Last Word on recycling, Jan. 30

JCC recycling

Before James City County changes recycling contractors, they need to have a system in place by which affected residents can opt out of the new system, so that we won’t have to pay for recycling that we don’t use. Because as long as I have to go to the transfer station with my garbage, I can just as easily haul my recycling like I used to.

I don’t mind paying for recycling, but please make it an option that we can pay by the year and not only month by month.

Very interesting article in Saturday's Gazette on new recycling contract, but it left some questions: Why didn’t JCC and VPPSA figure out fees and billing procedures before signing a new contract, and why was the cart ownership not resolved before signing the contract?

School bullying

If an administrator receives a complaint from a young female student that she has been touched without her permission, the administrator calls the police. The student has suffered an assault. There! That is the SOP you follow. No study is needed to develop a policy about inappropriate touching.

Looking for …

Does anybody know where Styrofoam can be recycled? Not just egg cartons but any kind of Styrofoam? Thanks for any leads.

To the person looking for someone to sharpen their knives or scissors: Try Ace Hardware on Monticello Avenue. Thank you.

To the person looking for aggregate concrete work: Call Allen Lowe at 757-592-7079. He’s the owner of Able Concrete. They have done work for me for eight years and I can’t think of having anyone else do it. Not only did he match and put in a new sidewalk, but he matched the aggregate perfectly. And the prices, I think, were absolutely fair. The work was well done. Give him a call, I think you’ll be happy.

If you’re looking for an honest handyman to fix your dryer, call Rick from R&J Services. He can be reached at 757-829-9119. Thank you.

Please recommend a carpenter to install extra floor space in my attic. 757-570-4619. Thank you.

Does anyone know what is going in the old Farm Fresh on Merrimac Trail? It would be great if a Kroger store would come in. Just a thought.

Does anyone know where Dr. Jennifer Dean is practicing? She had been at Sentara Urgent Care before it became "Velocity," but is no longer there. When we had occasion to use Urgent Care, we always requested Dr. Dean, as she was extremely knowledgeable, highly patient centered and was invariably on the mark with her diagnoses. If she has established a private practice in Williamsburg or moved on to another urgent care setting, we'd like to know.

To the person looking for the name of a person who can put in a driveway: I recommend ConcreteKaren Inc. She is a concrete specialist. You can contact her at 757-713-4191 or concretekaren@yahoo.com. She is licensed and insured.

Speedy delivery

To the caller in Colonial Heritage who says their postal delivery has improved by 100 percent: If, in the past, you were getting one bill a week on time and now you’re getting two bills a week on time, that’s 100 percent improvement. That’s not difficult to achieve. If, like me, you see packages languishing in Richmond time after time after time after time, I don’t see any improvement.

Jeepers, people. The postman or woman is aware they are in James City yet the addressee has a Williamsburg address. That fact alone is enough to cause confusion and results in the delay of mail. You have the non-producing post office administrators to thank for the confusion and delays in mail, not the postman or postwoman.

Keep stitching

For the person who mentioned the local stitching shop Haus Tirol-Stitching Well: Please be aware the Embroiders' Guild of America has a local chapter. The Williamsburg Rose and Thistle Chapter meets the second Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at the King of Glory Lutheran Church, Room 313, 4897 Longhill Road. We also have informal stitching sessions several other times a month. We would love to see you at any of our meetings. Call 202-200-1369 if you have any questions.

Road worries

In response to a recent Last word comment about driving in the rain, headlights are not required to be on if precipitation only demands intermittent use of wipers. Virginia law requires that if it’s raining and windshield wipers need to be used, then headlights must also be illuminated. Note there are a couple important exceptions: if it’s just misting and windshield wipers only need to be used intermittently, the statute specifically says you don’t have to have your headlights on. However, it makes good common sense to have your headlights on, even in those weather conditions.

I’m curious who is responsible for the curbs and gutters at the intersection of Route 199 and Jamestown Road. They are in an awful state and I notice the curbs along CVS are even worse. I’d like to contact the responsible party and tell them please, could they do a little bit of cleanup? Thank you.

Why doesn’t our governor — he’s promised us all this stuff and he still hasn’t done anything — put into effect where you cannot talk on a cellphone and drive? Other states ban them. Virginia needs to ban them. Look at all these people that are getting killed, even young children, because they’re texting and talking on cellphones. Also, the police, instead of sitting on the sideways trying to get speeders, need to get all these people that don’t even have their lights on when it’s pouring down rain and then you can’t see them until they’re right on you. They need to start ticketing these people and maybe they’ll start obeying the driving laws. Thank you.

One good turn

Four very senior Patriots Colony residents were returning home only to see their rear tire smoking and going flat. While we were stopped near the Greenspring Plantation and having trouble contacting AAA, Heath, a local James City County firefighter, pulled up and asked if he could help. Soon Jason, another firefighter, joined the effort, insisting it wasn’t necessary to call AAA. Only after the repairs were made did we tell them they had just helped a 94-year-old WWII veteran. We tried to show our appreciation by putting a gratuity in their pockets. They refused and suggested we contribute to our local fire departments. This reaffirmed in our hearts that the young generation is certainly not a lost cause. Thanks, boys!

Minimum wage

In response to “Minimum wage”: Minimum wage was never meant to be a salary to be able to raise a family or afford to be able to raise a family. It’s not a career thing. If you make minimum wage, you have no business even starting a family. So, get a job, get a skill, get an education. Thank you.

Tax law

A Virginia Department of Taxation law requires Virginia residents to take the standard deduction if it was taken on the federal tax return. Also if you itemize on the federal tax return, you’re required to itemize on the Virginia state tax return. And this is not right, based on the new tax law — federal tax law — that was just passed. It creates a surplus of money for Virginia and a detriment to the Virginia taxpayers. The high-tax state like California gives you the option to itemize or take the California state deduction — standard deduction. So Virginia should also do the same. It is our money, not the politicians’. Thank you.

Book cover

Browsing at the bookstore, I came across former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” book, which has had wonderful reviews. Why did the publisher feel that a sexy-pose photograph on her cover was necessary? Even though the photo is very nice, that pose wasn’t necessary. Let the book speak for itself.

Perspective

Years ago, my sister decided to end her marriage to a nice man in Argentina before moving to Paris, where she now lives with her present husband. She was obliged to go to a judge’s office in Buenos Aires to sign countless papers. Without warning, the judge grabbed my sister and pulled her under his desk, just in time to avoid a fusillade of gunfire that crashed through the window. “Amateurs!” exclaimed my sister. “The entire Argentine government is operated by amateurs.” I nodded smugly, since I was born in the USA and brought up largely in the UK, and nothing like that could surely ever happen in either of those two countries. Ooops! With the Brexit mess in the UK and the government shutdown mess in the USA (not to mention the Yellow Vests mess in my sister’s France), who are the amateurs now?

Still missing it

The things I miss in Williamsburg: Parlett’s on Prince George Street. Binn’s on Duke of Gloucester Street, with the Toymaker and the Colonial Williamsburg bakery and Casey’s. If you missed it — I’m sorry, I miss it, too. The statue, “Goddess of the Hunt,” at the end of a long reflecting pool at DeWitt Wallace. What a charming, lovely, unique place at DeWitt Wallace. All gone!

Shutdown / wall

Rob Wittman’s D.C. office states that he voted against the appropriation bill to reopen the U.S. government temporarily to allow further negotiations on the wall. TSA, flight controllers, Coast Guard and FBI were working unpaid, and even more federal workers were furloughed without pay. Isn’t it time to tell Wittman that 35 days of shutdown are enough? Please call Wittman’s office, 202-225-4261, to express your viewpoint, one way or the other.

The impact of the Federal Government shutdown goes beyond just the Federal Government employees going without pay. There are contractors that support the federal workforce. When federal workers are not allowed to work, many contracts are structured that the contractor’s personnel are also not allowed to work. This federal shutdown has resulted in many contract personnel losing five weeks of pay – that they will never recover. Losing one-tenth of a year’s salary is not insignificant.

This afternoon, the president came out of the basement of the White House with a white towel tied to a broom handle and surrendered to Speaker Pelosi. If he had stopped talking after the first 100 words, he would have appeared to be presidential. As it was, he kept whining about his wall and looked like a spoiled child who came out of his room at dinnertime, not because he was sorry for what happened, but because he was hungry.

Maybe the residents of New Jersey will vote to build a wall around the president's golf course to keep him from hiring illegals in the future now that it has been announced that management there recently fired almost two dozen illegals at the same time the president was trying to convince the Democrats to pay for the wall he promised his followers that Mexico would pay for.

"The vast majority of these government workers are Democrats?" The president is probably correct about this, even if he wouldn't have been correct a month ago. I know that, as a lifelong Republican whose first presidential vote was for Reagan, Trump has turned me into a Democrat now, and I suspect a lot of the other people left out on the streets by his shutdown are in the same category.

Convention of states

The proposal for the states to employ Article V to the Constitution for the purpose of bypassing Congress to amend the Constitution is certainly legal and within the scope of desirable. The antics of our elected officials make the option more attractive. The site cited purports the use of such state conventions to reign in fiscal excesses, refute congressional intrusions into our lives, and to enact term limits! All of these are worthy goals, but will require the states to do something they have long been loath to do — work with each other on a large scale! This provision has been used only once: to ratify (not initiate) Amendment 21, the repeal of Prohibition. If and when the states do get their collaborative acts together to bypass a dysfunctional Congress, however, they may well not stop at such measures and move to in effect re-write the Constitution.

A better name?

In view of the current level of political correctness in this country, why is there no outcry over the name “Nat Turner Boulevard” in Newport News? Turner was responsible for the deaths of 51 men, women and children in Virginia. Surely, there is a better alternative.

Thank you

Just wanted to thank the young lady that helped us push a stalled car up the hill on Bypass Road last Sunday, late in the afternoon. Thank you so very much for being a good Samaritan.

To the gentleman that found and turned in the $85 I dropped accidentally by the cashier at Walmart Friday afternoon: A big “thank you” for your honesty.

Up in Washington

A correction: Actually not a single dollar has been collected by the Mueller investigation or the federal government as a result of any of the indictments from the investigation. The assumption that the federal government will make a "profit" from the Mueller investigation is patently silly. Those charged will simply file bankruptcy and the federal government simply stands in line with the rest of the creditors.

Elections have consequences. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, elected in New York, is in Congress and has been appointed to the Financial Committee. Listen to her rhetoric and be prepared to be terrified.

I thoroughly disagree with President Trump cancelling Speaker Pelosi's military flight for the junket to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan. He should have waited and cancelled her return flight.

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