Letters to the Editor: August 20 – 26, 2020
Creative Cauldron Is Also A Valued F.C. Small Business
I join people in supporting the survivability of Clare and Don’s, the State Theater, and Thompson Italian. Small businesses make Falls Church special. But there is another small business that is being ignored in the conversation and whose continued existence depends on the Broad & Washington project getting built — Creative Cauldron.
Creative Cauldron is a multiple award-winning theater and arts education organization that has been in Falls Church for over a decade. The theater and youth programs attract audiences and students from all over the metro region, and bring people to our City’s restaurants and other businesses. Creative Cauldron has been promised a new home in the Broad & Washington project. Currently the organization rents a space in Pearson Square that costs over $70,000 a year in rent and associated costs just to keep the doors open. Creative Cauldron has not been permitted to reopen because of the Covid-19 requirements, and the landlord is unresponsive about making any accommodation for this extremely stressful situation.
The restaurants in question are concerned about parking. The developer has been working with all the restaurants to provide parking solutions during construction, and the new project will not only replace all of the existing public spaces but will also provide more parking for the public.
Creative Cauldron is concerned about survival. Without the new home at Broad & Washington its future is in jeopardy.
Another point to remember is that the City Council insisted that the developer provide a grocery store in the project. Insight Properties has delivered on that requirement. Not only that, but the Broad & Washington project will include one of the most successful grocers in the country. Why is the developer now getting criticized for including what the City asked for?
This has been a frustrating experience. Time is running out for Creative Cauldron. Please support our new home. Approve the Broad & Washington project.
To F.C. Council & Police: Thank You For New Gun Laws
We appreciate the unanimous vote to enact a gun ban on City property and at permitted City events.
It is exhausting for gun violence prevention advocates to sustain persistent commitment for the adoption of sensible gun legislation in America. It is exhausting for pro-gun lobby groups to sustain outrage for the justification of ownership of more than 400 million firearms in America. It is exhausting for law enforcement to sustain vigilance in order to protect citizens and enforce firearms laws in this day and age.
And it was exhausting for you to reckon with this issue in a “grueling and emotionally draining five hour and fifteen minute virtual meeting,” not to mention the time spent in deliberations and fact gathering before the meeting.
Yet, we unfortunately know that there is a humbling to the randomness of tragedy.
Thank you for your attention to House Bill 421 — Locality Firearms Regulations. Falls Church City residents are forever grateful.
Bias In News-Press’ Coverage Of Gun Ban Hurts Reporting
As a resident of the City, I write in response to the recently passed gun ordinance and the News Press’ highly biased coverage thereof. At the outset, it is clear that our local paper has a serious inability to report merely on the facts, without spinning it in a way that suits the personal political views of its Editor in Chief.
The portion of the ordinance relating to the ban on firearms on parade routes and other public streets is likely fraught with constitutional infirmities. What is more likely is that the ordinance will be challenged in court. If that happens, the City will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to retain outside counsel; and if it loses in court, it will likely have to pay reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to counsel for the plaintiff. At a time that the City’s revenues are down dramatically, passing this portion of the ordinance is a breach of the council’s fiduciary duties to the citizens and taxpayers of the City of Falls Church.
With respect to Ms. Hardi’s response to the many comments submitted in response to the draft ordinance, I am not aware she addresses the concerns raised herein. I’m also very concerned that the Council rushed this ordinance through without providing appropriate public comment. Written comments are not the same as oral ones and do not convey the same level of passion. It appears that the City has the technological ability to accept oral comments virtually; if not, it should acquire what is needed to do so immediately.
Finally, are News-Press polls open to city residents only? If not, please stop your belly aching that that the poll results did not come out the way the News-Press wanted them to. Absent a clear limitation, the poll wasn’t hijacked. And I’m sure you aren’t upset about the revenues you are reaping due to the increased number of eyeballs on the News-Press’ website from those who live outside of the Little City.
On behalf of many residents of Falls Church, we beseech you to report the facts and limit the spin and commentary to the Editorial Page.
Sad To See F.C. Council Member Dan Sze Pass Away
I join others in lamenting the death of Daniel Sze, and the loss to the City.
When I dabbled in government, serving as chair of the Environment Sustainability Committee in 2015, Dan was always eager to help, advise and encourage us to get environmental issues on the Council agenda.
I always assumed Dan lived by the motto, “There’s nothing you can’t do, if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
We will miss him.
Mountain View, California
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