Letters to the Editor: July 18 – 24, 2019
We Need More Trees, Not Less, in Falls Church
Hey, Little City-zens!
Do we really think now is the time to keep cutting down mature trees to make room for absurdly giant homes with multiple impervious surfaces and even — in one case close to home — a swimming pool?!
If you want a particularly egregious example of this madness take a look at the domicile nearing completion at the corner of West St. and Laura Dr. How is this even possible in our Enlightened Little Tree City USA?
Are we living in the same burning world? Wake up! It’s damage control time. Canopy trees and native vegetation are our best friends, not our enemies. We need more of them, not less. Let’s stop permitting this!
Rachel M. Clark
Cyclists Ignore Detours During W&OD Bridge Construction
Construction of the new Washington & Old Dominion trail bridge over Route 29 began on April 19 of this year. As a resident who lives on the corner of Lee Highway and Fairfax Dr., metros to work, and uses the W&OD trail many times a week, I can say this construction has been anything but convenient. However, the behavior of many bicyclists in the area since the construction began has added to this inconvenience tenfold.
The detours that were set up for pedestrians and bicyclists to go around the construction are very simple and easy to use. When traveling west on the W&OD trail, bicycles are instructed to take a left where the construction begins going south down Lee Highway and then taking a right on Jefferson to connect back up with the trail. Pedestrians are instructed to use the sidewalk on Fairfax Dr. There are multiple signs posted along the route to indicate this. Bicyclists have ignored these detours and are constantly biking on the sidewalk where the pedestrians are meant to travel. It is problematic and unsafe. There are people walking with pets and children and bicyclists zoom down the sidewalks ringing their bells, expecting them to get out of the way quickly.
Bicyclists need to start using their designated detour. If they can’t read road signs, they shouldn’t be biking. The bridge is not set to be completed until the fall of 2020. We have a lot of time to continue using these detours and if bikes continue to ignore the road signs, there will be an accident. Anyone confused about how they should be navigating this area can visit Virginia DOT’s website to see the detours very clearly mapped out.
Election Day Must Be Referendum On Gun Violence
On May 31, 12 people were killed and four were injured in Virginia Beach. It was the worst shooting in American history since Nov. 18, when 12 people were shot and killed at the Borderline Bar and Grill in California. Virginia loses roughly 26 people per month to gun deaths, 1,000 each year.
Reacting to the horror in Virginia Beach, Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam called a special legislative session. The session, held on July 9, opened and ended in less than two hours. There was no debate, no vote, no legislation. The NRA, which contributes heavily to the Republican members of the House’s Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety (MPPS) where gun bills originate (and where gun violence prevention bills “go to die”), declared victory.
The unconscionable disregard for human life and for the public’s right to safety coupled with full regard for its NRA supporters, places a stark and crystal-clear choice in front of Virginia’s voters who will go to the polls on Nov. 5, a day on which every state legislator faces re-election.
While other states throughout the nation are beginning to enact common gun safety laws like “Gun Violence Restraining Orders” that would remove guns from individuals proven to be a danger to themselves or others, Virginia’s MPPS Committee has denied such bills any oxygen at all. Other bills denied the light of day include universal background checks, child access prevention, restoring the one handgun a month restriction, and the banning of assault firearms, bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and silencers.
The committee has also smothered gun safety bills by opposing bills to prevent the printing of untraceable 3D-printed guns, bills that allow local governments to ban guns in government buildings, and bills that require applicants for concealed carry permits to show competence with firearms via an in-person test.
While opposing bills that would save lives, these legislators consistently offer dangerous pro-gun bills that endanger lives, among them a bill that would enable concealed carry in Virginia without a permit, a bill that would grant a concealed carry permit to anyone without any background checks.
At the special session, the Republican-led Virginia legislature did not take a single vote on new legislation to reduce gun violence.
While the legislature did not vote on July 9, on Nov. 5, Virginia’s citizens will.
Via the Internet
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