Last Word, Dec. 2

Christmas tree

The date for the lighting of the Christmas tree at CW has traditionally been on Christmas Eve, but apparently this year that has changed. What is the date for the lighting this season, and does anyone know the reason for the change? Editor’s note: According to Colonial Williamsburg’s website, the tree lighting will be from 5-5:30 p.m. Dec. 21.

Glad to see the annual Christmas tree lighting moving from Christmas Eve. I was hopeful my family may finally be able to attend the event, as it does not conflict with my family’s religious obligations, but 5 p.m. on a workday. Really?

Free to you

Recumbent bicycle for anyone who needs it. Bike is in very good condition. Please call 220-2278. Thank you.

I would like to donate the following printers and scanners to any charitable business. Two of the scanners have never been used. HP Printer 5650 Desk Jet Printer, HP Scanjet G 4050 Printer and Scanner, HP Desk Jet Printer 5150, HP Scanjet 5400C Printer and Scanner, Panasonic Fax Machine KX- FHO 331, Linksys Router. Please contact 258-0938.

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 wmcmurray@cox.net.

Hill’s departure

Very disappointed to hear of Bryan Hill’s departure as JCC administrator. He has done an excellent job and raised the level of professionalism not only in county government, but also in the community at large. He’ll be missed, but this is a great opportunity for him, and we wish him well. I guess it was too much to expect someone of his caliber to stay here forever. His will be big shoes to fill; we can only hope that the new board will find someone who can.

Bryan Hill leaving. No great loss. We’ve been treated like a backwoods county long enough. Time to move forward and bring the county up to a decent living standard. Maybe the next administrator will stand up to the likes of VDOT and some of their dangerous road design ideas, and it would finally be nice to find somebody willing to negotiate decent internet service without the current monopoly here in the county.

Scam alert

If you receive an urgent call regarding your Amtrak tickets, especially #8715EF, and you must pay for them by midnight of the following day, this is a scam. Check your ticket numbers and your receipt. The detective at Amtrak’s Fraud Department assured me that Amtrak does not phone customers and tell them to call “Julie” at 1-800-USA-RAIL or to press “0” during the conversation to pay with your credit card. It is a scam.

Colonial Williamsburg

I am pleased with the new management team at Colonial Williamsburg. After years of watching the site deteriorate and the wasteful spending practices of the previous management team, which has resulted in a huge debt, it’s been a welcome relief to see a change in direction. Walking through the area, one can see the huge amount of work that has been undertaken to restore buildings and walkways, plus fresh paint, new gardens, new attractions and a general clean, fresh appearance. Cutting waste and old programs is never popular, especially in Williamsburg, but necessary to reduce debt and restore fiscal responsibility. Continue the good work and ignore the naysayers — it’s Williamsburg and they love to resist change.

Looks like CW hired Clark Griswold to decorate the Williamsburg Inn this year. Sometimes less is more.

To the Good Neighbor who spent "two to three hours" to get a new Good Neighbor pass: My wife and I renew our passes annually at the Lumber Store on DOG Street, and it takes less than 10 minutes to do both. We walk DOG Street regularly, so stopping in the store is a very convenient way to renew our passes.

An ice skating rink in the middle of DOG Street is like an ugly carbuncle on the face of a once beautiful woman.

CW, if you want more business, revamp your CW website. I am local and can never find a schedule of anything going on in any detail. Example: Try to find a schedule of Grand Illumination events. All you show is 4-7:30 p.m. (or 5-7:30 p.m. depending on the page) without any detail. Seriously, if you want the public to attend your events, you really need to utilize social media more and well.

Looking for …

A sum of money was found in the parking lot of Yankee Candle on Nov. 25 and was turned in to the store manager.

I would like to respond to the person looking for me, Roxanne. I used to work at Great Clips. I miss each and every one of my wonderful clients. I am now working at Duke's Barbershop in Norge (men and women are welcome). Please call 757-565-3853 to find out when I am working or to set an appointment.

It's Red Kettle Season for The Salvation Army and volunteers are much appreciated. For information about available bell ringing dates and locations, please call 229-6651.

You can drop off plastic bags to be recycled in the box outside the entrance to Farm Fresh on John Tyler Highway.

This is a reply to the person needing to take a Singer sewing machine to be repaired. Singer sewing machines are usually attached to the cabinet by two or four screws. The sewing machine can be removed from the cabinet to take to repair. Also, there is a possibility that someone can come to you. It may only need a bobbin adjustment. Just a thought.

To the lady who needs to have her sewing machine transported to the repairman: I will gladly come and pick it up, take it to him and pick it up and return to you when it has been repaired. I am only off on Thursdays. Please call 757-634-6260 if you'd like me to help you. Have a blessed day.

I am looking for a reputable company to clean my gutters.

To the reader looking for a gynecologist in the Williamsburg community: Dr. Christina Cox Lebreton is an OB/GYN physician with Riverside Partners in Women's Health at 120 Kings Way, Suite 3400, Williamsburg. Born and reared in Virginia, she earned her undergraduate degree at The College of William and Mary, received her medical degree from EVMS and completed her OB/GYN residency at West Virginia University. Call 757-253-5600.

Anyone with gently used moving boxes that they would like to donate, please call 757-608-8666. Thank you.

In response to “looking for a gynecologist”: There is a wonderful gynecologist in Richmond and, believe me, she is worth the trip. Please Google her name and you will see she has excellent credentials, is personable and spends a lot of time problem solving with each patient. Her name is Alynn B. Alexander, MD, phone 804-267-6931.

Bad enough

It's bad enough that JCPenney’s closed near Williamsburg, Big Lot's closed and now Tuesday Morning is closing. On top of that, Sam's Club never happened and everyone in Williamsburg really wants Costco and FIOS and can't get them.

Work to do

Last Saturday's W&M-ODU basketball game was wonderful on the court, miserable off of it. People driving from Norfolk and Richmond arrived to find only two ticket windows open. Consequently, many friends of ours didn't get into the game until 11 minutes were gone in the first half. And whoever thinks what they pass off as concessions ought to be ashamed of themselves. "Tribe" nachos were some pre-packaged cold chips with a tiny tub of warm cheese whiz. Hot dog buyers had their choice of mustard or ketchup — nothing else. Would it kill them to put out some relish packets? Tickets aren't cheap at $16 and neither is the food. The game was worth the money; the food was a rip-off. The new AD has a list of problems to address I'm sure. I hope she's added this to it.

Economic development

I would like to predict that after the real estate developers and local governments have thought this over, the local railroad track will be buried, subway-style, from Toano to Lee Hall, releasing untold millions of dollars’ worth of land for better use, reunite neighborhoods and add beauty to the area.

Anonymous

Just found out something interesting yesterday where you claim your messages are anonymous. I am told that’s just not exactly true, and I want you to answer in the Last Word exactly what you mean by “anonymous,” because I know for a fact that you’re recording phone numbers. Editor’s note: Last Word comments are published anonymously, but phone messages come with phone numbers and emails come with email addresses, so yes, we know where comments come from. We sometimes call or message folks seeking clarification or with a question on their comment, but that contact information is not used otherwise.

Great show

The new a cappella show at Christmas Town is excellent. It features old favorites and newer songs in an energetic presentation. Check it out in the Italy pavilion.

Love the look

I just saw a black Avalanche that is decorated in Dallas Cowboys and is the prettiest truck I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I understand that an older lady drives it. You go, girl, and stick with them Cowboys. Thank you.

Changing history

George Orwell said, "The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history." Slavery is an undeniable fact of our history. The costly war fought to end it is also a part of the nation's history. Neither will go away through cultural cleansing. Removing statues of Confederates and renaming buildings are just a small part of the true agenda of America's leftists. If we give them an inch, they'll take a yard. So I say, don't give them an inch in the first place. The hate-America types use every tool at their disposal to achieve their agenda of discrediting and demeaning our history. Our history of slavery is simply a convenient tool to further their cause.

Good news

We are thrilled that Publix is coming to Williamsburg. Can’t wait to shop there.

Long live cats

Do you want to keep your cat safe? Keep it inside. I do. I see posts where cats were killed by cars. My kitties always stay indoors. They don't bother other neighbors, they don't get killed by vehicles, nor attacked by predators. It's been proven that indoor cats live longer, also. Do the research.

Complications

This is an alert to all those people who have decided that retail is the basis of our local economy: As a cashier for a charity thrift store, I have just spent two days processing plastic that took 3 to 15 minutes to complete a card purchase. I had to look at the disgruntled faces of my customers as they waited in lines that would be nonexistent if the wireless card system were working properly. Anecdotal evidence is that this has been happening often to businesses on the east side of Williamsburg, the Second Street-Merrimac Trail area.

Competition

The big box hardware stores had better realize the internet is their local competition. When their clerk says, “I don’t have it but I can order it for you,” they’re telling you to go home, look for it at the best price and order it online, and with FedEx shipping, it’s generally there faster than they can get it from their warehouse.

Pain management

To the person talking about opioid addiction: You’re absolutely right. My pain-management doctor says the unfortunate thing about this whole opioid conversation is that the government will always regulate to the 2 percent — those who are addicted or have drug problems — and the 98 percent of us who really need the pain medicine to function and manage our lives because of a chronic pain disorder, we are stuck without the treatment that we need. So, good luck to us who need the pain medication. Now, we have to go to the office and pick up the prescription. Doctors can’t even call it in for us any longer. And, if for some reason we’re unable/not functioning, then, hopefully we will find someone else to help. I just wish the government would stay out of our business. Help those who need the help, but those of us who are managing: leave us alone.

Ongoing hunger

This is in regard to feeding the homeless and the needy on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Don’t you think these homeless people are as hungry on June 1? Jan. 13? Aug. 19 and Dec. 1? Just a thought. Thank you.

No great deal

I purchased a brand new truck from a Williamsburg dealership. The dealership sold it to me knowing it was in a flood. Please do your homework before buying a vehicle. Thank you.

Prison time

A contributor expressed disappointment that Judge Nance didn’t send Bowe Bergdahl to prison for his “despicable” desertion. I would probably agree, except that our Commander in Chief irreparably prejudiced and biased the entire judicial process when he stated how he should be charged, declared his guilt and demanded his punishment. Our President is our executive leader, not a judge or jury. Trump virtually guaranteed Bergdahl’s leniency. With his impulsive behavior, he again obstructed the judicial process for a soldier and citizen, however guilty he might have been.

Recommended

I would like to recommend Allyson Hopkins as a medical and massage therapist, 757-741-5106. She has been outstanding working with all my aches, pains and sore muscles. She is very good at pinpointing problem areas, and if you are familiar with this technique, she is certified as a neural reset therapist. She is located at McLaws Circle.

Karen Washington is the best housecleaner in Williamsburg. She does an outstanding job in cleaning and "straightening out" your house. Worry free, stress free cleaning. Call 757-879-2522. Reasonable pricing.

I would recommend classes for Williamsburg Learning Tree. They have dozens of classes in finance, food, exercise, health, languages, music and much more. To register, call Susan at 220-6030.

For computer repair I highly recommend Randy Hisle of CyberWizards at 723-0708. He comes to you. He is reasonably priced and on time. Explains things and can set you up for remote help if you need it later on. Really nice guy.

I called Carter Plumbing at 757-220-6289 on the recommendation of a previous entry. To say I was very pleased is an understatement. I recommend Scott Carter wholeheartedly.

Guns

I must vehemently disagree with the comment that the church massacre had nothing to do with the NRA or the Republicans. The current President, a Republican in name only, rolled back a measure signed by President Obama which would prohibit gun ownership by the mentally ill. The Republicans in Congress have been passively doing the wishes of the NRA over the years, allowing large capacity magazines, high power semiautomatic weapons, and other pieces which are designed to kill people and not for rabbit or deer hunting to flood the market. So while no Republican member of Congress sold the weapons of war used in the massacre to the mentally deranged shooter, they and the NRA have the blood of innocent Christians on their hands because they are determined to see to it that more and more killing machines make it into the hands of people who have no reason to own them.

Panhandlers

I can’t believe anyone is so naïve that they would think the person panhandling is actually looking for a job. If you really want to find a job, you need to go where there are “help wanted” signs and apply within. Has anyone ever heard of someone who was panhandling on the side of a road being offered a job? I think not.

I’m happy to read that there are still people who care not only for panhandlers, but for the dog that accompanied one. We don't know what drives someone to begging — putting pride aside must not be easy. It may be drugs or alcohol, a mental condition and he has no family no home, no car. Panhandlers might be scammers — looks can be deceiving. But churches' food pantries give food to people wearing nice clothes, shoes, designer bags and even the kids have earrings. What's the difference? One is in the street and the others drive themselves to ask for the same thing. Williamsburg doesn't have a homeless shelter and what is offered is only transitional. There is definitely a problem here that needs to be addressed and resolved.

Keep moving

To the person, who made Saturday’s Last Word comment that you “…do not shop” in the Wawa (or any filling station’s) convenience store, but only pre-pay, thank you. You are in the appreciated minority.

Taxi service

To the person asking about rides from the Amtrak station, look into an Uber or Lyft account: I’ve picked up many passengers at the Amtrak station and taken them home.

Good economy

According to the Daily Press, Nov. 22, “By most measures, Americans are feeling good about the economy. Monthly gains of consumer confidence is at a 17-year high and the unemployment is at a 17-year low. The stock market continues to hit all time peaks, while gasoline remains relatively cheap. It will help to boost holiday shopping sales by as much as 4 percent this year.” They went on to say that the wealthy will be spending more this year than families with lower and middle incomes. But when the wealthy spend, the stores hire. You’re going to need more people to service those sales and the restaurants and anything associated with Christmas — flower arranging, decorating, food services, gifts, airlines, hotels — which means companies will be more in the mood for hiring. That is good news.

Health insurance

The elimination of the individual mandate will allow healthy people to avoid insurance. Who pays when they have a serious accident or medical crisis and cannot afford their care? The rest of us. Hospitals pass on the cost of uninsured care through increased rates, which our insurance companies have to pay. Why do the Republicans want to eliminate the mandate now? Because it will save the government $300 billion. Who will make up the difference? The rest of us.

Mail delivery

What in the world is going on with the mail delivery service in Colonial Heritage? It is atrocious. The mail in our neighborhood is delivered as late as 8 p.m., giving no time for time-sensitive mail that needs to be reacted to during normal business hours. There have been days when we failed to receive mail at all and it wasn’t delivered until the next morning. Regardless of the weather, multiple trips to the mail boxes are now required, since it is dark by 5 p.m. And let’s not forget the carriers who are not getting home until late evening. Can the routes be divided? Can additional carriers be added? Certainly there must be some resolution to this problem.

Cost of business

It is time for the Post Office to increase charges on junk mail, including charities. I get 6-10 junk mailings a week. While charities are important, I also get 10-15 requests from the same charity each year. I am sure many others do as well. Come on, post office, increase these sources of revenue, while reducing the weight your delivery person has to haul around town.

Thank you

I just want to give a big thank you to a Gift from Ben. When I was transitioning to a job, he was there to see me and my son through, and I just want to tell him thank you so much. I saw him in the Food Lion. I gave him a little monetary gift. He hugged me and told me thank you. I said, “No, thank you because when I was going through hard times and I needed food, a Gift from Ben was there for me and my son. So I just wanted to give a big shout out to a Gift from Ben. Thank you.

So thankful for those policemen, firemen, hospital workers, etc., who worked on Thanksgiving. You are appreciated and deserve lots of pumpkin pie.

Thank you to the Aldi employee or customer who found my credit card that I had dropped in the store. I appreciate their honesty. Thank you so very much.

Tax plans

There are two versions of the Republican tax plan under consideration — the Senate version and the House version. Until these two versions go to conference and a final version is presented for vote, we really have no idea of what the final version will do toward reforming our current tax system. Before running in circles, screaming the sky is falling, take that time and study the two versions. Based upon comments I have read to date in the Last Word, the comments are generally uninformed and repeating inaccuracies that have been disproven by nonpartisan evaluation.

At least Trump is more honest than Reagan and Bush 2. The latter said they could cut taxes and balance the budget. Both of them tripled the national debt. Trump promises to cut taxes and borrow trillions to pay for it.

Eliminating tax deductions for high medical expenses will hurt the chronically ill. It is extremely expensive to pay the medical costs for a chronic illness. The elimination of the tax deduction for high medical expenses will impact those who have the biggest bills and they are the ones who can least afford to pay. No increase in the standard deduction could make up the difference.

The proposed tax reform bill will increase the national debt to give companies and some individuals a tax break. The U.S. will have to borrow more money from China. Would you take out a mortgage on your house to put a larger tip on your dinner check or pay list price for a car to help the car company? Of course not. Tax reform should not be financed by adding to the national debt we pass on to our children.

Well, they did it. Our two congressmen, Taylor and Wittman, both rubber stamped the GOP tax bill in the House. If it and the Senate version eventually become law, older, middle-class people like so many of us in Williamsburg will start paying higher taxes because of reduced or complete loss of deductions for state and local taxes, mortgage interest and medical expenses. And all to support reduced taxes for the very wealthy. Are these two really representing our best interests?

My husband and I met with our financial advisor a few weeks ago. We asked what he thought the new tax plan, whatever it would be, would mean for our portfolio. He said it would probably be good, that if corporate taxes were cut, our investments would increase in value. I said, "Oh, but I thought the tax savings would go into new jobs and higher wages." Yeah, we all had a good laugh about that.

Angels among us

There are angels among us. Have you seen them? They might be standing behind you in the grocery store, post office or theater. They can be a woman, man or even sometimes a child. They can be black or white, rich or poor. Have you seen them? They are people sent to uplift us. Their deeds are simple. They find the lonely and make conversation; they give hugs. They find the less fortunate and give what they can. They are kind; they show compassion; they are thoughtful. Have you seen them? If not, look closer, listen better, take the time and seek them out. Making their company will be one of the best gifts you will receive this holiday season. And should you be so fortunate, so blessed as to not have the need, then join them and be an angel yourself. Merry Christmas.

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