Alexandria Mom's Calendar of Events

Friday, August 5, 2011

Moody’s Reaffirms City’s Aaa Bond Ratings, But Assigns “Negative Outlook” to Seven Aaa-rated Northern Virginia Localities, Including Alexandria


News Highlights:

·      Moody’s Investors Service announced on August 4 that 161 Aaa-rated local governments, including the City of Alexandria, have had their ratings reaffirmed as Aaa but assigned a negative outlook pending a case-by-case review.
·      This follows Moody’s August 2 announcement that the credit rating for the United States has been reaffirmed at Aaa but assigned a negative outlook. 

On August 4, Moody’s Investors Service announced that the City of Alexandria Aaa credit rating, along with those of six other Northern Virginia jurisdictions[1], is among the 161 local government credit ratings reaffirmed at Moody’s top Aaa rating but assigned a “negative outlook” because of indirect and direct financial and economic relationships of these localities with the federal government.   This current rating action was based on the characteristics that these local governments shared as a group and will be followed by separate case-by-case reviews of each affected jurisdiction. 

In the coming weeks and months, City staff will be working with Moody’s on its review of the City’s bond rating.  Since the ratings agencies have previously noted the City’s strong and diverse local economy, sound financial management, and moderate-to-low debt burden, the City is confident that it will be able to make a strong case for reaffirming its Aaa rating.

Acting City Manager Bruce Johnson stated, “While the federal government is a major economic presence in the regional economy, we feel that the City’s location inside the Beltway, the diversity of our economy in general, and the particular types of federal agencies located here, including the fee-supported Patent and Trademark Office, will help us through the coming federal budget cutbacks.  Also, we believe Moody’s should recognize that Alexandria, with our consistently balanced budgets, well-funded reserves, conservative fiscal management, and low debt burden, should be distinguished from being placed into the same classification as the federal government.”  The City does not plan to issue bonds until next summer, as it issued $69.95 million in AAA/Aaa general obligation bonds at the very low interest rate of 3.18 percent this past July, just before Moody’s indicated that they were going to review the ratings of the 161 Aaa-rated entities.

[1] The counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William, and the towns of Herndon and Vienna.

Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities' Fall 2011 Program Guide Now Available


Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities' Fall 2011 Program Guide Now Available

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities’ Fall 2011 Program Guide is now available. The program guide highlights City classes, programs, activities and special events occurring late August through December 2011. Registration for fall classes and activities begins at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, August 17 for City residents, and Friday, August 19 for nonresidents. Individuals who subscribe to receive the program guide by mail will receive it by Monday, August 8.
Individuals who did not subscribe can download a free copy by or pick up a printed copy at the following locations Monday, August 8:
  • Department of Communications & Public Information, City Hall, 301 King St.
  • Charles Barrett Recreation Center, 1115 Martha Custis Dr.
  • Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St.
  • Chinquapin Park Recreation Center, 3210 King St.
  • Cora Kelly Recreation Center, 25 W. Reed Ave.
  • Dr. Oswald Durant Memorial Recreation Center, 1605 Cameron St.
  • Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center, 5750 Sanger Ave.
  • Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave.
  • Nannie J. Lee Memorial Recreation Center, 1108 Jefferson St.
  • Patrick Henry Recreation Center, 4643 Taney Ave.
  • William Ramsay Recreation Center, 5650 Sanger Ave.
  • Barrett Branch Library, 717 Queen St.
  • Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St.
  • Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Rd.
  • Duncan Branch Library, 2501 Commonwealth Ave.
Program guides are mailed to subscribers three times each year: Fall Programs (August); Winter Programs (December); and Spring and Summer Programs (March). To sign up for a free subscription to the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities’ Program Guide, visit or call 703.746.4343.

Help Cora Kelly School build a new playground

This is from Ashley Chappell, Cora Kelly Schools PTA Tresaurer: 
You may recall that Cora Kelly School and the PTA have been working over the past year to raise funds for a new playground.  We're much closer -- in fact, work will start in September to get the bones of the new big equipment in -- but there are still things to be done, and we need your help. We are collecting Coke brand caps and codes from 12 and 24 can boxes to enter into the Sprite Sparks Parks for Schools sweepstakes and a chance to win $25,000 to spruce up our playground.  This sweepstakes runs through September 30.  We can use this money, even though our playground is getting underway, because budget is very tight.  These funds would help defray costs of landscaping and paint and such, to make the place even more beautiful.  25 prizes of $25,000 each -- and the odds of winning a prize depend on the number of eligible entries received thru 9/30.  So -- 
help us by saving your Coke product caps and codes from 12 and 24 can boxes.  Sprite, Coke, Dasani water, Minute Maid, Fanta, Seagrams, Barqs and more are Coke brands.  
Or donate points you already have at MyCoke Rewards.  
Or register at, then donate at the Sparks Parks sweepstakes page (it's a little hard to find the sweepstakes entry page -- look under Schools, School Sweepstakes -- but once you do, you'll find Cora Kelly in the list of schools using zip code 22305), 
OR -- TO MAKE THINGS EASY, save your codes and drop off a bag on my front porch any time, 501 East Windsor Avenue.   You can even email me and I can pick them up.  I am happy to do the entries. 
Every entry increases our chances, and chances are you have Coke brand soda and water caps with codes that you can save for us.  We would very much appreciate the help.  I'll bug you with only 2 more reminders until September 30 (I promise), so please don't forget :-). THANK YOU!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First Thursday Along Mt. Vernon Avenue

Tomorrow is First Thursday along Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray.  
Each month has a theme and this month the theme is "Art Walk".   

There will be music, art, fun for the whole family and your favorite businesses will stay open late. 

Events will run from 6 to 9 pm.  
Please support local artists and musicians by coming out to see their works and listen to them play.  

Here's the link for a full listing of events and map.   


Work continues at Simpson field

For Immediate Release: August 3, 2011

Site Work Scheduled For August 8 through August 19 at Simpson Little League Field

Throughout August 2011, City contractors will replace the outfield fence at the Little League field in Simpson Stadium Park, located at 426 E. Monroe Ave. The new fence will address safety issues between the baseball field and the new soccer fields. Residents will see equipment in use and crews at work during the daytime.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another National Night Out Event in Alexandria

Tonight is National Night Out
Please join your friends and neighbors of Taylor Run Civic Association at Angel Park, 201 West Taylor Run Parkway (map) ,  at 6PM for a good old fashioned community get together.

If you plan on attending, please RSVP by emailing John Chapman:

New listserv for dog owners

There is a new Yahoo listserv group for Alexandria dogs and their owners.  
This groups was started by Mark, who has a 6 mo old Havanese puppy.  
He describes the group as: 
For Alexandria, VA dogs and their owners, the purpose of this group is
to organize meetups and play dates, engage dog owners with the city of
Alexandria regarding dogs parks (and adding fencing to existing dog
exercise areas), and to share information on dog parks, puppy
socialization, vets, pet stores and websites, dog trainers, dog
walkers, dog boarding and day care, dog food, toys and other products,
and anything related to caring for a dog in Alexandria.
Here’s how to get to the group: 
Group name: alexandria-dogs

Monday, August 1, 2011

The West End Farmers Market Celebrates National Farmers Market Week

The West End Farmers Market will be celebrating National Farmers Market Week on Sunday, August 7.

The farmers market meets at Ben Brenman Park, 4800 Brenman Park Drive, from 8 am to 1 pm.

To celebrate there will be:

  • Face painting by Rain Young
  • Magician David Meneses
  • Canning demonstrations by Lucy and Bonita Bolden of Eden Good at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
  • Philip Blalock, Executive Director of the National Association of Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP) is scheduled to speak at 10 a.m.
  • "How to incorporate fresh fruit & vegetables into every meal" cooking demonstration by Brenda Coleman, Health Coach of Sow. Harvest. Share.  at 11 a.m.

*NAFMNP is the nation’s only organization that links States, the District of Columbia, Indian Tribal Organizations, Territories and others with a stake in USDA’s Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs (including local fruit and vegetable growers and low-income families and seniors) with a shared mission to ensuring that farmers throughout the United States have an expanded opportunity to sell their fresh produce directly to the public through their local farmers’ markets. In 2010, their efforts resulted in an average of $2,800 of additional income each for more than 16,000 farmers.

Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

Virginia's Sales Tax Holiday will take place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 5-7.  

During this "holiday", purchases of school supplies under $20 and purchases of clothing and footwear selling for under $100 will be exempt from sales tax. 

From the VA Department of Taxation: 

“School supply,” means an item that is commonly used by a student in a course of study. For purposes of the sales tax holiday, the term includes, “school art supply,” “school instructional material,” and “school music supply.” The term DOES NOT include computers or “school computer supplies”, and such items may not be purchased exempt of the tax.

The following is an all-inclusive list of items that are included in the term “school supply” and are therefore exempt from tax during the sales tax holiday period, provided their sales price is $20 or less per item. Only the following items are exempt as school supplies. Items need not be intended for use in school or in connection with a school activity to be eligible for the exemption.
• Binder pockets
• Blackboard chalk 
• Book bags 
• Cellophane tape 
Clay and glazes 
Composition books 
Dictionaries and thesauruses 
Erasers (including dry erase marker erasers and dry erase marker cleaning solution) 
Folders: expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila 
Glue, paste, and paste sticks 
Index cards and  boxes  
Legal pads 
Lunch boxes 
Markers (including dry erase markers and dry erase marker kits) 
Musical instruments, musical instrument accessories, and replacement items for musical instruments 
Paintbrushes for artwork 
Paints (acrylic, tempera, and oil)
Paper: loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board and construction paper
Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes 
Pencil sharpeners 
Reference books/ Reference maps and globes 
Sheet music 
Sketch and drawing pads 
Writing tablets

List of Clothing Eligible for Exemption
“Clothing” means any article of wearing apparel and typical footwear intended to be worn on or about the human body. Clothing DOES NOT include sporting equipment or footwear designed primarily for athletic activity or protective use and not usually considered appropriate for everyday wear. 

The following is a list of items that are included in the term “clothing” and are therefore exempt from tax during the sales tax holiday period, provided their sales price is $100 or less per item. This list is not all-inclusive. Other items meeting the definition of clothing may be purchased exempt of the tax.

Aprons, household and shop 
Athletic supporters 
Baby bibs and clothes , Baby receiving blankets
Bathing suits, swim trunks, cover-ups and bathing caps  
Belts and suspenders 
Choir and altar clothing 
Clerical vestments 
Coats, jackets, and windbreakers  
Costumes (sold not rented) 
Diapers, children and adult, including disposable diapers 
Ear muffs 
Formal wear for men and women (sold, not rented) 
Fur coats and stoles, shawls and wraps 
Garters and garter belts Girdles 
Gloves and mittens for general use 
Golf clothing, caps, dresses, shirts, skirts, pants 
Gym suits and uniforms 
Hats and caps 
Hosiery, panyhose
Insoles, inserts for shoes 
Jerseys (both athletic and non-athletic) 
Lab coats 
Legwarmers/ Leotards and tights 
Neckwear, including bow ties, neckties, and scarves 
Overshoes and rubber shoes 
Raincoats, rain hats, and ponchos 
Rubber pants 
Sandals and flip flops
Shirts and blouses 
Shoes and shoe laces 
Socks and stockings, including athletic socks 
Steel toed shoes 
Uniforms, athletic and non-athletic 
Wedding apparel, including veils (sold not rented)