Letters to the Editor: October 31 – November 6, 2013

 Concerned With Delay of Burger King Site Plan


I am concerned with the City Council’s delay of the opportunity to replace the Burger King with an assisted living project that could support nearby local businesses.

While the height, LEED Silver standard, and proffers offered by the developer are legitimate concerns, the possibility of an art gallery in the first floor “outside the arts district” is irrelevant. Falls Church would do best to support as much art within in the city as possible, regardless of location. In fact, First Friday of Falls Church already offers many arts activities “outside” the center.

The potential location in Falls Church City West, as I refer to it, is a thriving area within easy walking distance of the “arts district” and includes several local businesses who draw non-city residents here to spend money, including Mad Fox Brewery, Hoang’s Grill and Sushi Bar, Space Bar, and CD Cellar. These local businesses form the core of Falls Church livability and differentiate us from chain-heavy Tyson’s Corner.

This location “in the dead center of our business district” would provide a walkable alternative for residents of the proposed assisted living units and is a “win-win” by not further taxing the school system, rewarding existing local businesses, and removing a chain restaurant from the city.

Mark Byrne

Falls Church


Water Referendum Hands Prized Asset Into Bully’s Fists


A sad story of un-neighborliness:

Fairfax Water tasked with eliminating others.

Neighborly only when convenient.

Abandoned long standing neighborly agreement.

Invaded neighbor’s space and livelihood.

Fought every effort to restore civility and neighborliness. Assuring success with wealth, size and troops of lawyers. Asserted authority to set other’s prices.

Thousands of dollars wasted on lawyers.

Beaten and bullied at ever turn, surrender the only option.

If voters agree, a prized asset slides into bully’s fist.

Having achieved his task, what next?

Rebuild the neighborhood over common borders?

Apologize for outraged, aggressive, un-neighborly behavior?

Don’t hold your breath.

Jerry Barrett

Falls Church


School Board Favors ‘Yes’ Vote on Water Referendum


On this upcoming November 5 Election Day, City residents will have more to decide than the election of City Council members, School Board members, and Constitutional Officers. On the ballot will be a referendum on whether the City should sell its water system to Fairfax County that, if approved, could have a positive impact on Falls Church City Public Schools for years to come.

The School Board, after much discussion, voted unanimously with the support of the student representative at its meeting last week to support both the sale of the City’s water system and a “Yes” vote on the referendum. Why? Because we believe the sale is in the best interest of the entire community in general and Falls Church City Public Schools in particular.

Currently, both Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School and George Mason High School are situated on land that is owned by the City and schools but which is located in Fairfax County. As a result, the use of this land is governed by the County and we must have its approval for any construction projects. With the sale of the water system to Fairfax County, a boundary adjustment will be made to allow Falls Church to annex this land, thus giving the City and schools much more flexibility in making these important decisions.

There are additional benefits:

• With three of our four school campuses located in the City, the zoning and building inspection process will be much more streamlined, greatly speeding up construction projects.

• 30% of this land can be used for non-school purposes. This could include new development of commercial and/or residential projects, bringing new revenue streams to the City to help pay for our future capital needs, including a new high school.

• The sale will net the City about $10 million, which can be invested to improve City finances and ensure the continuation of excellent services to the entire community.

• Approval of the referendum would resolve a long-standing dispute between the city and county, avoid further legal expenses on this dispute, and renew a strongly cooperative city/county relationship.

Susan Kearney

Chair, Falls Church City School Board


F.C. Democratic Chair Urges All to Vote Tuesday


Every single year in Virginia there is an election to select who will represent us at either the federal, state or local level. This election will determine what are the most important issues of governing. It will affect spending i.e., transportation, health and human services, public safety, etc. within our communities – money directly returned to pay for taxpayer’s needs.

In addition to the top offices in Virginia we also elect State Delegate, City Council, School Board, Commissioner of the Revenue, City Treasurer and Sheriff and whether to sell our water system to Fairfax.

The Democratic candidates are not ideologues locked in personal life decisions, and there is nothing to suggest that the Republican candidates will stop their constant focus on managing the most personal choices of a woman, her husband, and their families.

Republican attorney general candidate Mark Obenshain introduced legislation that required a woman to report her miscarriage to the police within 24 hours as if a crime had happened. With Ken Cuccinelli they introduced legislation eliminating access to the birth control pill. Pregnancy by a rapist should lead to a birth through their legislative efforts.

The Democratic candidates Terry McAuliffe (Governor), Ralph Northam (Lt. Governor) and Mark Herring (Attorney General) are all pragmatic politicians. Their focus is being fiscally responsible, returning Virginia to being the best to run a business, to raise a family. None of them are ideologues wanting to interfere in personal family decisions. They will work hard to prevent the legislature from imposing those controls on Virginian families and women.

Vote tonight, Friday or Saturday (absentee in person) or on November 5. Tell your friends and family to vote.

Betty Coll

Chair, Falls Church City Democratic Committee


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