Good Morning, RVA: Suck it, vampires!

The sun returns, vanquishing vampires and puddles alike!

Photo by: TonZ

Good morning, RVA! It’s 47 °F, but don’t let this morning’s chilly vibes fool you. Highs today will hit the low 70s, and the sky will remain totally clear and blue and dry! Which I guess sounds a lot like a diaper commercial.

Water cooler

Last night at 5:16 PM, Richmond completed its 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (PDF). Sure it’s 309 days late, and sure the 2015 CAFR is due in less than two months. But it exists! I thought for sure we’d go until the last couple hours of 2015 before seeing this thing. Because I am not an accountant and do not understand finances, most of the document is an inscrutable mystery to me. Luckily, Ned Oliver at the RTD says that Laura Ried, the city’s finance director, will give a report on the report at this coming Monday’s council meeting.

Yesterday Susan Howson and I spent some time putting context to all of the ordinances and resolutions passed at last week’s city council meeting. For example, did you know that the Route 5 bridge replacement (ORD. 2015-184) must be completed before the BRT can open? The current bridge isn’t burly enough to support a super rapid bus. I seriously learned one million things. To do all of this annotating, we used a tool called Genius, which you may know as Rap Genius–the thing people use to annotate rap lyrics? Anyway, grab yourself an account and help us bring context to what city council does twice a month.

I think that how we decide to remember the history of the enslaved in Richmond is our Next Big Challenge as a city. This Michael Paul Williams editorial reminds me that it’s not just about the Lumpkin’s Jail site but about a much bigger picture and a much larger story.

There’s a strong local component to the Richmond Folk Festival. I suggest you familiarize yourself with it before heading down there this weekend. It involves lots of fiddles.

I keep having conversations with folks about what possible things the local, state, or even federal government could do to help slow the torrent of gun violence in this country. Vox has a long article about what different states have done and the (super unclear) results. Spoiler: Connecticut’s licensing requirement may be the most effective short-term tool we have.

This morning’s longread

Elysian, Anheuser-Busch, and the Fight for the Soul of Seattle’s Beer

Remember when Budweiser ran that Super Bowl commercial about how pumpkin peach beer was stupid, but they had just bought Elysian Brewing Company which makes a pumpkin peach beer? Yeah, this is the backstory.

Seattle, after all, beer is personal. People who drive Toyotas, text on iPhones, buy Diet Coke at Fred Meyer, and draw paychecks from Amazon swore off Elysian as soon as they heard the news, unable to stomach an IPA now associated with a multinational corporation. But Elysian’s journey from irreverent three-man startup to nationally respected craft brewery to property of the world’s biggest brewing company reveals a complicated mix of commitment, capitalism, personal loss, and adapting to the sort of breakneck growth that has seized the city in recent years.

Beer is exceptionally personal for 57-year-old Cantwell, whose brusque tendencies belie a tender core. While his participation was necessary for the Anheuser-Busch deal to go through, he resigned from Elysian just 13 days after the acquisition took effect. He never plans to speak to his former partners again.

This morning’s Instagram

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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