Michael Lee Pope is an award-winning journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria. He has reported for Connection Newspapers, WAMU 88.5 News, the New York Daily News and the Tallahassee Democrat. A native of Moultrie, Ga., he grew up in Durham, N.C., and graduated high school in Tampa, Fla. He has a master's degree in American Studies from Florida State University, and he is a former adjunct professor at Tallahassee Community College. Pope is the author of "Hidden History of Alexandria, D.C." (2011) and "Ghosts of Alexandria" (2010), both published by History Press in Charleston, S.C.
Planning Commission approves new waterfront dining proposal.
It's been more than two years since the waterfront Food Court shut its doors, the culmination of a long and steady decline over the last decade as vendors abandoned the building and the facility began falling into disrepair. Now the building may have a new lease on life.
Limitations of election machines prevent electronic scanners from being programmed for recount.
Alexandria election officials will be going back to the future in the next few weeks, pouring over thousands of paper ballots by hand as part of a recount effort in the hotly contested race for attorney general.
Sequester looms large over revenues across Northern Virginia.
Sales tax revenues are down across Northern Virginia, leading to concerns that balancing the books for the coming fiscal year could be even more of a challenge for budget officials and elected officials in the coming months.
Six-to-one vote sets deadline for city officials and boat club to compromise or else.
In the clearest threat yet that members of the Alexandria City Council are willing to use the power of eminent domain to take land owned by the Old Dominion Boat Club,
January departure to open the way for special election in April.
After 18 years on the Arlington County Board, Chris Zimmerman announced last week that he is stepping down to take a position as vice president for economic development of Smart Growth America, a Washington-based advocacy group that promotes walkable neighborhoods near public transit.
Virginia Supreme Court rejects argument from City Attorney James Banks
Justices of the Virginia Supreme Court have rejected the argument City Attorney James Banks outlined during oral arguments back in September that the city has the ability to lease a public alley to a private business.
Hotly contested race for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
Democrats have the wind at their backs heading into Election Day next week, as Republican gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli struggles to overcome a deficit in the polls.
McGuireWoods defends city in zoning change as well as developers who seek to benefit from it.
Lawyers at McGuireWoods are on both sides of the controversy over the waterfront, defending Alexandria taxpayers in court while seeking approval from city officials on behalf of three separate developers at the same time.
City waives $1 million affordable housing contribution; council to consider restoring half next year.
Hidden in the margins of the incentive package Alexandria leaders offered to lure the National Science Foundation from Arlington was a million-dollar motivation. Officials at City Hall said they were willing to waive the $1 million contribution to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. City Council members later said they didn't know the incentive was part of the package until it was too late. Removing it might jeopardize the deal, putting City Council members in a difficult spot. "It was my oversight," said Deputy City Manager Mark Jinks. "I take full responsibility." Fixing the problem was difficult and divisive for council members. Some were willing to let the affordable-housing contribution go the way of floppy disk. Others wanted to see the full contribution. Councilman John Taylor Chapman offered a compromise motion to direct budget officials to earmark $500,000 worth of tax revenue from the property to affordable housing during the next budget cycle. Although he initially circulated a memorandum outlining a $1 million contribution, he ended up cutting it in half to make sure he had the necessary support. "To be honest, I didn't think I would the votes to pass it," explained Chapman of the million-dollar proposal. "Some folks were not behind that idea."
New superintendent says School Board needs to brace for $100 million worth of cuts.
Should class sizes be increased? Should school employees be laid off? Should students have to pay to take Advanced Placement and International Baccalauresate tests? These are some of the difficult choices before members of the Fairfax County School Board for fiscal year 2015. This week, Superintendent Karen Garza laid out about 50 potential spending items that could be on the chopping block. School officials need to close a $140 million shortfall. That means even if the Board of Supervisors and the General Assembly kick in more money, School Board members are going to need to make significant cuts. "I think it's still yet to be determined what that number is, although we know it's going to be extraordinarily high," Garza told School Board members during a work session Monday. "I think it's going to be at least $100 million." Garza, who joined the school system over the summer, was quick to point out that she was not making any recommendations. She described the list as "menu items" that School Board members could order to balance the books.