Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

New Residential Building Promises Daycare and Retail in Braddock Area — “Right now, that property is primarily garage and warehouse space for a variety of auto and other businesses.” [Alexandria Living]

Van Dorn, Eisenhower Metro Stations Reopening June 28 — “Several stations and stops were closed in March, in an effort to conserve cleaning supplies during the early stages of the pandemic.” [Zebra]

Residential Proposal Made for Old Town North Building — “The project, at 801 N. Fairfax St., goes before the City of Alexandria Planning Commission this Thursday and may go before the City Council on July 7.” [Alexandria Living]

Nectar Coffee & Wine Bistro Closes For Good — “Susan and I have made the extremely difficult decision to close Nectar permanently. We have loved our business, awesome staff, customers and neighbors and are truly grateful for your business over the past 3 years. See you in the neighborhood!” [Facebook]

The Water Taxi is Back — “On June 22 the Potomac Water Taxi resumed service between Alexandria, National Harbor, and the District. Dining cruises resume on Saturday, June 27. To ensure the safety of all on board, a number of procedures are in place. The safety measures include requiring face coverings for all guests (ages 3 and up), physical distancing, touchless entry boarding and ticketing, and reduced capacity onboard.” [Zebra]

TEDxOronocoBayPark Cancels All 2020 Events — “We are excited to be bringing the TED content to the community virtually through the TED Circles program – save the date July 20 7 p.m.” [Facebook]

Alexandria Symphony Premiers Virtual Concert — “Welcome to Alexandria Symphony’s Garden Sounds! Enjoy music from ASO musicians and appearances from special guests Paula Poundstone, Alan Gilbert and more!” [Youtube]

New Job: Bartender — “Be a part the Silver Diner Family! We are hiring full-time Bartenders for all shifts for our Grand Opening in Alexandria! Full-time Bartenders at our established locations can make $400-$700 in tips per week!” [Indeed]

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Pines of Florence in Old Town (1300 King Street) has closed, though how permanent that close is remained unclear.

An employee of Pines of Florence said over the phone that the closure was due to redevelopment for the building approved last fall. The redevelopment is planned to turn the block into a four-story mixed-use development with 31 condominium units and 6,400 square feet of ground-floor retail

The employee said the last day the restaurant was open was last Saturday and that it is currently unclear whether the restaurant will reopen and, if so, where.

“It’s not a full good-bye,” a sign on the door of the building said, “just taking a little break.”

The sign directed the loyal patrons of Pines of Florence to the sister restaurant Rosemarino D’Italia, which has locations in Del Ray at (1905 Mount Vernon Avenue) and in D.C. (1714 Connecticut Avenue NW).

“Trust us, we’re extremely touched during [this] moment, feeling every single bit [of] happiness, sadness, shocked and pride,” the sign said. “Thank you everyone for allowing [us] to be part of your journey and we will continue to create new memories in the future.”

Staff photos by Jay Westcott

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Morning Notes

Uncertainty Lingers for Furloughed Alexandrians — “When Joy Phansond was furloughed from her job as sales coordinator at the Holiday Inn in Old Town, the temporary layoff was initially supposed to last until April 5. Then it was extended to May 5. Then it was extended again until June 5.” [Gazette]

Cinema Del Ray Canceled Due to Coronavirus — “Due to COVID-19, we must ensure the safety of our fellow community members by canceling Cinema Del Ray 2020. We greatly appreciate the support Cinema Del Ray has been shown in the past. We will be back next year, better than ever!” [Facebook]

Old Town Spanish Restaurant ‘La Tasca’ Files for Bankruptcy — “In the past two years, La Tasca has closed two locations in Chinatown and Clarendon.” [Washington Business Journal]

Food Trucks Lift Spirits in Cameron Station — “Rothschild started reaching out to various food truck vendors on March 25, and shortly thereafter she landed her first truck to visit the neighborhood, at the corner of Cameron Station Boulevard and Harold Secord Street – barbecue purveyor Smoking Kow. And neighbors were ready for a feast.” [Gazette]

Tenants and Workers United Raises $16K for Arlandria Community — “Many of our members have had their work hours reduced or been laid off completely. For the undocumented community, there is no social safety net: no unemployment benefits and no stimulus check from the federal government.” [actblue.com]

Contest: Alexandria Living Magazine Gives Away $600 in Merchandise — “Along with KH Giving, we can finally announce the winner of this week’s Mission Masks giveaway! Dixie won $600 worth of prizes including $250 in gift cards from Sweet Fire Donna’s, $100 from Chadwicks and $100 from Bastille and more! These gift cards are all purchased from local restaurants as a way to support them.” [Facebook]

Photos: Meal Distribution at William Ramsey Elementary — “Enjoy these photos of ACPS meal distribution at William Ramsey Elementary School. Thank you to volunteer and photographer, Chris Castillo.” [Facebook]

How Funeral Homes and Cemeteries are Coping in Alexandria — “Some immediate families of the deceased elect to have ceremonies recorded or live streamed for extended family and friends who cannot be present. Others are opting to hold a memorial service at a later date, when larger groups may be able to congregate, rather than a funeral with restricted attendees now.” [Alex Times]

‘La Brocante’ and ‘Top It Off’ Open This Weekend in Del Ray — “La Brocante and Top It Off are now both open on the weekends only (including TODAY until 5 p.m.), with social distancing measures in place (extra sanitizing, limits on the number of people in the stores, and face masks).” [Facebook]

‘Pacers Running’ Donates Shoes to ‘Together We Bake’ — “Thank you @runpacers and @on_running for giving running shoes to our TWB family! We’re excited to break in our shoes.” [Facebook]

New Job: Member Marketing Manager — “We are looking for someone passionate and analytical who loves product marketing. The purpose of this role is to help drive many stakeholders across many departments to inspire members to act on our top opportunities. If you love coordinating complex marketing campaigns, then this job is for you.” [Indeed]

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For David Erskine, the last 35 years have passed like the pages of a must-read comic book, and on Saturday he did the unthinkable and took down the sign outside his shop, Aftertime Comics.

“We’re all done here,” Erskine told ALXnow as he unscrewed the sign.

The coronavirus pandemic stalled his plans to reopen next month at a new location on N. Washington Street in time for the busiest day of the year — Free Comic Book Day on May 2. But with the day postponed, Erskin has decided to cool his heels until the smoke clears and restrictions are lifted before reopening his shop.

Most comic book sales for the shop are online, and interested customers will need to see what’s available on its Facebook page.

Like many superheroes, Erskine has another identity. By day he’s a general clerk for bulk mail with the U.S. Postal Service. He’s collected comic books since he was five years old, and got hooked selling them after attending his first convention in the early 1970s.

“People ask me all the time what kinds of comics should they invest in,” Erskine said. “You can never go wrong with Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man — the classics.”

Erskine added, “I don’t have a secret collection or anything. Anything we have we sell. I had a Superman number one, which I sold. It wasn’t in very good condition, but I owned it. I’ve also sold numerous Spider-Man number ones.”

The shop has also suspended buying comics from fans until further notice.

“I hope we reopen,” Erskine said. “My garage is completely full of comic books right now.”

WE ARE SHIPPING TO CUSTOMERS. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN HAVING YOUR BOOKS SHIPPED, PLEASE EMAIL AFTERTIMECOMIC@GMAIL.COM…

Posted by Aftertime Comics on Saturday, March 21, 2020

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It was just before midnight on Tuesday night when Two Nineteen Restaurant was forced to temporarily close down.

Really it was more like three businesses closing at once since the building at 219 King Street is home to The Bayou Room, an upstairs cigar lounge and the New Orleans-style French Creole restaurant. Old Town was quiet by the time the doors shut at 11:59 p.m. and there were hardly any cars or people outside.

“Some of our customers, they don’t have family,” said Two Nineteen’s owner Patty Charoentra to ALXnow. “They have no place to eat. They walk in to smoke cigars and eat and listen to music. People love this place like a second home. They come here to have fun, to take the stress out from their workplace. But even when we reopen, everything is not gonna be back to a normal life.”

Governor Northam’s Monday order prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more and closing all restaurants except for carryout and takeout until April 24 was the final straw that forced Two Nineteen Restaurant to temporarily close — and it also meant closing its Bayou Room and cigar club.

One customer said that Two Nineteen’s cigar lounge is a favorite for her and her boyfriend. Usually on Tuesday the Holly Montgomery Band would be playing, but it’s impossible to pay for a band when there are only 10 people allowed in the entire establishment at one time.

“We all came because we knew that they are closing,” the customer said. “It’s surreal. It hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Charoentra and her husband Kelvin Eap, both immigrants from Thailand, have owned Two Nineteen since 2005. They employ 20 full and part-time employees, and their daughter is the manager.

“I worked very hard to make this place happen,” Charoentra said. “I worked three jobs and slept four hours a day until we could open our first restaurant. I’m here seven nights a week, believe it or not. I haven’t had a day off for several years. I don’t know what to do. We’ve stayed open so that we can keep the employees working. They’ve been deep-cleaning now for more than a week.”

The couple moved to the states from Thailand in the mid-80’s, and then 10 years later opened Thai Chef and Sushi Bar in Dupont Circle. They owned the restaurant for more than 20 years before selling it in 2017, and learned some valuable lessons along the way.

“Like during 9/11, you have to try to do your best every day and then know how to cut the expenses that [are] not needed, and then put yourself to work in as many areas as possible,” Charoentra said.

Bartender Manfredo Lagos is a native of Mexico, and said that his niece, who is a nurse, and her husband and son are infected with COVID-19 and are in a hospital in Mexico City. He said that he routinely sends them money and now feels powerless without a job.

“I’m not asking for anything,” Lagos said. “I’m Latino. I’ve lived in this country for 31 years, and work is hard. I’ll be in this atmosphere with the smoke and the whisky into sometimes late into the morning. We do what we have to do for our families.”

Lagos, who had to turn customers away because the restaurant reached its 10-person limit on Tuesday, said that Charoentra will send him home with a lot of food, and some cash.

“Patty is so great. She’s like the mother of this place,” Lagos said. “She’s gonna give me like 17 to-go boxes of food to take home. She is the best.”

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Alexandria has officially entered into the community spread phase of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Dr. Rina Bansal, president of Inova Alexandria Hospital.

That means that direct exposure to the virus can not be traced back to its source.

“Stay home and stay safe, and ask others to do the same. We are officially in community spread now,” Bansal told ALXnow. “This is the calm before the storm.”

There are currently four positive cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, and Bansal said Alexandria Hospital treated up to 30 patients in its tented temporary auxiliary screening unit outside the emergency room entrance.

The tent has a 10-person capacity.

The hospital has restricted visitation, and is also asking that anyone feeling symptomatic should call ahead to warn staff. Uninsured patients will also be admitted, as their costs will fall under charity care for the nonprofit hospital system. Additionally, it has about 150 available beds at the moment, out of 303 beds in the entire facility, Bansal said.

“We are preparing for the worst,” Bansal said. “We have seen a significant number of patients coming into the emergency room, and we’ve seen patients come to our screening unit as well. “

Meanwhile, Alexandria business owners and residents are adapting to a completely changed city. The governor’s recent orders restricting occupancy at 10 people has shuttered dozens of restaurants and retailers.

On Thursday and Friday, Hillary Orr, the city’s deputy director for the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, erected “Reserved Parking” signs for curbside pickup outside of the remaining restaurants that are open.

“We have about four people working on it. We’ve been working mostly in Old Town North, Old Town on King Street and on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray,” Orr said. “Hopefully we’ve heard from all of the businesses. We have a list.”

A number of local business owners have said they will not be paying their upcoming tax bill, including Rob Krupicka, a former member of the state legislature, city councilman and now-owner of Elizabeth’s Counter.

“It’s not going to be all right,” a business owner working from home told ALXnow.

Pat Miller is going to cancel the Del Ray Farmers’ Market on Saturday. The market has 20 vendors who rely on its weekly sales.

“It’s so unbelievable. I will cancel the farmers market,” Miller said. “But we will get through it. We will. Our community is so community-minded that if anybody needs help all you have to do is put the word out and you will have 50 people to help. That’s how we operate in Del Ray.”

Meggrolls at 107 N. Fayette Street is open for business, although indoor dining has been eliminated.

“We’re actually doing pretty good,” a staff member said. “Most of our orders are carryout anyway. So, it hasn’t been too bad.”

One Old Town bar had difficulty adhering to the 10-person rule on Thursday, and at one point had more than twice the legal limit with over 20 customers. The bartender said that she couldn’t serve an ALXnow reporter at the bar because there were too many people, but that he could be served in an uncrowded dining area.

Alexandria Police have not cited any businesses for not meeting the 10-person rule, spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine told ALXnow.

Mayor Justin Wilson said in an emergency meeting on Wednesday that businesses are suffering catastrophic losses and that the city needs to act quickly. Consequently, next Tuesday the City Council is scheduled to review measures to suspend the dining and transient lodging taxes.

Many businesses are getting creative. The Italian Place at 621 Wythe Street is now offering a free roll of toilet paper with every dinner order. Chop Shop Taco (1008 Madison Street) is offering two rolls and a $25 gift card, owner Doug Rashid said in an email.

Get FREE roll of TP with dinner to-go, while supplies last 😆😜☺️#wegotyourback#orderonline#toiletpapercrisis…

Posted by The Italian Place on Friday, March 20, 2020

Local grocery stores are also adapting to the pandemic.

On Friday, Giant Food announced that all of their regional stores will offer “dedicated shopping hours” from 6-7 a.m. for senior citizens 60 and older, and for people with compromised immune systems.

The Fresh Market at 3680 King Street has also set aside 8-9 a.m. for senior citizen shopping.

To Our Valued Guests:To best serve our community during this time, we are designating special shopping hours for…

Posted by The Fresh Market on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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With only five reported cases in the city so far, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on Alexandria residents, businesses and the city government.

There has been one reported instance of price gouging, with packages of 10 rolls of Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper being sold for more than $60 at the Food Star at 206 W. Glebe Road.

City officials contacted the grocery store and the price was reduced to $14.99, according to a city spokesman, who said that a customer of the store officially reported the price to the Attorney General of Virginia. The store manager told ALXnow that the vendor hiked up the price.

“The markup ended up being $61 for that toilet paper, and I said it was too much and I refused a second order,” the manager said. “I said, ‘No, we’re not going to order with you again, that’s too much.'”

Larry Ponzi, the owner of St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub in Del Ray, has had to lay off 60 of his 80 employees. While St. Elmo’s is still open, it will only cater 10 customers at a time inside and will serve mostly carryout orders from its front door facing Mount Vernon Avenue.

“We’re telling our employees to file for unemployment,” Ponzi said. ” I think that we, everybody, needs to get through the next few weeks. We just have to get through it.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has also put into question the anticipated opening of Ponzi’s proposed Old Town North location. His two Cafe Pizzaiolo restaurants will also only be serving carryout.

A few doors down from St. Elmo’s, Bill Blackburn, co-owner of the Homegrown Restaurant Group, shouted a simple phrase to ALXnow.

“If you can post anything, post in big letters, ‘ORDER ONLINE, ORDER ONLINE, ORDER ONLINE.’ That would be perfect,” he said.

Since the new rules restricting establishments to 10 customers went into effect, Blackburn’s company has been making drastic changes. The company’s three restaurants in Del Ray – Pork Barrel BBQ, The Sushi Bar and Holy Cow Del Ray — closed their interiors and are operating via curbside pickup. Customers make their orders at the front door of Pork Barrel and then pick them up outside of Holy Cow.

The company also closed Whisky & Oyster in Carlyle and are operating curbside pickups for Sweet Fire Donna’s and Tequila & Taco.

Nicole Jones, the owner of Stomping Ground at 2309 Mount Vernon Avenue, is open for business.

“Basically every dollar we’re making right now is going to pay staff. Our revenues are down sizably, so I’m not gonna be able to pay rent. I’m not going to be able to pay our taxes and I honestly will struggle to procure the food to feed customers,” Jones said.

Jones added, “I’ve got 30 staffers and half of them are on salary. We pay a livable wage with paid vacation. We do all the right things. Each one of them is now on reduced hours. And then we’re just trying to do business as usual but as a takeout [restaurant]. Now we’ve also added dinner. We’ve never done dinner as a general thing.”

Peter Zia, the owner of Chinoiserie at 1325 King Street, closed on Monday. He said that it is “shocking” that neighboring businesses are still open.

“I mean this COVIT-19 thing hasn’t really hit yet,” Zia told an ALXnow reporter, who was standing at least 10 feet away. “It’s going to be bad.”

Across the street at Hard Times Cafe, co-owner Richard Kelly was making some hard decisions with his staff. The restaurant at 1404 King Street has been around for four decades, and as of now he plans on laying off about half of his 90 employees between the Alexandria and Springfield locations.

“The restaurant here is 1,600 square feet. The one in Springfield is 12,500 square feet, with 18 pool tables and it’s completely empty,” Kelly said. “Every day we react and respond to whatever is coming up next. When you’re faced with insurmountable issues that you can’t control, then you just deal with it every day. And we’ve been here for 42 years. We’re not gonna go out of business.”

On Tuesday, Alexandria Restaurant Partners, which employs hundreds of people in the city, also announced that it was closing most of its locations.

As previously reported, an unofficial list of retailers and restaurants throughout the city is being regularly updated. Visit Alexandria has also compiled a city-wide list of retail and restaurant options that can be enjoyed at home.

The Alexandria City Council will discuss COVID-19 mitigation efforts at its meeting tonight at City Hall.

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Morning Notes

ACPS Releases Samples of Daily Schedules For Students — Alexandria City Public Schools, in their daily 1 p.m. update to parents, released sample daily schedules for students. The schedule includes time to wake up, taking a morning walk and three-and-a-half hours of academic time. [ACPS]

Alexandria Libraries Close Thru March 31 — “This was a difficult decision to make as we know how much people rely on their libraries to support their educational, entertainment, and recreational needs. However, libraries are a hub of community activity with some branches drawing hundreds of visitors per day.” [Alexandria Library]

The Garden and Live Oak Restaurant Close For Foreseeable Future — “We look forward to serving you the first moment that it is humanly safe to do so, but for now, we hope that you hunker down, safeguard loved ones, and remain united as we all face this terrifying virus together.” [Facebook]

Health Director Asks Residents to be Adaptable — “We’re not shying away from the truth — life in our community will change. Changes are needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And changes will occur because of the social and economic disruptions for many.” [Alex Times]

Beyer Calls on CDC, FDA to Give Congress Updates — “Testing still isn’t where we need it to be, and public health officials and policymakers must have accurate data to plan.” [Twitter]

Local Pubs Still Open on St. Patrick’s Day — “A tale of two bars in Old Town Alexandria: On the left, Murphy’s at capacity with a bouncer barring entry. On the right, Southside with no restrictions.” [Twitter]

Old Town Boutique District Calls for Community Support — “The Old Town Boutique District kindly asks for you to continue to hold hands with us and support us little guys any way that you can. We love our loyal shop local community and we still need you.” [Facebook]

Retirement Community Restricts Visitors — The home to 200 senior citizens is restricting visitation, and is asking all residents to practice cautionary isolation. Residents are asked to contact their loved ones via phone or computer. The dining area has also been closed and programs have been canceled. [Hermitage]

Photo via Taqueria el Poblano/Facebook

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Alexandria Restaurant Partners on Wednesday will shutter all of its businesses and stop work for 450 of its employees at all of its locations in the city, with the exception of Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap.

The closure is in response to Governor Ralph Northam’s recommendation on Tuesday that establishments within the state enforce 10-person gathering standards, which effectively shuts down indoor dining.

“Restaurants are going to face significant, devastating losses,” Scott Shaw, a partner with ARP told ALXnow. “It closes our business. We will reopen when we can, but this is going to be a significant financial hit. “Right now our top concern is our employees, and we are heartsick at not being able to help them more, but with no revenue coming in it’s not possible.”

Shaw added, “It’s a real hardship for them. We’re doing everything we can do help them with benefits and expedited unemployment insurance.”

ARP closed Palette 22 in Shirlington and The Majestic in Old Town this morning and planned to have limited service at its other locations until Northam made his recommendation.

ARP will subsequently also close Mia’s Italian Kitchen, Vola’s Dockside Grill, and Theismann’s Restaurant and Bar until further notice. The company is asking that customers buy gift cards for the restaurants, and 20% of the proceeds will go to an employee relief fund.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson on Tuesday, also issued guidance to the city manager’s office to consider suspending the city’s dining tax collection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To our loyal customers, Please know that your health and safety are our number one priority during these trying times. …

Posted by Lena's Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap on Friday, March 13, 2020

So far, the Homegrown Restaurant Group has only closed one of its locations – Whisky & Oyster. The company, which includes Pork Barrel BBQ, Holy Cow Del Ray, The Sushi Bar, Sweet Fire Donna’s and Tequila & Taco is still open for business.

“We are encouraging social distancing in our restaurants and complying with the 10 person maximum,” said Bill Blackburn, a partner with the Homegrown Restaurant Group. “We encourage customers to order via our websites and pickup at our curbside tents in front of the restaurants.”

There are now 67 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Virginia, including two presumptive positive cases in Alexandria.

‪The latest order from Governor of Virginia to enforce social distancing as a means to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is now in place.‬‪10 people or fewer in restaurants, fitness centers and theaters‬

Posted by Justin Wilson on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Photo via Mia’s Italian Kitchen/Facebook

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The Del Ray-based Neighborhood Restaurant Group on Monday closed numerous locations in Alexandria in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restaurants Evening Star Cafe, Buzz Bakeshop, Columbia Firehouse, Vermilion, Rustico and Planet Wine will be closed for dining but will continue to operate delivery and take-out, according to the restaurants’ social media pages.

There are two residents who have tested presumptive positive for the COVID-19 virus, and in his monthly newsletter Mayor Justin Wilson said, “There is every expectation that this number will grow.”

“This outbreak will have dramatic impacts on the health of our residents, the survival of many businesses that operate in our City, the jobs those businesses create and the finances of your City government,” Wilson said. “The collateral impacts will create human service challenges that will face our community for months and years to come.”

With the recent restrictions on bars and restaurants in Maryland and the District, many business owners wondering if Virginia is going to be next.

“As recent days have unfolded, we have struggled to balance our dedication to providing a refuge to our guests from the stresses of daily life against our unavoidable place in the ecosystems within which diseases like this one may be spread,” the restaurant group said in the statement.

Old Town Books also recently announced that it was closing shop indefinitely, but would still fill online orders and subscriptions.

Here for our patrons, here for our employees, here for our community ❤️ please stay tuned for more details on our delivery services.https://www.ramw.org/educated-eats

Posted by Evening Star Cafe on Sunday, March 15, 2020

Photo via Evening Star Cafe/Facebook

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The Alexandria City Public Schools will not be tracking student attendance for online learning during its month-long COVID-19 shutdown.

Alexandria City Public Schools announced on Friday that all schools would close until April 14 — after spring break. Every elementary school student was given instructional packets to take home, and students in grades 3-12 went home with Chromebook laptops.

“I don’t think you can [track attendance], except to see if students have completed assignments,” ACPS spokeswoman Helen Lloyd told ALXnow. “The goal of this is not grading assignments, but continuity of learning.”

There are more than 15,700 students in the school system, which will be putting out staff updates at noon every day and notices to families every day at 1 p.m. in ACPS Express. Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. will also be hosting a webinar at 3 p.m. during the week.

“We are in close communication with the state superintendent and working through what we would need to do to ensure that our students are getting the right number of days and hours in terms of instruction this year,” Lloyd said. “We may be using some snow days, and we may require a waiver [from the Virginia Department of Education to not make up] our days and hours that have been missed.”

Throughout Monday morning and afternoon, Alexandria City Public School staff also started the now-daily process of handing out meals at the Chinquapin Drive side of T.C. Williams High School to students, regardless of their eligibility for free and reduced-price meals.

ACPS instruction includes three daily half-hour documentaries from the Smithsonian’s “Science How” and “Stem in 30” series documentaries that will be screened on a 24-hour loop on ACPS TV. The schedule includes “Mummy Science – Natural and Cultural Preserved Remains” and “Live from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.” School staff are also in talks with publishing houses to acquire the rights to works that teachers could read to students on ACPS TV, Lloyd said.

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Morning Notes

New Inova Facility Planned — “Inova Health System plans to open a new health care facility on part of Oakville Triangle, giving another try to the 13-acre site on Richmond Highway in Alexandria across from a planned Virginia Tech campus and a short distance from Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters.” [Washington Business Journal]

Christmas Attic Closes — “One of Alexandria’s most beloved businesses, The Christmas Attic at 125 S. Union St., has closed its doors after nearly 50 years in business near the Alexandria waterfront. The year-round winter wonderland offered a special shopping experience.” [Alexandria Living]

Food Truck Serves Fido — “A food truck for dogs? Yup, and not a truck that rolls up and hands out kibble. Woofbowl serves up treats like burgers, fries, and pho… [The truck] frequently pulls up to Del Ray’s Saturday Farmers Market.” [Zebra]

Port City IPA Release Party Tonight — “Introducing a brand new beer to our Limited Release lineup, Star Sailor White IPA! Made with 100% VA Grown Wheat, this hop forward hazy golden beer has fruity notes that will leave you refreshed and ready for star gazing.” [Port City Brewing]

St. Pat’s Parade This Weekend — “Alexandria will turn green at the 39th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Fun Dog Show on Saturday, March 7. The festivities are sponsored by the Ballyshaners, a nonprofit dedicated to Irish heritage, and are expected to include more than 2,000 participants.” [ALXnow]

Reminder: Daylight Saving Time Returns — “Love it or hate it, our annual ritual of early March – daylight saving time – is coming this weekend. At 2 a.m. Sunday, the few analog clocks still around must ‘spring forward’ an hour, turning 1:59:59 a.m. into 3 a.m.” [USA Today]

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