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Alexandria Bulletin Oct. 9-15

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The map indicates where current BRAC 133 employees live.

To have a notice listed in the Bulletin, e-mail gazette@connectionnewspapers.com. Call Rebecca Halik at 703-917-6407 with questions.

The Alexandria Rotary Foundation is presenting an evening of fine food to benefit over 35 Alexandria charities on Friday, Oct. 24, from 7-10 p.m. at the Torpedo Factory Art Center at 105 North Union St. 'Taste for Giving' will feature local food, wine, micro brewed beer, and entertainment. Local restaurants include: Landini Bros., Tempo, Tasteful Affairs, Finn & Porter, Hard Times Café, Bittersweet, Clipper City, Fish Market, Red Hot & Blue, Jackson 20, Café Pizzaiolo, and many others.The Alexandria Commission for the Arts is partnering in this event to present the ALEX Awards which recognizes Alexandrians, organizations, schools, and businesses that have made exceptional contributions to cultural life in the City. Tickets are $75. Purchase online at AlexandriaRotary.org or call 703-535-1200.

The City of Alexandria invites residents to take advantage of the second annual ENERGY STAR Sales Tax Holiday, scheduled for Oct. 10-13. During the four-day sales tax holiday, Virginians will be exempt from paying the state and local sales tax on qualified products costing $2,500 or less. For more information about the sales tax holiday or the Eco-City Alexandria Initiative, call 703-838-4334.

Join the Alexandria PTA Council (PTAC) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, for a special program on the Whole Child Initiative. The guest speaker will be Molly McCloskey, Director of Constituent Services at ASCD (an education association) in the Rotunda Room at T. C. Williams High School, 3330 King St., Alexandria, and is open to the general public. Contact Tina Games-Evans, PTAC director of communications, at TGEvans8@aol.com or 703-402-2226.

There will be a community assessment meeting about the Alexandria Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at Minnie Howard, 3801 W. Braddock Road. Free.

The Alexandria Rotary Foundation is presenting an evening of fine food to benefit over 35 Alexandria charities on Friday, October 24,from 7-10pm at the Torpedo Factory Art Center at 105 North Union Street 'Taste for Giving' will feature local food, wine, micro brewed beer, and entertainment. Local restaurants include: Landini Bros., Tempo, Tasteful Affairs, Finn & Porter, Hard Times Café, Bittersweet, Clipper City, Fish Market, Red Hot & Blue, Jackson 20, Café Pizzaiolo, and many others.The Alexandria Commission for the Arts is partnering in this event to present the ALEX Awards which recognizes Alexandrians, organizations, schools, and businesses that have made exceptional contributions to cultural life in the City. Tickets are $75. Purchase online at AlexandriaRotary.org or call 703535.1200.

The Northern Virginia Conference for Women in Ministry will be held Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at the Hilton Hotel, 6550 Loisdale Road, Springfield. Hosted by Mount Pleasant Baptist Church of Alexandria. $40/person. Contact Minister Oliver S. Pilson at 703-912-5053 or visit www.godswomeninministry.org.

The Department of Planning and Zoning is accepting nominations for membership on the Potomac Yard Advisory Group for the amendment process of the Potomac Yard Small Area Plan. At a minimum, we are looking for: residents of adjoining neighborhoods; parents with school-aged children; area businesses; property owners; individuals with environmental, housing transit, open space and/or planning interests; and age, race and ethnic diversity. The nomination forms are available from the Planning and Zoning department or www.alexandriava.gov/potomacyardplan. Forms should be returned no later than Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 9 a.m.

The City of Alexandria is once again in search of a Colorado Blue Spruce, Leyland Cypress or other well-formed evergreen tree, approximately 25 to 35 feet tall, to serve as the City’s official 2008 Holiday Tree. The City will remove the tree from the donor’s property in mid-November and grind the stump at no cost. The tree will be decorated and displayed at Market Square (301 King Street) throughout the holiday season. Persons in the Washington metropolitan area who are interested in donating a tree should contact John Noelle, City Arborist, at 703-838-4999 or e-mail john.noelle@alexandriava.gov.

The Westminster-George Mason Tutoring Program seeks tutors to assist students with homework and other assignments at George Mason Elementary School at 2601 Cameron Mills Road on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2:35-3:35 p.m. from October through May. Contact Kathy Hart at 703-706-4476 or khart@acps.k12.va.us to learn more.

The City of Alexandria anticipates a historic turnout of approximately 72,000 voters for the 2008 Presidential election. Alexandria election officials and City departments are doing their part to prepare, but lines of voters may be long. Voting at the polls may be difficult for people with special needs, caregivers of family members who are ill, and residents who commute outside the city.

The City’s Office of Voter Registration and Elections advises residents in these circumstances to consider voting by absentee ballot. Many Alexandria voters are eligible, but relatively few take advantage of this option. There are several qualifying circumstances. For example:

You commute and work for 11 of the 13 hours the polls are open. (Take into account those days when traffic is heavy or the weather is bad and it takes longer than usual to get to and from work.)

You are a caretaker for a confined family member.

You are unable to go to the polls in person on Election Day because of an illness or disability.

You will be absent from Alexandria on Election Day because of work, or school, or vacation.

To learn more about these, and other circumstances in which absentee voting is an appropriate option, visit www.alexandriavoter.org and click on “Absentee Voting,” or call 703.838.4050.

You can vote absentee in person at the Alexandria Voter Registration Office, 132 N. Royal St., or by mail. In-person absentee voting hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Voting hours will be extended to 7:30 p.m. on the following weekdays: October 16, 20, 22, and October 27. The office will also be open for absentee voting on each Saturday in October and on Saturday, November 1 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The deadline for voting absentee in person is Saturday, November 1, at 5p.m.

If you wish to absentee vote by mail, download an application from www.alexandriavoter.org, or contact the Voter Registration Office to get an application mailed to you. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot by mail or fax is Tuesday, October 28. The application must be received by the Voter Registration Office at 5p.m. on that day. Absentee ballots by mail must be received by the Voter Registration Office on or before November 4, at 7p.m. For more information, call Tom Parkins, Registrar of Voters, at 703.838.4050.

The City of Alexandria is offering Confident City Bicycling classes to help residents learn how to ride safely and skillfully through city traffic.

* Saturday, Nov. 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Cora Kelly Recreation Center, 25 West Reed Ave. (November 1 class includes an optional one-hour on-bike session.)

The classes, which are free to Alexandria residents, are part of a collaborative effort between the City and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. To register, visit www.waba.org. For more information, contact Yon Lambert, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, at 703.519.3400, ext. 183, or visit alexandriava.gov/localmotion.

Wright to Read is a program of the Frank and Betty Wright Foundation and is administered by The Campagna Center in Alexandria. The program trains and places tutors with students in the Alexandria City Public Schools who are reading at least one year below grade level. Needed are volunteers to participate in one of our programs. Contact Heather Miles, the program assistant director, if interested in helping children through volunteering. Phone 703-549-0111 ext. 134 or e-mail hmiles@campagnacenter.org.

The Special Education Parent Resource Center holds a weekly Support Group for Parents of Children in Special Education from 10 a.m. to noon every Thursday in the Parent Resource Center at Jefferson-Houston Elementary School, 1501 Cameron St. (Ring the bell at door No. 4).

Each meeting includes coffee and bagels, and an opportunity to share stories, support, information and problem-solving ideas related to special education issues, school and family life. The group is open to parents who have children of all ages with special needs. Infants and toddlers are welcome. Parents are welcome to drop in whenever they can.

For more information, please contact Anne Lipnick at 703-706-4552 (office) or 571-274-2866 (work cell), or email alipnick@acps.k12.va.us.

CrisisLink's 24/7/365 hotline for the Washington Metro Region is currently recruiting volunteers. Come to a training session on Oct. 18. Go to www.crisislink.org, e-mail volunteer@crisislink.org, or call 703-527-6016 to learn more.

The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) of Alexandria announces the start of its third program year of training parents to participate more fully in community and school life for the betterment of their children. Applications for the 20-week program in leadership skills, community building, civics, public policy, and practical democracy action are now being accepted. Up to 25 students may participate in the 2008-2009 program, which begins on Oct. 24, and continues to April 24, 2009. For more information or to request an application, please contact Fay Slotnick, Executive Director, at 703-739-0233, or e-mail info@plti-alex.org. Visit the PLTI website at www.plti-alex.org.

The Alexandria Workshop of Ikebana International meets at the Hollin Hall Senior Citizen Center, 1500 Shenandoah Road, at 9:30 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month from September through June except December and January. Ikebana is the Japanese art of floral arrangement. The group makes Ikebana floral arrangements, studies the history of the art and learns new techniques. New members are welcome. For more information call Julie Cimino at 202-544-5331.

The Sexual Assault Response and Awareness (SARA) program is looking for compassionate listeners, both English speaking and bilingual, who would be comfortable talking to sexual assault survivors and their families. The next SARA training is scheduled to begin in early October and meets two evenings a week from 6:30-9:30 p.m. and on two Saturday mornings. For more information or to register for the SARA training, contact Stacey C. McCullough at 703-838-5030 or HYPERLINK "mailto:stacey.mccullough@alexandriava.gov"stacey.mccullough@alexandriava.gov.

The Alexandria Community Services Board is in need of volunteers to serve in the following positions:

* Friends of the Alexandria Mental Health Center Board Members: Friends is seeking new members who will take an active role in fund-raising, building relationships with the business community and helping coordinate Friends community events. The Board meets one Wednesday evening every other month with occasional subcommittee meetings and additional time required for leading or assisting with projects.

* Mural Artists: Alexandria Vocational Services is seeking a mural artist or group of artists to paint a portion of a 30’x 60’ concrete wall in a warehouse that houses the Sheltered Workshop Program. Program participants complete projects such as labeling, envelope stuffing and film recycling. Some funds are available for supplies.* Representative Payees: Payees receive Social Security checks and pay bills for persons with an intellectual disability 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. For more information about these volunteer opportunities, contact Jennifer Cordero at jennifer.cohen-cordero@alexandriava.gov or 703-838-4455, x 161.

Nonprofit organizations and other grantseekers in Alexandria looking for funding sources now have access to a valuable new collection of resources through Alexandria Library. The Foundation Center’s core collection includes The Foundation Directory Online and Foundation Grants to Individuals Online. All four Alexandria Library branches have access to the two databases through their catalog computers. The complete Cooperating Collection of print and electronic resources is held at the Barrett Library, located at 717 Queen St. For more information visit visit www.alexandria.lib.va.us .

The City of Alexandria has partnered with Alexandria City Public Schools to obtain a grant for $70,000 to retrofit approximately 40 school buses with clean air technology that reduces pollutants emitted by diesel engine school buses. For more information about the Retrofit Grant Program, please contact Erica Bannerman, Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, at 703-838-4334 or David Rose, Alexandria City Public Schools, at 703-461-4169.

The Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) invites youth (6th – 12th grades) and adults who live in the City of Alexandria or work with Alexandria youth to complete a short online survey that asks for perceptions and opinions about youth substance abuse in our community. Incentives are provided for youth participants, and adult survey participants have access to recent statistics on youth substance abuse in Alexandria. Community members are asked to complete one of the seven questionnaires, which are all available at alexandriava.gov/sapcasurvey and can be completed in about 10-15 minutes.

The 4Paws Rescue Team is allowed to keep foster cats at the Petco in Alexandria to increase their chances of finding a loving home. Petco volunteers are asked to commit to one evening or morning each week to care for 2-4 cats. Currently are in dire need of Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning volunteers (until noon), but volunteers for other shifts are encouraged to apply as well. 
If interested, contact info@fourpaws.org or by phone at 703-715-6369.

Alexandria Library now offers its patrons a chance to write their own reviews of almost all of the Library holdings (books, movies, music, and other materials) on the Alexandria Library Web site online catalog at www.alexandria.lib.va.us. To access the online catalog, visit www.alexandria.lib.va.us , click on “Library Catalog,” and begin browsing. To write a review, simply register and type your review for all to read. For more information, contact Mark Schwartz at 703-519-3498, or e-mail mschwartz@alexandria.lib.va.us

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. For further information and to obtain an application, call 703-324-5422, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/LTCOmbudsman.

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.

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.

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.