Last Word, June 28

City taxes

It amazes me the city is even still discussing raising the meal and hotel taxes and charging an admission fee to local attractions. There has been resistance from all those to be affected. Not once has the city of Williamsburg mentioned raising the real estate tax. The city of Williamsburg has the lowest real estate tax in the state of Virginia. Raising it 10 cents would still keep it the lowest in the state. Just wondering why this isn't even being mentioned?

Great fun

One of the best events in town is the Fox Wire Farm Alpacas tour. It is educational, interesting, fun and very, very reasonable. Office for tours is in Toano at 300 Turners Neck Road, 757-218-4520.

Health care

I always have to laugh when I hear someone complain about "paying for someone else's health care" and their apparent lack of sleep because some unfortunate soul may be getting a subsidy through the Affordable Care Act. Taxpayers have, for decades, directly subsidized the tax-free health care benefit many employees receive to the tune of billions of dollars, not to mention the incredible unfairness to the self employed, who have to pay for it on their own. The amount of the tax-free benefit of employer-sponsored health care alone would reduce the national debt substantially. So give me a break. I am delighted that the Republicans are seriously looking at taxing some of this free benefit, which should have been done long ago.

The GOP health care bill threatens to deprive 23 million Americans of health care. Trump agrees that the health care bill passed by the house GOP is "mean." So, why did our congressmen vote for it? Why would Taylor and Wittman support such a mean-spirited bill, despite obvious and widespread opposition to it? They must hold their constituents in profound contempt to do such a thing!

Congratulations, Mitch. Your Make Health Care Unaffordable for Most Americans Act is another block in the president's Make America Third Rate Campaign. Keep it up, and even the Palestinians living in Gaza will be better off than most Americans. Sadly, you and your cronies won't be required to have the same insurance you are sticking most Americans with.

The reason why health care costs are lower in other countries is that there are no ads for Medicare and Medicaid; here, the insurers pay for those ads.

Looking for ...

I am trying to find "Santa." Please publish the name and phone number of Santa who collects teddy bears and distributes them to children at Christmas. Thanks. Editor's note: We believe you're looking for Sidecar Santa, who asks that you contact him at sidecarsanta@hotmail.com.

Looking for a carpet store and interior painter that provides good, fairly-priced service. Have searched online, Angie's List, etc., and the majority of reviews are way out of date. Any suggestions?

Can someone recommend a person or company that tints car windows? We need to darken our car windows to reduce glare. Thanks.

I found a letter and partial envelope from a soldier in the American Expeditionary Forces dated November 1918 and addressed to his sister — the recipient in Toano. Discovered in the parking lot on Monticello near the FedEx. Please reply to this column to claim.

Handling the flag

Recently I witnessed a behavior that upset me while at the Chickahominy Riverfront Park. I saw two men in a white truck take down the American flag from its pole near the pool. The man who took it down not only let the flag touch the ground but then wrapped it around his neck like a scarf and hopped back into the truck. I wonder: Is this the respect we want for our flag?

Just dreaming

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have Whole Foods in that empty space when Martin's has gone?

Phone scams

I find it difficult to believe the FCC or some other authoritarian body cannot shut down these scammers when they leave phone numbers for the gullible. There were two messages on my phone the other day, originating in Philadelphia. The number given was 215-863-9938. I know this could not really be the IRS but am angry at the intrusion and insult to my intelligence.

Shopping local

We worry that people will forget a basic business reality: Businesses can only remain alive if they have customers. If you want to make sure you continue to have nearby stores and businesses, you'll need to support them with your purchases. And if you want your taxes to remain low, you need to support your local businesses. When you spend your money online or in other localities, your local businesses will find it harder, maybe impossible, to remain here. Shop the stores you hope to keep.

Free to you

Free Spearmint plants. Give us a call at 757-220-0641. We are off Route 5 between Five Forks and Williamsburg Crossing. You will need a shovel or spade and a container.

Thank you

After spending a week at Riverside Hospital, I wish to thank the caring, compassionate and competent crew on the second floor who took care of me. RNs Jackie, Kristen, Jennifer and Dan kept me comfortable and in good spirits; Marco from the kitchen made sure I had the menu items ordered and entertained me with his fun conversation; Gary and Marie from respiratory kept me breathing; and CNA Angie McKnight went above and beyond in her superb care, for which I am extremely grateful. All these people are great assets to the Riverside family, and I am fortunate to have had their care. Lastly, a special thank you to D. Chitti. He is an incredible physician and human being. We're very lucky to have all these wonderful people as our "good neighbors!"

The 'gentry'

To the person who kept referring negatively to the "gentry," let me remind you that it is the "gentry" who provide the jobs to those who need affordable health care the most. I might also remind those Socialists now living in our country that the United States is and, hope to God will always be, a capitalistic society. If you want to live in a country that provides for all your needs, at an income tax rate of more than 50 percent, feel free to leave.

Multiple sources

If you only want your news from one channel or one newspaper, move to Russia, Saudi Arabia or North Korea.

About Cuba

Someone wrote in the Last Word, "Trump's proposals to back off from Cuba do not sound good. It just leaves a gap for Russians to squeeze in." Where has this person been? Have they been asleep for the past 50-some years? I was a guest of my husband's cousin in Havana about eight years ago. She was a communist, but I went in on a good-will trip. Russia never left; it has always had a stamp on Cuba. I was appalled and when I left Havana, the airplane landed in Miami. I stood and cried, "Hooray for America!" I'm singing the National Anthem. You would not have believed it. Rescuing Cuba? No way, now. Trump has a good idea, but let's see what happens.

Road worries

To the person in the "Road worries" who says that someone has misinterpreted the sign to say "Turn left on flashing yellow:" That's exactly what it says. You are allowed to turn left on a flashing yellow arrow. I don't understand what the big deal is. You act as though there are no other stoplights that have left turn arrows on them. You need to get over it. If you're not comfortable crossing or turning when it's flashing, then just sit there. But I like being able to go when there are no cars coming or there's plenty of room for me to turn left, versus waiting for another cycle of lights to go.

The yellow left-turn arrows are a wonderful addition to the traffic patterns of the area. Oncoming traffic has the right of way; you may turn if you can. What could be simpler? But the T-junction at Strawberry Plains and John Tyler could use some signage. Most places require traffic approaching the top of the junction to stop and yield to crossing traffic. Here, the incoming traffic has the right of way, but so many times the drivers don't realize they have the right of way. They slow, look nervously, even stop. Signs indicating who has the right of way would make traffic flow much better. And while I'm at it: How about some sort of barrier on Jamestown Road by the 7-Eleven? That "no turn" sign is ignored, and the cars that ignore it cause several small backups daily.

FDA approval

Why doesn't the FDA rescind its approval of the addictive alleged pain relief pill that is killing thousands of Americans? There has to be a better way to treat pain. Think!

Recommended

I recommend Han's Clock Repair in Newport News; phone 757-930-4938. He has now repaired three of my clocks, and he can make house calls.

I just had the most amazing lunch at the new Indian restaurant, Spice Palace. It is in Williamsburg Crossing at the Intersection of 199 and Route 5. Lunch is a buffet with a huge assortment of items. I looked at the dinner menu (four pages) and will definitely be back for a date night.

I can highly recommend Williamsburg Electric for any electrical repairs or improvements. I recently completed some electrical upgrades in my home, and Williamsburg Electric was the company I chose for the work, based on my previous experience with this company on business projects. Mike and his crew were on time, well-prepared and completed the work ahead of schedule. Experience has taught me this company is reasonable and highly qualified. Give owner Mike Daigneault a call at 757-564-9364.

Tim, owner of Artistic Fences (757-565-5495), recently completed some repairs to an existing fence and some new fence installation at our home. His attention to detail and his recommendations for design improvements were commendable. He is the type of owner who is "hands-on" and supervises all aspects of his work. I appreciated his work ethic and highly recommend him for any fence projects.

Please clean up

It is great to see young adults out playing a game of basketball on the courts at Magruder Elementary School. However, when you drive by a day or two later and the perimeter of the fence is packed with trash and empty Gatorade bottles, you wonder if they should be allowed to use the courts. Who is responsible for letting them in on the weekends and ensuring they clean up?

Special election

The deciding factor in Tuesday's special election was the shooting last week of the congressional baseball team in Alexandria.

Even with the President's low approval rating, Democrats can't seem to win an election, proof that the American people don't want them running their states, let alone their country. The Democrats would like to think that getting close to a win is a victory for them; wake up, a loss is a loss.

Didn't we have it, as women, rammed down our throats in the 2016 election that we needed to support the woman? The Democrats lectured me, as a Republican woman, that I'd better support the woman. Remember that? Why is it then in Georgia that the Democrats spent millions to run a young man with no experience, 30 years old, against a seasoned, experienced woman?

Up in Washington

I believe Mitch McConnell will go down as one of the most destructive and negative influences in American politics. His position to counter any policies of the previous administration reveals his lack of constructive thinking. His leadership prevented consideration of a Supreme Court nominee for nearly a year. The nuclear option on the Gorsuch nomination has eliminated the checks and balances necessary to secure some bipartisan input on justice selection. The closed door health care debate will ultimately lead to its delay and ultimate failure. He values the political divide more than the American people. Opposition is the only thing he's good at.

Once again when there is a shooting, the villain in liberals' eyes is always the NRA, never the criminal. If more citizens who were licensed to carry a gun had been near the shooter in Alexandria, they might have been able to stop him before he could get off another round. Luckily in this recent shooting, there were police within distance to stop the shooter, but in most cases the police aren't near enough to protect us.

The old phrase, "Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it," is coming true in the current White House. As Yogi Berra has said, "It's like déjà vu all over again," because the current president is hell-bent on creating an impeachable offense of obstruction of justice. And then he's going to confess to it on Twitter. Is there nobody out there that can stop him?

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