Morning Notes

Alexandria health director reflects on sudden retirement, tenure with city — “When Dr. Stephen Haering, director of the Alexandria Health Department for the past 11 years, unexpectedly announced his retirement on April 9, he did so for what he called ‘deeply personal’ reasons. Haering, whose retirement was effective immediately according to a city news release, told the Times in an interview that his departure was ‘not associated with the pandemic response.'” [Alex Times]

Vaccination drive brings a dose of hope for restaurant workers — “More than 1,000 restaurant and small business employees have filed through the doors of the old Fireflies restaurant over the past few weeks with the same purpose: receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. The location’s current vacancy made this the perfect site to administer such a large number of shots, Bill Blackburn, restaurateur and co-owner of Homegrown Restaurant Group, said. Blackburn joined forces with community organizer Charlotte Hall and Scott Shaw of Alexandria Restaurant Partners – who donated the space – to orchestrate the Alexandria Restaurant Drive whereby restaurant workers could receive vaccinations in a streamlined way.” [Alex Times]

Bren Mar Park demolition project to begin — “Demolition work will begin at Bren Mar Park on Collier Lane and Edsall Road in Alexandria, Virginia, as the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) removes a home on the property.” [Fairfax County]

Reimagined ‘Taste Of Old Town North’ to be held over 2 months — “The Reimagined Taste of Old Town North will start on April 21 and will continue through June 21. During the two-month period, residents can purchase a Taste Passport for $10 to use at participating businesses. These businesses will offer discounts to Passport holders.” [Patch]

Today’s weather — “Intervals of clouds and sunshine (during the day). High 63F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph… A few clouds from time to time (in the evening). Low 44F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Taekwondo instructors and camp counselors — “Our growing company is currently seeking motivated and enthusiastic individuals who are GREAT with people to join our team at multiple locations. Our programs include martial arts classes for all ages, as well as After-school & Summer Camp programs for children 6-12 years old. Work hours tend to fall in the afternoons, evenings and Saturday mornings. This is a part-time position that can lead to a full-time position with excellent opportunity for advancement.” [Indeed]

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Stuck at home? Potomac Kempo has been teaching Japanese martial arts virtually through the pandemic.

The dojo has a number of locations in Alexandria, and while hundreds of students are starting to come back the business is transitioning from offering online-only services.

Jeff Gibbs manages the Huntington location and has practiced Kempo for nearly a quarter-century. He’s a third-degree black belt and said that online courses can be effective, but not as impactful on developing real skills.

“Contact is necessary for training and self-defense,” Gibbs told ALXnow. “Now, if your interest is just to stay in shape while doing something mentally engaging, then sure, that is not a problem. If it’s a kid looking to just have improved focus or having a half-hour of focusing on something, and their parents need a break, then we can focus on that.”

Gibbs said instructors have been told to take their fighters outside if it gets too crowded indoors.

“It turns out martial arts can be learned just fine in the rain,” Gibbs said.

Potomac Kempo isn’t the only local dojo in the virtual training arena. Seichou Karate in Old Town has also been hosting courses online to keep students training through the pandemic.

Photo via Potomac Kempo/Facebook

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