- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 1, 2000

Fan sacks Redskins plan to raise revenue

I wholeheartedly agree with Dan Daly's criticism of the Redskins decision to charge admission to their Ashburn, Va., practice facility this summer ("Snyder doesn't need practice at fording revenue," Sports, May 25). Charging for parking is reasonable, charging for concessions is necessary, charging for scrimmages with other NFL teams is widespread, but a fee for admission to Redskins practices?

What makes that decision doubly distasteful is the inaccuracy of Redskins President Steve Baldacci when he announced the decision. He claimed that other NFL teams charge fans admission to watch summer practice. Mr. Baldacci should have done his homework because his inaccuracy, pointed out by Mr. Daly, makes him appear ill-prepared and more than a little slick to boot. His attitude didn't help either. Mr. Baldacci, as usual, came across in making that announcement as a prickly school marm who was not about to broach any challenges or questions. (Go to footage of him the week after the parking debacle of the season opener at FedEx Field for another example.)

I am glad Mr. Daly took him and the Redskins on and set the record straight. Let's hope that reason prevails and enough fans yes, I am a die-hard fan, but I refuse to be a sucker will stay away from Ashburn this summer. Why should we line owner Dan Snyder's pockets for the privilege of watching Bruce Smith and our beloved Darrell Green kneel on the sidelines while rookies and struggling veterans risk it all for a spot on the roster?

DAN SULLIVAN

Herndon

Watching local rugby is exciting and free

I agree with Michelle Malkin: Professional sports events these days are often too expensive and just don't represent the value they used to ("Sports plebes and plutocrats," Commentary, May 20).

However, if your readers want to watch an exciting game featuring fast-paced, nonstop action, tackling and goal-scoring for two 40-minute halves, one need only find one of the many rugby matches played in the area. These are free to watch, and the viewing public can stand right on the sidelines to get a good, close look at the action.

Rugby is played without helmets and extensive padding in fact, most players use no padding at all and the only time a significant halt is called in the game is when someone is injured. Summer is time for the "sevens" variant of the game, but the game played in the spring and fall is the normal game played with 15 players.

More information can be had by looking at the Western Suburbs Rugby Football Club Web site (www.rugbyfootball.com).

WES CLARK

Springfield

Taiwanese leaders should be welcomed in the United States

It was reported in the article "Lu makes both sides of strait jittery" (World, May 15) that Taiwan's president and vice president "have been told through official U.S. sources not to plan to visit the United States after they take office."

Why shouldn't the leaders of a democracy, chosen through a fair and free election, be able to visit this great democracy? Is it because the leaders of a communist country, China, tell us that only they truly represent the people of Taiwan? It is one thing for our government to acknowledge China's position that Taiwan is but a Chinese province that must reunify with the mainland. It is another thing to give China veto power over who may visit our country.

U.S. relations with China, as with any other nation, must be based upon mutual respect. This includes respect for our basic sovereign right to admit to our country anyone we choose. And the leaders of a real democracy, anywhere, should be most welcome in the United States of America.

LORNA HAHN

Executive director

Association of Third World Affairs

Washington

Plenty of blame to go around on crosswalk issue

I can't agree with John Wetmore's position that pedestrians need not use crosswalks ("Cross at your own risk," Letters, May 26). Pedestrians have no business on Interstate 395, despite their relatively frequent crossing of eight lanes in the Landmark area of Northern Virginia. Pedestrians are responsible for those accidents in which they go unscathed as drivers attempt to avoid them, and they should be held accountable.

However, there is enough blame to go around, including the institutions that tempt pedestrians to attempt dangerous crossings. An egregious example is Backlick Road just south of the Interstate 495 underpass in Springfield. Women carrying babies and dragging toddlers frequently dart into rush hour commuter traffic, standing between lanes of traffic at various intervals and ignoring the crosswalk a half-block away. Public transportation must share the blame because of a bus stop placed in the middle of the block, across from an apartment complex, rather than at the corner near a crosswalk.

The Virginia Department of Transportation placed a crosswalk farther down the block in front of a school, implying it is acceptable for children to cross in the middle of the block. A pedestrian barrier in the middle of the road would likely help, but barriers will never overcome all stupidity and laziness.

RICHARD T. WOJCIECHOWSKI

Springfield

GMU's Faculty Senate forgetting who is in charge

The George Mason University Faculty Senate has recently confirmed my longstanding suspicion that it is an elitist body composed primarily of out-of-touch tenured faculty who preside from an ivory tower and wish to forcefully maintain complete control over all policy matters at a public institution of higher education. By voting to "deplore" and "censure" the Board of Visitors for participating in the development of general education requirements ("Faculty protests 2 courses at GMU," Metropolitan, May 24), the Faculty Senate has ignored the board's statutory responsibilities. Such responsibilities include making "alterations in the approved academic programs as it shall from time to time deem necessary" and to generally "direct the affairs of the university."

It has become evident to me as a student of George Mason University that many in the Faculty Senate wish to remain entirely autonomous from the Board of Visitors and, thus, from the taxpayers of the Commonwealth of Virginia. I believe that the Faculty Senate needs a forceful reminder that its members are employees of Virginia and as long as they remain so, will be subject to oversight and guidance from the representatives of the governor and the General Assembly.

For the sake of George Mason University and my own education, I urge the Faculty Senate to discard these childish and divisive political efforts and focus on the job it has been hired to fulfill teaching students.

MICHAEL F. BERLUCCHI

Virginia Beach

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide