Letters to the Editor: January 24 – 30, 2019
Leaders Have No Regard For Ordinary People’s Lives
As a Falls Church neighborhood resident, I would like to express my thought regarding this government’s cruel shutdown.
After reading the Jan. 23 edition’s editorial page, I wanted to share my own fact of how I have been going through this government shutdown. As an immigrant, my husband and I are going to lose our jobs soon because of the delaying to renew our work authorization from the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, which we were supposed to receive at the beginning of this month. As parents of 10- and 15-year-olds, we are feeling so insecure and concerned about how long this shutdown will last and how we are going to manage our day to day living. And I’m sure that there are many immigrant people who are affected by this government’s shutdown.
This merciless shutdown has reminded me that there are no difference between developed and less developed countries leaders’ characteristics for treating ordinary people’s lives. With that said, not only half of Americans do not have $500 to cover unexpected expenses but also lots of immigrant people are suffocating by this kind of politically motivated shutdowns propaganda. And I cannot believe how the world’s powerful two-sided American leaders tend to be self-centric for the sake of their own people’s hardship.
Most Don’t Realize Full Impact of Fed Shutdown
Last Thursday’s Falls Church News-Press’ front page story about the federal shutdown was a compelling argument against the shutdown describing the impacts it will have on local businesses. I am concerned that most people do not realize the full extent of the shutdown’s impact.
For example, the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the agencies significantly affected by the shutdown, (95 percent unfunded), will have greater impacts on those other than its federal staff. Under EPA funding, virtually every state has (in some cases mandated by federal law) federally funded environmental grant programs to pay for the mandated state component. Some states have multiple grants. As a result, thousands of state employees funded by grants are furloughed and are not receiving the portion of their salary funded by the grant. By law they cannot undertake any federally funded activities and therefore cannot conduct these critical EPA functions. Not only are state personnel not getting paid, this will be devastating to the health and well being of state residents if, for example, compliance monitoring and enforcement of environmental regulations are not undertaken. Federal grants also fund other essential activities such as construction of wastewater treatment plants. The delay of these projects can cause long-term impacts which, during their construction phase stimulates and supports the local economy, and greatly benefits those that will be served by the new facility when completed.
The impacts also include activities funded under federal contracts. Again in the case of EPA, contract dollars include many critical functions, and (by law), impact small and minority businesses. Contract funding provides a great deal of EPA’s scientific and technical support. It is being reported that some of this technical and scientific staff are being lost to non-government work for more secure employment.
Of course, strictly speaking the type of work mentioned above may not necessarily stop, but it cannot be paid for with federal dollars. If the work is continued, it means it must be funded by state or local funds, i.e. tax dollars or bonds paid for by the local residents.
The suffering of this shutdown may be parsed out to a great many more citizens than just federal workers.
F.C. City Schools Need Better Nutrition Policy
In May 2015, I wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Falls Church News-Press that expressed my dismay about the use of M&M’s to teach math to fourth graders at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. Professionals in the school system acknowledged that teaching “M&M’s Math” was ill-advised. Recently, a Falls Church City Public Schools newsletter showed a first grade class using donuts to solve math problems and learn about fractions. In this class, the school tacitly endorsed donuts by incorporating them into the curriculum and the lesson unintentionally associated junk food with feelings of accomplishment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recognizing the enduring influence schools have on students’ attitudes, preferences, and behaviors related to food, recommends that schools adopt a coordinated nutrition policy that “promotes healthy eating through classroom lessons” and is “reinforced throughout the school environment.” Without such a policy, “schools risk negating the health lessons delivered in the classroom and cafeteria by allowing actions that discourage healthy eating behaviors” and “may create lifetime habits of rewarding or comforting oneself with unhealthy eating.”
The FCCPS needs a nutrition policy that’s consistent with CDC guidance.
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