Tuesday, August 14, 2012
David Speck says there's no greater challenge to Alexandria's future than its ability to grow from within without jeopardizing the quality of life.
To the Editor: I read with great interest the thoughtful letter recently co-authored by Gant Redmon about the state of politics and governance in Alexandria. Although it has been more than 17 years since I changed parties, I was a beneficiary of his efforts so when I write to offer an alternative perspective to Gant’s concerns about the dominance of the Democratic Party in Alexandria it in no way lessens my respect for him or my genuine friendship with him. A law of physics is that nature abhors a vacuum; politics is no different and the fact that it is mostly Democrats in elected office may have less to do with Democratic domination and more to do with Republican abdication. For the benefit of newcomers to Alexandria (i.e., less than 30 …
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Sierra Club member and Alexandria resident Robert Pringle questions the club's choices for City Council, agreeing with resident Michael Peck.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Michael Peck's letter to Patch of July 13 explains better than I could why the Sierra Club's recent endorsement of candidates for City Council is unbelievable, and I won't repeat what he said. To me, it is particularly galling that, as a representative of the Sierra Club, Mr. Amel should repeat the fiction, a staple of high-density advocates, that without its favored projects (BRAC, Beauregard, National Harbor II and now a Potomac Yard metro stop) landowners would develop even more densely under the rubric of "By Right." In fact, the developers need new, looser zoning regimes in order to raise land values, get rid of those awkward poor people, and make the kind of money they are after. To argue that they can do more under "By Right" is …
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Councilmembers agree with staff assessment that Virginia American Water's proposal of a 12.2 percent rate increase is too high.
City Council on Tuesday night squelched plans by Virginia American Water to raise rates in Alexandria by 12.2 percent, saying some sort of increase is acceptable but not as large as requested. The water company filed with the State Corporation Commission seeking a 15.93 percent overall increase and specifically a 12.2 percent increase for the Alexandria district. Rates for Alexandria customers would have increased from $47.73 to $53.53 per quarter for a typical customer using 14,400 gallons of water. If city water bills increased 12.2 percent, the city’s water bill would increase $71,000 per quarter. The proposed overall 15.93 percent increase was driven largely by new improvements in the water company's Hopewell and Prince William County …
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Hume Springs resident Davis has filed to run as an independent for City Council, calling for more focus on citizens and stronger communities.
Glenda Davis recalls walking with neighbors through the streets of Hume Springs in the evening with a police escort in an effort to take back the neighborhood from drug traffickers. “We walked every night. Part of the problem was that the drug traffickers felt at ease because no one was outside. They had the go of the neighborhood. We needed to be more visible,” she said. The Alexandria neighborhood walk group also picked up trash and performed other community services every night for about two years until gradually they took back the streets. “That was the turn of the upward trend in Hume Springs,” said Davis, who has been president of the Hume Springs Citizens Association for closing in on nine years and a resident there for 20. It’s …
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Partnership between Alexandria Renew Enterprises and Carlyle Plaza to use new environmentally friendly strategies such as reclaimed water to irrigate open spaces.
City Council voted 7-0 on Saturday for the go-ahead on a plan crafted by Alexandria Renew Enterprises and Carlyle Plaza for the Eisenhower East area of the city. “The plan is transformational on many different levels,” said Alexandria Renew Enterprises CEO Karen Pallansch. Pallansch explained that the project takes an industrial tract "that is little more than an eyesore" and aims to create an attractive block between Renew and the Carlyle Plaza development that will feature about five acres of public greenspace. "Second, this is the first time that we have been able to get in on the ground floor with a major developer and incorporate sustainable practices into a design of this scope," she said. The project brings a new color to the city’s…
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Smedberg, Donley express concerns over tone of citizen correspondence on the proposal
The Alexandria City Council agreed Tuesday to push a second public hearing on the controversial $50 million waterfront plan until September with a vote expected later in the fall. Councilman Paul Smedberg suggested the move with the Council’s July and August recess looming. “I think we need to do that as a community considering all the comments we have received, the emails,” Smedberg said. “It’s important that we continue to work and do not start from scratch.” City staff will work with citizens to re-examine the plan over the summer recess. Smedberg and Vice Mayor Kerry Donley expressed concerns over the tone of correspondence from citizens on the issue. Donley characterized the dialogue as “vitriolic.” “This kind of discourse isn’t very …