Alexandria, VA

There have been 12 more coronavirus-related deaths in Alexandria, bringing the death toll from the virus to 119.

Six of the deaths were residents in their 80s, four were in their 70s and two were in their 60s. Five victims were women and seven were men.

Alexandria’s caseload now stands at 10,342. That’s 146 more cases since this time last week, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

There have also been 509 total hospitalizations in Alexandria since the onset of the pandemic, and the city’s seven-day moving average is now at 22.4, which is down from last Monday’s total of 26.6 cases.

Across Virginia, there have been 8,783 deaths and there are or have been 577,174 cases of the virus. There have also been 5.9 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 7.1% (down from 8.1% this time last week).

Vaccine Update

VDH is now releasing vaccine demographic data for Alexandria, and 20,317 residents have received at least one dose and 13,004 have been fully vaccinated. There are now more than 45,000 city residents on the vaccine waiting list.

White residents far outpace other races in the city for first doses and full vaccinations.

  • White — 6,942 first doses, 3,493 fully vaccinated
  • Black — 1,723 first doses, 1747 fully vaccinated
  • Latino — 1,684 first doses, 809 fully vaccinated
  • Other — 1,416 first doses, 667 fully vaccinated
  • Asian of Pacific Islander — 505 first doses, 234 fully vaccinated
  • Native American — 45 first doses, 13 fully vaccinated

“Some of the disproportionality among people of color compared to white populations may be due to the current vaccination focus on older adults,” reported the Alexandria Health Department. “In addition to  AHD’s equitable vaccine prioritization process, AHD will use this data to reinforce existing engagement efforts, such as partnering with communities of color, to raise awareness about vaccine safety and effectiveness, and how to pre-register and how to obtain COVID-19 vaccination.” Read More

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Morning Notes

Virginia Rolls Back Some Restrictions on Dining, Outdoor Gatherings — Effective Mar. 1, Virginians will be able to buy and drink alcohol at restaurants, food courts, breweries, distilleries, and wineries until they are required to close at midnight. The changes to the current executive order come amid declining rates of hospitalizations and infections and rising vaccination rates in the Commonwealth, Northam said during a press conference this morning (Wednesday).” [Reston Now]

Alexandria Black History Museum Launches Online Exhibition — “Following George Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020, the Alexandria Black History Museum (ABHM) requested that Alexandria residents share their thoughts, artwork, and more. ABHM wanted to document the Alexandria community’s response of this tragic event and preserve it for future generations. An online exhibition featuring the items received so far launched recently on the Historic Alexandria Online portal. The items collectively are called the Black Lives Remembered Collection.” [Zebra]

Leaders Predict What Alexandria Will Look Like in the Year 2050 — “You pop into the Torpedo Factory and delve into the immersive beauty of art and technology combined, then get your caffeine fix with ease as a retinal scan captures your regular favorite brew — fair trade of course, because all coffee is these days. With a coffee in hand, you board one of the free electric trolleys that departs every 10 minutes from King Street to any of the city’s neighborhoods — Potomac Yard, Inova West, Carlyle, Arlandria, Del Ray and more.[Alexandria Living]

Council Approves Newport Village Development — “UDR Newport Village LLC, has received approval for a development special use permit to tear down two garden-style apartments and build a multifamily residential building with 383 units near Northern Virginia Community College. According to the plans, 24 units would be studios, 255 would be one-bedroom units, and 104 would be two-bedroom units. At least a dozen of the units would be affordable, and the developer is making a contribution to the affordable housing fund.” [Alexandria Living]

City Environmental Award Nominations Open — “Know someone who is committed to protecting the environment and sustaining Alexandria’s natural resources? Nominate them for the Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award by March 25.” [Twitter]

George Washington Reenactor Conducting Community Conversations — “Join George Washington every Friday in February as he discusses his life during various periods of his life and engages the audience. The first week will be about his youth, the second week will delve into the American War for Independence, the third week will cover his post-war retirement at Mount Vernon and his time presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and the last installment will cover his Presidency and final retirement years.” [Visit Alexandria]

Today’s Weather — “Mainly sunny (during the day). High 52F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph… Partly cloudy (in the evening). Low 31F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Pastry Chef/Baker — “Seeking a full time pastry and/or bread baker for high quality artisan bread and pastry company. We are looking for a creative self starter who has attention to detail and a variety of skills from cookies and brownies to cakes, ice cream, mousses, desserts and pies- laminating skills a plus but not necessary. Creativity, drive and a strong work ethic are critical. This position comes with a lot of freedom to develop new items and grow the business. You will be producing a menu of set items according to our recipes but we are looking for someone who can creatively and efficiently develop and add more items- this is a growth position.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Volunteers Needed to Unload 40K Pounds of Food for Five Food Pantries — “Getting this food is a huge opportunity and we are excited to provide love and security to families in our neighborhood. Thank you for your help!” [Zebra]

Juvenile Robbed of Phone in West End — “The Alexandria Police Dept is investigating a robbery from a person in the 1400 blk of N. Beauregard St. A juvenile female had her cellphone stolen by a group of juvenile males. No injuries reported. Expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]

Northam Gets Legislation Eliminating Death Penalty — “Abolition of the Death Penalty is on the Governor’s Desk. Thank you to everyone who has worked towards this moment. Virginia can start to lead the world again on human rights and justice.” [Twitter]

City Seeks Feedback on Community Policing Review Board — “Options for establishing an Independent Community Policing Review Board will be considered by Alexandria City Council on March 9.” [Patch]

Bill Reagan Named Living Legend of Alexandria — “Recently our Director, Bill Reagan, was announced as a 2020 Living Legend of Alexandria! Read more about how Bill started the Alexandria SBDC and his 25 years of unwavering service to the Alexandria small business community.” [Facebook]

Wonder Woman 1984 Drum Will Be Up Until the End of the Month — “The seven-foot drum prop from #WonderWoman1984 will be on display in Old Town until February 28.” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy skies (during the day). High 63F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph… Partly cloudy skies (in the evening). Low 38F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Team Member at Barca Wine Bar and Pier — “We are seeking high volume , servers’, bartenders, hosts and support team members as we open Alexandria’s newest waterfront treasure.” [Indeed]

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It was a cold and snowy week in Alexandria.

Our top story this week was on plans to redevelop the GenOn power plant in Old Town North. It looks like deconstruction of the plant will start in 2023 and developers are looking at converting it into an urban, mixed-use property with housing.

The short work week started with news that Alexandria reached 10,000 cases of COVID-19. The latest figures show that there are 10,113 cases and 104 total deaths in the city, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The city’s seven-day moving average is now 35.1 cases.

A 49-year-old homeless woman was found dead in Arlandria on Tuesday morning, and the mayor told us that homelessness is on the rise in the city. ALXnow is following up with the city on the issue.

Tuesday morning also brought news that Alexandria City Councilman Mo Seifeldein abandoned his run for mayor and will not seek reelection to council. Seifeldein was hired as a trial lawyer by the U.S. Department of Labor in Jan. 2020, and while he can finish out his term on council, he can not run unless he files as an independent candidate.

In other election news, the race for city council is starting to get crowded, as Bill Rossello, a co-founder of the Bring Integrity Back to Alexandria Facebook Group, just threw his hat into the ring.

On the vaccine front, the waiting list has surpassed 45,000 and it may be until late summer that the vaccine is widely available in the city. On Thursday, Mayor Justin Wilson also asked the governor to open vaccine eligibility for restaurant, personal care and retail workers.

More than 200 people responded to this week’s poll on power outages. There have been a number of outages over tha last year, and 73% of respondents reported experiencing an outage, while 26% report that their homes haven’t been impacted.

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

Here are our top stories of the week in Alexandria:

  1. Developers Lay Out Multi-Year Timeline for GenOn Plant Redevelopment
  2. BREAKING: Homeless Woman Found Dead on Mount Vernon Avenue
  3. Alexandria Boxer Troy Isley Goes Pro With Big Fight Next Week
  4. Seifeldein Not Running for Mayor, Leaving Alexandria City Council
  5. ALXnow’s Top Stories this Week in Alexandria
  6. Director of Finance: Alexandria’s Real Estate Assessments Are a ‘Tale of Two Markets’
  7. Local Business Owner Robbed of Car While Pumping Gas at Old Town Gas Station
  8. Torpedo Factory Overhaul Heads to City Council Next Month
  9. Snow: Up to 6 Inches of Snow and Ice Expected in Alexandria
  10. BREAKING: Alexandria Police Investigate Second Car Stolen While Owner Pumps Gas
  11. Local Facebook Watchdog Group Founder Bill Rossello Announces Run for City Council

Have a safe weekend!

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Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson wants Governor Ralph Northam to include retail, personal care and restaurant workers in phase 1B of coronavirus vaccine distribution.

“Not only are these workers vital to the economic health and vitality of our communities, but the are, more often than not, those in our community who are bearing the burden of COVID-19 more acutely than others,” Wilson wrote in a letter to Northam.

Last month, Alexandria entered into 1B, which allows anyone 65 and older to get prioritized for the vaccine. Also included are essential workers, such as police, fire and EMS officials, Alexandria City Public Schools staff and people ages 16 and older with underlying medical conditions.

Wilson said women make up a majority of retail jobs and minority populations are at higher risk because of health disparities in the community.

“Those who serve in these jobs do not have the luxury of working from home and must interact with the public, often at distances less than six feet, in order to perform their work,” Wilson wrote. “Currently, retail, personal care and restaurant workers are in line for vaccines behind many workers in our community who are not required to interact with the public on a daily basis in order to do their jobs.”

It may take until late summer before the vaccine is widely available in Alexandria, Wilson said

More than 45,000 city residents are on the waiting list to get the vaccine, and about 2,000 doses are being distributed weekly.

“COVID-19 vaccine supply currently remains extremely limited,” the city reported Thursday. “While local demand for COVID-19 vaccination exceeds the supply, Alexandria Health Department (AHD) must prioritize certain groups for vaccination.”

Residents can pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine in Alexandria here.

Photo by Eli Wilson

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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]

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Morning Notes

Mayor Asks Residents to Shovel Snow — “Grab your shovel and help us make it safe for pedestrians around our City. Sidewalks must be cleared by Thursday at 3 PM! @Volalex is back supporting our ‘Snow Buddy’ program for those who need assistance or can assist.” [Twitter]

Beyer Criticizes Trump’s Lawyers — “Trump’s lawyers misspell “United States” right at the beginning and somehow it only gets worse and more amateurish from there.” [Twitter]

Governor Urges Virginians to Recognize Black History Month — “Virginia native Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded #BlackHistoryMonth in 1926 to help recognize the achievements and contributions of Black Americans. Black history is American history–this month, and every month, let’s continue working to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate it.” [Twitter]

Del. Levine Firearm Bill Passes House — “My Safe Capitol Bill just passed the House! The bill bans firearms in the Capitol, Capitol Square, and state government buildings. If you want to lobby us, use your voices. Threaten our re-election, not our safety. Guns have no place in the public square.” [Twitter]

Former Del. Krupicka Endorses Bennett-Parker for 45th District Seat — “As a former Council Member and a former Delegate for the 45th district, I know that local government experience in Richmond is crucial and that’s why I know Elizabeth will be the best candidate to serve the residents of Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax. Her deep commitment to the environment and our public schools and students are traits that I know will make her an effective Delegate. We need her leadership in Richmond and I am proud to endorse her.” [Elizabethfordelegate.com]

ALIVE! Gets Donation From Scottish Group — “Mike Bible and Rick Cady, representing the Alexandria Scottish Rite, presented a check to Jennifer Ayers of ALIVE! in Alexandria, VA for $2,350 on January 19, 2021. This will help with providing food to the local Alexandria community.” [Twitter]

Former Mayor Euille Among Senior Services of Alexandria Award Honorees — “Senior Services of Alexandria is pleased to announce that it will honor three individuals who have made significant contributions to the Alexandria community through their work, activism and philanthropic efforts at its 2021 Virtual Annual Gala. They are Barbara Anderson; William D. Euille and C. Eugene Steuerle. A special honor will be given to Kate Garvey, Director of Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services for her leadership of the City and non-profit agencies’ responses to the global pandemic.” [Zebra]

New Job: Police Crime Analyst — The Alexandria Police Department is looking for a Police Crime Analyst to join our team. You’ll play an important role in our investigations and operations. [Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Beyer Urges Senate to Remove Trump After House Impeachment — “Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to the United States, and a menace to the Constitution. The events of the past week, my conscience, my oath of office, and my duty to the people of Northern Virginia allow no other course than to vote for his impeachment. I urge the Senate to remove him from office as swiftly as possible.” [Beyer.house.gov]

Police Seeking Alexandria Man For Assaulting Woodbridge Boy — “Ian M. Simpson is wanted after police said he attempted to strangle an 8-year-old boy during after two arguments between the two relatives.” [Patch]

Police: Business Robbed on N. Quaker Lane Wednesday Morning — “The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a robbery from a business in the 1600 block of N. Quaker Lane. It happened around 5:45am. Expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]

WATCH: Governor Northam Gives State of Commonwealth Speech — “My 2021 State of the Commonwealth address is starting–watch live.” [Twitter]

Poll Opens to Select New Names for T.C. Williams High and Matthew Maury Elementary Schools — “Between now and Jan. 27, we are asking everyone to help us whittle down names that have been suggested by our students over the last month. Don’t like any of the options you see? The community will also be given another chance to make suggestions at this time.” [Zebra]

Casa Chirilagua Gets Desk Donations from Building Momentum — “Casa Chirilagua, a non-profit serving the Arlandria neighborhood in northern Virginia near Reagan National Airport, has been one of the largest recipients and distributors of the desks. Adriana Gómez Schellhaas, executive director of Casa Chirilagua, said the non-profit has distributed over 50 desks to homes and learning centers in their community.” [USChamber.com]

Today’s Weather — “Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High near 55F. Winds light and variable… A few clouds from time to time in the evening. Low 31F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Experienced Servers at Mia’s Italian Kitchen — “We are searching for Experienced Servers to join our Team at Mia’s in OLD TOWN” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Beyer Offers Condolences to Family of Fallen Capitol Officer — “Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick gave his life in the line of duty to keep us safe. I mourn his loss, and I send my deepest condolences to his family.” [Twitter]

Governor Making State of Commonwealth Speech Tonight — “Tune in tomorrow at 7:00 PM for my 2021 State of the Commonwealth address.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Sheriff’s Department Mourns Fairfax County Sheriff’s Deputy to COVID-19 — “Our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Sergeant Frederick “Butch” Cameron and to our brothers and sisters at the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office. We are so very sorry.” [Twitter]

Local Businesses Urged to Register with Health Department for Vaccine Schedule — “Have questions about vaccine distribution? #AlexandriaVA businesses that employ essential personnel are encouraged to register with the Alexandria Health Department so they can be alerted when the vaccine is available for their workers.” [Twitter]

Palestinian Roasted Chicken Restaurant Coming to Alexandria — “The rotisserie-style halal chicken with skin that snaps is brined for 24 hours, then coated with allspice, sumac, cumin, fenugreek, and cardamom before going into a specialty oven imported from Lebanon. Shababi is a takeout-only “ghost restaurant” operating out of Roro’s Modern Lebanese restaurant in Alexandria.” [Washington City Paper]

Alexandria Times Celebrates One Year of Podcasting — “In 2020, the Alexandria Times launched its first podcast, Speak Easy, and over the last year reporter-turned-managing-editor Cody Mello-Klein has spoken with the people who make Alexandria tick.” [Alex Times]

Today’s Weather — “Sunny skies (during the day). High near 50F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph… A few clouds overnight. Low 29F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: High Volume Servers —  “We are BLESSED to Be BUSY! We are searching for Experienced Servers to join our Team at Vola’s Dockside in OLD TOWN! [Indeed]

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In contrast to the mainly virtual events of 2020, an in-person vaccination held at T.C. Williams High School today had an air of cautious optimism as Alexandria City Public Schools staff received the first round of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Governor Ralph Northam and Mayor Justin Wilson were in attendance, along with several others in the City Council and local leadership.

Northam said combatting coronavirus has been a team effort on both a state and local level.

“The hope we’re seeing — the light at the end of the tunnel — is the vaccine,” Northam said. “We need more shots in people’s arms… We’re hoping to have a majority of Virginians vaccinated by mid-summer.”

Wilson said that the end of the pandemic is in sight.

“We’re almost there, ” Wilson said. “The governor and I are runners and we know at about mile 21 or 22 things start to fall apart… but we’re almost to the finish line.”

The event was sponsored by ACPS and featured a bevy of local leaders and media — many looking a little scruffier than they did in January 2020 with the year of insanity manifesting in eclectic fashion choices and longer hair. Visiting dignitaries were seemingly an afterthought for the mix as Alexandrians relished a chance to swap in-person gossip.

The main event was the start of system-wide vaccination with Danielle Thorne — a geometry teacher at T.C. Williams High School — and Superintendent Gregory Hutchings.

“It’s the best shot I’ve ever had,” Thorne said. “I’m excited, there’s a real sense of relief.”

The shots were administered by Leanne Desmond, the school nurse at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School. Desmond said she’s administered a few shots already, but was excited that many of her colleagues at MacArthur had signed up to get their vaccine today.

“A lot of people from our school are coming today,” said Desmond. “It’s exciting that staff I work with are starting to get it.” Read More

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