Thumbs Upto the 4th of July, my favorite holiday. Why? Its the only holidayright in the middle of summer, the best time of the year. There are no presentsto buy, no cards to send, no big meals to cook (other than grilling a burger ordog). Its a time for family and friends, but is only one day, not a wholeseason. The celebrations are wonderful nationwide. In small towns there areparades, fireworks and lots of flag waving. In Williamsburg theres a dramaticreenactment each year, as a breathless horseman comes riding up straight fromPhiladelphia with the just finished Declaration of Independence in hand (nevermind that it really took three weeks to make the journey). Here in Alexandria,my family celebrates with the annual Organ Fireworks by Douglas Beck at St.Pauls Church in the morning, an old-fashioned family picnic at Mt. Vernon Parkand Recreation in the afternoon and the Washington fireworks in the evening,usually watched by boat on the Potomac River. Celebrating the birth of ourcountry on a hot summer day in our nations capital: Priceless.
Thumbs Downto all of the fee increases the city is imposing. It just got a lot moreexpensive to park, legally or illegally, in the city. Parking meter rates havealmost doubled, parking tickets now cost $40 instead of $35 and the cost ofreserving non-metered spaces for moving doubled. These increases take effect onJuly 1, with the start of the new fiscal year. Additional spending cuts wouldhave been preferable to all of these fee increases.
Thumbs upto our Alexandria Times summer interns, who are both brightening our days andhelping us out. Mary Catherine Connolly, Michael Rogalski and Zach Warder youare a talented group. We will miss you when you go back to college!