Linton Hall Road Safety

I must comment on the letter from Supervisor W.S. Covington III (R-Brentsville) in which he talks about the 2005 budget and says he "saw many instances where the overall vision seemed to outpace the immediate need" [Extra, Letters to the Editor, May 9]. Of all the budgetary items he could have discussed, he discussed the postponement of Omnibus service on Linton Hall Road.

As someone who has lived off Linton Hall Road for nine years, I have seen the rapid growth of the thousands of homes into the Linton Hall corridor with very little infrastructure to support it. It used to take me four to five minutes to go the few miles to get to Interstate 66 during rush hour; now it takes 20 to 45 minutes. I was looking forward to the Omnibus option to take me to the Vienna Metro. My wife currently rides the crowded Virginia Railway Express and was looking forward to taking Omnibus when it started service on Linton Hall.

Covington said, "Linton Hall Road simply isn't built . . . to safely support bus service." Is Linton Hall built to safely support the hundreds of large construction vehicles or the 18-wheelers that use it daily to get to the many construction sites the county has approved? I also must wonder if it is safe to allow the hundreds of school buses that use Linton Hall Road. By Covington's statement, we can only hope that nothing happens to a school bus. His words state that the county is aware of the safety issue of Linton Hall Road and has done nothing to improve road safety.

I hope Prince William County supervisors will reconsider the time frame for improving Linton Hall Road, as well as all the roads in the Bristow and Gainesville areas, to ensure they are safe for all vehicles.

Thomas W. Roberts


Immigrants and Arlington

In an April 27 Washington Times article concerning Arlington County's plans to ignore a new law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants in the fight against gangs and terrorists, County Board Chair Barbara A. Favola said, "Enforcing immigration law is the responsibility of the federal government, and it's not my job."

Walter Tejada, a fellow board member, said he supported the police department's decision not to enforce the law, calling it "ill-conceived" and a measure that will lead to racial profiling.

In a May 12 Washington Post article concerning a machete attack on a teenager, the crime was directly tied to Mara Salvatrucha, the dominant street gang in Northern Virginia, which has been linked to numerous slayings and assaults in recent years. Gang membership continues to soar, and police estimate that there are 2,500 members in the area, holding them responsible for rapes, beatings, stabbings and the killing of a witness in a federal murder investigation.

It's time for all Prince William residents to be concerned and hold Favola and the entire Arlington County Board responsible for luring illegal immigrants to Arlington and directing police to hold a blind eye toward prior felony/deportation actions. Hence, they've created the perfect "caring" and "compassionate" sanctuary for illegal immigrants and their gang member brethren.

As a former Arlington resident, I strongly believe a direct correlation can be drawn between increased gang activity in outlying jurisdictions and the growing tolerance for illegal immigrants in Arlington County. The all-Democratic Arlington County Board has created a haven for prospective gang members to hone their illegal crafts.

All Prince William residents concerned with this should demand the Prince William Board of County Supervisors denounce this and share their concern directly with Favola at

Robert T. Molleur


Shepard Pratt Concerns

I'm writing in response to Patrick J. Hurd's reply to me [Extra, Letters to the Editor, May 9]. Although I'm glad Shepard Pratt Health System helped him, perhaps Hurd is unaware that Shepard Pratt sold its employee assistance and managed behavioral care operating unit. APS Healthcare purchased the program, known as the Shepard Pratt Health Plan, for an undisclosed sum and will continue to service contracts it purchased under the Shepard Pratt Health Plan name

APS apparently doesn't manage care at Prince William Health System's behavioral and substance abuse unit. Because Shepard Pratt has trimmed its health plan unit and that is consistent with the consolidation toward managed care, I'm concerned if Shepard Pratt has sold to any other buyers and if Prince William Health System's behavioral and substance abuse unit is being operated by one.

Shepard Pratt taking over Prince William Health System's inpatient psychiatric unit was anything but transparent and seamless. Several people left in the leadership ruckus that followed and because of dissatisfaction over contracts.

Assuming another buyer doesn't already run Prince William Health System, will Shepard Pratt sell?

Maybe Shepard Pratt won't follow Potomac Hospital's lead, but in the current managed-care environment, it very well may sell its services at Prince William Hospital. Shepard Pratt appears to be like a mini-Enron of health care, a middleman that arranges for its services to be sold. Health care is like insurance musical chairs.

The extraordinary care Hurd experienced might not be there in the future for some.

Michael Ragland