Newsletter

The Eisenhower Partnership is planning an Oktoberfest celebration early next month to help raise funding for the Partnership’s Engin and Agnès Artemel Urban Planning Scholarship.

The scholarship is named for former Director of Planning Engin Artemel, who helped shape waterfront development in Alexandria and died last, and his wife Agnès Artemel, a realtor and president of Artemel & Associates Inc. The scholarship helps students from Alexandria City Public Schools and planning to major in a realty or urban planning related studies.

Eisenhower Partnership Executive Director Daniel Beason said the first award from the scholarship was given earlier this year to a rising freshman at George Mason who moved to Alexandria from Afghanistan and attended Alexandria High School.

The event is scheduled for The Garden by Building Momentum (5380 Eisenhower Avenue) at from 6-10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2. Tickets to the Oktoberfest are $5.

At a City Council meeting earlier this week, Council member Amy Jackson described what’s planned for the event.

“Proceeds will go to the [scholarship] spearheaded for his name,” Jackson said. “There will also be a TEDx type of stage to hear input from TEDx-type communication.”

The TEDx talks will run from 1-5 p.m. Beason said the TEDx talk will be hosted by TEDxOronocoBayPark.

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What a busy week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.

Alexandria City Public Schools reopened their doors to full-time in-person instruction on Tuesday, and there have been a few hiccups. On Friday, we published a video taken of a brawl inside Alexandria City High School, and a teenager was hit by a car while walking home from school in Del Ray on Thursday.

This week was dominated by crime stories, although other big events occurred, such as the City breaking ground on a new broadband network.

In our poll this week, we asked if readers agree with a proposed 5 cent tax on plastic bags. Out of more than 900 votes, 62% said it shouldn’t be implemented and 38% said it should.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Alexandria man arrested for beating up ex-girlfriend in Old Town North
  2. Fox put George Washington Middle School into a lock-in today
  3. Design realities could conflict with promises to speed up stormwater improvements in Alexandria
  4. City breaks ground on new broadband network
  5. Poll: Do you support the proposed 5 cent plastic bag tax?
  6. This Alexandria gym manager went rogue and launched a personal training business
  7. Alexandria kicks off Restaurant Week tomorrow
  8. Alexandria sees huge spike in COVID-19 cases in August, another death
  9. Poll: Have you been impacted by flooding in Alexandria?
  10. New Normal: ACPS fully reopens for first time since pandemic started
  11. Evolving COVID-19 decisions loom as Alexandria City Public Schools fully reopen next Tuesday

Have a safe weekend!

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The Child and Family Network Centers was all set up to open preschool to kids in low-income families on September 8, but a recently burst sewer pipe inside their Arlandria/Chirilagua-based classroom has put the program on hold for more than a dozen area children.

The nonprofit is launching a $50,000 fundraiser and is tapping into its reserves to renovate the classroom, which is located in an apartment within the Arlandria-Chirilagua Housing Cooperative. The classroom provides critical child care and education for low-income, immigrant essential workers in the heavily Latino section of Alexandria.

“It’s really difficult to find classroom space, especially in Chirilagua right now,” Jackie Didio, the executive director of CFNC, told ALXnow. “If we don’t open on time we’ll have playdates and at least try to get the kiddos at that outside playground in front of the building. We’re going to try our best to support the families as much as we can while we’re fixing the classroom.”

The classroom/apartment has also now become infested with fleas. The necessary work includes plumbing repairs, replacing all of the furniture and classroom supplies, as well as installing new cabinets and carpeting.

“We’re actually in the search this year for even more classroom spaces because the need is so high, but it’s really difficult to find space, especially in Chirilagua right now,” Didio said. “We were open all last year, too, and that was a challenge. We’re trying to serve the families in our low-income communities here in Alexandria… I know we have such an amazing community and with your help, I know that we can do it.”

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What a challenging week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.

Alexandria track star Noah Lyles won the bronze medal in the 200 meters at the Tokyo Olympics, garnering congratulations from around the country, including locally by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Mayor Justin Wilson. Also this week, Lyles’ mom and brother held a watch party at his alma mater, Alexandria City High School.

This week, we also spoke with Alexandria boxer Troy “The Transformer” Isley, who said competing in the Olympics was a ‘dream come true.” Tynita Butts-Townsend, the third T.C. Williams High School graduate to participate in the games, did not make it past the first round of the high jump.

“I thought I would feel more crappy about getting last at the Olympics, but then I read that sentence again…IM STILL AN OLYMPIAN!” Butts-Townsend tweeted.

On the coronavirus front, with the City recommending residents wear masks indoors, this week the School Board voted to make it mandatory that face masks be worn when school starts later this month.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Parks Department braces for strain on system when Minnie Howard field closes down
  2. Alexandria reports 204 COVID-19 cases in July, a big jump over last month
  3. Alexandria City High School to host Olympics watch party to cheer on alumnus Noah Lyles
  4. ALXnow’s top stories this week in Alexandria
  5. GoFundMe launched for Will Nichols, retiring manager of St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub in Del Ray
  6. With ACPS expecting enrollment increase, Alexandria Mayor explains where kids come from
  7. Report details life of Black Alexandrians post-Civil War in home slated for redevelopment
  8. Noah Lyles to race for gold medal in 200 meters at Tokyo Olympics
  9. 18-year-old arrested for firing gunshots at West End apartment building
  10. EXCLUSIVE: Halal slaughterhouse opens, gives away free chickens for first two days in business
  11. Heritage project skirts denial at Board of Architectural Review meeting

Have a safe weekend!

Via Tcwtitantrack/Facebook

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A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to revitalize a memorial garden dedicated to peace and reflection after the 9/11 attacks.

So far, more than $4,000 (out of a $9,000 goal) has been raised to refurbish the Wilton Woods Memorial Garden, which garnered multiple awards when it opened in 2002. The memorial garden is located at 3800 Ivanhoe Lane, in a neighborhood just off Old Telegraph Road in the Alexandria part of Fairfax County.

The funds would replace walking paths, metal borders, and add a children’s tree and garden.

“While many of the garden’s elements have held up, and even flourished over these nearly 20 years, there are some things that desperately need to be repaired/replaced to keep the garden a safe and beautiful place to visit for the next 20 years and beyond,” campaign organizers noted. “Even the smallest amount would help preserve the garden for the next generations of families who visit and help us to continue to honor the victims and families impacted by the 9/11 attacks and the first responders who rushed in that day and continue to serve and protect.”

Organizers hope to have the project funded and wrapped up by September 11, 2021.

Via GoFundMe

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Morning Notes

Simon Pearce Glassware store opens Friday in Old Town — “Vermont-based glassware-maker Simon Pearce will open its doors Friday at their new store in Old Town Alexandria at 721 King St., according to a spokeswoman for the company. The space was formerly home to Papyrus, the greeting cards and gift wrap store.” [Alexandria Living]

Family raises $70K+ in GoFundMe campaign for mother with cancer — “Our lives changed forever three weeks ago when our mom was unexpectedly diagnosed with an advanced cancer known as metastatic adenocarcinoma. The diagnosis took us completely by surprise. Three months ago, she was walking five miles a day, eating a pescetarian diet, going on her own day trips. She started reporting shortness of breath and fatigue in late March, but doctors were unable to diagnose these symptoms as cancer until early June.” [GoFundMe]

Alexandria Library expands hours and capacity — “As of July 6, all library locations are open on Fridays, while Beatley Central Library and Duncan Branch Library are open Sundays as well. Libraries have increased to 50 percent occupancy including staff. Limited volunteers may return at the discretion of the building managers. Meeting rooms remain unavailable, and most library programs continue virtually. Covered drinks are permitted but not food.” [Patch.com]

Goodies Frozen Custard and Treats makes it official with ribbon cutting — “Excited to cut the ribbon and welcome Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats officially to Alexandria! A local business with an adaptive reuse of a historic building, and…really tasty!” [Facebook]

Today’s weather — “Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 97F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph… Generally fair. Low around 75F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Summer lifeguards — “Applicants must be punctual, responsible, able to take/follow directions and multitask. Prior experience is not necessary but a current Lifeguard certification is required. Certification courses are available for selected candidates.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Council defers on School Resource Officer funding reallocation — “On Tuesday, Alexandria City Council deferred a decision on releasing funding for school resource officers for other positions at Alexandria City Public Schools. The decision is scheduled for a July 6 public hearing.” [Patch]

Levine agrees to pay for primary mailer on House letterhead — “Levine, who lost both his primary contests, said in an interview he saw the mailing as an “informational letter” explaining the unique circumstances of why he was appearing on the ballot twice. He said he still doesn’t think it clearly qualified as campaign advertising, but agreed to reimburse the clerk’s office to clear up the matter after others complained.” [Virginia Mercury]

Paving wrapping up on Commonwealth Avenue — “Commonwealth Ave should be finished by the end of the week (striping and speed cushions to follow) Paving continues on West Glebe Rd.” [Twitter]

Injured Titan soccer player makes $5,000 GoFundMe goal — “Mahmoud is a goalie and was playing a soccer game when he collided with someone, he got 2 fractures in the lower jaw, dislocated TM joint, and he lost 2 teeth with damaged gums. The surgical procedure required 6 screws and wiring to hold the jaw together, he won’t be able to eat or talk for 6 weeks to heal. The donation would help a lot with the medical bills.” [GoFundMe]

Alexandria Aces return — “The COVID-19 pandemic may have resulted in empty stands and untouched uniforms last year, but the Alexandria Aces are finally back for their 13th season in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League – with a few adjustments.” [Alex Times]

Today’s weather — “Intervals of clouds and sunshine (during the day). High 83F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph… Partly cloudy skies during the evening will give way to cloudy skies overnight. Low 71F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Multiple positions available at the Chart House — “$500 Sign-On Bonus – $100 once training is complete and $100 every 30 days for 4 months. This isn’t just your next job – it’s your opportunity to be part of an amazing team that delivers on our promise to meet and exceed our guest’s experience the moment they walk through our doors!” [Indeed]

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The garden wall of the historic Lee-Fendall House (614 Oronoco Street) in Old Town took a beating earlier this week, but support from the local community has helped put the wall on the road to repair.

A few days after announcing that a significant portion of the home’s wall had collapsed, the home has raised $5,005 to help boost repair efforts.

“On Saturday, June 12, 2021, a 70-foot portion of the original brick wall surrounding Lee-Fendall’s historic garden collapsed,” the museum said on its fundraising page. “Originally built of hand-formed brick in a Flemish bond pattern over a fieldstone foundation and likely constructed by enslaved workers, the wall dates to around the year 1800 and has been an integral part of our historic fabric. It post-dates the construction of our house by only about 15 years and tells an important part of Lee-Fendall’s story and of Alexandria’s.”

The museum raised $1,000 in the first day of the fundraiser. The Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden has set a goal of $125,000 for the fundraiser, the estimated full-cost for the repair effort. The wall repair is particularly difficult due to the need to have an architectural engineer help plan the repair using the original bricks.

“Museum staff are working closely with Alexandria’s Board of Architectural Review and with local firms specializing in historic masonry preservation on a multi-phase plan to repair the wall,” the museum said. “This will be a major project for the museum, costing over $125,000 in full. Our first and immediate need is for $14,000 in funding to cover the cost of working with an architectural engineer on a plan for the repair which uses the original bricks.”

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A 54-year-old Alexandria woman died at the scene of a crash Friday, after veering her Dodge Ram off Interstate 95 in Hanover County and into a Volvo being repaired by its owner on the shoulder of the road. (Courtesy VSP)

“Candace S. Fields-Rogers, 54, of Alexandria, Va., was driving the Ram,” Virginia State Police reported. “She was wearing a seatbelt. She succumbed to her injuries onscene.”

The driver of the Volvo was underneath his tractor trailer making repairs when the crash occurred near the 93-mile marker. He was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No one else was injured, and an investigation into the crash is ongoing, police said.

Fields-Rogers leaves behind a husband and two children. Last year, she launched a GoFundMe campaign to help her husband, a U.S. Army veteran with a traumatic brain injury. She raised $10,000 of her $50,000 goal for the still-open fundraiser.

Courtesy VSP

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ACT for Alexandria raised $2.5 million for more than 156 local nonprofits during its 11th annual Spring2ACTion fundraiser — breaking the $2.45 million record set last year.

As of Thursday morning, 8,250 donors raised $2,509,133 for 156 nonprofits in Alexandria for the biggest one-day fundraiser in Alexandria. The final numbers are currently being tallied, and stragglers will be allowed to donate through the weekend.

“The Alexandria community has done it again,” ACT President and CEO Heather Peeler told ALXnow. “It’s remarkable and I can hardly even put words to just how much appreciation I have for the enormous generosity of this community.”

The top three recipients were RunningBrooke with $165,053.60, followed by Casa Chirilagua with $106,247.34 and Friends of Guest House with $100,715.

“What we achieve is only possible because there are 156 nonprofits who are reaching out to their board members and their constituents and getting their friends involved,” Peeler said. “We had over 70 local businesses participating who were engaging their customers and their employees. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort across the community.

Spring2ACTion has raised million for local nonprofits since its founding 11 years ago. All donations are tax deductible and irrevocable.

The Del Ray Business Association also raised $18,466.92 from 127 donors, soundly beating the Old Town Business Association in its fundraising challenge. OTBA raised $16,272 from seven donors.

Peeler is thankful of her staff of six, especially Brandi Yee, ACT for Alexandria’s chief program officer.

“Brandi has been with Spring2ACTion from the beginning, and this would not be possible if it weren’t for her,” Peeler said. “She has tremendous relationships with the nonprofit community and donors, and has so much insight in terms of what to do and how to make it happen.”

Spring2ACTion Top 10:

  1. RunningBrooke raised $165,053.60 from 198 donors
  2. Casa Chirilagua raised $106,247.34 from 369 donors
  3. Friends of Guest House raised $100,715 from 170 donors
  4. ALIVE! raised $98,649.24 from 471 donors
  5. Carpenter’s Shelter raised $73,050 from 300 donors
  6. Space of Her Own, Inc. (SOHO) raised $62,731.38 from 174 donors
  7. King Street Cats raised $62,465 from 495 donors
  8. Together We Bake raised $60,378 from 193 donors
  9. Center for Alexandria’s Children raised $51,040 from 134 donors
  10. Alexandria Tutoring Consortium raised $49,805 from 180 donors

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