Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Frank Putzu of West End Alexandria protests secrecy in city government.
To the Editor: On March 16, 2013, the Alexandria City Council passed controversial and sweeping planning changes that are already the subject of litigation. The City passed these changes to transform an honest policy disagreement into Through the Looking Glass litigation tactics, where nothing is as it appears to be. There are two cases in court. The first, city-initiated litigation attacks a Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) decision finding that citizens have a right to petition their government in accordance with state law (the BZA is a creature of state law, not the city) and zoning ordinance. The second, citizen-initiated litigation, which is before the Supreme Court of Virginia, is whether the city can manipulate the process to deprive …
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Crystal Vanison, the education committee chair of the Alexandria chapter of the NAACP, thanks attendees of a March 12 forum with ACPS Superintendent Morton Sherman and others.
Tuesday, March 19
To the editor, On behalf of the Alexandria Chapter of the NAACP, we would like to thank everyone that attended the question-and-answer session with ACPS Superintendent Morton Sherman on March 12. Your questions and ours show that there is much work to be done. As stated during the forum, the NAACP strives to ensure that all students have access to an equal and high-quality public education by eliminating education-related racial and ethnic disparities in our public schools. As the education committee chair and Alexandria Branch as a whole, we plan to become more active in the community to ensure that our mission is not in vain. Whether it is a PTA or School Board meeting, City Council hearing or wherever we need to be, we plan to be …
Friday, March 15, 2013
Elizabeth Wright, chairwoman of the Holmes Run Park Committee, thanks city staff.
To the Editor, Thank you for the excellent coverage of the Holmes Run Trail's use as a valued pedestrian byway on March 8th. As witnessed last week, the trail is used as a dedicated commuter transportation route, not only for recreational use. This Saturday the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) chose the Holmes Run Trail as the location for the monthly bike ride. Billed as a family friendly ride, two blind cyclists have requested "lead captains" for their respective tandem bikes. Last week I cycled the trail looking for trail hazards in view of potential child and blind cyclists. As usual, after a heavy rain, excess gravel and sand had washed onto the trail in the Van Dorn and I-395 tunnels. I sent a request via …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
A Virginia editor asks people to realize that Peter Laboy is more than a cop.
When I was about 7 years old or so, I remember, a Cleveland police officer was shot in the line of duty and killed. Even at that age, I knew enough to feel lucky: My dad was a Cleveland cop, and he wasn't the one who lost his life. In those days, I had a before-school ritual that would last months at a time. Whenever my dad was working the 3-to-11 shift, I'd wake up, clamber down the stairs and peek into my father's bedroom to make sure he was there, that he was alive. See, he would leave for work before I got home from school, and I'd be in bed by the time he returned. And after that poor soul behind the shield lost his life, I had learned young that sometimes cops don't come home, that sometimes random cops aren't in bed when their kids …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
The Alexandria PTA Council states its opposition to “Opportunity Education Institution” legislation.
Thursday, February 21
Dear Editor, The Alexandria PTA Council, on behalf of its 3,000 members (parents, teachers and students) throughout the city, is writing to express our strong opposition to the “Opportunity Education Institution” legislation recently adopted by the state Senate (SB1324) and House of Delegates (HB 2096) and awaiting Governor Bob McDonnell’s signature. While we support the goal of improving the quality of education for all, this legislation would transfer local authority and local taxpayer funding for certain schools to a vaguely defined state entity that would not be accountable to the parents in the communities in which the schools reside. The most alarming aspect of this legislation to us as parents and PTA leaders is that it ignores and …
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Alexandria Childhood Obesity Action Network’s Breastfeeding Promotion Committee thanks Inova Alexandria Hospital for encouraging exclusive breastfeeding in their hospital.
Tuesday, February 12
To the Editor: On behalf of the Alexandria Childhood Obesity Action Network’s Breastfeeding Promotion Committee, we would like to publicly thank Inova Alexandria Hospital for encouraging exclusive breastfeeding in their hospital. As engaged citizens and parents, and also representatives of the public health community, we know how important it is for women to breastfeed their newborn infant. Breastfeeding for the first six months after birth, with continued breastfeeding for at least 12 months of life, ensures that both mothers and infants receive maximum health benefits; encourages bonding; and has been shown to prevent childhood obesity and related chronic illnesses. It is vital that from the beginning women receive this type of support …
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Patch welcomes letters to the editor. We reserve the right to edit for accuracy, clarity and brevity. Links added by Patch.
Thursday, February 7
Dear Editor, This year Del. Alfonso Lopez and Sen. Adam Ebbin patroned similar bills designed to extend in-state college tuition to Virginia youth that qualify for residency under the new federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Currently, these students must pay out-of-state tuition for Virginia colleges even if they have lived, and their parents have paid taxes, in the commonwealth for decades. Without in-state tuition to help them afford higher education, many — if not most — of these young people will unable to advance their education and will be relegated to a second-class existence. By letting them pay in-state tuition, Virginia would invest in its future workforce and enhance the ability of these young people to …
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Alexandria is a community that supports and enhances the well-being, success, and achievement of children, youth and families: True or False?
Wednesday, February 6
Alexandria is a community that supports and enhances the well-being, success, and achievement of children, youth and families: True or False? The title of this editorial is a statement of Goal 4 of the City’s Strategic Plan that was adopted in 2010. The question posed about its accuracy is one that I invite readers to evaluate. As the Chair of the newly formed Children Youth and Families Collaborative Commission, I can confidently say that our raison d’etre is centered on working together to ensure that there are tangible data points that validate the city’s commitment to this goal and that the results we seek for our children and families are overwhelmingly evident. That Alexandria is rich in resources certainly comes as no surprise to …
Monday, February 4, 2013
T.C. Williams Senior Emma Beall urges the community to join in the dialogue for the city's first Youth Master Plan.
Monday, February 4
To the editor, It takes a village to raise a child. That’s why I’m urging you to add your voice to an exciting plan to secure the future of our city’s children and youth. Your input is vital for the design of Alexandria’s first Youth Master Plan, which will address the needs of our city’s young people and build a solid foundation for generations to come. As a youth and lifelong Alexandria resident, I urge you to attend one of three community forums sponsored by the Children, Youth and Family Collaborative Commission. It is our responsibility to provide guidance to our leaders so that vital resources for youth are included in this action plan. Send letters to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Old Town Alexandria…
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Alexandrian Margaret Gerlach urges support for state Sen. Adam Ebbin of Alexandria and Arlington Del. Patrick Hope in their efforts to foster gun laws.
Sunday, January 27
To the Editor; Two recent national events have caused me to reflect on the nature of our democracy. In the capitol of the most powerful country on earth we witnessed the peaceful continuation of leadership. In a small Connecticut town we witnessed a violent destruction of sanctuary. The co-existence of these two extraordinary outcomes encapsulates the struggle inherent in our continuing experiment with self- rule that is The United States. The recent presidential inauguration was an inspirational example of our ability to resolve differences and maintain a well-functioning society. Newtown was an obscene example of our failure to do so. The lack of agreement over sensible gun control must end. As an American, I know we can resolve this …