Last Word on unleashed dogs, March 20

Unleashed dogs

Once again, today at the Little Creek Reservoir in Toano walking trail, I encountered an unleashed dog. Friends of mine who are afraid of dogs refuse to go there because of this problem. I have a beloved dog, but I know how to follow posted rules. Thanks to some of you, you have denied use of this trail to others.

Coach Shaver

As an alumnus, I was always glad that the College of William and Mary supported high academic standards over fleeting sports success. Now that Tony Shaver has been fired for not winning enough games, I fear the college's learned reputation will suffer.

Thanks to Tony Shaver for 16 years of great basketball at William and Mary. During those 16 years, we've seen some really exciting games. As far as we are concerned, he is a class act. It's too bad that the current administration stresses winning rather than academics.

William and Mary has made a huge mistake. Tony Shaver, with injuries on the team this year, did a fine job. Writing to Shaver, “Go; at least Coach Laycock saw what was coming and had the sense to retire.” We now are setting up William and Mary “sports” to have a very unpleasant decade. Perhaps the new athletic director should work on her hook shot. Enough said.

It was time for Tony to go; he had many years to build a program that would take these talented men to the NCAA tournament. Yes, W&M is an academic school, but the men he has recruited in the last 10 years to play basketball deserve to have a coach that won’t lose the game after having a 16-point lead in the first half. We have seen too many of these losses in the last several years. It’s time for new coaching staff.

Good luck to Tony Shaver and all of his staff. I wish all of them great success in their future. Being a season ticket holder for basketball, we always hoped for a great season. We witnessed a lot of great come-back games. But William and Mary has never been and will never be a power-house team unless they fall to the underhanded practice of recruiting to win and not to educate. These players deserve a lot of credit for the schedule that they keep to study and practice for their sport. I hope the new AD doesn’t lose sight of the purpose of William and Mary: education. These young men have shown that they can be smart and excel at a sport. Thank you.

Tony Shaver has been a solid coach for W&M, and I’m somewhat shocked by his dismissal. Unless he was fired for cause, which we may never know, this is unfair to him and his team. He has an exceptional team coming back next year, players he recruited. Why not give him one more year with this team? Now a newcomer comes in, with already possibly the best returning team in many years, and that coach benefits (with Tony’s recruits!). Wouldn’t surprise me if we see some transfers before next season. Wrong move, W&M.

Waiting patiently

Roses are red, violets are blue, I have a pothole coming, to a neighborhood near you.

Higher education

It certainly is true that state funding for secondary education has seen significant reductions. That said, since 1965, significant increases in federal funding through a variety of programs have offset most of the impact of the state reductions. Since 2000, Pell grants have increased from $10 billion a year to $34 billion, and the federal student loan program jumped from $48 billion a year to about $100 billion with a cumulative total of over $1.5 trillion, representing over 40 million student loans, outstanding. During this same period, grants to higher education institutions have tripled. In 1995 there were seven special breaks in the income tax code for higher education; today there are 18. In 2007 the student loan interest rate was cut in half. Taxpayers have done enough.

College and university enrollment has increased by 37 percent since 2000. The result is that 35 percent of these poorly-prepared, first-year college students must take remedial classes and colleges and universities have been forced to dumb down standards to adjust to the huge number of second-rate students attending. SAT scores are dropping, and high school GPAs are increasing — it’s called grade inflation. The typical student today spends far less time studying then even 10 years ago. The result is only marginal gains in critical thinking. As college enrollment explodes, research has shown that it is accompanied with declining adult literacy for people with degrees. Society needs to stop trying to force round pegs into square holes; college is not for everyone.

Looking for …

Does anybody know where Becca from Hair Uptown went to?

I have used a wallpaper hanger named Mr. Fields, at 887-3355, and have always been very happy with him. Thank you.

If you’ve lost a pot bellied pig, she visited me Thursday, about noon. Last time I saw her, she was walking south toward Dare Croaker Road alongside of Interstate 64. She started at the very end of Norman Davis Drive, at Temple Hall Estates.

A Bible was found at the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists Church. We are trying to return it to its rightful owner. Please call the office at 757-220-6830 if you think it might be yours.

With warmer weather coming, is there anywhere in the local area where you can purchase fresh local fish and seafood?

A lady’s gold watch was lost in Merchants Square or the parking lot behind Barnes & Noble on Thursday. If found, please call 757-208-0285. Thank you very much.

Homeless students

I was shocked when I read there are more than 400 children in our area that are homeless. It really hit me like a ton of bricks. How can we be so rich (relatively speaking) and so many kids around us be homeless? We will put more money into animal shelters — and I love to help animals — than helping needy people. For many months, I have been wanting a cause to get behind that helps the less fortunate and this is one that I can get behind. Perhaps some of the readers can suggests organizations that work toward helping the homeless in our area that I could get involved with. If you are interested in working to reduce the number of homeless children in our area, email me at HtHChildreninVA@gmail.com, which stands for Helping the Homeless Children in VA.

Seeing High Street

As I was reading about High Street in the Gazette, I started wondering why it is still not on my radar, even though I drive past it many times per week. I realized that the reason is that the big buildings right next to Richmond Road block out the view of the other stores behind them. Maybe we could not do that particular thing again?

Join the club

Our boys and girls need the after school programs — snacks, tutoring, positive play time, strong mentors — that Boys and Girls clubs provide. The gap between school buildings, class time and a possible trek to elsewhere, club programs is guaranteed to lose possible members. So, why not arrange for the Boys and Girls clubs to utilize school space? The facilities are all there. The kids are there. Buses could take them home following a wonderful positive and worthwhile time with people who like kids. Please help push this. Our kids need it, families need it, our country needs it!

No socialism here

Unfortunately, a couple of well-known Democrats inaccurately label themselves as Democratic Socialists. They are not. They simply are recognizing our societal responsibility. One can argue how far that responsibility reaches, but they just want to remedy some of the inequities in our capitalistic system. It is time to stop barking up the wrong tree and start discussing the best exercise of our societal responsibility.

Minding the line

The caller who commented about lines of cars picking children up at schools reminds me of another problem caused by the mobs of cars waiting for their passengers. Each school waiting zone should be a strictly enforced "no idling zone" and parents should be made to turn off their automobile engines until given permission to come forward to retrieve their children.

Funding Social Security

Since 1985, when Reagan raised the FICA tax, $7 trillion more was collected in Social Security taxes than was paid out. As a result of the GOP tax cut under Bush, 5 trillion was collected and was used for day-to-day operations, wars, etc., which is the function of income tax. An example: In 2012, a self-employed person making $100,000 paid $16,500 in Social Security taxes while Trump paid the same amount.

The discussion about Social Security is fraught with misstatements. While SS began in 1935, disability benefits were not added until 1956, under President Eisenhower. Why is the Social Security Trust Fund shrinking? Because Congress won’t do its job, not because it is socialism. How should it be funded? The principle is to be adequate for 75 years. This is a balance between full-funding and pay-as-you-go. If SS was fully funded, the trust fund would be way too huge.

Better movies

Why in the world does a community like ours, with highly educated people, accustomed and interested in a variety of films, documentaries, wanting regular good movies, foreign and domestic, need to trek to the Naro? Really? That is part of the push for Kimball when the contract with William and Mary is concluded. And many of us really can’t or no longer want to drive the tunnel for movies that should be available in our own community.

Gas prices

Could someone explain to me why, for the first time in the history of our country, the U.S. is now the single largest exporter of petroleum in the world. Why, then, is the price of gas continuing to rise here in Williamsburg? We are now at almost at $3 a gallon for premium, the highest it has been in a while. In contrast, in Saudi Arabia where the primary, if not only, export is oil, their gas is totally free to their citizens. Perhaps it is due to the state taxes, which our legislature continues to increase.

Passing on debt

I can look my children in the eyes with the knowledge that at least President Trump has put in place the tools to address the national debt and the trade inequalities that existed under Obama. The question is, how did you manage to ignore Obama doubling the national debt, exporting millions of jobs overseas and adding month after month to the trade deficits?

Too many dogs

I think there are too many dogs at the Farmers’ Market, especially when they are selling food items. It’s unsanitary, and I think it’s really against the regulations of the township.

Not a business

A recent commenter on “Not a Business” said the budget deficits and tariff mess are the result of “hiring an MBA graduate to run the country is risky at best.” Remember, Trump is not an MBA, but he slings the name Wharton around in an attempt to fool his followers. His business and economic knowledge is zilch.

Recommended

Just had the wallboard man, Bruce Reed, complete some repair jobs for me, one on a 19-foot high cathedral ceiling. He is punctual, affordable, does outstanding work and leaves the rooms spotless. He can be reached at 757-570-1315. He also re-caulked our kitchen counter tops.

Up in Washington

There have been numerous comments recently in this column about the credibility of Cohen vs. Trump. I give more credence to the man who admits his lies and apologizes for them as opposed to the one who never admits to it and likely never will. Cohen is the former; Trump is the latter.

Drug bust

In Saturday’s Gazette, the comment on the big drug bust, the important piece of that is the drugs were seized at a legal port of entry, not being transported across the southern border, which is not being protected by a fence on the back of a mule. The drugs come through legal ports of entry, not remote desert outposts.

Thank you

I would like to compliment Goodman Jewelers. My husband recently died, and I took his coin collection over there. Unfortunately, I also took two very nice rings also and let these traveling people have them for $5 each. I regretted it, and I called Goodman’s. It turns out, they keep the things for three weeks in case something like this happens. I have not heard of this with any other jewelers, and I am so happy I can get them back. I told a number of people about this and the fact that they close on Sundays. Everyone is favorably impressed with Goodman Jewelers, as I am. Thank you.

I’d like to thank the nice couple, Jake and Jessica, and the young man, Robbie, who helped me out when I had a flat tire on Tuesday night. I’d also like to thank Officer Wiggins, who called for a tow truck when my car wouldn’t start after they fixed my tire. Thank you.

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