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Alexandria News Briefs

<b>Public Hearing on City Budget</b>

The City Council will conduct a public hearing on Oct. 15 to receive public views, needs, and priorities regarding the upcoming fiscal year 2007 operating budget and capital improvement program. The public hearing will be held during the regularly scheduled Saturday public hearing, which begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Council Chamber, 2nd floor City Hall, 301 King St.

The hearing is intended to provide public input prior to the preparations of the FY 2007 budget, which will be proposed by the city manager in mid-February 2006, in addition to the traditional public hearing, which will be held in late March, on the proposed submitted budget.

Anyone wishing to speak should complete a speaker’s form before or at the hearing. These forms are available in the City Clerk’s Office, Room 2300, City Hall. Speaking requests can also be made directly to the City Clerk by e-mail at jackie.henderson@alexandriava.gov or by phone at 703-838-4500. Individuals with disabilities who require assistance or individuals needing special arrangements, such as translation services or language interpreters, to participate in the City Council meeting can call the City Clerk at 703-838-4500. A 48-hour notice is needed for special accommodations, so that the proper arrangements can be made.

<b>Sheriff's Candidates Forum

</b>Holmes Run Park Committee will be hosting a Sheriff's forum Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m., Beatley Library, Duke Street. All are welcome to listen and ask questions of Bill Cleveland and Dana Lawhorne.

<b>Doggie Happy Hour to Benefit Police

</b>Each year, the Alexandria Police Department retires police dogs that have spent years of their lives protecting our community. Due to their training, the only retirement option for these dogs is to be adopted by the officers who have worked with them.

To support the Alexandria Police Foundation and these service animals, attend a Doggie Happy Hour Tuesday, Oct. 4, 5-8 p.m. The Happy Hour is being held at the Holiday Inn Select located at 480 King Street. A percentage of the proceeds from the Doggie Happy Hour will go to help support retired police dogs and other Foundation initiatives.

<b>Celebrating Archaeology Month

</b>For the month of October, the Alexandria Archaeology Museum is celebrating Virginia Archaeology Month with special events designed to teach visitors of all ages about archaeology in Alexandria. The month’s events include:

* Saturday, Oct. 1: Art on the Avenue, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mount Vernon Avenue. Visit the “Attic Window Publishing” booth and pick up a copy of “Walk and Bike the Alexandria Heritage Trail: A Guide to Exploring a Virginia Town’s Hidden History,” an 80-page guide highlighting the history and archaeology

of Alexandria’s 23-mile Heritage Trail. Author and City Archaeologist Pamela Cressey will be on hand from 3 to 4 p.m. to sign copies of her book, which will be available for $11.95.

* Saturday, Oct. 8: Archaeology Day, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 101 Callahan Drive. Join the city archaeologist for free one-hour site tours of the Shuter’s Hill excavation site located behind the George Washington Masonic National Memorial at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Learn about archaeology and conservation techniques through table-top displays sponsored by Alexandria Archaeology, Mount Vernon Archaeology and the Washington Conservation Guild during this day-long event for all ages.

* Thursday, Oct. 13: Second Thursday, 6 to 9 p.m. Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, #327. Visit the Alexandria Archaeology Museum’s current exhibit, “A Community Digs Its Past: The Lee Street Site.” The museum is located in studio 327 on the third floor.

* Saturday, Oct. 15: Heritage Trail Guided Bike Tour, 10 a.m. to noon, 101 Callahan Drive. Join city staff on a guided bike tour of a 20-mile loop of the Alexandria Heritage Trail. Involves some street cycling and hills. Helmets required. Free but reservations required. Tour begins and ends in the George Washington Masonic National Memorial parking lot.

* Saturday, Oct. 22: “Warming the Troops: Alexandria’s Crimean Ovens,” begins 10 a.m., Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road. A two-hour Java Jolt lecture with Wally Owen, assistant director, Fort Ward Museum and Steve Shephard, assistant city archaeologist. Sponsored by Fort Ward Museum and the Friends of Alexandria Archaeology. Free but reservations required. 703-838-4848.

Events are free unless otherwise noted. The Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 North Union Street, #327, 703-838-4399, is owned and operated by the City of Alexandria. Visit www.historicalexandria.org.

<b>Personal Property Tax Due Oct. 5

</b>The City of Alexandria has mailed personal property bills and windshield decals (on the back of the bill) to city residents. The personal property tax is due Wednesday, Oct. 5. The Finance Department urges Alexandria residents to pay their personal property taxes by mail or online to avoid waiting in line. The city offers numerous methods for paying the personal property tax:

1. Pay by mail using the enclosed envelope, or mail payment to the Treasurer’s Office, Department of Finance, Department 710, Alexandria, VA 22334-0710.

2. Pay by eCheck online at alexandriava.gov to have the payment electronically deducted from the specified checking or savings account. There is no fee for using this service.

3. Pay with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit card, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling 1-800-272-9829, or online at alexandriava.gov. Depending on the amount of the credit card transaction, a convenience fee will be assessed by Official Payments Corporation for using this service. The city’s jurisdiction code is 1007.

4. Pay with a Discover card in person at the Treasury Division, or by calling 703-838-4777, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Depending on the amount of the credit card transaction, a service fee between $5 and $48 will be assessed by Discover for using this service.

5. Pay at any SunTrust Bank branch located in the city. SunTrust Bank will accept payment of the total amount printed on the personal property tax bill until 2 p.m. Oct. 5.

6. Pay in person at the Treasury Division, City Hall, 301 King St., Room 1510. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, except holiday weekends. A drop box located on the Royal Street side of City Hall is also available 24 hours a day.

For vehicle owners who live within city parking zones, parking zone decals were also included in the personal property tax bill mailings. Persons who live in Alexandria, and own or lease a vehicle must call the City’s Personal Property Branch at 703-838-4560, if they have not received a bill. All personal vehicles are required to be registered with the city and may be subject to the personal property tax.

For information on assessments, appeals, the late filing penalty, the Personal Property Tax Relief Act, or to request a tax bill, call the Personal Property Branch at 703-838-4560. For information on payments, late payment penalty and interest, call the Treasury Division at 703-838-4777. Si usted requiere asistencia en Español, por favor al 703-519-6506, x693.

<b>New Fall Lecture Series

</b>Gadsby’s Tavern Museum is offering the John Yagerline Lecture Series. Named in honor of Alexandria’s former town crier and Gadsby volunteer, this series will highlight a variety of historical topics related to 18th century life in Alexandria. Join Esther White, director of archaeology at Mount Vernon, as she talks about Whiskey and the Current Excavations on George Washington’s Distillery. This lecture series is open to the general public.

the lecture begins Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m., at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., Old Town Alexandria. $12 per person per lecture. Reservations are recommended.

Other lectures in this fall series include:

* Oct. 19: Get in the Halloween spirit with Dwight Young, senior communications associate of the National Trust, as he discusses the history of cemetery design and art in America.

* Nov. 2: Peter Henriques, historian and professor emeritus at George Mason University, is back by popular demand to speak on the Leadership of George Washington.

For more information, call 703-838-4242. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.GadsbysTavern.org.