Letters to the Editor: March 1 – 7, 2012

Why Most at Hillwood Square Voted to Sell


I have lived in Hillwood Square since 2006, and your article on selling does not give a clear representation as to why 118 people wanted to sell. Only 18 people voted No, the rest did not vote.

The recent engineering study in 2011 presented severe infrastructure damage, particularly the plumbing. We have many water line breaks and days without water that come unexpected. We have the documented study from a professional engineering firm. The cost was estimated at $8 million for repairs. The Hillwood Legal Defense Fund simply want to patch a pipe whenever it breaks and don’t believe the two engineering studies conducted in 2007 and 2011 that show the need for mass repairs.

I was faced with a special assessment of an extra $250 on top of the $600 coop fee I pay monthly, or a special assessment fee of $25,000 for a loan. My unit plummeted in value and I have no equity. if this deal did not pass I could have gone bankrupt. I represent one of 118 people in Hillwood in dire straits. I am not getting a windfall from my unit. I voted yes to avoid the impending financial disasters if we were to stay. I only wish you spoke to some of the 118 people who wanted this deal before you published your article. With the Archstone deal I can buy something newer with a lower interest rate at a buyer’s market. I am saved from the hiked impending fees, and no longer feel trapped in my home. I’m grateful to Archstone, as many of us are.

A.F. Tyas

Falls Church


Says N-P’s Water Coverage is ‘Sour Grapes’


The News-Press has been a model of consistency in its coverage of the “Water wars” between the Fairfax County Water Authority (FCWA) and the City of Falls Church. Over the years, the News-Press has consistently portrayed Falls Church as the innocent victim of the rapacious FCWA and ungrateful Fairfax customers of Falls Church water who won’t let the city earn a reasonable rate of return on its water distribution system. The News-Press has consistently ignored the illegality of Falls Church’s water rates for its Fairfax customers, rates which have subsidized Falls Church’s general revenues, rates which the Fairfax County Circuit Court ruled were taxation of county resident without representation, rates which the city had the gall to try to raise after the Circuit Court declared its current rates illegally high. In every instance in which the city’s practices have been challenged in court, the city has lost. A reasonable person might think that the city would refund its illegal overcharges to its Fairfax customers. A reasonable person might think that the News-Press would eventually get the message and desist from advocating city actions that are illegal. A reasonable person would be wrong.

The News-Press’s prediction that the city’s water customer in Fairfax will be sorry for their whining when the city sells its water assets to a private firm reads has the tone of child who pouts when he doesn’t get his way, and threatens to take his ball and go home. What the News-Press forgets is that the FCWA is free to pursue water hookups in the part of the county currently served by Falls Church water, and would likely do so if a private firm attempted to charge county residents with water rates significantly higher than those of FCWA. I hope that the News-Press enjoys the taste of its sour grapes.

John Kupiec



Encouraged by Active Use of Community Center


I am pleased to observe that many parents with young children participate in activities at the Falls Church Community Center. As several of the adult classes I have been interested in had to be cancelled or were on the verge of being cancelled because of low enrollment, I urge residents in Falls Church and environs to take an interest in the courses offered. The quality of the instruction is excellent and prices are reasonable. One of the best things I have done for myself is to participate in the “Fit For Life” class. The instructor is wonderful and makes the class both fun and fundamental for good conditioning. Unfortunately, the delightful Belly Dancing Class by the same instructor had to be cancelled because of low enrollment. My husband and I have taken several ballroom dancing classes and, thanks to the skill, patience, and good nature of our instructor, we are presentable on the dance floor, have had many enjoyable laughs getting to that point, and continue to enjoy polishing our technique with the same instructor. Falls Church, you have a treasure trove at the Community Center. I encourage you to take advantage of that.

Cecilia Op de Beke

Falls Church


Assails Obama for ‘Attack on Religious Freedom’


Once again, Nick Benton plays a little loose with a label. In his recent commentary, Benton found Republicans “fabulously extreme” in “matters of public health.”

Yet, the truth is that President Obama and the American left are the extremists. The Obama administration’s continuing assault on our Constitution received a minor setback that underscores the President’s extremism. His attack on religious freedom, enshrined in the First Amendment, was slapped down by the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision, a vote of 9 to 0 in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC. Even Obama’s former solicitor general, now Justice Kagan, opposed this unconstitutional power grab.

More recently, Obama’s attack on our religious freedom is in the form of a rule from the unelected HHS secretary. Obama condescends to say that he will try to “accommodate” our constitutional right. This is the language of a dictator.

Not only is he trying to deny our religious freedom, he manufactures from nothing a new “right” – the right of women to get free contraceptives. In their extremism, the left fails to note that this discriminates against men. Eliminating and creating rights on a whim is tyranny.

Hitler gained power by attacking the bankers and the Jews, and Obama by attacking the billionaires and the Christians. For our freedom to endure, good people must stand up to Obama.

Paul Flusche

Falls Church


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