FYI Alexandria - October 23, 2017

Page archived as of November 15, 2017

Welcome to FYI Alexandria!

In this issue, learn how to manage falling leaves; read about Halloween happenings; find out what students, parents and other Alexandrians are doing to end bullying; and see how going "Back 2 Blue" may give you a smoother commute. To learn more about FYI Alexandria, visit www.alexandriava.gov/FYI, or email fyi@alexandriava.gov.

In this Issue:

  • City Manager Report on Police Department Staffing
  • Roadway Resurfacing Program Update
  • Commuting? Go "Back 2 Blue!"
  • October is National Bullying Prevention Month
  • National Bullying Prevention Month Video
  • Crisis Intervention Team Recognizes Outstanding Work
  • Leaf Collection Begins This Month
  • City Celebrates Housing Heroes
  • Visit Alexandria Launches Virtual Reality Experience, Reports Another Record Year
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • DASH Partnerships Provide Benefits for Students, Persons with Special Needs
  • City Recognizes Ben Brenman Award Winners
  • Congratulations, Senior Academy Graduates!
  • Celebrating Halloween in Alexandria
  • Alexandria is a "Stroke Smart City"
  • A Tour of DCHS Locations in Alexandria
  • National Fire Prevention Week 2017

Top News

City Manager Report on Police Department Staffing

Police PatrolAt the September 26 City Council meeting, City Manager Jinks reported to City Council about the City's success in increasing staffing for the Alexandria Police Department. Three years ago, due to recruitment and retention issues and disparities in pay between Alexandria and neighboring jurisdictions, the department faced a shortage of 35 positions (12 percent) out of 305 authorized positions. This resulted in fewer officers on the street and shortages in programs. The City undertook a number of strategies to resolve these problems: 1) City Council approved a pay increase of 8 percent for starting officers and 4 percent for the rest of the police pay scale; 2) the department improved its recruitment strategies with an emphasis on diversity; and 3) the Department was authorized to increase the number of recruits enrolled in the police academy and improvements made to the 6-month field training helped to close the personnel gap.

Thanks to these measures, the department is at full staffing, with the 35 vacant positions filled, and fewer people leaving the department. Full staffing has resulted in more officers on street patrols, which has benefitted the the department's community policing program, and on traffic enforcement, which will help the City to reach its Vision Zero goals.




Roadway Resurfacing Program Update

Road ResurfacingAt the September 26 City Council legislative meeting, the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services' Public Works Services Division presented a brief update on the City's roadway resurfacing program. The update covered the period from Fiscal Years 2014 to 2017.

During that time, the City resurfaced approximately 40% of its roadway network: 71 lane miles have been repaved, and 226 lane miles out of a total of 561 have been addressed. This accomplishment is advancing the City's Strategic Plan goal of raising its Pavement Condition Index from 58/100 ("fair") to 71/100 ("satisfactory"). The City's current Pavement Condition Index, which is used to rank street segments according to need and create a maintenance schedule, is estimated at 61.

Several key program and funding changes have helped the City make progress on resurfacing roadways. In FY 2014, the program, previously funded through the City's general operations budget, was moved to the Capital Improvement Program. This allowed the City to both develop long-term planning for the program and leverage its money for state funding, bringing additional support for resurfacing projects.




Commuting? Go "Back 2 Blue!"

Back2BlueThe City of Alexandria is launching the "Back 2 Blue" campaign to raise awareness about the improved rush-hour service times on Metrorail and encourage residents and customers to ride the Blue Line. Service on Metrorail's Blue Line has improved significantly, with rush-hour wait times of just eight minutes. This is an improvement over the 12-minute or longer wait times that followed Metro's SafeTrack initiative and the launch of Silver Line service, both of which reduced service frequency in Alexandria. Service on the Yellow Line has also stabilized at eight-minute intervals.




October is National Bullying Prevention Month

Bully Free LogoIn recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month, the City is hosting activities through the Mayor's Campaign to End Bullying in Alexandria, which works to raise awareness about how to identify, respond to, and prevent bullying.

There's still time to wear green and declare your support for a bully-free Alexandria! Additional activities include sports days, family nights, school and recreation center activities, and more. Participants in each activity will have the opportunity to pledge their support and receive information and resources on how they can help reduce bullying. Social media users can share their anti-bullying messages and read anti-bullying related information via Twitter (@BullyFreeAlexVA).

Bully Free Image 1 Bully Free Image 2 Bully Free Image 3


City Scene

National Bullying Prevention Month Video

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time intended to raise awareness, share resources and encourage communities to take a stand against bullying.

Anti Bullying Video




Crisis Intervention Team Recognizes Outstanding Work

The Alexandria Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) honored nine of its members at the annual CIT awards luncheon at the Alexandria Police Department headquarters on October 17.

CIT was developed in collaboration with the Police Department, the Department of Community and Human Services, and the Sheriff's Office to help improve interactions with people with mental illness and substance use disorders. Since the program began in 2010, more than 500 first responders have completed CIT training.




Leaf Collection Begins This Month

Leaf Collection

The City will begin its annual leaf vacuuming and leaf bag collection program on Monday, October 30, for residents who receive City trash and recycling collection. Leaf collection is expected to continue through December.

Alexandria is divided into five zones, each with a specific collection start date. Each zone will receive three passes. There are three options for leaf collection 1) raking leaves to the curb for vacuum collection, 2) placing leaves in paper leaf bags for collection, or 3) composting leaves and yard waste at home. Be sure not to mix brush or other items with leaves, as these items may injure City workers, damage equipment or private property, or cause delays.

To find out about specific collection zones and dates, and to find locations where complimentary leaf bags may be picked up, visit alexandriava.gov/LeafCollection or call the City's leaf collection hotline at 703.746.5323 (LEAF).




City Celebrates Housing Heroes

Housing Heroes

On October 10, the City launched "Housing Heroes," an initiative to recognize significant pro bono professional and corporate contributions that support the City's housing affordability programs and the communities they serve. The inaugural class of Heroes includes David Mercer and Pia Trigiani of Mercer Trigiani, LLP; Regina Pinkney, formerly with Union Mortgage and now with the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA); H. Carter Land, of Land, Carroll & Blair, PC; and the Paradigm Companies. This group of Housing Heroes was honored for a range of contributions, including community involvement, training and counseling efforts, and direct assistance to lower-income Alexandrians in resolving housing crises.

PHOTO: From L to R: City Councilman John T. Chapman; Clark Ewart, Paradigm Companies; Micheline Castan-Smith, Paradigm Companies; Regina Pinkney, VHDA; David Mercer, MercerTrigiani; Mayor Allison Silberberg; Stanley W. Sloter, Paradigm Companies; H. Carter Land, Land Carroll and Blair; City Councilman Paul C. Smedberg; Pia Trigiani, MercerTrigiani; Vice Mayor Justin Wilson. Photo by Richard Lawrence.




Visit Alexandria Launches Virtual Reality Experience, Reports Another Record Year

Visit Alexandria 360

Visit Alexandria has launched a new way to see the city: through Visit Alexandria 360, a new virtual reality (VR) tour at VisitAlexandriaVA.com/360. The experience, which can be enjoyed on a phone, tablet, computer or a VR headset using the Visit Alexandria 360 app, showcases more than 20 local attractions and allows users to step onto historic Captain's Row, bike the Mount Vernon Trail, dine on King Street, take in the stunning waterfront vista at George Washington's Mount Vernon, enjoy a boat cruise into D.C. and explore historic sites like the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum.

Reflecting on fiscal year 2017, Visit Alexandria also announced that it had another banner year, noting record tourism revenues, local tax receipts, hotel occupancy, media coverage and web traffic. According to figures from Virginia Tourism Corporation, $790 million in visitor spending produced $26.6 million in tax revenues for Alexandria. Travel also supported 6,450 jobs in the city and saved each household the equivalent of more than $391 in taxes to produce the same revenue.




Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Get Fired Up for the Cause!

Breast Cancer Awareness ShirtThe Alexandria Commission for Women and the Alexandria Fire Department want you to get fired up for the cause! Throughout October, you can support the Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Memorial Fund by purchasing a Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirt. Shirt sizes range from Adult S to XXX, with short-sleeve shirts available for $15 and long-sleeve shirts for $20. Shirts can be purchased at the Old Town Farmers' Market in Market Square (301 King St.), each Saturday in October, from 8 a.m. until noon. Members of the Fire Department are wearing the shirts during October.

All proceeds will go to the Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Memorial Fund (formerly the Walk to Fight Breast Cancer Fund), which has helped thousands of uninsured and underinsured Alexandria women receive free mammograms and other diagnostic screenings since its inception in 1994.

Pink Badges for Awareness

Pink BadgesSeveral members of the Sheriff's Office are showing their support in the fight against breast cancer by wearing pink badges. Sheriff Dana Lawhorne authorized deputies to wear the custom-made badges throughout October, a tradition that began in 2013 when deputies purchased the badges in honor and memory of Deputy Amy Clinton. The center of the badge features pink handcuffs, a pink ribbon and a message reading "Arrest Breast Cancer" and "Unlock the Cure."



City Council Meeting Highlights

September - October City Council Meeting Highlights

DASH Partnerships Provide Benefits for Students, Persons with Special Needs

On September 26, the Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) presented City Council with information on two new partnership programs.

The first, the DASH and ACPS Student Pass Pilot Program, enables ACPS high school students at T.C. Williams and Minnie Howard to ride DASH buses at no cost during the 2017-18 school year. Students must show their student IDs when boarding. The program provides a safe, alternative mode of transportation to students facing transportation challenges when commuting from home to school, and to extracurricular activities and work. It also gives students independence, while providing them with an early opportunity to learn about the benefits of public transportation.

The second program, the DASH DOT & MetroAccess Ride Free Program, provides DOT (paratransit) and MetroAccess-registered residents free rides on DASH. The program, which began October 1, provides additional mobility and transportation options for eligible residents to travel within the city for any trip purpose, and will give these residents a free transportation option on short notice, rather than paratransit trips that need to be scheduled days in advance. The program is expected to save the City overall subsidy costs that it is now required to contribute for MetroAccess and DOT rides. (Each DOT ride costs the City approximately $25 per person, while MetroAccess rides cost $50 per person).




City Recognizes Ben Brenman Award Winners

On October 10, City Council endorsed a proclamation honoring the winners of the 2017 Brenman Award. The Alexandria Archaeological Commission established the award in 2007 in honor of the late activist and retired U.S. Army colonel, Bernard "Ben" Brenman, a founding member of the commission.

Anna Lynch received a posthumous Outstanding Volunteer award in recognition of her nearly three decades of dedication to researching, interpreting and preserving Alexandria's history; her work in educating school children about local history; and her three-volume Compendium of African Americans in Alexandria.

The Outstanding Preservation Vision award went to Bill Dickenson for his role in facilitating the City's acquisition of the Murray-Dick-Fawcett House, one of the earliest surviving homes in the city, for his innovative approach to securing grant funding to purchase the house and grounds which will be used as a historic site, pocket garden and park; and for his dedication to enriching the historic and cultural fabric of Alexandria.




Congratulations, Senior Academy Graduates!

Senior Academy Graduation

There were no caps and gowns, but plenty of smiles when graduates of the Alexandria Senior Academy were recognized at the October 10 City Council meeting. There were 29 graduates of the Senior Academy, a 4-week course that gives Alexandrians ages 60 and older the chance to gain exposure to the City's many government functions, be introduced to local organizations that provide services and programs to the elderly and to help other seniors get involved.


In the Community

Celebrating Halloween in Alexandria

Halloween Safety Video

Halloween is celebrated with a variety of family-friendly festivities all over Alexandria. The City does not set official trick-or-treating hours for Halloween, so expect the children in your neighborhood to head out for trick-or-treating on the day it is traditionally celebrated - October 31. Visit www.alexandriava.gov/Halloween for more information, including safety tips, calendar of events, and more.




Alexandria is a "Stroke Smart City"

On October 10, City Council endorsed a proclamation naming Alexandria as a "Stroke Smart City" in support of World Stroke Day, October 29. The proclamation recognized Alan Stillman, an Alexandria resident who established a "Spot-a-Stroke, Stop-a-Stroke, Save-a-Life" campaign to raise stroke awareness in Alexandria, and cited Inova Alexandria Hospital for its award-winning Primary Stroke Center.

A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Anyone, including a child, can have a stroke, although the risk of stroke increases with age. It is estimated that each year, about 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke, and more than 16,600 Virginians have a stroke for the first time. Stroke accounts for nearly 1 out of 20 American deaths each year, and is the leading cause of long-term disability.

Up to 80% of strokes are preventable. While some risk factors, such as heredity, age, sex and ethnicity, cannot be changed, you can reduce your risk for stroke by adopting a healthy lifestyle and preventing or treating medical conditions. Some easy ways to decrease your risk include: adopting a healthy diet; staying active and maintaining a healthy weight; quitting smoking and limiting alcohol.




A Tour of DCHS Locations in Alexandria

The City of Alexandria is home more than 150,000 people from a rich diversity of backgrounds and experiences—and the Department of Community and Human Resources (DCHS) is committed to providing a wide range of effective and essential safety net services to improve or maintain the wellbeing, safety and self sufficiency of all its residents. Close to 700 DCHS employees serve in dozens of locations across the City, and the Department's programs and staff can be found in a range of locations, from residential homes and apartment buildings to office buildings and space in City buildings, including schools, medical facilities and law enforcement facilities.




National Fire Prevention Week 2017

Wreath Laying at Ivy Hill Cemetery

In recognition of National Fire Prevention Week, the Alexandria Fire Department honored their fallen at its annual memorial service and wreath laying at Ivy Hill Cemetery on October 13.


News Releases

10/19 - Alexandria 2017 Second Half Real Estate Tax Bills Mailed

10/19 - Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Seeking Public Participation in Budget Survey

10/19 - Police Investigate a Homicide, Suspect Charged

10/19 - Alexandria Health Department to Host Free Flu Shot Clinic Oct. 21

10/17 - City of Alexandria Launches “Back 2 Blue” Campaign to Promote Improved       Metrorail Travel Times on Blue Line

10/17 - Crisis Intervention Team Recognizes Outstanding Work

10/16 - City of Alexandria Leaf Collection Begins October 30

10/13 - Deadline to Register or Update Virginia Voter Registration: October 16

10/13 - Alexandria Police to Host Crisis Intervention Team Awards Ceremony

10/11 - Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia Friday Evening Chamber Concert Series Kicks-off Friday, October 13

10/11 - The National Capital Puppetry Guild and Office of the Arts Presents Inaugural Puppet Makerfest 2017

10/11 - Alexandria Archaeological Commission Announces Winners of Brenman Archaeology Award

10/10 - Volunteer Recruitment Event: Calling Alexandrians to Make an Impact in the Community

10/10 - City of Alexandria to Host Community Meeting on Proposed Short-Term Residential Rental Registry

10/9 - City of Alexandria to Hold Ad Hoc Combined Sewer System Plan Stakeholder Group Meeting

10/6 - Alexandria Fire Department to Host Open House Celebration for National Fire Prevention Week

10/6 - Alexandria Fire Department Observes National Fire Prevention Week with Annual Memorial Service

10/6 - Alexandria Police Warn of Concentrated Opioids

10/6 - Bully Free Starts with Me: October is National Bullying Prevention Month

10/6 - City of Alexandria Recognizes “Housing Heroes”

10/6 - Final Report on the Simpson Field Incident Released


Upcoming Events

For more events, visit alexandriava.gov/Calendar .

FYI Alexandria is produced by the City of Alexandria’s Office of Communications and Public Information. 
For questions or feedback, please email fyi@alexandriava.gov.

www.alexandriava.gov/FYI

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