Newsletter

Morning Notes

Credit Union cuts ribbon on HQ in Alexandria — “United States Senate Federal Credit Union celebrated the opening of its flagship HQ branch in Alexandria with a ribbon-cutting Wednesday.” [Alexandria Living]

Weekend single tracking to impact Metro travelers in Alexandria — “Single tracking between the Braddock Road and National Airport (stations) will happen this weekend due to Potomac Yard Metro construction.” [Patch]

Shop and stroll with the Old Town Boutique District — “Pick up a passport at an Old Town Boutique District (OTBD) shop, then visit six stores to be entered to win a $500 gift card to an OTBD store of your choice, or visit twelve stores to be entered to win $1,000 gift card to an OTBD store of your choice. Stop by Hummingbird and Fontaine for a signature cocktail or mocktail during the stroll. Turn in your passport to the last store you visit. Winners will be selected on Monday, September 27. No purchase necessary to participate.” [Visit Alexandria]

Today’s weather — “A mainly sunny sky. High 74F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph… Clear skies. Low 54F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Entry-level personal fitness trainer — “We are looking for coachable, enthusiastic, and dependable people who want to enter the field of personal training. No prior fitness experience or fitness education is required! We will hire and teach you everything you need to know to become a Certified Personal Trainer with The Perfect Workout!” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Maryland cold case victim was an Alexandria resident — “An Alexandria teen was identified as the victim in a cold case killing 45 years ago. Until now, she was known as the ‘Woodlawn Jane Doe.’ The body of Margaret Fetterolf, 16, of Alexandria, Virginia was found in the 5600 block of Dogwood Road near Lorraine Park Cemetery in Woodlawn, Maryland on Sept. 12, 1976.” [Patch]

Fairfax County puts extra protections around River Farm — “The additional protections will not prevent AHS from selling River Farm, nor is it a guarantee that the land will remain undeveloped. However, it does put hurdles up against the type of dense development at River Farm that has made neighbors nervous.” [Alexandria Living]

Things to do in Arlandria — “Catch a concert from a favorite artist, enjoy Salvadorian, Peruvian and Nepalese dining and admire powerful murals in Alexandria’s Arlandria neighborhood, steps from bustling Del Ray. Also called Chirilagua, after a region of El Salvador from which many of the neighborhood’s residents hail, Arlandria even inspired a Foo Fighters song by front man and former Alexandrian Dave Grohl.” [Visit Alexandria]

Today’s weather — “Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 82F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.. Cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. Low 71F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Fitness operations manager — “The Operations Managers are dedicated to making the fitness experience at our clubs an exceptional one. They create a clean, fun and friendly environment by training and motivating their staff. They also generate revenue, keep a clean and well maintained club, all while providing great customer service.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

City phones undergoing maintenance this afternoon — “FYI: Most City government phone numbers will be unavailable 3-6pm on Wednesday, Sep 15 due to system maintenance. Emergency 9-1-1 and police non-emergency numbers will be unaffected. 311 and 703-746-4311 numbers will be unaffected.” [Twitter]

Police looking for man missing since August 28 — “Abdulkarim Godah, 36, was last seen at his home in the 300 block of Yoakum Parkway. He is described as 5 foot 10 and 150 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair.” [Patch]

Virginia Department of Health says measles cases came from Afghanistan — “Out of an abundance of caution, health districts in northern Virginia are informing people who were at various locations listed below during the specified time frames, that they may have been exposed to one of three people diagnosed with measles. These individuals recently traveled from Afghanistan as part of the United States government’s emergency evacuation efforts.” [VDH]

Today’s weather — “Partly cloudy skies (during the day). High around 90F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph… Overcast (in the evening) with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly during the evening. Low around 70F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Fitness center assistant at Northern Virginia Community College — “Under directions of the fitness center supervisor, this position will assist with the daily operations of the fitness center, provide answers to general questions, and explain policy and procedure to new/current members. Assist with opening and closing the fitness center. Check patron’s identification on daily basis. Monitor faculty, staff and students in usage of the equipment. Clean fitness center and equipment area on daily basis. Assist fitness center supervisor with intramural activities.” [Indeed]

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Five months after getting furloughed from Gold’s Gym last year, Alexandria’s D’Lontae Sewell officially launched his own personal fitness business.

After a full year in business, the Alexandria native says things are booming at Tae’s Swole Academy, as clients who might be skittish about returning to a gym full of people have been reaching out for more of a personal touch.

“I have a waitlist of clients who want to work with me,” Sewell told ALXnow. “I’m pretty much at max capacity, and I’m always trying to look for different ways to be able to get more clients on my roster.”

Sewell was the fitness manager at an area Gold’s Gym for the two-and-a-half years, and spent the last nine years managing various gyms, including LA Fitness and XSport Fitness. At the end of March 2020, though, he and his coworkers were furloughed.

“I reached out to my clientele,” Sewell said. “I realized that I most likely wouldn’t be back into work for an extended period of time, so I decided to start my own business. I was lucky enough to be able to get some gym equipment and train people outside when it came to barbell work conditioning.”

Sewell travels within three miles of Alexandria to work with clients, and also offers virtual and group workouts. He also trains at DMV Iron Gym on Eisenhower Avenue.

Sewell, a 2010 graduate of T.C. Williams High School, is a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at an early age, and although he went into remission in 2006, his medical history prevented him from joining the U.S. military to become a combat medic. Consequently, he focused on fitness, and went on to earn a degree in exercise science and therapeutic recreation from Old Dominion University and a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Norwich University.

“It’s about alleviating stress and building confidence,” he said. “It’s about having the ability to go into the store and try on clothes and feel comfortable, to go out to eat and feel comfortable with the food choices that you’re going to make for the day without feeling glum or ashamed. It’s about having the ability to play with your kids and not be out of breath.”

Courtesy photo

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Morning Notes

First ALX Fit Fair set for this Saturday — “ALX Fit Fair, a day of wellness and fitness in the Carlyle neighborhood, is set for this Saturday, Aug. 28, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. There will be opportunities from more than a dozen local gyms and fitness studios to participate in 30-minute workouts every hour during the event, with workouts ranging from yoga, pilates, dance, and gymnastics to more intense workouts like boxing and CrossFit.” [Alexandria Living]

Old Town Cocktail Week serves up creative libations next month — “A week-long celebration of all things involving cocktails will return for a second year to Old Town Alexandria. The Old Town Cocktail Week will be held Sept. 10 to 19…” [Patch]

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria looking for youth volunteers — “Know a teenager who loves animals? The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria has a new Junior Volunteer program. They are seeking participants who are 16 and 17.” [Zebra]

Today’s weather — “A mainly sunny sky (during the day). Hot and humid. High around 95F. Winds light and variable… A mostly clear sky (in the evening). Low 73F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Operations manager at bakery — “This busy location requires an experienced operator who has barista experience, training experience, performance management, and can handle the complexities of a bakery with various revenue streams. The ideal candidate has experience opening/closing the shop, developing processes and training tools as well as actively working the various positions (barista, expo, cashier, addressing service issues) through out the day. In addition to actively managing the day to day service and operations piece, the manager will be expected to work closely with the corporate chef and ownership on a regular basis to continue improving and streamlining the operation.” [Indeed]

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There are dozens of volunteering opportunities in Alexandria.

“We need hundreds of people per week,” Volunteer Alexandria Executive Director Marion Brunken told ALXnow. “More people are in need now than ever.”

Here’s Volunteer Alexandria’s list of new and upcoming opportunities.

  • Alexandria Dept. of Community and Human Services Volunteer Guardian — “Looking for individuals who can assure the well-being of an incapacitated Alexandrian living in an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Facility. Volunteer Guardians are appointed by the Court to make decisions for older Alexandria residents who have lost the capacity to understand the consequences of their decisions. The volunteer will visit the resident monthly and follow the person’s wishes as much as possible. To express interest, click HERE.”
  • ALIVE! — “Volunteers are needed to assist with multiple programs relating to their Food Program, ALIVE! House, and Alexandria Eviction Prevention Partnership Program will distribute food at Mobile Pop-ups and Truck to Trunk events, etc. Click HERE to learn about each opportunity and to register.”
  • ALIVE! Thursday Warehouse Volunteer — ALIVE! is looking for volunteers every Thursday. The role will consist of accepting deliveries, crating fruits and vegetables, shelving boxes, and all other tasks that may need to be done. Some tasks require lifting and/or moving possibly heavy items. Commitment to at least one Thursday a month is required. To express interest, click HERE.
  • Help Provide Meals to Children — “Alexandria City Public School (ACPS) will provide two days worth of breakfast and lunch meals with a snack pack free for any enrolled ACPS student on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Friday distribution will include a meal(s) for Saturday. Volunteers will meet at various schools to assist with packing boxes and loading buses with boxed meals. Then, volunteers will ride the bus along to distribute the meals while on site at a few ACPS mobile pop-up locations. Click on each location to sign up: Francis C. Hammond Middle School, Alexandria City High School, or Jefferson Houston School.”
  • ALX Fit Fair Volunteer — “Join in the ALX Fit Fair, a fun day in the park connecting the community of health and wellness businesses with fitness brands in mini-workouts and tasty samples! The event will begin at 10am and go until 2pm, but volunteers will be needed to set up an hour earlier and break down for up to 3pm. Energetic, health- focused individuals 16+ years of age who have a passion for fitness and the outdoors are needed to assist with registration, traffic control, directing people, and assigning raffle tickets. Click HERE for more information.”
  • Casa Chirilagua — “Casa Chirilagua needs volunteers to help tutor/mentor children and adults virtually and in-person during their Kids Club, Teen Club, Mentoring program, Spanish Tutor program, and Adult English Classes. To learn more click HERE.
  • Volunteer for the new DASH Network Launch — “DASH is looking for volunteers 18+ to interact and share
    information with riders about the New DASH Network during in-person pop-up events! After nearly two years of planning, outreach and community discussion, the New DASH Network is set to launch fare free on September 5th! The New DASH Network introduces more frequent, all-day service on major transit corridors in Old Town, Arlandria, Potomac Yard, Parkfairfax, the West End and the King Street corridor, and serves more low-income and minority residents. This new network will also provide access to 50,000 additional residents and nearly 25,000 additional jobs in Alexandria. Bilingual volunteers with conversational Spanish and Amharic would be a great help. All CDC mask wearing guidelines must be followed while participating in this event. To volunteer or find out more information about the new network, click HERE.”
  • Emergency Preparedness Outreach — “Help us recruit more passionate volunteers like you for our upcoming National Preparedness Month in September, our Snowbuddies Program in the winter, and all of our other emergency preparedness training programs! For more information or to sign up, click HERE.”
  • FACETS – Front Desk Volunteer at Alexandria Location — “Volunteers are needed to work at the front desk. Tasks include assisting clients, answering phone calls, receiving donations, data entry/filing, and maintaining the front desk and lobby of the office. Register HERE.”
  • Teacher positions at Friends of Guest House — “Friends of Guest House – Various Teacher Positions Dedicated volunteers needed to teach various subjects and skills classes to women. The ideal volunteer will be patient and interested in the success of these women as they further their knowledge. Volunteers are also needed to assist with vaccination pods and instruct substance abuse, addiction, and recovery classes. To register and learn more click HERE.”
  • National Preparedness Month Volunteers – “Interested in helping us plan, organize and execute events for National Preparedness Month? Join our planning team! No experience necessary just a passion for emergency preparedness. Click HERE to sign up!”
  • Repair Coach at Fixit Clinic – Kate Waller Barrett Library — The Barrett Branch Library is seeking volunteers to join in our first Fixit Clinic on Saturday, September 11 between 11am and 3pm. The Fixit Clinic is an opportunity to help your neighbors, teach skills for living all while keeping items out of the landfills and pushing against throwaway culture. We’re looking for skilled professionals and amateur craftspeople who work within the categories of small appliances, furniture, computers, electronics, clothing, jewelry, book and paper, bicycle repair and blade sharpening. Repair coaches not only will attempt to fix the items brought in, but will work with visitors to explain the process or encourage owners to attempt repairs themselves. To express interest, click HERE.
  • Create Salvation Army care packages — “We are collecting items for seniors and vulnerable populations. You can help by creating care packages from the security of your own home and safely dropping items at our locations. To express interest, click HERE.”
  • Senior Services of Alexandria’s groceries to go – “Shop for and deliver groceries every other week to home-bound seniors who live within the City of Alexandria. You will be paired with a senior, who will provide you with their grocery list. Further instructions will be provided to you once you've filled out the application, which involves a background check. To register click HERE.”
  • Senior Services of Alexandria’s Meals on Wheels — “Meals on Wheels provides meals to seniors who are unable to leave their homes to shop, or have difficulty preparing a meal, to have two healthy meals a day delivered to their homes. Click HERE to learn more and to register.”
  • Long Term Client Intake Case Workers — “Provide financial and logistical assistance to those in need of a Virginia state ID, needed to access housing, food assistance, jobs and more. While helping clients get IDs we also register them to vote and help others restore their voting rights. To register, click HERE.”
  • Space Of Her Own (SOHO) Mentoring for Girls — “SOHO is returning in-person for the 2021-2022 school year with a brand new class of 5th grade girls from under-resourced communities in Alexandria, Virginia, each waiting for a caring adult female mentor like you! Join us for an information session on either August 24 or 25 from 5:30-6:30 pm at The Art League Annex, at 1055 North Fairfax Street. To learn more, click HERE.
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Melissa Graves calls CrossFit her medicine.

Last year, though, she was forced to shut down her brick and mortar gym, CrossFit MVA at 1712 Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray. Graves and her team of a half dozen coaches kept the ship afloat with Zoom workouts, as members who stuck it out took home weight sets and medicine balls from the gym.

“It felt like a year, but it was probably only three months that we were out of this space,” Graves told ALXnow. “Even now I’m counting every day, one day at a time until we can function somewhat like normal.”

Graves says most of her clients are vaccinated against COVID-19, and those who aren’t are asked to wear face masks during the high-intensity workouts. Those workouts include weightlifting, rowing and gymnastics, and are alternately conducted inside the gym and in an outdoor tented area in the parking lot.

“I don’t like change, and I’ve never been a person that likes change,” Graves said “Being adaptable when those big changes were thrown at me really helped me to grow as a business owner and personally.”

A former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, the 44-year-old Graves started was introduced to CrossFit in 2008. She opened CrossFit MVA in 2014, and is personally ranked 86th worldwide and 63rd in the U.S. for her age group.

“When I discovered CrossFit, it literally became my medicine,” she said. “I got off antidepressants, I started eating better, I slept better, my mood changed. I was just a different person, like it literally my whole life and my personality.”

Graves continued, “The pandemic was just so tough on people mentally. So having us as an outlet every day for 45 minutes was huge for them, and I’ve heard from countless members tell me that if it wasn’t for these workouts that they don’t know what they would have done.”

Graves increased the monthly fee for members by $5 to make up for the additional space needed for six-foot distancing for athletes inside the box. It costs $235 for unlimited access to the gym, $210 for three workouts per week, and $185 for two workouts per week.

Nervous about CrossFit? Don’t worry if you’re not in great shape, Graves said.

“When people show up for a trial class, they see that there’s all different kinds of people in the gym,” she said. “Some people maybe are getting ready for a triathlon, there might be someone else who’s never worked out before, maybe a mom who just decided that she wanted to start CrossFit in her 40s. We have just everyone from every walk of life, and usually when people take a trial class they feel pretty comfortable.”

Courtesy Facebook

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Morning Notes

Carlyle Community Survey is open until July 15 — “Do you live, work or occupy a building in Carlyle? Then make sure to take the 2021 Carlyle Commuter survey! Your feedback helps improve our Transportation Management Program, and how we as a community get to and from Carlyle. Survey closes on 7/15. ” [Twitter]

Old Town blood drive on July 26 — “On July 26, Inova Blood Donor Services will be hosting an Old Town Blood Drive at Market Square, 301 King St. As a thank you, donors will receive an exclusive Olympic themed t-shirt. The need for blood is constant and blood banks are anticipating an increase in the need for blood due to the resumption of elective surgeries.” [City of Alexandria]

Recognition of burial grounds at Fort Ward Park to be discussed — “Those attending the July 31 meeting should meet city staff in the parking lot behind Fort Ward Museum. Attendees will walk to the four major burial sites.” [Patch]

Today’s weather — “Partial cloudiness early, with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Storms may contain strong gusty winds. High 92F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%… Clear to partly cloudy. Low 72F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Temporary enrichment and fitness instructor — “In pursuit of service excellence the Enrichment and Fitness Instructor provides youth, adult, and senior leisure classes at various recreation centers through the City of Alexandria. In this role, you will have the opportunity to ensure that the goals are met to provide a safe, fun, structured and engaging atmosphere for all our customers. Enthusiasm, flexibility and excellent communication skills are needed to be successful in this position.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Bob & Edith’s Diner to open at the old Ernie’s Original Crab House — “Bob & Edith’s Diner will open on King Street later this year, the company confirmed on Wednesday. The diner will take the place of Ernie’s Original Crab House, which closed in April, at 1743 King St. just a few hundred feet from the King Street Metro station. A Bob & Edith’s Diner T-shirt appeared in the window of the restaurant space sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday, hinting at the coming change. The new diner could open before the end of this year.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Old Town Art Festival taking place May 15 and 16 — “After the festival had success despite the pandemic in September 2020, a springtime festival will be held on May 15 and 16, 2021. The festival features thousands of art pieces across various mediums, including sculptures, paintings, jewelry, pottery, textiles and more. The event used to be held along King Street, but it is now held at John Carlyle Square, 300 John Carlyle Street, Alexandria. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, and it is free and open to the public, but visitors are asked to reserve a time slot.” [Patch]

Capital Bikeshare opens station in West End — “Located on Kenmore just off Seminary Rd., we present the latest @bikeshare station installation in #alexandriava” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Sunny (during the day), along with a few afternoon clouds. High 66F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph… A few clouds from time to time (in the evening). Low 47F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Children’s fun and fitness instructor — “We need Outgoing, Energetic & Fun Loving people to work with kids (2-12 years old). Responsibilities include teaching silly creative movement classes for preschoolers and leading organized games, races, and fun sport activities for older kids at area schools and daycare centers conducting on site field trips.” [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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