Opinion

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

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Commentary: Dean Supports Beyer

I’ve always stood for the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. When I started my presidential campaign in 2003, I was against the Iraq War, and had worked hard as Governor of Vermont to create marriage equality and universal health care in my home state. Those positions weren’t totally popular at the time. But I believe candidates should pay attention not only to their prospective constituents, but also to their internal compass.

Letter: School Budget: Different Perspective

Letter to the Editor

"Challenging discussion on the Fairfax County FY 2015 Budget" is another attendee’s perspective on the Lee District Feb. 26 meeting at which the FCPS and Fairfax County budgets were presented.

Letter: Prohibit Fracking

Letter to the Editor

In "Residents Concerned About ‘Fracking in Our Backyard’" (Connection, April 3-9, 2014), readers may wonder how pollutants entering the Potomac River 200 miles upstream in the George Washington National Forest could still be toxic in Fairfax County.

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.

Pass a Clean Budget

To the Editor: “Greetings Leverage. The Governor and 22 Senators use this degrading term to describe all public school teachers, sheriffs deputies, state agencies, and counties who depend on the funds included in a clean state budget. In short, you are hostages. The Governor, elected by a slim margin last November, a state Senator elected by a mere 12 votes, and another Senator who’s residence is in question all claim the right to rule as they see fit carefully ignoring the fact the two out of every three Virginians question the wisdom of implementing a demonstrated train wreck.

Editorial: Celebrate Earth Day

Get outside with your family, participate in group activities, or just walk in your favorite park.

Earth Day is April 22, observed April 19-27 and beyond. Fairfax County offers many useful and educational ways to enjoy the day. Don’t miss the chance to get outside, observe the developing spring weather, flora and fauna. Here are some of the opportunities:

Dying of Curiosity

As I was completing last week’s column ("I Thought I Was a Goner") and thanking my oncology nurse, Ron, in the process, for the excellent care he has provided me for nearly five years now; a week after I wrote a column thanking my Certified Holistic Health Coach, Rebecca Nenner, for the health and fitness-type knowledge she has given me over those same five years; it dawned on me that perhaps my subconscious mind knew something that my conscious mind didn’t: that I should move closer to the undertaker like Radar’s Uncle Ernest did two days before he died, in the M*A*S*H episode titled "Novacaine Mutiny" from season four.

Commentary

Reston at 50

Although President Barack Obama did not come to Reston’s 50th anniversary celebration as President Lyndon Johnson had done at its dedication in 1964, he did send a letter of congratulations to the community’s founder Robert E. Simon. Not that Founder’s Day was short of dignitaries: Governor Terry McAuliffe spoke and presented a proclamation; Senator Tim Kaine spoke at the event as did Congressman Gerry Connolly who presented a resolution; not to be outdone, Senator Janet Howell and I presented a joint resolution as did Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and Supervisor Cathy Hudgins.

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.

Letter to the Editor: City Manager’s Office Salary Summary

* FY 14 merits and salary adjustments were effective July 1, 2013 * There is no executive summary giving everyone a 5 percent increase, the proposed FY 15 budget contains an average merit of 3.2 percent for the entire organization * 1 percent increase for all employees for VRS As of 3-26-14.

Letter to the Editor: Improvement Is Needed

To the Editor: The on-going debate on the re-striping of Sherwood Hall Lane is characterized by a signal lack of data on all sides; its permanent re-striping should hold off until we’ve got some hard data to make an informed decision. I assert that those, on either side of the bike lane divide, who advocate a final solution right now are nervous that the data wouldn’t support their preferred position.

Letter to the Editor: Who’s Looking Out For Taxpayers?

To the Editor: Its budget time again in Alexandria and based on [City Manager] Mr. Young's proposed budget items, once again he continues to leave Alexandria loaded with debt while continuing to raise his salary and those of his staff, cutting 33 positions and just "moving the deck chairs" around as it relates to staff reductions, but no eliminations along with a much higher real estate tax initially proposed due to high debt limit and City Council's inability to say "no" to anything. As such, here are some of my questions/suggestions for Mayor Euille and all members of the council to consider and/or ask Mr. Young before adopting this budget.

Letter to the Editor: Proposal’s Effect On Fire Safety?

To the Editor: We, the presidents of the NorthEast Citizens’ Association and the North Old Town Independent Citizens Association, are writing to express the deep concern of many of our members over the budget proposal to remove Fire Engine 204 from Station 204. The city manager has proposed that rather than keep in the budget firefighter positions needed to staff Station 210, the needed firefighter positions from 204 will be transferred to 210. Fire Engine 204 itself would otherwise not need to be moved; in recent years, the city purchased a full fleet of new engines.

Start the Conversation

April 16 has been designated as National Healthcare Decisions Day by national, state and community organizations. This special day was established to encourage adults of all ages to plan ahead for a health care crisis. This is also a great day to focus on how you can prepare yourself and your loved ones to face the decisions that will confront us all as we age.

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