Letters to the Editor: June 8 – 14, 2017
F.C. Needs Comprehensive Development Solutions
Falls Church faces a number of significant projects in the near future or just over the horizon. A new high school is slated to be on the ballot this fall. Last fall, voters approved a major library renovation. City Hall renovations are in the works (and quite over budget according to last week’s Council meeting), Mt. Daniel’s renovation and expansion has begun, and we are told that a significant addition at TJ Elementary will likely be necessary.
Each of these projects affects institutions and facilities that are part of the fabric of The Little City. Yet for the most part, the plans for each have been developed separately, rather than as a whole. With budget pressures unlikely to fade anytime fast, isolated projects only exacerbate our lack of an economy of scale due to the City’s relatively small size.
In order to make these projects better — and make them more affordable — why don’t we take a step back and look at them as connected pieces of a single puzzle, namely the future of The Little City? The puzzle pieces aren’t limited to just these tangible projects, but also involve transportation, sustainability, economic development, community character, and more. I urge our elected officials to seek a comprehensive solution to these and other issues, and to establish citizen commissions to assist exploring every piece of this puzzle using the many talents and wealth of experience amongst our residents. Completing a difficult puzzle is much easier when the pieces are sorted and the edges are connected first.
News-Press Needs to Stick To Its Platform
Your proudly “progressive” owner/editor has, of course, a perfect right to express his views through his own weekly editorials and by his selection of left-leaning opinion columnists. I note however, that the third bullet point of your newspaper’s “Platform, “ appearing in each issue, proclaims “Do not let the news columns reflect editorial comment.”
So how do you explain the June 1–7 news item re the Falls Church Episcopal church, written by your owner/editor, reporting that the church’s current occupants have stood for the last five years “against the reactionary policies of the contrarians who opposed LGBT rights and the ordination of women.”
While I happen to strongly support the policy positions advanced by the Rev. Ohmer and the “current occupants,” I would also strongly prefer that the News-Press stick to its “Platform,” and present a more straightforward news account on such matters, thus allowing me to make up my own mind on their merits.
If Progressives Are Serious, They Need To Walk the Walk
The June 2 edition of the News-Press had some great progressive ideas, although one has to question how serious they were. There were three examples:
Rev. John Ohmer preached that we should “Jam a stick into the wheel of injustice” and call for welcoming refugees in his guest commentary. However, I saw no mention of how much land Falls Church Episcopal or land owned by his parishioners was being donated to this cause.
Don Beyer blasted President Trump’s Paris Treaty withdraw as a “triumph of ignorance, nativism, and political pandering,” while ignoring my previous plea that he immediately shut down the carbon-spewing Don Beyer Auto dealerships, liquidate all assets, and invest the proceeds in green technology.
And finally, Nicholas Benton’s flagship editorial warned us about an “assault on truth and reason”. Several paragraphs later we were treated to Russian conspiracy theories and a misunderstanding of the Supreme Court’s role half a year after a presidential election.
While it’s hard to argue against the basics behind each of these ideas (compassion, environmental stewardship, and truth), the arguments would be far more persuasive if their advocates walked the walk.
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