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.
House panel rejects bill that would allow for sale of lottery tickets over the internet.
A coalition of convenience store owners and religious conservatives worked to till an effort from the Virginia Lottery to allow for online gambling, thwarting an effort aimed at increasing sales among millennial gamblers. The bill, introduced by Del. Roxann Robinson (R-27), was defeated with an overwhelming vote by a House General Laws subcommittee Tuesday afternoon.
Bill would subject unregulated loans to rules that apply to consumer-finance loans.
The Wild West of online lending is about to become a little tamer. That’s because a state Senate panel narrowly approved a bill that would subject internet loans to the same restrictions that currently exist for consumer finance loans, a move that would cramp the anything-goes culture of online loans in Virginia.
Lawmakers poo poo city efforts to flush raw sewage.
Members of the Virginia state Senate say they’re tired of hearing excuses about sewage from city officials in Alexandria, and they’re pushing ahead with a plan that one senator calls “the nuclear option.” This afternoon, the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee approved a bill that sets a firm deadline for Alexandria to clean up its act — 2020. If city officials are unable to stop dumping more than 10 million gallons of raw sewage into the Potomac River every year, Alexandria would lose all state appropriations until the problem is fixed.
Campaign contributions and political connections used to sidestep crackdown.
Predatory Loans in the Crossfire: Lawmakers conflicted about how to handle high-interest loans.
It doesn’t take much rain to trigger Alexandria’s 19th century sewage system to start dumping raw sewage into the Potomac River — about 0.03 inches, to be precise.
Should Prince Street and Cameron Street have bike lanes? That's a question that city officials will be asking city residents starting Sept. 30. That's the date of the first community meeting on a proposal that would add bike lanes to the two major Old Town corridors, one eastbound and the other westbound.
Democrat Alan Howze issued a harsh attack against incumbent County Board member John Vihstadt last week, accusing him of using opposition to the proposed $333 million streetcar proposal on Columbia Pike as a "wedge issue" to score "political points" in a way that is "dividing our community." All of these attacks came before Howze outlined a five-point plan to improve the controversial project.
Longtime director heads back to sunny Florida.
When Rich Baier came to Alexandria in 2000, the city had few bike lanes and no BikeShare. Monroe Avenue Bridge was a twisted jag that created gridlock on Jefferson Davis Highway. The idea of dedicated lanes for transit would have seemed alien. Now the longtime director of the Alexandria Department of Transportation and Environmental Services is stepping down to take a position as director of public works for Sumpter County, Fla.
Long-shuttered landmark at 100 King has storied past.
The jinx of 100 King St. dates back to the Corn Exchange, the ill-fated original purpose of the building. When grain merchants failed, the soaring 25-foot ceilings were used as retail space to sell groceries and feedstuffs. Ground-floor retail space was reserved for Diamond tires in the 1920s. Since that time, the building has business after business open and close. More recent years have seen the landmark building boarded up and seemingly abandoned. Now London-based Carluccio's is hoping to break the curse of 100 King, opening its first American location here in Old Town.
Kerry Donely and Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg consider primary challenges.
Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille's poor performance in the congressional primary to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) is calling into question his ability to lead the city, opening the door to talk about former Mayor Kerry Donley challenging Euille in next year's Democratic primary. That possibility has encouraged talk about Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg possibly entering the race as a candidate who would oppose the kind of large-scale development that Euille and Donley both support.