Last Word on Williamsburg Shopping Center, Sept. 20

Shopping center

The initial conceptual ideas being proposed by Broad Street Realty for the Williamsburg Shopping Center are exciting, even more so with the possible future acquisition of the Monticello Shopping Center across the street. Regardless of whether or not the latter happens, a terrific addition to making the midtown anchor a drawing card would be a performing arts center of modest size. The American Theater in Phoebus is a prime example of success. A rundown movie theater was converted into an intimate setting for all forms of arts presentations. Its success allowed expansion to a dance center and added space. Things happen there almost daily throughout the year. As a result, many quite fine restaurants have now opened in Phoebus, previously a little segment of Hampton with a questionable future. Broad Street could fill our need for a performing arts center that could serve as a magnet for all sorts of things beyond the local deserving arts group. Something to think about.

The proposal to redevelop a shopping center on Richmond Road as one enters a Colonial historic area into multi-colored, multi-storied complex is tacky. Please, Architectural Review Board, do not endorse the proposal. We live in a community rich in Colonial history. Why not design a complex relevant to the area? The lovely homes farther down Richmond Road and the college's architecture will be diminished by the proposed plan.

Looking for …

If you lost a key in the Newtown parking lot in front of Ulta, it is waiting for you at the desk there. It has a very distinctive cover on the head of the key.

To the senior citizen wishing to relearn Hungarian (and any others wishing to re-learn languages), I can help you out. I'm the coordinator of high school foreign exchange students, including a Hungarian boy here this year. Contact Welby at 566-7271 or email southeast@iseusa.org.

Does anyone know where Mike the pharmacist from Rite Aid on John Tyler is working?

I found three credit cards with the name Michael T. Bulich scattered in the grass along Route 199 near Jamestown Road. They have been turned in to the Williamsburg Police Department.

Monuments

In a recent Last Word, a commenter questioned when UVa will remove Thomas Jefferson artifacts. My question: Should other innovations that he brought to America — in plants and foods from his overseas diplomatic tours in France and Italy, such as wine, ice cream, olives and macaroni — be done away with? Further, while Jefferson may have owned slaves and borrowed money from them besides, yes, to pay his debts, would the same philosophy question John Newton, a slave trader, an occupation harsher than being a slave owner? When Newton changed became a preacher, he wrote “Amazing Grace.” Will those who question UVa’s policies also question why “Amazing Grace” is often played at funerals?

Affordable housing

Last Word comment on affordable housing in the Forest Glen area: Since when are affordable houses in the $200,000 range? Talk to local CW workers, store workers, etc., with pay scales at about $10 an hour. Many would be lucky to afford the $100,000 range with the low paying jobs in Williamsburg. Look at all the empty buildings already in the area.

Consequences

If you leave your car doors unlocked, what do you expect to happen?

Well done

The Anheuser Busch brewery held a fantastic open house Saturday. The magnificent Clydesdales and their beer wagon were there. Food trucks and live music were great. The 45-minute brewery tour we'd signed up for earlier was informative and fun. Everything was organized to run smoothly. Thanks!

Clean idea

I'd like to suggest that all pharmacies have hand sanitizer on their counters. Customers are required to use a common stylus to sign for their credit card purchases. Now that flu season is coming, it would be smart for customers to have a way of disinfecting their hands after signing.

Rental inspections

To the person commenting about owning versus renting and having inspections for the upkeep: When you have a mortgage, it is your property. When you’re renting, it’s not. When I received housing or rent assistance, there were rules you had to meet to continue to qualify. We had to maintain and respect and keep up the property we were renting. This is an earned benefit, so to speak, and I have no problem seeing that someone else’s property is maintained. If you’re doing the right thing, it should not be an issue. This program of inspecting rentals has been going on for decades. You are living in someone else’s home, and they have the right to come in and inspect to make sure that you’re not causing damage, because then it would cost them as well.

Enough workers

Anyone in construction will tell you, and need to tell Trump, there aren't enough dependable, skilled workers to do the work they already have on the books. Borrowing hundreds of billions won't create any new jobs. The larger companies will only cannibalize the smaller ones for workers and put the smaller construction companies out of business.

Good people

Williamsburg and James City County is such a wonderful area. When people are hurting — sick or in need — so many people (and I’ve been happy to join them at times) are willing to organize everything from care to backpacks to collecting items for FISH. They are truly kind, empathetic and concerned about the welfare of others. I was just thinking how lovely it is to receive kindnesses and give kindnesses and the teddy bears that are dressed up and all the things that are done. People really do have good hearts. And God knows the difference.

Tourism fund

It is so exciting. We can't wait to advertise we have a new baseball field. That'll bring them in. Isn't it fun to spend other people's money?

Circus animals

To the former employee of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus who said that the animals were well cared for, I have one question: How do you explain the many undercover videos by both animal welfare groups and former circus employees that show the opposite to be true? Taking animals out of their natural habitats and forcing them to perform ridiculous and stressful tricks is innately cruel and beyond defensible. Hopefully, this type of entertainment will soon be a thing of the past.

DACA students

As one who has worked in several departments at the College of William and Mary, the college stresses academics over all else (even athletics). So if there are 23 DACA students at W&M, they are there because they earned their way academically, not using the “race card.”

Traitors

Mr. Willard thinks General Lee was a traitor, but a recent contributor points out that no Confederate was tried for treason. He is absolutely right. The Federal Government was afraid to try any Confederate for treason because it was highly likely the courts would decide that the states had (and have) a right to secede. If that happened, then the Civil War was nothing more than a war of aggression.

I am really getting tired of reading comments labeling Robert E. Lee a traitor. Standing with and protecting your home state and believing in their rights is not being a traitor. People that call others names, whether dead or alive, are more often than not uneducated on the subject. They should keep quiet. Remember, when you point fingers at someone else, there are always three pointing back at you.

Rest stops

I read in the Last Word a comment about how deplorable the Virginia rest stops were. Not sure which ones you stopped at, but we have found quite the opposite. We travel on Route 64 and Route 81 on a regular basis on our way to and from West Virginia and have stopped at them all. We have always been amazed how well maintained and clean they are. We think the attendants do a wonderful job and should be very proud.

Good commentary

Well-presented and thought-provoking commentary by Richard Chew on the W-JJC School Board in a recent Virginia Gazette. Wholeheartedly agree! Thank you for providing clear thinking.

Buyers beware

Recently, ABC news has warned consumers about buying used cars that were caught in the flood in Texas and Florida. I bought a new vehicle from a Williamsburg dealership two years ago. I never thought I would have to get a mechanic to inspect it, since it was new. Be advised, there are three states that are dumping grounds for flooding vehicles, as dealerships do not have to report their conditions. The three states are Virginia, District of Columbia and Hawaii. Thank you.

Pesky bedbugs

If we want more visitors to come and stay overnight, our hotels need to control bedbugs. In the latest report on the bedbug registry site, there are 10 hotels in Williamsburg which visitors have reported as having bedbugs.

About elections

To the people who live west of Life Church on Longhill Road and/or live in the Powhatan District: You cannot vote for James Icenhour as your district supervisor. If you are one of those in the Powhatan District who has his sign in your front yard, I’m sure he appreciates your support, even though you cannot vote for him.

A Last Word commenter had it right. Both parties use gerrymandering to drawing congressional districts in their favor. District 1 predominately favors one party, with more than 60 percent of them reelecting a five-term tenured incumbent who doesn't need to hold town meetings. We need fair competition back in elections.

As most people who are active in the election process know, yard signs are usually bought or requested by voters to put up in their own yards, not put up at random by the person running for office. So if there are Kaine signs up in your area, they were put there by one of your neighbors who supports the senator, even though he will not run for office until the 2018 election cycle.

Recommended

This is for all the fresh vegetable lovers. I went by and saw Bob and Gary’s stand still open. I thought they closed after Labor Day, but they said they’ll be open until Thanksgiving. Isn’t that great for us who like fresh vegetables.

We would like to recommend Tammy at Uptown Nails on Route 5. She is very good, especially to diabetic folks. Call her at 206-0029.

On the recommendation of a trusted friend and respected financial advisor, our family sought out Trey Parker, an estate-planning attorney with Carrell, Blanton and Ferris. We found Mr. Parker so easy to work, with as well as knowledgeable, thorough and responsive to our needs as we created our personal estate plan. The other staff was equally helpful and respectful.

Thank you

A couple days ago I was sitting in my car crying and was feeling the lowest I had felt in a long time. A young man approached my car and asked if there was anything he could do to help. I said, “No, I'll be fine,” but this young man then asked if I would help him. He asked if I would just sit with him until I got myself together. That man stood in the pouring rain next to my car for 20 minutes, smiling until I stopped crying. When I asked why he did that, he said it let him know he wasn't alone when those feelings come about. He also didn't want me to drive in that shape. He said his name was Raymond Roberts but he goes by Rusty. Thank you so much for being a decent person and caring for a complete stranger.

Mail call

A friend told me about the most useful service offered by the United States Postal Service. It's called "Informed Delivery." Once you go to the home website and sign up, the post office sends you an email each morning with images of each first class piece of mail they'll be delivering to you that day. Then if you don't receive an item pictured, you can go to the website and there is a place to tell them. It takes a few days after signing up to start getting the email images — we love it!

Up in Washington

Trump wants to eliminate the deductions for mortgage interest and state and local taxes to simplify the tax code. It's real simple — most people will be writing a bigger check to the feds.

In the second quarter, the U.S. economy grew at the fastest pace in two years. Consumer spending is up, investments are up, even though a lot of the news media wants you to think that people are thinking, “It’s chaos, it’s terrible.” Those who know what’s going on, building businesses, that’s pro-America, are thrilled to death. Private employers are so thrilled that 237,000-plus jobs have been added in the second quarter. There’s no chaos, there’s no turmoil. We are moving in the right direction, step after step after step forward, and we await the overhaul of the tax code, which Trump has proposed. Thank you.

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