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Last Word on open-classroom design, March 30

The Virginia Gazette
Williamsburg's parking survey is a great idea, one reader says.

Open classrooms

The real problem with the new James Blair School has never been discussed. Its design will be an open classroom design, a scheme that was wildly popular in the 70s, but discarded when educators found that open classrooms with no walls simply did not work in an educational setting. It's not too late.

Parking survey

I was very happy to see that the city wanted input about the parking in down town, which is abysmal unless you want to pay to park in a garage to go into a store or restaurant and pay for that. So, the survey that was listed in the article seemed like a good opportunity. The only problem is that the site that is listed in the article does not work. Editor's note: Find the parking survey at

Looking for ...

To the person looking for help building a website at a reasonable cost: Google Volusion. They help you set up the website that you might want and they give you a month free. The customer service support is phenomenal. So just google Volusion and you'll be very happy. Thank you.

I'm seeking help with some hauling of yard debris/old wire fencing from someone who is licensed and bonded. We've been doing spring clean up and have no way to get it to the dump. If you can help, please leave contact info. in the next Last Word. Thank you so much.

Good commentary

Mr. Filko's op-ed in the March 19th edition of the Gazette was a very fair, well written description of where we are headed. As the great chronicler of American democracy in the 19th century, Alexis de Tocqueville, once quoted, "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

Thank you to Mr. Filko for his article "We have a right to—what?" It is on point and very well written. It gives me hope that our schools may actually be teaching the basic differences between our political ideologies…rather than falsely assigning motivations like we typically see from the media. Too bad this did not make the digital online version where it could reach a wider audience. Kudos to The Virginia Gazette for publishing it.

Excellent opinion piece in the March 19 Gazette by Joseph B. Filko, titled "We have a right to -- What?" His last paragraph reminded me that about 200 years ago Alexis de Tocqueville visited America and warned us about what is happening now. He referred to it as the "tyranny of the majority." Filko points out that many people today have come to accept the idea that certain "needs" are "rights." I would expand this to say that many people also believe that a lot of "wants" are "needs." Humans need air, water, food, clothing, and shelter; much of what lies outside of those categories are merely "wants."

Joseph Filko's, "We have a right to what?" Well written, worth keeping, excellent analysis. Thank you, Joe.

WJCC high schools

Why is it everyone sees the disparity between WJCC high schools except the school superintendent, the old school board and the staff at the central office? A consultant report accepted by the school system which ranked Jamestown, Warhill and Lafayette the same has now been rebuked. This is exactly how the people of Flint, MI, were poisoned, public officials choosing to ignore the obvious. School leadership has failed the students at Lafayette HS; heads should roll, starting at the top. The JCC Board of Supervisors should demand Dr. Constantino's resignation immediately.

Candle making

I see Colonial Williamsburg is now promoting the trade of candle making. When I worked there we were told people would have bought, not made, candles. What changed?


I really enjoyed the comment about compassion, how we should try to show more compassion for people before our pets. I put my pet first any day and the reasons are endless.

Presidential politics

Just watched our President in Cuba address the terrorist attack in Belgium today. He gave it a whopping 30 seconds, you know. He's so generous with his time when it comes to discussing the Moslems in Paris, which he does not even acknowledge. Can some of his supporters give me support on why I should not be critical of President Obama? Thank you.

I for one and know of many others that want the Gazette to continue to provide an opportunity for us to write about presidential politics. The educated need an outlet to express their opinion and the Last Word does just that.

Just when I thought that Obama couldn't disgrace the office of the President of the United States any more than he has already done, he continues with his visit to Cuba and watches a baseball game when the world suffers another terrorist attack. Obama should be impeached and replaced with a Republican President who will make us proud to be an American again.

As a parting shot to the American people, President Obama is seeking a post-presidential raise for himself, all former presidents, and their staffs in advance of his White House exit. In his budget requests for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, Obama seeks nearly $4,000,000 in appropriations for expenditures for former presidents. The budget request includes $588,000 (an 18% increase), beyond the fiscal year 2016 appropriation level in presidential pensions. And yet our military service-members have not received a COLA increase for years. Contact your representative and say no.

Golf carts

Golf carts on our city streets, sidewalks and C.W. Remember when those unlicensed golf carts, were only allowed on golf courses? Those unlicensed "carts" have expanded onto our public streets, sidewalks and C.W. And all without any form of legal license plates and regulations, like we licensed auto drivers must buy and display. Are they insured for anywhere driving? Why are they allowed to crisscross our streets and sidewalks without a legal license? Wait, bicycle riders are also, now, given free roaming rights anywhere in our city and W&M campus, too! Thank you.

Free to you

I have a picture tube 27" TV that works great on cable. Comes with remote. Great for a kid's room. You pick up - 757-566-8182.

Fresh flowers?

What happened to fresh flowers and greens at Williamsburg Lodge? I noticed fake flowers and ivy there recently. Is this the new look?

Daytime bridge

To the person who requested information about a daytime bridge class for beginners and people who played a long time ago and want to renew their skills. If there are enough people (preferably eight or more) interested in such a class, I will consider starting one if we can agree on a convenient day and time. If interested, call James Davis at 757-869-6310.

Swim practice

In support of mandatory H.S. swim practices at 5 a.m., the most recent opinion writer states that his or her own children's best experience was getting to know their team. Notably, it wasn't swimming, swim meets or swim practices. But his or her children's desire to socialize comes at a high cost to others: early morning socializing hurts them as swimmers and students.

I'm calling in reference to the comment about why swim practices should be any different from basketball. First, basketball teams don't practice at 5 a.m. before school. Second, two wrongs don't make a right. Thank you.

Fudge recipe

To the person wanting the recipe for peanut butter fudge made only with Parkay Margarine, I have it , but you didn't give a number or e-mail address so that I can send it to you.

One more sign

Thank you, VDOT, for the beautiful job cleaning up Cranston Mill Pond Road in James City County. I hope the state and county can work together to implement strategies to deter dumping on this lovely road. Perhaps a few "Do Not Litter" signs, such as the ones on Jolly Pond Road, may help.


Thank you, Chris, at European Auto. He was able to get my BMW Bluetooth back up and running in no time. It would have taken us hours to figure out how to get it running again. More than likely we couldn't have.

To the reader inquiring about window replacement companies: I researched extensively before having 10 windows replaced last year. My research led me to Custom Vinyl Products in Newport News. The windows are manufactured on site at the Industrial Park off Route 60 near Ft. Eustis. My windows and one door were installed over two days. It was the best home improvement experience I have ever had. The owner offers a lifetime guarantee on the seal. Contact Barry Taylor at 757-887-3194. He lives in Williamsburg and has replaced windows in Scott's Pond.

I am looking for a person in the Williamsburg area that works on electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Please call 253-5621.

To the person shopping for replacement windows, I recommend Custom Vinyl Products at 757-887-3194. My in-laws are very happy with the windows CVP provided for their new sunroom. The company is locally owned, manufactures windows and doors right here in Newport News and offers great quality and service.

Thank you so much to Tidewater Physical Therapy. Karen is so welcoming when you walk in the front door, and Katherine, Jessie and Liz did a great job in getting me healthy again. I so appreciate it. Thank you so much. God bless.

Health insurance

According to Fox News, The Department of Homeland Security reported to the Senate sub-Committee, that under ObamaCare there were 23 cooperatives created of which more than one-half have failed. There was $2.4 billion spent to establish them. The failed co-ops lost more than $1.4 billion and there has been no repayment made. There is an additional $1.1 billion in additional liabilities pending for them.

Supreme Court

To the person suggesting a Protestant should be on the Supreme Court: The United States Constitution states quite plainly that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." The religions of the Supreme Court should not be an issue. If they were, where would it end with Mormons, Hinduism, Muslims, atheists?

Sanctuary cities

Across the U.S., there are over 300 cities, counties, and states that are considered sanctuary cities. These jurisdictions protect criminal aliens from deportation by refusing to comply with immigration and Custom Enforcement Agency detainers or impede communication exchanges between their officers and federal immigration agents. Why do we allow our elected officials to ignore federal laws and allow illegal aliens to remain in our country?

Tight security

What is so important at the Social Security office in Newport News that we have to pay for all that security? Or, is it the Federal Government knows that we have a major threat from illegals from ISIS and possibly have cells in this country? Is it that the federals want to ensure federal buildings do not fall victim? Some would say, "Who cares? I have nothing to hide." Many of us freedom lovers say no—it's not good in the context of giving up our right to due process and illegal search and seizure. If we lose that fundamental right, we lose all freedoms.

Assisted living

If you are considering a move to an assisted living facility, you need to visit several places. A sales manager should be on duty to explain everything about the place. You will be invited to have a free meal. To get more information, re-visit the place and talk to some of the residents. Ask them what they like and don't like about the place. This way is the best way to find out if you will be happy there.

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