Last word on school buildings, April 10

'Falling apart'

Reference the recent third round of funding increases to the school system and the quote attributed to the JCC Administrator Bryan Hill in the April 5 Gazette: "No one wants to see schools falling apart." Really? The roofs are leaking, the walls are coming down? This is a platitude and is meaningless. Will you ask him to define "falling apart?"

Grammar check-up

Speak correctly and avoid bad grammar! "Where is he?" and not "Where is he at?" "Where is it?" and not "Where is it at!" Using "at" incorrectly signals ignorance and poor education. Teachers, colleagues, parents, others who do so are wrong. You will be at the head of your class if you do not end sentences with "at."

Colonial Williamsburg

I value the work of CW and its leadership to preserve and protect this amazing legacy we have here in Williamsburg. However, the salaries of CW President Reiss, and the many large benefits that are also given to him and the vice presidents, need to be adjusted, as there is such a large monetary loss each year. What if they were all to take a reduction of 10 percent? Also, increase the Good Neighbor Pass yearly fee of $10 to $20 (still an amazing value), as well as allow visitors to pay for each attraction on site (rather than a large day ticket or having to walk back to the Lumbar House to purchase) as another option. They could have a hand-held machine to swipe debit/credit cards at each site if people were only able to see one or two during their visit. The area needs to be open for people to see all the richness that its history holds, and if CW wishes to invite them in then it needs to be more user friendly. Many people come to walk and end up dining, buying and viewing trade shops and exhibits. Let's not make it more difficult to experience this national treasure. Please, CW leadership, try numerous other venues/avenues before fencing off Colonial Williamsburg ... it has to be the very last idea on anyone's list.

I am totally against fencing in the restored area and charging admission. I have lived here more than 65 years and enjoy walking in the restored area, as do many other residents. John D. Rockefeller Jr. would not want this area to be fenced off. He restored the area for everyone to enjoy. I see a lot of tourists buying CW passes to enter the buildings of their choice. Some would just prefer to walk around and enjoy the scenery that way. Please don't let Colonial Williamsburg fence in our beautiful city. That would be a horrible sight to see.

I'm not sure if Mitchell Reiss and the Board of Trustees are that short-sighted or just posturing for something else. Did they come up with a "lost revenue" number by looking at the number of tourists on DoG Street and assume that all non-payers would still be there if they had to pay the standard admission? How many of these non-tourists stop in the shops, market or garden and make purchases? Or locals who run into these same establishments, without purchasing a ticket, for gifts? And with the explosion of social media, what about all the free advertising from non-paying tourists who photograph and post about their wonderful walk around the Colonial Capital? I've read the stories about cuts to positions the board has taken to reduce expenses and the successes they have had, such as the Haunted Halloween. Maybe it's time to invest in some creative employees who understand revenues, pricing and marketing to further enhance the visitors' experience while raising the necessary cash flow, in which the board is so interested.

Solar farm

A solar panel power system in Norge? You've got to be kidding. In our many travels, my husband and I have seen many of these farms and, believe me, they are not pretty. Rows and rows of ugly glass panels instead of rows and rows of corn or fields of wheat or grass growing. It seems to me that there is plenty of power to our area. Why do we need glass panels? I sure hope the supervisors consider the request very carefully. Stop and think of what will be given up.

Virtual reality

Re: The virtual reality chairs mentioned in a recent Last Word: There are plenty of available shops where a business providing new and different entertainment, and presumably even "travel" and education, as in descriptive visits to places people would like to visit and study, would fit here nicely. Sounds wonderful and I hope some entrepreneurs will look into it all. Either near Merchants Square or Main Street, New Town, so foot traffic works.

Looking for ...

Wanted: Coin appraiser. One who does not buy. Please email jhc64@msn.com.

For the person looking for an excellent massage therapist for fibromyalgia and trigger points: I recommend Susan Soderholm at 757-253-1144.

Are there any restaurants that serve grass-fed beef or grass-fed beef burgers in the area?

Would like to speak with the lady with pending surgery and the beautiful reddish brown service dog that I had a conversation with at Walmart on March 30. I have some questions about service dogs. Please give me a call at 757-229-6175 or 757-813-0362. If no answer, leave a message and I will return the call. Thanks.

Yes, I really miss Dr. Murphy, the dentist, since he's retired. Has anybody who had Dr. Murphy as a doctor found someone as good or better than he was? If you could leave your choices in the Last Word, it would be a big help. Thank you.

I'm looking for an experienced and reliable landscaping company to grade my backyard for proper drainage and install some simple plantings for a post-renovation project that left the yard in disrepair. Please post replies to Last Word.

In response to April 5 Last Word: To the person looking for an Avon rep: I am one near the Lightfoot area. I'll be happy to service you. I can be reached at Abeautifulyoutoo@gmail.com.

Does anyone know of a company in the area that cleans E-Z Breeze patio windows? Mine are very water spotted but too difficult for me to clean. Please reply to Last Word. Thank you.

Does anyone know of a responsible cleaning person or service in the area? I am looking for a good, reasonably priced cleaning service or individual to clean my home in Toano. If interested, please email cleaningbkb5@gmail.com.

Answering your call for a trusted Avon lady with almost 30 years' experience and still delivering. Please call Beckie at 757-565-2336.

Unmarked van

We were puzzled and uneasy to see a new unmarked white van on Prince George street — blue lights flashing but no insignia telling us what it was. It had apparently stopped a car — both were on the "no parking" side east of Boundary Street. The man in the van driver's seat was in uniform and had a mounted laptop or something beside him. Our question is, when did we get unidentified vehicles following and stopping people? That is so scary on so many levels. We wouldn't pull over for an unmarked vehicle, wouldn't stop in fear of being harmed by sham police. Isn't our country a scary enough place right now that we don't need any local puzzles in place?

Waller Mill Park

I cannot believe the forest destruction that has been permitted at Waller Mill Park. Was the fact that this was wildlife habitat considered? What about erosion? How much soil will be washed into our drinking water when we have the next hurricane with a five-day rain? Only a few small trees were left standing — they will probably be gone, also. While we are in the business of a face change here, why not repair and open the restrooms between shelters two and three that have been closed for years? If you visit Waller Mill, don't forget: No open fires, no feeding wildlife, no fishing from banks. It may destroy our park.

Arts district

I was gratified to see the disappearance of the risible "arts district" banners from Richmond Road. The idea was naive and ineffective. If the city wants a true "arts district," it already has it, and the banners should herald that area. I am referring to the area beginning just after the Presbyterian Church on Richmond Road and extending up Jamestown Road to just beyond the Muscarelle Museum. It would encompass the area where Second Sunday is located and Merchant's Square, where there are the frequent musical programs, not to mention Art in the Square and Occasion for the Arts. It would also encompass the Kimball Theater, extend up Jamestown Road where Phi Beta Kappa Hall has theatrical and dance events and, of course, the Muscarelle. That would be an "arts district" worth celebrating.

Thank you

My mother is a resident in an excellent assisted care facility here in Williamsburg. During a recent quarantine, it was understandably requested that families limit their visits in order to help prevent the spread of germs. It was hard not to see her on a daily basis, but the wonderful caregivers from At Home Care Hospice continued to visit, provide ongoing care and report to us on her condition several times a week. Knowing she was doing well and her needs were being taken care of provided a great deal of solace to us when we were unable to be there in person. Thank you to At Home Care Hospice for caring for us, too.

Space pens

In response to the recent comment about NASA spending millions on space pens, the truth is a much more inspiring story. I recently came across this topic in the book, "The Gravity Well." Both the U.S. and the Russians originally used pencils. They worked, but they presented a materials hazard. Both the U.S. and Russia pursued space pens, but NASA stopped the effort when it proved to cost more than $1 million. Inspired by NASA, a pen manufacturer then invented pressurized ink cartridges and sold Fisher Space pens to both NASA and Russia.

Recommended

A big thank you to Jack Sheppard, master electrician, who came to our aid again. After going without hot showers for three to four days, we now have hot water again, thanks to him. Jack is experienced, knowledgeable, affordable and courteous, always explaining to his customers exactly what is needed and how it will be performed. For expert electrical work, call him at 757-877-3575. You won't regret it. Thanks, Jack!

Remember the name Cyber Wizards if you need any computer problems solved. Randy came to our rescue and solved issues that had been bothering us on our computer for a while. He was on time, fixed the problems, gave us some helpful hints and was very courteous and friendly. Price was very reasonable. We would highly recommend him. His phone number is 757-273-0708.

I'm a patient at Tidewater Physical Therapy, and I just want to say that Todd Conway is amazing. I didn't have any hope with my neck until he started working with me. He is like a human traction machine.

We wanted a gas fireplace for our living room and went to a well-established business for some help. We were totally lost and disappointed, to say the least. After our second visit, we actually thought about scraping the idea. Then we met Barry at Hea Living Patio Hearth, located at 1480 Quarterpath Road. With no more than a picture and our budget, Barry gave us the fireplace of our dreams. His team of professionals walked us through each step and we met some quality individuals. On time, within budget and some of the kindest people you will have the pleasure to meet.

Beautification

With so many city businesses vacant, sold and even razed, it seems like an excellent time for planning staff and citizens to finally seriously look at beautifying the city. The W&M campus is gorgeous, Colonial Williamsburg is always a treat and even they are looking at beautifying. The city, too, needs to take advantage of the vacant buildings, cleared lots and see how to improve overall attractiveness. Beautiful cities pull more visitors than dull, messy or boring ones. Please take advantage of the timely window for positive action.

Too many vetoes

In the March 29 Virginia Gazette, Page 4A: We agree with the statement made by William Howell, who is the speaker of the House for Virginia, speaking of Gov. McAuliffe, saying, "This new record is a disappointing result of four years of failed leadership by a disengaged governor, and is certainly not something to be celebrated." Well, that says it all.

Free to you

Free firewood (birch): Please call 221-0989 for pick up.

Free twin bed and box spring in good condition. Includes bed frame and headboard. You must pick up. Call 757-634-1409.

President Trump

I wonder if there are Republicans in the area that are having bio remorse with Donald Trump. The health care passage was — the attempt to pass a new health care law was a debacle and now we're learning that Donald Trump has connections to Russian intelligence. This is really a big mess. He's not draining the swamp at all. Thank you.

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