Last Word on affordable housing, Sept. 16

Affordable housing

Yet again, the conversation turns to "affordable" housing. Perhaps the workers employed in the local service economy should be consulted. They certainly do not consider "the low $200,000s" to be "affordable." I think you would find they would be elated to have access to smaller homes — similar to those built in the 1920s to the 1950s — at lower prices. Attractive four- or five-room bungalows (even a three-room with a finished attic bonus room) with one or two baths are possible in the 600 -1,000 square foot range.

No bullying

W-JCC public schools state that there is zero tolerance for bullying in the system. With only one week of school, there have already been incidents in the middle schools. We all are hopeful for a productive and peaceful school year, and will be monitoring carefully to see that these incidents are dealt with promptly and effectively. All students deserve quality education in a safe place with absolutely no intimidation.

Dreamers

A Sept. 6 Virginia Gazette article stated that 23 W&M students are part of the 800,000 protected by the executive order President Obama signed in 2010. These so called “Dreamers” were given short-term protection, but all executive orders have an expiration time once a new president is elected and chooses to change the order. What's puzzling to me is that 23 legal citizen were denied entry into the college because our state college chose illegal residents over my daughter. Are illegal immigrants a protected minority class in the USA? If so, are they more protected than struggling black families?

If these illegal immigrants are so upset about the elimination of DACA ... Why have they never applied for citizenship?

President Trump is right on DACA. The Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the authority to enact immigration law. President Obama ordered the government to issue work permits to those not legally eligible. We are a nation of laws, not presidential dictates.

Empty storefronts

I recently counted 122 vacant retail stores/spaces in and around Williamsburg including two (soon three) large supermarkets. This is scandalous planning incompetence and appalling business development. Elected officials and their appointees must do much better or should be replaced.

Check it out

There is a wonderful photo exhibit in the Stryker Building featuring images of Colonial Williamsburg and the Historic Triangle. I highly recommend you visit the exhibit before it is gone.

Recommended

Recently, we needed to have some landscaping work done around our home and were fortunate to find Matt, of Cypress Landscape Maintenance. He did a fantastic job with our yard, trimming bushes and cutting down whatever we needed. And Matt cleaned up so beautifully so that not a stick was left. His price was more than reasonable. We would recommend him highly for anyone looking for yard help. Matt's phone number is 757-293-8418.

I live in Kingsmill and use a guy named Ellis for yard work. His phone number is 757-561-1961 and he trims my hedges once a month and blows the leaves in my yard.

Thank you to Bob Tasse of Tasse Clock Repair in Toano, 757- 634-6914, for repairing my cuckoo clock. I have had my clock for about 30 years, but it hasn't worked for the past 25 years due to my young children at that time pulling on the chains. So it just hung on the wall without a sound. I heard about Tasse from the Last Word and took my clock to him that day. Within a few weeks, he had it back in working order. I'm so happy to hear the cuckoo and the music box again. Thank you, from a satisfied customer.

I would like to share someone wonderful. Her name is Ruth Robinson. She is the owner of Skin Clinic in McLaws Circle. Ruth is an extremely talented aesthetician. She can do wondrous things. Her facials are the best. Call 564-7546 to meet Ruth.

There is a great resource in Williamsburg for anyone interested in pilates, either as a beginner or at a more advanced level. Talk to Alona at Smart Bodies Pilates, 757-603-2923. She is a gifted teacher with a great deal of experience, and she will work with you to design a program so that you can achieve your personal goals. Thank you, Alona, for all you have done for me the past five months. I’m looking forward to making a lot more progress with your help and support.

If anyone needs their wallpaper removed or replaced and/or having the walls painted, we couldn’t recommended a better man for the job than Danny White: 757-870-2827. Mr. White is a detail oriented expert at paper removal, wall prep and repainting, and at a reasonable price. He also gets a discounted price on the needed paint. We couldn’t be happier than the results for our recently completed master bedroom and the excellent work done. If you need it, call Danny.

Marijuana bust

How can two people with outstanding arrest warrants be living in one of the most expensive apartments in Williamsburg? These places say they run background checks. So this man had 14 pounds of marijuana and $10,000 cash in a suitcase in his apartment, and the woman was also arrested on lesser charges. It wouldn't make me feel safe, despite locked access buildings.

About elections

The founders of the United States, who wrote the U.S. Constitution, provided for periodic elections, which should be able to limit terms. But when congressmen discovered demographic information that allowed them to sculpt their district so they didn’t have any competition in the district, they got to pick their constituents, not the other way around. The way to solve this problem is to have all members of the United States Congress elected at large in the states in which they live. That way, the candidates will have to play to all of the people in the state, not just the select few in their hand-carved district.

Help, please

My name is Debbie. I’m a 62-year-old Christian woman who needs help tearing down a room on the outside of my trailer. At 9 a.m. Sept. 16, rain or shine, at 50 Mobile Lane in James City County. The first trailer park past Route 60 off Centerville Road. The contact number is Kayla, at 757-585-5063. If anybody can help, I’d sure appreciate it and if they could bring chain saws, skill saws, axes, whatever, to help tear down the building. I’ll have a large trash trailer to take stuff to the dump. Thank you.

Time and place

The Sept. 13, The Virginia Gazette showcases the Plein Air Art Show and Contemporary Artisans Festival. The article omits the date and time of the event. A person interested in attending needs this important information. Thank you. Editor’s note: The art show is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, along Duke of Gloucester Street.

To the garden

To the person wanting information regarding irises: Once the irises have bloomed and the blooms are dead, they can be divided and transplanted at any time throughout the year, It doesn’t matter if it’s fall, winter or summer when you transplant them. You know, if your neighbor is dividing them, they can give them to you in the summer and you can plant them. I usually leave the foliage on until it starts looking really bad and then I cut it back. Good luck to you. Have fun.

Shopping center

We so hope the ambitious plan for a replacement shopping center at Richmond-Monticello will include apartments or condos over the retail spaces — and for people who want to be in the city, not just W&M students. Many people want to live in town homes without a bunch of stairs and have access to a nice walking path/route. Don’t forget benches to sit with coffee to visit and enjoy city life.

Orange is my favorite color, but not on accent panels on the design of buildings for the rebuilt/redesigned Williamsburg Shopping Center, let alone red and yellow, too. Why not some blues and greens? Planning commission wants "edgy." What's next? Digital signs on Richmond Road? They are so concerned that all the dumpy houses along Lafayette Street have real wood windows versus vinyl, when vinyl with nice trim look just like wood and would stay nice longer — but they want "edgy" in the shopping center?

Really? Red, edgy orange and brittle yellow building exteriors for Midtown? Which color psychology theories are being touted? Leave those colors for the fast-food chains on Richmond Road. Think about refreshing, exquisite blues and greens to harmonize with our Williamsburg landscape.

It saddens me to see the city apparently buy into this proposal. The new "edgy" or "bold" scheme is nothing more than a 15-minute graphic rework of the old drawing. The term "short-pumping of Williamsburg" came to my mind after a recent trip to the Richmond area.

Wow! The developer said their initial design has been reworked after the city told them they wanted the design to be "more edgy." So now the outsides of the buildings will feature accents of red, yellow and orange. On the other hand, the city stated the shopping center is important as a gateway to the area and Colonial Williamsburg. Remember the days when all signage in businesses all along Richmond Road had to have white or black lettering? Five story buildings are not appropriate anyway — and note this developer is negotiating to buy Monticello Shopping Center across the street. I hope they don't kick out Nawab restaurant or make the rent unaffordable.

Bicycle races

Well, I see another day that the roads are all screwed up at Route 5 and Greensprings Road for another bicycle race. It never ceases to amaze me how something that pays no taxes to use the road can screw it up for people who do pay taxes to use the road.

Sensible commentary

It was heartening to read Gordon Bratz’s commentary on American character. Sadly, soon after reading, we were told white supremacists years ago went "under the radar," and started going into the police and military to affect our nation from the inside. That is certainly plausible and perhaps even explains the attitude and behavior as reported by our newspapers. Every race has good qualities and probably traits not to be proud of — people are people and we never understood the need for anyone to demonize people. Everyone is better off when we all try to work together in peace and harmony.

Richard Chew's commentary on why we shouldn't redistrict high schools was so insightful and exactly what we needed to hear. The community would appreciate Mr. Chew attending a School Board meeting to reiterate his position in front of the board.

Road worries

Drivers, please, when you’re stopped at a stoplight, would you pull up to the car in front of you. Leaving two and three spaces behind the car stopped in front of you blocks traffic for people that need to turn into another lane. And, in some cases, I have been on streets where there are only four cars at the stop sign because people are so far back from the car in front of them. Please pull forward and stop behind the car in front of you.

Looking for …

Au Loan, who used to work at NY Nails, is now working at Amy Nails, which is near the Food Lion at the Prime Outlets off Old Towne Road. The number is 757-565-6245.

Does anyone know where Dr. Itrish Scott-Brown is now practicing?

An individual needs an illustrator/graphic artist to help with a special project. Be able to sketch/draw cars and trucks. Email calvert55@cox.net.

Looking for a reliable, responsible and reasonable mobile auto detailer. Please respond to Last Word, as this is read religiously. Thanks much.

Looking for someone to treat TMJ/TMD in the Williamsburg area. Please share/post if you can recommend an ENT doctor or a chiropractor that has helped you. Thank you in advance.

We need to find someone to clean up the mess that is our yard. Everything has grown out of control and needs to be trimmed and weeded. Would like some recommendations for a reliable person at a reasonable price. Thanks.

Eye-opening reading

To all the people who think that slavery only existed in the southeastern states: I suggest you read the book “Complicity.” These three Connecticut reporters set out to prove that there were no slaves in the North and got a very startling and rude awakening.

Free to you

I have a huge collection of magazines and calendars that would be useful in art classes. Please call 253-2458. Thank you.

Free to Christian church or group: wooden Communion table, recently refurbished. Call 757-564-0204 for dimensions.

Ghost tours

In response to the ghost tour entering a private grave yard: Isn't there some sort of law that needs to be enforced? I can't imagine that tour company having been given any permission for entrance. I'm not surprised this happened — some tour owners think they’re above the rules everyone else abides by.

Why are tours entering a private grave yard? I work for Spooks and Legends Tours and give ghost, witch and pirate tours that do not need a graveyard to be successful. Costumes do it for us. I'm certain there are other unique ideas this tour owner could come up with.

Amazing stories

I know that Frank Shatz lived in Eastern Europe for many years before emigrating to the U.S. I did not realize, however, that he had been imprisoned in and escaped from a work camp. Has he written a memoir? If not, I hope he will write one to share his experiences and the lessons they teach so that those who did not live through those years under totalitarian regimes can learn lessons about the importance of preserving a democratic society that embracing human rights. Editor’s note: While not a traditional autobiography, a compilation of select columns — “Reports from a Distant Place,” — is available on amazon.com and at the Bruton Parish shop.

Traitors

The Founding Fathers were, indeed, traitors — to England. As such, some were sought as criminals and would have been subject to hanging after being sent to London. Robert E. Lee and his fellow Confederates were traitors to the United States. Therein lies the difference. The fact that they were not punished did not change the fact of their guilt.

Buyers beware

With thousands of waterlogged cars having to be replaced after the current hurricanes, there will be a great danger that many of them will reach the used car market outside of the Southeast U.S. In order to avoid buying one of these wrecks, you must carefully inspect all of the hidden nooks and crannies of a car you want to buy for evidence of flooding. Also insist on a Carfax report before buying.

Federal checks

To the person who commented about Social Security checks not being mailed out if the government shuts down: That’s absolutely not true. We still receive Social Security checks and the military gets paid, and as far as the federal workers — they end up getting paid. Even if they don’t come to work, they’ll get paid. So I don’t think there’s anything we need to really worry about. Thank you.

Timeshares

I think Williamsburg, James City and York counties, by letting all these timeshares come in — people aren’t using local hotels and that’s what’s hurting their business. So I don’t think that was a really smart move to allow for timeshares. Everywhere I look, particularly on Olde Towne Road, they’re adding more, and most people would rather rent a timeshare because it’s like being in a home. You’ve got a kitchen, you’ve got bedrooms, you’ve got a living room. So, you know, they can’t blame anyone but themselves.

 

Freebies?

As a dental professional for many years, I would like to respond to the freebies issue regarding handouts of toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental floss to our patients. I can tell you with certainty manufacturers do not send large boxes of these items free of charge. I personally order them, at considerable expense, as tools to help our patients continue their great care at home. Our patients are worth it.

Postal rates

We read that the Postal Service is now looking into raising our 49-cent first-class stamp to nearly 60 cents, an 18 percent increase. We need to consider selling this service to somebody who can run it more efficiently and effectively. Government provided services such as the Postal Service and Amtrak continue to lose money every year. Let's do away with the unions and see what happens.

Political signs

There are four Kaine signs on private property and in the right of way on Jolly Pond Road. Does this person know that you have to have permission from the owner of the property before posting signs? Should we reelect someone that either doesn’t know the rules or thinks he’s above them? Thank you.

Missing Martins

I miss shopping at Martin’s. I have to visit several markets to obtain the products that were available at Martin’s. I also notice that the selection and quality of meats are lacking at some of the markets. The Ukrop’s items, where available, are priced higher than they were at Martin’s. All in all, it is a loss to shoppers in the Williamsburg area.

Thank you

Kudos to Ashley Gener, the very competent employee at Staples (130 Richmond Road, 253-1985) who photographed a binder of old love letters for me. She was very helpful in a task that took a lot of time. Thank you, Ashley!

First, I would like to say "thank you" to The Virginia Gazette for creating a place in our weekly paper, the Last Word, for the community to share news, concerns or ask for help. Second, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Williamsburg community for your overwhelming response to my need for LEGOs in my classroom. My voicemail was filled to capacity with people calling to give. I would like to extend a personal thank you to families in Kingspoint, Ford‘s Colony, Mills Creek Landing and Westray Downs. I received so many that I have enough to share with my second-grade team. Also, thank you to those who called and wanted to give, but I already had more than enough. I feel very fortunate to live in a community where people are so generous and are willing to sow into the lives of others.

Up in Washington

Trump gets an A+ for Hurricane Harvey. Before the hurricane hit, excellent coordination with the governor, FEMA and with the president. People are being paid, things are getting done, food is being distributed — just a phenomenal job. It’s flawless. You can’t find anything wrong. So the only thing liberals can say is a criticism of Melania’s shoes. That’s proof that it was perfectly orchestrated in a way to show the most amount of leadership in a crisis

Trump's wingman said Catholics need illegal immigrants to fill our churches. People like Bannon have tried to make Catholicism illegal. They were the no nothings, KKK and John Birchers.

After an eight-month absence, it's good to have a Democrat back in the White House.

Yes. President — our President Trump —“our” meaning all of the Americans struck a deal with the Democrats. And it reminds me of something that I read I’ll say 50 years ago, and it is so, so true. There is no limit to the amount of good a person can do when they don’t care who gets the credit. We’re not interested in credits. We’re interested in action. Thank you.

I’m calling in regards to a message that was left in the Last Word a couple of weeks ago about the Charlottesville riot. I just want to say, I wish the people in Virginia would leave President Trump alone. He’s doing the best job any president has done for a long time, and I think that Governor McAuliffe should step down and just go home and never return like the note said in the Last Word. He is not a very good governor. He does not deserve a standing ovation from anybody. Thank you very much. Have a blessed day.

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