Alexandria’s Reggae band FeelFree is back on the road, and their latest single “Big Shot Man” is a political statement that took years to write.

What system are they rebelling against? The presidency of Donald Trump, which inspired musical creations that garner millions of listens.

Andrew Pfeiffer, the band’s lead singer and trombonist, said that the song’s not so much about complaining as it is an expression of what he and his bandmates felt for a while.

“It was just a response from living the last four years,” Pfeiffer said. “I mean, the chorus just says it all — ‘We love what you hate, we build what you break.'”

It’s FeelFree’s second single of 2021, and the band plans to release three or four more songs before the end of the year. The COVID shutdown meant shifting from playing 90 or so live performances a year (mostly local, with some tours) to no gigs whatsoever for the band that won the 2019 Whammy Award for Reggae Album of the Year.

“We were playing almost 90 dates a year, and we’re trying to get back to that now that the great awakening is upon us,” guitarist Evan Hulehan said. “I think it was a good reset for me. I got to take a step back and build up parts of my studio and get a little more creative and experimental.”

FeelFree will play on Friday, July 2, at Hammerheads Dockside in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; On July 3 at Riptide Pool Bar in Ocean City, Maryland; and a ticketed show at Union Stage in D.C. on Saturday, July 17.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says Trump Defense Weak During Senate Impeachment Hearing — “The House Managers established that Trump lied about the election, inspired the attackers to come to DC, directed them to the Capitol, and did nothing for hours to stop their violent attack. Senate Republicans objected, strenuously, to details of a phone call. And nothing else.” [Twitter]

CVS Starts Offering COVID-19 Vaccines in Alexandria and Fairfax County — “People interested in a vaccine are allowed to register through both the city or county health departments and through CVS at the same time, but local health department officials are pleading with people who get their vaccine through CVS to remove themselves from the health department waiting lists so others can get vaccinated faster.” [Alexandria Living]

ALIVE! Free Food Distribution Canceled — “The ALIVE! Trunk to Trunk Food Distribution scheduled for February 13 has been CANCELED due to forecasted weather conditions and the safety of residents, staff and volunteers. Instead, the distribution events will take place on February 20 at the same locations and times.” [Twitter]

Stracci Pizza Truck Brings Roman-Style Pizza to Del Ray — “Thomas Cardarelli, chef and owner of Stracci Pizza, (pronounced stráh-chee) always wanted to start something of his own — a high-tech, casual pizzeria. Then, the pandemic hit. His friend asked: ‘Why not get a food truck?'” [Alexandria Living]

Travel + Leisure Profiles Manumission Tour Company — “Explore different stories in Alexandria Virginia’s history of slaves who ran away to freedom using the underground railroad. Join us as we walk around Alexandria Virginia with John Chapman from Manumission Tours and explore some of these historical moments.” [Youtube]

Casa Chirilagua Revamps Food Pantry — “Casa Chirilagua brings access to non-perishable food items and cleaning products to the community through our pantry. With new shelving and reorganization, we can now hold hundreds of pounds of food and cleaning products. So far we’ve distributed 2,241 grocery bags of pantry items, valued at over $196,000. This could not be possible without your support!” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy with a mixture of rain and snow in the morning. Temps nearly steady in the mid to upper 30s. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 70%… Cloudy (in the evening). Low 26F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Real Estate Photographer — “Shoot anywhere from 2 to 4 properties per day.Deliver consistently excellent images up to company standards.Upload raw images to development services. Additional opportunities and pay are available for shooting night photography and weekends.” [Indeed]

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The 14th Street Bridge going into Washington, D.C. has been completely shut down, and the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office and Police Department are among the law enforcement agencies that have blocked traffic on the bridge since 6 a.m. this morning.

“We’ve never been asked to do anything like this before,” Captain Sean Casey of the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office told ALXnow. “We’re at the bridge right now. It was quite a sight this morning, because there was still plenty of traffic. We started at just before 6 a.m. securing and shutting down the bridge. You now cannot cross the 14th Street Bridge, with very few exceptions.”

It’s all part of the heightened security around the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, a direct result of the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.

Alexandria is just a participant in the U.S. Secret Service’s joint transportation plan surrounding the inauguration. Supporting agencies that have shut down bridges into the District include the Virginia State Police, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Arlington County Police, the Herndon Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

“We want to help and be a part of a regional response when it’s necessary,” Casey said. “We want to be a part of whatever we can to make the region safer.”

There are about a dozen Alexandria Sheriff’s deputies assigned to the detail, and until ordered to leave are planted at the exit for the bridge along the George Washington Memorial Parkway going northbound.

Casey said that the department could spare the deputies, as the Alexandria courthouse will be closed over the next several days.

According to the Chief Judges of the Alexandria Courthouse:

“Due to potential threats to safety of employees and the general public due to the possibility of environmental and/or transportation disruptions, and due to Sheriff’s office personnel having to assist with maintaining security in the D.C. Metropolitan area on January 19 and 20, 2021, the Chief judges declare a judicial emergency pursuant to Va. Code Section 17.1-330, and, therefore, it is hereby ordered that the Alexandria Courthouse shall be closed to the general public on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 and Wednesday, January 20, 2021. Normal court operations will resume on Thursday, January 21, 2021.

Photo via Alexandria Sheriff’s Office

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Alexandria Police are reporting no known threats to the city in the run up to the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Wednesday, Jan. 20, and the city is not planning to impose 6 p.m. curfew that night.

Mayor Justin Wilson told ALXnow that he sees no reason that a curfew will be necessary, as the Alexandria Police Department has been working closely with federal and regional law enforcement partners.

“At this point, we see no reason that will be necessary,” Wilson said. “Our police have been working closely with federal and regional partners for months to prepare for this period and I am confident they will keep our community safe.”

The city will activate its Emergency Operations Center on Jan. 20, and residents are asked to virtually observe the swearing-in of President-elect Joe Biden.

The governor imposed a 6 p.m. curfew on Alexandria and Arlington on Jan. 6 after the siege at the U.S. Capitol. The District will remain in a state of emergency until the day after Biden and Harris are inaugurated.

On Tuesday night, Police Chief Michael Brown briefed City Council on preparations in the run up to the inauguration, and said that the department’s civil demonstration unit is ready to be deployed.

Also this week, Alexandria Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker asked Alexandria hotels to cancel reservations for any members of the Proud Boys, an aggressive group that supports outgoing President Donald Trump.

See the full release from the city below the jump.

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Virginia Lieutenant Governor candidate Del. Mark Levine has joined legislators in calling for the resignation of Republican State Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) over her involvement with the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol.

“She should resign,” Levine told ALXnow. “She is saying things that aren’t true and she’s inciting violence. She’s basically attacking the foundations of our democracy, and it really disappoints me because we work together. We had a good personal relationship. I’m just very disappointed in what she’s done.”

Chase attended the rally that preceded the riot but did not participate in the attack on the Capitol building.

Chase, who is seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination, is accused of committing insurrection by the Senate Democratic Caucus and faces multiple calls for her resignation. Her Facebook account was briefly shut down after she said publicly in a video that the incident at the Capitol was the fault of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protestors, a claim that has since been disproven.

Levine, 54, announced his intent to run for Lieutenant Governor last month, and if he loses the democratic primary says that he will run for reelection for the 45th District seat that he has held since 2015. His only opponent for the 45th is Alexandria Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, who announced this week that she is running for the seat.

Levine said that Bennett-Parker did not call him about her entering the race for the 45th District.

“It’s not like the vice mayor called me and told me she was running. She didn’t,” Levine said. “I’m gonna run for lieutenant governor, because I think, frankly, what I’ve done for the 45th has been so positive that I think I can deliver for the entire state, the whole Commonwealth of Virginia, including Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax. But should I not prevail in the governor’s race, I think I’ve got a very good record to run for reelection as delegate, and obviously I hope to prevail.”

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Less than a week before the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on Jan. 20, Alexandria’s Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker is asking hotels in the city to cancel reservations for the Proud Boys.

In a letter to the Holiday Inn Alexandria-Carlyle, Bennett-Parker said that it rented rooms to members of the Proud Boys before the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol.

“It is my understanding that members of the Proud Boys, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, stayed at your hotel during their insurrection attempt earlier this month,” Bennett-Parker wrote. “These anti-democratic groups are inciting violence and must not be welcome in our city.”

On Jan. 4, a protest at the Holiday Inn was canceled for security concerns after a notification was posted on the pro-Trump site thedonald.win and a commenter said that if any Trump supporters arrived early to the hotel that “it’s time to give them a show of force.”

Bennett-Parker asked that Alexandria hotels cancel reservations with anyone associated with the group. The hotel is located one block from the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station, and reservations can be made online.

“There is another planned armed militia insurgence from January 17, 2021, through January 20, 2021,” she wrote. “Please join me in condemning these right-wing terrorists by denying them lodging at your hotel. Your actions will send a message that there is no place for hate in Alexandria. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.”

Photo via Grassroots Alexandria/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Beyer Urges Senate to Remove Trump After House Impeachment — “Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to the United States, and a menace to the Constitution. The events of the past week, my conscience, my oath of office, and my duty to the people of Northern Virginia allow no other course than to vote for his impeachment. I urge the Senate to remove him from office as swiftly as possible.” [Beyer.house.gov]

Police Seeking Alexandria Man For Assaulting Woodbridge Boy — “Ian M. Simpson is wanted after police said he attempted to strangle an 8-year-old boy during after two arguments between the two relatives.” [Patch]

Police: Business Robbed on N. Quaker Lane Wednesday Morning — “The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a robbery from a business in the 1600 block of N. Quaker Lane. It happened around 5:45am. Expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]

WATCH: Governor Northam Gives State of Commonwealth Speech — “My 2021 State of the Commonwealth address is starting–watch live.” [Twitter]

Poll Opens to Select New Names for T.C. Williams High and Matthew Maury Elementary Schools — “Between now and Jan. 27, we are asking everyone to help us whittle down names that have been suggested by our students over the last month. Don’t like any of the options you see? The community will also be given another chance to make suggestions at this time.” [Zebra]

Casa Chirilagua Gets Desk Donations from Building Momentum — “Casa Chirilagua, a non-profit serving the Arlandria neighborhood in northern Virginia near Reagan National Airport, has been one of the largest recipients and distributors of the desks. Adriana Gómez Schellhaas, executive director of Casa Chirilagua, said the non-profit has distributed over 50 desks to homes and learning centers in their community.” [USChamber.com]

Today’s Weather — “Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High near 55F. Winds light and variable… A few clouds from time to time in the evening. Low 31F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Experienced Servers at Mia’s Italian Kitchen — “We are searching for Experienced Servers to join our Team at Mia’s in OLD TOWN” [Indeed]

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A protest today (Jan. 4) outside the Holiday Inn Alexandria-Carlyle against supporters of President Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election was canceled for security concerns.

Protest organizers from Shut Down DC planned to hand out fliers and stickers and demonstrate against the Proud Boys and other Trump supporters who they call fascists and may be staying at the hotel at 2460 Eisenhower Ave. and are marching in D.C. on Wednesday.

The small event outside the hotel was canceled after a notification was posted on the pro-Trump site thedonald.win and a commenter said that if any Trump supporters arrived early that “it’s time to give them a show of force.” That comment was enough for the organizers to cancel the event.

Jonathan Krall of Grassroots Alexandria was among a handful of undeterred anti-Trump protestors who flashed signs and a banner reading, “Hey Holiday Inn — No Room For Fascists.”

“They only have to win once and our Democracy is finished,” Krall told ALXnow. “Of course they consider themselves patriots, but they are supporting Donald Trump and Donald Trump declared himself the winner of the election. And the only thing that’s keeping him from being a dictator is that the rest the government is not playing along.”

Protestor Glenn plans to march in a group against Trump in D.C. on Wednesday. The D.C. National Guard has been mobilized for the event.

“They’re stabbing and beating people up and not wearing masks,” Glenn said. “These are dangerous people.”

Photo with banner via Grassroots Alexandria/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Elderly resident rescues dog walker pinned under 500-pound headstone — “When Suzanne Dalton went out to walk her dog in Bethel Cemetery… one fall afternoon, the last thing she expected was to have a literal brush with death. After a headstone fell on her arm and pinned her to the ground, Charles Nelson, an 89-year-old Alexandria resident, came to her assistance and lifted the 500-pound stone up just enough for her to escape.” [Alex Times]

Beyer Says Trump is Being ‘Theatrical’ — “Refusing to initiate a peaceful transition of power in the middle of a deadly pandemic because he’s being theatrical.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Sheriff’s Office Reports New Phone Scam — “If you receive a call from someone saying they are from the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office (or any other Sheriff’s Office) and that you have to pay them money, hang up. Scammers will try a variety of approaches to intimidate and coerce people into giving them money. But actual sheriffs’ offices in Virginia will never call you and demand money.” [Zebra]

The Story Behind the ‘Official Sock of Alexandria’ — “Alexandria’s new official sock is being made in the USA by Living Royal and will be a high quality, soft unisex crew sock. A hundred pairs will be made initially, with the potential for more if the initial batch sells out.” [Alexandria Living]

Made In ALX Makers Market Opens — “While millions of people shop on national retail websites, it’s harder to stumble across local artists and craftspeople working right here in Alexandria. MadeinALX.com is a website and platform designed to support local artists, creators and makers and connect them to consumers.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 63F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph. Clear skies (in the evening). Low around 40F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Fingerprint Operator — “This is an entry-level, part-time position and prior experience in the field or a related field is not required. You will receive training in taking and verifying personnel fingerprints, making comparisons of rolled inked and computer image fingerprints, use of fingerprint scanning equipment, completing fingerprinting forms and submitting reports at the end of the fingerprinting session.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Man Shot to Death in Georgetown — “Officers from the Second District responded around 2:56 a.m., to the 3300 block of Water St., N.W., for the sound of gunshots. They found Franklin Hernandez Arevalo, 19, of Alexandria, Virginia suffering from a gunshot wound. D.C. Fire and EMS determined Arevalo had died and transported him later to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.” [Patch]

Beyer Says Trump Trying to Steal Election — “This is simple: Donald Trump is openly trying to steal an election he lost. He will not succeed, but we will remember who went along with it. ‘I was just following orders’ will not be accepted as an excuse for attempting to overthrow the results of an American election.” [Twitter]

ALIVE! Free Food Distribution is this Saturday — “On Sat, Nov 14, 8:30-10:30 am, @ALIVE4AlexVA will distribute food in Cora Kelly Elementary School parking lot (3600 Commonwealth Ave) and parking lot B-1 of NOVA-Alexandria Campus (3320 Bisdorf Drive; map at alive-inc.org).” [Twitter]

Free Flu Shots This Wednesday — “Now is the time to get a flu shot! The next Alexandria Inova Cares Clinic for Families FREE flu shot clinic for uninsured people is Wednesday, Nov. 11, 3-5 p.m.” [Twitter]

Virtual Alexandria Film Festival Kicks Off Nov. 12 — “There are about 50 films in this year’s festival.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s Weather — “Intervals of clouds and sunshine (during the day). Areas of patchy fog. High around 75F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Partly cloudy skies during the evening will give way to cloudy skies overnight. Slight chance of a rain shower. Low 62F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Juvenile Detention Specialist — “The Detention Specialist work involves providing direct care to detainees in the custody of the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center. The primary responsibilities for the position are to provide security, safety and care for juveniles. The Detention Specialist shall receive direct supervision by the Assistant Shift Supervisor and Shift Supervisor.” [Indeed]

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