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Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Facility (image via Google Maps)

The Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare facility (2729 King Street) near Ivy Hill Cemetery is seeking permission from the city to build a new three-story addition to the healthcare complex, though the overall number of beds will stay the same.

Woodbine is a nursing home just off King Street in the Rosemont neighborhood. Woodbine Property 1, LLC has filed a request for a Development Special Use Permit to construct a new building that fronts King Street.

“The addition to the nursing home will help to facilitate additional private rooms while maintaining the total number of 307 licensed beds,” the application said. “The Applicant also proposes to increase the number of parking spaces from 143 to 154 to meet the required parking for the nursing home.”

The application said the new building will help Woodbine offer more private rooms, though the total number of beds at the facility won’t increase.

“In summary, the proposed addition will improve the patient experience at Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center by reducing the number of quad- and triple-occupancy rooms and increasing the number of private rooms for patients,” the application said.

The project is scheduled to go to the Planning Commission on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Image via Google Maps

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If there’s a business you’re a particularly big fan of in Alexandria, you might be able to help them out by nominating them for The Chamber ALX’s Best in Business Awards.

The main catch is that the business in question has to be a member of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce to be eligible and can’t have won in the last five years. Previous winners are listed online.

“Each year The Chamber ALX honors businesses for their significant role in driving the Alexandria business community and economic growth,” the Chamber ALX said in a newsletter. “Winners will be announced, in person, at The Chamber ALX’s Best in Business Awards on October 27.”

The Chamber ALX will also award Cathy Puskar as Alexandria’s Business Leader of the Year during that ceremony.

The categories are:

  • Small business
  • Medium business
  • Large business
  • Association/Nonprofit
  • Rising Star (a business that’s been in operation for five years or less)

Nominations can be submitted through The Chamber ALX’s website.

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The Covanta Waste-to-Energy facility at the west end of Eisenhower Avenue has recently completed an overhaul that should make it less of a polluter.

The facility serves 400,000 residents and businesses in Alexandria and Arlington, the city said in a release. It incinerates household waste and generates steam for electricity production.

“In this way, Covanta processes and converts more than 350,000 tons of waste into energy,” the release said. “This waste would otherwise end up in landfills.”

But obviously, waste incineration has its own considerably negative environmental impact. The city’s release said new technology at the site has reduced the facility’s nitrogen oxide emissions by  50%:

With installation of its proprietary Low NOx (LN) technology now complete, nitrogen oxide emissions have been reduced by nearly 50%. The effort was part of a multi-year project at the Covanta Alexandria-Arlington Facility. By reducing the waste put in landfills, Covanta Alexandria has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 331,000 tons of carbon dioxide. That’s the same as taking 65,000 passenger vehicles off the road for one year.

The facility generated enough energy to power 15,000 homes year-round and recovers 11,000 tons of metal annually.

“Covanta is proud to manage our services and facilities in a way that prioritizes our communities, our businesses and our planet,” Covanta area asset manager Don Cammarata said in the release. “Today marks an important step in our work with the community to reduce our environmental impact and improve air quality.”

“The installation of this new NOx technology will even further reduce the emissions and improve air quality,” Mayor Justin Wilson said in the release. “This is an important effort to support the City of Alexandria in reaching our Environmental Action Plan 2040 goals.”

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As local kids prepare to head back to school, Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue and ARHA is hosting their annual School Supply Giveaway this weekend.

The event is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe Street) on Sunday, Aug. 14.

The program, which is led by School Board Member Willie Bailey, will offer school supplies for kids in need as well as a free haircut.

“A free haircut and school supply giveaway event will be happening in the Alexandria area,” the group said in a flyer. “Please note that kids must be present to receive their backpacks and school supplies!”

Additional booths will be set up throughout the gym to offer a variety of other services to local families.

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Another week down at ALXnow. Intrepid reporter James Cullum has been out on vacation so it’s been an exhausting one-man show, but we made it to Friday.

The top story this week was a new Metal Supermarkets opening just west of the city.

Also sneaking into the top ten was the announcement yesterday that Deputy City Manager Laura Triggs, who has been in that role since 2014, will resign at the start of September to focus on career coaching.

  1. Metal Supermarkets opening just outside Alexandria
  2. Maryland man pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter for Arlandria pedestrian death
  3. Alexandria Mayor outlines city strategies on fighting cut-through traffic
  4. Poll: How do you feel about Alexandria going back to regulating sidewalk usage for restaurants
  5. Landmark demolition closes DASH transit center
  6. Campagna Kids counselor charged with sexually assaulting a child
  7. Alexandria Restaurant Week returns this month with new dining and pricing options
  8. Alexandria’s Katrina Hill wins Jeopardy, competes again tonight
  9. Deputy City Manager Laura Triggs to resign next month
  10. Poll: How important is the Alexandria/Fairfax distinction to you?
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There are dozens of boards and commissions in Alexandria with vacancies, giving locals a chance to be in the room where it happens.

Some of the notable vacancies include:

  • Board of Architectural Review — 2-year term: One vacancy is up for consideration due to a citizen member resigning. The BAR meets twice a month to review development applications and determine appropriateness, but in Alexandria the BAR holds significantly more sway than in other localities.
  • Community Criminal Justice Board — 2-year term: Two vacancies are available on the Community Criminal Justice Board. This board oversees several programs and services used for the courts in diverting offenders from jail. The board also monitors and evaluates community programs, services and facilities to determine their impact on local offenders.
  • Environmental Policy Commission — 2-year term: Two vacancies are available for the Environmental Policy Commission, which advises and makes recommendations to the City Council on environmental issues ranging from land use to noise pollution.
  • Park and Recreation Commission — 3-year term: Two vacancies are available for the Parks and Recreation Commission, which advises the City Council on issues related to — hold onto your socks — parks and recreational activities.
  • Waterfront Commission — 2-year term: One vacancy is available for a representative from the Commission for the Arts. The Waterfront Commission helps shape policy in some of the city’s most high-profile issues, like flooding and the Torpedo Factory overhaul. But they also meet at 7:30 a.m. Yikes.

Interested applicants can submit their information online. The full list of vacancies is available on the city’s website.

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Body-worn camera (photo via Tony Webster/Flickr)

Rep. Don Beyer announced yesterday (Thursday)  that the Alexandria Police Department has officially been awarded $600,000 in federal funding to get the city’s beleaguered body-worn camera program off the ground.

The federal funding was allocated as part of a Department of Justice (DOJ) grant in the omnibus spending bill, which was approved in March pending the DOJ grant process. A spokesperson from Beyer’s office said the DOJ recently approved the grant, clearing the way for the money to get to the police department.

“I’m proud to announce that the DOJ’S Office of Justice Programs has awarded the funds to support this critically important initiative in our community,” Beyer said in a release. “Body worn cameras are an important and necessary tool for bringing more transparency, accountability, and trust in policing in our communities.”

The release noted that the Alexandria Police Department is the only full-service law enforcement agency in Northern Virginia without a body-worn camera program. While neighboring Arlington and Fairfax got body-worn camera program pilots up and running around 2016, a series of budget shortfalls and extensive finger-pointing between the police department and the city government meant Alexandria police officers only started wearing body cameras earlier this year.

Even the pilot program approved in this year’s budget was significantly scaled back to $2.2 million compared to the $13 million budget request from then-Police Chief Michael Brown.

Photo via Tony Webster/Flickr

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Flood Watch boundaries (via NWS)

The National Weather Service has issued an Areal Flood Watch for Alexandria with rain expected this afternoon and most of this weekend.

While it’s clear skies this morning, the forecast for rain comes after heavy rainfall last night.

“Avoid small streams and do not drive through water on roadways,” the City of Alexandria said in a release.

From NWS:

1020 AM EDT Fri Aug 5 2022

…FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING…

* WHAT…Flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible. […]

* WHEN…From 3 PM EDT this afternoon through this evening.

* IMPACTS…Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– Showers and thunderstorms will develop this afternoon and may last into the evening. Any thunderstorms will be capable of producing very heavy rainfall, with localized totals of two to four inches possible. Much of the rain may fall within a one to three hour period, making rapid rises in creeks and streams possible, as well as flash flooding in urban areas.
– http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

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Washington D.C. depicted on an Oreo (photo via Hasan Kale/Instagram)

Old Town coffee shop Turkish Coffee Lady (1001 King Street) is marking its anniversary with a new art exhibition of painted tiny objects.

The current exhibition focuses on U.S. cities represented on miniature food art, like a coffee bean or popcorn.

“A Virginia born woman-owned small business, Turkish Coffee Lady will celebrate its anniversary in the DMV area with a breathtaking miniature art exhibition by artist Hasan Kale known as Microangelo,” the release said. “Kale; a world-renowned micro art master who can turn tiny objects into minuscule paintings, will exhibit his masterpieces in the heart of Old Town Alexandria.”

The exhibit started on Aug. 1 and will continue through Thursday, Sept. 1.

Turkish Coffee Lady opened in Tysons Corner Center in 2017 and the Old Town location opened in January this year, so it isn’t quite aligned with the store’s anniversary.

Founder Gizem Salcigil White said in the release:

“I am incredibly grateful for having the chance to celebrate this important milestone with our community members. After traveling the world with a non-profit award-winning Turkish Coffee Truck for eight years, we introduced our unique coffee and culture house to DMV’s culture adventurers five years ago through our first brick and mortar store. After two years into the pandemic, we survived the storm as a woman-owned business and opened our flagship store in Old Town, Alexandria. To express our gratitude and appreciation to all of our supporters over the past five years, we will proudly mark our anniversary with our new arts director Mr. Kale’s special art exhibition and continue our mission of building friendships one cup at a time”.

The release said a portion of the art exhibit sales will be donated to Children’s Emergency Fund to provide aid to children and families at risk in Ukraine.

In addition to the art exhibit, the coffee shop will also host traditional handcrafts like ceramic tile painting and Turkish coffee brewing on sand.

Photo via Hasan Kale/Instagram

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Deputy City Manager Laura Triggs (photo via City of Alexandria)

Alexandria City Manager James Parajon announced that, after 24 years working for the city, Deputy City Manager Laura Triggs will resign early next month.

Triggs has been Deputy City Manager since 2014 and had previously served as the city’s finance director and chief financial officer.

The release said Triggs will resign effective Friday, Sept. 9. The announcement comes amid a year of turnover for city leadership, from Parajon’s hiring in December to Superintendent Gregory Hutchings’ resignation in June and interim replacement by Melanie Kay-Wyatt.

Parajon said a new acting deputy city manager will be appointed ahead of Triggs’ resignation.

“I want to thank Laura for her years of contributions to the City of Alexandria,” said City Manager Jim Parajon. “She brought valued financial and policy expertise to the City’s government. And she consistently focused on helping City employees succeed. Her effective leadership, professional mentoring, and acumen across diverse policy issues will be missed.”

According to the release:

During her career with Alexandria, Triggs supervised at various levels the preparation of 24 years of annual financial reports and budgets through to Council approval, worked to fully fund the City’s employee pension funds, and structured long-term fiscal management policies to ensure the City’s AAA bond ratings including during the 2009 recession. Triggs recently spearheaded the successful inter-departmental team effort that this year brought to the City competing internet broadband services that will provide equitable broadband access to all Alexandrians.

In her eight years as Deputy City Manager, Triggs served as the liaison from the Office of the City Manager to the Alexandria Sheriff, the City’s Clerk of the Courts, and the Commonwealth’s Attorney and Courts. She served on the Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) and City’s pension fund investment boards. Triggs oversaw at various times different City departments, including Budget, Emergency & Customer Communications, Facilities, Fire, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Performance Analytics.

Beyond her work with the city, Triggs has also worked as career coach for Alexandria and other local government employees. The release said Triggs plans to concentrate on career coaching.

“We are grateful to Laura for the contributions she’s made to Alexandria over her career,” Mayor Justin Wilson said in the release. “Laura has been the consummate public servant in advising the Council, helping develop effective fiscal and program policies, and providing outstanding senior leadership to our City government.”

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