Newsletter

Morning Notes

Missing man identified as car crash victim — “Jose Eduardo Gonzalez Calimayor has been located.  He was identified as the driver who died from injuries sustained in a single-vehicle crash in Prince George’s County on June 4, 2021.” [Alexandria Police]

Suspect arrested after murder near Hybla Valley — “A man is dead after a fatal shooting in Alexandria Saturday night. The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) is investigating a homicide that occurred at the 7400 block of Vernon Sq. Dr. in Alexandria.” [WDVN]

There’s no face mask mandate in Alexandria… Yet — “No, there is not currently a mask mandate. @CDCgov recommends masks in indoor public places for communities in a state of substantial or high transmission, regardless of vaccination status. Alexandria is currently in a state of substantial transmission.” [City of Alexandria]

Today’s weather — “Intervals of clouds and sunshine (during the day). A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 91F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph… Partly cloudy (in the evening). Low 73F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Teller at Wells Fargo Bank — “At Wells Fargo, we are looking for talented people who will put our customers at the center of everything we do. We are seeking candidates who embrace diversity, equity and inclusion in a workplace where everyone feels valued and inspired.” [Indeed]

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Monte Durham is plotting a television show set in his Old Town hair salon.

“We’re trying to get a sizzle reel together of Salon Monte for two production companies,” Durham told ALXnow. “One is with Ann Roberts‘ production company out of L.A., and the other is local. Who knows where that’s gonna land, but they are in the pipeline and we are seriously sitting down and speaking with them.”

Durham, the bridal image consultant and former star of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, was filming Say Yes to the Prom in New York City when the pandemic struck in March 2020. Soon after that, his contract expired as the network abruptly went dark.

Durham said he signed a contract to start filming with Roberts, but that the pandemic put the project on hold.

“And here we go with this mask mandate again,” Durham said. “That may be happening, so we’re just gonna play it by ear. Nobody’s in a hurry. We want to make sure these that we’re stepping on solid stone when we’re doing this.”

Durham, who turns 65 this year, moved to Belle Haven and decided to go back to his roots as a hair stylist. He opened Salon Monte six months later, on September 12, 2020, which is the anniversary of Jackie Kennedy’s wedding to JFK. Durham is a Jackie Kennedy aficionado and even has a portrait of the former first lady in his personal studio.

“I’ve never been more excited, more driven and more motivated to make this work,” Durham said of the salon.

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Morning Notes

Vacant lot in Eisenhower could become pop-up events and market space — “At 2425 Eisenhower Ave., there’s more than 18,000 square feet of open, grassy space. Until recently, the lot, which is owned by Rubenstein Partners LP, has remained unused except for the occasional dog romping with its owner. The Eisenhower Partnership is working with the site owners to bring fresh life to the lot by creating a pop-up space that could be used for food trucks, markets, arts, musical performances and other recreational uses according to a recent application filed with the City.” [Alexandria Living]

There’s a new mural in Old Town — “When Erik Muendel took over the ESP Tea and Coffee Shop at 1012 King Street, he not only revitalized the hip location with a new spin on the name and increased offerings, the wanted to make a splash on the outside as well.” [Zebra]

Catholic Charities plans café for Alexandria headquarters — “Catholic Charities USA filed an application to add a café in 2,088 square feet on the ground floor of its headquarters building located at 2050 Ballenger Ave. in Suite 400. According to the application, the space was formerly occupied by the Carlyle Club restaurant.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s weather — “Cloudy skies (during the day). Slight chance of a rain shower. High 81F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph… Overcast (in the evening). Slight chance of a rain shower. Low 66F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Personal assistant — “I am the owner of a luxury men’s clothing store and am seeking a personal assistant/IT adviser . You will not only be working for me but working with me towards a common goal. If you are a self starter with a ton of different talents and all you have been waiting for is an opportunity, this may be for you.” [Indeed]

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In its first regular show since shutting down last year, the Little Theatre of Alexandria is back to suspending disbelief with its latest farce, Neil Simon’s Rumors.

“Laugh hard,” director Matthew Randall said. “Laugh loud. Laugh together. It feels amazing, and I hope you enjoy every single moment.”

The plot revolves around the friends of Charlie Brock, the deputy mayor of New York City, who arrive for a party at his house in 1989 to find that he shot himself in the ear. While Charlie is doped up on Valium and kept out of sight upstairs, his friends slowly try to unravel what happened.

Randall cast real-life couple Chris and Ken Gorman as Charlie’s friends Stephanie and Mike Rudden, who are the first to arrive at the scene. Their first instinct is to hush up the incident, as Charlie’s political career and their reputations hang in the balance. While nervously tending to their patient, the Gormans realize that Charlie’s wife Myra is missing, and so are the housekeeper and cook. They also see that the house isn’t at all ready for a party, and that’s when more guests ring the doorbell.

Mike Donahue and Jayne L. Victor bring a refreshing portrayal to Lenny and Claire Ganz, Charlie’s friends who walk into the house immediately after getting into a car wreck. Donahue, while periodically screaming by turning his injured neck, drives the comedic energy of the production. As Charlie’s lawyer and best friend, Lenny is ready to call the police until the arrival of psychologist Ernie Cusack (Peter Halverson) and his wife, Cookie (Janice Rivera).

Then, as Ken runs upstairs to check on Charlie, he trips on his slippers and the gun goes off, making him temporarily deaf. Naturally, more guests arrive (Roxanne Waite as Cassie Cooper and Kirk Lambert as Glenn Cooper) in the ensuing chaos. In the climax, Lenny is forced to wear a smoking jacket and pretend to be Charlie after the arrival of the cops (Joe Dzikewicz and Eileen Copas).

The show runs until August 14. Capacity is currently limited to 145 patrons in the 215-seat venue.

Audience members still have to wear masks, and LTA says if anyone is caught unmasked that they will be asked politely to comply. If they refuse, the show will be stopped. If the issue persists, the show will be canceled entirely.

via LTA/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Galactic Panther Art Gallery to open on King Street in Old Town — “Galactic Panther, a new art gallery at 1303 King St. in Alexandria, will open in early August. The art gallery is a partnership between internationally-exhibiting artist Eli Pollard and Erik Meundel, who is the current owner of ESP Tea & Coffee.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Fire Department graduates three recruit schools — “The Alexandria Fire Department officially graduated Recruit School 49 on Thursday, July 22, and Recruit Schools 50 and 51 on Friday, July 23 at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial after postponing the ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. AFD welcomed and celebrated 45 new firefighter/EMTs.” [Patch]

Longtime Alexandrian librarian dies at age 100 — “Gladys Howard Davis, who was born on June 7, 1921 and raised in Alexandria, Virginia, where she was one of ten children born to Ezekial and Elizabeth “Winnie” Pollard Howard, was a witness to history and significant changes in her hometown where she helped educate generations of Alexandrians during her 60-plus years of service to the Alexandria Library system. She passed away July 10, 2021.” [Zebra]

Hot? Alexandria reopens cooling centers — “Looking to cool off? The City offers several locations as options to residents who may not have cooling in their homes, including recreation centers and libraries, as well as assistance for adults 60+ and some low-income households.” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Mainly sunny. High 94F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph… A mostly clear sky. Low 72F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Temporary pool operator — “In pursuit of service excellence, the Temporary Pool Operator provides facility monitoring for an aquatic environment for patrons of all ages and background. This position will ensure the safety of all patrons, ensure proper pool chemistry, repair and inspect pool pumps, filters, and plumbing, provide exceptional customer service, and other duties assigned. Pool operators also perform as lifeguards and must have lifeguard credentials. Pool Operators are the aquatics shift leader and provide direction to lifeguards on their shift.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Mayor and family attend Nats game canceled after shooting outside stadium Saturday — “We’re okay and on the Metro home, but baseball games should not be called because of a shooting. This is effed up and we all know it. We just don’t want to do anything about it.” [Twitter]

Intertribal Creatives Collective provides home for native artists — “Step into the new Intertribal Creatives Collective in Old Town Alexandria, and you’ll find yourself in a Western-style trading post with a touch of modern-day cool.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Internet cost assistance available for Alexandria residents — “Need help paying for internet access? The Emergency Broadband Benefit gives discounts up to $50/month for those eligible and discounts on computer/ tablet purchases.” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. High 89F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph… A few clouds (in the evening). Low 69F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Nose model — “I am looking to hire someone to model her nose while rubbing it, picking it, and making silly faces. Must be 18.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Alexandria man charged with storming U.S. Capitol on January 6 — “After storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, a Northern Virginia man began forming his own militia-like group in the D.C. suburbs and building up a supply of explosives under the guise of a Bible study group, according to federal prosecutors. Fi Duong, 27, appeared in court Friday and was released to home confinement pending trial, over the objections of prosecutors who sought stricter terms. According to the court record, at the time of his arrest he had several guns, including an AK-47, and the material to make 50 molotov cocktails.” [Washington Post]

Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial dedication on July 24 — “Join Historic Alexandria in honoring Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial’s inclusion in the African American Civil Rights Network (AACRN). The free dedication will include a wreath laying by the 31st Masonic District, a reading by representatives of the United States Colored Troops (USCT), and remarks by Reverend Taft Quincey Heatley. The ceremony will take place rain or shine.” [City of Alexandria]

New mural in Old Town — “Check out the new mural being painted at ESP Tea and Coffee’s back patio area!” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Cloudy skies with periods of rain later in the day. High near 85F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph… Rain early (in the evening)… then remaining cloudy with showers late. Low around 70F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Rainfall near an inch.” [Weather.com]

New job: Bartender and server at Rock It Grill — “Busy karoake bar, the more experience you have, the more money you’ll make.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria will spend millions on emergency financial support programs, stormwater repair, childcare and dozens of other projects as part of its first portion of American Rescue Plan Act funding.

“Now the really hard work begins,” Mayor Justin Wilson said after Council’s unanimous passage of a plan Tuesday night. “I think this is an opportunity to make some transformational investments.”

The City received its first $29.8 million on May 17, and has to spend the total $59.6 million in funding by Dec. 31, 2024. Alexandria is getting substantial funding by being counted as both a city and county — along with 41 other cities across the country — and will get its second allotment in May 2022.

Federal funds will not directly go to individual businesses, but some are allocated toward the funding of business districts for trial street closures, ABC-licensed special events and public access parklets.

“Our thought was that direct assistance for businesses was best provided, and continues to be provided, through the federal government at scale,” Alexandria Economic Development Partnership CEO Stephanie Landrum told Council. “We are much better equipped as a community, and certainly as an economic development group to reach a wider swath of businesses than we ever have been. And so part of our challenge and responsibility is to make sure all of those businesses know about other programs not being provided by the city.”

The 30 projects include:

  • $4 million for an Alexandria Community Access and Emergency Support program to determine which city services are eligible for residents, including emergency financial aid, rent assistance and child care
  • $3.7 million in stormwater repairs at the Hoofs Run Culvert
  • $3 million for a Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot, which will give $500 in gift cards to 150 poor families for 24 months
  • $2.8 million for a Unified Early Childhood Workforce Stabilization Initiative to “support hundreds of childcare providers and early childhood educators, provide a safe and healthy learning environment for thousands of children, and help parents, especially women, get back to work.”
  • $2.5 million for food security to ensure two years of continual free food distributions at hubs throughout the city
  • $2 million for Alexandria Housing Development Corporation flex space to expand city services for the Arlandria neighborhood
  • $1.9 million in flash flooding spot improvements throughout the city
  • $1.1 million to scale up a workforce development pilot
  • $800,000 to make permanent the closure of the 100 block of King Street
  • $620,000 to fund the Out of School Time Program to help with learning loss associated with the pandemic
  • $560,000 to the Alexandria Economic Development Authority fund commercial business districts for trial street closures, ABC-licensed special events and public access parklets
  • $500,000 for Visit Alexandria marketing efforts
  • $295,000 to fund two new Office of Historic Alexandria tourism experiences on the city’s history with civil rights and and the Duke Street Corridor
  • $253,000 to increase services for LGBTQ and BIPOC communities
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Alexandria’s Reggae band FeelFree is back on the road, and their latest single “Big Shot Man” is a political statement that took years to write.

What system are they rebelling against? The presidency of Donald Trump, which inspired musical creations that garner millions of listens.

Andrew Pfeiffer, the band’s lead singer and trombonist, said that the song’s not so much about complaining as it is an expression of what he and his bandmates felt for a while.

“It was just a response from living the last four years,” Pfeiffer said. “I mean, the chorus just says it all — ‘We love what you hate, we build what you break.'”

It’s FeelFree’s second single of 2021, and the band plans to release three or four more songs before the end of the year. The COVID shutdown meant shifting from playing 90 or so live performances a year (mostly local, with some tours) to no gigs whatsoever for the band that won the 2019 Whammy Award for Reggae Album of the Year.

“We were playing almost 90 dates a year, and we’re trying to get back to that now that the great awakening is upon us,” guitarist Evan Hulehan said. “I think it was a good reset for me. I got to take a step back and build up parts of my studio and get a little more creative and experimental.”

FeelFree will play on Friday, July 2, at Hammerheads Dockside in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; On July 3 at Riptide Pool Bar in Ocean City, Maryland; and a ticketed show at Union Stage in D.C. on Saturday, July 17.

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The Little Theatre of Alexandria is expanding capacity and easing restrictions, but you still have to wear face masks when the 2021-22 season begins next month with Neil Simon’s Rumors.

LTA is expanding capacity to 145 patrons in LTA’s 215-seat capacity venue at 600 Wolfe Street in Old Town. Face masks will still be required for members of the audience, and the plan is to return to full capacity in January.

“The seating capacity for Rumors, Fences, Wait Until Dark and A Christmas Carol will increase to 145 patrons per performance,” LTA’s spokesperson Rachel Alberts told ALXnow. “Up to 2 patrons will sit together with one empty seat between each pair. Masks will still be required for the new season. Starting with our January musical Bright Star and continuing with Blue Stockings and Prelude to a Kiss, our plan is to go back to full capacity seating with no social distancing.”

The Little Theatre reopened last September with socially distant performances. Their first show back after the shutdown — Love Letters — featured two married actors onstage, and only allowed 40 audience members. There were also no bathroom breaks, intermission or concessions.

“We anticipate that the situation will continue to evolve (presumably for the better), allowing us to further ease restrictions soon,” LTA said in a press release. “All audience members are required to wear face masks. If a patron removes his or her face mask, we will ask them to put it back on. If it happens a second time, we will stop the show and ask them to leave.”

LTA is requiring all staff to be vaccinated, including actors and crew, by August 17.

“Put plainly, if you want to work at LTA after August 17, you must be vaccinated and be prepared to prove it,” LTA said in the release. “The most important benefit, of course, is that everyone in the LTA community–employees, contractors, teachers, students, actors, designers and crew, and volunteers–can all be confident that working at LTA is safe!”

Courtesy LTA

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