Last Word on road worries, Feb. 16

Road worries

Would the Virginia Department of Transportation please post speed limit signs on Greenspring Plantation Drive between Monticello and Route 5? I have seen speeds from slow to very fast. I want to drive the speed limit, but first have to know what that is.

Thursday afternoon I drove down Interstate 64 from Croaker Road to the Patrick Henry exit, just 24 miles away. Most of the road was under construction with a posted speed limit of 55 mph. In just 24 miles, I was passed by 88 vehicles; cars, trucks and even state and local public use vehicles. The driving was so aggressive that cars were using entrance and exit lanes to pass on the right. The construction area is already a dangerous obstacle course, and cars were driving 15, 20 and some 25 mph over the posted speed limit. If the state police were to actually enforce the speed limits, they would collect enough court fines to eliminate all state taxes, county taxes and sales taxes, and still have enough funds for free college education for everyone. What an idea!

To the person saying the local AAA office should start holding special classes for senior drivers: They already do. You just have to call and ask for the schedule.

I had occasion to go through the intersection at James Blair School twice yesterday. What a disaster this is! Blinking lights, unfinished paving, ruts in the road and drivers not able to get through the intersection without risking their lives. This intersection has been under construction for months but is still not finished. There was nobody working, there were no signs of paving, there were, however, lots of rocks and dirt everywhere. This is a project that shows no signs of completion. Maybe it should be brought to the attention of city officials that this eyesore, in front of the newest school, is an accident waiting to happen.

Well, there was another accident at Route 5 and Centerville Road and, as usual, everybody blames the road. Why don’t they place the blame where it really falls, on the inattentive drivers that are causing the accidents?

Treatment plant

If the treated sewer effluent from the Carter's Grove sewer treatment plant is safe to drink, rather than pump it into the Potomac Aquifer why doesn't HRSD just pipe it to the Newport News water treatment plant at Fort Eustis and stop drawing millions of gallons from the aquifer on a daily basis? Doing so would have the same effect on the aquifer as pumping the effluent into the aquifer and not risk the chance of poisoning my well.

The ‘Funexpected’

The Williamsburg City Council, the chamber and others have finally realized that Colonial Williamsburg needs more than history to gather tourists. Well developed social and festive activities throughout the months will even excite us locals. Let’s awaken our Sleepy Hollow.

Paying taxes

Just read a little blurb about Amazon paying zero taxes in 2017. If they don’t have to pay taxes, why do I have to pay taxes? I only earn about $40,000 a year. Can you please tell me that? Thank you.

Looking for …

In response to the writer who has a cleaning brush stuck in a toilet pipe: I had a somewhat similar ridiculous problem, and Ziegler Plumbing & Sewer had the equipment and know-how to fix the issue. Young children may think it’s hysterically funny to flush socks down the toilet; I did not find that nearly as amusing as they did. Call Ron Ziegler at 757-877-2054.

To the person who has part of a toilet brush stuck in the drain: If you haven't tried them, there are metal claw grabber tools they make (some stretch pretty far). I would try bending a grabbing tendril to widen the grasp if necessary. Measure and practice with a similar sized object. I had to remove a nail brush from my bathroom drain with one.

Need repairs to an upright outdoor water feature. It is made of rocks set in concrete and has a thick border of wood planks. The wood border needs to be replaced and may require some concrete work for reconnecting. If this is something you have the experience to do, please post either your email or phone number in the Last Word.

I’ve lost my laptop computer with keyboard in a brown case. I have looked for it everywhere that I would normally go. I probably lost it in New Town about two weeks ago. Please call me at 757-784-0952 if you find it. Thank you.

I would like to connect with people that have SCA. I know there’s a support group in Chesapeake, but that’s very far away and I wonder if there’s anybody in Williamsburg. Please email me at ackleymw@gmail.com or call 220-3712. Thank you very much.

I am replying to a Last Word writer who needed information about her stamp collection. I am a collector and can put you in contact with the appropriate expert. Please reply in the Last Word and give me your phone number or email address. Thank you.

Unwelcome development

I am shocked the county would allow the construction of a dollar store on Wickre Street when there is another dollar store just down the road at the shopping center. By allowing this, a home and beautiful mature trees and landscaping have been scraped away. Additionally, I have learned delivery trucks will be allowed to drive down Wickre Street. This means a beautiful neighborhood that been there for quite some time is being ruined. Neighbors are saying they did a petition and the next thing they knew the bulldozers were there. I am deeply disturbed that the county values tax revenue more than keeping a neighborhood intact.

Democratic socialism

I used to believe the lies of capitalism. But after many years of higher education and decades of hard work, I find myself unemployed again, laid off by yet another company struggling to compete for a shrinking customer base. I am also trying to keep a roof over my head and avoid foreclosure. Judging from the suicide and overdose death rate of older women, I guess I'm not alone. So from my perspective, democratic socialism is looking pretty good. The sooner it is implemented, the better for this country. Capitalism failed miserably in Venezuela, leading to a socialist revolution there, and it looks like the same thing is happening to this country, although without the violence (as of right now). I do not envy the rich, like some people claim. I'm just seeking to survive and make a decent living, like everyone else I know.

Over in Richmond

Many politicians in Virginia and the U.S. have called for Gov. Ralph Northam to step down for what he may have done in medical school. I think all Virginians should have a say on whether we want to keep the man he is now, or vote out the man some think he was 35 years ago (John 8:7). When I was attending a Christian college in the 90s, the school sponsored a contest for campus organizations to see what groups would perform at the annual homecoming show. One group did a skit and song in blackface, and another (a black organization) did a minstrel type act. The blackface group did not make it to the final show, but the minstrel act did. I say as part of the June primary, we let the people decide who we want as governor. Besides, the way things are going, it looks like we may need to vote/replace a few dozen people in Richmond (Norment, Herring, Fairfax).

The Last Word made interesting reading on Feb. 9. There were two full columns on essentially why Ralph Northam, et. al., should resign and apparently leave every position in state government to the white male Republicans who don't give a hoot that a person committed sexual assault or did some distasteful racial deed. Nice try, guys.

What a wonderful society we have become. An individual does something in his or her past and today’s guilt-ridden society goes immediately into condemn and destroy mode. No room for consideration of redemption or allowing for changes and contributions. That loud noise you just heard was the holier than thou politicians and citizens putting new padlocks on their closets.

As managing editor of the VMI yearbook, it was Tommy Norment’s job and responsibility to know and approve everything that went into the final yearbook. As managing editor, it would have been his job to be the last student to handle the final proof copy before the yearbook went to the printer. So if he did not know of the photos of people in blackface and racial and ethnic slurs, then Tommy Norment was not doing his job as managing editor. Which makes me ask, what else was his job that he did not do? How much more has he taken credit for that he did not do?

I can’t believe any Democrat is willing to forgive Northam and company. Can you just imagine if they were Republicans? No stone would go unturned to find the truth. Once again, we witness the double standard in politics. Maybe it’s time Republicans start protesting for inequality.

With the top Virginia legislators revealed as products of their time and place, we “come here’s” are so disappointed, but we also are realizing if the cream of Virginia schools held those attitudes and practices, we might as well acknowledge they weren’t the only ones. They were likely the usual attitudes and behaviors in those days. The question for us now is: how have they conducted themselves as adults and professionals? The reality is, with our top people, we know who they are now and how they have worked for us. If we have to sacrifice them, we end up with people who have told us again and again they don’t care about ordinary Virginians. They didn’t care about the lack of health insurance, the right of women to have control over their own bodies, and even now they take money from payday lenders and let those lenders charge exorbitant interests to our most vulnerable. So let’s keep the people who have shown they have worked hard for Virginia.

All over the country, this group or that group is scouring old yearbooks, papers and photos, hoping to find the next "gotcha" moment. What a colossal waste of time. Every person, no matter who, will have something from their past that they wish they had done differently or not at all. Quit focusing on the past and look at the present. The saying goes that "those who forget the past are destined to repeat it," but I really doubt that pertains to blackface. Remember what Dr. King said, "Judge a person by the content of their character." Look at what they're doing now, not 30 years ago.

I rarely hold anyone's action against them for something stupid they did 35 years ago unless they committed a violent crime. That said, I do expect over the ensuing 35 years for the person to "smarten" up. Northam’s radio message supporting infanticide under the guise of late-term abortions simply amplifies how out of touch this man is and how unfit he is to hold any elected office. Perhaps Northam needs a reminder: Your beliefs do not make you a better person, your behavior does.

Tax refunds

If you get to keep more of your paycheck each pay period, rather than letting the government have that money, you win. If the government takes that money each pay period, they get to use or invest the money until they pay it back to you. The refund you receive is based on your overpaying the government. If you want a lump sum payment, arrange for your bank to take an amount of money from your paycheck and deposit it into a money market account. Then withdraw the lump sum after you send in your tax return. A tax return check is not free money, it was always your money. Why wait for it?

At James Blair

Just read the article on James Blair. Mr. Cager had it right. Until teachers are allowed to take control of their class, things won’t change. What happened to parents teaching? Their children had respect for those in authority. Well said, Mr. Cager.

Longhill Road work

Traveling every day down Longhill Road, I have seen the work on burying the power lines as part of the road widening, and I am surprised by all the large trees being cut down. The road’s appearance is simply horrible now, especially in front of the C&F Bank that used to be quite nice. This is what we all expected? Simply crappy.

Free to you

We have a crib to give away that is perfect for a toddler and available for a grandparent who wants one. The crib is in very good condition but does not meet the safety standards of today for infants. It comes with a mattress and sheets. You will have to come get it. Please send your contact information to the Last Word if interested.

Electric carts

Leaving a store’s electric cart outside in all kinds of weather is deplorable. These carts cost a lot and the stores are kind enough to provide them for us. I use them and am grateful for them. If you're unable to return them, then on your way out of the store ask an employee to go with you to your vehicle. There usually is a worker at the door. If not, then ask a passerby to return it. There are often push carts left outside. You can use them to help you get inside the store. I leave a cane in my car to use if I need to. Be thankful there are carts we can use when we need them.

What’s your E.Q.?

I have observed that some medical doctors and nurses do not have enough empathy to be compassionate. They have enough intelligence to become a doctor or a nurse, but lack enough empathy to be helpful. This causes the patient to experience more stress and illness. All public contact personnel who care for the sick or old people should be required to take an E.Q. test to find out if they have the empathy to be helpful. If they do not, they are doing more harm than good.

Border wall

Communist East Germany built a western wall to keep people in. The U.S. is building a southern wall to keep people out. Sharp contrast, no? Very few attempted to escape from West Germany into East Germany, and even fewer want to escape the U.S. and enter Mexico. Enter Mexico illegally, by the way, and you'll likely never be heard from again. Do whatever it takes, President Trump. Build that wall now!

Ah, to be rich

I agree with the commenter about the rich using the least services and receiving no government entitlements. Who ever heard of a rich person collecting their Social Security or government/military retirement money or using VA medical services? And we all know, the rich don’t fly, so why pay for air traffic controllers or TSA, FAA, NTSB? The rich don’t drive, so what’s the need for highways, road repairs, VDOT or state police? The rich don’t get sick, so let’s do away with EMTs and fire department ambulances; the rich can pay cash to be taken to the hospital by private ambulance if needed. And they never rely on FDA for safe food and drugs.

Rich people should be taxed the same as all the poor. How about let's do away with each and every deduction or tax break of any kind, have no offset for losses and no subsidies of any kind to any business big or small. Since corporations are now persons, the same rules should apply to them. How's that?

Shutdown advice

I find it amazing that people have no savings whatsoever. Growing up in a lower middle-class family, there were times when my father was out of work for long periods of time, yet we always had food on the table. Government employees that were affected by the shutdown need to start saving for a rainy day and stop living beyond their means.

I had to comment on two things I read in The Last Word regarding the shutdown. On VP Pence and the military: The Department of Defense was fully funded and the troops were getting paid during the shutdown. Regarding back pay: Past administrations ran the numbers and found that the expense of identifying all the furloughed workers and reprogramming the pay system's computers was higher than the lost salaries. In other words, it's cheaper to pay them than it is to not pay them. When you read the paper or watch the news, pay attention to what's not being said. If the troops were really going unpaid, it would have led every story for a month. You can hate Trump all you want, but get your facts straight.

I am curious as to why the union worker ever felt they were deserving of back pay for being on strike. You made the decision to go on strike through your strike vote. The government workers impacted by the shutdown did not have that choice.

The writer needs to rest easy. Vice President Pence had no issue facing our military during the shutdown. No Department of Defense military organization was directly impacted. The Department of Homeland Security bore the brunt of the impact of the shutdown and the Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Ready to munch

Thank you to the person who honked at us because we had a chicken sandwich on our car roof. We were able to retrieve it, and the sandwich didn't fall.

White House visit

The Patriots’ non-visit to the White House: the NFL champions have decided they’re not going to take up the invitation to visit the White House and the president of the United States. Well, all I’ve got to say to them is, one day down the road you’re going to be extremely sorry you did such a thing. How often do we, as citizens of this country, get an invitation to visit our White House and our president? I hope it’s not too long before you find out you made a big, big mistake. Thank you.

Recommended

Just had our roof replaced for the second time since building our Williamsburg home in 1980. Very pleased with the price, workmanship and attention to detail by management and workmen of Streamline Roofing. Thanks to Jeff Skinner, a Williamsburg native, and his excellent crew for a job well done.

I would like to recommend Affordable Tree Service for anyone looking to have any tree work or concrete work done. My neighbors were having some tree work done. After seeing the great job owner Jerry Carter and his crew did, I knew they’d be the company I’d use. After talking with Jerry about his work, I found out that they also pour concrete. Jerry and Jason were amazing. Not only do they do amazing tree work, but my driveway is beautiful. Call them at 757-755-0446. Thanks again, Jerry.

Immigration

Just wondered why people worry about helping illegal immigrants when we have desperately poor in our own country. Places like the mountains of West Virginia have people that have nothing and have no transportation to get any kind of help.

We cannot possibly just open our borders to all the countries to our south. Yes, we are a country made up of immigrants, but they all worked without getting anything from the government. Also, they all learned to speak English outside the home and did not expect someone else to speak their language. We are now expected to speak Spanish. Everywhere we call now, even government offices, you have to choose English or Spanish. Schools have to provide special classes for these children, taking away teachers from children with special needs. It just keeps getting worse.

Medicare for all?

What the proponents here fail to realize is Medicare is not free. In addition to paying into Social Security for years, most retired and seniors have to pay a premium, deductibles, co-pay, carry supplemental insurance as well as a Part D pharmaceutical plan. It is not necessarily cheap and the costs are deducted from one’s Social Security check each month. So, if the advocates think they plan to get this coverage for free, does that mean the benefit of no cost is passed on to the people currently under Medicare? How do the proponents suggest the premiums be paid by the new members? This proposal would to be a great burden on the government while reducing money going into the coffers. Not sustainable.

Well done

Over the last year or two, I have had to call Cox Communications, or visit their office a handful of times. Each time I’ve called, I have been helped by very curious staff members who have been very helpful and polite, ensuring that I am satisfied with their service. Today, we had a young Cox staff member come to our home to fix the cable that had been cut by a stump grinder. He fixed our problem and ensured us that although the fix was temporary, a crew would be out in the near future to bury our new cable. Several months ago, when visiting the Cox office to turn in my old cable box for a new one, the service member was extremely helpful and very courteous. Good job, Cox! The improvement in customer service is definitely appreciated.

Up in Washington

The supporter of the president who violently shoved a BBC newsman to the ground on Monday night in El Paso should be arrested, charged with felony assault and if convicted spend time in jail. It is past time that the president's supporters take responsibility for their actions, which at times have risen to the level of criminal activity.

I just was wondering if any politicians actually read the Last Word to find out what the common man is thinking. I’m wondering if they even give a hoot when they have their spats in Congress and with the president and with the Congress and the Senate. I wonder if they care that they’re causing such hardship to the American public when they shutdown government. I’m wondering: Do the politicians care about anybody but themselves? Thank you.

Copyright © 2019, The Virginia Gazette
79°