Last Word on sales tax, Feb. 24

Sales tax increase

Instead of a 1 percent sales tax increase to feed the tourism oligarchs, how about an increase to promote affordable housing for the people who do the work that runs the tourism industry in the area? Seems like the Chamber of Commerce, JCC Supervisors and the Williamsburg City Council ignore that 58 percent of households in the area live at 130 percent or less of the federal poverty level, as published in this paper on July 29, 2017, page 6A. And those people work for the industry that is demanding a tax increase they will be forced to pay. To add insult to injury, JCC is giving tax reductions for gentrified developments in Jamestown. Does Virginia have a state government that is for the "commonwealth" or not?

I am supposed to pay more sales tax on top of a high meal tax and existing sales tax to help businesses gather more tourists? You’ve got to be kidding me. Let the area businesses fund this themselves, since they profit by it. I don’t profit by it. I’m retired and already cut back on my restaurant tips due to all the taxes added onto my meals. Oh, yeah, that Hampton Roads additional sales tax for transportation has really worked out well. I haven’t been east of Williamsburg in more than a year. What screwball thought this up again? Norment again. Please.

Billy Graham

The Lord called Billy Graham home today, and the reason was that He has a birthday party planned for his 100th and he wanted Billy to be there. What a gracious, truly American man.

Looking for …

To those who may be interested in joining Colonial Circle in support of CHKD, a new email has been established after reports of problems were received. Please now reply to ColonialCircle@gmail.com. And thank you for your interest in supporting CHKD.

I lost a small gold ladies’ ring that had a ruby stone. It was my mother’s original engagement ring. If found, please call 757-259-0092, or email at wellseau@cox.net.

In response to the person looking for someone to do lawn work/yard work, call Warren at 757-310-9410.

Does anyone out there have a Kagan water filter that makes alkaline water? I need to buy some water for a friend fighting cancer. Phone 757-784-0247. Thanks.

Do you know how to play Euchre or wish to learn, but haven't met anyone else who knows what you are talking about? Well, you're in luck. The Williamsburg Euchre Group is looking for euchre players. If you are interested in playing euchre with a fun, non-competitive group, email Marsha at mrober1@cox.net for more information.

We are looking for another rain barrel. If anyone is getting rid of their rain barrel, please call 757-784-1242. Thank you.

In response to the inquiry of Captain Tex of the Jamestown ferry: He is enjoying retirement in Williamsburg. He is happy and healthy at the ripe old age of 94.

Eyeglasses were left early to mid-January at the City of Williamsburg Finance Department, 401 Lafayette St. Please stop by or call 757-220-6180 to describe and claim.

I’ve just learned that Girl Scout cookies are available and missed ordering some. If anybody has some to sell, please leave your number in the Last Word. Thank you.

To the person trying to give away a crib, I would love to have it. Please call or text 703-728-9712. Thank you.

Does anyone know if Uber goes from Williamsburg to the Richmond airport and return? Editor’s note: You need to go to their website for information about rides and fares: www.uber.com/ride/

A while ago, someone asked if there's an organization where members of the community can foster relationships with international students. The William and Mary Reves Center for International Studies runs a group called Global Friends. It is for members of the local community to foster cross-cultural friendships and understanding. Check it out.

I am wondering if there are people who subscribe to the Oxford Income Letter who are willing to share their experience. They seem to promise what seems "too good to be true," which makes me skeptical. If you would be willing to share your experiences, please send an email to paspr@aol.com.

Library open?

With all of the changes at CW, is the Rockefeller Library still open to the public? I've heard that it's kept locked all the time. Editor’s note: A quick online check shows that the library is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. It is closed weekends.

Florida shooting

Reports that Parkland students reject Trump's visit, and their assertion that the legislature has been corrupted by campaign contributions from pro-gun lobbies, is a breath of fresh air. It took 12 years for students to force the federal government to end the Vietnam War. Again, students are taking a stand on an issue that Congress refuses to address by deflecting it to a mental health issue. This is sort of like the Soviet Union's solution of committing "nonconformists" to mental institutions. I am encouraged that the upcoming generation has the gumption to speak truth to power.

Another tragic shooting with a military-style weapon and nothing in the way of gun control is likely to occur. Folks, we have mid-term elections later this year. Let’s ask each candidate point-blank (no pun intended) where he or she stands on gun control. Then cast your vote accordingly.

I don’t understand the schools at all; I don’t understand Florida. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. Thirty years ago, when I was on a school board, we had metal detectors and you could come through one door and you had to go to the office to enter the school. That’s it. Of course, we had lots of embassy kids in our school, so we wanted to make sure everyone was protected. I don’t understand the mentality of the school. Do you not care about your kids? Why would you leave doors open? Why would you leave access to kids? It’s beyond me how unprotected they leave the more vulnerable people.

Some people are recommending that qualified school teachers and administrators be allowed to carry concealed weapons. If the coach had been carrying a weapon in the Florida shooting, the outcome may have been very different.

The people who stated that "criminals target gun-free zones" seem to know a lot about criminals. That is not likely unless they themselves are criminals. So, please tell us how to recognize criminals. What do they look like? How do they talk? How do they dress? Is someone carrying a gun a criminal? We need to know the answers so we can protect ourselves from these apparently dangerous people. Thank you.

The only way there’s a chance to reduce the amount of gun violence in schools in this country is for the American people to elect legislators who will take a sworn oath not to accept any blood money from the NRA and not to kneel to their threats. Cowards such as Marco Rubio of Florida, who got $3.3 million from the NRA, need to resign from Congress in shame.

Amazing. Not a single one of the 16 “Florida Shootings” comments published in Wednesday’s Last Word laid the blame on the shooter.

Maybe, rather than spending tens of millions of dollars every year to buy the voices of members of Congress, the NRA should use that money to buy combat-grade body armor for students in every school in the United States of America.

I am so proud of those who responded in the Last Word, as well as those who are speaking out against the NRA and the elected officials who accept their money. The NRA has been co-opted to serve the interests of gun manufacturers and they’ve infiltrated our society and democratic process with more success than the Russians by creating an entirely false narrative about a supposed assault on the Second Amendment. They have built themselves a buying public who can’t wait to hand over their wallets. Please keep speaking out to insist that fear and death are not the American way.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-Lousiana, believes that we "should do something about all the idiots” in order to stem the rise of mass shootings. I agree totally. Clearing out all the idiots in Congress who oppose an outright ban on assault weapons would be a great start.

Why are teachers and principals in my child's school promoting the so-called "walkout" days? I do not want my son to be a part of this, but they have promoted it and like it on social media sites. So much for being a neutral environment, since my son is already called out for his political views. Sad that teachers are so biased.

The only way to eliminate the misuse of guns is to eliminate useless guns. Automatic and semi-automatic guns should be limited to police SWAT teams. Handguns should be limited to police and licensed owners who require guns for employment. Hunting rifles and shotguns should be allowed for all licensed hunters. Since we are blowing a huge hole in the budget, use it for a buyback program and get some value. Mental health checks are fraught with loopholes and are simply a cop out.

These little teenagers are marching on Washington because of the school shooting. It is not the responsibility of Washington. It is the responsibility of your local school board. That’s where it falls. Why do they not have metal detectors that everybody passes through? Why do they not have lockdowns and you go through one door and nobody comes in that high school unless they are escorted to the office. And, why don’t you have a guard? In this day and age, that’s obviously irresponsible for the schools not to do that.

I read the Last Word today and I have a question for those posters blaming President Trump for the shooting in Florida: He wasn't there when the gun was bought and he certainly wasn't there to pull the trigger. How is it "Trump's fault"? The division in this country is just because of statements like that.

Is anybody getting tired of all the unproductive hot air coming from our elected officials? It is time to do something about these assault rifles. It amazes me that an 18-year-old kid cannot rent a car but he can buy an assault rifle. We spend too much time worrying about the president’s son-in-law getting security clearance and we’re burying our kids. Kids are supposed to bury their parents, not parents bury their kids. Do something. Wake up!

Gray was the director of the FBI, and the FBI knew of the shooter and didn’t do anything. Perhaps they were too busy looking for spooks in Trump’s closet that don’t exist.

I am constantly amazed that after every mass-murder by gun, that several people claim more people should have concealed weapons to protect themselves and many other intended victims. Will those well-trained, well-intended "good guys" know which one of the gun toting crowd is the mentally troubled bad guy? Will the arriving SWAT team know which one is the bad guy or will they kill all of them? Someday, the casualty list from "friendly fire" will be longer than that from the mentally disturbed perpetrator.

I came from Rochester, N.Y. My daughter’s school had a metal detector, a locked door that you needed to buzz to get in, a security officer and a policeman. And that was 20 years ago.

Free to you

I have ink cartridges for a Brother printer, LC 205YCM and LC209BK. Free to whomever needs them. Contact Melissa at 757-229-1199.

Road worries

Can the city please do something about the stoplight at Richmond Road and Governor Berkeley? It always cycles into somebody turning into Skipwith Farms, even though nobody’s there. Inbound traffic into the city is stopped because of some imaginary person stepping on the switch there. Thank you.

Would love for the police to patrol Fenton Mill Road. State Police, James City and York counties could make a lot of money.

About farmland

Mr. Swanenburg's Letter to the Editor is shortsighted concerning development of our county. He would have buildings on every square inch of land. Does he not understand that farm owners bought land to enjoy their chosen farm life, whether it be horses, llamas, pigs, chickens or just gardening? Rural areas are good for our psychological and physical health. Urban sprawl is not.

Great festival

I would like to say thank you to the Williamsburg Pottery for last weekend’s Asian Festival. The food was fantastic and there was plenty of it. The entertainment was amazing and informative as well. The wine tasting event was remarkable. All of this and more and it was all totally free. My understanding is that it was bigger and better than ever and all I can say is “Wow!” It was a great experience. I look forward to returning again next year.

Idea for WATA

WATA should consider a process of leveraging their bus stop improvement budget by renting out advertising space to businesses along their bus routes that are adjacent to a bus stop. For example, the bus stop at the Candle Factory shops could be sponsored by CVS pharmacy, Food Lion grocery store or Honey Butters restaurant. Other places, other businesses such as motels, could also sponsor the bus shelters, making modest money go much further.

Thank you

On Valentine's Day, I was having lunch at the Waypoint. A couple sat down at the table next to me. We exchanged greetings, nothing more. When I asked for my bill, I was told that it was covered. The waitress whispered that it was the couple near me. I thanked them. They were embarrassed but graciously accepted my thanks. I'm thanking them again. They made my day. It's hard to be alone on such a special day.

Doctor Stacey Hall is frequently cited in the Gazette for all the kind things she does for our community. She is prominent among the many, many professionals who also give time and treasure to the people In the Williamsburg area. Thank you, Doctor Hall.

Stressful living

I have found living in an old folks’ home is stressful. Some of the employees do not treat you with dignity and respect. They are not kind and helpful. Some of them even argue with you. These employees should find another job.

Words to remember

Years ago, R. Buckminster Fuller said, “Integrity is the essence of everything essential.”

Lingering laugh

Thank you, Williamsburg Players, for my February treat. Weeks later, I’m still enjoying the fantastic production of “Lucky Stiff.” The set design, costumes, music, talent — I’m still laughing about everything in this musical comedy. It was an evening of entertainment; a real Broadway production. Thank you again. Hope to see more.

Military service

To those who complain President Trump didn't serve in the military to fight in Vietnam, I simply say educate yourself about the United States in the 1960s. The Vietnam War was very unpopular, as we sent 550,000 soldiers to fight in a war with nothing to win. Not only was there nothing to win, we lost more than 50,000 soldiers. It was very common for many men at the time to do anything they could to stay out of the military. Those who couldn't get a medical deferment were fortunate to be to able sign up for the reserves and avoid going to Vietnam. Many men moved to Canada to avoid serving. Many men who became leaders in this country and were born in 1946 didn't serve in the military because of the Vietnam War. William Jefferson Clinton, usually known as President Clinton, didn't serve in the military. Why aren't those complaining about President Trump complaining about Mr. Clinton? Are you veterans who proudly served this country just as upset about the former President Bill Clinton?

Travel woes

TSA Global Entry is similar to TSA pre-check for domestic air travel. Both my wife and I applied, each paid the $100 nonrefundable fee, passed the background screening and called for an interview appointment. There are two Virginia locations near the Richmond and Washington Dulles airports. We were told there were no interview appointments available until after May. This doesn’t help us with our late April travel. So we wasted the time applying and blew $200. So much fun dealing with the federal government.

Election money

Voters, beware of incumbents of both parties begging for money for their re-elections. Why do incumbents need hundreds of thousands of dollars to get re-elected? Their challengers are underfunded to compete on a level playing field. Why do we need to pay for more lack of action from incumbents, who are beholden to lobbyists? Time to make informed voting decisions.

Litter problems

I agree with the person that said that we have litter problems on Mill Pond Road and Jolly Pond Road to Chickahominy Road. There’s a very big litter problem there, and I think that Clean County Commission should get involved in this.

Recommended

Kudos to the very helpful and knowledgeable employees at Ace Peninsula Hardware. When I took my apple peeler in to have the handle attached, the gentleman at the help counter asked to leave it overnight and pick it up in the next couple of days. When I returned to pick it up, I brought with me a large flashlight, which did not work. Andrew and Rod were able to fix it on the spot, and at no charge. Ace Peninsula Hardware is in the Williamsburg Shopping Center on Richmond Road, phone 229-1901 for repairs.

Making pillows for a porch? I was 100 percent satisfied. 259-0776.

I followed up on earlier recommendations in the Last Word and contacted Arborista Tree Care. Christie Cramer is the owner and she does what many vendors in this area forget to do; she returns phone calls. I hired her to trim my five crepe myrtles and she did a wonderful job. My trees are clean and all debris is gone. Can’t ask for more than that. Arborista can be reached at 345-8688.

Furniture Repair — excellent work at a fair price. Toni Conti at 634-7244.

If you need work on your computer or your tablet or your smart phone, a very good person to call is Howard Maltz. We met him was at the library when he was volunteering services. He’s an expert on how the computer or tablet or smart phone works. He is a very pleasant young man, too, and I think you’d be very happy with his service. His phone number is 443-838-8916. Thank you.

Up in Washington

Someone commented that we should get rid of the filibuster and wondered what Pelosi was filibustering. The Senate has a filibuster rule but there is not one in the House. In a nutshell: Trump started his political career by saying he would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it. Now he is threatening to take 800,000 Americans’ legal status away unless we borrow $25 billion to pay for his wall and seize thousands of people's land to do so.

Regarding the recent shooting in Florida. I’m impressed with the kids and their actions. Please note for this coming November election — According to the NYT ù These Virginia congressmen received the following from the NRA: Congressman Taylor — $5,290, Wittman — $28,221, Goodlatte — $136,424. In talking to Taylor’s office on his gun control stance: “We have no comment at this time.”

The actions of Robert Mueller indicting 13 Russians and three Russian companies confirms what the majority of the American people have known since November 2016. Donald Trump is not the legitimate president of the United States, and he and Pence need to step down.

The important thing on Mueller’s indictment is that no American was wittingly involved with the Russians and it did not affect the outcome of the election. That’s what I’ve been saying since day one.

Rosenstein’s indictment on the 13 Russians was a joke. Are any of them in the United States? No. Is it going to affect their lives? No. Only if they traveled and came into the United States, which would be a little brain dead. Who would come into the United States if there was an indictment on you? Nobody. So don’t expect any of them in jail anytime soon. All their activities were done while they were overseas in Russia.

Three days after 13 indictments against Russians were handed down, Trump tweet attacks everyone, even his own NSA, but not Russia. There should be no doubt that Trump is in Putin's pocket.

About 67,000 Americans died from opioids last year. Trump appointed a 24-year-old who graduated from college last year, with no substance abuse or law enforcement experience, to solve the problem. His only qualification was he worked on Trump's campaign. You can't make this stuff up.

Maybe the solution to the continuing slaughter of students in American schools is to surround each and every one of them with a Trump style wall rather than building one alone on the southern border.

Congratulations, President James Buchanan. As of today, you are no longer considered the worst American president ever. Anybody want to guess who has taken over that job?

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