Virginia Gazette Last Word for July 26: Roaming dogs: VDOT acted responsibly; Colonial Williamsburg ads

James City issues

"Driving through New Town for a doctor's appointment I was surprised to see developers are still building huge office buildings. Then I went to Settler's Market to see what new stores opened up, and they are still expanding. When you look around and see the paved parking lots and stores, you realize just why our birds are declining. How about all the paved parking lots in the empty shopping centers? How many empty shopping centers are there now? Contractors are now bulldozing down the Williamsburg Outlet Mall in Lightfoot and building more stores."

"Our neighborhood has a large pet walking area, but no park for the children. The elderly seem to be upset by the children playing in the street. Stop worrying about your four-legged friends and start worrying about our children having somewhere to play so they won't get into trouble."

Roaming dogs

"We have a big problem with a neighbor. He walks his dog and allows it to run free, using yards for a toilet. He then has the nerve to place the poop deposits in our trash. He picks up the poop, puts it in a bag, then comes into my driveway and throws it away. How do we stop this without any big fuss?"

Middle schools

"WJC middle schools: Please post a supply list for the upcoming year. While individual teachers may have specific needs, there are still basic supplies all kids will need. By making parents wait until school begins, you are costing us more money. School supplies are on sale now."

"I would be curious to see statistics regarding the number of students who opt out of Toano Middle School to attend Hornsby Middle School based upon the Toano uniform policy. Likewise, how many of those students are athletes?"

Recycling suggestions

"To the person wanting to know about bottle caps when recycling: I had the same question and simply called the recycle company. They told me that they prefer not to have the caps because they get caught in their machine."

"With the new recycle carts, it is very important that they be left near the street with the bucket lid opening facing the road. The truck that picks them up has a mechanical arm that reaches out to grab and lift and empty, all without assistance from the driver/workers. Facing the road greatly increases the efficiency of the whole process. Thanks to all for supporting this worthwhile effort by the city and county."

"In response to the person who needs a larger bin because of all the bulky items, I put all my paper and cardboard recyclables into one of the old bins until I'm ready to put my big bin at the curb. Then I stack the paper products on the top. I get a lot more into the bin that way because I can shift the cans and bottles around to make more room."

Bicycling policy

"The group-riding policy of Williamsburg Area Bicyclists is to ride single file in traffic or when a vehicle is approaching from behind. As for riding on paved shoulders, they must be usable, and those on Rochambeau between Airport Road and Route 143 are only marginally so. Eastbound the bike lanes are long overdue for sweeping. It's difficult for riders to get through without puncturing a tire or suffering other damage. Westbound, even though there has been some remediation, the problem is tree roots growing through the asphalt, causing a dangerous and uncomfortable washboard effect."

Dominion Power

"Kudos to Dominion Virginia Power workers for restoring power to some Season's Trace residents in less than four hours. They responded shortly after my call and worked diligently until the problem was solved."

VDOT acted responsibly

"Regarding the letter from George Spalthoff (July 23 Gazette) on his unfortunate experience in the July 18 traffic backup on I-95 near Fredericksburg: Yes, this was a major backup, even by Northern Virginia standards, and he certainly has good reason to be frustrated. However, his letter seems to indicate he was unaware that this was an emergency repair, not scheduled maintenance or construction. While VDOT officials don't always make decisions that please the public, this is one case where the decision was necessary to protect the public from a dangerous situation, i.e., a suddenly developed surface hazard."

Busch Gardens

"Has anyone thought about what nightly fireworks at Busch Gardens do to our birds? A few years back ( I cannot remember where) the birds were falling out of the sky like rain. I think it was attributed to fireworks. Birds do not fly at night (a few exceptions), and certainly fireworks would have them take flight and possibly crash into objects."