Alexandria, VA

With kids in virtual classrooms, ALXnow wants to know how the community feels about the school year so far.

The Alexandria City Public School Board voted in July for a virtual school year, and the school system spent considerable time training staff and working with the community in the days leading up the the first day of school on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Students started officially participating in the Virtual+ model with Chromebooks,

The school system released a portal with updates, learning resources, schedules and school services to help families get through the year, and we’d like to hear what you think.

Please fill out the poll below and then expand on your opinion in the comments.

Additionally, if you’d like to share your experience with us personally or share a news tip, feel free to send our editorial team an email.

Photo via ACPS/Facebook

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It’s a tough time for many businesses around the city, but there are also opportunities.

We a look through Alexandria listings of the website BizBuySell and found a number of businesses for sale. Many of the businesses are restaurants, which have taken a significant hit in the last several months due to the pandemic.

The website aggregates numerous business sale listings. The names of the businesses and their locations are generally left out of the listing.

Reasons for selling, when provided, typically do not mention economic hardship, but more often involve the owner retiring or not having time to actively manage the business.

Here are some that are currently listed in Alexandria:

  1. Fitness Center/Personal Training Gym — “This is a franchised 24 hour fitness center, located in one of the most lucrative areas of the country. Just down the road from the new Amazon HQ, this business has been profitable for more than 10 years. If you’ve ever wanted to get into the fitness business, this will be your best opportunity. Second nearby location also available.”
  2. Absentee-Owner Gourmet Pizza & Italian With Loyal Following — “This high-visibility restaurant has long been a destination and neighborhood favorite with locals – it continues to enjoy a following as a gourmet take-out option for pizza and all Italian cuisine favorites. Purchased in 2019 as a decades-old chef-owned establishment, the new owner invested in a complete turn around, nearly doubling sales and converting the business model to absentee ownership. Owner has refrained from applying for PPP or other SBA loans so that new owner might be able to take advantage of those opportunities.”
  3. Beautiful Hair & Nail Spa for Sale/ Price reduced — “Great opportunity!!! Serious Inquiries only. Beautiful and well established Hair & Nail Spa for Sale in a very busy shopping center. Seller is retiring after many successful years in the business. Beautiful & Very efficiently designed. 6 years old Spa. Established, loyal customers. Reasonable rent & excellent location. 10 Hair stations, 5 Dryers, 3 Shampoo stations, 8 Manicure Tables, 8 Pedicure chairs, 3 Waxing rooms, 2 Facial Rooms, 1 Body scrub. There is plenty of room to expand. Room to grow by improving social media and other marketing and adding massage service.”
  4. Restaurant & Bar Approved for Hookah MRB VA 943 — “HOOKAH CAN BE ADDED. APPROVED BY LANDLORD. Profitable restaurant, bar & lounge for sale in Alexandria. Hookah will drastically increase sales and profits. Currently patrons can enjoy live bands, dancing, DJs and karaoke nightly. With a capacity of 370, this 2 level establishment is perfect for private events, birthdays or work outings. The first floor is separated into two rooms with a dining area, bar and dance floor with stage/DJ booth while the 2nd room has a large bar, DJ booth and dance floor. The top floor is used for the current owners office, as well as storage, bathrooms and employee lounge.”
  5. Unique Restaurant for Sale in VA — “Unique Restaurant- 9,970 SF. Price Reduction. This business must be visited to be appreciated. It offers 9,970 sf with 2 full dining rooms (70 seats in each dining room) and 3 bars (100 bar seats in total). It is one of the few locations in the area that can accommodate multiple, large, separate dining events (private parties, fundraisers, etc. There is a huge kitchen with new compressors on all refrigeration, 3 walk-ins and a large basement for storage. They are currently open 6 days. This year sales are averaging 48-51K/wk with consistent growth ($2.7 mil. in gross sales projected for this year) with a net profit of approx. $265,000.00.”
  6. Sandwich Shop/Deli Alexandria Va — “I have a client who is ready to retire and has a sandwich shop/deli ready to sell. NO BROKERS. Substantial net positive cash flow after 31 years in business. Excellent old town location. Extended Lease. Business currently operates 6 days per week for breakfast and lunch until 6 so opportunity to extend hours and days under current SUP. No alcohol but license possible. Delivery and growing catering business add to profits. Accountant attested books. Must have a friendly personality to be successful. Employees likely to stay. NDA required for confidentiality. Great opportunity for hard working entrepreneur.”
  7. Mexican Restaurant and Bar — “This Profitable Mexican Restaurant for Sale has been open and operating profitably for eight years. The location is on a high traffic road and surrounded by residential. This is a turnkey situation on a restaurant that has been grossing in excess of $840,000 annually with profits to an absentee owner of $80,000 annually. Nice full service bar. Outdoor Seating!! Great opportunity for a new on hand owner/operator to take this business to the next level. “
  8. 5 Days Open Deli in office Complex — “Italian gourmet deli sandwich shop running 5 days (7AM ~9PM). Nestled in a well known office and residential complex.”
  9.  Established & Well-Known Hair Salon in Old Town Alexandria — “Great opportunity to own a well-known hair salon that has been established for over 30 years in Old Town Alexandria. The business is ideally located on a prominent thoroughfare with excellent street visibility. The salon owners have done an excellent job building a successful salon with reliable revenue and cash flow over the years. There is a stable client base, but there is also plenty of room to grow and expand the business.”
  10. Asian Restaurant and Sushi Bar for Sale — “Established Business for Sale. Owner is looking to retire from business. All equipment is owned and in good condition, except the dishwasher is leased. Asking price is negotiable, send your offers!”
  11. Specialty Gift & Souvenir Boutique in the Heart of Old Town Alexandria — “Unique opportunity to own a specialty gift and souvenir shop in the heart of the Old Town Alexandria. The boutique is located in a high traffic part of Old Town and has been a destination shopping destination to both locals and tourists for decades.”

See more Alexandria listings here.

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(Update 7:30 p.m.) A Flash Flood Watch in effect in Alexandria from 11 p.m. tonight until 11 p.m. Tuesday night.

“Plan for hazardous wind of equivalent tropical storm force,” warned NWS. “Remaining efforts to protect property should be completed as soon as possible. Prepare for limited wind damage.”

Alexandria Fire Department spokesperson Raytevia Evans said the department is coordinating with other departments to monitor water levels to prepare, whether it’s a full storm or just a downpour.

“We’re focused across the entire city,” Evans said. “Because those floodings happen in those areas often, like Old Town, those kinds of things we’re monitoring, but we’re also making sure inland water rescue teams are prepped and ready to go for various areas.”

According to NWS:

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Significant flash flooding of small streams and creeks is likely
tonight into Tuesday evening as rainfall associated with Tropical
Storm Isaias spreads northward. Widespread rainfall totals of 3 to
6 inches are expected with locally higher amounts possible. The
highest amounts are expected east of the Blue Ridge Mountains
particularly over the I-95 corridor late tonight through Tuesday.
Tropical storm force winds are expected along and east of the
I-95 Corridor and north central Maryland. Tree damage and power
outages are possible in this area. Moderate coastal flooding is
also possible at times of high tide as Isaias makes its closest
approach to the area and continuing Wednesday morning.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS

* FLOODING RAIN:
Prepare for life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible
extensive impacts along and east of the I-95 corridor. Potential
impacts include:
– Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues.
– Rivers and tributaries may rapidly overflow their banks in
multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, arroyos, and
ditches may become dangerous rivers. In mountain areas,
destructive runoff may run quickly down valleys while
increasing susceptibility to rockslides and mudslides. Flood
control systems and barriers may become stressed.
– Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple
communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed
away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes.
Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with
underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous.
Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out.

Prepare for dangerous rainfall flooding having significant impacts
east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

* WIND:
Prepare for dangerous wind having possible significant impacts along
and east of the I-95 corridor.
Potential impacts in this area include:
– Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage
to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings
experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile
homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight
objects become dangerous projectiles.
– Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater
numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several
fences and roadway signs blown over.
– Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban
or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access
routes impassable.
– Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent
in areas with above ground lines.

* SURGE:
Prepare for locally hazardous surge having possible moderate impacts
along the tidal Potomac River. Potential impacts in this area
include:
– Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along
immediate shorelines and in low-lying spots, or in areas
farther inland near where higher surge waters move ashore.
– Sections of near-shore roads and parking lots become overspread
with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where
surge water covers the road.
– Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly
in usually vulnerable locations. Strong rip currents.
– Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks,
and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings.

James Cullum and Vernon Miles contributed to this report

Staff photo by James Cullum

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(Updated at 10 p.m.) The Alexandria Fire Department is responding to nearly a dozen calls throughout the city as it remains under a Flash Flood warning until 2:30 a.m.

“Right now we are on 11 different calls for public service for water-related emergencies,” Alexandria Deputy Fire Chief Brian Hricik told ALXnow.”It does not appear that any of them are people trapped in vehicles.”

Hricik said that there is light flooding in Old Town, which should become more severe as the tide rolls in tomorrow after 11 a.m. One of the calls was to assist a vehicle stuck in the roadway at Commonwealth and Monroe Avenues in Del Ray, he said.

“We’re extremely busy with calls right now. Everybody’s out on incidents right now,” Hricik said. “There are multiple reports of basements flooding in the northeast area of Alexandria and some in the southwest.”

Alexandria is under a Flood Warning as well as a Flash Flood Watch and an earlier Severe Thunderstorm Warning tonight.

Heavy rain from a line of strong storms is currently causing flooding in the city, according to the National Weather Service.

A trained spotter has reported knee high water and and an impassable street at the intersection of Mt. Vernon Avenue and E. Maple Street, a few blocks from the Braddock Road Metro station.

Flooding has also been reported around the King Street Metro station, and water rescues are being conducted “in many locations,” according to Mayor Justin Wilson.

More on the warnings from NWS:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WARNING…

* UNTIL 230 AM EDT FRIDAY.

* AT 826 PM EDT, DOPPLER RADAR AND INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY RAIN OVER THE AREA AND CONTINUE TO DEVELOP. THE RAIN WILL CAUSE FLOODING. UP TO AN INCH AND A HALF OF RAIN HAS ALREADY FALLEN. ADDITIONAL RAINFALL OF ONE TO TWO INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE.

* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE… ARLINGTON, ALEXANDRIA, CENTREVILLE, DALE CITY, RESTON, ANNANDALE, SPRINGFIELD, FAIRFAX, FORT HUNT, VIENNA, GROVETON, FALLS CHURCH, HUNTINGTON, MANTUA, FORT BELVOIR, PIMMIT HILLS, WOODBRIDGE, QUANTICO, LAKE RIDGE AND BURKE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS. MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN VEHICLES.

BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE THE DANGERS OF FLOODING.

A FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING. ALL INTERESTED PARTIES SHOULD TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS IMMEDIATELY.

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Updated 4:25 p.m. — Alexandria is also experiencing widespread power outages, with an estimated 4,928 residents in the area currently without power.

Alexandria is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 7 p.m., as a strong storm is bearing down on the area.

The National Weather Service is advising that residents stay indoors.

From the National Weather Service:

At 342 PM EDT, severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from North Kensington to near Dale City, moving east at 25 mph.

These are very dangerous storms.

HAZARD…75 mph wind gusts and quarter size hail.

SOURCE…Radar indicated.

IMPACT…Expect considerable damage to trees and power lines. Your life is at significant risk if outdoors.

In addition to some trees falling into homes, wind damage is possible to roofs, sheds, open garages, and mobile homes.

Locations impacted include… Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda, Bowie, Annandale, Clinton, Springfield, College Park, Fort Washington, Greenbelt, Fairfax, Langley Park, Beltsville, Fort Hunt, Vienna, Groveton, Forestville, Falls Church, Huntington and Coral Hills.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

This is an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION. Mobile homes and high profile vehicles are especially susceptible to winds of this magnitude and may be overturned. For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building. These storms have the potential to cause serious injury and significant property damage.

Continuous cloud to ground lightning is occurring with these storms. Move indoors immediately. Lightning is one of nature`s leading killers. Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Alexandria is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, as a strong storm bears down on the area.

From the National Weather Service:

PRINCE GEORGES MD-CHARLES MD-FAIRFAX VA-CITY OF ALEXANDRIA VA-
811 PM EDT MON JUL 20 2020

…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 845 PM EDT FOR SOUTHWESTERN PRINCE GEORGES…NORTH CENTRAL CHARLES…AND SOUTHEASTERN FAIRFAX COUNTIES AND THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA…

AT 811 PM EDT, A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED OVER LINCOLNIA, OR OVER SPRINGFIELD, MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 20 MPH.

HAZARD…60 MPH WIND GUSTS.

SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT…DAMAGING WINDS WILL CAUSE SOME TREES AND LARGE BRANCHES TO  FALL. THIS COULD INJURE THOSE OUTDOORS, AS WELL AS DAMAGE  HOMES AND VEHICLES. ROADWAYS MAY BECOME BLOCKED BY DOWNED  TREES. LOCALIZED POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE. UNSECURED  LIGHT OBJECTS MAY BECOME PROJECTILES.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
ALEXANDRIA, WALDORF, ANNANDALE, CLINTON, SPRINGFIELD, FORT WASHINGTON, FORT HUNT, GROVETON, FORESTVILLE, HUNTINGTON, LA PLATA, MANTUA, FORT BELVOIR, NATIONAL HARBOR, ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, BURKE, LINCOLNIA, CAMP SPRINGS, FRANCONIA AND OXON HILL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

CONTINUOUS CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM. MOVE INDOORS IMMEDIATELY. LIGHTNING IS ONE OF NATURE’S LEADING KILLERS. REMEMBER, IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER, YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

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Local News Now is the company behind the site you’re reading. We aren’t usually very visible or vocal, preferring to let the reporting of our Northern Virginia local news brands — ARLnow, ALXnow, Tysons Reporter, Reston Now — speak for itself. 

LNN does not endorse candidates nor publish editorials. But today we would like to make the following statement, the first of its kind in our company’s 10 year history.

Black lives matter.

We are far from the first company to state this incontrovertible fact, but it bears repeating. Black lives matter and the threat from systemic racism and racial injustice needs to be addressed by urgent policy reforms and an honest ongoing discussion.

To that end, our sites will continue our local reporting on matters related to inequitable policies, misconduct by those in authority, and the concerns of marginalized communities. We will keep reporting without fear or favor, with a facts-first approach that illuminates and informs.

We believe that impartiality can coexist in journalism with deeply held principles. For instance, belief in free speech, our democratic system, and the importance of small business is widely held among U.S.-based local news publications, including ours. We do not try to “balance” election stories by saying that some do not believe in democracy and fair elections. It’s just a given that elections are a positive part of our society. 

Likewise, we also believe that Black lives matter and believe in LGBTQ equality, and do not feel the need to provide a counterpoint to either in our reporting. The worth of a human life and equal treatment under a law are objectively positive things. There’s no debate, no second side that needs to be heard in order to be impartial.

We recognize that there has been room to evolve our approach to local news over the years. More about some of the changes we have implemented can be found here. We will continue to evaluate our reporting and approach to covering the community as we move forward.

Today is Juneteenth, which celebrates the emancipation of remaining enslaved persons at the end of the Civil War. We are giving our employees — who have tirelessly covered the pandemic and protests over the past few months — the afternoon off as a time of reflection. We hope that our readers also use this opportunity to reflect on the challenge of achieving racial justice in this country, including here at home.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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It was quite a week in Alexandria. The city saw the removal of a controversial Confederate Statue at Prince and Washington Streets, had numerous vigils and demonstrations against police brutality, and weathered more cases of COVID-19.

In the spirit of resting up and looking back at some of the top issues in Alexandria, ALXnow has included some of our top stories.

Here are the top 11 most-read articles this week in Alexandria.

  1. BREAKING: Barricade Situation, Suspect Firing on Police on Main Line Boulevard
  2. BREAKING: Old Town Confederate Statue Removed
  3. Alexandria Now Has 1,974 Cases of COVID-19, No New Deaths
  4. Vigil for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor in Old Town on Thursday
  5. Protests and Vigils for Racial Justice Planned in Alexandria
  6. Man Robbed of $400 at Gunpoint in Alexandria’s West End
  7. Mayor Wilson: Alexandria Can Honor George Floyd By Fixing Its Inequities
  8. Teen Arrested in Old Town for Weapon Possession and Drug Violation
  9. ACPS Announces Mandatory Summer Learning to Combat COVID-19 Academic Loss
  10. Unemployed Arlandria Mom Makes Ends Meet With El Salvadoran Recipes
  11. Alexandria Now Has 1,960 Cases of COVID-19, City Seeks Feedback on Coronavirus Response

Feel free to discuss those or other topics in the comments. Have a safe weekend!

Staff photo by James Cullum

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As the country grapples with the death of George Floyd at the hands of four since-fired Minneapolis police officers, and the fiery protests that have followed, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson has released a letter to the community.

Wilson said that a “culture of white supremacy” is present in Alexandria, and that the current coronavirus pandemic has exposed how residents of color have high infection rates.

“The on-going COVID-19 outbreak has exposed one aspect of the disparities that exist in our City, as residents of color have been more infected, struggle more to recover and die more than our white residents have,” Wilson wrote on Facebook. “This is not because the virus is racist. It is because generations of disparities of every kind have created deep racial divides in health conditions and healthcare access.”

Wilson said that Floyd’s memory will be honored in Alexandria when it improves the inequities associated to wealth, education, housing, in health and in justice experienced by residents of color.

The full message is below.

Collectively, we have again been witnesses to a black man’s murder by a public servant sworn to protect and serve. I have struggled over the past few days to figure out the right words to say in response. We look to leaders with a performative expectation to fill the void with wisdom and a suggested path forward. As leaders we scour the internet for wise quotes, search for articles, looking for anything that might give those that we serve a reason to be hopeful.

But I got nothing.

Those who know me, know that I am prone to bulleted lists of policy answers for the problems that face our community. Perhaps, to a fault. I could certainly cite our racial equity initiative, our work to bring more transparency to policing, the plans for body-worn cameras in our future, work to ensure diversity in our police force, our efforts to train public safety employees in de-escalation techniques and our community policing initiatives. But we have heard all of this before.

Checklists do not solve this problem. We are called upon to uproot a culture of white supremacy woven into our founding as a nation, perpetuated through law and custom for generations, and present today in even the most “progressive” communities in our country, including Alexandria. That is a culture of white supremacy that devalues black lives and ignores the impact of hundreds of years of history on the present.

The on-going COVID-19 outbreak has exposed one aspect of the disparities that exist in our City, as residents of color have been more infected, struggle more to recover and die more than our white residents have. This is not because the virus is racist. It is because generations of disparities of every kind have created deep racial divides in health conditions and healthcare access.

In our City there are deep racial divides in wealth. This is not because the actors in our economy are all racists. It is because generations of disparities of every kind have built an economy that perpetuates wealth for those who have it and hinders social mobility for those that lack it.

A few months ago a homeowner in one of the most affluent neighborhoods in our City pulled me aside and showed me the early 20th century restrictive covenant that he had unearthed for his home. That document stated that “no lot or any part thereof shall ever be sold, leased to or occupied by any person of the negro race.” This was the line after the document stated that “pigs, poultry, cows and goats” could also not be kept on the premises. While those agreements, and the subsequent “redlining,” “steering’ and other insidious tactics have been illegal for decades, their legacy can safely predict how and where Alexandrians in the year 2020 live, work, learn and play.

In wealth, in education, in housing, in health and in justice, our City is full of inequities, some glaring, some subtle.

When we fix that, we will truly be doing something to honor George Floyd and the many that have preceded him and those that will likely follow him.

Collectively, we have again been witnesses to a black man’s murder by a public servant sworn to protect and serve. I…

Posted by Justin Wilson on Friday, May 29, 2020

Staff photo by James Cullum

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The following Letter to the Editor was written by John Liss, co-executive director of New Virginia Majority, a statewide racial justice and pro-democracy organization based in Arlandria.

Perhaps no greater community illustrates the tone-deaf nature of ignoring the most vulnerable communities than Arlandria/Chirilagua.

This Alexandria neighborhood is primarily Latino, and as of May 7, 55% of the 572 tests given were positive. The rate of infection in this community of 16,000 is equivalent to global hot spot areas such as Queens, New York, Wuhan, China and Milan, Italy. Only concerted government action will control this outbreak, save lives and prevent
even further community spread.

In Alexandria, 39% of positive cases of COVID-19 and 38% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are Hispanic/Latinx, yet they only comprise 17% of the population. Chirilagua, the heart of the Latinx community, is among the hardest hit, with at least 50 families suffering from the virus (as of the end of April). Many immigrants are uninsured, and without access to quality and affordable health care they may not obtain medical care.

We are calling on Governor Northam to provide at least 2,000 tests per week until we can begin to accurately assess and address the spread of the virus, housing solutions to safely isolate, as well as the medical needs of this neighborhood.

Before the governor considers reopening the state he needs to leave the governor’s mansion and actually see what is happening here. Without thousands of tests, access to isolated housing, and medical treatment, Chirilagua residents face more illness and for some, death.

Reopening does not mean there is no longer a threat of getting sick – it means that if you do become sick, our hospitals will be able to take care of you, if you have health insurance, of course. Many Virginians will not have the option for testing or treatment, as they are uninsured or underinsured, and will then have to make a choice on paying for a test or paying for necessary bills.

To add insult to injury, not only are underserved communities like Chirilagua being willfully ignored, according to yesterday’s article in The Atlantic, officials in Virginia are “blending the results of two different types of coronavirus test in order to report a more favorable result to the public.”

After public outcry, earlier today the state did disaggregate this data. However, earlier this week the state briefly stopped reporting out tests and positive results by ZIP code. This information is important to identify hot spots that need more testing, and helps to target coordinated housing and health services.

Data transparency, access to testing, isolated housing, and treatment for ALL Virginians are essential to ensuring that it is safe for us all. In short, sending some Virginians back to work before it is safe to do so is irresponsible, callous, and will lead to more illness and death.

ALXnow.com occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor about issues of local interest. To submit a letter to the editor for consideration, please email it to [email protected] Letters may be edited for content and brevity, at our discretion.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Tenants & Workers United will lead a rent protest in Arlandria today starting at 5 p.m., and the organization is asking low-income residents to make themselves heard by joining along in their cars or banging pots and pans from the windows of their residences.

The caravan is scheduled to assemble at 4:30 p.m. and will go through Arlandria with the message that rents in Virginia should be canceled during the pandemic. The protest is planned to last until 6 p.m.

“Make a sign with a message to the property managers to cancel rent,” Tenants & Workers United recently posted on Facebook. “Make noise with your pots & pans! Take pictures or videos and use #CANCELRENTVA on social media.”

On the West End, residents at the Southern Towers apartment complex are also threatening to strike, as the city is working with the landlord on a compromise.

A similar protest is also planned for Columbia Pike in Arlington. The protests coincide with International Workers’ Day, a day when labor movements traditionally protest to advocate for progressive reforms.

City Councilman Canek Aguirre previously told ALXnow that the city’s Latino community is deeply concerned about the pandemic, and hopes landlords take it easy on their tenants.

“There’s a lot of anxiety, and a lot of fear when it comes to having to pay rent that goes even beyond the fear of getting sick,” Aguirre said. “It’s difficult because the Latino community is facing multiple risks. We’re talking about a community that is likely working on the front lines, they’re having to take public transportation and they lack access to health care.”

https://www.facebook.com/TenantsandWorkers/posts/911391032646439?__xts__[0]=68.ARDMH6bVAdYq1RvK34A5anAzcNpFFn9jEuDsGe3A6UQHfQ1BQupYsFr58D_cJQ7C5vH6wPkxeEZ7J3zf1a1nHEZCPQVgqiHaPTDC4QA8ye-32QnwdmU5WLtTYj-82Xw_K9LfiXKzBFT2OHnu29bbjP-UIhSXxmr2rPqbozcZ3SRaMfGEwdqVWHJT_vbNb2cW-Tcb-Koyo6at4OgyXoIsQ5QFHVzIextGsa2qib721GuDA4X6UEy0iM4NN1sY0yORShrJ6Iu3LzK7z27iuiVrrL6lvcpHR7tPO_zqm4Rtb35NYcJ928-SnzNtEIVuR93c5xmnAD7qkdkpKZNrX2xZHW4&__tn__=-R

Two weeks ago, the City Council voted to direct $671,570 in federal funding to provide rent assistance for low-income families in Alexandria. Council also passed a measure asking state and federal officials for a rent and mortgage freeze. The federal funds are available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and includes $1.1 million in block grants and $585,127 in Home Investment Partnership Program funds.

As previously reported, the city is continuing to work on a rental assistance program.

City funding can currently provide $500 in monthly financial assistance per home, according to city officials, and the funding is expected to help about 450 households. The city’s Office of Community Services also offers up to $6,000 per year to help low-income seniors pay their rent and utilities.

ALIVE! also helps low-income residents with help paying rent and utilities.

¡¡La gente está lista!! La caravana se junta a las 4:30 en el parqueo de ITU, o participa en el cacerolazo de tu casa…

Posted by Tenants and Workers United – Inquilinos y Trabajadores Unidos on Friday, May 1, 2020

Photo via Tenants & Workers United/Facebook

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These are tough times for local businesses, and ALXnow wants to help.

While we have also seen a decline in our own business, we are grateful for the sponsors that are sticking with us — McEnearney Associates, Berry & Berry, A Cleaning Service, ACT for Alexandria, Visit Alexandria, and The Foundry apartments.

During this time we know we have a platform to reach tens of thousands of Alexandrians that can really help others. That’s why we’re opening our Community Posts feature to any locally-owned small businesses during the pandemic.

If you own an Alexandria business and want to get the word out your new delivery service, online shop or unique offering, click here to submit a short post about it for publication on our site and email newsletter.

ALXnow will be providing this as a free service until we see a substantial recovery in the local economy.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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