Good Morning, RVA: The B, to the WPA, to the GOV, to the TAX.

Ride something to work today.

Photo by: bionicteaching

Good morning, RVA! It’s only 57 °F right now, but today’s highs are expected to hit 85 °F. This is excellent weather to get outside and experiment with human-powered locomotion.

Water cooler

Yesterday, the confluence of Richmond’s bike share announcement and the exceedingly temperate day, had my various timelines filled with folks out riding their bikes. That fills me with joy, you guys. The new bike share system–“the B,” if you will–looks super rad and adroitly combines friendly branding with Black & Gold. Hmmmm what else in the immediate footprint of the bike share system cares about Black & Gold stuff? VCU. The answer is VCU. I don’t think that (necessarily) means VCU will be involved at the sponsor level, but I do think it was a smart branding decision that both gives you a leg up with the massive number of VCU students milling about and counters the feeling that bike share is only something for awkward tourists. As for pricing (full fee schedule in the previous link), it costs $1.75 per trip (unless you pay a Netflix-style monthly (or yearly) membership) and that includes the first 45 minutes of your trip. If you fail to return the bike to a station within 45 minutes (which, what’s taking you so long, brah) you start to incur time-based fees. Remember: bike share works best when the bikes exist to share, not when all the bikes are locked up outside Kroger while you do your grocery shopping.

I guess this is a thing to keep an eye on: “More than 70 donors to Stoney’s campaign got state posts under McAuliffe administration,” reports the RTD’s Graham Moomaw. Stoney’s job before he began running for mayor, as Secretary of the Commonwealth, was literally to appoint people: “One of the functions of our office is to assist the Governor in his appointments of nearly 4,000 individuals to serve on Virginia’s boards and commissions.” Is it all that surprising that when Stoney sat down to make a list of all the rich people he knew that 70 of them would be people he had worked with in his previous job? Don’t get me wrong, the last thing we need is Yet Another Pay For Influence Scandal, I just don’t think this is that.

Related, if you didn’t click on Graham’s link in the previous paragraph, go back and do so and read the whole thing. There’s some great analysis at the bottom of the piece on who’s donating to these mayoral campaigns, where they live, that kind of thing. At some point, VPAP will update and we’ll all be able to poke at the financial data.

Southsiders! Your life has just improved as Karri Peifer says a new WPA Bakery has just opened on that side of the river! I have looked at their menu and confirmed that both of these things exist: Buttermilk pie and hummingbird cake. I didn’t see their delicious canelés on the menu, but I’ll keep my stomach crossed that they’ll be available in the new shop.

Style Weekly’s Jack Lauterback hung out with the governor of Virginia at the Greek Festival. Who’s even handling this guy’s schedule?? Is he going to the GWAR B-Q (tickets on sale tomorrow)?? It wouldn’t surprise me??

Whoa, Philadelphia is close to passing a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on soda sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. How’d they sell the public on the idea? Not public health reasons, but funding–funding for things like schools. People running for City Council: One of you should 100% propose legislation like this. If we’re too scared to tax cigarettes because we’re home to Altria, maybe we won’t be too scared to tax soda?

Oh! I almost forgot, there’s a Richmond Region Transit Vision Plan meeting tonight at Central Montessori! If you want to weigh in on the long term vision for transit in the region, you should totally be there.


  • Squirrels are riding a three-game win streak, don’t jinx it! They take on New Hampshire tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • Nats are also celebrating a three-game win streak! Great job everyone. They finish up their series against the White Sox at 8:10 PM.

This morning’s longread

Unplugging the Colorado River

Here’s the really fascinating story of what we keep doing to the Colorado river to make sure people out west have enough water to survive.

The result was an elegant, sweeping structure engineered in an arch bowing against the pressure of the water, enabling a relatively thin sheet of concrete to withstand unfathomable forces. The reservoir behind the dam would be so deep that the sheer height of the water promised to generate enormous currents of power. By all measures, its completion was a feat. It took 17 years for the reservoir to fill; 19 years later, a steady decline began. Thanks to the steady overuse of the Colorado River system — which provides water to one in eight Americans and supports one-seventh of the nation’s crops — Lake Powell has been drained to less than half of its capacity as less water flows into it than is taken out. Look for the B to drop later this summer and, of course, for some public meetings where we can discuss the proposed station locations.

This morning’s Instagram

Play trip with #rivercityadventures

A photo posted by Spencer Marfing (@offsetbearing) on

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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