Anyone that’s a sucker for a good book sale might want to head to the Beatley Central Library (5005 Duke Street) at some point this week.
The Friends of the Beatley Central Library are hosting a book sale, starting today, Wednesday (not counting yesterday’s members-only preview day), and running through next Monday.
The sale host includes thousands of books, DVDs, CDs and more, the proceeds going to support the Alexandria library stystem.
The sale runs from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. today and tomorrow, then from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Sunday is Half-Price Day and runs from 1-4:30 p.m. Monday, the last day of the sale, is $10 Bag Sale day and runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Find thousands of books, DVDs, CDs & more at the Beatley Library Friends' booksale! Members get to shop first today from 3-7:30PM, & the sale opens for all Wednesday, 3/22, at 10AM. Find great bargains on Sunday, 3/26, for Half-Price Day, & Monday, 3/27, for $10 Bag Sale Day! pic.twitter.com/mOZelId2Ix
— Alexandria Library (@alexlibraryva) March 21, 2023
Covid cases are on the rise as Alexandria heads into the December holidays.
There were 69 reported cases today (Wednesday) in Alexandria, the largest amount of new cases in a single day in more than four months. The number of reported cases now stands at 43,429, and the seven-day average of new cases is 42.7.
The last time the city saw as many cases reported in one day was on August 8.
Cases are also on the rise in Fairfax County, Arlington and Loudoun County, although Community Levels remain low in all of the jurisdictions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Seven Alexandria residents died from Covid in the last 13 weeks and the death toll has risen to 216, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Except for one person in their 40s, all of the residents who died were in their 80s.
No children or teens in Alexandria have died from the virus.
There have been 559 new cases reported so far in December.
- 69 new cases on Dec. 14
- 65 new cases on Dec. 13
- 19 new cases on Dec. 12
- 34 new cases on Dec. 11
- 53 new cases on Dec. 10
- 43 new cases on Dec. 9
- 46 new cases on Dec. 8
- 54 new cases on Dec. 7
- 30 new cases on Dec. 6
- 13 new cases on Dec. 5
- 29 new cases on Dec. 4
- 18 new cases on Dec. 3
- 47 new cases on Dec. 2
- 39 new cases on Dec. 1
Below are the monthly totals for the rest of 2022.
- January — 12,822 new cases
- February — 1,227 new cases
- March — 593 new cases
- April — 1,488 new cases
- May — 2,900 new cases
- June — 2,357 new cases
- July — 2,396 new cases
- August — 1,499 new cases
- September — 991 new cases
- October — 526 new cases
- November — 626 new cases
Where to find Covid tests
Residents can get rapid COVID-19 test kits at the city’s libraries, and kits are limited to seven per-person. Covid tests can also be found for kids within Alexandria City Public Schools and a full list of testing options is available on the city’s website.
With the holiday season approaching, a prerequisite for some family gatherings could be a negative Covid test. With Curative shutting down its testing kiosks throughout the region that might get slightly harder, but there are other resources.
The kiosks have provided around 195,000 Covid tests, the City of Alexandria said in a release, but demand for kiosk testing has dropped off dramatically since 2021.
“As of December 26, 2022, the private company Curative has chosen to close its Alexandria COVID-19 testing kiosks city-wide,” the City of Alexandria said. “Curative is closing all testing sites throughout the region before the end of the year.”
The postal service had previously offered free rapid home antigen tests, but those were suspended in September.
Several medical facilities offer testing, but require seeing a doctor for testing and can cost between $50 up to $300.
The most affordable way to get testing kits in Alexandria is from the library. Alexandria libraries carry rapid COVID-19 test kits available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a limit of seven kits per person, and the city advised locals to call the library branch to check availability.
Those phone numbers and addresses are:
- Beatley Central Library (5005 Duke Street): 703-746-1702
Barrett Branch Library (717 Queen Street): 703-746-1703
Burke Branch Library (4701 Seminary Road): 703-746-1704
Duncan Branch Library (2501 Commonwealth Avenue): 703-746-1705
Scheduled Covid tests are also available for public school students and staff through Alexandria City Public Schools.
A full list of testing options is available on the city’s website.
There are a number of event celebrating this year’s 85th anniversary of the Alexandria Library with discussions on the history of its branches.
The first public library in Alexandria, the Kate Waller Barrett Branch Library (717 Queen Street), opened in 1937, and is named after suffragette and philanthropist Kate Waller Barrett. In recognition of the anniversary, the Alexandria Library is conducting a number of events at its branches in the coming days.
On Tuesday, September 27, the James M. Duncan Branch (2501 Commonwealth Avenue) will host a special program to review the history of Del Ray after it was annexed by Alexandria in 1930, as well as how the the library built in 1969 and renovated in 2005. The free event begins at 6:30 p.m.
On Saturday, October 1, the Barrett Branch Library will host author Brenda Mitchell-Powell will discuss her new book, “Public In Name Only: The 1939 Alexandria Library Sit-In Demonstration.”
The event was the first known civil rights sit-in at a library. Five young black men were arrested after sitting in the library and reading after being refused library cards.
“The events that unfolded during that summer… changed the Alexandria Library, the City of Alexandria, and had ripple effects throughout the country,” according to the 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.
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.
- Augie’s Mussel House and Beer Garden
- Bugsy’s Pizza Restaurant & Bar
- Daniel O’Connell’s Restaurant & Bar
- Mackie’s Bar & Grill
- Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub
- The Light Horse Restaurant
Photo via Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub/Facebook
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.
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.
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.
The AWLA will open BY APPOINTMENT today at noon. If you have any wildlife concerns or animal emergencies, please call 703.746.4444. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/C6C3kskjsA
— AWLA Alexandria (@AlexAnimals) January 4, 2022
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.”
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.
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.