Alexandria, VA

Stark differences were on full display Saturday night, as Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson and former Mayor Allison Silberberg sparred in a contentious debate on local issues.

Wilson defended his record since taking the mayorship from Silberberg in 2018. Silberberg, however, said she wants to restore the public trust, and that the city is at an inflection point.

“We’ve seen in the last couple of years certain decisions and policies that have been decided that really put our city at risk in many ways,” Silberberg said. “Our visions for the city are different. And our city is at an inflection point… It saddens me to hear so many residents express a profound loss of confidence and trust in our local government. As your mayor, I would certainly be very focused on transparency, and rebuilding the public trust.”

The hour-long debate was hosted by the Alexandria Democratic Committee, and moderated by Robert McCartney, a senior regional correspondent for The Washington Post. Wilson currently leads in fundraising and endorsements, and the debate comes on the heels of Wilsons’ endorsement by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.

Silberberg presented herself as an environmentalist in favor of “smart growth,” while Wilson said that the city needs to match growth with transportation infrastructure.

“I’m inspired to turn what I’ve learned about our city’s resilience over the last year into a mission for our city’s future,” Wilson said. “I know that by investing in our kids, investing in our basic infrastructure, and making sure that we have an economy that can support the services that our residents expect and demand, Alexandria cannot only survive in the aftermath of this pandemic, but we can thrive.”

Silberberg’s tenure as mayor was plagued by lone 6-1 votes, and Wilson said that she voted against a number of important issues, including a controversial 5.7 cent tax hike in 2017 that resulted in significant capital improvement funding.

“I speak out for the people and I listen to our residents,” Silberberg said. “I’m certainly in favor of transit oriented development, that has been what we’ve all supported across the many years. But what I’m really for is smart growth. And what that means really, is that you don’t have unabashed out of scale overbuilding on every square inch, that you do keep some open space, which helps with the flooding.”

Silberberg criticized Wilson’s handling of COVID-19, and said that the city’s face mask ordinance needed to be passed sooner that the fall of 2020.

“It’s been a harrowing year for all of us,” she said. “I know a number of folks who have had COVID, and I’ve lost some friends. I don’t think we should have waited till October 1 with the outdoor mask order. Cities all across the country were helping restaurants, but the restaurants in the Bradley Center in the middle of the city and on the West End weren’t helped as much as other places, so we need to look at that across the board.”

Wilson said that the mask ordinance was the first adopted in Virginia, and was replicated by Northam in his statewide executive order. He also said that the city’s vaccination rate for Latinos is higher than for white residents, a result of “aggressive outreach” to the city’s nonprofits.

“I’m very proud of that ordinance,” he said. “Alexandria led the way in providing new small business flexibility using outdoor spaces, sidewalks, closing streets, parking lots and everything to help keep our businesses afloat. I worked with the mayor of Richmond to go down to the General Assembly and ultimately get the governor to include an executive order that allowed carry-out cocktails, which has helped keep our restaurants a floating all around our city. We spent millions of dollars a small business assistance again leading the way in the region, and helping our small businesses providing grants to small businesses all around our city.”

Silberberg also said that she would reverse the Seminary Road Diet, which she said is a transparency issue.

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In a crowded City Council election, the Alexandria Democratic Committee split the candidates into two groups for moderated debates, which posted Tuesday night.

Alexandria journalist Michael Lee Pope moderated the discussion, which touched on critical talking issues in city races over the last few years, from parking to broadband to — of course — Seminary Road. Interestingly, the coronavirus pandemic was not a main topic of discussion.

ALXnow featured the first debate on Wednesday.

This debate featured candidates John Taylor Chapman, Sarah Bagley, Amy Jackson, Kevin Harris, Patrick Moran, Bill Campbell and Kirk McPike. Answers are summarized.

The Democratic primary is June 8.

Seminary Road

A number of candidates support reversing the  Seminary Road diet, which has been a controversial issue for years.

Chapman voted against the proposal in 2019, and said he would vote to reverse it.

Moran — “I think a lot of the framework in which these conversations are made are so permanent,” Moran said. “I would spend the money to undo it.”

Campbell — “I absolutely would not spend any additional money to change that unless there was some new information that came up with regards to safety,” Campbell said. “And then you have to be responsible to take a look at that.”

Jackson would also vote to undo it, although she said that future road diets would have to be considered on a case by case basis.

“This became a ‘he said, she said’ in a lot of ways that I don’t think anyone on council was prepared for when city staff brought it to us,” Jackson said. “That just means that we have to do our own sleuthing and know the questions to ask after we’ve done our homework.”

McPike said he would not undo the road diet.

“I would not initially in this next council session, vote to revert the road back to what it was,” McPike said. “The intersection at Howard and Seminary is going to change in the near future when Inova Hospital relocates to Landmark Mall, and we don’t know what the needs are going to be along that stretch of road once that has occurred.”

Harris — “It’s one of those things that we ought to wait and see how it plays out before we try to change anything,” Harris said. “Because we’ve already wasted too much money creating the road diet. I think that we could use this money in other places.”

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Affordable housing took center stage on Tuesday night, as Alexandria’s mayoral and City Council candidates participated in a long candidates forum hosted by the Departmental Progressive Club (DPC).

During the forum, former Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg praised the Tuesday unveiling of the Lineage affordable apartment complex in Old Town earlier that day. Silberberg voted against a rezoning for the project on one of her first meetings as mayor in February 2016. That vote was unanimously rescinded days later.

“We got it done,” Silberberg said. “The neighbors embrace the building. It’s that they were concerned about the new building literally towering over their two-story historic homes. They just wanted some air. So, I’m really proud of working on that compromise, so that they embraced it and dropped their lawsuit, which would have cost us time and money.”

Mayor Justin Wilson said that the city has created almost 1,000 units of new affordable housing during his term, which is just half of what the city needs to produce by 2025 in order to meet regional housing goals set by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. He later tweeted another #electionsmatter post on a matter that then-Mayor Silberberg voted against and was passed.

Moderator Merrick Malone said that the pandemic has threatened the health and safety and financial security of businesses and residents alike.

“It has laid bare the real inequities faced by people of color who have been historically marginalized in the city of Alexandria,” Malone said. “In 2018, the city of Alexandria issued a statement of inclusiveness indicating a commitment to diversity and fostering an atmosphere of inclusiveness. Well, that is a noble statement. What are the tangible evidence that indicate that the city leadership is committed to racial equity?”

Silberberg penned the city’s statement on inclusiveness in 2016, and said that it led to the hiring of the city’s first racial equity officer, and that the city tripled the dedicated funding for the city’s affordable housing fund.

Wilson, however, said that there wasn’t enough action in the statement, and laid out a series of his own specific actions, including eliminating fares on the DASH bus system, decriminalizing “quality of life infractions” and eliminating escalating fines that “criminalize poverty for a lot of our residents.”

As for flooding, Council Candidate Sarah Bagley recommended creating social service programs to train residents on solving their own stormwater management issues. Bagley is the executive director of a non-profit organization that provides social services to affordable housing communities around the U.S.

“In one of my projects down in Atlanta, we had a stormwater runoff problem right at the base of our property in front of the leasing office,” she said. “They built the project themselves with their own hands… We solved our problem without spending any property money. It was a win on so many levels. And it’s that kind of creative thinking that I want to contribute, this idea that we can turn a real stormwater problem into a job training experience into a public private partnership.”

The city recently doubled its stormwater utility fee to contend with 90 stormwater capacity projects, many of which have been overlooked by previous city councils.

“We’re dealing with spots that flood and capacity issues for the whole system,” Council candidate Kirk McPike said. “And if we fix spots before we fix the capacity, we might just be shoving water back into the system where new flooding locations are going to be created… So that as we’re fixing the spot flooding, we are putting that water into a system that can actually handle it. I think we can also expect more of developers who are coming into our community not only that they make their properties that they are working on more absorptive of water, but they actually pay into the fund to help lower the cost to local tax payers.”

Councilman Canek Aguirre said that the city has taken direct action.

“I know for the community, it is a sense of hopelessness, because as soon as it starts raining, they just get all types of anxiety, right?” Aguirre said. “It is long overdo.”

Wilson said that the capital improvement budget has ballooned from 700 million to $2.2 billion because of coalitions he built on Council to invest in public infrastructure. He also said that the city needs to prioritize incoming federal funds for sewer investments and look at creative financing.

“But we have a long way to go,” Wilson said. “And it is true that we doubled the stormwater utility fee, and unfortunately that is just going to tackle a small portion of the 90 capacity projects that we have to address citywide.”

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Four years of development came to a close Tuesday as the Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority cut the ribbon on Lineage, a 52-unit affordable apartment complex at the former Ramsey Homes site in Old Town.

“It’s about helping people that need affordable housing, and that’s the passion of mine, given that I’m a product of public housing,” ARHA CEO Keith Pettigrew said, adding that he thought the project would be easy when he started his job four years ago. “I was led to believe that Ramsey was easy, but it was anything but easy, and being in this industry for as long as I have I should have known better, but I didn’t.”

ARHA was awarded tax credit financing for the project at 625 N Patrick Street in 2017, and also received a $2 million loan from the city.

The four-story apartment building includes 15 homes for city residents earning up to 30% of the area median income ($25,500 for a household of one to $36,400 for a household of four) and 37 new units to households earning up to 50% and 60% AMI. It is located across the street from the Charles Houston Recreation Center and the Alexandria Black History Museum.

Mayor Justin Wilson said approval of the project was not easy, running the gamut from community concerns over historic preservation and open space to density and housing.

“This was not easy at all,” Wilson said. “The struggle is worth it for 52 families who now have a place to live.”

Lineage resident Maria Ledbetter says she’s sleeping better.

“I really, really love my apartment,” Ledbetter said. We have really nice appliances, a very nice view from the window, and I’m sleeping very well at night. I think you really came through with this development.”

The property was first developed as permanent housing for 15 Black defense workers and their families during World War II. The 15 units were redeveloped into the new Lineage project, which added 37 new units to the city’s affordable housing inventory. The new apartments range from 323 to 1,301 square feet. Each apartment includes a washer and drier, heating and air conditioning and “hardwood-style” flooring.

“This was a hard-fought victory for housing advocates and those who care about affordability in the city,” said City Councilman John Taylor Chapman.

Alexandria is currently experiencing an affordable housing crisis, and the city has pledged to produce or develop 2,000 affordable housing units by 2025. The city has also agreed to produce an additional 1,950 units by 2030 in order to meet its regional housing goal set by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, which aims for the region to produce 320,000 affordable housing units.

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Former Mayor Allison Silberberg very publicly didn’t plan on running against Mayor Justin Wilson in the Democratic primary, but as weeks slipped by and no other challenger came forward — and Council Member Mo Seifeldein dropped out — Silberberg said she felt she needed to step up.

Three years after Silberberg lost her reelection bid to Wilson, she’s back to reclaim the position.

“I couldn’t just stand by and watch our city put at risk by destructive policies of our current mayor,” Silberberg said.

Wilson has racked up several endorsements from current and former members of city leadership, including other City Council members and state legislators, but Silberberg said she isn’t particularly worried by that. Silberberg said in the last week, her campaign has raised over $64,000, while Wilson recently announced that he raised $90,000.

“I’m not concerned,” Silberberg said. “In many cases, that’s the old guard. I’m honored to have support form people across our city. We’re at a crossroads in our city. I’m a person who gets things done and I listen to people.”

Silberberg’s list of objections to Wilson is, beyond a “greatest hits” of concerns that have emerged from local advocacy groups like Bring Integrity Back to Alexandria, an extension of many of the same battles Silberberg fought with Wilson on when the two were locked in opposition during her tenure as mayor.

Silberberg said some of the biggest issues fueling her campaign are:

  • Reverting Seminary Road Changes — “Wilson took away vital travel lanes on Seminary Road,” Silberberg said. “I would restore them. It’s a major arterial road to our only hospital. It was one of the safest streets in the city, the data showed that, but in a distorted kind of way he said this is a vote about public safety. Thirteen civic associations banded together and said do not do this, it affects every resident in the city.”
  • Opposition to City Stream Restoration Projects — “I’m fighting to save Taylor Run… saving the forest there, and Strawberry Run,” she said. “I would listen to environmentalists, scientists and experts who have come forward on their own to say that this is a disaster in the making, to destroy the forest. This is some of the last remaining forests in our city, you can’t just replant and wait 30 years, because it’s not just the trees but the environment around it.”
  • School-Affordable Housing Colocation — “I’m committed to protecting limited school properties from housing,” Silberberg said.
  • Opposition to Eisenhower Slaughterhouse — “He pushed through the slaughterhouse where the existing businesses a football throw away banded together and banded the Mayor not to do that,” Silberberg said. “There are no other slaughterhouses within the beltway, and not one in our city. The impact on environmental waste is really upsetting — not to mention the smell. It was dismissive of the fact that the business owner has had numerous code violations in other states. I would not have supported that.”

Some of the reversals could be a challenge. City staff recently laid out the costs to alternatives to the Taylor Run Stream Restoration the city could be required to pursue to keep up with its Chesapeake Bay Watershed credit requirements.

Silberberg  is dubious of staff’s claims.

“Staff, with all due respect, seems to be inflating or misrepresenting the costs for alternatives,” she said. “We need to have all that vetted openly and discussed.”

Silberberg said she was also surprised and frustrated that staff hadn’t tested the soil at Taylor Run before committing the city to funding the overhaul.

“Nobody on the city staff, and they admitted this, that they hadn’t tested the soils at Taylor Run,” Silberberg said. “Someone on their own volition hired a highly regarded laboratory, tested the soils, and it came back with negligible amounts of phosphorous, that’s one of the driving forces. So basically the city admitted that they were basing their analysis and conclusions on a generic version of soil samples in a whole other region. That’s not how we want to do analysis when it comes to a treasured spot in the city.”

Taylor Run, along with some of the other issues, go back to what Silberberg sees as a recurring problem with transparency and ethics in city leadership. Silberberg and Wilson have clashed over issues about ethics for nearly a decade, including a protracted battle over a proposed ethics pledge in 2016.

“We must restore integrity and transparency and adopt meaningful ethics reform,” Silberberg said. “That is certainly a top ethics reform, and we need a leader with demonstrated record of truth, transparency and ethics, and I am that leader. I led with an ethics initiative, and the person who led the effort to water that down was then Vice-Mayor Wilson. We did accomplish some goals, but didn’t go nearly as far as what I wanted.”

Silberberg argued that information that came to light from public Freedom of Information Act requests, and later printed by the Alexandria Times, not only showed that there were behind-the-scenes discussions on issues like Seminary Road and the Potomac Yard southern entrance that the public should know about, but also that there was too much information in those that was redacted.

“Some of the lines that weren’t redacted, which wasn’t very much, showed that he distorted the truth or lied and misled the public,” Silberberg said. Read More

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Morning Notes

Arlandria affordable housing development meetings this week — “Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC), a non-profit housing developer, is exploring a proposal to create a 400+ unit affordable apartment rental community located at Mt. Vernon and Glebe Road… If you are not pre-registered, you can click here to join the meeting in Spanish at 7 PM on 4/14, and click here to join the meeting in English at 7 PM on 4/15.” [City of Alexandria]

City nominated for Condé Nast award — “The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. Alexandria has placed among the Top 5 Small Cities in the U.S. for the last three years alongside Charleston and Santa Fe.” [CNTraveler.com]

Alexandria to get first DashMart in DC Metro area — “Brought to you from the folks at DoorDash, the company plans to open a warehouse later this year in Alexandria at 826 S. Pickett St. (just west of South Van Dorn Street) where it will house the items for delivery around the clock.” [Alexandria Living]

City announces cohousing/co-living open house — “The City of Alexandria invites the community to participate in the Cohousing/Co-living Virtual Open House scheduled for April 20th from 7-9 p.m. Cohousing/co-living generally offers individuals who are unrelated a private living space as well as access to communal areas like kitchen, bathrooms, and living spaces.” [City of Alexandria]

Today’s weather — “Cloudy early with partial sunshine expected late. High 66F. Winds light and variable… Partly cloudy (in the evening). Low near 50F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Appointment setter — “This is our busiest time of the year, and we are looking to bring on 2 new customer service advisors to our team. We fully train, so no experience is required for this position. You will be setting appointments and consulting potential customers on which services fit best for their families.” [Indeed]

Courtesy photo by Jack Powers

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Landmark Towers has a problem.

The West End residential property at 101 S Whiting Street, originally built in 1964, was more or less falling apart and a planned ten-year rehabilitation project was prohibitively expensive.

The City of Alexandria also has a problem: its bleeding market rate affordable housing faster than committed affordable units — units with rents capped below market price — can be made to keep up with demand.

The two bodies came to an agreement last year for a loan that — like the old Reese’s ad — took each party’s problems and turned them into each other’s solutions. Now, the city is looking to that West End partnership as one potential solution to help stave off impending gentrification of Arlandria when Amazon comes to town.

At a City Council meeting on Tuesday, city staff said the earlier Landmark Towers agreement could act as a template for partnerships in Arlandria, where there are similar market rate residential developments that could be in need of extensive overhauls. Today, city staff said the majority of market rate units in the area are affordable at 60-80 percent of area median income (AMI).

“[We’re] proactively engaging with willing property owners may also create future opportunities to potentially buy down rents,” said Alexandria Housing Planner Tamara Jovovic. “The recent investment in Landmark Towers out at the West End is an interesting example. City provided financing to property owner to address outstanding capital maintenance issues.”

According to the Alexandria Housing Affordability Advisory Committee (AHAAC), the loan would help pay for capital improvements in exchange for adherence to adhering to certain rent guidelines and other stipulations.

Provision of a $2.5 million capital improvement loan to Landmark Towers, LLC, a 154-unit mixed-use rental property in exchange for long term compliance with the City’s voluntary rent guidelines, provision of a right of first refusal in the event of a future sale, and a commitment to jointly explore potential redevelopment opportunities, if mutually beneficial, to add committed affordable and workforce units.

The AHAAC said in its report that market rate affordable units are part of a decreasing supply. The recommendation also said that the loan was the first of its kind: a housing opportunity loan to a privately-owned entity, but that doing so was consistent with the city’s housing and community development powers. It’s a shift that could blur the lines between committed affordable and market rate affordable units moving forward.

“The importance of this residential asset to Alexandria’s housing affordability ecosystem,” the report said, “the property’s many long term tenants, its locational and transit efficiency, as well as its capacity for potential additional development, combined with the owner’s desire to collaborate with the City on a mutually agreeable solution that maintains the property as market rate affordable and workforce housing, has induced the parties to come up with a package that offers short, medium and long term benefits.”

It’s a solution that was raised among others at the City Council meeting to discuss ongoing plans to try to preserve not only affordable housing in Arlandria, but the predominately Hispanic and immigrant communities that have called the area home for several decades.

Jovovic said other aspects of the plan will include making sure that Arlandria residents are the ones who benefit most from new affordable housing, with the city developing a system that would prioritize existing residents of the neighborhood when new units come online in the area. Jovovic said the city is also working on making the housing application process less intimidating, which can be dense and hard to decipher even to native English speakers.

City Council member Canek Aguirre said he was excited about the plan and credited the city’s partnerships with local community organizations in helping with outreach.

“I’m excited about this project and the level of outreach — even in the pandemic — and the Spanish-first approach to ensure the demographic areas are reached out to,” Aguirre said. “It’s a testament to the importance of our relationship to organizations like Casa Chirilagua and Tenants and Workers United.”

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Kevin Harris sees himself as a man of the people, someone residents can confide in to help solve their problems.

The 40-year-old local business owner says he decided on March 1 to run for City Council as a democrat in the June 8 primary.

“My champion issue is equity,” Harris told ALXnow. “I want people to know that I’m an individual that you can connect with, that you can talk with, that you can come up to. I’m approachable and I’m relatable. I want people to feel comfortable talking with me to understand that I care, that they’ll get a real response and that I’m going to genuinely look into the matter.”

He’s the former president of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) Resident Association, and since 2003 has owned Hoop Life Inc., which teaches basketball camps, clinics, classes and after-school programs in the city and throughout Northern Virginia.

Harris lives with his wife and four children in Old Town. He’s is a native of Washington, D.C., and has lived in Alexandria for more than 25 years. He’s got a bachelor’s degree in business from Alabama State University, where he got a full athletic scholarship and was named captain of the basketball team. He later played professionally for the Dakota Wizards before starting Hoop Life, Inc. 

Harris said systemic racism persists in the city, and highlights the creation of an ARHA safety committee to meet with police as one of his achievements. The public housing community has had busy last few years worth of shots fired incidents and other criminal activity, and Harris said residents are tired of feeling powerless.

“I deal with so many individuals who work in this city who can’t afford to live and talking to them to hearing their stories, it’s just it’s just troublesome,” he said. “There was an idea and a notion from the surrounding communities that ARHA residents are almost collaborators in the criminal activity that is taking place… But all these residents from all these different properties came together to organize to one speak to the fact of trying to build a better relationship with the police department.”

Affordable housing is also one of Harris’ key issues.

“I can’t stand to see people try to take advantage of others just because they feel like they’re in a position of power,” he said. “Think about it: 90% of the city’s affordable housing is gone. There’s a lot of individuals, especially individuals of color who have moved out of the city, who can’t afford to live here any longer. There’s a sense of gentrification. You see those changes in the school system, you see those changes in business, you see those changes in the communities. Some of these areas that were predominantly African American are no longer. So, I want to make sure that things are going in the right direction and be that voice for those individuals to make sure that their needs are being met, as well as everyone else.”

Photo via Kevin Harris/Facebook

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What an eventful week in Alexandria.

Thursday, March 11, marked the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic in Alexandria. As the vaccine rollout slowly improves, the most recent news is the allowance of restaurant workers to get the vaccine. Just over 38,000 doses have been administered in the city, and of that 14,661 residents have been fully vaccinated. The city also wants 80% of residents vaccinated by July 31.

Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne also announced that he will not seek reelection this fall, bringing an end to his 43-year law enforcement career. Lawhorne’s protege Sean Casey is now running for the seat in the June 8 Democratic primary.

Criticism against the proposed renovation of the Taylor Run Stream continued this week, and even City Councilwoman Amy Jackson has decided to join residents in opposition.

More than 220 people participated in our poll this week on school resource officers. More than half of respondents said that ACPS should hire more SROs, 30% said the program should be eliminated and 11% believe SROs should only work part time.

In case you missed them, here are some other important stories:

Our top stories this week:

  1. Inova to Launch New Vaccine Clinic Inside Revamped Victory Center
  2. Battle Royale: Princess Street Development Duel Returns to City This Month
  3. Just In: Captain Sean Casey is Running for Alexandria Sheriff
  4. Alexandria Police Arrest Seven People and Seize Drugs, Guns and Cash
  5. Development Questions Remain for New Braddock West Project Headed to City Council
  6. City Could Help Turn Hotels Emptied by Coronavirus Into Affordable Housing
  7. Just Listed in Alexandria
  8. Do You Like the Suggested Names for T.C. Williams and Matthew Maury?
  9. A Year Late, Contractor Eyes Spring Completion for King Street Metro Access Improvement Project
  10. Superintendent Proposes New Names for T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary
  11. Councilwoman Amy Jackson Argues With School Board Over MacArthur Elementary Construction Schedule

Have a safe weekend!

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What a busy week in Alexandria.

Our top story this week was on Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Old Town shop fibre space on March 3. It was Harris’ first official visit outside of the White House since she was inaugurated, and she spoke about the American Rescue Plan with shop owner Danielle Romanetti.

Alexandria City Public Schools reopened for hybrid instruction this week, the first time since all school facilities were shut down on March 13. The school system reportedly welcomed back 1,200 special needs students in kindergarten through fifth grade. ACPS will open on March 9 for special education students, and then fully reopen its doors to hybrid learning for students on March 16.

On the coronavirus front, the number  of deaths due to the virus has climbed to 123, and cases are at 10,404 since the first case was reported on March 11, 2020. Mayor Justin Wilson says the city is doing well keeping the numbers down, although with a vaccine waiting list exceeding 45,000 and 3,000 vaccine doses being given out weekly, distribution will continue to be slow.

More than 550 people responded to this week’s poll on the proposed new names for T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School. About 60% of respondents said they were happy with Alexandria High School, but not with Naomi Brooks Elementary School; 25% said they liked both names; 8% didn’t like either name; and 6% didn’t like the high school name and were happy with the elementary school name.

In case you missed them, here are some other important stories:

Here are our most-read posts this week:

  1. Just In: Vice President Visits Old Town Shop Fibre Space
  2. Alexandria Wants Feedback on Building Spray Park in Del Ray
  3. El Chapo’s Wife to be Isolated in Alexandria Jail for One Month Per COVID-19 Distancing Rules
  4. Consultant Proposes Replacing Community Shelter with Mixed-Use Development
  5. Alexandria Advocacy Facebook Group Parodied in New Blog
  6. Superintendent Proposes New Names for T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary
  7. Patrick Moran, Son of Former Congressman Jim Moran, is Running for City Council
  8. ACPS Reopens its Doors and Evaluating Grading System for Traumatized Students
  9. Man Arrested for High-Speed Vehicle Race on I-495
  10. Meronne Teklu Enters City Council Race
  11. Neighborhood Spotlight: Old Town is the New Town

Have a safe weekend!

Photo via Peter Velz/Twitter 

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