2024-05-20 1:37 AM

Letters to the Editor: January 6 – 12, 2011

No Problem With Being Part of ‘Elite Community’


Thank you so much for taking the best and brightest in Falls Church to task in your editorial on Dec. 23.

The guilt trip that you served up on us is, I think, aligned with a pre-existing guilt in the city. The Census Bureau data reminded us that we are (gulp) an elite community. Such a strong adjective makes many of us squirm. We want to look and act like all neighboring jurisdictions, have similar tax rates, be all things to all people, and not be an outlier even though we are on some impressive measures.


If we could ever become truly comfortable with what we are, what we represent, and what we expect then we could have a real discussion about a long term strategy for the city. We could also easily prioritize initiatives and agree upon our annual budget. Anyone who is experienced with real strategic planning knows that our expectations are unrealistic, self-defeating, and brand-tarnishing.

I readily admit that I didn’t vote in the last election. As long as we continue to try and act like other jurisdictions while trying to make everyone happy and based on discussions dominated by the loudest voices…not always the most reasonable, then we aren’t striving to constructively address our tough issues so I’m not worried about who wins our votes. What difference does it make?

I disagree that being “well off” financially does not correlate with generosity. I consider myself generous with my time and my money but I’m not going to write a check to every telemarketer who calls my house with a sad story. I choose two or three causes and say “no” to the rest. Until we, as a community, set some priorities for our money and put in place plans to ensure that our generosity is not being wasted, I won’t mind the embarrassing repudiations that you referenced.

I don’t consider myself or my family to be elite but I’m comfortable with the term and proud to be here, as part of an elite community. I choose to live in Falls Church and I want to have neighbors who appreciate, value, and reward our services and causes with me. However, as long as we continue to try to be all things to all people, don’t make hard decisions, and allow guilt to influence what we do and how we operate then we’re in a stalemate position and I agree with your last point – it is absolutely all about the schools and the home values.

Mike Short

Falls Church

O’Connell Chief Clarifies Issues of Lighting Use


This is a response to John Seymour’s letter dated December 23 and is written to clarify events that have taken place since the original permit application was submitted. Mr. Seymour correctly stated that Bishop O’Connell’s original permit application asks the county to allow O’Connell to light its fields 365 days a year until 11 p.m.; however, that does not reflect concessions that Bishop O’Connell has subsequently made.

Bishop O’Connell has both hosted and attended meetings of the Arlington East-Falls Church and Williamsburg Civic Association and in addition has hosted five “working” meetings to attempt to reach a Memorandum of Understanding between the school and the neighboring Civic Associations in accordance with guidance provided by Arlington County. The following information is the direct result of these meetings and has been shared with the “working” group representing both Civic Associations. John Seymour is a member of the “working” group. The following information regarding hours of use of the lights was shared with the “working” group at the Dec. 13 meeting.

No Sunday night play: regardless of season, DJO agrees that lights will not be turned on Sunday nights.

Rectangular Field: Use of the rectangular field will be scheduled to end at 9:30 pm Monday through Thursday and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Should a game or practice end earlier than scheduled, the lights will be turned off 30 minutes after the game or practice ends.

Use of the baseball field will be scheduled to end at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday from September 21 through March 20; use of the baseball field will be scheduled to end at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday March 21 through September 20; should a game or practice end earlier than scheduled, the lights will be turned off 30 minutes after the game or practice ends.

Bishop O’Connell has offered extensively reduced hours of use of the lights as well as significantly improved landscaping, fencing and exterior lighting. We intend to allow neighbors use of the school facilities as the school schedule permits. We are also developing a parking management plan as requested by the neighbors. The potential partnership with Marymount University is part of a larger innovative program uniting the two schools on many levels, including a dual enrollment and dual credit program for Bishop O’Connell students.

Katy Prebble

President, Bishop O’Connell High School

‘Greed Speech’ In ‘Wall Street’ Film Was 1987


First of all, let me say Happy New Year to you and everyone in the Falls Church News-Press community.

I live in Alexandria and work in Arlington but I do spend some of my free time patronizing establishments in the Falls Church area. Your excellent newspaper keeps me well infomred about the Falls Church community. I look forward to picking it up every week.

I wanted to correct something from Nicholas Benton’s column “Socially Engineering ‘The Right Nation.’: You mentioned the 1980 film “Wall Street” and the election of Ronald Regan that year. I recall that “Wall Street” came out around 1987, not 1980. I remember going to see the film at the Skyline Mall Multiplex Theater in Falls Church, a venue which unfortunately is no longer in business on Route 7.

We’ve come a long way since the 1980’s but it is good to reflect back to that era. We can learn many lessons from the study of history.

Greg Paspatis



Letters to the Editor may be submitted to letters@fcnp.com or via our online form here. Letters should be limited to 350 words and may be edited for content, clarity and length. To view the FCNP’s letter and submission policy, please click here.






On Key

Stories that may interest you

New Briefs: May 16-22, 2024

F.C. Mayor Hardi Greets 500 on NAIOP Bus Tour Falls Church Mayor Letty Hardi greeted the more than 500 participants in the annual NAIOP commercial