Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hot Flashes

So many events, so little time. The Growler needs to do a little catching up.

Justice for Parker-Gray: Last Monday, the City Council added money to the FY 2007 Planning & Zoning Department budget so that the Parker-Gray District can at last be added to the Virginia Landmarks Registry as well as the National Registry of Historic Places. This translates into possible tax credits for property owners who want to restore their historic residences or businesses. The Growler offers sincere congratulations and a big bear hug for Councilman Andrew Macdonald, who brokered the deal with Mayor William D. Euille.

Spotted in the Hood: Blaine Corle — yes, Alexandria's Deputy Police Chief himself — was seen pounding the Parker-Gray pavement in broad daylight. Onlookers had to rub their eyes in astonishment. Guess it means the heat is on regarding crime, particularly after the weekend afternoon shooting in the parking lot of the Carpenters Shelter at 900 N. Henry Street. (Fortunately there were no victims.) Ironically, hours after Deputy Chief Corle visited the area a woman was knocked over and her purse snatched in the 1000 block of Queen Street.

Also Spotted in the Hood: Rebuild Together (formerly Christmas in April), which sent an earnest group of volunteers from faraway Fairlington United Methodist Church to fix up Mr. Crack's house on the last day of the month. It's amazing how this group, with the best of intentions, often manages to find the least deserving families in the neighborhood. A while back it was another well-known drug dealin' family, whose momma owns assorted Parker-Gray houses worth nearly $1 million. But let's look on the bright side: now the gutters won't drip on Mr. Crack and his brothers Messrs. Smack when they conduct future drug deals on their porch.

It's That Time Again: The Alexandria Mayoral and Council elections are fast approaching, and in fact will be upon us on Tuesday, May 2. The Growler ambled up to the Masonic Temple for one of the many candidate forums last week. It was billed as co-sponsored by ICCA and the Rosemont Civic Association, but there were few if any Parker-Gray residents there.

Nevertheless, there were some interesting moments, particularly when the issue of crime came up. All the incumbents paid homage to Alexandria's outstanding police force and it was left to the challengers to point out that crime is up this year. Democrat Tim Lovain expressed himself surprised that there was crime in this area, which makes the Growler wonder how much he really knows about Alexandria, budget committee or not. If he's elected, he's going to need an education and the Growler will send him a link to this blog ... it would be the civic thing to do.

Ignorance is Bliss: The Growler watched an open drug deal go down in the 1700 block of Cameron just steps away from a gaggle of City Council and School Board candidates, who were chatting in front of Jefferson-Houston School moments before another candidate forum. Think they noticed anything amiss?