Good Morning, RVA: There’s change underfoot

New laws, new buildings, new markets! The future is now!

Good morning, RVA! It’s 40 °F, and today puts us on the path toward a mid-60s weekend. Expect highs near 50 °F and some clouds while you wait impatiently and make out-of-doors plans.

Water cooler

Oh hey, the planning commission voted and approved the new(ish) plans for the 17th Street Farmers’ Market (which will now no longer strictly be a farmers’ market but will become an open-air plaza). I predict we’ll have a Nickel Bridge-like hard time not calling it the “17th Street Farmers’ Market,” but that’s part of what makes us so charming. You can flip through the entire approved plan (PDF) if you so choose–page 20 shows 75 vendor tents will fit in the newly designed space, so if you’re deeply in love a farmers’ market at that spot you need not worry!

Meanwhile, the proposed redevelopment of the Westhampton Theatrer (RIP) hit a road block when the city denied them the zoning that would allow for a 60-foot building. Scroll down to the last page of this PDF for a rendering of how you try and hide a 60-foot tall building behind the most wonderful place to watch movies in Richmond (RIP).

Jim Nolan at the RTD looks at some of the more contentious bills before today’s crossover–that’s when the Senate and House swap bills for round two of legislative Hunger Games.

And, if you were wondering how the fat cats down at the General Assembly will impact your ability to imbibe, Style Weekly’s Brandon Fox walks through all of the alcohol-related legislation floating around. If anything, the fat cats want to make it easier to get their constituents responsibly boozed.

Aw man, “Virginia lawmaker’s iPad stolen when he stopped to help hit-and-run victim.” What a bummer. Dude’s new in town and then this happens! I think this is a great idea: Any local retailer want to hook the guy up with a new bag?

Style Weekly’s annual Richmomd crime infographic is out! Charts and graphs for all! But maybe less exclamation points, since these are, like, bar charts about violent crime.

We’re a week out from RVANews Live: Fascinating People 2016! We rounded up 13 of the most interesting people we talked to last year, and they’re all going to spend the night pouring interesting thoughts and wisdom directly into your brain. It should be intimate if nothing else! Get your ticket here, or learn more about all the folks that fascinated us here.

The FBI has asked Apple to build a backdoor into iOS so they can get information off of a phone related to last year’s San Bernardino attack. Tim Cook is not stoked on this and would like you to know about it.

Sports!

  • Rams looked comfortable and balanced in their 83-67 win over Rhode Island.
  • Spiders fell to Davidson 79-83.
  • Hokies finally return to action after taking a week off. They head south to Coral Gables to take on #11 Miami at 9:00 PM. Watch on RSN.

This morning’s longread

American democracy is doomed

Insightful and not as Chicken Little as the headline makes it seem.

Some day — not tomorrow, not next year, but probably sometime before runaway climate change forces us to seek a new life in outer-space colonies — there is going to be a collapse of the legal and political order and its replacement by something else. If we’re lucky, it won’t be violent. If we’re very lucky, it will lead us to tackle the underlying problems and result in a better, more robust, political system. If we’re less lucky, well, then, something worse will happen.

This morning’s Instagram

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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