The Nearest Post

The Nearest Post

For many Alexandrians, putting that Netflix movie in the nearest postbox might soon require walking a few more blocks. That’s because the city’s postmaster is considering closing underperforming boxes throughout the city.

“We’ve identified some boxes that are not generating sufficient volume, which is an average of 25 pieces a day,” said Alexandria Postmaster Bill Ridnour. “Based on the feedback, we’re looking to either remove them or relocate them.”

The postmaster said that he put notices on several of the city’s mailboxes in mid-August asking for feedback. Users can opine on the subject by posting a letter to 1100 Wythe St., Alexandria VA 22314 or by calling 703-698-6305. But there’s no substitute for being there, so one man decided to register a complaint in person — to members of City Council.

“The last thing we want to do is increase the need for people to get in their cars,” Bert Ely told members of City Council Saturday morning at the beginning of a public hearing. “I object to any removal.”

Mayor Bill Euille said he hadn’t heart about the notices, and assured Ely he would look into the matter. Reached by telephone for a comment, Postmaster Ridnour said that none of the boxes have been removed yet, and he would be happy to get feedback on the location of the city’s postboxes. Ultimately, though, he said that a box would need an average of 25 pieces of mail to remain viable.

“People’s mailing habits have changed,” Ridnour said. “A lot of people pay their bills online now, so the patterns have changed.”


Stumping at City Hall

Campaigning is forbidden at City Hall. Yet month after month, Jim Hurysz is there — telling members of the City Council about his ongoing quest to beat Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) on Election Day.

“There’s no campaigning at City Hall,” said Mayor Bill Euille, banding the gavel down on Saturday morning.

“Oh,” Hurysz said. “I’m not campaigning.”

Hurysz went on to oppose the use of incandescent light. He said that government buildings should abandon use of them, thereby saving money and helping the environment.

“That’s why I’m going to Congress,” Hurysz concluded. “To sponsor or co-sponsor legislation to do that.”


West End Playground

When Ben Brenman Park opened in 2001, many people in Alexandria had assumptions about the nearby Cameron Station development. They thought that it would be filled with a certain demographic — those without children.. So the park, originally known as the East End Park, didn’t need a playground.

But now, five years later, things seem to have worked out differently. After more than 200 residents petitioned the Department of Recreation to construct a playground at the park, the wheels of motion were set in place at City Hall. First the Planning Commission recommended it, then the City Council agreed with the Planning Commission’s recommendation. Now Ben Brenman Park is slated to get a new 2,500-square-foot playground.

“It’s a distance from many residents,” said Councilwoman Del Pepper. “I regret that.”

The park will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It will incorporate ADA accessibility, a fenced perimeter and a rubberized pervious surface. Funding for the playground was approved in the FY2007 budget, and several local businesses have expressed an interest in donating money to improve the playground.

“This is a sign that as our population grows, we will need more resources,” said Councilman Ludgwig Gaines.