‘Good. Works. Alexandria’ Giving Event is Today — “Alexandria’s stores and restaurants will give a percentage of their sales to the charities of the customers’ choice. For every lunch or dinner ordered OR purchase made, we will share those profits with clientele’s charity of choice located on the Spring2ACTion website.” [Old Town Business Association]
Here’s What Services Will Open Under Phase 1 — “As the region proceeds through the reopening phases the Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities, City of Alexandria, VA has released the schedule of how recreation services, facilities and programs will be restored.” [Facebook]
Beyer Opposes Trump’s July 4 Parade Proposal — “Members of Congress representing the national capital region strongly oppose Trump’s plans to hold another large military parade in Washington DC on July Fourth as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit the area hard. This is a bad idea and could put many people in danger.” [Twitter]
ARHA Opening Waiting List for Two Days Only — “If you are looking for housing in Alexandria and you fit the criteria, apply. The list is open for only 2 days (June 1 and 2).” [Facebook]
Volunteer Alexandria Needs Help Preparing Meal Distribution — “Help feed your neighbors on Thursday, May 28, 3:30 to 6:00 P.M. Washington Street UMC, ALIVE!, ARHA, Royal Restaurant, Charles Houston Recreation Center, and Volunteer Alexandria have come together to offer meals/groceries for area residents. Bring your mask and join us to help with set up, meal/grocery distribution, and clean up.” [Facebook]
Bishop Ireton High School Holds Commencement Online — “Congratulations to the extremely talented Class of 2020! So very proud of you!! You will be missed!” [Facebook]
ALIVE! Thanks Great Harvest Bread Co. for Weekly Donation — “Thank you Great Harvest Bread of Alexandria for your twice weekly donations of fresh baked loaves for ALIVE!’s Truck-to-Trunk and our community partners.” [Facebook]
Chamber of Commerce Hosting Biz Reopening Webinar Today — “Join us for The Chamber ALX’s latest series, ‘Reopening: The New Normal’ (at 11 .m.). Each 30-minute session will feature a different business, sharing what their customers and the community can expect from them in Phase One and beyond. [Chamber of Commerce]
New Job: Police Communications Specialist — “The Police Communications Specialist position plays a critical role in the success of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA’s) Metro Transit Police Department. Police Communication Specialists are responsible for answering and dispatching the appropriate Police, Fire, or Emergency Medical Services personnel for calls received by Metro customers and employees.” [Indeed]
As Alexandria moves toward the first phase of reopening its economy on May 29, the city’s health department is developing a new accreditation program to ensure compliance with enforced restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Alexandria Health Department initiative is currently labeled as the “ALX Promise,” and it’s a partnership with Visit Alexandria, the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and business groups, according to AHD Environmental Health Manager Rachel Stradling.
The pandemic closed about half of the city’s 860 permitted food establishments, and many of them will not reopen, Stradling said.
Business owners who participate in a seminar and sign a pledge to adhere to the restrictions will get a decal to post in their front windows. They will have to commit to training their staffs on protocols, including wearing face masks, hand washing, disinfection and social distancing. Participating businesses will then be advertised on the Visit Alexandria website.
“You can have a decal in your window that says that you’ve gone above and beyond,” Stradling told ALXnow. “That’s hugely exciting news. It takes us a good six months to get an accreditation scheme in place and we’re basically doing this in a little over a week.”
Stradling added, “So there’ll be a training component, and then they’ll sign a pact at the end to say that they’ll maintain those standards in their business, that they will put their staff and their community first.”
In Alexandria, the first phase means that restaurants can have no indoor dining, but dining will be allowed at 50% capacity in outdoor areas.
Additionally, the department is now preparing for the second phase of reopening the economy. In the meantime, Stradling and her staff are continuing to do virtual inspections.
“Hopefully in phase two we’ll be able to get out there more in person,” she said.
Staff photo by James Cullum
Beyer Co-Sponsors COVID-19 Testing Legislation — “NEW: today I introduced bipartisan legislation to boost innovation for COVID-19 testing with my @HouseScience colleague @RepAGonzalez.” [Twitter]
Chamber of Commerce Hosting Virtual General Assembly Breakfast Thursday — “Please join us on May 21st for a timely virtual conversation with our General Assembly delegation. The delegation will discuss the 2020 session, Virginia’s COVID-19 response and the challenges currently facing the Commonwealth.” [Chamber of Commerce]
Sheriff’s Deputy Recognizes Memorial Day, Virtually Colors With Kids — “With Memorial Day approaching, Deputy Smith talks about the role and responsibilities of the U.S. military and what it means to be a service member.” [Facebook]
Police Recognize Peace Officer Memorial Day — “This past Friday was Peace Officer Memorial Day. Sgt. Harrington took a quiet moment alone at the Alexandria Police Fallen Officers Memorial to record a message. We remember and honor all those across the country that have died in the line of duty.” [Twitter]
Trinity United Methodist Church Collecting Food Today — “Reminder that Trinity United Methodist Church will be collecting non-perishable goods in our parking lot each Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. near the food trucks. The food is delivered to Rising Hope United Methodist Church to support their food pantry for the homeless and low-income families in this time of need.” [Rising Hope UMC]
United Community Pantry Sees 500% Increase Since February — “This mobile food distribution program is critical to help our neighbors in need – many of whom simply cannot reach us at our food pantry.” [Zebra]
Dog-Themed Del Ray T-Shirt Helps Restaurants — “All sales of the $25 t-shirt which are available in purple and green are going toward the employee funds at Del Ray restaurants.” [Zebra]
New Job: Direct Response Copywriter — “We’re looking for Copywriters of all experience levels, be it 2 years of experience or 30; if you can write compelling copy that can inspire anyone to do anything, this role is for you.” [Indeed]
Governor Asked Northern Virginia Leaders for Letter on Stalling Reopening — “He asked for this formal communication to demonstrate unity across the diverse Northern Virginia region, which is critical to a continued successful mitigation strategy… He appreciates their willingness to work with him on this responsible, data-driven and health-based approach.” [Washington Post]
City Sets Up Frozen Meal Delivery System For Residents Aged 60+ — “Spouses of individuals over age 60 and disabled adults living with someone aged 60 and older also may be eligible. Meals are prepared by Jeffery’s Catering and delivered twice a week by Senior Services of Alexandria. A total of 14 meals are delivered each week. For more information call 703-746-5999.” [Facebook]
City Council to Discuss CARES Act Assistance at Tuesday Meeting — “Consideration of the Proposed Plans for use of Federal CARES Act Funding for Residential Rental Assistance, Food Security and Small Business Assistance and COVID-19 Related Expenses of the City Government.” [City of Alexandria]
ACPS Gives Out 30K Meals During Shutdown — “With volunteers who register through Volunteer Alexandria, the operation runs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with significant safety measures in place for packing and distribution. Meals consist of breakfast, lunch and snack and often include fresh fruits and vegetables and sandwiches for multiple days.” [Alexandria Living]
Chamber of Commerce Announces 40 Under 40 Honorees — “The 40 under 40 program was established in 2016 by the Chamber to recognize top men and women, age 40 and under, engaged in a variety of fields including business, technology, nonprofit management, civic life, public service, education, and the arts, who are shaping Alexandria for the future.” [Facebook]
New Job: Remote Contact Tracer — “In this role you will call people diagnosed with COVID-19, establish all contacts of this person, and proceed to call and maintain ongoing communication with every contact. This includes virtual needs checks and referral to community resources as needed. This contact tracing initiative is in tandem with statewide-wide efforts to increase testing, improve communication and knowledge of effective strategies to reduce transmission, and implementation of isolation and quarantine.” [Adecco]
Mayor Adjusts Family Rules for Mother’s Day, Lets Wife Pick Takeout — “Mother’s Day means that the modified democracy we have developed for carry-out goes out the door and Mom gets to pick.” [Facebook]
Visit Alexandria Recommends Bookmarking a Trip — “In the #SpiritOfTravel, bookmark Alexandria’s waterfront parks and trails to visit later. This photo by Carol Jean Photography is a stunning example.” [Facebook]
Southern Towers Residents Prepared to Strike Over Rent — “Their goal is 1,000 signatures from the 2,300 total units. They want management to cancel rent until one month after the pandemic ends, address safety and cleaning concerns, and create a sliding scale for future rent payments based on income.” [WAMU]
Less Than Half of Alexandrians Will Get Full Stimulus Checks — “SmartAsset estimates that full stimulus check would go to just 49.57% of households in the City of Alexandria, and 65.92% would get some level of stimulus check. The full check of $1,200 would be sent to individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of up to $75,000 and a reduced benefit would be sent to individuals earning up to $99,000, at which point it phases out completely.” [Alexandria Living]
Market 2 Market Del Ray Caters Food Gifted to Alexandria Hospital — “We had the wonderful opportunity to partner with Cafe Pizzaiolo and Market 2 Market Del Ray and our friends Trinchero Family Estates and to provide dinner for the teams working around the clock at Inova Alexandria Hospital this afternoon!” [Facebook]
The Chamber’s Virtual Professional Women’s Network Mixer is Tonight — “We can all agree that these are unprecedented times we are experiencing now, and connections are now more important than ever so please make plans to join us on Thursday, April 9th for a slightly different version of our wildly popular Professional Women’s Network Coffee & Connections.” [Chamber of Commerce]
Del Ray Farmers’ Market Canceled This Weekend — “There is no market at 4 Mile Run this weekend, but Tom (and our other vendors) will be at the #delrayfarmersmarket on Saturday so you can pick up your pre-orders!” [Facebook]
Virtual Mindfulness Workshop Tonight — “Stress is an inevitable part of life. Join Dr. Eng for an 8-week course where you will learn about the stress response in your body, stress management techniques, coping strategies, and mindfulness-based relaxation training.” [Facebook]
Old Town Books Hosting Virtual Writing Classes and Literacy Series — Kicking off on Friday, April 10, Old Town Books will launch writing classes and a virtual literacy series featuring accomplished authors. The pay-what-you-can programs include participation by authors Jenny Offill, Jessica Lahey and New York Times Magazine writer Emily Bazelon. [Old Town Books]
Safeway Updates Social Distancing Rules — “Stores will limit occupancy levels to one person per 150 square feet during normal business hours and one person per 300 square feet during special hours reserved for seniors and other vulnerable customers. Each store will utilize one front entrance/exit to ensure enforcement and a store associate will be assigned to the doors to manage traffic.’ [WUSA9]
Center For Alexandria’s Children Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month — “Raise awareness and show your support for Child Abuse Prevention Month while enjoying family time together. Download and print the board and play #PinwheelBingo with us! Continue to check back on our social media platforms throughout April for more family-friendly activities to do at home. Together we are stronger! Let’s all do our parts to protect the children in our communities. [Facebook]
The Dog Park in Old Town is Open — “Easter is coming…so don’t furget your doggy! We carry a full line of Easter toys, treats and wearables. We will be featuring a new item everyday for you to enjoy. We are open everyday M-S 10-6 and Sunday 11-5. We offer curbside pickup and contactless home delivery too!” [Facebook]
Fat Face Opening This Summer in Old Town — “It all began in 1988 with two guys enjoying life on the slopes in the French Alps and desperately trying to avoid working for a living. With money running out, they hatched a plan: print some sweatshirts and t-shirts, sell them at night, and ski during the day. With that simple formula, the FatFace brand was born with the name even being inspired by their favourite black mountain run in Val d’Isère, La Face.” [Alexandria Living]
Asthmatic Champion Sprinter Noah Lyles Cautious Amid Pandemic — “Professional athletes can seem superhuman, but some like US sprinter @LylesNoah are having to take extra precautions to protect themselves during the Covid-19 crisis.” [Twitter]
The Majestic Menu Available Only For Easter Sunday — “We’re so hoppy to be back 🐰 The Majestic is back for one day only and offering a chef curated, prix fixe Easter menu for four. To pre-order, call us today at 703.997.5300. All Easter meals must be picked up at Mia’s Italian Kitchen located just .5 miles from The Majestic.” [Facebook]
Mystery Del Ray Chalk Artist Creates Street Art — “The most timely message from earlier in March read: STAY SAFE WASH YOUR HANDS BE KIND along with the more philosophical quote: ‘Life is, at times, tough. All we need to do is to prove that we are tougher than it.'” [Zebra]
It’s Super Easy to Volunteer Making Face Masks — “Being over the age to help with the general public, I was frustrated about how I could serve during this crisis … until I saw my sewing machine in the closet. I sent a note to Volunteer Alexandria that simply said ‘I sew’ and before I knew it I had an order for masks. Using tea towels, items in my sewing basket, and patterns found online I turned my dining room into a production line. As I handed over my first batch of masks, I was thinking how today’s technology merged with an old fashioned skill will hopefully keep people safer.” -Ivy, Sewer of Masks [Facebook]
At Home in Alexandria Gets Homemade Face Masks — “Several of our wonderful members have dusted off their sewing machines and have gotten to work. Our AHA [At Home in Alexandria] members are in their 60’s, their 70’s, their 80’s and their 90’s. They are the most vulnerable among us right now, and while we have had to pause our full range of services and events momentarily, we still have volunteers shopping for groceries and delivering necessities for our members to keep them safe at home.” [Facebook]
Police Receive Face Mask Donations — “Thank you so much American Uniform Sales, Inc. for these donated cloth face coverings. The Alexandria Police Department is really grateful, and glad to add these to our uniforms.” [Twitter]
Lee-Fendall House Easter Egg Hunt Goes Virtual — “The first five people to find all of the eggs will receive a family pass to visit the museum and a Lee-Fendall chocolate bar. Both can be redeemed when the property reopens later this year.” [Alexandria Living]
Alexandria Chamber of Commerce List of Business Updates — Here’s a list of more than 100 restaurants, retail shops and other businesses in the city, including deals and hours of operation. [Chamber of Commerce]
Free Online Therapist-Led Support Group Tonight — “Join us on Sunday and Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm to 8:00pm via zoom to connect with others, share resources, and to chat about this wild rollercoaster ride of life. We will limit the group to under 10 per meeting. Please RSVP for each event. We hope to see you there!” [Facebook]
Valor Awards Postponed, No Date Set — “Please be advised, the Valor Awards will be postponed to a later date given these unprecedented times. We will be updating the event date once confirmed and alert registered attendees and sponsors directly. We look forward to honoring these exceptional individuals for their tremendous sacrifices to our community.” [Chamber of Commerce]
Alexandria Hospital Reminds Residents to Monitor Stroke Symptoms — “During these unprecedented times, we understand that there is concern about entering a hospital…If you or someone you know is experiencing a serious life threatening emergency, such as a stroke, we urge community members to call 9-1-1 and activate an emergency response team to evaluate and provide further resources.” [Facebook]
Senior Communities Taking Extra Precautions — “In Alexandria specifically, we are screening visitors as they come in the door. We’re checking temperatures, [and] doing questionnaire work.” [WAMU]
NOVA Shifts to Remote Learning — “With growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, Northern Virginia Community College, NOVA, is shifting to remote learning for all students beginning March 18. All classes will be cancelled March 16-17 to allow for the transition, according to a statement from the school.” [InsideNova]
Lost Boy Cider Posts Covid-19 Protocol — The microbrewery posted on social media a number of measures it’s taking to protect customers from the coronavirus, including a “Fresh air intake system [not recirculating],” and the assurance that all surfaces are being cleaned with anti-viral agents per shift. [Instagram]
Senior Services of Alexandria Gala Postponed — “SSA’s top concern in all things is the health and well-being of Alexandria’s older adults and those who support them. We feel that any risk, no matter how small, is not worth the potential consequences given the populations we serve.” [Zebra]
Chamber Extends 40 Under 40 Deadline — The annual program recognizes 40 outstanding leaders and innovators under the age of 40 living or working in the city, and the nomination deadline has been extended from March 13 to March 20, 2020. [Chamber of Commerce]
Port City Brewery in Running For USA Today’s Top 10 — “We have been nominated by @USATODAY for #BestBreweryTour on the @10best list! Help us secure our spot and be named one of the 10 Best Brewery Tours in the USA! Voting ends March 17!!” [Twitter]
Alexandria Students Awarded By C-SPAN — “Amal Sharif, Alex Conkey and Ben Janusz, students at T.C. Williams High School are honorable mention winners and will receive $250 for the documentary, ‘Which Side of the Story Will You Be On?’ about asylum seekers. Andrew Caslow, a student at Episcopal High School, is an honorable mention winner and will receive $250 for the documentary, ‘America in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.'” [Zebra]
The coronavirus is coming to Alexandria, if it’s not here already, and the Alexandria Health Department is asking residents to wash their hands and to be mindful as the city prepares to keep its services running with fewer staff.
“We know we’re going to get it here. It’s just a matter of time when we get it here,” Alexandria Health Department Director Dr. Stephen Haering told city council on Tuesday night.
“I think everybody needs to… practice new hand hygiene instead of shaking hands,” Haering added. “Some other gesture is one way to keep our hands clean.”
The city announced last night that a person who tested positive for the coronavirus recently spent time in a chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary.
“The majority of the people that would have been in the chapel are just being advised to self-monitor for fever, cough, shortness of breath,” Haering said.
City Manager Mark Jinks said Alexandria has banned city-related overnight travel and is asking residents to do their business with city hall over the phone or computer.
“We don’t need our folks exposed and have them expose our employees when they come back,” he said. “We’re working through how to basically manage the city government, keep it open and keep its services going. But we figure we’re probably going to have to do so with with with less staff, and less staff actually front and center here on a day-to-day basis.”
“It’s in everybody’s interest that we have basically less face-to-face interaction,” Jinks added.
Haering conducted a web conference with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday morning, and said that the city is working to slow the spread of the virus until there is a vaccine.
“We know that won’t happen… before December, in terms of a vaccine, and more likely next spring,” Haering said. “Our goal is really to mitigate the impact that this will have on our community throughout the United States. So that way, we can protect those most at risk.”
Bill Blackburn of the Homegrown Restaurant Group employs more than 150 people and participated in the web conference. He said that his businesses, which include Pork Barrel BBQ and Holy Cow Del Ray, have not yet been impacted.
“We share the concerns with the community, and this is something we are not taking lightly,” Blackburn said. “We are ramping up our sanitation practices, which includes increased handwashing and glove use for employees, and a contact surface cleaning program with commonly shared surfaces — door knobs, handles, touch screens, counters and other commonly touched surfaces and areas.”
“We also are explicitly reminding our employees if they are showing symptoms that they are not to come to work,” Blackburn added. “If they do have an employee that contracts the virus, we will financially compensate that individual until they are cleared to come to work.”
Fire Chief Corey Smedley conducted a department-wide situational awareness conference call with staff on coronavirus on Tuesday evening.
“We have policies and procedures on how many consecutive hours personnel can work,” Smedley said. “We have policies and procedures for call-backs in the event that staffing levels go below where they should be. We can alter our normal response patterns based on what the parameters that we’re dealing with. So, there are many options for us to ensure that we have the adequate staffing, we’re meeting the community’s expectation, and where we’re concerned and preparing for the quality of life of our first responders.”
The city will conduct an online virtual information session on Thursday from 8-9 p.m.
Questions About Homicide Arrest at T.C. — “Because Aly’s arrest was part of an ongoing criminal investigation, Virginia State Police, the lead law enforcement agency on the case, haven’t released details about his connection to the crime. But some parents and students have sought answers to different questions: Why did the arrest take place at school, and what happened at the school that day?” [Alexandria Times]
Rec Registration Starts Next Week — “Registration for spring and summer classes and activities offered by the City of Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18 for City residents and Friday, March 20 for nonresidents. Spring and summer registration applies to classes, leagues and activities occurring April through August 2020.” [City of Alexandria]
Controlled Burn Leads to Hazy Sunday — Across much of the D.C. area Sunday afternoon, smoke from a controlled burn at Marine Corps Base Quantico led to temporary hazy conditions outside and a “campfire” smell. [ARLnow]
“Moonlight and Magnolias” at Little Theatre Until March 21 — “It’s Hollywood, 1939. Legendary film producer David O. Selznick is five weeks into shooting ‘Gone with the Wind’ when he realizes the script is awful and the director doesn’t have a clue. He has a few short days to replace them and restart shooting or the production will shut down.” [Gazette]
Nominations Open For Chamber of Commerce’s 40 Under 40 — “The 40 under 40 class celebrate 40 outstanding leaders and innovators who either live or work within the city of Alexandria. The nomination period closes March 13, 2020. Go to www.thechamberalx.com/young-leaders-network.html to nominate a leader for this honor.” [Alexandria Living]
(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) Last week the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce unveiled a new look for the brand that includes a shift towards “ALX” as a moniker for Alexandria, like all the cool kids are doing.
At a meeting on Dec. 10, the group unveiled a new logo that shortens the organization’s monicker to The Chamber ALX.
ALX is not a new abbreviation for Alexandria — it’s the Amtrak designation, for one. It is also used by the coworking company ALX Community, which just launched another new location on the waterfront. (ALXnow.com, for the record, was first registered by our parent company in May 2013, six years before our Oct. 1 launch.)
The Chamber says the new logo reflects a more modern stance for the long-time local business advocacy organization, which was founded in 1906 and has has more than 800 members.
“In 2020 you’ll see a transformation at the Chamber, from the look and feel of our events to advocacy opportunities and how we engage online,” the organization said in a video. “Our new brand represents your unique path to achieving your business goals.”
The organization described the new logo as bringing “Alexandria’s legacy into the present.”
Photo courtesy Alexandria Chamber of Commerce
Suit Filed Over Chicken Slaughterhouse — “The drama over the halal poultry butcher shop coming to Alexandria did not end when city council approved the business’ special use permit on March 26… About a month after the SUP approval, 10 businesses and residents filed a lawsuit against the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria City Council over the decision.” [Alexandria Times]
FBI Releases 2018 Crime Stats — “In Alexandria, violent crime fell from 262 to 260. That includes four murders and nonnegligent manslaughters, down from six in the previous year. Alexandria had 2,482 property crimes total in 2018, the same number reported in 2017.” [Patch]
Saturday: Hispanic Heritage Fiesta — “Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with music, crafts, food, dance and face painting! All ages. Children under age 8 must remain with their adult at all times.” [Alexandria Library]
Update on First Phase of VT Campus — “Virginia Tech is looking to start building the first part of its $1 billion innovation campus — a 300,000-square-foot academic building — by August 2021… The design for the school is expected to be finished by September of next year. The estimated total cost for the building: $275 million.” [Washington Business Journal]
Sentencing for Robbery Suspect — “A man involved in an armed burglary and robbery at a veteran’s home in Alexandria has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.” [Patch]
Chamber Fetes Top Local Businesses — “The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce held its annual Best in Business Awards, presented by Burke & Herbert Bank, at The Westin Alexandria last night to recognize and celebrate the city’s top businesses.” [Alexandria Times]