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#WTF FIFA

Tune in tomorrow to see what happens next in the crazy soap opera world that is FIFA.

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The world’s governing body of soccer has a long history of making dubious decisions. Here are their most recent WTF moments.

[update num=3]Update #3 — July 2, 2015; 10:22 AM[/update]

Inept FIFA Forces Women’s World Cup Opponents To Share Hotel

Makes for an awkward time at the free continental breakfast.

Morgan Brian’s collision raises scrutiny of FIFA’s concussion rules

This just in brain damage is bad, perhaps we should stop letting players play when their brain has been rattled.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter will not attend Women’s World Cup final in Vancouver

Surprising absolutely nobody. I was hoping for COPS in Canada FIFA Edition with Sepp running through an alley in a dirty white tank top.

Fifa arrests: US asks Switzerland to extradite officials

COPS in Switzerland FIFA Edition is still a possibility, fingers crossed.

Why bad refs are a huge problem for women’s soccer

An older article but seem appropriate after the blown calls during both semi-final matches.

Why men need to stand with women’s soccer to confront FIFA

Robbie Rogers speaks the truth.

[sep] [update num=2]Update #2 — June 26, 2015; 9:18 AM[/update]

Sepp Blatter: Fifa president says he did not resign

Don’t ever change you crazy glorious kook.

Russia’s 2018 World Cup preparations are a mess, on and off the field

The projected cost for Russia was $22 billion but they don’t have $22 billion

[sep] [update num=1]Update #1 — June 23, 2015; 9:31 AM[/update]

I’m on fire.

Is Fake Turf safe for Women’s World Cup soccer players and other living things?

Spoiler….NO.

Not well planned.

[sep] [update num=0]Original — June 17, 2015[/update]

Close adviser reveals Blatter could stay on as FIFA president – Fox Soccer

The weight of decades worth of corruption became too much and Blatter the manical genius behind the curtain finally caved in and resigned. Or did he? All he needs is a hockey mask and machete to complete the evil trifecta.

FIFA targets female players with gender verification guidelines – ESPNW

An appalling double standard where women have to prove their women.

Nigeria’s harsh homosexuality policy comes to light prior to clash with U.S.

FIFA doesn’t feel a need to get involved in this particular issue despite it’s own mandate of “develop football everywhere and for all”.

Sums it up Nicely

Stephen A. Smith is wrong: Women’s World Cup players don’t avoid headers because of their hair

Not FIFA but definitely a giant pile of sexist WTF.

Brazil chief emulates Sepp Blatter with depressing sexist comments

You can read everything he says or just look at this:

Sepp Blatter’s Most Embarrassing Outbursts

There’s are older outbursts but always worth revisiting.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Virginia public transit grapples with reduced ridership, zero fare

Virginia public transit systems from Northern Virginia to Hampton Roads are looking for a path forward after losing riders and revenue during the pandemic. Some transit systems have been harder hit than others.

Capital News Service

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By Katharine DeRosa

Virginia public transit systems from Northern Virginia to Hampton Roads are looking for a path forward after losing riders and revenue during the pandemic. Some transit systems have been harder hit than others.

“We are serving a market of essential workers that can’t stay home; they have to use our service,” said Greater Richmond Transit Co. CEO Julie Timm during a recent presentation.

Gov. Ralph Northam issued a state of emergency in March of last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move prompted limits on public and private gatherings, telework policies and mandates to wear masks in public, although some restrictions have eased.

GRTC faced a “potentially catastrophic budget deficit” since eliminating fares last March in response to the pandemic and reductions in public funding starting in July of this year, according to the organization’s annual report. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding and Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation emergency funding covered the deficit, according to the report.

The transit system lost about 20% of riders when comparing March to November 2019 with the same 9-month period in 2020. Overall, fiscal year-to-date ridership on local-fixed routes decreased the least (-16%), compared to the bus-rapid transit line (-49%) and express routes (-84%), according to GRTC data. Local-fixed routes had a 7% increase from March 2020 to March 2021.

GRTC eliminated fares in March 2020 to avoid “close interactions at bus fareboxes,” Timm said in a statement at the time. CARES Act funding made the move possible. GRTC will offer free rides until the end of June.

GRTC will need an additional $5.3 million when federal funding ceases to continue operating with zero fare, Timm said. Zero fare can be supported through the third round of federal stimulus money and Department of Rail and Public Transportation funding, advertising revenue and other funding sources, Timm said.

“This is the conversation and it’s a hard conversation,” Timm said. “To fare or not to fare?”

GRTC serves a majority Black and majority female riders, according to the 2020 annual report. Commuters account for over half the trips taken on GRTC buses and almost three-quarters of commuter trips are five or more days per week. Nearly 80% of riders have a household income of less than $50,000 per year.

GRTC spends about $1.7 million to collect fares annually, according to Timm. Eliminating fares is more optimal than collecting fares, Timm said in March. She believes in zero fare operation because the bus rates act as a regressive tax, which takes a large percentage of income from low-income earners.

Free fares could lead to overcrowding on buses, opponents argue. However, Timm said that’s not a good reason to abolish the initiative.

“If we have a demand for more transit, I don’t think the answer is to put fares out to reduce the ridership,” Timm said. “I think the answer is to find additional funding sources and commitment to increase service to meet that demand.”

GRTC will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the zero fare model, according to Timm.

“We’ll have a lot of conversations post-COVID about how we consider transit, how we invest in transit and how that investment in transit lifts up our entire region, not just our riders but all of our economy for a stronger marketplace,” Timm said.

GRTC added another bus route as the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March. Route 111 runs in Chesterfield from John Tyler Community College to the Food Lion off Chippenham Parkway. The route surpassed ridership expectations despite being launched during the pandemic, according to the annual report.

GRTC also will receive additional funding from the newly established Central Virginia Transit Authority. The entity will provide dedicated transportation funding for Richmond and eight other localities. The authority will draw money from a regional sales and use tax, as well as a gasoline and diesel fuel tax. GRTC is projected to receive $20 million in funds from the authority in fiscal year 2021. The next fiscal year it receives $28 million and funding will reach $30 million by fiscal year 2026.

These funds cannot be used to assist in zero fare operation, Timm said.

Almost 350,000 riders boarded the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority buses per day on average in 2019, which includes passengers in Northern Virginia. That number dipped to 91,000 average daily boardings in 2020, according to Metro statistics.

Metro’s $4.7 billion budget will maintain service at 80-85% of pre-pandemic levels, according to a Metro press release. Federal relief funds totaling almost $723 million filled Metro’s funding gap due to low ridership.

“The impact of the pandemic on ridership and revenue forced us to consider drastic cuts that would have been necessary absent federal relief funding,” stated Metro Board Chair Paul C. Smedberg. “Thankfully, the American Rescue Plan Act has provided a lifeline for Metro to serve customers and support the region’s economic recovery.”

Hampton Roads Transit buses served 10.7 million people in 2019 and 6.2 million people in 2020. The decline has carried into 2021. Almost 1.6 million passengers took HRT transit buses in January and February 2020 and just over 815,000 have in 2021, resulting in a nearly 50% decrease. HRT spokesperson Tom Holden said he can’t explain why HRT bus services saw a higher drop off than GRTC buses.

“We had a substantial decline in boardings in all our modes of transportation just as every transit agency in the U.S. did,” Holden said.

HRT operated with a zero fare system from April 10 to July 1, 2020. Ridership had a slight uptick from April to October, aside from an August dip. Fares for all HRT transit services were budgeted for 14.2% of HRT’s revenue for Fiscal Year 2020.

“We are hopeful that with vaccinations becoming more widespread, the overall economy will begin to recover, and we’ll see rates increase,” Holden said.

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Education

Delta CEO to Speak at University of Richmond commencement

Government and campus leaders will address law, MBA, and Continuing Studies grads.

RVAHub Staff

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The University of Richmond has announced the speakers for their 2021 commencement ceremonies.

  • Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Airlines, will deliver the speech during the undergraduate Commencement ceremony May 9.
  • Rita Davis, chief counsel to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, will deliver the address for the Richmond School of Law ceremony.
  • A variety of distinguished UR community members, including students, faculty and an alum will speak at the MBA and SPCS ceremonies.

Undergraduate, May 9, 9 a.m., Robins Stadium
As CEO of Delta Air Lines, Ed Bastian leads a team of 75,000 global professionals. Under his leadership, Delta is transforming the air travel experience with generational investments in technology, aircraft, airport facilities, and Delta’s employees worldwide. A 20-year Delta veteran, Bastian has been a critical leader in Delta’s long-term strategy and champion of putting Delta’s shared values of honesty, integrity, respect, perseverance, and servant leadership at the core of every decision.

During his tenure as CEO, Delta has become the world’s most awarded airline, having been named The Wall Street Journal’s top U.S. airline; Fortune’s most admired airline worldwide; the most on-time global airline by FlightGlobal; and a Glassdoor Employee’s Choice company.

His commitment to putting the health and safety of employees and customers first amid the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in the airline’s industry-leading Delta CareStandard, enabling a cleaner, more reliable and safe travel experience for the long term.

Bastian joined Delta in 1998 as vice president – finance and controller and was promoted to senior vice president in 2000. He left Delta in 2005 and became senior vice president and chief financial officer of Acuity Brands. He returned to Delta six months later to become chief financial officer, and in 2007 was appointed to serve as Delta’s president.

Prior to joining Delta, Bastian held senior finance positions at Frito-Lay International and Pepsi-Cola International. He started his career with Price Waterhouse where he became an audit partner in its New York practice.

Richmond School of Law, May 8, 4 p.m., Robins Stadium
Rita Davis is chief counsel to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. Davis is also a University of Richmond Law School graduate, class of 2000. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, she worked for nearly 15 years at Hunton & Williams, now Hunton Andrews Kurth, where she covered a broad range of commercial disputes on an international, federal, state, and local level. While in private practice, she was a bar leader and a recognized pro bono lawyer, devoting more than 1,350 hours to pro bono clients. While serving as chief counsel to the Governor, Davis has worked to facilitate the Governor’s initiatives to eliminate racial and social inequities in Virginia.

Robins School of Business MBA, May 7, 5:30 p.m., Robins Center
The MBA ceremony, which will celebrate both 2020 and 2021 graduates, will include two students as speakers this year.

Alexandra Wiles, class of 2020, earned both a Bachelor of Arts in leadership studies and an MBA from the University of Richmond. After devoting the first chapter of her career to non-profit fundraising and development with VPM and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond, she recently joined Schnabel Engineering, a national professional consulting firm, as its human resources program manager. In this capacity, she leads and supports a variety of initiatives, including employee learning and development, diversity and inclusion, and succession planning. She also serves as the vice-chair of the board of directors of Virginia Voice, a non-profit serving Central Virginians who are blind or have vision impairments, and founded the organization’s Live Audio Description program.

Natasha Knight, class of 2020, is a program strategist and entrepreneur. She is a manager in Altria’s Corporate Citizenship department where she applies her public health and business management expertise to developing strategies for preventing underage use of tobacco and other risky behaviors and providing cessation support for adults who no longer wish to use tobacco. She is a certified career coach and recently launched Discover the Remarkable You, a coaching practice to help women create successful and fulfilling careers. She is also the co-founder of Taking It Pro, a career and professional development services firm for women of color. Knight received her undergraduate degree from Howard University. Her educational background also includes an MPH in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh, a Ph.D. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and an MBA from the University of Richmond. 

School of Professional & Continuing Studies, May 8, 8 a.m. & 11:30 a.m., Robins Center

As part of a long-standing tradition, a graduating student, faculty member, and alumnus will speak at the SPCS graduation ceremonies, which this year will celebrate both graduates of the class of 2020 and 2021.

Distinguished Graduate

The SPCS student commencement speaker is selected by committee from among the top graduating students.

  • For 2020, the student speaker is Brian Krach. After spending eleven years as the sole proprietor of an independent insurance practice, Krach decided to return to higher education to personally challenge himself and experience “professional metamorphosis.” Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies in May 2020 and has since started law school at the University of Richmond.
  • For 2021, the student speaker is Cooper Sved. Sved is earning his Master of Teaching degree, including endorsements in elementary education and theatre education, to prepare for a career change to teaching. Sved earned his Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 and was active in Richmond’s theatre community both as an actor and an educator before returning to school to fulfill the requirements to earn his teaching license.

Distinguished Alumnus
The alumni speaker is the recipient of the Gibb Family Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of an SPCS alumni member and their support of SPCS.

  • The 2020 recipient is Eric Beatty, who earned his master’s degree in Human Resource Management in 2012. Beatty served on the SPCS Alumni Association Board from 2012-19, was the Board’s president from 2017-19, and currently serves on the SPCS Dean’s Ambassador’s Circle.
  • The 2021 recipient is Margaret Dalton, who earned her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in 2012. She’s been a member of the SPCS Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2014, having served as vice president, president, and past president. Margaret has been instrumental in the Board’s efforts to reshape its mission to focus on student and alumni engagement as well as expanded efforts to formalize project planning and communication efforts.

Distinguished Faculty Member
The faculty speaker is the recipient of the Itzkowitz Family Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Award, which is selected by the SPCS student body and recognizes the teaching achievements of an adjunct faculty member.

  • The 2020 recipient is Meghan Rosatelli, an adjunct professor in English and the humanities in SPCS, where she teaches courses in American literature and culture.
  • The 2021 recipient is Drew Baker, an adjunct professor of education. A graduate of the Teacher Licensure Program, Baker currently serves Henrico County Schools in the Office of Professional Development, focusing his work on teacher-leadership development, action research, and supporting continuing education for teachers.

Additional details about the University of Richmond’s Commencement plans are available in this media release.

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Business

Mediterranean restaurant taking over former Urban Farmhouse spot in Scott’s Addition

The vacant space at 3031 Norfolk Street is being renovated for a planned July open date.

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From Richmond BizSense:

One of the more prominent restaurant spaces in Scott’s Addition left vacant due to the pandemic has been snapped up by a pair of local industry veterans.

John Reynolds and Steve DeRaffele are preparing to open Pinky’s, a full-service Mediterranean restaurant in the former Urban Farmhouse space at 3031 Norfolk St.

Pinky’s menu will take influences from the entire Mediterranean region, while the restaurant’s name is a nod to DeRaffele’s late mother whose nickname was Pinky.

“I learned how to cook from her and want to make the kind of stuff I learned to make at home,” DeRaffele said. “Now I can bring people into our space and cook for them like I would if they were at my house.”

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