Letters to the Editor: October 10 – 16, 2013

 F.C. Upgrades Should Include Bike Campaign


I endorse the three excellent recommendations made last month by David Blanchard in his Letter to the Editor on improvements to Falls Church.

In addition to his suggestions of underground power and high-speed communication lines, free Wi-Fi for the City and upgrades to the storm drainage system, I would add a fourth high-value capital improvement to make the Little City a more vibrant, socially interactive community. We need to improve bike trails and bike lanes and become part of the Capital Bikeshare. This program now includes the District and Arlington County as far as Balston. This Bikeshare system has 1,800+ bicycles at 200+ stations across the Washington, D.C. region that are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Bikeshare could provide an immediate new transportation link from the East and West Falls Church Metros to boost restaurants and other entertainment venues in the Little City.

Ben Stoner

Falls Church


Could Lower Revenues Be Due to High Taxes?


The late and unlamented Lenin said: “The way to kill capitalism is to tax it to death.” I note in a September 19 article in the Falls Church News-Press that the City of F.C. seems surprised that sales tax revenue has fallen 7% from 2012, and sales and meals tax revenue are flat year over year.

Have they considered that heavy taxation encourages people to take their business to less heavily taxed areas?

As for that charade of a “true surplus” versus a budgetary surplus, the Mayor and Falls Church City Council seem to be desperately trying to dodge the facts that they raised taxes when they didn’t need to.

Henry J. Gordon

Falls Church


Enrollment Surge Impacts City In Many Ways


Thank you for highlighting the issue of the school enrollment surge. I would like to comment on items in your September 12 editorial. “Families occupying the City’s growing number of dense mixed-use rental and condo projects actually wind up paying more to the City than it costs to educate their children.”

First, there are also a growing number of students living in stand-alone houses. The number of houses have increased partly because single houses have been torn down and two houses have been built on substandard lots where the one house used to be.

The cost of new students to the City is not just for their education. Our wonderful city also provides parks, the community center, a great library, and special events, which are also paid for by taxpayer dollars.

Some children’s family’s taxes may cover the cost of education and others wouldn’t, but it’s not just the cost of education that needs to be examined when looking ahead to our future tax income and expenditures. The other services cost taxpayers money as well.

Shirley Connuck

Falls Church


ACA Spreads Broken System To More People


I am writing in response to the editorial published by the FCNP on October 2nd, entitled “Obamacare’s Glorious Launch.” I disagree with the claim that the Affordable Care Act’s launch was “glorious.” My disagreement stems not from ideological issues, but from the fact that the law fails to address the enormous problem of healthcare costs in America.

Rather than attempting to reduce the cost of healthcare in this country, the ACA simply extends a broken healthcare system to more people. I believe that providing healthcare to all is extremely laudable, but addressing the outrageous cost of healthcare in America is a much greater and more pressing need. Sadly, this point was and continues to be largely ignored in the debate surrounding the ACA, by liberals and conservatives alike (and by the News-Press).

We have a healthcare culture problem in this country. Americans demand the latest and greatest treatments and services with no preconditions, regardless of whether these things will have a positive effect on overall health outcomes. In other developed countries, the cost-effectiveness of care is heavily considered when payers determine whether to cover something or not.

In America, cost-effectiveness is largely ignored. For example, Medicare is legally prohibited from considering cost when deciding whether to cover a service or a drug. For this and other reasons, American per-capita health spending exceeds $8,000 annually, whereas in other countries with equal or superior health outcomes, this figure typically hovers around the $3,000 to $5,000 mark.

The goal of providing healthcare to all is a good one. However, the ACA fails to address the biggest healthcare problem in our country – that of cost. I implore the FCNP, and the media at large, to pay more attention to this issue. If we want to extend healthcare to all Americans, we must start by making our healthcare system efficient and cost-effective.

Andrew Parker



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.