Alexandria, VA

The Friendship Firehouse Museum has come to the rescue yet again. With Alexandria’s Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend called off this year, the city’s oldest firehouse will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5.

The one-day-only event costs $2 for an entire group of up to per ticket (free for city residents), and only groups of 10 people will be allowed in at a time. The museum has sporadically opened since the onset of the pandemic, and anyone wanting to stay safe can also take a Google 360 virtual tour.

The Friendship Fire Company harkens back to 1774, and is the first fire company in Alexandria. It opened at its current location at 107 S. Alfred Street in Old Town in 1855, and displays include fire engines from the 19th century, hoses, buckets and axes.

The museum is asking visitors the following:

  • Wash hands upon arrival (in museum restrooms or at hand-sanitizing station at the entrance)
  • Wear a face covering while visiting as required by the Commonwealth of Virginia (exceptions include children under 10 and people with health conditions that do not allow them to wear face coverings)
  • Follow one-way traffic patterns through the museum and maintain physical distancing
  • Limit group sizes to less than ten people
  • Please do not touch exhibits or displays

In case you missed it, Alexandria’s official holiday ornament this year features the 1858 Prettyman Hose-Reel Carriage, which usually stands on display in the firehouse and is being completely renovated. The ornament costs $20.

Photo via Friendship Fire Company/Facebook

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With the approach of the yuletide season, the Lee-Fendall House (614 Oronoco Street) in Alexandria has decked out the home in full 19th century regalia for candlelight tours.

“Celebrate the holiday season with evening candlelight tours of the Lee-Fendall House decked out in Victorian splendor,” the Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden said on Facebook. “Our antique toy exhibit will also be on view.”

The home was originally built in 1785 on land purchased by Major General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee.

The tours are offered every half hour starting at 5 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. The museum warned that space is limited and reservations will be required. Face masks and social distancing will also be required for tours.

Tickets for the holiday tours are $8 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-13.

Photo via Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden

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Sometimes buying an existing business is easier than starting from scratch.

We looked through Alexandria listings on BizBuySell and found a bunch of businesses for sale. Many are restaurants, which have been heavily impacted the last several months due to the pandemic.

The website aggregates numerous business sale listings. The names of the businesses and their locations are generally left out of the listings, but there are some exceptions.

Reasons for selling, when provided, typically do not mention economic hardship, but more often involve the owner retiring or not having time to actively run the business.

Here are some that are currently listed in Alexandria:

  1. Clyde’s at Mark Center — “Transwestern’s Southeast Investment Services Group and Ten-X are pleased to exclusively present 1700 N. Beauregard Street, a 14,980 square foot restaurant fully occupied by Clyde’s at Mark Center, located inside the Beltway in Alexandria, Virginia. 1700 Beauregard Street is walkable to Mark Center (8,000 employees) and is proximate to I-395 (0.6 mi), offering convenient and quick access to all the major employment centers, numerous single and multifamily housing options and popular lifestyle amenities in Alexandria and the DC metro area at large. Property tours are available by appointment.”
  2. Coffee Cafe in Alexandria — “Coffee cafe in heavy traffic shopping center of Alexandria VA. This coffee shop was established in 2019 and has tons of potential. All the furniture, fixtures and equipment are in perfect condition. Can be converted to fit most menus. The current owner has decided to get out of the food/drink industry and go back to his full time profession. We are now looking for a new owner to take this turn key establishment to the next level. Priced for quick sale.”
  3. New Laundromats for Sale — “Two New Laundromats for Sale in Manassas, VA + Alexandria VA. One is recently renovated other is completely new. Brand new laundromat in a great location! 21st century laundromat with card system, customized folding tables, modern design, with high-powered energy efficient machines. Location is about 4000 SF located near many current and upcoming apartment complexes. Long-term 10 tear lease with 5 year option.”
  4. Profitable Dry-Cleaners for Sale in Northern Virginia — “This dry cleaner is well known in the area for high quality and customer service. This family-owned business has been serving the community for over 30 years at the current location. The retail space has recently been remodeled by the landlord. The business is located in a busy area with heavy foot traffic. The equipment as well as the store itself has been meticulously maintained. The seller is very motivated to sell the business and will accept reasonable offers.”
  5. Absentee-Owner Gourmet Pizza & Italian With Loyal Following — “This high-visibility restaurant has long been a destination and neighborhood favorite with locals – it continues to enjoy a following as a gourmet take-out option for pizza and all Italian cuisine favorites. Purchased in 2019 as a decades-old chef-owned establishment, the new owner invested in a complete turn around, nearly doubling sales and converting the business model to absentee ownership. Owner has refrained from applying for PPP or other SBA loans so that new owner might be able to take advantage of those opportunities.”
  6. Coin Laundry/Laundromats — “No Exception, Non-Disclosure must be signed in person meeting, No emailing signing. We can meet at anywhere in Fairfax county to sign NDA with appointment.”
  7. Pet Grooming Business — “Well-established pet grooming business for sale!”
  8. Sandwich Shop/Deli — “Substantial net positive cash flow after 31 years in business. Excellent old town location. Extended Lease. Business currently operates 6 days per week for breakfast and lunch until 6 so opportunity to extend hours and days under current SUP. No alcohol but license possible. Delivery and growing catering business add to profits. Accountant attested books. Must have a friendly personality to be successful. Employees likely to stay. NDA required for confidentiality.”
  9. Restaurant & Bar Approved for Hookah MRB VA 943 — “With a capacity of 370, this 2 level establishment is perfect for private events, birthdays or work outings. The first floor is separated into two rooms with a dining area, bar and dance floor with stage/DJ booth while the 2nd room has a large bar, DJ booth and dance floor. The top floor is used for the current owners office, as well as storage, bathrooms and employee lounge. The large kitchen has been kept in pristine condition and is ready to take on any menu or food you desire. Large 18 foot hood system, 2 ice machines and humongous walk in freezers/fridge. All kitchen equipment is high end and very well maintained. This restaurant fits most menus and concepts. The current owner is ready to retire and is ready for a new owner to take this establishment to the next level.”
  10. Mexican Restaurant & Bar Can Convert MRB VA 876 — “This Profitable Mexican Restaurant for Sale has been open and operating profitably for eight years. The location is on a high traffic road and surrounded by residential. This is a turnkey situation on a restaurant that has been grossing in excess of $840,000 annually with profits to an absentee owner of $80,000 annually. Nice full service bar. Outdoor Seating!! Great opportunity for a new on hand owner/operator to take this business to the next level. MUST SEE.”

See more Alexandria listings here.

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Morning Notes

The Loop Opens in Old Town — “The Loop at 215 (located at 215 N. Payne St. in Old Town) is finally open now. The mission is to help companies and individuals ‘work better, be better, and do better.’ The co-working space has a mixture of serviced private offices and open flex workspaces.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Three ACPS Students are National Merit Scholar Finalists — “Earlier this month, the T.C. Williams High School seniors discovered they had all been named National Merit Scholarship semi finalists after outstanding results in the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test last October.” [ACPS]

Alexandria Voters Make Eclectic Write-In Choices — “But let’s be honest, you’re reading this to read about the weird votes. Kanye West was the most electable representative of the world of entertainment for Alexandria, receiving 17 votes for President (including one impressively misspelled as ‘Kanye Wert’) and one for Senate. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson received three votes, and Sterling, Virginia’s own Patton Oswalt received one vote for President, as did ‘Babe the Pig.'” [Washingtonian]

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An upcoming “Cookie Crawl” will send Alexandrians chasing their sweet tooth across Old Town chasing a sugar rush at 25 local boutiques.

This year’s cookie crawl is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 21. Online registration is $30. Participants will stop by each of the stores on the tour and received a pre-wrapped cookie at each site. The cookies are prepared courtesy local bakeries and restaurants. Participants will also receive a commemorative cookie tin.

“We have changed things this year to promote a safe environment,” event organizers said on Facebook. “This year the stroll will take place over the entire weekend. Prior to the event, you will receive a Sign-Up Genius link to schedule a time to pick up your tin. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday, we will have 25 slots for pick up every 30 minutes so we can adhere to social distancing guidelines during.”

Pick-up will start outside The Shoe Hive (127 S Fairfax Street) and masks must be worn at pick-up. Participants must also sign a waiver.

Photo via Bermix Studio/Unsplash

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Morning Notes

Via Volcán Coffee Roastery Opens in Old Town — “Although the global pandemic slowed them down, the McCauslands finally opened their store this month at 110 S. West St. (the former location of VIP Pet). They are excited to share their passion for coffee in a physical space.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

How Will Small Businesses in Alexandria Survive? — “Amy Rutherford, the owner of Penny Press & Red Barn Mercantile, has been brainstorming since July for new ways to make the holidays simple and safe for her clients. This year, she is adding delivery, gift wrap, and gift boxes to her list of services.” [Local DMV]

Sweet Root Village Pivots to Pop Ups — “It was the end of the summer and many in Alexandria had been homebound far too long. The pop-up markets Sweet Root Village ran in September and October somehow made life more bearable.” [Alexandria Gazette]

Local Chef Dies from Brain Cancer — “An accomplished chef, Hugh and his wife Anne-Claire have owned and operated the award-winning Le Refuge Restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia since taking over the legendary operation from Anne-Claire’s family about 10 years ago.” [Zebra]

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Sometimes buying an existing business is easier than starting from scratch.

We took a look through Alexandria listings of the website BizBuySell and found a number of businesses for sale. Many are restaurants, which have been heavily impacted the last several months due to the pandemic.

The website aggregates numerous business sale listings. The names of the businesses and their locations are generally left out of the listing.

Reasons for selling, when provided, typically do not mention economic hardship, but more often involve the owner retiring or not having time to actively manage the business.

Here are some that are currently listed in Alexandria:

  1. Clyde’s at Mark Center — “Transwestern’s Southeast Investment Services Group and Ten-X are pleased to exclusively present 1700 N. Beauregard Street, a 14,980 square foot restaurant fully occupied by Clyde’s at Mark Center, located inside the Beltway in Alexandria, Virginia. 1700 Beauregard Street is walkable to Mark Center (8,000 employees) and is proximate to I-395 (0.6 mi), offering convenient and quick access to all the major employment centers, numerous single and multifamily housing options and popular lifestyle amenities in Alexandria and the DC metro area at large. Property tours are available by appointment.”
  2. Coffee Cafe in Alexandria — “Coffee cafe in heavy traffic shopping center of Alexandria VA. This coffee shop was established in 2019 and has tons of potential. All the furniture, fixtures and equipment are in perfect condition. Can be converted to fit most menus. The current owner has decided to get out of the food/drink industry and go back to his full time profession. We are now looking for a new owner to take this turn key establishment to the next level. Priced for quick sale.”
  3. Absentee-Owner Gourmet Pizza & Italian With Loyal Following — “This high-visibility restaurant has long been a destination and neighborhood favorite with locals – it continues to enjoy a following as a gourmet take-out option for pizza and all Italian cuisine favorites. Purchased in 2019 as a decades-old chef-owned establishment, the new owner invested in a complete turn around, nearly doubling sales and converting the business model to absentee ownership. Owner has refrained from applying for PPP or other SBA loans so that new owner might be able to take advantage of those opportunities.”
  4. Beautiful Hair & Nail Spa for Sale/ Price Reduced — “Great opportunity!!! Serious Inquiries only. Beautiful and well established Hair & Nail Spa for Sale in a very busy shopping center. Seller is retiring after many successful years in the business. Beautiful & Very efficiently designed. 6 years old Spa. Established, loyal customers. Reasonable rent & excellent location. 10 Hair stations, 5 Dryers, 3 Shampoo stations, 8 Manicure Tables, 8 Pedicure chairs, 3 Waxing rooms, 2 Facial Rooms, 1 Body scrub. There is plenty of room to expand. Room to grow by improving social media and other marketing and adding massage service.”
  5. Profitable Sandwich Shop & Deli — “Established in 1955, this well known deli located in a prime location of Alexandria VA is for sale to any qualified buyer. Surrounded by retail and residential on a main road with heavy walking traffic. This restaurant has a very strong following and highly rated on google reviews. The restaurant was completely renovated in 2016 with all brand new furniture, fixtures & high end equipment. The current owner averages a $50,000 cash flow while working limited hours. Do to family circumstances, the owner needs to sell. We are now looking for a new owner/operator to bring this business to the next level.”
  6. Profitable Dry-Cleaners for Sale in Northern Virginia — “This dry cleaner is well known in the area for high quality and customer service. This family-owned business has been serving the community for over 30 years at the current location. The retail space has recently been remodeled by the landlord. The business is located in a busy area with heavy foot traffic. The equipment as well as the store itself has been meticulously maintained. The seller is very motivated to sell the business and will accept reasonable offers.”
  7. Two Laundromats For Sale in Northern Virginia — “Two New Laundromats for Sale in Manassas, VA + Alexandria VA. One is recently renovated other is completely new. Brand new laundromat in a great location! 21st century laundromat with card system, customized folding tables, modern design, with high-powered energy efficient machines. Location is about 4000 SF located near many current and upcoming apartment complexes. Long-term 10 tear lease with 5 year option.”
  8. Established & Well-Known Hair Salon in Old Town Alexandria — “Great opportunity to own a well-known hair salon that has been established for over 30 years in Old Town Alexandria. The business is ideally located on a prominent thoroughfare with excellent street visibility. The salon owners have done an excellent job building a successful salon with reliable revenue and cash flow over the years. There is a stable client base, but there is also plenty of room to grow and expand the business.”
  9. Asian Restaurant and Sushi Bar for Sale — “Established Business for Sale. Owner is looking to retire from business. All equipment is owned and in good condition, except the dishwasher is leased. Asking price is negotiable, send your offers!”
  10. Specialty Gift & Souvenir Boutique in the Heart of Old Town Alexandria — “Unique opportunity to own a specialty gift and souvenir shop in the heart of the Old Town Alexandria. The boutique is located in a high traffic part of Old Town and has been a destination shopping destination to both locals and tourists for decades.”

See more Alexandria listings here.

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Outdoorsy supply store Patagonia has opened in Old Town, according to signs on the door.

The new location opened inside the historic Old Town Theater at 815 King Street. The store was originally scheduled to open in the spring before… well, you know.

“Taking great care to preserve its beautiful character and value as a performance venue, we’re pleased to announce the fall opening of a new Patagonia store in Alexandria’s beloved Old Town Theater at 815 King Street,” the store said on its website. “It’s our first store in Virginia, and we’re really excited to join the community. We realize what it meant to see the theater close back in 2014, but we intend to keep a lot of its energy alive by providing a steady stream of events, films and presentations, as well as a gathering place to support environmental nonprofits working to defend clean water and air, protect wildlife and divest from dirty technologies.”

Patagonia said the stage of the theater will remain with sound and lighting set up and a balcony to host meetings and events while the rest of the former theater operates as a typical store. The iconic Old Town sign is also staying.

“The space devoted to product will hold a beautiful selection of quality clothing and gear for the whole family,” the store said.

Photo via Justin Wilson/Twitter

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The Halloween spooky season isn’t quite over. Tomorrow is Friday, Nov. 13, and Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe and Wine Bar (109 S. Alfred Street) wants you to spend the unlucky day watching House on Haunted Hill with a black cat.

“Black cats and popcorn are the only way to celebrate Friday the 13th,” the cafe said on its Facebook page. “Watch House on Haunted Hill and spend some time with our resident kitties. Popcorn and soda (or tea, coffee) included in ticket price!”

The program is scheduled to run from 7-9 p.m. and tickets are $30 per person. Popcorn and tea or coffee will also be available during the program.

Mount Purrnon — which opened in August — is a cafe guests can visit with adoptable cats who roam the building.

Photo via Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe/Facebook

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Morning Notes


Senators Kaine and Warner Urge GSA to Begin Transition Process
— “An orderly and peaceful transition process is critical as the country continues to grapple with the loss and far-reaching impacts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.'” [Twitter]

Beyer Asks Residents to Stay Home — “Being tired of the pandemic won’t make it stop, we need to be as careful as possible right now.” [Twitter]

Virtual Restaurant Touchdown Wings & Burgers Opens — “Touchdown Wings & Burgers runs out of Joe Theismann’s Restaurant. In mid-October, ARP opened Touchdown Wings & Burgers, a new brand for the organization.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Library Gets Grant for Climate Change Programming — “By receiving the grant, Alexandria Library has committed to becoming a Climate Resilience Hub.” [Zebra]

Casa Chirilagua 5K Extended to November 11 — “GREAT NEWS! Christ the King Church has extended the Casa Virtual 5K to November 11! You now have 2.5 more weeks to register and participate. This is one way you can support the Chirilagua families that face so much adversity with strength and courage. Can you help us reach our 1,000 km goal?” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Rain early…then remaining cloudy with showers in the afternoon. Morning high of 65F with temps falling to near 55. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch. Cloudy skies. Low 48F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Dog Trainer/Instructor — “Olde Towne School for Dogs, the premiere dog training company located in Alexandria, VA serving the D.C. metropolitan area, is looking to hire new full-time trainers to our high energy team in a fast-paced and dog-filled environment!” [Indeed]

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In the market to buy a business? Sometimes it can be easier than starting from scratch.

We took a look through Alexandria listings of the website BizBuySell and found a number of businesses for sale. Many are restaurants, which have been heavily impacted the last several months due to the pandemic.

The website aggregates numerous business sale listings. The names of the businesses and their locations are generally left out of the listing.

Reasons for selling, when provided, typically do not mention economic hardship, but more often involve the owner retiring or not having time to actively manage the business.

Here are some that are currently listed in Alexandria:

  1. Clyde’s at Mark Center — “Transwestern’s Southeast Investment Services Group and Ten-X are pleased to exclusively present 1700 N. Beauregard Street, a 14,980 square foot restaurant fully occupied by Clyde’s at Mark Center, located inside the Beltway in Alexandria, Virginia. 1700 Beauregard Street is walkable to Mark Center (8,000 employees) and is proximate to I-395 (0.6 mi), offering convenient and quick access to all the major employment centers, numerous single and multifamily housing options and popular lifestyle amenities in Alexandria and the DC metro area at large. Property tours are available by appointment.”
  2. Coffee Cafe — “Coffee cafe in heavy traffic shopping center of Alexandria VA. This coffee shop was established in 2019 and has tons of potential. All the furniture, fixtures and equipment are in perfect condition. Can be converted to fit most menus. The current owner has decided to get out of the food/drink industry and go back to his full time profession. We are now looking for a new owner to take this turn key establishment to the next level. Priced for quick sale.”
  3. Absentee-Owner Gourmet Pizza & Italian With Loyal Following — “This high-visibility restaurant has long been a destination and neighborhood favorite with locals – it continues to enjoy a following as a gourmet take-out option for pizza and all Italian cuisine favorites. Purchased in 2019 as a decades-old chef-owned establishment, the new owner invested in a complete turn around, nearly doubling sales and converting the business model to absentee ownership. Owner has refrained from applying for PPP or other SBA loans so that new owner might be able to take advantage of those opportunities.”
  4. Beautiful Hair & Nail Spa for Sale/ Price Reduced — “Great opportunity!!! Serious Inquiries only. Beautiful and well established Hair & Nail Spa for Sale in a very busy shopping center. Seller is retiring after many successful years in the business. Beautiful & Very efficiently designed. 6 years old Spa. Established, loyal customers. Reasonable rent & excellent location. 10 Hair stations, 5 Dryers, 3 Shampoo stations, 8 Manicure Tables, 8 Pedicure chairs, 3 Waxing rooms, 2 Facial Rooms, 1 Body scrub. There is plenty of room to expand. Room to grow by improving social media and other marketing and adding massage service.”
  5. Profitable Sandwich Shop & Deli — “Established in 1955, this well known deli located in a prime location of Alexandria VA is for sale to any qualified buyer. Surrounded by retail and residential on a main road with heavy walking traffic. This restaurant has a very strong following and highly rated on google reviews. The restaurant was completely renovated in 2016 with all brand new furniture, fixtures & high end equipment. The current owner averages a $50,000 cash flow while working limited hours. Do to family circumstances, the owner needs to sell. We are now looking for a new owner/operator to bring this business to the next level.”
  6. Restaurant & Bar Approved for Hookah — “With a capacity of 370, this 2 level establishment is perfect for private events, birthdays or work outings. The first floor is separated into two rooms with a dining area, bar and dance floor with stage/DJ booth while the 2nd room has a large bar, DJ booth and dance floor. The top floor is used for the current owners office, as well as storage, bathrooms and employee lounge.”
  7. 5 Days Open Deli in Office Complex — “Italian gourmet deli sandwich shop running 5 days (7AM ~9PM). Nestled in a well known office and residential complex.”
  8. Established & Well-Known Hair Salon in Old Town Alexandria — “Great opportunity to own a well-known hair salon that has been established for over 30 years in Old Town Alexandria. The business is ideally located on a prominent thoroughfare with excellent street visibility. The salon owners have done an excellent job building a successful salon with reliable revenue and cash flow over the years. There is a stable client base, but there is also plenty of room to grow and expand the business.”
  9. Asian Restaurant and Sushi Bar for Sale — “Established Business for Sale. Owner is looking to retire from business. All equipment is owned and in good condition, except the dishwasher is leased. Asking price is negotiable, send your offers!”
  10. Specialty Gift & Souvenir Boutique in the Heart of Old Town Alexandria — “Unique opportunity to own a specialty gift and souvenir shop in the heart of the Old Town Alexandria. The boutique is located in a high traffic part of Old Town and has been a destination shopping destination to both locals and tourists for decades.”

See more Alexandria listings here.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says Trump Only Cares About Himself — “Trump doesn’t care about legal principles or the law. Trump doesn’t care about fair counts, and he doesn’t care about our democratic norms. Trump doesn’t care about his oath to protect the Constitution. The only thing Donald Trump cares about is Donald Trump.” [Twitter]

Mas Seafood to Open Retail Space in Old Town — “From the previous North Henry Street location, they supplied restaurants in Alexandria and Arlington, including Daniel O’Connell’s Pub, Fontaine Caffe & Creperie, Alexandria Pasty Shop and Belle Haven Pizzeria. While they had always been interested in doing retail sales, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic upended their market that they were able to make the shift — almost by accident.” [Alexandria Living]

Outcasts Brass Band Jazzes Up Old Town — “Band members who can wear masks while playing wear their masks, and all band members wear masks in between songs. They also stand farther apart from one another and encourage audiences to practice social distancing and wear masks.” [Alex Times]

Alexandrian Sending Space Cube to Moon — “Alexandria’s Hudson Merrick is going to take a selfie in space. At least that is part of what he what he and 19 other carefully selected students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are attempting in the latest space mission, the EagleCam CubeSat camera system. The first-of-its-kind student-led project aims to snap a third-person ‘selfie’ of a lunar lander touching down on the moon.” [Zebra]

DCHS Helping Residents with Medicare Open Enrollment — “Do you or someone you know need assistance with Medicare Open Enrollment? The Department of Community and Human Services can help. The Medicare health insurance program–for people age 65 or older, or under age 65 with certain disabilities or disease–encourages all enrollees to review their plans  to ensure the plans meet their needs. Open enrollment ends December 7.” [City of Alexandria]

Today’s Weather — “Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 72F. Winds light and variable. A mostly clear sky (in the evening). Low 46F. Winds light and variable.”[Weather.com]

New Job: Ministry Program Associate — “This is a full-time position at the Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC) located in Alexandria, Virginia. The incumbent is under the day-to-day supervision of the Liaison for Ministries and serves as Ministry Program Associate. This role is primarily responsible for providing direction and leadership to ministry leaders and staff in the areas of ministry program development, volunteer and event management and new ministry development.” [Indeed]

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