Statewide vaccine town hall tonight — “The Virginia Department of Health will host a live broadcast Town Hall on May 4, from 7 to 8 p.m. The program will feature in-depth discussion about COVID-19 vaccines and offer a forum to ask questions about the vaccines and the next steps in the vaccine roll out. Panelists include Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver and State Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula, as well as other academic, medical, and public health experts.” [City of Alexandria]
Alexandria Democratic Committee’s City Council candidate debate is at 7 p.m. — “Please join us to watch the ADC City Council Debates!” [Facebook]
In-person Alexandria Jazz Festival on May 29 — “The Alexandria Jazz Festival returns on Saturday, May 29, 4-9pm at Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison St.). Enjoy a variety of musicians and styles of jazz throughout the day. Admission is free, but space will be limited. ” [Twitter]
‘Dogs Of Del Ray’ mural to be finished on Thursday — “The Del Ray community plans to celebrate the mural’s completion during First Thursday: Dog Days in Del Ray, which takes place on Thursday, May 5, from 6 p.m. to dusk along Mount Vernon Avenue. Participants are encouraged to bring their four-legged friends to the Avenue for a socially distant street festival featuring themed activities, rescue groups, and more.” [Zebra]
Today’s weather — “Sunshine early then becoming cloudy later in the day. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 87F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph… Sunshine early then becoming cloudy later in the day. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 87F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New job: Refuse collector — “A Refuse Collector collects garbage as part of a refuse collection crew. This is routine but heavy manual work which is performed under adverse weather conditions. Refuse Collectors regularly perform their tasks at a rapid pace as compared to most labor class positions. Assignments and work leadership is provided by an Equipment Operator II. Supervision is provided by the Refuse Collection Superintendent.” [Indeed]
With fall in full swing, the leaves are about to start coming down in droves in Alexandria.
Starting next month, Alexandria’s annual leaf vacuuming and leaf bag collection program will take away piles of leaves left on curbs all around the city. The leaves will be ground into mulch, which is available in the spring and summer.
Residents are asked to recycle leaves by leaving them on the curb to be vacuumed, or in paper bags, which can be picked up for free at City Hall, recreation centers and at the City’s self-serve shed on Business Center Drive.
Please see below for an up-to-date schedule, help determining your collection zone, preparation instructions, and frequently asked questions regarding leaf collection.
“Residents may receive leaf collection status updates by signing up for the free Alexandria eNews service and subscribing to ‘Resource Recovery Updates,’ or by following the Department of Transportation & Environmental Services on Facebook, Twitter or Instag
Alexandria is divided into five collection zones. Of those four zones, Old Town is divided into four additional sections.
The leaf collection will occur at the following locations:
First Pass Dates:
November 2 – ZONE 2
November 6 – ZONE 3
November 12 – ZONE 4
November 18 – ZONE 1
In Old Town:
November 2 – Section 5A
November 6 – Section 5B
November 12 – Section 5C
November 18 – Section 5D
These are the estimated start dates for leaf collection in each zone; crews will not vacuum every street in the zone on the first date, it will take them several days to complete each pass in each zone.
- Remove stones, litter, branches or other debris. These items can damage our equipment and hurt workers
- Avoid placing leaves in front of storm drains or on water meter covers
- Move parked cars off leaf piles
- Do not rake leaves into alleys or service roads
Maps via City of Alexandria
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]
(Updated 8/7) Upcoming Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend Canceled — “The coronavirus has canceled one of Alexandria’s most beloved traditions this winter.” [Alexandria Living]
Beyer Blames Trump for Coronavirus Response Failures — “The White House is simultaneously blaming state governments for Trump’s failed pandemic response and blocking federal assistance to support state and local governments.” [Twitter]
Fire Department: Use Flashlight, Not Candle if Power Goes Out — “Tropical Storm #Isaias is expected to bring heavy rain and wind gusts that may cause power outages. If you experience an outage, use a flashlight for emergency lighting instead of candles to prevent a possible fire. Be prepared. Be informed. Be ready.” [Twitter]
City Suspends Trash and Recycling Today — “Due to expected impacts from Tropical Storm Isaias, the City of Alexandria has suspended its curbside trash and recycling collection for Tuesday, August 4.” [Zebra]
Ebbin Pledges to Fight for Marijuana Legalization in 2021 — “In 2020, six years of hard work paid off in major reform to our criminal justice system by decriminalizing possession of marijuana. In 2021, I’m ready to do the hard work to legalize cannabis in Virginia the right way.” [Facebook]
Silver Diner to Open August 12 — “The 6,500-square foot restaurant is part of West Alex, a new $185 million mixed-use community at the corner of King and North Beauregard streets, anchored by an in-the-works Harris Teeter grocery store and Array, a 278-unit apartment building.” [Alexandria Living]
New Farmers Market in Carlyle Starts Friday — “The Carlyle Vitality Initiative is hosting a new Farmer’s Market at John Carlyle Square Park, starting on August 7th! We can’t wait to see you this weekend!” [Facebook]
Today’s Weather — “Thunderstorms. Potential for heavy rainfall. Low 71F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 100%.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Activities and Volunteer Coordinator — “At Sunrise, our Activities & Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for leading the day to day activities and programs for a Sunrise Senior Living community.” [Indeed]
Many of the city’s collection services are scheduled to restart Monday, two weeks from now.
According to the new schedule:
- Mulch orders and delivery: Orders opened on Monday, June 1, and delivery of mulch is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 15
- Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Center: normal hours for the hazardous and electronics drop-off center are scheduled to resume on Monday, June 8
- Curbside yard waste collection: curbside collection is scheduled to resume on Friday, June 19. Curbside collection will be on Fridays only for all residents.
- Refuse and recycling collection of material allowed outside of City-issued carts: collection resumes on Monday, June 15
- Curbside bulk trash collection: collection resumes Monday, June 15
- Curbside metal/appliance collection: collection resumes Monday, June 15
- Citywide street sweeping: resumes Monday, June 15
- Farmers’ market food waste drop-off: suspended until Northern Virginia enters Phase 3
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
One attempted solution to a trash problem in Alexandria has allegedly created another, though the city said it’s working to manage the problem.
In response to the increased demand for recycling services at homes in Alexandria, the city has been encouraging residents to take their surplus recycling materials to a facility at 4251 Eisenhower Ave.
A local duo calling themselves Advocates for Clean & Clear Waterways cleaned 110 trash bags from Hunting Creek and said they identified the source of the pollution as the Alexandria Recycling Center. Video taken at the site shows holes in the fence through which trash was being dumped down the hill.
The Video showed the hillside littered with trash bags, styrofoam and more.
“Unfortunately, this is where our pollution is coming from,” said Caleb Merendino, who along with Benjamin Swanson runs Advocates for Clean & Clear Waterways. “Everything upstream from this point is pretty clean… [but] from the recycling center down we’re seeing the reason that our waterways are so polluted.”
Merendino said part of the problem was the lack of trash can at the recycling center, leaving residents dropping off trash to find alternative means of disposal. The other problem was large holes in the fence where those residents stuffed their trash through.
“Alexandria, what the heck is going on?” Meredino said. “We’re at a recycling center. You’re trying to pretend, but I don’t see any results. We have a broken fence. You are the reason our waterways are polluted… Alexandria is to blame, and everyone should be furious.”
“Virginia DEQ and the City of Alexandria have been promptly notified, and Alexandria is to blame for much of the garbage flowing into our local waterways,” said Swanson.
City of Alexandria spokesman Craig Fifer said the damage to fences was found and repairs were made immediately, but pushed back on the characterization of the recycling center as the source of the pollution.
“We also inspected the area around the fence, and we are confident that the facility is not a major source of pollution in waterways,” Fifer said. “The waterway near the Eisenhower Avenue facility is the main stem of Cameron Run, but the residents who shot the video generally collect trash from the downstream tidal portion of Cameron Run called Hunting Creek. Hunting Creek receives surges of water (and debris) from the entire Potomac River watershed with changes in the tide. This means trash found in the Potomac River and Hunting Creek is generally from upstream of Alexandria. The recycling drop-off facility and surrounding area is not a significant source of trash in Hunting Creek, but its location upstream from Hunting Creek may create that appearance.”
Fifer said like other localities in the region, the city is trying to figure out how to handle the 30% increase in volume of trash and recycling since the pandemic started.
“Because we have had to limit curbside collection to the contents of the City-provided bins (i.e. no loose or bagged trash on the curb) and suspend collection of bulk, metal and yard waste, our drop-off facilities have also had large increases in volume,” Fifer said. “In particular, we’re seeing a significant increase in cardboard shipping boxes and food takeout containers because people are shopping more from home.”
Fifer added, “These materials take up more volume in trash and recycling than other items, filling bins faster. Compounding these challenges, we are seeing a significant increase in illegal dumping at our recycling drop-off centers, both of non-recyclables and of items while the centers are closed. All this is why there is much more litter on the pavement at drop-off centers now than a few weeks ago.”
Fifer said additional resources have been directed to the recycling drop-off facilities, including cleaning the facility five days per week.
Hard Times Café Founder Passes Away — “Sad news. @HardTimesFun founder Fred Parker passed away last night. He was a very special friend and an icon in #AlexandriaVA. Thank you Fred for so many memories. You will never be forgotten #RIP” [Twitter]
Birchmere Joins Group to Lobby Congress for Coronavirus Relief — “With large gatherings forbidden throughout the country, the live music industry has ground to a halt, closing revenue streams and putting things like rent and payroll payments in jeopardy. More than 450 venues across the U.S. are banding together under the new group called the National Independent Venue Association to present one voice to lawmakers.” [Washington Business Journal]
Potomac Coffee Donates to Carpenter’s Shelter — “Thank you, Potomac Coffee, for your incredibly generous donation of 200lbs of VERY aromatic coffee! As one of the many local businesses hard hit by the pandemic, we appreciate your giving spirit during these tough times!” [Facebook]
Presbyterian Cemetery Closes — “Thank you all for your comments. The cemetery tried to keep open after the city closed all parks and dog parks, but we were completely overwhelmed. Over the past four weeks we had people driving in from DC, MD and other parts of Virginia to exercise their dogs. Not only were we overrun, but people were not following the rules, were belligerent and at times threatening to staff. That and numerous other issues gave us no choice except to lock the gates and keep everyone out. Since this is the first time in years we are closed, the cemetery will tackle some much needed maintenance issues and needed enhancements and hope to open again once the COVID-19 crisis passes. We hope everyone understands and know that we appreciate your support.” [Facebook]
‘The Old Town Shop’ is Selling Disposable Face Masks — “The Old Town Shop carries DISPOSABLE FACE MASKS: 2 masks to a pack, and $5 per pack. The BFE 95 triple layer protective masks have a waterproof outer layer and a breathable inner layer. The 3D tensile design fully fits an adult face. Material is non-woven fabric with a flexible plastic nose bridge and elastic ear covers.” [squaremktg.com]
Video: Alexandria Firefighter Recruits Train in Smokehouse — “A pandemic doesn’t stop other emergencies from happening. The AFD Training Division continues to prepare our new members to respond to the call.” [Facebook]
Sheriff’s Office Talks With ACPS Third Graders — “With Alexandria City Public Schools closed, we’re finding new ways to stay connected with students. Today [April 24] Lieutenant Sean Casey and Deputy Morgan Garner joined Mr. Holland’s third graders for their lunch bunch via Zoom. They discussed online safety and did a fun demonstration showing the importance of proper hand washing.” [Facebook]
Riverside Gardens Families Play Dress-up — “It became something to look forward to. We’d all wonder, what will the Ferrys do tonight? For five nights we had ‘must-see Facebook!'” [Zebra]
Alexandrians Pitch ‘Burro’ Gardening Tools on Shark Tank — “Mollie Thorsen and her father, Bob, have come a long way with their innovative gardening tool, the original Little Burro.” [Alexandria Living]
City Sets Up Yard Waste Collection Site on Eisenhower Avenue — “The new facility will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. You must show an ID with a City of Alexandria address.” [Alexandria Living]
Today is a Teacher Work Day for ACPS — “REMINDER: Monday, April 27 is a Teacher Work Day. Enjoy your weekend!” [Facebook]
Carol and Ryan Bailey Named Alexandria Living Legends — “Carol says she has spent her life paving the way for Ryan. She and her family still live in the house her grandfather bought in Del Ray in 1900. It has a historical marker on the front column and a sign in the front yard that says, ‘Spread Kindness, Build Community.'” [Gazette]
The city is pleading for residents to minimize their trash after piles have steadily grown higher as people are staying at home during the pandemic.
Residential trash tonnage has increased by 40% over the last month, according to a press release.
“Refuse and recycling collection are vital to the region’s health and safety, and localities are committed to providing this essential service,” the city said in a press release. “Every morning, collection crews report to work while facing the same life challenges as the rest of the community.”
The issue also came up in a virtual town hall with Mayor Justin Wilson last week. Wilson advised that residents should try to cut back on the trash they produce and, for yard waste being produced by more Alexandrians gardening at home, that should be composted in back yards if available.
The city asked that local residents take the following precautions to help keep the garbage disposal teams safe:
- Dispose of used wipes, tissues and paper towels in trash bags that are tied shut.
- Refrain from generating large amounts of waste–wait to dispose of the bulk materials in your basement, attic or garage until normal operations resume.
- Flatten cardboard boxes to create more room in recycling carts.
- For customers with City-issued trash carts, bags and bulk material placed outside the carts will be left uncollected. This change will take effect Monday, April 13.
- For customers who do not have City-issued trash carts, all trash must be contained within sealed or securely tied plastic bags (loose and bulk material will be left uncollected).
- Yard waste pickup in Alexandria remains suspended until further notice; consider backyard composting or grasscycling lawn clippings.
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Spring Cleaning Day has become an annual tradition in the Beverley Hills neighborhood, but a change that makes every trash day its own Spring Cleaning Day has left some residents fuming.
“The Spring Clean Up has always occurred one magical Saturday a year, where people can put bulk trash and oversized items at the curb for trash pick up,” local blog Tales from the Beverley Hills Listserv recounted in a post. “BevHills residents gleefully turn into Sanford and Son-esque trash pickers, slowly trawling the neighborhood in their cars to scavenge bulk items like used furniture, gallons of old paint, half-destroyed kid toys, and broken Lime scooters (lol). It’s like Santa, but in reverse.”
After one local resident on the listserv asked about the date of this year’s trash pickup, Mayor Justin Wilson answered that it had been replaced with a weekly bulky item collection.
“This decision was made as part of last year’s budget process,” Wilson explained. “While this did save the ratepayers about $65K, it is intended as a service enhancement. We pick up all of the same things, now year-round instead of once a year.”
Some two dozen emails followed, as residents lamented the loss of the festive community event. Said one:
How incredibly sad this is to hear. Have you never watched the fever of activity that surrounds each area’s spring cleanup? Because of the concentration of items placed at curbside on a specific date, people from miles around scour each neighborhood for the myriad of things that in fact help them make ends meet. Scrap metal, repairable lawn mowers, reusable furniture, salvageable TVs, wheelbarrows, etc. all get picked up and taken away for sale and reuse. In my experience, someone ends up taking away at least half of what I have put out for spring cleanup. Not only do we save valuable landfill space, we feed a robust local recycling/personal income enhancing activity with our traditional program. Under this new regime it all goes to the dump. Regardless of how well-intentioned this change in procedure may have been, please give it a second look.
“This is a shame,” another resident wrote. “Spring Clean Up is an amazing event! Who made this decision? Certainly not the citizens of Alexandria!”
Some locals looked more favorably on the change, saying the more regular pickup helped cut down on the length of time bulk items piled up in the garbage. There is also now discussion of residents setting one particular day as a new neighborhood clean up day.
File photo by Jay Westcott
Reminder: School and Trash Collection Delays — Alexandria public school students are preparing to go to school after a two hour weather delay this morning. Curbside trash and recycling collection, meanwhile, may be delayed today and Thursday after being suspended Tuesday afternoon. [Twitter, Twitter]
Wind Advisory Issued for Alexandria — Alexandria and surrounding areas are under a Wind Advisory from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Gusts of up to 50 mph are possible, which could cause trees and power lines to topple, forecasters say. [Twitter]
Alexandria’s Kiwi Kuisine Profiled — “Since opening in 2007, Kiwi Kuisine’s savory meat pies and strategic business model have continued to grow. The business is the brainchild of resident Bert ‘Ram’ Todd. With his hulking build and thick New Zealand accent, Todd’s professional rugby past comes as no surprise. Unforeseen, however, is his true passion for cooking.” [Alexandria Times]
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Performing Next Week — “Now is your chance to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy live at The Birchmere on Jan. 16 at 7:30pm. You probably have heard their smash hit ‘Go Daddy-O,’ or you’d at least recognize it if you heard it.” [Zebra]