Alexandria, VA

Alexandria Police are making preparations in case the unrest from the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden spills into the city.

Last night, Police Chief Michael L. Brown updated City Council on plans to keep Alexandria safe during inauguration week. Brown said that the siege on the Capitol on Jan. 6 was a tragic event where five people lost their lives, and that he has participated in conversations with his regional counterparts and the assistant director of the Washington field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“We have a civil demonstration unit, which we’re prepared to deploy if we need to,” Brown said. “But let me assure you at this point we have nothing to suggest that there’s going to be anything in the city.”

Brown anticipates activity in the city this weekend, and has canceled training and leave for his officers during inauguration week, in addition to putting detectives in uniform.

“There’s a lot that’s going on,” Brown said. ‘It will change a lot over the next 48 hours. We anticipate that there may be some activity this weekend, and if we do we’ll certainly share with the community to the extent that they can be prepared.”

A 6 p.m. curfew was imposed on Alexandria and Arlington by the governor on Jan. 6 at the request of the jurisdictions, a move which Mayor Justin Wilson said led to a quiet night in Alexandria. Some protestors were staying in hotels in Alexandria, and were on the police department’s radar.

“We also thank the governor’s office for for quickly reacting on Wednesday on our request, in partnership with, with our friends at Arlington County,” Wilson said. “They moved very quickly to react and adjust and support the concerns that we had in Alexandra and Arlington, and I think it enabled a very quiet evening in both jurisdictions.”

Brown said that in case incidents do occur in the city and mutual aid is needed that law enforcement resources will be shared with Alexandria.

“We have been receiving intelligence information and it’s been changing rapidly, certainly in the last 24 to 36 hours,” Brown said.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Offers Condolences to Family of Fallen Capitol Officer — “Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick gave his life in the line of duty to keep us safe. I mourn his loss, and I send my deepest condolences to his family.” [Twitter]

Governor Making State of Commonwealth Speech Tonight — “Tune in tomorrow at 7:00 PM for my 2021 State of the Commonwealth address.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Sheriff’s Department Mourns Fairfax County Sheriff’s Deputy to COVID-19 — “Our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Sergeant Frederick “Butch” Cameron and to our brothers and sisters at the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office. We are so very sorry.” [Twitter]

Local Businesses Urged to Register with Health Department for Vaccine Schedule — “Have questions about vaccine distribution? #AlexandriaVA businesses that employ essential personnel are encouraged to register with the Alexandria Health Department so they can be alerted when the vaccine is available for their workers.” [Twitter]

Palestinian Roasted Chicken Restaurant Coming to Alexandria — “The rotisserie-style halal chicken with skin that snaps is brined for 24 hours, then coated with allspice, sumac, cumin, fenugreek, and cardamom before going into a specialty oven imported from Lebanon. Shababi is a takeout-only “ghost restaurant” operating out of Roro’s Modern Lebanese restaurant in Alexandria.” [Washington City Paper]

Alexandria Times Celebrates One Year of Podcasting — “In 2020, the Alexandria Times launched its first podcast, Speak Easy, and over the last year reporter-turned-managing-editor Cody Mello-Klein has spoken with the people who make Alexandria tick.” [Alex Times]

Today’s Weather — “Sunny skies (during the day). High near 50F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph… A few clouds overnight. Low 29F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: High Volume Servers —  “We are BLESSED to Be BUSY! We are searching for Experienced Servers to join our Team at Vola’s Dockside in OLD TOWN! [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Governor Recommends Staying Away From D.C. on Inauguration Day — “This afternoon, I spoke with @MayorBowser and @GovLarryHogan as we prepare for the upcoming inauguration. Virginia currently has 2,000 @VaNationalGuard members in Washington, D.C. to help protect the U.S. Capitol and keep the peace–and we will be there as long as we are needed.” [Twitter]

Beyer Calls for House Minority Leader McCarthy to Resign over Capitol Siege — “After terrorists shed blood in our Capitol, Kevin McCarthy went to the House Floor and led the renewed attack on our democracy. He echoed Trump’s incendiary lies and dehumanizing attacks on political opponents, and now claims to oppose ‘division?’ No. Kevin McCarthy must resign.” [Beyer.house.gov]

Man Shot on Quaker Hill Drive on Monday — “The shooting occurred in the 1100 block of Quaker Hill Drive around 6 a.m. The victim was shot multiple times and went to the 7-Eleven in the 3000 block of Duke Street to call 911. The victim was taken to the hospital. There was no initial information on a suspect.” [Patch]

Nothing Bundt Cakes to Open First Alexandria Bakery — “The bakery will open at 4553 Duke St., replacing a Subway sandwich shop in the Shoppes at Foxchase in Alexandria’s West End.” [Alexandria Living]

DASH Poetry Contest Deadline February 12 — “This morning the City of Alexandria and Alexandria Transit Company announced that submissions are being accepted for the eighth annual “DASHing Words in Motion” poetry contest. Writers aged 16 years or older are invited to submit a poem if they live, work, or study in Alexandria.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — “Sunny (during the day). High 49F. Winds light and variable… Clear (in the evening). Low 28F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Gelato Scooper, Barista — “Dolci Gelati is a coffee and gelato shop located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. We are a charismatic, high-energy, people-oriented team seeking to add additional team members with both weekday and weekend availability. Full-time and part-time available.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria Police are working with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on investigating the steep uptick in gunfire incidents that have wounded city residents and terrorized communities.

There was a 49% increase in shots fired calls for service in 2020 over 2019. Over the weekend, APD released figures showing 57 incidents in 2020 versus the 37 incidents the previous year.

APD reported arresting 20 individuals, recovering 17 guns and other evidence connected to the 2020 incidents, in addition to executing 90 search warrants. November and September tied with 11 reported shots fired incidents last year, while the most peaceful months were December and February with two respective cases.

“We remain very concerned about the recent increase in firearm-related incidents in the City,” Mayor Justin Wilson told ALXnow. “Our Police Department is working aggressively to get the criminals and the weapons that are placing our community at risk off our streets. I’m pleased to see they have engaged our Federal partners to end these dangerous incidents.”

There have been two incidents of gunfire this month.

Police Chief Michael L. Brown will update City Council on the incidents at tomorrow’s (Tuesday) meeting.

“We are following every lead and working tirelessly to disrupt this criminal activity,” said Brown said in a statement. “We want to assure our community that this remains a top priority for the Police Department.”

Police mitigation efforts have included community meetings, asking the public for help and increasing their presence in the West End and Old Town North.

“To avoid jeopardizing the active investigations into these incidents, the Police Department cannot release additional details to the public at this time,” police reported.

Incidents include a barricade situation with a woman allegedly firing on police in Potomac Yard, a police shootout in Old Town North that led to the death of a suspect, and three murders.

Anyone who hears gunfire is asked to call Alexandria Police Sgt. William Taylor at 703-746-6271. Callers can remain anonymous.

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Morning Notes


Senators Kaine and Warner Urge GSA to Begin Transition Process
— “An orderly and peaceful transition process is critical as the country continues to grapple with the loss and far-reaching impacts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.'” [Twitter]

Beyer Asks Residents to Stay Home — “Being tired of the pandemic won’t make it stop, we need to be as careful as possible right now.” [Twitter]

Virtual Restaurant Touchdown Wings & Burgers Opens — “Touchdown Wings & Burgers runs out of Joe Theismann’s Restaurant. In mid-October, ARP opened Touchdown Wings & Burgers, a new brand for the organization.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Library Gets Grant for Climate Change Programming — “By receiving the grant, Alexandria Library has committed to becoming a Climate Resilience Hub.” [Zebra]

Casa Chirilagua 5K Extended to November 11 — “GREAT NEWS! Christ the King Church has extended the Casa Virtual 5K to November 11! You now have 2.5 more weeks to register and participate. This is one way you can support the Chirilagua families that face so much adversity with strength and courage. Can you help us reach our 1,000 km goal?” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Rain early…then remaining cloudy with showers in the afternoon. Morning high of 65F with temps falling to near 55. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch. Cloudy skies. Low 48F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Dog Trainer/Instructor — “Olde Towne School for Dogs, the premiere dog training company located in Alexandria, VA serving the D.C. metropolitan area, is looking to hire new full-time trainers to our high energy team in a fast-paced and dog-filled environment!” [Indeed]

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It was a historic week in Alexandria.

Alexandrians overwhelmingly helped reelect U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Congressman Don Beyer, and 80% of voters chose Democrat former Vice President Joe Biden for president over incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.

Out top story this week was election-related. It turns out that before election day several Alexandria households with Joe Biden signs were sent letters with a Northern Virginia postage mark stating that Biden is a pedophile. The Chair of the Alexandria Democratic Committee advised that anyone who receives such notes should call the police. The police, in turn, are sending along the information to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Additionally, 91 people participated in our weekly poll. This week we asked about election night plans, and 65% of respondents said they were staying home to watch the results, 24% had no eleciton night plans, 10% planned to protest that evening, and 1% were going to an election night event.

School News

Alexandria City Public Schools were back in action this week — sort of. While the ACPS opened in-person classes on Thursday, fewer than 10 students made it to class. There were about 60 students eligible to go back to school, since only kids with kindergarten through second graders with disabilities were allowed to attend Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School.

It was the first in-person public schooling in Alexandria since the pandemic shut down schools in March. ACPS plans to expand opening for all citywide special education students by December. Meanwhile, however, hundreds of parents want the school system to open and have started the #OpenACPS messaging campaign.

Also in school news, a two-year-long court battle was settled with the city and 15 Alexandria homeowners were settled regarding the addition of stadium lights to Parker-Gray Stadium at T.C. Williams High School.

The Week in Crime

The week started with news that there were two shootings in Alexandria over the weekend.

The was also the story of a 17-year-old on the run since last month after allegedly stealing a car in the West End. The juvenile, who later admitted stealing the car, was seen by the victim — a federal law enforcement officer — driving past his house, and the victim got into another of his cars and followed the suspect. The victim got the juvenile out of his car and held him at the scene until police arrived, and the juvenile left the area after being charged.

We also covered the story of the ‘Beltway Bank Bandit’. Freddie Lee McRae, 34, of Washington D.C., pleaded guilty to three counts of brandishing a firearm during a series of bank and shoe store robberies in and around Alexandria in 2018 and 2019. He will be sentenced on February 23, 2021, and faces up to life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 21 years in prison.

Health and Business

As of Friday there were 76 deaths attributed to the coronavirus in Alexandria, and the case count stands at 4,444, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Latino residents continue to lead the case count.

We also reported that longtime Del Ray staple, Al’s Steak House, is for sale since the owner passed away.

This week also saw fewer continued and initial unemployment claims in Alexandria.

Here are ALXnow’s top stories of the week in Alexandria:

  1. Alexandrians with Joe Biden Yard Signs Get Anonymous Letters Saying Biden is a Pedophile
  2. Del Ray Staple Al’s Steak House for Sale After Owner’s Death
  3. Republican Jeff Jordan Running Uphill Battle Against Incumbent Rep. Don Beyer
  4. Braddock West Project Headed to Planning Commission Later This Year
  5. Identity Released of Old Town North Suspect Killed in Shootout
  6. Soft Opening for New Chicken Joint in North Old Town Today
  7. Alexandria Parents Start #OpenACPS Sign Campaign as School System Begins Partial Reopening
  8. Juvenile Allegedly Steals Car and is Tracked Down by Victim in the West End
  9. BREAKING: Massive Power Outage Reported in Alexandria
  10. The Alexandria Drive-In Just Kicked Off an Encore Series on Halloween
  11. Did You Know: The Tall Ship Providence Encountered a Ghost Ship in 1777

Have a safe weekend!

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Democrat Don Beyer didn’t waste any time after his reelection on Tuesday to go back to bashing President Donald Trump on Twitter. With his fourth Congressional election for Virginia’s 8th District wrapped up, Beyer says he’s on pins and needles to see the results of the presidential election.

He also just tweeted that President Trump a liar who is trying to steal the election.

“I love my job,” Beyer told ALXnow. “I love the responsibilities that I have. And, you know, I work my heart out. I’m glad I get to do it for two more years, but I but I’m always very humble about it. I know there are a lot of other people who could do this job well and so I’m just determined to take this responsibility as seriously as I can and work as hard as I can.”

Beyer, a former lieutenant governor, defeated Republican Jeff Jordan to retain his seat for a fourth term. Beyer won with 76% of the vote (293,235 votes) to Jordan’s 24% (93,906 votes), according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

“I think we’re discovering yet again just how divided our country is, and it in me at least it inspires a real need to try to find ways to to heal up the divisions,” Beyer said. “One of my great hopes for Joe Biden is that he would be a healer, you know that President Trump obviously has been working on a different philosophy of dividing us, which I don’t think is good for the health of our country.”

If Democrats win the House, then Beyer will chair the Joint Economic Committee, he says.

“I’m hoping to use those two years of hearings to dive deep on the income inequality and the wealth inequality in our country,” he said. “We need to look really deeply at what the concentration of business have done to the wages of the average person. That lax antitrust enforcement has made ever more employees of  companies with wages continually pushed down.”

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Updated at 9 p.m. — U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Alexandria’s Congressman Don Beyer have won reelection.

With 2,241 of 2,285 precincts reporting, Warner appeared to be down 43% to 57% against his opponent Republican Daniel Gade, although NPR called the race for Warner shortly after polls closed.

The Associated Press called the race for Beyer at 8:10 p.m.

Beyer defeated Republican Jeff Jordan to retain his seat for a fourth term. With 141 out of 171 precincts reporting, Beyer led with 129,088 votes (71.3%) to Jordan’s 51,647 votes (28%), according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

Mayor Justin Wilson Congratulated Beyer on social media.

But it might take time to determine the outcome of some races.

“Absentee ballots may be accepted until noon on November 6th. Therefore, results are incomplete,” according to the Alexandria Office of Elections. “Results will be certified on November 16th.”

There have been 65,000 absentee ballots collected in Alexandria so far, and the deadline for the Office of Elections to count those ballots is Friday, and they have to submit the official results to the Virginia State Board of Elections by next Tuesday.

See earlier election coverage below the jump.

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It’s election day, November 3, 2020. Here’s what you need to know about voting today in Alexandria.

On the ballot for Nov. 3 is the race for president and vice president, a U.S. Senate and Congressional seat and two proposed Constitutional Amendments.

The polls opened at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. More than 50% of Alexandria voters have cast their ballots so far, and the Alexandria results and statewide results will be posted after polls close tonight.

Need a ride to vote? Both the Alexandria Democratic Committee (703-549-3367) and Alexandria GOP (571-281-7042) will drive you to the polls.

What To Expect At The Polls

Voters on November 3 should expect to find foot markers to encourage social distancing inside and outside polling precincts.

Additionally:

  • Polling officers will be separated from voters by plexiglass, and will not touch any identification
  • Voters will be required to wear face masks, and the Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps will be on-hand to make sure masks are worn properly. They will also have free masks
  • Voters who can’t go into a polling precinct can vote curbside
  • Ballots will be placed in one-time use manila folders

Polling Place Changes

See a sample ballot below the jump.

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Morning Notes

Beyer says New White House Science Report is Misinformation — “This kind of ridiculous misinformation is something you would expect to see from the government of North Korea.” [Twitter]

Senator Amy Klobuchar Attends GOTV Event in Alexandria — “Glad to join @AlexVADems, @C_Herring, @AmyJacksonVA and Councilwoman Del Pepper at an early voting event in Alexandria, Virginia for Sen. Mark Warner and VA candidates up and down the ballot. Everyone, please make a plan and go vote!” [Twitter]

New Luxury Condos Near Amazon HQ2 and Virginia Tech in Alexandria — “Just minutes from Amazon’s new HQ2 complex in Northern Virginia, The FORTIS Companies of Washington, DC has broken ground on a 138-unit luxury condominium community called Dylan. Its planned 2022 delivery coincides with the highly anticipated opening of the new Potomac Yard Metro Station, a five-minute walk from Dylan’s front door. Dylan’s spacious one- to three-bedroom condos will average 1,200 square feet and will be priced from the $600,000’s to over $1 million.” [Zebra]

Upland Park Development Gets BDAC Approval — “On Monday evening, the Beauregard Design Advisory Committee (BDAC) hosted its the final meeting to discuss Phase 1 of the Upland Park development project, giving approval to the plans to build a new townhome community.” [Alexandria Living]

Fire Department Recommends Battery-Operated Candles this Halloween — “If you have fall/Halloween decorations, use battery-operated candles in jack-o-lanterns & keep all decorations away from open flames to prevent home fires. Read more about celebrating safely & preventing the spread of COVID-19 during your festivities.” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy (during the day). High 73F. Winds light and variable. Rain showers in the evening will evolve into a more steady rain overnight. Low 59F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall near a half an inch.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Document Control Specialist — “Use knowledge of the legal process and legal terms to analyze the content of legal documents and determine the status of investigative or court proceedings; recognize documents that are missing; and work with attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants to obtain and organize documents for filing.” [Indeed]

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