Alexandria, VA

Alexandria has identified hundreds of families, older adults and kids with disabilities who are eligible to receive gifts in the Fund for Alexandria’s Child Holiday Sharing Program.

The deadline to send in gift cards and donations is November 13, and all contributions are tax-deductible.

“The holiday time can be stressful for those experiencing financial or emotional stress,” according to the city. “This is especially true for low-income families, older adults and children in foster care.”

The city identified 450 families, 100 older adults and adults with disabilities, and 120 kids in foster care who will benefit from the annual program.

“We’ve made some changes this year to keep people safe,” said Fund Coordinator Krystal Fenwick. “But one thing hasn’t changed — Our community needs to reach out and support people in need, especially during this holiday season.”

The Fund for Alexandria’s Child is asking for the following no-contact participation:

  • Sponsor children and teens in foster care, older adults and adults with disabilities, or a family by providing gift cards to designated grocery stores and businesses (learn more about guidelines around sponsorships)
  • Make a donation by credit card online to meet unfulfilled needs or wishes
  • Make a donation via check payable to “The Fund for Alexandria’s Child” or to the “DCHS Senior Fund” and mail to: Holiday Sharing Program, 2525 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301
  • Ask family, friends and colleagues to join you in sponsoring
  • Ask an employer to match your contribution
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Morning Notes

Seminary Road Sidewalk to Remain Incomplete — “VDOT denies Alexandria’s grant request for the $1 million sidewalk.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Now Has 4,077 Cases of COVID-19 — “The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 4,077, including 73 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.” [City of Alexandria]

WWII Army Nurse Marian Elcano Dies at 99 — “Elcano spent more than 40 years as a resident of Alexandria, settling in the city with her husband, Michael P. Elcano, and their five children after moving all over the world in military service.” [Alex Times]

Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities Announces Award Winners — “The Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities (ACPD), in conjunction with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, have announced the winners of their annual awards, which will be presented via prerecorded video on October 22.” [City of Alexandria]

Police Chief Reads Kids Story — “Need something to make you smile? Here is a great storytime, made for our friends at @CommunityLdgngs, and featuring our very own Chief Brown. Enjoy!” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Rain early…then remaining cloudy with showers in the afternoon. High 59F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch. Locally heavy rainfall possible. Cloudy skies early (in the evening), then partly cloudy after midnight. Low around 40F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Region Manager — “The Region Manager is responsible for overall growth, financial wellbeing, and development of the centers within their assigned area.” [Indeed]

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If you are a daycare provider or have kids in child care, the Alexandria Health Department will conduct the first of virtual two town hall meetings on the subject starting tonight (Thursday, Oct. 15) at 6 p.m.

“Guardians will be reminded of the steps they can take to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and share resources,” notes a city release.

One recommendation the city asks is for child care providers to complete an emergency child care provider registration form.

“This application is for any child care center or family day home program,” according to the city. “To date, the response has been strong. It is clear that the child care community wants to do what they can to help.”

Parents are also asked to fill out the parent child care needs registration form, and the city says it will notify families of “potential care providers that meet their needs.”

Topics of discussion include:

As of Oct. 5, there are more than 60 child care providers in the city. Over the summer, the Alexandria Emergency Child Care Collaborative and Smart Beginnings Alexandria hosted a virtual child care open house.

The next virtual town hall will be held on Monday, October 19, at 6 p.m.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Wishes Speedy Recovery, Then Refutes Trump Tweet — “We continue to hope that the President is feeling well and will recover swiftly, but it must be pointed out that this is a bunch of nonsense. None of it is true.” [Twitter]

City Offering Free COVID Tests — “In partnership with our friends at @NeighborhoodHth the City will be hosting free COVID-19 testing events every week this month throughout our City.”  [Twitter]

DASH Adding Six Electric Buses — “The buses are manufactured by New Flyer of America and Proterra.  They are 40 feet in length and rely completely on battery power rather than gasoline.” [Zebra]

Commonwealth Avenue Improvements Proposed — “A portion of Commonwealth Avenue in the Rosemont area is scheduled to be repaved in 2021, and the city is seeking feedback on improvements that could go along with it.” [Patch]

Walk to Bust Breast Cancer Goes Virtual — “This month you may notices some painted angel wings around Alexandria. These wings are part of the National Breast Center Foundation’s new Angel Wing Challenge associated with the annual Walk to Bust Breast Cancer, which looks a little different this year.” [Alexandria Living]

Recreation Centers Providing Childcare for Essential Workers — “There are currently 250 students enrolled in the full-day program at no cost to families. Many of these children have parents who are essential workers.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — “Mainly sunny (during the day). High 73F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Clear skies (at night). Low near 55F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Marketing Communications Specialist — “To be successful in this position, the Marketing Communications Specialist must demonstrate strong persuasive writing skills, strong digital layout design skills and be an overall expert in digital and social media marketing.” [Indeed]

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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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