away, but the next guest on RVA Tonight–Richmond’s live-performance late show–will be the real, actual governor of Virginia! That’s crazy!

Budweiser renaming Bud Heavy to “America” is just the best thing ever. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

I’m a bad world citizen and had not followed any of the stuff going on with Brazil’s president, who, after today, may no longer be Brazil’s president.


  • Uh oh, the Squirrels are starting to build up quite a losing streak–it’s been a week since they last won a game. Today, they try to avoid the sweep against Harrisburg at 12:05 PM.
  • Kickers face the Toronto FC II today at 11:30 AM up in Canada. You can live stream it from your desk!
  • Nats lost to ther Tigers, 4-5, and finish that series tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • With a 3-4 loss to the Penguins, the Caps have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup.

This morning’s longread

How Would You Do in Supermax? The Answer May Lie with Imagination and Grit

Fascinating how different people handle solitary confinement. But how is this still allowed as a thing we do to fellow humans?

“I used to lie in bed with my eyes closed,” says Perez, “thinking about my past, thinking about my future, planning for the future. Some of it was based on reality, and the other–borderline fantasy.” He tapped into a tunnel-like experience, creating a personal space for himself inside the tiny physical space of his cell. Over time, he got more intentional about how he was using his time in his “mental workspace,” as Schlegel refers to the overlapping networks that allow intentional imagination to take place. Perez believes what he ended up doing “bordered on meditation.”

The People’s Longread

Annals of Pard: My Life So Far, by Pard, Part I

Here’s the first longread submitted by one of our Patreon patrons. It is…cat fan fic? Honestly, if someone wrote Twilight but with cats they’d be an instant millionaire. Surely this already exists!?

In the strange place, all the humans were toms and queens and strangers, and there were far too many cats, all strangers. Sometimes I cried and sometimes I got my tail up for a while. None of the humans ever shouted or swatted, and some of them petted. But I mostly remember being in the little room with strange cats in it and with walls I could see through into a lot of other little rooms with see-through walls and cats in them. Cats, and toys, and litter boxes, and climbing places, and hiding boxes.

If you’d like to suggest a People’s Longread, toss us a couple bucks over on Patreon.

This morning’s Instagram


A photo posted by Chenla (@chenlaou) on

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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