Last Word on DUI arrests, Feb. 2

DUI arrests

The Gazette headline and lead story about DUIs didn't surprise me at all. With one industrial brewery, five or more craft breweries, two distilleries, a meadery, five ABC stores, and at least three wine stores in town, not to mention the large number of restaurants with attached bars, there is a large amount of alcohol being bought and consumed in the community. Everyone who goes out and drinks needs to have Uber on their speed dial. An Uber ride home is a lot cheaper than a DUI. Only a fool drinks and drives.

This is in response to the DUI article in Wednesday’s Gazette: Throughout the Williamsburg area, I have witnessed on a number of occasions Williamsburg or James City Police Department waiting outside a drinking establishment ‘til closing time. This practice is unethical, to say the least.

This is in response to “Williamsburg: Small city, big DUI arrest numbers”: It’s hard to believe the Williamsburg Police Department could surpass their DUI records of the mid- to late-1990s. Being a resident of Williamsburg, I personally would watch Williamsburg police marked cars waiting outside drinking establishments, waiting to tail customers as they left at closing time.

We see many articles touting more breweries, wineries, pubs and bars. Now we have more drinkers, alcoholics and DUI's. Is there a correlation?

Big DUIs? Oh, funny in a college town with more pubs, craft breweries, full-service restaurants than townies can possibly support. And then the seniors, probably on the meds that caution “no alcohol,” but who pays attention to that tiny print?

Local character

Thank you, thank you. I would like to respond to the very nice people who missed seeing me working on the Iwo Jima Memorial Park at the junction of Jamestown Road and Neck O Land Road. I am well and doing just great. My name is Clift, and I am a combat veteran of the Korean War. Bless you, and thanks.

Downtown parking

Regarding the changes at the downtown parking garage: I just got off the phone with Vanessa, the manager there. Anyone with a value card that we used to use in the lot to lift the arm — they have not decided how that’s going to be incorporated into the new system yet. She said they should have a decision soon. Thank you.

Share the goodies

If you have the opportunity to purchase Girl Scout Cookies, please consider donating some to a food pantry. You would be helping them, as well as the Girl Scouts.

Over at James Blair

There are many good things happening at James Blair Middle School, including teachers presenting meaningful lessons and assigning challenging work, teachers providing additional opportunities for students to pursue new and established interests, teachers and staff taking the time to actually get to know the students they're working with, and administrators celebrating students who exhibit positive characteristics. Thank you for all you do for our students each day.

Looking for …

Sentimental silver ring with a brown stone lost in the parking lot next to La Yaca at about 1:30 p.m. Jan. 31. $250 reward. Please call 203-918-3999.

To the person donating the used computer: I’m a tutor at Literacy for Life here in Williamsburg. I’m working with a very intelligent, diligent and highly-motivated young woman (my “learner”), who is in great need of a computer to continue our in-class, online literacy work at home. She has a job and can afford to pay wifi charges, but she can’t afford to buy a computer. Her goal is to become a dental assistant. She will surely accomplish that goal and very likely much more in her life. Your computer would make an important difference in this young person’s future. Thank you for considering her. I can be reached at 757-258-5105.

To the person who thinks needlework is a lost art: Look at EGAUSA.org. The Embroiderers’ Guild of America is a national organization with an active chapter in Williamsburg.

Does anyone know a company that installs condensate neutralizers for HE furnaces, in particular Fireside products?

Who is the gentleman who runs the club for young men where they dress in a suit and tie and learn good manners? Please answer in the Last Word.

Looking for a reasonable haircut in Williamsburg or surrounding area for a senior citizen on a fixed income.

Looking for an affordable, reliable place to get taxes done. Thank you.

Car accidents

I’m calling in reference to the Gazette article on Page 3A on Jan. 30 about the dangerous intersections. It would be most interesting to know the number of accidents that were caused by students leaving Jamestown High School in the middle of the afternoon, from among the total accidents. That is real pandemonium, when those kids pull out of there, and it may be worth taking a look at it.

Music reviews

The readers of The Virginia Gazette are very fortunate to have John Shulson as their community arts reporter. His columns are eloquent, comprehensive, complimentary and supportive of the many fine arts and music organizations in Williamsburg. Let's see more of his reviews. Editor’s note: While we’re thrilled to publish John’s work, he is a freelance writer who reviews classical music, opera and such. Amelia Heymann is a staff reporter who writes about local arts, culture and entertainment.

First Night

I don’t agree with the person who suggested CultureFix — or anyone — be given money from the new "Tommy Tax" to restart First Night. It would still be taxpayer-subsidized entertainment. Ticket prices for First Night were artificially low because the program was subsidized by grants from the city and other generous donors. When the grant money dried up, so did First Night. If the "Tommy Tax" had been about two years ago, First Night wouldn’t have had to cancel their New Year’s Eve program. And if the public wasn’t willing to pay higher prices for First Night, then maybe it should have been retired.

Democratic socialism

The recent article by Joseph Filko on democratic socialism was superb. I’d like to add another major drawback to socialism, defined as government ownership of the major means of production: The consumer loses his vote in the marketplace. In capitalism, the consumer decides what is produced by voting with his dollars. You please the consumer and you are rewarded; if you don’t, you are punished. In traditional socialism, government bureaucrats decide what is produced. You don’t get a vote. In a large sense, capitalism represents freedom of choice — socialism takes this away; far from being “democratic,” it is dictatorial.

The Nazis’ socialist party was the National Socialist Party of Germany. Then there was the Communist Socialist Party. Why would you want to be a socialist?

Parkway improvements

Recently, the Gazette published an article regarding the budget and plans for Colonial Parkway improvements. I sincerely hope that if the money is allocated, there is some designated funding for lines. Driving that parkway at night is such a hazard. Sidelines would assist seeing the actual sides of the pavement. Speaking of which, fresh lines seem necessary all over the area. Let’s encourage painting roadways this year.

Dog attacks

I live about 10 steps from where one of the dog attacks happened and I walk by there every day. I know of many people who are concerned and have stopped walking their dogs. Why should people be afraid in their own neighborhood? These animals are dangerous. Will it take a death?

Just wondering

New England is known for three things: Yankee ingenuity, the Patriots and potholes. Why did Williamsburg only acquire the third item?

Road worries

Today there were two James City County police cars in front of me making a left turn, and neither used turn signals. If the police don't set a good example to follow the law, why should anyone else?

The nightmare around construction on Longhill Road will start in the spring. Why does there need to be a roundabout at Longhill and Olde Towne roads? It is the main cut though for many of us who live off of OldeTowne to get to Route 199 or Monticello, and even the Rec Center. It is not needed. We do not need a study to tell us this. Drive it daily and you will see the lights are not operating right. There is also a large apartment complex there and businesses. I have used roundabouts and believe me, if the person who is supposed to yield does not, you can be killed. How many drivers obey any traffic regulations? Surely the county or the Virginia Department of Transportation could spend money in another way. What about right hand turns on Airport and Mooretown Road? Fixing the potholes everywhere that are damaging my car, would be a good investment. Please stop this before it becomes a nightmare.

Note to Williamsburg drivers: Richmond Road between Monticello Avenue and Wawa has a left turn lane down the middle of the road. Will drivers trying to turn left off of Richmond Road please use the turn lane rather than blocking through traffic behind them?

In regards to recent “Road worries” comments, starting with “Why doesn’t our governor …” The governor can’t do anything unless the Legislature approves it. Then he could sign it or he could veto it. Secondly, there is a no-text law for drivers in the state of Virginia. A bill before the House now concerns hands-free cell phone calling. Also, many people don’t realize that at night when they turn the ignition on and start driving, they only have their daylight-time lights on and not their headlights. You can notice that when you’re going down the road and you see no tail lights, but you pass the car and you see the daytime lights on. They need to think about that before they start driving. Thank you very much.

With all the talk about using a car’s headlights when it’s raining, let’s not forget about using turn signals. I believe people must think these safety devices use up your battery or use more gas or they might just be too lazy to turn them on. Word to police: Please start enforcing all traffic laws, not just speeding.

Convention of states

I support Russell Beyer's call for a Convention of States (Jan. 23 Gazette). Such a convention would not, as its opponents claim, "rewrite the Constitution." It would propose amendments which would have to be approved by 38 states before taking effect. For example, it could propose an amendment to limit the terms of members of Congress, something congressmen would never propose on their own.

Book cover photo

In response to the writer who objected to the “sexy-pose” photograph on the cover of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” book, would you have preferred she donned a burqa that only revealed her “sexy” eyes? My wife and I (both senior citizens) have read this totally engaging memoir and highly recommend it. I am convinced the former First Lady would get a chuckle from the criticism. I am also convinced the criticism would not surprise her, since she was subjected to this type of scrutiny during her eight years as First Lady.

The photo of the former first lady on the front of her most recent book is not sexy. She is not a very photogenic person, in my opinion. The outfit is flattering and it shows one of her shoulders. I was glad to see a flattering photo of her that shows the beauty of her face. So many photos we have seen of her were not flattering. I can think of many more poses that would be sexy and inappropriate. This one is not.

Bright idea

Here’s an idea for College of William and Mary Business School marketing students: Please create a site-of-performance marketing program for the Kimball Theater. William and Mary productions may be on, but passersby will never notice. There have to be lively, colorful ways for the Kimball to look open and inviting to visitors who may have no idea anything is happening inside. Help! Learn! Promote! Market!

Shutdown / wall

It appears Trump has met his Waterloo! Should he decide to shut down our government again for an indefinite length of time and cause anguish, pain and suffering to many thousands of dedicated federal workers and their families, including the U.S. Coast Guard, one of our five military branches? There is a “sure-fire way” to bring his devastating ill-thought demands and his temper tantrums to a screeching halt, as just happened. How? All scheduled airline pilots, cabin attendants, baggage handlers, flight services and TSA workers should walk out the moment he shuts down government again.

I can't get an answer from any Democrat as to why a border wall would be considered immoral. The reason for the wall is to keep people from breaking our laws; how is that immoral? What is worse than doing something immoral is to be a criminal by breaking a law.

The Republicans controlled all three branches of government during the first two years of the Trump presidency. Why was funding for the wall not addressed then? Funding for the wall was not an issue until November 2018 when the Democrats gained control of the House. The made-up crisis at the southern border was caused by that event, not events at the border. $5.7 billion would not pay for the wall, only a very small portion, which would do nothing to address the “crisis.”

I wonder how fast compromise would take place in the House and Senate if Congress didn’t receive a salary and were unable to fly home every weekend on the taxpayers’ dollars instead of using government workers as pawns. Let’s pass a law that punishes Congress for not doing their job. I’ll bet Congress would not let that law come to a vote.

Sad that some furloughed employees were forced to make hardship withdrawals from their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) to meet their daily needs, then hit with a 10 percent tax penalty. Time for Congress to step in and waive the 10 percent tax penalty.

Just found out that Sen. Mark Warner has proposed a bill that would put an end to these stupid government shutdowns. I hope — no, pray — that everyone gets behind and supports this bill and it passes so the American people can no longer be held hostage by the swamp rats and bullies in Washington, D.C. Oops, my bad, we are supposed to stop the name calling.

Food trucks

Does the local board of health inspect food trucks that are about in Williamsburg? Also, does the board of health teach any food-handling classes to the people on food trucks? Chain restaurants are inspected frequently. Their food handlers have lessons in handling food properly. Is this done on food trucks? Thank you.

Panhandling

My heart nearly broke and tears filled my eyes today, Thursday, when I saw the panhandler’s dog tied there with the temperature in the teens. I know some people will say I should feel sorry for the man, not the dog. The dog has no choice, but the man does, but apparently he’s chosen this as a career since he’s had the poor dog out there, suffering for two hot, humid summers and two cold winters. It takes a lot of gall to stand blatantly in front of a “Do Not Encourage Panhandlers” sign.

Medicare for all

Why do people keep saying "Medicare for all"? To qualify for Medicare, you need to work so that they may take a deduction from your paycheck. When you turn 65, you may start using your Medicare. It is not free though. You pay more than $100 per month. You must also have a supplement plan and a drug plan, which you also have to pay for. The Democrats are really pushing Medicaid for all. You don't ever have had to work at a job. You never have to pay a penny. The working people of our country pay for that through our taxes. I think if it comes to that, we all should stop working. Who will pay for it then?

Offshore drilling

We shouldn’t be shocked that nine members of a Senate committee were able to knock out a bill to protect Virginia’s coast and affect all the businesses depending on our clean, attractive, healthy coast. We’re just so disappointed that the petroleum industry suggests that the state wait for more information. Apparently, the billions of dollars lost in past oil disasters on our coasts didn’t provide adequate information to them. For shame that those nine senators, supported by such people, lack the mind and heart to protect our coast — people, businesses, wildlife. Remember them come election.

Homeless students

Recently, a TV show had a segment on homeless college students. While I’m sure there were many watchers who felt sorry for them, not me. I got a college education by working during the day and taking classes at night. One homeless student said he was getting a degree in art history. Does he really think he’s going to get a job when he graduates? Too many people are going to college to obtain a useless degree, instead of degrees in engineering or business.

HOA boards

Kudos to the wonderful, dedicated board members of HOAs around the country and in Williamsburg/James City County who work very long, hard hours to represent their fellow neighbors. It is a shame some HOAs have surrendered their rights to their property managers, who don’t always make decisions that support or are in the best interest of the constituents paying their very large HOA fees.

Will the show go on?

Rather than tell it like it is, the city of Williamsburg chooses to discontinue popular events quietly. This happened to the Run for the Dream Half Marathon when organizers said that they were cancelling it for just one year due to a conflict with William and Mary’s graduation. The race was never run again. Another example was the very popular gallery crawl. In 2016, organizers said they were renaming it the “Art Crawl.” To my knowledge, the event never took place that year or any of the following years. I wonder if the same thing is going to happen to the Funhouse Fest.

Minimum wage

A recent Last Word commenter states, "Democrats don't understand the theory of advancement through technical learning to obtain better pay." Let the writer and others who believe this try to live on minimum wage and try to advance via technical learning. Maybe the worker is a single parent who would have to pay for child care to attend technical learning. Maybe he/she is working two jobs to make ends meet. Maybe he/she doesn't have transportation to go to classes. Maybe he/she doesn't have extra money for tuition. Stop blaming the person who is working a minimum wage job for not bettering himself or herself. The solution is not that easy. Sometimes, people need help. Open your heart and mind to that fact. Oh, and stop thinking you know what Democrats understand.

Once again, the minimum age was never meant to be a living wage. Sen. Norment doesn’t need to work for $7.25; he made it his business to get an education. If you want to make a living wage, stay in school and or get technical training.

Guns

To Flabbergasted: If you have 36 guns in your house, why are you afraid? Why would you need a wall?

Election day

McConnell says making Election Day a federal holiday is a "power grab.” Actually, the reason elections are held on Tuesdays is that after church people rode their buggies, wagons or horse to the county seat to vote, which could take two days in rural America. Since this is no longer the case, elections should be held on Saturdays.

Recommended

My husband and I are in total agreement with the article on a local restaurant, Huntsman’s Grill, near Great Wolf Lodge. The food quality on the regular menu is outstanding with several daily specials — those we have tried were great as well. The prices are certainly a plus, but no costs are cut in the presentation either. It is family owned and operated with friendly service.

Jason the Mason made my old and moldy front porch stairs look like new. Every time I come home, I am so amazed at what a difference it makes. The bricks are the reclaimed brick commonly found in Queens Lake. Some of the brick faces were totally gone. Jason was able to replace the broken brick and repoint the entire steps and porch. It completely refreshed the entry of my house. Call Jason the Mason, 757-358-6289. He's a true craftsman and professional.

We Fix Computers by Khalid overhauled my home WiFi system and all my computer devices. He is patient, professional and more than met my expectations. His number is 757-291-3663.

I want to make everyone aware of a new store, Williamsburg Jewelers on Richmond Road, next to Anna’s Pizza and across the street from Red Lobster. It just opened and is truly a unique jewelry store, as it has items from several different designers from Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey and Illinois that you cannot find elsewhere – and at good prices. It also has a consignment area. I’ve lived here more than 20 years and know the owner, Mike, and he is a fair and reliable guy. I already have my eye on a piece from the North Carolina designer.

Well done

Too often the public will criticize staff, companies and policies, but will seldom take the time to compliment someone who has gone beyond their scope of duty. I’m happy to say I would like to commend the emergency staff at the Sentara Hospital in Williamsburg. In particular, Nurse Kathryn and Dr. Buetow, who took great care of me. They were professional, attentive to my needs and made suggestions to help me cope with my deep vein thrombosis issue on Jan. 22.

The Divertimenti Program given by the Williamsburg Area Music Teachers to the community in conjunction with the Williamsburg Music Club was fantastic! Kudos to both groups for offering the public such a gifted performance — free of charge. Thank you, teachers and the club.

My heartfelt thanks go out to the young man who came to my rescue when my little black car died in the middle of Ironbound Road Wednesday afternoon. He was walking nearby but went out of his way to assist me as I attempted to push my car off the main road. I'm pretty sure he said his name was Thomas, but I was in such a panic, I'm not certain. I had no cash with me to offer payment but I am hoping that he knows just how much I appreciated his help.

Never too late

We wished we’d moved here earlier to learn from Frank Shatz’ columns on financier Bogle that indeed fees on most investments are higher than interest earned! We’ve only recently realized the fees are wiping out any growth and the amounts are vulnerable, too. The mattress is looking better. Thanks to both men. Late learned is better than not learned.

Customer service

The operation of the front desk of any business is the best public relations job you can invent. Some people do not budget enough money to take care of this function. It must be well staffed with employees who are fully trained to answer questions to the satisfaction of each inquiring person. The employee selected to work the front desk must be a person who has been trained on how to deal with all types of people.

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.

Republicans joined Democrats to override nine of Reagan's vetoes. The difference between then and the current GOP is a spine.

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.

As the second half of Trump's chaotic tenure begins, he fumbles the ball in his own end zone to the booing of his fans.

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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