Letters to the Editor: January 28 – February 3, 2010

What Planet are F.C. Councilmen Living On?


I was very disappointed and slightly outraged by the tone and content of your January 20, 2010 article entitled “F.C’s Balance could Fall Below 0 Without Big Tax Hike.”

According to the article, Vice Mayor Hall Lippman and Councilman Dan Maller are calling for “dramatically” higher taxes. Mr. Maller has the nerve to suggest that any large tax increase can be absorbed by the residents of Falls Church City due to the (relatively) high median household income.

What planet are these council members living on? Are the citizens of Falls Church City an endless well of money? Is the primary solution to immediately start calling for major tax hikes in a weak economy! Perhaps – before raising taxes – they need to look at how the City has been managed under their tenure (to include Mayor Gardner et al.).

I believe it is time for a change of management. The City’s current elected leadership is not serving the best interests of the citizens.

Mark Kaye

Falls Church


A ‘Stiff Bite’ Affordable for Local Taxpayers?


In the January 21-27 edition of the News-Press, Councilman Dan Maller noted, with much hubris and disdain, that with a Northern Virginia median income of $100,000 a “stiff added tax bite would be affordable.”

Perhaps the Councilman might ponder that with Northern Virginia’s high cost of living many households have very large mortgages, expensive monthly bills, and are struggling to save for college, retirement, or the next unexpected big bill. It is very possible that many residents of Falls Church City are tired of paying much higher taxes than surrounding jurisdictions for fewer and fewer services. And while the City’s schools are excellent they are now comparable to the schools in nearby Fairfax and Arlington. So the Councilman might remember to always check his assumptions and I will remember him very well in May.

Helene Wolff

Falls Church


Assails Focus of Coverage of Controversy


It is disheartening that instead of focusing on the fortuitous visit by the President of the United States to one of Falls Church’s own elementary schools honoring its excellence, your article instead inserts divisive racial politics into an otherwise great moment. The faculty and students at Graham Road Elementary School are doing a great job, so much so, the President decided to use them to represent the success he would like to see at so many other schools. Kudos to Graham Road!

Instead, your article leads with the controversy over the school’s relocation, giving credence to those who misleadingly claim that race was a factor. The choice to relocate Graham Road ES was made so that all its students, of any race, would have an outstanding school facility, with outdoor fields, tucked away from the traffic-choked, siren-riddled Graham Rd./50 intersection. The new school location, only ½ mile down the road, will be great for ALL the children at Graham Road ES, providing them much needed tools to build on their success. Maybe we should focus on that.

Sonya Breehey

Falls Church


Says Laziness Causes Deterioration of Neighborhood


On my way to work last week, I passed a shopping cart in the front yard of a neighbor’s house. OK, perhaps it had arrived there the night before by some kids fooling around, but I don’t think so. Slowly, and sadly our Virginia Forest neighborhood is deteriorating and not because of the “Great Recession,” but from laziness and disregard for our neighbors. It doesn’t cost anything to be neat and tidy.

Down the street on Poplar is a house for sale over a million dollars and around the corner sits a couch on the curb for days and days. Doesn’t this seem odd? Someone nearby thought this was such a good idea, there is now a dresser on the curb in front of their house.

I’m an anthropologist, so I try and try to figure out human behavior. Perhaps our mostly indoor lives have made us less interested in how our homes look from the outside. This could certainly explain the trend toward additions that bear no architectural relation to the original house; it’s all about the inside. The bright green house on the corner has so many additions, front doors, and driveways it’s beginning to look like a pueblo!

The homes around Falls Church are expensive, so why do so many inhabitants take such little care of them? I do not mean this to be a rant and rave. I would like to know what our ordinances, rules, regulations allow and disallow. Then, I am very interested to know if the City does anything proactively about this. If I called and complained I know they would do something, but I’m not sure if a reactive government is the best bang for my tax dollar buck. I would like to request that someone from the City respond to this, and perhaps wonder if other residents are bothered or frustrated by some of the trends in our neighborhood activities.

We can deny the fact that many of our neighborhoods are degrading (because it’s downright depressing when you think about how expensive it is to live here), or we can choose to be respectful of our neighbors.

Erica Stein

Falls Church


Happy With News of Big GOP Victory


As I walked outside last Wednesday morning, I thought what a beautiful day this will be. The newspaper headlines read “Republican wins Kennedy’s seat” and “GOP Victory Upends Senate.” In this solidly Democrat state of Massachusetts, Scott Brown won handily because he ran a clean, charismatic and simple campaign with an old GM pickup truck and he ran as the 41st vote against Obama health care and increased government spending.

On this same Wednesday, Senate Democrats proposed a bill that would allow the federal government to borrow an additional $1.9 trillion to pay its bills, a record increase that would permit the national debt to reach $14.3 trillion. This unpopular legislation is needed to allow the federal government to issue bonds to fund programs and prevent a first-time default on its obligations.

Last year’s budget deficit hit a phenomenal $1.4 trillion, and the current year’s deficit promises to be as high or higher.

Yes sir, the Obama administration has increased our national debt by more than $1.4-trillion in one year tripling our prior highest ever deficit total, a sum of money that not even the Bush administration could spend in his entire eight years of office.

Does anyone remember back on December16, 2009 when the Democrats in Congress narrowly passed a house bill for an additional $290 billion to increase the amount of debt the U.S. Treasury is allowed to have? Then on Christmas Eve while “We the People” were focusing on the health care bill little did we know that same day the U S Senate passed the bill that Congress approved on the 16th however this was done with little fanfare or press coverage.

Does anyone know the total debt that “We the People” owes as of 12/15/09? The answer is $12.016 trillion. Now this year the Obama administration and Senate Democrats are seeking an increase to the federal government’s borrowing limit by $1.9 trillion lifting the total amount the U.S. government can owe to $14.294 trillion. If this is “Change” that we should believe in then I am horrified to see what “Hope” brings us.

Ed Hillegass

Falls Church

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