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Alexandria Country Day School

Posted on | August 8, 2016 | No Comments

3. Alexandria Country Day SchoolPreparing Students for a Diverse and Complex World

By Kris Gilbertson

Thirty-three years ago, a group of parents and educators joined forces to found a school in the basement of Del Ray Baptist Church that would provide both a quality education and an environment in which each student could reach full potential. It was the beginning of the Alexandria Country Day School, and enrollment quickly grew.

Will, Sophia, Jonathan, Ava, and Max radiate the joyful, playful ACDS environment.

Will, Sophia, Jonathan, Ava, and Max radiate the joyful, playful ACDS environment.

Nine years later, St. Mary’s Academy, located directly across Russell Road from the church, was absorbed by Bishop Ireton. ACDS bought the academy building—a new and permanent home. The property comprised only the school building and immediate grounds, but made steady growth possible.

Today, ACDS is a leading K-8 nonsectarian independent school where dynamic furniture adjusts to students’ needs, time dedicated to physical activity (recess) has increased (counter to national trends), the oldest students mentor the youngest, and graduates consistently go on to succeed in the most challenging high schools locally and nationwide. Read more

Fine Art Dolls to Visit Alexandria in July

Posted on | July 14, 2016 | No Comments

And Bring a Touch of Fantasy to Our City

By Kris Gilbertson

“Earth, Sky, Moon, Sun” by Karin Burfict (Austin, TX), (Photo courtesy of NIADA)

“Earth, Sky, Moon, Sun” by Karin Burfict (Austin, TX), (Photo courtesy of NIADA)

On July 18, the National Institute of American Doll Artists will convene its 2016 Conference and Doll Making School at the Sheraton Suites Old Town at 801 N. St. Asaph Street. Doll making classes, open only to conference attendees, are scheduled for the first three days. But what happens after that will bring a measure of magic to Old Town.

NIADA was founded in 1963 by a small group of doll artists, led by Helen Bullard of Tennessee. The doll community at that time only considered antique dolls to be art. Bullard organized her colleagues who were creating new dolls, and the group aimed to work together toward a common goal: recognition of original handmade dolls as fine art.

In the half century since, NIADA membership has grown to include more than 60 peer-elected artists from Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and U.S. states from New York to Hawaii. Subject matter ranges from realistic figures to anthropomorphic creations to somewhat abstract pieces that merely suggest the human form. But from the beginning in 1963 to present, every element of a doll must be created by the artist. Read more

First Thursday Finale Showcases The Best Of The Avenue

Posted on | August 30, 2016 | No Comments

Health and Wellness Highlighted; Restaurants Partner With Retailers For Special Discounts

First Thursday September 2016 Eat, Shop, and Live in Del Ray during First Thursday!  On Sept. 1, the retailers and restaurants are partnering during First Thursday: Health and Wellness on The Avenue to showcase the best of Del Ray.

SHOP:  Make a purchase at Bellies and Babies, The Dog Store, Greenstreet Gardens, Kiskadee, Purple Goose, or Top It Off on Sept. 1.  Purchases can be made at any time of day, but the receipt must be dated 9/1/16.

EAT:  From 6pm to 9pm, bring your receipt dated Sept. 1 from one of the above retailers to a participating restaurant for 15% off your entree!  Participating restaurants: Caboose Cafe , CheesetiqueEmma’s Espresso & Wine BarEvening StarFirefliesHoly CowJunction Bakery & BistroPork Barrel BBQStomping GroundStreets Market & Café (restaurant side only), Taqueria Poblano, and The Sushi Bar.  Note: offer good for one discounted entree per receipt, from 6pm to 9pm only.

LIVE:  During First Thursday: Health And Wellness, stroll the Avenue and learn about the many health and wellness services and studios on the Avenue.  A wide variety of FREE health and wellness classes and demonstrations will take place, along with a scavenger hunt, live music by The Irish Breakfast Band, a hula hoop contest with the Alexandria Sheriff’s Department, mini chair massages, golf, cornhole, children’s activities, and more.  Space in the free classes are limited; click here to register.

Held the first Thursday of the month from April to September along Mount Vernon Avenue, First Thursday is a series of free outdoor street festivals that bring the community together around a fun theme, benefiting a local nonprofit.  This month, the Del Ray Business Association is collecting NEW teddy bears; they will be distributed to the City of Alexandria Police and Fire Departments, the Alexandria Battered Women’s Shelter, and local hospitals to be given to children in crisis.  Donations can be dropped off at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, Ease Yoga & Cafe, and Greenstreet Gardens of Del Ray.

For more information on First Thursday, visit

Alexandria Schedule of Services for Labor Day, September 5

Posted on | August 29, 2016 | No Comments

Labor DayAll City of Alexandria government offices will be closed on Monday, September 5, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

  • Refuse Collection: Residential trash and recycling will not be collected on September 5. Scheduled collections will be delayed by one day during the week of September 5. The household hazardous waste and electronics recycling collection site will be open on September 3 and closed on September 5.
  • Animal Shelter:The Vola Lawson Animal Shelter will open from noon to 5 p.m. on September 5.
  • Health Facilities: The Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.), the Flora Krause Casey Health Center (1200 N. Howard St.), and the Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams High School (3330 King St.) will be closed on September 5.
  • 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, 703.746.4911; the emergency services for mental health or substance abuse crisis hotline, 703.746.3401; and the sexual assault hotline, 703.683.7273.
  • Libraries: All Alexandria Library branches will be closed September 3-5.
  • 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 Monday, September 5. 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).  Temporary no-parking signs will be enforced on September 5.
  • Outdoor Pools:Outdoor City Pools will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on September 5. For information visit gov/Aquatics.
  • Recreation Centers: On September 5, the Chinquapin Park Recreation Center will be open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Charles Houston Recreation Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All other City recreation centers will be closed on September 5.
  • State Offices: The Circuit Court, General District Court, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court will be closed on September 5. The Department of Motor Vehicles Office at 2681 Mill Rd. will also be closed.
  • Transit: Alexandria Transit Company’s DASH bus service will operate on a Sunday schedule on September 5.  The King Street Trolley will operate every 15 minutes between the King Street Metro Station and the Potomac River waterfront from 10 a.m. to midnight.


Committee Recommends Changing Jefferson Memorial Highway Name

Posted on | August 23, 2016 | No Comments

Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Confederate Memorials and Street Names Issues Report to Alexandria City Council


Appomattox Confederate Civil War statue, intersection of Washington and Prince Streets, Alexandria VA, erected 1889. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

Appomattox Confederate Civil War statue, intersection of Washington and Prince Streets, Alexandria VA, erected 1889. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

The Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Confederate Memorials and Street Names, which was established by Alexandria City Council in September 2015, has submitted its final report.  The group issued recommendations on the four topics City Council directed it to consider, and concluded as follows:

  1. The Appomattox statute on South Washington Street should remain in place, with additional efforts made to add context to its story;
  2. The name of Jefferson Davis Highway in the City of Alexandria should be changed;
  3. Rather than a wholesale renaming of streets in the City named after Confederate figures, individual requests for new names should be considered by City Council if brought under existing processes; and
  4. No further action is needed with regard to a specific policy on flying of any flags on property owned or under the control of the City.

Read more


Posted on | August 22, 2016 | No Comments

One of music’s most legendary artists brings along power and poise and a room full of memories

By Steve Houk

(Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage for BSB Touring)

(Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage for BSB Touring)

If you flip through the record album synapses of your life, a rare few of them spark and then spring out at you as unforgettable early moments in your growth, both as a person and a music fan.

For me, a 55-year-old on the edge of the boomers, it’s The Beatles, it’s Burt Bacharach, Neil Diamond, Herb Alpert…and yes, Barbra Streisand…that shine the brightest as artists whose music was most deeply woven into the fabric of life growing up on Millstone Road in the 60’s and 70’s. For me and millions of others, this kind of music acts as a blanket of comfort, a familiar sound, mindful of a time when life was full of love, wonder, and possibility. But the same music also acts as a chronicler of history, of time passing, of things and events and moments, both personal, and as a society, that have built the framework of our lives. Read more

IRS Warns of Back-to-School Scams; Encourages Students, Parents, Schools to Stay Alert

Posted on | August 19, 2016 | No Comments

irsATLANTA — The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers against telephone scammers targeting students and parents during the back-to-school season and demanding payments for non-existent taxes, such as the “Federal Student Tax.”

People should be on the lookout for IRS impersonators calling students and demanding that they wire money immediately to pay a fake “federal student tax.” If the person does not comply, the scammer becomes aggressive and threatens to report the student to the police to be arrested. As schools around the nation prepare to re-open, it is important for taxpayers to be particularly aware of this scheme going after students and parents.   Read more

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