Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

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]

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Morning Notes

T.C. Football Coach Steps Down — “James Longerbeam stepped down as head coach of the T.C. Williams High School football team on Feb. 3. Longerbeam has served as head coach since 2016, when he moved from Panama City, Florida to Alexandria to take the position. He cited his father’s recent passing and his mother’s dementia as reasons for his decision in a Facebook post.” [Alexandria Times]

Local Doctor Helps the Homeless — “Dr. William Mazzella has a message for the homeless living on the streets of Alexandria, Virginia. ‘I have the medicines,’ Mazzella said. ‘I have the bandages, the training, and I’m here to help you if you will have me…’ He has formed a nonprofit called MedStreet, which is accepting donations and seeking volunteers to help continue his work and help more people.” [WTOP]

Old Town Chocolate Shop Reveals Shape Secrets — “The owners of a Northern Virginia chocolate shop are urging customers to be aware of what’s in a box of chocolates before making a purchase this Valentine’s Day. If the customer’s preference is chewy over gooey caramels, it might be wise to consider rectangular-shaped versus square candy from a heart-shaped holiday box… said Robert Ludlow, who co-owns Alexandria, Virginia, shop Fleurir Chocolates.” [WTOP]

Investigators Reveal Massive Fire’s Cause, Cost — The massive fire at the South Alex development along Route 1 “started in the second-floor trash chute of the residential portion of a multi-use complex. The cause of the fire was improperly discarded smoking materials. Damage figures include the total loss of the main buildings under construction, 14 townhouses, and one trailer. The amount also includes damage to five apartment buildings, 14 additional townhouses, four single family homes, 29 vehicles, and multiple pieces of construction equipment. Damage total as a result of the fire is $48,171,075.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

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Morning Notes

Memorial Service for Coach Boone — “Family, friends and complete strangers on Saturday remembered Herman Boone, the iconic T.C. Williams High School head football coach who led the team to a championship in 1971.” [Fox 5, Facebook, WTOP]

Local Group Celebrates 50th Anniversary — “In May 1969, a group of concerned Alexandrians from several churches met to discuss how they could ‘re-emphasize the role, and renew the efforts, of the local churches in providing assistance to people in need.’ The group formed a nonprofit organization called ALIVE!… At a legislative meeting last month, city council issued a proclamation acknowledging ALIVE!’s 50th anniversary.” [Alexandria Times]

More On Juvenile Detention Facility — “More than two-thirds of the cells at the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center are empty on this gray, rainy morning in December, and not just because the 22 teenagers housed there are in classes or meetings in other parts of the facility… The three Northern Virginia communities — Arlington, Falls Church and Alexandria — that share the $5.8 million operating cost of the facility just south of Landmark Mall in Alexandria are wondering whether there is a better option.” [Washington Post]

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Morning Notes

Freedom House to Expand — “An expansion of the Freedom House Museum and renovations to the historic building it is in are in the works. Earlier this year, the Northern Virginia Urban League put the historic townhouse at 1315 Duke St. it owns up for sale for $2.1 million, after going through a difficult period keeping up payments on the property.” [Alexandria Living]

Former NFL Cheerleader Opens Salon — “From a loft-like space off a busy street in Alexandria, Stephanie Prinzbach runs the one-woman-show that is District Chic Hair Co., providing hair styling to over 115 customers spanning from Washington, DC to Richmond.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Treatment Court Shows Results — “In August, the City of Alexandria launched the Alexandria Treatment Court (ATC) as an alternative to jail for people accused of nonviolent felonies with significant substance use disorders… re-arrest rates of treatment court graduates are approximately half or less than that of non-treatment court graduates — which not only saves the judicial system money but also changes lives.” [Zebra]

New Rail Bridge, Expanded VRE Service Announced — “Virginia will build a new rail bridge over the Potomac River connecting Arlington and the District to significantly expand commuter and passenger train service over the next decade, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Thursday.” [Washington Post, ARLnow]

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(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Herman Boone, the T.C. Williams High School football head coach for the school’s 1971 state championship-winning team, has died at 84 years old.

Boone was famously memorialized in the 2000 biographical film Remember the Titans, where he was played by Denzel Washington. The film dramatizes the Titans’ famous 13-0 season after Alexandria’s high schools were integrated.

In 2016, Boone was inducted into Alexandria’s Living Legends group not only for his coaching, but for fighting to get 50 scholarships for the team’s African American athletes, according to the group’s biographical page.

“Boone held clinics to help players with their homework, keeping them eligible to play and helping them get into college,” the Living Legends group said in its biography. “Boone took an active interest in the lives of players and kept in touch with former players, such as [then] Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook.”

Boone also volunteered with civil rights organizations like the NAACP and the Urban League of Northern Virginia, engaging in “kitchen table” discussions with local civil rights leaders. His death comes just months after the death of the team’s defensive coach Bill Yoast, who was also featured prominently in the film.

A long-time local resident, Boone was married and a father of three daughters.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson hailed Boone as “an irreplaceable part of our history and integral in building the community we enjoy today.”

More from an Alexandria City Public Schools press release, below:

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The Parker-Gray Memorial Stadium at T.C. Williams High School is falling apart, but a long-discussed renovation project is primed to start taking shape early next year.

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) laid out a timeline for the upcoming improvements at a School Board meeting on Dec. 5. Staff said potential contractors will be invited to bid in January, with approval of a deal for the work set for March. After that, staff said work is expected to take place over the course of that spring and summer.

New additions to the stadium are planned to include:

  • The addition of an eighth lane on the track
  • Replacement of the artificial turf
  • New restrooms
  • A new concession stand
  • A ticket booth
  • Replacement of the scoreboard, which will be moved to the other side of the field
  • Safety lighting
  • A new press box to replace the current, condemned one
  • An upgraded the sound system, designed to face away from the nearby houses
  • Field lighting

Field lighting has been a particularly controversial issue, resulting in a lawsuit from nearby neighbors scheduled to go to court early next year.

A meeting held on Nov. 12 revealed lingering frustrations from neighbors, who are concerned about how lights and sound from the field will impact their quality of life. Residents also say the new lights fly in the face of a promise made to the surrounding community when T.C. Williams was first built.

The varsity football team, meanwhile, played its home games indoors at The St. James sports complex this season due to the poor condition of Parker-Gray stadium.

In addition to the stadium work, staff said there is repair work underway at the gym and repairs to the garage at the school are in the earliest stages of design.

Staff photo by Vernon Miles

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Morning Notes

Big Tree Falls Hard on Russell Road — “Tracey Cain was in Ohio visiting family when her husband Patrick McLaughlin called from their home at 2912 Russell Road this morning at 3 am. ‘The big tree in the front yard just fell down. It’s blocking the whole road. It’s pulled down a power line, and now it looks like no Thanksgiving for Russell Road,’ was the news.” [Zebra]

School Board Shrinking? — “The Alexandria City School Board is considering decreasing the number of members on the board and increasing the length of the terms they serve. A majority of school board members said they were in favor of these changes at a school board work session on Nov. 14.” [Alexandria Times]

Long-Running Turkey Bowl Game — “When they were in elementary school, the athletic field next to James K. Polk Elementary School, in Alexandria, Virginia, was much more expansive. But for two dozen friends who play an annual football game there, it seems to take longer to reach the end zone 30 years later.” [WTOP]

Nearby: Kwanzaa Celebration Later This Month — “Looking for a venue to sell your products during Kwanzaa? We have a few spaces available at or Ujamaa Kwanzaa Celebration. The Marketplace is open from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and is a part of our 4th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration.” [Patch]

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Morning Notes

T.C. Wins First Playoff Game Since 1990 — “T.C. Williams’ varsity football team won its first playoff game in almost 30 years [on Friday, Nov. 15], defeating West Springfield 21-20 and advancing to the district semifinals. While the Titans have gone to the playoffs as recently as 2017, this was the team’s first playoff win since 1990, according to athletic director James Parker.” [Alexandria Times]

T.C. Falls to South County — This past Friday, T.C. Williams’ playoff run ended with a 34-0 loss to South County High School. Mayor Justin Williams congratulated the team: “Congrats @TCTitanFootball on an amazing season… Well done.” [Twitter/@justindotnet]

Coalition Concerned by Vaping Epidemic — “Amid growing concern over deaths and lung injury associated with e-cigarettes, use of these products among high school and middle school students is increasing–a concern Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) Coordinator Emma Beall and other regional advocates discussed during a roundtable hosted by Virginia Senator Tim Kaine’s office.” [City of Alexandria]

Local Music School Has Touring Teachers — “For the last eight years, Rock Of Ages Music at 114 E. Day Ray Ave. has taught hundreds of students that it’s not only possible, it has set the stage for their success… ROAM currently employs 17 music teachers, and many are touring musicians like Anthony Pirog, who plays in the Fugazi rhythm section, and Adam Orlando, the drummer for RDGLDGRN.” [Zebra]

Where to Give Locally in Alexandria — “Many nonprofits in the city need your help to provide a holiday meal for Christmas, to provide children with gifts. There are literally hundreds, probably thousands, of ways to give locally this season.” [Gazette Packet]

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Morning Notes

Chicken Butcher Suit Costly for City — “The city of Alexandria has paid an outside law firm $49,573 so far to help it fight an ongoing lawsuit about a halal chicken butchery that’s scheduled to open in an industrial area of the city.” [Washingtonian]

Alexandria Winter Shelter Now Open — “The City’s Winter Shelter at 5701-D Duke St. will open today at 7pm, and transportation is available. Please share with anyone who needs a safe and warm place to stay.” [Twitter]

T.C. QB Leads Team to Playoffs — “You could say T.C. Williams High School senior Robert Longerbeam has had a good fall. As quarterback of T.C’s football team, he has led the Titans to the state playoffs, breaking several school records along the way. He was also T.C.’s homecoming king.” [Alexandria Times]

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