Last Word on Memorial Day, May 27

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is Monday, May 29. It is a day to honor men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Aside from the tradition of placing flags on all veterans' graves, we also raise the flag to full staff, but solemnly lower it to half staff until noon, then raise it to full staff again. This is all well and good, unless local Williamsburg and James City County retailers who have flag poles on their premises aren't flying flags on them. This is food for thought, as we honor some of those who died defending the U.S. flag. Thank you.

Clean water

Has anyone compared the cost of cleaning water for reuse with cost of de-salinization? Wouldn't it make sense to have such data? Many communities clean, use, clean and put back treated water for down river users. It's not rocket science, and it's probably much cheaper than rocket science.

Bravo!

Bravo to Backstage's "Shrek Jr.," performed recently at the WRL. This was the finest production Backstage has presented to date. The leads were stellar, with great voices and excellent comedic timing. The ensemble was strong and well rehearsed, too. There are some wonderful young up-and-comers: Young Shrek had spot-on physical acting, and Teenage Fiona/Queen of Hearts had a voice I'm sure we'll be hearing more of, facial expressions that had my husband and me in stitches and a personality that filled the stage. We are looking forward to "Peter Pan" this summer and hope to see more of these talented youngsters. Well done, Backstage!

Health insurance

If you were shocked your long-term health insurance premiums were increased by 44.96 percent, be prepared to see it increase again next year. We are covered by a major insurer and had our premiums increased in a similar manner. We contacted friends our age who had insurance plans with other companies and learned their premiums had increased as well. A year later we received a notice that our premiums were being increased an additional 31 percent. What is happening is ripe for class-action litigation, as this appears to be an industry practice.

I'm really confused about people talking so definitely about health insurance, or the new health insurance that the Republicans are trying to put in place. It is far from being over. It's just left the House. It has to go to the Senate. The Senate has to do what it's going to do. Then it goes back to the House and then it will go back to the Senate. People should settle down a little bit and wait to see what's going to come about. It's not all finished.

I am calling about the person complaining about the ACA health care act and saying that people can go to the free clinic and not pay for insurance. Have you ever stopped to consider that not every town has a Lackey Free Clinic? We are so lucky to have them; most places have no such thing like that, and if they don't have any health insurance, they have no access to care whatsoever.

To those who say poor people can go to the emergency room or a free clinic such as Lackey or Olde Towne if they get sick: Who do you think pays the bill for the emergency room? You and I do, through higher taxes, higher hospital bills and higher insurance. Guess what, those "free clinics" are not free. Clients still have co-pays that, for some, are hard to come up with. And, by the way, when was the last time you donated to Lackey or Olde Towne to help the sick?

Group home

Explain how one group home can move out of a neighborhood near Walsingham Academy and relocate to Boundary Street, but three group homes get to stay in the Indigo Park neighborhood? How much do these property owners receive to slowly destroy a family-oriented neighborhood?

Looking for ...

To the person looking for transportation services in Williamsburg for their elderly parents: Please email me at kpiersonforbes@gmail.com. I have been in the senior care industry for 10 years and am a certified dementia practitioner.

I am interested in purchasing an entertainment center online. It is made by Bungalow Rose in the color of bayberry blue. An anonymous reviewer from Williamsburg posted a picture and gave a good review. I would be interested in more information about this item, particularly the color. If you are the reviewer, please call 757-903-4679. Thanks.

Can anyone recommend a good surgeon for bunions?

For the commenter looking for recommendations for a contractor for bathroom renovations: I strongly recommend Williamsburg Build and Remodel. Josh Gately is a good family man, does excellent work and will treat all his clients very, very well. He can be reached in the phone directory under Williamsburg Build and Remodel, 757-417-5703. Thank you.

Could someone please find out where the bakery at Ukrop's or Martin's will go when the store closes? That was the most important part of the whole store. Thank you.

If anyone has a good working vacuum that they would be interested in donating, please call 757-509-2878. Thank you.

Can someone recommend a person to tint car windows? We need to darken our car windows to reduce glare. Thanks.

I would like to thank the contractor who donated the 25 custom-made, high-quality, solid-maple kitchen cabinets and the two beautiful pantries to the Williamsburg Habitat Restore. We do not know the intended use of several parts. If you or the homeowners that owned these cabinets would contact us at rewalls2@gmail.com, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your thoughtfulness!

I am looking for someone to coat my asphalt driveway and for someone to replace my landscape timbers. I would appreciate any references being left in the Last Word. Thank you.

My Knockout roses bloomed once last month but have since stopped blooming and lost all the foliage. Can anyone tell me why and what I must do to make them bloom again?

I lost my watch last Sunday, May 21, either at Lowe's in the Home Garden area or in the store or at Home Depot in the Home Garden area. Please contact me at 757-897-2430.

School contracts

How about our school children and their parents sign contracts to be ready to attend school each school day, prepared to learn, to be active participants in their education, work to accomplish something for themselves, their families and their futures. And perhaps our teachers could give each student a contract as well, "I will teach you ... and we will work together to be a very successful team that you can expect to be ready to enjoy a successful life as a productive, happy, healthy human being."

Public safety

Williamsburg, city and county, has a most impressive group of dedicated men and women who sincerely work diligently to protect us. I recently served in a capacity where I had the privilege to see and hear what they do for us every day and night. I applaud them whole heartedly, and I thank them. May God keep them all safe from harm as they keep us safe and secure.

Kudos to Williamsburg Christian Academy for dedicating its annual WCA Day event to our local first responders and active duty military members, and announcing that the school is giving 15 percent off tuition from this point forward to help their families attend WCA. As a vet, I appreciate that gesture, and more organizations should recognize and do what they can to financially aid these vital groups who sacrifice so much for our safety and liberty.

Free to you

I just got a new printer and have ink for the old printer I can no longer use. I have a full set of HP 932-black XL/933-all three colors XL as well as a partially used set. Contact Debi at debi.ims@cox.net to arrange for a pick up.

Gun laws

Last time I checked, we were the United States of America; as such, our Second Amendment applies to all states. However, currently we have 50 guns laws, one for each state. If a person has been fully vetted by our Federal Government and has been issued a carry permit, that permit should be good for all 50 states. The passing of National Reciprocity would mean that the United States would have only one gun law, not 50.

Bird nests

In regard to the question about the caller asking whether the birdhouse should be cleaned out after the bluebird leaves: I would say yes. That's the reason why most of the birdhouses have a little latch on them where you can open them up and keep them clean. Birds do like to have good housekeeping. Thank you.

Solar farm

After reading the latest comment in Last Word about the solar farm versus development of the land for housing, I think the writer missed the whole point of why the folks living here do not appreciate the solar farm. Let me count some of the ways: The possible noise and view of solar panels while waiting for the buffer to grow from seed and seedlings; a 30-year special-use permit, what else may follow this example next to the solar farm? Of course, these other special-use permits holders will want to use the same method of gaining access to their property next to the solar farm. One way in and out on Farmville Lane — for many months residents will have to share this access with people who do not live there from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Property values may decrease. As one member of the planning commission commented, "I wouldn't want that next to my home."

Scott Taylor

Like an earlier Last Word commenter, I have been trying to contact Scott Taylor for more than six weeks. Are there any readers out there in Williamsburg that know a way we can contact him? This is the problem, folks. We elect these individuals to help us, and then when we have basic questions or are looking to reach them, we can't contact them.

Way to go, Fred!

Fred Siegal was right on last Saturday, May 20. Good job, Fred.

Delivery fees

The local big box hardware stores will deliver a $400 dishwasher for free but want to charge you $100 to deliver a $2,500 riding lawnmower. Go figure.

Road worries

Thank you to VDOT for installing the yellow "left turn with caution" signals. No longer do I have to sit and wait for a green arrow even when there is no oncoming traffic. Yellow arrows save drivers time and are simply going back to the time when drivers actually knew how to turn left without having a green arrow. Young drivers that have only turned left on a green arrow need some time to learn to how to judge the speed and distance of an oncoming car to determine when they can turn left safely. In the long run, we will end up with safer drivers on our roads. Let's give the yellow arrows a chance, folks!

To the man who rear- ended my car on John Tyler Highway near the McDonald's on May 16 and then fled the scene: Always remember, "What goes around, comes around." You will pay for your cowardly act sometime in the future.

The left turn, blinking lights at a lot of intersections here in the Williamsburg area are awesome. You can't teach people who don't understand a yield sign, and apparently some of them can't understand and read the blinking yellow sign. For those who continue to ignore the signs and the wordage — some thing never change.

The dips and bumps in the newly widened Route 64 leave us with a ride worse than imposed by the 3-foot wide repair strips every 50 feet of the unimproved road.

Can VDOT put a blinking yellow light at Page Street and Second Street? It would be very helpful in making a left turn. Thank you.

Thanks to VDOT for installing the left turn, yield-on-flashing yellow traffic signals. This is a real improvement for traffic flow, especially through the New Town corridor, where you often sat for several minutes to make a turn, even at 2 a.m. with no other cars in sight. At least 35 states have this left-turn-on-yellow provision. Worriers just need to stop texting, pay attention and look, as they should at all intersections. Traffic signals are to control traffic flow, not to prevent driver error.

All in all, the new flashing left-turn lights around town are a good thing because they improve traffic flow. However, when you have a driver who's not as smart as a bowl of grits and can't read, comprehend and obey the sign, that's when things get dangerous.

So, VDOT spends all this time grading the shoulders between Anderson's Corner and Stonehouse School. Why not do anything to the shoulders of Route 60 west of Anderson's Corner where the water stands in the road during rain?

I am extremely pleased with the VDOT change to allow left turns on flashing yellow lights on Monticello. Based upon some previous comments in the Last Word, some seem intimidated by the change — perhaps those folks might want to consider an alternate route to ensure they do not become the cause of an accident on Monticello.

Telling the truth

I have observed Williamsburg has too many people that are dishonest. They have conditioned themselves not to feel guilty when they tell a lie. This is no way to live. They need to change their attitude and start treating others the way they would want to be treated.

W&M president

I certainly hope that the College of William and Mary does not consider ex-FBI director James Comey. From the FBI agents that I've heard speak, many in the past do not like this man. They feel that he's a tyrant, and I believe that the college would not be served very well by having a man of that stature, especially in a state that says "Sic Semper Tyrannis."

The W&M Presidential Search Committee should give serious consideration to recruiting former FBI Director Jim Comey. A man of impeccable integrity, a fine leader and a W&M graduate — there could not be a better choice.

All apologies

To the person looking down at the cellphone while standing in the middle of the road by the supermarket: I only meant to tap my horn lightly, but it was so very, very loud and I'm very, very sorry. Please forgive me for startling you.

Grocery stores

Another grocery store in Lightfoot? Regardless of the chain, brand, whatever, we do not need or want another grocery store. In the meantime, there are no grocery stores in the upper end of James City County near the New Kent County border. If the Lidl store chain has to have a store here, then put one around the Anderson's Corner intersection in Toano, or across the Interstate in Croaker. Lightfoot simply does not need any more grocery stores, period.

Why don't most Aldi's offer riding carts for the disabled?

Homework

To the parent happy about homework workloads as a way to improve SOL scores: First, SOL scores are not a measure of learning, they are a measure of memorization, and not relevant to a child's actual education; second, homework doesn't teach anything. Homework is for reinforcement. Get better teachers and most importantly better administrators, and you will get the improvement you want. My childrens' SOL scores are excellent despite both having ADHD diagnoses and no medication, and they have little if any homework. It's fabulous teachers and a good administration that you need, not homework.

Indivisible guide

As a member of the Williamsburg Indivisible Group, which sponsored the "Tangled Web" advertisement that appeared in the Gazette on May 13, I am encouraged to see that the ad has stimulated debate. If you want to know more about WIG, you can download the Indivisible Guide — williamsburgindivisiblegroup.org — and see that we are part of a nationwide movement that emerged after the 2016 election. It attempts to "offer a step-by-step guide … to replicate the Tea Party's success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents." As Patrick Henry said on May 30, 1765, in reaction to the imposition of a Stamp Tax on the American colonies, "if this be treason, make the most of it."

Recommended

If you want sparkling, clean windows — and I do mean sparkling — call Marcus Belle at 757-593-8882. He performed magic on my windows this past week.

Thanks to the Gazette for allowing its readers to share helpful news. This time, it is the Plum Pudding located on By-Pass Road. The shop is filled with surprises such as vintage, new and like-new items of fine quality and sold at a reasonable price. The owners, Cathy and Susan, give a cheerful greeting to and are willing to assist all customers. They have skills and knowledge pertaining to antique furniture, jewelry, glassware and china, as well as many other items. Visit this shop and enjoy a unique experience.

Have you heard of JCC Rec Center's new Tai Chi class by Michael? Check it out Tuesdays at 2 p.m.

I recently hired Jeff Branscome to power wash and stain my large, challenging deck. Jeff's attention to every detail ensured that the final job met my every expectation. Thanks, Jeff, for a job well done.

I was looking for a solution for saving a box full of old videos, slides, pictures, etc. and discovered Tom Bigford. Tom came to the house, discussed what I had and what could be done to preserve wedding videos and family memories. Even gave me a preview to edit before the final product. Tom gives personal attention, does a great job and doesn't break the bank. I highly recommend Tom. He can be reached at 645-7004 or by email at tbigford@cox.net.

Releasing doves

I am responding to the entry about releasing white doves and balloons at celebrations. I thank the person for writing in and I agree totally in what they say. People, please do not use these two methods for your celebrations because they have such a bad effect on wildlife. Thank you.

Up in Washington

What short memories Gazette readers have! Clapper himself said before Congress that, speaking for the CIA, the NSA and the FBI, their report found no evidence of collusion between President Trump or the Trump campaign. You all drank the KoolAid. Folks, by the way, we are a republic, not a democracy. Please learn something.

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am a conservative. The radical left and right in D.C. are using the Cloward-Piven strategy to slow down or block President Trump's agenda. Don't know about Cloward-Piven? Google it. If you are a conservative, you won't like it.

This is a response to a Last Word comment where the caller said that the issues with Donald Trump had been completely fabricated by the left. I have to take exception to that. It just seems as you watch the news it's very clear that all of this is an unforced error on the part of the Trump administration. Issue after issue has been resulting from Donald Trump's behavior, not the Democrats.

To those who say that all the investigations of the president and his posse with their involvement with Russia and no evidence has come up: You're wrong. No evidence has been revealed. And the evidence will not be revealed until the investigations are finished and recommendations have been made to Justice Department to file criminal indictments. Because the evidence is so sensitive that if they reveal it now before it's complete, every one of those criminals will move in with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London so they can't be prosecuted.

It's pretty bad when the President of the United States has to hire his own attorney to make sure he gets a fair shake in Washington, D.C. That's pretty bad. Have a blessed day.

Those who love America, love democracy and stand by their president, stand up!

What's going on between Trump and Russia? Trump's been doing business in Russia for 30 years. Donald Jr. said that "We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." Others in Trump's circle with Russian connections include Kushner, Manafort, Flynn and Tillerson. Trump's had only nice things to say about Putin and Russia. When the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia became too uncomfortable, Trump fired Director Comey. The next day Trump met with the Russian ambassador and foreign minister and disclosed highly classified information to them. Why not, friends should have no secrets.

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette
50°