Here are some of this week's important, interesting and fun stories concerning Alexandria and its people.
From Alexandria Patch sites:Alexandria Police Investigating Attempted Abduction on King Street — By Drew Hansen, Del Ray Patch
Alexandria police are investigating an abduction attempt that occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. Sept. 9 in the 2000 block of King Street next to the grounds of the George Washington Masonic Memorial.
A 23-year-old female au pair was walking from King Street-Old Town Metro station when a suspect grabbed her from behind, covered her mouth and attempted to pull her over a wall and onto the Masonic Memorial grounds.
The victim was able to fight off the suspect, who fled the scene on foot southbound on Callahan Drive toward Duke Street, according to police.
Washington Post Sells Robinson Terminal Warehouses — By Drew Hansen, Old Town Alexandria Patch
More than six months afterannouncing plans to sell its warehouses on the Old Town waterfront, The Washington Post named contract purchasers on its two properties late Friday afternoon.
Financial terms of the deals have not been disclosed. The city values the properties at a combined $30 million.Can the Intersection of West Glebe and South Glebe Be Moved? — By Drew Hansen, Del Ray Patch
Alexandria and Arlington County officials are considering the possibility of moving the intersection of West Glebe and South Glebe roads away from I-395 to ease congestion along the busy border between the municipalities.
Alexandria Planning Commissioner Maria Wasowski said earlier this month that the city’s Transportation Commission added the project to the city’s long-range plan. The plan consists of unfunded projects that could make their way into the city’s capital improvement plan down the line.Pop-Up Parks Spring from Alexandria Pavement — By Drew Hansen, Old Town Alexandria Patch
Pop-up pocket parks bloomed in Alexandria and worldwide Friday forPARK(ing) Day, an annual event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform parking spaces into public spaces.
Eight parks in total appeared on Alexandria on Friday.
“It’s really about raising awareness of park space in urban environments,” said Stephanie Winnicki, a landscape designer atParker Rodriguez who was manning her firm’s pop-up park at the foot of King Street. “As landscape architects, that’s a lot of what we do.”Bike Lanes or On-Street Parking? — By Drew Hansen, Old Town Alexandria Patch
Alexandria city staff is hosting a meeting Wednesday to discuss a plan to narrow the lanes on King Street between Russell Road and Janney’s Lane and install bicycle lanes in both directions.
The plan calls for removing on-street parking spaces in front of residences on a half-mile stretch between West Cedar Street and West View Terrace.
City staff says it has received numerous requests from residents for traffic calming measures along this segment of King Street.
Putting 'Extraordinary Alexandria' on Display — By Drew Hansen, Old Town Alexandria Patch
History has always been a big lure in Alexandria, but a new endeavor from the city’s tourism office aims to show the present is pretty darned extraordinary, too.
ACVA’s first rebranding in five years integrates Alexandria’s eateries, boutiques and arts and cultural sites to broaden the perception of the city beyond tricorn hats and cobblestones—though those still play an integral part in selling the city to tourists.What Will National Harbor Outlets, Potential Casino Mean for Old Town? — By Drew Hansen, Old Town Alexandria Patch
Tanger Outlets at National Harbor, a new 330,000-square-foot center that will have approximately 80 retailers, is scheduled to open in time for Black Friday just across the Potomac River from Alexandria in Prince George’s County, Md.
County officials are also trying to lure a high-end casino to National Harbor, which they say would grow commercial revenues and add more jobs.Old Town IT Lands on Inc. 500 List for Second Straight Year — By Drew Hansen, Old Town Alexandria Patch
Old Town IT, an Alexandria firm specializing in technology consulting and software development for associations, was recently named one of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States by Inc. Magazine.
The firm landed on the list for the second-straight year, coming in at No. 405 on the 2013 list. Last year, Old Town IT ranked No. 444.T.C. Williams No Longer Lowest Performer in State — By Sharon McLoone, Old Town Alexandria Patch
Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School is no longer considered a low-performing priority school but Jefferson-Houston School is and could fall under the authority of thecontroversial Opportunity Educational Institution, the state Board of Education said Tuesday.
T.C. Williams was able to shed its priority school status because it is no longer among the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I and Title I-eligible schools, which receive special federal funds to aid school improvement.
ACPS to Consolidate Central Office Staff With Move to Braddock Place — By Drew Hansen, Del Ray Patch
Alexandria City Public Schools will consolidate its central office and relocate to 1340 Braddock Place in June 2014.
The Alexandria City School Board signed off on the move at a meeting last week, authorizing Acting Superintendent Margaret Walsh to execute a 15-year lease on the property.
ACPS will pay Washington Real Estate Investment Trust $1.94 million annually in rent for the space. WRIT purchased the entire Braddock Place complex for $101 million in 2011.The Fraiser Coming to Potomac Yard — By Drew Hansen, Del Ray Patch
Real estate services company The Bozzuto Group and development firm MGL Partners have closed financing and broken ground on The Frasier, a $75 million apartment community located in Alexandria’s Potomac Yard.
Comprised of 249 residences, the complex will be located between Route 1 and Mainline Boulevard at 216 Swann Ave., straddling Land Bays H and I in the development.
The complex will include a courtyard with outdoor kitchen, television and games, a lounge area with fire pit and a waterfall feature and an on-site pool. Other amenities will include a 2,200-square-foot fitness and yoga center, a game room, library, E-lounge and demonstration kitchen. The complex will have a 310-space parking garage.Zoe's Kitchen Coming to Bradlee Shopping Center — By Beth Lawton, West End Alexandria Patch
The sign is up and construction is continuing at Zoe's Kitchen, which will take place of the now-closed Chicken Out.
Zoe's Kitchen is a fast casual restaurant featuring "Mediterranean-inspired recipes," according to its website.
This location is reportedly set to open in mid-October.
Cromley Reveals New Design for North Columbus Street — By Erich Wagner, Alexandria Times
When local developer and architect William Cromley went before the board of architectural review in the spring, neighbors had some choice words for the five proposed townhouses at the 300 block of N. Columbus St.: monolithic, commercial and impersonal.
So, Cromley returned to the drawing board, even though his original proposal received board approval. After a couple of meetings with residents over the summer, he visited the board again last week with a new design as well as the backing of neighbors.
Going Bumper-to-Bumper With Uber — By Anna Harris, Alexandria Times
As cabbies continue to bemoan lost business with the arrival of Uber in the Port City, two local companies have teamed up to level the playing field.
Greater Alexandria-based Taxi Magic created a smartphone app that enables customers to book a taxi to and from anywhere in the Alexandria and D.C. metropolitan area. And Alexandria Yellow Cab utilizes this service, which the company says benefits local residents.
One Step at a Time: T.C. Grad Makes 3,600-mile Run for Veterans — By Jeanne Thiesmann, Alexandria Gazette Packet
When Brendan O'Toole was in high school, he and his friends repeatedly watched “Forrest Gump,” with O'Toole joking that one day he was going to recreate the film character's run across the country. For most young men, the conversation would end there but for O'Toole, a 2007 graduate of T.C. Williams, it was just the beginning.
“It was always a joke between me and my friends,” said O'Toole, who joined the Marines following graduation. He served from 2008-2012, when he founded the nonprofit Run for Veterans as a way to help returning veterans cope with health issues and the reintegration into civilian life. “It was during my last deployment to Afghanistan that I realized that this could be a way for me to help raise money and awareness for the support our veterans need. So I called my high school friends and said 'Let's do this.'”
AASA Appoints Morton Sherman As Superintendent-In-Residence — AlexandriaNews.org
AASA, the School Superintendents Association, has named Morton Sherman as its Superintendent-in-Residence. Sherman began serving in this role on a voluntary basis on September 10, 2013.
An educator for 40 years, Sherman served as superintendent in Norwich, Conn., Blauvelt, N.Y., Cherry Hill and Tenafly, N.J. and most recently Alexandria, Va.
Take a Book, Find a Book, Meet a Neighbor — By Robert Samuels, The Washington Post
Philip Vahab loves it when strangers wander to the odd, wooden box outside his Northwest Washington rowhouse. Is it a birdhouse? Is it a fancy mailbox? Some ornamental, neighborhood talking point?
No. No. And kind of. The box is stuffed with paperbacks from Dean Koontz and Don DeLillo, free for the taking. Borrowers can return them — if they want — or trade them for a different book. At first blush, it might seem quaint. But the book house is a part of a burgeoning global literary movement just now taking root in the region.