Alexandria Health Department Responds to Rapid Mosquito Population Increase
Due to the recent prolonged period of rainy weather followed by hot, humid weather, mosquito populations in Alexandria have exploded over the last several weeks. The Health Department has seen large increases in the number of Aedes vexans, a species that thrives in wooded areas, and Aedes albopictus, the Asian Tiger mosquito, a species that breeds in containers such as flower pots, buckets, and children’s toys that have collected rain water. The Health Department is responding to this situation with continued surveillance, complaint investigations, community outreach activities, and additional larviciding of mosquito catch basins and other storm water structures. The Health Department is also monitoring and testing the mosquito population for the presence of the West Nile virus (WNV), which historically appears in late July or early August. To date this year, no mosquitoes have tested positive for WNV.
Alexandria Health Department WIC Team Serves Head Start Participants/Recognized by State Office
The Alexandria Health Department Women Infants and Children’s (WIC) team partnered with Alexandria Head Start to conduct outreach to mutual clients, at the Head Start site, during the week of June 24. The Health Department WIC team connected with 238 persons, enrolled 74 new participants and served another 92 currently-enrolled families by updating their status, providing education and distributing food vouchers. This outreach exceeded the number of clients served in prior Head Start outreaches. The WIC team also was recently recognized by the Virginia State WIC Office for being one of the program leaders in the Cash Value Voucher program (through which participants are able to purchase fruits and vegetables) – the Alexandria Redemption Rate was 84 percent, exceeding the Statewide average of 77 percent, and giving Alexandria the third highest rank among the State’s 35 programs.
Statue for Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery Delivered
The memorial sculpture for the Contraband’s and Freedmen’s Cemetery was delivered to the site on Thursday, July 25, and the installation was started. California based artist Mario Chiodo was selected after a national search to design and create the sculpture. Titled “The Path of Thorns and Roses,” the larger-than-life figurative sculpture captures what the artist envisioned the emotions of the Contrabands and Freedmen would have been at various stages of their Journey. Because of problems with the quarried granite which is to clad the outer walls of the memorial (i.e., the various granite slabs did not match and will need to be replaced), the dedication ceremony has been rescheduled for 2014. A tentative date of March 8, 2014 has been chosen. The Memorial should be finished by then, and that date also coincides with the 150th anniversary of the founding of Freedmen’s Cemetery.
City Launches Small Business and Residential Project Facilitation Program
On Wednesday, July 31, the City of Alexandria will launch the Small Business and Residential Project Facilitation program with a brief presentation and ribbon cutting ceremony. The City’s Permit Center will formally introduce the Small Business and Residential Project Facilitation Team, whose primary role will be to assist home owners and small businesses through the permit and inspection processes. Mayor William D. Euille and Council members will participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony, which will begin at 1 p.m. Tours and lunch will begin at noon at the Permit Center in City Hall, 301 King Street, Room 4200. Please RSVP by Friday, July 26, to Ken Granata, at 703.746.4193, or firstname.lastname@example.org.