Beyer, National Capital Region’s House Delegation Write Letter to White House Over COVID Outbreak — “This is no time for publicity stunts that put people at risk, or for playing down the seriousness of this pandemic. The American people will never trust the Administration to keep them safe if the White House cannot protect its own staff.” [Twitter]
City Offices Closed for Indigenous Peoples Day on Oct. 12 — “City government offices will be closed October 12 in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Trash and recycling will be collected one day later that week, and yard waste will not be collected on October 16.” [Twitter]
Free Online Job Fair on Oct. 15 — “Looking for a job? Attend a free online recruitment event on October 15, 12 – 1 p.m., and learn more about immediate job opportunities with Atlantic Personnel Search. Attendance is free but registration is required.” [Twitter]
Senior Services of Alexandria Local Tours are Back — “We are going virtual starting with the Stabler-Leadbeater “Wicked” Apothecary on Friday, October 30 from 10:30 to 11:30 am. Just in time for Halloween, join us for this special program created just for SSA about some of the more diabolical concoctions created at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary.” [Facebook]
New Dog Groomer Opens in Cameron Station — “The salon’s priority is making sure pets are comfortable and healthy without the added frills like pet facials and fancy styling products. Pet owners can choose from different bathing packages, grooming or a la cart services as well as a self-serve option.” [Alexandria Living]
Today’s Weather — “A mainly sunny sky (during the day). High 82F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. A mostly clear sky (at night). Low 56F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Entry Level Arabic Intelligence Analyst — “Leidos Integrated Mission Solutions Group has an immediate opening in Alexandria, VA for an Entry Level Arabic Intelligence Analyst.” [Indeed]
Beyer says Trump ‘Unleashed’ the Coronavirus — “Vice Chair @RepDonBeyer during today’s hearing: ‘Donald Trump holds the vast power of the U.S. Presidency–but he has refused to use it. He has not contained the coronavirus, but has unleashed it. As a result, many more lives will be lost.'” [Twitter]
Police to Conduct Traffic Enforcement Campaign for Drivers at Crosswalks — “APD is committed to protecting vulnerable road users by raising awareness about pedestrian and bike safety. The Traffic Safety is preparing to conduct multiple traffic enforcement operations which intend to address unsafe pedestrian and driving behavior in, and around, City of Alexandria crosswalks.” [Facebook]
Mystery of WWII Uniform Solved in 24 Hours on Nextdoor — “On Sept. 13, 2020, Colonel Royal Gervais’s uniform — after residing in an attic through 14 years of tenants and 22 years of my mom’s ownership, then in our closet for 34 years — was returned in person to members of his family as they shared photos and memories of the Colonel with us.” [Alexandria Living]
Sur La Table To Close At End Of September in Old Town — “Sur La Table, a high-end kitchenware store that also hosts cooking classes, will close its Alexandria location at the end of September.” [Patch]
7 On Your Side Uncovers Trash Issues with Alexandria Recycling Drop-off Center — “The video was taken by Advocates for Clean and Clear Waterways. The fence belongs to the Virginia Department of Transpiration and is torn apart and rolled back. At the bottom of the fence, there’s a homeless camp. 7 On Your Side cameras found the same issues.” [WJLA]
Tickets Available for Senior Services of Alexandria Virtual Oktoberfest Celebration — “Oktoberfest is coming Oct. 15 and for the first time it will be virtual! Join SSA for a fun evening featuring Port City beers, delicious German food and a virtual beer tasting and tour of the brewery. This annual event supports Meals on Wheels, Groceries to Go, and the Friendly Visitor Program!” [Facebook]
Outdoor ‘Black Panther’ Outdoor Viewing Party in Carlyle this Weekend — “Join us this Saturday for a night to remember Chadwick Boseman – Wear your tribute costume, bring your tribute figurine and enjoy our showing of Black Panther.” [Facebook]
ALIVE! Distributing Food This Weekend — “ALIVE! will distribute food at two drive-through sites on Saturday, September 26, 8:30-10:30 a.m., in the parking lots of Cora Kelly (3600 Commonwealth Ave.) and John Adams (5651 Rayburn Ave.) Elementary Schools. These distributions include bags of shelf stable groceries, chicken and eggs, while supplies last. To observe no-contact food distribution, residents are encouraged to drive through and remain in their cars. Walks-ups are permitted but should maintain 6 feet of physical distance, wear a face mask, and bring carts or reusable bags to carry food home.” [Facebook]
Today’s Weather — “Sunny skies (during the day). High 81F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.Partly cloudy during the evening followed by cloudy skies overnight. Low around 60F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Food Program Coordinator at ALIVE! — “ALIVE! is searching for a full-time, temporary Food Program Coordinator through at least December 31, 2020. Hours are non-traditional and require evenings and weekends. Health care and leave benefits available for full-time staff. Two part-time hires may job share this position.” [Facebook]
Alexandria Woman Finds Missing $100K Lottery Ticket — “Four months ago she purchased a ticket using some of her favorite numbers, 2-14-15-17-21, and matched all five winning numbers on March 1, but she only just discovered that fact when she cleaned out her purse recently.” [Zebra]
Beyer Says Economic Warning Signs Troublesome — “It’s been a month since Senate Republicans cruelly allowed Americans’ enhanced unemployment benefits to expire amid a pandemic and economic crisis. Don’t be fooled by the stock market: millions of families are experiencing deep hardship. Warning signs for the economy abound.” [Twitter]
Mayor Gets Sneak Peek at ‘The Spire’ Affordable Housing Complex — “Great opportunity to check out AHC Affordable Housing’s latest housing project in the City under construction and arriving early next year. ‘The Spire’ will be 113 units serving 40% – 60% of Area Median Income.” [Facebook]
Ascend Cycle Wins Northern Virginia Magazine Award — “Did you hear?? We won the Best of NOVA: Cycling Studio 2020 We are SO excited to win this honor for a 3rd year in a row!” [Facebook]
Firefighters Raising Funds With Virtual Boot — “Ordinarily at this time of year, the men and women of Alexandria Firefighters, Inc. IAFF Local 2141 would be out around our community working to ‘Fill the Boot’ in support of Muscular Dystrophy Association. Join me in helping them Fill the ‘Virtual’ Boot this year!” [Facebook]
Volunteer Alexandria and Senior Services of Alexandria Need Help — “To meet the increased need due to COVID-19, Senior Services of Alexandria urgently needs 10 more volunteers to help deliver meals to local seniors. Volunteers are asked to commit to delivering meals once a week for three months.” [Facebook]
Today’s Weather — During the day, “Mainly sunny. High 88F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.” At night, “Partly cloudy. Low 73F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Virginia Quality Mental Health Specialist — “ACPS serves as a Local Coordinator for the City of Alexandria and is a part of the VQ Northern region. The VQ Mental Health Specialist will increase caregivers/teachers/directors use of strategies and practices to promote the social emotional development of infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children.” [TopSchoolJobs.com]
Virginia State Police have issued a senior alert for a missing 81-year-old man suffering from a cognitive impairment last seen in the Hybla Valley area next to Alexandria on August 24 at around 7:00 a.m.
Jose Rodriguez is described as five-foot-nine, weighs 190 pounds and was last seen walking north on Davis Street.
He is possibly wearing a long sleeve black collared shirt, pleated black dress pants and black dress shoes, according to police.
“The missing senior suffers from a cognitive impairment and the disappearance poses a credible threat to his heath and safety,” according to Virginia State Police.
Anyone who sees Rodriguez is asked to contact the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.
Updated 9:30 p.m. — A UMDGC representative noted that the program is available for staff, not for residents. The article and headline have been updated
Alexandria senior care facility Goodwin House — a non-profit organization offering housing for seniors — has announced a new partnership with the University of Maryland Global Campus that will allow staff and their families access to affordable college degrees.
“The alliance brings together [University of Maryland’s] pioneering online degree programs and commitment to low cost, accessible higher education and [Goodwin House’s] commitment to expand support for staff who want to grow their skills and credentials,” Goodwin House said in a press release.
Goodwin House manages two locations: one in Alexandria’s West End at 4800 Fillmore Ave and one at Bailey’s Crossroads in Fairfax County.
The partnership is the first of its kind for UMDGC. The program will allow the nearly 1,000 employees at Goodwin House, along with their spouses and dependents, to waive the university’s application fee and take classes at discounted tuition rates.
“Goodwin House’s mission focuses on older adults and also on those who support their success – our employees,” said Rob Liebreich, President and CEO of Goodwin House, in the press release. “As part of our growing dedication to our staff to enhance their skills, we are ecstatic to align with the world-renowned University of Maryland Global Campus and make online college education more affordable for our staff.”
The classes will be available entirely online, UMD said, with discounts on digital resources.
Photo courtesy Goodwin House
Senior Services of Alexandria has been seriously impacted by the pandemic, and two new initiatives will help the nonprofit in its mission to help deliver meals and services to the city’s older residents.
The annual Senior Services gala was canceled, leaving a $135,000 hole. Consequently, the SSA virtual auction started on July 19 and runs until July 25, and items include gift cards, an Apple Watch Series 5 and a vacation in the Outer Banks.
“I need money and volunteers,” said SSA Executive Director Mary Lee Anderson. “The basics. We’ve applied for every grant out there that we remotely qualify for. We are scrounging, because we have to make up for a lack of a gala.”
Anderson said residents can also donate their old cars to Meals on Wheels Through America, and that SSA will get 70% of the proceeds when the donor selects SSA as the participating program.
“In February, we were delivering 900 meals per week,” Anderson said. “We’re now delivering upward of 2,500 meals per week, and we have fewer volunteers.”
Anderson added, “There was never a question of if we could do this, but how we will do this. We can’t stop these services because people will die. When you have something so basic, you don’t question it.
Photo via Senior Services of Alexandria/Facebook
The Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) is planning to sponsor COVID-19 testing later this week.
“ARHA will be sponsoring COVID-19 testing for residents of Ladrey (300 Wythe Street) and Annie B. Rose (399 Pendleton Street) buildings on Thursday, July 16, from 8-11 a.m. in the parking lot behind the building,” said Rose Williams Boyd, spokesperson for the organization.
Both Annie B. Rose House and Ladrey Senior Highrise Apartments are senior housing locations.
The testing is part of a joint partnership between ARHA, the City, the Alexandria Health Department and Neighborhood Health. Local seniors have been particularly vulnerable to the virus, with all but one of the city’s 57 deaths being locals over 50. The majority of those deaths have been in long term care facilities.
Boyd said there will be no cost for the testing with 275 kits available. If more testing is needed, Boyd said it could be continued on Saturday, July 18.
While there was early frustration from residents at some of the measures ARHA took to isolate residents in the early stages of the pandemic, some have since praised the organization for decisive action in response to COVID-19.
Photo via ARHA
Alexandria’s annual program providing fans or air conditioning for low-income seniors is coming back. This year, the city said the focus is ensuring seniors are comfortable staying home to avoid exposure to coronavirus.
“The City’s Division of Aging and Adult Services’ Senior Cool Care Program provides assistance for seniors ages 60 years or older who need cooling in their homes,” the city said in a press release, “especially while seniors are encouraged to stay home as much as possible to avoid potential severe illness from COVID-19.”
The seniors must be at least 60 years old, meet income eligibility requirements and must be residents of the City of Alexandria to apply for the program — though they could be a homeowner or a renter.
The program provides seniors with electric fans and, in some cases, room air conditioning units, according to Senior Services of Alexandria.
Seniors interested in applying for the program can email [email protected] or call 703 746 5999 for more information.
Staff photo by Vernon Miles
COVID-19 has meant the cancellation or postponement of a number of events and services, and Senior Services of Alexandria has finally canceled its most popular event of the year.
The Senior Services of Alexandria gala, which was initially supposed to be held in March, has finally been canceled. The gala usually accommodates hundreds of guests to honor a few select Alexandrians who help the senior community.
“This was a tough decision,” said Mary Lee Anderson, SSA’s executive director. “However, our priority now is to continue to serve the city’s most vulnerable population — our older adults — with programs that are keeping them safe and healthy.”
SSA is now delivering nearly 2,500 meals each week, a large increase from the 900 weekly deliveries in February, according to an SSA release.
SSA Board ChairLaurie Blackburn said that donations from gala sponsors have been appreciated.
“We are very thankful for the generosity of our Gala sponsors and donors for their continued support of SSA during this critical time,” Blackburn said in a statement. “Your donations will allow SSA to continue responding to the increased need for services to the senior population.”
Photo by Elizabeth-Bennett Parker
Local seniors who once marched for Civil Rights rallied over the last week to show their support for a new generation they see as carrying on the torch in an ongoing fight against racism and injustice.
Seniors at both Goodwin House communities — in Alexandria (4800 Fillmore Avenue) and Bailey’s Crossroads (3440 S Jefferson Street) — that couldn’t attend local vigils and rallies decided to host some of their own in their facilities.
Staff said at in Alexandria nearly 80 residents and staff gathered in our courtyard area for a silent vigil held to honor George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis sparked international protests. At the Bailey’s Crossroads, residents couldn’t leave the facility but made signs that decorated the nearby street to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
At the Alexandria location, a chaplain offered a prayer and song, followed by 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence. Staff said the ceremony was broadcast on the internal TV channel for those residents are who are unable or uncomfortable leaving their apartments.
The vigils and surrounding activities started with a group of advocates in the Bailey’s Crossroads facility called the Silver Panther Huddles.
“We started after the Women’s March on Washington, to do advocacy works,” said Carol Lewis, one of the organizers and a resident of the Bailey’s Crossroads facility. “One of the women in that group had the idea of doing something to honor George Floyd, but she was in quarantine. She had to stay in her apartment and couldn’t take it over, but word got passed along to the rest of the women in the huddle.”
Protesting injustice is something many of the residents of Goodwin House were familiar with long before they moved into the senior-care facility.
“We had people in our 80s, or in our 90s, and some were some of the people here were working on Civil Rights things in the ’40s and ’50s,” said Margaret Sullivan, one of the lead organizers of the vigil. “We had people who had been at the March on Washington when MLK spoke, but we also had with us some of our younger staff members who have come to the United States as children and were both participating in their own right and watching people who had done it before. We were in a sense keeping on with the work and passing it on.”
Lewis said many of those in Goodwin House spent their formative years protesting. Lewis recalled her own involvement with the Poor People’s March on Washington and traveling, against the wishes of her parents, to anti-war protests in the ’60s.
“Many of the women on the huddle and live here were part of the earlier protests and the Civil Rights movements,” Lewis said. “One of the first things Margaret [Sullivan] did when she opened the vigil was to ask about people who did this work in the ’40s and there were a couple of hands, more from the ’60s.”
Sullivan said that when the director of Goodwin House found out that the residents at the Bailey’s Crossroads facility were planning a vigil, they stepped in to help coordinate the activity with the Alexandria location. Sullivan noted that it was also a chance for employees at the facility who have been unable to attend the marches in D.C. to show their support.
“A member of the staff said afterward how pleased she was to see this at her work,” Sullivan said. “Another member of the staff was very clear before we started said that she, as a young black woman, wanted to go down to the (National) Mall and the White House and march. She and many of the other staff members who had been involved in Goodwin House and Civil Rights things for years had not gone because they didn’t want to bring the virus back, but they were as determined to be a part of this and to keep silence and honor George Floyd and speak out for justice as we were.”
Lewis said that many old residents said similarities to the fights they experienced in their lifetime, from Civil Rights to demonstrations in support of the gay, lesbian and transgender communities.
“What I sensed this time around, with these vigils and protests, there seems to be a real chance for change,” Lewis said. “Of course I thought that in the ’60s too.”
Sullivan joked that many seniors wanted to break out of the facility and march nearby in support, but that concerns about the still lingering COVID-19 — which has been particularly fatal in Alexandria’s senior care facilities — kept them from doing so.
“We’re all old and creaky, a good number of us are in walkers and wheelchairs, but for me and for a lot of the people here, it was a chance to do something — to be involved again,” Lewis said, “and to let people know that this didn’t happen yesterday. Racism isn’t new and it wasn’t new in the ’60s either. It goes way back. It was a very somber experience, but quite touching.”
High School Student Assaulted Walking Home — “The assault occurred near the intersection of Russell Road and Rosecrest Avenue in the Del Ray/Rosemont neighborhood. The victim was a member of the T.C. Williams High School baseball team.” [Alex Times]
Officers Complain of Toxic Work Culture at Alexandria Police Department — “There are employees, including some who resigned after allegedly being subjected to retribution, who blame Chief Michael L. Brown for establishing an environment without discipline or accountability, where misconduct is swept under the rug. They say that under Chief Brown’s leadership, problems have gotten worse, which has fueled retirements and resignations from the department.” [Alex Times]
Vigil for Victims of Police Brutality Tonight in Arlandria — “Let’s join in solidarity with our Black community. Please bring a candle, poster, or other tribute to honor the lives lost at the hands of police. We will gather in the parking lot behind TWU’s building at 3801 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. For everyone’s safety, please wear a face covering.” [Facebook]
fibrespace Gives May 31 Profits to ‘Innocence Project’ — ‘Thanks to your shopping, we sent almost a thousand dollars today to this incredible organization who is working to exonerate the innocent and reform our broken criminal justice system.” [Facebook]
George Mason Elementary Donates Books to Community Lodgings — “The principal, Mr. O., was so generous to collect the books and spread them around the lawn at Fifer so that families could select books while maintaining a safe distance from one another.” [Facebook]
Virtual Concert Saturday Benefiting Senior Services of Alexandria — “100 percent of your contributions to the Löwball virtual tip jar for our June 6th webcast will go to support SSA Meals on Wheels program.” [Facebook]
Wesley Housing Closes on Affordable Housing Near Huntington Metro — “Located at 2317 Huntington Avenue, The Arden will be a seven-story building at the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Biscayne Drive.” [Zebra]
New Job: Brand and Public Relations Specialist — “The Specialist, Brand and Public Relations is a core member of the SHRM Brand and Communication team with responsibilities to support national TV commercials, brand activations, PR campaigns and earned media to amplify SHRM’s thought leadership and reputation.” [Indeed]
Alexandria Family Recovers From COVID-19 — “In early March, 18-year-old Ana Murphy came down with a sinus infection. But as her symptoms persisted, her parents, Gregg and Monica Murphy, both became ill. It was then that the family began to suspect that this was not a normal seasonal virus.” [Gazette]
Beyer Criticizes Maskless President Trump at Memorial Day Ceremony — “It’s true today and every day: the President should lead by example instead of ignoring health precautions designed to protect the public.” [Twitter]
Pork Barrel BBQ Drops Off 300 Meals at COVID-19 Testing Sites — “This afternoon we dropped off 300 meals at the Landmark & Cora Kelly COVID testing sites. One of our more memorable jobs that’s for sure. THANK YOU to all the emergency responders and volunteers administering tests today, we appreciate you!” [Facebook]
Inova COVID Hospital Fund Gets $100,000 Contribution — “Twig’s contribution to this fund helps Alexandria meet the escalating needs of COVID-19 patients by providing for additional staffing, personal protection equipment for our front line heroes, specialized equipment for the unique needs of COVID-19 patients, increased services for homebound families, and other resources to address the rapidly changing situation.” [Zebra]
Here’s How to Get Rental Assistance in Alexandria — “Applications received through Friday, May 29 will be reviewed as part of the first application cycle, with priority given to applicants in the Tier 1 income range. Applications received after May 29 will be reviewed on a rolling basis contingent on funding availability.” [Facebook]
Jason and Loren Yates Donate $12K in Face Masks to Local Groups — “The masks were sent to the volunteers in local service organizations including Senior Services of Alexandria delivering Meals on Wheels, ALIVE, Carpenter’s Shelter, Casa Chirilagua, and the Grace Episcopal Food Bank.” [Zebra]
New Job: Alexandria Health Department Communications Officer — “The Communications Officer reports directly to the Population Health Manager, is AHD’s principal communications subject matter expert, and provides oversight of AHD’s internal and external communications. They plan, design, implement, and evaluate AHD public relations, publications, and promotional health and service communications.” [Indeed]