Alexandria, VA

Feeling stressed? Momma’s Hemp at 1314 King Street carries $2 lollipops infused with CBD that are supposed to calm you down, give you energy, make you creative and focused.

Jennifer Bright and her eldest son, Devin Pullen, opened the shop on Tuesday. The pair also opened a location in their hometown of Culpeper, Virginia, in 2019.

“Old Town is kind of like coming to a foreign country, but I’m getting used to it,” Bright told ALXnow.

Before going into business for themselves, Bright said she was wrongly fired from her job as a customer service representative for a retail store in Culpeper for bringing in CBD edibles to the office. The products won’t get customers high since CBD, or cannabidiol, is a completely legal cousin of the marijuana plant and has no psychoactive effects.

“I wish we had opened my business sooner, but being the single mom of four boys, I depended on that money and just felt comfortable in that position,” Bright said. “I feel like it happened for a reason, even though I didn’t understand it at the time. But now that I look back at it, it inspired us to do this, to push ourselves.”

Bright said that Pullen was experiencing anxiety, and that prescription medication wasn’t helping. So, they ventured into CBD. Products at the store include coffee, teas, candies, lotions, bath bombs and vapor cartridges.

“We’ve been watching him crawl out of the shell that he’d been in for quite some time,” Bright said. “It’s wholistic healing, and I’m using it, too. I’m not on any heavy medication. I feel better now than I have in my entire life. It just provides a great body relaxation. If you deal with anxiety or have pain, it’s gonna just help take that edge off. “

Bright said that she and her son are waiting for marijuana to get legalized in Virginia so that they can sell it.

“That’s kind of what we’re waiting for,” she said. “The plan is to keep these two open, and then open more locations down the road.”

2 Comments

Morning Notes

Independent Investigation Clears ALX Chamber CEO of Wrongdoing — “The Chamber will be immediately scheduling workplace professionalism training for all staff and Chamber leadership and the Chamber’s Code of Conduct will be updated and clearly communicated to staff and members.” [Alexandria Living]

Beyer Votes ‘YES’ as House Passes Equality Act — “The House just passed the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in the workplace, in housing, in receiving health care, and more. I voted YES; this is the final vote:” [Twitter]

Council Approves Stormwater Fee Increase — “City council unanimously passed an ordinance doubling the stormwater utility fee from $140 to $280 during Saturday’s public hearing. The increased fee will add $155 million into the city’s coffers over the next 10 years and will help fund an ambitious new flood mitigation action plan, according to city staff. The plan includes various capacity and spot improvement projects meant to overhaul Alexandria’s crumbling stormwater infrastructure.” [Alex Times]

Single Complaint, Lengthy Permitting Process Jettison Classical Concert Series — “There is a noise ordinance in the city – I totally respect it – but our musicians are softer than the birds that chirp along with us, way softer than the airplanes that fly overhead, way softer than the cars and the motorcycles and all the traffic that moves around us.” [Alex Times]

Councilman John Chapman’s Campaign Kickoff Event is March 7 — “Excited to announce my official re-election campaign kickoff event on Sunday, March 7, at 3pm. Check out my website or FB page for more details. chapman4council.com” [Twitter]

Community Invited to Give Feedback on Colasanto Pool Redesign — “The City of Alexandria has hired LSG Landscape Architecture for the project, which will build on recommendations from a 2016 community survey and the city-sponsored 2012 Aquatic Facilities Study. Funding for the project is made possible by Alexandria’s Capital Investment Program as well as a Community Matching Fund through a partnership with the Del Ray Gateway Project.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — “A mix of clouds and sun in the morning followed by cloudy skies during the afternoon. High 51F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph…. Cloudy with periods of rain. Low around 40F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Staff Member –“We are seeking dedicated professionals who are reliable, hardworking, and passionate to join our wait staff here at Il Porto Ristorante. Should have at least one year of experience working in high volume dine in restaurant. Compensation is $800-$1200 a week. We will be accepting application’s daily Starting March 1, 2021 between 2-4 p.m.” [Indeed]

7 Comments

M&B Auto Sales has reportedly been a difficult neighbor, and it could cost the used car dealership at 26 S. Dove Street its special use permit.

At an upcoming March 2 meeting, the Planning Commission will consider revoting the dealership’s automobile sales and repair special use permit after what staff called repeated violations.

The dealership has been repeatedly cited for violating its permits by parking in the public right of way, loading and unloading vehicles from delivery trucks, and exceeding the total number of cars permitted on the lot. Complains from neighbors resulted in an in-person meeting with the Department of Planning and Zoning on July 23, where staff said the dealership agreed to abide by conditions and take more action to ensure compliance.

But that didn’t happen. In the report, staff included a catalogue of seven warnings and notices filed against the dealership between June 2020 and this month, along with 37 calls for service to the police department.

An email from a neighboring business owner included in the report detailed some of the day-to-day problems at the site:

Yesterday afternoon, there were at least eight Alexandria Police officers responding to an out-of-control couple who felt cheated on an auto purchase. The street was essentially closed down for half an hour. Today at 4:30, I drove around the bend and almost hit one of the six cars that were illegally parked on both sides of the street. Those were in addition to the six or seven that remain parked for days and weeks on Dove Street south of their lot. Some have temporary tags and some don’t. I called for an parking enforcement officer today but usually by the time they arrive the scenario has totally changed.

Four of those notices resulted in penalties, which have culminated in $700 of unpaid fines as of January and a $500 notice of violation issued this month.

Now, staff is recommending the City Council revoke M&B Auto Sales’ permit.

“Staff recommends revocation of SUP#2020-00041 effective March 27, 2021,” staff said in the report. “Should City Council revoke the SUP, operation of the existing permitted automobile sales and repair business located at 26 Dove Street would no longer be authorized.”

Photo via Google Maps

0 Comments

Lauren Fisher has her work cut out for her.

By day, the psychologist is the co-owner of Del Ray Psych and Wellness, where she and her growing staff have been contending with a three-to-four month waitlist to see new clients.

Last year, she helped mobilize Del Ray’s Wellness District, a collaboration between wellness-related businesses that offered socially distant gong meditations, outdoor yoga and free mental health webinars. She also offered online therapy at a reduced rate.

Now Fisher, who was recently elected to a one-year term as president of the Del Ray Business Association, is working to figure out what 2021 will look like and how she can help the neighborhood’s 150-or-so businesses.

Fisher has lived in Del Ray with her husband, Ben, since 2004. We recently sat down with her to talk about her plans for the year.

ALXnow: Congrats on your recent election.

Fisher: Thanks. I’ve been really touched by the outpouring of support from people who were happy to see me become president. One of my main goals is to do a formal assessment of how businesses are doing.

ALXnow: The impact of the pandemic last year was so sudden, but you’ve taken charge of an organization that has strong community roots. What are you bringing to the table as a psychologist? 

Fisher: I’d like to make sure that our business owners have all the resources they need, whether it’s PPP, accounting information, or if they need more customers coming in the door, or even mental health support.

It’s important that we help preserve the community that we serve, because that keeps our businesses alive. Connecting is critical. We need connection and community.

We need to remind each other that we’re still here, that we care about each other and have each other’s backs.

ALXnow: You can feel that energy at a traditional Del Ray community event, like the Halloween Parade or Art on the Avenue, which draw tens of thousands of people. Like many parades and public events, both were canceled this year.

Fisher: People are hungry for connections. Just look at our First Thursday events. We’re apart, but we’re together. I think it means we have to a lot of on-the-fly thinking and observe all CDC and local guidelines to keep everyone safe.

I think we’re all looking forward to the restrictions lifting a little bit on how much we can gather, because that will make a difference. In the wellness community, we’re having conversations about can we do a fit crawl with all the fitness businesses in the area.

But the last thing we’d want to do is encourage any gathering when it’s unsafe. So, I’m hoping that some of that starts to change over the next few months, as more people get vaccinated.

ALXnow: What are you seeing with your patients these days? Any common psychological effects? 

Fisher: There’s a whole new wave of anxiety, with people asking, “Are we safe? How long do we wear masks? When can we travel? When can we see loved ones?”

I am lucky and grateful to live in this area, because when I walk up and down the street I see people I know, although there’s folks who haven’t left their houses and apartments for the whole entire year of the pandemic, for the most part.

ALXnow: What’s your pet peeve? 

Fisher: A weak handshake.

Photo via Well Ray/Facebook

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Beyer Praises U.S. Rejoining Paris Climate Agreement — “Excellent news. At last!” [Twitter]

Alexandria library Launches Mobile App — “Library access is now available everywhere you go. Alexandria Library today launched its new mobile app, making their whole catalog and more available on your smartphone.” [Zebra]

Windsor of Old Town Celebrates 40 years in Business — “When Donna Windsor opened her shop on Valentine’s Day in 1981, she couldn’t have known that by the time 2021 rolled around she’d be celebrating 40 years operating Windsor of Old Town, outlasting scores of nearby businesses that opened and closed in the process.” [Zebra]

Fire Chief Participates in EMS Training — “Fire/EMS Chief @SmedleyCorey goes through an EMS scenario in our simulation lab with Firefighter Fiera Givens and Medic Beth Honaker during advanced life support training earlier today.” [Twitter]

City Offering Free Webinars on Medicare — “DCHS is offering a series of free virtual workshops about Medicare for residents who are new to the health care coverage or a caregiver for a Medicare beneficiary. Next workshop: Original Medicare, March 2, 10-11 am. Register at alexandriava.gov/Aging.” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Rain and snow in the morning changing to rain late. Some mixed winter precipitation possible. High 41F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 100%. Snow accumulations less than one inch… A few clouds (in the evening). Low 33F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: School Portrait Photographer — “The oldest school picture company in America is seeking photographers in the Fairfax County and surrounding Regions for the upcoming 2021 Spring school photography season.” [Indeed]

2 Comment

Morning Notes

GoFundMe Raises $29K for Family of Bishop Ireton Student — “It is with a heavy heart that the BI community mourns the death of our fellow classmate Andrew Benson, who was taken from us much too soon. He was one of the nicest people we knew and was a member of the BI varsity soccer team. He played fullback  and was an avid soccer player and was one of the hardest workers on the team. He always had a smile on his face and he never failed to make you smile with a joke or make a stressful or hard day a little better.  Please donate if you can or remember him in your thoughts and prayers. All proceeds go to the family and to help with funeral arrangements.” [GoFundMe]

Holy Cow Honors Sue Kovalsky with ‘Burger of the Moment’ — “Sue, we appreciate you! This #BOTM is for you.” [Facebook]

Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter Announces Reelection Bid — “I hope that you will join us online for our campaign kick-off on Wednesday, March 3rd at 7:00 p.m. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about how you can be involved in this campaign and our vision of criminal justice reform.” [Facebook]

Virtual Open House on FEMA Flood Map Update Process — “The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is updating its flood maps of Alexandria and has requested that the City of Alexandria provide community outreach assistance. The City will host a virtual open house on March 1, from 7 to 8 p.m. Residents and businesses are encouraged to participate to learn more about the update to the floodplain maps.” [City of Alexandria]

Bennett-Parker Gets More Endorsements in Race for 45th District Seat — “I’m honored to announce I have been endorsed by Arlington County Board, Vice-Chair @kcristol and Board Member @libbygarvey! Both have an impressive record of public service and I look forward to continuing to work with them on the issues that are important to our region.” [Twitter]

ALIVE! Free Food Distribution Set for Saturday — “On Sat, Feb 20, 8:30-10:30am, @ALIVE4AlexVA will distribute food in Cora Kelly Elem School parking lot and parking lot B-1 of NOVA-Alexandria Campus (map at alive-inc.org, if college closes due to weather, distribution cancelled).” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Intervals of clouds and sunshine (during the day). High 36F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph… Cloudy (in the evening). Snow showers developing after midnight. Low 28F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 80%. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Real Estate Photographer — “Nova Virtual Tours, Inc. provides photography, videography, aerials, and interactive 3D Virtual Tours to all industries. We work closely with realtors in the Northern Virginia area to provide them with marketing tools and media to sell their listings, and we also work with commercial clients in many different industries within NoVa and beyond.” [Indeed]

2 Comment

It was a cold week in Alexandria.

With bits of snow and temperatures hovering at around freezing, our top story this week was on Allison Priebe, the local business owner who was robbed while pumping gas in Old Town. Police later released suspect photos and advise anyone pumping gas to keep their keys with them and lock their vehicles.

On the coronavirus front, Alexandria is now at 9,903 cases and no new deaths, which is an increase of about 150 cases since Monday’s report. Meanwhile, as the city contends with a growing vaccine waiting list, the Health Department is warning residents of COVID-19 vaccine scams.

More than 260 people participated in our weekly poll. This week we asked about voting in the upcoming City Council and mayoral elections, and 87% plan on voting in the primary and general election; 6% only plan on voting in the primary; 5% aren’t voting and 1% will only vote in the primary.

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

Here are our top stories of the week in Alexandria:

  1. Local Business Owner Robbed of Car While Pumping Gas at Old Town Gas Station
  2. BREAKING: Large Power Outage Reported in Old Town
  3. ACPS Releases Semifinalist Names for T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School Renaming
  4. Just In: ‘QAnon Shaman’ from Capitol Siege Transferred to Alexandria Jail
  5. Poll: What Do You Think of the Proposed Heritage Development in Old Town
  6. Mayor: Brace Yourselves, It Could be End of Summer Before City Moves into Next Vaccine Phase
  7. BREAKING: Councilman Mo Seifeldein Running for Alexandria Mayor, Hatch Act Conflict in Question
  8. Alexandria Sheriff: Jailed ‘QAnon Shaman’s’ Organic Food Request is Normal
  9. Just In: James Lewis Files Paperwork to Enter City Council Race
  10. Photos: The Regal Potomac Yard Movie Theater is Being Torn Down
  11. City Councilman’s Virtual Super Bowl Party Ambushed by Racists and Nazi Trolls

Photo via Alexandria Police

3 Comments

It’s hard to not love sweet things, and on Friday morning Dolce and Bean was presented with the annual Heart of Del Ray award.

“The neighborhood is just overwhelming,” Dolce and Bean owner Petros Grebre-Egziabher told ALXnow. ” I want also to express my love to this community that welcomed me with open arms and supported me every day for four years.”

The confectioner at 2003A Mount Vernon Avenue received a large heart from the Del Ray Business Association that he will display prominently for a year. Also in contention this year were St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub and Stomping Ground. More than 1,400 people participated in online voting, according to DRBA.

The heart display was officially moved on Friday morning from the location of the 2020 awardee, Preeti Patel’s 7-Eleven.

“Petros makes you feel like you’re the most important customer when you come in,” DRBA President Lauren Fisher said. “It’s like seeing an old friend. He just treats everyone like that and he does embody the heart (of Del Ray), and we are so happy to have him in our community. And he carries great chocolate.”

DRBA board member Gayle Reuter received notes effusively praising Grebre-Egziabher.

“Where do you go that when you walk in it warms your heart?” Reuter said at the award presentation. “Where do you go that makes you feel like this is a real community? That’s exactly what people said about you. They said the minute they walk through your door, you greet them with a smile.”

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Beyer Says COVID Relief Legislation Will Save Economy — “Today we answered the call of the American people by advancing big, ambitious legislation in @WaysMeansCmte to help end the pandemic and save the economy. We are working to meet the nation’s need with the scale and speed that this crisis requires.” [Twitter]

Northam Sends Letter to FEMA Asking for Increased Assistance With Vaccination — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a two-page letter to FEMA and HHS leaders requesting increased support for COVID-19 vaccination efforts of essential federal employees. It specifically asks that the federal government vaccinate its own workers, including contractors and WMATA employees.” [Zebra]

Photos: Alexandria Sheriff Trainees Get Sprayed in the Eyes — “The final day of field training for these recruits wasn’t a snow day, it was OC spray day! Deputies experience OC spray in a controlled situation during training so they know what to expect and how to keep focused if they’re exposed to it in the future.” [Facebook]

Alexandria Recycles 3 Million Pounds of Glass in Two-And-A-Half Years — “In 2.5 years, Alexandrian’s have recycled over 3 million pounds of glass at the drop off purple bins! You’re also keeping glass out of city-collected recycling carts…glass contamination is down from 26% to 10%. Keep it up! ” [Twitter]

Uncle C’s Chicken & Waffles Preparing to Open on Richmond Highway — “Richmond Highway will soon be getting a new spot for fried chicken and other Southern comfort foods. Uncle C’s Chicken & Waffles is opening at 6308 Richmond Hwy. The spot was previously home to Jerry’s Subs and Pizza, which closed in early 2018.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy skies (during the day). High 33F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph… Cloudy in the evening. Low 28F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Alexandria Police Officer — “Think you have what it takes to be one of Alexandria’s finest? The first steps are to apply and schedule a test. Apply today! Upcoming testing dates: 2/13 at 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 2/18 at 5:00 p.m., 2/22 at 5:00 p.m.” [Twitter]

8 Comments

What a news-filled week in Alexandria.

Things got off to a snowy start on Monday and Tuesday, as the city was under a winter weather advisory.

Our top post was a poll regarding the proposed Heritage Development in Old Town. Nearly 1,500 people voted, and 52% don’t have a problem with it. The development was approved unanimously by the Planning Commission and now goes to City Council for consideration.

One of the most important stories of the week was the decision announced Thursday to resume in-person classes at Alexandria City Public Schools on March 16.

On the coronavirus front, there has been an additional death since Monday’s weekly COVID-19 update. The death toll from the virus now stands at 105, and the number of cases is 9,630. That’s more than 500 cases since Monday. The city’s seven-day moving average is now at 41.1 cases, which is down 14 cases since Monday. Additionally, there are more than 30,000 city residents on the waiting list to get the vaccine.

This week, Alexandria Police mourned the loss of parking enforcement officer Edward Bonds to COVID-19. This is the department’s first death due to complications from the virus.

In case you missed them, here are some important stories from the week:

  1. Alexandria Boxer Troy Isley Goes Pro With Big Fight Next Week
  2. Psychologist Lauren Fisher Elected Del Ray Business Association President
  3. Overhaul of Eisenhower Baseball Field Up to Bat at Planning Commission
  4. From Layoff to Liquorice: West End Business Owner Creates Candy Store Amid Pandemic
  5. Just In: James Lewis Files Paperwork to Enter City Council Race

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria:

  1. Poll: What Do You Think of the Proposed Heritage Development in Old Town
  2. New West End Residential Development Headed to Planning Commission
  3. Heritage Project Now Goes to City Council After Unanimous Planning Commission Approval
  4. BREAKING: Councilman Mo Seifeldein Running for Alexandria Mayor, Hatch Act Conflict in Question
  5. Poll: Should the City’s Taylor Run Stream Restoration Project Go Forward?
  6. Revamped ‘ESP’ on King Street Ditches Old Ownership and Controversies
  7. Stream Restoration in Alexandria Attracts a Deluge of Controversy
  8. ACPS: Community is Generally Opposed to Affordable Housing at T.C. Expansion
  9. Just In: ‘QAnon Shaman’ from Capitol Siege Transferred to Alexandria Jail
  10. Weather Alert: Up to Eight Inches of Snow Expected in Alexandria
  11. Photos: The Regal Potomac Yard Movie Theater is Being Torn Down

Have a safe weekend!

Image via City of Alexandria

2 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list