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Sun Gazette editorial: Try using plain English, Fairfax officials

“Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.” So said Winston Churchill.

Recent Headlines

Letter: Meals-tax proposal is good public policy

Editor: You have to look closely, but one prominent anti-meals-tax ad snarkily claims the “[a]ctual tax will be larger than it appears.”

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Letter: FCPS change on paying substitutes is short-sighted

Editor: The new Fairfax County Public Schools budget reflects a 30-percent pay cut for retired teachers who serve as substitutes in the classroom.  This is a mistake on many levels.

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Letter: Fairfax police deserve thanks of community

Editor: In the wake of the recent police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota and the murder of five police officers in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge, we need to appreciate what we have in Fairfax County. We have a police department that is recognized worldwide as one of the best there is. 

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Sun Gazette editorial: Supervisors’ hearing on police reforms uninspiring

Perhaps we’ve just become jaded after years of empty promises of holding to account the leadership of the Fairfax County Police Department.

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Sun Gazette editorial: Oral-history initiative is worthwhile

The Fairfax County History Commission recently presented its annual report to the Board of Supervisors, and in so doing, acknowledged that it had fallen short in an area it wants to improve upon.

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Letter: Sunrise proposal not a good one for McLean

Editor: In the 102-year-history of the McLean Citizens Association, few issues have driven neighborhood anger like the proposed location of the 90-bed Sunrise Assisted Living facility at the corner of Kirby and Westmoreland roads in McLean.

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Sun Gazette editorial: Can WMATA actually cut 500 jobs?

Paul Wiedefeld, the newish general manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, believes the system can eliminate 500 jobs, or about 4 percent of the total workforce, without a significant impact on service or safety to the Metro system and its riders.

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Letter: Senior-living facility inappropriate for McLean parcel

Editor: We bought our home on Foxhall Road – which is two-tenths of a mile from the proposed development of the Sunrise senior-living facility – 27 years ago because of the wonderful sense of community, well-tended homes, great schools and the overall quality of life in McLean. 

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Sun Gazette editorial: Good day for McDonnell, but not for Va.

To the surprise of just about no one, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday vacated the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell.

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Letter: Timing of Murphy fund-raising letter was in poor taste

Editor: There was something unseemly about Del. Kathleen Murphy’s fundraising e-mail on June 27, capitalizing on a Supreme Court decision that very day.

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Letter: Great Falls has plenty to do on Independence Day

Editor: Great Falls residents are lucky to have lots of home-grown things to do on Independence Day.  

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Letter: Where is Comstock on common-sense gun reform?

Editor: I am sick and tired of our nation’s gun policies being dictated by the National Rifle Association. How many more people must die violently and needlessly before Congress does it job and figures out how to better regulate access to guns, especially ones that are designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest period of time?

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Sun Gazette editorial: Vienna needs to focus on economic development

The Town of Vienna has about 17,000 residents, and most of them would be surprised to find it takes only two to scuttle an ambitious development plan along Maple Avenue – if those two happen to be sitting on the Town Council.

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Sun Gazette editorial: A little more transparency would have been nice

Nobody expected Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) to vote in support of sending a meals-tax referendum to voters. So perhaps his colleagues felt they didn’t need to entertain his proposal on the wording of the referendum approved earlier this month.

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Letter: Fairfax would benefit from meals tax

Editor: I was amazed after reading Sam Lowenstein’s letter [June 16], against a Fairfax County meals tax, to see that he lives in Vienna. 

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Letter: FCPS shows disrespect to substitute teachers

Editor: With additional funding provided to Fairfax County Public Schools by the Board of Supervisors, I had high hopes of seeing a long overdue pay increase for substitute teachers; this has not happened in over a decade.

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Letter: Substitute teachers are not a resource to squander

Editor: I would like to expand on the letter of June 16 about the “Fairfax School budget showing disdain for substitute teachers.”

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Sun Gazette editorial: Va. Supreme Court smart to move quickly

Regardless of the final decision that will be rendered, justices of the Virginia Supreme Court deserve credit for agreeing to an expedited review of Gov. McAuliffe’s action granting blanket restoration of voting rights to more than 200,000 state residents with felony convictions in their past.

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Letter: FCPS needs to retain its focus on music education

Editor: Since music education is in discussion by the Board of Supervisors as a possible area to eliminate in order to save funds, I am offering the reasons why it should remain.

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Letter: Fairfax school budget shows disdain for substitute teachers

Editor: School Board Chairman Pat Hynes said that, with additional funding provided by the Board of Supervisors this year, the Fairfax school system will be able “to make critical investments in teacher pay, reduce the size of some classes in our elementary schools, and maintain our instructional programs and services to our students.”  

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Letter: Why would Comstock, GOP want to privatize Metro?

Editor: Metro subway service, provided at reasonable cost (about $3 for a typical trip), reduces vehicle traffic and makes getting around the region a much more pleasant and reliable experience than it would otherwise be. However, the maintenance and safety of the Metro system have suffered from chronic underfunding, leading to a series of accidents and service interruptions over the last several years.

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Sun Gazette editorial: Use common sense in dealing with Zika virus

Dip into the archives of local media 15 or so years ago, and you’ll discover that a good deal of hysteria – often started by local governments and fanned by those (hopefully not us) in the news biz – accompanied the arrival of West Nile virus in the Washington area.

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Letter: Fairfax sending mixed messages in combating mosquitoes

Editor: It was interesting – and ironic – to read the Sun Gazette’s June 2 cover story about advice from the Fairfax County Health Department to protect against the threat of mosquitoes in standing-water containers.

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Letter: A Fairfax meals tax? Why not get more creative?

Editor: I have this to say about “Fairfax Meals Tax is Crucial to County’s Future” [Letters, June 2].

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Sun Gazette editorial: Have Republicans ceded the 11th District?

Republican John Wolfe was the lone candidate to file for the GOP nomination to take on U.S. Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-11th) in November, so you’d think odds were in his favor that the nomination would be his.

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Sun Gazette editorial: Stick a fork in the R-word controversy

It was fascinating that The Washington Post last week detailed results of an exhaustive poll and follow-up interviews of Native Americans, all of which determined that there was no groundswell of opposition to the “Redskins” in Washington Redskins.

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Letter: There are valid reasons for a Fairfax meals tax

Editor: For the strongest education for our children and for economic prosperity, Fairfax County must implement a meals tax.

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Letter: Where will Comstock come down on Trump?

Editor: It appears that Donald Trump has won over the Republican Party establishment and, in short order, will win the endorsement of House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican members of the House, like Barbara Comstock.

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Sun Gazette editorial: Honesty best policy on meals-tax proposal

The Board of Supervisors hasn’t even formally sought to put it on the ballot yet, but the Fairfax County government’s PR machine is ramping up its early efforts to convince the public that a meals tax is a necessity.

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Sun Gazette editorial: Metro must live up to its timetable

Unlike the panic-stricken, day-long shutdown of the entire rail system earlier this year, leadership of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is at least giving local residents some advance warning of major repair and rehabilitation work that is on the horizon.

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Letter: Bennett, not Comstock, represents local values

Editor: With Donald Trump claiming the Republican nomination for president, U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-10th) now finds herself on the horns of a dilemma: Will she jump on the Trump bandwagon?

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Editor: Levy assessment on federal agencies to support Metro

Editor: We agree with WMATA board chairman Jack Evans’ opinion, “Metro needs dedicated funding and a greater federal contribution,” and have a solution for Metro and the area’s transportation woes.

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Sun Gazette editorial: Bullying your way to success

Heaven help any Fairfax student, teacher, administrator or parent who is accused of bullying behavior – regardless of the facts of the case. The powers-that-be are likely to come down on them like a ton of bricks.

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Sun Gazette editorial: An overreach by McAuliffe

Let’s leave aside the question of whether Gov. McAuliffe has the constitutional and legislative authority to do what he last week announced plans to do – restore the voting rights of virtually all Virginia felons who have served their time. The courts will sort out whether he overreached.

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Letter: Rep. Comstock is no friend of women

Editor: It is early in the campaign season for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, but the issues that distinguish the candidates are becoming clear.

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Letter: Great Falls trail continues to deteriorate

Editor: The “trail to nowhere” from Utterback Store Road to (almost) Seneca Road remains just that – a trail to nowhere – one year later, with the exception of slow overall deterioration due to lack of any maintenance.  

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Letter: Get engaged on stormwater issues

Editor: I recently participated in a Great Falls Citizen Association town meeting and spoke, as a panel participant, on my personal experience living in Great Falls and dealing with stormwater.

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Letter: Stormwater forum drew a responsive crowd

Editor: The Great Falls Citizens Association would like to thank all those who came to the to the stormwater-management meeting held April 12.

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Letter: Comstock pays attention to constituents

Editor: I’ll tell you why U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-10th) is an outstanding representative [“Comstock Is Not Representative of Constituents,” Letters April 14]: She is a no-nonsense manager.

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Letter: Get involved in fight against child abuse

Editor: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Many businesses and faith based organizations have planted pinwheel gardens as part of the national Pinwheels for Prevention campaign.

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Sun Gazette editorial: Governor gets it right on ballot ID measure

Virginia election law mandates that political-party affiliation be included on the ballot for candidates for statewide, federal and General Assembly seats, but requires that they be omitted for local races.

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Letter: Comstrock not representative of constituents

Editor: Regarding “Comstock Is with Her Constitutent in the 10th” [Letters, March 31], I guess the political silly season has started early.

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Letter: Federal rules likely to harm, not help, grizzlies

Editor: Recently, several bears have been sighted in the Vienna/Oakton area. In Virginia we’re fortunate to share our wild back yards with our wild neighbors. However, some states may not be as lucky, if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has its way.

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Sun Gazette editorial: The challenge for anti-gun forces

With limited regulatory options open to them, opponents of gun stores in Northern Virginia have resorted to the court of public opinion, using protests, social-media whirlwinds and the threat (ill-advised as the tactic is) of boycotts against neighboring businesses in their effort to keep the gun emporiums out.

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Sun Gazette editorial: A lesson for those eager to change school names

Before leaders of the Fairfax County school system rush higgledy-piggledy toward changing names of schools that don’t fit their definition of political correctness, they might want to glance just a few miles to the south to see what happens when ham-handedness goes awry.

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Letter: Comstock is working for all her constituents

Editor: As I stood at the back of a packed community hall watching U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-10th) launch her re-election bid, I realized just why she pulls support from so many diverse Northern Virginians. 

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Sun Gazette editorial: Tackling Metro woes with two-pronged approach

Whether safety actually necessitated the total shutdown of the Metrorail system for 29 hours March 16-17 has been, and will be, debated at length.

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Letter: Will Comstock support Trump for president?

Editor: U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-10th) endorsed Marco Rubio for president. Since Rubio is now out of the race, she owes constituents an update.

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Sun Gazette editorial: Judicial-selection debacle comes to an end

Propriety and our legal advisers prevent us from actually using the 11-letter epithet – some will hyphenate it, others run it as a single world – that best describes the truly bizarre road leading to last week’s General Assembly election of Stephen McCullough to a 12-year term on the Supreme Court of Virginia.

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