Alexandria, VA

Alexandria had quite a week, and it’s time to look back as it comes to a close.

In addition to moving into the second phase of its economic recovery, there were a number of important events of interest, including the city council’s passage of an ordinance prohibiting firearms on city property, approved the creation of a police review boardcontinued expressions of support for the black community in the wake of the George Floyd Murder, and a renewed effort to rename T.C. Williams High School.

Here are the top 11 most-read articles this week in Alexandria.

  1. BREAKING: Barricade Situation, Suspect Firing on Police on Main Line Boulevard
  2. What Changes When Alexandria Moves Into Phase 2 of Reopening
  3. T.C. Williams High School Renaming Question Resurfaces in Alexandria
  4. Man Wounded in Late Night Old Town Shooting, No Arrests
  5. Photos: Vigils and Protests Against Police Brutality Held in Alexandria
  6. Protests and Vigils for Racial Justice Planned in Alexandria
  7. Old Town Property Once Owned by George Washington For Sale at $4.1 Million
  8. Mayor: Alexandria Could Move into Phase 2 of Reopening Next Week
  9. Morning Notes
  10. Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats Plans to Open Late This Summer in Old Town
  11. Just In: Alexandria Tow Truck Driver Killed on I-495

Feel free to discuss those or other topics in the comments. Have a safe weekend!

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It was quite a week in Alexandria. The city saw the removal of a controversial Confederate Statue at Prince and Washington Streets, had numerous vigils and demonstrations against police brutality, and weathered more cases of COVID-19.

In the spirit of resting up and looking back at some of the top issues in Alexandria, ALXnow has included some of our top stories.

Here are the top 11 most-read articles this week in Alexandria.

  1. BREAKING: Barricade Situation, Suspect Firing on Police on Main Line Boulevard
  2. BREAKING: Old Town Confederate Statue Removed
  3. Alexandria Now Has 1,974 Cases of COVID-19, No New Deaths
  4. Vigil for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor in Old Town on Thursday
  5. Protests and Vigils for Racial Justice Planned in Alexandria
  6. Man Robbed of $400 at Gunpoint in Alexandria’s West End
  7. Mayor Wilson: Alexandria Can Honor George Floyd By Fixing Its Inequities
  8. Teen Arrested in Old Town for Weapon Possession and Drug Violation
  9. ACPS Announces Mandatory Summer Learning to Combat COVID-19 Academic Loss
  10. Unemployed Arlandria Mom Makes Ends Meet With El Salvadoran Recipes
  11. Alexandria Now Has 1,960 Cases of COVID-19, City Seeks Feedback on Coronavirus Response

Feel free to discuss those or other topics in the comments. Have a safe weekend!

Staff photo by James Cullum

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(Updated at 5 p.m.) Alexandrians came out in droves on Thursday and Friday in support of George Floyd and a number of African Americans who have died at the hands of the police.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said at a peaceful demonstration at Charles Houston Recreation Center that there needs to be a revolution within local government to pass legislation that helps residents of color.

“Sometimes in an argument someone says, the words, ‘Calm down,’ and then 100% of the time that does not work,” Wilson told the crowd. “Let me say to you tonight, do not calm down.”

Alexandria resident Ivory Bean took the stage at Charles Houston just as Police Chief Michael Brown was about to speak.

“You should not think you are above the law, and these things give you the power and give you the feeling that you’re above the law,” Bean said. “And when the law protects you in murdering people, then it just continues the cycle. So, until the law stops protecting these murderers, that’s when you won’t see us anymore. That’s how you will pacify us.”

Brown said that he and the officers in his department consider the Floyd killing a homicide, and that Alexandria police are aware that changes need to be made in the city.

“I will be listening,” Brown said. “I listened here. I’m not your enemy, and I understand I have to earn your respect and black lives do matter.”

James Daniely, the pastor at Roberts Memorial United Methodist Church, spoke as well.

“When we talk about Black Lives Matter, it’s not just political rhetoric,” Daniely said. “It has to do with how the minds work, to allocate housing, not just three houses in a new development, but to see that people who live in the community have an opportunity to stay there.”

Another vigil is planned tonight (Friday) at 7 p.m. at Tenants and Workers United in Arlandria.

Inova Alexandria Hospital physicians, leaders and team members joined healthcare professionals across the country…

Posted by Inova Alexandria Hospital on Friday, June 5, 2020

Staff photos by James Cullum

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Morning Notes

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]

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Alexandria is shutting down vehicular access to a number of its roadways Thursday, as residents are expected to turn out in droves in support of George Floyd and a number of African Americans who have died at the hands of the police throughout the country.

A number of new events have also been planned in Alexandria in the days ahead. Today from 4-7 p.m., a march is planned from George Washington Middle School along King Street to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Traffic is being cleared for pedestrians, and drivers are being advised to avoid the area.

There is also a planned vigil tonight at Charles Houston Recreation Center at 7 p.m. Participants will gather in the parking lot and walk to the front of the building and pray, have a moment of silence and listen to community leaders. No roadways will be shut down for the event.

On Friday at 7 p.m., Tenants & Workers United are scheduled to hold a Vigil for George Floyd and Other Victims of Police Brutality in Arlandria. No roadways will be shut down for the event.

“Let’s join in solidarity with our Black community,” notes the TWU Facebook post. “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.”

Additionally, on Saturday there will be a peace walk at Ewald Park, which is at the intersection of Duke Street and Wheeler Avenue. The walk was organized by teen Alexandria siblings, who will start walking at 5 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. with a “Cha-Cha Slide” dance with Alexandria Police, according to The Zebra. It is not clear if any roadways will be shut down for the event.

Earlier this week, community leaders conducted an online discussion on racial inequities in Alexandria, and that same day hundreds gathered outside police headquarters where Police Chief Mike Brown and his staff stood with demonstrators at an #EndWhiteSilence vigil.

Staff photo by James Cullum
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As protests continue nationwide for victims of racial violence, Alexandria community organizers are planning to conduct a peaceful vigil in honor of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor on Thursday.

The vigil is scheduled to be held at Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe Street) from 7-8:30 p.m.

The recent incidents prompted open letters and messages from Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and Police Chief Mike Brown.

Participants are scheduled to gather in the recreation center parking lot and walk to the front of the building where there will be a moment of silence, prayers and statements from community leaders.

The vigil is being organized Boyd Walker and Marianne Anderson.

“Expressing anger through violence is not welcome here,” notes the event announcement. “Anger will have to channeled into a prayer or meditation and constructive action to help others.”

Staff photo by James Cullum

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A candlelight vigil and memorial service will be held outside of Market Square next week (301 King Street) to honor those who have died, or are still suffering from, acts of domestic violence.

The event, on Thursday, Oct. 24 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., is hosted by the City of Alexandria’s Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) to raise awareness of the issue and its prevalence in the city. City officials such as Mayor Justin Wilson and Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter will be present.

A visual memorial will depict 22 people in Alexandria who have lost their lives to acts of domestic violence since the mid-2000s. The vigil will begin with a private viewing for families affected by domestic violence, followed by a public program and reception.

“During the program, we will have a victim read a poem, and then light refreshments will be served,” said Barbara Sweeney, assistant residential coordinator for DVIP.

The vigil is being organized as part of Alexandria’s recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“On Thursday, Oct 24, City employees and the public are invited to wear or display purple to raise awareness about domestic violence,” the city’s website says. “Get involved, take a stand against domestic violence and express solidarity with survivors and their families.”

More from a press release:

The City of Alexandria’s Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) will host a Silent Witness Candlelight Vigil and Memorial program on October 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in Market Square (301 King St.). This public event is designed to raise awareness about domestic violence and create a space of healing through a visual memorial, which will include life-sized silhouettes of those in Alexandria who have lost their lives to acts of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive or coercive behavior such as physical assault, verbal abuse, or threat of harm that is used by an individual to exert power or control over another, particularly in the context of a family or intimate relationship. Acts of domestic abuse can be perpetrated by a current or former spouse or partner as well as a parent, stepparent or other relative, and can occur in relationships such as dating between people who do not live together and persons in same-sex relationships.

In 1990, the Silent Witness Initiative began promotion and education to support an end to domestic violence through community-based exhibits. It started with a small group of volunteers in one state and grew into an international presence, with projects in all 50 states and in 23 countries. DVIP participates in Silent Witness Alexandria as one of many activities during the national observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The event will include a private viewing for affected families affected by domestic violence, followed by a public program and reception.

To learn more about the Silent Witness Initiative, or for more information about domestic violence and the Alexandria Domestic Violence Project, visit alexandriava.gov/DomesticViolence. If you or someone you know may be a victim of domestic violence, call 703.746.4911 to speak with someone about services offered. If someone is in immediate danger, always call or text 911.

Photo via City of Alexandria

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