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Letter to the Editor: Mixed Messages To Seniors

To the Editor: In 2012, the City Council unanimously approved the city’s strategic plan on aging. The plan supports the goal of most older Alexandria residents to age in place, in their homes and in the community they love. The city manager’s proposed budget threatens to undermine the ability of many residents to stay in the city. The budget calls for termination of Senior Taxi; imposition of steep cuts in property tax relief for older or disabled homeowners; and termination of JobLink’s program providing employment assistance for older job seekers.

Letter to the Editor: Waterfront Course Correction Needed

To the Editor: What is our goal for Alexandria? To be attractive to upper-income retirees? Or make Alexandria a place where talented young people want to live and raise a family? Judging from recent waterfront discussions, it’s the former — affluent seniors. The best research available, however, says if you want to lock in future prosperity, go for young families. Don’t get me wrong. Waterfront development is coming along reasonably well, and I compliment leadership on its work. It’s just that we need a course correction to make sure we’re heading where we want to go and don’t drift into a dead-zone of older seasonal residents whose memories and priorities are elsewhere.

Letter to the Editor: What Happened To Democracy?

To the Editor: I’ve always wondered what happens when Democrats control a democracy. Alexandria is great petri dish to make this observation. Not only is it full of Democrats, it’s full the best kind: government employees. Alexandria is awash with them. Understandably, their proclivity is to turn to government for leadership, solutions and redress. To this mindset, the government is not the servant; it’s the master. And last month, our local master conquered. It vanquished the Old Town Boat Club. The city used police state threats and $5 million of our money to crush a venerable organization composed of private citizens. The city coveted their club property. Now, it appears what never belonged to the city is nearly in its hand.

Letter to the Editor: Outlandish Property Taxes

To the Editor: Why is it that our property taxes have risen 135 percent since the year 2000? That’s an average increase of 7 percent every year. Yet we are consistently told by our council that the numerous new building developments they have ravaged upon us will create a tax base that will in turn give the citizens a break on their property taxes. That’s just pure baloney, as who is paying for the entire associated infrastructure. Obviously the developers aren’t; we are. Therefore the taxes generated by the city’s numerous overdevelopment programs are being spent in other areas and are not being returned to us as tax rebates.

Letter to the Editor: Making Progress

To the Editor: Amid a busy campaign season leading up to the Democratic Primary Election on June 24, it is easy to get caught up in the horse race aspect of politics and forget about the real challenges affecting Marylanders every day. Yesterday marked the conclusion of the 2014 Legislative Session. This year, the Maryland General Assembly considered a number of important pieces of legislation.

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.