Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Short Memory For What Matters

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Short Memory For What Matters

At the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on July 16 to influence the State Water Control Board to grant or deny a permit to destroy nearly 5 acres of wetlands for the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station (PYMS) Alternative B, current Alexandria mayor Wilson, former mayor Donley, and councilor Aguirre all cheered the project on, while minimizing and distorting the facts as to the imminent and severe environmental impacts if building the station actually proceeds.

In stark contrast from a more considerate and less mercenary time, former Alexandria mayor Moran (and former U.S. representative) in 1990 had the following conservation statement regarding a similarly proposed development in the exact footprint of the PYMS Alternative B site: “Alexandria City Council is on record as opposing the construction of the interchange across the George Washington Memorial Parkway … the interchange will facilitate the development of adjacent land [Potomac Greens, including PYMS Alternative B] which will produce adverse … impacts on the quality of life in the city.”

Alexandria City Councilwoman Pepper and then Potomac Greens Task Force co-chair underscored Moran's written statement to the Virginia governor in saying, “Also, we felt that the [DOI Final Environmental Statement – GWMP/Potomac Greens] does not explain the significance of the parkway being placed on the National Register of Historic Places or explain the legislative intent of the 1929 agreement between the federal government and the city to uphold the memorial character of the parkway … we felt that it should have had a greater context to spell out just how critical it is that this land be preserved … we hope that you will protect our natural and national treasure.”

We've come a long way only to lose our way for what was once a collective sense of hometown values spelled Alexandria.

C. Dara