FYI Alexandria - December 29, 2017

Page archived as of January 19, 2018

Welcome to FYI Alexandria!

In the latest issue of FYI Alexandria, read about the next steps for the newly-adopted Vision Zero Action Plan; learn how the City is prepared for winter storms; find out why statuesque soldiers are standing guard in Market Square, and learn about family-friendly fun at First Night Alexandria! To learn more about FYI Alexandria, visit alexandriava.gov/FYI, or email fyi@alexandriava.gov.

In this Issue:

  • Alexandria Adopts Vision Zero Action Plan
  • City Council Proclamation Honors First Responders
  • The City is Prepared for Winter Weather
  • Alexandria Winter Shelter Open
  • Celebrating Adoptions in Alexandria
  • Teen Pregnancy Rate Drops to Record Low
  • The Opioid Epidemic: Alexandria Responds
  • City Accepting Arts Program Grant Applications
  • Holiday Resource Recovery Reminders
  • The 2017 Historic Alexandria Commemorative Ornament is Here!
  • History by the Glass: Hot Toddy
  • First Night Alexandria: The Largest Family-Friendly New Year's Eve Party in the DMV Region
  • Terracotta Warriors Visit Old Town
Top News

Alexandria Adopts Vision Zero Action Plan

Alexandria City Council has adopted the Vision Zero Action Plan, a guidance document that will help the City achieve its goal of eliminating all traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2028. City Council voted to adopt the plan on December 16.

More than 1,000 residents, visitors, business owners and employees participated in the Vision Zero Action Plan drafting process and provided feedback on the challenges of safely moving around Alexandria.

The adopted plan highlights priority action items that will be a major focus during the first two years of Vision Zero implementation, including an accelerated timeline for Safe Routes to School engineering recommendations, and increased traffic safety enforcement by police on roads with higher speeds.

The plan also outlines priority engineering improvements the City plans to undertake during the first year of Vision Zero implementation. The improvements include reducing the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph on one high crash corridor and installing "No Right on Red" turn restrictions at 10 intersections.

The public will be able to track the City's progress through both a data dashboard and a public work plan to include a detailed outline of the steps staff will take to implement the Action Plan. To learn more about Vision Zero, and to take the Vision Zero pledge, visit alexandriava.gov/VisionZero.

Vision Zero: Safer Streets for Alexandria


City Council Proclamation Honors First Responders

Council Proclamation Honors First RespondersAt its December 12 meeting, City Council honored local, regional, state and federal first responders for their swift and courageous response to the June 14 shooting incident at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park. On that day, a gunman opened fire on members of Congress and Congressional staffers during a baseball practice at the park.

The proclamation honored United States Capitol Police Special Agents and Alexandria Police Officers for their swift and life-saving response during the initial moments of the incident, and lauded the efforts of the Alexandria Police Department, Alexandria Fire Department, Alexandria Sheriff's Office, Alexandria Department of Emergency Communications and Virginia State Police for their valor and professionalism in their response to the incident and its aftermath. The proclamation also recognized the work of local, state and federal agencies and public safety partners, nongovernmental organizations, and others who aided in the response on the day of the incident and during the weeks that followed.


The City is Prepared for Winter Weather

City is Prepared for Winter Weather The City of Alexandria begins preparing for winter weather months in advance. Early planning and extensive training helps City crews clear streets and sidewalks safely and effectively. Now that snow season is upon us, staff is tracking potential storms and on-call City crews and contractors are available around the clock to remove snow and ice.

In Alexandria, storms are designated with levels based on type and severity, from Level 1 (least severe) to Level 3 (most severe). Roads are plowed by priority: snow emergency routes first, then secondary routes, intermediate routes, and finally residential streets. Clearing sidewalks, driveways, and entrances is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, occupant, community association, or business. These areas must be cleared within 24 hours for Level 1 storms, 48 hours for Level 2 storms, and 72 hours for Level 3 storms.

Residents and customers are asked to help snow crews and emergency responders during weather events by staying off the roads, keeping shovels and salt or sand handy, having an emergency plan and an emergency kit, refraining from shoveling into the street, and clearing ice, snow, and leaves from around fire hydrants and storm drains.

For more information about preparing for winter emergencies, the City's winter weather plans, and to receive real-time updates on storms affecting the City, visit alexandriava.gov/Snow.


Alexandria Winter Shelter Open

Alexandria Winter Shelter During the cold and wintry months, the Alexandria Winter Shelter, located at 930 N. Henry St., is available for anyone experiencing homelessness or needing a warm, safe place to go. The shelter is open daily with regular hours from 7 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., through March 31. For more information about the Winter Shelter, call 703.548.7500. To learn more about the City's housing assistance and homeless services, and to download a list of community resources for the homeless and other persons in need, visit the City's Homeless Services page.



Celebrating Adoptions in Alexandria

Celebrating Adoptions in Alexandria On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the City marked National Adoption Day at the Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Families, judges and City staff celebrated the finalization of 14 adoptions over the last year and three additional children whose adoptions will be finalized by the end of this year. National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 110,000 children in U.S. foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. The annual event brings together policymakers, practitioners and advocates to finalize adoptions and celebrate adoptive families. Established in 2000, National Adoption Day began with seven cities in which courtrooms opened on the Saturday before Thanksgiving to finalize adoptions. Now, more than 400 cities across the U.S., including Alexandria, dedicate a day in November to finalize hundreds of adoptions. Nationally, the initiative has helped nearly 65,000 children move from foster care to a forever family.


Teen Pregnancy Rate Drops to Record Low

In October, members of the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy celebrated a report indicating that teen pregnancy rate in Alexandria dropped in 2015 to the lowest rate documented since Alexandria Health Department records began in 1979. Since 2005, the teen pregnancy rate in Alexandria has dropped nearly 70%. There were 96 teen pregnancies reported in Alexandria in 2015, for a total rate of 18.6 per 1,000 girls ages 10 to 19. This was the first time the total number of pregnancies was below 100, and represents a 19% decrease from 2014. The drop is part of a downward trend in teen pregnancy rates, especially since 2005, when Alexandria's pregnancy rate was at 60 per 1,000 girls ages 10-19.


The Opioid Crisis: Alexandria Responds

Opioid Crisis A recent spike in heroin deaths in Fairfax County prompted City officials to issue a warning urging residents who may be affected by opioid use to take steps to protect themselves and others from a strain of heroin laced with deadly synthetic opioids. While recreational use of opioids is always dangerous and illegal, City officials are especially concerned about the medical safety of the drugs, including heroin, that people in the area may currently be purchasing and using.

Incidences of opioid addiction, overdoses and deaths are rising to epidemic proportions across the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, more than 33,000 people died from opioid overdoses, with an average of more than 91 people dying every day. Alexandria has seen an increase in the number of people requesting help for opioid addiction as well as a concerning number of opioid overdoses.

City staff are working together to respond to the crisis through the Opioid Work Group (OWG). Members of the group represent City services and community resources, including the City's Department of Community and Human Services, Police Department, Fire Department, Sheriff's Office, and Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney; the Office of Probation and Parole; the Alexandria City Public Schools; the Alexandria Health Department; the Substance Abuse and Prevention Coalition of Alexandria; and Inova Alexandria Hospital. The OWG has worked to collect and share data, understand the scope of the problem and design strategies to address the crisis.

The City also operates the Opioid Treatment Program (OTP). The OTP helps people manage addiction to heroin and other opiates by engaging in evidence-based treatment combined with physician prescribed and monitored medications. The City Manager authorized additional staffing for the OTP this fall, in response to increased demand for services. Recently, the OTP received its sixth consecutive three-year accreditation from CARF, the International Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.


City Accepting Arts Program Grant Applications

On January 2, 2018, the City will begin accepting applications for Arts Program Grants. This program funds eligible arts organizations and individual artists for operations, programs and special projects that will occur in Alexandria between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019. Each year, approximately $180,000 in City funds is awarded based on a competitive grant evaluation process. All grants require a cash match.

The City will hold free grant workshops and live webinars to assist applicants in preparing their grant applications. Registration for the webinars is required. For application deadlines and the schedule of workshops and webinars, see the program news release. Online application forms, instructions, and frequently asked questions for Arts Program Grants will be available online at alexandriava.gov/Arts on January 2, 2018.


Holiday Resource Recovery Reminders

City trash and recycling collection services will operate on adjusted schedules over the holidays. Residents are reminded that there is no trash or recycling collection on New Year's Day, January 1. Trash and recycling will be picked up one day later that week; for example, if your regular collection day is Monday, your trash collection day will "slide" to Tuesday. The City's Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Collection Drop-Off Center, located at 3224 Colvin Street, will be closed on January 1. The center's normal hours of operation are Monday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Beginning Tuesday, January 2, residents who receive City trash collection may place Christmas trees at the curb for recycling on their trash collection day. Trees will be collected through Friday, January 12. Please remove any stands, lights, and decorations from trees before placing them curbside.

For more information about City trash and recycling services, visit alexandriava.gov/YardWaste.


The 2017 Historic Alexandria Commemorative Ornament is Here!

OrnamentThe 2017 Historic Alexandria Commemorative Ornament features the historic Murray-Dick-Fawcett House, located at 517 Prince St. The historic home, constructed around 1772, is the newest historic property owned by the City. The house has survived 245 years, yet it is the least-altered 18th century building in Alexandria. As its owners and Alexandria changed, the timber-frame and brick structure stayed much the same. Patrick Murray built it in 1772 before the Revolutionary War. He enlarged it around 1784 and started a livery business on land that is now under the Alexandria Courthouse on King Street. The house garden is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

The ornament is on sale for $20 online, at The Lyceum (Alexandria's history museum), and other museum gift shops.


History by the Glass: Hot Toddy

Hot ToddyWant to know more about the intersection of history and drinks? Then look no further than "History by the Glass." On January 19, at the Gadsby's Tavern Museum, enjoy hot toddies (and other hot beverages) at the tavern, and learn about the history behind these period drinks. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and costs $50 per person (which includes two drink tickets and light appetizers). For more information and to order tickets, visit The Alexandria Shop.





Alexandria Poetry Contest - DASHing Words in Motion

Hot ToddyThe "DASHing Words in Motion" poetry contest brings recognition to writers, promotes an appreciation of poetry as an art form, and provides inspiration to individuals using the Alexandria Transit Company's DASH buses and trolleys. The competition encourages quality writing from contributors 16 years or older who live, work or study in Alexandria, and provides a venue for writers to display their poems. The competition's primary goal is to encourage a broad range of ideas and subject matter. Contributions should celebrate poetry, and can address travel and modes of transportation. Winning poems will be published and placed on DASH buses and trolleys for the 2018 National Poetry Month, in April. The online submission deadline is Thursday, February 1, at 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.alexandriava.gov/Arts.


First Night Alexandria: The Largest Family-Friendly New Year's Eve Party in the DMV Region

First Night AlexandriaFirst Night Alexandria, the largest family-friendly and alcohol-free New Year's Eve party in the region, returns to Old Town Alexandria on December 31. Family-friendly activities begin at 2 p.m. and end with a spectacular fireworks display—the only one in the D.C. metro area—over the Potomac River at midnight. This annual New Year's Eve bash takes over Old Town Alexandria with more than 150 performances at 22 indoor venues, with live music, dancing, children's face painting and games. There is also a venue in Del Ray where families can enjoy an Old Fashioned Carnival.

Tickets are $30, and admission is free for children 12 and under and for active military personnel. Learn more, plan which performances you would like to see, and purchase tickets at firstnightalexandria.org or the Alexandria Visitor Center at 221 King St.


Terracotta Warriors Visit Old Town

Terracotta WarriorsTwo replica warriors from the renowned Terracotta Army of Chinese Emperor Qin Shihuang's mausoleum are in Old Town Alexandria at Market Square (301 King St.) through March 2018. The warriors represent part of an underground army of nearly 8,000 life-size terracotta figures that guarded the emperor's tomb. First discovered in 1974 by farmers in China, this terracotta army is known as one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century.

The 'visit' is part of a promotion for an exhibit, "Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China," being held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond through March 11, 2018.


News Releases

Upcoming Events

For more events, visit alexandriava.gov/Calendar
For holiday events, tips, and information, visit
alexandriava.gov/Holidays

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.

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