Last Word on schools, Jan. 6

Back at school

Students need to practice using their “toolbox” in school so they will be equipped to solve bigger problems down the road. The focus of today’s work environment is on the application of skills — qualities not necessarily measured by standardized assessments — including creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, critical thinking and willingness to make mistakes while problem solving.

There is a lot of information and controversy about the local schools. It has come to my attention that more than 20 percent of students in the Williamsburg-James City County School District have to get breakfast at school because it is unavailable to them at home. This is appalling. More than 20 percent of students are so poor, there is no food for breakfast. This should be addressed so our residents can have decent jobs and be educated about nutrition.

As evident in the last two W-JCC School Board meetings held on Dec. 12 and Jan. 2, it is clear the board is not addressing issues with our high school districts and is supporting classism in order to keep one of the schools as a top-tier school in Virginia. The result is hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to erect temporary trailers — are we paying for security officers to protect the outside classrooms too? — and thousands of dollars a month to pay rent for the trailers and, most importantly, the failing of two-thirds of our students and a road map toward resegregation of W-JCC schools. The hasty move and decision to take high school redistricting off the table shows a neglectful School Board.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico authorities said Dec. 29 that nearly half of power customers in the U.S. territory still lack electricity more than three months after Hurricane Maria. If this was in our area, we wonder how much ruckus would be made about the lack of power?

Community loss

The Kimball Theater, like First Night, both suffered from declining attendance and decreased community interest and support. The loss of both, while regrettable, simply reflects our society’s changing tastes for entertainment. Perhaps First Night can be resurrected at some point in the future with some needed changes in types and quality of entertainment offered and the venue — if not — oh well, we will survive. The Kimball Theater simply has not ever really generated much community support and, while some might mourn its loss, most of the community will not. Just a harsh does of reality.

Good listening

I just wanted to put in a good word for our local radio station, WMBG. The weekend lineup is the best and of those, I am especially fond of the “Sounds of Sinatra” and Denny Farrell's “Original Big Band Showcase.” Week nights are great also, and I really enjoy the overnight “Zoomer Radio” show. Please keep up the good work.

Better name

I read the article about the Warhill High School soup kitchen, and here’s what I think: The turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie — darling and so kind. The snow flakes — wonderful and so kind. And Christmas music — so kind. But to put up a sign saying “Soup Kitchen” is degrading and demoralizing. Why would you lower someone to that level when everything else you’ve done is so kind and lovely? May I suggest, next time you do it, just simply put up a sign saying “You Are Loved” or “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” or something lovely that’s refined. Not, here’s your soup kitchen. But everything else they did was a great idea.

Lottery proceeds

I wish people would do a little research before they post comments here. The person had it wrong in regards to lottery dollars funding education. The lottery was supposed to act as a means to make up any shortfall in the budget to fund education. Instead, it's now the main source of funding, with less of the state dollars going toward it.

Looking for …

My elderly father lost his money, which was in a Bank of America envelope, on Jan. 2 either at Walgreen’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken. If found, please contact landfallresident@msn.com.

I’m looking for the moving company that Lee Movers sold to a few years ago. They’ve moved me to Eastern Shore, Va., the new company, about a year and a half ago, and I need to contact the company that Lee Movers sold their business to. Thank you.

Does anyone know how to remove mildew from furniture? Thank you.

To the person looking for a cat groomer: We highly recommend Purrocious Grooming. They are a cats-only facility with two nationally certified master groomers. Very professional – nice folk. They are located just off Yorktown Road (VA-238) very near VA-143. Visit www.purrocious.services They groom our cats and their coats have never looked better. Phone 971-808-2287

I am looking at an interesting picture in the Gazette of the Colonial Italian Organization of Bikers, and I search online but could find no information about them. So if a member of the group would be kind enough to leave some contact information in the Last Word, I’d be interested in contacting somebody from the organization. If they could please do that, I’d be most grateful. Thank you.

Do you have a jogging stroller for one or two children? Please call 220-3712. Thank you.

A few years ago, I bought a belt at the Colonial Williamsburg Employee Craft Show. If some CW employee still makes leather belts, I am interested in buying one. Email me at stores4mab@gmail.com.

Power lines

Regarding the Dominion River Crossing Towers: Has a wind resistance study been completed for the proposed towers on the Dominion River Crossing? There was a photo in the news of a tower out west that was totally collapsed by a wind storm earlier this year. How will a hurricane wind blowing up the open river affect the Dominion towers?

Sanctuary state

Now California has decided to make their whole state a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. President Trump should withhold all federal funds. Let’s see how long California will last without federal help. Better yet, hopefully California will secede and “Make America Great Again.”

At the Inn

I agree with the person who didn't like the decorations in the Williamsburg Inn lobby. Calla lilies are not a Christmas flower and the "arrangements" did look like something in a Holiday Inn lobby, but that is what you get when you fire the professional florist and hire 1-800-flowers. I didn't like the outside decorations either. I miss the simple elegance of the grass oval and the tastefully low-key lights of years past, but maybe the Inn is going to get in the running for the Christmas light fight.

Voter Fraud

Considering that the reason for the Public Interest Legal Foundation's existence is to sow mistrust in the system of voter registration and pimp the idea that millions of people who are not permitted to vote have voted in multiple elections, all the time for Democrats, they are not a viable source to quote as a source when trying to make an argument that there was improper voting in Virginia this November. Sort of like believing Shawn Spicer's lie that the 2017 inauguration had the "largest audience ever."

The writer who cited the Public Interest Legal Foundation on voter fraud should check other sources. The Capital News Service tried to replicate one of their reports, titled “Alien Invasion,” using the same data sources and couldn't do it. The Foundation's claim that in some localities there are more registered voters than eligible citizens is unsubstantiated. Also, CNS was only able to find 28 noncitizens who voted out of 2.68 million; that's close to lottery odds. This "crackdown" on voter fraud looks more like an attempt to find ways to discourage "the wrong sort of people" from voting. I suggest taking the Public Interest Legal Foundation reports with a grain of salt and verify with other sources. No widespread instances of voter fraud have been found except in the fevered imagination of a certain news network.

Recommended

Kudos to Max Borsh of Maximum Air for rapid response and quality of service this morning. We called at 9:30 a.m. when we realized that the furnace had stopped working. He came and resolved the frozen water line by 10:15 a.m. Have used him for years and he is very responsive, skilled and kind. We recommend him to anyone needing heating and air conditioning services in Williamsburg. Call 757-784-3181.

If you did not make a reservation and attend the five-course dinner with wine pairing at Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant on 5525 Olde Towne Road on New Year’s Eve, you missed one of the most delicious special dinner events available in Williamsburg. Hat’s off Joe; what a wonderful evening.

I would like to recommend Just Plumbing. They were absolutely wonderful to me. My husband has been in ICU off and on, four times in the past seven weeks, and they worked in a plumber to come fix our faucet around my schedule and did a very good job of it, and I appreciate that very much. Thank you.

I have a favorite restaurant in Williamsburg, Emerald Thai Cuisine in McLaw’s Circle. They serve Thai food at its best. Everything is fresh and made to order. Very friendly service, very clean restaurant and restrooms. I go as often as possible. Very reasonable prices. What a treat!

Thank you, Cell Phone H-Tech, for repairing my cellphone. What a great store for repairing any problem large or small. My phone was repaired in a timely manner and the staff is very knowledgeable. I highly recommend them. They are located in the Outlet Mall beside Auntie Anne’s. Thank you for the great service.

Corey's Country Kitchen, on Richmond Road, serves wonderful down-home cooking. Their cornbread is so moist and tasty that it doesn't really need butter. Their meats are juicy and flavorful. Great variety of choices. Check it out!

Another view

People should always welcome criticism. If they do not want to hear criticism, they are missing the opportunity to change their minds. Remember, people are not always right every time. People should always be thankful for criticism because they need to change some times in order to be a better person.

Postal deliveries

Amazon has a contract with USPS to deliver their packages seven days a week. Trump says they are losing money doing it. Postal service says they are making money doing it. I believe the postal service.

Thank you

A shout out for our newspaper carrier, John Lindsey. A neighbor called my husband at 4 a.m. to say her ill husband had fallen and she needed help in getting him up off the floor. My husband was not able to do so by himself and was going out of the door to get another neighbor to come when John was delivering the paper. When John saw him, he said, “What’s up?” and my husband told him that he needed help. John immediately went with my husband to pick up our neighbor and got him back in bed. So, a super thank you to a great newspaper carrier. He’s the best!

On behalf of the staff and the patients of Olde Towne Medical & Dental Center, we would like to thank Dr. Glenn Campbell and his staff at the Advanced Vision Institute on their Day of Caring. They were wonderful and they provided 21 cataract surgeries. We would like to thank them very much for their support.

Health insurance

For those who keep bellyaching about Obamacare, I would like to know if any of you are actually on it. My daughter and three granddaughters are on it, and not only did their premiums go up but their out of pocket is $20,000 a year. Could someone please tell me how this is affordable?

How the promised Trump care works is simple: Hold your breath till you expire.

Tax plan

Anyone who bases their charitable giving on receiving an income tax deduction is doing it for absolutely the wrong reason. The reason for giving should be the desire to help the less fortunate. With the rise in the standard deduction and the lowering of tax brackets, you will actually have more in your pocket to give to charity.

The news would have you think that because of the restructuring of the tax plan and getting the double deduction — the middle class between $43,000 and $98,000 — that you’re not going to give money to charity; that you won’t be charitable. That’s just nonsense. What a negative view of people. You’re not going to help anybody or lift anybody unless you get a write off. It’s not going to change our household. That’s ridiculous.

General Electric paid no federal taxes last year. AT&T? Seven percent. If we had real corporate tax reform and they all paid 20 percent, they could balance the budget.

As a result of the new tax laws, some people's contributions to church and charities won't be tax deductible. One way to make sure they are is to double-up every other year so they will be.

It’s so apparent that all those that are complaining about the tax plan are those that want something for doing nothing. I suggest they stop complaining about the rich, who work more than 60 hours a week, get an education and work hard and maybe they will become rich. Jealousy will get you nowhere.

Someone commented that because less than 1 percent of workers — mentioning AT&T — got a bonus, it's a happy day. My employer is not giving a bonus or a raise. They are going to pay down debt before interest rates rise, which always happens when the government bids against them for debt.

I'm a progressive and I support the tax break for big business. The catch is that in order for big business to claim this tax break, those companies have to prove that they have created jobs and/or increased wages for their lowest-paid employees. AT&T has recently announces a $1,000 bonus for employees, and then decided to reduce their workforce by a third. No net gain. Only when big business stops feeding tax-break savings to stockholders will our economy "raise all ships,” as Ronald Reagan promised.

Courthouse closings

On Jan. 2, both the York and Williamsburg courthouses were closed, denying public access to conduct private and jurisdictional business. While attending an auction at the courthouse that lasted approximately 15 minutes, I witnesses six people try to access the building, some with traffic citations in hand to pay their fines to avoid court action. On Jan. 2, public schools were in session, banks were opens and mail was delivered — so it was not a federal holiday. What supposed public servant selects closing on a normal business day to deny the public service?

Road worries

Note to Virginia drivers: When an ambulance, a fire truck or a police car goes by with its lights on, pull over to the curb and stop. That makes it safe for everybody.

A comment on Airport Road: If one would look at the state-posted speed limit signs from the Anvil Campground to right about the Embassy Suites, the posted speed limit is 55 miles an hour. I think anyone going the speed limit, you know, should be in good shape. If you don’t want to go the speed limit, don’t go the speed limit, but the ones that do. I drive that commercially and I have to watch my speed because of the GPS. But anyway, the posted speed should be fine. Thank you. Happy New Year!

Most of the drivers traveling to Richmond on Interstate 64 would get ticketed for obstructing traffic if they were on the Autobahn in Germany.

Customer service

To the commenter on poor customer service: Besides calling the waiter a “scatterbrain,” hopefully you also left a very small tip or preferably no tip at all. Too often, people feel compelled to leave a tip when in fact no tip is deserved.

Panhandlers

To the commenter suggesting that we give food restaurant gift certificates to panhandlers: How about they go to work like the rest of us and earn money to buy their food? It’s called having dignity. Giving handouts doesn’t help an individual help themselves, it becomes a crutch.

To the person who disparages the poor and those who have no roof over their heads: You are a small-hearted person who knows nothing of the humbling experience of being homeless. You are prejudging people, which reflects your total lack of compassion and knowledge of people who are not as fortunate as you. Please let other good citizens decide on their own whether they want to be generous or not without interfering or campaigning for validation of your scorn.

Winter weather

Can anyone explain what human-related activity caused our recent spate of arctic-like weather? I’m hopeful the answer will solve our “global warming crisis.”

New year

It's been a long year and I am tired. I am tired of Donald Trump. I am tired of his tweets. I am tired of his arrogance. I am tired of his lies. And I am tired of his incompetence. I'm not just tired, I am emotionally drained. For our country's collective emotional well-being, this man needs to leave office; and the sooner, the better. Here's wishing for a happier and healthier 2018.

Federal debt

As of 2017, the U.S. general government gross debt is at 108 percent of GDP, per the International Monetary Fund. Only four large countries have more debt for the size of their economies. Japan (240 percent), has the largest burden, followed by Greece (180 percent), Italy (133 percent) and Portugal (125 percent). Remember what happened to the last three countries? Will the new tax bill help reduce our debt? Only time will tell.

Animal cruelty

Do we have a right to tell people what they can eat and cannot eat? In poor, underprivileged countries, they eat many things that we do not eat here. Those animals are not pets to them. That is a difference in culture, and there are many people living in this country that feel they have a right to tell people how they should live or how and what they should eat. What right do we have to do that? There are some real contradictory factors when comments are made about “the greatness of the nation and its moral progress can be judged by how its animals are treated.” So, we eat cows and chickens here, and some people have them as pets, etc. But do we have the right to take food out of someone’s — out of some other country’s mouth so that you can feel good about saving that animal? What about the life of that person who needed that food? That’s a moral issue.

Trapped

To the person who commented that I could punch up a new ticket when trapped in Lot 6 after the exit machine ate my ticket – that doesn’t work. To get a ticket from an entrance machine a vehicle must be detected by buried sensors at the gate. We tried that and couldn’t get close enough to the sensors from the wrong side of the gate. What does work is to get a friendly passing driver to enter the lot up to the gate, take his ticket and he backs out of the entrance to continue on his way. We were grateful to him.

Up in Washington

The only way we should let Trump borrow $30 billion for his wall, if he gets it from the Russians and then defaults.

To answer the question from the caller about what did we get from the national debt increase over the Obama administration: The answer’s quite simple. He saved the U.S. economy and today, because of him, we have a robust economy and nearly full employment. What if we’d had a third round of George Bush? We probably would have soup kitchens and bread lines.

Seriously, a commenter stated that it was “Odd. Didn’t see Trump taking credit for the S&P not going up in the last two weeks of the year.” Here a little math lesson: In 2017 the S&P went up 451 points and the Dow was up 5,198 points. I personally want to thank President Trump for a job well done.

Why is Trump demanding to borrow money for his wall? I thought Mexico was going to pay for it.

CNN’s 24/7 attack on President Trump is 20 times more unpatriotic than even someone that agrees with taking a knee by ungrateful sport players. Furthermore, I will never patronize a business that only has on CNN, with its fake news.

Trump said the Iranian people should be able to protest and express their views. This from the man who wants football players fired for expressing their views.

A shutdown affects the non-essential parts of government. Things like the post office, military, air traffic control, Social Security, and others deemed vital to the country's security and economy will continue to function.Just think now the government is doing what the Constitution intended, and taxpayers want to pay for.

I’m really getting tired of people who call our president and anyone who agrees with him a racist and other names. Hopefully, those who call others derogatory names will remember the saying, “It takes one to know one.” Racism and ignorance go both ways.

Mindless verbal reflexes are not a sign of strength rather mental weakness. Trump's recent statement that he could do anything he wanted with the DoJ should frighten Republicans as well as Dems and independents . As one of the latter, I must work nonstop to help the Dems take control of Congress to impeach Trump expeditiously.

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