Last Word on summer jobs, July 1

Changes at CW

After reading about CW planning on closing the Kimball Theatre, I think what they need is to find a new CEO. He has done nothing but make things worse. He surely doesn't deserve the big salary he gets. That should help tremendously.

CW by the numbers: Debt: $300 million; Ill-advised investment in hotels: more than $200 million; operating losses over the last 15 years: $400 million; CEO compensation: $600,000; Eliminating 300 jobs just before peak season: Priceless.

In 1926, John D. Rockefeller Jr. started Colonial Williamsburg with the motto, "That the future may learn from the past." In 1957, he built the visitors center to welcome visitors with a free, 35-minute movie, "The Story of a Patriot." It was shown in twin theaters every 20 minutes for the convenience of the visitor. Today, many changes are happening in Colonial Williamsburg that I don't think Mr. Rockefeller would approve. I believe if he were here today, he would change the way it is being led.

Summer jobs

Students who work in high school have wages 10 to 15 percent higher when they graduate from college. A lot of teenagers are missing out on not learning what working is and how the process of job hunting works. Part of this experience is developing persistence and the all-important skills of shaking hands, answering questions clearly and looking someone in the eye. Working teens learn how to manage money, deal with bosses, get along with co-workers of all ages and learn how to handle constructive criticism. A successful summer job may turn into a full-time job after the young person completes college or vocational training.

Avoidable tragedy

Another person has tragically drowned while swimming in the dangerous waters off the Parkway. The article said this makes four drownings in the past 10 years — and how many total in the years since I was growing up in the 1960s? What will it take for the Park Service to put up big "No swimming" signs and enforce it? The current warning signs saying it is dangerous for swimming are not working.

City taxes

Hard to believe that a tax is needed yet there is not a specific action plan to use the funds. Any well-run business would require details plus examples of proven results for a proposed project before allocating a budget to it. Saying "Trust us, it will be great" doesn't work any more. Further, restaurants are hurting since their costs are increasing while low food prices are encouraging people to eat at home. Thank you.

I'm sorry, servers, but I can't make myself calculate your tip on the total bill when it includes 11 percent in tax. I will continue to tip you for the meal, but if it's a few dollars shorter than you expected, please know that I'm not paying a tip on the tax.

Cheers!

Sincere good wishes to the staff at Martin's Food Market as the market closes its doors soon and they must move on to other employment. Some have been at the store since the Ukrops days, and many of us shoppers have come to know them and consider them friends. Martin's shoppers will miss the store for many reasons, not the least of which is the employees. I wish them well.

Kudos to the Williamsburg police officer who checked on the boxer-type dog left in a car in Aldi's parking lot on a hot Sunday afternoon. Please, pet owners, think about how quickly the inside of a car heats up, even with the windows cracked open. Do not leave your furry companions to suffer like this boxer did.

Highway myrtles

On the stretch of Route 199 (Humelsine Parkway) from Newman Road to the Mooretown Road (Route 603) overpass, the crepe myrtles in the median are in sad shape. Part of the reason are the so-called mulch volcanoes heaped up around the base of the trunks. You see these mulch mounds everywhere, but they injure trees in more ways than one. I wonder if someone could remove them? A thin one-inch layer of mulch not in contact with the base of the trunk and extending out to the tree's drip line can be beneficial.

Grocery stores

You can suggest a Whole Foods location on their contact page, wholefoodsmarket.com/customer- service. One of the options in their "Choose Topic" menu is "Store Location Request." Let's make this happen. What a great idea for filling the Martin's space. Maybe it will even help us not miss Martin's so much.

To comment on "Just dreaming" in Wednesday's Last Word: I would agree that we would love to have a Whole Foods store in the Martin's location. We don't need another same-as-we-already-have in Williamsburg, and it would be great to have a new choice. Thank you.

Funhouse Fest

After reading the head article in the Gazette about the festival and bringing the community together, I felt I had to write and mention a minor incident that was not, in my mind, community focused. My family went for an evening walk in CW on Friday and we stopped by the fest for a few minutes to listen to a song. We were approached by a police officer and asked to leave (he told us we were loitering), even though we were on a public street outside the ticketed area. Another couple who happened to walk by was asked the same. I believe the officer abused his power by asking citizens to leave a public street that was not part of the venue. I hope that will not happen in the future.

We were really disappointed to see that the Funhouse Fest headed by Bruce Hornsby in Williamsburg was scheduled at the same time as the Hampton Jazz Festival. The City of Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance should be taking the blame for having this schedule conflict. Who is really directly responsible to make sure this doesn't happen again? We spent a lot of money to put this show on in Williamsburg and should have had more people in attendance.

Power lines

On July 11, the JCC Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on a request by Dominion Energy to overturn the decision of the JCC Planning Commission to deny the zoning changes on the Skiffes-Creek Switching Station Project. Dominion has spent thousands of dollars surveying JCC residents in the past weeks to find residents in favor of the project and requesting them to contact the Board of Supervisors to support the project. As a JCC resident, I hope all residents who are against this project will contact members of the board and request they deny Dominion's request and support the JCC Planning Commission ruling. Your involvement is of the utmost importance.

Looking for ...

Does anyone know of less expensive, reliable transportation to and from Williamsburg to either Richmond and/or Newport News airports, other than by taxi, Uber or James River Transportation?

I'm looking for a basic computer class for adults and also for clothing and clothing alternations business. My name is Nancy, 757-603-6302. Thank you very much for a wonderful service.

For the person looking to repair a grandfather clock, I recommend Tasse Clock Repair. He repaired my husband's grandparents' mantel clock that had not been working for years. His number is 757-634-6914. His first name is Robert and he lives in Toano. He did an absolutely beautiful job. We were so pleased. He makes sure they're working well. I highly recommend him.

Can anyone recommend someone to install carpet on my stairs and landing?

Please tell me what happened to The Yorkshire Steak and Seafood Restaurant on Route 60. We have eaten there many times and always had a terrific dinner, especially with Gerry, the best waitress in Williamsburg. We have seen workmen there and wonder if it will reopen and when.

Does anyone know why Zaxby's is closed? Is it ever going to reopen?

Would the people who called in to say they could fix lamps call back and put their phone numbers in? I accidentally threw the paper away and also the carpenters and painters that were listed, if they could call back? I'm sorry. Thank you.

Desperately need a seamstress to make several new muumuus from an old one. Please! My number is 565-2294. Thank you.

Does anyone have a 3-D printer? I am trying to make a prosthetic leg for a little turtle. If you can help, please call 757-869-5639. Thank you.

For the person looking for a person to repair a grandfather clock: Mr. Tasse' of Toano, 757-634-6914, has repaired several clocks for my mother and myself. Very professional and good. I highly recommend.

Good times

My 20-year-old son and I have just joined the Williamsburg Makerspace (inside Gizmoes that was Radio Shack), next to Snow-to-Go on Richmond Road. If you like to build and make things, you would love this place. There is room and tools to work on any kind of project; from arts and crafts to electronics, woodworking to programming. There are volunteers who help and teach, all for a modest membership fee. This is what Williamsburg needs for our young adults, to learn hands on vocational skills. It's also a great hangout for the older tinkers.

Cleaning up

To the self-righteous citizen who thinks we should use "a jail full of people" to cut the grass and perform other municipal tasks, let me remind you impressed labor of inmates was the norm in the Jim Crow South. I see plenty of orange suits and prison vans along our highways. Your statements are, at the very best, ignorant.

Regarding garbage left after ballgames on school grounds: I do not see why it wouldn't be possible for the adults supervising those children to make sure all the trash is put in bins before they leave the area. Thank you.

Strange sounds

I live in Barhamsville on Stage Road, near I-64. Just curious: Has anybody else heard underground rumbling that goes on? I've heard it several times — don't know what it is — but just want to know if anyone else has heard underground rumbling on Stage Road, close to the interstate. Thank you.

Road work

It was refreshing to read the positive comment in the June 24 Last Word on the VDOT decision to permit turns on blinking yellow lights, a decision that facilitates flow of traffic, with the additional benefit of reducing air pollution from vehicles idling at traffic lights. Immediately below the comment was an adverse comment that I can only conclude is from one of those elderly drivers who likely find driving challenging under any conditions.

Please explain to me why drivers in Williamsburg press on their brake pedal as they are entering an intersection where they have a green light.

Please have your car's lights on when traveling Greensprings Road, as the trees on the sides of the road have formed a canopy that makes the road quite dark, even when the sun is shining.

Thank you, VDOT, for implementing the flashing yellow lights to assist with traffic congestion. The vast majority of commuters recognize this as a tremendous benefit for our daily commutes. The very few that are traumatized — well, apparently the old axiom of "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" was based upon reality.

It is considerate of us to cut down the trees on I-64 and replace them with Jersey walls so that our thousands of new neighbors from New York, New Jersey and Northern Virginia can feel more at home. The strip malls, condominiums and traffic are thoughtful touches, as well.

Many thanks to the Last Word contributor whose entry centered on the neglected use of the direction signal. It brought to mind that when I was a youth in Maine, I drove my old Model T. I had to roll down the window and stick out my arm to signal my direction, even in below-zero conditions. Eventually, my folks got a car with an unbelievable modern attachment — a gadget behind the steering wheel which, when clicked, would tell by lights which direction I wished to turn. Wow! I made a point at that time to use the direction signal every time I turned, even on a country road with no one around. It soon became so ingrained in me that, to this day, I never think about the signal, I react from my subconscious. And now I know I have made life a tiny bit more pleasant for many people for the many years I have driven. Thank you.

Potholes

The connection from Route 199 to Colonial Parkway referred to in last Saturday's Gazette belongs to the U.S. Park Service. And until the current president in Washington can figure out how to get a kickback from asphalt used by the federal government, those potholes are not going to get fixed.

Free to you

I have a small fig plant to give away. Phone 229-1729.

Queen pillow top mattress and treadmill. Call 220-3630 after 5 p.m.

No coincidence

A young man allegedly engages in an act of petty theft and is killed by the state. A Last Word reader implies that a violent response is justified. Another young man allegedly engages in an act of petty theft and is killed by the state. Those who respond with violence, as well as those who merely protest, are condemned by readers of the Last Word. For many, there's clearly a difference between the deaths of Otto Warmbier and Michael Brown. See if you can guess what it is.

Thank you

Thank you, Roxanne, of Great Clips. You did a great haircut on me. Thank you.

Thank you for having the Last Word. The recommendations are appreciated. We also like your Fred Siegel cartoons and the "Curmudgeon Report" by Mr. Winslow. Thanks again.

I was looking for activities for my visiting grandchildren and was so impressed by our Williamsburg library's offerings for all ages. We attended the dance party with songs and the bubble machine, the Monday night bring-your-blanket movie screening, the drop-in craft projects and even saw a magician. I don't know if we have the new library director to thank for this, but kudos to the Williamsburg Library.

Last week we had a knock at the door and a person asked if we had lost a dock box (think boat items) that had floated away during a winter storm from high tides in the Jamestown Marina. He had found it while out kayaking in the spring, took it home and tried to figure out who lost it from a tag inside. I asked his name to thank him and all we would give me is Keith from Gloucester. Thank you, Keith!

Name change

So glad to see in last Saturday's Gazette that the sign at the old Rawls Byrd Elementary has been changed to the new, non-offensive name. Now we can all live in harmony and we won't have any racial strife, right? The reality is, campaigns like the one that resulted in this change are usually propelled by a lot of well-meaning, guilt-ridden white people who are eager to prove they aren't racist and can now "check the box" that they have done something for race relations. The truth is that most people don't know who Rawls Byrd was, and even so, the school was not named in honor of his resistance to segregation but for his life's work in education. Likewise, I doubt many residents know that other school namesakes, such as Clara Byrd Baker, J. Blaine Blayton and D.J. Montague, were African-American community leaders. Just as I don't think anyone really got upset driving by Rawls Byrd Elementary, I don't think anyone gets inspired driving by Clara Byrd Baker Elementary.

Parenting?

The most recent police blotter report identified that 16 juveniles were arrested/cited for acts ranging from rape to assault and battery, assault, illegal drugs, shoplifting, destruction of private property, breaking and entering, etc. Apparently "parenting" is a lost art in York County, James City County and Williamsburg.

Better timing

To the person who replied that they would do their shopping online as to not inconvenience the employees of stores at closing time ... you never had to work in a restaurant or in retail. Sometimes, these are the only type of jobs these people can get or do. You should be thankful they aren't living off your tax dollars and have some respect to not walk in "right at closing time." No, I do not work in either of these industries, but I do work with the public and also consider it very rude to be on your cellphone while trying to check out.

Civility, please

Yes, I would like to know why these people in Hollywood can threaten the president of the United States and nothing is done about it. If it was a normal — you know, a house is torn and pulled apart — we'd be locked up. This needs to stop. Whether you voted for him or not, he's still our president of the United States. Pack up and leave and go to another country because if you said it about one of their presidents, you would disappear forever. Thank you.

Taking criticism

I have observed that most people in Williamsburg do not know the value of criticism. All of us need to learn how to accept criticism. When someone criticizes you, it is polite to respond by saying, "Thank you for your criticism because it helps me do better." This positive action will help you to control your negative response.

Health insurance

Many who write in opposing universal health care presume undeserving individuals will be supported by their tax dollars. They assume they will have to foot the bill for others. The truth is that if you live long enough, you will need taxpayer support — no matter how much money you have saved. Advanced nursing care costs almost $100,000 per year on average. The average American has about $36,000 saved for retirement, not enough to pay for even six months of advanced care. Will your family be able to support you and provide the care you'll need? Chances are you will need government help at some point in life. If the GOP changes pass, most of us will be priced out of the insurance market and there will not be money in Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. The truth is the GOP health care plan and budget sets most of us up for a future of poverty and deprivation, all to benefit a few wealthy individuals.

Democrats are claiming that if Obamacare is repealed, 22 million Americans will be without health care. I guess that Democrats aren't aware that we don't live in a socialist country where everything is provided free of charge. In this country, you have to work for what you need or want; for that we don't pay 70 percent income taxes.

Why do people insist on saying 23 million people will lose their health care? The CBO says that half of those people will not purchase it because they don't want it and are forced to under Obamacare. For instance, an elderly couple or a single person do not want nor need pregnancy coverage but are forced to buy it now. The new system, when it finally emerges, will offer a choice. Oh, I know why, that is the way the news and Democrats report and talk about it.

Global trade

The Japan air bag company, Takata, has filed for bankruptcy and is being bought by a Detroit company, Key Safety Systems. We now learn that Key Safety is owned by a Chinese company. Our air bags will now be made in Detroit with the money going to China.

Recommended

There's a new restaurant on High Street. It's called Revolution Golf and Grille and we were there for lunch. The service was impeccable, food was delicious. Their furnishings were very modern and very comfortable. I highly recommend everybody to either go for lunch or dinner. They have entertainment on Friday and Saturday night and the prices are very, very reasonable for the area we live in. They're at 1430 High St., 645-4711.

I want to thank everyone for writing such wonderful comments about us at Artistic Fences. However, the phone number given is incorrect. Our contact number is 757-570-2928. Thank you!

Just had a super breakfast at the Southern Pancake House on Richmond Road. Pancakes, waffles — wonderful! And best grits in town. Hope you're fortunate enough to get Brigit. What a hoot she is.

Anyone who needs yard service, contact Paul at 757-561-1961. He mowed my yard at a great price and accommodated my schedule. He actually replies to all emails and texts, which pleasantly surprised me.

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