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Alexandria Bulletin April 3-8

Dr. Ross Greene, author of “The Explosive Child” and founder of Think:Kids, will be the guest speaker at the Children Together conference to be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 4, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2701 Cameron Mills Road. Visit the Children Together Web site at www.children-together.org for more information and registration details, and visit www.thinkkids.org for information about Greene and his organization.

Bring your swing to the T.C. Titans Baseball Hit-A-Thon. Go for the fences on April 5 at Simpson Field from noon until 4 p.m. Kids get 10 swings for $5; adults 10 for $10. All proceeds to go fund the T.C. Baseball team.

The City of Alexandria will host its 14th Annual Homeownership Fair from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 5 at George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mt. Vernon Ave. in Alexandria. The Fair will feature lenders, realtors and nonprofit organizations, as well as a range of seminars on the home buying process. Seminars will be offered in Spanish and English. Admission is free.

For additional information, call the Alexandria Office of Housing at 703-838-4622.

Fields of Grace Farm of Remington, announced that it is voluntarily recalling from distribution in Virginia, Aged Cheddar cheese with the lot # 110907C because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The cheese in question was made on 11-09-07 and sold between the dates of 01-19-08 and 03-08-08, and have the lot # 110907C on the label. No other cheese is in question, or affected. This cheese was sold at the Arlington Farmers’ Market and the Falls Church Farmers’ Market. Fields of Grace Farm is taking action as a precautionary measure in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Consumers who have purchased this cheese should not eat the product and return the cheese to the market, for their money back or a replacement of cheese.

Robert Fishman, Emil Lorch Professor at the Taubman College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Michigan, will present 1808/1908/2008: National Planning for America, on Wednesday, April 9, 7 to 9 p.m., at Virginia Tech’s Alexandria Center, 1021 Prince Street, 3rd floor Conference Room. As the bicentennial of the 1808 Gallatin Plan for a national system of roadways and canals and the centennial of the 1908 Roosevelt Conservation Plan approach, Fishman will argue for a different interpretation of national planning and how it might be crucial to the future of the United States. The presentation, free and open to the public, is the last in Virginia Tech’s 2007-2008 New Metropolis Lecture Series. For more information, contact Heike Mayer at heikem@vt.edu or (703) 706-8122.

The American Association of Individual Investers (AAII), Metropolitan Washington Area Chapter, will hold its next monthly meeting on Saturday, April 12, 9:30 a.m., at the Courtyard by Marriott, 4641 Kenmore Ave., Alexandria. There will be a presentation entitled "Stock Valuation and Stock Market Cycles". AAII is a nonprofit, educationally oriented, nationwide organization.

The City of Alexandria will host the 15th Annual Alexandria Earth Day and Arbor Day celebration at Ben Brenman Park (4800 Brenman Park Dr.) on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year’s theme "What's YOUR footprint?” will focus on everyday activities residents can do to reduce their environmental footprint, and will educate residents about how they can make a difference, both locally and globally. This year, the Alexandria Earth Day Committee has committed to making this a zero-waste and carbon neutral event.

The event features City agencies and organizations dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Exhibitors will provide educational activities that inform residents about how to modify their behavior to reduce their environmental footprints

For the 22nd consecutive year, the Alexandria City Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) will sponsor the Harry Burke Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Special Education. Nomination forms may be submitted to Lillian Fennell, Division of Student Services, Alexandria City Public Schools, 2000 North Beauregard Street, Suite 203, Alexandria, Virginia, 22311. The deadline is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29.

The purpose of this award is to recognize an Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) employee who demonstrates outstanding ability, excellence in performance of duties and a deep commitment to the education of children with disabilities. SEAC will present Harry Burke Awards to special education teachers, instructors or employees at the elementary and secondary school levels. For the second year, the group also will present the Anne Lipnick Inclusion for All Award to a general education teacher. This award debuted last year to honor ACPS’s own icon of inclusion, Parent Resource Center Director Anne Lipnick.

Harry Burke Special Education Awards recipients will be announced at a reception hosted by SEAC at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, at the Minnie Howard School cafeteria, 3801 West Braddock Road, Alexandria.

On May 10, the City will host an Eco-City Summit to provide residents with a public forum to comment on environmental issues, and to draft an environmental action plan for the City. For more information about the Eco-City Summit, please contact the City’s Division of Environmental Quality at 703.838.4334, or visit alexandriava.gov/tes.

The Alexandria Commission on Aging, which advocates for the needs of Alexandria seniors, is seeking nominations for its Annual Excellence in Aging Awards. These awards honor individuals, regardless of age, who have demonstrated superior contributions in advancing issues and projects that favorably affect older Alexandrians. For more information or to obtain a nomination packet, call Debbie Ludington at the Department of Human Services Office of Aging and Adult Services at 703-838-0927.

The Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities is seeking nominations for three annual awards that honor local residents and organizations that have made a difference in the lives of people with disabilities in the community. Application forms, available online at www.alexandriava.gov/humanrights are due by Wednesday, April 30. For more information, reasonable accommodations, or an alternative format, contact Mike Hatfield at mike.hatfield@alexandriava.gov or 703.519.3357, 711 TTY.

Have an attic or basement full of treasures collecting dust? Put them to good use instead by donating them to MV Big Flea. The Big Flea benefits the Mount Vernon Community School PTA in Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood. Here's how it works: You donate items to the school PTA. They sell them and keep the proceeds. You receive a tax-deductible contribution. Donations can be dropped off on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at 409 E. Alexandria Ave. If possible, send an email to joseph.lamountain@gmail.com and let Joe know that you are coming and what you plan to bring so we can plan accordingly. You may also contact Joseph LaMountain at 202-288-5124.

There is free income tax preparation on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and Mondays from 2-8 p.m. through April 13 at NOVA’s Alexandria campus, 3001 N. Beauregard St. Bring proof of identification, Social Security Cards, all earning statements (W2, W-2G, 1099), interest/dividend bank statements, and a cancelled check or bank routing numbers for direct deposit of your income tax refund. Although walk-ins are welcome, appointments are encouraged—call 703-845-6222.

The Alexandria chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) meet at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month, at the Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center, 1108 Jefferson St. Contact 703-684-6190 or visit www.naacpalexandria.org.

The Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities (ACPD) is seeking applications from non-profit organizations and community groups for the Virginia Rehabilitative Services Incentive Fund (RSIF). The RSIF provides seed money for innovative programs or services, to close gaps in unmet needs, and to increase the quality of life for persons with physical or sensory disabilities. The RSIF process is competitive, and the ACPD can submit only one project proposal for consideration, which is then reviewed and scored by the Virginia Disability Services Council. The maximum award is $15,000, with a 10 percent match required. Proposals are due no later than Tuesday, April 1, and should be e-mailed to mike.hatfield@alexandriava.gov . For a complete RSIF application package or a copy of the ACPD’s most recent Needs Assessment, visit alexandriava.gov/humanrights . For more information, please contact Mike Hatfield, Disability Resources Coordinator, at 703-519-3357 (TTY 711).

The City of Alexandria invites design submissions from architects, landscape architects, artists, students, and the general public to memorialize and honor the 1,800 individuals—who escaped slavery by fleeing to Alexandria during the Civil War—that are buried in Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery. The three-acre site is located at the southwest corner of Church and South Washington Streets in Alexandria. Submissions are due Friday, April 25. Information and criteria for the design are available at alexandriava.gov/freedmens. Submissions must be mailed to Lee Center, Attention: Design Competition, 1108 Jefferson St.,

Alexandria, VA 22314.

The City of Alexandria is once again offering free tax preparation assistance to low-income residents during the 2008 tax season. The service, provided by expert volunteer accountants and lawyers from Community Tax Aid, Inc., is designed to help Alexandria residents file accurate IRS and Virginia individual income tax returns and to apply for all applicable credits and deductions, including the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

Tax preparation sessions will continue through April 12. Sessions are held in the lobby of the Alexandria Department of Human Services, 2525 Mount Vernon Ave.

Taxpayers will be assisted on a first come, first-served basis. Spanish-speaking volunteers are available on-site and electronic filing is available to help taxpayers receive their refunds more quickly.

Citizens are eligible for the Tax Preparation Assistance Program if their income is below $22,000 for individuals, and below $38,000 for families. Taxpayers must bring a picture identification, W-2 forms and other income records, and records or receipts for expenses for child care, education, or any additional income. They must also provide social security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letters for all family members and a copy of last year’s tax return, if possible.

The City’s Department of Human Services Office of Aging and Adult Services has a new program entitled The new Door Thru Door transportation. The Door Thru Door program will provide a trained aide to help adults, age 18 or older, who need someone to accompany them to non-urgent medical appointments because of physical or cognitive limitations. The aide will go to the home and help individuals get ready for the appointment, help them into the vehicle, stay with them at the appointment and then ride back home with them. Cost estimates range from zero to $30 per trip. Reservations are being accepted and service will begin on Feb. 4. To make a reservation, call Home Care Partners at 202-638-0736.

Financial Literacy Workshops are designed to help participants achieve financial self-sufficiency. For information on any of the workshops call 703-549-4232 x4095 or 703-549-4232 x4260. The following workshops are free and take place at 1224 Princess St.:

* Practicum & Planning for Your Future — Saturday, April 19 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

The following free workshops take place at 8543 Forest Place:

* Budgeting Process & Analyzing Your Budget — Wednesday , March 26 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

* Goal Setting — Wednesday, April 9 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

* Wrap Up & Planning for Your Future — Wednesday, April 23 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

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.

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.

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.

Rebuilding Together Alexandria provides free home repairs to in-need homeowners. If you are a Veteran (or a care-taker or widow of a veteran), we want to help. We are able to do up to $10,000 worth of repairs to your home, free of charge. Repairs include ramps, grab bars, roofs, lever handles, etc. The Alexandria home must be owned by you or owned by your care-taker (if you physically reside there) or the home of a widowed owner. To find out if qualified, call RTA at 703-836-1021.

Come and volunteer at the The Child and Family Network Centers (CFNC) headquarters offices in Alexandria. Again this year, CFNC staff and volunteers will be preparing our holiday solicitation mailing. We need your help to hand-address, collate stuff and stamp over 2500 letters. We always have a wonderful time working on this project, talking, snacking and getting to know each other. We would love to have you join us. CFNC relies on the funds from this mailing to help provide no cost preschool and family services to those children and their families living at or below the poverty level in Alexandria and Arlington. Please call Patricia Chapman at 703-836-0214, or e-mail to pchapman@cfnc-online.org.

The Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is seeking persons who are diplomatic, assertive, and good communicators to serve as volunteer ombudsmen. 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