News: July 2008


Montgomery Park is at the heart of our community, so OTNCP has made its preservation and improvement one of our top priorities over the years. As we mentioned in our most recent e-News, the funds we raised at the May Taste of Old Town North event will be used to purchase new seating for the park.

The City’s next improvement to our park, scheduled for early fall, will be the extension of the path from the gazebo to Fairfax Street, along with better access up the embankment from the Fairfax Street sidewalk. The Department of Recreation and Parks is bringing on a new park contractor in late summer. The dead and dying trees around the perimeter of the dog run will be replaced in the fall as well.

Next in line is the improvement to the dog run. As several readers have reported, the dog park has deteriorated further, and the rusty fence is unsightly. Because the use and configuration of dog parks has become a volatile issue in Alexandria, the Parks Department has asked us to conduct a survey of those who use Montgomery Park, other dog parks, and the dog run to help determine the features of the new dog run. Over the summer, OTNCP will work with the Parks folks on a survey instrument, which we will then make available through our e-mail newsletter, distribution at major gathering places in Old Town North, and perhaps through the Internet. Once the survey is complete and tabulated, design will begin.

Although it is tempting to ask for interim improvements while a dog park plan is being finalized and funded, we feel that this would be a poor use of limited funds, and might stretch out the timeline for completion of the improvements even further.

While we may be frustrated that the improvements are taking several years, please remember that several years ago Montgomery Park was just a bare surface. Then, through the initiative of OTNCP (then OTNCA) the children’s playground was constructed. Thereafter, we put together a redesign of the entire park, and were able to obtain the City’s cooperation. The changes we have brought to the park include a drinking fountain, a sign board, new concrete and asphalt walking paths, removal of old overgrown shrubs and decrepit picnic tables, removal of a rusted fence that circled most of the park and prohibited access from Fairfax Street, installation of a new pavilion which can protect musicians during events or be the site of picnics, new landscaping, three ornamental benches, two handsome trash cans, and soon, a new picnic table. These improvements were much needed, and OTNCP is proud that our efforts could contribute them to our neighborhood.


On July 1, the Alexandria City Council approved a settlement agreement between the City and the Mirant Corporation regarding the Potomac River Generating Station north of Bashford Lane. The agreement was reached after 7 years of citizen effort, meetings and studies to address community concerns about health and environmental impacts of the plant. Key provisions of the agreement:

  • Requires Mirant to invest $34 million on new pollution control technology, with City control over selection and implementation of these new controls. $2 million will be used for controls on fugitive dust emissions.
  • Imposes a PM2.5 (small particulates) emission limit compliant with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
  • Locks in a sulfur dioxide emissions limit of 3813 tons per year.
  • Requires installation of carbon monoxide and continuous emissions monitors on a defined schedule, allowing enforcement of applicable limits.
  • Gives the City access to critical monitoring data to verify that the plant is operating cleanly and to preset limits.
  • Allows Mirant to proceed with a stack merge (intended to better disperse pollutants) in September, after it receives a comprehensive state operating permit that incorporates the agreement.

While the City’s Mirant Community Monitoring Group still has some concerns about the agreement, the members were unanimous in supporting this negotiated agreement because it provides more public health protection than if Mirant had simply gone back to the State Air Board for a permit. OTNCP thanks all the citizens who worked long and hard on this effort as well as the City’s environmental and legal staff, and the City Council, which agreed to devote substantial City financial resources to ensuring this power plant operates cleanly.


The Old Town North Community Partnership always welcomes community involvement in our projects. We are particularly looking for individuals who want to serve on the Board of Directors, help us with providing content for our Web site, write newsletters or e-news, and help plan our two annual events (Taste of Old Town North and Paws for the Park). Please write to or call Elizabeth Frommer at 703-836-8066 to indicate your interests.


City of Alexandria to Hold Annual USA & City Birthday Celebration on July 12: Alexandria’s 259th, USA’s 232nd

The City of Alexandria will celebrate its 259th and the USA’s 232nd birthday on Saturday, July 12, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St., located at the Potomac River between Fairfax, Pendleton, and Madison Streets. In the event of inclement weather, fireworks only will be rescheduled for Sunday, July 13 at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The main event features the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Kim Allen Kluge presenting an explosive night of fun and fanfare featuring “Big Band Sound.” A list of scheduled activities follows:

  • 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Community Exhibitors, children’s activities, and food and beverage sales
  • 6:00 p.m. Performance by the Vaughn Ambrose Quartet featuring jazz
  • 7:30 p.m. The Town Crier announces Mayor William D. Euille; Presentation of Park and Recreation Commission’s CIVIC Awards; Poetry Reading by Mary McElveen, Alexandria’s Poet Laureate
  • 8:00 p.m. Distribution of Birthday Cake by the Mayor and members of City Council
  • 8:30 p.m. Big Band Sound, with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Kim Allen Kluge, Music Director
  • 9:30 p.m. Grand Finale fireworks display, featuring Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with cannon support by the United States Marine Corps, Basic Training School, Quantico, VA

Canal Center Plaza Concerts
44 Canal Center Plaza at noon. Concerts are cancelled in the event of inclement weather and subject to change without notice. For up-to-date information, call the Special Events Hotline at 703.883.4686 or visit

July 23: Cletus Kennelly & Lori Kelley (Folk/Pop)
August 6: Steven Gellman (Folk)

Is It Time For An Alexandria Streetcar?
Forum presented by Alexandria City Council Member Tim Lovain and former Council Member Lois Walker, Tuesday, July 22, 2008 beginning with reception at 6 followed by program at 7 pm, Embassy Suites Hotel, 1900 Diagonal Road. For more information, 703-549-1441.

First Thursdays – shops open late on Mount Vernon Avenue on August 7 and September 4

Airport Runway Safety Workshop:
Wednesday, July 30, 6-9 p.m., Historic Main Terminal, next to Terminal A at Ronald Reagan National Airport. The Metropolitan Airports Authority invites the public to a scoping workshop on a potential environmental assessment for Runway Safety Area Improvements at the airport.

And This Fall:

  • September 2 – Annual Doggie Day Swim at the Old Town Pool, 1609 Cameron Street
  • September 13-14 – Festival of the Arts on lower King Street
  • September 14 – Old Town Doggie Walk
  • October 25 – Paws for the Park


Mosquitoes can be more than just a backyard nuisance. Some may carry West Nile Virus, a potentially serious illness spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The Health Department encourages residents to be proactive in their efforts to eliminate areas of standing water and protect themselves against mosquito bites.

Help eliminate mosquito breeding areas:

  • Empty birdbaths and other water-holding containers, such as trays under flowerpots, at least once a week.
  • Clean roof gutters and downspouts. Check corrugated black drainpipes for any water collection.
  • Turn over pails, trashcan lids, children’s toys, and any other object that can hold water, including items stored under decks and porches.
  • Repair dripping outdoor water faucets.
  • Drain water from tarps and grill covers.

Avoiding Mosquito Bites:

  • Avoid outdoor activities at dawn and dusk in mosquito-infested areas such as marshes and wetlands.
  • Use insect repellants, such as DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), Picardin (KBR 3023), or Oil of Lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane 3,8-diol – PMD), as per label directions.
  • Wear loose, long and light-colored clothing when outdoors.
  • Check window and door screens for holes and repair, if necessary, using fine-mesh screen.

To learn more about how to eliminate mosquito breeding sites around homes, or for additional information on mosquito control and prevention, visit or call Holly Feltner or Tim McGonegal of the Alexandria Health Department’s Vector-Borne Illness Prevention Program at (703) 838-4400, ext. 326 or 327.


The Alexandria Transit Company announces service improvements and a peak fare adjustment that will take effect on July 20, 2008.

  • The AT5 route will improve frequency during peak periods to every 20 minutes (to old Town in the morning and from Old Town in the afternoon).
  • The AT2 and AT5 routes have improved schedules to provide 10-minute service from King Street Metro during morning peak and from Old Town to King Street Metro in the p.m. peak.
  • Minor timetable adjustments on several routes to improve schedule adherence.
  • The DASH fare will rise to $1.25 for peak period fares (5-9:30 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.). Base fare remains $1 for off-peak periods, weekends and holidays. The $30 monthly DASH Pass will remain the same. New schedules will be available soon on the DAS Web site. For more information, please call 703-370-3274 or visit:


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E-mail your feedback to or mail your comments to: OTNCP, c/o Montgomery Center, 300 Montgomery Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314