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A Day to Recognize Our First Responders

Posted on | May 5, 2016 | No Comments

By Kris Gilbertson

Assembled together, the Valor Award recipients and their families were honored with a special breakfast at Belle Haven Country Club.

Assembled together, the Valor Award recipients and their families were honored with a special breakfast at Belle Haven Country Club.

On April 20, a cool but bright spring day, the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2016 Public Safety Valor Awards, as it has for 30 years. The Valor Awards recognize outstanding performance among first responders in the Alexandria Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, and Fire Department—the people who put their own lives in danger to keep us safe.

This year’s event was staged at the Belle Haven Country Club and attended by more than 220 business leaders, elected officials, representatives of the agencies honored, media, and general public. Mayor Allison Silberberg, City Manager Mark Jinx, Councilwoman Del Pepper, and former mayor Bill Euille attended. Unable to attend, Senator John Warner sent a personal letter to each award winner. Read more

The Carlyle Club – Alexandria’s Premier Supper Club

Posted on | April 8, 2016 | No Comments






Swing Era elegance, Art Deco beauty, and the best entertainment today

By Kris Gilbertson

When their now college-age children were very young, a friend approached Alexandrians Brennan and Sharon Reilly about joining a group of investors to lease the restaurant operation in Gadsby’s Tavern. They did, and Brennan, an attorney, negotiated the lease with the City. This was the Reilly’s introduction to the restaurant business.

Then that friendly advisor bought a bar outside of Baltimore and the Reillys bought Yesterday’s All-American Café, a restaurant and deli on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach. “But after four or five seasons,” says Sharon Reilly, “the children were growing up and wanting to do urban kid stuff during summers.”

So the Reillys sold Yesterday’s, returned to Alexandria, and sank the proceeds into an Art Deco entertainment and event venue, the first Carlyle Club, which opened in 2007 at 411 John Carlyle Street, in the developing Carlyle District, between Duke Street and Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria.

The Satin Doll Trio at the Carlyle Club in 2015. (Courtesy Carlyle Club)

The Satin Doll Trio at the Carlyle Club in 2015. (Courtesy Carlyle Club)

Why Art Deco?

“There wasn’t any place for us to go out, to see a show, to dance, to listen to music,” Sharon Reilly says. “The clubs are for young people, they’re not for older people—so we felt like there was a need. And Brennan always loved history, especially the Art Deco period, the glory days of Hollywood and all that.”

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Posted on | May 23, 2016 | No Comments

A rock legend carries on his timeless legacy while also finding powerful new subjects to write about.

By Steve Houk

Justin HaywardOf all the miraculous, timeless music Justin Hayward has created – from the wondrous songs he wrote as a member of prog rock legends The Moody Blues as well as his strong solo work – there’s a song he recently wrote and debuted on his current tour that very well might be his most stunning. That’s saying alot from the guy who wrote such rock classics as “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Your Wildest Dreams.” But “The Wind Of Heaven” is something different altogether.

Hayward had worked with filmmaker David Minasian on a live DVD of his Atlanta performance a few years back, and recently found out Minasian was working on a new film with a powerfully emotional story. Hayward was so moved by it that he and his friend wrote a song about it. Read more


Posted on | May 18, 2016 | No Comments

A music veteran perseveres into his 70’s by combining great music and a strong constitution.

By Steve Houk

Delbert McClintonOne of the true bonafide survivors of the insanity that often is the music business, Delbert McClinton is still out there at 75, playing his familiar yet unique blend of rock and blues that’s been keeping him going for over 50 years.

When I called McClinton recently to chat about his current tour, his upcoming record and his formidable life in music, I asked McClinton what he was doing, and what he attributes his longevity to.

“Sitting here having breakfast with my grandkids,” McClinton said in his amicable Texas drawl. “We kinda did a reinvention on this new record. Wrote some really good songs and I think it’s a great record. And yeah, I attribute (my longevity) to the fact that I still love doing this. I’ve had this with me my whole life, and it’s always sustained me. I just can’t seem to get enough.” Read more

T.C. Williams College-Bound Students

Posted on | May 16, 2016 | No Comments

Decision Day at TC WilliamsA total of 331 students from T.C. Williams are college-bound in the fall, including several who have made it into the top colleges in the United States. Students from T.C. Williams will be attending Princeton – currently ranked as the U.S. #1 college in the National University Rankings; Stanford – ranked as #4; Dartmouth College – ranked as #12; Vanderbilt and Cornell Universities – ranked equally as #15; University of California in Berkley – ranked #20; and Emory – ranked #21.

A total of 31 students will be attending the University of Virginia in the fall and 50 students will be attending Virginia Tech. Read more


Posted on | May 11, 2016 | No Comments

Family Rosary names winner in 2016 “Try Prayer” Competition

Second grader David De Costa submitted this winning drawing in the Try Prayer Contest.

Second grader David De Costa submitted this winning drawing in the Try Prayer Contest.

Family Rosary has selected David De Costa of Queen of Apostles School in Alexandria, Va., as a winner in the 2016 U.S. “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest, a national competition that encourages students to express their faith through art, poetry and prose. He was selected from nearly 2,500 finalists in the 21st annual contest.

David, who lives in Alexandria, won first place in the Grade 2 category. For his winning entry, he submitted a colorful drawing of people joining Jesus’ “family” by following his teachings.

Each year, approximately 25,000 children and teens from Catholic schools, parishes, and other Catholic organizations use their creative skills to illustrate a different faith-based theme. This year, the theme was Who is my mother? Who are my brothers and sisters? Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade creatively depicted in various art forms how they act in faith and follow the word of God. Read more

Local High School Student Wins Cash Prize in International Video Contest Joanna Gerr Takes First Place for Video on Deforestation

Posted on | May 10, 2016 | No Comments

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and TechnologyJoanna Gerr, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, won first place and was awarded $1,000 for a video she created on deforestation for the “World of 7 Billion” international student video contest sponsored by Population Connection.

Joanna’s video “One Stump at a Time” was inspired by her Geosystems class, where she learned about how the Earth has been gradually shaped over millions of years, and how the relatively recent environmental problems we face today will impact the future. Joanna said she chose the topic of deforestation because there is a need for more awareness about this global issue. Read more

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