Last Word on parking, Nov. 4

Downtown parking

I am a long-time resident and occasionally shop and browse in town. I always use free street parking and hate parking garages and having to pay to park. Other than Colonial Williamsburg shops, the others can be found elsewhere. There is no more theater. I remember Roses 5 & 10 and the drug stores and bakery. They are gone except for chain stores and a few local stores that are left. Sadly, if I have to pay for parking, I will shop elsewhere or online.

Missing birds

Until a few weeks ago, we had a huge variety of birds visiting our feeders every single day. Now, nothing. Where did they go? We did take our hummingbird feeders down, but that's never made a difference in the other birds stopping by. It's so odd to see zero birds.

Colonial Williamsburg

Your article with the annual budget, annual visitors and total employees was very illuminating and clearly illustrates what the problems are at Colonial Williamsburg. One needs only to be a simple finance person. The budget dollars per employee at CW is $112,000 versus $38,000-$66,000 at the four other historic sites. The budget dollars per visitor at CW is $398 versus $21-$68 at the other sites. Clearly the operation is not being run correctly. Where are the controller and audit department to identify and correct such issues is another question to be asked. As a retired controller and audit manager, I would be embarrassed at these similar-site financial comparisons. Some people need replacing.

After reading Saturday’s newspaper with comparisons to other historic museums, I kept wondering why Mr. Brauchle (and the Gazette) overlooked a comparison with Old Salem in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Old Salem is very similar to CW and allows visitors to explore its grounds without paying a fee and requires guests to pay to enter many of its buildings. I would like to see a follow up with a comparison that is more apples to apples than Monticello or Mount Vernon.

We want to be good Williamsburg neighbors and help CW thrive. We'll be glad to pay $25 per year for our Good Neighbor passes. It's still a great deal at that price. Thank you for your series on CW. We really appreciate how it is reviewing all aspects of the situation in an unbiased fashion.

It is ironic how the president and CEO of Colonial Williamsburg, Mitchell Reiss, is concerned about safety and the fence and all that. However, at the west end of Francis Street where the patrons of the tavern have to go across the street to park in valid parking, the lighting is horrendous. There are cobblestones adjacent to the shoulder of the drive, the crosswalks aren’t lit, the paint for the crosswalk has faded. And since I’ve been here 30 years — at least once every winter when it’s really dark, my neighbors tell me they almost hit somebody crossing on the crosswalk, especially if they have the right of way. Thank you.

In her letter to The Virginia Gazette on Oct. 28, Anne Mepham stated "...the restored area as it is now is a nightmare." Would the writer care to tell us exactly what makes the restored area of CW a nightmare that will be alleviated with the installation of a barrier? Perhaps she thinks the wrong sort of people are allowed in the restored area, since it appears that she doesn't approve of dogs and runners on Duke of Gloucester Street. It is hardly a nightmare situation.

Cable TV

We agree that we need a different cable service alternative in Williamsburg. What needs to be done to bring FIOS to our area? Is there a way to organize and get their attention?

Hold the jokes

I went to the library to hear the Ford’s Colony Dance Band, and the music was enjoyable. However, I did not go to hear a repetition of media jokes about the president. It was out of place.

Kimball Theatre

Thank heavens the Opera in Williamsburg was able to hold their performances at the Kimball and the symphony as well. Those and the other organizations playing at Kimball must have been tearing hair out at learning in July they had been dumped. But we pray the city will work out some permanent arrangement with CW for the ultimate decision on the only downtown performance hall suitable for such shows. Crucial to all of us.

Lunch line

In this time of economic growth and low unemployment, with numerous “Help Wanted” signs all over the place, able-bodied people shouldn’t be in the free lunch line. Not long ago, I was in Washington, D.C., and saw a handicapped person asking for money, which I gave to him. On the next block, an able-bodied person was asking for money. I told him go look at the handicapped person on the next block.

Panhandling

What is the story on all the beggars we have in town now? There seems to be an organized group of able-bodied men and women working specific corners on a regular basis. Why can’t the police do something about this? And please, don’t tell me it’s their right to beg. Their numbers are growing. Is this the image we want to present to our visitors and guests? If they are, in fact, working specific hours and locations, maybe they should be licensed and taxed like any other business or working person in America. Maybe the solution is to stop giving them money, people.

Looking for …

Can anyone recommend a barber who is good with beards, especially unusually cut beards? And someone who will follow customer’s instructions?

For the person seeking a dentist who is very proficient in using Novocaine injections: Dr. Owens, located at 211 Bulifants Blvd., Suite A (just off of Mooretown Road) has never hurt me while doing so (needles). Dr. Owens is incredibly gentle and I have had no pain during any of the procedures he has done on my teeth. His office number is 757-229-6414.

Can anyone tell us where we can find the ECCE PANIS Multi-Grain Boule bread that Martin's sold? We used to buy the bread regularly, but can't find any store selling this very popular item. Martin’s would warm the bread before selling it. It is low-fat and cholesterol free, 0g trans fat, no artificial colors or preservatives. It is a multi-grain bread with a touch of honey.

Is there anyone in the area that can do custom-made lamp shades with existing frames? Thank you.

Looking for recommendations for tile work. We need to have shower floor regrouted, also a small bathroom and parts of our laundry room. Thanks in advance for your responses.

Can anyone tell me of a support group for widows/widowers in Williamsburg? I believe I would benefit with the support of ladies/gentlemen who have lost their loved ones and are having some difficulties adjusting. Also, meeting new folks would be an advantage too. Thank you.

Looking for anyone with knowledge of a community shred of personal papers approaching. Please reply to Last Word for all to see. Thank you.

Does anybody know of a person or place that accepts used cooking oil? I have many one gallon containers that I don’t want to take to the dump.

I have a wool blazer that has two small moth holes in it. Does anyone know someone who is skilled at repairing such things? Thanks.

Please help me find a urology MD with extensive experience to perform TURP procedure without nasty side effects or complications.

Where can you purchase UNICEF cards, either note cards or Christmas cards? It is my understanding that a dollar — the purchase of this UNICEF card — provides 40 days of clean water for a child, immunizations for three children and life-saving nutrition for a child. Is that correct and where can you purchase these cards? Thank you for the information. Please put it in the Last Word where I can read it.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to have a will made? A simple will that is inexpensive and that will stand up in a court of law? Thank you.

Free to you

Free to a church organization: Cable & Nelson spinet piano and bench, 1940s era. You must move it from second floor of home. Playable, just needs tuning, TLC and a new home. Contact wmcmurry@cox.net. Thank you.

Political ads

Why do we continually believe all the nonsense in the TV advertisements by outside money with their own agendas? It is difficult to make up our own minds when being continuously bombarded with false facts and nasty advertisements.. If they want to affect our thinking, perhaps they should take this obscene amount of money and pay for health care for all needy Virginians. Hundreds of millions of dollars to tell us how to vote so as to advance their own agendas, not for our betterment.

Guns

The hearing impairment reason for suppressors is not bogus. The person who said that obviously knows little or nothing about guns or suppressors, which by the way are already legal to buy, own and use. Empty comments do not support your anti-gun talking points. The Spokane, Wash., police recently bought suppressors to protect the city from the costs of workers’ compensation claims and potential lawsuits from civilians who suffer hearing damage from the sound of police gunfire. Five department officers have filed claims tied to hearing loss from gunfire.

My history lessons tell me that the Minute Men were "a well-regulated militia," but the NRA leaves that out of their propaganda. The person who praised the Revolutionary War soldiers for defeating the British has conveniently forgotten the same thing, even though it's the opening of their favorite amendment.

Kudos to Dr. Cynthia Favret for her letter to the editor in last Saturday's Gazette. It is one of the most reasonable, concise and well-written arguments I have ever read. Guns are not only "hijacking American way of life," as the headline reads, the people who sell them, mainly automatic weapons of mass destruction, and the criminals who use them to massacre innocent citizens are destroying America piece by piece, step by step.

Monuments

I guess the tear-history-down movement is going to be calling for Stone Mountain, Ga., to be turned into a gravel pit.

Road worries

About the gap between vehicles while stopped at a light or stop sign: It drives me insane when the first thing I see when I look in my rear view window is the person’s windshield. I should be able to see their headlights. If somebody rear ends them, they’re going to go right into me because they are right on my tail. The thing that creates the biggest problem isn’t that gap, it’s that people do not know how to move when the light turns green or when they are turning. It takes them an hour to get up to the posted speed, even if it’s only a 35 or 45 zone. If you get moving when the light turns, then more people could get through the light and you wouldn’t have all your backups.

Recommended

I would like to share a positive review of a local enterprise with which I have recently done business. Our small home has been in our family since 1949. Over the years, saplings that my father had once run over with his lawnmower, have grown into tall and menacing threats to the small domicile, requiring immediate attention. I engaged Dan's Tree Service to remove a huge sycamore and trim other branches. Dan's knowledge and concern for the trees was impressive. When it came to the job itself, his team over-delivered. The satisfaction felt when a job is well done is always uplifting and deserves a thank you.

I wish to commend Tidewater SewVac. I went in with a clogged vacuum cleaner and the owner quickly repaired it and would not let me pay anything for her service. Kudos to this company. I will certainly recommend this one to all my friends and will be back myself.

If you have hardwood floors that need to be refinished, we highly recommend Sword Floors (swordfloors.com) here in Williamsburg. We recently had a water leak in the refrigerator ice maker’s supply line behind the appliance that damaged our hardwood flooring. Sword’s lead technician Bryan Barkley is truly a hardwood flooring artisan and expertly took us through a six-day process of repairing, sanding, staining and sealing our entire first floor and the results are simply stunning. Liz and Gary Sword’s company was great to work with and the new floor exceeded all our expectations.

I would like to leave a compliment to Anderson’s Corner Animal Hospital on Richmond Road. We lost our kitty this past Thursday and everyone out there was wonderful — very, very kind. Dr. Renee Welch was the doctor and she couldn’t have been nicer. I even called one time, crying my eyes out, and, as busy as they are, she took the time to come on the phone and try to comfort me. So I think you could consider using them for your pet. You’ll be very, very happy. Thank you.

Kudos to a wonderful restaurant here locally in Williamsburg, the Cozy Patio on Richmond Road. I gave my mother a wonderful 80th birthday party at this restaurant. It is elegant, cozy and handicapped accessible. Our food was amazing and we had a variety of dishes. Our hostess was attentive. We also ordered a cake from Cakes by Tawanda, also on Richmond Road, which was beautiful and delicious. These are two of the best-kept secrets in Williamsburg.

I've been trying to eat more organic food and it's difficult to find places that serve organic chicken. I was therefore very happy recently to find wonderful organic pulled chicken at the Old City Barbecue on York. Other than Food For Thought, it's the only place I've found in town. And the pickle plate has the best variety I've seen since my last trip to Japan. Great gastronomic addition.

Cleaning up

They’re out here cleaning the ditches out along Route 5 in Williamsburg with this machine, which is pretty good. Did a heck of a job. But I don’t understand. It’s not only Route 5, it’s other areas, too, in Williamsburg. They do a good job of cleaning out the ditches, but they never, ever clean out the concrete pipe under the driveway. Why?

Harassment

With regard to the person who wrote about Harvey Weinstein and the Democrats: I am sorely tempted to start listing Republican harassers, but as a woman, I think we all must acknowledge that it is not the Democrats and it’s not the Republicans. It’s the men.

Love the puzzles

I just want to tell you how much I appreciate the puzzle page. I like doing the puzzles. It was a pleasant surprise when I first realized it was in there, and I’m just telling you that I really appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

Tea Party taxes

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced the Justice Department is settling with Tea Party groups whose tax-exempt status was significantly delayed "based solely on their viewpoint or ideology." OK, that's a start . . . but until those who committed the acts and those who ordered them are publicly raked over the coals, the government's mea culpa will remain another example of its "let-them-eat-cake" governance.

Suggestion, please

How do you ask people not to talk when they’re chewing food in their mouth? It’s gross. I don’t like it, but how can you tell someone not to talk when they’re chewing food in their mouth and not hurt their feelings? Thank you.

Mystery call

Has anyone answered the call that says, "Is the man or the lady of the house convenient?" Then a pause and the question, "Are you there?" We get it almost every day, sometimes twice, and it comes from various places. If anyone has answered, what is it about? Please answer in the Last Word. Thanks.

Thank you

I would like to say something about Panera Bread, besides its being a real nice place to eat. We went there today and my husband lost his cards out of his wallet — they even had his Social Security number on them. We are old and we weren’t able to go back over and get it, but the young lady there told us that she would bring it to us and I think that’s above and beyond the call of duty. So I want to compliment Panera Bread for what they’re doing. Thank you.

This is a compliment to Trader Joe’s. Besides being a very nice store and having loads of good traffic in there, always. I went in there today, Saturday, to get some things. I was crying because we lost our kitty Thursday; she died of cancer. And they were so moved by it that they gave me a bouquet of Stargazer lilies and roses. I think that says an awful lot for one of our local stores, and that explains why they have so much traffic in there. Thank you.

After waking to the welcome sound of pouring rain this morning, I immediately thought of the newspapers awaiting us in the driveway. And once again, our delivery person, Shyrece, had ensured our papers were all snug and dry in triple plastic bags, with even a knot to be sure the paper didn’t slide out. There is plenty of sad news inside these papers every day, but the thoughtful care shown in delivering them really makes my day.

Aside from our cellphones, there are few losses that make our heart stop as much as losing our wallet. Well, that happened to me today and I was practically hysterical when I thought of all the things I’d have to replace. Fortunately, I was quickly surrounded by some wonderful women who exemplified the essence of Williamsburg. Thank you to Mison, who calmed me down and brought me a bottle of water. Thank you to Marsha, who drove me back to my last stop because she didn’t want me to drive alone. And thank you to the good people at the Food Lion on Richmond Road who held my wallet in their safe. Angels in our midst who make me grateful to be living here.

I would like to thank the individual who found my purse in a grocery cart at Walmart (in the parking lot) and turned it in. You have no idea how grateful I am. My heart sank when I saw the empty cart still sitting there. I went inside to check, and they informed me it had been turned in. Thank You. You made my life so much easier that day. I have met such kind-hearted, honest people, while living in Williamsburg, and you proved it once again. Your kindness will be passed along. Bless you!

Tax plans

Regarding the proposed IRS and tax overhaul plan: Some people believe that the so-called “trickle down principle” is false. They think that rich people stay inside their homes and pile up the money in the corner. That is nuts. They either invest in newly opened businesses or factories to employ more people or they spend, so that other businesses thrive. That is what is meant by “trickle down economy.” Call it anything you want, but it is a positive experience.

The definition of stupid is "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." The proposed Republican tax cut for the rich, or trickle down economics, didn't work when Reagan tried it, didn't work when George Jr. tried it and won't work this time.

The top 20 percent of wage earners pay 95 percent of the taxes. So if you’re going to give a tax break, I would think you’d give it to those who are paying 95 percent of the taxes. How are you going to give a tax cut to the lowest wage earner, who’s paying no taxes? It doesn’t make sense. I challenge any liberal to tell me when we’ve cut taxes during the last 100 years where it didn’t raise money in the federal coffers? You can’t find it under Reagan or Kennedy.

Up in Washington

I find it sad that it takes a decision to retire from Congress to give a member the courage to speak out against their president.

I didn't go to Wharton like Trump, but in Mrs. Lockhard's fourth grade math class, when you eliminate the 8 percent tax bracket for a 10 percent one, that’s a 25 percent tax hike on the working poor. Is that what Jesus would do, or Caesar?

Does anyone know when the Tea Party is going to have the massive demonstration in Washington protesting Trump increasing the national debt by $5 trillion with his tax cut?

White House cutting the cost of government — about time. Melania Trump has four staffers, just a quarter of the former first lady’s staff of 16. The salaries of the current first lady’s employees add up to less than $487,000 annually, down from the $1.24 million for the staff working for Michelle Obama.

I can't believe the bald face audacity of Trump's wife taking up cyber bullying when her husband is the most prolific cyberbully in history.

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