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Alexandria Bulletin July 26-Aug. 2

The Alexandria City School Board will hold a Strategic Planning Work Session from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 2, in the School Board Auditorium at 2000 North Beauregard St. Board members will state their most important goals for the next two years, followed by a discussion. For more information, contact Rosemary Webb, Clerk of the Board, at 703-824-6614, or send an e-mail to rwebb@acps.k12.va.us.

The public is invited to attend a community meeting to discuss proposed improvements to the playground at Hunter/Miller Park, located at the corner of Queen and N. Fayette streets. The meeting will be held at 7 pm on Tuesday, August 7, at the Dr. Oswald Durant Memorial Recreation Center, located at 1605 Cameron St.

During the meeting, staff of the City’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities will present a final plan and playground design and outline the schedule for renovation. Funding for the project is included in the current FY 2007-2008 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) schedule.

Persons who are unable to attend the community meeting can send written comments to the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, Attention: Judy Lo, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA 22314 or e-mail judy.lo@alexandriava.gov.

The Dr. Oswald Durant Memorial Recreation Center is a short walk from the King Street Metro Station and is also served by DASH transit lines AT #2, #5, and #6.

A $400,000 contract has been awarded by the Commonwealth of Virginia to the Northern Virginia Regional Commission on behalf of the City of Alexandria and Arlington County to design a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists over the dual jurisdictions' Four Mile Run border. The bridge will connect bicycle and walking routes on Commonwealth Avenue in Alexandria and South Eads Street in Arlington.

The purpose of the bridge is to provide a north/south connection between the W&OD Regional park and the George Washington Memorial Parkway National Heritage Trail. The new bridge represents the focal point of the Four Mile Run Restoration Demonstration Project.

Initially the project will include a design competition and the development of design and engineering documents. The project also includes funds for lighting, connecting trails, and interpretative signs. A second phase will include a funding request for construction of the bridge.

For additional information about the grant award or bridge design project, contact Debbie Spiliotopoulos, NVRC environmental planner, at dspilio@novaregion.org or call 703-642-4631.

The construction at Potomac Yard is forcing changes this summer on two well-used Alexandria pedestrian and bicycle paths. The existing shared-use path adjacent to Rte. 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway) from Windsor Avenue to East Glebe Road will be closed for 90 days beginning on July 9 and relocated thereafter. The closure will allow roadway grading and storm drain installation. Contact information for the shuttle service will be posted on signs at the site, at detour locations and on-line at www.PotomacYardAlexandria.com and www.AlexRide.org.

At Four Mile Run Park, the trail that runs east from the north end of Commonwealth Avenue toward Rte. 1 will be relocated for approximately one month beginning July 23 to allow for construction of a water main. This trail in Four Mile Run Park provides a major pedestrian and bicycle connection from bicycle lanes on Commonwealth Avenue to Four Mile Run and further east to the Mount Vernon Trail.

The Alexandria Commission for the Arts invites Alexandria teachers, in public and private schools, to exhibit their artwork in the Local Color Show at the Alexandria Festival of the Arts, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept. 9 in Historic Old Town Alexandria. All teachers in Alexandria schools, public and private, are invited to submit one artistic work to be exhibited at the Festival. The first 50 entries received will be exhibited. Entries chosen for Local Color will be notified by Aug. 15. Additional information and entry forms are available at www.alexandriacommissionforthearts.org. The Commission must receive entries no later than July 30.

The Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is seeking persons who are diplomatic, assertive, and good communicators to serve as a volunteer ombudsman. Volunteers are assigned to a specific local nursing home or assisted-living facility in the City of Alexandria and make weekly visits, meeting one-on-one with residents. Applicants must be available to volunteer four hours per week. For further information and to obtain an application, call 703-324-5435, TTY: 703-449-1186, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/LTCOmbudsman.

The Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) would like parents to add an important task to the top of their list: talking to their children about love, sex, and relationships. It is never too early to begin the conversation with your children and research shows that youth hold parents’ values in high regard when making decisions on these issues.

ACAP has developed a new web site for parents to gather information and resources on talking to their children about sex. The web site, www.alexgetreal.com, was developed from ACAP’s theme to "Get Real About Sex." This theme encourages parents to regularly discuss love, sex, and relationships with their children and help them make healthy choices that protect their future. The web site provides age-appropriate suggestions to parents on how to initiate a conversation about sex, love and relationships. It also features helpful information about teen relationships, sexual health, teen pregnancy statistics, and referrals to other resources. The web site has interactive features such as ACAP commercials, podcast interviews with parents and teens, and videos of ACAP events. The web site will be translated into Spanish by August for those forwhom English is their second language.

This web site is not only for parents, but also for teens. Teens can access these same resources independently or together with their parents. Teens can also use ACAP’s new text message line 703-717-TEEN, which provides answers to their most pressing questions about a variety of topics, ranging from relationships to their bodies to making good choices that protect their future. All text message questions are answered within 24 hours.

The celebration continues. The 2007 Jamestown 400th Anniversary festival merchandise can still be purchased. Items are available at:

* Gadsby's Tavern Museum , 134 North Royal St. 703-838-4242. Museum hours are Tuesdays – Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays and Mondays 1– 5 p.m.

* Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St. 703-838-4356. Museum hours are Tuesdays – Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

*The Lyceum, Alexandria's History Museum, 201 S. Washington St. 703-838-4994. Museum hours are Mondays – Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 – 5 p.m.

*Ramsay House Visitors Center, 221 King St. , 703-838-4200

Items available include souvenir coins, set of four logo glasses, celebration patches, lapel pins, spoons, and lots more. For more information, call Gadsby's Tavern Museum at 703-838-4242.

The City of Alexandria's Office of Aging and Adult Services has published "Cooking with Friends," a collection of the best recipes of the Department of Human Services' staff. The cost of the cookbook is $10. Proceeds from the book will benefit the Eleanor Ager Host Fund. The cookbook can be purchased at the main office for the Department of Human Services, located at 2525 Mt. Vernon Ave., or by mail by sending a check for $12.50 per copy, which includes postage, payable to the City of Alexandria and mailed to: Office of Aging and Adult Services, 2525 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA, 22301. For more information, to request bulk orders, or to pick up a copy of "Cooking with Friends," call the Department of Human Services at 703-838-0920.

The Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse is in need of volunteers to serve in the following positions:

* Guardians for adults with mental retardation and mental illness. Guardians make decisions about personal care, health care, living conditions and recreation. Guardians are court-appointed and bonded. The duties require approximately four hours per month.

* Representative Payees to receive Social Security checks and pay bills for persons with mental retardation or mental illness. A separate bank account is opened with automatic deposit and there are few monthly transactions. The duties require two hours per month, per account.

* Friendly Visitors to plan one-on-one outings and activities with a resident of an Alexandria group home for adults with mental retardation. This volunteer activity requires approximately two hours per week.

* Mentors to meet one-on-one with a specific child on a weekly basis to provide friendship, act as a positive role model, plan leisure and recreational activities together, participate in age appropriate activities and assist the child with school work as needed. Meetings with the child take place primarily in neutral locations away from the child's and mentor's homes. Being a mentor requires approximately two hours per week.

Contact Jennifer Cohen Cordero at jennifer.cohen-cordero@alexandriava.gov or 703.838.4455, ext.165.

HEW Federal Credit Union (HEWFCU), a federally insured financial institution can now serve the entire City of Alexandria. All residents are able to join HEWFCU and take advantage of the low-cost products and services the credit union offers. With experienced lending and member services staff and a physical facility already located in the area, HEWFCU has the tools and infrastructure to deploy to the market as an alternative to non-traditional financial services providers. Visit HEWFCU's office located on 400 N. Columbus St.; or visit www.hewfcu.com.

THURSDAY: JULY 26, 2007

ALEXANDRIA BOARD OF REVIEW OF REAL ESTATE ASSESSMENTS will hold a meeting at 2 p.m., Room 2610, City Hall, 301 King Street. For more information contact Cindy Smith-Page, 703-838-4575.

MONDAY: JULY 30, 2007

ALEXANDRIA COMMISSION FOR WOMEN – CRISIS INTERVENTION SERVICES SUBCOMMITTEE will hold a meeting at 8 p.m., 111 East Alexandria Avenue. For more information contact Lisa Baker, 703-838-5030.

TUESDAY: JULY 31, 2007

ALEXANDRIA BOARD OF REVIEW OF REAL ESTATE ASSESSMENTS will hold a meeting at 2 p.m., Room 2610, City Hall, 301 King Street. For more information contact Cindy Smith-Page, 703-838-4575.

ALEXANDRIA HUNTING CREEK STAKEHOLDERS GROUP will hold a meeting at 7 p.m., Room 2000, City Hall, 301 King Street. For more information contact Pat Mann, 703-838-4666.