Letters to the Editor: October 20 – 26, 2016
Must Allow Freedom of Press for High Schools
I fully support The Lasso’s petition to remove, in its entirety, School Board policy 9.46. Back in the early 70s, I also was involved in a Silver Spring, Md. high school newspaper’s action against censorship. This was at the height of the Vietnam War and Watergate. Clearly, they were divisive issues of the day that required a free and open press not only on high school and college campuses, but also across the country. If the law presumes that high school age individuals are mature enough to drive, work and at age 18, to be considered achieving the age of majority, then what is the concern or issues with allowing students to publish their schools’ newspaper in an unfettered manner?
If we as a community desire our high school students to learn and become responsible adults and more importantly active and productive members of our society, then we must allow them not only the freedom of their press but also concurrently the freedom to fail at their chosen endeavors.
Clarification Needed On Law Enforcement Commentary
Your guest commentary by attorney John F. Whitehead in the Oct. 6 edition of the News-Press is very timely, but can use some clarifications.
As a former law enforcement and correctional officer, yes, “officer safety” was repeatedly drilled into us academy recruits.
But not likely known by Falls Church News-Press readers, the Virginia Department of Health curricula indoctrinates us medics in “scene safety.” Likewise for us firefighters trained per the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. Same for us HAZMAT responders trained per the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Rationale? Injured or killed public safety responders now become more victims to be handled by fewer available responders. Not good.
Yes, it’s true. OSHA’s catch-all “General Duty Clause” now heavily enforces safety cautiousness by all public safety agencies. Examples? You will see law enforcement vehicles marked “FTO” (Field Training Officers) responding to major emergencies. Same for the fire-rescue “SAFETY” (Safety Officers) responding to major emergencies.
Effects on you? Expect slower ambulance responses passing reckless drivers. Expect firefighters watching structures burn while awaiting electricity cut-offs. Expect HAZMAT responders carefully testing spilled liquids or escaping fumes before shutting them off. Expect cops treating all bystanders as suspects until weapons pat downs are performed.
Donald E. White
What’s Up With the Condition of N. Roosevelt Street?
I’m wondering who has the responsibility for the bad condition of N. Roosevelt Street.
Several weeks ago Fairfax Water set up a staging area on 11th Street, between Tuckahoe and Sycamore, for water main work – replacement, I think –on Roosevelt Street. The work lasted for weeks, during which time Roosevelt, adjacent to the Oakwood Cemetery, was often down to just one lane, even during rush hours. The work began on the portion of Roosevelt which is parallel to Sycamore and Tuckahoe, just below the traffic light, and continued around the corner, progressing toward Broad Street for about three blocks – to a point well south of Tuckahoe. It appears to have been finished. Everything has been removed from the staging area.
But the road is in awful shape. Two three+ block-long patches run from the traffic light south. They occupy two lanes from Roosevelt Blvd. to Tuckahoe Street. They are bumpy and uneven and make daily driving on this stretch of Roosevelt unpleasant and maybe dangerous. They are certainly not what one expects to find after an excavation project has been completed.
Is Fairfax Water finished? Are these temporary patches, in anticipation of further digging there? Are they temporary patches, in anticipation of a resurfacing project for the whole road (by the City)? Or will a permanent job of patching be done in the near future?
Has Fairfax Water just vandalized several blocks of Roosevelt Street, wiping their hands of the street, leaving just these shoddy patches?
Is this another snub of our Little City?
Or will the street be restored to easy driveability? I live on Tuckahoe Street, and I want to know.
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