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Alexandria Bulletin Nov. 15-21

A public hearing on proposed concepts for some aspects of park features associated with the Potomac Yard Development is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 15 at the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave.

The public hearing will begin with staff from the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities making a presentation about the proposed concepts. Then the Parks and Recreation Commission will hear comments from the public on them. After discussion on the Potomac Yard Development has concluded, the commission will hear comments from City residents on any other park and recreation-related issue. A regular meeting of the Commission will follow the public hearing.

Individuals who are unable to attend the public hearing can send written comments to the Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission in care of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, Attention: William Chesley,

1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA 22314

,or e-mail william.chesley@alexandriava.gov.

For more information about the public hearing, please call Aimee Vosper at 703.838.4343 or e-mail aimee.vosper@alexandriava.gov.

On Nov. 17, dozens of youth and environmentialists will voice concern on the rising sea levels due to global warming. Includes addresses by Vice Mayor Redella S. "Del" Pepper and Adam Ebbin. 11 a.m. at Waterfront Park, 1A Prince St. Free. 202-887-8817 or www.net.org for more.

The TC Williams/Minnie Howard PTSA will present a panel discussion on "Substance Abuse Prevention and Awareness: Alexandria Initiatives" at its Tuesday, Nov. 20 meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the T.C. Williams High School second floor Rotunda. Free. E-mail Lynne Lawrence, PTSA President, for more information at ldl2781@comcast.net.

Mayor Euille’s 2007 Unity Breakfast will be on Wednesday, Nov. 21 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel, 5000 Seminary Road. $40/person. Contact EuilleUnity2007@gmail.com.

Christopher Leinberger, a land use strategist, teacher, researcher, consultant, developer, and author will present "The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream," on Wednesday, November 28, 7 to 9 p.m., at Virginia Tech’s Alexandria Center, 1021 Prince Street, 3rd floor Main Conference Room. Leinberger will discuss the growth and future of higher density "walkable urban" places like the Washington, DC metro area. The presentation, the fourth in Virginia Tech’s 2007-2008 New Metropolis Lecture Series, is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Heike Mayer at (703) 706-8122 or heikem@vt.edu.

The Alexandria Office on Women is currently recruiting volunteers for its fall training with the Speakers Bureau. The Office on Women's Speakers Bureau is a group of volunteers who present an educational program on domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and teen pregnancy prevention to Alexandria youth. The Speakers Bureau presents to 5th, 7th, and 9th graders throughout the school year. The expected volunteer commitment is four to six hours per month and volunteers must have the flexibility to present during the school day. The 10-hour required training will be held on Wednesday, November 28 & Thursday, November 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Training in the classroom will be scheduled after volunteers attend the two training dates. For more information on this or other volunteer opportunities, please contact Kim Hurley at 703.838.5030 or send an e-mail to kim.hurley@alexandriava.gov

To help keep the Earth clean, the Calvert Jones Co. will recycle old fluorescent light bulbs the environmentally safe way completely free of charge at their Alexandria plant during regular business hours 9 to 5 on Tuesday, December 4. Whether they're burned out, discarded due to a retrofit, or just simply not needed anymore, fluorescent bulbs are a problem for many businesses to dispose of in an environmentally sound and inexpensive way.

Calvert Jones will accept old fluorescent bulbs and recycle them in an environmentally friendly manner free of charge. Calvert Jones uses a nationally recognized recycling system that captures the gases and mercury in each bulb and neutralizes them so that none is released into the environment. Your business can contribute to a clean natural environment, and add to your LEED points as well!

Bring your fluorescent bulbs by the Calvert Jones plant at 5703 Edsall Rd. in Alexandria, located at the intersection of Edsall and Van Dorn Street, during regular business hours. The Company will accept all tube lengths and sizes, including U-tubes, T-12s, T-10s, and T-8s.

Cracked and broken bulbs cannot be accepted.

Calvert Jones, helping your business keep the planet clean!

Alexandria City Public Schools invites members of the community to participate on the Technology Advisory Committee. The role of this committee will be to provide feedback to ACPS staff as they proceed through the biannual revision of the Technology Plan. ACPS will select eight members who represent a cross-section of the community and have an interest in and/or experience in informational and educational technology. Selected applicants will be notified by Nov. 19.

The committee will meet on the following dates from 6:30-8 p.m. at 2000 N. Beauregard St. in Alexandria:

Tuesday, Nov. 27

Tuesday, Jan. 29

Tuesday, April 1

Tuesday, April 29

Participants must be available to attend at least three of the four meetings. To complete an application, please go to http://www.acps.k12.va.us/technology/

Send questions to Chris Sieger at csieger@acps.k12.va.us or Elizabeth Hoover at elizbeth.hoover@acps.k12.va.us, or call Elizabeth Hoover at 703-461-4040.

Francis C. Hammond Middle School is seeking vendors for its second annual Holiday Bazaar, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 in the school’s cafeteria, 4646 Seminary Road. The event will feature handmade crafts, products and services as well as hourly vendor giveaways. Vendors’ table fees are $35 for a 5-by-3-foot table or $55 for a 10-by-3-foot table. The registration deadline is Nov. 19.For more information or an application, please contact Gloria Hernandez at 703-461-4109 or ghernand@acps.k12.va.us .

For the last 40 years seniors from Alexandria have been coming to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at 100 W. Luray Ave. for a fun time on the third Thursday of each month. An optional informal worship service is held at 11a.m. and is followed by a meal and a program. Free, but reservations required. Call the church office at 703-548-8608 by the Tuesday preceding the luncheon to place your reservation.

Greenlight Toastmasters International meets every second and fourth Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Mount Vernon Rec Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave. Visit greenlight.freetoasthost.info or 703-569-4810.

Soroptimist International of Alexandria is seeking applicants for the Women’s Opportunity Award and the Violet Richardson Award. The Women’s Opportunity Awards program, Soroptimist’s major service project, aids women seeking to improve their economic status by gaining additional skills, training and education.

The Violet Richardson Award recognizes and honors young women, between the ages of 14 to 17, who make the community and world a better place.

Applications are available by contacting Betty Nester, blnretired@aol.com and completed applications are due no later than Jan. 15, 2008.

The Seminary Hill Association will hold a meeting on Nov. 15 at Virginia Theological Seminary Auditorium, 3737 Seminary Road. Discuss the future plans for Alexandria education. Free.

Mount Vernon Estate's 2007 holiday season officially gets underway November 1 when tickets for "Mount Vernon by Candlelight" tours officially go on sale at the Ford Orientation Center, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and through Ticketmaster at 703-573-SEAT or www.ticketmaster.com. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12 years of age.

Held Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, November 23,24 and 25; November 30, December 1 and 2; and December 7, 8 and 9; this holiday event is the only time during the year the Estate is open for public evening tours and one of the few times the Mansion's rarely-seen third floor is open for public viewing.

Upon arriving at the Mansion, guests present their "letter of introduction" to Martha Washington who greets them in the Mansion's large dining room prior to hosting their visit to an 18th-century Christmas which includes candlelight walks and fireside caroling surrounded by hand-crafted early American holiday decorations.

The visit to the Mansion's third floor enables visitors to see Martha Washington's garret chamber which she used after George Washington death. This refurbished room was unveiled in 2005 after new curatorial research transformed this sparse space into an accurate restoration of the way it was when she used it.

Visitors will also meet a cast of friends and family of the famous founding couple. In the kitchen, the final stop on the tour, guests will hear about 18th century holiday cooking, see Martha's "Great Cake," and be given a complimentary copy of the recipe to try at home.

Following the Mansion tour, guests are invited to stroll candlelit walks, join in fireside caroling, and enjoy complimentary hot cider and cookies. The Food Court is open during the tours for fresh and convenient meals and holiday treats.

Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, with its colonial American fare and costumed servers, offers the perfect complement to the candlelight tour. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling 703-780-0011.

It is also a good time to do some holiday gift shopping in The Shops at Mount Vernon. Normally open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily they remain open until 9 p.m. on tour nights. Twelve themed departments, including the Christmas Corner, abound with a broad selection of unusual items for every taste and age group. No admission is required for the shops, food court, or Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant.

Women for Wise Giving, a giving circle made up of a small group of women in Alexandria, is now soliciting applicants for its third funding cycle.

Women for Wise Giving invites emerging nonprofit 501(c)(3) programs who serve the needs of Alexandrians to apply. For our purposes, an emergin nonprofit program: (1) has been in operation for less than 5 years; (2) shows some evidence that it is an up-and-coming, expanding organization; and, (3) serves a significant number of people in our Alexandria community.

To apply, please submit a letter, 1 - 2 pages in length, with the following information:

Mission and history of organization and program

Need and population served in Alexandria

Description of project for which funding is being requested

How a grant from Women for Wise Giving would be used

Also, please include an organizational budget as an attachment to the letter.

Requests may be for funding up to $5,000.

The deadline for receipt of the letter is November 19, 2007. Submit the letter by email to Lynn O’Connell at lynnoconnell@prodigy.net. Questions

may also be sent to that email address.

During last Friday's Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association Fun Side Forum at The Lyceum ACVA President & CEO Stephanie Brown urged residents to log on to ACVA's website to voice their opinions as to "Alexandria as a travel destination."

ACVA recently completed interviews with 1,400 regional leaders. Now resident interviews via the internet will be accepted for the next three weeks, according to Brown. They want to hear from residents about "your Alexandria."

Residents are encouraged to visit www. myalexandriava.com to take a brief online survey about their perceptions of Alexandria as a tourism destination. The information will provide helpful feedback and become part of ACVA's ongoing research and planning for future marketing programs, according to Brown.

"It's an exciting time to market Alexandria. It's also the right time for us as a city to express our own perceptions of Alexandria as a travel destination, as ACVA takes a look at its marketing strategy to best convey what Alexandria means to so many people -- visitors and locals alike," Brown said.

"We really want to hear from those who live and work here what Alexandria means to them. After all, who knows better than those who call the city their home," she said.

Survey response will be accepted until November 25. For more information contact Laura Overstreet at 703-838-4200 ext. 206 or email at loverstreet@alexandria.travel.

Weichert, Realtors' Alexandria/Mount Vernon Office, has started collecting items for its annual Can Can Drive that runs through the end of November. The office is teaming up to collect canned goods and other non perishable items to contribute to the Good Shepherd Food Pantry and the United Community Ministries. Both local organizations will organize the items and distribute them to families less fortunate throughout the community. Stop by the office anytime between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. to donate can goods or call 703-360-7400.

City residents who are experiencing difficulty in meeting their monthly mortgage payments, as well as those already in the process of foreclosure, are eligible for a free training and counseling service offered by Housing Counseling Services (HCS). The goal of the program is to encourage and assist delinquent homeowners to seek actionable, workable and immediate solutions to prevent foreclosure. HCS is a contract agency of the City of Alexandria, which already provides training and individual counseling for first-time home buyers who live or work in Alexandria.

HCS’s Foreclosure Prevention Clinic will offer participants a presentation on the "dos and don'ts" when facing mortgage delinquency. At the end of the workshop, participants will be individually assessed, triaged, and will immediately be given the opportunity to schedule a default and delinquency (D&D) counseling session. At the individual session, the client's personal situation will be explored, options will be presented and a work plan to address financial issues will be established.

The Foreclosure Prevention Clinic is held twice each month in English and once each month in Spanish. Sessions are currently scheduled to be held on the first Tuesday of every month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the third Tuesday or every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at HCS offices, located at 2410 17th Street, NW, Suite 100 (Adams Alley Entrance) Washington, D.C.

First Night Alexandria's redesigned Web site is updated with new real-time ticket sales, a Kids Club, a Performer Corner, and an easy-to-read schedule. Visit http://www.firstnightalexandria.org/ for streamlined navigation and graphics, games for kids in the new Kids Club section, detailed performer information in the new Performer Corner, and a mobile device-friendly schedule that is sortable by performance times, type, and location.

The Child & Family Network Centers has openings for 15-plus classroom volunteers through May, 2008. Sign up now to be a Classroom Assistant in one of the Child & Family Network Centers (CFNC) preschool classrooms. The students are wonderful 4-year-olds, who are bright, full of wonder and fun. You will assist a teacher in guiding the children through new adventures in reading, science, art, music and computer basics, among other skills. And of course, there’s play, games, field trips and much more.

Come dine and shine. Improve your public speaking/leadership skills with fun and fellowship. Old Town Toastmasters meets every second and fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Trattoria da Franco, 305 S. Washington St. Walk-in, call 703 566-4442 or e-mail heartvk@yahoo.com.

Every Saturday, 7–9 a.m. there are bookmark distributions in Del Ray and Old Town to promote awareness about domestic violence. For more information contact Stephanie Romonchuk at Stephanie.romonchuk@alexandriava.gov or 703-838-4911.