Letters to the Editor: October 15 – 21, 2009

Chavern Urges Citizens To Run For F.C. Council


If you ever wanted to make a real difference in your community, now is the time. Next May, four seats (a majority) on both the City Council and the School Board will be up for election. Given the City’s intense budget and development challenges, it is safe to say that this may be the most important local election in decades.

Citizens for a Better City (CBC) is an historic citizens organization whose sole purpose is to recruit qualified candidates for positions on Council and School Board. It was born out of a time when City politics were dominated by a few good ol’ boys who weren’t particularly interested in strong schools or robust city services. Thankfully, I think we have reached a time where the vast majority of City residents clearly demand great schools and good services, but there is still a continuing need to find qualified people who can bring energy and insight to our ever more complex problems.

Contrary to what you have heard, the CBC does not take positions on issues and doesn’t have a particular political “perspective”. (I can attest to that as a former CBC-endorsed candidate who is a member of the “minority party” in town.) The best thing they do is provide operational and, to some degree, financial support for campaigns. While running for office will never be easy – it is also never easier than in a town of 10,000 with the support of a great organization like the CBC. If you ever thought about doing it, now is the time – and the CBC is looking for a few good men and women for fill critical position on Council and the School Board.

If you might be interested, please contact Deb Gardner, CBC President at dgardner77@verizon.net.

David Chavern

Former Member, F.C. City Council


Says Many ‘Hard Workers’ Use GEORGE


This is a response to the letter to the editor stating the GEORGE bus be dumped.

Calling GEORGE a boutique bus is insulting to the many hardworking people who take the bus to work every day. We are all responsible workers who commute to work daily using public transportation rather than our own cars. The bus is very full and usually with the same group of people who have to be at work every day and on time. The GEORGE bus makes that possible.

Everyone knows there are not enough parking spaces at the Metro subway stations for all of us to park there. The cost to park is $4.50 a day compared to the round trip bus fare of $2.00. Which makes more sense for the citizens of Falls Church? Wasting gas and fighting for precious few parking spaces or taking the GEORGE?

The riders of the GEORGE fought hard to keep the bus during the recent City Council deliberations on its fate. We greatly appreciate the efforts of the City Council to find ways to economize on its service, but this is a very well used service that should not be cut from the budget.

Anne Mercer

Falls Church


Disputes Total Number Given Of Uninsured


The October 8 commentary “Congressman Moran’s News Commentary,” cites a figure of 47 million uninsured Americans. This oft-quoted statistic is actually a gross overestimation of the problem, as recent research suggests the number of Americans who cannot currently afford health insurance is much lower.

A new study by Dr. June O’Neill, who served as Director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1995-1999, shows that nearly half of those uninsured Americans could likely afford to purchase health coverage. The average “voluntarily uninsured” household makes $65,000 per year.

We should not rush into the creation of a new, expensive healthcare system without a better understanding of the uninsured population. As long as we continue basing our arguments on inaccurate numbers, it’s hard to see how we can make effective policy decisions.

Kristen Lopez Eastlick

Washington, D.C.


Attorney General Candidates Have Different Views


While the race for Governor is getting the most attention for the November election, the selection of an Attorney General is also important. That contest features two gentlemen, Steve Shannon and Ken Cuccinelli, with widely divergent views on the role of that office,

The website for the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia lists the following as the Key Issues facing that office today: sex offenders, seniors/TRIAD, family internet safety, computer crimes, identity theft, domestic violence, gangs, methamphetamines, victim notification, property rights, terrorism/Commonwealth preparedness, government and regulatory reform task force and youth internet safety. During his three terms as a State Delegate, Mr. Shannon has sponsored or supported legislation to address these issues and has set forth detailed positions he will take on them as Attorney General. He is passionate about these issues, wants to be the Commonwealth’s chief law enforcement officer so that he can address them, and has no “hidden agenda”. Mr. Shannon’s opponent is talking about other issues (e.g., tort reform, fighting taxes, Second Amendment rights, immigration) and appears to want to “legislate” and push social issues outside the mission of the Attorney General.

While having served as a prosecutor may not be a prerequisite for being the Attorney General Mr. Shannon’s experience as an Assistant Commonwealth Attorney will allow him to guide and direct the 200 plus attorneys in the Attorney General’s office. Mr. Shannon’s record and success as a Delegate and prosecutor has been recognized across the state. It is interesting to note that a number of organizations (e.g., Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce (NOVABizPAC), Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC TechPAC), Virginia Realtors ® Political Action Committee (RPAC), Humane Society Legislative Fund) have endorsed the Republican candidate for Governor, but are supporting Mr. Shannon rather than his Republican opponent. This speaks to Mr. Shannon’s integrity and his ability to reach across political lines to do what is best for the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Mr. Shannon has been my State Delegate and family friend since 2004. Virginia will be best served by making him our next Attorney General.

Jim Houston