Newsletter

Morning Notes

Alexandria chooses historic trolley as 2021 holiday ornament — “The City of Alexandria is now taking orders for its 2021 Trolley ornament, depicting Car 303 of the Mount Vernon Alexandria & Washington Electric Railway. The fleet of art deco cars were purchased in 1918 for the essential trolley line that connected Del Ray commuters to DC and tourists to Mount Vernon. Car 303 ran until the railway’s closure in 1932. It became a diner in 1936.” [Zebra]

Missing 83-year-old West Ender found safe — “Mr. Navia has been located.” [Twitter]

Early voting starts Friday — “Early voting for the Nov 2 General Election begins Fri, Sep 17. In Alexandria, ballot includes contests for VA Governor; Lt. Governor; Attorney General; House of Delegates; Commonwealth’s Attorney; Sheriff; Mayor; City Council & School Board.” [Twitter]

Chamber ALX sets legislative agenda — “Over the last decade we have been an outspoken voice for the completion of Potomac Yard metro, redevelopment of Landmark Mall, streamlining small business regulations and a champion of countless issues directly impacting the business community. We are proud to be entrusted with amplifying the voice of the diverse businesses in our city…” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s weather — “Mostly cloudy skies early will become partly cloudy later in the day. Hot. High 92F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph… A few clouds (in the evening). Low 71F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Chef De Cuisine at The Alexandrian — “Sage Hotel Management is currently seeking a Chef De Cuisine for our King & Rye restaurant located inside The Alexandrian Hotel, in Alexandria, VA.” [Indeed]

0 Comments

What an interesting week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.

World champion sprinter Noah Lyles brought home his bronze medal from the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday. In a frank, TED Talk-like speech at Alexandria City High School, Lyles talked about the importance of mental health as he struggled to perform at the games.

“A lot of people will look at the Olympics this year like something was different with the athletes,” said Lyles. “Well, it was a lot of difference because we had so much weight that we had to hold onto — about two years. I was no different.”

On the COVID-19 front, while the transmission level remains high in Alexandria, this week the city tied with Arlington for the lowest seven-day positivity rate in Virginia. Large outdoor public events are still happening, too, and on Monday, a vast majority of local elected officials and candidates converged for the Alexandria Democratic Committee’s annual Labor Day Picnic, which included an appearance by gubernatorial candidate, former Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Man arrested for spending spree after finding wallet in Bradlee Shopping Center parking lot
  2. COVID-19 Update: Alexandria ties with Arlington for lowest seven-day positivity rate in Virginia
  3. BREAKING: Pedestrian critically injured in Old Town car crash
  4. Mark Center development plans head to Planning Commission this week
  5. Alexandria Police union calls out years of executive mismanagement
  6. JUST IN: Suspects arrested after allegedly firing shots at Alexandria Police
  7. BREAKING: Video shows brawl at Alexandria City High School cafeteria just two days after school starts
  8. Mayor outlines upcoming plastic bag tax plans
  9. Village Brauhaus aims for rooftop expansion
  10. No injuries or arrests after shots fired in Old Town Sunday night
  11. Most expensive homes sold in Alexandria in August

Have a safe weekend!

Via Elijah Walter Griffin, Sr.

3 Comments

(Updated at 3 p.m.) The city had plans — to the tune of a $5 million grant — to extend the Backlick Run Trail and connect Armistead Boothe Park to the Van Dorn Street bridge. But a redevelopment the plan hinged on his been stalled, and with it city staff said they’re shifting some of the funding to another project.

The trail runs behind the Cameron Station neighborhood and connects to the Holmes Run trail in the east, but ends abruptly at Armistead Boothe Park in the west. Cyclists or pedestrians continuing from there have to move up to the shared S. Pickett Street to get to the Van Dorn Bridge.

The staff report says last December the city is rescinded a $5 million Smart Scale grant awarded by the Virginia Department of Transportation, funding that would have comprised the bulk of the $7 million Backlick Run Trail Phase I project. Because the grant was awarded specifically for this project, staff said the funding cannot be reallocated to another project. The remaining $2.1 million was from other grant funding that can be retained and reallocated to other future projects.

The report doesn’t identify which stalled redevelopment caused the delay, but said obtaining the needed right of way without redevelopment would impede business operations adjacent to the trail — presumably the cluster of small businesses and restaurants just off S. Pickett Street.

“However, it has now become clear the City cannot utilize the grant funds to build the Backlick Run Trail at this time because development did not occur at the pace initially projected,” the report said. “The City does not currently own enough right-of-way to construct the trail, and impacted properties have not yet indicated a timetable for redevelopment.”

The city is instead pushing that trail extension back to the drawing board with new concepts and conditions for future developments in the area. The plan notes that one parcel at 600 S. Pickett Street already has committed to adding parts of this trail, including a pedestrian/bicycle bridge — part of the Pickett Place development.

Now, city staff say the plan is to shift the remaining $2.1 million to the Beauregard Trail project, also in the West End. That shift in funding is scheduled to be reviewed at the Tuesday, Sept. 14 City Council meeting.

2 Comments

Alexandria was spared from significant flooding this week after remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the East Coast. The only flooding found was on lower King Street in Old Town, where businesses laid sandbags at windows and doorways.

“We’re open inside, but if you want to eat you’re probably going to have to come barefoot,” a hostess at Mai Thai told ALXnow on Wednesday.

Our top story this week was, for the second week in a row, on the recent brawl inside Alexandria City High School.

It’s a three-day weekend, and on Sunday the annual Old Town Festival of Speed & Style will bring crowds to marvel at classic and beautiful rides along King Street. Monday is Labor Day, and the city will operate on a holiday schedule.

In this week’s poll we asked how satisfied readers are with Alexandria City Public Schools since reopening on August 24. A majority (31%) reported being extremely unsatisfied with the school system, while 29% said ACPS has done a good job, 25% are extremely satisfied and 14% are unhappy overall.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. BREAKING: Video shows brawl at Alexandria City High School cafeteria just two days after school starts
  2. 13-year-old hit by car while walking home from school in Del Ray
  3. Fox put George Washington Middle School into a lock-in today
  4. Man arrested for spending spree after finding wallet in Bradlee Shopping Center parking lot
  5. No injuries or arrests after shots fired on Duke Street
  6. ACPS Superintendent Hutchings asks community to hit the brakes on email campaigns
  7. Alexandria man arrested for beating up ex-girlfriend in Old Town North
  8. Alexandria sees cases rise in August and warns of COVID-19 in schools
  9. Alexandria man convicted for possessing child porn and violating parole
  10. Historic Black cemetery under threat of being washed away in Old Town
  11. Man swallows two bags of drugs and runs from police in Old Town

Have a safe weekend!

0 Comments

A 31-year-old Fairfax County man was arrested for credit card theft and fraud last month after allegedly finding a wallet in the parking lot of the Bradlee Shopping Center and going on a spending spree.

On May 24, the male victim reported to police that he was the victim of fraud after losing his wallet in the parking lot. He said that someone made $423.99 and $1,097 purchases at a Target store in Falls Church, and then $314.96 at a T-Mobile store at 247 S. Van Dorn Street.

Police went to both the Target and T-Mobile stores and saw surveillance footage of the suspect buying numerous products and then driving away in a blue Honda Accord, according to a search warrant affidavit. They then looked up the car’s license plate number and saw that the car belonged to the suspect’s wife.

Police called the suspect’s wife, who provided them with her husband’s phone number, according to the affidavit.

The suspect was arrested on August 8 and charged with credit card theft and credit card fraud. He was released on bond the same day.

4 Comments

Morning Notes

New coffee shop opening in West End — “A new coffee shop will be opening in the Shoppes of Foxchase shopping center in Alexandria’s West End. Cortado Cafe is under construction now in the shopping center on Duke Street. It is taking the place of a now-closed Hair Cuttery between Massage Envy and La Casa restaurant.” [Alexandria Living]

Nonprofit teaches computer coding for free — “For over 20 years, the Alexandria nonprofit Computer CORE has helped adults learn computer technology and programming, thereby advancing their careers. The newest educational opportunity begins Tuesday, Sept. 14 with the virtual class Code Beats Computer Coding Camp. The free course will use hip hop and other music beats to teach computer coding.” [Zebra]

Alexandria to hold remembrance ceremony for 9/11 attacks — “The City invites the public to attend a remembrance ceremony Saturday, Sep 11, 10-11am, at Waterfront Park (1A Prince St.), to mark the tragic events of September 11, 2001.” [Twitter]

September is Recovery Month — “September is #RecoveryMonth and we are celebrating the gains made by those who are in recovery from mental illness and substance use disorders. Learn more and find out how you can help raise awareness of prevention and recovery options at alexandriava.gov/117342.” [Twitter]

Art on the Avenue returns to Del Ray Oct. 2 — “The event was virtual last year due to concerns about coronavirus. The popular event draws artists in more than 10 categories from food and books to sculpture, painting, bath and body products and more. In addition, attendees can enjoy music, visit the kid’s art corner and support local restaurants and businesses. In the past, the event has brought out 300 artists and 50,000 visitors. It has been named one of the best festivals in Virginia.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s weather — “Sunny (during the day). High 79F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph… Clear (in the evening). Low 58F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Play expert — “We provide family-focused therapeutic services to children age 0-12 years old. With a focus on play-based learning, TLBC believes that language and skill development should be a positive experience for both the child and the family.” [Indeed]

2 Comment

A 19-year-old Prince William County man was arrested after a brief chase near the 5200 block of Taney Avenue in the West End.

The incident occurred on Monday, August 9. An Alexandria Police officer was at a stationary traffic post in the 4800 block of Taney Avenue, when he tried to stop a black Ford sedan, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The suspect then allegedly fled at a high rate of speed for about four blocks before striking several other vehicles and coming to rest in the 5200 block of Taney Avenue.

“(The officer) observed the driver of the black Ford sedan running from the sedan and the scene of the accident before losing sight of him,” police reported.

A witness to the accident also told police that they saw the suspect throw an unidentified object over a fence into the backyard of a home on Taney Avenue. Police went to that address and found two full glass vials and a broken vial of suspected PCP.

The suspect was arrested about a half-mile away in the 5400 block of Richenbacher Avenue. He was released on bond the next day and charged with driving without a valid license, hit-and-run, reckless driving and disregarding/eluding police.

Via Google Maps

4 Comments

(Updated at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, September 2) Alexandria Police are investigating the death of a man who was struck by a vehicle Wednesday morning (September 1) as he crossed the street in the West End.

The pedestrian has been identified as Simon Merino.

The incident occurred near N. Beauregard Street and Fairbanks Avenue at around 6:20 a.m., and as of 9:30 a.m., the roadway was still closed while police continued their investigation. The area where the crash occurred is near Northern Virginia Community College and Mark Center.

The driver was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and has not been charged with anything, police told ALXnow.

Police will release more information this afternoon on the incident. The roadway reopened at around 12:45 p.m.

Via Google Maps

11 Comments
1703 N. Beauregard Street, via Google Maps

Three years after Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School opened in a former West End office (1701 N Beauregard Street), Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) is moving forward with plans to purchase the rest of the office block for eventual conversion into school space.

ACPS is headed to the Planning Commission on Thursday, Sept. 9, to review plans to purchase the office building for conversion into an educational space. What exactly that will entail, though, still remains to be determined. In the short-term, the building could be used as swing space for schools undergoing modernization, but could eventually become its own 600 student school.

According to the staff report:

The property located at 1703 N. Beauregard Street (‘1703’) is a four-story, approximately 82,000 square foot office building constructed in 1998 as part of the Mark Center properties and is currently owned by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). The building sits adjacent to Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School at 1701 and the 500-space shared parking structure at 1705, both of which were purchased in 2017 for the conversion to an educational use.

ACPS is currently exploring the potential conversion of 1703 to an educational use and is seeking the Planning Commission’s finding as to whether the acquisition would be consistent with the City’s Master Plan. As ACPS is still determining the suitability of the property for the intended purpose, City staff does not have a specific proposal to share with the Planning Commission; however, ACPS anticipates the following: in the short-term, space that is currently vacant in 1703 would house ACPS administrative functions; within the next three to ten years, the building would serve as swing space for students during the modernizations of George Mason and Cora Kelly Elementary Schools; and, ultimately, 1703 would be used as a new 600 student school, currently in ACPS’s ten-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and required based on enrollment projections

ACPS said there are currently two leases in place for the current tenants that end in 2027 and 2032. If the property is purchased, ACPS said it would enter into negotiation with the tenants to convert the spaces for the proposed use over time.

The staff report included an endorsement of the ACPS plan by city staff as in-keeping with a need to expand the traditional idea of school spaces.

“The proposed purchase is in keeping with recommendations made in the Long Range Educational Facilities Plan, endorsed by City Council in June 2015, which include “Consider retrofitting an existing commercial building” and “Consider an urban school model” for new schools, and is supported by the successful previous conversion of 1701 N. Beauregard Street to an educational use.

Photo via Google Maps

3 Comments

No one was injured or arrested after shots were fired early Sunday evening (August 29) in the 4600 block of Duke Street in the West End.

The incident occurred at around 5:30 p.m. near the Shoppes at Fox Chase and the 4600 Duke Street Condominiums. A helicopter assisted in the search for the suspect.

“Evidence was recovered at the scene,” police tweeted. “No injuries were reported.”

There was also a two-car crash on Duke Street last night. There were no injuries, although traffic traveling west was temporarily shut down.

Via Google Maps

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list