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No more slash and burn, please
To the editor:
Jim Gilmores slash and burn campaign tactics at the Republican Party convention this month did a disservice to the voters of Virginia. Instead of focusing on a positive vision for the future, Gilmore went on the attack against his o pponent, Mark Warner.

These types of campaign tactics wont lower our gas prices. They wont create jobs for struggling Virginians or do anything to move our country in a new direction.

Mark Warner is running an honorable campaign focused on how we can move our country and our state forward. Jim Gilmore owes it to us voters to adopt the same approach.

Metodija A. Koloski
Alexandria

Consider the cost before tossing NSC out
To the editor:
Regarding the Ethanol discussions about NSC. As an Alexandria resident I find it a bit unfair that this is an issue.

First, what city body located Samuel Tucker Elementary School next to the industrial section of the city and next to two freight railroads that have been here since before 1860? Pavement companies deal in tar and granite rock; cancer causing and silicosis causing elements. Then there is the incinerator, the firing range, a crematorium, CSX railroad, and Metro all converging at Van Dorn Street and Eisenhower Avenue. All of these elements have coexisted for 50 years and since; with no complaints. The ethanol facility was preceded by a truck/train loading facility that included chemicals no one needed to know about and a constant cacophony of noise six days a week.

My point simply is the discrimination and political inflammation is without merit when you are speaking of the safest railroad in the country that provides track rights to VRE, brings coal to a very necessary power plant and provides jobs to a few hundred employees. Depriving NSC the ethanol facility will remove good paying jobs to many and give them (NSC and individual employees) grounds to sue the city and the homeowners association that started this affair.

Targeting NSC without addressing the decision making process of Alexandria about who can do business here, when there are other businesses whose impact on health and safety is just as deleterious is both discriminatory and counterproductive.  Removing them is fine, but compensation to those affected will be a legal morass no Alexandrian needs.

T L Filer
Alexandria

Time is right to fix I-66
To the editor:
The I-66 corridor outside the Beltway may be the most congested corridor in Northern Virginia. Because of this congestion, many of Fairfax Countys secondary roads, including Braddock Road, Route 29, Route 50 and Little River Turnpike, are used as alternatives and therefore are also extremely congested.

In 1999 the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT) performed a Major Investment Study (MIS) for the I-66 corridor.

The MIS concluded that a multimodal investment strategy is required to accommodate projected travel demand in the study area by the year 2020. In 2001, VDOT and VDRPT used the MIS as a starting point for a multimodal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the I-66 corridor from west of the I-66/I-495 interchange to Route 15.

The EIS was stopped in 2002 and there has been no significant work done towards a long term solution for the congestion on I-66 since.

The funds for the EIS have remained available and VDOT and VDRPT have now restarted the multimodal EIS for I-66 outside the Beltway. The revised schedule for the EIS has not been completed but should be available toward the end of the year. Completion of this study is a critical step in the process towards a solution to I-66 congestion.

The completion of the EIS for the Beltway was the key step that attracted the private sector to submit the proposal that will result in a multimodal solution for the Beltway. This occurred in a very short time frame, despite the lack of state funding, and will put HOV and bus routes on the Beltway for the first time.

At the last Board of Supervisors meeting, I made a proposal, which was unanimously approved by the Board, to send a letter to the Secretary of Transportation and the chairman of the NVTA expressing the Boards full support for the timely completion of the multimodal study and that Fairfax County is ready and willing to assist VDOT and VDRPT with the study and to assign county staff to monitor the project.

Easing congestion on I-66 is one of my top priorities and completing the EIS would be a major step in the right direction.

Pat Herrity
Supervisor, Springfield District

Just another rush hour in the slow lane
To the editor:
My Monday morning commute:
6:30 Walked down the path to my overnight dockage.
6:35 Wiped the mist off, unlocked, cast off the lines and motored across Lake Audubon. (Am I the only one commuting today?)
6:40 Docked at permanent dock. (Should have brought my fishing rod.)
6:45 Walked the path to my car and drove to work
7:00 Arrival in McLean
Life is tough.

Ranny Reynolds
Reston

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