Old Town

CALLING ALL CARS - It’s not quite a crime wave. But some of the natives are restless these days as our hot, sticky summer wears down.

Who but a member of Alexandria’s finest would know better? Lt. Len Fouch of the Alexandria Police Department is the police liaison officer for the Old Town Civic Association. In a recent report to OTCA, relayed to your hardworking correspondent by Association President Poul Hertel, Lt. Fouch said there have been 15 burglaries in Sector One (Old Town) in the last two weeks — interestingly with no pattern other than they occurred between midnight and 8 a.m. and included five residences and three businesses.

Three of the burglaries occurred while nobody was home. Another attempt was thwarted by a neighbor who observed someone who looked suspicious and called police. One burglary of note was at the Chart House Restaurant on the City Dock on Aug. 26 at 3 a.m. A delivery man called police after seeing four suspects departing the rear of the building. The suspects were arrested at nearby Founders' Park and were charged after being identified by the delivery man.

Lt. Fouch offered this advice to 'Towners: "Please pass along to OTCA members to let their neighbors know when they will be out of town. Mail and newspapers piling up on doorsteps or yard is also an indicator to bad guys that no one is home. One other item that is beginning to surface is the increasing amount of people who blog about their vacations. Please remember this information is available to everyone, including the bad guys, so please don't place your address and pictures of your home in these blogs."

AHOY, MATE - Hearing from OTCA reminds us that the gallant watchdog group will hold its annual cruise aboard the authentic paddle wheeler, the Cherry Blossom. This party and membership recruiting affair is Sunday, Sept. 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. Members and friends will meet at 6 p.m. near Union Street at the rear of the Torpedo Factory and depart at 6:30.

Cruise tickets are $25 each for members and $30 for guests. Membership dues for the Sept. '09-10 year are $12 for singles and $20 for a household.

Finally, the OTCA Cherry Blossom cruise is for adults only. Everyone else goes overboard. (Just kidding, Poul).

ALEXANDRIA FORUM AT 51 - The wonderful and oh-so-educational Alexandria Forum is set for its 51st annual run on Sept. 25 and 26 to the theme of "Rediscovering the Federal City." Opening session (black tie optional) is at 6 p.m. at Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St. on the 25th and the keynoter will be Alexandria's Sumpter Priddy III, well-known preservationist and expert consultant to collectors and museums. Registration and an opening reception starts at 6 p.m., followed by a banquet at Gadsby's.

The program on the 26th switches a few blocks away to the Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St., with lectures starting at 9 a.m. They include "Salt-glazed Stoneware in Early America," "Reading Alexandria's Historic Buildings" and "Sargent and the Sea." The afternoon bus tour, with box lunches provided, leaves the Lyceum at 1 p.m. and will visit Decatur House and Dumbarton in Washington. Tickets for the Forum are $175 per person ($125 Friday only) and $100 for Saturday only. For more information or tickets call 703-838-4 554 or visit

An important representative of this column, who I happen to live with, will see you there. The Forum is truly special.

<1b>— Bob Feldkamp