Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

Governor Announces Moratorium on Rent Evictions — “The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia has granted my request for a temporary moratorium on all eviction proceedings in the Commonwealth through June 28–this action will help keep thousands of Virginia families in their homes amid the ongoing public health crisis.” [Facebook]

Alexandria’s Noah Lyles Reaching National Stardom — “Lyles, who turned 22 last week, might be on the cusp of his own full bloom, from track and field’s next big thing to the face of the sport in America.” [Washington Post]

Frank Fannon Named Living Legend of Alexandria — “From his volunteer position at Agenda: Alexandria, long-time resident and chairman Frank Fannon stays on top of issues that matter to the residents of the city without directly taking sides.” [Zebra]

Office of Historic Alexandria Offering Survey Over Digital Program — “Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey about what you would like to see from OHA digitally in the coming months.” [Facebook]

Port City Brewing Co. Hosting BeerYoga — “BeerYoga classes return virtually with Melody Abella starting weekly this June! It’s a donation-based class and 100% of the money raised from the June classes will go to AGLA – Serving Northern Virginia LGBTQ and Allies in honor of PRIDE month.” [Facebook]

Video: Bishop Ireton High School Creating Diversity & Inclusion Council — “Good morning from the Bishop Ireton Head of School, Kathleen McNutt, on Monday, June 8, 2020 featuring a special message about racial justice and Bishop Ireton’s plans to create a Diversity & Inclusion Council.” [Facebook]

Alexandria Library to Offer Curbside Service — “Residents may be able to start picking up previous holds curbside starting, likely, on June 15.” [Alexandria Living]

Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hosting Weddings for $1,000 — ” Wedding must take place by December 31, 2020. Offer does not include taxes or service charge. Offers cannot be combined or transferred. Call your romance specialist and director of romance and catering Fatima Ayari at 703.845.7667 for details.” [Facebook]

New Job: Assistant General Manager at Old Navy — “You’re responsible for driving profitable sales growth through all aspects of the store including; customer and product operations, merchandising, and talent development. You are responsible for supporting the execution of the store strategy to achieve performance goals.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Regal Potomac Yard Movie Theater Closed for Good — “Regal Cinemas has scrubbed the 16-theater multiplex at 3575 Potomac Ave. from its list of Virginia locations on its website. Couple that with the fact Virginia Tech and JBG Smith Properties (NYSE: JBGS) plan to redevelop the North Potomac Yard site on an accelerated timeline, it’s likely the theater showed its last film months ago — when Disney’s “Onward” was No. 1 at the box office.” [Washington Business Journal]

Governor Releases ‘Forward Virginia’ Phase Two Guidelines — “Most of the state will enter phase two on Friday, June 5. Northern Virginia, including the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County, might enter about a week later — but only if local coronavirus and health metrics indicate it is safe to do so. The governor has not given Northern Virginia a projected date for entering the second phase.” [Alexandria Living]

Group Raises Thousands for Alexandria Families — “We are helping more than 30 families every week with food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and baby supplies during the COVID 19 pandemic.  Many of these families are unemployed and not eligible for benefits.” [GoFundMe]

Virtual Job Fair Today — “The city of Alexandria Workforce Development Center is hosting a free “Meet the Employer” event tomorrow! Learn more about immediate employment opportunities in Virginia.” [Facebook]

Food Drive Replaces First Thursday in Del Ray — “On Thursday, June 4 (by 4 p.m.), plastic tubs or boxes will be placed on Mount Vernon Avenue at the intersection of all streets from Hume to Braddock; in front of the Mount Vernon Recreation Center; and at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and the following streets: Braddock, Monroe, Alexandria Ave., Windsor, Del Ray, and Ashby. Items will be picked up by 7:30 p.m.” [Facebook]

Teens Plan Peace Walk for Saturday — “The public is invited to the Alexandria Peace Walk and encouraged to wear blue, the color for peace. Walkers are asked to bring posters, wear masks and stay six feet apart for the walk, cha-cha slide, and prayer.” [Zebra]

Hyatt Centric Old Town Welcomes Back Customers With Video — “We at the Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria are ready to welcome you back with the highest safety and cleaning procedures for your peace of mind when you travel.” [Youtube]

New Job: Shopkeeper Apprentice at Ice Cream Shop — “Shopkeeper Apprentices are full-time employees sharing the same responsibilities as the Shopkeeper including accounting, scheduling, inventory/ordering, and all HR functions (hiring, training, development, and performance management of all team members).” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Sen. Kaine and Wife Anne Holton Test Positive for Coronavirus Antibodies — “After testing positive for the flu earlier in the year, the state’s junior senator said in a statement he experienced new symptoms in late March. He initially thought the symptoms were flu remnants and a reaction to a high pollen count. But when his wife developed fever and chills, then congestion and a cough, they went to health providers in early April.” [Patch]

Police Chase Ends With Suspect Falling 25 Feet Off Beltway — “A man behind the wheel of what Virginia State Police thought was a stolen Ford Expedition rammed two police vehicles on the Capital Beltway, lost control, slammed into a Jersey Wall and then ran across the interstate, jumped over another wall and fell 25 feet Wednesday night.” [WTOP]

Indoor Mask Mandate in Effect Today Throughout Virginia — “Effective at midnight tonight (this morning) Executive Order 63, requiring the wearing of face coverings while inside buildings, becomes effective.” ‬[Facebook]

Lower King Street to Be Closed Off Through Phase 1 — “This week, members of the Alexandria City Council adopted emergency zoning regulations, relaxing the rules as part of a new experiment to get a sense of how people can avoid dining indoors while maintaining social distancing rules. One of the most noticeable changes will be on lower King Street, where city officials are planning to close the 100 block to traffic through the duration of Phase One.” [Gazette]

ACPS Students Can Opt Out of Online Summer School — “All students will be expected to participate in summer school; however, any family who does not wish for their student to participate can opt-out.” [ACPS]

Suspect Beat Veterans’ Motorcycles With Hammer Outside Alexandria Hotel — “It was like 17 bikes and somebody come in an SUV, got out of an SUV with a hammer and decided to get down through there and start busting our bikes up.” [NBC 4]

Del Ray Cafe Prepares for Phase 1 Reopening — “Phase 1 re-opening starts tomorrow  We will open our porch with two tables beginning tomorrow at 9am. Please call 703-717-9151 for a reservation or curbside pickup. We have submitted our application to the City for temporary use of our parking lot for outdoor dining and expect approval before the end of next week.” [Facebook]

Alexandria Farmers’ Markets to Resume On-Site Sales — “Vendors will be required to use enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures, and there will continue to be no food preparation, food sampling, or on-site dining allowed.” [City of Alexandria]

New Job: Temporary Firework Stand Manager — “Location managers are paid a salary based on the number of days they work. This is a great opportunity to make between $1,600 – $2,200 in a 2 week period!” [Indeed]

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Alexandria is putting many of the city’s homeless in hotel rooms for the foreseeable future.

“While many of our hotels are suffering significant losses of their own, they have been willing to partner with the City to assist in the response,” Mayor Justin Wilson told ALXnow. “To ensure that our homeless populations can maintain safe social distancing, these hotel partnerships have been critical.”

On April 1, the city made a contract with the Residence Inn Old Town Alexandria South at Carlyle, to house up to 46 households experiencing homelessness, city spokesman Craig Fifer said.

“Since the situation is evolving, there is no specific end date for this sheltering option at this time,” Fifer said.

The individuals and families being housed are equipped with kitchens, and rooms are attended by hotel housekeeping staff.

Some households are receiving food through ALIVE! and the City’s Frozen Meals Delivery Program, Fifer said.

“Individuals and families experiencing homelessness are often more vulnerable because it may be harder for them to access public health information, food and medicine, shelter, running water and hand sanitizer, face coverings, heath care and other basic needs,” Fifer said. “They are also more likely to have underlying medical conditions due to past difficulty accessing health care.”

The total cost if all rooms are used for the maximum times they’re under contract through June 10 is $143,986.44, according to the city. The monies can come from the City’s fund balance for emergency and disaster response, and may be reimbursable with federal COVID-19 funding.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a number of the city’s vulnerable groups, and sheltering options are also available via Carpenter’s Shelter at the Charles Houston Recreation Center in Old Town and Alexandria Community Shelter at 2355-B Mill Road.

Photo via Residence Inn Old Town Alexandria South at Carlyle/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Teacher Runs 20 Miles to See Students — “My daughter really misses school and interacting with her friends and teachers, so when Ms. Shannon surprised her Ellie was overwhelmed with excitement. She couldn’t believe that it was actually Ms. Shannon in person.” [Zebra]

T.C. Williams Class of 2020 Making Documentary — “The class of 2020 is making Titan history. Across the city of Alexandria, Titan seniors will be recording their stories all on the same day, May 1. Here’s how it will work: On May 1, anytime between 12:00AM-11:59PM, seniors will answer these questions in 3 short videos of up to 60 seconds each: What do you love? What do you fear? What do you hope for?” [ACPS]

The Greater Alexandria Virtual Community Job Fair Starts at 1 p.m. — “No need to dress up and leave your house to look for a job, with our virtual job fair we bring the employers to you!” [Indeed]

Sheriff’s Office Swears in New Deputies… At a Distance — “Congratulations to our new deputies who were sworn in today and many thanks to their families who joined us remotely. Sheriff Dana Lawhorne congratulated the recruits and thanked their families, and Clerk of Circuit Court Greg Parks emphasized the tremendous responsibility that comes with public service. He then administered the oath of office to Deputy William Powell, Deputy Dianna Gethers, Deputy Daniel Canniff, Deputy Austin Grant, Deputy Francis Laigo, and Deputy Michael Spitzer. Welcome and good luck to all!” [Facebook]

Pork Barrel BBQ Delivers 50 Meals to Alexandria Hospital — “Thanks to @porkbarrelbbqdelray and @feed_the_fight_alx for sending 50 meals to our heroes at @inovahealth Alexandria!” [Facebook]

DASH Employees Undergo Additional Safety Measures — “We’ve implemented temperature checks for all DASH employees before they start their shifts as an extra precaution to protect the health of our staff and passengers. Stay home. Stop the spread. Buses are for essential travel only.” [Facebook]

ACPS Superintendent Virtual Q&A Today at 3 p.m. — “As we embark on our new journey learning and working remotely, I want to let you know that you are not alone at this difficult time. We will provide you with updates, information and tips every day so that you have the resources to help ensure the continuity of learning among our young people.” [ACPS]

T.C. Student Wins Category in State Science Fair — “Congrats T.C. Williams High School junior Michaela McCormack, winner of the Behavioral and Social Sciences category at the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair. Her research, “Too Cool for JUUL,” tested how sleep and risk-taking are affected by pod-based e-cigarettes (vaping) in both humans and fruit flies. Michaela competed virtually against hundreds of Virginia students from 12 regions across the state.” [Facebook]

ACPS School Nurses Send Message to Kids in Photo Collage — “Ask any student, school nurses are some of the most loved members of our ACPS staff. To remind students just how much they are missed, ACPS created this cheerful photo message. Please share with your children!” [Facebook]

The Hyatt Centric is Still Open in Old Town — “We are open and serving those who need a hotel during this time. We miss our guests and can’t wait to see you soon.” [Facebook]

WEBA Hosting Virtual Business Training at 11 a.m. — “Recovery will be different for each business, we need to start planning now.” [Facebook]

Lawyer Launches Soap Company — “About 18 months ago, she decided to leave law practice and pursue making solid soap bars in environmentally-friendly packaging – and that was how ‘Do Good Soaps and Suds’ was born.” [Alexandria Living]

The Old Town Shop Offers Virtual Tour — “Need to get “out” of the house today? Take a virtual walk through The Old Town Shop & check out our vast array of unique local gifts! Mother’s Day is coming up soon, too. 🌷🌸 We offer safe in-store shopping, over the phone orders, curbside pick-up daily from 12-5pm & shipping.” [Facebook]

It’s Poem In Your Pocket Day — “City of Alexandria Poet Laureate KaNikki Jakarta invites residents to read poetry in celebration of the National Poem in Your Pocket day. The 2020 ‘DASHing Words in Motion’ Poets have also been invited to read their winning poetry that will be displayed on the DASH buses and Trolleys throughout the month of April.” [Facebook]

Wholistic Hound Academy Offering Online Dog Training — “Arousal: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly is a timely 3-session class that can help you and your dog to better co-exist while you work from home, while the kids are home from school, and at a time when your lives are a little more stressed and chaotic during this temporary new normal.” [Facebook]

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A man has been charged with grand larceny for allegedly stealing items from a room in the Super 8 Motel at 110 S. Bragg Street on Saturday, March 14.

The victim left her room at 1 p.m. to pay for an additional night at the motel, and afterward left for several hours. When she returned to her room, her valuables were gone. She called police, who found out that a key to the room was mistakenly issued to a new guest at 1:22 p.m., according to a search warrant affidavit.

A front desk employee said that the key was given out to a man who went to the victim’s room and came back to the front desk requesting another room since “there were items in the room and [he] needed another room,” notes the search warrant.

The victim reported that the items stolen included a MacBook Pro, a Google Chromebook, a suitcase with clothes, medication and perfume, a checkbook and her birth certificate.

Police knocked on the door to the man’s room, and he reportedly pulled back the blinds, looked out and then closed them again. Police then knocked for several more minutes, announced themselves and called his room from the front desk.

The man was arrested after police entered his room and found the stolen items.

Image via Google Maps

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Businesses, nonprofits and hotels around the city are feeling the initial effects of COVID-19.

Many businesses are offering contact-less service, delivering goods from door-to-door, and providing workouts and other services online for customers who would otherwise have to venture from home.

At fibre space (1319 Prince Street) in Old Town, owner Danielle Romanetti has seen a 50% hit to her sales volume over the last several days. She says that because some office-type businesses are choosing to allow employees to work from home, there is extra pressure on retailers and restaurants to do the same, but unlike many government agencies and service/office-related businesses, restaurants and retail can not function with closed doors.

“We always take phone orders and are also happy to bring your order out to your car, if you don’t want to come in,” Romanetti said. “We have hand sanitizer available and also frequently disinfect our cash register area and credit card machines. We have two bathrooms open to you to use to wash your hands. We will ship or do curbside delivery for anyone who wants to use those options.

“Be aware that this virus is hitting our small business community particularly hard,” she said. “I appreciate all of you who are finding ways to support your locally owned businesses right now.”

The first Alexandria resident to test presumptive positive for the disease was announced on Wednesday night. The previous day, many local business owners watched a web conference with the city’s health department and the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. On Friday, the city public school system announced that it will be closing starting on Monday until the end of spring break on April 14, meaning less free time during the day for thousands of parents.

Nonprofits like Carpenter’s Shelter, which provides temporary housing and food for the homeless, will also be affected, said Heather Peeler, CEO of ACT for Alexandria.

“Organizations like Carpenter’s Shelter are wholly dependent on volunteers to deliver a lot of the services to the homeless community,” Peeler said. “Without volunteers, a lot of the support they offer is not going to be available, and if there is a quarantine situation in a shelter, it’s going to be even more difficult to serve other homeless clients in the city.”

As previously reported, Bill Blackburn, co-owner of the Homegrown Restaurant Group, said that he and his staff of 150 are “ramping up” sanitation practices and will deliver food to customers contact-free at the door.

“We share the concerns with the community, and this is something we are not taking lightly,” Blackburn said.

The Birchmere announced Friday that it is canceling all of its upcoming shows from March 20-29, and that refunds are available for upcoming shows.

UPDATE: Dear Birchmere Friends,We've been following the events of this week very closely. After our shows with The…

Posted by The Birchmere on Friday, March 13, 2020

Del Ray yoga studio Mind The Mat (2214 Mount Vernon Avenue) is now offering classes online, and The Dog Park (705 King Street) is encouraging customers to order online or pay over the phone to minimize contact.

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There’s a new dog-friendly boutique hotel in town. The six-floor, 124 room Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria (1625 King Street) opened just a few blocks from the King Street Metro station on Wednesday.

“Today we are 100% open, 24/7 and year-round. It’s really exciting,” General Manager Matt Karow told ALXnow. “As you may know, Alexandria is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country, and inside the rooms you’ll find some fun, quirky little things that pay tribute to man’s best friend.”

The hotel was designed by Alexandria-based architect Cooper Carry, and is the second in Virginia behind the Hyatt Centric Arlington, in Rosslyn. The rooms are small, and a standard king will run visitors $200 to $215 a night. The hotel’s junior suites (there are two) cost about $300 per night. The dog-related quirks include art on the walls and coat hooks that look like dog posteriors.

The ribbon cutting for the hotel was attended by Mayor Justin Wilson, members of the city council and representatives of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce.

The hotel also opened the French & Southern lobby bar and restaurant. The restaurant features French staples like duck confit and quiche, but also southern favorites including shrimp and grits.

“It’s a top notch restaurant. It’s phenomenal,” restaurant co-owner Steve Greksouk said. “This is a beautiful place and it’ll be really fun to welcome guests from out of town.”

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Morning Notes

Arlandria Condos to Have French Flair — “A small condo project in Alexandria’s Arlandria neighborhood is looking to employ the name of one of the area’s most confusing roads — but make it fancy. ‘Le Glebe,’ as proposed, would have four condominiums over about 2,500 square feet of retail at 226 and 228 W. Glebe Road, according to an application submitted to Alexandria planners.” [Washington Business Journal]

T.C. Williams Briefly Evacuated — “T.C. Williams High School King Street Campus is being evacuated due to smoke on the 3rd floor. Fire department en route.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Hotel Being Converted to Condos — “CIM Group has announced that it has begun the redevelopment of the 12-story, former Crowne Plaza Hotel at 901 N. Fairfax in Alexandria’s Old Town North neighborhood, into a 13-story, 122-unit residential condominium tower dubbed Venue.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Marks ‘Mentoring Month’ — “The City of Alexandria invites the public to celebrate National Mentoring Month in January. Join the Alexandria Mentoring Partnership in raising awareness about the benefits of mentoring programs and the positive effects of mentoring Alexandria’s young residents.” [City of Alexandria]

Snow in the Forecast Today — “Computer models this afternoon and evening show an increased likelihood of a period of heavy snow in many parts of the Washington region between about 3 and 6 p.m. on Tuesday. We have upped our accumulation forecast to a coating to two inches along the Interstate 95 corridor and one to three inches for our northern and western areas.” [Capital Weather Gang]

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Bonjour ya’ll, a new restaurant called French & Southern is headed to 1625 King Street, just a couple blocks east of the King Street Metro station.

The restaurant is planned to face King Street on the ground floor of the new Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria, currently under construction and scheduled to open with the rest of the hotel in January 2020.

The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu that reflects a range of influences from Paris to the American South, according to Visit Alexandria. It will operate from 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Pending an ABC permit, plans for the restaurant also include cocktails in the evenings. Hyatt’s website describes the restaurant’s vibe as “elegant yet casual.”

Once it’s open, the hotel will have 124 hotel rooms and 10,000 square feet of office space, according to the Alexandria Times.

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Morning Notes

New Hotel Opening in Old Town — “The New Hyatt Centric in Alexandria is accepting reservations for March 1, 2020. The hotel, at 1611 King St., will have a restaurant on site. It will have 124 rooms. The hotel will be pet-friendly and include a fitness center.” [Alexandria Living]

Local Zip Code Among State’s Priciest for Renters — “Alexandria, one of the most competitive real estate markets, is also one of the state’s priciest for renting an apartment… Alexandria’s zip code 22314 is the eighth most expensive in Virginia. The average $2,145 rent has a 3.8 percent year-over-year change.” [Patch]

Wreath-Laying for Fallen Firefighters — “The Alexandria Fire Department will observe National Fire Prevention Week on Friday, October 11 with a memorial service and wreath laying at 11 a.m. The solemn ceremony is held each year at Ivy Hill Cemetery, located at 2823 King St., to honor those who have died in the line of duty and members of the Fire Department who have passed away during the preceding 12 months.” [City of Alexandria, Twitter]

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