Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Former West Old Town Citizens Association President Leslie Zupan says the school system must be more accountable.
This week Alexandria’s elected officials past and present presided over the groundbreaking for the new $45 million Jefferson-Houston School. Turning over earth will not bury the serious problems that remain. ACPS continues to dodge questions regarding academics, capacity projections, and the future of PK-8 school transformations. Fifteen years of test data confirms the new school building is little more than a token gesture. The School Board and its enablers disclaim responsibility for their collective social policies -- policies which amount to little more than protecting Alexandria's wealthiest schools. The technique is now polished: blame white parents for alleged racism because they continue to avoid the failing Jefferson-Houston …
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Alexandria resident endorses Dana Lawhorne for re-election as sheriff and Bryan Porter for Commonwealth's Attorney.
To the editor, I would like to make all Alexandrians aware of two dedicated, home-grown candidates running for constitutional offices in Alexandria—Dana Lawhorne for Sheriff and Bryan Porter for Commonwealth’s Attorney. They represent the very best of bright, dedicated, and effective Democratic candidates, and I am pleased to support both of them. Dana Lawhorne is the incumbent Sheriff, having been elected in 2005. Dana was born and raised in Alexandria and attended our public schools. Since his graduation from T.C. Williams High School, Dana has served in public safety positions, 27 years as an Alexandria Police Officer before serving as our Sheriff for the past seven years. In my opinion, Dana’s crown-jewel achievement is his leadership …
Saturday, May 4, 2013
PG-13 film in theaters starting Thursday is a 'hoot, wild ride and an emotional journey.'
Let's face it. Those of you who are interested in films of Iron Man's ilk and have waited through a year of Comic-Cons dressed like your favorite Marvel superhero, do not need Cinema Siren to tell you whether to head out this weekend to keep one of Hollywood's biggest studio franchises alive and Robert Downey Jr. out of the poorhouse. You already have your tickets. It is the souls who usually stay home with a glass of wine watching Downton Abbey, and occasion the multiplex only for the most hyped and well reviewed blockbusters they want to charm into theaters. Try Regal Potomac Yard 16 at 3575 Jefferson Davis Highway or AMC Hoffman Center 22 at 206 Swamp Fox Road. With its mix of magnetic superstar power, exciting action and strong …
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Patch is happy to consider opinion articles for publication. We reserve the right to edit for accuracy, clarity and brevity.
Tuesday, April 30
The following opinion column was submitted by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. Moran is a member of the Congressional Autism Caucus. We recognize the month of April as Autism Awareness and Understanding month. Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is the fastest growing serious developmental disorder in the United States, affecting nearly two million Americans. One in 88 children is on the autism spectrum by age 8, and boys are five times more likely to have an ASD. A new survey by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that the instance of ASD may actually be higher. And here in Northern Virginia, we are experiencing the prevalence of ASD firsthand. Arlington Public Schools released a report showing a 52 percent increase in enrollment of …
Monday, April 29, 2013
Kevin H. Posey of the Alexandria Transportation Commission says the city needs a better plan for Landmark Mall.
As some readers may know, I supported the Beauregard redevelopment plan put forward by JBG Properties and other developers because the design called for a first-class pedestrian environment. I even said nice things about the Waterfront plans which also embodied Council’s commitment to less car reliance, though that stance put me at odds with quite a few individuals in the city. So, I’m hardly in the camp of those opposed to any and all development in Alexandria when I say that I oppose the current plan to redevelop Landmark Mall. Let me make it clear that I support redeveloping the old, tired relic of mid-20th century commerce that squats on the site now. It is an antiquated example of car-based, regionally oriented retail shopping that no…
Charles Conway questions state Del. Rob Krupicka's leadership of the Jefferson-Houston transformation.
How harshly do readers have to express their heartfelt distress before getting The Patch’s attention? In an August 18, 2011 entry “Krupicka Believes Agenda Sets Him Apart, State senate candidate says creating local-state partnerships will be critical to future of Northern Virginia” Del Ray Patch editor Drew Hansen suggests the defeated candidate, now State Delegate former City Councilman Rob Krupicka, “believes it is this agenda, one he says has specific plans to boost education in the state and to create state-local partnerships… that sets him apart.” If true why did State Delegate formerly City Councilman Krupicka, who in the same article touts former ACPS School Board Chairman Sheryl Gorsuch’s “personal endorsement,” not have a well-…
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Michael Clem, a recycling program analyst with the city's Transportation & Environmental Services Department, says it's time to rethink trash. Did you know that the average Alexandria household disposes of 46 pounds of trash each week?
Wednesday, April 24
To the editor: With the momentum of Earth Day and the arrival of spring, our thoughts turn to small ways that we can help the environment. Fill our recycling bin; turn off lights when leaving a room; set the air conditioning thermostat a few degrees higher, take out the trash…. take out the trash? Yes, that’s right. For better or worse, trash, an inevitable byproduct of human civilization, could potentially join wind, solar, and hydro power as a renewable energy source. Consider this: Alexandria transports its trash to the Covanta Energy-from-Waste facility (5301 Eisenhower Ave.), which generates electricity. The average Alexandria household disposes of 46 pounds of trash each week, generating enough kilowatts of energy to drive 38 miles …
Friday, April 19, 2013
Arthur E. Schmalz says Susan Yowell leaves SFA better than she found it.
To the editor, Novelist Paul Auster wrote that the best one can do in life is to “leave the world a little better than you found it.” On June 30, after 10 years as the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria’s Executive Director, Susan Yowell will leave the organization a lot better than when she arrived a decade ago. During her tenure, SFA’s annual scholarship awards to T.C. Williams students more than tripled, growing from about $279,000 in 2003 to $920,000 in 2012. Over the same period, the size of SFA’s General Fund awards to students grew from $1,000 to $2,500 per year. Annual contributions to SFA followed a similar trajectory, increasing from approximately $400,000 in 2003, to $1 million in 2012. These are impressive accomplishments, but …
Friday, April 12, 2013
Is Eisenhower Avenue widening a waste of money?
To the editor, I am writing because I am concerned that Alexandria is wasting money on the Eisenhower Ave road-widening project. Does it make sense to spend a $7 million to make the operation of the intersection of Eisenhower Avenue and Mill Road "acceptable" for seven years? And what happens when the average daily traffic volumes again exceed acceptable levels, as the city projects they will? Readers who think that the city of Alexandria should place higher priority on identifying and incentivizing multi-modal transit options should use the Eisenhower Design Public Comment process as an opportunity to be heard. In the past, our city council has wisely emphasized adding capacity through transit (supported by walking and biking access) over…
Monday, April 8, 2013
Retired police officer Sean McGowan, who is now the executive director of the Virginia Police Benevolent Association, served 25 years in the Alexandria Police Department.
To the Editor: Members of the Alexandria Chapter of the Police Benevolent Association have expressed deep concerns over the City Manager's proposed changes to the City's health insurance program and the police and fire pension. Both of these changes will have a major impact on the lives of police officers and their families. While our officers have long lagged behind our comparator jurisdictions in salary, they have always been able to point to their benefits as something that helped maintain their compensation level; this is no longer the case. Our law enforcement professionals understand that the cost of healthcare is rising, not only here in the City, but nationwide. Over the past several years, the city has increased the portion of …