FYI Alexandria — December 2011
In This Edition...
The Search is Over: City Council Appoints City Manager Rashad Young
In a special meeting on October 24, City Council appointed Rashad Young as Alexandria’s new City Manager. Young, formerly City Manager of Greensboro, North Carolina, was selected by City Council to replace James K. Hartmann, who resigned from the position in May 2011. Young will begin work on December 12.
Young’s entire career has been dedicated to public service in local government. Prior to his tenure in Greensboro, he served as City Manager in Dayton, Ohio, and as Assistant City Manager in Cincinnati, Ohio. Throughout his career, he has managed communities with challenging fiscal conditions while building strong, open, and effective partnerships with residents and business to leverage the unique assets of a community. (To view Young’s biography, visit alexandriava.gov/City Manager).
The new City Manager, at 35, is the youngest person and the first African American to hold this office. Visit alexandriava.gov/Video to watch Mayor Euille’s conversation with the new City Manager about his leadership and management experience, and his vision for the future of Alexandria.
Alexandria Named One of Nation’s “100 Best Communities” for Youth
For the fourth time, the City of Alexandria was named one of the nation’s “100 Best Communities for Young People,” by America’s Promise Alliance. The competition recognizes the 100 outstanding communities across America—large and small, rural and urban—that are the best places for young people to live and grow. This year, more than 300 communities nationwide applied for the honor. A description of Alexandria’s winning qualities, and a list of all 2011 winners, can be found at www.americaspromise.org/100best.
The City’s support for its children and youth encompasses a comprehensive array of programs and services in areas such as teen pregnancy prevention, juvenile delinquency, education, post-secondary education, and mentoring and youth development. Here are just two examples of the programs that helped the City win this honor:
- Brent Place Apartments Initiative: The culturally diverse youth of the Brent Place Apartments are developing a new lease on life as a result of AmeriCorps workers who live there. The Department of Community and Human Services and the AmeriCorps workers established ChildThrive!, an initiative that delivers a variety of services and opportunities to residents, such as a sit-down dinner for teen males, in which they spoke candidly about sex and drugs with Mayor William D. Euille, Police Chief Earl Cook, teen dads and local hero Tony “Da Beast” Suggs.
- Mentoring for Young Men: A mentoring program developed when Congressman James Moran approached two black churches in Alexandria – Alfred Street Baptist and Shiloh Baptist – to propose the creation of a mentoring program for male students at T.C. Williams High School. The partnership was broadened to include the Northern Virginia Urban League. Hometown hero Sean McEnearney’s vision and leadership marshaled broad-based support that led to the establishment of the Children, Youth & Families Collaborative Commission.
The America’s Promise Alliance, founded by General Colin Powell, provides a catalyst for community-based efforts to demonstrate how children receive the Five Promises—caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education and opportunities to help others.
First Night Alexandria
First Night Alexandria is a celebration of the new year through the performing arts. Local shops, churches and buildings throughout Old Town turn into performance venues to showcase local talent. It’s fun, affordable, safe and venues are alcohol free. The celebration ends with a spectacular laser show and a special “ball drop” at midnight at the George Washington Masonic Memorial!
For more information about the event, visit Firstnight alexandria.org.
City Sponsors “Energize Alexandria”
Improving home energy efficiency not only saves residents money each month on utility bills; these improvements also help communities meet important environmental goals. On November 5, the City of Alexandria sponsored Rebuilding Together Alexandria’s “Energize Alexandria” Day. The City provided a $100,000 grant to Rebuilding Together to improve the energy efficiency of homes at the Arlandria Chirilagua Housing Corporation (ACHC). By using volunteer labor, Rebuilding Together estimates that it leverages $2 for every dollar invested by the City and other donors.
The funds awarded to Rebuilding Together were provided through the City’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. The City received almost $1.4 million in EECBG funding to carry out a range of activities that will reduce the City’s energy use, and assist City residents to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
In carrying out improvements at ACHC, Rebuilding Together also partnered with Washington Gas to help residents with a range of energy efficiency measures, such as weather stripping, caulking, and sealing windows and doors in the 284 unit complex. More than 70 Washington Gas employees donated their time and expertise in completing these improvements. Rebuilding Together will continue its Energize Alexandria initiative by conducting free educational seminars on energy efficiency for residents of ACHC and the surrounding communities. To learn more about the City’s Eco-City initiative, visit the City’s Green Building Resource Center at alexandriava.gov/GBRC.
Alexandria Adds More Green to Its Fleet
The City of Alexandria is continuing to green its vehicle fleet. In October, the City introduced 11 new Ford Fusion hybrid-electric cars in to its fleet of vehicles. The hybrids, purchased in part through federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant funds, help the City reduce its gasoline costs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Hybrid-electric cars, like those the City purchased, use both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The electric motor operates at low speeds, while the gasoline engine takes over when higher speeds are required. The electric motor is powered by a battery, which is charged when the car slows down or is braking (both ways in which gasoline engine-only cars waste fuel). In addition, when the car is idle at a stop sign or traffic intersection, the hybrid-electric car turns itself off to save gasoline, and restarts immediately when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake.
The hybrids join the City’s fleet of vehicles as part of the City's “pool car system,” another cost-saving measure the City introduced several years ago to save fuel, reduce costs, and provide reliable cars to employees for conducting City business. The new hybrids join the 12 Toyota Prius and two Ford Escapes the City already owns, bringing the total number of hybrid vehicles in the City’s fleet to 30.
Have you seen the new vehicles around town? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s Fall Leaf Collection Time!
The City’s annual curbside leaf collection program is a service provided free of charge to all City refuse and recycling residential customers. The program allows residents to recycle their leaves in three ways.
- Compost Leaves and Yard Waste - Composting is an easy way to take advantage of nature’s recycling to make a valuable organic supplement.
- Place Leaves in Free Biodegradable Bags - The City provides free biodegradable bags for leaf collection. These bags are located at several City facilities during the collection season and are free of charge. The bags are collected, at the curb, one business day after your regular refuse collection day. (Check alexandriava.gov/YardWaste to find out where you can pick up biodegradable bags).
- Rake leaves to the Curb - Leaf crews will use a vacuum truck to collect leaves that have been raked to the curb. The annual leaf collection season is typically from the end of October to the middle of December.
To prepare leaves for collection:
- Remove stones, litter, branches or other debris. These items can damage our equipment and could hurt our workers!
- Avoid placing leaves in front of storm drains or water meter covers.
- Move parked cars from leaf piles.
- Rake leaves into a pile(s) at the curb; it enables crews to move more quickly and collect leaves more efficiently.
- Do not rake to alleys or service roads.
- Rake out the day before the earliest collection day scheduled for your area.
During peak leaf season, crews will focus on removing large leaf piles. Please be patient as loose leaves may be left until the next pass through your neighborhood.
Our schedule is greatly affected by the weather and rate of leaf fall. Crews work Monday through Friday and holidays except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Leaf collection is just one of the many duties of our crews. Crews may be pulled away from leaf collection to support the snow removal operation.
To learn more about leaf preparation and collection, visit alexandriava.gov/YardWaste or call the Leaf Collection Hotline at 703.746.LEAF (5323).
Holiday Sharing Program
Be a part of the holiday spirit by providing gifts for low income families, foster children, senior citizens or persons with disabilities through the Holiday Sharing Program. For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/HolidaySharing.
ACAP’s Keep it 360 Launch Event a Success
On Saturday, October 1, the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) and Teens Talk launched a new multi-media marketing campaign called Keep it 360. Over 300 youth and community members attended to take part in the fun, enjoy music and food, and hear about the new campaign.
Who is Teens Talk? Teens Talk is a group of four TC Williams High School students who have volunteered their time and effort to create a new marketing campaign for ACAP. They have worked with marketing experts to design a campaign logo, write a blog, create key messages, and plan a large launch event.
What does “keep it 360” mean? Keep it 360 is about keeping it real all the way around. It is a campaign to foster real, open and honest conversations about sex and teen pregnancy between teens, adults and the community. Guilt, mistruths and taboos make up many of today’s conversations. Teens Talk wants to change the status quo by changing the tone of these conversations and re-creating the perceptions and social norms related to sex and teen pregnancy discussions.
To find out more about the campaign visit KeepIt360.org or follow the Teens Talk blog at blog.KeepIt360.org.
Picture: Upper row (left to right): Kristus Ratliff, Becky Griesse, Jasmine McCrae, Brooke Ninman, David Summers. Front row: Yasmin Faruki, Tracey Reina, Emma Beall
City Awarded Community Homeownership Revitalization Program Funding
The City of Alexandria has been awarded a $900,000 allocation of funding through the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s new Community Homeownership Revitalization Program (CHRP). This new resource will provide reduced rate mortgage financing for up to nine lower-income, first-time homebuyers participating in the City’s Homeownership Assistance Program (HAP) and purchasing homes within one of the City’s three designated Neighborhood Stabilization (NSP) target areas. While the loan rate will vary, the current CHRP rate for a 30 year mortgage is 3%. The funds are expected to serve a total of eight households.
Families interested in participating the City’s home purchase assistance programs must complete a one-day homeownership training class, followed by an individual counseling session. The participant must contribute a minimum of $2,000 toward the home purchase. To learn more or to enroll in the next training class, contact the Office of Housing at 703.746.4990 or visit alexandriava.gov/housing.
Putting Down Roots in Brookvalley
On November 5, volunteers and City staff planted 32 native trees along Holmes Run. The goal of the Brookvalley Park Native Tree Planting was to increase canopy cover, encourage a well-balanced riparian forest, and increase water quality by providing richness and abundance of species in the ecosystem surrounding the stream.
Pictured left to right: Jennifer Hovis, Oliver Flint, and Scott Graham plant a Northern Red Oak. (Photo by R.H. Simmons/City of Alexandria Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.)
Important News for Pet Owners
On November 12, City Council updated Alexandria’s “leash law” to require that pet owners physically leash their dogs in public areas. This means that electronic collars will no longer count as a physical restraint for dogs in public areas.
City Council also agreed to increase penalties for pet owners who leave their animals in cars on hot days. Individuals who leave their pets in an unattended vehicle where the outside temperature is 70 degrees or higher (and the interior of the vehicle is not provided with air conditioning to maintain an internal temperature of 80 degrees or less) will be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Anyone who leaves an animal in their car and causes the animal to suffer from heat stress will be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The ordinance also gives Animal Control officers the authority to remove any animal found in a car that appears to be suffering heat stress, so that the pet may receive immediate veterinary care.
ACPS Teacher Named 2011 National History Teacher of the Year
Stacy Hoeflich, fourth-grade Virginia Studies teacher at John Adams Elementary School, was named the 2011 National History Teacher of the Year. The award was announced October 18 at the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem, NY, during a ceremony that included Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) Superintendent Morton Sherman, New York City’s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, ACPS students, and the teacher nominees representing each state for this esteemed honor. Hoeflich received a $10,000 award along with this prestigious title. The award was co-sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and HISTORY®, and Preserve America. Hoeflich was chosen from a pool of winners from the fifty states, the District of Columbia, US Territories, and Department of Defense schools. The award recognizes the country’s most outstanding history teachers in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Each year, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History administers the award by seeking exemplary history educators who demonstrate commitment to teaching American history in the classroom through effective use of documents, artifacts, historic sites, oral histories, and other primary resources to engage students.
VIDEO :: Alexandria kicks off the holiday season at the Official Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov 25.
Saturday, December 3
The Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
11 a.m., beginning at Wilkes and South St. Asaph Streets and ending
at King and Royal Streets in Old Town. Over 100 Scottish Clans, pipe and drum bands, Scottish dancers, re-enactment groups, Scottie dog groups, and Santa Claus will march through the streets of Old Town!
November 26 – December 11
Evenings and Weekends
Holiday Concerts in Old Town Alexandria
Enjoy the music of the season as a break between shopping, on your way to dinner, or just to get in the spirit of the holidays. Holiday concerts are held outdoors and are cancelled in the event of inclement weather. Visit alexandriava.gov/Concerts or call 703.746.5592.