Kudos to the DMV in Last Word, Oct. 28

Kudos DMV!

I encourage the person who is skeptical that the new DMV office will be faster or more efficient to go there and see for him or herself. I was there Monday morning a few minutes before 9 a.m. The doors opened at 9 a.m. and I was on my way home at 9:13 a.m. There were two workers at the check-in who were joined by a third to help someone with a complicated problem. This allowed the line to keep moving forward. I did not count the number of workers at the teller windows, but there were many. I thought the new facility looked great and the people working there were friendly and helpful. I have told everyone how impressed I was.

Colonial Williamsburg

If I were going to commit a heinous act, and the Historic Area was enclosed, I would simply purchase an admission ticket. An enclosed area to a terrorist equals a target-rich environment, with few avenues of escape. And how hard, or easy, will it be for emergency vehicles to access the area? These are just a few thoughts off the top of my head. My wife and I have visited Williamsburg once a year since our honeymoon in 1976. We don't buy admission tickets every year because we don't do the same things every year. If we don't purchase tickets in a particular year, how will we be able to walk in the Historic Area and eat at the King's Arms?

I’m calling about the idiotic idea to put a wall around CW. If the CEO is so interested in the public’s welfare and the employees’ welfare, hire some security guards and put them on the street. He could hire 200 security guards and still save millions of dollars instead of building a wall around the city, CW, and blocking off access to the public on public streets.

Given the importance of CW to our regional image, I appreciate the insights into problems facing this great organization and our community. Some early observations to improve the financial conditions suggest 28 trustees is too much overhead. Leadership that cares about our historical legacy does not require salaries greater than $250,000 per year. It would be exemplary for service to outweigh ego. The debt is not sustainable, given the current maturity schedules. There are good minds on this board and they should develop a plan to reduce the debt burden. It is tough times when tough people are needed to make CW remain a key component of our wonderful community. Please step up, Mr. Reiss.

I am shocked and outraged to read about the state of Colonial Williamsburg's finances. This is either incompetence or malfeasance. Furthermore, Colin Campbell, who led the organization for much of the time this mismanagement occurred, should be removed from the board and have any financial gain clawed back. I have to believe the board members are largely inactive, as their backgrounds are impressive and (they) would never have allowed their businesses to deteriorate to this degree. They should resign and be replaced with aggressive stewards of the foundation. This fragile state of CW threatens all of us who reside in the area and own homes.

According to the Oct. 21 Gazette article on Colonial Williamsburg, the chart on Page 5A shows that management and general expenses are up over the previous 15 years by 166 percent, while other expenses are only up15 percent. I see a place where Colonial Williamsburg can save millions of dollars, simply by cutting its management expenses back to where they are in line with their other expenses.

The very best thing that Mr. Reiss could do to support the future of Colonial Williamsburg is to resign immediately.

I am referring to the article on the front page by Robert Brauchle. The majority of the joggers and bicyclists emerging at CW at dawn all have a Good Neighbor’s pass. The reason we do not tarry in downtown CW is nothing is open at dawn. The majority of us return to CW several times a week to buy wares in the shops, eat in an establishment or just bring our paying, out-of-town company to programs all over CW. Many of us pride ourselves on the good will of our efforts to keep up with all the changing programs at CW. Many of us communicate with our out-of-town friends, encouraging them to visit. Just letting you know, we are an army of good will ambassadors who also like to live a healthy lifestyle.

Wow! Almost two whole pages in Saturday's edition with comments on the absurdity of Mr. Reiss and his safety fence. Let's rewind the tape and check out our history. Since 9/11, the government and all the presidents, including Mr. Trump, have created a nation of scaredy cats. We are afraid of the bad guys coming, we need Homeland Security and barriers in every city and we need to have bags checked at every venue. Even the gun lobby and the NRA have made a fortune telling us we need lots of guns to protect ourselves. The president wants to stop immigration from bad-guy countries, and we all comply willingly. Why shouldn't CW jump on the bandwagon and use safety and protection as a fundraiser? Everyone else has.

“They” are defacing and removing all history monuments, Civil War, Thomas Jefferson and now Christopher Columbus. CW history also had many slaves. Why don’t we realize that American history is not taught, understood, respected or cared about. CW needs to be closed and converted to a walking museum, no houses open, just eateries. Maintained as an historical area, with donations and a security presence.

I don’t understand why the money-losing golf courses are a part of the CW portfolio — they were not part of Colonial Williamsburg of the 18th-century idea that John D. Rockefeller Jr. funded for all of us. Get rid of them and pay down the debt — either sell them off to someone in the golfing industry or to a developer who would pay dearly for the property. CW belongs to the people; the golf enterprise does not. Raising fees and fencing is not the answer; good business practices are and throwing good money after bad never was one of them.

After reading all the great Last Word articles in Saturday's edition about the no fence at CW because of terrorism, let's hope that sentiment stays true after the findings of a "terrorist event" this past week there.

The management at CW must be salivating with anticipation as contractors in California build samples of the border wall our president wants to place along our southern border. Any wall strong enough to keep illegal Mexicans out of the U.S. should be tall enough and strong enough to keep out of the restored area those who are too cheap to buy tickets.

I was very surprised that the majority of the Last Word comments regarding Colonial Williamsburg centered on the possibility of a fence. Not on the expensive and unnecessary number of vice presidents (replacing one with two, yet again) and the lavish perks said administrators receive. Not a word about the wage disparity that exists between the administrators and the rank and file. Those people, our neighbors, do not receive a living wage and suffer a constant reduction in benefits. The frontline workers who assure the success of Colonial Williamsburg are treated and paid as if they were indeed what their executive director calls them — “unskilled workers.”

I read the Gazette Saturday and it was a hoot. I loved Taylor Stoermer’s comments about CW veering toward an entertainment venue. The Last Word about the "fast trot" policy being a menace. And the editorial about "CW should nurture its relationship with taxpayers." All are right on target, well done. The Gazette is doing an excellent job. Thank you for printing these stories.

According to a recent Gazette article, the starting salary for W-JCC teachers is $41,500 and for county police officers (who put their lives on the line every day) is $38,139. This is what the powers that be determined the county can afford to pay two of the most important groups of workers. President Reiss of CW, however, is asking for taxpayer money to bail out years of mismanagement of a national treasure, and oh, by the way, he wants to hire two more highly paid vice presidents. Isn't there something wrong with this picture?

I think it is important that CW visitors from outside our area contribute money to experience CW sights and sounds, all of which cost money to produce. This seems very fair to me. While reading about this matter in the Gazette, I saw at least one local writer saying that, with fencing, local residents would also have to pay to walk the streets of CW. Would it really be such a burden to carry the super cheap, discount producing Good Neighbor’s entry pass to help insure the financial stability of CW, which is one of the key economic drivers for our area?

Scam calls

Please beware of a phone caller asking for money or information. This week alone I received three calls. One from the IRS, stating there was a warrant and that I was to call a number. Next was a phone call from somebody claiming to be a grandson and needed bail money, and third was a call from a pharmacy. Local but far enough away so I would think it was real. They wanted more information before they could process my prescription. Please, do not give out information or money. Thank you very much.

Worth the read

The world would be a much happier place if everyone showed as much kindness, compassion and sense of humor as the people George Allen Johnston thanked and praised in his essay in a recent Virginia Gazette. So very uplifting.

Abandoned home

The abandoned home in Lightfoot that the couple moved into and fixed up without permission is owned by a development company, which is trying to get permission from York County to build an apartment, townhouse and store complex. Thus the house is sitting there “abandoned” in the meantime. That does not give the couple the right to move in there and fix it up. How crazy is that? Now they don’t want to move.

Shopping center

I feel for the commenters who are concerned about the five-story hotel Broad Street wants to put in by Monticello Avenue. I wish they would have been more assertive with city officials and asked them to go to Lightfoot where the Howard Johnson’s is. It’s seven stories. But still, if you eyeball that and visualize five stories, you get the picture. It’s quite a height. They should really be concerned. Thank you.

Redirect your energy

My neighbors, if you want to picket, if you want to say that you’re being mistreated, if you want whatever you want, you would better serve your community/my community — just put the signs in your pocket. Get your happy feet down to East End Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg and address the issue of killings, killings, killings. Then we’ll see where you stand.

Looking for …

Volunteers needed: Housing Partnerships, a local housing nonprofit, is looking for volunteers to help with minor home repairs throughout the Historic Triangle. Contact us at volunteers@housingpartnerships.org or at 757-221-0225. Please call with any questions.

I have a number of empty shoe boxes and wonder if anyone would like them to use for projects — often teachers need them for classroom use. Please call 532-1702 if you are interested.

I am in need of someone to come to my house to check my computer connections and also someone to mow the grass and someone to put in new garden timbers. If anyone can help with these, please leave your number at the Last Word. Thank you very much.

I would like to purchase some seasoned hardwood to burn in my fireplace this winter, but have been unable to locate a seller. Please post if you know a good source.

If you are looking for Cindy Young and Tonya Meadows, they are at Generations Hair Studio in Toano. The number is 757-566-2345. They have left Cindy’s on Richmond Road and opened another shop.

This message is for the person who wrote in about having had a terrible experience with dentists and needles. I can assure you the dentist I’ve gone to for many years is extremely good at keeping his patients comfortable in that chair at during shots — you barely feel it. His name is Dr. Josh Lachine, 757-229-5570.

Anyone living in Kristiansand missing a Lookout Treehouse Climber Playset call 757-645-3222.

I lost information on how to contact the person that was willing to pick up scrap metal. Could you reprint that info? Thank you. Editor’s note: We recently ran this number for Charly who picks up scrap metal: 746-5977.

Earring found at Harris Teeter (Lightfoot) handicap parking lot Oct. 22. It's a geometric round and square wire metal design with vintage screwback. Store manager mentioned that the husband of the owner asked about it last week. The earring is secured at customer service. Please ask for Michele.

Looking for a auto body/paint shop that is good but fair priced, located within 20-mile area. Big shops seem to be overpriced. Reply to Last Word or to calvert55@cox.net.

Really good show

We thoroughly enjoyed Williamsburg Opera's production of “The Barber of Seville” at the Kimball Theatre. If you missed it, you denied yourself an excellently directed and performed production of this classic opera. It was the charming music of Puccini meeting slapstick comedy of the Marx Brothers. Congratulations to the cast and musicians, especially Director Octavio Cardenas and Jose Aldan Perez as Figaro.

Meet and greet

As independent voters, in the last week, we attended two "Meet and Greet the Candidates" events, one for a Republican candidate and one for a Democratic candidate. Since all the candidates tell you how wonderful they are, it's the little things that count. After the speech, one candidate made it a point to shake hands and talk to every individual at the meeting and look them in the eye. The other candidate, after their speech, only talked to the party cronies. Helped make my decision.

Recommended

On Homecoming Saturday, my husband and I walked past the crowds waiting outside restaurants by Merchants Square, and went two blocks to Mad about Chocolate on Armistead between Prince George and Scotland, where, with no wait, we sat on the patio and had delicious lunches. Apparently, it’s just enough off the beaten path that most people haven’t discovered it. I had vegetable quiche; my husband had chicken salad. Both dishes were served with Billy Bread and a marvelous small salad with delicious dressing. I’m allergic to chocolate, but I love the food.

The movie "Marshall" about the first black Supreme Court justice is a powerful film — is it all true? We didn't read a biography, but it seems totally plausible. It should be a must see for everyone who cares about our history. How courageous were the people who worked for justice for all.

Political ads

The lies, half-lies, misleading implications and impossible promises in political advertising are shameful. If political advertising were held to any standard of truthfulness, perhaps we could at least find out what a candidate stands for instead of what another candidate accuses him or her of perpetrating. It's no wonder there is such a lack of respect for government when it is represented in vicious attack ads in which prevarication is valued.

Road worries

To the person that responded under “road worries”: No, it does not make sense to leave three and four car lengths in front of you when you stop your car. If someone is going to hit you and you are stopped, you probably will still hit the car in front of you. Aside from that, drivers that do that block the turn lanes as well, so traffic is backed up. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be some space between you and the car in front of you, just not two, three and four car lengths left in front of you, which is what some people do.

Puerto Rico

To the Last Word contributor who stated the fiscal problems of Puerto Rico were not reported in the “media.” I certainly heard/read about it at least six months ago. A simple Google of the subject turned up reports as early as July and October 2015 (Business Insider, Bloomberg and New Yorker) and 2016. Puerto Rico has defaulted on loan payments that it owed. U.S. bankruptcy laws do not allow U.S. territories to seek protection under bankruptcy laws. (As our president has done multiple times.) Perhaps the “media” the writer attends to chooses not to view Puerto Rico as “reportable,” as they are unaware of its territorial status and that its population are all U.S. citizens.

Cable service

There has got to be a solution to having just one cable company monopolizing the area. The majority of Lightfoot was without cable/internet/phones for four days recently. Technicians tried to figure out what was going on and kept saying there was no signal. Someone finally got the message after Lightfoot residents flooded Cox Cable with cellphone calls. If you are going to insist on having the only contract in the area, then at least supply your customers with good service. Our Board of Supervisors needs to consider some competition for Cox.

Totally agree with a previous Last Word item. Yes, why isn't FIOS available in the Williamsburg 23185 area?

Guns

To the person who says the Second Amendment doesn't guarantee our rights to possess a firearm must have been absent the weeks in school where it was taught that a small band of citizens can and did overcome a combined force of a superior military force. Otherwise we'd still be paying taxes to England and having the queen and parliament decide what’s best for this country. That's why it was written in the Constitution, and it’s the second of many amendments. That's right after the First, where we can voice our opinions, like each of us do here in the Last Word.

Lunch line

I witnessed yesterday, in one of the Catholic churches in the Tidewater area that serves lunch to those on the street, a line of people that was one full block, doubled, trying to get in for some lunch. It broke my heart. What has happened to the state of Virginia taking care of those who have nothing to eat, plus who are now living under the bridges, living on street corners, begging, panhandling? There are those on the street who need help.

Tax plans

It’s not the other states subsidizing New York, California or other reliably blue states. It is the high-wage, reliably Democratic-voting states which subsidize states such as Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and other reliably red low-wage states. Democrats in the rich states should not be punished by the loss of the state tax deduction while still paying for the needs of the voters in low-wage red states. Maybe the solution to the problem would be to solely fund the needs of any state with the tax revenue collected in that state.

Barking dogs

Could someone out there tell me why dog owners let their dogs stand in the yard and bark continuously without stopping them? Are they hard of hearing and cannot hear their own dogs barking? We are considering calling the sheriff in our county to see what we can do to stop it. We try our best to not disturb our neighbors, but others don't seem to care. Courtesy and concern seem to be dead and gone.

Thank you

Thank you to the very thoughtful, quick-thinking and agile man on Richmond Road near the intersection with Bypass a few weeks ago. You alerted me, in the car beside you, that my trunk was open. And at the stoplight, before I could leap out to close it, you had already jumped out of your car, shut the trunk, hopped back in and we all were safely on our way. Thank you to the driver of the champagne-colored Saturn. You are my hero.

On Monday, I took a family member to the Emergency Room at Sentara. It was an extremely busy day, with lots of patients waiting. But in spite of this, we got very good care from the doctor and the RN, Catherine, was not only efficient but very friendly and kind. Thank you, Sentara.

Up in Washington

President Trump insists that the legislative branch, not the executive branch, should write laws. Now immigration and Iran nuclear sanctions are in their hands. There appears to be little appetite to do that from both parties. We the people have a president who is making a do-nothing Congress do its job on the record.

White House Chief of Staff Kelly: "women were sacred" (when they had no choice but to be chattel of men and be barefoot, pregnant and silent). Kelly owes an apology for his bad behavior to the American people who pay his salary. So many of us are so disappointed in his behavior.

To the Oct. 18 commenter conflating Harvey Weinstein with Democrats: Do you seriously want to go there and pursue this argument, given the recent past revelations of Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly, and yes, even our current president, plus a long and ignominious list of sexual predators having conservative and GOP leanings? That is a battle you certainly will not win. This behavior is an ugly sickness and not affiliated with any political ideology, so please let's keep our eye on the ball and not try to politicize this abhorrent issue.

Congress held its annual "vote-a-rama" with no bipartisan support in a 50 to 49 vote on the overdue budget. The party with a majority rules and nothing else gets done. To save money, bring the “losers” home till the next voting cycle. Time to vote out do-nothing incumbents.

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