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Morning Notes

Alexandria Women Create At-Home Escape Room — “Escape Notice Games will be releasing a second game titled “Spies of Liberty” in the spring of 2021. This game will be based on George Washington’s Culper Spy Ring and players will have to solve 15 puzzles to help Washington defeat the British.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Local Churches Organize 20 Ton Food Drive — “The truck came across the country with twenty tons of food items like pasta, flour, black beans, corn, soup, peaches, pasta sauce, pancake mix, peanut butter, mayonnaise, green beans, and more!” [Zebra]

Mayor Critiques “Herd Immunity” Suggestion — “If we apply the current US death rate of 1.9% to that case total, we will lose another 1,400 Alexandrians during that time, on top of the 82 that we have sadly lost already.” [Twitter]

Duncan Branch Library Looking for New Aide — “Duncan Branch Library The Alexandria Library is looking for enthusiastic individuals to join the Circulation team with the Alexandria Library. The ideal candidates will have exceptional customer service skills and the desire to contribute to a busy neighborhood library.” [City of Alexandria]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Morning Notes

Today Marks 69th Anniversary of Annexation of the West End — “Happy Annexation Day, West end! Today, December 3rd in 1951, the city of Alexandria received the land west of Quaker Lane, doubling the size of the city!” [John Chapman/Facebook]

Alexandria Libraries Go Back to Curbside Only — “Effective this Monday, Dec. 7, the library will offer curbside-only and virtual services until further notice. Although library buildings will be closed, library staff will offer telephone support and virtual reference during curbside hours.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Affordable Housing Breaks Ground Today — “The project is a partnership between Wesley Housing and Fairlington Presbyterian Church to redevelop the underutilized church parking lot into an 81-unit multifamily development. A groundbreaking is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 9, though because of coronavirus the ceremony will be kept to limited attendance.” [ALXnow]

Alexandria Restarts Search for Municipal Broadband — “On Monday, the Alexandria city officials reissued an Invitation to Bid (ITB) for the construction of a Municipal Fiber Network. This is step one of a project that will connect city offices via high-speed fiber.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Vehicle Safety Inspection Enforcement Resumes — “On Tuesday, the City of Alexandria announced enforcement of Virginia vehicle safety inspections has resumed. That enforcement had been suspended since August.” [Patch]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Library Offers New Online Learning Tool — “During this time of school closures, expanded online learning, and social distancing recommendations, access to premium research tools that provide access to information from reliable sources is important. Alexandria Library Offers Online Resource Tool EZProxy to make access to these resources easier to use.” [Zebra]

Southern Living Profiles Alexandria at Christmas — “Although it may look the part, Alexandria, Virginia, is not the kind of Hallmark-movie small town where all the locals grew up together and you’ll undoubtedly run into your high school sweetheart while picking up a fresh baguette at the neighborhood bakery. The community here is tight-knit, but anyone can join.” [Southern Living]

Coronavirus Spike Leads to New Restrictions — “In restaurants, on-site sale and consumption of alcohol must end at 10 p.m., and the restaurants must close by midnight. Parties of more than 25 may not be seated or served, and customers must be served at tables 6 feet apart (and not at bar seating). Masks must be worn at all times when not drinking or eating.” [Alexandria Gazette]

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Seeking Care Technician — “Responsible for daily cleaning and feeding of the animals at the animal shelter and other associated tasks. Weekend work will be required; Saturday or Sunday availability is required. This is a part-time Temporary position.” [Paylocity]

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Morning Notes


Senators Kaine and Warner Urge GSA to Begin Transition Process
— “An orderly and peaceful transition process is critical as the country continues to grapple with the loss and far-reaching impacts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.'” [Twitter]

Beyer Asks Residents to Stay Home — “Being tired of the pandemic won’t make it stop, we need to be as careful as possible right now.” [Twitter]

Virtual Restaurant Touchdown Wings & Burgers Opens — “Touchdown Wings & Burgers runs out of Joe Theismann’s Restaurant. In mid-October, ARP opened Touchdown Wings & Burgers, a new brand for the organization.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Library Gets Grant for Climate Change Programming — “By receiving the grant, Alexandria Library has committed to becoming a Climate Resilience Hub.” [Zebra]

Casa Chirilagua 5K Extended to November 11 — “GREAT NEWS! Christ the King Church has extended the Casa Virtual 5K to November 11! You now have 2.5 more weeks to register and participate. This is one way you can support the Chirilagua families that face so much adversity with strength and courage. Can you help us reach our 1,000 km goal?” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Rain early…then remaining cloudy with showers in the afternoon. Morning high of 65F with temps falling to near 55. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch. Cloudy skies. Low 48F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Dog Trainer/Instructor — “Olde Towne School for Dogs, the premiere dog training company located in Alexandria, VA serving the D.C. metropolitan area, is looking to hire new full-time trainers to our high energy team in a fast-paced and dog-filled environment!” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says People Will Suffer Without Unemployment Insurance Program Extension — “”We’re making a deeply fundamental mistake not reauthorizing all our unemployment insurance programs. When we take the money away, that’s what’s been propping up consumer spending and the ability of people to get by.” [Twitter]

City Opens Additional Locations for Absentee Voting — “Absentee voting will be available at the Charles Beatley Library (5005 Duke St.) from October 23 through October 31, except Sundays. Absentee voting will also be available at Minnie Howard School (3801 W. Braddock Rd.) and George Washington Middle School (1005 Mt. Vernon Ave.), on Saturdays, October 24 and 31, only.  All three locations will have ballot drop boxes available during voting hours, which vary according to the list below.” [City of Alexandria]

West End Business Association Hosting PPP Loan Meeting — “The West End Business Association (WEBA) will host a virtual Lunch and Learn on Monday, October 26, 12:30-2 p.m., to help small business owners learn how to prepare for the PPP loan forgiveness application process. A panel of local experts will offer advice and guidelines to both the simple and the advanced applications. Registration is free for WEBA members and $10 for guests.” [City of Alexandria]

City Celebrating 20th Anniversary of the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy — “The virtual event will feature an annual summary of pregnancy data by the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) and a proclamation by Mayor Justin Wilson. Teen pregnancy in Alexandria has dropped 76% since 2000 to an all time low. This reflects good choices by teens, supported by evidence-based approaches to prevention from ACAP, City agencies and community partners, including Alexandria City Public Schools and AHD’s Teen Wellness Center.” [City of Alexandria]

Classical WETA’s Nicole Lacroix Narrates Alexandria Author’s New Thriller — “Nicole Lacroix can be heard every weekday afternoon on Classical WETA 90.9 FM. She has that familiar, soothing voice that tells listeners the stories behind their favorite pieces. Now she has a part-time gig: audiobook narrator. Recently, she completed her recording of Alexandria author John Adam Wasowicz’s new thriller, ‘Slaters Lane.’ On Wednesday, October 21, she will headline a virtual discussion of her work on the book from 7-8 p.m.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy skies early will become partly cloudy later in the day. Areas of patchy fog. High 79F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Clear skies with a few passing clouds (in the evening). Low near 60F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Alexandria Environmental Health Outreach Specialist — “Alexandria Health Department (AHD) is seeking an experienced, self-motivated candidate to join our Environmental Health Outreach Specialist position. This position will investigate bite reports to prevent the spread of rabies within our community, manage mosquito complaints, and be responsible for championing outreach efforts within the City.” [Indeed]

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It’s the end of another work week in Alexandria!

There was a lot of crime this week, as police responded to multiple shots fired incidents in the Parker Gray area on September 2. There was also another carjacking in the West End — the latest in a recent uptick that prompted Mayor Justin Wilson to ask the public for help in reducing the number of vehicle-related thefts.

But there is also some good news to report, as businesses are opening in the city despite the daily pressures of the pandemic. This week we took a look inside The Company Of Books used book store in Del Ray, and we covered the city’s new Wellness District, which is providing a number of free programs and discounts for the recently expanded Wellness Month.

Also this week, Alexandria City Public Schools cut down a 150-year-old tree to make way for a concession stand. The move was criticized by activists and former Mayor Allison Silberberg. With the destruction of the tree, the renovation project for the Parker-Gray Stadium has now officially begun.

What stories impacted you this week? Let us know in the comments.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. Alexandria Woman Uninjured in Tuesday Carjacking at Gunpoint in Potomac Yard
  2. Beatley Central Library Closed Until Further Notice Due to ‘Emergency Conditions’
  3. Police: Three Alexandria ABC Stores Broken Into, High-End Liquor Stolen
  4. Police Investigating Multiple Gunshots Fired in Parker Gray/Braddock
  5. Alexandria’s COVID Positive Testing Rate Lowest in Region
  6. Halal Slaughterhouse Construction Begins, Opening Reset to Mid-November
  7. Update: Chalk Graffiti Decrying Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf Sprayed In Front of Wrong House
  8. Braddock ‘Elizabeth’s Counter’ Last of Regional Chain After Bankruptcy Filing
  9. Police: Three Alexandria ABC Stores Broken Into, High-End Liquor Stolen
  10. North Potomac Yard Plans Going to Planning Commission, Board of Architectural Review
  11. ACPS Cuts Down 150-Year Old Tree to Make Way for Concession Stand

Have a safe weekend!

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Updated 5:40 p.m. — According to Anton Murray, spokesman for Alexandria Libraries:

Due to an incidence of COVID-19 with a staff member at the Beatley Library, the Library has been closed for 1-3 days for deep cleaning. The nature of that staff member’s role in the library requires little to no significant direct contact with the public or other staff. Based on investigation to date (including contact tracing) by the Health Department no quarantine recommendations were needed for other staff or the public.

Holds pickup and due dates will be extended during this closure period.

Earlier: Two weeks after it started to reopen to the public, the Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library has closed do to what has only been described vaguely as “emergency conditions.”

The Alexandria Library system announced on Twitter that the location would be closed until further notice.

A spokesperson for the city said the city could not provide additional information at this time on why the library was closed.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Calls for Investigation Into Alleged Hatch Act Violations at Republican National Convention — “For those asking about next steps, Hatch Act violations are investigated and enforced by the Office of Special Counsel. @CongressmanRaja and I just requested such an investigation into potential violations at the Republican National Convention.” [Twitter]

King Street Development Projects Set to Break Ground — “The King Street Project, by Galena Capital Partners, is teed up for approval by the Alexandria City Council. The King Street Project includes plans for two developments in Old Town that would replace current parking lots.” [Alexandria Living]

Faith Pilgrimage Marching Through Alexandria Today — “A group or 30 religious leaders will be walking through Alexandria this week as part of a days-long walk from Charlottesville to the District.” [Alexandria Living]

National Archives Loans Alexandria Library Pieces for Women’s Suffrage Exhibit — “The celebration of the 19th Amendment continues at Alexandria Library’s Barrett Branch. On display through September 23 is an exhibit called ‘Rightfully Hers,’ on loan from the National Archives.” [Zebra]

Blood Drive Today at Lost Boy Cider — “The Inova bloodmobile will be at Lost Boys Cider (next to our headquarters at 317 Hooffs Run Drive) from 11-4!” [Facebook]

Sheriff’s Department Reads ‘I Feel Silly’ to Kids Online — “Feeling silly, excited or mad? Each day can bring different feelings. Join Deputy Alexis Turner as she reads “Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day” and then share how you’re feeling in the comments.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “During the day, mostly cloudy with a high of 93F. At night, some clouds. Low 74F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Front House Manager — “Supervises the dining room staff in proper service of residents during all meal periods. Assigns and coordinates duties of servers and hosts/hostess’. Maintains cleanliness of dining room and directs staff in the overall effective and efficient operation of the dining room.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment on Tuesday with a socially distant ceremony outside the Kate Waller Barrett Library.

Mayor Justin Wilson read a city proclamation that recounted the dozens of suffragists who were imprisoned, tortured and ultimately released from the Occoquan Workhouse after their case was thrown out in the federal courthouse in Alexandria.

“For a lot of the women who live in the city of Alexandria, it took several more decades until we provided universal suffrage and universal franchise for everyone,” Wilson said. “We certainly commemorate that history, that this was the beginning of what was a longer struggle for a lot of women and that work continues on today.”

Women’s suffrage came to a head in 1917 when more than 70 women were jailed, beaten and force-fed at the Occoquan Workhouse. Reports of their severe treatment largely influenced the passage of the Amendment, including the story of Lucy Burns, who was force fed through her nose and spent a “night of terror” with her hands cuffed above her head.

Councilwoman Amy Jackson said that it’s important to pay it forward.

“Days like this fill me with personal pride,” she said. “We got here on the shoulders of others, like Del Pepper. She’s been on council 35 years, and some times she was the only woman on council.”

Pepper said that there was a time when the city was run by women, with Mayor Patsy Ticer and City Manager Vola Lawson.

“I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” Pepper said. “The ladies that I’m talking about offered a vision for a meaningful path forward.”

Gretchen Bulova, director of the Office of Historic Alexandria, is working with Alexandria Living Legend Pat Miller to install a marker in the next couple of months outside the courthouse in Carlyle.

“It’s the women’s community who have helped to preserve and save this community and build the experience you see here today,” Bulova said. “Alexandria has a really strong record of doing that. And it’s because people are willing to put themselves out there.”

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After months of limited curbside service, Alexandria’s libraries have reopened today with some safety modifications.

The protective measures are standard for what many other locations have been doing to open indoor operations safely as the city still struggles with coronavirus.

“Each customer will have their temperature taken; will be issued a face covering if they did not bring one; and must maintain 6 feet of distance from others at all times,” the city said in a press release. “Face coverings are required for all customers over age 10 at all locations.”

The libraries will only be open at 25% capacity and customers will only be allowed up to two hours inside the building, though they can return 30 minutes after departure if space is available. The library website noted that furniture has been removed or reconfigured for appropriate distancing, and asked that visitors not move furniture unless staff is consulted.

“Plastic shields and signage have been installed, and all high-touch areas will be disinfected regularly,” the city said.
“All library online programs and curbside pick-up will continue, while meeting spaces will not be available for use.”

According to the city website, library hours are as follows:

Beatley Central:
Sun:  Closed
Mon:  11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tues:  11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Wed:  11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Thurs:  11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Fri:  Curbside Only
Sat:  11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Talking Books:
Sun:  Closed
Mon:  11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Tues:  Closed
Wed:  11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Thurs:  11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Fri:  Closed
Sat:  Closed

Burke Branch
Sun:  Closed
Mon:  11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tues:  Closed
Wed:  11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Thurs:  Closed
Fri:  Curbside Only
Sat:  11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Barrett Branch
Sun:  Closed
Mon:  11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tues:  Closed
Wed:  11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Thurs:  Closed
Fri:  Curbside Only
Sat:  11 a.m.-5 p.m.

DUNCAN BRANCH
Sun: Closed
Mon: Closed
Tues: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Wed: Closed
Thurs: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Fri:  Curbside Only
Sat: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

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