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Alexandria Bulletin March 26-April 1

Washington Street United Methodist Church, 115 S. Washington St., will host NetSmartz, a program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, on Wednesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. NetSmartz is an interactive, educational safety resource for children ages 5-17, parents, guardians, educators, and law enforcement that uses age-appropriate, 3-D activities to teach children how to stay safer on the Internet. More information on NetSmartz can be accessed at www.NetSmartz.org and www.NetSmartzKids.org. Free. Visit www.wsumc.com or 703-836-4324.

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.

Christian Women in Action (CWIA) March breakfast meeting will be at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 29 at the Holiday Inn at 2460 Eisenhower Ave. The speaker will be Rita Waldron, who will speak about “How She Experienced The Victory In Christ Through The Holy Spirit.” For information or reservations, contact Kathleen Murray at 703-451-5737 or Patti Davis at 703-971-3633. Reservations must be made by March 25.

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.

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.

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.

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).

SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) of Northern Virginia is currently seeking nominations for the 2008 Ally in Prevention Awards. The annual honors, given to individuals from each of Northern Virginia ’s regions, including Alexandria , were created to recognize the unsung heroes who go above and beyond everyday in their efforts to support and protect our community’s children.

Honorees will be selected by a task force from the Allies in Prevention Coalition, which is facilitated by SCAN, and announced at the group’s annual Allies in Prevention Awards Luncheon in April. Ralph Smith from the Annie E. Casey Foundation will serve as keynote speaker for the event, which serves as a kick-off for National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

To submit a nomination, please visit SCAN’s Web site at www.scanva.org or contact the SCAN office at 703-820-9001.

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 Alexandria Commission for Women is now accepting reservations for the 28th Annual Salute to Women Awards Banquet. The Banquet, held in March to honor Women’s History Month, is scheduled for Monday, March 31 at the Westin Alexandria Hotel, located at 400 Courthouse Square Alexandria, VA. A reception will be held at 6 p.m. and dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Invitations are being mailed out this week. Tickets are $75 each and reservation payments can now be made online using eChecks at www.alexwomen.com. The community is invited and welcome to attend. The deadline to RSVP for this event is March 26, 2008.

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.:

* Homeownership Process — Thursday, March 27 from 5:45–6:45 p.m.

* 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

The Alexandria City Council is seeking applicants to fill the following vacancies on City of Alexandria boards, commissions and committees. Council will act on these vacancies at the April 8, 2008 City Council meeting. All applicants must complete a Personal Data Record Form and return it to the Office of Citizen Assistance or file the form electronically via the City’s website no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 28, 2008. Applications received after this deadline will not be forwarded to City Council.

Alexandria Affordable Housing Advisory Committee has three vacancies as follows: one real estate professional with knowledge and experience in residential real estate due to an expiring term; one member of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board of Commissioners; and, one representative of an employer in the City who employs at least 100 employees due to expired terms. The Committee meets on the first Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Approximately four hours per month are required of Committee members.

Alexandria-Gyumri Sister City Committee has two vacancies as follows: one citizen member due to the resignation of Antoinette Ross and one citizen member due to an expired term. The Committee meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Approximately three hours per month are required of Committee members.

Alexandria Archaeological Commission has one vacancy for a member from the Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage due to the resignation of Samuel Lang. The Commission meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Approximately five hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Beautification Commission has one vacancy for a one citizen member due to the resignation of Robert Freeman. The Commission meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Approximately eight hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Citizen Corps Council has three vacancies as follows: one citizen member and one representative of the Emergency Medical Services Council, or Medical Reserve Corps, or a person with emergency medical response experience due to expiring terms; and, one vacancy for a representative of the Alexandria Commission on Persons With Disabilities due to the resignation of Amanda Babcock. The Council meets on the fourth Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Approximately four hours per month are required of Council members.

Alexandria Commission for the Arts has one vacancy for a member who has expertise in the arts, either as a practitioner of various art disciplines, or as a professional administrator working in the field due to an expiring term. The Commission meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Approximately nine hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Commission on Aging has two vacancies due to expiring terms as follows: one citizen member who is 60 years of age or older, and one individual with leadership experience in a volunteer organization. The Commission meets on the second Thursday of the month at 4:00 p.m. Approximately five hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Commission on Employment has two vacancies as follows: one citizen-at-large due to the resignation of Alysia Lajune, and one business representative from among the recognized area businesses, including minority-owned and small businesses. The Commission meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 8:00 a.m. Approximately five hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Commission on HIV/AIDS has five vacancies as follows: one member from and representing the Alexandria Commission for Women due to the resignation of Susan Butler; one member from and representing the Alexandria Inova Hospital Department of Pastoral Services due to the resignation of Elaine Lehr; one member from and representing the Alexandria Chapter of the American Red Cross due to the resignation of Lester (Grev) Hunt, III; and, one member from and representing the Whitman Walker Clinic, and one member from and representing the Alexandria Human Rights Commission due to expired terms. The Commission meets on the third Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Approximately three hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Commission on Persons With Disabilities has four vacancies as follows: one citizen member due to Council action; one citizen member who has a disability due to the resignation of Robert Woollard; one citizen member who has a disability and one representative from the business community due to expired terms. The Commission meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Approximately eight hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Community Criminal Justice Board has one vacancy for a representative of a non-profit organization recommended by the Alexandria United Way due to the reconfiguration of the Board. The Board meets quarterly on the first Thursday of the month at 4:00 p.m. Approximately two hours per meeting are required of Board members.

Alexandria Community Policy and Management Team has two vacancies for parent representatives who are not employees of any public or private program which receives funds under the Comprehensive Services Act due to expired terms. The Team meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 3:00 p.m. Approximately eight hours per month are required of Team members.

Alexandria Consumer Affairs Commission has three vacancies as follows: one representative of a local non-profit organization which deals with consumer issues or an employee of a state or federal agency which deals with consumer issues due to expired terms; and two business members due to the resignations of Alan Dubow and Todd Ruopp. The Commission meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Approximately two hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Early Childhood Commission has four vacancies as follows: one member-at-large due to an expiring term; one member of the Alexandria Economic Opportunities Commission due to Council action; one representative from the Alexandria Chapter of the Northern Virginia Family Day Care Association due to an expired term; and, one parent of a pre-kindergarten through grade three child eligible for a free or reduced price lunch due to administrative action. The Commission meets on the first Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Approximately five hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Emergency Medical Services Council has three vacancies as follows: one citizen member due to an expiring term; one emergency rescue technician selected from among the City’s Emergency Rescue Technicians by his peers through a voting process established by the Fire Chief; the director of the Fire Department Emergency Medical Services Division due to the retirement of Vince Whitmore and one representative of a nursing home located in the City due to an expired term. The Council meets quarterly at the call of the Chair.

Alexandria George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee has five vacancies as follows: one citizen member due to the resignation of Michael Oliver; one member who attends high school in the City of Alexandria, and one member nominated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars due to expired terms; and one member nominated by the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, and one member nominated by the First Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line due to Council action. The Committee meets on the third Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Approximately two hours per month are required of Committee members.

Historic Alexandria Resources Commission has six vacancies as follows: one business representative designated by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce due to an expiring term; one representative from the Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage due to the resignation of Charles Nelson; one representative from Planning District III due to City Council action; and, one representative from the Historic Alexandria Foundation, one representative from Planning District II, and one representative from Planning District III due to expired terms. The Commission meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Approximately two hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Human Rights Commission has one vacancy for representative from the Alexandria Economic Opportunities Commission due to administrative action. The Commission meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Approximately five hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Landlord-Tenant Relations Board has one vacancy for a landlord or representative of a landlord due to an expired term. The Board meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Approximately five hours per month are required of Board members.

Alexandria Local Emergency Planning Committee has two vacancies for representatives of the broadcast or print media due to expired terms. The Committee meets quarterly at the call of the Chair. Approximately two hours per meeting are required of Committee members.

Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission has one vacancy for a member from among the high school youth in the City due to an expired term. The Commission meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Approximately eight hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Planning Commission has one vacancy for a citizen member due to an expiring term. The Commission meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Approximately 10 hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Potomac Yard Design Advisory Committee has one vacancy for a member representing the business community due to an expiring term. The Committee meets at the call of the Chair.

Alexandria Public Health Advisory Commission has five vacancies as follows: one representative of the Alexandria Emergency Medical Services Council, and one representative of the Alexandria Dental Society due to expired terms; two health professionals due to the resignations of Rika Maeshiro and Robert Younes; and one representative of the Alexandria Hospital Board due to administrative action. The Commission meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at 6:00 p.m. Approximately four hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Public Records Advisory Commission has one vacancy for a citizen due to the resignation of David Kois. The Commission meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Approximately two hours per month are required of Commission members.

Alexandria Sister Cities Committee has two vacancies for members from the Alexandria-Gyumri Sister City Committee due to the resignation of Sueko Kumagai and an expired term. The Committee meets on the fourth Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Approximately four hours per month are required of Committee members.

Alexandria Social Services Advisory Board has three vacancies for parent members due to the resignation of Kimberly Neill and two expired terms. If there is an insufficient number of parent applicants the vacancies can be filled by citizen members. The Board meets on the third Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Approximately six hours per month are required of Board members.

USS Alexandria Liaison Committee has one vacancy for a representative from the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce due to an expired term. The Committee meets at the call of the Chair.

Alexandria Youth Policy Commission has five vacancies as follows: one citizen 18 years of age or younger due to the resignation of John Artemel; one member of the Alexandria City School Board’s Advisory Committees due to the resignation of Bobbie Jean Norris; and, one parent member from School Board District A, one parent member from School Board District C, and one representative of the business community due to expired terms. The Commission meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Approximately five hours per month are required of Commission members.

All applicants must comply with City Ordinance No. 2452, which states that no appointee shall reside outside of the City of Alexandria unless a residency waiver is granted, and City Ordinances No. 2641, which states that City employees may not apply for vacancies on boards, committees or commissions that relate to the responsibilities of the department in which they are employed.