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August 8, 2022

Alexandria, Virginia- OAR is a local non-profit that supports individuals impacted by the criminal legal system on their journey to rejoining their community and families. The organization is now raising money for the state’s first gender-responsive re-entry program.

Individuals who identify as female have a different set of needs and different reentry experiences from those who identify as male. For example, the majority of women who experience incarceration are primary caregivers to minor children and a crucial part of the re-entry process requires supporting their needs as the head of a family. They are also much more likely than their male-identifying counterparts to have experienced a long history of abuse prior to incarceration. Therefore, tailored services that address that trauma lead to the best outcomes.

Unfortunately, this critical care is scarce or unavailable. A recent assessment of gender-responsive policies and practices in the City of Alexandria found a dearth of gender responsive care in the area. OAR’s new program seeks to fill that void. It will provide gender-responsive and liberation-minded therapeutic services, including individual and group psychotherapy, tailored case management plans, and family reunification support to female-identifying individuals who are coming home to Alexandria, Arlington, and the City Falls Church after experiencing incarceration. Some participants may also enroll in a guaranteed basic income pilot program that provides a monthly stipend over the course of 5 months.

“Women coming out of incarceration have typically suffered multiple lifetime traumas that can disrupt successful reintegration into their families and communities,” says Katy Steinbruck, a 22-year member of the OAR collective who is spearheading the program. “By using innovative support plans that address the distinct pathways to incarceration and rehabilitation experienced by those who identify as female, we can provide our participants with the services that actually meet their needs.”

OAR’s program has enrolled 20 women since its launch on April 19th of this year and is regularly fielding requests to take on more. To that end, OAR is seeking additional grant funding to expand the number of participants this program can serve. It must raise $6,000 by August 12 in order to qualify for a $100,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation. Donations can be made until 9PM (EST) on August 12 at the website linked in[more info], below. Additionally, information on how to provide ongoing donations to the program, or any of OAR’s other programs, can be found at OAR’s general website:


[More info]


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A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) prevented an Alexandria, Va., resident from bringing his loaded handgun onto his flight this morning, July 25. It was the 16th gun detected by TSA officers at the airport so far this year.

The 9mm gun was loaded with nine bullets plus one in the chamber and was detected via the X-ray machine as the man was entering the security checkpoint with his carry-on items. A TSA officer spotted the gun in the man’s laptop bag. TSA officials notified the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police who confiscated the gun and cited the man on a weapons charge.

The man told officials that he had gone to a firing range with his gun a few days prior to his scheduled flight and then placed the loaded gun into his laptop bag. He said that he forgot it was packed with his laptop on the day he was ticketed to fly.

“All passengers are responsible for all items in their carry-on bags and their checked baggage,” said John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Every time we fly we must inspect these bags thoroughly to ensure we are not bringing any prohibited items to the airport. And every time we fly we receive multiple reminders to leave firearms at home. Each time responsible gun owners see this reminder they must confirm that they positively know where that firearm actually is – safely locked and secured.

“If you own a firearm, it is your responsibility to know the laws, rules and regulations when it comes time to traveling with your gun, and you must know where the firearm is at all times,” Busch said. “Bringing a firearm with you to the airport security checkpoint is a violation of Virginia law. You will be referred to local law enforcement for potential charges and you will also face a financial civil penalty.”

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual may lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should do their homework to make sure that they are not violating any local firearm laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Nationwide, TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year. Of the guns caught by TSA in 2022, about 86 percent were loaded.


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By: Visit Alexandria

December 9, 2019

A record number of 60 boats competed for prizes in ten categories at the 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on Saturday, December 7, 2019. Thousands of locals and visitors came out to experience one of the region’s most beloved holiday traditions at Alexandria’s historic waterfront. The mile-long parade was led by Alexandria’s fireboat Vigilant and Washington, D.C.’s fireboat John Glenn, and closed with Alexandria’s tall ship Providence.

Best of Alexandria Show was awarded to Anamchara and Captain Steve Preda who presented the theme “Peace” featuring a rotating lighted globe, glowing doves and a peace sign. Best Powerboat went to A Blast and Captain Steve Gwensberg for the theme “Carol of the Bells” featuring music, animated lights and a lively crew waving lighted sticks. Best Sailboat was awarded to Tuesday and Captain Joe Landa who presented the theme “Under the Sea” featuring delicate jellyfish, animated lights and crew dressed as sea creatures. Other notable entries include Best Theme winner Escape Plan and Captain Timothy Smith for “A World Series Christmas” featuring Washington Nationals flags, World Series trophy and baby shark costume; Thinking Outside the Christmas Box winner Letter of Marque and Captain Walter Weiss for the spectacular “Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights;” and Best Spirit of America winner Dark Star and Captain Doug Savage for “Go for the Moon: Merry Astronautical Christmas” featuring a live astronaut repelling down a rocket then greeting Santa at the bottom. Find a complete list of winners below.

2019 Winners

  • Best of Alexandria Show: “Peace,” Anamchara, Captain Steve Preda
  • Best Powerboat: “Carol of the Bells,” A Blast, Captain Steve Gwensberg
  • Best Sailboat: “Under the Sea,” Tuesday, Captain Joe Landa
  • Thinking Outside the Christmas Box: “Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights,” Letter of Marque, Captain Walter Weiss
  • Most Holiday Cheer: “Christmas on the Potomac,” Kairos, Captain Tipper Williams Bradford
  • Best Theme: “A World Series Christmas,” Escape Plan, Captain Timothy Smith
  • Best Spirit of America: “Go for the Moon: Merry Astronautical Christmas,” Dark Star, Captain Doug Savage
  • Most Spirited Crew: “Disco Christmas,” Moondance, Captain David Huebner
  • Hardiest Soul: “Santa Goes Fishin’ with Buddy the Elf,” Canoe See Me?, Captain Adam Cope
  • Best Try: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” American Girl, Captain John Gaydos

A slideshow of the winners can be found on

The parade’s dockside festivities included a pop-up beer garden from Alexandria’s award-winning Port City Brewing Company and holiday music and giveaways from 97.1 WASH-FM. Hands-on activities from independently owned Alexandria businesses included a Letters to Santa postcard station from paper goods boutique Penny Post, holiday ornament craft from AR Workshop Alexandria and bookmark making with Old Town Books. Guests enjoyed polpette (Italian meatballs) from Pizzeria Paradiso and a hot chocolate bar from Dolci Gelati. On the Alexandria City Marina, Riverside Taco Company hosted a Parade Day Patio Party with hot cider and bottomless bites included in admission. At 3:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived by fireboat at the Alexandria City Marina to take photos with children and families at the annual Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival.

The Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights is part of Alexandria’s biggest holiday weekend which also features events of the Campagna Center’s Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, and is part of a Potomac River holiday tradition with the District’s Holiday Boat Parade taking place the same evening at 7 p.m. at The Wharf in Washington, D.C.

By: City of Alexandria

December 3, 2019

Alexandria’s History Museum at the Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St.
7-9 p.m.
Free for members of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington; $5 for non-members.

Join us in Old Town Alexandria each second Friday of the month for a concert sponsored by The Folklore Society of Greater Washington (FSGW) and The Office of Historic Alexandria. Locations will rotate between Lloyd House (220 North Washington Street), and the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum (201 South Washington Street).

Friday, December 13, 2019, at the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum, come celebrate the holidays with the tuneful playing and melodious singing of Quercus. For years David McKindley-Ward (banjo, guitar, voice) and Marty Frye (flute, fiddle) have been steeping themselves in the D.C.-Baltimore area’s lauded Irish music community, like a good pot of Barry’s tea. Apart from craic of the finest quality, Marty and David seek to cultivate a musical sensitivity that does justice to the masterful touch of the old players, while being honest to their own creative instincts.

Please note that December’s concert will begin an hour later than usual, with the performance scheduled 7-9 p.m.

The Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum is located at 201 South Washington Street. Great music with a suggested donation for the musicians. Free for members of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington; $5 for non-members. Beer and wine for sale; light refreshments available as well.

By: City of Alexandria

December 3, 2019

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m., in City Council Chambers, Alexandria Mayor Justin M. Wilson will present members of the Alexandria Community Services Board (CSB) with a proclamation for 50 years of community service and support.

The CSB’s mission is to provide effective and essential safety net services that measurably improve or maintain the quality of life for Alexandrians, and support self-determination, recovery and resiliency for residents affected by mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders.

In 1968, the Virginia General Assembly established Community Services Boards, and the Alexandria Community Services Board was subsequently established on March 25, 1969.

“The doors of Alexandria Community Services Board have been open to thousands of Alexandrians for over five decades, and they’ve stayed dedicated to their mission: to improve the lives and well-being of others in need,” said Mayor Wilson.

The 50-year anniversary also highlights the yearly actions of more than 25 programs, serving more than
4,300 Alexandrians.

The CSB — a group of 12 volunteers appointed by Alexandria City Council — is responsible for policy and budget direction, project development, and program oversight for all City of Alexandria mental health, intellectual disability and substance use services.

For more information about the Alexandria CSB, visit


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