Alexandria, VA

Alexandria has counted 72.7% of residents for the 2020 Census, and with millions of federal funding on the line the city is asking for more participation.

“As a perspective for the city We’re at 72.7% for self response rate, which means we are beating the state average of 70.6%, as well as the national average of 66.2%,” City Councilman Canek Aguirre told Council on Tuesday night.

The City Council budgeted $80,000 to encourage residents to fill out the census, since the U.S. Census Bureau estimates a loss of $20,000 in federal funding per person left uncounted over the course of the decade. An accurate count helps get federal aid, redistrict jurisdictions, gather statistics for grant applications and apportion congressional seats.

On Thursday night, a federal judge ruled that the Census deadline, which was September 30, be extended to October 31.

“Please fill out your census,” Aguirre said. “It is safe, it is easy, it is fast. It takes about five to 10 minutes.”

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Hundreds of Alexandrians, including U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) went to the polls for in-person early voting on Friday, September 18.

There were 518 cast ballots as of 12:30 p.m. at the city’s Office of Voter Registrations and Elections. There were reportedly around 50 people waiting in line for the office to open at 8 a.m.

Warner, who is running for reelection against Republican Daniel Gade, said that the long lines and turnout are indicative of the importance of this election.

More than a quarter of Alexandria’s 107,000 registered voters have already applied by mail to vote in the upcoming election.

Paul Alan Friedman, an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention for former Vice President Joe Biden, was in the front of the line to vote and said that the nation is facing a crisis.

“Trump is a barrier to our ability to tackle climate change, COVID-19, creating jobs and fixing our infrastructure in an environmentally sound way, which would address climate change and jobs,” Friedman said. “That’s why I made a special effort to be the first person to vote against Trump and Pence in Alexandria, and vote for the wonderful alternative team of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”

The ballot for the November 3 election includes races for president and vice president, one U.S. Senate seat, the 8th Congressional District and two Virginia Constitutional amendments.

The deadline to vote in-person absentee is 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 31.

IN-PERSON EARLY VOTING begins today Virginia! You have several options to vote safely and securely this year. However you choose to cast your ballot, it’s critical that you vote and make your voice heard.

Posted by Senator Mark Warner on Friday, September 18, 2020

About 500 at noon and 786 at about 2:15pm, and this line hasn’t signed in yet. Things are going steady and well for the first day of early/absentee voting in Alexandria.

Posted by Jack Powers on Friday, September 18, 2020

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Morning Notes

Beyer Co-sponsoring Legislation to Impeach U.S. Attorney General — “Accusing political opponents of “sedition” then morphing into an arch libertarian when Trump cronies are indicted. Attacking career prosecutors for doing their jobs. AG Barr is a menace to the rule of law–I’m cosponsoring legislation to begin impeachment proceedings against him.” [Twitter]

Absentee Voting Begins Today in Alexandria — “The ballot includes contests for President and Vice President of the United States, one member of the U.S. Senate, the member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 8th Congressional District, and two amendments to the Constitution of Virginia.” [Patch]

King & Rye Opens in Alexandria — “Check out @Alexandrian_VA’s new restaurant, King & Rye. This downtown restaurant opened earlier this month, and features a large outdoor patio, intimate terrace, and full bar serving specialty cocktails. The perfect location for a private event.” [Twitter]

Douglas MacArthur Elementary School Rebuild Comes in Over Budget — “City Council approved a development special use permit on Saturday for the Douglas MacArthur Modernization Project, which is currently $5 to $7 million over budget. The project, which involves demolishing the existing Douglas MacArthur Elementary School and rebuilding a new one, will increase the school’s capacity from 558 to 850 students.” [Alex Times]

Alexandria Police Conduct Deescalation Training — “Yesterday APD’s Tactical Training and Response Unit conducted officer safety and deescalation training with the Traffic Safety Section. These training’s teach ways to stabilize situations so that more time, options, and resources can be called upon.” [Twitter]

Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub Celebrates Half-Way to St. Patrick’s Day — See Irish music on a Facebook Live performance from Thursday night. [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “During the day, partly to mostly cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 74F. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph. At night, a few clouds. Low 49F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Marketing Manager — “Develop and manage strategic, comprehensive marketing campaigns for NSBA (National School Boards Association) revenue- generating products, services and events.” [Indeed]

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It’s the end of a busy week in Alexandria!

Our top story was the Del Ray car crash on Mount Vernon Avenue, and there’s some good news to report. The driver, who crashed her car due to a medical emergency, was sent home without any injuries the following day.

The city also experienced flooding after Thursday’s rainstorms, prompting the City Council to get an oral report on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stormwater management improvements. As reported, there have been more than a half dozen flood events in Alexandria this summer.

Council also received a report on the establishment of a community police review board, and sent it back for some additions. Namely, Council asked staff to include an option that would give the review board independent investigative authority, an action that prompted a police union to call the idea of the review board “superfluous.” Incidentally, crime stories are among the top articles read every week on ALXnow.

This was also the first week of the historic 2020-2021 school year, and with classes starting virtually it will be an altogether different experience than years past.

What stories impacted you this week? Let us know in the comments.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. Driver Suffers Life Threatening Injuries in Del Ray Car Crash
  2. UPDATED: Flooding Reported in Parts of City After Heavy Rain
  3. Planning Commission Approves Density Compromise Despite Outrage from Civic Associations
  4. Video: Protestors Perform ‘Die-In’ Outside Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf’s Alexandria Home
  5. Arrest Made After Shots Fired in Old Town
  6. Police Investigating Public Indecency Incidents in Del Ray
  7. Police: Three Alexandria ABC Stores Broken Into, High-End Liquor Stolen
  8. Council to Vote on Requiring Face Masks in Alexandria
  9. Just Listed in Alexandria
  10. Hundreds in ‘Trumptilla’ Boat Parade Sail Past Alexandria
  11. Alexandria Woman Uninjured in Tuesday Carjacking at Gunpoint in Potomac Yard

Have a safe weekend!

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Hundreds of boaters supporting President Trump sailed up the Potomac River on Sunday (September 6), as they took to the waves as part of the “Trumptilla” boating parades around the country.

The event saw both protestors and supporters along the waterfront as the boats sailed under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and up to the Memorial Bridge.

“For me at the end of the day it’s about freedom versus socialism,” said Matthew Truong, a former Republican Congressional candidate for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, who organized a small rally for the boaters at Jones Point Park. “What I see right now, it’s eerily similar to what happened in Vietnam before the fall of Saigon when the communists took over. All the violence, chaos, protests, a lot of crazy things — what that does is effect the minds of people.”

Virginia Delegate Mark Levine (D-45) was among the protestors who chanted, “Trump lies! People die!”

“Folks who think that Joe Biden is a socialist need to stop watching Fox News,” Levine said. “We need to take our country back. We have a president in the thrall of a Russian dictator, and doing everything he can to serve himself, and 200,000 unnecessarily dead Americans from coronavirus is not a price I’m willing to pay for anything. Every other country on the planet has handled this better than we have.”

A Nice view of the Boat Rally for Trump and Asian Pacific Americans rally support Trump on Sunday 6th September at Jones Point Park Alexrandria Virginia.

Posted by Phillips Nguyen on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Photos via courtesy Eli Wilson Photography

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For the fourth time this summer, protestors demonstrated outside the Alexandria home of acting Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf.

For the first time, however, the protestors participated in a “die-in” on the sidewalk and in the street, and said that they hope to drive Wolf and his family away from living in the city. The protestors pretended that they were dead for several minutes.

“This is a friendly, loving community. My husband and I chose it in 1990 for a reason,” said a protestor. “I don’t care what this man’s children find out about him. He deserves to be questioned by all of us.”

The protestors meet every other Sunday in front of Wolf’s North Ridge home. The first protest was organized by Shut Down DC, and the others have been organized by Alexandria residents.

“If somebody says ‘Why are these people here?’ The answer is read the Constitution,” a protestor said. “Article I of the Bill of Rights says that the people are guaranteed the right to gather peaceably, and to seek redress from the government for our grievances. That’s what we’re doing here. We’re peaceful. We’re stating what we think is wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s in front of his house, if he’s out to dinner or at his office. Wherever he is, he is a representative of the government and we have a right to gather peacefully, and expect to address those grievances. It’s very simple.”

The protestors demanded that the federal government end family separation and immigration detention practices and the suppression of protests around the country with federal troops.

“For me personally, making him uncomfortable is part of the whole plan,” a protestor said. “The migrant families who are separated at the border, the kids who are in cages, these are unscrupulous actions. He needs to think what about what his children will hear about him. He needs to think how his neighbors are perceiving him and he needs to know what it is to be made uncomfortable.”

Last month, chalk graffiti was also sprayed on the street near Wolf’s home.

Video by Taylor Brown

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It’s the end of another work week in Alexandria!

There was a lot of crime this week, as police responded to multiple shots fired incidents in the Parker Gray area on September 2. There was also another carjacking in the West End — the latest in a recent uptick that prompted Mayor Justin Wilson to ask the public for help in reducing the number of vehicle-related thefts.

But there is also some good news to report, as businesses are opening in the city despite the daily pressures of the pandemic. This week we took a look inside The Company Of Books used book store in Del Ray, and we covered the city’s new Wellness District, which is providing a number of free programs and discounts for the recently expanded Wellness Month.

Also this week, Alexandria City Public Schools cut down a 150-year-old tree to make way for a concession stand. The move was criticized by activists and former Mayor Allison Silberberg. With the destruction of the tree, the renovation project for the Parker-Gray Stadium has now officially begun.

What stories impacted you this week? Let us know in the comments.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. Alexandria Woman Uninjured in Tuesday Carjacking at Gunpoint in Potomac Yard
  2. Beatley Central Library Closed Until Further Notice Due to ‘Emergency Conditions’
  3. Police: Three Alexandria ABC Stores Broken Into, High-End Liquor Stolen
  4. Police Investigating Multiple Gunshots Fired in Parker Gray/Braddock
  5. Alexandria’s COVID Positive Testing Rate Lowest in Region
  6. Halal Slaughterhouse Construction Begins, Opening Reset to Mid-November
  7. Update: Chalk Graffiti Decrying Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf Sprayed In Front of Wrong House
  8. Braddock ‘Elizabeth’s Counter’ Last of Regional Chain After Bankruptcy Filing
  9. Police: Three Alexandria ABC Stores Broken Into, High-End Liquor Stolen
  10. North Potomac Yard Plans Going to Planning Commission, Board of Architectural Review
  11. ACPS Cuts Down 150-Year Old Tree to Make Way for Concession Stand

Have a safe weekend!

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(Update 12:00 p.m.) The graffiti, which was intended to be sprayed in front of Wolf’s home, was sprayed in front of the wrong house. It was at the same house number in the North Ridge neighborhood, but wrong street, according to city officials.

Spray chalk graffiti was discovered late Thursday night in front of the Alexandria home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

Since last month, protestors have demonstrated in front of Wolf’s home in the city’s North Ridge community.

“5,400 children tortured by Chad the Wolf,” the message read.

Alexandria Police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine said that there is a police report, and that since the chalk was sprayed on public property and washes off there was no destruction of property, but the incident could be considered vandalism. It is being removed by city officials, he said.

In 2018, protestors angry about family separations and arrests at the border also demonstrated outside the Old Town home of then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Courtesy image

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Morning Notes

Beyer Calls for Investigation Into Alleged Hatch Act Violations at Republican National Convention — “For those asking about next steps, Hatch Act violations are investigated and enforced by the Office of Special Counsel. @CongressmanRaja and I just requested such an investigation into potential violations at the Republican National Convention.” [Twitter]

King Street Development Projects Set to Break Ground — “The King Street Project, by Galena Capital Partners, is teed up for approval by the Alexandria City Council. The King Street Project includes plans for two developments in Old Town that would replace current parking lots.” [Alexandria Living]

Faith Pilgrimage Marching Through Alexandria Today — “A group or 30 religious leaders will be walking through Alexandria this week as part of a days-long walk from Charlottesville to the District.” [Alexandria Living]

National Archives Loans Alexandria Library Pieces for Women’s Suffrage Exhibit — “The celebration of the 19th Amendment continues at Alexandria Library’s Barrett Branch. On display through September 23 is an exhibit called ‘Rightfully Hers,’ on loan from the National Archives.” [Zebra]

Blood Drive Today at Lost Boy Cider — “The Inova bloodmobile will be at Lost Boys Cider (next to our headquarters at 317 Hooffs Run Drive) from 11-4!” [Facebook]

Sheriff’s Department Reads ‘I Feel Silly’ to Kids Online — “Feeling silly, excited or mad? Each day can bring different feelings. Join Deputy Alexis Turner as she reads “Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day” and then share how you’re feeling in the comments.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “During the day, mostly cloudy with a high of 93F. At night, some clouds. Low 74F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Front House Manager — “Supervises the dining room staff in proper service of residents during all meal periods. Assigns and coordinates duties of servers and hosts/hostess’. Maintains cleanliness of dining room and directs staff in the overall effective and efficient operation of the dining room.” [Indeed]

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More than a dozen protestors on Sunday demonstrated for the third time in less than a month in front of the North Ridge home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

The protestors demanded that the federal government end family separation and immigration detention practices and the deployment of federal troops around the country to quell protests.

“We are not going to let him get away with just sitting here comfortably living without shame,” shouted an unidentified protestor. “He is evil, and we are letting his neighbors know. We are telling him, and his own children will know what he does to other children.”

Wolf appeared on CNN on Sunday and told Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that DHS does not have the authority to carry out the president’s orders to counter voter fraud with the deployment of federal officers in November.

Another protestor who would not be identified said that the protests will continue every other Sunday.

“I want us to keep interrupting and upsetting the calm of people who think that they can check out their jobs on the weekend, while everyone who suffers from the consequences of those jobs don’t get any relief,” the protestor said.

The first protest was organized by Shut Down DC, and the others have been organized by Alexandria residents.

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Jeff Jordan has his work cut out for him. The Republican supports President Donald Trump, and he’s running an uphill battle against Rep. Don Beyer for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District seat, which has remained solidly in Democratic hands for the last 30 years.

Jordan, a 50-year-old retired U.S. Army Major and counterintelligence officer, spends his days as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense. He says that his opponent is a socialist, and that a vote for him is a vote for Antifa and BLM.

“We must stand together and fight this tyranny,” Jordan told ALXnow. “That fight, here in the 8th District, is against my socialist opponent, Don Beyer. For perspective, the American Conservative Union has graded my opponent more liberal than Nancy Pelosi.”

Jordan had about $39,000 in his largely self-funded campaign as of June 6, as opposed to Beyer, who had $1.4 million. His strategy is to get Republican votes, in addition to middle-of-the-road and undecided voters. He has one debate set for October, he said, although the location and time are to be determined. Beyer decimated his last two opponents at the polls, winning 76% of the vote in 2018 and 69% in 2016.

Jordan said that Trump will make cringeworthy comments, but he believes in his intentions for the country. On the coronavirus, Jordan said Trump has made mistakes, but has tried his best to manage the situation.

“At the end of the day, I support the president for four words: ‘Promises made, promises kept,'” Jordan said. “He wants to see America win, and if you have to fight some of the battles he’s had to fight, it’s not going to be nice. If you look at his tactics from the business world in New York City, that’s a tough crowd. Does he say things that I cringe at? Sure, but I think he sometimes he does that on purpose to move someone’s focus from something substantial to something trivial.”

Jordan added, “My opponent has only been there six years, but the people leading the anti-Trump charge on the left have been there decades, but they are going to blame the man who is going in there to fix the problem, the man who came in there and raised Black and Hispanic employment numbers in record numbers.”

Jordan lives in Arlington, and retired from the military in 2014. He served multiple tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, and said that he has spent decades monitoring the activities of collectivist regimes around the world.

“I see that happening here, and every night you turn on your TV and you see that people want to do away with our Constitution, with our way of government and with our way of life,” he said. “When I hear somebody say, ‘Let’s defund the police,’ that translates into my brain that they’re pro-Second Amendment. If you take away the police, who else is going to defend you?”

Posted by Jeff Jordan for Congress on Thursday, August 6, 2020

Courtesy Image 

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Dozens of protestors once again demonstrated outside the Alexandria home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Sunday, vowing to keep up the pressure with future demonstrations.

“The narrative in this country says that we are violent rioters, and we are not,” a protest leader said. “We are peaceful protesters and the violence is coming to us at the hands of the state, at the hands of mercenaries under the employ of DHS. We call them federal agents. They are contractors. These are privately employed people who don’t have accountable training.”

Two weeks ago, a group gathered outside Wolf’s North Ridge home and demanded that he take federal troops from U.S. cities experiencing unrest in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. That protest was organized by Shut Down DC, and this Sunday’s was organized by local Alexandria residents.

“We don’t have commanders in chief that we can talk to at a lower level than the very top,” a protestor said. “That’s why we’re outside Chad Wolf’s house. If we knew a bunch of other houses we could go to, we’d be there, too.”

Protestors demonstrated against the constitutionality of Operation Legend, where federal resources have been deployed to quell unrest in cities throughout the country. Once again, Wolf’s next door neighbors provided food and refreshments for protestors.

Wolf is the second DHS secretary to have protestors outside his Alexandria home. In 2018, protestors angry about family separations and arrests at the border collected outside the Old Town home of then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

“I don’t think at this point that Chad Wolf really deserves to be comfortable,” a protest organizer told ALXnow. “We want to let him know that people are watching, that we haven’t forgotten. Over time, this behavior starts to be normalized. This is not normal, and it’s very possible that we’re going to be protesting here every other weekend.”

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