City of Alexandria, VA
FYI Alexandria — October/November 2010
In This Edition...
The City will soon “roll out” new recycling containers for the curbside recycling program that will make recycling easier and more convenient. The new, larger containers, equipped with wheels, will allow residents to recycle more types of materials, and eliminates the need to sort them.
The new recycling cart holds a larger quantity of recyclables, keeps contents dry, reduces litter, and is easier to place at the curb. Here are some things you should know about your new cart:
To learn more about the City’s recycling program, visit alexandriava.gov/Recycling or call 703.746.4410.
The City of Alexandria anticipates Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, which begins July 1, 2011, to be another challenging year as it continues to strategically plan for its future. In lieu of the traditional Council Retreat, City Council is receiving preliminary information regarding the FY 2012 Budget at a series of four evening work sessions, which began October 18. These work sessions include content designed to prepare Council to provide budget guidance to the City Manager, which will occur at the November 23 Legislative Meeting.
Upcoming Budget Work Sessions are scheduled for Monday, November 8 (7 p.m., in Sister Cities Conference Room 1101 in City Hall) and Tuesday, November 16 at George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mt. Vernon Ave. (3rd floor), at 7 p.m.. For more information on the Fiscal Year 2012 budget process, visit alexandriava.gov/Budget.
Fall foliage is flying and it’s time for the City’s annual leaf collection service, which runs from late October through December. Pick up leaf collection bags at various locations throughout the City: City Hall, 2900 Business Center Drive, and the Charles Barrett, Chinquapin Park, William Ramsey, and Mount Vernon Recreation Centers. Visit alexandriava.gov/LeafCollection or call 703.746.4410 for more information about leaf pickup in your area.
Brooke Sydnor Curran has put many miles on her running shoes. However, unlike most of us, she does not do it just to stay in shape. This native Virginian and Alexandria resident is dedicated to running marathons in seven continents, 50 states, and five major competitions—to raise funds for charities that aid Alexandrians in need. To meet this goal, Curran runs one marathon per month, paying her own travel expenses and race entry fees, so that all funds raised go to the charities.
So far, she has run marathons in five continents: North America (in various races); South America, where she placed first in a race in Easter Island, Chile; Europe (Berlin); Asia (on the Great Wall of China); and Australia (Ayer’s Rock in the Outback). She plans to run in Africa and in Antarctica in 2012. To date, she has run in 14 states, and in 23 marathons.
Curran partners with ACT for Alexandria, the city’s local community foundation, to administer the RunningBrookeFund, which awards funds she has raised by running these races to charitable organizations. In 2009, the RunningBrookeFund awarded $20,000 to Child and Family Network Centers, an organization that provides preschool and related social services to at-risk children and families.
Her goal for 2010 is to raise $50,000 for five charities: Girls on the Run; Community Lodgings; The Reading Connection; ACT for Alexandria; and the Child and Family Network Centers. To learn more about the RunningBrookeFund or to make a donation, visit www.runningbrooke.com.
The City of Alexandria recently won two honors from the Virginia Municipal League (VML): the VML 2010 Achievement Award and Platinum-level certification in the organization’s Green Government Challenge.
Alexandria won the Achievement Award for the mixed-use and sustainable design features of the Station at Potomac Yard, which maximizes land use by combining a fire station, 64 units of affordable and workforce rental housing, and retail space. The Achievement Award is given to local municipalities for their commitment to innovative and cost-effective local government. VML received more than 60 entries for judging in six categories: five based on population and one for communications programs and projects open to local governments of all sizes. Last year, the City won the Achievement Award in communications.
The City was also named a “Green Government” for the third straight year, earning Platinum certification (the highest level) in the Green Government Challenge. The City received innovation points for its Eco-City Alexandria initiative, which includes the Eco-City Charter, Environmental Action Plan 2030, Green Building Policy and Urban Forestry Master Plan.
The Green Government Challenge is a friendly competition designed to encourage jurisdictions to implement specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emissions generated by both the local government and the broader community.
To become a certified “Green Government,” cities, towns, and counties can register and earn “green points” by implementing or adopting 30 policies and actions in 11 categories. Amassing at least 100 “green points” out of a possible 200 will earn a certification as a “Green Government.” Those with 175 points or more are certified Platinum.
On September 21, the steel and granite sculpture “Sacandaga Totem,” by world renowned artist John Van Alstine, was placed in the center of Old Town Alexandria at 1200-A King Street (corner of King, South Fayette and Commerce Streets). Van Alstine’s work is the first exterior, non-figurative sculpture to be installed in public space in the City’s Old and Historic District.
“Sacandaga Totem” is a gift by the not-for-profit Alexandria Sculpture Festival (ASF), founded in 1978 by a group of Alexandrians interested in promoting modern sculpture in public spaces in the City’s Old and Historic District. Van Alstine’s work is represented in the U.S. and internationally in major museums, private collections and in public spaces, in venues such as the Beijing Olympic Garden, Indianapolis International Airport, Tsinghua University (Beijing), and most recently, at Michigan State University.
For more information about “Sacandaga Totem,” and about on the arts in Alexandria, visit www.alexandriava.gov/Arts.
The Alexandria City Council and the Arlington County Board held a joint work session on Thursday, Oct. 14 to continue to coordinate their efforts on key transportation, land use and restoration projects that affect both communities. This was the first time in recent history that the two bodies have held such a joint session.
The City Council and County Board discussed the Planned Crystal City-Potomac Yard Corridor development and transit initiatives; the Four Mile Run Restoration Project; the Columbia Pike Corridor and Beauregard Corridor transit initiatives; and energy planning and opportunities at the Energy-from-Waste facility.
As part of its continuing efforts to increase bicyclist safety and compliance at various crossings throughout Alexandria, last June the City submitted a formal request to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to use a bicycle signal to evaluate its potential effectiveness modifying bicyclist and motorist behavior. The request was approved in July.
The new signal, the first of its kind in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is located near the Porto Vecchio Condominiums driveway at the intersection of South Alfred and South Washington streets. The signal will increase bicyclist compliance at this intersection, which is a crossing on the Mount Vernon Trail, and improve safety for trail users and motorists. The trail experiences a peak of more than 300 bicyclists per hour during the summer months.
The City and two nonprofit partners, the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) and Rebuilding Together Alexandria (RTA), have exceeded the goals with their first-ever Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) grant. This program provides funding for local governments and nonprofit agencies to acquire, rehabilitate and re-sell vacant, abandoned and foreclosed properties. NSP is designed to help stabilize targeted areas that are most severely affected by the foreclosure crisis.
The City’s approach was unique because Alexandria partnered with local nonprofits and private sector supporters to accomplish its goals. AHDC acquired the eligible properties, RTA completed renovations that included measures to reduce energy use, and the City counseled and assisted first-time, low-income homebuyers in purchasing the properties. The City and its partners are one of the first programs in Virginia to successfully complete a property acquisition and re-sale using NSP funds. The City plans to continue the program next year using income from the sale of acquired properties. For more information on home purchase assistance programs, contact the Office of Housing at 703.746.4990.
As the holidays approach, reach out to the neediest in our community and sponsor a family, a senior citizen or person with disabilities, a foster child, or a teen. You can help with your time by volunteering or with your resources by donating gifts. Visit alexandriava.gov/HolidaySharing to learn the many ways you or your group can help!
The Alexandria Mentoring Partnership is looking for mentors for Alexandria’s children this school year. Won’t you consider helping? Mentoring is proven to keep kids in school, help them to avoid trouble and expand their horizons! Consider donating 1-2 hours a week during this school year. Contact Loralei Coyle at 703.746.4506 or Loralei.Coyle@alexandriava.gov.
With the onset of Fall’s cool weather comes the flu season. Be prepared! This year’s flu shot will protect against the H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season, as well as other seasonal influenza viruses. The flu vaccine comes in two forms—the injected flu “shot,” and a nasal flu mist. You should get the 2010–11 seasonal flu vaccine even if you got the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine last season.
Flu shots are offered in many places, including doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, and other locations. Contact your doctor or visit www.flu.gov. The Alexandria Health Department, 4480 King St., is also offering free flu vaccinations. For clinic hours, visit alexandriava.gov/Health or call 703.746.4400.
In addition to getting vaccinated, remember to stop the spread of flu by washing your hands, covering your cough with a tissue or sleeve, and staying home if you’re sick.
Mayor Euille speaks with Vice Mayor Kerry Donley and T&ES Director Rich Baier about transportation improvement options and how to pay for them; and with Police Chief Earl Cook about declining crime trends in Alexandria.
Tune in on Comcast Cable Channel 69 on Tuesdays (8:30 p.m.) and Thursdays (6:30 p.m.) or on the Web at alexandriava.gov/MayorEuilleToday.
The Film Festival presents 39 films this year--25 of which are premieres--in 6 different venues. Visit http://alexandriafilm.org to see selected film clips, purchase tickets, and get the details about our special events with filmmakers, actors, and directors - including our Opening Night FREE party at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.
Sunday, November 7
This live broadcast features student performers and professional entertainers who contribute their time and talent to raise pledges to support the Scholarship Fund’s General Fund. General Fund scholarships support students who have academic promise but who lack the financial resources to access and complete higher education. For more information or to make a pledge, visit www.alexscholarshipfund.org or call 703 824-6730.
City of Alexandria Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, November 26
Join your friends, neighbors, and a very special guest for an evening of song, dance, and holiday fun! For information, call the Events Hotline at 703.746.5592 or the Office of Special Events at 703.746.5418
There’s a new way for residents to get upcoming news, events, and information about what’s going on in the City. What’s New in Alexandria is a five-minute, biweekly video featuring the latest events and activities going on around town. You can watch it online at alexandriava.gov or view it on the City’s Facebook page. What’s New also airs at regular intervals every day on the City’s cable channel 70. Tune in and stay informed about what’s happening in the City of Alexandria!
Sunday, November 7: Remember to change your smoke detector batteries.