Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

Beyer Negates Trump’s Coronavirus Claims — “Nearly 194,000 Americans have died in a pandemic Trump lied to the country about. As Dr. Gottlieb points out, the coming cold weather months bring danger of new spread of the virus. Even after seven months of this Trump still has no strategy to keep Americans safe.” [Twitter]

Former Mayor Silberberg Says Taylor Run Restoration Will Hurt Environment — “Recent soil testing from Taylor Run, analyzed by Brookside Laboratories, showed a negligible amount of phosphorous in the soil of the stream bank. Restoration of Taylor Run will therefore have a questionable impact at best on the watershed – but the restoration work will have a devastating impact on the habitat and tree canopy surrounding the stream.” [Alex Times]

Kids Who Volunteer Can Get Scholarship — “Volunteering makes a difference. Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) are recognizing the efforts Virginia youth have made to help in their communities during the pandemic.” [Zebra]

Salon Monte Opens in Old Town — “On the waterfront to cut the ribbon for @MonteDurham‘s Salon Monte! Welcome! (Insert joke about me at a hair salon—> Here)” [Twitter]

Board of Architectural Review Rejects Heritage Development — “If you’ve run out of shows on Netflix and you’re looking for some drama-filled entertainment, head to the city’s webcast archive and watch the Board of Architectural Review’s latest meeting.” [Alex Times]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy early, becoming mostly sunny in the afternoon. High near 80F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph. At night, Clear. Low 54F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Account Executive — “CareClix, a Northern Virginia based company and the world leader in the Telemedicine Space is seeking a few select individuals to join our Resellers and Independent Account Executive salesforce. Successful candidates in this position can expect first year commissions of lower middle to high six figures.” [Indeed]

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What did you do on your summer vacation? Three Alexandria kids started a new business, ThePoopBrothers, and their mission is to make easy money by picking up dog poop.

“I was walking around with my dad, and we were talking about what kind of ways to make money over the summer,” Beckett Sawyer said. “I was talking about mowing lawns and stuff, and then he suggested  picking up poop, and I started laughing because I thought it was a joke.”

It was no joke, and soon Beckett, 13, and his 14-year-old brother Sawyer and their 14-year-old friend Dante Thomas got involved. The trio founded their company about a month ago and started placing door hangers around the city.

Here’s how it works: Customers email ThePoopBrothers and the price escalates depending on how many pets you have and how far away your house is.

“It’s $10 each week, but if you want us to pick up twice each week then it’s $16, and each extra dog is about $1 extra,” Beckett said. “We use grab bags and then we’ll pick it up and then we’ll throw it away. So, it’s pretty simple, and it’s not too time consuming. It’s not too difficult, either.”

Sawyer said that business is slowing picking up.

“We don’t have like 50 clients,” he said. “I think we have four now, and we’re waiting for the advertisements to do their part, and maybe after all the press interviews we’ll get more business.”

Beckett said that he and his partners are fearless.

“We’re extremely cool,” he said. “We’re fearless in the art of picking up poop.”

Photo via ThePoopBrothers

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Morning Notes

COVID Cases in Alexandria Jump by 21 — “The latest update from the City on COVID-19: Positive tests up 21 to 3,436 in the City; 7-day Positivity Rate down to 4.0%; 1 new hospitalization; Still safer at home, wash hands, wear masks and support our essential workers.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Democratic Committee Hosting Virtual Labor Day Picnic — “Thrilled to announce that the Biden Harris campaign’s National Political Director Erin Wilson will be joining the ADC as a special guest at our Labor Day Celebration!! You will not want to miss this unique opportunity to hear from Erin about the upcoming 2020 election!” [Facebook]

Former Mayor Silberberg Laments Loss of 150-Year-Old Tree at T.C. Williams High School — “You could almost hear a collective gasp throughout the city as the news spread. It didn’t have to be this way. Almost 3,000 Alexandrians, including me, had signed a petition to save the Witness Tree, which was so aptly named by McArthur Myers…In fact, with a little more creativity, the tree could have been a focal point of the stadium’s new design. The stadium’s architects should have been far more creative in using the tree as a centerpiece for its new plaza.” [Facebook]

Beyer Says Trump Trashed George H.W. Bush For Being Shot Down in WWII“Trump referred to former President George H. W. Bush as a ‘loser’ for being shot down by the Japanese as a Navy pilot in World War II (Bush escaped capture, but eight other men shot down during the same mission were caught, tortured, and executed by Japanese soldiers).” [Twitter]

Here’s How ACPS Will Virtually Track Attendance — “Every day counts when it comes to school… (F)ind out how we’re tracking attendance and what you can do to help your child be present and ready for learning at home.” [Facebook]

Alexandria Soccer Association Starts Nine-Week Course — “The Alexandria Soccer Association introduced ASA School+, a nine-week educational program for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, according to a news release.” [Alex Times]

Story Time: Sheriff’s Deputy Reads ‘Ten Apples Up On Top’ — “We would not, could not resist another Dr. Seuss classic! So this week Deputy Sahar Sherzai is reading ‘Ten Apples Up On Top.'” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Sun and clouds mixed with a slight chance of thunderstorms during the afternoon. High 87F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%. At night, partly cloudy skies. Low 62F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Recruiting Manager — “The role of the Recruiting Manager will support the qualitative recruiting function across all aspects of qualitative market research projects including bid process, recruiting, vendor management, invoice reconciliation, through to project close process. Administrative tasks related to the function include (but not limited to); supporting the project bids process, drafting market research screeners, coordinating project scheduling between RAs and recruiting vendors, tracking of project recruiting documents and project consent forms, invoice reconciliation.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

17 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities — “The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 3,395, including 62 fatalities.” [City of Alexandria]

Beyer Says Trump Defense of Wisconsin Shooter is Purely Political — “This is why Trump is defending a person charged with murder, it’s plain as day.” [Twitter]

Program Extension Allows Alexandria Kids to Get Free Meals Until End of Year — “The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended its Free Meals for Kids program through December 31.” [City of Alexandria]

Animal Welfare League Finds Homes for 115 Pets in August — “Congratulations to the 115 animals who meet their new best friend in August, including  #100DayStayClub member Priscilla!” [Facebook]

City Giving Away Flu Shots — “Flu vaccinations are more important than ever this year! The City will be hosting two free flu shot clinics (drive-through and walk-up) to ensure all residents are vaccinated.” [Facebook]

Mayor Hosting Virtual Town Hall Tomorrow Night — “Thursday evening (September 3rd) beginning at 8 PM, I will be hosting another virtual Living Room Town Hall Meeting, now monthly! We will discuss the City’s on-going response to the COVID-19 outbreak and address any other topics you have. Please post questions and join us!” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — During the day, “Cloudy skies during the morning hours followed by scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Storms may contain strong gusty winds. High 89F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.” At night, “Scattered thunderstorms in the evening. Partly cloudy skies overnight. Storms may contain strong gusty winds. Low 73F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: District Manager at Public Storage — “$117,000 annual total compensation award opportunity including base, bonus (paid quarterly), restricted stock units and stock dividends.” [Indeed]

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Starting September 8, Alexandria City Public Schools will require a new digital meal pass or family pin for anyone picking up meals at its food distribution points around the city.

The school system has given away free food at more than a dozen schools and neighborhood popup locations for months. Up to this point, however, no registration was required and the food was free.

Now only kids on free and reduced lunches will get the meals for free. Students who don’t qualify will have to add funds to their lunch accounts via the online school cafe system, or by giving ACPS a check or money order.

“When you or your student come to pick up school meals in nutrition services staff member will scan your digital meal pass or ask for your family pin number,” according to an instructional video released on social media. “You will receive enough meals, which now include breakfast, lunch, supper and snack for each student in your family.”

Students at Cora Kelly School and William Ramsay Elementary School, which are located in Arlandria and the West End, will automatically receive free school meals, according to ACPS.

https://www.facebook.com/acpsk12/videos/651226948856885/

See all the ACPS food distribution locations below the jump.

Read More

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Alexandria is working with regional partners to determine the challenges facing families needing childcare amid the pandemic, and have released a survey to the public.

The survey, which is open until August 30, has 12 questions and asks respondents how many children they have, the hours the adults in the home work, and about the challenges facing them with childcare.

The survey is part of a collaboration between the Emergency Child Care Collaborative and Smart Beginnings Alexandria.

“The results will help the task force and local partners better understand the needs and preferences of Alexandria families as they work with child care providers to develop and provide child care offerings,” according to the city.

Families, please participate in this online survey to help assess child care needs and preferences in Alexandria during…

Posted by Department of Community & Human Services, City of Alexandria, VA on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

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Former Alexandria City Councilman Willie Bailey has done it again. Over the weekend, Bailey and a large collection of supporting organizations, groups and volunteers gave out more than 800 backpacks full of school supplies and thousands of books, with ice cream on the side.

Bailey, a deputy fire chief for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, was raised in Alexandria and says he’s just paying it forward.

“I’m just making sure these kids are able to succeed and do good and give back to society when they get old,” Bailey told ALXnow. “And that they remember what someone once did for them. That’s all.”

The distributions took place at Charles Houston Recreation Center on Saturday and outside T.C. Williams High School on Sunday.

Bailey was joined by representatives from the Alexandria Police and Fire Departments, Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the Sheriff’s office and the Departmental Progressive Club. The Alexandria nonprofit InspireLit was also on-hand and provided thousands of books for kids to take home.

ARHA representative Daynelle Diaz said that the supplies will have a major impact.

“We’ve had a lot of families that have either lost work or haven’t been able to work,” she said. “With no money coming in, this is a big relief, because even though kids are going to be online for school, they’re still going to need supplies. This is a great weight off their shoulders.”

City Councilman Canek Aguirre volunteered at the event and praised Bailey.

“My hat goes off to Willie Bailey,” he said. “Just because of the pandemic, and he doesn’t stop and he’s here to help fill an important need. We’re greatly appreciative to him for everything that he does for the city.”

Bailey also said that his annual coat drive is still happening this fall.

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The Alexandria Tutoring Consortium has launched a fundraising campaign to continue a virtual program that teaches young children how to read.

The 24-year-old nonprofit needs $22,000 to fund a leveled reading program that started after its personalized literacy tutoring program was shifted online after the pandemic hit the city in March. So far, Burke and Herbert Bank donated $1,000 to kick things off, and donations can be made on the ATC website.

“This has been a trying time,” said ATC Board Chair Yvonne Folkerts, who is also a former chair of the Alexandria School Board. “Yet despite the challenges, our tutors remained dedicated, the parents supported our virtual needs, our staff stayed true to our mission, and the students have benefitted.”

ATC, which uses a University of Virginia curriculum, was tutoring 128 students in its “Book Buddies” program last March. It was able to connect with 102 of those students when the virtual program started in late April. Now, the nonprofit estimates that 84% of those kindergarten and first graders will be reading on grade level.

With the entire school system going virtual this fall, the leveled readers will replace books that are kept in the classroom.

“Our staff has decided leveled readers are the best choice for a virtual program and therefore we intend to find the resources to provide this literacy tool for these young readers,” Folkerts said.

Photo via ATC/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Beyer Calls Out Minority Leader for Post Office Tweet — “Trump admitted he was sabotaging the US Postal Service to stop people from voting in a televised interview on FoxNews. It was even on a channel you guys actually watch.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Now Has 3,165 Cases of COVID-19 — “The latest update from the City on COVID-19: Positive tests up 19 to 3,165 in the City 7-day Positivity Rate steady at 5.8% 0 new hospitalizations Still safer at home, wash hands, wear masks and support our essential workers.” [Twitter]

Local White Collar Workers Adapt to COVID-19 — “Greg Crist is a D.C. lobbyist who used to wear suits, and go to lunch, and spend his days taking meetings on the Hill, or in his nicely appointed office at 701 Pennsylvania Ave. Now that his office is closed because of the pandemic, Crist is a man who commutes a few hundred feet from his Alexandria, Va., home to his silver Audi, where he spends much of the day taking calls in the only place where the important people on the other end of the line cannot hear his toddler son scream.” [Washington Post]

Colin Powell Was Interviewed for a Documentary in Alexandria — “Secretary Colin Powell was interviewed at the Athenaeum for a segment in “Statecraft: The Bush 41 Team”, that recently aired on PBS.” [Facebook]

Velocity Bike Cooperative Donates Bikes to Community Lodgings — “We’d like to give a special thank you to Vélocity Bicycle Cooperative for donating 15 bicycles which were given to our summer program students. We’d also like to thank our Board member, Marty Devine, for donating new bike helmets, bike locks, and bike bells for all of our summer program students. With their bikes and safety gear, our students can enjoy safe and healthy fun outdoors this summer!” [Facebook]

‘Horses Ate My Dad’ and ‘Splendid Offensive’ Headlining School of Rock Show — “This is what happens when we let students come up with their own band names. We trust that no Dads were harmed in the creation of one of the band names.” [Facebook]

The Alexandria Sock Design Contest is On — “Your sock design could become the Official Sock of Alexandria, be manufactured and go on sale at the Old Town Sock Co. in Old Town this holiday season!” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Community Alliance Needs Volunteers to Pack Care Kits — “Help us deliver 250 Care Kits by the end of summer! We’re still accepting Cleaning, Toiletry, Baby Supply, and Basic Meal kits to provide high-demand essential items to families in need in Alexandria.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 84F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. In the evening, a few clouds from time to time. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 68F. Winds light and variable. [Weather.com]

New Job: Police Officer — “You’re awake too? Perfect timing to think about a new career as a police officer. APD is holding a police test THIS FRIDAY (8/21) at APD HQ (3600 Wheeler Ave) at 2PM and 5PM.” [Twitter]

New Job: Reconstruction Estimator — “Review and evaluate cost estimates, communicates with team members regarding new and current projects. Prepare estimates and cost in detail for all products, ensure timely completion of estimates and rebuild jobs, establish and maintain working relation with homeowners and adjusters.” [Indeed]

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Fall 2020 is going to be an unusual start to the school year for all involved, but ACPS is taking some special precautions to help guide parents and students who have the additional challenge of being new to schools.

Within the Virtual+ model ACPS is pursuing, some specific measures are aimed at the school system’s new Pre-K and Kindergarten families.

For starters, the usual kindergarten prep is being replaced with what ACPS staff described as “kindergarten kickoff.”

“All kindergarten teachers who typically do K-prep are going to be making phone calls and having zoom meetings with families that have signed up for kindergarten,” staff said at a School Board meeting last Friday. “They have quesitons we’re going to ask them, like ‘does your child know their colors’ and ‘have they ever had a vision and hearing screening’ to plan for them.”

Once class lists are assigned, staff said teachers will be calling families individually to welcome them. Teachers will also be available to speak with parents during office hours.

“We’re hopeful we’re able to work this out,” staff said.

The plans for how to proceed with early childhood education recognize a common refrain school administrators have said throughout the planning process: that the online learning program is a necessity that does not reflect the best way to educate children.

“Young children benefit from positive adult-child interactions, a predictable routine, and a play-based approach to learning,” ACPS said in its Virtual+ guidelines. “Teachers support children’s learning through differentiation of instruction and by addressing students’ strengths and needs through flexible grouping, support for social-emotional and self-regulation skills, Guided Language Acquisition Development strategies (PreK-GLAD), and one-on-one instruction.”

The Virtual+ model outlined how Kindergarten and Pre-K instructors are expected to handle instruction without being able to communicate with students in-person.

“Evidence-based instructional practices will include actionable feedback, non-linguistic representations, cooperative learning, and work samples,” ACPS said. “Pictures, visuals, real objects, and physical movement will be embedded into the learning. Learning will be synchronous and asynchronous, and access to these opportunities will be facilitated by the district’s provision of tablets for each of our youngest learners. Preschool families will receive a choice board activity packet and materials kit to support and supplement teacher instruction.”

ACPS also announced as part of the changes to Pre-K care, the school system will also expand its technological distribution services to:

  • Ensure each student has a device issued to them, and that these devices will work on private and public as well as school Wi-Fi when available and if needed due to special circumstances ACPS supplied hotspot.
  • Provide PreK through 1st grade students tablets and 2nd grade through 12th grade students with chromebooks.
  • Select a central facility to streamline activities and serve as our main storage and distribution hub. Other satellite and pop-up sites will be made available for support.
  • Provide Wi-Fi and Internet Access so that families have the access that they need.

Photo via ACPS/Facebook

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Alexandria is hosting an online open house this Wednesday to try to connect local families with an affordable range of child care options.

A virtual open house is scheduled for August 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. on Zoom. Participants can register online to receive a link to the Zoom call.

“The Open House on August 18 will virtually showcase just a few of the child care options in the City,” said Robin Crawley, the city employee running the program. “Programs across the City may offer both in-person and virtual options. While programs have already established their plans for in-person programming… virtual options are being considered as we continue to hear the voices of parents and their preferences.”

Crawley said families can identify their child care needs in an online survey to prioritize care based on location, time of day, age of children and preferred structure of care.

“As COVID-19 requires additional demands on our workforce to support our health care system and essential services, child care will be a vital part of Alexandria’s response,” the city said on its website. “The Department of Community and Human Services is partnering in a local Emergency Child Care Collaborative (ECCC) to assess needs and establish a system of emergency child care accordingly.”

The collaboration is aimed at finding child care for those who have no other options, like keeping family with a relative or other safe arrangements.

“There are public and private options for child care in the City,” Crawley said. “Out of pocket costs for families fall along a continuum. For instance, there is no out of pocket costs for publicly funded child care programs like the City of Alexandria Head Start Program, The Campagna Center Early Head Start Program and  ACPS Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) Program. Some programs like Child and Family Network Centers charge only a registration fee or family co-payment based on their established mission. Creative Play School along with other programs participate in a mixed delivery approach to child care costs which helps them to leverage local, state, and family funds in order to make child care affordable.”

Crawley said the goal was to work with various child care providers to create options affordable to various income brackets.

“Through a combination of for profit and non-profit programs, the City of Alexandria is committed to making equitable, affordable and quality child care options accessible for all families regardless of income or zip code,” Crawley said.

Alexandria City Public Schools is currently also trying to put together plans to offer child care during school hours.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says House Democrats Working to Protect Postal Service — “So many of you are writing, calling, and urging us to act to protect the US Postal Service. We share your anger and frustration about what Trump is doing and your alarm about what it could mean for the election. And we ARE working to stop him.” [Twitter]

Noah and Josephus Lyles Win First and Second in 200 Meter Race in Monaco — “Lyles raised a black, fingerless-gloved right fist before getting into the blocks to win a 200m in his first international race of the season, conjuring memories of the famous 1968 Olympic podium gesture. He clocked 19.76 seconds, leading a one-two with younger brother Josephus.” [NBC Sports]

ALIVE! Gives Food to 900+ Households — “916 households received food at today’s Truck to Trunk food distribution. Thanks to everyone who made this possible- donors, volunteers, Department of Community & Human Services, City of Alexandria, VA; Volunteer Alexandria; Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, City of Alexandria, Virginia; Police Department, City of Alexandria, Virginia; Transportation & Environmental Services, City of Alexandria, Virginia and ALIVE! Staff!” [Facebook]

Monte Durham’s Salon Opening at Waterfront Next Month — “The chic boutique salon, located next door to Hotel Indigo, will feature Durham, who got his start as a hair stylist before heading down the bridal path to a hit reality TV show, TLC’s ‘Say Yes to the Dress – Atlanta.'” [Alexandria Living]

Chris Daughtry of American Idol to Play Virtual Concert for Birchmere — “Next week, Chris Daughtry presents his virtual “Live from Home Tour” on Aug. 18 to benefit 19 venues across the country, including The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia.” [WTOP]

Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. High 83F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: K-8 Teacher — “SchoolHouse is a new, innovative education startup that helps families to form Learning Pods, and matches excellent teachers with those Pods. A Pod is a group of approximately 4 – 8 students, of the same or similar grade level, who are learning, growing, and socializing together.” [Indeed]

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