Last Word on Christmas thanks, Dec. 27

Christmas thanks

Sidecar Santa has completed his rounds for the year and would like to thank everyone who helped me. I was able to pass out more than 3,500 beanies and other toys to children around Williamsburg. This was my sixth year and I have passed out more than 10,000 toys over the years. I could not do this without the support of my many elves. From those who ride with me to those who help me collect, every one of them helps spread Christmas spirit. I want to especially thank the many people who give me their beanie collections so I can do what I do, these are the true Santa’s helpers. I am now on Facebook at Sidecar Santa and would love to be tagged in any pictures that were taken of me so others can see the joy in the children’s faces.

While driving on Richmond Road, I noticed two bus stop shelters with large wreaths inside. How wonderful that now, besides having a Sidecar Santa, we seem to have a bus shelter Santa. Thanks.

Thank you to Sidecar Santa for handing out Beanie Babies to children in Colonial Williamsburg. This is the third year my children have received from you and it is delightful to have someone bring Christmas cheer to Williamsburg.

I was shopping for poinsettias a few weeks ago and went to Williamsburg Pottery. Not only were they the least expensive I had found, but the customer service was superb. A representative came over and put my five plants in sleeves, placed them on a cardboard tray and then went to the trouble of wrapping tape around the "bundle" so they would not tip over in the car. I left with a huge smile on my face.

New urbanism

How interesting that as we read about plans for a redo of the Williamsburg Shopping Center, the Daily Press would have such a relevant article on work in other places — closed retail spaces replaced with "experiences" rather than stores selling "stuff." And that is part of what is happening at High Street. So, let’s hope the designers, builders of new spaces here are paying attention to all the new realities, including "blending living, working and retail ... a return to new urbanism with more live, work and play." Sounds like a good plan. We'd love to see this here.

Christmas tree

When did the large spruce near the Powder Magazine become the “Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Tree” and not the Williamsburg Community Christmas Tree? I have lived here for more than 70 years and attended the tree lighting many times, starting when I was in Matthew Whaley Elementary School in the 1950s. Our school students formed a star shape around the tree one year and sang carols. As far as I know, the tree has been considered the community tree, even though it is located on CW property — it is actually at least the second tree in the same location. The mayor and a civic association all spoke and carried out the ceremony, and it felt like an event for the people who live in town, not so much for tourists. The last couple of years, all of a sudden, it has become the “Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Tree lighting,” and I’m not happy with that.

Looking for …

Shopping in Belk’s Dec. 16, I seemed to have lost two bags that had presents for my family. If you accidentally took them home with you, could you please return them to Belk’s or call me? My phone number is 757-258-0124. Sadly, I have no money to replace the family’s gifts that I purchased. Thank you.

The Colonial Williamsburg Employee Craft Show Jam Lady, Jennifer, can be reached after 6 p.m. at 757- 565-2733 for availability of jam varieties. Thanks.

I was in the Verizon store on Dec. 20 and there was a customer in there who had fallen. I want to know how they are doing. I was the one who assisted them until EMS arrived. Please, if anyone knows how they are doing, please respond to the Last Word. Thanks.

We have been visited for the last week or so by a beautiful orange cat. He (we think he's a he) is obviously a pet, but ravenously hungry every day. If you think your missing cat might be here on Hickory Sign Post Road, please call 757-871-3653.

Can anyone recommend a groomer for a Persian cat? We have a yellow adult Persian cat whose fur gets very tangled, especially in his hind quarters. We used to have a groomer who came to the house, but she didn't work out. I will take him to the groomer if I can find a good one in the Williamsburg area.

Are there people or groups in this area that have an interest in, or experience with, alternative treatment for cancer? Is anyone familiar with the protocols suggested by Null, Ali, Budwig or Somers? Please respond to healthtodaynow@gmail.com.

Does anyone know were Dr. Paula Wozniak went from Olde Towne Medical Center? Thank you.

In response to the Dec. 20 commenter, I recommend Furniture Clinic and Restoration Services on Ironbound Road. They did an amazing job repairing two of my prized pieces of furniture, similarly damaged.

In response to the person looking for a dermatologist in the Williamsburg area: I highly recommend Dr. Ragi or Dr. Cornelius, who are with Dermatology Specialists in McLaws Circle. Their telephone number is 757-259-9466. They are both excellent doctors.

In response to the person looking for a hairdresser who is good at styling thin or thinning hair: I recommend Karen at Shear Creations in McLaws Circle — telephone number 757-229-3200.

Does anyone know of a grant or any other resources that a person older than 50 can use for assistance for college tuition in the educational field? If you can help, please leave a phone number in the Last Word.

Elegant Inn

We recently visited the newly renovated Williamsburg Inn. It was very busy, lots of guests and diners. The Christmas lights make it a fairyland. The lobby is very well done. The new rear patio is inviting and the fire pit makes it comfortable in the chill. The Rockefeller Room is elegant, the food was delicious and the service was impeccable. We had a memorable dinner. CW's effort to make it a five diamond was successful. Kudos to Mitchell Reiss and his staff for upgrading the Inn. It was excellent but tired before; it is vibrant and delightful now.

The lights at the Inn exterior are mighty bright. What happened to its subtle elegance?

Price shopping

Local drug prices can vary enormously. I looked on GoodRX.com and discovered the cost of one of my prescription drugs varied by a factor of seven in the Williamsburg area, from a high of almost $150 to a low of less than $20 (at Harris Teeter) for the exact same thing. I don't know how this comes about, but I urge you to check out GoodRX.com and shop around.

Tax plans

I wonder whether the passage of big breaks for business owners will inspire the Trump family to have their products made in America now?

Here we go again, the forgotten senior citizens. I have heard how the tax cuts will help the large corporations grow richer, how married families with children will receive double deductions for dependents, child care and more. There is also a plan that would give single-parent families a huge tax break. This is all well and good except for the plan that will make the corporations and their CEOs wealthier with the absurd thinking that they will pass it on to their employees. We hear of no plan to help us seniors. Yes, we just received a whopping 2 percent increase in our Social Security benefits. The last time this happened, Medicare premiums went up and took that. I worked at my trade for 50 years paying my taxes and premiums for health care for me and my family. I currently have Medicare and supplemental insurance for me and my wife. The way the rates keep going up, I think this is my last year for the supplemental plan. I know there are many other seniors out there with similar circumstance or worse. Our leaders, both Republican or Democrat, have deserted us. We have no idea of any plans for tax relief or anything else that will benefit us.

I would like to know why Democrats are so against American corporations getting a much needed tax reduction. Do Democrats understand that American corporations employ Americans? Do they understand that Americans own American corporations?

Trump can call his tax cut the largest in history till the cows come home. It will still be the eighth largest. Even Truman's was larger.

Why did all Democrats vote against tax reform? It lowers taxes, doubles the child tax credit to $2,000, and doubles the standard deduction to $24,000 per family. It repeals the individual mandate, a regressive tax that hurts lower- to middle-class Americans who choose not to purchase an Affordable Care Act plan. This bill does not touch Medicare. It results in more investments and job creation in America, and ultimately, lower deficits. Where’s the Democrats plan?

Paul Ryan's brag that the tax bill will give workers a raise is another lie from the Republicans. The majority of American workers will see a small reduction in their withholding, which is money they have already worked for. It will only be a raise if their employers pay them more for the same work. And after 2020, this drop in the bucket will go away, leaving the very rich with all of the benefits of this bill.

AT&T didn’t waste time. The tax bill passes, they announce that they’re giving $1,000 bonuses to all of their employees and they’re investing about a billion dollars. Wait to see what the other companies do. Happy day!

With the passage of the tax bill, the president's secret agenda to "make American Blue again" has taken one more step toward success.

After the wave to throw out Republicans in New Jersey, Virginia and Alabama, the GOP sees the writing on the wall. This tax cut was a pay forward to rich donors who will give million dollar lobby jobs to the GOP who are thrown out next year.

Recommended

I had heard of Shoofly Pie but never knew what I was missing. The Shoofly Pie with soft serve ice cream combo at the Shoofly Dairy Bar is the best dessert I have ever tasted. I have been back several times with friends and family and they cannot believe how great it tastes. We are looking forward to more Shoofly Pie in the near future.

Road worries

So you now charge $2 an hour to park in the lot behind Merchants Square. I think you should be able to afford to fix the gigantic pothole in the lot directly behind the handicapped spaces that is big enough to swallow a wheel.

Animal cruelty

I would like to respond to the writer who believes we shouldn't be interfering in Korea's dog meat trade. To some degree, the author has a point. However, speaking as a vegetarian, I can't understand how someone can love their pets, yet have no problem consuming other animals that have been raised in horrific conditions on factory farms. The raising of animals for meat and dairy products is a major contributor to pollution and global warming. The world would be a much kinder place if we all left cruelty off our plates.

Panhandlers

To the citizens who are so concerned about panhandlers in Williamsburg marring our beautiful landscape: I would say, rather than spending your time getting a sign put up by the county or city, why not support the consortium of churches that work all winter to feed and house the homeless? There are homeless people in our community — at least 30 of them a night — and I also suggest that you read the Bible, where it says, “We are our brothers keepers,” and read the story of the Good Samaritan. There are lots of things that I would like to put up signs about and it never gets done as quickly as that one did. What if you don’t agree with the concealed carry law? I would prefer that people not carry a gun in my community, especially one that I can’t see, but no one will ever post a sign about that.

I noticed on TV news recently that Chesapeake now has a $350 fine for panhandlers. It has become out of control in JCC and makes our county look awful, not to mention it lowers property values, thus tax revenue. I own a business in town and one panhandler told one of my employees he makes sometimes $50 an hour (tax free). They then come in and buy cigarettes and alcohol. JCC supervisors, we can do better. Write and enforce a new law!.Fellow citizens, please don’t give them money.

Up in Washington

Trump is not as awful as CNN says nor as great as Fox says. Same thing applies to Obama and all previous presidents. Lyndon Johnson said, "If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: ‘President can't swim.’ " Stop listening to the extreme views of the talking heads on TV and make an effort to support all of your elected officials. Peace on Earth.

To the writer who stated that President Trump “is destroying America” with his words: That was already done by Obama’s eight years of fiscal irresponsibility. Actions speak louder than words.

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