Letters to the Editor: May 28 – June 3, 2009

Says News About Water Not Balanced


The Falls Church News-Press has readers in the greater Falls Church area, and they are due some more balanced reporting on the water dispute.

The News-Press continues to portray the dispute as predatory behavior by Fairfax County. The core issue here is that Falls Church City is balancing its budget on the backs of Fairfax County residents. I find it telling that you would use the words “bully vs. victim” in your editorial. The words you chose are correct, however, you have misidentified the bully and victim in this case. The bully is the City of Falls Church; claiming the right to charge non-residents to pay for city services. The victims are the Fairfax County residents that are paying inflated water prices to fund these services.


I am sure that the News-Press uses the number of readers in greater Falls Church to attract advertisers. Since we are serving the interests of your paper, please try to report on our interests on this issue. Your reporting is one-sided, and a violation of your own platform.

I urge the citizens of Falls Church City to ask the city council to eliminate the ROI on the water system (a euphemism for taxing non-residents). I would like to think that the citizens of Falls Church can recognize the immorality of forcing citizens of another jurisdiction to fund their city. A historical accident has left the city in control of the water system. For decades the city exercised that control fairly and responsibly. Recently the city has chosen to use that control to levy a tax on Fairfax County residents. All of the legal maneuvering in the world does not make this right.

Please publish the numbers on the ROI; what it is worth to every Falls Church household, and what it costs (on average) every Fairfax County ratepayer. Instead of fear-mongering about rates rising to pay lawyers (to protect the ROI for the city), remind all of your readers about this money transfer into the city coffers. Fairfax County readers should be angry, and Falls Church City readers should be ashamed.

Vince Forcier

Falls Church


Hull, Kory Vis. Fairfax School Scores


On June 9, a Democratic primary will be held in the 38th Virginia House of Delegates district, which includes parts of Providence and Mason Districts in Fairfax County and parts of the Falls Church postal area. School Board member Kaye Kory is challenging the incumbent Bob Hull. Mr. Hull has been on the House Education Committee since 1992, and Ms. Kory has been on the Fairfax County School Board for 10 years. I’ve done some research on their track records on education.

In the Fairfax County Public Schools, on the state SOL tests in 3rd grade reading, Fairfax County students ranked 28th out of 132 Virginia districts on (this) important test for our children: below 20% of Virginia’s districts.

Scores that are disaggregated for ethnicity are more disturbing.

On third grade reading SOL for Caucasian students in 2008, 94% passed in Prince William County, and 93% passed in Fairfax County.

On the same test for Black students, 80% passed in Prince William County, 75% passed in the urban, high-poverty City of Richmond, and 73% passed in Fairfax County.

This means the failure rate for black students in 3rd grade reading is 35% higher in Fairfax than in Prince William, and (8%) higher in Fairfax than in Richmond. Is that what one expects from Fairfax County schools?

High school chemistry is the is the gateway and the barrier to fields that have growing numbers of jobs with good wages for careers in health, science, and engineering. On the 2008 Chemistry SOL test, the average passing rate in Virginia was 92% but in Fairfax County was 89%. Given the level of wealth and parental education in Fairfax County, how do those results reflect on the management of our schools?

You can verify these scores on the Virginia Department of Education website under School Report Cards because Delegate Bob Hull in 2004 sponsored a bill that required Virginia to post scores on state SOL tests in more detail than federal law requires, and in a format that citizens can understand.

All candidates make promises. Fortunately, in the June 9th primary, both of these candidates have track records which voters can judge. For the children’s sake, I hope that voters will do so.

Rick Nelson

Falls Church


Urges Effort to Fix Roads in Merrifield


The roads and streets of Merrifield are in awful shape and this problem needs Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth’s urgent attention.

The roads have all kinds of pot holes, bumpy repairs and uneven steel plates and more. The degrading situation is a disgrace. Shoddy work and negligent supervision are shameful.

I suggest Supervisor Smyth drive a few minutes on Lee Highway and near streets and I’m sure she will be appalled of this situation.

I respectfully ask Supervisor Smyth to improve this awful situation which affects all who live in and travel through Merrifield. Thank you very much.

Michael A. Erice

Falls Church