While most of us write when we have a problem, my letter is to thank an Alexandria resident and store-owner for taking valuable time to keep not only her store's sidewalks and steps immaculate but tackling the nearby alleys that had become trashed and smelly.
My personal thanks are to Valerie Ianieri, owner of the popular Old Town Shop right around the corner on South Union, next to Ben and Jerry's. She keeps her entire area tidy all the time and now has taken on the task of improving the alley next to Mia's as well as the alley that runs east and west between South Union and South Lee.
Valerie has garnered the help of Mia's and O'Connell's and already the King Street alley is much improved. Hopefully the example Valerie and others are setting will inspire all Old Town shop-owners to maintain their entire outdoor area all the time. Keeping Alexandria beautiful will ensure that tourists keep shopping here and will make all of us who live here proud to call Alexandria home.