Last Word on a quiet lunch, March 13

A quiet lunch

Two restaurants with good opportunities for conversation, tasty food and economically-priced luncheon menus are Tuscany Ristorante in the shopping center behind the 7-Eleven at the corner of Olde Towne and Longhill roads, and Opus 9 on Main Street in New Town. For small groups, there are areas in each restaurant that can be reserved that are away from the main dining spaces. The ambiance is pleasant at both places.

This is for the lady who was looking for a quiet place to have lunch with her friends: I suggest she go to the Mole Hole at 11 a.m. Also, I was just at Waypoint on Friday at noon and it was very quiet. Hope you are able to find what you want.

For a quiet dining opportunity, we highly recommend Sandy’s on Richmond Road near the Buggy Bathe. There is carpeting on the floor and soft, soothing music in the background easily blocked out for conversation. We have the same problem in this area, and have stopped going to those restaurants due to the inability to have a conversation. It is really a problem, because the options keep dwindling and the food in those noisy restaurants is very good.

Looking for …

I am interested in learning how to make stencils with my Cricut machine. I would like to etch glass with the stencils. If you have experience that you are willing to share, please let me know by posting in the Last Word. Thanks.

A few months ago, someone recommended a slipcover seamstress. Can someone please provide the contact information again? Thank you.

Please give information on the DAV chapter. Any information on disabled veterans would be appreciated. Editor’s note: Here’s the contact info for the DAV that we were able to find: Disabled American Veterans is at 3306 Craggy Oak Court, Williamsburg 23188 (757-564-3916).

I just read our newspaper this morning and I noticed a request from someone asking for a stamp collection evaluation. I have collected stamps since I was a kid and could provide some idea as to the value of the collection. You can reach me at Charlie Schaefer. 757-564-6369, Greensprings West. Thank you.

Not a business

With record trade deficits last year and this year on track to set another record, along with soaring national debt, Americans should remember that hiring an MBA graduate to run the country is risky at best. Tariffs hurt Americans twice, once when buying foreign goods because we pay it as an added tax on the import, and a second time when the citizens of the country that has set a retaliatory tax on our exports buy less of our goods.

Missing movies

What a nuisance to read about the plethora of Oscar-nominated films and never knowing if they will or won’t show up here. We need and want a movie theater with a manager attentive to preferences and expectations of movie fans. We miss our Kimball!

No birds of a feather

To the writer criticizing Kingsmill residents for not supporting the Skiffes Creek power line project: Please know the vast majority of our residents absolutely do agree with the need for electrical infrastructure investments, even if it meant new transmission towers across the James River. The critics represent a tiny fraction of residents, those who tend to be critical of any modernization projects. Please don’t lump us all together. Thanks.

Electoral College

The discussions concerning the Electoral College seem to ignore that the United States was established as a republic, not a democracy. The Founding Fathers had fears concerning majority rule and made compromises to dampen that effect.

There have been many casually framed comments of late about how good or bad the Electoral College is. The Federal Republic came into being because the member states maintained a role in the national government. One of these was the oversight of the conduct of presidential elections within their own states. It is a manifestation of state sovereignty, one of several within the Constitution. Initially in the third paragraph of Section 1, Article II, it has been put in its present form by Amendment XII, ratified in 1804, as further modified by the date changes of Amendment XX, ratified in 1933. To remove the Electoral College will require a Constitutional amendment. Some 11 states, Colorado being the latest, have approved legislation for their Electoral College votes to be awarded on the basis of national versus state popular vote totals, indicating there is some interest in the subject, but their actions do not constitute a repeal of the Electoral College nor endorsement of their vote validity.

Frustrating story

I totally agree with the person in Saturday’s Last Word writing about that horrible Oswaldo Martinez. I know that there must be something that can be done, and every time it’s in the paper I am infuriated. Thank you.

Tax returns

Someone wrote they were a happy camper because their refund was bigger than last year’s refund. The annual budget deficit is 77 percent higher than last year. Look your children in the eye and thank them. They are the ones you are stealing from, since you have no intention of paying them back in your lifetime.

Minding the line

Why is there such a long line in the first place; aren’t we paying taxes for school buses? Those who complain about “going green” should be the first to avoid using their car when there are alternatives, i.e., school buses.

Recommended

Last week I went to my local Ace Hardware on John Tyler Highway to purchase a few needed items. While there, I asked the associate about an item I may need for a future project. He offered me advice based on his experience and showed me the products available at Ace. He then suggested I might want to see the much larger selection of the product at a rival store (shades of a “Miracle on 34th Street”). I thanked him for his advice and candor and completed my transaction. It is this kind of service that will keep Ace Hardware my “go to” hardware store.

Check it out

The library has created a brand-new magazine called “Beyond the Shelves,” which includes performances and events across the board for three whole months, everything from book groups, concerts, movies, to a workshop on solar energy in your home. I got one in the mail, since I'm a Friend of the Library, but there are bunches of them at the library waiting to be picked up. Check it out.

Democratic socialism

To the commenter that said, “It’s your moral obligation as a citizen” to pay for others’ college education: I suggest if you can’t afford to send one of your children to college, you don’t have more than one. Expecting others to pay for what you want is exactly what Democratic Socialism is all about. That is immoral.

Those of you claiming that Social Security is not socialism because you pay into it should read what your patron saint, Ronald Reagan, said about it when it was introduced. In a capitalistic pension plan, such as a 401K, you receive back precisely what you pay into it (plus capital gains and interest). In socialist Social Security, you receive back more or less than you contributed, not the same amount. The fact that Social Security is going bankrupt means that most people are taking out more than they contributed — that’s welfare. If the majority of people were withdrawing less than they paid in, Social Security should be running a surplus.

Social Security and Medicare are social insurance programs in which workers and employers pay premiums through FICA (Federal Insurance Contribution Tax) while people are working. When they become aged, disabled, widowed or orphaned, they collect benefits based upon the premiums paid during working years. The Social Security Act was passed in the 1930s because so many elderly and disabled, or their families, were unable to provide basic needs during the Depression. Social Security was designed to help people provide for the bare necessities as they became unable to work rather than relying on churches or states to do so. Benefits were meant to supplement pensions and savings and not meant to provide for full-retirement income.

Free college?

The Democratic Socialist call for free college is not so unrealistic. Like many senior Virginians, I was educated at a state university that charged in inflation-adjusted dollars about $1,500 a semester. We seniors went to college when Virginia paid nearly 70 percent of the in-state student cost. That compares to less than 20 percent today. The Greatest Generation provided me and many others a first-rate education for a pittance, less than a community college costs today. Now as taxpayers, we are leaving our grandchildren either with an impossible student debt or no college opportunities. Maybe college will never be free, but it should certainly enjoy greater support as something that benefits us all. It seems unlikely that we who did not even pay enough to support our own retirement social benefits will do anything for future generations.

Climate change

The climate is changing. It has been changing for more than 90 billion years. For more than 99 percent of that time there were no humans to cause it. Human activity may now have a minor effect on climate change. The logical approach to reduce this effect is innovation, not regulation. Those who advocate regulation do not really care about climate change; what they really care about is control.

Mueller investigation

To the caller who pointed out that, as of this time, the Mueller investigation has not indicted anyone in the inner circle of the Trump administration except for Michael Cohen: You need to install the caveat, “yet.” Mueller isn’t finished yet, and like the final act of any good opera, all of the primary players have something happen to them. Before he’s done, Muller will have them all in the dock except for the president, because the Department of Justice says you can’t indict a sitting president. Fortunately, the state of New York is not limited by that opinion.

Thank you

If you have not visited Olde Towne Pizza & Pasta, you should consider it. The owners, Bahki and Tatiana Oncu, recently donated pasta and bread to the annual Family Night and Bingo for Books at Norge Elementary School. The food was absolutely delicious and their support during the function was amazing. As a parent, I am so proud that we have business owners in our community that show such support for our children. From all of the Norge Roadrunner families, thank you!

Thank you to the friends of and donors to the library. We really enjoyed the adult reading program and appreciated the mug and prizes. Let's go read, everyone!

On Saturday, I was at the Kohl’s at Marquis Center and I lost my money. I called the store and someone had turned it in. And when I got there, the cashier who had waited on me was very generous and apologetic, but it was my mistake. I’m so thankful for the person who turned that in. Thank you. You are truly blessed.

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