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Notes: Despite smokey conditions, new report shows dramatic gains in air quality for the region

Good Friday morning, Alexandria!

⛈️ Today’s weather: Isolated showers between noon and 2pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Widespread haze. Areas of smoke before 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 76. Northwest wind 6 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. At night: Scattered showers and thunderstorms before 8pm. Widespread haze before 1am. Patchy smoke between 8pm and 1am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 57. West wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

🚨 You need to know

GenOn Power Plant (staff photo by Vernon Miles)

While air quality was terrible this week in Alexandria, a new report from Greater Greater Washington offered an optimistic look at how far the region has come since “Code Red” days were commonplace.

This week, the wildfires caused by massive forest fires in Canada sent a cloud of smoke across the whole region. Years ago, however, the culprit was smog.

The Greater Greater Washington report noted that smog has virtually disappeared from D.C. and many other American cities over the past few decades.

How did we get smog to virtually disappear? In no small part it’s due to successful government regulation of cars.

The biggest change over the past two decades has been in emissions from cars. New ones pollute much less than old ones. Partly that’s thanks to hybrid and electric cars, but it’s also partly thanks to cleaner internal combustion engines. EPA Vehicle Emissions Standards force car-makers to build cleaner cars over time.

There are plenty of loopholes, and reducing smog isn’t the same as reducing climate-change-causing carbon, so there remains a long way to go, but a lot has been achieved.

For D.C. specifically, the report pointed to a big change in Alexandria.

“Locally, the 2012 closure of a big coal power plant in Alexandria lines right up with the single most sudden decline in bad air days,” the Greater Greater Washington report said. “It was a big deal.”

📈 Thursday’s most read

The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for Jun 8, 2023.

  1. Village Brahaus in Old Town is being rebranded (2541 views)
  2. Man robbed of cash at gunpoint early yesterday morning in Del Ray (2079 views)
  3. Alexandria City Public Schools announce new precautions due to smoke (1983 views)
  4. Village Brahaus in Old Town is being rebranded (427 views)

🐦 Tweets of note

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on today and this weekend in Alexandria, from our event calendar.

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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).

ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.

This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!

In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!

We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Family Fun Fall Fest

Mark your calendars and join us for the Family Fun Fall Fest on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 11am – 2pm!

This FREE in-person event will be held at the Shoppes at Foxchase, located at 4641 Duke St, Alexandria, VA

2023 Alexandria Fall Festival

Food trucks, bounce houses, pony rides, magic shows and more at the 2023 Alexandria Fall Festival, an Alexandria Living event presented by The Patterson Group. Join us at River Farm on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


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