Alexandria, VA

COVID-19 has definitely put a damper on the already slimmed-down list of winter activities, but there are still dozens of activities residents can start registering for next week.

Registration is offered through the City of Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9, for City residents and on Friday, Dec. 11, for nonresidents. Winter registration applies to programs taking place January through March 2021.

Programs currently offered include a table game tournament (like ping pong and air hockey), dance classes, hula hoop classes and other socially distanced activities.

“Get ready for a flurry of fun this winter with a variety of in-person options for all ages, plus new virtual programs,” the city said in a press release. “View a complete list of winter programs online. Due to potential schedule and capacity adjustments from COVID-19, a printed or online program guide will not be produced for the winter program season.”

The city said in the press release that health guidelines include symptom screening, face masked, enhanced cleaning and physical distancing protocols. Be sure to register early, because the city noted that limited COVID-19 capacity meant indoor activities will have a smaller capacity than usual.

Photo via City of Alexandria/Facebook  

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Morning Notes

Fairfax Police Injured in Chase on Woodrow Wilson Bridge — “Three Fairfax County police officers were injured during a car chase involving a homicide suspect that ended with the person’s capture on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.” [Washington Post]

Power Outage in Carlyle — “We have about 2K @DominionEnergy customers experiencing outages in the vicinity of Carlyle. If you are out please report the outage online or by phone at 866-366-4357.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Man Sentenced in Kidnapping and Witness Tampering Case — “U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel today sentenced Henry Lee Kenner II, age 43, of Alexandria, Virginia, to 150 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for kidnapping and witness tampering.” [Shore News Network]

Winter Village at Cameron Run Makes Coronavirus Adjustments — “The Winter Village will be open on weekends, holidays, and prime visitation nights from Nov. 20 to Jan. 3, and ice skating only will be offered on select days from Jan. 9 to Feb. 28.” [Patch]

Alexandria Law Enforcement Honored for Heroism — “Deputy Jason Bebow and Deputy Julio Ocasio were honored for their rescue of an inmate who had attempted suicide at the Alexandria City Jail. Deputy Devon Neckles and Officer Shakita Warren were honored for their successful intervention with a suicidal resident.” [Zebra]

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Morning Notes

Virtual Opening Thursday for New Alexandria Townhomes — “Winchester Homes will host a virtual grand opening Thursday, Nov. 5, for Bren Pointe, a new 97-unit townhome community opening in Alexandria.” [Alexandria Living]

Indoor Sports Leagues Cancelled for 2021 Winter Season — “All indoor leagues organized by the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities (RPCA) are cancelled, including youth and adult basketball, adult volleyball, youth sports affiliate Alexandria Soccer Association’s indoor futsal league, and social sport gymnasium rentals. Small group sports classes, which are lower risk activities, will continue and will follow federal, state, and local guidelines for the safety of participants and staff. ” [City of Alexandria]

City Council to Hold Virtual Budget and Planning Retreat — “The Alexandria City Council will hold a virtual retreat meeting on November 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., to discuss the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Operating Budget process and develop the City Council Work Program for calendar year 2021.” [City of Alexandria]

Alexandrian Gets His 70-year-old Mom to Vote for the First Time –“I want [Joe] Biden because he cares about the people. Trump doesn’t care about us. He thinks this virus is just going to go away. This world is chaos. This world is nuts.” [Washington Post]

Free Flu Shots Available — “Now is the time to get a flu shot! Get info on Inova Cares Clinic for Families FREE flu shot clinics for uninsured people this month (first Alexandria clinic is Nov. 4) and low-cost shots to eligible residents at the Alexandria Health Department at alexandriava.gov/115055.” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Sunny skies (during the day). High 67F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Mostly clear (in the evening). Low 46F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Member Service Representative — “The Member Service Representative position plays a key role in support of the YMCA mission by ensuring the reliable and consistent delivery of outstanding customer service to members and guests at the front desk at YMCA Alexandria, located at 420 E. Monroe Ave. Alexandria, VA. This is a great part time position with a varied work schedule.” [Indeed]

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The Alexandria Drive-In returned to Eisenhower Avenue with a double feature on Halloween night, and there will be a dozen movies running this weekend until Dec. 5.

The drive-in showed “The Mummy” and “Casper” on Halloween.

“Our second series of movies will hopefully provide some humor on Halloween, especially with the absence of trick or treating, lighten your heart and any worries you have while you and your neighbors enjoy a few hours together, apart from celebrating the winter season,” said Kelly Grant, Chief Operating Officer for ALX Community, who came up with the idea.

The drive-in launched in August and the first six shows sold out in four days. The shows can hold 215 cars in the Victory Center parking lot at 5001 Eisenhower Avenue, and tickets cost $35 apiece. Proceeds from the events go to ACT for Alexandria and Athena Rapid Response.

“It’s so incredible to see the city come out and celebrate movies, togetherness, and charity during a time when going to the movies and being together is nearly impossible,” said Allen Brooks, Chief Operating Officer of The Garden, which partners with ALX Community. “Not to mention that we’ve already given $30,000 to a local charity that is already being used to provide desks for free to kids in the city through Athena response.”

The food trucks at the drive-in include DC Slices, Chix N Stix, Lattimore’s Funnel Cakes, and Popped Republic.

The Schedule

  • Saturday, Nov. 7 — “Nanny McPhee” & “The Race” (Double Feature)
  • Sunday, Nov. 8 — “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”
  • Saturday, Nov. 14 — “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Pitch Perfect” (Double Feature)
  • Friday, Nov. 20 — “Sea Biscuit”
  • Saturday, Nov. 21 — “How to Train Your Dragon” and “42” (Double Feature)
  • Friday, Dec. 4 — “The Bourne Identity”
  • Saturday, Dec. 5 — “The Grinch” and “Love Actually” (Double Feature)

Photos via ALX Community

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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 FacebookTwitter or Instagram,” according to the city.

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

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says Trump Will Use Death of Justice Ginsberg to ‘Steal’ Election — “Last night Trump said he wants to use the federal courts to cheat in November by denying Americans’ lawfully-cast mail-in ballots. This is an open admission that Trump hopes to use the Supreme Court to steal the election.” [Twitter]

Photo: Patagonia Taking Shape in Old Town Theater Space — “Progress continues at former Old Town Theater location – soon a Patagonia.”  [Twitter]

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Coming to Bradlee Shopping Center — “Tropical Smoothie Cafe will open its doors at Bradlee Shopping Center, replacing a spot formerly occupied by B&C Jewelers, which had been a staple at the center for decades before closing in recent months.” [Alexandria Living]

Police Use of Force Forum on Tuesday — “Now, Congress and state legislatures, including Virginia’s, are reviewing and/or passing new laws to address prevention and accountability. So, it’s critical that the public understand what’s being considered.” [Facebook]

Del Ray Poetry Fence Appears on PBS — “What gets me out of bed in the morning is curating my poetry fence for my community… People tell me they come to my poetry fence for solace and inspiration, that their children gorge on cherry tomatoes I plant in the parking strip, [with] a sign ‘Fast Food: Help yourself to tomatoes’ next to my Little Free Library.” [Facebook]

NOAA Predicts Warm Winter — “While last year there was some uncertainty without a El Niño or La Niña conditions, this year NOAA scientists are seeing La Niña conditions that are predicted to last into winter. That means Northern Virginia has a slight probability of warmer-than-normal conditions.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s Weather — “Sunny (during the day) . High 67F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph… A mostly clear sky (at night). Low near 45F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: IT Manager — “New Virginia Majority (NVM), Virginia’s leading civic engagement organization, builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We seek conscious and skilled individuals with a deep commitment to racial and economic justice to join our team. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply. We are equal opportunity employers” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

More on Alexandria’s New Fire Chief — Newly-appointed Alexandria Fire Chief Corey Smedley “is now working with the city manager’s office on a number of budget issues. He recently submitted a budget proposal to the city manager, and said that he is working to improve the pay for Alexandria’s first responders, which is among the lowest in the region.” [Zebra]

City Ready for Winter Weather — “Responding to winter weather events is a top priority for the City of Alexandria. City crews clear snow from more than 560 lane miles of roadway, 20 miles of City-owned walkways and trails, and 44 acres of municipal parking lots or City-owned squares.” [City of Alexandria]

Northam Proposes Nixing Vehicle Inspections — “Gov. Ralph Northam wants to end state-mandated vehicle safety inspections and cut vehicle registration fees in half, proposals his administration says would eventually save Virginians more than $280 million per year. But motorists would have to pay a few dollars more each time they fill up on gas under a proposal to increase the state’s motor vehicle fuels tax from about 22 cents per gallon to 34 cents per gallon over three years.” [Virginia Mercury]

Beyer Pushing for Quieter Airplanes — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who has long advocated against excessive noise from aircraft landing at and taking off from Reagan National Airport, is calling on NASA to study ways to make commercial jetliners quieter and cleaner in a new bill. [Press Release]

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Morning Notes

Stolen Vehicle Prompts Police Helo — “The Alexandria Police Department stopped a stolen vehicle in the 3000 block of King Street. A helicopter has been requested to assist.” [Twitter/@AlexandriaVAPD]

Route 7 Bus Lanes Planned — “New plans for rapid bus stations and bus lanes along Route 7 in Northern Virginia show the changes that could come to the busy commuter route over the next decade. A new conceptual engineering report lays out 18 specific bus rapid station locations from Tysons to Alexandria.” [WTOP]

Hospital Uses Temporary Cowbell Alert System — “It got a little noisy at Inova Alexandria Hospital on Thursday, Nov. 7, as hospital staff had to get creative in the in-patient unit by giving patients cowbells during an upgrade to the call bell system. Extra hospital staff were deployed to help patients during the four hour shutdown before the system was back online. There were no reported issues.” [Zebra]

Thousands of Coats Donated — “It wouldn’t be the holiday season in Alexandria without Willie Bailey’s annual coat drive. By the end of the year, Bailey and his team of volunteers from the Alexandria Police Department, Fire Department, and Sheriff’s Office have distributed more than 4,000 winter coats to city youth.” [Zebra]

Nearby: Elaborate Light Display Taking Year Off — “Collingwood Lights will not open this winter, ending a tradition for thousands of local residents. Elaborate, music-synched light displays have given joy to many people for more than two decades at Bill and Jan Vaughan’s home at 1601 Collingwood Road. In 2018, the couple won $50,000 in ABC television’s ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight.'” [Alexandria Living]

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The summer waterpark season at Cameron Run Regional Park (4001 Eisenhower Avenue) is over, but winter festivities are scheduled to kick off tomorrow (Friday) for the new Ice & Lights Winter Village.

The centerpiece of the park is a 55-by-80-foot ice rink, but there are activities throughout the park, like a lighted tunnel, heated igloos, and fire pits.

Food will also be available at the park, with guests invited to grab a slice of pizza or roast a marshmallow over a fire.

The park is open nightly from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. from Friday, Nov. 15, through Jan. 5. From Jan. 6 through Feb. 29, only the ice rink will be open.

Admission to the park is $5, with an extra $8 for the ice rink and $4 for skate rentals. Free admission is available through Thursday, Nov. 21 with the purchase of skating and rentals if guests use the promo code GRANDOPENING when they purchase tickets online.

Map via NOVA Parks

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Morning Notes

Chicken Butcher Suit Costly for City — “The city of Alexandria has paid an outside law firm $49,573 so far to help it fight an ongoing lawsuit about a halal chicken butchery that’s scheduled to open in an industrial area of the city.” [Washingtonian]

Alexandria Winter Shelter Now Open — “The City’s Winter Shelter at 5701-D Duke St. will open today at 7pm, and transportation is available. Please share with anyone who needs a safe and warm place to stay.” [Twitter]

T.C. QB Leads Team to Playoffs — “You could say T.C. Williams High School senior Robert Longerbeam has had a good fall. As quarterback of T.C’s football team, he has led the Titans to the state playoffs, breaking several school records along the way. He was also T.C.’s homecoming king.” [Alexandria Times]

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