Mayor: Council to Accelerate Sewer Capacity Projects — “Our ’16 Storm Sewer Capacity Analysis identified 90 areas where the system does not meet our CURRENT design standard of a 10-year storm. Our Stormwater Utility Fee was implemented in ’18 to fund capacity and environmental compliance. Council will now discuss how to accelerate.” [Facebook]
Beyer Attacks Trump’s Environmental Stance — “Trump’s climate change strategy is the same as his pandemic strategy: play it down and pretend it isn’t happening. There are a record number of named storms in the Atlantic and the west coast is on fire.” [Twitter]
Anonymous Donation Helps Expand SNAP Double Dollars Program — “A $10,000 anonymous donation to help fight food insecurity during the pandemic will help the City expand SNAP Double Dollars program, which allows SNAP customers who visit participating Alexandria farmers’ markets to receive up to $20 in double dollars to purchase eligible food products at the markets.” [Facebook]
Environmental Council of Alexandria Decries Taylor Run Restoration Plan — “We’ve got our work cut out for us to make sure that the City doesn’t continue to promote so-called “eco” policies that actually come at the expense of the environment and efforts to reverse global warming.” [Facebook]
Tall Ship Providence Sails Away for Inspections — “And, they’re off… Bright and early this morning, Providence headed out on a voyage to Georgetown, MD for a scheduled haul out and Coast Guard inspection. They’ll inspect the hull, complete any necessary maintenance, and she’ll get a new coat of bottom paint. Please join us in wishing our Captain and crew “Fair winds and following seas.” Providence will return home by the end of September. We look forward to welcoming you back aboard for tours and cruises!” [Facebook]
Classic Car Show in Old Town September 19 — “This Saturday you can head to the parking lot of the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum for a classic car show featuring a variety of Packards and other ‘orphan’ vehicles.” [Zebra]
Today’s Weather — “During the day, mainly sunny. High 73F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. At night, clear. Low 54F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Spanish Language Teacher — “You must have previous tutoring/teaching experience, and minimum Bachelor’s degree.” [Indeed]
A Quarter of Alexandria Voters Have Requested Mail-In Ballots — “Over a quarter of Alexandria’s registered voters have applied for a ballot by mail for this November’s election (!!!). Ballots will be mailed out beginning next week when in-person early voting also begins. You can apply online today for a mail ballot!” [Twitter]
Seven Alexandria Students Make National Merit Scholarship List — “Students from Alexandria area high schools have been named 2021 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, taking the first step in securing a scholarship in the competitive program.” [Patch]
Beyer Criticizes Trump for Complaining Over Scandals — “You were recorded admitting you deceived the entire country about the danger of a virus that has killed more Americans than all wars since WWII combined. Can’t lie your way out of this one.” [Twitter]
ACPS Needs Donations for School Supplies — “While this year is considerably different because of the coronavirus pandemic, students still need essential supplies. ACPS is asking for community support. However, instead of donating physical items, they request that interested parties donate funds electronically.” [Zebra]
Alexandria Police Officer Appointed to State Board — “Governor Ralph Northam announced on September 4 that he has appointed Alexandria Police Officer Bennie L. Evans to the Commonwealth of Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board.” [Facebook]
Here’s Seven Things to do in Alexandria This Fall — “Enjoy a cruise aboard the tall ship Providence or set out for the new cat café or coming-soon dog bar. Contemplate new outdoor artwork like the ‘Come Together’ mural in Old Town. Mask up and visit just-opened independent businesses including the D.C. area’s first zero-waste sustainable grocer plus the national eco-conscious brand Patagonia, coming to King Street in September. Twelve new restaurants will tempt you with takeout or outdoor seating. Don your face mask and discover what’s new in Alexandria.” [Visit Alexandria]
Workforce Development Center Offers Job Counseling — “Are you recently unemployed or want to change your career and don’t know where to start? We are now offering free one-on-one Job Search Coaching to help Alexandrians who have experienced job loss during the pandemic.” [Facebook]
Today’s Weather — “Thunderstorms likely during the day. Potential for heavy rainfall. High 83F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 80%.Thunderstorms likely in the evening. Then a chance of scattered thunderstorms later on. Low 73F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 80%.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Scholarship Fund of Alexandria Assistant Director — “The qualified applicant will be eager to support the organization’s effort to help Alexandria high school students obtain college scholarships and college and financial aid advising. This position is full-time, year-round and provides an opportunity to work in a small, dynamic, mission-driven, collegial nonprofit organization.” [Indeed]
Back in September, Scott Thomas and Natalie Puri donated their personal food to ALIVE!, and soon after the couple were volunteering for the nonprofit, driving a food truck around the city and directing food distribution efforts.
“I asked if they needed volunteers and they asked if I could drive a truck,” Thomas told ALXnow. “That was on a Tuesday. By Friday I was going on a test drive.”
Thomas, who serves full time in the U.S. Navy, now manages multiple truck-to-trunk food giveaways at Cora Kelly School and John Adams Elementary School. It’s an important job that takes up two Saturdays and up to 12 hours of their time every month (Puri directs traffic at the events), but Thomas says it’s worth it.
“I’m always glad that I did it, because I think it’s valuable,” he said. “I think it would get done without me, but I’m glad to play a part.”
ALIVE! currently needs volunteers, all of whom are vetted through Volunteer Alexandria.
Thomas has noticed a change in the clientele since the coronavirus hit the city.
“You realize people are in dire straits,” he said. “We started seeing folks in very nice cars, new suburbans, and those are $70,000. You think in your mind that one of the owners could have been a bartender and the other worked at a health club, and they could afford a car like that, but now they’re both out of a job.”
He also looks forward to the end of the pandemic and no longer wearing a face mask.
“The worst part is not see people’s faces,” he said. “There’s a fine line from being very prosperous and standing in line for food. But I can tell that they are very grateful.”
Alexandria Man Has Washington Football Team Name Trademarks — “Phillip Martin McCaulay, 61, has made dozens of submissions to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for almost a dozen potential names and other iterations of them.” [WTOP]
Police Department Celebrates 150th Birthday — “150 years of exemplary service to the citizens of Alexandria! Happy anniversary to the Alexandria Police Department founded on this day, July 15, 1870.” [Facebook]
Alexandria, Arlington Apply for Grants to Fund MV Trail Widening, King Street Improvements — “Arlington County and the City of Alexandria are applying for a pair of grants that would bring significant changes to the Mt. Vernon Trail and a portion of King Street near Fairlington.” [ARLnow]
The Heritage Development Gets Smaller — “The original proposed plan included 842 new units with parking underneath the park area. After receiving feedback and concerns about the height and mass of the original plan, the proposed number of units has been reduced to 777, with 774 parking spaces underneath the new structures.” [Alexandria Living]
Carpenter’s Shelter Gets $15K Donation — “Carpenter’s Shelter has not stopped serving the homeless during the pandemic. Recently, the organization received a $15,000 donation from the nonprofitAmerican Water Charitable Foundation and Virginia American Water.” [Zebra]
New Job: Team Member — “Toastique in Old Town, Alexandria and is seeking team members to help create smoothies, gourmet toasts, and run the POS system. Employees will be joining a team to create a fun, clean, fresh environment for a gourmet toast and juice bar in bustling Old Town! No specific skills or experience needed, but applicant must be excited to interact with customers and serve healthy, fresh food to the community.” [Indeed]
On Saturday, ALIVE! provided hundreds of hungry families with free food at it’s mid-month free food distribution at Cora Kelly School and John Adams Elementary. The nonprofit has given out three times more food on a monthly basis since the pandemic hit the city, and the only way it’s been made possible has been through the efforts of Volunteer Alexandria.
“People respond to our calls to action,” Marion Brunken, executive director of Volunteer Alexandria, told ALXnow. “Our data shows that there are three times as many volunteers before COVID that signed up to volunteer. That translates to 7,500 people.”
Many of the volunteers that dropped out from the roster at Volunteer Alexandria and ALIVE! are seniors citizens, who are restricted from donating their time since it is a health hazard. Of the 57 fatalities from the virus in Alexandria, all but one of them are above the age of 50. Consequently, no volunteers are allowed over the age of 64.
Jennifer Ayers, the executive director of ALIVE! said that there is still a need for volunteers to pack groceries for families. The nonprofit has given out hundreds of thousands of pounds of food since March.
“There is still a huge need daily to bag the groceries,” she said. “And the moratorium on evictions is expiring this month. We are still going to see evictions going up and there will be an increased need for financial support. If you have a choice between rent or food, if we can provide one of those things, we will.”
Right now, Volunteer Alexandria is looking for helpers to package 30,000 face masks (20,000 from the State Department and 10,000 from the city) to be sent out to nonprofits.
The pandemic also forced ALIVE! to temporarily shutter its furniture distribution and child care programs, and have focused on food distribution at more than a dozen locations around the city. Now after months of nonstop work, Ayers and Brunken have to motivate their staffs and keep them from burning out.
“I work every day, weird hours sometimes,” Ayers said. “I try to raise a lot of money and talk to a lot of people. Sometimes I wake up and the first thing I think about is work… My food staff is really tired and cranky. We’re working really hard.”
Photo via ALIVE!/Facebook
The Del Ray Vintage and Flea Market is Happening — “We are BEYOND excited about having our July Del Ray Vintage & Flea Market AND we are hosting the MV Big Flea! The best of both worlds … come safely shop the flea market, see our new vendors and help support Mount Vernon Community School when you purchase from the MV Big Flea booth! Saturday, July 11th from 9am-1pm.” [Facebook]
New Driving Laws Take Effect July 1 — “On Wednesday, July 1, a new law takes effect in Virginia requiring drivers to stop for pedestrians. Further, the driver may not move until the person walking in their lane has passed safely.” [Zebra]
Marijuana Decriminalized July 1 — “ON JULY 1, VIRGINIA JOINS 26 states and Washington, D.C. in ceasing to jail people for possessing small amounts of cannabis. Gov. Ralph Northam signed SB 2 into law in May. Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana will be punishable by a civil fine of up to $25 instead of a criminal charge that could mean up to 30 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. The bill prohibits employers from requiring applicants to disclose marijuana possession charges.” [Gazette]
Report: More Parents Considering Homeschooling for Their Kids — “The number of families considering homeschooling is skyrocketing according to Anne Miller, executive director of Home Educators Association of Virginia. Miller said their office has been flooded with calls from parents interested in homeschooling, and their Facebook group Homeschooling in Virginia has welcomed nearly 3,500 new members since the virus hit.” [Alexandria Living]
Sheriff’s Deputy Retires — “Our heartfelt thanks and best wishes to Master Deputy Saeed Shakoor! He is retiring after more than 26 years of dedicated service to ASO and the people of Alexandria. We’re sure going to miss you, Deputy Shakoor!” [Facebook]
Lorton Community Action Center Donates to ALIVE! — “This 788 pounds combined with other produce supports 220 food-insecure seniors in the City of Alexandria.” [Facebook]
Port City Brewing Co. Re-Releases Derecho Lager — “Derecho Lager® is named after a violent storm that barreled through the DC Metro region on June 29th, 2012, leaving the brewery without power for five days. Unable to control fermentation temperatures, a tank of freshly brewed pilsner was at risk of being lost. Realizing the beer would not meet the guidelines of a Bohemian Pilsner, we decided to experiment with the beer – keeping fermentation temperatures on the warmer side, and dry-hopping with Centennial hops. These non-traditional techniques paid off, and the result was the creation of our first American Lager!” [Facebook]
New Job: Wax Center Manager — “European Wax Center in Alexandria is currently seeking a sensational Center Manager with passion, determination and a commitment to excellence that will help take our center to new heights.” [Indeed]
ACT for Alexandria’s ACT Now COVID-19 Response Fund has now raised more than $1 million, and $910,000 has been given in grant funding to other city nonprofits.
ACT for Alexandria Executive Director Heather Peeler says that even though COVID-19 numbers are going down, the community needs are still great. The nonprofit has paused its grant request process for the month of June while it maps out its fundraising strategy for the rest of the year.
“The needs of community members are still substantial,” Peeler said. “All of our community partners are getting calls from constituents who need assistance. The health and economic impacts of the pandemic are still with us, even though I think everybody’s really geared up to get back to work. There are still many community members who are disproportionately affected and we need to continue to support them as they navigate this crisis.”
Peeler and her staff of four employees and two interns also organized and managed the Spring2ACTion fundraiser on April 15, which broke the city’s one-day giving record by raising $2.45 million for Alexandria nonprofits.
Now ACT for Alexandria is crafting a racial equity statement to guide its future priorities, and Peeler and her staff are organizing racial equity workshops. Peeler said that there is currently a waiting list of 100 people who want to attend in June and July.
Beyer Lauds Supreme Court LGBT Decision — “This is such a big step forward. Employers shouldn’t be able to fire people because of who they are or who they love. After a long and difficult struggle by activists and civil rights organization, an historic decision and a great moment for the country.” [Twitter]
Former Mayor Silberberg Marched in D.C. on Saturday — “All around me, there were poignant reminders of all that had transpired in this location in recent days and weeks — handmade signs attached to the remaining fence and bouquets of flowers. And then that evening, there was breaking news about another tragedy, this time in Atlanta. Heartbreaking.” [Facebook]
Twig Junior Auxiliary Donates $100K to Inova Alexandria Hospital — “The Twig Junior Auxiliary of Inova Alexandria Hospital presented a check for $100,000 to Dr. Rina Bansal for the Inova COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Fund during a May 22 ceremony held outside the hospital’s entrance.” [Gazette]
Feed The Fight ALX Gives Out 5K Meals to Health Care Workers — “Thank you for your continued support, and please continue to follow us in the coming months on Instagram @FeedtheFightALX. We are so grateful to all of our hospital teams and restaurant partners.” [Facebook]
City Recycles 700 Tons of Glass in First Year of Recycling Program — “The City just hit the 1-year mark for the glass recycling program. In that time, 700 tons of glass (1,410,560 lbs) has been recycled through the purple can glass drop-off program. You crushed it Alexandria!” [Facebook]
‘Mind The Mat’ Owner Gets Creative During Pandemic — “I was trying to be this super-serious fitness instructor on camera, and it was not working.” [Washington Post]
Recreation Centers Opening With Modified Schedule June 20 — “These changes are in place to follow the second phase of reopening. Senior-only hours will be introduced to help protect vulnerable persons on the community while providing an opportunity for exercise.” [Zebra]
Scholarship Fund Honoring Awardees With Individualized Social Media Posts — “We’ll be profiling a student each day this week…as they share their joy and gratitude with the Alexandria Community!” [Facebook]
Center for Alexandria’s Children Receives Face Mask Donation — “We received another donation of 100 adult masks and 100 children’s masks for our Learn & PlayGroup families! We are so grateful to Brooksie & Cas and Jenna Adams for investing so much time and energy into making so many great masks.” [Facebook]
Deal: Rent a Pedego Electric Bike, Get Second Rental Half Off — “Pedego Electric Bikes has the perfect solution for cabin fever. Rent one bike and get the second rental 50% off. Enjoy the outdoors, flowers and sunshine with the safest bikes and equipment from Pedego. This offer will be available until further notice.” [Visit Alexandria]
New Job: HR/Office Manager — “Small but busy security company in need of an experienced HR professional who can really multitask. Candidate should be comfortable screening, interviewing and on-boarding applicants.” [Indeed]
As Alexandria enters into the second phase of reopening its economy, ALIVE! is expanding its free food distributions for families in need. The nonprofit has given out hundreds of thousands of pounds of food during the pandemic.
“This is not over, people are still food insecure,” ALIVE! Executive Director Jennifer Ayers told ALXnow. “The food insecurity is real. People are still without jobs. We gave out 110,000 pounds of food in April and 127,000 pounds of food in May. Our normal monthly average is about 30,000 pounds, so we are giving away a lot of food.”
In the meantime, here are the following distributions this week:
Thursday, June 11 Food Distribution
4-5:30 p.m. Food Distribution in the Charles Houston Recreation Center parking lot
ALIVE!, in coordination with Washington Street United Methodist Church, Royal Restaurant, ARHA, and the City of Alexandria, will distribute bags of shelf-stable groceries and boxes of produce until supplies run out.
5-6 p.m. Food Distribution at Landmark Mall
ALIVE!, in partnership with World Central Kitchen and Hunger Free Alexandria, will distribute bags of shelf-stable groceries until supplies run out at Landmark Mall. People are encouraged to drive through. People who walk to the site should bring bags/carts to carry food away. Everyone is asked to observe social distancing and safety guidelines.
ALIVE! is also helping Alexandria City Public Schools with its food distribution, and food is available during the week at the following locations:
- William Ramsay Elementary School, 5700 Sanger Avenue, from 9 a.m. to noon
- Francis C. Hammond Middle School, 4646 Seminary Road, from 9 a.m. to noon
- Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, 3600 Commonwealth Avenue, from 9 a.m. to noon
- Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School, 1501 Cameron Street, from 9 a.m. to noon
- T.C. Williams High School, 3330 King Street, from 9 a.m. to noon
- Mason Apartments at South Reynolds Street, from 10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
- Brent Place Apartments at 375 South Reynolds Street, from 11:20 to 11:50 a.m.
- Ruby Tucker Family Center at 322 Tancil Court, from 10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
- Community Lodgings at 607 Notabene Drive, from 10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
- Old Towne West Apartments (parking lot) at 500 South Alfred Street, from 11:20 to 11:50 a.m.
- Corner of Florence Drive and Four Mile Road, from 10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
- The Fields of Alexandria at 4309 Duke Street, from 10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
- Bennington Crossing Apartment Homes at 441 North Armistead Street, from 11:30 a.m. to noon
Photo via Alive!/Facebook
ACT for Alexandria Calls COVID-19 a Racial Issue, Sends $900K to Nonprofits — “To work towards a community where all Alexandrians have an equal chance of living prosperous, fulfilling lives, we must work together to address systemic racism. That is a tall order. But together we can make a difference. Your support of the ACT Now COVID-19 Response Fund is an important step. That support allows our community to better respond to the needs of our neighbors facing overwhelming challenges.” [ACT for Alexandria]
Beyer Finds Fault in Indicted Fairfax County Police Officer — “This officer’s actions were unjustified, and he failed his oath to protect and serve. Body-worn camera footage clearly shows he escalated the situation with unnecessary violence against an unarmed black man.” [Twitter]
Police Disproportionately Use Force Against Black Alexandrians — ” Force is used against black males more than any other group, according to numbers compiled by the police department and acquired through a public-records request… In the most recent report, which covers 2019, 54 percent of the instances of use of force was against African Americans. That’s significantly higher than the black population in Alexandria, which is 23 percent.” [Gazette]
Alexandria Black History Museum Executive Director Makes Statement on George Floyd’s Death — “All keepers of African American heritage pledge to forever say George Floyd’s name, preserve the history he represents, and educate the public about the millions of brilliant minds lost to hate in America.” [Zebra]
Alfred Street Baptist Church Pastor Marchin in D.C. on Sunday with NAACP — “We want to personally invite ALL believers to join Pastor Wesley and the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Collaboration with the NAACP for a Prayer Walk for Peace and Justice on this Sunday, June 14 starting at 6am ET. We’re gathering at the NAAMHC and walking to the newly named Black Lives Plaza, NW in Washington, DC. Visit our website to register.” [Facebook]
Joe Theismann’s Restaurant Reopens — “The restaurant will be open for take-out and delivery via online ordering at Theismanns.com, delivery via select third-party apps, and walk-in patio dining. The restaurant will debut an adjusted menu for lunch and dinner, and will be open Sunday through Thursday from 12 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 12 – 10 p.m.” [Theismann’s]
Hundreds Sign Petition to Rename T.C. Williams High School After Petey Jones — “Additionally, we believe the name should be changed to honor one of the men who participated in giving the school that reputation, and who worked as a longtime employee at T.C. Williams High School. Petey Jones died in 2019 of prostate cancer. We believe that T.C. Williams should be renamed after him. Please sign this petition if you agree.” [Change.org]
New Job: Assistant Magazine Editor — ” Content creation and coordination for national trade association magazine, including reporting, writing, editing and contributing to monthly print edition (circulation 40,000) and weekly digital newsletters.”[Facebook]
Beyer Supports Justice In Policing Act — “George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and too many others should still be alive today, and the fact that they are not is a deep injustice that should outrage us all. We need reform now. I’m an original cosponsor of the #JusticeInPolicing Act, and look forward to helping pass it soon.” [Twitter]
Mayors and Chairs in Northern Virginia Decry Systemic Racism — “As the Mayors and Chairs of Northern Virginia, we raise our collective voices on behalf of the more than 2.5 million residents of our region to express our sorrow for the decades of injustices that have befallen the African American community in America.” [Gazette]
With Pools Closed, City Advises Against Swimming in Natural Waters — “As temperatures climb and many pools remain closed, a dip in a river, lake, or stream may be tempting, but risky, as shown by the recent drowning of a Loudoun County teen in a local creek. In addition to the potential for drowning, natural waterways may contain harmful bacteria and organisms, particularly after heavy rains or storms. Avoid swimming in natural waters for a few days after a heavy rain event; avoid swimming in muddy water of lakes, ponds and rivers; and avoid swimming in unfamiliar ponds, streams, creeks, ditches and canals.” [City of Alexandria]
City Provides Resources for Coping with Coronavirus and Social Change — “The City’s Coping with Uncertainty and Fear and Multicultural Resources: Race Based Trauma and Support in Times of Civil Strife web pages provide information and resources to help during this difficult time.” [City of Alexandria]
Former Police Chief Cook Opines on Race Relations — “We have not progressed to the point where we’ve changed our institutions. They are exactly at the place they were when I was a teenager.” [WJLA]
Trinity United Methodist Church Thanks Community for Donations — “On behalf of Trinity Church, we want to extend our gratitude to all of you who contribute to the Rising Hope Mission Church food drive! We started this food drive shortly after COVID-19 hit to try to meet some of the growing needs for food and personal hygiene items for our friends at Rising Hope Mission Church, a mission that serves communities living in poverty south of Alexandria, along the Route 1 Corridor… As of last week, we have donated 2,869 lbs. of food and donated over $1,500 of community contributions! …We will continue this food drive each Wednesday from 4-7 PM through the end of the July.” [Trinity UMC]
Board of Zoning Appeals Denies Seminary Road Sign Appeal — The BZA voted 5-1 on Monday to order the removal of the “Take Back Seminary Road #JustinsTrafficJam” sign. [City of Alexandria]
New Job: Event and Promotions Assistant — “Local event firm is currently seeking an Event & Promotions Assistant to join a rapidly growing team! This firm identifies and develops new streams of revenue for clients through on-site promotions, innovative marketing strategies and advertising campaigns with a personal touch. This is an entry-level position with fully paid training and the opportunity for growth into an executive management role after completion of training program.”
“The economic impacts our families are going to continue to be felt in the coming days, weeks and months, but we feel like it’s really important to still be there for the kids,” Beth Lovain, executive director of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, told ALXnow. “They have hopes and dreams, and the proper education will make a difference in not only their futures, but for the futures of their families.”
Lovain anticipates awarding more than $500,000 in renewal scholarships, which are for students who previously received awards through the fund, and are now in college and need additional assistance.
“We need to make sure that we’re there for them so they can count on the money so that they can graduate in four years,” she said.
The fund awarded 181 scholarships for the class of 2020 totaling $507,000. In all, the fund has awarded $16 million in college scholarships to more than 4,750 students since 1986, and the annual gala raises upward of $400,000 every year. As the numbers of students at T.C. increase every year, the number of scholarships has also increased — especially since two-thirds of the students in Alexandria’s public high school are living at or below the poverty level.
Recipients made the following video talking about what it meant for them to get a scholarship.
Photo via ACPS/Facebook