Last Word on affordable housing, June 17

Affordable housing

What are the JCC supervisors thinking? Despite what the median income from the Census states, the average job in the local hospitality industry pays about $9 an hour. So if a worker is lucky enough to get a real 40-hour-a-week job (few do) then that is $360 a week, minus 30 percent for income and Social Security taxes, and then if the employer offers health insurance, another 10 percent is deducted. I am one of those who work to support the retail economy of JCC, and I clear about $200 a week for 32 hours. My employer will not give me more hours. The point is that a $200,000 house is not affordable for the people who take the jobs in retail, hospitality and tourism that JCC is vigorously promoting.

Mosquito control

Dormant oil is an age-old, non-toxic control for many insects. I am surprised that the landscape professionals haven't informed the county politicians of its effectiveness. It coats the water surface so that the mosquito larvae can't breathe and dissolves the chitin skeleton of soft-bodied insects such as aphids. Doesn't JCC have a horticulturist that is educated in entomology?

Value equation

To the person in a recent Last Word who seemed baffled that people complain about the price of Colonial Williamsburg while happily paying the price for Busch Gardens: This is a simple rule of economics. Consumers will pay for things they find valuable. Value is derived from what one gets in return for the amount paid. Judging by the ongoing decline of CW and popularity of Busch Gardens, one can only surmise that consumers are voting with their pocketbooks for which experience they find worth the cost.

A commenter asks if the people who are complaining about the $42 admission to CW are the same people who think nothing of spending $90 for a Busch Gardens ticket. The answer is no. The tourists who are drawn to CW and the tourists who are drawn to Busch Gardens are really not the same people at all, and CW's attempts to market to the people who are coming to the area to see Busch is mostly a waste of money. CW will continue having problems attracting tourists until they realize this. They need to identify their customer base and market to that base instead of just thinking everyone who is coming to the area is coming here to see them.

Teacher pay

It was very disappointing for many of us to receive our teacher contracts/salaries for next year without the promised 1.5 percent raise by our new Superintendent and the WJCC School Board. The budget was supposed to include $1.1 million for teacher and staff raises (Virginia Gazette, March 18, 2017), yet the teacher salary schedule is exactly the same as it was on the 2016-17 salary schedule for all levels of experience and advanced degrees. Editor's note: The raises included in the school division's budget were 1.5 percent for staff and a step increase for teachers, and yes, the salary schedule is the same. Teachers at the highest step for their education level would not have received a raise, which is stated in fine print on the 2017-18 salary schedule.

No mistaking it

Why are intentional acts of wrongdoing referred to as "mistakes"? A mistake is not intentional. A typographical error is a mistake. An inaccurate measurement is a mistake. Leaking classified information is not a mistake; it is intentional. The mistake is getting caught. Labeling intentional acts of wrongdoing tends to minimize the seriousness of the offense. Let's challenge this practice whenever it occurs.

Words to live by

Williamsburg is experiencing graduation time. The best advice I ever received was "Find a need and fill it, and find a cause you're willing to die for, and your life will be a success." Let us all hope and pray that these graduates will make the world a better place to live. I believe they will, if they love people more than money.

Thank you

As this school year comes to an end, I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to Mrs. Elizabeth Heath at Waller Mill Elementary School. It's no wonder that she was Teacher of the Year, and she has had an immeasurable impact on my son. She is an amazing teacher, who inspires these first graders with excitement to learn. Her communication with the parents is wonderful, and she doesn't hesitate to send you a quick email about a concern, a funny scenario and especially an accomplishment that your child had been working toward. She is just phenomenal!

Thank you, Pure Barre, for being a sponsor at Run for the Bacon 5K. Great warmup.

I would to thank Audra, Mary Lou and Martha from Sentara Therapy. They are wonderful. I could not have gone through therapy without their great personalities. Thank you.

Sending a big thank you to the kind person who found my glasses in Colonial Williamsburg (near the Palace) and wisely hung them on a bench so we might find them. When we walked our dog this morning, we retraced our steps from yesterday but found nothing until we got to the bench. Lo and behold, there they were! It's a busy area so we did not expect to find them still intact. We will pay it forward.

Road worries

In reference to the new left turn on flashing yellow lights, I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but not every corner that has a stop light has a turn signal. So what do you do on those streets? You stop, you look to see if traffic is coming, and then you go ahead and turn. I don't understand why this yellow flashing light is bothering people. It just means that you can go ahead and turn if there are no cars coming. There are many, many streets that don't have turn signals, turn arrows or directionals, and you just go ahead and turn.

How is it VDOT, here down on Cranston Mill Pond Road, recut all the ditches, did not put any kind of erosion and sediment control — no kind of matting or anything — and all that silt and sediment is going to run right down into the waterway at the bottom, but if I'm building a garage in the middle of a grassy field and my silt fence gets a little tear in it, James City County gets their panties all in a bunch? Explain that one to me!

Please remove the flashing yellow lights on Monticello Avenue. I am an experienced, excellent driver, but I don't want to drive on this road any more. There are other places to shop.

Another look

This is to the people who brag about the quality construction being done by some of these contractors in the Williamsburg/James City area. Why don't you ride around and look at some of these quality houses while they're under construction? You might think differently about them. They're throwing them up in 90 days. That's not quality.

Looking for ...

We have over 100 magazines for anyone looking for print materials. Contact lauraemery@hotmail.com if interested.

Does anyone know if Virginia has any law on the books requiring children to support their indigent parents? Apparently 28 states do.

I have small landscape job in Williamsburg. My small backyard needs to be seeded or sodded plus some cleanup work. Please call or text 757-291-7428.

In the last five years we have purchased five different toasters. Can anyone recommend a toaster that toasts both sides of the bread?

To the customer who purchased the yellow and gold ceramic teapot at an estate sale in Kingspoint in October 2015: We found the top to the teapot. Please call 703-300-6455 to obtain the matching top.

Does anyone know who is funding the garden on the side of James City County library? And then there's also construction going on the opposite side. What will that be? Thank you.

Someone called in recently asking about a white van that does transportation. I just happened to be on Monticello and saw a white van. It said "Colonial Transportation," and I was wondering whether or not that was what you were looking for. OK, good luck to you.

I need a lamp repaired. Does someone have the name and phone number of a company that would repair a lamp in my home? Thank you.

This is a response to a Last Word notice. Last Wednesday, after returning home from Oceans and Ale, I discovered I had lost one earring with a green stone. Please contact me at bjt943@outlook.com. Thank you.

I need to replace some of my gutters and down spouts. Any recommendations would be so helpful.

Looking for someone who performs pedicures who is good with ingrown toenails.

To the person looking for someone to shorten dresses or skirts, my number is 804-829-5128.

Thirty years ago, about 350 young people graduated from Lafayette High School. These "still youngish" people are planning a reunion on the weekend of Oct. 13-14. The Lafayette High School Class of '87 reunion committee is looking for members of the class who may not be on social media. If you know a member of the LHS class of '87, please direct them to bit.ly/2tbgfOA or the Lafayette Rams Class of '87 Facebook page at bit.ly/2sjEHNH for information. We'd love to get back in touch with all of our classmates!

That old-time feeling

Great news! The new Williamsburg Pottery is beginning to feel like the "Old Pottery" in the sense that they have many more deals, lots of merchandise and prices that seem reasonable for their higher quality merchandise. If you haven't been there recently, give it a try; you won't be disappointed. Also, after my daughter and I finished shopping, we went to Au Bon Pain, directly in front of the pottery, for a delicious meal, which is as fresh as you can get anywhere.

DMV office

With the sale of the corner lot where DMV currently sits, are there plans to move it and to what location?

Travel stories

As a besotted train traveler, I was thrilled to read of locals training around America to pull together experiences, adventures and new friends into music. So impressive! It confirms what I tell my other-state friends: "People here are so creative!" You go, ladies! Be sure you keep us in the loop and get stories in the local papers. And why not tell us what your contact site is so you can keep us up-to-date on it all? Congratulations on a super idea and your progress!

Group homes

Gateway Homes, which deals in mental and criminal rehab, was relocated from 101 Woodmere Drive because it was less than 500 feet from Walsingham Academy. To the surprise of many, it has been relocated to 308 South Boundary Street, which is right in the heart of young William and Mary students. Not to mention that there is a university day care right behind the property off Grigsby Drive. Why is moving from one child school area to another any better? How does this align with the city's downtown renaissance initiative? Shouldn't the city have more discussions for what amounts to a care facility business being dropped into a residential high density area? What is the city and/ or state thinking? Do we not have a voice to understand the impact that something like this will have or if we support it or not? Editor's note: Gateway Homes has no requirement to inform a locality of its plans. The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services oversees the home.

Side effects

Has anyone started losing their hair after taking Famotidine for heartburn (an acid reducer) for over a year? It works great, except my hair is getting thinner and thinner. Dr. started me on Biotin. Takes two months to be effective. Pharmacist checked her internet RXs, and it does say a small loss of hair. Wonder what they consider a small loss! Please call 757-645-4859 if you have had this problem and any suggestions. Thank you.

Non-compete

Spouses and children of employees or board members of the any fundraising events shouldn't be allowed to participate in games, raffles or contests, let alone win a prize.

Too many, too high

Could someone do something about the pallet plant in New Kent on Highway 30? They have so many pallets piled up that the trucks can't get in there, and it holds up traffic a lot. It's an eyesore to the community, and the pallets are stacked so high some of them look as though they are about to fall over. Can't the county do something about this?

Mail delivery

What is going on with the mail? Two weeks ago someone else's mail was in my mailbox. Saturday, I didn't receive any mail. Monday, again I didn't receive any mail. I know the post office has made some personnel changes in mail delivery persons, but this is discouraging and frustrating. When I try to call the post offices, the lines are always busy. I live in the Pine Crest area of Williamsburg.

McAuliffe's speech

Governor Terry McAuliffe spoke at the funeral of 45-year-old Michael Walter, 18-year police veteran and former Marine who on May 26 was shot in the head and murdered by a man with a police record. Governor McAuliffe commented, "This tragedy has ripped us all apart." I wonder if it was his own conscience ripping him apart since, as governor, he has pardoned 60,000 felons, undoing so much hard work of our police and justice system and exposing us all to this kind of crime!

Grocery bags

If you want paper bags after Martin's closes, Trader Joe's, Wythe Candy and Farm Fresh on John Tyler have paper bags. Fresh Market used to have paper bags, but I'm not sure if they still do. The bakery at Farm Fresh is so much better, in my humble opinion, than it was several years ago. So you might want to consider going there for some of your baked goods.

Recommended

I encourage you all to call Cindy's Classic Cuts in Norge, 220-1066 and ask for Miss Janet. I am new to the area — I live in Colonial Heritage. Went in there the other day and Janet cut my hair, gave me a fantastic haircut. And what a nice, bubbly person. She was the first person to greet me, introduced herself, took me back, took her time. I went in for a haircut, came out with a shampoo/cut/blow dry and conditioning treatment, and my hair feels amazing. Please call her for an appointment.

With so many Mexican restaurants in the area, La Tolteca on Second Street was the first and the only Mexican restaurant in Williamsburg when it opened in 1996. A Mexican family-owned business, the food has been consistently great and the service warm and welcoming throughout the years. I tried the other restaurants but will stay with what to me is the real thing!

Thank you to Jana Laird of DCI Therapy! The deep tissue massage I received from you has done so much to alleviate my plantar fasciitis. I cannot believe the difference you made. Thank you also to Caitlin Culver who stepped one appointment when I had to reschedule at the last minute and Jana was unavailable. The two of you are amazing. You can reach them at 757-846-5707.

If anyone needs a caregiver in your house, I strongly recommend Myra Seward, 757-604-5720. She is very professional and treats her patients and family in a very loving and caring manner. She is great in maintaining the dignity of her patient.

Spammers' calls

To the person telling about a tax scammer's call: There is a way to reduce these calls for yourself and other people. The IRS has a website specifically for this purpose. treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml I've had a couple of threatening calls and reported both. The despicable people need to be reported and prosecuted.

Federal judges

We need to reassess how federal judges are appointed and how to get rid of some of these politicians. I'm calling in regard to the Virginia sniper juvenile, Lee Malvo, who was responsible for the deaths of 10 people. Regardless of his age, they want to overturn his life imprisonment without parole. I really can't understand that. What if he killed 50 people or 100 people before he was caught and he was 15, 16, 17? Whatever. I just can't believe it.

Cheers!

York Plaza Shopping Center has a new dry cleaning business that also offers alteration service. Although shoe repair isn't on the premises, it also offers that service. The place is clean, the owner has public relations skills, and most importantly, she greets you with a smile!

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