Embrace Day Laborers

Before the Gangs Do

Salam Al-Marayati's column ["America's Muslim Ghettos,'' A Section, Aug. 15] is brilliant -- not only regarding Muslims, but all immigrant communities: ". . . residents living in isolated, homogenous pockets . . . do not feel a sense of belonging to their nation. . . . Social and economic isolation of minority communities makes them more prone to . . . radicalization."

Apply this same truth to the Hispanic day laborers in Herndon, and I think we will decide that assimilation by the best possible plan is vital to everyone. How long do you think it will take for a beleaguered, browbeaten, isolated minority to decide that criminal gangs are a brotherhood? We can offer them acceptance and a path to acceptability in a prosperous nation, or someone else will offer them a dream.

The details may be in question, but the overall urgency of the mission should not be.

S. Ann Robinson


Commission Chairman Has

A Clear Conflict of Interest

I am extremely concerned about the obvious conflict of interest with regard to Lawrence Beerman and the Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPAM) concerning the Upper Foley and Upper Broad Run areas in Dulles South. Beerman is both chairman of the Loudoun County Planning Commission and a member of the board of directors for Loudoun Healthcare Inc., which recently merged with Inova Health System.

Current planning policy for those two "subareas" allows for one house per acre or one house per three acres with residential clustering encouraged. These two subareas are part of the transition zone between rural western Loudoun and suburban eastern Loudoun.

In September 2004, Greenvest LC applied for a CPAM that would allow suburban density housing greater than that in Ashburn. Greenvest has offered to provide land for Inova Health System to build a new hospital along the Route 50 corridor. In return, Greenvest wants to build 14,700 residences.

Beerman recused himself from the review process and vote concerning the application by HCA (an Inova competitor) to build a hospital in Broadlands. Why is he now leading the effort for a CPAM that would obviously benefit Inova Health System? He should recuse himself from any discussions and voting on this CPAM.

In 1997, Beerman, as a member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, voted for the Dulles South Area Management Plan. Under this plan, Upper Broad Run and Upper Foley fell under the Rural Area Policies of the 1991 General Plan primarily allowing one dwelling per three acres. The supervisors also designated that any CPAM for future development of the Upper Foley and Upper Broad Run areas should limit building to residential clusters at densities of one to two units per acre. Again, Beerman voted for this plan.

The code of ethics for the Board of Supervisors states that members should "avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. A member should recuse himself or herself from participating in deliberations or voting on issues which might be interpreted as questionable or borderline conflicts of interest . . . "

I hope the ethical standards of the Planning Commission are no less than those of the Board of Supervisors and that Beerman will recuse himself from the proceedings.

Cheryl Hutchison