Dec. 30, the Last Word for 2015

The Virginia Gazette

Driving challenge

A Roundabout? Many Virginia drivers haven't even mastered turn signals yet.

While there are a number of justifiably negative comments related to this poorly conceived "Round-about remedy" to traffic at Centerville Road and News Road, none mention the most negative. That being: VDOT plans to exercise eminent domain to acquire portions of property from residents, who've owned there since the completion of the governor's mansion in Colonial Williamsburg. Any reasonable state entity, developer or supervisor should see eminent domain as a last resort, never a first choice.

Great game

Recently, the William and Mary Tribe basketball team put on a show for the devoted basketball fans against High Point. Not having their best shooting night, they fought to stay close, and at the end of regulation play, they were tied. The five minute OT was even more exciting, and the stars were aligned and the Tribe held on to win by three. The majority of loyal Tribe fans are not kids, but alumni, local residents and really loyal senior citizens. We would really appreciate the athletic director to look into the sound system and please tone it down. It's so loud you can't talk to the person sitting beside you. Please consider it. Thank you very much.

Thank you

I want to thank two teenagers, a boy and a girl, who brought me a large cup of lemonade while I was ringing the Salvation Army donation bell in front of the ABC store in Monticello Shopping Center on Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. What an unexpected, nice surprise! Thank you. There are so many nice people in Williamsburg, and those nice adults have raised nice, kind and caring children.

Robert Hodges' Christmas concert on Dec. 21 at the Williamsburg Library was exceptional. It was inspirational, heartfelt and conveyed the true meaning of Christmas. The standing ovation at the finale spoke volumes and was a well deserved tribute to a true artist and virtuoso of the piano. Indeed, we should be proud of our native son.

Bird behavior

In Dec. 16th Last Word, there was a caller that talked about the flocks of birds. In answer to their question—they wanted to know does anyone know why a large flock of the same type of bird will gather simultaneously in one tree. My best answer to them is, it's an old adage that goes back thousands of years. It's called, "Birds of a feather flock together." So I hope that satisfies your curiosity. Have a good day and a Merry Christmas.

Recommended

For the person looking for someone to make custom-made draperies, I would highly recommend Chris Chura of Chura Custom Interiors. She's at 757-870-9112. Not only did she design all the custom window treatments for my new home, but she was instrumental in helping me space plan all of the rooms and buy new furniture for my living room. Thank you.

Is there any plan for the Virginia Gazette to research and report on how Colonial Williamsburg's decision to cut spouses' medical benefits is affecting other businesses in the community who are now needing to add those folks onto their benefit packages? I would imagine there is a great cost to other businesses in this area and would appreciate seeing some research on this front. Thank you!

Tongue in cheek

There is a contentious practice being promoted by the Virginia Department of Education. The agency's promotion of Arabic numerals as a matter of policy systematically puts the state's children at risk for radicalization. Anyone using or promoting these symbols - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0 - should be suspect and reported by those in the community interested in protecting our freedoms. Though there has been no specific threat of harm to students, these must be removed as a cautionary measure, lest we as taxpayers accidentally promote indoctrination. Thank you.

Cable TV

All the people in Williamsburg and James City County who are opposed to the pricing practices of Cox Communications should attend Board of Supervisors or City Council meetings and demand that both agencies enter into contract talks with Verizon to bring FIOS to our community as quickly as possible.

Went to visit the Cox store to get the two Cox mini-boxes (free for 2 years). Did initial install on bedroom TV. (1) Long line at Cox store but extra staff – very efficient, (2) Installation not as easy as advertised; support needed to be called to activate - expected, (3) While the TV remote used to control everything, now Cox remote controls limited functions but need TV remote as well - unacceptable, (4) No way to filter stations not ever watched; no way to create favorites – unacceptable, (5) No improvement in picture quality; it has always been good – expected, (6) No new stations as touted by Cox - expected, (7) Called Cox support prior to a more complex install on main TV that is hooked up to AMP/DVD/ROKU/Apple TV/Nintendo controlled with a single universal remote; informed that only COX remotes work with mini box – $100+ universal remote would sit idle - unacceptable. Bottom line: bedroom TV now on basic cable; main TV on rooftop HD antenna (better picture than cable) with Hulu, Netflix, and other media streamed through Apple TV – plenty good enough. Once alternative system DVR capability (Tablo) stabilizes and I am satisfied, will give COX back their mini–boxes and set myself free of cable.

Here is what cable systems don't want you to know: You can get clear and free digital channels right off of the air! No cable bill for us! We get plenty of channels with our little and inexpensive digital antenna in our attic from one of the big box stores. It is not perfect but there is no cable bill. There are many other sources to lower TV reception costs. Ask around and research and you will be pleasantly surprised. Well, it's time to get back to my free TV!

Just finished reading the Wednesday edition of the Last Word. Three comments about Cox cable and their "new" mini boxes that after a year of free service we will have to pay for, and what can you do? Easy, get online or run to your nearest store, buy yourself a Roku and cut the cable cord as I plan to do.

For all those concerned about the new Cox box, you need to put your concerns on the shelf. Went to the Cox store and picked up my "must have and see to believe" box. Easy to install and much improved picture. I connected it to my man cave TV and sat back to watch Monday Night Football … wait for it ... you guessed it, we no longer receive channel 12 ESPNHD. After perusing the remaining channels, a lot of original programming is no longer accessible (missing channels between 20-42, 53-69; no Fox sports or news, for example). Good news: now I have more shopping channels and 40 channels of music. I cannot wait to pay more for the sports package.

Yes, just a word of advice for all the folks in this area who use Cox Communications for their TV service. Starting Jan. 26, for instance, if you have expanded basic service, you're going to be losing about 15% of your channels. If you want to retain those channels, you're going to have to pay $2.99 a month for each mini box. They're going to require you to have a mini box to convert the signal from analog to digital. So if you have a lot of TVs, it's going to cost you a lot of extra money per month. I don't think it's right that they're doing this, but, you know, they got us all over a barrel, it seems like.

Refugees

Just want to thank the person who wrote in about the present refugees issue and stated that we should train the men 18 to 50 to fight and send them back to their country. This is actually a realistic idea that our current administration could think up on their own. I would even take it a step further, since the Obama Administration now declared that women are illegible for combat, this should also apply to the women refugees.

A little paint

Has anyone noticed that the exterior of the white plantation house at Williamsburg Memorial Park badly needs repair and paint? I am so disappointed that it has become an eyesore and hope that everyone who has loved ones buried there will speak up.

Guns

The Virginia Attorney has stated he is revoking the concealed carry agreement with 25 other states. One question, does the attorney general have the authority to make this decision based on his own beliefs? His reasons, related on the evening news, are not valid arguments for this action. One stated reason is mentally ill people and criminals will not be able to carry in Virginia. These people are already barred by U.S. Federal law from caring concealed firearms, so this reason makes no sense. Another stated reason that other states must meet Virginia's standards. Florida, one of the states that doesn't meet the attorney general's standards, is the "Gold Standard" of CCW states. Virginia's requirements are far less than Florida's.

Bergdahl's rank

Bergdahl, who's up for perhaps court martial—he's in the proceedings—when he deserted his post, he was a private. His time would have been up when he was in captivity. Who re-enlisted him? And who gave him a promotion to a sergeant? Why is he a sergeant now? We have a son in the military who just was promoted. He, like my husband, like tons of people we know, earned that promotion by doing that which is right. Who re-enlisted him when he came out of prison and who promoted him? Is this the cover-up for the five terrorist combatants that he was traded for? That we said, "Well, this is the hero that we have to give a promotion to." It seems bizarre. Why isn't he treated as the private he was when he deserted his post? As he's now answering for soldiers who risked their lives looking for him.

Lost his vote

I've always voted Democrat, but I will never, ever, vote Democrat again. It's pitiful that our President is in Hawaii with taxpayers' dollars protecting him, and he couldn't give the people who are on Social Security and all that, who really need it, a raise because gas prices are down. Which is ridiculous because food prices keep going up, up and up. Next running mates for the Democratic Party are no better. Thank you.

Power lines

If all of those who are opposed to the Dominion Power line across the James would get together, form a corporation, drill a tunnel under the James River, they could charge a toll for cars to go through it and allow the power company to run their power lines through it. All problems solved.

Terrorism

We're tightening up immigration. If you visited Syria or Iraq in the last five years, and Sudan, we're going to require a visa—we're tightening up our immigration. But it doesn't apply to Iran. How nuts is that? My husband, who's INS, DOJ, laughed and said, "Oh, yeah, let's ease it up on the sponsors of terrorism." That's ridiculous, since any terrorist can come through Iran, and they sponsor them, which means they're giving them money and armory and aid. That's genius!

Candidates

Wow. What a choice. Between a trash talking psychopath in one party and a congenital liar in the other. It is an American tragedy that, up to this point, both parties have failed the public. It is not yet too late to avert a disaster but time is running out. Come on, Americans. Wake up.

Frank Shatz of the Gazette recently did an opinion piece on immigration. He fails to mention the fact there are several Republican candidates with a plan, and a path to citizenship, once our border is secure—kindly ask Mr. Rubio, Christie or Bush. Why would anybody be opposed to better border security, at this time in history? He only prominently mentions and quotes, candidate Hillary Clinton with a plan for our 12 million illegal immigrants; why the disparity? I assume it's because, according to Mr. Shatz, 10 months out from election, she has already "out- maneuvered" and "carved out a political position that may pay off at election time. " He fails to mention at all the two Republican Hispanic presidential candidates. Let's hold off on the Clinton coronation for a few months, please.

We're Republicans, and RNC sent out a note a while ago, asking everybody if we wanted Jeb Bush to be president — he was on the top of the list. And, what's funny, is everybody said, "Are you joking? We don't want him. We don't like his immigration status. We don't want him, period." So now, this week, we have Lindsey Graham, who's finally decided he's not going to run, considering he has nothing. Jeb Bush, after 100 million dollars and the establishment of Republicans trying to shove it down Republicans' throats, is at 3%. He's below the margin of error. Maybe, you might want to drop out. Perhaps they don't get the message yet. He's last on our list. Arrivederci, Jeb Bush.

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