Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

Arlington Approves Agreement with Alexandria To Dredge Four Mile Run — “The dredging — which will remove built-up sediment and debris from the bottom of the waterway — is expected to cost about $3.6 million, with each jurisdiction paying about $1.8 million. The project is expected to get under way in the late summer or early fall, and will take approximately four months, Aileen Winquist of Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services tells ARLnow.” [ARLnow]

Timothy Guy Named Bishop Ireton High School Principal — “Being a part of the Bishop Ireton community as a teacher has been a true blessing, and I am delighted to be selected as the next principal.” [Zebra]

Northern Virginia Conservation Trust gets quarter acre on Russell Road — “The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) is a nonprofit that works to protect land, water, and other areas. Recently, the group obtained a quarter-acre lot on Russell Road.  It contains trees and open grass areas along with a vegetative buffer leading to a stream that will help protect the Potomac River and Cameron Run.” [Zebra]

Police clarify messaging SNAFU over weekend — “We want to clear something up. On Saturday afternoon, we shared two posts about the DUI patrols in the City. We posted one in English and worked with one of our Spanish-speaking officers to create a separate post in Spanish. What we learned is that Facebook settings appear to automatically translate a post. That’s what happened to our Spanish-language post, making it appear we didn’t check our work on the English side of it. That’s not what happened. There was already an English-language version of the post on the timeline. Consider it a lesson learned. We’ll do better next time.” [Facebook]

Today’s weather — “Rain likely (during the day). High 59F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall near a half an inch… Cloudy skies early with areas of fog developing after midnight. Low 52F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Classroom monitor — “Individuals needed to monitor and assist with enforcing health mitigation strategies within the location assigned…” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Volunteers needed at Casa Chirilagua — “Casa Chirilagua Volunteers are needed to help collect, sort, organize, and distribute donations. 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.” [Volunteer Alexandria]

Bishop Ireton is raffling off a Ford Escape — “Want to win a brand new 2020 Ford Escape (courtesy of Ourisman Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Alexandria)? You’re in luck! We’re raffling off a brand new car to support the BI Annual Fund. There are only a few raffle tickets left so don’t delay!” [Facebook]

DASH bus drivers have spare face masks just in case — “#MaskUp for every DASH trip and while you wait for the bus. If you cannot delay your trip to obtain a mask, simply ask your operator for one when you board the bus.” [Facebook]

Former Mayor Silberberg on panel with Attorney General Mark Herring on Thursday— “Please Join Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, Prince William County Supervisor Andrea Bailey, Fmr. Mayor of Alexandria Allison Silberberg, State Senator Ghazala Hashmi, State Senator Jennifer Boysko, and Delegate Wendy Gooditis for a Women’s History Month discussion.” [Facebook]

Stomping Ground closed Tuesday to get employees tested for coronavirus — “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we are reporting that a kitchen member on our staff has tested positive for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution we will be closed today to get our entire staff tested at both @stompbiscuits and @bageluprising and to sanitize buildings. It makes us wary as our team has gone and continues to go above and beyond recommended safety protocols. The city of Alexandria website does not require us to report it unless another employee tests positive. If that is the case we will continue to be transparent with our guests. Please be safe and we will keep you posted on our progress.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy (during the day). High 58F. Winds light and variable… Light rain developing after midnight. Low near 45F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Sushi helper — “The Handover is hiring sushi assistants willing to work hard and be open to learning new skills. We are a small restaurant looking for candidates with the ability to accurately prep, cut vegetables, prepare maki rolls and follow chef’s direction. Both full- and part-time positions are available. Competitive hourly pay commensurate with experience level.” [Indeed]

New job: DASH bus mechanic — “Join the DASH team! DASH is seeking a B Mechanic to join our Maintenance team! We strongly encourage anyone interested to apply: https://bit.ly/3t4hUUa.” [Facebook]

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Morning Notes

Officer Celebrates 25 Years with Police Department — “A special time for one of our officers. Officer Bennie Evans officially received his commemorative clock representing 25+ years of service with the Alexandria Police Department. We thank you for all you do.” [Twitter]

Beloved Bishop Ireton Faculty Member Dies — “It is with sadness but also with great faith in our Lord that we share that Brother Rick Wilson, a beloved faculty member at Bishop Ireton for more than three decades, passed away last night on March 3, 2021. He is now at peace with our Lord and has most assuredly opened a Word Write Shop for all the writers in paradise. He loved Bishop Ireton. In his last conversation with Head of School Kathleen McNutt, he reiterated his great love of teaching, his love for Bishop Ireton High School, and his desire to do God’s will. He shared with passion, ‘God put me on this Earth to teach. Bishop Ireton is my home.’ Let us pray for the repose of Brother Rick’s soul; for his family who mourns his loss; and for his beloved Bishop Ireton family who will always remember him. May choirs of angels receive him into everlasting life.” [Facebook]

Sheriff’s Office Warns Against Scam — “ALERT! Scammers are at it again! If you get a phone call from someone saying they are with the Sheriff’s Office and that you have to pay money, HANG UP! Real law enforcement agencies in Virginia will never call you and demand money or credit card info” [Twitter]

Alexandria Libraries Open March 15 — ” Each branch will have limited hours under the third phase of the Library reopening plan. A number of safety measures will be in place to guard against the spread of COVID-19.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — “Sunny (during the day). High around 70F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph… Partly cloudy (in the evening). Low 51F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Assistant Director of Fleet Maintenance — “DASH is looking for an Assistant Director of Fleet Maintenance and Facilities to join our Maintenance team! We strongly encourage anyone interested to apply: bit.ly/3kZOtQe.” [Twitter]

New Job: Fitness Instructor — “New Coaches Start with Guaranteed Hours. Free Protein Bars, Energy Drinks, and Coffee. Free Open Gym and Fitness Classes. Flexible hours (work as many hours as you like)” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Polk Elementary Crossing Guard Dies — “It is with a heavy heart that we share that our beloved Charlotte Mills Ross, passed away peacefully January 31, 2021 at the age of 95. Mrs. Ross served for 50 years as our school crossing guard. She welcomed and protected generations of Polk Owls at the same corner, rain or shine. How blessed we are to have been able to have her for 50 years as a treasured legend of our community. The walkway from our gym to our fifth grade wing was named ‘Ross Walk’ in her honor, upon her retirement.” [Facebook]

Beyer Thanks 11 Republicans for Voting to Remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Committees — “My thanks to the 11 Republicans who joined us tonight to hold Marjorie Taylor Greene responsible for encouraging political violence against our colleagues. There should have been more. The resolution just passed with bipartisan support.” [Twitter]

City Real Property Tax Assessments Increase 2.7% — “On Tuesday evening, City Council will be receiving our 2021 Property Assessments. We will be seeing two very divergent stories: a residential tax base growing at the healthiest rate in some time and the commercial tax base shrinking quicker than we have seen in quite a while.” [Twitter]

Bishop Ireton Collects Donations Supporting Catholic Charities — “Thanks to the generous support of students, families and faculty, moms and babies will be receiving items through The Baby Closet, Mary’s Shelter and Birthright. These organizations serve the poorest of the poor and affirm the Catholic belief that life should be supported from conception to natural death. Thank you to everyone who donated!” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy early with partial sunshine expected late. High 54F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph… Partly cloudy skies (in the evening). Low near 30F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job:  Campagna Center Head Start Teacher — “The Teacher creates, maintains, and manages an attractive, warm, and challenging learning environment for young children, incorporating developmentally appropriate learning activities that meet the needs of the group as well as those of individual children. The Teacher collaborates with all staff to facilitate the utilization of needed services to the children and their families. The Teacher is responsible for keeping accurate reports and records for each child and ensuring that all of the necessary forms are completed and properly maintained.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Details Emerge in New Landmark Mall Plan — “Construction will happen over several years, likely starting with the demolition of the Landmark Mall building as early as 2022.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Office of Historic Alexandria Debuts Parker-Gray Commemorative Website — “Today the Office of Historic Alexandria launched a website to honor the opening of Parker-Gray High School in 1920. The page provides a wealth of history, including information about alumni, staff, and faculty.” [Zebra]

Alexandria Health Department Vaccinates Healthcare Workers — “Between December 24 and January 4, AHD administered 1,032 doses of vaccine, over the course of three vaccination events.” [City of Alexandria]

Bishop Ireton Seeking New Principal — “Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia seeks candidates for the position of Principal, with an official start date of July 1, 2021” [National Board for Professional Teacher Standards]

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This was a big week for Alexandria.

Our top story this week was the Alexandria School Board’s decision to reopen schools for students with disabilities, while the future reopening of school for elementary, middle and high schoolers remains in doubt.

Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. said that the only feasible option for reopening schools — based on distancing and staffing constraints — would be for students to rotate to in-person schooling only one day per week. Hutchings also appeared on CNN and said that ACPS is not likely to fully reopen until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus.

We also reported that the Alexandria City Council approved plans for Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus and the North Potomac Yard development plan, virtually paving the way for the college to open its doors to hundreds of students by 2024.

“This is a very significant set of decisions for the city, and is really going to shape, not just a portion of our city, but really the entirety of our city for a long period of time to come,” said Mayor Justin Wilson.

On the coronavirus front, there are now 75 deaths in Alexandria and there are now or have been more than 4,100 cases since the pandemic began in March. Latino residents continue to lead the case count.

Governor Ralph Northam and Virginia Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine were in the city on Monday to unveil a team of new zero emission DASH electric buses.

We also reported that the City Council unanimously approved naming the 1000 block of Montgomery Street in Old Town “Earl F. Lloyd Way” in honor of the first Black man to ever play in the National Basketball Association.

Restaurant-wise, we spoke with one of the owners of a pizza and burger joint that is taking over the former location of Pizzeria Paradiso on lower King Street. The Chewish Deli is also now open in Old Town, and the owner of Del Ray Boccato says that his gelato shop will soon open.

Additionally, more than 175 people participated in our weekly poll. With the November 3 election around the corner, this week we asked about voting plans, and 65% of respondents voted by mail/absentee, 31% plan to vote on election day, and 4% are not voting.

Here are ALXnow’s top stories this week in Alexandria:

  1. School Board Shelves Plan to Reopen Schools in 2021, Students with Disabilities Transitioning Back Next Month
  2. City Releasing Torpedo Factory Draft Action Plan Today
  3. City Council Approves Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and North Potomac Yard Development Plan
  4. Alexandria Student Called N-Word in Online Forum, and Not By Another Student
  5. Republican Jeff Jordan Running Uphill Battle Against Incumbent Rep. Don Beyer
  6. The Chewish Deli Opens New Location in Old Town
  7. One Arrested After Attempted Armed Robbery in Alexandria’s West End
  8. Report: ACPS Superintendent Sends Child to Bishop Ireton High School
  9. Female Suspect Flees, Nothing Taken in Attempted Old Town Bank Robbery
  10. Alexandria and Arlington Want a New Future for the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center
  11. Alexandria Courthouse Deep Cleaned After Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

Have a safe weekend!

Photo via ACPS/Facebook

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Right now, Alexandria high schools are coordinating how sports are going to work for teams of students who are champing at the bit to get back into their respective games.

“We have a plan,” Jim Harris, the T.C. Williams High School coordinator of student activities, said in a recent Zoom call with the Alexandria Sportsmen’s Club. “We’re just waiting for approval to get on the field and actually start conditioning.”

T.C. Williams High School is gearing up for cheerleading and basketball to start on December 7, followed by winter sports (indoor track, wrestling and swimming) starting on December 14. The Virginia High School League schedule for public schools also has football games set for February and spring sports (soccer, tennis, baseball, softball, outdoor track and lacrosse) will start in April.

Harris said that students will self-report on a student medical database, and that coaches immediately get that spreadsheet.

Bishop Ireton High School is offering a hybrid model that allows in-person instruction. Student athletes aren’t competing, but they’re working out on campus with coaches and teammates.

“I think our parents are more happy than anything because they got happy kids that are coming home tired, they have kids who are emotionally and mentally happy to be physically doing things,” Dwayne Bryant, the BI athletic director and boys varsity basketball coach.

St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School has a staggered schedule bringing kids back into classrooms. The school and broke up its athletic season into three five-week sessions and just wrapped up fall sports. They are and are now in their second five week session with winter sports.

“We decided that we would take things slow,” said Jeff Walrich, the SSSAS athletic director for the boys. “We’ve brought kids back onto campus to do some training and to be with their coaches. The kids have been missing is that relationship. So, while they’re training, our focus has been Monday team bonding with their peers and also with their coaches, which is a huge deal.”

Bryant said the latest approval by the NCAA allowing all college athletes to play an extra year presents problems for his students.

“A lot of these seniors, normally at this time would be getting prepared to do their signing celebrations in November, are now scrambling to actually find schools, or even get a chance to be seen,” Bryant said. “We were fortunate enough out there with 10 girls from my lacrosse team that have actually committed to play college next year. And with football being put on hold, a lot of those guys… are working hard trying to put together whatever film they can, but it’s pretty difficult.”

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What a week it’s been in Alexandria.

Our top story this week was the report that Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. sends one of his children to Bishop Ireton High School. In case you missed it, the story first broke in Theogony, the T.C. Williams High School newspaper.

Hutchings also presented his plan for a phased reopening of ACPS starting next month. The results of a survey over virtual schooling were also released, revealing that screen time and childcare were among the top concerns of students, staff and families.

On the health front, Alexandria exceeded 4,000 total cases of COVID-19 since the first case was reported on March 11.

Additionally, more than 200 people participated in our weekly poll on traveling this holiday season, and 56% reported they will not travel, 27% still plan on traveling, and 17% still haven’t decided.

Crime-wise, we reported that a woman was assaulted in Arlandria on October 11; an arrest was made after an attempted armed robbery in the West End; a West End gas station was robbed of $1,700 in tobacco products; a woman ended up not being charged after firing a warning shot at a man in the 4300 block of Duke Street; and the mother of a man whose truck was stolen in Del Ray received an unexpected phone call from the thief.

There was some good news.

The southern entrance of the Potomac Yard Metro station is really taking shape, at least on paper. This week, the final plans going to the city were made public. The Board of Architectural Review will look at them at their meeting on Wednesday, October 21.

And in recognition of Oyster Week, ALXnow on Thursday emceed the first-ever “Pearl of Alexandria Oyster Eating Contest” between rival Del Ray and Old Town business owners.

Here are ALXnow’s top stories this week in Alexandria:

  1. Report: ACPS Superintendent Sends Child to Bishop Ireton High School
  2. Police: Illegal Drugs Sold in West End Via Snapchat During Pandemic
  3. Republican Jeff Jordan Running Uphill Battle Against Incumbent Rep. Don Beyer
  4. BREAKING: Suspect Arrested for West End Murder
  5. ISIS ‘Beatles’ Held in Alexandria Jail, Charged with American Murders in Syria
  6. Here’s What the Potomac Yard Metro Station’s Southern Entrance Will Look Like
  7. Superintendent Proposing Phased Reopening of Alexandria City Public Schools Starting in November
  8. A Dozen Restaurants are Participating in Old Town Oyster Week
  9. VIDEO: West End Murder Victim Identified
  10. ‘Brewski’s Barkhaus’ is Opening This Saturday
  11. Old Virginia Tobacco Co. Moves Directly Across Street from Longtime Old Town Tobacconist

Have a safe weekend!

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Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. confirmed today that one of his two children is attending Bishop Ireton High School.

Hutchings confirmed the news to Nikki Harris, a reporter for Theogony, the T.C. Williams High School newspaper.

“I can confirm that our family made a decision to change my daughter’s school this school year,” Hutchings told Theogony. “Decisions like these are very personal family decisions and are not taken lightly. This in no way impacts my absolute lifelong, commitment to public education, to which I remain as personally dedicated as ever.”

After Theogony started asking questions, Hutchings’ ACPS bio was amended to simply say that he has two children, instead of stating that both of them attend ACPS. His Twitter profile was also changed to say that he has two kids, instead of “two ACPS kids.”

“Everyone has to do what is best for their kids, but it is concerning that the superintendent doesn’t have confidence in our public school system,” an ACPS parent told ALXnow.

Bishop Ireton High School opened the school year in August with a mix of in-person and at-home learning. All ACPS students are currently studying at home, and the school system on October 15 will consider a phased reentry plan to allow students back in classrooms.

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A 30-year-old Alexandria man has been arrested on two counts of public indecency and is being held without bond in the city jail.

Harry Ross, who is a convicted sex offender, was arrested at around 4 p.m. on August 22 for allegedly exposing himself and masturbating in public in the area of Quaker Hill Court, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

The incident occurred in a residential neighborhood, which is near Bishop Ireton High School and the Alexandria Commons shopping center.

Police determined Ross was the same suspect who committed the same very act in the area on the previous day, according to police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine.

However, Ross was not charged with an incident that occurred last week near the Giant in the Alexandria Commons Shopping Center. A 15-year-old girl was allegedly approached by the suspect to help her with her bicycle, and he touched her hand, she later told her parents. The girl fled the area and her parents contacted police, but they decided not to press charges.

Map via Google Maps

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