Last Word on traffic lights, July 19

Rules of the road

I love traffic lights. It doesn't matter if they are red, yellow or green. It does not matter if they are flashing or solid. They help to keep the flow of traffic moving and are intended to add safety. They have proven to me to be a beneficial addition repeatedly. For me, they add a sense of security that I am in the proper lane for turning left or right or moving straight ahead. I have a view of such directional driving aids that, were they lacking, I might be in a position where I need to rely on the arrows painted on the road that are sometimes faint from years of existence or quite often obscured by vehicles. While many of us are aware that stop signs and yield signs are frequently ignored in our area anyway, not to mention the lack of lane changing signal use which is another story in its entirety, having the additional traffic light aids of blinking arrows are a definite positive addition to our traffic safety.

I'm just watching the news on television about the bicycle that was hit. He was obviously riding in the middle of the road where there are two double yellow lines, way over from where he should have been and he got hit. And now, it's the motorist's fault. I submit he should stay on the right hand side of the road … Stonehouse, same thing. They think they own the road, but they don't. If they want to sue for their rights after they've been run over and killed, so be it.

Colonial Williamsburg

I think it would be good to temporarily reduce Colonial Williamsburg's real estate taxes, except on property that has to do with: serving food, lodging, selling merchandise, luxury services (such as golf, spa), or is leased to others (U.S. Post Office downtown, a downtown bank, shops in Merchants Square area). If CW wants to be a not-for-profit museum, OK great, reduce taxes. But if they want to run businesses, CW needs to pay taxes like any other business. CW owns 302 parcels in Williamsburg, 11 in JCC and 13 in York County (326 total).

My whole family is so upset and dismayed about the closing of the Kimball Theatre and other changes in Colonial Williamsburg. I believe I can sum the problem up in just a few words: Too many chiefs, not enough Indians.

Perhaps with all the changes at Colonial Williamsburg, management of the famed Williamsburg Inn's Tranquility Pool seems to have gone the way of other CW institutions. On a recent long weekend, the noise and rambunctious levels rivaled a neighborhood pool party gone wild. From the loud-mouth bachelorette groups to the children playing Marco Polo, there was absolutely no enforcement of the pool's former "quiet only" policy. In the event that an adult supervisor cannot monitor the policy, perhaps a few more signs might help guests better understand the word "tranquility." Otherwise, you might as well go to Water Country USA for some peace and quiet.

With all of the recent negative news regarding the financial situation with Colonial Williamsburg and the termination of some employees, as well as the closing of the Kimball Theatre, we now are made aware that the solution to this problem is to have real estate taxes waived for the foundation.

I have been following the changes taking place at CW regarding outsourcing. It seems that the hotels will still be run and staffed by CW employees. Unless this is changed, the savings that CW hopes to make from outsourcing will not be realized. The hotel staff is union and well paid. Many are in tipped positions (bellmen, for example) and make tipped wages. One of the reasons I suspect CW wants to keep the hotels run and managed by its own staff is so the foundation can dictate the costs of food and beverage, lodging and other services that the hotels provide to the foundation for donor events and other entertainments. If the hotels were outsourced, those running the operations would not put up with this financial arrangement. Check out the losses the Inn and Lodge have incurred for the past 20 years if you want to have some idea of where CW is bleeding. Again, it's not enough to outsource just the non-union jobs (golf course, maintenance, etc.). The real savings would be in having the unions go away when those hotel jobs are outsourced. I guess CW is not ready to take on that political issue; consequently they will not achieve their savings goals.

The Fourth of July fireworks in Colonial Williamsburg were beautiful, although the accompanied music was a distraction. First, the music selection was inconsistent with a patriotic celebration, but the biggest issue was the loud volume the music was played at. At times, the music overtook the sound of the fireworks. To add insult to injury, there was an announcement made during the grand finale! Please, leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Try apprenticeship

The average student loan debt for 2016 college graduates was $37,172 and 70 percent of the graduates left school owing money. Another more affordable choice is an apprenticeship, trade school or community college, all of which are an alternative to a college degree for starters. These students pay much less money to attend smaller and more flexible classes while graduating with the needed in demand skills to obtain a rewarding career with little or no debt.

Restaurant closed?

The Zaxby's in this area was a great place to eat and recently it was temporarily closed. But then, when I went the day after when it was supposed to open, they said it was permanently closed and had no further information. So, does anybody know if we're going to have a Zaxby's? Are they going to open up in another location? Thank you.

Looking for ...

Could anyone give me a reference on the nursing home called the Envoy of Williamsburg? I was thinking about entering a nursing home, and I wanted to know what the public thought of the Envoy. Thank you.

The Williamsburg Youth Football and Cheerleading League is in need of cheer coaches for cheerleaders ages 5-12. No experience is needed, just enthusiasm and a willingness to guide young people. Please contact Jen Waymire at 757-604-1450 or hornetsgreenvp@gmail.com for more information.

I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I was wondering if there is a support group here in Williamsburg.

I noticed someone was asking how to get a phone book with the residential numbers. That number is 1-877-243-8339.

New stores

I was told at one time that we were going to get a Costco in this area, and it was going to be located where the closed JC Penney and the Best Buy and Target stores were out there on Route 199. Does anybody have any information on the status of Costco? And possibly a good recommendation to have some kind of food place out there for people who shop to have somewhere to eat? Thank you.

Unusual name

I'm in my mid 60s and I've lived in New Jersey all my life, so far. Imagine my surprise to learn what I thought were "sound barriers" are actually "Jersey walls." I've seen them in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, too. I wonder what they're called in those states. My wife and I have visited Williamsburg more than 50 times since our honeymoon in 1976, and I've subscribed to the Gazette for more than 10 years. I've seen some interesting comments in the Last Word over the years, but the "Jersey walls" comment is one of the more puzzling ones. I guess you learn something every day.

Virtual reality

If Sturgis, S.D., can have a Virtual Reality Station, why can't we? They get to try out a Harrier Jet! And there are likely many other such experiences that are available in the systems. Sounds like fun — can't a local entrepreneur bring in such a business? To the nearly empty in-town shopping center to get business there?

Free health care

We'd appreciate learning how many people pulling in medical care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Obamacare insurance voted for Trump. Do any of them get their health care courtesy of "free" clinics? You know, the clinics supported by caring folks who choose to give money and time to care for their neighbors, and the medical providers are probably donating their talent and time as well. Just wondering how many of those folks follow the money and get that someone else has paid for their care.

Losing time

I went to the allergist today for my allergy shot, and I asked for a timer to count down the 30 minutes I need to be there before they check my arm. And I was told that they didn't have any more timers because people kept leaving with the timers — they were just walking out of the office with the timers. I couldn't believe it. So I put a plea out there: If you walked away from your doctor's office with the timers, please take them back.

Thank you

I was just recently released from Sentara Hospital in Williamsburg. I just wanted to commend all the nurses on 4 South — what good care I got, from the housekeeper all the way up to the head nurse — it was wonderful. And I got well faster than I would have otherwise. Thank you so much, 4 South.

A great big thank you to Harris Teeter for carrying the Ukrop's bakery and deli items. Just one more reason to love Harris Teeter.

Small irony

It is ironic that Ukrop's was closed on Sunday and did not sell wine and beer, but when Martin's was closing, it sold all the beer at half price on Sunday.

Stress buster

Wouldn't it be a great stress reliever, as well as a way to keep our officers in good shape, to give them their own gym? The gym would need to be for the Williamsburg Police Department only. For privacy and easy access, this gym should be located in the police department building. It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just some good, basic, easy-to-use equipment.

New tenant?

I am still surprised that no other grocery store has agreed to take the now closed Martin's location. Although the Martin's had to close, it sure was not for lack of business. That location was the top in sales, above all other Martin's in the country.

Recommended

I recently had my brick and vinyl two-story home's exterior pressure washed by All Smiles Roof Cleaning & House Washing. The result was awesome, spotless and lovely. I liked their service so much I asked them to do my driveway and walkway next. They did a terrific job as well. Their rates are reasonable and their work is first class. I recommend them highly. You can reach them at 757-634-0112.

Bud's Heating and Air Conditioning really came through for us during the recent hot spell. We discovered our air conditioning was not working on Friday afternoon before the Fourth of July holiday and long weekend. Bud's came to our rescue on Saturday and discovered we needed a new compressor that had to be ordered. They arranged to keep things going for us until they received the necessary part. If Bud's had not helped us, we would have had to temporarily move into a motel, as the heat would have been unbearable, especially for seniors like us. Thanks, Bud's, for your continued good service.

State elections

As we move into the election season in Virginia, I want to call peoples' attention to a website, vpap.org, which provides a daily compilation of newspaper articles from across the state. It's not always easy to find information on local and state politics, and this website helps. You can sign up for free to have a newsletter sent to your email each day.

Deer crossing

Could the city put up deer crossing signs between Route 199 and Newport? I have no dislike of deer, despite them treating my hostas as a salad bar (the plants come back). The tailgaters on Henry worry me as I slow down, knowing that deer are social animals and some could be unseen. I want to avoid a collision with the animals in front and the car behind me. I always drive the speed limit or perhaps slightly above it until I see a deer next to the street.

Paying up

I just got a bill from Deborah Robinson, Yorktown treasurer, telling me that I owe $1.29 on my 2017 business license. Now it cost them more money to send this thing, saying I should drive all the way over to Yorktown to pay this. Why couldn't they have simply tacked it on to next year's bill and let me pay it all at the same time? Common sense is dead in government.

G20 meetings

The G20 meeting in Germany — I would like to know, if it's in Germany, why do the protestors have signs all in English? Are they trying to get the press to broadcast this so that the Americans will think that the Germans are disliking the Americans? Just another goofy question. Thank you.

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette
28°