Newsletter

Morning Notes

Mayor recommends residents try out slaughterhouse — “Excited to say hello to the DC Poultry Market on Colvin Street this afternoon. They’re now open and it’s wonderful to have a source for fresh, local, free-range chicken in our City. They’re open 7 days a week. Check them out!” [Facebook]

DASH unveils new 40-foot-long electric buses — “The Alexandria Transit Company DASH is committed to transitioning to an entire fleet of zero emissions vehicles. Today they moved closer to that goal with the debut of three new battery-powered electric buses.” [Zebra]

National Night Out is Tuesday night — “We look forward joining our public safety partners @AlexandriaVAFD & @AlexVASheriff to celebrate National Night Out next Tuesday, August 3. It’s a time to celebrate our community and work together to keep everyone safe & secure.” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Mainly sunny. High 83F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph… Partly cloudy skies during the evening will give way to cloudy skies overnight. Low near 65F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Keyholder at FatFace — “We want you to train, develop and lead your crew to their full potential. Act as a brand ambassador, promoting the FatFace brand and culture to our customers through your team.” [Indeed]

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(Updated 1:25 p.m.) Southbound drivers on Beauregard Street were forced to find a detour around noon today (Friday) after a burning garbage truck closed southbound lanes at the intersection with Roanoke Avenue.

The southbound lanes were closed at the intersection. Southbound lanes reopened around 1:25 p.m.

Garbage truck fires are known to happen, but AFD Senior Public Information Officer Raytevia Evans said it’s still a pretty uncommon occurrence.

https://twitter.com/AlexandriaVAPD/status/1418605591799402498

James Cullum and Vernon Miles contributed to this story. Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

220-year-old garden wall at Lee-Fendall House collapses — “About 69 tons of 220-year-old bricks are lying in a pile behind the Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden after the property’s thick, historic garden wall collapsed following a torrential downpour earlier this month. This weekend, volunteers carefully moved bricks to make space for a temporary, protective wall around the rubble — and launched a fundraising campaign for the $125,000 or more it will take to rebuild the historic structure.” [Alexandria Living]

Retiring police chief to be recognized by City Council Tuesday — Retiring Police Chief Michael Brown will be recognized Tuesday by City Council, and the city proclamation says that Brown has “dutifully served for four-and one-half years.” [ALXnow]

School Board resumes in-person meetings — “Beginning Thursday, June 17, 2021, School Board Meetings will be held in person and up to 20 members of the public may attend. (This will allow for 6-foot distancing between seats.) Please note: all those in attendance must wear a mask. Please contact the Clerk of the School Board for more information at 703-619-8316 or via email at [email protected]” [ACPS]

Fire Station 203 reopens — “The City has officially completed the new Station 203.The up-to-date facility provides better support for modern fire/EMS apparatus, equipment and operations.” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Partly cloudy (during the day). Hot. High 94F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.. Chance of an isolated thunderstorm in the evening, then variable clouds overnight with more showers at times. Low 72F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Tennis coach — “At Advantage Tennis we are looking for coaches/teachers who like working with all ages, and particularly children, for part-time and seasonal positions. These are hourly positions with potentially as much as 20-35 hours per week in the 3 busy seasons (about 9 months), at multiple locations.” [Indeed]

 

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The Alexandria Fire Department will undergo an organizational restructuring this month that will shift resources to better respond to emergencies.

“Over the past year, our team has reviewed various data including response times, call volume, response coverage and staffing to help us make a data-driven decision that will benefit our workforce and the community,” Fire Chief Corey Smedley said in a recent AFD video.

The plan goes into effect June 12, and includes the formation of battalion management teams (BMTs), where a battalion chief and EMS captain or fire captain is on duty for all three shifts for the East and West Ends of the city. The department says the plan will “improve day-to-day operations by leveraging the experience of more tenured staff to improve daily station management, proactively address personnel and facility issues, and provide professional development opportunities for newly promoted frontline supervisors.”

The Department is plagued by burnout and low morale, said Josh Turner, president of the Alexandria Fire Fighters Inc. and International Association of Firefighters Local 2141, told ALXnow.

“I think we are limited by years and years of a lack of resource allocation and lack of facilities,” Turner said. “Right now, we need another medic unit, but we don’t have a firehouse that can handle it, and obviously we’re working towards that with this new redevelopment. We have larger city problems in our small city, but we don’t necessarily have the infrastructure right now on the public safety side to deal with them adequately.”

Other changes:

  • The Technical Rescue Team will move from Station 204 to Station 209 at Potomac Yard
  • Inland Water Rescue will also relocate to Station 209 for more efficient response to possible flooding in the area
  • The Hazardous Materials Team will move to Station 210 (5255 Eisenhower Avenue) for more efficient response to the industrial park, the Norfolk Southern Ethanol Transloading Facility and easy access to the Interstate 495
  • The Marine Operations Team will relocate to Station 204 (900 Second Street) in Old Town North
  • An addition of a ladder truck at Station 203 (2801 Cameron Mills Road) in the city’s North Ridge neighborhood

“Our department transports approximately 12,000 patients each year,” said EMS Deputy Chief Brian Hricik. “With the organizational restructuring, nearly 50% of our suppression apparatus will be minimally staffed with one paramedic.”

AFD will conduct community conversations on the restructuring on Saturday, June 5, at 10 a.m.; Monday, June 7, at 2 p.m. and Thursday, June 10, at 7 p.m.

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Morning Notes

Demolition complete at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School — “It’s official, the Douglas MacArthur Elementary School of old is now fully demolished, and we are on our way to a new building, opening January 2023! Watch the construction on the project website from Skanska: https://bit.ly/3bXgncs” [Facebook]

ACPS in early stages of developing safety plan without school resource officers — “Alexandria is not alone in re-evaluating its relationship between police and schools, but it is the only Northern Virginia jurisdiction to remove SROs from schools so far.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Police Department reopens headquarters for public services — “Starting Tuesday, June 1, 2021, the lobby doors at Alexandria Police Department Headquarters are open for public access to services in the Property Section and Information Services Section (Records), as well as Public Fingerprinting services. At this time, everyone entering the building must wear a mask and check in with security staff at the front desk. The Information Services Section window will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday, the window is open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Mail-in requests are still available as an alternative. Public Fingerprinting is now available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.” [City of Alexandria]

Council candidate Kevin Harris signs pledge — On May 29, City Council candidate Kevin Harris signed the Alexandria Constituents’ Bill of Rights, joining former Mayor Allison Silberberg and Council candidates James Lewis, Bill Rossello, Florence King, Darryl Nirenberg, and Mark Leo Shiffer. [ALXnow]

Roy Rogers reopens at Belle View Shopping Center — “Located at 1506 Belle View Blvd., the restaurant closed in October 2019 following a devastating multi-alarm fire that spread along the roofline of the shopping center. An investigation by the Fairfax County Fire Marshal’s office determined that fire began in a walk-in cooler at Yido Ramen and Sushi, which had opened just days before.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s weather — “Cloudy skies (during the day). High 82F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph… Scattered showers and thunderstorms (in the evening). Low 66F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Seasonal marina dock assistant — “The Seasonal Marina Dock Assistant works on the City’s Historic Waterfront at the City Marina. The City Marina provides for recreational and commercial boating operations while receiving more than 2,000,000 visitors annually. The Marina Dock Assistant performs journey-level tasks of more than ordinary difficulty and must be able to perform heavy physical labor safely and efficiently. This position works under the immediate supervision of a lead worker who lays out the details of each specific assignment and constantly checks the work in process and upon completion; or performs routine tasks independently after initial instruction. This position performs duties under the general supervision of the Dock Master and Assistant Dock Master. A candidate selected for this temporary part time position would be expected to work varying hours per week base on the business need, not to exceed 1500 hours per calendar year.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

TikTok captures promotion for first Hispanic Alexandria Fire Department battalion chief — “‘Hi dad, it’s Nicholle,’ the voice said before listing all the other people in the room. ‘It is my honor to announce your promotion to battalion chief.'” [7News]

Emergency alert at 10 a.m. announcing 16+ eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine — “On Monday, April 19, around 10 a.m., #Virginia will be issuing a Wireless Emergency Alert System message alerting everyone 16+ that they are now eligible to register for a #COVID19 vaccine under phase 2. More information: bit.ly/3mXUfTC #VaccinateVA” [Twitter]

Police honor good samaritan who identified crash suspect — “The Alexandria Police Department honored a man and his family with the Chief of Police Award on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, for their assistance in a deadly pedestrian crash from last year.” [Twitter]

DASHing Words in Motion Poetry Bus honors 10 Alexandria Poets, Poet Laureate — “On April 15, ten local poets were honored by the Alexandria Transit Company and The City of Alexandria Office of the Arts for their poetry submissions. Their winning submissions are posted inside each bus of the entire DASH bus fleet and on the Office of Arts website.” [Zebra]

Today’s weather — “Considerable clouds early. Some decrease in clouds later in the day. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 68F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph… Clear (in the evening). Low 47F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Group fitness instructor — “This is an exciting opportunity for the right person to be an inspiring member of our team and help us to continue to share the Row House brand and experience to all people, everywhere. Coaches are hired as employees (not independent contractors) as we invest in your development and growth as a rowing-based fitness professional.” [Indeed]

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Foul play is not suspected and no injuries reported after a roof fire at a business on Tuesday night in the 5700 block of Edsall Road.

The one-alarm fire was raised at around 8:45 p.m. and was put out within 20 minutes, according to AFD Battalion Chief Chad Lallier.

“It was a small fire on the roof and the fire is still under investigation, but there was no extension to any other property and it  was contained to the roof with minor damage,” Lallier told ALXnow. “We quickly extinguished the fire, which started after a mechanical unit on top of a roof malfunctioned.”

The fire briefly shut down the intersection of Edsall Road and Van Dorn Street, and the roadways have since reopened.

Map via Google Maps

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It was a cold and snowy week in Alexandria.

Our top story this week was on plans to redevelop the GenOn power plant in Old Town North. It looks like deconstruction of the plant will start in 2023 and developers are looking at converting it into an urban, mixed-use property with housing.

The short work week started with news that Alexandria reached 10,000 cases of COVID-19. The latest figures show that there are 10,113 cases and 104 total deaths in the city, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The city’s seven-day moving average is now 35.1 cases.

A 49-year-old homeless woman was found dead in Arlandria on Tuesday morning, and the mayor told us that homelessness is on the rise in the city. ALXnow is following up with the city on the issue.

Tuesday morning also brought news that Alexandria City Councilman Mo Seifeldein abandoned his run for mayor and will not seek reelection to council. Seifeldein was hired as a trial lawyer by the U.S. Department of Labor in Jan. 2020, and while he can finish out his term on council, he can not run unless he files as an independent candidate.

In other election news, the race for city council is starting to get crowded, as Bill Rossello, a co-founder of the Bring Integrity Back to Alexandria Facebook Group, just threw his hat into the ring.

On the vaccine front, the waiting list has surpassed 45,000 and it may be until late summer that the vaccine is widely available in the city. On Thursday, Mayor Justin Wilson also asked the governor to open vaccine eligibility for restaurant, personal care and retail workers.

More than 200 people responded to this week’s poll on power outages. There have been a number of outages over tha last year, and 73% of respondents reported experiencing an outage, while 26% report that their homes haven’t been impacted.

In case you missed them, here are some other important stories this week:

Here are our top stories of the week in Alexandria:

  1. Developers Lay Out Multi-Year Timeline for GenOn Plant Redevelopment
  2. BREAKING: Homeless Woman Found Dead on Mount Vernon Avenue
  3. Alexandria Boxer Troy Isley Goes Pro With Big Fight Next Week
  4. Seifeldein Not Running for Mayor, Leaving Alexandria City Council
  5. ALXnow’s Top Stories this Week in Alexandria
  6. Director of Finance: Alexandria’s Real Estate Assessments Are a ‘Tale of Two Markets’
  7. Local Business Owner Robbed of Car While Pumping Gas at Old Town Gas Station
  8. Torpedo Factory Overhaul Heads to City Council Next Month
  9. Snow: Up to 6 Inches of Snow and Ice Expected in Alexandria
  10. BREAKING: Alexandria Police Investigate Second Car Stolen While Owner Pumps Gas
  11. Local Facebook Watchdog Group Founder Bill Rossello Announces Run for City Council

Have a safe weekend!

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Six people in three rowhouses in Parkfairfax were displaced from their homes Thursday morning after an electrical malfunction in a bathroom exhaust fan, according to the Alexandria Fire Department.

Fire damage was contained to the bathroom of the home, which is the 1600 block of Preston Road. Damage was estimated at $80,000. The rowhouses share walls and neighbors from two other homes were affected by smoke and were displaced.

The smoke alarm in the damaged home went off just after 8 a.m. and a small fire was quickly extinguished, according to Alexandria Fire Department spokesperson Raytevia Evans.

“Six people total were displaced from three of the three units in that row,” Evans told ALXnow. “We asked them if they would like assistance from Red Cross, but they were able to find accommodations on their own.”

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says Images of Capitol Siege Should be Viewed by Everyone — “These images of one of the darkest days in our nation’s history are disturbing. But these things happened, and we cannot erase these events, their causes, or their meaning. Everyone should watch this.” [Twitter]

Pat Malone, Cancer Survivor to ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ for 24 Hours Straight — “Patrick J. ‘Pat’ Malone, a seven-year cancer survivor, and 20-year Air Force veteran will ‘stand up to cancer’ for 24-hours straight, during his Seventh Annual Stand Up To Cancer.” [Zebra]

City Says There Was Error in Vaccine Scheduling — ” AHD has recently identified an internal process error that resulted in several hundred people within the 65-74 age group receiving appointment phone calls out of order. To ensure that no one was skipped due to this error, AHD sent emails for appointment scheduling on Sunday, February 7. Many people who have already scheduled appointments or received vaccines were contacted, and those who received the email unnecessarily should ignore it. The link cannot be used to schedule second doses and it cannot be used by others. As of February 8, AHD has contacted everyone ages 65-74 who pre-registered for their first dose by 7:30 a.m. on January 12.” [City of Alexandria]

South Alex Construction Moving Along One Year After Fire — “One year ago on Monday, a large fire caused $48 million in damages to the South Alex development, which was under construction at the time. Now, developer Combined Properties and architect, Hord Coplan Macht, are getting closer to opening, despite the setback.” [Alexandria Living]

Former Mayor Kerry Donley Endorses Alyia Gaskins for City Council — “I am happy to support Alyia as she launches he campaign for City Council. Alyia has a solid background in public finance and community activism, which will be important as she serves Alexandria on City Council. Alyia represents the enthusiasm of a new age of the Alexandria community which will be important for years to come.” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies during the afternoon. A few flurries or snow showers possible. High 43F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph… Cloudy with snow (in the evening). Low 32F. Winds light and variable. Chance of snow 80%. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Private Piano Teacher — “Old Town Music School, an old fashioned preparatory Music School in Old Town Alexandria for over 20 years, is expanding and hiring a community of professional musicians/teachers who offer a nurturing, positive and personal approach to piano lessons. Students are beginning through advanced intermediate levels. Seeking out-going, motivated and fun teachers to join our faculty.” [Indeed]

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