Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

Beyer Blasts McConnell for Holding Up Unemployment Extension — “The House passed a bill to extend unemployment benefits months ago, but Mitch McConnell blocked it. He just said the Senate will do nothing until next week — which would cause a lapse. Millions of American families are set to begin August with a huge loss of income as a result.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Firefighter on ‘Tough As Nails’ TV Show — “The whole experience was awesome. Easily one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. In a good way!” [Zebra]

Sheriff’s Office Welcomes Seven New Deputies — “The graduates are: Deputy Mary Jo Cummings; Deputy Shawn Harden; Deputy Cole Masterson; Deputy Nazirullah Qazei; Deputy Junius Smith; Deputy Djibril Sorgho; and Deputy DeVon Williams.” [Zebra]

Lost Boy Cider Owner Digs Into Cider History — “In 1,000 B.C., Alexander the Great discovered original growth apples in Kazakhstan. A study by MIT has traced the original growth apple trees back to one valley in the Tian Shan mountains. As the apples and their seeds moved through Asia and Europe in the B.C. Era, accompanying armies along their conquest trails, their popularity soared.” [Alex Times]

Reasons to Check out Alexandria Makers Market ‘Work/Shop Week’ — “Retail therapy is legitimate, and there’s no better time to check out these local brands! Usually, you can find these companies via their website, but now is the perfect time to see them in person.” [Alexandria Living]

New Job: Dog Walker/Pet Sitter — “Do you love dogs? Are you a college student, stay at home mom whose kids are in school during the day or retiree? Are you seeking a job you really enjoy- one that gets you out of the office and into the fresh air? Then, joining the Barkley Square Professional Pet Services may be the right job for you! Come work with us and get great pay, exercise, and work experience!” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Goodwin House Conducting Virtual Job Fair for Servers at 1 p.m. — “When you join our team, you’ll also be working at one of the Top Workplaces in the Washington, D.C. area according to The Washington Post. Our pay is highly competitive, we offer outstanding benefits and we provide opportunities for growth and excellent perks such as access to our swimming pools and fitness facilities.” [Indeed]

Old Town Sign to Stay on Theater — “Patagonia will “fix up” the sign so it looks a little bit better and to prevent further water damage to the marquee. Patagonia will put up its own sign underneath the marquee.” [Alexandria Living]

Mayor’s Social Media Habit Positively Recognized During Pandemic — “Every time the mayor gets takeout for his family — most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays these days — he tries to documents his meals for more than 4,500 followers on Twitter. For Wilson, it’s a small way to raise visibility for Alexandria restaurants struggling to stay in business while Virginia enforces a dine-in ban to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus.”  [Eater DC]

Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe & Wine Bar Opening This Summer — “Originally, we were hoping to open in early May. Obviously that isn’t happening, nor can it while there is a stay at home order enacted. Our current target is now mid-summer. We greatly hope that life will be starting to normalize somewhat by then.” [Facebook]

Casa Chirilagua Video Shows Expressions of Thanks for Support — “We are just grateful. As you may know, we are without work because of the virus. I’ve been out of work for three weeks, and my brother the same. And we are just, you know, trying to wait this thing out. Thank you so much for the collaboration to help. It was so welcome at this time.Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” [Facebook]

Fairlington United Methodist Church Hosting Daily Online Worship at Noon — “Do you have questions about your faith and our world? Let us know what those questions are in the comments below and we will explore some of them during noontime gatherings this week. Everyone is invited to come to a short devotional, check-in, and prayer at noon every weekday!” [Facebook]

Tech On Tap Urban Gardening Webinar at 4 p.m. — “Get your hands dirty with Urban Gardening! Gardening can be a great stress reducer. Don’t think you have the space for a garden? Wondering which plants you can or should grow? Gardening is the perfect social distancing activity – feeding a revival of interest in food production and gardening as a recreation, outdoor exercise form and community-building tool. Alexandria Economic Development Partnership can help you get started!” [Facebook]

Cidery Owner Participating in Lost Boy Cider Zoom Chat at 4 p.m. — “Chuck Shelton is joining Tristan on Zoom for Wednesday’s happy hour. Chuck is the co-founder and cider maker at Albemarle Ciderworks in Virginia. Widely recognized as one of Virginia’s premier cideries with a tremendous history in heirloom cultivation.” [Facebook]

At Home happy Hour at 5 p.m. With Pork Barrel BBQ Bartender— “Don’t forget to get your tickets for @Home HH with Kristina tomorrow night from 5-6PM! Kristina will be teaching you how to make two craft cocktail classics.” [Facebook]

Volunteer Alexandria Needs Help Transporting Food — “Volunteers needed to transport a generous donation of food from Great Harvest Bread Company to local organizations. Morning and afternoon shifts available Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Fri.” [Facebook]

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Morning Notes

City Finalizes Freedom House Purchase — “What happened at 1315 Duke St. had a terrible and lasting impact on America. Freedom House encourages us to speak truth to power and delve deeper to confront the hard, honest truths about race, class and equity in this country.” [City of Alexandria]

The Birchmere Starts GoFundMe Fundraiser For Staff — “As you know, we have had to cancel or postpone all of our shows for the foreseeable future, at least into May. With no shows this means that all of our hourly and tipped workers (kitchen, wait & bar staff) are not getting paid. We have been asked by many fans of The Birchmere if there was a way they can help so we have setup this GoFundMe page for them.” [GoFundMe]

SBA Loans Available for Local Businesses — “The loans offer up to $2 million per small business. They can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the impact of coronavirus.” [Alex Times]

AEDP Launches Website to Support Businesses During Pandemic — “The Alexandria Economic Development Partnership and our partner organizations are committed to ensuring Alexandria’s business community has the latest information on the impacts of COVID-19 and resources to help businesses respond.” [AEDP]

Lost Boy Cider Hosting Blood Drive — “Local friends, there’s a big shortage of blood right now. Next Thursday we’re hosting a blood drive in the parking lot with our good friends Alexandria Renew and @inovahealth. Please join us between 11-4pm to donate blood.” [Facebook]

Fairlington UMC Holds Daily Online Noon Service — “Weekdays, Monday through Friday at noon, you are invited to gather online via zoom video conference. One of our pastors will lead a devotion, check-in with those gathered, and lead a prayer. It is easy to join.” [Facebook]

Cheesetique Offering Fresh Produce — “Retail–Online Ordering now includes FRESH PRODUCE! For pickup or delivery.” [Facebook]

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Heading into the weekend looking for something to take some of the stress off of the national pandemic and social distancing, some local breweries are starting to offer curbside pickups for their products.

Lost Boy Cider (317 Hooffs Run) is offering pickup at their cidery. Customers select their cider online, pay, and pick a date and time for a pickup. At the cidery, they show their ID and receive the cider.

While the taproom for Aslin Beer (847 S. Pickett Street) in Alexandria is closed, the company is offering cans-to-go for pickup at both Herndon and Alexandria locations from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. No minimum order is required and purchases can be made online, over the phone, or in cash on pickup.

The company is also offering delivery of beer and re-heatable meals for a $75 order minimum, with a $10 delivery fee. Deliveries can be made to Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties via phone. All orders of beer will be delivered the next day, with orders of food or food and beer to be delivered within 48 hours.

Deliveries run from noon to 7 p.m.

“We’re offering this service as a way to comfort and compensate our kitchen staff during these uncertain times,” the company said on its website. “We would also like to help our brothers and sisters in the local service industry by donating all of the proceeds of the meal sales. Please DM us on our [Instagram] if you have any suggestions or organizations that would best serve our friends. We will announce in the coming days how we will be applying our proceeds to the service industry family in our area. Thank you for your continuous support.”

While the taproom of Port City Brewing Company [3950 Wheeler Avenue] is also closed the company is offering both curbside pickup and deliveries.

Curbside pickup is Monday-Thursday from 3-8 p.m. and Friday-Sunday 12-8 p.m. Payment is card only.

Order before you drive up here,” the company said on its website. “No need to get out of your car, pop your trunk and our team will load the beer.”

The company announced today [Friday] that it will be offering beer deliveries for Virginians within ten miles of the brewery. Deliveries are made between 3-6 p.m. and orders made before noon will be delivered in the same day.

“Once we receive your order our team will contact you for payment over the phone,” the company said. “We will charge a $5 delivery fee and require a minimum of $47 [one case or equivalent].”

Image via Port City/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Senior Communities Taking Extra Precautions — “In Alexandria specifically, we are screening visitors as they come in the door. We’re checking temperatures, [and] doing questionnaire work.” [WAMU]

NOVA Shifts to Remote Learning — “With growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, Northern Virginia Community College, NOVA, is shifting to remote learning for all students beginning March 18. All classes will be cancelled March 16-17 to allow for the transition, according to a statement from the school.” [InsideNova]

Lost Boy Cider Posts Covid-19 Protocol — The microbrewery posted on social media a number of measures it’s taking to protect customers from the coronavirus, including a “Fresh air intake system [not recirculating],” and the assurance that all surfaces are being cleaned with anti-viral agents per shift. [Instagram]

Senior Services of Alexandria Gala Postponed — “SSA’s top concern in all things is the health and well-being of Alexandria’s older adults and those who support them. We feel that any risk, no matter how small, is not worth the potential consequences given the populations we serve.” [Zebra]

Chamber Extends 40 Under 40 Deadline — The annual program recognizes 40 outstanding leaders and innovators under the age of 40 living or working in the city, and the nomination deadline has been extended from March 13 to March 20, 2020. [Chamber of Commerce]

Port City Brewery in Running For USA Today’s Top 10 — “We have been nominated by @USATODAY for #BestBreweryTour on the @10best list! Help us secure our spot and be named one of the 10 Best Brewery Tours in the USA! Voting ends March 17!!” [Twitter]

Alexandria Students Awarded By C-SPAN — “Amal Sharif, Alex Conkey and Ben Janusz, students at T.C. Williams High School are honorable mention winners and will receive $250 for the documentary, ‘Which Side of the Story Will You Be On?’ about asylum seekers. Andrew Caslow, a student at Episcopal High School, is an honorable mention winner and will receive $250 for the documentary, ‘America in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.'” [Zebra]

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Hours before Democratic presidential hopefuls took to the debate stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, the campaign offices for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden opened in Alexandria.

Virginia is one of 15 states participating in the Super Tuesday primary on March 3, and the contest has the world wondering who will come out on top.

Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-31), a co-chair for Sanders’ campaign in Virginia, spoke at the packed opening of the new field office at 1314 King Street.

“I decided to run for office inspired by Sen. Sanders,” Guzman, the first Hispanic immigrant elected to the General Assembly, told the audience, which included Alexandria City Councilman Mo Seifeldein. “Within the last few days, I’ve been asked by many reporters about the electability of Bernie Sanders, and that’s the question of the hour.”

Guzman said that Sanders’s base has grown since 2016, and that the campaign is focusing on not only primary voters, but engaging with voters who have felt disenfranchised by the Democratic Party. The campaign is also opening a field office in Richmond and will have campus staging locations spread across every congressional district.

The Biden field office opened Wednesday at 2121 Eisenhower Ave, and featured Ambassador Cathy Russell, a vice chair for the campaign. Russell is the former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues and was Second Lady Jill Biden’s chief of staff during the Obama Administration.

The candidates have made mixed inroads into Virginia. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, plans on speaking in Northern Virginia on Sunday — his latest visit since speaking in Alexandria in June — although the location of the event has yet to be determined. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg spoke in Richmond last weekend, his second trip since speaking in Alexandria in December. Bloomberg has also opened a campaign office in Arlington.

Neither Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who held a town hall event in Arlington last week, nor Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who spoke in Dale City in October, have scheduled events in Virginia leading up to Super Tuesday.

The Alexandria Democratic Committee plans to be out in full force at the polls on Super Tuesday to talk to voters and recruit volunteers, according to ADC Chair Clarence Tong.

“The ADC has been working to increase awareness and visibility of the Super Tuesday presidential primary, including holding our almost annual ADC Straw Poll on Sunday, March 1, at Lost Boy Cider,” Tong told ALXnow. “At that event, participants can hear from surrogates from each of the presidential campaigns.”

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Bunny yoga and meditation is returning to Alexandria this weekend, this time at Lost Boy Cider (317 Hooffs Run Drive), just off Eisenhower Ave.

The event is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 9 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“Join me at Lost Boy Cider in Alexandria, along with a fluffle of lionheaded bunnies visiting from Tripple Springs Farm in Brandywine, MD, for Hoppy Hour,” organizer Beth Wolfe Yoga said in a Facebook post.

Tickets to the meditation are $30.

The event is a 45-minute guided meditation, which will include some bunny snuggling. Included in the ticket price is a post-meditation beverage of hard cider or non-alcoholic, house-made apple juice, according to the Facebook page.

Space for the event is limited and attendees are encouraged to bring their own yoga mats. If the event fills up, another is scheduled for April 5.

Photo via Curtis.Kennington/Flickr

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It was quite a year in Alexandria. It’s safe to say that 202o will be just as busy, but in the meantime let’s take a look at the top stories from the last year.

1. The Seminary Road Diet 

Few local transportation stories have gotten as much attention as City Council’s 4-3 decision on the Seminary Road diet. The move seems simple enough — consolidating from four to two lanes in both directions between N. Quaker Lane and Howard Street with a turn lane in the middle and bike lanes on both sides. Public discord over the change prompted the creation of a Facebook page, which has dramatically turned up the temperature on the issue, even leading to City Councilwoman Amy Jackson to publicly call for a complete reversal on the decision and restart of the process.
See: More Work on Seminary Road This Spring If the State Will Pony Up the Cash
More: Virginia Theological Seminary Weighs In Favor of Seminary Road Diet


2. Legendary Titans Pass Away 

Alexandria lost a number of inspiring figures in 2019, including members of the state championship-winning 1971 T.C. Williams High School football team. The team, who were immortalized in the 2000 film “Remember The Titans” starring Denzel Washington, lost coach Herman Boone, assistant coach Bill Yoast and players Petey Jones and Julius Campbell.


George Washington Middle School. (File photo)

3. ACPS fully Accredited for First Time in 20 Years

It took two decades, and in September Alexandria City Public Schools system announced that all of the city’s public schools reached their state mandated benchmarks to be fully accredited for the 2019-2020 academic year. Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings said that the success didn’t come by chance and that it took six superintendents and a lot of “planning, preparation and dedication for all students to experience success regardless of their life circumstances” to get ACPS where it is today.


4. Ground Broken at Potomac Yard Metro Station

After decades of finalizing plans and making deals, ground was finally broken in December for the construction of the Potomac Yard Metro station. The plan is to open the $320 million station by spring 2022, and while development will result in the demolition of the Regal Potomac Yard movie theater, the area will positively be booming with the eventual addition of the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, a new mixed-use redevelopment, Amazon HQ2 in Crystal City and much more.

“This has been a quarter-century in the making,” Mayor Justin Wilson said at the groundbreaking. “This is a big… deal.”


5. Alexandria’s Summer Metro Shutdown 

Did you have to get creative in your commute over the summer? You weren’t alone. Thousands of commuters in the area were forced to make alternate plans so that Metro could make crucial improvements to all of the station platforms south of the Reagan National Airport station. The shutdown meant expanded Metro and DASH bus routes, morning trolley rides from the King Street station, Potomac Riverboat Company Water Taxi ferries from the Alexandria Waterfront into the District and more. The renovation is part of a $300-$400 million project to rebuild 20 outdoor platforms throughout the Metro system. Once reopened, commuters were introduced to new speakers for clearer public announcements and emergency notifications, stainless-steel platform shelters, passenger information display screens and energy-efficient LED lighting.

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