The sacrifices of those who died in war.
1st Lt. Robert J. Hess, 26, of the Kings Park West neighborhood of Fairfax, was killed by enemy fire on April 23, 2013 in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan. Hess was known as “RJ” and graduated from Robinson Secondary School in 2005, where he played football, lacrosse and was the captain of the swim team. He was a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot who deployed to Afghanistan on April 11, 2013. His family remembers his sense of humor and his natural leadership ability.
I thought you would be interested in an update about the ongoing saga of the Christmas tree lights on King Street. They were all turned off April 15 and the short-run effort to keep them on through this spring did not work.
The Ronald M. Bradley Foundation recently received an “Excellence in Aging Award for an Organization” for its commitment to the City of Alexandria’s holiday Meals-on-Wheels program.
Public invited to May 27 ceremony at Alexandria National Cemetery.
Memorial Day is about remembering those who died for our values to make our way of American life possible. This honoring of the memories of the fallen and the values for which they died is not limited to one day.
On Saturday May 25, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 609, American Legion Post 1775 along with other veterans and volunteers will place more than 5,000 American flags at the graves at Alexandria National Cemetery, 1450 Wilkes St., Alexandria. It is the oldest veterans cemetery in the U.S., established in 1862.
To the Editor: Artists, their families and friends, and members of the community who attended the opening reception of “Art Uniting People” at the Lee Center not only got to see some powerful, moving, sad, jarring and funny works of art including photography, paintings, sketches and sculpture, they also got a chance to learn what it takes to be happy with Liberian-born storyteller Vera Oye' Yaa-Anna who told her tale of the king of the historic city of Timbuktu who was always unhappy no matter what his loyal subjects and servants tried to do. With the help of dancers Diane Freeman and Thomas Lee and drummers Yerone Sanders and Joseph Ngwa, the audience was soon clapping, dancing in their seats, down the aisles and on stage and chanting “I am Happy.” A few tried drumming including an intrigued four-year-old.
To the Editor: Keeping the streetlights on in Alexandria starts with city hall’s new Call-Click-Connect system, where like Dorothy going to Oz, you click three times and land in a place that asks you to “call the power company.” The city stays out of the loop and in the happy zone. You’re on your own road to discovery, dude. Arriving to the Historic District by Metro, you may begin your journey to the water by traversing the western end of King Street’s “lights out” district, where night-shuttered businesses and few restaurants create a picture of gothic gloom. It is here, like Pepper and Martin, whose shop is fronted by an unlit streetlamp, you might feel the need to squint.
To the Editor: I thought you would be interested in an update about the ongoing saga of the Christmas tree lights on King Street. They were all turned off April 15 and the short-run effort to keep them on through this spring did not work. Now The trees have been trimmed on King Street. It was a long overdue procedure to maintain the tree canopy over the city. As far as we know now the budget has been created and the lights will not be on again until Thanksgiving this year.
To the Editor: Reporter Michael Lee Pope’s two articles, “Historic Tax Hikes” and “Uncertainty Haunts Groundbreaking,” are inextricably linked. In the former Mr. Pope writes: “One of the leading drivers of the need for capital spending is the public school system.” In the latter he states: “when the new $45 million Jefferson-Houston School facility opens its doors, it may not be under the control of city leaders.” Jefferson-Houston School, my family’s failing neighborhood school, becomes the responsibility of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2014.
To the Editor: I would like to comment on two recent items in the Gazette Packet: a letter in the May 9 issue ("A City's Priorities" from Carl A. Posey), and the item in the May 16 "Business Matters" column headlined "Books Without Bookstores." I agree strongly with Mr. Posey's point that Alexandria's library system needs to receive high priority in Alexandria's budgets, but I take issue with his statement that "Alexandria is a community where no bookseller can survive." The "Books Without Bookstores" item stated that Alexandria is "bereft of a place to buy books." I disagree.
Primary voting, absentee voting, Republican convention.
Absentee voting, including “in-person” absentee voting, is already underway for the June 11 primary, a statewide Democratic party primary for lieutenant governor and attorney general, plus one delegate race in Northern Virginia. Voters in the Democratic primary will choose between Ralph S. Northam and Aneesh Chopra for lieutenant governor; and between Mark R. Herring and Justin E. Fairfax for attorney general.
To the Editor: I am not surprised by our City Council decision to increase taxes. Given a choice to spend or not to spend, they revert to form. After all, each and every one is a good Democrat, which means their natural inclination is to spend and tax. Their varying reasons for taking ever more money from the public is also genuine.
To the Editor: The Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center (NVJDC) is a 70-bed secure juvenile detention facility located in Alexandria serving Alexandria, Falls Church and Arlington. The Sheltercare Program is a 14-bed, juvenile residential program which is also under oversight of the commission. As executive director since 2002, I would like to particularly acknowledge Dorathea Peters and Lillian Brooks, the two members appointed by Alexandria, to the Juvenile Detention Commission for Northern Virginia (JDCNV). They are volunteers receiving no stipend for their time on the five-member commission.
To the Editor: As reported in the Alexandria Gazette Packet ( May 9) Mayor Euille and city officials expressed major concerns about Norfolk Southern's proposed plan to increase their ethanol transloading and had not been notified about this proposed plan, our local elected officials quickly decided to vote on an resolution opposing Norfolk Southern's plan. Is this resolution really that important and necessary? There is no question from most Alexandria residents that Norfolk Southern's proposed plan to double their ethanol transloading might impact the environment for those residents who live nearby at Cameron Station and other residential properties. However, Norfolk Southern has been at this location for more then 20-plus years long before Cameron Station and other condos/schools were built in that neighborhood. Further, the Surface Transportation Act supercedes local law movement by rail and the city of Alexandria lost its lawsuit against Norfolk Southern about six years over the same issue.
After living in the Boston area for many years, I returned to Alexandria about six years ago. Having an opportunity to witness the tremendous growth of the city has been a phenomenal experience. I have walked down streets I frequented, as a child of color, with a sense of nostalgia that is sometimes overwhelming. I can still hear some of the old voices of my youth speaking as I pass homes that are so familiar and yet so foreign. I still remember some of the catchy rhymes my father said and sang as we walked on the Hill to visit relatives and friends. I can still feel my hand in my mother’s hand as we walked along enjoying the sights of the route chosen for the evening. We so often walked from North Alfred or North Fayette to “ The South side.”