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Memorial Day 2024 Issue!

Letters to the Editor: May 10 – 16, 2012

 F.C. Council Candidate Handly Thanks Voters


Thank you to my supporters and to the many citizens of this fine city for sharing their time, ideas and efforts during this campaign. I am honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to have met and learned from so many people that make our community great.

I applaud the choice our City has made; Dave Tarter, Nader Barroukh and Phil Duncan are all fine men and each will bring their unique strengths to bare as our representatives on City Council. Congratulations to our four top notch representatives just elected to School Board: Kieran Sharpe, Joan Wodiska, and Justin Castillo and Charlotte Hyland. I tip my hat to all of those who ran in yesterday’s election. And, I salute the many citizens whose questions and concerns have helped strengthen our city and educate me. Because of them I am better informed and better able to serve the community I love in the years to come.

Paul Handly

Falls Church


Selling Water System Will Only Raise Rates


When I came to Falls Church in 1970, the City had the lowest taxes in the entire metropolitan area. Since that time the City seems never to have heard of a service, expense, or tax increase they did not like. As best I can determine our City now has the highest taxes in the area.

We have traffic humps and brick roads and speed traps, but not better services that I can determine, just more junky “stuff.” The City decided to raid the water fund and spend it on increased city services, using money that should have been reserved for water users in Fairfax and Falls Church. After the fact it was finally ruled illegal. Apparently the City is considering selling the water system, raising funds for the City. The result would be that some business would “buy” the right to raise rates on both Fairfax and Falls Church residents in the future to recoup the $44 million or more, and still make a profit. To me it is obvious that this is just another attempt to reap benefits for the city at the expense of Fairfax county users of our water system.

Government should provide only essential services that the individual cannot provide for themselves. Water is an essential service. Selling the water system insures both city residents and Fairfax County will have to pay significantly higher rates in the future. The water system will need to be maintained, which is what the spent funds were supposed to be used for, and the business will want a return on their investment. So selling the water system will assure that the City gets a lump sum of cash now, but all users will have a higher than necessary bill in the future. And what will the City do with the proceeds of the sale? The City Council has demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to hold funds in reserve or use them wisely as the multi-year spending spree has proven. If we are going to sell the water system, how about the parks, police department, roads maintenance, and schools? Are they next? I plan to vote no on selling “my” water system.

David Mercer

Falls Church


Jessie Thackrey Invites Friends Back to Church


As the longest serving member of The Falls Church (Episcopal), I would like to invite all community members to join us on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 10:15 a.m. as we return to our historic church home at 115 E. Fairfax St. I extend this invitation in the same spirit that was first extended to me and my family shortly after we moved to Falls Church from Nebraska in 1941. Friends who lived on Broad Street invited us to join them, and the congregation made us feel so at home from the start that we decided to become members.

Our church body today is just as it was way back then – like one big family. During our Sunday worship services, we rejoice together celebrating important milestones such as baptisms, weddings and anniversaries. We share many fond memories of holiday services including one of my favorites. It was during my family’s first Christmas here in Falls Church. It snowed and we were the only ones except the minister and a few others who were able to get down to the church. The minister was speaking about the Christmas program and his son was in a group that came in as wise men. He said, “I’m bringing gold, Frankenstein and myrrh.” We all knew the child meant frankincense, of course, and the humor of the moment warmed our hearts on such a cold day.

For me, the cherished church memories have also come during one’s darkest hours. There is no greater pain for a parent than the death of a child, and I will always remember how The Falls Church supported and encouraged me and my family after we lost our four-year-old daughter, Karen, and our adult son, Kent, to illness. Our dear church family was also there for us when my beloved husband, Franklin, passed away, and again for me during my recent bout with pneumonia. The church members’ prayers, loving kindness and sincere concern have sustained me and my family over the past 71 years in the same way that we all have supported one another through our personal and congregational challenges. When I count my blessings, each member is among them.

Jessie Thackrey

Falls Church

Another View of Pedestrian Safety Signage


To the Lincoln Avenue resident who dismissed the pedestrian safety crossing signs on West, Spring, Oak, Great Falls and Little Falls streets as “horrible” in FCNP’s April 26 Letters to the Editor: My father was hit by a minivan while crossing a street in an unprotected crosswalk off the W&OD trail several years ago. Knocked unconscious and with his right leg nearly severed, fellow cyclists and pedestrians on the W&OD called 911, placed a life-saving tourniquet on his leg, and stayed with him until a MedEvac helicopter arrived. He was MedEvaced to Fairfax Hospital’s ICU unit, where he remained in a coma for 13 days, during which time one surgeon defied the odds by saving a leg that all others had recommended amputating. He then spent the next nine months in the hospital and then four more months in rehab and physical therapy facilities, learning to walk again and recovering from severe brain damage.

In my mind, his experience is a closer description of “horrible” than the signs designed to protect pedestrians and cyclists from drivers, who enjoy the protection of two tons of steel and a couple of airbags.

Stephanie Oppenheimer

Falls Church


Small Correction to Arlington History Reference


I have a correction to make regarding Charlie Clark’s column in the May 3 News-Press, where he discusses bygone Arlington businesses. Arcadian Gardens was not a part of McCrory’s, but a separate plant and nursery business. It was located at the back of Parkington along Randolph St. I remember it well, as my father used to take us there each year to pick out our Christmas tree – sometimes for as little as three dollars!

I believe the business might have been owned by or related to the Hecht Co. in some way, as all the Arcadian Gardens in the metro area were located wherever Hecht’s was also. But they closed out long before Hecht’s did, and the space they occupied was converted into more stores. This lasted for several years until the all of Parkington was re-developed.

I enjoy the memories Mr. Clark’s columns bring back, as I am a lifelong Arlington resident.

Carolyn Clemente




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.






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