09/05/16 9:43am

Street Opera Singer Krista Clouse Arrested for Busking in Alexandria

This is an update to this post. Krista Clouse, the beautiful opera singer you have likely heard around Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, was arrested Friday night in Old Town.

Busking (singing) is LEGAL on the streets of Alexandria without a permit. However, if you use a noise amplification device, you need a permit. Ms. Clouse has said that the tips she earns while singing on the street help support her family.

Ms. Clouse, who was recently not permitted to sing on Torpedo Factory property, was busking on Friday night when she was approached by Alexandria Police officers (see video above) in the 200 block of King Street who informed her that sans permit, she was in violation of noise ordinance 11-5-4b. When she refused to stop singing with the device, she was arrested and later released on her own recognizance.

We were tipped to this video of her singing yesterday (Sunday, September 4) near the White House (That’s NBC 4’s Darcy Spencer doing a live hit on the left). The video got me thinking. As the video is playing, what is louder, the device or Ms. Clouse’s voice?

What do you think?

It remains unclear that, while Ms. Clouse has been singing on the streets of Old Town for some time, why Ms. Clouse was suddenly approached Friday night by Alexandria Police.

(H/T DCFred)

08/09/16 9:15am

Donald Trump Hillary CLinton Gary John Dr. Jill Stein

We are conducting an online poll regarding the upcoming U.S. Presidential Election which is about 90 days away. I must say, for me, I am undecided and leaning toward doing a write-in.

I’ve seen some recent online polls and polls on TV which were quite surprising in their result. Given that Alexandria, Virginia has been named the most Liberal City in Virginia, this is likely though going to lead to a landslide result like our annual ice cream poll.

What do you think the result will be? Poll closes midnight Sunday, August 14.

If you want, tell us why you are voting for the candidate below.


08/03/16 1:29pm
Jeremais Herrera Rodriguez

Photo credit: Rodriguez family

As readers know, yesterday, an elderly driver struck and killed a pedestrian in Swift Alley in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia behind Burke & Herbert Bank.

Jeremais Herrera Rodriguez, 44, of Alexandria, was cleaning the alley behind the Warehouse Bar & Grill where he worked as a dishwasher, one of two jobs he held so he could send money home to his family, when he was struck and killed by the vehicle.

No information has been released on whether or not the driver will be facing criminal charges. Police are still investigating the incident.

Now, the Warehouse Bar & Grill has setup a GoFundMe page to help the family with the cost of sending his remains back to his family in Guatemala, which is quite expensive.

$10,000 is needed to help send Mr. Rodriguez back to his family in Guatemala. Questions on this fundraising effort can be sent to Meghan Schulze.

Via Warehouse Bar & Grill’s Facebook page

For those in our great city of Alexandria who may or may not have heard, we lost a wonderful friend and co-worker yesterday in a terrible accident. Jeremais worked with us for seven years, and was a truly hard-working husband and father. We are hoping to help ease some of the financial burden this tragedy brings to his family, and if you have any questions feel free to ask. We have already seen great support from our friends and customers, and we are so lucky to know you.

If you can, please consider donating to help a grieving Alexandria area family. I have donated. Hope you can too.

(H/T CM)

07/07/16 9:34am
Colosanto Pool in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia (Photo credit: Petition site)

(Photo credit: Petition site)

The Nicholas A. Colasanto Pool in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, which was closed in 2010 for under utilization (PDF), is planned to be turned into an interactive fountain/kids splash park in 2022. This is part of an Aquatics Study that was performed in 2012 (PDF).

There is a online petition that has been started in the Del Ray community urging the Alexandria City Council to approve funds sooner (2017) than later (2022). In my view, the City should act NOW, instead of later to approve funds for this. Since the closing, the pool has become a blight and the City Council should act to make the Colosanto Pool area great again.

After all, staff said in the budget memo at the first link

Recreation Department staff will initiate a comprehensive review of its outdoor pool program in the coming months. Staff will consider suggestions provided by Council during the Fiscal Year 2010 budget development process and will work to gather input from pool users during the 2009 pool season to incorporate in the Department’s comprehensive plan. Staff will provide Council with a report of its findings and recommendations by the Fall of 2009.

As far as I can tell, that report never happened until the Aquatics study was done. The youth in the Del Ray area and surrounding community deserve better. The pool has been closed far too long. I signed the petition and hope you will too. The kids in the Del Ray community deserve better.

What do you think?

Via Change.org

Del Ray’s Colasanto Pool has been shut-down since 2010. The pool and the surrounding area are the gateway to Del Ray. We’d like the City of Alexandria to turn the Colasanto Pool and Park into a kids splash park and true gateway to one of the city’s most beloved and vibrant neighborhoods! This project already has funds appropriated in 2022. By that time, the pool will have been closed for over a decade! We want to convince the city to accelerate funding and greenlight the project in 2017! That can’t happen without your support!

Del Ray is a special place that we all love. Without your support this project will wait at least another 6 years and may never get off the ground! Please show your support by signing the petition and letting the Mayor and the City Council know how much this means to us, their constituency.

06/01/16 10:45am

Jim Morrison Was Here
After receiving a host of emails on yesterday’s air conditioning issues at Polk Elementary School, we’re now hearing there are major air conditioning issues at George Washington Middle School (GW) and at T.C. Williams High School. At GW, we’re getting reports of classroom’s reaching 93 degrees and higher.

We’re also hearing that since our report last year on the air conditioning issues at Hammond Middle School, that the A/C is STILL not working in the gymnasium at Hammond.

An ACPS spokesperson responded to this by saying “This is what we are up against with old buildings and what we hope to solve with a comprehensive modernization program.”

As an ACPS parent, I certainly understand what the school system is up against. But, is it too much to ask to have the A/C work in our public schools during the late spring and summer, especially when it is typically getting hotter?

ACPS put this out about the cooling issues at the school a little while ago:


What are your thoughts on this?

(Flickr Pool photo via Craig Pennington, on Flickr)

05/04/16 5:22pm

Alexandria, Virginia Fire Department t-shirt
Today is #InternationalFirefightersDay! Please join us in saying a massive thank you to all firefighters worldwide, especially to our own Alexandria, Virginia Fire Department (AFD).

I was going to write a thank you but, then I noticed this poem online. It goes without saying – thanks to the men and women at AFD for putting your lives on the line to save ours.

Firefighters, I Thank You

To all those who serve,
I thank you.

Sparing yourself for the sake of a stranger, and placing your body in the way of danger.

All you need to hear is the sounding alarm, and you just do your job, not pausing for the harm.

Your most important objective: to save those in need – to all firefighters, you are most selfless indeed.

But, so sadly, there are those brothers who have fallen, yet you never cease, but rather have a stronger calling.

You all have such a courageous desire, built by a passion and strength that will never let you tire.

There is a job to be done, no matter where or when, and there is great comfort, knowing you will be there then.

So, once again,
To all who serve – and to their families –
I thank you.

AFD is celebrating 150 years of service this year. One way to support the AFD is by buying the cool t-shirt (see above) or the cool patch, lapel pin and challenge coin (below). You can buy these items at AFD’s headquarters, located at 900 Second Street in Alexandria.

20160420_114533

05/02/16 1:45pm

Save the Patrick Henry Elementary School Auditorium in Alexandria, Virginia

For the life of me, I can’t believe the Alexandria City School Board or ACPS staff would even consider forcing students to put on plays in something called a ‘cafetorium’. Given that a lot of Patrick Henry’s curriculum is based on arts education, keeping the auditorium should be a no brainer.

As the petition states, there aren’t many places in the West End to see performing arts and causing folks to go to a ‘cafetorium’ would mean one less place in the West End of Alexandria, Virginia.

I signed and hope you do too.

We want to save what we currently have in terms of any proposed new facility at the new Patrick Henry School and Recreation Center and the current plans for the new site will take away the kind of auditorium we have now. We are circulating a petition to officially request that the Alexandria School Board and City Council include an auditorium that would be part of a shared use space that will be utilized by both the new Patrick Henry K-8 School and the new Recreation Center for performing arts on the West End that will benefit the entire community.

We hereby officially request that the current specifications for Patrick Henry be changed to include this important space.

Read more about this petition at this link and tell the School Board to say yes to the arts.

(Photo via Petition site)

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