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All in the Family for Alexandria

SSA to honor generations of giving.

’Twas the night before Christmas, literally, when a man walked into the Senior Services of Alexandria office and handed an envelope to then-executive director Janet Barnett. The year was 2007 and the man was Ron Bradley. “Ron asked how he could help the seniors of Alexandria,” Barnett said. “When I explained that the city did not provide meals to seniors on holidays, Ron stepped in with $10,000 to fund a holiday meals program. But he had a condition — that they could not be ordinary meals. He wanted our seniors to enjoy a festive meal just like we do at home.”

Gayle Reuter: Fostering Del Ray’s Small Town Feel

Helping to celebrate Del Ray.

You won't go far in Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood before seeing signs of Gayle Reuter. If it's a rare quiet day, you might see her on her front porch just off "The Avenue" or at a local restaurant or business — always with a smile and a friendly greeting. More likely you will see her working, always managing to make a difference in the wonderful neighborhood she helped create.

Collaboration Over Competition for Alexandria Nonprofits

Alexandria non-profit organizations unite for city budgeting.

As Alexandria’s nonprofits prepare for the March 3 release of the County Manager’s proposed budget, things are going a little differently this year.

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Alexandrians Of Two Minds

Zoning amendment for memory care center draws crowd of supporters and opponents.

After seven hours of debate in Alexandria’s City Council meeting, the room was still deeply divided between those in favor of rezoning a property on King Street to create a memory care facility and neighbors to the property entrenched against it.

Fern and Otter Come to ‘Work’

“My dogs Fern and Otter, both adopted from the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. They love to come to work with me at the shelter.

When Sam Met Frodo

“Sam and Frodo are both rescue cats. Frodo, the big orange guy with the furry feet, came from Home Alone Feline Rescue in 2011. He is part Maine Coon and part American bobtail. Lou and I had been thinking about getting a second cat as a companion for Frodo when I ran into Lee District School Board member Tammy Koufax at a community event in Springfield in August 2013..."

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Alexandria School's Space Odyssey

NASA Administrator gives Jefferson-Houston students a taste for science.

For many children, “astronaut” is one of the quickest answers when asked what they want to be when they grow up. A visit to Jefferson-Houston School on Feb. 13 from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden aimed to encourage those students to hold onto that answer. Bolden and other NASA leadership spoke to adults on how to cultivate an interest in math and science, and showed how by fielding questions from Jefferson-Houston students on life in space.

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Alexandria's George Mason Elementary Left Behind

Superintendent and parents clash over school modernization priorities.

For parents at George Mason Elementary School, all of the talk of modernization and improvements isn't resonating.

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Black History Month Celebrations

Local students learn about the history and accomplishments of African-Americans.

Fourth grade student Eli West crafted a poem this month that was modeled after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous, “I Have a Dream” speech.

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Stalled Labor Market Slows County Budget

Proposed budget calls for no real estate tax rate increase, but average homeowner would pay $184 more.

Supervisor Jeff McKay pointed out an irony in County Executive Ed Long’s proposed $3.8 billion budget. Three planning positions would be eliminated from the budget even though Long suggested the county needs more efforts to raise revenue from commercial and industrial venues.

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Researching Alexandria’s African-American Ancestors

Two genealogists help African-Americans in Alexandria trace their families’ roots.

Tracing genealogies is not only impossibly frustrating for many African-American families, but many of the results they find are predictable and grim. But for two genealogists who hosted events at Alexandria’s Black History Museum, that idea obscures the powerful histories and proud legacies of many families.

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Separate But Equal Amenities for Alexandria

Class-segregated pool at proposed housing complex dampens council enthusiasm for affordable housing project.

A proposal for a mixed-use housing complex in Alexandria swiftly became an argument on classism when the developer revealed the pool would be off-limits to residents of the affordable housing section.

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Working Toward Restorative Justice in Alexandria Schools

TC students take aim at suspension rates and new disciplinary policy.

A word of warning to students at T.C. Williams High School hoping to skip out on classes in the second half of their senior year: Don’t. A new policy implemented at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year gives teachers at TC final say over whether a student can pass or fail a class regardless of the final grade.

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Too Poor for Benefits in Alexandria

New advisory panel tackles lack of healthcare options for Alexandrians.

An estimated 5,000 people living in Alexandria are without access to healthcare. Without any assistance from the state, the struggle for many Alexandrians has potential to grow into a city-wide moral and financial crisis.

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GMU Students Rally to Lower Student Debt

Members of GMU Student Power Travel to Richmond to voice concern over rising debt.

Twelve students from George Mason University traveled to Richmond with the Virginia Student Power Network, rallying and calling for debt-free education, and for increased educational opportunities for undocumented students. Rodrigo Velasquez, a junior at Mason from Springfield and GMU Student Power’s organizer, was one of the 12 from Mason who also went to Richmond.

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