Your Views


Too business-friendly?
It should not come as a surprise to anyone that our citizens and leaders are virtually impotent when it comes to improving the environmental impact of the antiquated Mirant power plant. At the state level, our politicians flaunt with pride Virginias claim of being the most business-friendly state in the country. Who among us is so gullible to believe that such an accomplishment comes without costs?

The Mirant debacle is only a symptom of a much greater political ailment that puts a priority on being business-friendly ahead of being people-friendly.

Matt Harris

Comments on Times stories
This week, your paper had several articles or letters that I would like to comment on. These all appeared on pages A4 and A5, October 25-November 1 issue.

First, the city has said for years it wants to keep and attract more small business. Yet it has forced out The Trophy Room on King Street. After seeming to accommodate the bureaucracy, the City Council turned down his request to modernize his building and upgrade plumbing and electrical systems. 

Second, in a letter by Mr. Soule of Jefferson Manor, he thanks Delegate Englin for all his extraordinary support (far exceeded any expectations …) for all their wants and requests. No wonder there was no money left for my neighborhood.

Third, in a letter by Mr. Miller, he wants all Chamber of Commerce members to suspend their membership because the Chamber supports the higher Virginia Abusive Drivers fees. Why shouldnt those committing the worst offenses pay more in fines? You dont pay unless you are convicted. This is not a tax. If you cant pay the fine, dont do the crime. In my opinion, the stupidity of the Virginia law is that it does not apply to all drivers. How is a Maryland or New York drunk driver on I-95 or Duke Street less of a threat to my life than a Virginia driver?

Fourth, Councilman Lovain wants us to help out needy Alexandrians by giving to The United Way and specifying Code 9001, the Alexandria Community Impact Fund. Charity is the greatest virtue of all. It is the right thing to do. Giving your hard earned dollars to The United Way means less money actually goes to the individual specific charity of your choice. The Alexandria United Way is part of The United Way of the National Capitol Area, which in turn is part of The United Way. UWNCA pays 1 percent of its income to UWA. UWNCA takes from 6 percent to 12.5 percent of what you give them, based on their own sliding scale, off the top for fund raising and administrative costs. Certainly, for some who maybe arent sure where they want their money to go or for whatever reason, giving to The United Way has its advantages. 

On the other hand, writing your $100 check specifically to the individual organization means your $100 dollars goes to the local charity. Writing a $100 check to The United Way means the charity gets some $85-plus dollars. Regardless of how we do it, most important is that we all help our neighbor and those in need.

Joseph Schramm

Recyclers, have no fear
I am writing in response to Sarah Walkers letter regarding her recycling options as an apartment resident within the City of Alexandria.

First and foremost, we applaud Ms. Walkers recycling commitment, but she need not think of herself as an illegal recycler. The city operates four recycling drop off centers, located at S. Whiting Street (at Tower Court), 3540 Wheeler Avenue, 4251 Eisenhower Avenue, and Jones Point Park (near Woodrow Wilson Bridge).

Further, City Council passed an ordinance for business and multifamily properties to recycle. Information about this program can be found at: Residents can also dispose of Household Hazardous wastes at the citys drop-off center located at 3600 Wheeler Avenue on Mondays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. through Nov. 4. Starting Monday, Nov. 5, those times will change to 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, except holidays.

We appreciate Ms. Walkers comments and encourage her to talk to her property management company about complying with the citys regulations and to contact us if she needs further assistance.

Christine McCoy