Local Commentary

Letters to the Editor for the Week of October 9 – 15, 2008

School Bus Driver Job Is Not an Easy One


This letter is in response to the letter written by Merelyn Kaye about the “New Bus Schedule” for the City of Falls Church.

Being a parent of a student in the Falls Church School System and having close ties to the Falls Church School System bus drivers, the residents of the city need to realize that there is more to driving a bus than just picking up and dropping off our children.

  1. Our bus drivers have to come in early and do pre-checks on their buses to ensure that no problems occur while they are out picking up or dropping off our children.
  2. Our bus drivers pick up and drop off children from pre-school to seniors at George Mason High.
  3. Our bus drivers work with children with “special needs” on a daily basis as well.

Even though they may be on a part-time pay scale, their job is not an easy one and they all do it without complaints.

From what I saw I believe the reason the bus schedule was changed was due to an overcrowding problem on some of the buses. With more and more students attending our schools our buses were overcrowded so safety concerns came into play when deciding to make these changes. Some of our cities buses can carry 72 students but there are others that cannot carry that many so to ensure the safety of our children, the changes were made to the routes.

Before anyone criticizes the hard working bus drivers that give 110% to keep our children safe, I would like to ask all residents that may have a problem with the changes that were made to the bus schedule by the Falls Church Transportation Dept to please do some investigation before coming up with your own opinion as to what is or is not better.

Remember that we entrust these hard working men and women to transport our children to and from school plus they drive our children on field trips both locally and away so if it takes 45 minutes or 15 minutes, our city bus drivers main concern is safety and not saving that extra gallon of gasoline a day.

Greg Adkins

Falls Church

Snyder: β€˜Don Want Association With GOP’


At a formal political gathering, Northern Virginia was recently called “communist country”. Although apparently a “joke”, such a label is deeply offensive for all of us, because, as inhabitants of “communist country”, we must all then be “communists”, according to the apparent twisted logic of the accuser. This is yet another reminder of the neo-McCarthyism now so much a part of the political debate. This label is particularly offensive because our region is an ethnically diverse culture that works, filled with hard working, public spirited men and women who contribute mightily to the common good, not just for ourselves but for the world. This includes our citizens who have spent their lives in government service in this country and in virtually every corner of the globe serving in such capacities as the foreign service, in the military or intelligence agencies. This includes our people in the private sector that generate huge social and economic value every day in large, small, local and global businesses. And it includes our people who serve in non-profits that help improve the lives of millions of people worldwide and right here and that among other missions, protect our environment. Finally, of course, it belittles the fact that it was the emergency forces and citizens of Northern Virginia that responded to the Pentagon when attacked on September 11, 2001, as we have responded to our country’s needs now and in the past.

Northern Virginia deserves a sincere and complete apology, not the formulaic kiss off that we have received so far. And the Virginia Republican Party, under whose tent these comments were made, is not a party with which I wish to be associated for this and many other reasons, unless and until it returns to the principles of its once revered former leaders, such as Abraham Lincoln and Dwight David Eisenhower.

Dave Snyder

F.C. City Council

Neighbor Help Provided Comfort After Loss


A letter in the previous week’s News-Press was an open thank-you for the support a family had received on the death of a family member.

My husband took his life in April. The shock, grief, and anger are indescribable. Although I have had a very, very tough time dealing with the fallout, a bright spot in this tragedy was the response of my neighbors. My new next-store neighbors mobilized people in the neighborhood – some of whom I had only a nodding acquaintance and some of whom I had never met. For months wonderful meals appeared on my doorstep with flowers and other lovely touches. My lawn was mowed, a bird that I was given was adopted by a neighbor. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the kindness that was offered to my son and me. I had no idea I lived amongst such wonderful people. The words “thank you” are completely inadequate.

Kathleen Gerrity

Falls Church

Not Impressed By Palin’s Tolerance


Last Thursday’s vice presidential debate event wasn’t really a debate; I felt as if each VP candidate could have been sitting in my living room and we were discussing general issues over coffee. Such conversation does allow one the opportunity to see what makes others “tick.”

As a gay man, I must admit how happy I am that Sarah Palin “tolerates” my homosexuality. I really needed that affirmation in order to experience a more integrated life. Not!

Palin’s use of the word “tolerate” seems to indicate that deep down, she has a problem or issues with the GLBT community. Underneath this so-called “tolerance” is a lack of respect, and those of us who are gay (or lesbian or bisexual or transgendered) are sort of like second class citizens. Actually, we’re deviants and as much a threat to this country as al-Qaeda or whatever the transnational terrorist organization du jour may be.

Tolerance can be used to promote hate. Does “love the sinner but hate the sin” ring a bell? Think about the “Ex-Gay” Movement and you’ll know what I mean. It’s been said that Palin is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and I’m believing this to be true.

The problem is that she thinks homosexuality is a choice as she said in an interview recently.

Oh dear Sarah. You’re pretty and I know you’re intelligent. But don’t you get it? My “choice” to be gay is the same thing as your “choice” to be heterosexual and wind up with a daughter who is pregnant out of wedlock. Oh…stupid me…this has to do with the so-called “Family Values” thing, doesn’t it? That’s right—love the sinner but hate the sin!

Sarah, you are pretty and I’m sure you are intelligent. But maybe Wasilla needs the glam you can give it (moose and elk aren’t really too sexy). And we need you up there patrolling the Bering Sea to make sure no Russians invade us!

Speaking of the “choice” I made–maybe you’re right. My choice will be not to vote for you!

Rich Kucinski

Falls Church