Last Word on the balance of power, Feb. 20

The Virginia Gazette
Stores keep closing; is the economy really improving?

 

Thieving diners

This regarding to thieves. It's a shame that the thieves steal valuables from patrons in the different restaurants. Security should find them and punish them with prison. Very bad. No place is really safe.

Stores closing

A disappointing fourth quarter is prompting a new retailer to close stores. K-Mart and Sears will be closing stores in the United States. You add to that, Walmart is closing stores, Penney's is closing stores, Macy's is closing stores. A great economy.

Balance of power

The writer blames Congress for being obstructionist when it came to doing the nation's business. He could not be more wrong. The obstructionist that refused to bring hundreds if not thousands of bi-partisan negotiated bills and amendments to the Senate floor for a vote over the last six years was Senator Harry Reid, a Democrat. As an example, in 2007 the Senate Republicans added 217 amendments to a variety of bills - in 2013 Senator Reid restricted Republicans to a total of four amendments. There was a similar reduction in numbers of bills that Reid allowed on the Senate floor for vote. When you research the term "obstructionist" in the dictionary, it has a picture of Harry Reid.

Regarding the comment about Republicans and the election of 2010, they did not get control of Congress! They just regained balance of power. The Democrats could do anything Obama wanted and he got it. Now he has to work with the other side and he doesn't like not getting his way. The Republicans are trying to prevent Obama from doing more damage to America. What is the imbalance the writer meant when Democrats were the only ones voting for the ACA (aka 'Obamacare') and it passed? Who is responsible for Presidential edicts, not the Republicans. Everything seems to be one-sided. How many bills from the House have been signed by BHO? It's his way or no way.

Legislative careerism

The Feb. 10 editorial, "Fight for your right to know," points out some of the consequences of legislative careerism. If Virginia had, following the intent of our founding fathers, enacted term limits for state legislators, Senator Norment would not have been a state senator long enough to amass the power he is currently wielding.

Free to you

Recently replaced my printer. I have for free an unused color ink cartridge: Canon 41. email: hochiesdaughter@yahoo.com. I live in the Norge area.

Colonial Williamsburg

It is a pity that Colonial Williamsburg sponsored a confusing and expensive ad during the broadcast of the Super Bowl while so many key and dedicated staff members were laid off only a few weeks earlier. This ad proclaimed that, "It started here," but that statement is historically inaccurate. As a former Pennsylvanian, I seem to recall that the Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution were signed in Philadelphia, the largest city in North America and not in Williamsburg. In addition, I believe Boston had an impact on beginning of the United States with the various protests of its citizens culminating in the one on tea and the opening battles of the American Revolution.

A special acknowledgment and thank you to Mitchell B. Reiss, President and CEO of Colonial Williamsburg. Mr. Reiss, your ideas are a "breath of fresh air." Living in Williamsburg for 17 years, my family and pets walk the streets of our lovely Colonial Williamsburg almost daily. During the Christmas holiday we observed happy, smiling faces as small children, middle school and high school students, and college folks skated at Liberty's Skating Rink. Thank you for bringing a healthy, fit activity to this community. Thank you for going out on a limb and bringing a creative adventure to this community. Thank you for providing a change that benefited those who chose to participate in this community. Finally, keep up with your new and future ideas. You are positively touching this community. I hear so many neighbors thanking you for what you have done already. Williamsburg needs a leader such as yourself.

My wife and I would like to thank Colonial Williamsburg and Dominion Power for the wonderful ice skating rink this year. While neither of us skates much anymore, we certainly enjoyed watching the joyous faces at the rink and feel that this was a very worthwhile addition to the holiday festivities in CW. We "participated" as enthusiastic observers and enjoyed many a hot chocolate and warm fire as we watched the skaters perform. We understand that this addition was not to everyone's taste, but it certainly brought a new enthusiasm and reason to visit the MarketPlace and the CW attractions. Well done and we hope to see it return next season!

Looking for ...

I am looking for a Tivo IR blaster. It is the cord that comes with a Tivo, allowing one to use the Tivo remote control to change channels on a cable box. It has a headphone type connector on one end and two black plastic pieces on the other end. Anyone having one and wishing to get rid of it, please email me at booo@cox.net.

Williamsburg friends: Were you associated with William and Mary's Catholic Student Association in the late 1980s and early 1990s? Do you remember Msgr. Charles Kelly? The 15th anniversary of his passing is approaching in March. Do you have any memories, photos, audio, or video from masses, RCIA, or his Catholicism 101 lectures? If so, or if you would just like to hear some of his sermons and be (re)inspired, please visit the http://themsgrkellyproject.weebly.com. If you have material you wish to share, please send to themsgrkellyproject@gmail.com. Peace and many thanks!

Regarding Spectrum Home Repair, I am also looking for the number. I would appreciate it if you would put it in the Last Word. Thank you. Editor's note: Confirmed phone number is (757) 876-8444

I appreciate the information about the free taxes being done at the library. However, it would be very helpful if you could publish the phone numbers so that we can reach them to make an appointment. Thank you very much. Editor's note: Appointments may be scheduled for both library locations by calling 259-4072.

Wanted: Virginia MetalCrafters fireback "Virg. 1737." Call 757-206-9788. Will pick up and transport from your location.

Thanks for helping

I would like to thank the Last Word for posting my notice for the electric lift recliner I wanted to give away. I could have given away 27 additional ones. It was difficult deciding who it should go to but after reading all of the e-mails, my wife and I both came to the same decision. After meeting the person, we realized it was a good decision. I truly wish I had more to give away though. Thank you.

Special thanks to Mr. Hugh Lessig, reporter for the Daily Press, for his informative presentation to the W&M Armed Services Arts Program Veteran's Writing Group.

Presidential politics

The lesson that Trump should take from the New Hampshire primary is not that he is a winner, but that, based on the vote, in a one-on-one race even Christie, Santorum, or Fiorina would have beaten him. When nearly two-thirds of the ballots cast are for another candidate, then you are a survivor, not the winner.

Well if Bernie Sanders becomes our next President, as Commander in Chief will he solve the ISIS problem by giving them all free education and health care…of course on us?

I never liked playing cards. But lately I have taken up bridge because I love saying, "No Trump"!

If anyone questions who the media supports, the following was from the Democrat debate: Senator, do you worry at all that you will be the instrument of thwarting history, as Senator Clinton keeps claiming, that she might be the first woman president? Why didn't they ask Hillary about "thwarting history" for the first Jewish president?

Marco Rubio, FYI: President Obama is not now a lame duck president. He will only become one after the Electoral College meets and elects the next president in December.

When Barack Obama was elected president, I made a prediction: During his term, any criticism of his policies would be seen as bigotry and racism. It appears I was right. When anyone has an honest critic of his policies, they are immediately called a racist, homophobic, or bigot. Consider this, if I have an honest disagreement with a criminal, am I called criminal-phobic? If I have an honest disagreement with a rapist, am I called rap-o-phobic? If I am a football fan am I called a basketball-o-phobic? The scary part of this world of political correctness is the loss of honest discourse. The left offers no honest discourse; they only attack the person who offers the rhetoric. This is the largest assault on free speech in the history of our country.

Poor parking

How many programs have you missed at our wonderful Williamsburg Library because of the parking situation? Please don't even mention the parking lot across the street and a block away. People with small children, strollers, people in wheelchairs—there's no forethought. But it is too bad, the wonderful programs we have missed because it is so inconvenient or impossible to find a parking place. Please, people, can't we give a little forethought. The library may have a wonderful, wonderful rating, but for parking, I would say it deserves an F minus.

Recommended

I'd like to thank Barnes and Noble in New Town for their great customer service over the years but today I especially commend Stacy for helping with my Nook. She is truly an outstanding employee and a credit to the store. Actually, I have never had bad customer service at Barnes and Noble. Thank you again.

In response to the person looking for someone to do refinishing: I would like to recommend Adam Wolinski, (757) 258-3188. We have used Adam for years to restore and refinish our furniture. He provides super quality work for an affordable price. We have also used Adam to build custom pantries and other built-ins. You will be very happy with his work.

If you want a fun (and tasty) morning experience, stop by the Raleigh Tavern on Duke of Gloucester street around 10 a.m. They are baking gingerbread cookies there in a brick oven and the cookie baker, Stanton, enjoys his work and is dedicated to seeing that you get a perfectly baked cookie as he demonstrates the process. The cookies I have had are nice and hot, slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Nothing like getting them fresh out of the oven.

My total knee was replaced Monday, Feb. 8. I can hardly tell you how great the treatment was that I received from Dr. McGee and his staff. Surgery was flawless and the hospital was perfect (Riverside Doctor's Hospital). I went home on Friday and was actually able to walk without assistance for a short distance. I am only using a cane where normally a walker would be used for another week. I do not take any pain medications as I only feel discomfort and very little pain. My only regret is that I did not do this sooner. Thank you, Dr. McGee!

Our own JCC?

What is the Jewish population of Williamsburg -James City County? Can it support a Jewish Community Center such as the wonderful one in Richmond?

Dress code?

As a former educator (including Williamsburg/James City County), I was taken aback when I looked at the front page photo and realized the guidance counselor was the one dressed in jeans, a JMU jersey shirt and sneakers. The students were dressed more appropriately. She could at least have been dressed in nice slacks, a blouse or sweater and flats! Is there no dress code for high school professionals?

Variety in meals

Thanks to the individual who addressed "plant based" meals. It is true that Americans and international visitors eat a variety of foods these days. If Williamsburg is serious about making this wonderful city a tourist destination, then it, too, will need to become aware of these foods and our chefs will need to prepare meals using the changes. We are at last addressing outdoor dining, so perhaps local businesses can also address more of a variety of meals.

Building schools

Before taxpayers agree to pay for a new school building, let us not forget that several of the Division employees who approved previous school building completions did so when two of Williamsburg James City County schools were incorrectly built. These schools had to be corrected at the expense of tax dollar monies and school children were displaced for a number of weeks while the school buildings were corrected to code! We have a right to demand that competent employees hold these positions and although the current superintendent was not the superintendent at that time, he is responsible for employing competent and knowledgeable people.

Beware tax scams

Tax season is here and so are the "IRS" scammers! Received an accented phone message from one "Kevin Mason" calling "to help with an enforcement action of the U.S. Treasury," stating that "ignoring this message will be an intentional attempt to avoid your initial appearance before a magistrate, judge or a grand jury." He repeated his call back phone number, 708-377-9155. I did not call back! Better to pass on this warning to the Last Word!

Bankruptcy benefits

Just wondering how much money a bankrupt business can pull in from using that helpful arrangement-- filing bankruptcy. Are state or federal dollars part of the bail-out package? In other words, how many dollars has frequent bankruptee, Trump, received for his multiple bankruptcy filings? Is that a common business plan?

Well done, Sheriff

I would like to really praise the York/Poquoson sheriff's department, with the new logo on their cars, "In God We Trust." Maybe there is some hope for us on this Earth. People are not afraid to mention God. Oh! God bless him.

Good commentary

Really enjoyed reading Mrs. Wright's thoughtful commentary in the Feb. 13 paper. It is important to give witness to the past. The Triangle area sounds like it had a vibrant residential and commercial life before it was "improved." I wish it was the way it was before. Now it seems to be a commercial failure. Can it be turned back into residential?

In-town condos

We and many friends want and keep searching for condos in town with a minimum of steps into the structure and a main floor master bed and bath. There are vacant lots on north and south Henry Street that just cry out to become those condos! Imagine adding residents who love to enjoy all the pleasures of city living to the easy walking distance of all CW, W&M, the library, shops and restaurants! They would support and enhance city life! Property owners and developers, please hear the needs and wants of could-be residents! Let us live in downtown Williamsburg!

Cable TV

I would like to address the Cox cable issue about the little box that you have to buy extra for the TV because Cox is going digital. All TVs that you buy are already digital, so why would you have to buy a little box to go with it, if your TV is already digital? I don't understand Cox's answer to that one. Thank you very much.

Anyone been told that no mini box is needed for a modern TV that already has a Cox box hooked up to it? The definition of modern TV is a flat screen TV without a very large protrusion (actually a tube) extending from the back of it.

I, too, was tired of my Cox cable TV bill going up for various reasons. This summer I switched over to DirecTV and am very happy with the service, at lower cost. In fact, the DVR and remote are easier to use, and the DVR has an energy saving feature I really like. And if DirecTV starts playing with their prices in the future, I will buy an antenna and a TiVo.

Hooray! Glad to see that I am not the only one who is angry at Cox's transition to digital mini-boxes. Like many others, I have TVs in various rooms for visitors and guests. To maintain the same level of cable service, Cox now wants me to pay $12 or more, per month. I am seriously thinking of joining my millennial kids and canceling my cable service. Like them, I will instead obtain news and entertainment by WiFi. Better technology should result in reduced costs, not more.

I am a retiree and don't enjoy watching my cable bill rise on occasion. But, I recently installed the mini-box to the one television that was not utilizing a digital cable box. Installation was simple and took my cheap high definition television from an average quality picture with little high definition, to a television that offers a lot more channels, a guide and a very sharp and colorful high definition picture. A brief power surge the other evening wiped out my mini-box, after tests by COX over the phone, I was able to replace the box with a new one and the television returned to a high quality picture. The boxes are free for now and I understand that even on non-high definition televisions, provide a better quality picture then before installing the box. The fee will begin in one year, the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee per month.

A comment in Saturday's Last Word questioned the purpose of the Cox $2.99/month minibox for each television. Well, could it be to provide feedback to Cox on each and every channel that subscribers are viewing on each set? And, could that, too, be a reason for broader "bandwidth." Finally, could it be too that Cox is passing this feedback cost plus along to its subscribers?

I'm not particularly bothered by having to pay three bucks a month for a Cox cable box, especially since the remote it came with is more user-friendly than my old ones. What I do regret is the loss of channels 101, 102 and 104, which I spent a lot of viewer time on.

Remember the trains

Let's hope the two local major draws for visitors remember that their primary market, the upper East Coast, is fed wonderfully by passenger trains! And millions of could-be visitors don't have cars or drive but they are used to taking trains! How lucky is Williamsburg that Mr. Rockefeller made sure the trains stopped here and that a lovely depot was convenient to downtown and CW! Local buses go to Busch! If they advertise and attract train passengers, we locals can still enjoy our parking places and benefit from the lovely dollars visitors bring! Everyone is happy!

Flint water crisis

To the person who feels compelled to defend the Republican majority in the State of Michigan, please check your facts better. Many sources (Washington Post) have clearly stated that the City of Flint was "under the control of a State appointed emergency manager" when the decision to switch the water sources was made. They then ignored the need for anticorrosive chemicals. Then they ignored the spike in Legionnaire's disease. Then they ignored the elevated lead levels and discoloration. The fact that any elected official could poison their people in this manner is a horrible crime. I really don't care about their political party as there has been complicit blame from both sides for 40 years (I grew up in the Flint area). We as a nation should rise above politics and heal the problem.

Cost of college

When Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton constantly complain about college education costs too much, a paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research report that state funding cuts, wage premiums, and cost increases in the service industries contributed insignificantly to the rapid rise in tuition between 1987 and 2010. What did account for almost all of it was the massive explosion in federal aid over the past several decades. Federal aid — in the form of subsidized loans, grants and tax credits — shot up 134% in the past 15 years, according to the College Board. It's climbed 22% just under President Obama. Combined with state aid, the government is pouring more than $239 billion a year into programs designed to make college less expensive. What the authors found is that all this aid money has simply let college administrators spend more and jack up tuition to pay for it, without hurting enrollment. The result: gourmet kitchens, luxurious dorms, shiny new administrative buildings, beautiful landscapes, state of the art workout facilities, etc.

Mis-delivered mail

Mail sent the wrong address usually happens because of sloppy bar coding. Before putting the mis-sent letter back in the mailbox, the bar code needs to be blacked out with a pen or magic marker. If this is not done, the letter will come back to your mailbox with the bad bar code.

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