Newsletter

Morning Notes

Alexandria chooses historic trolley as 2021 holiday ornament — “The City of Alexandria is now taking orders for its 2021 Trolley ornament, depicting Car 303 of the Mount Vernon Alexandria & Washington Electric Railway. The fleet of art deco cars were purchased in 1918 for the essential trolley line that connected Del Ray commuters to DC and tourists to Mount Vernon. Car 303 ran until the railway’s closure in 1932. It became a diner in 1936.” [Zebra]

Missing 83-year-old West Ender found safe — “Mr. Navia has been located.” [Twitter]

Early voting starts Friday — “Early voting for the Nov 2 General Election begins Fri, Sep 17. In Alexandria, ballot includes contests for VA Governor; Lt. Governor; Attorney General; House of Delegates; Commonwealth’s Attorney; Sheriff; Mayor; City Council & School Board.” [Twitter]

Chamber ALX sets legislative agenda — “Over the last decade we have been an outspoken voice for the completion of Potomac Yard metro, redevelopment of Landmark Mall, streamlining small business regulations and a champion of countless issues directly impacting the business community. We are proud to be entrusted with amplifying the voice of the diverse businesses in our city…” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s weather — “Mostly cloudy skies early will become partly cloudy later in the day. Hot. High 92F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph… A few clouds (in the evening). Low 71F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Chef De Cuisine at The Alexandrian — “Sage Hotel Management is currently seeking a Chef De Cuisine for our King & Rye restaurant located inside The Alexandrian Hotel, in Alexandria, VA.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Hotel expansions to increase meeting planning options in Alexandria — “Alexandria is continuing to expand its hotel offerings with an extensive multi-million dollar renovation of the Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandria…The historic George Mason Hotel is set to undergo restoration in 2021 (and) will have two buildings located in Old Town, and will feature 141 hotel rooms, two restaurants, rooftop dining and outdoor dining. The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center will also begin a $10 million renovation starting in late November, with a target opening of the first week in January 2022.” [Previewmeetings.com]

ALIVE! resumes collecting food — “Community members are welcome to drop off purchased or collected food items at 801 S. Payne St. ALIVE! accepts donations on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.” [Zebra]

Neighborhood Restaurant Group honored for pandemic pivot — “Alexandria-based Neighborhood Restaurant Group has been nominated for a RAMMY Award, presented by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW). Their nomination is in a new, coronavirus-influenced category: Most Impressive Pivot to Provisions or Market.” [Alexandria Living]

Locals theorize that bug bites could be tied to cicadas — “The Facebook group members have hatched a theory that these bites are tied to oak itch mites, or pyemotes, which are thought to feed on cicadas eggs. Similar outbreaks of itchy bug bites have coincided with periodic cicada cycles in Chicago and Northern Ohio.” [ARLnow]

Kids restore preschool playground and garden boxes —  “Thanks Trinity United Methodist Church youth group & @Volalex Breaks with Impact (BWI) youth group who restored the ALIVE! preschool playground and garden boxes. They’ve been busy weeding, pruning, and cleaning but still needs much more!” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 89F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph… Generally fair (in the evening). Low 63F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Anthropologie key holder — “At Anthropologie we tell stories – of products thoughtfully designed, crafted, and curated, and of a collaborative, inventive community. We are, above all, devoted to our customer – to the smart, creative individual who seeks beauty wherever they go.” [Indeed]

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What a hot week in Alexandria.

With temperatures hovering in the mid-90s, the week started with a power outage at a 17-story apartment building in Landmark area. The outage lasted five days and residents had to find accommodations until the building reopened Friday afternoon.

On the coronavirus front, Alexandria experienced a slight uptick, and the health department says unvaccinated residents account for a majority of new cases. There have been 39 new cases reported so far this month in the city, and 13 cases were reported on July 9. That was the biggest single-day jump since May 20, when 18 new cases were reported.

In school news, this week we spoke with Alexandria High School Principal Peter Balas, who said that his staff are ready to fully reopen for full-time in-person instruction when the 2021-2022 school year starts on August 24.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Here’s the plan for Alexandria’s birthday celebration this weekend
  2. City Council approves massive high-rise project without affordable housing near Eisenhower Metro station
  3. ‘Call Your Mother Deli’ signs lease in Old Town
  4. Del. Mark Levine raises eyebrows with letter that passes buck on constituent service
  5. Shortened Alexandria Birthday celebration is still on for July 10
  6. Alexandria City High School is ready to reopen at full capacity next month, principal says
  7. School Board Member Jacinta Greene faces reelection, wants race relations taught in ACPS
  8. Tropical Storm Elsa’s dregs tear through southern Alexandria
  9. Poll: Do you agree with reallocation of school resource officer funding?
  10. West End high-rise apartment building evacuated after power outage
  11. The Alexandria Police, Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department all want raises

Have a safe weekend!

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Hotel Indigo garage, via Google Maps

Hotel Indigo (220 S Union Street) is hoping to turn its 69 parking spaces into a mutually beneficial arrangement for Old Town visitors.

Developer Carr Properties said it gave the required total of 69 parking spaces, but hasn’t gotten the expected usage since the hotel opened.  The developer said it’s hoping to change its permit to allow some of those spaces currently usable only by hotel visitors to be used by tourists and other Old Town visitors.

“Since the hotel became operational several years ago, the parking garage of 69 spaces has not been utilized as envisioned during the original DSUP process,” the applicant said in a Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) request to the city. “Additionally, since the original DSUP approval, the parking ordinance was amended to allow a minimum of .2 spaces per hotel room for areas within an enhanced transit area (applies to the Property).”

Carr Properties is hoping to bring Hotel Indigo in line with the current requirement for hotels.

“Because the existing garage is underutilized and less hotel parking is now required, the Applicant seeks to amend the DSUP approval (which included a parking reduction SUP) to allow for .2 spaces per hotel room instead of .58 spaces per room as originally approved,” the developer said. “For 120 hotel rooms, this rate would allow for 24 spaces for hotel and restaurant patrons (and employees); with 3 handicapped spaces to remain; and 42 spaces for third-party use.”

The garage would maintain its current valet service, but would add optional self-parking for non-hotel visitors. The public access could also be closed off if the hotel reaches higher levels of occupancy.

The change is docketed to go to the Planning Commission on Sept. 9. The applicant said the change to the 69 spaces could be to the shared satisfaction of the hotel and waterfront visitors.

“This tailored management will allow for the best utilization of the parking spaces by both hotel patrons and waterfront visitors,” the applicant said. “Ultimately, the Applicant anticipates that managing the parking this manner will fill an unmet parking demand that will be growing during the warm weather months, as the Alexandria waterfront continues to attract residents and tourists.”

Via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Washington Post brings in reporter to cover Arlington and Alexandria — “We are thrilled to announce that Teo Armus is joining the local government and politics team to cover Arlington and Alexandria. Teo has been a reporter on the Morning Mix team for nearly two years, during which time he has shown incredible range, delivering compelling reads about murder hornets in Washington state and a ‘Stop the Steal’ organizer’s claims that three Republican lawmakers helped him with plans for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.” [Washington Post]

Alexandria Symphony playing at City’s birthday celebration on July 10 — “The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announced recently that it will perform at the annual Alexandria Birthday Celebration on July 10. Two companies owned by residents are making the performance possible through their support: Networking and Engineering Technologies, and KSA Integration.” [Zebra]

Alexandria Police Department admissions test is on May 26 — “THIS JUST IN! Join APD to serve and protect the incredible Alexandria community. It starts with the written exam. Take the test this Wednesday, May 26 at 5:00 pm. Click the link to sign up: research.net/r/AlexandriaVA You could end up joining our first academy class of 2022.” [Twitter]

Cat hotel files special use permit — “A cat hotel may be opening in Alexandria. JNL Bean, LLC filed a special use permit request to open a cat-exclusive hotel and grooming business at 2391 Dove St., just southeast of the Duke Street/Telegraph Road interchange.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s weather — “Cloudy early with partial sunshine expected late. High 81F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph… Mainly cloudy. Low 71F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Education fellow (paid) — “The National Women’s History Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the 2021 NWHM Virtual Summer Education Fellow Award. This program is open to K-12 educators, especially history or social studies teachers, for approximately eight weeks during the summer of 2021.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria Police are actively investigating a harrowing incident that occurred earlier this month in a room at the Days Inn/Super 8 hotel at 110 S. Bragg Street in the West End.

On May 8, police responded to a report of a sexual offense against a woman in room 381. Once at the scene, police found a large blood trail outside the hotel room that continued along the third floor.

The woman told police that “she has been engaging in prostitution in order to afford her drug addiction of heroin,” according to a search warrant affidavit. She said that she met a client via a MegaPersonals ad posted on the internet, and that the man became violent while they had sex for money.

The woman said that she screamed for a man who she pays 20% from her income, and told police is her “protection”. The man burst into the room and a fight ensued. At one point one of the men was injured by a large knife, although just who held the knife was unclear in the affidavit and police would not comment on the matter.

The woman told police that “she thought someone was going to get murdered,” and that she was renting the room from another patron of the hotel staying down the hall in room 378. In that room, police found a small plastic bag with a white powder substance, two syringes and a spoon. She also said that she wanted to talk with the man who arranged the MegaPersonals ad, and police found the man’s contact information in her phone under the name “My King”.

Police could not confirm what the substance was in the bag, or if any charges or arrests have been made. None of the suspects have been booked in the Alexandria jail, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s an active investigation of a felonious assault in a room at a hotel at 110 S. Bragg Street that left a man with a laceration to his head,” APD Senior Public Information Officer Amanda Paga told ALXnow.

Map via Google Maps

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It was another week full of news in Alexandria. Here are the top headlines of the week.

Our top story was on the 34-year-old Arlington man charged with distributing methamphetamine after reporting to police that he was the victim of an armed robbery in his fifth floor room at the Embassy Suites in Old Town. The investigating officer asked if there was anything illegal in the man’s room, and he reportedly said, “There is some meth in the room, but it’s for personal use.”

In local restaurant news, two pizza businesses filed special use permits to operate in the city. Stracci Pizza wants to operate at former Nectar Coffee & Wine Bistro in Del Ray and &pizza wants to open near the Hoffman Town Center in Alexandria’s Carlyle neighborhood.

This week, we asked residents about a proposal for a new Waterfront Museum. Out of 207 votes, 37% think it would be great; 35% don’t think the city should go through with it; and 28% like the idea of the museum but that now is the wrong time to do it.

Important stories

Election stories

Top stories

  1. Alexandria Police find meth, thousands in cash in hotel robbery investigation
  2. Alexandria City Council unanimously adopts collective bargaining ordinance
  3. Mayor Justin Wilson says 2021 Democratic primary is about the future, not a rerun of 2018
  4. D.C. man arrested for pharmacy burglaries in Del Ray and West End
  5. Southern Towers residents nervous as landlord steps up eviction proceedings
  6. Stracci Pizza files special use permit to operate at former Nectar Coffee & Wine Bistro in Del Ray
  7. JUST IN: Alexandria Police investigate suspicious package in Carlyle
  8. Alexandria City Council approves creation of Community Policing Review Board
  9. Recently reduced properties in Alexandria
  10. Here’s the order that City Council candidates will appear on the ballot for the June 8 democratic primary
  11. ‘Dogs Of Del Ray’ mural to be finished next month

Have a safe weekend!

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A 34-year-old Arlington man was charged with distributing methamphetamine after reporting to police that he was the victim of an armed robbery in his fifth floor room at the Embassy Suites in Old Town.

On March 24, at around 7:15 a.m., Alexandria Police responded to a 911 call and met the suspect in the lobby. He told police that he’d just been robbed of money by a man with a knife in his room. He also said that a backpack belonging to a friend of his was stolen.

The officer asked if there was anything illegal in the room, and the suspect reportedly said, “There is some meth in the room, but it’s for personal use,” according to a police search warrant affidavit.

In the room, the officer found a clear bag, inside of which was a glass pipe. The officer asked the suspect what the pipe was for, and he reportedly said it was for smoking methamphetamine.

Later that day, officers searched the room and, in the safe, found 144 grams of suspected methamphetamine, marijuana and thousands of dollars. They also found digital scales, empty plastic bags and “numerous” syringes in a desk drawer, “one of which contained an unknown suspected narcotic liquid while the others appeared to be empty,” according to police.

The suspect was booked and released later that day on his own recognizance. The man suspected of robbing him at knifepoint was not arrested.

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What an eventful week in Alexandria.

Thursday, March 11, marked the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic in Alexandria. As the vaccine rollout slowly improves, the most recent news is the allowance of restaurant workers to get the vaccine. Just over 38,000 doses have been administered in the city, and of that 14,661 residents have been fully vaccinated. The city also wants 80% of residents vaccinated by July 31.

Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne also announced that he will not seek reelection this fall, bringing an end to his 43-year law enforcement career. Lawhorne’s protege Sean Casey is now running for the seat in the June 8 Democratic primary.

Criticism against the proposed renovation of the Taylor Run Stream continued this week, and even City Councilwoman Amy Jackson has decided to join residents in opposition.

More than 220 people participated in our poll this week on school resource officers. More than half of respondents said that ACPS should hire more SROs, 30% said the program should be eliminated and 11% believe SROs should only work part time.

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

Our top stories this week:

  1. Inova to Launch New Vaccine Clinic Inside Revamped Victory Center
  2. Battle Royale: Princess Street Development Duel Returns to City This Month
  3. Just In: Captain Sean Casey is Running for Alexandria Sheriff
  4. Alexandria Police Arrest Seven People and Seize Drugs, Guns and Cash
  5. Development Questions Remain for New Braddock West Project Headed to City Council
  6. City Could Help Turn Hotels Emptied by Coronavirus Into Affordable Housing
  7. Just Listed in Alexandria
  8. Do You Like the Suggested Names for T.C. Williams and Matthew Maury?
  9. A Year Late, Contractor Eyes Spring Completion for King Street Metro Access Improvement Project
  10. Superintendent Proposes New Names for T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary
  11. Councilwoman Amy Jackson Argues With School Board Over MacArthur Elementary Construction Schedule

Have a safe weekend!

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What a busy week in Alexandria.

Our top story this week was on Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Old Town shop fibre space on March 3. It was Harris’ first official visit outside of the White House since she was inaugurated, and she spoke about the American Rescue Plan with shop owner Danielle Romanetti.

Alexandria City Public Schools reopened for hybrid instruction this week, the first time since all school facilities were shut down on March 13. The school system reportedly welcomed back 1,200 special needs students in kindergarten through fifth grade. ACPS will open on March 9 for special education students, and then fully reopen its doors to hybrid learning for students on March 16.

On the coronavirus front, the number  of deaths due to the virus has climbed to 123, and cases are at 10,404 since the first case was reported on March 11, 2020. Mayor Justin Wilson says the city is doing well keeping the numbers down, although with a vaccine waiting list exceeding 45,000 and 3,000 vaccine doses being given out weekly, distribution will continue to be slow.

More than 550 people responded to this week’s poll on the proposed new names for T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School. About 60% of respondents said they were happy with Alexandria High School, but not with Naomi Brooks Elementary School; 25% said they liked both names; 8% didn’t like either name; and 6% didn’t like the high school name and were happy with the elementary school name.

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

Here are our most-read posts this week:

  1. Just In: Vice President Visits Old Town Shop Fibre Space
  2. Alexandria Wants Feedback on Building Spray Park in Del Ray
  3. El Chapo’s Wife to be Isolated in Alexandria Jail for One Month Per COVID-19 Distancing Rules
  4. Consultant Proposes Replacing Community Shelter with Mixed-Use Development
  5. Alexandria Advocacy Facebook Group Parodied in New Blog
  6. Superintendent Proposes New Names for T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary
  7. Patrick Moran, Son of Former Congressman Jim Moran, is Running for City Council
  8. ACPS Reopens its Doors and Evaluating Grading System for Traumatized Students
  9. Man Arrested for High-Speed Vehicle Race on I-495
  10. Meronne Teklu Enters City Council Race
  11. Neighborhood Spotlight: Old Town is the New Town

Have a safe weekend!

Photo via Peter Velz/Twitter 

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