Last Word on Christmas bell ringers, Dec. 12

The Virginia Gazette

Christmas spirit

I was very dismayed to hear the manager of a local specialty grocery store berate two bell ringers for being too close to "his store." He was very loud and told them that there were other stores in the shopping center where they could ring and that he did not want them near "his store." He even made them move out of the sun into a shaded area on a very cold morning to get them away from "his store." These were volunteers who were simply trying to raise money in the Christmas spirit to help others and his attitude has completely turned me off to "his store." I will no longer patronize it. It's a shame that there are those who feel that the profits from the almighty dollar are more important than helping those less fortunate during the holiday season. Thank you to all the retail stores who welcome the sound of bell ringing. That sound is Christmas to my ears.

Sleep at night

To the person asking how the leadership of the NRA could sleep at night, I'll ask the same for the leadership at the ACLU. The ACLU is one of the liberal associations that was behind the call for the NSA to stop their lessening into our communications; those very communications that might provide a lead to stopping our next terrorist attack.

Native Americans

A recent letter stated that America was founded by immigrants and, unless you're an American Indian, everyone in America is an immigrant or descended from one. Actually, American Indians are the descendants of the first immigrants to this continent. Those "first peoples," or "aborigines," traveled from Siberia across a land bridge to Alaska and then down the Pacific coast. For people living in America today, if you were born here, you're a native American; if you were born in another country, you're an immigrant.

Traffic light fixed

Someone asked in the Dec. 6 edition of Last Word if anyone else has noticed the difference in the traffic light patterns at the intersection of Monticello and Ironbound. My answer is yes, I have and that I am thrilled! The only wreck I have ever had was at this intersection! It was my fault due to thinking I had the green light turning left when I did not! My error and yes, maybe I am dumb, but now that will never happen again due to this new change! Thank you, VDOT for correcting this confusing light!

Power lines

Until I began to read in The Virginia Gazette about the electric towers going across the James River, I never, ever, would have believed there are still people in this world that believe the world is flat.

Defeating Richmond?

Isn't it time for William and Mary to hire a coach that can beat Richmond? Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia have seen the light. Bring in some new blood.

Freedom of religion

It's very interesting to see all these people on the left coming out of the woodwork to vigorously defend freedom of religion for Muslims who want to immigrate to the United States. Now if these same people would only step forward to vigorously defend freedom of religion for Christians so that they would not be persecuted, fined or thrown in jail if they refuse to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding, then I could believe these people are serious.

Ability to compromise

I agree with the writer who, in defense of Obama, suggested that intelligent analysis (i.e., leadership) required compromise. This is, however, exactly the reason why Obama has failed at every turn. His inability to accept the give-and-take needed to successfully navigate dissenting views has divided and polarized our country. He should be reminded that this isn't a monarchy but a democracy and that getting things done requires a deft, not forceful or divisive hand. Reagan and Clinton showed this skill-set with world leaders and Congress alike but after seven long years, it's clear that Obama's "JV" comments toward ISIS would at best characterize his own performance. His promise of hope has faded and our country is now ready for a change!

Recommended

We had a amazing dinner at Doraldo Italian Restaurant The staff was amazing; the food to die for. And the Christmas decorations completely breathtaking! It's great for big events and family dinners! I recommend this restaurant!

We have recently had a chair recovered and slip covers made by Wilson's Interiors in Norge, 757-879-6540. We couldn't be happier with the results and highly recommend them.

I was laid up with intestinal flu while the leaves lay all over my yard. What a dilemma! What to do? How could I reach someone to hire to clear my yard? Bam! The "Dynamic Duo" showed up and with many hours of their hard work, my problem was solved. I could see my yard grass again—leaves gone! Thank you, "Dynamic Duo," Evan and Bruce Utne!

Thanks to the people at Chef's Kitchen. They helped me pick wine for Thanksgiving. Everyone loved it, even the lovely wine snob.

Iran deal

Iran has now for the second time ignored a UN resolution that was supposed to stop ballistic missile tests. So does anyone still think they will comply with the restrictions of Obama's nuclear deal?

Obama and Paris

To answer the question someone asked about explaining the President's comments about the shooting in Paris. I feel what he was referring to is the number of shootings that happen over a year, any given year. Shootings do not happen in any other country as often as they do in the US, which is also why the attack in Paris has been such a shocking and disturbing event. According to a 2009 Politifact article, about 35 people die every day by gunfire. The number has increased since then. So the President's comment that shootings don't happen at the same frequency in other countries is true. I wonder why everyone is so concerned about terrorism when the chances of getting shot by someone in your own community is much greater. Yet people aren't too concerned with that.

Christmas parade

Although we thoroughly enjoyed another year attending the Williamsburg Christmas Parade, the traffic situation was an accident waiting to happen. It was publicized that Richmond Road starting at Brooks Street and heading toward the college, would close at 8:00 a.m. That did not happen until well after 8:30 a.m. In the meantime, people in that general area were sitting on the edge of the road and walking on the side of the road while cars continued to travel in both directions. When the police put up a barricade, several cars were trapped on Richmond Road without a way out. Therefore, one had to do a U-turn which put the car extremely close to sidewalk pedestrians with strollers and small children. For the safety of parade goers, this really needs to be addressed next year.

Last Saturday at the Williamsburg Christmas parade, I saw that there was a tropical Christmas float with a Tiki bar, palm trees, and they were playing some great tropical Christmas music. There also was some guy in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts riding a bike in the cold. The float was put on by the Parrotheads of the Phininsula, the Williamsburg Parrot Head Club. They looked like a really fun group of people and I was wondering just what is a Parrot Head and what do they do in Williamsburg? Is it a club anyone can join?

Why wasn't parking blocked off on Richmond Road for the Williamsburg Christmas Parade? With the cars parked on the street, it blocked a lot of the available sidewalk for families to view the parade from, causing people to have to stand in the street. During the homecoming parade parking was blocked and I think it made for a nicer experience.

Grand Illumination

So there were lots of people at the Williamsburg Lodge after Grand Illumination. Many were conversing about how sad it is to see the changes that will take place at the Williamsburg Inn. Then, a gentleman from Philadelphia who referred to himself as "Big Glenn," a former big band orchestra leader, got everyone to sing Christmas carols by the outdoor fire pits . Glenn reminded me of the band singer Glenn Miller. He got us all in the mood. I returned to Manhattan as a happier 40-year-old lady. Thanks, Big Glenn.

CW got what it paid for this past Grand Illumination. The fireworks display, provided gratis by a world-renowned (?) pyrotechnic firm, was incredibly underwhelming. Sequences were interspersed with long periods of, well, nothing. At the Capitol, portions of the display that were popping down at the Magazine and Governor's Palace were a no show. And a glowing representation of CW's seal was unrecognizable unless you happened to know what the seal looked like in the first place. Add to all this a lackluster grand finale and you have a Grand Disappoint. If this company was trying to make a play for CW's business, I don't think they could have been more poorly prepared. Go back to the fireworks supplier from previous years, if they'll take you back. I think I'll invest my family's time in Hollydazzle next year.

I just got home from the Grand Illumination fireworks and I had to write right away. What a disappointment! What happened to the 18th century fireworks? Why were they not in perfect sync at all three locations as they usually are? Why were there so many wait periods between fireworks? They stopped constantly, so much so that when they were over, no one knew that they were. So terribly anti-climatic. Terribly disappointing. And to think, being in the tourism industry, I have always bragged and encouraged tourists to be here. I will never do that again! Please bring our prior fireworks company back. Please.

Guns

On this the 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, it takes only 25 days for the same number of Americans to die as a result of gunshot wounds as died in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

A recent item in the Last Word complained about people on the FBI's terrorist list buying guns. The reader, who should have checked facts rather than relying on Fox, blamed President Obama for "easing up on FBI doing their job." The blame actually lies with the Republican Congress. On Dec. 3, just one day after the mass killings in San Bernardino, every Senate Republican except one voted against legislation to prevent people on the FBI's consolidated watch list from purchasing guns or explosives. Another bill that would have expanded background checks to gun show and online firearms sales to screen out convicted felons and the mentally ill also failed. All four Republican senators running for president - Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Paul Rand, and Lindsey Graham - voted against these measures. President Obama supported the legislation, saying: "Those same people we don't allow to fly can go into a store in the United States and buy a firearm, and there's nothing that we can do to stop them. That's a law that needs to be changed."

In fact, a former deputy prime minister in Australia has warned Aussies that it isn't safe to travel here. We are 15 times more likely to be shot dead, per capita, here in the United States than in Australia.

I have a proposal which both sides in the gun debate might be able to get behind. Possess a gun or imply you have a gun when committing a crime = 20 years, no parole. Injure someone with a gun when you commit a crime = life without parole. Kill someone when you commit a crime = death without appeal.

Believing Trump

I'm not sure which is scarier: The fact that Donald Trump makes dangerous and irresponsible statements about banning Muslims which only feeds more hatred into a small community of radicalized individuals or the fact that people in our community support his rhetoric. What have we become?

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