Alexandria Mom's Calendar of Events

Monday, December 15, 2014

Del Ray Christmas Trees & First Night Del Ray


Vote for Your Favorite Tree
Twelve trees have been put up and decorated along Mt. Vernon Avenue.  Last year, the Del Ray Business Association started a "Best Tree Competition" and local businesses, cub scouts and student organizations decorated the trees -- all are available for viewing by walking the Avenue.  
Each tree will have a sign with a number on it. 
Pick which one you like the best, click here to cast your vote for your favorite.  Competition is going strong so get your vote in!!!  
Voting will be open until Christmas Day, December 25.

December 31
Mt. Vernon Recreation Center
6-9 PM

First Night will be back in Del Ray!!!  An Old Fashioned Carnival is being planned--there will be carnival games for all ages, line dancing, fortune teller and many other activities.

The price of a badge is $15 until December 18. After the 18th, tickets are $20. To gain admission to all First Night Alexandria venues you need just one badge per adult. Click this link for full info on tickets.

Kids 12 and under and active military get in for FREE!*
And remember -- Volunteers get a free pass for the night.
Purchase online or purchase directly from these Del Ray businesses:
Del Ray Variety 
203 E. Custis Ave.
St. Elmo's Coffee Pub
2300 Mt. Vernon Ave.   
We are looking for volunteers -- if you can help, please let us know. We want this night to be successful but need your help. Help with Games, Selling Tickets, Prizes. Need 20-25 Volunteers. To volunteer contact Pat MIller Volunteers get a free pass to all First Night activities! The Old Fashioned Carnival ends at 9 PM so there is plenty of time to enjoy First Night Alexandria.

Don’t forget to share all your First Night selfies on Instagram with #FNA20th and you could win prizes, including cash.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Alexandria Police Investigate Bank Robbery at Burke & Herbert Bank

This makes 2 in Alexandria this week....  

Police Investigate Robbery at Burke and Herbert Bank on North Paxton Street

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the robbery of a Burke and Herbert Bank located at 155 North Paxton Street. On
Friday, December 12, at 12:53 p.m., a man entered the bank and displayed a handgun. He demanded money, the teller complied, and the suspect fled with
an undisclosed amount of cash. There were no injuries. 
The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’10”, with a medium build.
He was last seen wearing a dark color knit hat and red, puffy winter
The Federal Bureau of Investigations is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads
to the identification, arrest and conviction of this bank robbery. 

Anyone with additional information about this incident is
asked to call Detective Thomas Buckley at 703.746.6837.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My First Trip to the New Bradlee Safeway

So I waited 5 days before trying the newly renovated Bradlee Safeway.....

I read all the local list-serve posts and reviews, good and bad,  over the last 5 days.
I went in with an open mind and here is my take on the renovated store.

I didn't have any problem with parking.  I went in the middle of the day,  and I was able to easily park in the surface, covered,  parking lot.  Not too close to the entrance but not too far either.

I took the escalator up to the shopping level and there were plenty of carts available.
It was a little confusing as to where I should go from the cart area.   I like to start at the produce section so I headed there first, which was at the other end of the store from where I came in.
I went one way, keeping to the right, and was in the way of folks trying to exit the check out lanes and I would have to go to the right and through the check outs to get to the shopping aisles.   So I had to back track and go to the left of the Starbucks area.

The store seemed adequately lit, but some areas seemed a little darker than others.

Some aisles were not wide enough for two carts to pass.  That was mostly near the produce, and it was specialty type food aisles - Gluten Free and Mexican,  as I recall.  But most aisles seemed tight with two carts trying to pass.

The layout wasn't too hard to figure out but it will take some time to get used to it.
I like that the aisles are long and not chopped up with intersecting aisles.

There seems to be a lot of space given to product placement promotions or for tastings - lots of high, small, tables set up.  Most of which weren't in use or didn't have anything on them.

The produce section was large but seemed to be a bit disorganized.  I saw several items several times in different places.  Grapes in a refrigerator area and just on the shelf.  Apples in several areas.  Some of this may be organic and non organic but it wasn't really clear.  There seemed to be many shoppers just wandering this area looking a bit overwhelmed and not knowing where things were and in which direction they should go.

The baby section and health care goods seemed to have wide aisles in the middle of the store.  Not sure why.  Maybe this will be the seasonal area too.

The Wine area was extensive - large selection of off the shelf and chilled/refrigerated wines.
There was also a large section or selection of yogurts, more than I recall at any other grocery store in the area.

Many items were behind glass doors.  That seems to be the way stores are heading - Harris Teeter in Old Town has this same set up.  So this will just take some adjustment for shoppers.

When I was in the produce area I asked an employee where I might find Clementines.  He said "they were all located near the entrances".  I asked, "there aren't any in the produce section?"  He offered up that they were all over the store.  I said that must be confusing for him.  His reply "Yes".

The prices were just OK.  I didn't find anything at a greater discount or on sale more than what I could find at Giant.  Some items were more expensive than Giant or Harris Teeter, others less expensive.  Overall I spent more than what I have spent for the same "regular" items at Giant.

The selection was OK.  I wasn't able to find some products or the sizes of the products I wanted but in other areas I found more selection.  So I think this will just be personal preferences and will take some getting used to.

Checking out wasn't easy.  (but then again it never was at the old Bradlee Safeway!)
There was only 1 full service lane open.  Really, at lunch time, 1 check out lane.  And that was at one end of the checkout area.  Nothing at the other end.
The self check was open but was full and seemed to be backed up.  I ended up doing the self checkout and had nothing but problems, problems bagging my own, the area getting full, the reader not recognizing coupons, and other issues.  The poor employee was frazzled.
Hopefully with time this will get better.

I did enjoy seeing the many familiar faces of the employees from the old Safeway.  Many of them said they were glad to be back.  They said they had been working in other stores around the Alexandria area.

The biggest issues I had were with the carts.
There was no bottom shelf on the carts.  So I wasn't able to put purchases there - toilet paper, cases of soda or juice, laundry detergent etc.  This meant my cart was very full, and didn't make for an easy check out.
I understand why no under shelf - so that the carts can be used on the special cart escalator down to the parking level, but this makes it really hard for shoppers.

And there was NO cart return place in the parking lot.  Believe me, I looked and looked.  I ended up walking my cart back to the store.  If I were elderly, infirm, or had my kids with me,  this would not have been an easy trip to the store.  Hopefully this gets taken care of quickly or I'm sure cars will be hit by carts that people left out and about.

So, overall, it was an OK experience, nothing great, nothing too terrible that I wouldn't return to shop.  
And we'll see if some of the issues get worked out over time....

Alexandria Police Investigate Bank Robbery

Police Investigate Robbery at Wells Fargo on N. Washington Street

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank located in the 300 block of N. Washington Street.  Around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10, a man entered the bank and passed a teller a note demanding money. The teller complied and the suspect fled on foot. No one in the bank was injured.

The suspect is described as a black male with a light complexion, between 20 and 30 years old, approximately 6" with an average build. He was last seen wearing a black "peacoat" style jacket and a navy knit hat with a pattern on it. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has linked this suspect to two other recent bank robberies. One occurred in Arlington County on November 10, 2014, and the other in Washington D.C. on December 4, 2014. Both bank robberies were similar in nature to this incident.

Anyone with additional information about this suspect is asked to call Detective Brad Cecchetti at 703.746.6858.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of this bank robber.​

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hume Spring Playground Design Workshop

Join us for the Design Workshop 

Where: Cora Kelly Rec. Center, 25 West Reed Avenue, Alexandria
When: Saturday, December 13, 2014, 1PM 
  • Welcome and Light Refreshments, Community Feedback Summary
  • Site Visit: Walk to the playground, 100 Dale Street, Alexandria
  • Design Workshop: Create your dream playground
  • Group Presentations, recap
Want to provide input but can't make it? HERE is a quick and easy survey.

Friday, November 28, 2014

City Recreation Program Guide

Winter 2015 Recreation Program Guide Now Available Online

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities’ Winter 2015 Program Guide is now available online. The Program Guide highlights City classes, camps, programs, activities and special events occurring January through March 2015 as well as park and facility information. By Wednesday, December 3, subscribers will receive the Program Guide by mail and printed copies will be available throughout Alexandria at recreation centers, libraries and City Hall.
Registration for Winter classes and activities begins at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, December 10 for City residents and Friday, December 12 for nonresidents. Register online, in-person or by phone at the new Registration & Reservation Office located at the Lee Center at 1108 Jefferson St. The Registration & Reservation Office, a single source for information about recreation programs, facilities and reservations, is now open for walk-in or phone support at 703.746.5414 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondaythrough Friday.
Program Guides are available in three issues per year: Fall Programs (August); Winter Programs (December); and Spring and Summer Programs (March). Request a Free Subscription to receive future issues by mail or call 703.746.5414
For additional information, call the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities at 703.746.4343 or visit the Department’s website at

Monday, November 24, 2014

Schedule of City Services during Thanksgiving Holiday

City of Alexandria Announces Schedule of Services for the 2014 Thanksgiving Holiday, November 27-28
For Immediate Release: November 24, 2014
All City of Alexandria government offices will be closed on Thursday, November 27, and Friday, November 28, in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Refuse Collection: Residential trash and recycling will be collected on the regularly scheduled day during the week of November 24, including Thanksgiving Day, November 27. On Thanksgiving Day, trash and recycling collection will begin at 6 a.m., in order to clear routes early for the Annual Turkey Trot.

Health Facilities: The Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.) and the Flora Krause Casey Health Center (1200 N. Howard St.) will close at noon on Wednesday, November 26 and remain closed on November 27 and 28. The Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams High School (3330 King St.) will be closed on November 27 and 28.

Historic Alexandria: All museums will be closed on November 27. On Friday, November 28, the Alexandria Black History Museum and the Friendship Firehouse Museum will be closed; the Alexandria Archaeology Museum will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and The Lyceum and the Fort Ward Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hotlines: All emergency hotlines operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including the child protective services hotline at 703.746.5800; the domestic violence hotline at 703.746.4911; the emergency services for mental health or substance abuse crisis hotline at 703.746.3401; and the sexual assault hotline at 703.683.7273.

Libraries: All Alexandria Library branches will be closed on November 27 and 28.

Parking: The Alexandria Police Department will suspend enforcement of parking restrictions at metered spaces, residential permit parking districts and other areas with signed parking time limits, on November 27 and 28. This suspension of enforcement applies only to the restrictions at legal parking spaces, and does not permit parking in any location normally prohibited (for example, no parking zones, loading zones, or spaces for persons with disabilities).

Recreation Centers: All City of Alexandria recreation centers, including the Chinquapin Recreation Center, will be closed on November 27. The Chinquapin Recreation Center will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on November 28. The Charles Houston, Cora Kelly and William Ramsay Recreation Centers will open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on November 28. All other neighborhood recreation centers will be closed. 

Schools: All Alexandria City Public Schools will be closed from Wednesday, November 26, through Friday, November 28.

State Offices: The Circuit Court will be closed on November 27 and 28. The General District Court, and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court will close at noon on November 26, and will remain closed on November 27 and 28. The Department of Motor Vehicles office at 2681 Mill Road will be closed Thursday, November 27, through Saturday, November 29, and will reopen on Monday, December 1.

Transit: Alexandria Transit Company’s DASH bus service will not operate on Thursday, November 27, and will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Friday, November 28. On November 27, the free King Street Trolley will operate on its regular schedule, running every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. On Friday, November 28, Trolley service will begin operating at 6 a.m. and will run every 15 minutes until midnight in support of the Old Town Black FridaySale.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bus & Trolley Schedule for Thanksgiving Holiday

DASH and the King Street Trolley Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule 

DASH Service: 
·         Thursday, November 27, 2014: Happy Thanksgiving!  
o   No DASH Service
o   DASH Administrative Offices will be closed.

·         Friday, November 28, 2014: Black Friday – Happy Shopping! 
o   Regular DASH Service
o   DASH Administrative Offices will be closed.

King Street Trolley Service: 
The King Street Trolley operates daily, every 15 minutes between the King Street Metrorail Station and the Potomac River waterfront: 

·         Thursday, November 27, 2014: Happy Thanksgiving!  
o   The King Street Trolley will operate on a regular Thursday service schedule from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.midnight

·         Friday, November 28, 2014: Black Friday – Happy Shopping! 
o   The King Street Trolley will begin service at 6:00 a.m.and operate until 12:00 a.m. midnight

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tennis Courts Given Approval to Go Ahead

Tennis Courts Given Approval to Go Ahead
Alexandria, Va. – Alexandria City School Board approved a contract to proceed with installing tennis courts at T.C. Williams High School on Thursday and crews are expected to break ground on the project after Thanksgiving.
The courts are anticipated to be ready for use by the start of the competitive inter scholastic tennis season in March, dependent on the winter weather.
Tennis coach and parent of two T.C. Williams tennis team captains Hank Harris said that although the tennis courts have been a long time coming, this is the start of a new era at T.C. Williams.
“I am excited that the T.C. Williams tennis teams and students, as well as the community, will finally be able to enjoy the tennis courts that they deserve. It has been quite a long process that I am happy to see coming to a positive end. I hope we can introduce tennis to new generations of kids in Alexandria who may have never had the opportunity,” Harris said.
When not being used for T.C. Williams’ classes, team training sessions and competitions, the courts will be available for members of the public.
“These tennis courts serve more than just the tennis team. Our students who are not at the competitive level can be exposed to a sport that provides the opportunity for learning team work and sports etiquette,” said Niandra Sinclair, T.C. Williams student liaison to the School Board.
School Board Chair Karen Graf said, “We are very excited about this project finally moving ahead. We have had to overcome hurdles along the way.”
The scope of the project has undergone many changes, including site relocation, the addition of lights and extensive buffering, since its original conception. As a result the original project budget was not sufficient to cover the total scope of work.
“Our School Board has been vigilant with our fiscal oversight of the Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget since we took office. With the tennis court project, we were presented a situation which was not ideal. However, ACPS made a commitment to the community that it would go ahead, and now finally we are able to fulfil that promise,” Graf said.
In reviewing the CIP budget as part of a larger overall analysis of the budget, surplus funds left over from four well-managed projects were identified, and those funds were reallocated by the School Board to fund the tennis courts. In addition, funds were found from one project which was no longer required. The use of these funds does not detract from any other project awaiting implementation.
Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley said, “The unveiling of the CIP budget in December will show a new approach to planning and managing our projects. We are moving toward modernization and maintenance for our properties and applying proper and consistent account reviews.”

Alexandria Seeks Holiday Sharing Sponsors for Children, Families & Seniors in Need

City Seeks Holiday Sharing Sponsors for Children, Families and Seniors in Need

The Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) invites the public to help make the 2014 holiday season brighter for the most vulnerable members of our community – low-income families, foster children, and elderly and disabled residents ‒ through the annual Holiday Sharing program. During Holiday Sharing, sponsors purchase gifts for designated eligible families and individuals, which then can be delivered directly or distributed by DCHS staff and volunteers. Through gifts of household necessities, clothing, toys, and gift cards, Holiday Sharing helps ensure that no Alexandria residents are left wanting during the holidays.
Community volunteers have already registered 675 families in need of assistance and expect at least an additional 100 families to sign up through their caseworkers. Last year, we assisted 727 families, 220 senior citizens and persons with disabilities, and nearly 100 children in foster care, in the process distributing thousands of donated items, as well as $31,000 worth of gift certificates and grocery cards. We could not have done this without the generosity of the individuals and groups who registered as sponsors. Please join with your neighbors and friends to make a difference this season.

For more information about Holiday Sharing and how you can make a difference, contact Suzanne Kratzok at 703.746.5663, email, or visit our website at

Friday, October 31, 2014

City of Alexandria Seeks Public Comment on Proposal to Name Park Parcel in Memory of Nancy Dunning

For Immediate Release: October 31, 2014

City of Alexandria Seeks Public Comment on Proposal to Name Park Parcel in Memory of Nancy Dunning 

The City of Alexandria is seeking public comment on a proposal to name the park parcel at 2802 Mt. Vernon Ave., located at the intersection of Mt. Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues, "Nancy Dunning Garden". The Del Ray Business Association forwarded the proposal. 
More than 25 years ago when "The Avenue" was boarded up buildings with very few shops, residents had little reason to walk around. Nancy Dunning, known as the "Queen of Del Ray," saw a different Avenue and dedicated her life to see it blossom and thrive.  She worked tirelessly to lay the groundwork for Del Ray to become what it is today.
More than 10 years since her death, friends and family still hear new stories of acts of kindness that Nancy performed before her death.  She had a heart of gold and always went out of her way to help someone in need.  The Del Ray Business Association is proud to recommend that one of the entrances to the heart of the Del Ray Business District be named after Nancy Dunning.
The public is invited to provide comment on the proposal to name the park parcel "Nancy Dunning Garden" through Friday, November 28. Those interested in providing comments will be able to record their comments by email to, subject line: Nancy Dunning Garden, or by mail to RPCA, Attn: Jack Browand, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria VA 22314. The City Council Naming Committee will receive all comments received or postmarked by Friday, November 28
For additional information, contact Jack Browand, Division Chief, at 703.746.5504 or by email at

Friday, October 24, 2014

Beatley Central Library Opens for Absentee Voting

Beatley Central Library Opens for Absentee Voting

For Immediate Release:  October 24, 2014

On Tuesday, November 4, there will be a General Election for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and a proposed amendment to the Virginia Constitution. Alexandrians who qualify to vote absentee may cast an absentee ballot in person at the Beatley Library or the Office of Voter Registration. Voters may also request an absentee ballot to be mailed to them.

Absentee Voting in Person
To cast an in-person absentee ballot, go to either site listed below during the scheduled hours. The deadline for casting an absentee ballot in person is Saturday, November 1, at 5 p.m.

Charles E. Beatley Jr. Central Library, 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22304:
October 25                  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
October 27-30             1 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
October 31                  1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
November 1                10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Office of Voter Registrations and Elections, 132 N. Royal St, #100, Alexandria, VA 22314:
October 24-25             8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
October 27-30             8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
October 31                  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
November 1                8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Absentee Voting By Mail
The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot to be mailed is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28. Absentee ballot applications are available online, or by contacting the Alexandria Voter Registration Office at 703.746.4050. The signed application may be returned in person, or by mail, fax (703-838-6449) or email (
Photo ID Requirements for Absentee Voting
Virginia's new photo ID requirements apply to voters who cast an absentee ballot in person. They do not apply to voters who request an absentee ballot by mail.
Acceptable forms of photo identification include:
·         Valid Virginia Driver’s License or DMV-issued Photo Identification Card
·         Valid United States Passport or Passport Card
·         Valid Military ID
·         Other government-issued photo ID card (from the U.S. Government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a local government within Virginia)
·         Valid student photo ID card from an institution of higher education in Virginia
·         Valid employee photo ID card
Voters who do not have acceptable identification may apply for an ID (and receive a temporary ID) at the same time they come to cast their in-person absentee ballot.
There are many reasons registered voters may qualify to vote absentee, for example, if they are:
  • Away on business, vacation, active military service, or at school.
  • Working and commuting for 11 or more hours between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day.
  • A "first responder" (firefighter, law enforcement, emergency medical technician).
  • Physically unable to go to the polls, or a primary caregiver for a family member who is ill.
For sample ballots and more information on absentee voting, or call 703.746.4050.

Election Day Voting

On Tuesday, November 4 all regular polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information, contact Anna Leider, General Registrar, at 703.746.4050 or

Around Town this Week

not many leaves left.....  

gorgeous sunset 
I think this caterpillar is confused.  

are we expecting chickens?  (construction along Janney's Lane) 

More construction along Taylor Run and Janney's Lane 

Construction of building along Prince St. 

This modern sculpture always throws me, its so interesting.  But it really catches my eye around Halloween.