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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?

Tease photo

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.

Letter to the Editor: Route 1 Traffic Problems

To the Editor: Wake up politicians in Northern Virginia: we need four lanes on Route 1 in both directions that are usable. Traffic is backing up further and further at Kings Crossing and the Costco/Wal-Mart location near Hybla Valley. The back up at Kings Crossing causes commuters to take Fort Hunt, Quander Road to Sherwood Hall Lane. Sherwood Hall Lane is now backed up from Route 1 past the Sherwood Regional Library almost every afternoon.

Letter to the Editor: Re-Striping Plan Hurts Homeowners

To the Editor: The overarching problem with FCDOT’s and VDOT’s proposal for Sherwood Hall Lane is that it is concerned exclusively with the imagined needs of bicycle riders of whom there are only a handful and with passing through commuters of whom there are already far too many. The residents of the neighborhoods stretching from Route 1 and Gum Springs to Ft. Hunt Road, which include Hybla Valley [Frances and Schelhorn], Sherwood Estates and Hollindale are being told to accept changes to the road that will only degrade the neighborhood further and, therefore, decrease property values. The first degradation occurred in the early ‘70s with the widening of Sherwood Hall Lane from a little two lane road to what we have now. We lost property and many fine trees but at least we got sidewalks [we do have walkers and runners] and on street parking.

Commentary: Working Towards a County Budget

The County Executive has released his recommendations for the fiscal year (FY) 2015 operating budget. I wanted to let you know some of the highlights that were in it, as the County Council begins our business of working to approve a final budget. The recommended budget stays within the charter limit and totals $4.97 billion for FY 2015, which begins July 1. The budget funds education beyond what is required by the State Maintenance of Effort Level law, puts more police on the beat, and reduces the County's property tax rate.

Letter to the Editor: Beware Becoming Pedestrian Unfriendly

To the Editor: The subject of managing bicycle traffic in Old Town is a complex one, but a key element is the effect of such traffic on the quality of life for residents. Old Town must be a walkable city, something it seemed to emphasize a few years ago but now has taken a back seat to other interests. It is evident that Old Town residents have complained about bicyclists not stopping at stop signs and not yielding to pedestrians, and added to this peril is the recent declaration by City Council that bicycles may travel on the city sidewalks. How can all of this be interpreted as anything but placing pedestrian safety, and pedestrian access, second to bicycle traffic?

Letter to the Editor: Thank You To WPHS

To the Editor: Recently, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry issued a communication to exceptional schools in the U.S. that support public diplomacy efforts by hosting high school exchange students sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. AFS has just learned that West Potomac High School received this commendation from Secretary Kerry, and we want to express how proud we are to work in educational partnership with this outstanding school and its visionary leaders.Nearly 30 years ago, I was welcomed into a U.S. high school as an exchange student from Argentina.

Letter to the Editor: Negatives of Income Equality

To the Editor: I for one, and completely thankful for an income gap in society. Hard work, innovation and that all important "Stick-to-itivness" allows people to come from a challenged background and succeed. It is the communist ... er ... democrat buzz phrase that the income gap is a concept that is to be loathed and even feared. I cannot begin to mention the myriad people that have come to this great and prosperous nation with the clothes on their back and a dream in their God-given souls, only to rise above the endless challenges placed before them. My grandparents came here with nothing and instilled into their children concepts that are wholly unknown to some entire segments of today's leech society.

Letter to the Editor: Seeds of Success Are Sown

To the Editor: The recent settlement agreement between the Old Dominion Boat Club and the city is cause for celebration. We applaud both sides for bringing this long litigious battle to an end in a manner we find fair — but more importantly sets the stage for the world class waterfront that our community can treasure. Someday in the near future a visitor at the foot of King Street will never again have to ask “where's the water” while a new state of the art Boat Club facility will rise out of the flood plain replacing the Beachcomber eyesore.

Letter: Toxic Debate on School Budget

To the Editor: Supporting the public schools is Fairfax County’s number one priority. Proof of that lies in the fact that over 50 percent of the county’s budget supports school programs. This large expense has generated considerable debate among county taxpayers over the years. However, this year the discussion has become toxic and personal.