Last Word on campus growth, April 15

Campus growth

In reading the Gazette about William and Mary President Reveley's retirement, we were struck by the line, "he still plans on pushing growth in and around campus." Watching houses come down on Jamestown Road and hotels converted to dorms on Richmond Road, we are very concerned that the college not take over our tiny city. Many, if not most of us, came here because of Colonial Williamsburg and the college. Don't crowd us out and make Williamsburg unlivable!

Overbooked United

If it were so important to get airline crew to Louisville that they had to throw passengers off the flight, then United should have offered more money to volunteers to change flights and keep upping the offer until people accepted it or bought tickets on a competing airline's flight. United bought itself millions of dollars of bad publicity when the photos of the bloodied face of a 69-year-old man went viral. If you don't want this kind of behavior by the airlines to continue, write your congressman and definitely don't fly United.

Charitable donations

In response to the person seeking to verify the effectiveness of Paws for Purple Hearts: The nonprofit in question does poorly at delivering on what they advertise (in terms of money spent doing what they say they do). According to the organization's 2012-13 tax return, just 1 percent of their $297,000 income went toward providing dogs. The majority of their income went to fundraising expense, payment of management fees and wages. Their 2013-14 tax return doesn't mention spending any money on providing dogs. You can check on any legal USA nonprofit's status and view their tax returns at GuideStar.org (a Williamsburg-based company), Charity Navigator or CitizenAudit.org.

The person who asked in the Last Word about the charity Paws for Purple Hearts could consult the wise giving guide published by the Better Business Bureau. This bureau can be reached at 703-276-0100. National charities are researched and accredited accordingly. Paws for Purple Hearts, unfortunately, did not disclose their finances; therefore, did not meet standards to be accredited by BBB. Thank you.

Colonial Williamsburg

For the contributor who suggested that locals should pay more than $10 for a Good Neighbor pass, it should be understood that originally, Mr. Rockefeller dictated that none of the local residents of the area should ever have to pay to enjoy CW. Having lived here for 15 years, the passes were free when we first moved here and eventually the decision was made to charge $10 for each pass. The decision was controversial, but most of us locals have paid the money to continue our passes. Additional increases in fees for a Good Neighbor pass would not increase the revenues all that much for CW and would go against Rockefeller's original plan for CW.

Last Monday morning, there were long lines of people waiting to buy CW tickets at both the Lumber House and Merchant's Square locations. A man from South Carolina said he had been in line 45 minutes and was about to give up. At Merchant's Square, there was not one map in the holders on the outside of the building — at least eight empty places normally hold them. Why can't there be a system to buy tickets on a smartphone with kiosks where you could print them out? If CW wants everyone to have a ticket to walk inside a fence, they'd better get a way better system of ticketing.

I work at CW and think the fence is a great idea. I cannot go to Busch Gardens or Water County or any of the parks and just look around or grab a bite to eat or take my 83-year-old mother to enjoy the flowers or bring family from out of town in for free. If you live here, what is $10 a year?

It was an interesting juxtaposition of items in Saturday's Gazette. On the last page, the frustration of area residents continues to rage in the Last Word about Colonial Williamsburg's desire to fence in its property to force ticket sales. On the front page, a wonderful article about Busch Gardens' newest ride, which seems quite popular. Busch Gardens continues to invest in its attraction, giving today's families experiences they are willing and happy to pay for, and the park continues to grow. If the comments in the Gazette are any indication, most folks are only willing to visit CW if it is free. Is the issue that CW wants to erect a fence, or that residents don't believe they offer anything worth paying for?

It seems to me that the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation — if they fence in the district — will not need my annual donation, which is not very much, but it's the money I've given them for many, many years. And I certainly feel that I wouldn't have to do that once that's done.

Busy squirrels

The squirrels in our yard must be smarter than those referred to by submitters to the recent Last Word. Not only do they hang upside down on our thistle feeder and lick out the niger seed through the tiny openings, but they also don't mind cayenne pepper. The meal worms that we put out in hanging flower pots for the blue birds were instantly found by our squirrels. They jumped from our porch railing several feet in the air, landed in the flower pots and ate every last worm, making sure to spill plenty of potting soil onto our porch. As for squirrel proof feeders, we don't think there are any because the squirrels and/or raccoons have destroyed several "squirrel proof" feeders. We take our feeders in at night to preserve them a bit longer.

The squirrels are invading our home. If you have been a victim of these very destructive rodents, please let us know of an experienced, responsible company to take care of this problem in a prompt, efficient and effective manner. Thank you.

Pot holes, too?

Now that the VDOT has decided to move ahead on the Longhill project, will they continue the VDOT tradition of built-in potholes on every manhole and utility cover, like they did on Ironbound from the baseball park to Five Corners?

Upper York woes

It seems that the mid to upper part of York County has been forgotten. Second Street has had major improvements, until you get to the county line. Closed, overgrown hotels, gas stations, half empty shopping centers and now vandalism and graffiti. Just annex us off to Williamsburg so we can clean up and present a good image to our tourists and residents.

Governor's vetoes

I must disagree with the callers in Saturday's and Wednesday's Gazette who are dumping on Gov. McAuliffe for his vetoes. What the governor has done is protected the civil rights of Virginians from onerous and restrictive bills that were designed to punish the civil rights of certain minorities within the commonwealth. He's certainly doing the job I hired him to do.

Reveley retiring

Having been a rabble-rouser myself decades ago on an Ivy League campus, I am confident that with time and experience, the indignant young woman who lambasted Taylor Reveley will look back on her William and Mary days with gratitude and the wisdom that comes with age. This gracious and charming true southern gentleman has sacrificed much to make the college the national and respected showplace it is today. Our hats are tipped to you: a hard act to follow!

Looking for ...

To the person wanting to repurpose a piece of furniture because they are downsizing: The place to go is Revibe on York Street just before Valero. They specialize in "redesigned vintage furnishings," which they sell, but they will make you something from your furniture piece, too. Friendly owners and great stuff. 757-303-9661.

Does anyone know where Dr. Hartley, DDS, is now practicing? He was formerly with Morrison & Murphy.

Does anyone know of a local cabinet company? I need a new kitchen base and doors only. I need a butcher block to be placed, a butcher block countertop to be cut and put in and installation of a farm sink. Thank you.

Urgent. Have two indoor cats that need a home. Call 812-5382 and leave a message. Thanks.

For the person looking for Avon: Call Kimberly Copeland at 757-291-6648. I live in Williamsburg and she delivers my book and my products. I've been using her for more than two years now. I'm not sure where you live in Toano, but give her a call. Thank you.

For the person interested in someone who can do brass metal work: You can call Charles Diffenbough. His number is 757-595-8924. He is very good at what he does. Thank you.

In response to the request for a place to repair or replace a car CD player: Safe & Sound, at 18421 New Kent Highway in Barhamsville. Their number is 757-566-2233. They have great ideas, they do excellent work and they're friendly and easy on the budget.

I wonder where I could get some of the "more Colonial" looking light bulbs mentioned by a contributor to the Last Word? I am redoing my den and I would like something to match my colonial era TV and colonial era DVD player. Please call 757-555-2625. Thanks in advance!

Came home from college break and went to Hair Cuttery on Monticello. Does anyone know where LaVonne, who used to cut hair there, went?

Does anyone know of a regular Tai Chi class in our area?

Found: men's gold wedding band at Martin's grocery store in Monticello. Has an engraving inside. Please call 345-9235.

Ripple effect

Thank you, Mr. President. Your reckless actions in Syria have caused the price of gasoline to go up 20 cents in the past week.

Mail delivery

We live in Colonial Heritage and did not receive mail on Monday. Some obscure federal holiday we forgot? The mail arrived Tuesday, two throw-away flyers, and then the mail truck returned two hours later with the rest of our mail. It contained multiple letters from the IRS addressed to poor souls we had never heard of. Sure hope they didn't need that info before their April 15 filing.

Paying taxes

As we busily prepare our tax returns, that pay-for-everything our government does, I wonder why some people pay no federal taxes. Recently reported in Mother Jones: "Two-thirds of U.S. corporations pay no federal income tax." Ask your CPA (if they can tell) if their wealthiest clients pay income tax or not. Mine said "No." And it is perfectly legal. Who was representing the average American when these laws were passed? Be assured, the wealthiest 1 percent were represented. They've got what they wanted. Remember the Golden Rule: Those with the gold make the rules.

Lovely garden

Sincere thanks to the owner of the Interior Design Store at Williamsburg Crossing for the glorious garden she has designed around the patio at the adjacent coffee shop. When I went into the coffee shop to thank them, they gave proper credit to her, informing me that she is also a horticulturist. Since she is closed today (Monday), this is my way of thanking her in person. With spring in the air, who can resist a lingering cup of tea or coffee surrounded by beauty? And maybe a visit next door as well?

Thanks to the owners of Williamsburg Crossing for the exquisite flowers in front of all the businesses there. They have brightened our day every time we shop or dine there.

Front desk help

The operation of the front desk of any business is the best public relations job you can invent. Some people do not budget enough money to take care of this function. It must be well staffed with employees who are fully trained to answer questions to the satisfaction of each inquiring person. The employee selected to work the front desk must be a person who has been trained in how to deal with all types of people.

Clear water

This message is for the Wellington subdivision. I would like to know if anyone has noticed their water coming out of the faucet with a milky-looking color, not clear like it should be? If so — if you haven't noticed, you should check it. It's not clear. Thanks.

Rules of the road

I find it interesting that drivers give me a sour look when I honk at them. I wasn't the one halfway off the road because I was texting and driving with a child in the backseat; you were. Put the phone down.

Timely response

I would like to thank Congressman Rob Wittman for his timely response to my question about replacement of the Toano post office facility. He contacted the U.S. Postal Service and they interviewed the Toano postmistress. He sent me a copy of their response. Bottom line — although they agreed that the quarters are tight and the parking lot small with a dangerous entry, they said the facility is leased and they must wait for the lease to be up for renewal. Even then, the Postal Service is in debt, so replacement is unlikely and customers should exercise extreme caution going in and out of the parking lot.

Christopher Wren

Over the years, I have taken many Christopher Wren courses, which I have enjoyed, some more than others. However, I am at a loss to understand how they can justify this latest increase in prices. It may make sense to someone who is taking eight courses, but it makes no sense for someone who wishes to take only one class, which meets a total of three times. That comes down to $45 per session, and if you add in a $12 parking fee, that comes to $49 a class. At those prices, it would have to be an amazing course, taught by an amazing instructor for me to enroll in the program in the future.

Recommended

If you are looking for an electrician, I highly recommend Williamsburg Electrical Services. I have used them several times. They are prompt, professional and care. So, if the need arises, give Mike a call at 564-9364.

We have used, twice now, Belle Cleaning Concepts to wash our windows. We have a large number of windows in the house and Marcus Belle has been prompt, worked with efficiency, has all the equipment needed for one- and two-story homes and has a great customer-friendly orientation. He can be reached at 757-593-8882 and bellecleaningconcepts.com.

 

I'd like to recommend this guy who does small engine repair. He does excellent work. His name is Bobby Flaws and he's at 757-634-9081. Help him out now. He's trying to get some work and he's an excellent small repair guy. He worked on my weed eater and chain saw and did an excellent job. Thank you.

 

 

 

Free to you

Two wheel wheelbarrow. Good for concrete. In good condition but could use paint. Free, just come and get it. 757 345-5324(r) or 540 220-8303(c).

King-size bed and box springs. Free to the first caller. 757-220-1992. This bed is in very good condition. Thank you.

Setting it straight

Just a correction to your Last Word editor's comment. I spoke to someone who was building at Walmart yesterday. They are putting up a training center for managerial positions, and they are doing in different locations around the country. It is not a gas station. Editor's note: Right you are. We got some incorrect information on that but have since confirmed that your information is correct. Thank you.

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