Arlington should approve bid for electric taxis

EV Taxicabs, a new Arlington-based company, plans to launch a privately funded taxi fleet of 40 electric Nissan LEAFs if it gets the majority of 65 new taxi certificates the Arlington board will award at its Dec. 8 meeting. It was great to see board members ask a lot of questions last Tuesday and delay their decision to gain a better understanding of the technology.

When Chevrolet Volt owner Joseph Lado finished his testimony in support of EV Taxicabs' bid to add LEAFs to the county's taxi fleet, he was one of a few speakers questioned by board Vice Chairman J. Walter Tejada, who asked him, "When you go to Dulles Airport and back, is it in the same car?"

The crowd, made up of mostly cab drivers, applauded Tejada's question, but it addresses a concern among many supporters of electric vehicles, or EVs. Most people who do not own EVs, including leaders and decision makers, still do not fully understand how these cars work. There is a very sophisticated system built around this project to prevent customers from being stranded.

There are also benefits to the EV community, such as level 2 and 3 charging stations, which other taxi companies are not providing.

-- Mark Czajka

Director, MD Volt Inc.


Restructuring Advanced Academic Program is bad idea

I am the parent of a sixth-grader in Fairfax County who attends Advanced Academic Program, or AAP, classes and has been anticipating attending Longfellow Middle School, a well-established AAP center, next fall to continue his studies. We are now concerned that he might be sent to another school that does not have any experience teaching AAP students, which would be severely detrimental to their long-term academic performance.

The current proposal to restructure the AAP is very shocking. It has put our child's future at risk without anycredible evidence to support such a drastic policy change with long-term implications countywide. More importantly, there is no realistic, substantive evidence of available financial resources to allow all current middle schools to provide AAP-level services on short notice.

Even though this is a very serious issue of both procedural and substantive significance, the proposal has been created without an adequate level of parent input. I am not convinced that this was put together with anysincerity or integrity. It is a misguided path that would serve only todilutethe quality of existing AAP centers and damage the reputation of the Fairfax County school system.

Gang Xu


Hang on, 2013 will be a wild ride

Both Nancy Pelosi and President Obama said elections have consequences. So to my conservative friends, I suggest that you buy some gold and silver to hedge your investments over the next four years.

To my liberal friends, I would simply suggest they sign up for a room at the poor house.

Busch Gardens could not have invented a scarier ride than the one we are going to board in January 2013.

George J. Pitonyak

Kitty Hawk, N.C.