Last Word on housing, March 7

Housing for all

Thank you to Terence Wehle for his very thoughtful summation on the expected target market for Midtown Row (VG, Feb. 28). As senior "come heres," we searched for a condo in the city, to be told, “Everyone wants their own four walls." It wasn't true then, it isn't true now. Many people — non-students, too — would love to live in the vibrant city, able to walk to the many amenities close by. How does it make any sense in any community to only provide housing for the college students? Can any community populated by only or a supermajority of college-age residents thrive? Maintain and fund continuity? It's the adult non-students who volunteer and give so generously of time and money to the city. Most of us are here because of Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William and Mary. Let us have choices and welcome in housing, too.

Sales tax increase

We've been hoodwinked. While no one was looking, our state senator has crammed through another extra tax on James City and York counties to benefit Williamsburg and, more specifically, Colonial Williamsburg. While the city enjoys a much lower property tax rate than any of us, we are having to pony up money on top of our high property tax rates. All that on top of the transportation tax that has been tacked on to us. Why not get Williamsburg's property tax rates up to the same level as the surrounding counties? Then this force-fed tax pushed through by Norment won't be so bitter to the rest of us.

We the people now have a perfect example of how a regressive tax is sold and put in place. The 1 percent sales tax is a regressive tax that hits the people who can least afford to pay more in sales tax. James City County has an area just south of Williamsburg without a grocery store because the area is so poor there is not enough income to attract a store. How could this have happened? A Republican turns his back on the people who elected him and then plans to attract the greed of others. Shame on all who voted for this sales tax increase. Write the Governor to veto this bill.

It would be helpful if someone would do a side-by-side comparison of the new tax bill by jurisdiction showing the before and after taxes by lodging, meals and admissions. People are not picking up on the fact some current taxes on lodging, meals and admissions are going away and being replaced by the 1 percent sales tax. And remember, half of the revenue generated will be returned to the three jurisdictions to directly benefit you, the local taxpayer. You will also get the indirect benefit from an expanded tourism industry, which remains the primary economic driver in this area.

So, if I read the Gazette article correctly, Norment’s bill would increase everything except for restaurants and grocery stores. So, to buy a car, I will pay more. I’m not going to buy a car in Williamsburg, York or James City county. Save 1 percent and go to Newport News. Go to Lowes or Home Depot, and pay 1 percent more; Go shopping at the mall, 1 percent more; buy pet food, pay more. Does the 1 percent more include sales tax on gasoline, tires, electronics and phones? I had been a customer of Norment’s and Kaufman and Canoles for most of my life. I took my business down the street. Call your local representative or the governors office and tell them no. If CW and Busch Gardens were the attractions that were desired, the people would come. The next best thing since sliced bread needs to be found and come to town.

Looking for …

We need a reasonably priced tune-up from a mobile repair place for our riding mower. Please call 757-876-4992 or 4526.

Where will the CHKD in the Monticello Shopping Center go now that construction has started?

Can anyone recommend a home care agency? I am looking for a couple of hours a day for my parents. They need some assistance with bathing and medication.

Someone wrote that she is “looking for a hair salon in this area that uses Tressa products, specifically Zone Control Perms." Scotland Street Salon, 420 Scotland St. in Williamsburg, does Zone Control Perms with Tressa Products. Give us a call at 757-220-6850. Thank you.

Road worries

Now that the Peloton has spent Saturday clogging the roads in Croaker, I think the riders should give back to the community by doing a litter pickup along the route they rode.

The traffic light at Centerville Road and Opportunity Way coming from the Harris Teeter shopping center still has a no-turn-on-red sign. I see police sitting at this intersection all the time heading to the station and drivers run this light constantly. If it is not going to be enforced, then take it down. I would be willing to bet you could write about 100 tickets a day there.

Olympic discovery

We watched curling for the first time ever during the Winter Olympics and are hooked. What an elegant, precise sport; the strategy is awesome. The women's teams were especially graceful. We couldn't get enough.

Rockefeller Library

Both of you are correct: the library is available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but the doors are indeed locked. Users need to call ahead to research, 220 -7249. I love this library for early Virginia genealogy research and hope we will continue to be able to use its many resources.

School shootings

When are we going to quit blaming the weapon used in these massacres and start blaming the shooter? I am almost 80 years old and have been around loaded firearms all of my life. I have never seen any firearm, rifle, shotgun or handgun get off the rack, load itself and go shoot anything. There is always a human being behind these shooting attacks. It is past time to place the blame where it belongs.

The most conservative Supreme Court judge in 40 years, Anthony Scalia, wrote that the Second Amendment does not give one the right to own a military-style assault weapon. Case closed. Throw out the NRA patsies from Congress and ban them.

To the commenter asking how you would recognize a criminal: You’ll know one when he points his gun at you. One doesn’t need to be a criminal to understand one. Common sense tells you that a criminal would target any place where he is less likely to be caught or harmed himself. For those who chose not to be armed, I wish you luck with your decision. As for me, I’d rather level the playing field by being able to protect myself.

With the current turmoil about school security and guards and teachers with guns, this quote came to mind: “As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they are set out to destroy.” Time is of the essence to come to a solution to this situation of gun control. Don’t wait too long.

It was Broward County Sheriff's deputies who refused to stand for the shooting victims. They were sitting on the ground in the parking lot, hiding behind their cars, while Nikolas Cruz went classroom to classroom shooting students. They protected themselves while innocent children were gunned down just yards away. And progressive liberal Democrats believe that only police should have guns? Are you kidding? The liberal mentality is at the root of our many problems in this country.

A number of businesses have decided to break off their relationships with the National Rifle Association. These businesses will get my dollars. Go to the NRA website before you buy to see if you are supporting the perks that benefit the organization. These businesses will never get my dollars. Boycott businesses that provide services that provide income that this organization uses to subvert the popular vote. Time to force the business community to acknowledge that they have a social responsibility in addition to their fiscal concerns.

Wayne LaPierre, the "Chicken Little" of the NRA, likes to scream, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Well, a trained and experienced good guy with a gun (pistol packin’ Deputy Scot Peterson) seemed to realize his sidearm was no match for a military assault rifle with multiple 30-round clips. And what about all the people on the ground in Las Vegas who were carrying their personal-protection firearms? No match for high-performance military automatic rifles. Let’s get serious about the real issues for gun rights.

Think at least twice before advocating armed guards in our schools. They can go berserk too. Years ago, my brother-in-law worked in a chemical weapons storage and destruction facility in Newport, Indiana. An armed security guard went berserk and walked through the office, shooting people, killing at least two and wounding several. He remembers hiding from the shooter behind his desk. He lost one good friend. Armed school security guards could do the same thing.

Displaced communities

Read with interest the story this week on "Charle’s Corner." What a travesty on taking the rightful property of fellow Americans. Please consider doing a similar story on the history of Camp Perry years later with the same outcome. It is my understanding many of the Camp Perry descendants relocated to what we know today as Grove. The graveyard on Rochambeau is a reminder of this era, as it was the community graveyard for the two displaced towns on Camp Perry.

Travel challenges

We, too, applied for TSA Global Entry, and could not get an interview appointment before our trip. There is an office in the Ronald Reagan Building in D.C. that takes “walk in” appointments. We drove up one weekday morning and were in and out of the building within a half hour, and back in Williamsburg by 1 p.m. If you don’t mind a little driving, it will solve the problem.

Military service

We can question the reasons why or how those of age avoided the Vietnam War. However, I never heard President Clinton disparage the military as has President Trump. Many thought that calling POWs losers would disqualify him from the presidency. As we know, that didn’t happen. When a veteran gave Trump his Purple Heart award, Trump said that he always wanted one. The man has no clue what servicemen have endured “earning” such an honor. Then, there is the belittling of the Gold Star family. The man has no shame. When he presents a wreath at Arlington, the sound you hear is not the roar of jet planes from the nearby airport, but the sound of soldiers turning in their graves. Thank you.

Thank you

Now I know why people thank strangers in the Last Word. Last Friday, both a friend and I had a fall in front of a salon in the Monticello Shopping Center. A wonderful gentleman in a dark red truck called 911 and gave me his phone to talk with the dispatcher. Other drivers stopped and came to comfort us. Employees from some of the businesses came to our aid, in addition to workers from the salon who came out with ice and towels for our, thankfully, minor injuries. Again, many thanks to all of you who showed us what good people surround us.

Thanks to the person who put a red heart with the word “love” on a tree on the right side of Richmond Road, going west across from the Clarion Hotel. The beautiful daffodils blooming plus the love heart made me smile.

Recommended

We recently had a couple of huge oaks removed from our backyard. After getting several estimates, we decided to use Affordable Tree Service. Jerry, the owner, and his crew were friendly, courteous and professional. He gave us a great price quote and delivered on his promises. He thought it would take one day, but due to complications out of his control it took three. Despite the extra time, he honored his bid and went out of his way to ensure we were happy with the job. Give him a call at 757-755-0446.

If you need a good handyman, text Chris at 910-386-1776. He is reliable, trustworthy and affordable.

Just had two large crepe myrtle trees pruned by Southern Blue lawn service. Chris Henderson and his very capable crew, Nick and Tyler, did a great job. Their phone number is 757-570-2970. Highly recommend.

I would like to thank the person who recommended Karen at Shear Creations a few months ago. I was so anxious about my hair thinning but Karen put me at ease and did a wonderful job. I highly recommend her.

I would like to recommend Williamsburg Electrical Services if you ever have need for electrical work. The owner, Mike, is excellent. He’s expeditious and his service calls are always made when you are ready to have him come. Call 757-564-9364.

John Mack Upholstery has been making cushions for clients in Williamsburg for 20 years. Call 253-1952.

Free to you

More than 30 smooth jazz CDs, frisco style. Reply to Last Word.

Many sized knitting needles, pattern books and accessories. Please call 220-3874 between 4 and 6 p.m.

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