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By: YIMBYs of Northern Virginia

November 24, 2022

Alexandria, VA– Alexandria’s City Council has advanced the City’s twin initiatives aiming to address housing affordability and equity: Zoning for Housing and Housing for All.

“Our city faces a critical shortage of homes, thanks to a history of housing policies that aimed to exclude people. We applaud the City’s efforts to confront and redress this history while increasing the number and variety of homes available across Alexandria.” said Luca Gattoni-Celli, founder of YIMBYs of Northern Virginia.

The proposal takes a comprehensive approach to addressing Alexandria’s housing shortage, replacing exclusionary policies with those that promote equity and inclusion. By re-examining everything, from bonus height to the apartment bans that reign over much of the city and much more, the package aims to make Alexandria more affordable for all.

This initiative could not come at a more critical time, as rents continue to climb, and rising interest rates put homeownership out of reach for more and more families.

“YIMBYs of NoVA eagerly awaits details on the proposed reforms, and are excited to advocate for a more affordable, inclusive, and sustainable Alexandria,” said Luca Gattoni-Celli.

About Organization: YIMBYs (yes in my backyard) of Northern Virginia works to make housing affordable to all by enabling the construction of more homes for more people. Attainable homes close to the amenities of daily life hold the promise of communities that are more socially connected, economically productive, and sustainable, environmentally and otherwise.

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Alexandria, Virginia – October 31, 2022 – Local activists campaigning in support of nationwide universal health care (Medicare For All) received a significant boost earlier this month via a resolution of endorsement from the Alexandria Democratic Party.

Based on a similar resolution drafted by a coalition of activists from Grassroots Alexandria, Our Revolution Virginia, and the Democratic Socialists of America Northern Virginia Branch, the resolution calls for Congressional passage of the Medicare for All Act of 2021 (H.R. 1976) and State-Based Universal Health Care Act of 2021 (H.R. 3775) or similar legislation that guarantees health care coverage to all Americans.

The passage of national, improved Medicare For All legislation would guarantee universal, comprehensive health coverage to all Alexandria residents — including the more than 12,900 residents who are currently uninsured — without copays, deductibles, premiums, or out-of-pocket costs. It would also eliminate the need for employer-sponsored health insurance, saving the Alexandria city government more than $9.5 million per year and relieving local businesses of the burden of providing health insurance to employees.

The coalition’s next goal is the passage of a similar resolution by the Alexandria City Council supporting national, improved Medicare For All. Medicare For All resolutions have been passed in more than 100 cities and counties nationwide, including locally in the District of Columbia as well as Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Charles County, and Annapolis, Maryland. If adopted, this resolution would make Alexandria the first locality in Virginia to endorse the Medicare For All Act.

As part of this campaign, the coalition has launched a petition drive. Alexandria residents who want to see their city become the first in Virginia to endorse Medicare For All can show their support by signing the petition at

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By: Haute Dogs & Fries

October 11, 2022


Contact: Chloé Swanson [email protected]


Arlington, Virginia, Thursday, October 6,2022 – Today, partner Chloé Swanson announced that The Haute® Restaurant Group will soon open at Arlington’s Williamsburg Shopping Center in the space formerly occupied by Smoking Kow BBQ.

Existing HAUTE® locations include: 610 Montgomery Street, Alexandria, Virginia 703 548-3891; Nationals Park Concessions 105 & 234 at 1500 S. Capitol Street S.E. Washington DC 20003; and their famous food truck.

The Haute®Restaurant Group will operate its fifth location at 2910 North Sycamore Street, Arlington, Virginia 22207.

Haute Dogs and Fries
Twitter @Haute_Dogs
Instagram @EatHauteDogs
Facebook @HauteDogsALX

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By: Nicole Atkinson

October 5, 2022

Curated Public Events, Partnerships with Local Orgs, and Unique Spaces Expand Community Access to the Arts, Wellness, and Human Connection
Alexandria, Va., Oct. 5, 2022-As the newest arts & culture hub in the area, Canal Center Plaza (99 Canal Plaza) in the Old Town North Arts & Culture District is planning and hosting free events that offer the community music, theater and dance performances, visual art exhibits, art making activities, food vendors, a beer garden and arts-themed fun for all. With arts programming led by non-profit partners, Canal Center Events is creating exciting ways to become more deeply engaged with the local community.

This Saturday, Oct. 8 from 4 – 7 p.m., the Gallery at Canal Center will officially open its doors and kick of National Arts & Humanities Month with “Party for the Arts.” Held inside the new gallery space and across the plaza, the free event includes music, theater, dance, poetry, and visual art from artists throughout Alexandria, including the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, the Local Motion Dance Project, Alexandria Citizens Band and many more! Gallery at Canal Center events will continue to provide a collaborative platform to promote the city’s arts and culture sector as it recovers from the pandemic; and highlight the arts’ power to inspire, spark change, and contribute to a vibrant, thriving, and inclusive city.

National Arts & Humanities Month is coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the national organization working to empower communities with the resources and support necessary to provide access to the arts for everyone.

Canal Center Plaza will be a stop on the Old Town North Alliance’s “Chalk Walk” on Oct. 15 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. The active event features local artists creating a path of chalk art all through the Old Town North neighborhood. Folks are encouraged to stay after the Chalk Walk for House the Vote at Canal Center to eat, drink, dance and make their voice heard. The “celebration of dance + democracy” ends at 10 p.m., and features family-friendly vibes, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from The Can Bar, and DJs Lanie B, Confetti the First, Frank of All Good Funk Alliance, Keenan Orr, DJ Lovegrove, and DJ Who. The event benefits the Alexandria Celebrates Women organization, with voter registration run by League of Women Voters.

Bike Club is also new to Canal Center Plaza, as an indoor-outdoor event space that embraces its access to the Mt. Vernon Trail and Alexandria’s active residential communities. The hip space offers food and a drink menu with a vast array of adult beverages including wines, local and regional beers, CBD drinks, spiked coffees, ciders, canned cocktails and seltzers, plus non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails.

Additional free community activities are programmed at Canal Center each week, including recurring events like Tuesday’s “Yoga on the Plaza” at 6:00 p.m., which feature Lululemon’s top local yoga instructors who teach community sessions for all skill levels.

With happy hours, pet socials, comedy and art shows, live music, food trucks, the Canal Center Events event calendar is full of things for all ages to enjoy this fall season.

About Canal Center Events
Canal Center Events is a community hub on the waterfront in Old Town North, Alexandria. Stay connected and get up to the minute updates on Instagram, Facebook, and find out more online at

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Alexandria, VA (Sept. 11, 2022) – After a seven-year hiatus, Get Your Rear in Gear 5K is returning to Alexandria! On Sunday, October 9, runners, walkers, volunteers, colorectal cancer survivors, and caregivers will gather at Occoquan Regional Park in the fight against colorectal cancer, the nation’s No. 2 cancer killer. Get Your Rear in Gear – Alexandria is a family-friendly 5K run/walk to raise awareness and encourage screening for this largely preventable cancer. Opening ceremonies kick off at 8:30 a.m. with the timed 5K starting at 9:00 a.m. The course begins and ends in Lorton at Occoquan Regional Park. Along with the timed 5K, there is a Kid’s Fun Run, followed by music, snacks, and runner awards.

Get Your Rear in Gear events are held annually in nearly 40 communities across North America, including Alexandria. The city previously hosted the event from 2009 – 2015, and is back this fall with returning volunteer Local Event Director, colorectal cancer survivor Cheryl Alston.

Alston was diagnosed with Stage II colorectal cancer when she got her first colonoscopy at age 56. She had experienced stomach aches and vomiting for some time, and while the diagnosis hit her hard she responded well to oral chemo. She has remained cancer-free since 2014.

For Alston, the cause is personal. “The phrase ‘Get Your Rear in Gear’ means to me that you need to get up, and move in ALL aspects: physical fitness, healthy eating, being seen and screened and to engage others about colon cancer. I want to give back to the community by telling my story and educating and engaging others about colorectal cancer.”

Get Your Rear in Gear is an opportunity to celebrate survivors, support caregivers, and remember those who left us too soon. Visit the giant inflatable colon to see what your doctor sees during a colonoscopy. Stroll the Blue Mile and see celebratory tributes to those lost and messages honoring survivors of colon and rectal cancer. The event educates the public and raises funds for colon cancer screening and prevention. Money raised is kept local to the Alexandria area for these purposes. Registration information is available at

“Coming together as a community is the best part of the Get Your Rear in Gear event,” says Colon Cancer Coalition President, Chris Evans. “Early detection of colorectal cancer is key to effective treatment of this disease that affects 1 out of 24 people. Get Your Rear in Gear events raise awareness by educating everyone about the symptoms of colorectal cancer, encouraging folks to learn their family health history, and scheduling routine screenings.”

1 in 24 Americans will be diagnosed with colon or rectal (colorectal) cancer during their lifetime.
51% of adults 50-54 have not been screened.
Colonoscopy screening can prevent colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is now the most common cause of cancer death in men younger than 50.
1 in 5 colorectal cancer patients are 20-54 years old.
Adults born in the 1990s have 2x the risk of colon and 4x the risk of rectal cancer than those born in 1950.
In 2021, the recommended age for routine cancer screenings was lowered from 50 to 45.

Information about volunteering, fundraising, sponsoring the event or forming a team can also be found at

About the Colon Cancer Coalition / Get Your Rear in Gear®
The Colon Cancer Coalition is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging screening and raising awareness of colorectal cancer. The organization’s signature Get Your Rear in Gear® event series is volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. Annually, the Colon Cancer Coalition works to distribute over $1 million dollars to communities across the United States to build and sustain programs that (1) encourage early prevention & screening, (2) provide public education and awareness, (3) fund research to improve the quality of life for patients both young and old, and (4) provide support for those living with this disease. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of everyday language, we believe we can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer. For more information visit

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The Taste is Back in Alexandria’s Old Town North Neighborhood
Join this local community for an evening of food and music

Alexandria, VA – September 19, 2022 – Experience the best of Alexandria’s Old Town North neighborhood at the Taste of Old Town North, on Thursday, September 29, from 4:00 – 8:00 pm in Montgomery Park, located at 901 North Royal Street, Alexandria, VA.

The Taste offers a great opportunity to visit this sophisticated, urban community with a small town vibe located next to the Potomac River waterfront.
Join Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson who will officially open and welcome visitors to the Taste. The event is free, kid- and pet-friendly, offers the opportunity to sample delicious food from local restaurants and vendors from the Old Town North Farmers’ and Artisans’ Markets, listen to live music and watch instructor-led Wellness demos.

“The Taste of Old Town North showcases what makes this community so unique,” says Wilson. “This Alexandria neighborhood offers an urban lifestyle with a strong focus on the arts, activities for all ages, unique local businesses and waterfront access, blended with the feel of a small-town.”

Visitors to the Taste can sample food from Yunnan by Potomac, Cafe 44, Hank’s Oyster Bar, Lost Dog Cafe and other local restaurants while listening to the sounds of Sally and the Mander and The Three Man Soul Machine. Music begins at 5:30 pm.

“Grateful Pup and I are grateful to be part of the Old Town North Community,” says Laura Norfolk, CAE, CMP, owner of Grateful Pup dog treats. “It is such a dog- and neighbor-friendly community. I can’t wait for what’s to come with the Arts District.”

The Taste of Old Town North is presented by the Old Town North Community Partnership, the City of Alexandria and Annual Event Season Sponsor Hilco Redevelopment International with additional support from TideLock, Canal Center, Trammell-Crowe (developers of the Alexan Florence) the Old Town North Alliance, Sport and Health Old Town and NOTICe.

“The Old Town North Alliance is delighted to support our partner, the Old Town North Community Partnership, in bringing the Taste of Old Town North once again to Montgomery Park, the heart of our community, says Agnes Artemel, president, The Old Town North Alliance. “The Taste highlights our unique restaurants and businesses, and brings the neighborhood together in a family-friendly celebration.”

On street parking is available in the Old Town North neighborhood or the public parking lot located at 625 North Washington Street.
“We always enjoy the Taste of Old Town North,” said Maggie Dunne, general manager, Lost Dog Cafe-Alexandria.

The rain date for the Taste of Old Town North is Friday, September 30th, 4:00 – 8:00 pm.

“The Old Town North Community Partnership is so pleased to have the support of Hilco Redevelopment International as we continue to focus on creating a vibrant, walkable community for all those who work, live, and own small businesses here,” said Margaret Townsend, president, Old Town North Community Partnership.

For more information, contact [email protected] or call 571-218-2161

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By: ACHS Band Boosters

September 8, 2022

Alexandria City High School Marching Band Annual Tag Day will be 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sep. 10. Tag Day is the biggest single day fundraising drive of the year.

ACHS Marching Titan Band members will go out into the community to request donations. The money raised is for band students in grades 9 through 12 to provide: uniforms, equipment, private lessons, new/maintenance of instruments and scholarships.

All donations are appreciated and tax deductible. Please consider giving online at or by using the QR code included.

Donations can also be mailed to: Alexandria City High School Band Boosters, P.O. Box 3452, Alexandria, VA 22302.

Titan supporters may also effortlessly contribute to the band year-round when shopping on Amazon. Go to and Amazon will donate to the Alexandria City High School Band, at no cost to you.

Alexandria City High School Band is a 3-Time Virginia Honor Band: 1989, 2020, 2022. They are also 8-Time Virginia Blue Ribbon School Award winners: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022. The ACHS Marching Titan Band will participate in its first competition for this year on Sep. 17, in Woodbridge.

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By: 395 Express Lanes

August 25, 2022

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Transurban, operator of the 495, 95 and 395 Express Lanes, today announced the south-facing, reversible HOV ramp connecting the 395 Express Lanes to Seminary Road in Alexandria will convert to a standard express lane, or High Occupancy Toll, ramp on Friday, September 9.

Converting the ramp will offer vehicles who are traveling with fewer than three people the option to pay a toll to exit to Seminary Road from the northbound 395 Express Lanes, or to enter the southbound Lanes from Seminary Road.

Dynamic message signs currently installed on Seminary Road will display real-time toll prices to destinations available from the ramp beginning September 9.

Vanpool and carpool customers with an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV ON, buses and motorcycles will continue to enjoy toll-free use of the ramp.

Work to replace the ramp’s on-road HOV regulatory signage and pavement markers with Express Lanes regulatory visuals will require temporary lane closures and shifts. Overnight work along the Express Lanes corridor is scheduled to begin the weekend of August 26 and a temporary traffic shift on Seminary Road is scheduled for August 29 and 30.

The ramp’s HOV-3+ restriction has been in effect since the 395 Express Lanes opened in November 2019. It is the only ramp along the Express Lanes corridor closed to toll-paying customers.

The ramp conversion project is being delivered in partnership by VDOT and Transurban. VDOT is providing oversight, while Transurban is responsible for design, implementation and maintenance.

The first public information meeting about the potential ramp conversion was held in December 2019, however, the project was put on hold in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. VDOT later held another virtual public meeting in December 2021. Following the public comment period, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the conversion in January 2022.

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By: BRG Communications

August 23, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va., August 18, 2022 – Following a period of sustained growth and recognition among industry leaders, BRG Communications announced the promotions of Shannon McDaniel and Laurie Mobley to Executive Vice President. These promotions come on the heels of growing 44% over the last two years and pacing to deliver another 35% increase in 2022 (based on performance through Q2). The agency also recently celebrated BRG’s 20th anniversary, was certified as a Great Place to Work® and was named 2022 Best Boutique Agency by PRSA with a Silver Anvil award.

McDaniel and Mobley have been valued members of the BRG team for 20 and 12 years, respectively. McDaniel, brings his expertise in the brand reputation, public awareness, and corporate social responsibility (CSR), advising clients in industry and professional organizations, corporate foundations, and non-profits, while Mobley brings deep healthcare expertise to BRG, leading key consumer health and advocacy initiatives as well as supporting device, pharmaceutical, and medical society clients. In their new roles, they will continue to grow and provide strategic counsel to their clients focused on safety, health and wellness, mentor team members, and lend their expertise to support the BRG president and CEO to deliver on the agency’s strategic vision.

“It would not be possible to look back over the last 20 years without seeing the tremendous contributions of both Shannon and Laurie in the growth and evolution of our agency,” said president and CEO, Jane Barwis. “As we look ahead, these promotions are part of our strategic vision to continue to best serve our clients and ensure our staff meaningful work in a welcoming workplace.”

Further bolstering the senior leadership team, BRG also welcomes back Lucy McDonald Spratlin as Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. Spratlin, who previously worked at BRG from 2003 – 2009 returns with more than a decade of additional experience in cause marketing, leading partnership strategy, and execution for a wide range of national nonprofits and brands. Most recently she served as the Vice President of Client Services at For Momentum where she was responsible for recruiting, training, and managing account teams and developing agency systems. Spratlin will support BRG with growth-focused initiatives including the creation and implementation of mission-critical agency processes. Her return is a clear step for BRG, as the agency continues to scale its operations and make strategic hires across the board in preparation for its future endeavors.

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WASHINGTON — Company E, Washington, DC’s leading contemporary repertory dance company, will return its catered-to-kids performance of ‘To Sail Around the Sun’ to the Kennedy Center on National Dance Day, September 17th.

Through dance, live music and storytelling, ‘To Sail Around the Sun’ takes the audience on one child’s journey to gather all four seasons before dinner time.

The show travels beneath the springtime waves of the Australian shores, the summertime rainforests of Argentina, the autumn leaves of Japan, and the wintry snows of Kazakhstan. Set to Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” and performed by a live string quartet (of the musical organization Sound Impact), the show is designed for families and children of all ages.

“An aural and visual feast, ‘To Sail Around the Sun’ is wonderfully inventive,” Jennifer Perry of Broadway World said in a 2017 review. “Certainly, it’s true that any young child could learn this science lesson in a classroom, but at Kennedy Center the lesson is presented in a way that also enchanted this adult.”

‘To Sail Around the Sun’ was originally created in 2017 by Paul Gordon Emerson, Kathryn Pilkington, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Robert J. Priore and Alicia Canterna. Co-Artistic Director Kathryn Pilkington oversaw the 2022 re-staging of the show.

Company E recently performed ‘To Sail Around the Sun’ in Richmond, Virginia and at DC Public Schools (DCPS). One DCPS teacher said of the show: “[The students] loved the diversity and inclusivity of the characters and roles. They loved seeing the emotions of the music and dancers.”

The September 17th performances at the Kennedy Center will feature eight Company E dancers alongside Sound Impact’s live string quartet. Additionally, special guest Amikaeyla Gaston, who played Mother Earth in the 2017 staging, will return to the Kennedy Center in her original role.

Join Company E on National Dance Day to celebrate movement, music, and the planet we call home.

Showtimes: September 17 at 11am and 2pm EST, in the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater.

About Company E

Using science as a source and art as an inspiration, Company E engages audiences and cultures around the globe and at home with art and education programs described as “breathtaking” by The Washington Post.

The Washington, DC-based contemporary repertory dance company, dance education and interdisciplinary arts organization emphasizes international collaborations with the great choreographers, dancers, composers, film-makers and artists at work today.

Globally, members of Company E serve as cultural diplomats through engagement with missions around the world and the U.S. Department of State. At home, Company E has been commissioned six times by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts since 2012. The company works with Washington Performing Arts on school-time arts education programming and runs an in-house school for dance: The Movement Center. 

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