"I was very disappointed when I heard WJC Schools' decision concerning snow day make-ups. Apparently they have decided they shorten recess to 15 minutes for the remainder of the school year. I have a 6-year-old son who needs this tiny bit of time to play and run so he can re-focus for a very long day at school. I also work for the school system, fewer hours than my 6-year-old must sit in school, and I get a 30-minute break every day, for which I am very grateful. WJC should add one or two full days back into the schedule instead of punishing students every day."
"As a 20-year veteran elementary teacher in WJC, I have never seen the likes of the calculations used by Central Office to determine the elementary instructional hours needed to be made up for snow.The elementary day is 6 hours and 40 minutes, including lunch and recess, both absolutely necessary to the health and well being of our younger children. Whomever is making these decisions in Central Office has no clear understanding of the elementary child or how the day is managed by our teachers."
More – Story inside.
"For many years now, the elementary schools have sent students into the classrooms 5 minutes before the start of school. At the end of the day, we are still teaching until 4 p.m. since they never call for buses before 4. This is an extra 15 minutes a day that the teachers are instructing the students, but since that time is not the school's actual hours, it is not counted as instructional time. This adds up to 22.5 hours in 90 days of school. Why can't we just keep track of these minutes until the end of the year and use this as the make-up snow time?"
What we don't need
"I don't think our town needs big box membership stores. These are easily accessible and are close enough to get to in Newport News. Besides, most people don't visit these kinds of stores more than once or twice a month. It would be so nice to see Wegmans bring a store here. How does a community like ours attract an organization like Wegmans? Do we petition local governments to make a bid? If residents' signatures are needed, I'd gladly support it."
Texting while driving
"Thank you for the article on texting while driving. I don't think the law has done much to curb texting and I would like to see it enforced more strictly. I have lost count of the number of times a car coming toward me wanders into my lane and then swerves back into their lane at the last second and I see phones in their hands. I have also had to slam on my brakes many times to stop for cars running stop signs as they are chatting along on their phone. I suspect if police dressed up like a surveyor or something and set up a camera on a busy road, they would be writing a ticket a minute."
"I've often wondered why we needed to add texting while driving as a violation, when we already had reckless driving. Someone who is reading a map or putting on makeup could cross the yellow line and be charged with reckless driving, if observed by an officer. Your basic flagrant driver inattention (regardless of the subject of the driver's distraction) is reckless driving. You might as well drive blindfolded, as to text and drive."
"Many thanks to the James City Police Department. Recently our daughter was the victim of domestic violence. As usual, the officers were there in no time. They were efficient, effective, caring and helpful. James City County should be proud of its police force."
"We have eliminated any natural predators to deer, such as wolves and coyotes, by pushing them out of their habitat or killing them outright. Rather than continue to kill off animals that have become an 'inconvenience' due to never-ending human development, why don't we consider bulldozing the old Williamsburg Outlet Mall and planting a forest or nature preserve rather than another store/market/mall/gas station? Surely the hundreds we have to choose from are more than adequate for the population of Williamsburg as well as visitors."
"I see from a recent letter to the editor that hunters now are 'harvesting' deer rather than killing them, just like farmers harvest wheat and corn. I suspect hunters who employ this euphuism wish their activity to be seen as something other than what it is."
"Let's look at the deer problem realistically. Venison is nutritious and can be a very tasty meal. Chefs in this area could serve venison. In fact, the Gazette could even have an article about how to prepare venison. If you have lemons, make lemonade."
"For those who suggest hunting by bow to control the deer population, can you even fathom what it must feel like to be shot by an arrow? Then, not being killed instantaneously and left to suffer the unbearable pain until death finally comes? I truly believe hunting for food isn't a necessity in a populated area, as there are enough supermarkets where we can buy our food."
"Deer ticks are in this region and have caused Lyme disease to three of my friends, and to my brother who was living in Richmond. The health department can say the deer ticks are not native, but they are in this region. Also, the 'bull's eye' rash doesn't have to appear around the tick bite for you to be diagnosed with Lyme disease."
"Can't the deer be killed and the meat donated? There are many hungry people. I have no idea about the process of dressing deer."
Part 2 of our series noted that City of Williamsburg managed hunts donate all deer meat to Hunters for the Hungry. Since 1993 more than 15,000 pounds of venison has been donated.