Day: June 5, 2020

On the Road, Pets, Places, & Things

On the Road

Former Old Town Alexandria residents, Charlie and Sandi Collum send you all “Cheers from Kitty Hawk” on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina as they enjoy the latest edition of the OTC while sheltering in place in their cozy home. Charlie served as Chairman and CEO at Burke and Herbert Bank and Trust and later served as an Executive Officer at John Marshall Bank in Old Town . He and Sandi retired to Kitty Hawk a few years ago and are loving life.

Dining Out, Wining & Dining

Al Fresco Dining Is Back…What do we do now?

By the Gastronomes Al Fresco Dining Is Back…What do we do now? This whole pandemic has put a whole new twist on “Dining Out” but it looks like we are headed in the right direction as far as restaurants being able to open is concerned. There have been so many rumors about what has to take place by both the establishment and their diners in order to comply with CDC and the DMV orders it’s hard to decipher what we can and cannot do and when we can do it. Not all areas in the DMV, including ours, had been given the go-ahead for outside dining due to the high numbers of COVID-19 cases at the time of this writing. IF the numbers are “good” by the time this issue goes to print, outside dining will have been available for three days. Since the Old Town Crier is a regional publication we have readers in parts of the Commonwealth and Maryland who have been enjoying al fresco dining since May 15th and it has been met with mixed reviews. After spending way too much time reading posts on a local “Foody” Facebook page related to the question “How is everyone feeling about outdoor dining starting?”, it appears that the sentiment is that it is too early for the majority of the 195 Alexandrians who responded. Most are very happy with curbside and takeout and said even though they have the option to dine al fresco, they are sticking with it. Many have concerns about people being too close, not everyone wearing a mask (hard to eat and drink with your mask on) and the potential for “crowds”. I was going cross-eyed reading the posts – some of them had very “Karen” and “Chad” tones that were entertaining – but it…

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From the Bay, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

Fewer work visas, coronavirus deliver one-two punch to Bay’s blue crab industry

Fewer work visas, coronavirus deliver one-two punch to Bay’s blue crab industry Timothy B. Wheeler, Bay Journal News Crab season is off to a slow and foreboding start around the Chesapeake Bay, with many crabmeat processors crippled by an inability to import seasonal workers and by watermen worried they’ll be unable to sell all they can catch as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Chilly, windy weather limited commercial harvests of blue crabs through much of April, the first full month of the season. Warming spring weather usually brings better fortunes, but those in the business of catching or picking crabs say they fear for their livelihoods amid the double whammy that’s hit the Bay’s most valuable fishery. “It’s kind of a really scary situation,” said Bill Sieling, executive vice president of the Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association, which represents Maryland companies. “It just doesn’t look good.” Many of the crabmeat processing businesses around the Bay are short-handed because they failed to get federal approval to bring in as many foreign workers as they have in previous years. The Department of Homeland Security held a lottery in January to distribute a reduced pool of 33,000 H-2B visas nationwide to all of the landscaping, construction and other businesses seeking to bring in seasonal labor, mainly from Mexico and Central America. Under pressure, the department announced in March it would hand out another 35,000 visas, but shelved that in early April amid the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, only three of Maryland’s nine “picking houses,” as the crab processors are known, received any visas in the initial drawing. After missing out on the lottery, Lindy’s Seafood on Hoopers Island was looking at limping along with a half-dozen local workers. “We could sell more product, we just can’t produce it,” said sales manager Aubrey Vincent. Then, in late April,…

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Arts & Entertainment, Last Word

Binging in the Time of Coronavirus

Last Word Binging in the Time of Coronavirus By Miriam R. Kramer As many of us happily imagine some of the old normal returning, we still need entertainment to ease us through the next weeks. This past month, what with endless depressing news, my furlough from work, and multiple restrictions on my activity, I have had a difficult time concentrating on reading for the first time in many moons. I know I am not alone. When not attending to practical concerns, I have been running a television and movie marathon. Luckily we do live in the Golden Age of Television, in which quality series abound and all we have to do is push a few buttons to become absorbed in fully rounded characters and plots enhanced by great acting and writing. I was very unhappy to see the series Homeland on Showtime depart after eight seasons. Homeland has been the most accurate and best spy series I have seen. It captures the nature of climbing the political ladder in Washington, DC; its atmosphere is nerve-jangling and its acting superb. This world characterized by intelligence-gathering encapsulates a dizzying sense of paranoia. I have watched it since it premiered in 2011 and recently rewatched it before the eighth series premiered this spring. The lead of the show, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), starts out as an intense, driven CIA officer with a fiercely protective mentor, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), then Middle East Division Chief at the CIA. When she suspects that a newly returned prisoner of war, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), has been turned by his Iraqi captors, she relentlessly seeks the truth. This scenario sets the stage for Season 1. Carrie is intellectually brilliant, nervous, reckless, and diagnosed as Bipolar I. When unmanaged by medication, her mental illness helps her see patterns…

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