Monday, March 25, 2013
Small business expert Frank Felker discusses whether it's worth it to swim with the sharks in the TV program Shark Tank.
Even if you’re not a fan of reality shows, allow me to suggest you watch at least one episode of Shark Tank, which airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on ABC. Like most reality shows, little about it is not scripted or staged. But the drama that unfolds is educational nonetheless, if you are - or wish to become - the owner of your own small business. The Sharks are a panel of five billionaire (or at least multi-hundred millionaire) serial entrepreneurs who sit hungrily in their easy chairs, watching as three small companies per episode pitch them on the idea of investing a given amount of money in their firms in exchange for a certain percentage of equity ownership. The best known of the Sharks is Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, currently …
Friday, March 22, 2013
Former Vice Mayor Andrew Macdonald says citizens can rest assured that its elected leaders, Democrats one and all, know what’s best for the city, even when its citizens don’t.
Dear Editor, Virginia is for lovers and the Alexandria waterfront is too! Although the City Council voted only 6-1 to rezone the Alexandria waterfront last Saturday, and although I was disappointed that four years of constructive planning were coming to an end, I was impressed by the intellectual clarity of the Council members. It was clear that they understood the concerns of residents and the importance of creating a waterfront that will compliment one of the most important historic districts in the nation. Mr. Wilson and Mr. Chapman noted just how romantic a venue the waterfront is, or could be, if it weren’t for those old warehouses that gobble up some much landscape. Ms. Pepper, who is known for her support of citizen concerns, took …
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Crystal Vanison, the education committee chair of the Alexandria chapter of the NAACP, thanks attendees of a March 12 forum with ACPS Superintendent Morton Sherman and others.
Tuesday, March 19
To the editor, On behalf of the Alexandria Chapter of the NAACP, we would like to thank everyone that attended the question-and-answer session with ACPS Superintendent Morton Sherman on March 12. Your questions and ours show that there is much work to be done. As stated during the forum, the NAACP strives to ensure that all students have access to an equal and high-quality public education by eliminating education-related racial and ethnic disparities in our public schools. As the education committee chair and Alexandria Branch as a whole, we plan to become more active in the community to ensure that our mission is not in vain. Whether it is a PTA or School Board meeting, City Council hearing or wherever we need to be, we plan to be …
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Alexandrian Kathryn Papp says City Council's March 16 meeting is a political maneuver that clears a path for the city's overly dense waterfront plan.
Wednesday, March 13
To the Editor: On Saturday, March 16 at City Hall, elected officials will take a vote that seems intended to try to deny property owners’ their day in court. This vote could easily end by depriving the majority of property owners throughout the City of Alexandria the right to freely petition against zoning decisions that affect them; it would restrict access to the city’s own Protest Petition. On March 5, citizens’ clarity and the integrity of their arguments regarding the importance of the Protest Petition were in no doubt. Many favored relying on judicial reasoning for a full and final understanding of the Protest Petition process. This is scheduled on the Circuit Court docket for April 9. If a supermajority of council members agree on …
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Alexandria Planning Commission Chair John Komoroske and past chair Eric Wagner explain the March 5 voting on two text amendments.
To the editor, On Tuesday, March 5, the Alexandria Planning Commission approved two text amendments to Alexandria’s zoning ordinance after public hearings where most of the speakers opposed the amendments. Those opponents may think Commissioners disregarded the concerns of those who testified. That is not the case: all Commissioners heard and carefully weighed all of what was said. There is a distinction, however, between understanding the arguments made by the speakers and being convinced that the points they advocated would be good for the City of Alexandria. We thought it would be useful to explain our votes on these two issues. The first hearing was on zoning ordinance amendments to permit the development envisioned in the Waterfront…
Friday, March 8, 2013
The city's former vice mayor says the last Planning Commission meeting shows planners have done everything in their power over the last four years to squelch public opinion and input that doesn’t fit with the city’s planning agenda.
To the Editor: I thought we had reached the nadir in the waterfront planning process on my birthday a year ago, but I was wrong by a country mile. The new low point occurred just last Tuesday night when the Planning Commission voted 7-0 to push through the text amendment that gives the green light to rezoning the waterfront. This land-use plan will allow developers to triple the density along the waterfront, and build basically anything they want, including two hotels. The night had all the hallmarks of a show trial from beginning to end. The commission was dismissive, arrogant, condescending, and at times downright bullying in its response to community concerns. It would be clear even to a child that the City has made been no real …
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Alexandria resident Ken Hill believes one hotel on the waterfront is a compromise that will bring closure to the divisive waterfront debate.
Wednesday, March 6
To the editor, A leader has stepped forward to advance a rational compromise on the waterfront plan not unlike Councilwoman Del Pepper did last year. Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg’s proposed adjustment limiting new hotels in the waterfront plan to one would protect our precious resources and the quality of our environment. Further, this compromise would promote the economic well-being of our city while advancing the needed improvements to protect and enhance our waterfront. Its adoption may satisfy the interests of competing sides on the issue, help heal the wounds and bring a rational closure to this divisive issue. As early as December of 2011, Ms. Silberberg opined in the Washington Post about compromise on the Alexandria waterfront …
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Helen Desfosses supports Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg's compromise on Alexandria's waterfront plan.
To the editor, I am writing this letter to support the compromise Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg seeks regarding the waterfront plan. I supported her strongly during the City Council campaign, particularly because she understood the importance, in her words, of all of us serving “as the temporary stewards of this national treasure called Alexandria.” The waterfront was key to that concept of stewardship during the campaign; it has become even more critical to our city’s beauty and legacy once more. Because of the increased pace of council activity on the waterfront issue, the public effectively has one big chance left to get involved, and that is to attend and to speak at the public hearing on Saturday, March 16 beginning at 9:30 a.m. It …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
A Virginia editor asks people to realize that Peter Laboy is more than a cop.
When I was about 7 years old or so, I remember, a Cleveland police officer was shot in the line of duty and killed. Even at that age, I knew enough to feel lucky: My dad was a Cleveland cop, and he wasn't the one who lost his life. In those days, I had a before-school ritual that would last months at a time. Whenever my dad was working the 3-to-11 shift, I'd wake up, clamber down the stairs and peek into my father's bedroom to make sure he was there, that he was alive. See, he would leave for work before I got home from school, and I'd be in bed by the time he returned. And after that poor soul behind the shield lost his life, I had learned young that sometimes cops don't come home, that sometimes random cops aren't in bed when their kids …
Monday, February 25, 2013
Small business expert Frank Felker outlines why it's so important for small business owners to utilize the power of a smart phone.
Monday, February 25
On a recent episode of The Charlie Rose Show, venture capitalist and Netscape founder Marc Andreessen commented that the term “smartphone” was a misnomer. “What you really have,” Andreessen quipped, “is a supercomputer in your pocket.” That sentence set my head to spinning. Some quick research revealed that the average iPhone or high-end Android device of 2013 has roughly the same processing power of 1987’s ETA 10-E, one of the fastest computers in the world at that time, which had to be cooled with liquid nitrogen. Wow. What if everyone in 1987 had an ETA 10-E in their pocket? What might the implications be? In a recent opinion piece published in the New York Times, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Thomas Friedman observed “...virtually …