Good Morning, RVA: So, so cool

Nice and cool temperatures to start off this wonderful Thursday.

Photo by: marfdrat

Good morning, RVA! It’s 50 °F at the moment, but the world will warm pleasantly to the mid-70s as the sun rises and remains in the sky. The weekend ahead looks hot and humid, but these last couple days of the work week proper feel like they could be pretty special.

Water cooler

Yesterday, Governor McAuliffe granted an absolute pardon to Michael McAlister. McAlister served 29 years after being wrongly convicted of abduction and attempted rape in 1986. The absolute pardon means he’s also free from a possible civil commitment as well. Frank Green has a bunch more fascinating details in today’s RTD.

Also yesterday, a man jumped off the Varina-Enon Bridge, survived, and then began to swim away before he was apprehended by police. This is a 150-foot tall bridge! I am amazed. Unrelated to whatever scary and real-life situation was going on yesterday, the Varina-Enon Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge, which is a really neat compromise between a cantilevered and suspension bridge. This random Federal Highway Administration page from 2007 says it’s the only cable-stayed bridge in Virginia.

Jason Roop over at Style Weekly has an interesting piece about the River City Flippers, a local pinball league. “Because of the lack of machines available across town, the Richmond-area league is limited to 20 members — with a waiting list.” This is a bummer–pinball machines are awesome! Maybe we could see a resurgence in them like we’ve seen with vinyl records (for more about that, check out today’s longread).

As the president of the Anne Holton Fan Club, I am required to link you to this Richmond Magazine article about her recent talk at the Up & Atom Women’s Leadership Fundraising Initiative breakfast.

Vox has a graph of deaths per billion passenger-miles traveled by mode of transportation. As expected, planes and trains are some of the safest ways to travel when measured like this (never ride a motorcycle).


  • Squirrels bust Binghamton, 2-1. They’ll travel to Bowie today. Richmond is now tied for last place in their division, which I feel like is a great accomplishment after losing 15 straight.
  • Wizards fell to the Hawks, 81-82.
  • Caps lost in overtime to the Rangers, 1-2, and are now eliminated from the Stanley Cup.
  • Nats beat the Diamondbacks, though, 9-6. They’ve now won six of their last seven and face the Padres tonight at 10:10 PM.

What to expect

  • It’s Thursday, so you know that means Food News and 5 Things.
  • STILL MORE about Riverrock’s bands and sports. Will it ever end? Only when it stops being so awesome!
  • The Mill at Fine Creek is a beautiful place, you will learn.
  • Don Mears Photography will make you feel some emotions with a story about one wedding in particular.

This morning’s longread

Pressed to the Edge: Why vinyl hype is destroying the record

The trouble starts before that. “There are only two companies worldwide that produce lacquers. One of these companies is a one-man operation in Japan run by an old man who produces the lacquers in his garage. It’s excellent quality, but who knows how much longer he can and especially will want to continue to do this. When we are in contact with him, we attempt to order as many lacquers as we can in order to stock up as much as possible. You don’t really know when you will reach him again. The other company is in the USA and serves a large portion of the market. It is practically a monopoly. This is not good for business.”

Lacquers are the blank discs that music is cut into, they’re then coated in metal and used to stamp out vinyl records. This is all super interesting and simultaneously really weird considering the machines used to make superior sounding digital audio files exist all over the place (I’m typing into one as we speak!) and do not require a Japanese master craftsman to make a thing in his garage.

This morning’s Instagram

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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