Letters to the Editor: July 16 – 22, 2009

Says Proposal for Fountain Is Confusing



I find is preposterous that the most recent front-page article by Nick Benton repeatedly references one Nick Benton and multiple paragraphs actually begin with the word “Benton.” Equally confusing is the author’s/subject’s idea inherent in the article – placing a fountain at the intersection of Routes 7 and 29 will make Falls Church City a destination. Admittedly, it is an exciting draw if you are a bird or spare penny – but may not address stated goal is to create a sense of place for the State Theatre, which currently is booked for eight of the 31 days in August, a potential draw of all of 5,600 people for the month.

In the same issue the “Picking Splinters” column tried to raise a big stink about how Kobe Bryant was cheered at Michael Jackson’s service, but it omitted the fact that Magic Johnson, the guy by Kobe’s side, received the same adulation and also had some very public “indiscretions.”

Please don’t tell only the story you want to tell in your reporting; we’re smart enough to see through this.

Jeff Lenard

Falls Church


Protect Freedom, Put Government Behind Fence



This letter is in response to the multiple one-sided views that are continually provided print space in the News-Press. I am a conservative, libertarian, not Republican, and with what follows, this should be no surprise. I do not support same sex marriage, hate crimes, big government or the personal verbal attacks on individuals (in or out of politics). I do support equal rights and equal punishment. I also support putting government behind a fence to protect our freedoms. So let’s address some of these issues one at a time:

1) Same sex marriage directly attacks my fundamental religious belief that marriage is the joining of not only the physical being of a man and woman, but also the spiritual being of a man and a woman. This is what creates the volatility in the discussion with most individuals. I do support civil unions from a legal perspective to ensure the “gay community” has legal protection under the law for survivor benefits, health coverage and the multitude of benefits that are afforded married heterosexual couples. This would be a contract action much like traditional marriage and be covered under all or modified benefits and restrictions afforded married couples.

2) Big Government – Our founding fathers risked their lives, fortunes and honor for the dream of freedom and autonomy from an imperial power. How is what Congress doing today with selective bailouts, salary caps for private companies and mandatory healthcare any different? Liberal columnists such as Helen Thomas and Wayne Benson continue to attack the Bush administration as autocratic and the cause of all the Nation’s financial issues. Have they even looked at the facts? Let’s discuss the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both Government Sponsored Enterprises, had in the financial meltdown

3) Taxes – Now here is a good one. I don’t believe that I can put this more eloquently than Neal Ross on his blog Zombie-Slayer.com.

“ To be truly free, one cannot have government imposing limitations upon your rights, to tax you for the benefit of others. That is not liberty, that is enslavement. Yet for too many, that is the role they see for their government. For instance, when you ask, no, expect your government to take money from someone because they have it, to subsidize, i.e. give it to someone who doesn’t, that is not liberty. It is not liberty for the person whom the government robs to feed another, and it is not liberty for the person who becomes a slave to the government for their sustenance. Thomas Jefferson once said, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”.

Patrick Parnell

Falls Church


Citizen Complains as Car Towed on Memorial Day



I have written a letter to the Alexandria Office of Consumer Affairs to file a formal complaint against a company called Pete’s Towing & Storage, a business at 1121-B West Broad Street, Falls Church.

I have attended the celebration that the City of Falls Church has annually on Memorial Day for many, many years. For as long as I can remember, I have ALWAYS parked my car in the parking lot of a private business that is located at 113 Park Avenue, just a short distance away from the Memorial Day festivities. I have always parked there because long, long ago I had a temporary job at that location and was told by the occupants of the building at the time that it would be all right to do so. Until this past Monday, I have NEVER had a single problem having parked there.

On Memorial Day, May 25 when I went to retrieve my car, it was gone. Since I am looking for work right now, one of the reasons why I attended the Memorial Day celebration is that it was free to do so. Upon immediately realizing that my car had been towed, I contacted the towing company, who did confirm that they had my car. Because I am unemployed right now and the towing fee was $100.00, I explained to the person that I spoke to on the phone how upsetting this was to me. He basically did not care and told me that there was nothing that he could do about the situation.

I tried explaining that I had parked where I had been parked that day for many years without ever before having had a single problem with having done so. He told me that he was just an $8.00 per hour clerk, that there was nothing that he could do for me and told me to talk to someone named Joey, who he indicated was the manager and who he said would be there after 10:00 a.m. the next morning.

I tried to get ahold of “Joey” starting after 10:00 a.m. several times the next day, but with no success. Whenever I called, either no one answered the phone at all at “Pete’s Towing & Storage” or if they did, I was always told that Joey was not there and that they did not know when he would be in.

The first time that I tried reaching him, I spoke to someone who identified himself as “Pete” the owner. Although he listened to what I had to say, and he told me that he is the owner, he still said that I needed to talk to “Joey.” If I was able to talk to Joey I’d have explained that I had parked  in that lot for many F.C. Memorial Day Celebrations.

Patty Winters



2 F.C. Arts Groups Move into New Space



Falls Church Arts and the Creative Cauldron theatrical group have grown wings. Both have moved into their new permanent home which will be in the heart of the newly-formed ‘arts and cultural district.’ ‘ArtSpace’ Falls Church is located at Pierson Sq. 410 Maple Ave is in the City of Falls Church.

As part of the on-going celebrations, FCA will be hosting ‘ArtSlam’ as described below.

Please join us in the support and growth of the arts in the City.

Nick, like the ideas and institutions and their initiations and implementations deemed necessary for the City to survive and prosper, it has been through your paper, your weekly TV addresses (you should invite Simon back to do a couple) the Chamber and the many Council Members who over their terms have listened to your advice. Over the years you steered, created and influenced the reforms necessary for the City to reach the sometimes lofty and daunting goals. The ‘Benton’ plan,’ Lindy Hockenberry’s ‘Four Corners,’ the newly planned City centre and the newly-formed ‘arts and cultural district’ are all working to help brand an identity for the City. It will become very user friendly and green.

I for one, and I’m sure there are many who have appreciated the continuous work you do every day, and the very many venues you cover – it is like you never stop.

Thank you for being one of the main forces behind the development of Falls Church Arts and the free press you often give us.

Where do you hide your dynamo?

Shaun van Steyn

Falls Church