Opinion

Drawn from the 15 weekly community newspapers published by Connection Newspapers.

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Letter to the Editor: In the Public’s Interest

Thank you for the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Coalition recently to discuss a wide range of issues affecting our county. I enjoyed the discussion. Good government requires that elected officials ensure that communities are involved in a meaningful way in the decisions that affect them. Public trust in government erodes when government leaders make deals behind closed doors, as the Brickyard community knows all too well. As a member of the County Council since 1998, I have worked openly and closely with many communities on a broad range of issues that affect them. I was one of the County Councilmembers who sent a letter publicly urging County Executive Leggett to work with the Coalition to find a mutually acceptable use of the Brickyard Road site.

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Commentary: Preparing Students for OR Jobs

If you’ve ever played that classic board game, “The Game of Life,” you’re familiar with the game’s first important life choice: College Path or Career Path. No doubt, a similar choice is on the minds of upcoming seniors at Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School as they finalize their choices for next year’s classes. For those choosing to pursue the career path first, they have a new course option called the Claude Moore Surgical Tech Scholars Program. Created as a joint venture between Alexandria City Public Schools, Inova Alexandria Hospital and the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Surgical Tech program resulted from a very real need to fill healthcare jobs in this specialty right now, while also preparing a pool of qualified applicants to meet future demand. Data from the U.S.

Earth Day Offers Opportunity to Reflect

Later this month, residents across Fairfax County will celebrate Earth Day and renew their commitment to protect our natural resources. As you do your part in your own homes and communities, I ask that you join with the County to support initiatives that will preserve these resources for the generations still to come.

What’s Next for Great Falls Traffic?

To the Editor: As one of the "naysayers" noted by Eric Knudsen in your latest article about the "Walker Road Diet Project," I applaud him for continuing to put his face on the ridiculous projects the Great Falls Citizen's Association has imposed on us.

Is WarnerCare Here?

To the Editor: Several weeks back, Fred Siskind of McLean attempted to defend a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) - Medical Devices Excise Tax [“Incorrect Assertion,” The Reston Connection, March 19-25, 2014]. Unfortunately, Mr. Siskind did not go far enough in his research. The PPACA was the authorizing legislation for the Medical Devices Excise Act.

Matza - Humble Bread

The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. This year those dates correspond to the eve of April 14 through April 22. The holiday commemorates the emancipation of the Jewish people from slavery in Ancient Egypt through many miraculous events such as the Ten Plagues and the Splitting of the Red Sea.

Under the Influence

Commentary

People who could benefit from an expansion of Medicaid that closes the coverage gap by insuring more of the working poor are found throughout the Commonwealth. The highest percentages of such persons tend to be in the southside and southwest regions of the state. Impose a map of regions represented by Republicans and Democrats over a map reflecting the highest percentages of the working poor and the two maps are close to identical. Yet, Republicans who represent areas of great need oppose the expansion of Medicaid, and Democrats who have large numbers of persons but a smaller percentage of those who would benefit from the expansion support it. The historic interest of the two parties explains in part this contradiction, but there are other explanations as well.

Commentary: Why I Support Medicaid Expansion

As the Virginia General Assembly continues to discuss the expansion of Medicaid, the benefits and consequences of doing so have received a great deal of attention. Debates rage in the media, among businesses and around the kitchen tables of ordinary Virginians throughout the state. At our board meeting of March 25 my colleagues and I reiterated, in a bi-partisan vote, our strong support for Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

Opinion: Maintaining a Viable, Diverse Community in Fairfax County

While need for housing, childcare, healthcare and other human services have grown, these programs have faced significant cuts over past few years.

The following open letter to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors concerns housing and human services budget recommendations from the Fairfax Budget Advocacy Coalition for Housing and Human Services.

Opinion: Maintaining a Viable and Diverse Community in Alexandria

Public and private sectors must work together to secure the resources critical to working families and at-risk individuals in our community.

The following letter to Alexandria City Council concerning housing and human services budget recommendations from the Alexandria Budget Advocacy Coalition for Housing and Human Services is shared with the Alexandria Gazette Packet.

Letter to the Editor: Proposal Affects Public Safety

To the Editor: Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) has the power to destroy neighborhoods. With its latest proposals for Sherwood Hall Lane, it will do just that: speeds will increase, our neighbors will lose their on-street parking, and pedestrian travel will become hazardous, altogether altering the character of the road by making it less residential. Proposed changes include removing most street parking, adding bike lanes narrower than the current lane, and adding continuous turn lanes. Their proposals seem to be a solution in search of a problem. FCDOT’s information sheet says they want to make the road “more pedestrian and bicycle friendly,” but most of their proposals will have the opposite effect.

Letter to the Editor: Don’t Move Engine 204

To the Editor: As a resident within the area served by Engine 204, I find it hard to grasp why Engine 204 should be relocated to Eisenhower Avenue. I believe it would be an unwise decision that would affect the public, our lives, homes and many businesses throughout our communities of the south side of Old Town Alexandria and the north side of our city.

Letter to the Editor: Are Bike Lanes Really Necessary?

To the Editor: By unanimously overruling the directly affected residents’ desires to put a bike lane on King Street, could our council overlords really want to enable more bike usage; less vehicular traffic? Pedaling a bike does burn calories, and surely more pedalers mean fewer cars. What’s not to like about less vehicular congestion and better health, at least for the pedalers?

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Letter to the Editor: Up Close

The OspreyCam on Little Hunting Creek in Stratford Landing within our own community (www.littlehuntingcreek.org/ospreycam.html) has infrared capability and as such will operate 24/7, save for occasional computer glitches.

Letter to the Editor: Protect Drinking Water

To the Editor: If we don’t put chemicals on our yards they will not be in our drinking water. Our yards, when added together, constitute most of the land in Montgomery County. We can all work together and make vast improvements to our water quality and our health simply by not using conventional weed killers, pesticides and fertilizers on our yards and gardens. Each year in America, about 80 million pounds of pesticides are used on 30 million acres of lawns. When we put these chemicals on our lawns and gardens some are absorbed into our ground water aquifer, and some are carried by rainwater as run-off pollution.

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