Local Commentary

Letters to the Editor for the Week of February 26 – March 4, 2009




Didn’t Attend Because Nothing Will Change

Editor,

In response to your comment that the low turnout to the City Council’s town meeting was probably due to Falls Church City residents “fundamentally trust their elected officials and paid staff to do the right thing”; I couldn’t disagree with you more.

It’s quite the opposite.

The reason I didn’t make a point to attend is because I’ve learned from past experiences that the City Council does what the City Council wants to do, regardless of citizens’ input. The City Manager plans to offset our declining home values by raising the real estate tax rate, while they still want to go forward with the Affordable Housing Project. Why not give the tax paying citizens a break for once and NOT raise the real estate tax rate this year. Instead of concentrating on an Affordable Housing Project, why not “fix” existing problems for tax paying citizens. One example is the dangerous situation of trying to enter/exit the Byron when cars fly down Broad St like it’s a highway. Another is the unsightly day labor site across from the U-Haul on Broad St each morning.

Lisa Miller

Via the Internet

F.C. Skate Park: Kids Behaving Badly

Editor,

There are times in life when maybe I should not say anything, but this is not one of those times. I am a parent of an elementary aged child who likes to skateboard. Due to his younger age I do not drop him off at the skate park unattended. As a result I have the pleasure of witnessing other children’s behavior.

Frequently we visit Powhatan Skate Park in Arlington. This is an excellent park for the most part – well behaved children and young adults. Every once in a while a teenager or young adult will swear and behave disrespectfully. The staff during managed skate also does an excellent job of controlling the behavior of the skateboarders.

Unfortunately the moveable skate park in Falls Church is not a healthy environment for young children. The behavior of the children being dropped off and left unattended is awful. Every word out of their months is F*!%# and when parents ask them to control their language it only gets worst. Once at Cherry Hill despite being right next to the Police Station the place smelled of pot smoke.

I finally decided to write this letter after taking my children to the Madison Park on Presidents Day, the park was littered with trash, and the young middle school boys skating were swearing at each other. When asked to cool it, once again it only got worst. Since I was there with small children in the playground I had no choice but to leave. If parents cannot teach their children to be respectful to adults and other children I do not feel that these children deserve a skate park.

Linda Jones

Via the Internet

Needles Found In F.C. Parks Very Troubling

Editor,

I love Falls Church! The people, our neighborhoods, the schools and friendly businesses — really make our town special. Indeed, those of us who make our home in the City of Falls Church are very lucky and blessed.

Imagine my shock when a local news story reported that discarded hypodermic needles had been found at our very own Lincoln Park – where our children play. In my blissful ignorance, I didn’t realize that we had a drug problem of this sort right here in our own little town. I’m not talking about a couple of strewn beer cans the morning after the prom. What we’ve got here, is a person who is so desperate for a “fix” that he staggers into a dark local park so he can duck under the jungle gym, wrap his belt around his arm, slap a vein then shoot something like Meth, Crack or Heroin into his body. Then, stumbling on his way out, tosses his bloody needle in the sandpit or leaves it on the grass by the swing-set – no more concerned for the child who may be seriously harmed by it as he is for his own life.

How did we wake up one day and find ourselves facing this problem in our community? The news reporter said this was the second time in six months a used bloody syringe was found at Lincoln Park. Did a child pick one of them up and prick her little finger and place herself at risk for hepatitis, the AIDs virus, or some other horrible disease? My first thought was for the safety of the neighbors by Lincoln Park. People who mainline drugs at the local park are desperate people who will take desperate measures in order to feed their addictions.

Neighbors… let’s nip this problem in the bud before it grows and scars this oasis called Falls Church that we love so much.

Please report to the police when you see a needle or other evidence of drug or alcohol use in a public place. Report when you see gang graffiti markings, and pressure our local government to paint over grafitti. Ask the police to monitor our parks after dark, help citizens form neighborhood watch programs, and meet with each other to share support and reinforce the need to keep Falls Church safe and crime-free. Let’s make a difference now while we have the chance to make a difference.

John Thomas

Falls Church

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