JUST ANNOUNCED: Jason Cale Band will be playing our Best Of event! Grab your tickets now before they are gone!

Last Word on the book festival, Oct. 13

Great book festival

What a great event the Williamsburg Book Festival was last Saturday. I talked to so many authors, heard what inspired them to write their books, learned so much from them and bought a few books for me and for Christmas gifts. Most important was that the authors were free to write and speak their ideas; they could publish their books without the government censuring them. I could talk to them without anyone looking over my shoulder. As I observed the event, I was reminded of that very important phrase from the United States Constitution: Freedom of Speech, and that is what the Williamsburg Book Festival was about. Many thanks to the organizers and authors.

Downtown living

We now have a pizza place, inquiries about a beer arcade and Chick-Fil-A on the College of William and Mary campus. When are the Golden Arches coming to DoG Street?

In The Virginia Gazette re: Midtown Row: “No secret our residential units are geared toward students.” And in the Merchants Square area, the “downtown” of 23185, is providing more buildings to W&M -- both for students and as offices. They tear down old houses and the vacant lots on North Henry Street remain static. So really the message from City Council is that no adults need look for in-town dwellings. This, despite the fact that adults eat out, support local businesses, volunteer time and dollars to events and organizations. We’re OK to give money and time, but we aren’t desirable residents. Very short-sighted. You’ve already lost First Night. Hey, adults, should we take our money and energy elsewhere?

We so disagree with the writer who says giving needed parking in Merchants Square over to a pedestrian plaza will give people “a place to enjoy.” Well that’s what DoG Street is in Merchants Square. It is the area people enjoy seeing and being seen. There are patio tables, foods, wines and benches all at hand and all in view of the businesses. What added amenities would replace desperately needed parking? Those parking spaces make total sense for shoppers running in for an ice cream or stopping short term for errands. Losing the parking gives nothing except more “Where is a parking space?” frustration. Whose idea is that anyway?

I love Merchants Square and was pleased to see the addition of Mellow Mushroom, but what has happened to our sign control? The huge gaudy, yellow-and-green signs are a distraction to our beautiful historic area. They should not have been approved. Please remove them and put up something more in line with other Merchants Square stores.

Free to you

Twin bed box spring, used about five days. Just pick it up. Please call 757-903-4679.

LP record collection. Please call 220-2563 to arrange for pick up.

Looking for …

At the Ford's Colony yard sale on Oct. 6, I'm afraid I may have cheated a nice young man who was selling some of his electronic games. I got home with three and am afraid I just paid for two. If he'll call me at 565-2651, I'll rectify my mistake.

To the people looking for reliable lawn service: If you’re talking about cutting and edging, I recommend Power Landscaping. The owner is Richard Powers. I’ve had him for at least seven years, and he is very reliable. His number is 757-236-1912.

I'm looking for someone to make some fabric window treatments for my house in Williamsburg.

Where is Kristen Rosler, physical therapist formerly with Comber Therapy?

I am looking for someone to show me how to make YouTube videos. Please contact me at 757-784-2124. Thank you.

Does anyone have a home remedy for removing rings from drinking glasses from marble tables or know anyone who polishes marble tables?

A piano accompanist is needed by a small, fun, volunteer singing group for rehearsals and performances for approximately one hour per week on Tuesday afternoons. Performances are given at assisted living homes in the Williamsburg area. If interested, please send name and contact information to JoyNotesVA@gmail.com.

To the person looking for help with windows: I use Window World. I’ve had great success with them, and they also allow you to replace one window at a time. And that’s really helpful, if you’re on a limited income. Good luck.

For the person looking for better lampshades: Call Collectors Gallery at 564-4424. We have 30 years experience getting lamp shades and have a one-week delivery service at fair prices. Thank you.

Give a cheer

The competitive cheering teams met once again on Tuesday in Grafton for another head-to-head meet. The girls — or should I say women — stole the show. They walked out in unison with a huge banner honoring one of the moms fighting breast cancer. This type of behavior isn't taught; it comes from being raised right. The tears flowed but the fans were impressed by the caring they showed, especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Road worries

Who owns the section of Quarterpath Road from the Colonial Williamsburg maintenance area to the Harris Teeter shopping center? Why can’t the road be paved to the bridge that goes over the pond on both sides? It’s in horrible shape and full of potholes.

Let’s do better

Here’s what the upper part of York County gets: One supermarket choice and a vacant building where another one was. A warehouse is coming to us, how exciting. No fitness center, so we have to pay higher fees to join the JCC Recreation Center and drive across town to get there. Quarterpath parks and Recreation Center just sits there with very little to offer. Start something to generate revenue as JCC has done, people! We have a shopping center on Route 199 without a decent place to eat but some garbage along the way, vacant and abandoned buildings, which tourists get to see on their way to Colonial Williamsburg. First impressions do matter. Can anyone add more?

Good reading

Thank you for the Oct. 6 article on New Horizons Career and Technical Education Center. Happy to see so many school districts teaming up with industry to let students know there are good opportunities for them that may not require college. College is not the right fit for every student and it is past time the community offers opportunities for those students to have successful careers. I hope more companies will join New Horizons' endeavors.

What is it?

The finest in all the world. Insured against loss, guaranteed for life. Replaced free if ever wears out. It floats, ties on — front or back — repels rain, blocks sun rays and won’t shrink. It comes with eight brag tags in the security pocket plus a four page owners manual. Machine or hand wash frequently as sweat permanently discolors hat. Reshape and dry then stretch over knee.

Just wondering

Why won't the Republicans in our Virginia legislature ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution?

Bad shot

Regarding the recent comment about James Comey taking a short swim at the Golden Horseshoe: As I was in the group just behind his, I was an eyewitness to the event (Sept.26). He had hit his third shot over the pond, the ball barely making it to the other side, about 3 inches from the landscape timber lining the pond. In setting up for his next shot, one foot was on the slippery landscape timber and, of course, he lost his footing and went into the pond. By the time I could fetch my cellphone, he had hoisted himself out, chipped onto the green and was set to putt. He was a good sport about it but hung up his clubs after nine holes.

Politics in general

Our Republican and Democratic political parties have become unrelenting feuding vigilantes, hell-bent on defending their family/party just as the Hatfield and McCoy clans, bashing one another. Can we not have regard for Americans as one people respecting each other's differences and beliefs with kindness and a determination to work together in a mannerly dignified style? Have we no shame? Let’s stop the insanity.

It can be frustrating when the will of 50 million Americans in California, Oregon and Washington with six senators can be cancelled by six senators in Idaho, Wyoming and Alaska representing 2.5 million people.

For those considering a Last Word response about the representatives and/or constituents of those in opposition about some future hot topic, remember: A political system comprised of two parties is inherently divisive. Reduced to its lowest common denominator, we have been programed to be diametrically opposed in the way we think. Meaning, I am not right, you are not right and in one another’s eyes we are equally deplorable. Proof? There are 350,000,000 people in the U.S. and we are growing larger every day. What have you personally done to improve this country, other than complain about the other guy who is supposedly holding you back?

U.N. speech

The person who thought NBC was the only station broadcasting the president’s speech at the U.N. is mistaken. Fox News 64 did so. Fox News 64 has the best coverage of news you will hear from any station.

Mail delivery

To the person that said it doesn't matter when your mail comes late at night, just "leave your mail in your mailbox." Don't you know that's how identity thieves get your information?

Groundskeeping needed

The past few times we’ve driven into the Williamsburg Post Office parking lot, we’ve been struck by grass a good 10 inches tall and weeds growing happily out of many of the overgrown shrubs. If it wasn’t for the full parking lot, we’d have to wonder if the post office was abandoned. What’s up?

Health insurance

This is in regards to health insurance costs: People need to realize premium rates are set by insurance companies, not the government. So you need to talk to your Republican-owned insurance companies to get the rates down, not blame it on the Democrats.

Trump has again been lying in a letter to newspapers and to his rally base that Democrats want to take away health care benefits for seniors and increase premiums for everyone. He also claims he wants coverage for pre-existing conditions and that the Democrats don't want this. It’s just the opposite: Trump is the one trying to end health care coverage, has taken away subsidies required to prevent higher premiums and has not protected the pre-existing conditions regulations.

Just wondering

I would like to ask all of those in the area that are Roman Catholic a question. How do you think things would be if the Vatican allowed priests and nuns to get married? Do you think it would take away the problems the church is now facing in Pennsylvania and other areas? I was just curious, because I never did know why they were not allowed to marry.

Easier voting

We may consider America to be the leading democracy in the world, but we make voting more restrictive and difficult than most democracies. As a result, we have lower voting turnouts than most other countries. Voting is compulsory in Australia and Belgium, and nearly all democracies hold their elections on public holidays which include paid designated election days. As the leader, we should have the least restrictive and easiest, but most verifiable and protected voting system, regardless of states’ rights to confuse the procedures.

Like a rollercoaster

Those who were born after 1969 have never seen an unemployment rate this low or the stock market this high.

TV news

The person who commented regarding TV news recently is greatly mistaken about Fox News: They are the only ones that give fair news. They give the other side an equal chance to explain their side as well as the opposing side. So this person needs to watch Fox News on a regular basis to learn what is the truth and what isn’t. Thank you.

Haley to resign

When Nikki Haley took the job and U.N. ambassador, she always said that she would be out toward the end of this year. So it comes as no surprise that she’s resigned. But I have to tell you, she is a phenomenal woman. She has just done wonders. She has turned the status of America around at the U.N.

I believe Nikki Haley knows Trump's days are numbered and wanted to get out with some semblance of a reputation intact.

Commentary

The Frank Shatz commentary in the Oct. 10 Gazette was thoughtfully interesting, as always. Upon reflection, perhaps W&M Law Professor Neal Devine's quoted comments seem less historically analytical and more reflexive of current political events. I suggest that a more accurate contextual analysis would have harked back to the beginning of current partisan rancor, vis-a-vie Supreme Court nominations, with the extremely partisan manner the Democrats treated Robert Bork's nomination in the 1980s, something that continues to stick in the craw of Republicans. For an eminently qualified jurist, Republicans to this day regard the treatment of Bork as an unprecedented hatchet job on a very well-qualified conservative nominee; i.e., purely political. That this view continues to color current politics is an important background in understanding any contemporary Supreme Court justice nomination process.

Recommended

I want to recommend Kirstyn Upholstery and Ronald David at 757-345-1929. He does the best work for vehicles, just outstanding guy. Thank you so much.

Shout out to Animal Clinic and Wellness Center that is now open 24 hours. I had to bring my dog there recently for emergency surgery. Doctors Reed and McDougal were super. They treated my 12-year-old foxhound and kept me informed during the surgery. All of the staff were super nice and helpful. They are at 628 Penniman Road behind Wawa. 757-253-0812.

I have used John Stetzer and his sons to do sink and countertop replacements several times in our house . They do a good job and come on time. Call them at 757-592-1903. They will do a good job replacing your sink and countertop.

I highly recommend Toano Total Turf (T3 Services), a locally owned yard maintenance company. It is a professional, responsive and customer-friendly company that provides quality service. Any lawn and landscape maintenance can be accomplished. T3 Services is great. Call 757-525-1717.

Pure Barre is a great workout for any fitness level or age group. The newest class, Pure Reform, is challenging. Class space is limited, so it would be great it you could add more classes to the schedule. The same 14 clients reserve space for class, not giving other clients a chance to take the class. As for taking a double class: that’s wonderful if you have time for two classes a day. When do these clients have a rest day? Why doesn’t Pure Barre promote a day or two for rest? Rest days are needed in order to give your muscles time to heal. Pure Barre is at 5231 Monticello Ave., Suite B, 757-378-2476.

Last Saturday Bob Tasse, a third-generation horologist, came to my home and performed wonderful service on my 200-year-old cherry case clock. It hasn’t been happy since we set it up in our recently purchased home. He adjusted the timing, effectively giving it a tune-up. Then he oiled it with the proper clock oil and now it sounds just right, like it used to. He charged a very reasonable fee. I saw him mentioned a few times in the Last Word, which led me to contact him. 757-634-6914. Thanks.

A big thank you to Colonial Color Designs for the excellent landscaping design, 25-year-old plants hauled away and replaced with low-maintenance plants, everything mulched and then the excellent clean up. Very reasonable, too. If you need the service, give Andrew a call at 757-603-1494.

Last week I had to have the valve stem replaced on my 2012 Honda Civic, and one shop gave me a price of $135 for parts and labor. After doing some checking, I found out the valve stem costs $30. I bought the valve stem, went down to Howard Motorcar Company and Jeff Ammons and his people replaced it for $40. The total cost $70 as opposed to $135. Buyers beware. When you need auto repairs, shop around. Just don’t take someone’s word for something. Howard Motor is at 100 2nd St., 757-794-0751.

Mob rule?

I read the comment that “A pure democracy, one where every vote has equal weight, has historically led to mob rule.” I was hoping the writer could give me examples of that. Modern day Europe might argue your stated fact.

Changing times

Ford says they have lost a billion dollars because of Trump's tariffs and informed employees of massive layoffs. Two years ago under Obama, Ford and GM posted record sales.

Thank you

Our heartfelt neighborhood gratitude is extended to the James City Police and fire department rescue squads. One of the neighbors noticed that one residence had not had any activity in several days. The police were asked to make a wellness check. They quickly responded and did not receive any response from the home. They checked with other neighbors who were also worried about the resident. They were given a key by one of the concerned neighbors. Upon entry, they discovered a couple on the floor and in need of emergency care. The emergency squads immediately responded and the couple was taken to the hospital. Thank you for the service you are providing to our community.

A big thank you to the wonderful team of people who cleaned up the trash along News Road. You really make Williamsburg a cleaner and more beautiful place to live. Much appreciated by both locals and our visitors.

Last week, my wife fell in a parking lot in New Town. Fortunately, a gentleman stopped his vehicle and immediately came to our assistance to help me get her up and back on her feet. I was not able to get her off the ground by myself, so his assistance was truly welcome. Also, a woman came over to offer bandages. In the rush to get my wife to a medical facility, I failed to get the name of these gracious people, so I want to take this opportunity to thank them. It is wonderful to live in a community with people willing to help others when the need arises.

Doing good

To the person who left a random act of kindness at Carrot Tree, I would like you to know that your random act was presented to me at a time that I really needed it. Your cousin would be very proud of your action and your note was touching, heartfelt and not wasted on me. I promise that I will pass on your kindness many times.

Up in Washington

Why you should vote in November: In a recent talk, Larry Kudlow, President's Trump's top financial adviser, stated that the federal debt is increasing but not due to the tax cuts but rather to increased spending and that Medicare should definitely be looked at as a place to reduce spending.

I just wanted to point out that under President Trump’s leadership, our nation’s economy is on the rebound. We are limiting the size of the Federal Government. We are cutting taxes and rolling back regulations. Jobs are coming back from all across our nation. Conservative judges are being confirmed to our nation’s courts. We’re moving forward to fix our nation’s illegal immigration crisis, replacing our aging infrastructure and tapping into our country’s huge energy assets. We are taking the strongest military ever known to man and making it even stronger, and creating a safer America that will confront terrorism and other threats head on. Hurray for President Trump!

I’m calling today because the president was on TV. I just saw him on TV talking about the Democrats, and every time you hear him it’s something the Democrats are not doing to his taste. So was he elected to talk about the Democrats or was he elected to run this country of the United States of America? So, you know, I just don’t understand his agenda. I guess they put him in there to go after the Democrats.

January 2009 the economy lost 700,000 jobs. January 2016 the economy created 230,000 jobs. After 20 months in office, Trump has more than doubled the annual budget deficit, interest rates went up 10 percent in a week and only 137, 000 jobs were created last month. I'm getting a MABA hat. Make America Broke Again.

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