Community champions were honored as Living Legends of Alexandria on Wednesday night.
The prestigious annual honor was given to a dozen well-known former lawmakers, city employees, activists and business owners.
Mayor Justin Wilson said that Alexandria draws people who contribute to the greater good.
“This community has a way of just sucking you in to something great and it’s wonderful,” Wilson said. “But quickly, whether you’re growing up or you just got here, you start to realize that some of the same people are involved in multiple things, and… those are the kinds of people we’re honoring tonight. These are the people that make a lasting difference to our community. Decades from now when all of us are long gone, you will go around and you will say, ‘Wow, that happened because of them.'”
The reception was held at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial and was hosted by former Alexandria City High School principal John Porter. Three of the honorees who died recently were still recognized.
The 2023 Living Legends of Alexandria
- Former Police Chief David Baker
- Nelson Greene Jr., who died last year
- Retired Sheriff Dana Lawhorne
- Carolyn B. Lewis, founder of Project Discovery Alexandria
- Patty and Kate Moran
- Gary Oelze, who died this year
- Colonel James Paige
- Former City Council Member Redella S. “Del” Pepper
- Jack Sullivan
- Former School Board Member Charles Wilson
- William Vosbeck, who died in 2021
Metro to keep reduced service through Dec. 31 — “Metro will continue offering reduced rail service through the end of the year, WMATA announced Monday.” [NBC4]
Bun Papa opens third location in Bradlee Shopping Center — “The newest Bun Papa location operates out of the future BeeLiner Diner which will open in Bradlee Shopping Center early next year.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]
Nominations sought for Alexandria Living Legends — “Once selected, each new Living Legend of Alexandria will be celebrated with a museum-quality photographic portrait, an interview with a professional print journalist and will have a segment in a lasting video produced by an award-winning film company.” [Zebra]
Virginia police stop teen suspect from jumping off bridge — “Virginia State Police stopped a teenager who was linked to several burglaries from jumping off the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, a report says.” [Patch]
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.
- Assist with the Halfway to Saint Patrick’s Day Festival — Help the Ballyshaners celebrate Irish Cultural Heritage on Saturday, September 18 with live music, Irish dancing, food and beverages. Volunteers are needed for 3-hour shifts, starting at 9am and ending around 8pm, to help with set up, entrance and exit monitoring, ID checks, and bartending (must be 21 and older). Click here to sign-up.
- Crossing guards needed help children get to school and home safely — ACPS need your help getting our kids to and from school safely. Volunteers will control traffic at already designated crosswalks to allow families to cross streets safely to and from school. Times would be 7:15 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. and 2:25 p.m. to 3:05 p.m. at various schools across the city. Click Here to sign-up.
- Deliver Meals to ACPS School Children — Senior Services of Alexandria is looking for volunteers to support school lunch delivery to families who have children learning virtually this fall. Volunteers are needed to pick up and deliver meals on Mondays and Wednesdays. Car and valid driver’s license required. Click HERE to express interest.
- Event support needed for Living Legends of Alexandria reception honoring volunteers — Living Legends of Alexandria is seeking volunteers for the event. Tasks may include assisting with live screening set up, crowd control, parking lot assistance for anyone needing help, and much more. The event is at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 30. Click HERE to sign up.
- Help with a 5K race — Run! Geek! Run! is a 5K race held each year with the proceeds going to the Child and Family Network Centers. Ironisitic is looking for volunteers to help our runners, assist with the water station, support the finish line, register individuals, cheer our runners along on the route, and clean-up after the race on Saturday, September 26. Click Here to sign-up.
- Kids games and card making for first responders – Join us at Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library on Saturday, September 25 from 10 a.m. to noon to make cards for first responders, police officers, and firefighters. We will also be playing a few games to learn about fire and earthquake safety! Click HERE to sign up.
- Prepare for a hurricane – Learn how to navigate disasters through an interactive tabletop exercise on Saturday, September 18. Join our Volunteer Reception Center core team that will organize volunteers ready to assist with community recovery efforts after a disaster. To sign up, click HERE.
- Provide input for Dari and Pashto reading materials – Help translate common city materials and educational pamphlets for incoming Afghan refugees. During this virtual focus group on Wednesday, September 22, 7 – 8 p.m. we will discuss and identify potential needs and resources for refugees, identify reading materials that could be translated, and how to have them translated and then disseminated into
the community. To sign up, click HERE.
Volunteers Needed to Unload 40K Pounds of Food for Five Food Pantries — “Getting this food is a huge opportunity and we are excited to provide love and security to families in our neighborhood. Thank you for your help!” [Zebra]
Juvenile Robbed of Phone in West End — “The Alexandria Police Dept is investigating a robbery from a person in the 1400 blk of N. Beauregard St. A juvenile female had her cellphone stolen by a group of juvenile males. No injuries reported. Expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]
Northam Gets Legislation Eliminating Death Penalty — “Abolition of the Death Penalty is on the Governor’s Desk. Thank you to everyone who has worked towards this moment. Virginia can start to lead the world again on human rights and justice.” [Twitter]
City Seeks Feedback on Community Policing Review Board — “Options for establishing an Independent Community Policing Review Board will be considered by Alexandria City Council on March 9.” [Patch]
Bill Reagan Named Living Legend of Alexandria — “Recently our Director, Bill Reagan, was announced as a 2020 Living Legend of Alexandria! Read more about how Bill started the Alexandria SBDC and his 25 years of unwavering service to the Alexandria small business community.” [Facebook]
Wonder Woman 1984 Drum Will Be Up Until the End of the Month — “The seven-foot drum prop from #WonderWoman1984 will be on display in Old Town until February 28.” [Twitter]
Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy skies (during the day). High 63F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph… Partly cloudy skies (in the evening). Low 38F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Team Member at Barca Wine Bar and Pier — “We are seeking high volume , servers’, bartenders, hosts and support team members as we open Alexandria’s newest waterfront treasure.” [Indeed]
The Del Ray art marker for Pat Miller Neighborhood Square at 2311 Mount Vernon Ave. is expected to be erected this spring. The project, which was designed by Maryland artist Kirk Seese, has been in the works since 2018.
“It’s supposed to be an identifier for Del Ray,” Pat Miller told ALXnow. “There’s no place that says Del Ray in Del Ray. None. So, this is to be an identifier through an artistic piece for the community.”
The square was named after Miller, who is an Alexandria Living Legend, more than five years ago. Situated in the heart of Del Ray, it hosts weekly farmers’ markets, and is home to the Del Ray Christmas Tree and Del Ray Music Festival performers.
Miller said it’s important for the community to have an identifying marker.
“Public art is extremely important,” she said. “It makes you smile. And, it’s an identifier, a place to meet. For example, if you want to meet somebody in Del Ray for dinner, but you don’t know where to eat, you can just say, ‘Meet me at the identifier.'”
Image via City of Alexandria
Alexandria Living Legend Joe Shumard Dies — “Over the weekend, Joe Shumard, an Alexandria Living Legend, past president of the Chamber of Commerce, executive director of the George Washington Birthday Celebration and Parade, and president of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, passed away after an extended illness.” [Zebra]
Beyer Calls Trump ‘Menace’ After President Denounces Fauci on Twitter — “Donald Trump publicly attacks one of the country’s leading medical experts with juvenile personal insults as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths spike across the United States. Trump is a menace to the health and safety of the American people.” [Twitter]
City Recommends Low Risk Halloween Activities — “The City and AHD strongly urge Alexandrians to choose Halloween activities that are identified as lower risk by the @CDCgov. Treat yourself to lower risk options this year and reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 outbreaks.” [City of Alexandria]
The Goddard School Opening in Alexandria in 2021 — “The Goddard School has 70,000 students enrolled in more than 525 schools in 38 states.” [Alexandria Living]
ACPS Gives Away 1,000 Books to Patrick Henry Elementary School — “Thanks to grant from the Reading Is Fundamental program, staff presented students in kindergarten through the fifth grade with 1,000 free books!” [Zebra]
Today’s Weather — “Areas of patchy fog early. Sunshine along with some cloudy intervals. High 78F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.Mostly clear during the evening followed by cloudy skies overnight. Low near 60F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Social Worker — “Conducts personal interviews with the referring worker in order to compile a social history; Assists in matching children to best suited foster families; Participates in pre-placement interviews with the child, foster family, and referring worker…” [Indeed]
Beyer Accuses Trump of Racism — “Just more straight-up racism here from the man who couldn’t disown white supremacy on a national stage 24 hours ago.” [Twitter]
Alexandria GOP Chair Says Residents Fear Being Republican — “He said that the local Republican chapter is in full support of Donald Trump. He believes that Republicans in Alexandria may be silent but significant… He shared that many local Republican supporters fear repercussions if they make their opinions public.” [Alexandria Living]
Apartment-Hotel Company Leases Old Town Building — “Sonder USA Inc. has applied with Alexandria to operate the apartment-hotel coming to 805 King St. The 9,700-square-foot, four-story building, owned by North Carolina’s Asana Partners, has a Warby Parker eyeglasses boutique on the ground floor. Renovations are underway to convert the offices around and above that store to residential units, all with small kitchens, ranging from 225 square feet to 527 square feet.” [Washington Business Journal]
Alexandria Drivers Third Rudest in U.S. — “According to a study by Insurify, Alexandrians aren’t very nice people behind the wheel. In fact, we’re pretty darn rude.” [Alexandria Living]
Police Congratulate Retiring Parking Enforcement Officer — “Congratulations and best wishes to PEO (parking enforcement officer) Charity Roberts. Thank you for your 31.5 years of service–you will be missed!!!” [Twitter]
Living Legend James Henson Honored — “On Sunday, Sept. 27, the newest Living Legend of Alexandria, James Henson, received quite the surprise. Friends presented him with his official Living Legends portrait. They gathered outside the Departmental Progressive Club (DPC) to walk to his home.” [Zebra]
Today’s Weather — “Sunny, along with a few afternoon clouds. High 73F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.A steady rain in the evening. Showers continuing late. Low 53F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 70%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Marketing and Communications Manager — “You will be responsible for supporting APCO’s communications and marketing efforts associated with elevating the organization’s profile within emergency communications. The ideal candidate will create and execute strategies that promote the organization’s programs and services while developing and implementing communications plans and related promotional collateral.” [Indeed]
The list of pivotal Alexandria women is long, and starting this weekend a new local nonprofit will lead the city in honoring the 100 year anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.
“Great women, they never give up,” Miller told ALXnow. “Because if you can’t get it done one way you find another way to do it. That is exactly what happened with the suffragists. They never gave up, even when they were in jail.”
Women’s suffrage came to a head in 1917 when more than 70 women were jailed, beaten and force-fed at the Occoquan Workhouse. Reports of their severe treatment largely influenced the passage of the Amendment, including the story of Lucy Burns, who was force fed through her nose and spent a “Night of Terror” with her hands cuffed above her head.
“Their case was heard at the Alexandria courthouse, and the judge found that they had every right to protest and were released,” Miller said. “They went back to exactly what they had been doing, and they had the political momentum behind them.”
Alexandria Celebrates Women will lead a bike ride on Saturday, August 15. The free, family-friendly event will start at 7:30, 8:00 and or 8:30 a.m. to accommodate small groups of eight riders or fewer. The event will begin near the Office of Voter Registration and Elections (132 North Royal Street) in Old Town. The 14-mile route will go through trails and neighborhood streets.
The 19th Amendment passed on August 18, 1919, and at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, Mayor Justin Wilson will issue a city proclamation to mark the occasion in an outdoor ceremony at the Kate Waller Barrett Library. Barrett was a social and voting rights activist throughout her life and was the president of the National Council of Women.
Additionally, artists in the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Studio 311 are creating an exhibit to honor the centennial, in addition to including a life-size historic picture of suffragists.
“When you just think about the women in the city, how many women head up a department and organization?” Miller said. “It’s overwhelming and we’re not honoring them, we’re not showing how much we appreciate what they do. That’s all changing.”
An Alexandria Living Legend and longtime advocate for public access to the waterfront died last Wednesday in his Old Town.
Engin Artemel served in the City of Alexandria Department of Planning for ten years and was Planning Director from 1997-1984. He was 81 years old.
“One of his most notable contributions to the City of Alexandria was the opening of the Alexandria waterfront to residents and the general public, planned through careful attention to historical precedent and in close collaboration with community leaders,” said his daughter, Deniz Artemel. “He also led the revitalization of lower King Street.”
According to his Living Legends profile, Artemel played a key role in the establishing which areas of the cohesive waterfront belonged to whom, and working on advocating on the city’s behalf for opening up public access to previously inaccessible portions of the waterfront.
Artemel’s vision is clear in the city’s Waterfront Plan, an ongoing process of establishing a walkable waterfront along the eastern edge of Old Town.
After serving as the planning director, Artemel founded Artemel International which exported his experience in urban planning — particularly on waterfronts — to the Middle East and the former Soviet Union.
Deniz Artemel said that in lieu of flowers, her father would have wanted to be remembered by taking a stroll and “enjoy his beloved Old Town Alexandria waterfront.”
Photo courtesy Deniz Artemel
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]