Opinion: Letters to the Editor

Letters for Feb. 11: Fairfax County not competing with Maryland in biotech

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Opinion,Letters to the Editor

Fairfax not competing with Md. in biotech

Re: "Fairfax County makes push for biotechnology space," Feb. 8

Contrary to what Washington Examiner reporter Taylor Holland wrote, Fairfax County is not working on a plan to lure scientists to this side of the Potomac. In fact, I told him we want to capitalize on the shift of the life sciences to incorporate information technology, which is Fairfax County's strength, as well as pure science.

Also contrary to the story, I said nothing about shifting our focus to studying microorganisms. What I did talk about was developing a strength in personalized medicine, which takes immense amounts of genomic data and tailors treatments for different patients. Again, that will capitalize on Fairfax County's IT strengths.

We do want to diversify our economic base in Fairfax County, but we will do it by building on IT. I don't necessarily see this push as competing with Maryland. In fact, localities on both sides of the river house compatible strengths as this industry sector emerges. This will enable the region to grow as a biotech hub on par with the likes of Boston and Northern California.

-- Gerald L. Gordon

President and CEO,

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority

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Cut foreign aid, but not to Israel

Re: "Cut foreign aid before cutting entitlements," From Readers, Feb. 8

Thomas McFadden makes a good point when he urges members of Congress to cut foreign aid before cutting domestic entitlement programs. An educated guess is that at least some of that foreign aid isa bunch of fat that needs to be cut anyway.

However, aid to Israel should be the exception.Israel is the lone democracy in the Middle East, and its citizens -- both Arabs and Israelis -- enjoy more freedom than do the citizens of any other Middle Eastern state.

We share with Israel a common enemy: fanatical Islam. When Israelis fight their enemies, they fight ours as well.We should show our gratitude by continuing to support them.

-- Angela McIntosh

Frederick

Gulen has no ties to any charter schools

Re: "Va. needs more charter schools, but not this one," Local Editorial, Feb. 7

Your editorial had a number of inaccuracies, but chief among them is the claim that Fethullah Gulen has any connection to the Loudoun Math and IT Academy. That error is compounded by the unfounded claim that Gulen "runs the largest network of public charter schools in the U.S."

The truth is that Gulen is not involved in, and has no ties -- financial or otherwise -- to any charter schools anywhere in the United States. The inaccuracies were apparently based on an article in the City Journal,which you cited. But you did not note that it is the in-house newsletter of the Manhattan Institute, a New York-based organization that has sponsored a series of anti-Islamic publications. I'm sure your readers would like to know that throughout his life, Gulen has criticized the extreme fundamentalism that has hijacked Islam. He has called for tolerance and interfaith dialogue and was the first influential Muslim leader to condemn the 9/11 attacks on this nation.

-- Alp Aslandogan

President, Alliance for Shared Values

New York

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