Newsletter

Morning Notes

Contaminated Legacy: From slave plantation to industrial pollution, a hidden history of North Old Town — “The land where the power plant is now located was once a slave plantation owned by the first rector of Christ Church, Townshend Dade. In the 1920s, the area experienced rapid industrialization. The American Chlorophyll Company set up operation on the spot where the power plant would later locate the coal pile. And the Potomac River Clay Works had an operation on what is now the parking lot of the power plant. Neighbors in North Old Town say they want all that contaminated soil cleaned up rather than capped in place and left where it is, a common way to deal with these kinds of heavily polluted sites.” [Gazette]

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra opens fall season — “So thrilled the @Alex_Symphony is back, live and in-person at the Schlesinger Center! Live music is back, masked and vaccinated and better than ever!” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing later in the day. High 81F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%… Scattered thunderstorms in the evening. Partly cloudy skies overnight. Low around 65F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 50%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Alexandria haunted pub tour guide — “We specialize in performing haunted pub tours. Think ghost tour combined with Pub Crawl and there you have it. Our website is www.NightlySpirits.com and we are currently looking for tour guides to work 2-3 days per week, but possibly more depending on the season. Our pub tours operate Wednesday-Sunday evenings, so you must have evening and weekend availability. Tours run roughly 3 hours. We are looking for exciting, life-of-the-party tour guides. If people find you boring, don’t bother applying. You also must be able to learn quickly, memorize a script and ACT IT OUT, as well as be able to interact with the group. Typically our tour guides have worked in a bar/restaurant or have some acting skills as well as the ability to herd cats.” [jobshq.com]

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Morning Notes

Alexandria appoints flood mitigation manager — “Effective Oct. 11, Daniel Medina will serve as the Flood Action Alexandria program manager. The new position will include coordination across city departments on the flood mitigation program and manage the city’s stormwater capital project lineup.” [Patch]

McAuliffe, Youngkin unload in feisty final Virginia debate — “Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin bickered their way through the second and final debate of Virginia’s competitive governor’s race on Tuesday, trading attacks and accusations from the start of the hourlong meeting.” [Politico]

Taste of Old Town North is Thursday — “Don’t miss The Taste of Old Town North, September 30 at 4p.m. Great food, music and more at this free event happening at Montgomery Park.” [Twitter]

Here’s a list of great walks in Alexandria — “Known for its walkable lifestyle, Alexandria is a city best experienced on foot.” [Visit Alexandria]

Today’s weather — “Mostly sunny. High 73F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph… A mostly clear sky. Low 52F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Pet sitter and dog walker — “Alexandria Pet Care seeks an experienced career pet expert to work with animals in their homes.” [Indeed]

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There is lots of new development coming to North Old Town, and for locals interested in getting to know the area more, the North Old Town Independent Citizens Association (NOTICe) is planning a tour of what’s coming up.

The tour is scheduled to run from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, followed by a social hour at the North Old Town location for St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub (529 Montgomery Street) from 7-8 p.m. The tour is self-guided but representatives will be on-hand at each of the locations to provide information on what’s planned.

“[NOTICe] is sponsoring a development tour of the neighborhood, featuring seven stations giving participants the opportunity to speak directly with the developers and marketing organizations for seven projects,” the civic association said in an email.

Tours will be offered at:

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Alexandria was spared from significant flooding this week after remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the East Coast. The only flooding found was on lower King Street in Old Town, where businesses laid sandbags at windows and doorways.

“We’re open inside, but if you want to eat you’re probably going to have to come barefoot,” a hostess at Mai Thai told ALXnow on Wednesday.

Our top story this week was, for the second week in a row, on the recent brawl inside Alexandria City High School.

It’s a three-day weekend, and on Sunday the annual Old Town Festival of Speed & Style will bring crowds to marvel at classic and beautiful rides along King Street. Monday is Labor Day, and the city will operate on a holiday schedule.

In this week’s poll we asked how satisfied readers are with Alexandria City Public Schools since reopening on August 24. A majority (31%) reported being extremely unsatisfied with the school system, while 29% said ACPS has done a good job, 25% are extremely satisfied and 14% are unhappy overall.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. BREAKING: Video shows brawl at Alexandria City High School cafeteria just two days after school starts
  2. 13-year-old hit by car while walking home from school in Del Ray
  3. Fox put George Washington Middle School into a lock-in today
  4. Man arrested for spending spree after finding wallet in Bradlee Shopping Center parking lot
  5. No injuries or arrests after shots fired on Duke Street
  6. ACPS Superintendent Hutchings asks community to hit the brakes on email campaigns
  7. Alexandria man arrested for beating up ex-girlfriend in Old Town North
  8. Alexandria sees cases rise in August and warns of COVID-19 in schools
  9. Alexandria man convicted for possessing child porn and violating parole
  10. Historic Black cemetery under threat of being washed away in Old Town
  11. Man swallows two bags of drugs and runs from police in Old Town

Have a safe weekend!

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A 24-year-old Alexandria man was arrested last week and released on bond after allegedly beating his ex-girlfriend with a chain and his fists in Old Town North, according to court records.

Herman Stitt was arrested Aug. 20 and released on bond the same day after allegedly fighting with his ex-girlfriend at her home at Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority property in the 800 block of Montgomery Street in Old Town.

The incident occurred at around midnight on June 23, and police found the victim crying with injuries to her face and right eye, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The victim told police that Stitt pushed her to the ground, possibly knocking her unconscious.

“When she woke up, she stood up and Mr. Stitt proceeded to punch her in the face approximately 10 times with a closed fist,” police reported in the search warrant, adding that the victim claimed Still beat her with a broken-off metal chain from her purse strap. “(The victim’s) injuries included a burst blood vessel in her right eye, cuts on her lips and chin, an abrasion on her right knee and welts across her right shoulder and back, in the shape of a chain.”

Police said that Stitt, who has an extensive criminal record, is a known member of the Alexandria-based Mob 4 Life gang, which is responsible for area violence over the last several years.

The Alexandria Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program is available 24/7 to listen and help at 703-746-4911.

“If you are a neighbor and know that an abusive incident is occurring, call the police immediately,” the city said. “Calling the police is simply the most effective way to protect the victim and children from immediate harm.”

Via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Missing man identified as car crash victim — “Jose Eduardo Gonzalez Calimayor has been located.  He was identified as the driver who died from injuries sustained in a single-vehicle crash in Prince George’s County on June 4, 2021.” [Alexandria Police]

Suspect arrested after murder near Hybla Valley — “A man is dead after a fatal shooting in Alexandria Saturday night. The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) is investigating a homicide that occurred at the 7400 block of Vernon Sq. Dr. in Alexandria.” [WDVN]

There’s no face mask mandate in Alexandria… Yet — “No, there is not currently a mask mandate. @CDCgov recommends masks in indoor public places for communities in a state of substantial or high transmission, regardless of vaccination status. Alexandria is currently in a state of substantial transmission.” [City of Alexandria]

Today’s weather — “Intervals of clouds and sunshine (during the day). A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 91F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph… Partly cloudy (in the evening). Low 73F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Teller at Wells Fargo Bank — “At Wells Fargo, we are looking for talented people who will put our customers at the center of everything we do. We are seeking candidates who embrace diversity, equity and inclusion in a workplace where everyone feels valued and inspired.” [Indeed]

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Five Alexandria men have been arrested and charged with attempted felonious assault by mob after a shots fired incident in Old Town North on July 21.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred at around 6:35 p.m. in the 800 block of N. Henry Street in the Parker-Gray neighborhood. Multiple buildings were struck during the incident.

Arrested were Dennis Keels, 28, Samuel Felton, 24, Corey Mason, 21, Bob McNeely Jr., 21, and Javon Williams, 22.

“Keels was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and discharging a firearm in public places,” Alexandria police said in a release. “Felton was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. McNeely was also charged with discharging a firearm in public places.”

Earlier this month, police also found a firearm inside a gray Honda Accord that Felton and Mason allegedly drove, and which is in police possession.

Alexandria has wrestled with an uptick in shootings in the area since last year, even going so far as to ask residents for help in identifying suspects. The area where the shots were fired is near the Braddock Road Metro StationAlexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority properties and the Charles Houston Recreation Center.

The incident was investigated by Alexandria Police, with help from the Prince George’s County Police Department and the U.S. Marshall’s Capital Area Region Fugitive Task Force.

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What an unexpectedly busy summer week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.

Our top story was on an Alexandria woman who claims she was roofied at a restaurant on the waterfront on the evening of July 9. A police report has been filed, and no charges have been made.

This week we sat down with acting Police Chief Don Hayes, who said that he’s thrown his hat in the ring with City Manager Mark Jinks to keep the top job. Hayes, a 40-year veteran of the Alexandria Police Department took over after the sudden departure of Chief Michael Brown last month, and will have to contend against candidates in a national search.

The Tokyo Olympics also start this week, and the games will include three T.C. Williams High School graduates — sprinter Noah Lyles, high-jumper Tynita Butts-Townsend and boxer Troy Isley. In fact, Lyles just had a comic book biography published in the Washington Post. If you’re a fan of the Olympic games, check out this list of local restaurants celebrating with special events and meals.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Woman claims she was roofied at Old Town restaurant
  2. Residents protest against conditions at West End apartment complex
  3. Developers eye Beauregard redevelopment with West End upgrades on the horizon
  4. Former chef at ‘The Alexandrian’ opening new restaurant in Arlandria on Monday
  5. No injuries after shots fired in Braddock area on Wednesday
  6. DASH takes lessons from D.C., Baltimore and Oregon in eliminating bus fares
  7. ‘Call Your Mother Deli’ signs lease in Old Town
  8. After last month’s Democratic primary, Republican Darryl Nirenberg tops campaign donation leaderboard
  9. New city health improvement plan aims to fix inequities
  10. Poll: Have you been to the Winkler Botanical Preserve?
  11. Lee-Fendall House to throw speakeasy party to finance building repairs

Have a safe weekend!

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No one was injured after gunfire damaged a business and an apartment building in the Braddock area on Wednesday evening.

Alexandria Police said that the incident occurred at around 6:35 p.m. Multiple shell casings were recovered in the 800 block of N. Henry Street in Old Town North and no suspects have been arrested.

“Detectives are actively following leads in this ongoing investigation,” police said in a news release. “Anyone with video or information about the incident is urged to contact Investigator Matthew Barnickle at [email protected] or call the police non-emergency line at 703-746-4444.”

Callers can remain anonymous.

Last month, police reported success in combating a surge in shots fired incidents.

via Google Maps

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Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s (ARHA) newly released Annual Agency Plan outlines the public agencies ongoing efforts at modernization and acquisition of affordable units in Old Town, with a particular focus on being more involved in rental-assistance programs.

The plan outlines areas of change for the organization, with the organization required to explain new activities in the current fiscal year. This year, one of those categories involves changes in “Mixed Finance Modernization or Development”. In its explanation, the document explained that ARHA is continuing to work on demolition of older units under Housing and Urban Development code Section 18 and rental assistance demonstration — rental assistance that ensures existing low-income units remain affordable — of others.

“To date, the repositioning has resulted in HUD Section 18 approval of 213 units (Ladrey, Park and Saxony). ARHA has received CHAPS for the RAD conversion of 220 units (James Bland I, James Bland II, Old Dominion, West Glebe, Chatham Square and BWR),” ARHA said. “The goal is to reposition as many properties as possible over the next five years so that ARHA can voluntarily convert its portfolio of units when there are less than 250 remaining public housing units. ARHA is implementing the repositioning policy consistent with HUD rules requiring that tenant protections remain in place and that tenant share of rent will not change beyond the current 30% of household income.”

The documents also noted that ARHA has selected 11 potential development partners to increase the overall number of affordable units by making units available to households earning between 30-60% of area median income.

The next big project for ARHA will be the redevelopment of the Ladrey building that will replace the existing units with units kept affordable through housing vouchers in addition to other residential development.

“In 2021, the Board of Commissioners will issue a redevelopment opportunity for the combined site of the existing Ladrey building together with the adjacent former ARHA site,” ARHA said. “The goal is to construct a multifamily building to house the existing 170 units at Ladrey by converting the units to project-based vouchers (HUD has approved the Section 18 reposition for this property) and add additional affordable and market rate units. The building will have an onsite management office, amenity space for use by all the residents, underground parking and units that meet current building codes.”

In the annual plan, ARHA said the push for more rental assistance can offer more flexibility and can supplement the public housing with project-based vouchers — units where residents pay some costs and ARHA makes up the remaining difference in utility and rental costs.

“Through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, ARHA will continue to own its properties and provide its residents with expanded choices and opportunities,” the public agency said. “ARHA will also have the ability to evaluate and immediately address many needed capital improvements and will continue to serve the same population. The RAD program offers ARHA an opportunity to transition from its current public housing funding platform to a more stable, predictable and sustainable funding source, the Project-based Voucher (PBV) program, which will be administered by the ARHA. The same families who are eligible today for public housing will be eligible for the PBV program.”

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