Last Word on the Kimball Theatre, July 29

Kimball Theatre

One of our favorite plays was to be at the Kimball July 21, courtesy of British theater films: "Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Here" by Tom Stoppard. It is maddening that scheduled events were abruptly canceled because "rampant losses" finally, overnight, tipped the local theater. Who knew the theater had such staying power while apparently carrying so much deb?t! How many believe the figures?

Thank you, Nanci Bond, for urging public acquisition of the Kimball auditorium/theater by the city and county just as our schools, libraries and recreation center are permanently available. The current arrangement with CW and W&M will, we all hope and expect, allow currently booked community groups to keep planned dates. But the contract also allows times for the city and county to work out needed arrangements with CW. Every community needs access to an auditorium. Yes, we are lucky Mr. Rockefeller agreed and had the theater built years ago in the charming, popular and totally convenient Merchants Square. Keeping the movies and live shows in the Kimball helps local businesses keep customers, as who doesn't get a meal or shop before or after a visit to the Kimball?

We now read that William and Mary is leasing the Kimball for three years, initially as a transition to allow the college to refurbish Phi Beta Kappa — good news as we will likely get some good programming. But the lease seems exceedingly high, given one to wonder just why the foundation is doing so poorly, as other businesses in Merchants Square will surely also contribute substantially. Moreover, the charge of $65,000 annually for maintenance of the common area is even more astonishing when, again, lots of merchants will be asked the same. I cannot for the life of me understand how the Merchants common area maintenance can be that costly when I add up what others in the area are also contributing. All this leads to an urgent request given all the disturbing news coming from the foundation — let's have the budget made public, and let's have the fundamentals of the strategic plan announced recently by President Reiss made public as well. This is a vital public interest since the well-being not only of the foundation, but with it the economy of the city of Williamsburg and surrounding counties, is at stake.

The recent fire drill around the Kimball Theatre is indicative of either egregious mismanagement at Colonial Williamsburg, a deterioration of relations between the College of William and Mary and CW, or both. It's inconceivable that CW wouldn't have explored the option of leasing to the college before announcing the theater's closure. But evidently they did not.

It's great that William and Mary will keep the Kimball open, and let's pray they seriously factor in the regular groups already booked: Youth Orchestra, Opera in Williamsburg, Williamsburg Symphony. But with the bigger movie theaters catering to the "blow up the world" fans, the rest of us need our movies. The stories, different cultures, perspectives, languages have been a treat! Please tell us movies will continue. Meanwhile, surely people will be working with the city for the long-term arrangement on the much needed facility, to include movies and performances.

Easy drop-off

In case anyone is wondering, the library book drop at Martin's is still operational. I called the library and they said they would leave it there until they were asked to take it away.

Campus building

Architectural Review Board members don't like the design for the proposed Jewish center slated to be at Jamestown Road and Cary Street. Joe Hertzler said, "I don't see anything else like this. I don't see how it ties in with the architecture we have in town." How about looking next door at the Williamsburg United Methodist Church! The proposed Jewish center is all brick, with a Palladian window in the center section, with a white columned porch. It would blend in perfectly with the adjacent church. Just because there are still some very old white clapboard houses along Jamestown Road, which the college uses, doesn't mean that new architecture should match them. Check out the proposed design — think about the other proposed apartments to replace most of Williamsburg Shopping Center. They look like inner city public housing, so better not approve that if you don't approve this very nice looking design of the Jewish Center. I'll remember to be watching Mr. Hertzler's vote on projects. What about the new, very modern city building? Does that fit in with Williamsburg style?

Joe Hertzler said the plans for the Jewish Center are at odds with what he considers traditional building design in the city. "I don't see anything else like this," he said. "I don't see how it ties in with the architecture we have in town." Mr. Hertzler and the rest of the Architectural Review Board members need to take a better look around town. Look down the street to the fire station, police station, library, the defunct health clinic on N. Henry Street, the City Hall itself or even any of the CW hotels. None "ties in with the architecture we have in town," whatever that means. The planned Jewish center's architectural drawing is not so different from the style of the Methodist church that is/will be next door.

Road worries

I wish to respond to the writer who felt it was OK to strike bicyclists with his car. Really? Except for interstates, we all share the use of the road. That means we are all responsible for our mutual safety: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and auto drivers. Are you going to strike the elderly person who is too slow crossing the road and inconveniencing you? You seem very angry at others. Please give up your license and get a medical evaluation.

New digs?

I have a suggestion for the Williamsburg Police Department. One block away is a building, not that old and the last time I was by there it was vacant, you know the medical clinic for the rich that folded. If nothing else, police administrative offices and record storage could move to the now empty building. Also, if the city can't afford full asking price, they could use eminent domain.

If the primary need for the city police department is storage for old records, why not find, modify, adapt existing space in another building somewhere? There certainly seems to be no serious requirement that old documents need to be on premise. The existing space makes good sense for the administration, dispatch so don't mess with the building. Find new storage space elsewhere in the city. Heaven knows there are plenty of empty buildings.

Looking for ...

Used moving boxes. If you have some I can pick up, please call 757-713-4094.

Looking for a few bar stools that are used but in good condition if anyone wants to get rid of any. I can be reached at 804-413-1622. Thanks!

Does the College of William and Mary have an American flag that is displayed/flown daily? If so, where is it?

Does anyone know where Dr. Omar Hasham is practicing now? His previous dental office said that he moved out of town, but I know that he is still living here. He has been my family's all-time favorite dentist. He is wonderful.

I have written a novel and I was wondering if there is a local organization or group that reads novels to determine if they are good and worth publishing. If you know of any group that does this, please email me at 10thingers@cox.net

Looking for some used tires that are in good condition (size P23575R15), possibly with the rim if anyone has any they'd like to donate. My number is 804-413-1622.

Medicare costs

Money is taken out of every paycheck you receive for Social Security and Medicare. When you retire and start collecting Social Security, a big chunk is taken out for Medicare plus supplemental and drugs. It is not free like so many people think.

To the person complaining about free health care: Medicare — you pay into your whole working life and at 65 pay a quarterly amount and anything not covered by Medicare. Obamacare — you pay a monthly fee and some people have huge monthly fees. Medicaid is the only free care and they can use the free health clinics.

Colonial Williamsburg

Let's all be calm and recognize that our property values depend in huge measure on the reputation and existence of the healthy, beautiful, open Colonial Williamsburg. Business income depends on CW visitors and employees. Hotels, restaurants, time shares all depend in some part on Colonial Williamsburg. Our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness depends both on the educated and well-spoken (and written) past members of Colonial Williamsburg. As does our current condition depend on today's Colonial Williamsburg grounds, buildings, museums, libraries, programs and interpreters. So we really do need to continue our support unless we all plan to move far away. Let our constructive suggestions be sent to CW, and let's be constructive and positive.

Walk it off

The city of Williamsburg Quarterpath Recreation Center offers a free program for people who want to exercise but do not want aerobics or may not be physically able to do other types of exercises. Walkers can walk at their own pace in the comfort of the air conditioned/heated gymnasium. You keep track of the laps you walk and then record them on a sign-in sheet. The center translates them into miles for you. I just walked 200 miles after a cardiac arrest last year. Come join us from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday, 757-259-3760.

Changing parties

I have been a registered Republican all of my life but now it is time to opt out of the Republican Party. Its leadership (particularly Trump and his clan) and direction are an embarrassment. How does one go about doing this?

It's sad the party of Lincoln is now the party of Putin. Maybe GOP stands for Good Ole' Putin.

Health insurance

Twice the Republicans have failed to repeal Obamacare. What does it take to realize the better approach is to repair the act? There are parts some like, parts some don't like. No bill will make everyone happy. Get together Congressional leaders (both sides), physicians, insurers and patients and amend what we have. It will be much easier to amend one section at a time than to scrap what we have and start over.

To the individual who stated, "The Constitution does not guarantee medical care, housing, welfare or food stamps" should go back and read the preamble: "We the people..." One of the very first lines of the Constitution states "...promote the general Welfare..." Even in today's most pedantic interpretation of the Constitution, certainly those items the commenter dismisses as not being "guaranteed" fall under promotion of the general welfare of all Americans.

Useful information

What a mind-opening article on the impact of severe stress to children and the amazing program in Asheville, N.C., to provide a school experience that addresses such stress. If Asheville has children who are suffering, we assume Williamsburg does also. Any hope for such programs here? And what about parenting programs for the parents of the "sick with stress" children? Or even, why not teach children and adults not to have children until they have job skills and are actually capable of raising children?

Free to you

Free to a good home: 22 assorted Canon 220 and 221 black and color Pixma ink cartridges. Call 757-778-0980 if you are certain these cartridges will work with your Canon printer.

Right at home

Isn't it true that a branch of Queens Creek once passed through the Governors' Palace grounds and in back of the Carter House? And that is why Carter had a formal garden (and formal rooms) in the back of the house?

Panhandling

Every day on the Monticello and Route 199 corridor there are increasing panhandlers with signs asking for money. They park at a nearby restaurant and panhandle at multiple stoplights all day leaving behind trash, kicking at cars if they don't offer money and swearing. Does JCC not have an ordinance to stop this? It is getting out of control.

Pet care

Please be mindful of taking your pets out on the blacktop and concrete during these very hot days. They can burn their paws quickly. If you would not walk on the blacktop barefoot, please don't ask them to.

Recommended

My wife and I tried the lunch buffet at Williamsburg Lodge's Traditions restaurant recently and were very pleasantly surprised. A lot has been said about the recent changes at Colonial Williamsburg, but the quality and selection of the buffet food combined with the modest cost make this change a winner. It's available only on Fridays and Saturdays, starting at noon.

We have a gas-log fireplace we have been trying for three years to make work for more than an hour or two. We had decided to get a new gas-log set but couldn't even get on a waiting list for an appointment at one vendor. Finally, we found H.E.A. Living. Manager Barry Joseph and two techs arrived at our home at the appointed time. They were here for almost two hours, much of the time with Mr. Joseph on the phone with the manufacturer. Bottom line: They fixed our fireplace, and we appreciate their diligence and knowledge.

I've had multiple projects done by Bob's Upholstery on Second Street and each piece continues to look great even though some were done years ago. Phone number is 253-0216.

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