Last Word on higher water bills, Oct. 7

Student at high school IB program has far too much homework, parent says.

Water bills up

Ford's Colony water bills have gone through the roof. We just received our water bill for the quarter and it is better than triple what a normal water bill is. Yes, we have a lawn irrigation system but it was used sparsely to not at all. Yes, the little triangle on the meter was not moving so we did not have a leak. The problem seems to be in the billing office. Has the computer made a mistake or have rates increased? Talking with neighbors resulted in the same answer—water bills have gone through the roof.

Too much homework

I’m a parent of a daughter in high school and in the IB program, and I really feel that they’re getting so much homework. They’re getting up at 5:30 in the morning to catch a bus and have classes and they get home and they’ve got three, four, five hours of homework every night. They’re in the classroom. Why can’t the teachers give them the last half hour to work on their homework, rather than having them work until 11 o’clock at night doing homework?  Their brains are worn out by then. And how can that be of any beneficial help to retain anything if you have such a long day? They really need to do that. When I was in high school, we hardly brought home any homework because we had a study hall, unless we had tests or a quiz the next day. So, I think the school system, including James City County/Williamsburg really needs to look at that. These kids are just too tired, and it’s hard to comprehend when you’re so tired, exhausted by the end of the day.

Rural land zoning

Thanks to Linda Rice for bringing to public attention a requested change in zoning regulations to allow privately run for-profit events facilities on rural lands.  Most applications brought before the Planning Commission state who is making the request and for what purpose. This is a blanket change, and it would be nice to know who is behind this request and why it is needed. Wedding venues is used as an example, but there is no shortage of wedding venues in the city or county, including local golf courses. This leads to the suspicion about other “public events,” e.g., dirt bike tracks, public obstacle course competitions, etc., that have the potential to be very intrusive to nearby residential neighborhoods, with traffic, noise and light pollution. If the zoning change is passed, these public event permits could be given as a matter of right. These requested "events" should be made individually and decided on a case-by-case basis.

Taking a Knee                        

Let me begin by stating that I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment. However, after a long career in the corporate world, it was incumbent on me to represent the policies and values of my employer during the hours that I represented them. That being said, it should be incumbent on the athletes to represent the values and policies of the administrations they represent. I feel that this especially applies to people in various uniforms, be they high school, college, or professional. If the administrations involved decline to dictate a policy, then any ill will is a product of their own lack of resolve. But it should be noted that they possess every right, if not responsibility, to dictate what those policies will be.

Working at home    

I have been operating a successful home-based business for the past seven years.  I find myself increasingly annoyed by our service providers (yard maintenance and building project managers, especially) who think that it's perfectly okay to just drop by, without an appointment, to discuss ongoing projects.  Just because I am at home, and may be dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, does not mean I am not working just as hard as someone who commutes to an office!  Indeed, anyone who just happens to be at home during the day, be they retired, a stay-at-home parent or a non day-shift worker, deserves the courtesy of an appointment rather than a "drop in" when dealing with a service provider.  I also ask that when I use email to communicate with you that you return the favor and use email to respond.  Do not call me during my work day to discuss things that are related to my house.  My old employer wouldn't have allowed personal calls, and neither does my current situation!

Garrison Funeral Home

Yes, the building at the corner of Garrison Drive and Mount Vernon Avenue was indeed Garrison Funeral Home. However, it had originally been located on Richmond Road in front of where the building is now that houses—I believe it’s Staples.  But it was out on Richmond Road. Mr. Garrison left that funeral home on Garrison Drive when he built and moved into a new funeral home, which is now Bucktrout, located on the corner of Ironbound and Strawberry Plains Road. Mr. Garrison ran that particular location until he sold to Bucktrout, which had been in the city next to old Bell Hospital. Just a little history.

Road manners

The other day, as I sat in line near the intersection of Mooretown and Rochambeau, I saw a car making a left turn onto Rochambeau at the same time someone on Mooretown was making a right turn. The left-turning car had the arrow but the right-turning car entered the road without creating a hazard for the other car. Nevertheless, the driver of the car making the left turn sounded his horn several times to display his irritation at the audacity of the other driver. We need to pay more attention to cooperating and less attention on our “right” of way. Perhaps there would be fewer collisions and less anger on the roads.

Presidential politics

As a practicing Catholic, Senator Tim Kaine calls himself a Catholic, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  He has repeatedly defied Catholic teaching in many areas—most particularly on the sacredness of human life and traditional marriage between one man and one woman—teachings that are at the heart of the Catholic Church.  His support for abortion, same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, transgender bathrooms and no religious freedom puts him squarely in opposition to the Catholic faith.

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