Letters to the Editor: July 23 – 29, 2015
No Support from Neighbors On Mt. Daniel Expansion
As a member of the neighborhood that surrounds the Mt. Daniel Elementary School, I would like to know where you get your facts for news articles. At no point did our association give the City the impression that we support the proposed expansion of the school to incorporate another grade.
You need to understand that a favorable review by county staff means little. The commissioners make decisions, not staff. That is true in the City also. The full McLean Citizens Association Planning and Zoning Committee and Board recommended a denial after it heard our objections and conducted its own comprehensive analysis. You implied a cart before the horse, with the Citizens Association leading the neighborhood association to an objection. All County organizations recommended the planning commission deny the application. The proposed expansion is too big for the site. Our association’s and McLean Citizen Association’s recommendations for denial are a matter of public record and available to the citizens of the City.
Build Mt. Daniel School Project Somewhere Else
The July 16 News-Press front page article erroneously reports that the Mt. Daniel School project had “thumbs up from residents in the neighborhood of the school site.” To the contrary, the Ellison Heights-Mt. Daniel Civic Association voted unanimously (minus one) to recommend that the Planning Commission deny this permit. Why? Oak St is a dead end with the school at the end.
The transportation analysis translates to a maximum of 13 school buses every morning, eight more than current, coming and going down the street and up to 94 or more parent cars dropping off students, causing an impossible traffic situation on Oak St. for residents who also need to get to work, take children to Fairfax schools, and go about our daily lives. Evening event parking is a problem for surrounding streets, including Highland. No one in Falls Church would willingly give “thumbs up” to such a nightmare on their streets.
Falls Church Schools and its consultant tried to use minimal student numbers to get a Fairfax building permit, even though realistic numbers based on actual student density reveals a dire situation that residents in the neighborhood were powerless to vote on in Falls Church elections.Thumbs down. Build the expansion elsewhere.
Keep the School Names & Keep History Truthful
The News-Press article on name change for J.E.B. Stuart High School makes me very angry. Nobody named a public school to “intimidate” black students – are we now rewriting history to please people who are looking for racist reasons everywhere?
It’s ok to call Mexicans criminals – according to the polls for Mr. Trump – but we cannot have a monument or school named after a soldier in the Civil War? Is this country all of a sudden deciding that everything is racially motivated and that history books have to be rewritten?
It’s time for America to accept its history and not remove flags, monuments and names of public institutions to please some folks for their personal ideas. Let’s keep our history truthful and not the way we would have liked it to be. Don’t people have anything better to do these days?
Can’t Compare ‘Redskins’ With Confederates
The News-Press editorial on eradicating Confederate symbols from local government facilities implicitly equates “Redskins” with Confederate slaveholders/war heroes. In their PC zeal, the News-Press mixed apples and oranges. Surely the News-Press didn’t intend to equate a favored group, American Indians (“Redskins”) with an unfavored group: White slaveholders and Confederate war heroes.
People don’t name roads, buildings, bridges, and sports teams after things they consider noxious. They name them after entities possessing traits to which they wish to be associated. That’s what apartheid-loving, post-Civil War, KKK-dominated locals did in Northern Virginia. Considering their racist agendas, it’s good to change those names.
However, the “Redskins” are a separate issue. For example, no sports teams are named cockroaches, dandelions, Nazis or Bolsheviks. Surely, the News-Press’s editor wasn’t implying that George Preston Marshall, who resisted integrating the NFL, selected “Redskins” to equate his team with blacks, who he surely disliked.
For the editor’s edification, the Iroquois and Huron, etc. could have taught the Inquisition some things about torture. Many American Indians routinely enslaved females and children after slaughtering adult males of enemy tribes/nations.
Furthermore, how free were the people who built Tenochtitlan, Teotihuacan and Cuzco or the famous Inca road network? Might we also ask who was being thrown into the famous sinkholes at the Mayan metropolis of Chechen Itza, or the status of those whose living hearts were being cut out atop various Mesoamerican pyramids? Solid archaeological evidence shows some Southwest Pueblo Indians practiced cannibalism.
Using News-Press “logic,” maybe American Indians should be classified as an unfavored group along with Confederate slaveholders and war heroes.
The News-Press editor may be right. The “Redskins’” name should be changed, but for the wrong reasons.
Michael F. Johnson, PhD
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