Letters to the Editor: A Lack of Truth Telling During Budget Process


Letters to the Editor: May 12 – 18, 2016


 A Lack of Truth Telling During Budget Process


Like many who live in the City, I am proud of our school system. My daughter graduated with the full IB diploma and all her work and effort has stood her well, both in university and in her work life. The proper funding of our schools is critical, especially since our school system and the young people who attend are competing with far larger and more financially endowed systems, like Arlington and Fairfax. I am proud of what our city has accomplished. We more than hold our own.

However, I am more than a little tired of the lack of truth in advertising in the budgeting process. Let’s clear away all the hyperbole and get down to the bottom line. The schools asked for an increase in funding this year of around 5.5 percent. They were granted an increase in funding of around 3.9 percent. That is not a cut of $900,000! Imagine in the private sector if you asked your boss for a 5.5 percent raise, but were granted a 3.9 percent raise. Would you then go out and proclaim that your boss had cut your salary by 1.6 percent? I think not.

The math is simple it seems to me. The schools got a raise, not a cut. Stop your caterwauling and deal with it. Those of us on Social Security got no increase this year. Government workers at the Federal level have been squeezed for quite a few years – I doubt they have gotten a 3.9 percent increase for many years. I should think the school system’s officials should be pleased with the increase, not declaring the end of the world.

And by the way, we taxpayers are going to have to pony up more money this year anyway due to the increase in assessments. The schools get a raise, we get a cut –that is, a real cut. As a small jurisdiction, we pay higher tax rates, I get that. That is the real world cost of running a small jurisdiction.
Truth in advertising would be a good thing to see in the News-Press too. But that is probably a vain hope. How about a headline like this? “School System Gets 3.9% Increase – But Says It Needs More.”

David Phelps

Falls Church


If We Can’t Run a City Ourselves, We Need to Give it Back


My grandparents, my parents my wife and I, and my children are all products of Falls Church City, and Falls Church City Schools, for the most part.
We are now at the point where the proposed tax rate for the deplorable Little City is 19 percent higher than that of Fairfax.

Well, if we are not competent to run the city with an equal budget, give it back. Admit failure, before it ruins us all.

Oh, by the way, the school budget does not include bond payments for the new school buildings. Did the News-Press ever mention that?
It is like the Pravda Falls Church edition.

Patton Cooper

Falls Church


Column On Arab Muslim Comedian Was Disturbing


I generally enjoy Charlie Clark’s vignettes of local life in his “Our Man in Arlington” series. As I started reading his column in the April 28-May 4, 2016 edition of the News-Press, I thought this would be another enjoyable column about Mr. Clark’s interactions with the Arab Muslim community in Northern Virginia. Unfortunately, the column quickly went from a discussion of Islamophobia, against which we must all be vigilant, to an anti-Semitic rant.

The “comedian” Mr. Clark chose to highlight claims that “they” – meaning the Jews – “stole our land.” Actually, the UN partitioned the land that was under British control, giving the majority of the land to the Arabs. Prior to that, many Arab and Muslim residents living in British controlled Palestine willingly sold their land to Jewish buyers. Were many others displaced by the Israeli War of Independence? Yes. Similarly, at the same time, Jews in the surrounding Arab and Muslim countries were forcibly expelled from their ancestral homes. But of course, there is no mention of the Jews’ land being stolen or their expulsion. Mr. Clark then goes on to describe the “Israeli tormentors.” Those tormentors are really soldiers and police officers who ensure that Palestinian and other terrorists do not harm innocent civilians—including Americans. Moreover, as anyone who has visited Ben Gurion airport knows, the security is tough on everyone, not just Arabs. Most disturbing is that Mr. Clark gives voice to someone who is not merely complaining about the lands Israel won in the 1967 war; the subject of the article clearly states that it has been since 1948 that Israel has “occupied” Palestinian land. In other words, the State of Israel should no longer exist.

The real tragedy of this so-called comedian is that he fails to put the blame squarely where it belongs for the plight of Palestinians who have no country – Palestinian leaders who lack courage and vision, and who teach their young people to hate others and not value their own lives.

Beth Heleman

Falls Church


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