Last Word on the Christmas spirit, Dec. 20

Christmas spirit

Thank you so much to Amy from Poquoson, who I met at K-Mart yesterday. I noticed a shoe sale: Buy one, get one for $1. I asked this very nice lady, who was also looking at shoes, if we could each buy a pair and split the difference. She bought a pair of slippers and very generously did not split the difference, even paying the $1 for my pair. “Merry Christmas,” she said as she handed me the pair of shoes. Amy, you truly have the spirit of Christmas.

At Wendy’s on Richmond Road, around 3:15 on Monday, Dec. 11, the person in front of me paid for my order. I would like to thank them very much. I will pass along the good word and I wish them a very, very Merry Christmas. Thank you.

This year’s Christmas Town has some high points and low ones. The a cappella show is excellent. The “O Tannenbaum” tree experience in front of Das Festhaus isn’t even a little bit as good as the former version.

Wrong address

I assume shipping companies and the USPS all use GPS these days. And yet, I’ve just gotten the third package of the holiday season delivered to the wrong address. This is a problem I rarely had years ago. What’s up?

Alternative schools

I would like to suggest that the School Board look into bringing back the alternative learning program that was eliminated a few years ago. It is a necessity to have a place for students who constantly disrupt regular classes by their unacceptable behavior. My daughter was lucky to get a great teacher for her field biology class, someone who made learning a fun and great experience before he was gradually discouraged by the lack of interest and respect by a handful of students. Now the class is left to watch videos and do worksheets, and all the hands-on activities, plus outdoor trips, are gone. It is unfair that the good students are punished and can't learn in the environment they deserve due to a few. I am sure others would agree that an alternative environment is badly needed for those who need to be away from regular school setting.

Colonial Williamsburg

Congratulations to CW for the outstanding exterior lighting at the Inn … it is a delight to see. Unfortunately, once one enters the lobby, you realize that following the extensive interior renovations has placed you in the lobby of a Holiday Inn Express. When is CW going to get it — people come to Williamsburg for the 18th-century experience. Whoever was responsible for the Inn’s horrid interior renovations should be fired.

Well, it sounds like CW has hired a Mitchell Reiss replacement. Mr. d’Humières appears to have more education and experience in the museum business than the current president. Let's hope this is the beginning of the end of the hardships at CW.

Good news

Publix coming in is good news, but has anything been decided about the Martin’s gas pumps? They seemed to always be busy, so hopefully Publix or someone will get them operating again.

Redistricting

Looks like W-JCC is losing again. The community direly needs to rezone and support the school population with the right resources. Right now the district resources all schools "equally" without taking into account the student population needs at each school. Look at the W-JCC FY18 school budget, where all the schools are resourced the same. Listen to the board members talk about equally distributing resources to each school versus properly resourcing the school to support its student population. Another dagger thrown at our community is with the opinion of the School Board to support middle school rezoning option 2. The big losers here are students in Carter's Grove. These children, who are more limited in "at home" resources, now have to fight their way to prove school equality with their rich-kid peers in elementary school, get ripped from that peer group to attend the new middle school to again fight their way to student equality with a new batch of privileged students, to again get ripped from that peer group to fight their way back to student equality in a new high school peer group. School Board members need to look in the mirror and ask if they are representing the best interest of all students and our community or just looking after their student. P.S. The survey questions were a joke. One of the questions should have been "Do you support rezoning?"

This diversity-over-educational-quality initiative reminds me of what happened in Boston. Children were bused all over the place and lost valuable study and personal improvement opportunities. It appears that the Williamsburg initiative isn’t about improving the education quality that attracts parents and children to Jamestown, but is about reducing the educational quality of all high schools under the assumption that damaging Jamestown’s success will eventually achieve a better result.

Drop it here

Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center recently installed a convenient and permanent medication drop-off receptacle for easy disposal of leftover, unused and out-of-date prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. The community is welcome to come into the Outpatient Pharmacy, located just off the lobby of Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center at 100 Sentara Circle. The large green receptacle sits inside the entrance of the pharmacy, which is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parking lot trap

Recently, I was trapped in CW’s Lot 6 — the one that doubled its parking rate to $2 per hour in September. When trying to exit, the machine took in my ticket and displayed “invalid ticket” and “ate” the ticket. No ticket. How was I to exit? I pressed the HELP button on the machine and got no answer after many tries. I used the HELP button on the central pay kiosk also — no response. I looked for a telephone number everywhere. Deliberately, the administrators of this lot post no phone numbers. The only note on the kiosk said to visit the Williamsburg Inn, the Governor’s Inn or the Woodlands. The closest is a 15-20 minute walk. What incompetence. What disregard for customers and visitors. I stayed with the car looking for a way out while my wife walked to the Williamsburg Inn and no one there knew what to do. They foisted off the problem on security to deal with. Why not post the number for security at the lot? How about answering the HELP button call box?

Looking for …

Does anyone know of a hairdresser in the area who is good at styling thin and thinning hair?

There is a great resource for beginners in real estate, Virginia Housing Development Authority. They have an online class for first-time home buyers and many other resources, all at no cost. Visit www.vhda.com.

Does anyone know where I can find silver thermal socks locally at a reasonable price? They seem pretty pricey online. I have a pair of old ones from the Dollar Tree that are great, but worn out. They don’t seem to carry them anymore. Thanks for your help.

I am looking for a good dermatologist in Williamsburg. Does anyone have one they can recommend?

Could someone recommend a wood refinishing company? The furniture has watermarks, heat stains and is now warping from the abuse. Please respond to the Last Word.

Road worries

So, VDOT spent three or four days down by the junkyard past Anderson’s Corner last week, working on the ditches and clearing out the bushes. And then it rained this weekend and they got just as big a hole and water as they did before they started. Great use of our tax dollars, VDOT.

Home needed

Our brother-in-law, a Vietnam veteran who was 100 percent disabled (service related) passed away a year ago this past September, leaving our sister a widow. She is now residing in a memory care facility with two beautiful 6-year-old cats. The cats are brothers who have spent their whole life together and were loved dearly. We are desperately in need of finding a home for these two beautiful souls who are warm and loving and only need each other and someone to love and care for them. We pray that there is someone reading this who can provide that love and care and find so much love in return from these two beautiful cats. You can reach us at 757-790-9866.

Welcome Publix

Great news about Publix coming to Williamburg. It truly is a wonderful store, and I hope it will carry that wonderful Blue Bell Ice Cream. It’s super and I hope it will stock that. I have shopped at Publix in Florida and they’re first class. Thank you.

Revising history

It is not entirely clear to me how erecting Civil War monuments is "revising history." If anything, it is an attempt to represent history from a point of view, in the case of Confederate monuments, that of the losing side. The argument that they were erected as an “in your face” act is simply uninformed and specious: Civil War monuments were put up at the same time in both the North and the South. The South was destitute after the war and trying to recover; there were no funds to erect monuments. If you want to trot out the argument that the flourish of new monuments in the 50s was racist, consider that the centennial was approaching and monuments again were erected in the South, as well as the North. No matter which side you take, Civil War monuments represent the defeat of the South and the abolition of slavery. Surely everyone can agree on that. Monuments help us learn and remember our history. Removing them is the real attempt to revise history.

Panhandlers

To the person who asked how a panhandler would get to a job placement service: How did they get to their panhandling location? That same resourcefulness will most likely get them to the job service — if that is what they want. But then again, why would someone accept a minimum-wage job that pays maybe $60 a day and requires them to be responsible and work a schedule set by the employer? When panhandling, they set their own schedule and "work" where they choose. Not to mention they pay no taxes on what they get. I am not advocating this type of existence, but if a person really wanted to get out of a bad situation, they would find a way. We humans are quite resourceful. Give a hand up, not a hand out if you can.

Up in Washington

Before hats off to the president for sometimes donating his salary to different charities, we might want to see the president's tax returns. Donations to charities are tax deductible to the extent of the law. This president is not known for parting with his money without getting something in return. We will know if/when we ever see his so far protected tax returns.

Seriously, the Democrats are bragging about their election win in Alabama, but their candidate was up against an old man accused of sexual harassment and still it was a very close race. If the Republicans had anyone one else as their candidate, it would have been an easy win.

The projected tax reform deficit of $1.5 trillion is for over 10 years. The Obama deficit was $9.36 trillion in his eight years in office. If we survived eight years of fiscal irresponsibility with the Obama administration, we can survive the tax plan that actually gives me some of my money back.

The writer who accused the Republican Party of "fiscal irresponsibility" is either uninformed or not telling the truth. There can be no other explanation. Your former president almost doubled the national debt from $11 trillion to almost $20 trillion, an increase of more than 80 percent. He increased the debt more than all previous 43 presidents combined. Folks are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts.

Regardless of their policies and actions, great presidents are only those who behave in a mature and civilized manner. Self confident, strong, respected and respectful presidents avoid self-aggrandizement and do not insult others publicly. Donald Trump has been failing in all these aspects. His infantile insults, frequent lies, occasionally treasonous outbursts and some dubious and harmful policies are destroying America and its reputation rather than keeping it great. Voters who support Trump and think he is good president should be ashamed, as they would never tolerate a Democrat or an Independent with such behavior.

To the person complaining about Clinton being impeached: You do know the difference between the House of Representatives and the DOJ? The House impeaches and the Senate holds trial. The DOJ brings criminal charges and has nothing to do with Congress.

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