Newsletter
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, image via Jennifer Watkins/Alexandria Library

The Duncan Library in Del Ray is planning to host a conversation next week with a former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine about her experience in the country and the current crisis.

The event with Marie Yovanovitch is scheduled for Monday (May 9) at 7 p.m. in the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square (2311 Mount Vernon Avenue). The discussion will also be live-streamed online.

“Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch discusses her memoir, Lessons from the Edge,” the library said on its website, “the importance of public service, and her efforts to assist Ukraine empower its civil society sector, strengthen its democratic institutions, and fight corruption — key U.S. goals.”

Yovanovitch is also scheduled to do a signing of her book at Hooray for Books (1555 King Street) earlier that day.

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Need to get your Irish on? While Alexandria’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been pushed off until September, there are two Irish-themed bar crawls coming to the city in the days ahead.

The Shamrock Stampede will descend on Alexandria’s Carlyle neighborhood on Saturday, March 12. Participating restaurants include Whiskey & Oyster, Sweet Fire Donna’s, Tequila & Taco, Lost Boy Cider and Joe Theismann’s Restaurant.

The event includes outfit contests, giveaways and raffles. It runs from 2 to 6 p.m. and costs $10. All registration proceeds will be donated to ALIVE!.

On the actual St. Patrick’s Day — Thursday, March 17 — Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant & Bar (112 King Street) will start things off with musician Mike Richards from 1 to 4 p.m., followed by four-piece rock band By All Means from 7 to 11 p.m.

But that’s not all.

On Saturday, March 19, six King Street restaurants will host the fifth annual Lucky’s St. Patrick’s Day Crawl. The event runs from 4 to 10 p.m., and tickets cost $20-25 per person.

“We will shuttle our leprechauns, four-clover wearers, Irish lovers and everyone else on the King Street Trolly between all restaurants,” event organizers wrote on Facebook.

Participating restaurants:

Photo via Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub/Facebook

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The Alexandria Library is hosting an art contest for Alexandria teens and the deadline is early next week.

The Teen Winter Creativity Contest is open to all local writers, visual artists and photographers in grades 6 through 12. Entries must be received by the Alexandria Library by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 15). The entry forms are available at the bottom of the contest page and only one entry is permitted per student in each category.

“All three categories — writing, photography and two-dimensional visual art — are open-ended, meaning that, besides format, there are no writing or artistic limitations,” the library said on its website. “Entries can be about any topic, written in any form or created in either photography or other 2D visual art format (paintings, drawings, prints or other flat artwork).”

Written works are not allowed to exceed 25 pages.

The contest page notes that entries can be something contestants have been working on for a while or it can be something new.

The page lists categories as:

  • Writing – Middle School (grades 6-8)
  • Writing – High School (grades 9-12)
  • 2D visual art – Middle School (grades 6-8)
  • 2D visual art – High School (grades 9-12)
  • Photography – Middle School (grades 6-8)
  • Photography – High School (grades 9-12)

The first-place prize in each category is $100, followed by $50 for second place and $25 for third.

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One day after a severe snowstorm hit Alexandria, some things are returning to normal while other services remain closed.

Alexandria bus service DASH suspended service yesterday, but has since returned with snow routes — adjusted routes following more thoroughly cleared sections of roadway.

https://twitter.com/DASHBus/status/1478381102976978948

City facilities had a delayed reopening at 10 a.m. today with local courts remaining closed. Alexandria libraries scheduled to open at 10 a.m. will instead be opening at noon to give staff time to clear off the sidewalks. The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is open by-appointment starting at noon.

Alexandria City Public Schools has moved to virtual schooling for the second day in a row.

Those who set their trash, recycling, yard waste or leaf collection out today may have already discovered this, but the Monday collection has slid to Wednesday, Jan. 5., with every day offset by two after that.

Meanwhile, the city said in a press release that road and sidewalk clearing is still underway and property owners should be clearing sidewalks.

“Roads are plowed by priority,” the city said. “Snow emergency routes are plowed first, followed by secondary routes, intermediate routes, and then residential streets… Clearing sidewalks, driveways, and entrances is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, occupant, community association, or business. The recent storm event has been declared Level 2. As a result, responsible parties have 48 hours from the end of snowfall at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 3 to clear paths. The deadline for clearing paths and walkways is Wednesday, January 5, at 2 p.m.”

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Alexandria is one of several localities around Virginia selected for a Virginia Department of Health (VDH) program that will be distributing free COVID testing kits from the local libraries.

Alexandria libraries could, this week, begin distributing COVID-19 testing kits, the VDH said in a press release.

“Today [Tuesday], the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced its partnership with 18 libraries and library systems across the commonwealth to distribute COVID-19 rapid antigen at-home test kits at no cost,” the VDH said. “The pilot program begins this week and will run through Friday, Dec. 31.”

The tests being offered are the Abbott BinaxNow COVID-19 Antigen Card Home Test, and the VDH said they can be used at home with digital results returned in 15 minutes.

“We are pleased to work with public libraries to provide another testing option for our community and to increase accessibility,” Dr. Laurie Forlano, deputy director of the Office of Epidemiology, said in the press release. “Testing continues to be important to stop the spread of COVID-19, particularly as we enter the holiday season when people gather.”

The Alexandria Health Department also put out a quick reminder of safety tips and recommendations as the holiday season approaches.

  • Get all eligible members of your family fully vaccinated, including booster shots, if appropriate.
  • Wear a mask indoors when around those not in your household.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others as much as possible.
  • Avoid crowded and indoor areas where distancing is not possible, or where you will be in close contact with those whose vaccination status is unknown.
  • If you think you may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed, get tested and follow guidelines for isolation and quarantine.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. This will help prevent many diseases, including the seasonal flu.
  • If not fully vaccinated, stay away from others and get tested 3-5 days after returning home from travel.
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There are dozens of volunteering opportunities in Alexandria.

“We need hundreds of people per week,” Volunteer Alexandria Executive Director Marion Brunken told ALXnow. “More people are in need now than ever.”

Here’s Volunteer Alexandria’s list of new and upcoming opportunities.

  • Assist with the Halfway to Saint Patrick’s Day Festival — Help the Ballyshaners celebrate Irish Cultural Heritage on Saturday, September 18 with live music, Irish dancing, food and beverages. Volunteers are needed for 3-hour shifts, starting at 9am and ending around 8pm, to help with set up, entrance and exit monitoring, ID checks, and bartending (must be 21 and older). Click here to sign-up.
  • Crossing guards needed help children get to school and home safely — ACPS need your help getting our kids to and from school safely. Volunteers will control traffic at already designated crosswalks to allow families to cross streets safely to and from school. Times would be 7:15 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. and 2:25 p.m. to 3:05 p.m. at various schools across the city. Click Here to sign-up.
  • Deliver Meals to ACPS School Children — Senior Services of Alexandria is looking for volunteers to support school lunch delivery to families who have children learning virtually this fall. Volunteers are needed to pick up and deliver meals on Mondays and Wednesdays. Car and valid driver’s license required. Click HERE to express interest.
  • Event support needed for Living Legends of Alexandria reception honoring volunteers — Living Legends of Alexandria is seeking volunteers for the event. Tasks may include assisting with live screening set up, crowd control, parking lot assistance for anyone needing help, and much more. The event is at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 30. Click HERE to sign up.
  • Help with a 5K race — Run! Geek! Run! is a 5K race held each year with the proceeds going to the Child and Family Network Centers. Ironisitic is looking for volunteers to help our runners, assist with the water station, support the finish line, register individuals, cheer our runners along on the route, and clean-up after the race on Saturday, September 26. Click Here to sign-up.
  • Kids games and card making for first responders – Join us at Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library on Saturday, September 25 from 10 a.m. to noon to make cards for first responders, police officers, and firefighters. We will also be playing a few games to learn about fire and earthquake safety! Click HERE to sign up.
  • Prepare for a hurricane – Learn how to navigate disasters through an interactive tabletop exercise on Saturday, September 18. Join our Volunteer Reception Center core team that will organize volunteers ready to assist with community recovery efforts after a disaster. To sign up, click HERE.
  • Provide input for Dari and Pashto reading materials – Help translate common city materials and educational pamphlets for incoming Afghan refugees. During this virtual focus group on Wednesday, September 22, 7 – 8 p.m. we will discuss and identify potential needs and resources for refugees, identify reading materials that could be translated, and how to have them translated and then disseminated into
    the community. To sign up, click HERE.
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There’s a lot in store this week in Alexandria. Here’s a few events to look forward to.

Wednesday, September 8

  • Blue Oyster Cult at The Birchmere (7:30 p.m.) — The 1960s-era band is known for such hits as ” The Reaper”, “Burnin’ for You”, and “Godzilla”. All guests must provide proof of vaccination if they want to attend the performance.
  • Outdoor story time for toddlers (11:30 a.m.) –This outdoor program is perfect for ages two-to-five, and will  be held outdoors and in-person at Burke Branch Library. Masks are required, and you might want to bring something to sit on.
  • Trivia night at The Light Horse (7 p.m.) — “Grab your mates & head down to 715 King Street for a great evening of Q&A in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Delicious food, cold craft beers and delish cocktails await”

Thursday, September 9

  • Julia Fordham at The Birchmere (7:30 p.m.) — The British singer-songwriter is performing after her shows were rescheduled from April and October 2020, and all tickets from those shows will be honored. Additional tickets for Thursday night are on sale.
  • Willa Cather book discussion (7 p.m.) — “In the upcoming year, a statue of novelist Willa Cather will be installed in statuary hall in the U.S. Capital Building. Let’s celebrate with a discussion about one of Cather’s intriguing novels, The Professor’s House.”

Friday, September 10

  • August Wilson’s “Fences” at the Little Theatre of Alexandria (7 p.m.) — “Join Manumission Tour Company on September 10th at 7pm to see a special performance of August Wilson’s famous play, FENCES. Proceeds raised from this special showing will go to the production of an upcoming MTC about black history in Old Town’s South East Quadrant.”

Saturday, September 11s

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Morning Notes

Police assist in chase Friday night — “There is a heavy police presence in the area of North Latham Street and Taney Avenue due to a Virginia State Police pursuit that originated from out of the city. APD assisted and suspects have been taken into custody for non-violent offense(s).” [Twitter]

Alexandria Library eliminates fines for overdue items — “Here’s some great news for library patrons. Alexandria Library has decided to eliminate fines for overdue items. What is the reason for the change?” [Zebra]

DASH bus eliminates fares — “The changes come as part of the city’s broader Alexandria Transit Vision Plan and after City Council approved the elimination of bus fares in its FY2022 budget. The aim of these changes is to expand the services’ accessibility for residents, particularly low-income residents and residents of color, who need and use this aspect of the city’s transit network.” [Alex Times]

Today’s weather — “Sun and a few passing clouds. Slight chance of a rain shower. High around 85F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph… Mostly clear skies. Low 62F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Security officer — “Securitas plays an essential role for our clients and in society. TheSecurity Officer position helps maintain a safe and secure environment for our clients by actively monitoring the premises, including patrolling a variety of locations.” [Indeed]

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There are dozens of volunteering opportunities in Alexandria.

“We need hundreds of people per week,” Volunteer Alexandria Executive Director Marion Brunken told ALXnow. “More people are in need now than ever.”

Here’s Volunteer Alexandria’s list of new and upcoming opportunities.

  • Alexandria Dept. of Community and Human Services Volunteer Guardian — “Looking for individuals who can assure the well-being of an incapacitated Alexandrian living in an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Facility. Volunteer Guardians are appointed by the Court to make decisions for older Alexandria residents who have lost the capacity to understand the consequences of their decisions. The volunteer will visit the resident monthly and follow the person’s wishes as much as possible. To express interest, click HERE.”
  • ALIVE! — “Volunteers are needed to assist with multiple programs relating to their Food Program, ALIVE! House, and Alexandria Eviction Prevention Partnership Program will distribute food at Mobile Pop-ups and Truck to Trunk events, etc. Click HERE to learn about each opportunity and to register.”
  • ALIVE! Thursday Warehouse Volunteer — ALIVE! is looking for volunteers every Thursday. The role will consist of accepting deliveries, crating fruits and vegetables, shelving boxes, and all other tasks that may need to be done. Some tasks require lifting and/or moving possibly heavy items. Commitment to at least one Thursday a month is required. To express interest, click HERE.
  • Help Provide Meals to Children — “Alexandria City Public School (ACPS) will provide two days worth of breakfast and lunch meals with a snack pack free for any enrolled ACPS student on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Friday distribution will include a meal(s) for Saturday. Volunteers will meet at various schools to assist with packing boxes and loading buses with boxed meals. Then, volunteers will ride the bus along to distribute the meals while on site at a few ACPS mobile pop-up locations. Click on each location to sign up: Francis C. Hammond Middle School, Alexandria City High School, or Jefferson Houston School.”
  • ALX Fit Fair Volunteer — “Join in the ALX Fit Fair, a fun day in the park connecting the community of health and wellness businesses with fitness brands in mini-workouts and tasty samples! The event will begin at 10am and go until 2pm, but volunteers will be needed to set up an hour earlier and break down for up to 3pm. Energetic, health- focused individuals 16+ years of age who have a passion for fitness and the outdoors are needed to assist with registration, traffic control, directing people, and assigning raffle tickets. Click HERE for more information.”
  • Casa Chirilagua — “Casa Chirilagua needs volunteers to help tutor/mentor children and adults virtually and in-person during their Kids Club, Teen Club, Mentoring program, Spanish Tutor program, and Adult English Classes. To learn more click HERE.
  • Volunteer for the new DASH Network Launch — “DASH is looking for volunteers 18+ to interact and share
    information with riders about the New DASH Network during in-person pop-up events! After nearly two years of planning, outreach and community discussion, the New DASH Network is set to launch fare free on September 5th! The New DASH Network introduces more frequent, all-day service on major transit corridors in Old Town, Arlandria, Potomac Yard, Parkfairfax, the West End and the King Street corridor, and serves more low-income and minority residents. This new network will also provide access to 50,000 additional residents and nearly 25,000 additional jobs in Alexandria. Bilingual volunteers with conversational Spanish and Amharic would be a great help. All CDC mask wearing guidelines must be followed while participating in this event. To volunteer or find out more information about the new network, click HERE.”
  • Emergency Preparedness Outreach — “Help us recruit more passionate volunteers like you for our upcoming National Preparedness Month in September, our Snowbuddies Program in the winter, and all of our other emergency preparedness training programs! For more information or to sign up, click HERE.”
  • FACETS – Front Desk Volunteer at Alexandria Location — “Volunteers are needed to work at the front desk. Tasks include assisting clients, answering phone calls, receiving donations, data entry/filing, and maintaining the front desk and lobby of the office. Register HERE.”
  • Teacher positions at Friends of Guest House — “Friends of Guest House – Various Teacher Positions Dedicated volunteers needed to teach various subjects and skills classes to women. The ideal volunteer will be patient and interested in the success of these women as they further their knowledge. Volunteers are also needed to assist with vaccination pods and instruct substance abuse, addiction, and recovery classes. To register and learn more click HERE.”
  • National Preparedness Month Volunteers – “Interested in helping us plan, organize and execute events for National Preparedness Month? Join our planning team! No experience necessary just a passion for emergency preparedness. Click HERE to sign up!”
  • Repair Coach at Fixit Clinic – Kate Waller Barrett Library — The Barrett Branch Library is seeking volunteers to join in our first Fixit Clinic on Saturday, September 11 between 11am and 3pm. The Fixit Clinic is an opportunity to help your neighbors, teach skills for living all while keeping items out of the landfills and pushing against throwaway culture. We’re looking for skilled professionals and amateur craftspeople who work within the categories of small appliances, furniture, computers, electronics, clothing, jewelry, book and paper, bicycle repair and blade sharpening. Repair coaches not only will attempt to fix the items brought in, but will work with visitors to explain the process or encourage owners to attempt repairs themselves. To express interest, click HERE.
  • Create Salvation Army care packages — “We are collecting items for seniors and vulnerable populations. You can help by creating care packages from the security of your own home and safely dropping items at our locations. To express interest, click HERE.”
  • Senior Services of Alexandria’s groceries to go – “Shop for and deliver groceries every other week to home-bound seniors who live within the City of Alexandria. You will be paired with a senior, who will provide you with their grocery list. Further instructions will be provided to you once you've filled out the application, which involves a background check. To register click HERE.”
  • Senior Services of Alexandria’s Meals on Wheels — “Meals on Wheels provides meals to seniors who are unable to leave their homes to shop, or have difficulty preparing a meal, to have two healthy meals a day delivered to their homes. Click HERE to learn more and to register.”
  • Long Term Client Intake Case Workers — “Provide financial and logistical assistance to those in need of a Virginia state ID, needed to access housing, food assistance, jobs and more. While helping clients get IDs we also register them to vote and help others restore their voting rights. To register, click HERE.”
  • Space Of Her Own (SOHO) Mentoring for Girls — “SOHO is returning in-person for the 2021-2022 school year with a brand new class of 5th grade girls from under-resourced communities in Alexandria, Virginia, each waiting for a caring adult female mentor like you! Join us for an information session on either August 24 or 25 from 5:30-6:30 pm at The Art League Annex, at 1055 North Fairfax Street. To learn more, click HERE.
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There are a bunch of available volunteer opportunities in Alexandria this summer.

“We need hundreds of people per week,” Volunteer Alexandria Executive Director Marion Brunken told ALXnow. “More people are in need now than ever.”

Here’s Volunteer Alexandria’s list of new and upcoming opportunities.

  • Help Provide Meals to Children — “Alexandria City Public School (ACPS) will provide two days worth of breakfast and lunch meals with a snack pack free for any enrolled ACPS student on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Friday distribution will include a meal(s) for Saturday. Volunteers will meet at various schools to assist with packing boxes and loading buses with boxed meals. Then, volunteers will ride the bus along to distribute the meals while on site at a few ACPS mobile pop-up locations. Click on each location to sign up: Francis C. Hammond Middle School, Alexandria City High School, or Jefferson Houston School.”
  • Alexandria Dept. of Community and Human Services Volunteer Guardian — “Looking for individuals who can assure the well-being of an incapacitated Alexandrian living in an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Facility. Volunteer Guardians are appointed by the Court to make decisions for older Alexandria residents who have lost the capacity to understand the consequences of their decisions. The volunteer will visit the resident monthly and follow the person’s wishes as much as possible. To express interest, click HERE.”
  • Alexandria Families for Safer Streets Executive Assistant to Board of Directors — “The agency is seeking an executive assistant to help coordinate a diverse group of tasks necessary to keep us on track and moving forward. Someone with office manager skills would be the ideal candidate. To learn more click HERE.
  • ALIVE! — “Volunteers are needed to assist with multiple programs relating to their Food Program, ALIVE! House, and Alexandria Eviction Prevention Partnership Program will distribute food at Mobile Pop-ups and Truck to Trunk events, etc. Click HERE to learn about each opportunity and to register.”
  • ALX Fit Fair Volunteer — Join in the ALX Fit Fair, a fun day in the park connecting the community of health and wellness businesses with fitness brands in mini-workouts and tasty samples! The event will begin at 10am and go until 2pm, but volunteers will be needed to set up an hour earlier and break down for up to 3pm. Energetic, health- focused individuals 16+ years of age who have a passion for fitness and the outdoors are needed to assist with registration, traffic control, directing people, and assigning raffle tickets. Click HERE for more information.”
  • FACETS – Front Desk Volunteer at Alexandria Location — “Volunteers are needed to work at the front desk. Tasks include assisting clients, answering phone calls, receiving donations, data entry/filing, and maintaining the front desk and lobby of the office. Register HERE.”
  • Teacher positions at Friends of Guest House — “Friends of Guest House – Various Teacher Positions Dedicated volunteers needed to teach various subjects and skills classes to women. The ideal volunteer will be patient and interested in the success of these women as they further their knowledge. Volunteers are also needed to assist with vaccination pods and instruct substance abuse, addiction, and recovery classes. To register and learn more click HERE.”
  • The Alzheimer’s Association and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s -Saturday, September 25 (National Harbor) and Saturday, October 9, 2021, on the National Mall, Washington, DC. Volunteers are needed on the day of the events to help with set up, sign placement, information services, promise flower distribution, cheerleaders, and route monitors. To learn more and register, click HERE for September 25 and click HERE for October 9.
  • National Preparedness Month Volunteers – “Interested in helping us plan, organize and execute events for National Preparedness Month? Join our planning team! No experience necessary just a passion for emergency preparedness. Click HERE to sign up!”
  • Create COVID-19 Care Packages with the Salvation Army — “We are collecting items for seniors and vulnerable populations. You can help by creating care packages from the security of your own home and safely dropping items at our locations. To express interest, click HERE.
  • Long Term Client Intake Case Workers — “Provide financial and logistical assistance to those in need of a Virginia state ID, needed to access housing, food assistance, jobs and more. While helping clients get IDs we also register them to vote and help others restore their voting rights. To register, click HERE.
  • Repair Coach at Fixit Clinic – Kate Waller Barrett Library — The Barrett Branch Library is seeking volunteers to join in our first Fixit Clinic on Saturday, September 11 between 11am and 3pm. The Fixit Clinic is an opportunity to help your neighbors, teach skills for living all while keeping items out of the landfills and pushing against throwaway culture. We’re looking for skilled professionals and amateur craftspeople who work within the categories of small appliances, furniture, computers, electronics, clothing, jewelry, book and paper, bicycle repair and blade sharpening. Repair coaches not only will attempt to fix the items brought in, but will work with visitors to explain the process or encourage owners to attempt repairs themselves. To
    express interest, click HERE.
  • Create Salvation Army care packages — “We are collecting items for seniors and vulnerable populations. You can help by creating care packages from the security of your own home and safely dropping items at our locations. To express interest, click HERE.”
  • Senior Services of Alexandria’s groceries to go – “Shop for and deliver groceries every other week to home-bound seniors who live within the City of Alexandria. You will be paired with a senior, who will provide you with their grocery list. Further instructions will be provided to you once you've filled out the application, which involves a background check. To register click HERE.”
  • Senior Services of Alexandria’s Meals on Wheels — “Meals on Wheels provides meals to seniors who are unable to leave their homes to shop, or have difficulty preparing a meal, to have two healthy meals a day delivered to their homes. Click HERE to learn more and to register.”
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