Last Word on Norge apartments, April 28

Saving water

We are so pleased and impressed that Anheuser-Busch Brewery has taken more action to conserve water and increase recycling. We urge area property owners to match the effort by reducing green lawns and automatic sprinklers. We really can't afford to waste water on grass when it will be needed for domestic and industrial use if we want to survive.

Norge apartments

What is the logic for putting the Norge apartment low-cost housing "in a rural corner of the county?" Why locate affordable housing so far from where the work is? Wouldn't it be much better to locate it so people could walk or bicycle to work? When New Town was created, I thought one of the reasons was to make it possible to have people work and live in the same location. Why not put it nearby New Town or closer to main shopping and outlet centers, even in the old shopping center across from the Pottery? Norge Station is already located at the intersection of Route 60 and Croaker Road — a road that becomes a parking lot whenever there is an accident on Interstate 64.

Sales tax increase

Now that the new sales tax has passed, I have bought my last vehicle in Williamsburg. I have been buying new cars every three years from the same local dealership, but why would I pay an extra $400-$500 on the same vehicle I can buy in West Point or Newport News because of sales tax increase?

Sen. Mamie Locke’s office responded to my recent email complaining about her support of the Historic Triangle sales tax by referring me to Sen. Norment. It stated, "The bill is part of Senator Norment's legislation.” He is not my senator. She is. And she voted for it twice. Last year she sent an informational email informing us that Gov. McAuliffe had vetoed or amended eight pro-gun bills. She conveniently failed to mention that she voted against all of them before they ever got to his desk. What contemptible attempts to avoid accountability. Who does she think she is fooling?

Great performances

There was a wonderful play presented at Lafayette High School called “Mary Poppins” last week. They did a fabulous job — singing, dancing, outstanding costumes and such. This talented group — it was so superior and should be applauded by the community. I am sure some will go on to other careers, but will never forget this experience. Congratulations to you all!

Congratulations to Backstage Theatre Productions on another wonderful weekend of performances. My family and I truly enjoyed “The Little Mermaid.” From your littlest performers to adults, you have assembled a wonderful group of actors. It seems that your company is growing with each production we see, but it seems like we missed a few familiar faces from your last few productions; we hope they'll be back! We are looking forward to “Spamalot” this summer. We lost our program; is there a way to find out what the dates are for this?

Looking for …

To the lady who bought the double basketball hoop at the Stonehouse Glen yard sale: We found the instructions. They may be helpful for reassembly. We also found Barbie dolls for the lady who bought the dollhouse. Stop by any time after 6 p.m.

To whoever wanted a brass polisher: A good one is Wayne Harris,757-810-1677.

A cat is missing. He is a neutered 7 year old. He is all white, with long hair. He was last seen on King Richard Court in Queens Lake on April 20. If you saw him at any time since then, call 757-258-0438. Thanks.

Can anyone recommend a company that can repair cracks in an aggregate driveway? Please post in the Last Word. Thank you.

Does anyone know of an organization that lends or rents wheelchairs or travel chairs on a short-term basis?

iPhone in a hot pink case found along the side of John Tyler Lane. Turned it into the Williamsburg police station.

I am looking for the gentleman in Charles City who drives around and picks up old appliances. Please call 757-870-6971.

Does anyone know where I can get some red brick wire fence? If so, I’ll come and get it. Just call me at 804-931-3276.

To the person asking about locally made bluebird houses: Colonial Heritage Garden Club sells Trex bluebird houses. They sell for $20 and can be purchased by calling 757-645-2434.

Taste Festival

The Williamsburg Taste Festival seemingly has followed in the footsteps of the Harvest Festival, a colossal flop. These events are being run by the very same people entrusted to utilize the $2 room tax and tax contributions from the three localities, and that failed too. So, what to do — we’ll see Sens. Norment and Mason throw even more money at the problem. I mean, if $20 million-plus over the last decade doesn’t work, double-down with a Tommy and Monty tax. These people would have a hard time marketing ice in hell. What a poorly advertised festival, but hey, we have the new sales tax to look forward too, and I’m sure the fine folks at the alliance and WADMC will see nice big raises again. They are like the weathermen; wrong and still getting paid.

Love those birds

Haven’t seen the hummingbirds yet this year, but I’m not worried; there are about 100 buds just starting to bloom on my native coral honeysuckle vine. They’re gorgeous!

Please recommend someone who will reasonably, but professionally, update a 30-year-old bathroom and a half bath in a modest home in a middle-class neighborhood.

Carpenter bees

ACME Animal Control in Norfolk, 757-962-0030. They do a good job and they have a process which plugs the holes and kills the carpenter bees. Call them for assistance.

Greek eats

Finally a Greek restaurant? The number of restaurants owned and operated by Greeks while serving Greek food is endless, and has been in this area since at least WWII. Sammy and Steve's, Nick's, N.Y. Deli, The (former) Ivy House, just to name a few. And we love these hard-working, incredible people who have made our community that much stronger. Thank you!

The Last Word commenter who is excited to “finally have a Greek restaurant in the area” could have been eating at an excellent Greek restaurant for years. The Grecian Plate at 4920 Monticello Ave., Suite D (WindsorMeade Marketplace, 757-565-2888), isn’t a big, shiny, new restaurant but it is a small family-owned place run by a lovely Greek couple and the food is as authentic as it gets. Best gyro and desserts in town, all homemade and fresh.

Course of justice

The prosecutions of the College of William and Mary professor, the Dean's List students, the other scholars and the repeat offender working in W&M food service will provide revealing insights into the local criminal justice system. How many defendants will be convicted of distribution within 1,000 feet of a school building, counts which each carry a mandatory minimum one year sentence — with no suspended sentences? Would similarly situated African-American defendants in similar cases be treated the same as the defendants charged in these cases? Which defendants will get the "sweetheart deals" from a commonwealth's attorney? Will the defendants with retained attorneys get better outcomes than those with appointed counsel? Which defendants will actually be convicted of felony offenses (without "withhold findings") and which will actually spend meaningful time at in jail? The Commonwealth's Attorney, his assistants and our imperious bench will give us an interesting case study in what passes for justice, or speedy justice, in Williamsburg and James City County.

Guns

James Shaw Jr. has proved that a good man doesn't need to carry a gun to protect himself from a "bad man with a gun." So much for the NRA's Alt Fact.

You know the argument that you hear all the time: If we were just like England, we wouldn’t have the murder rate that we do. Well, two weeks after the horrible shooting in Florida, London was listed as having a higher murder rate than New York City. From guns? No, from knives. Can’t have a gun, you use a knife. So the mayor of London has said that nobody on the street can have a knife now. Heaven forbid you should buy a set of cutlery for your kitchen and you’re bringing it home.

A Canadian police officer arrested the driver in the Toronto van incident, which maimed and killed a number of people without firing one shot, despite the driver screaming to the officer to shoot him. What a contrast with American law enforcement tactics, which would have resulted in a deadly hail of bullets. Maybe all American police need to be sent to Canada and be retrained in the judicial use of deadly force.

To the commenter who wants guns regulated as much as driving: The point is that driving is highly regulated, yet that does nothing to stop people from using them as weapons or driving them while drunk. Laws are effective only when they are enforced.

Will the Last Word contributor whose submission suggested the government should regulate guns the same way motor vehicles are regulated please tell us which article of the U.S. Constitution says, “The right to keep and operate motor vehicles shall not be infringed.”

Home sales story

What hubris was displayed by the Gazette exclaiming the housing market is booming ... true for the aristocracy that supports the sales tax increase that supports the budgets of the organizations whose members won't pay a living wage to the people who provide the services. None of those workers can afford those houses. The Gazette is promoting real estate and tourism and is pretending that the people who make their vision of a tourist economy work do not need places to live.

Political cartoon

Lots of people have written pro and con about Fred Siegel's cartoon in the Gazette. The reason I think it should be pulled? It just ain't funny.

It seems to me that Mr. Siegel is either unwilling to accept, or incapable of understanding the fact that Director Comey's contemporaneous notes were his own personal recollections, and as such, unclassified. News flash, it is not illegal to leak unclassified material; no matter what Fox News tells you.

Free to you

Back issues of 2009-May 2018 Consumer Reports plus buying guides for 2006 and 2010-2018. Call 229-4703 if interested.

VDOT radio

In the late afternoons and at night, the VDOT highway advisory radio channel, located across from Pierce’s Barbecue, is drowned out by Spanish language radio. VDOT needs to fix that.

Panhandling

To the person who compares panhandlers to “children and dogs” — that is the most thoughtless and disgusting comment I have ever heard. Yes, it is possible that a panhandler is scamming people, but it is also possible that he has hungry children at home. I can’t tell the difference when passing by. What is $5 to you? If he is a scammer, shame on him. If he has a hungry family at home and you don’t help a little, shame on you. Not all people who are begging for help are undeserving. It has been said, “God will sort it out,” i.e., He will have the Last Word.

If locals would call the police, they would learn that the police have offered panhandlers food, housing, jobs and animal food and have been refused. They do not want us giving them things and encouraging this dangerous practice; that’s why they put up signs. As for the one with the dog, that’s cruelty to animals. That dog shouldn’t have to lie out there in the island between six lanes of traffic all day like that. That should be reported to the Humane Society. Thank you.

End of nastiness

Amen to the sentiment at the end of Wednesday’s letter to the editor criticizing a liberal comedian, Jimmy Kimmel, for joking about Melania Trump’s accent. “Enough of this nastiness,” the letter declared. “There is no place for it….we all need to put an end to it.” Unfortunately, these high-minded appeals to tolerance and civility were preceded by derogatory comments about Kimmel himself, accusing him of “a total lack of good breeding and character.” If “nasty” depends on the accuser and the accused, how exactly do we put an end to it?

A great afternoon

After living in the Williamsburg area for more than 10 years, I went on a tour of Fox Wire alpaca farm. To my surprise, there were not only llamas and alpacas, but miniature donkeys, a miniature horse, little friendly goats, long horn steer, horses and little furry fish. The farm is 200 acres, so the tour was done in an air-conditioned bus. We were allowed to pet and feed the animals. The tour was led by Mr. Valentine, the owner, who is like an American version of James Herriot, with his humorous stories and obvious love of the animals. That made it a very special adventure. Fox Wire is at 300 Turners Neck Road in Toano. 757-707-5052.

Needs a clean up

Visiting Colonial Williamsburg today as a local, I was again reminded of the bad advertisement presented by the public restrooms at the bus stop on Henry Street. In my many years of living here, I have always found them filthy.

Bad gas

This is the third year in a row I’ve had to replace a string trimmer because ethanol-contaminated gasoline has destroyed the carburetor. It’s a shame that either the manufacturer can’t change to a different type of fuel lines and gaskets or Congress will make them take the contaminants out of gasoline.

Happy driving

I recently traded in my 2006 Hyundai Elantra with the odometer reading more than 350,000 miles. I commuted more than a decade from Williamsburg to Midlothian and this little car never left me stranded on the roadside. I want to thank Jerry Parker and the mechanics at Newtown Auto Service for keeping my car maintained and in perfect condition for so many years.

Air safety

I spent most of my career in the aviation industry. In our office, we had an uneasy saying that it took a dead body to make the FAA do its job as it was intended to do. A little more than a year ago, Southwest Airlines had a fan blade failure on one of its 737 jets. Both engine manufacturers highly recommended the FAA issue a notice requiring all old engines have their fan blades undergo a mandatory inspection. The FAA just sat on the recommendation for a year. Last week, another engine failed in a similar manner. Unfortunately, this time a life was taken. True to form, the FAA finally got off its derriere and issued the mandatory inspection within a week of the incident. This young lady’s life was sacrificed because of the inert FAA staff.

Recommended

We've been listening for the past week to an old, not terribly expensive, regulator clock that we'd almost given up the hope of hearing again. It had been in one local clock repair shop on and off for over a year before we just gave up. We read of Bob Tasse’ Clock Repair several times in the Last Word and decided to give him a shot. After mending the damage of earlier repair efforts and replacing several bearings, the clock is now keeping time better than it did in the past. We highly recommend his service.

Long-term jobs

Under the last administration, the building industry was decimated — and we’ll give part of the beginning of that to Bush. It was decimated because of the economy and because of the ridiculous regulations for builders. Where you were filling out 20 papers before, you’re filling out 100 papers. So now the building industry is booming and we don’t have skilled workers. We need carpenters and electricians, we need those who pour foundations, etc. And yet Democrats think the answer to everything is just raise the minimum wage. That’s it — raise the minimum wage and have you work at McDonald’s. Don’t be stupid. Be smart and get training in the building industry and you’ll have work for a long time, and you’ll be a skilled worker. And don’t get caught in this “Just give me the minimum wage.” That’s ridiculous. You’re not going to raise a family on that. You need to make yourself available for advancement.

Road worries

I was wondering if somebody could explain to me why they would repave a bike path from Two Rivers Country Club to Chickahominy River bridge, but they won’t repave Centerville Road, which is an absolute mess, especially up by Richmond and Centerville Road. It’s a wash wood. They need to repave that and fix it.

The blue-and-white hang tag for handicapped parking clearly states the tag must be hung from the rear view mirror when the car is parked in the handicapped space and removed before you move the car. Any other use of the tag is illegal.

So, here is the proper way to use your turn signal: The signal should be turned on prior to turning, not while actually making the turn. The use of a turn signal is to notify others of your intention to turn. Still, I shouldn’t complain, as most don’t even bother using their turn signal.

Thank you

Thank you to the many passersby who stopped to help up us when we were in a horrific auto accident at the intersection of Olde Towne and Richmond roads April 18. Thank you to the person who called 911 for us, to all the EMT, fire and police who assisted us, and especially a big thank you to Craig, who not only returned my recalled eggs that were in the car to Walmart, but came to the hospital and stayed with us for two hours, making sure we had a ride home. Thanks also, to our next door neighbor, Keith, who came and gave us a ride home when we were released from the hospital. A final thanks to Sentara’s staff who gave us quick and efficient attention. It is wonderful to know that there are such caring people in Williamsburg.

I would like to thank the Harris Teeter in Quarterpath Crossing for donating fruit to the Laurel Lane Elementary School Field Day on April 20. Every child enjoyed a healthy snack to fuel them with energy to play all morning. Kenny was a pleasure to work with and went above and beyond our expectations. I cannot thank Kenny and Harris Teeter enough for donating and for being an active part of this wonderful community.

Up in Washington

Why are all Democrats opposed to Mike Pompeo, now the CIA director, who was top of his class at West Point and Harvard? Saying Pompeo is not as qualified as past secretaries of state nominees Hillary Clinton or John Kerry, both of whom received overwhelming bipartisan support. This job too important to be a political football!

Now that the president has added Rudy Giuliani to his posse, the only one from the New York crime syndicate that’s missing is Gov. Chris Christie. So bring him on board and we can just put them all in striped suits and lock the gate.

In the column Last Word, someone in “All about Comey,” said, “Comey has shown himself to be a liar, narcissistic and unethical.” Isn’t that caller mistaking the President of the United States for Comey?

Interesting in the Obama-Romney debate when Romney said Russia was our biggest worry, Obama insinuated he was out of touch. From all that has been happening with Russia during the past few years, looks like it was Obama who was out of touch.

I’d like to know how someone call up the Last Word and make negative remarks about someone they’ve never met, a man who spent his entire life enforcing the laws of his country. His name is Mr. Comey. He was a federal agent and a prosecutor for many years and put a lot of gangsters and bad guys in jail. So maybe you should think before you call and say bad things about someone you don’t know and have never met.

In the past 15 months, Donald J. Trump has played more rounds of golf than the previous five presidents played combined in their 36 years in the White House. What a shameful waste of time.

Just read that Scott Taylor, in lock-step with the GOP, voted to kill a bid to force debate on an amendment to the Balanced Budget Amendment. The Dems were looking to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from deep cuts every year if the Balanced Budget Amendment was added to the Constitution. Confused? Concerned? Meanwhile, big tax cuts to corporations and the upper 3 percent.

I wonder how many Republicans are going to run political ads taking credit for increasing the annual budget deficit from 460 billion to a trillion this year ? It isn't any wonder that 70 percent of millennials don't approve of Trump . They are the ones getting stuck with his debt.

I had to chuckle reading the posting in Last Word that describes James Comey as “a liar, narcissistic and unethical.” My goodness, those are the exact words that I would use to describe Donald Trump if I were into school yard name calling! Thank you, Fox and Trump, for encouraging everyone to have a ready stockpile of insulting phrases.

President Trump has never had an original idea. “Make America great again” was Ronald Reagan’s slogan. And the most recent proof of my accusation is Trump’s “Mission accomplished” on Saturday. George W. Bush said that when Bagdad fell, and we know how that mission ended up because we’re still there, 16 years later.

Lordy, our venerable president has said he needs more time in order to file his 2017 federal tax return. Also, he said he couldn’t file his 2016 tax return because he was under audit. He further said, “I can’t file any prior tax returns because I’m under audit.” So which of three choices should we go for? It looks to me like he is evading the question and it gets more important every day to get his tax return.

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