Last Word on paperwork, Jan 2

School paperwork

I recently learned from my daughter-in-law, who is a special education teacher in Northern Virginia, about the huge paperwork requirement needed for each student. Teachers are required to continually evaluate each student’s progress every quarter. The student’s file amounts to about 20-40 pages for the teacher to monitor, amend and rate progress. The federal and state evaluation requirements seem to be too demanding and restrictive. The special education evaluation requirements sound like a bureaucratic nightmare. Legislators and educators need to dig into this; we need this to be investigated.

Just a thought

The more I read the Last Word, the more I realize that Williamsburg is whine country.

Looking for …

To the person looking for transportation for medical appointments: The Peninsula Agency on Aging provides a service called “Ride.” The Rides program is a door-to-door service for medical appointments only. Their vans are equipped for both ambulatory or wheelchair clients. There is no charge for this service, only a donation if you care to do it. A 48-hour notice is required before your appointment. The number to schedule a ride is 757-345-6166.

Since we never got a Sam's Club and more people here want Costco - when can we get a Costco in the Williamsburg area?

Would anyone have information as to where Sarah Macpeace — a hairstylist from Scotland Street Salon — is working? She is a wonderful stylist and actually listens to customers.

Some years ago, to remove broken limbs from my yard, I bought a SOLO chainsaw model 650. I have gotten fantastic service from it until I applied too much torque to the top handle when I stuck it in a log. Since SOLO was until recently made in Newport News, I thought someone else might have a SOLO that still has a functional handle. The applicable p/n is 6074991. Mine still runs well, just need the handle.

Looking for a reputable furniture repair person who is preferably local with excellent references for bedroom furniture repair and possible refinishing. Please respond Last Word. Thank you.

Does anyone know where gentle yoga classes are offered? Please respond to Last Word.

After suffering through many scopings, surgeries and trying different local specialists, I was finally referred to the Gastroenterology Group at the UVA Hospital in Charlottesville, and I saw Dr. Andrew Wang. I can now say I feel better than I have in 30 years. So no, I do not know a local gastroenterologist I would suggest to you. My problems required one of the best groups in the country and fortunately they are here in Virginia.

County sprawl

Thank you Michael Grimes for writing so clearly about the disconnect between what residents here want and what local government and typical developers manage to get. A large part of our population is made up of those who are very senior and presumably not doing a lot of retail shopping. Anoter large portion are college students, who we are led to believe have little spending money, and low-paid employees who probably can’t afford to live here but perhaps do their shopping here. So who is left to keep retail alive and well? And then, as Grimes explains, more development means mores roads, schools, fire and police — none of which is ever required to be a cost to the developer. So elected officials keep kicking the proverbial can down the road, the sprawl duplicates the boring mass, mess, mediocrity all over America. If property owners want to rezone and sell to developers, let the development pay for the additional infrastructure they will need. Or encourage property owners to place their acres with the Historic Land Conservancy — or put more vulnerable acres into permanent green areas. Stop creating ugly sprawl.

Loose dogs

There apparently are two irresponsible dog owners in Fenwick Hills. One has two dogs they let run: one is a Rottweiler the other a spaniel type about the size of an Irish Setter. They often show up in our yard and on our deck. The second person has two dogs that run free; both are about the size of an Irish Setter. The later pair attacked a racoon and were last seen playing tug of war with the poor fellow. They broke or dislocated his right hind leg and it will probably not survive. I have two outdoor cats and if either are hurt by these dogs it will be unfortunate. Keep your dogs on a leash; it’s the law.

Speedy delivery

Serious question: How many times can one package leave a post office building before leaving town? One of my packages arrived at the Indianapolis Distribution Annex on Dec. 26 at 9:05 p.m. It departed the Indianapolis annex on Dec.27 at 7:26 a.m. at 12:39 p.m. and at 12:57 p.m. It seem the answer is that in Indianapolis, a postal package can leave the post office three times before leaving town. It took about three and a half hours for my package to find its way out of the building, hopefully it is finally on its way here.

On Friday, both the December 2018 and the January 2019 “Next Door Neighbors” were delivered to our home along with a fistfull of other bulk mail pieces; no personal mail was in the bunch. I saw special events and ads that I would have liked to have known about leading up to/through Christmas. How very sad the sponsors of such events have no recourse for lost revenue and advertising dollars against the USPS. I feel so sorry for those who deliver. Because of their visibility, they are bearing the brunt of everyone’s frustration. We must remember they can only deliver what is provided to them.

Bible study

For those considering the Bible study held Monday nights at the Norge Library: Make sure you read up on Shepherds’s Chapel teachings before you go.

Competition

Personally, I think that we should have more than one cable company to choose from in this area. Cox Cable needs some competition, especially with their prices, and I would be interested in knowing what other folks in this area think about this.

Pay raises

Trump, while in a combat zone, told our brave troops they got a 10 percent pay raise this year. He said he fought hard for this raise, the first in 10 years. It’s absolutely not true. They got a 2.4 percent increase that he signed for in 2018 and 2.1 percent he signed for in 2017. In fact, they have had an increase every year over the past 10 years. He shows tremendous disrespect to our military, who actually put their lives on the line for us.

Trump and the GOP Congress enacted moderate tax cuts for middle income citizens and large reductions for the wealthiest people despite growing federal budget deficits which the GOP always hates and which is worsening due largely to tax cuts. Now Trump cancels the 2.1 percent annual pay increase and freezes pay for all government workers to keep the deficit from worsening. At least the 27th Amendment prohibits a member of the Senate or House from getting a raise unless or until he/she is re-elected. Trump is failing at his job to improve America and its citizens and instead creates more income inequality and divisiveness. Once again, he makes America's adversaries very happy.

Trump flew all the way to Iraq to lie to the military, claiming they hadn't gotten a pay raise in 10 years. They have gotten one every year and the ones in 2008 and 2009 we're larger than this year.

Border wall

Custom & Border Protection reports approximately 521,000 people were apprehended crossing the U.S. southwest border illegally during Fiscal 2018. The CBP said that “there is outdated border wall structure” and large numbers of people illegally coming into the U.S. by crossing through shallow portions of the Colorado River. Stop illegal immigration.

The Congressional Democrats should offer the president a deal to match dollar for dollar all money Mexico contributes to pay for his wall.

Drones and satellites do not provide border security; they merely tell us that people are crossing. Properly constructed walls stop people from crossing.

In response to those who have contributed $17 million to the GoFundMe account to build a wall. GoFundMe only lists the donations, not withdrawals. The person who started it may have already cleaned out the account and is getting ready to move to a country with no extradition.

It insults my intelligence when Trump says a wall will stop drugs from Mexico. Who would entrust $60,000 in drugs to someone wading across the Rio Grande when a drone can fly 30 miles into the U.S. with the same package?

Speaking from first-hand knowledge, an electronic surveillance system alone wouldn’t work as well as a wall would. Yes, you’ll be able to tell when someone is crossing the border illegally, but then you would need an enormous amount of Federal Agents to apprehend them, an impossible task.

I think Pelosi and Schumer both said that building a wall is “immoral.” However, I’m sure the courts would agree that if someone is breaking the law that’s more serious than if someone is doing something immoral. The last time I checked, doing something that was considered to be immoral wasn’t breaking the law. Being immoral is subjective, breaking the law is without question.

A wall is the most efficient and cost-effective way to address illegal immigrants crossing our southern border. Unlike surveillance methods, the wall will stop them before they cross. The stopping on the side of Mexico will eliminate the cost of dealing with them if they had crossed the border. Another benefit of the wall is that children won’t be separated from their parents.

For the poor immigrants who have died after crossing into the U.S.: I am very sorry for them and their families. I am also trying to look at this logically. If their parents have marched them 3,000 miles, we know that they are physically exhausted, sleep deprived, most likely malnourished and dehydrated, and most likely been through extremely unsanitary conditions. Please do not act as if they entered this country completely healthy, and our border protection people harmed them or have not given them immediate medical attention, when they may have needed medical attention before they got here.

Recommended

If you are looking for the real country hams, check out Layden's Supermarket, better known as Layden's Country Store, in Belvidere, N.C. at 252-297-2875. Family members have smoked their own hams for the past 54 years. They also make country sausage and are famous for their hoop cheese and old time candies and bottles of Coke. While it may be too far for you to travel, they ship their items (including gift boxes) worldwide. It makes a great day trip because the store and its people are wonderful and there is much to find there, including the resting place of legendary DJ Wolfman Jack and the Jimmy Catfish Hunter Museum nearby. You can check them out on Facebook under Layden's Supermarket.

Thank you

Thank you to the husband and wife who found my lost gold bracelet two days later on a shelf in Harris Teeter. And, thank you to the store manager, Jordy, who kept it safe. This is one of the reasons why I love living in Williamsburg — the people. The bracelet only leaves my wrist every other January to have the clasp checked and, clearly, it was due!

Illegal immigrants

California Police Officer, a legal Immigrant, was killed killed by an Illegal immigrant and leaves behind a five-month old son and a wife. Where the outrage when a child gets separated from his citizen father for life? The Sheriff blamed California's sanctuary law for preventing authorities from reporting the man to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, adding if he had been deported, the officer would still be alive.

Up in Washington

While the 2020 elections might seem like a long time in the future, they are less than 23 months away. When all voters look to the candidate they will support they should take in account that the presidency is not an entry-level job.

Trump's worst enemy isn't the federal reserve, China or Mueller; it's democracy.

Since I’ve been around I have experienced all of the presidents from Franklin Roosevelt through Trump. I simply can’t imagine any of them sitting around in the White House over the holidays, sending out little messages telling everyone how mistreated and alone they are. Pitiful! Truman (the buck stops here), Eisenhower (led the D-day invasion), Reagan (stared down the Soviet Union). What a weak creature we have now.

The adult in the White House needs to tell the president Truman's mantra that "the buck stops here" every day until he grows up.

To expand on the caller's comment about the White House staffers being third- and fourth-string players: not only are they that, but they are also junior varsity players. When President Obama was staffing his White House there were about 70,000 applicants for the positions. The current White House had to hold a job fair because so few people applied for jobs with the administration.

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