Metro fare increases hurt the commuting public
It’s amazing to me how the cost of living always seems to rise but never the means to pay for the extra costs. Such is the case with the proposed cost increases with our Washington area Metro services.
Moving on up
Gov. Mark Warner signed legislation this week moving up the date for the Virginia Democratic presidential primary to Feb. 10, 2004. This puts Virginia ahead of many other states hoping to have a say in the nomination of a Democratic presidential candidate. So far, only New Hampshire, Iowa, and a few other states have an earlier primary date.
Focusing on jobs and the war
Here in the winter of our discontent (to coin a phrase), we face two major simultaneous crises that are pulling at our national fabric in different ways: a really sour economy, and pending war. Neither seems well-suited to the other, although only one seems to be getting any attention in Washington.
The first attack
February 26, 1993 should have been a wakeup call for America.
This tragic day, however, only registered as an irritating nudge when white plumes of smoke bellowed from the basement of the World Trade Center as thousands or workers were evacuated onto the wet New York streets.
World-class nonsense governs left on Iraq
Sometimes, you read the news and just have to laugh. Or cry. Or both. Hence the continuing success of Jay Leno and David Letterman and the wealth of sources for their monologues at the beginning of their late-night television programs.
A fervent segment of the anti-war coalition claims that the U.S. shouldn’t use military force in disarming Iraq. Military force, they say, will take a heavy toll on innocent civilian lives when the U.S. moves in to remove Saddam Hussein. To insure that this type of human catastrophe occurs, dozens of anti-war protesters have ascended on Iraq and have asked their hosts to place them at strategic points throughout the country as “human shields.”
It’s amazing that some idiots are allowed to drive in Virginia.
Northern Virginians already must live with the prospect of road rage when not-so-bright motorists resort to violence to settle a dispute or alleged poor driving by another.
The rise of drug-resistant bacteria
(First in a two-part series)
“We are clearly in a public health crisis” Stuart Levy, M.D., Tufts University
The acronyms MRSA and VRE do not mean much to most citizens, but doctors, nurses and other health care professionals certainly understand what they mean.
It’s a wrap
The General Assembly concluded its 46-day session Saturday with a streamlined budget which keeps the books balanced until they all meet again next year ? considering they survive reelection.
With little money to spend, legislation was less about what government can do and more about what we can do without.
The chips are down
If we’ve learned anything the past few years, it is that Northern Virginia’s high tech economy is not immune to the same cycles that have stricken other sectors of the American economy.
Are 144 exclusive parking spaces worth $1.9 million?
That’s what the Federal Transit Administration is asking Manassas Park officials who continue to hang on to reserved parking spaces at the city’s commuter rail station.
Terror and free market capitalism
Most of us probably spent more time than was absolutely necessary at the store in the past week or two. Between those Home Security warnings (orange used to be such a fun color) to buying up enough duct tape to seal a battle ship, we also had one of the biggest snowstorms ever. Fun times.
Tax reform lacking
House and Senate budget negotiators will present a compromise budget to both houses this week as the General Assembly seems poised to balance the books prior to lawmakers leaving town this weekend.
Pro-appeasement forces strengthen Saddam
SAN FRANCISCO ? At the risk of provoking nods of agreement and volunteers to aid her, the lovely and gracious Mrs. Young is about ready to shoot me. I write with a beautiful view of San Francisco Bay, with the airport and city beyond, 60 degrees and sunny.
It was a good time to be out of Dodge, even if I had intended to return home before the blizzard began. Really! Alas, the trial in which I am involved has run over, requiring me to stay over the extended, three-day weekend.
“Consent” laws are not helpful
I am always amused when local residents write to this newspaper and express views that are long on emotion and short on good sense. Recently, for example, a number of letters appeared on the topic of whether or not Virginia should have a law which requires parental consent before a woman under age 18 can get an abortion. Such a law would, of course, go beyond statutes in most states that require merely notification of one parent or the other.
Conservatives jumped all over President-elect Bill Clinton in the days following his 1992 election victory when he claimed the possible need for a “broad-based contribution” from taxpayers to sustain his bold agenda. A “broad-based contribution” to the Clintonians on their way to Washington spelled tax increase to most Americans.
Rebuilding in Clifton
You don’t have to be an economist to know something quite odd is going on with the economy these days. Something that’s a bit hard to put one’s proverbial finger on. It’s not just that the economy is “sluggish,” a term conveniently defined to mean somewhat slow and not much else. The economic climate also might be “stagnant,” which is apparently slower than sluggish and also suitably vague.
No one wants to read what’s on the front page of our country’s newspapers this week but it’s the harsh reality of these troubled times. For the first time since perhaps the Cuban Missile Crisis, the government is concerned that America may be the target of an attack on its shores.
Republicans offered controversy in Coles race
I must confess confusion about a candidate.
Just last week, one of our reporters did a story on a new candidate entering the Coles District race for county supervisor. Given that I had not previously heard of this candidate, I read it rather closely. The gentleman’s name is Tom Burrell.
There are always some oddball ideas coming out of the General Assembly. This often includes bills, or amendments to bills, designed to gauge public support for further action.
Bush’s war is imminent
How tall is Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein? Biographical data says he is about six feet tall. President George W. Bush, however, says the man is 10 feet tall maybe more. Moreover, Mr. Bush claims to have hard evidence that the Iraqi dictator is an “evildoer” who poses a clear and present danger to the people of North Dakota, Arkansas and Louisiana.
End of an era
It’s been more than 50 years since Al Gore purchased a small dirt race track outside Manassas and began to make improvements. The track, which would become Old Dominion Speedway, was enlarged and paved and quickly became a stopping point for a who’s who in stock car racing.
Dancing in the streets
The Manassas City Council is once again posed with the decision on whether to allow people to take to the streets in a local celebration of Mardi Gras. Let’s hope their decision is based on a firm bed of facts rather than fear mongering and hearsay.
The genius of American team-building
Despite terrible tragedy, the genius of American team-building was proudly displayed last week. We mourn the loss of the “Columbia Seven” and search for answers. Meanwhile, we marvel at how those seven wonderful people maximized their human potential to advance our science, thus improving all our lives.
Another rate cut
It’s hard to believe that just four years ago, County Executive Bern Ewert (remember him?) presented a budget to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors that taxed real estate at a rate of $1.36 for every $100 of property value. Ewert presented his fiscal 2000 budget with a plan to reduce what was then Virginia’s highest real estate tax rate.
A case against Iraq
The land war against Iraq during the Persian Gulf War of 1991 was barely three days old when U.S. Army divisions began to route the feared Republican Guard deep inside Iraq. Meanwhile, coalition forces destroyed a long convoy of Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait under pressure from allied ground forces.
War talk changes our words
It’s a bit strange to watch how our everyday language seems to be affected by the times in which we live. In the Sixties and Seventies our speech was laden with lots of “peace, brother” and “love the one you’re with” and “run, people, here come the pigs” that often had little to do with what we were saying.
Lost in the shuffle
That rumbling Gov. Mark Warner may hear from his office on the third floor of the State Capitol is the Republican agenda being passed through the General Assembly with the force of a herd of stampeding elephants.
Sacrifice is the cost of progress
I was listening to the radio on Saturday morning, and as I had just about arrived at my destination, the 9 a.m. news announced that the space shuttle Columbia would be landing in a few minutes.
Members of the Virginia General Assembly will be working overtime this week as both houses put in extra hours to pass legislation and amend the proposed $52 billion state budget prior to the session’s half way point. The Senate will then transfer the bills it passed over to the House and vice versa with surviving legislation going to Gov. Warner for his signature this spring.
More DMV politics
The battle is on in Richmond to restore funding to the DMV and reduce those ridiculously long lines prior to the upcoming campaign season. It’s going down to the wire to see who can make those embarrassing lines disappear while simultaneously getting credit for it.