Letters to the Editor: February 7 – 13, 2019
City Asks Park Visitors to Refrain from Smoking
According to the CDC, there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure. Even brief exposure can be harmful, leading to illnesses like heart disease in adults, or respiratory problems in children. Plus, according to Keep America Beautiful, a national campaign, cigarette butts are the most commonly littered item. Smoking is detrimental to both our health and our environment.
Per Virginia law, the City of Falls Church is unable to ban smoking in public places. Our parks, however, where children play and adults relax in nature, are especially important to our health. The F.C. Recreation and Parks Department, therefore, has begun a no smoking initiative. We’re asking park visitors to refrain from smoking, to keep our air and grounds clean for humans and wildlife. Please look for our signs in the booths and stickers on the trash cans in The Little City parks.
Student Representative, Advisory Board of Recreation and Parks
It’s Time for Another School to Change Its Name
There was a time when Falls Church had a centrally located high school here, on South Cherry Street at Hillwood Avenue. It was the Falls Church High School. But we lost that school in 1948, when Falls Church became a city. In the split from Fairfax County, we lost Falls Church High School.
That’s why the City built George Mason Jr.-Sr. High School — on what was then Fairfax County property. George Mason opened in 1952.
There was a strange, tense rivalry between Falls Church High School and George Mason, even while there was official cooperation. George Mason’s annual plays were performed on Falls Church High’s stage. But there were acts of vandalism (mostly against George Mason) and even violence. The only football game ever played in the ‘50s between the two schools ended in a tie — to the great relief of all the adults.
Then Falls Church High School moved out of Falls Church, to its present location on Jaguar Trail (named after the school’s mascot), and that rivalry disappeared.
That happened decades ago — half a century.
Why is a high school located well into Fairfax County, serving Fairfax County students, still called “Falls Church High School”? It has literally nothing to do with the city of Falls Church or its citizens. Fairfax County recently renamed another of its high schools. Why not rename Falls Church High? Why not change its deceptive name to something — anything — more appropriate?
Remembering Former F.C. Mayor Dover
In honor of Mayor Dover:
I only met him once, on the Metro; And I could tell he was a star; Demeanor, manner, he was gracious; Like a breath of fresh air; He had played ball with the Celtics; And was a corporate lawyer; I suggested he should network with my boss; An African-American corporate attorney who had shot hoops; At the college level; He gave me his number;
He seemed to be a man for all seasons; A universal man; I’m not deifying him; But he seemed to be the best one can; When I moved to Falls Church in 1956; A neighbor man talked proudly; Of his association with the Ku Klux Klan’s; Lynching of someone;
Mayor Dover was singularly uplifting; When I met him; As a juxtaposition on the culture I saw back then; I only knew him for 20 minutes on the Metro ride to work; And he was a friend; As it seemed he would be with everyone.
Kevin B. Shea