Last Word on the sales tax, March 31

Sales tax increase

We the people have some say in what happens. If this tax passes, I will try extremely hard to make as many of my purchases out of the area as possible. I work in Richmond, so I can go to their Walmart. I definitely will make any large purchases (Tires, appliances, cars) out of this area. If everyone will do the same, this tax law will be removed. They said that no one complained about food being included in this. If you keep everything a secret, and don’t talk to anyone about it, I suppose no one complains.

The "Tommy Tax" is a typical Republican tax in that it transfers wealth from those who can least afford it to those who least deserve it. Retirees, poor families, and the minimum wage employees who work in the restaurant, hotel, and tourism industries will be hit hardest by it as they buy the things they need for their daily lives. The tax should at the very least exempt the grocery and personal hygiene categories to give those groups some relief. Additionally, the tax should have a 24-month sunset provision unless the jurisdictions which pay it vote in favor of renewing it every two years.

Listening to the Chamber of Commerce give their pitch for the Tommy Norment Tax was like listening to a fox give their pitch to guard the hen house — they should control their drooling. I am adamantly opposed to the sales tax primarily because of the underhanded tactics that were used to try to sneak it by everyone. We pay enough taxes now! I am also opposed to any tax that James City and York counties have to pay that supports City of Williamsburg until the city puts their property taxes on parity with the other locales. Why should they still pay lower taxes than the other parties involved in this scheme to increase tourism?

I, too, join the list of disturbed taxpayers regarding this new sales tax. As a person who has moved often, taxes were very important in our choices of where to live. One of the reasons we chose Williamsburg was the lower taxes at most levels. In the 14 years I have been here, there have increases in various areas. We have no children, but new million-dollar schools have been built. We may be helped because families will move here because of these new schools. I don’t know that for sure, but I pay, and get no service from them. There seems to be no support for this tax, and verbal complaints are nonstop everywhere you look.

I see that the Gazette has an article titled, “Board to be briefed on sales tax details.” Don’t you think it’s fair that the county staff briefs the residents of the county who are going to be the ones expected to pay it if it is signed?

I have read numerous comments about the sales tax increase in the Last Word and other places. I have yet to hear any explanation by Sen. Norment to the public about why he proposes this and why he thinks it’s fair for all parties concerned. I’d like to hear Sen. Norment’s comment on this. Thank you.

The only advertising that should be done is to vote out the people that voted for the sales tax increase. It’s just more money for our county to spend! No one pays for my company’s advertising. Just another board for friends. So I have to shop in West Point, Richmond for parts and materials.

To the Last Word writer who said the additional 1 percent % tax would cost her family “at least an additional $600 per year”: Really? That would mean you plan to spend at least $60,000 on purchases!? I don’t like the tax either, but that amount doesn’t sound right!

When I first heard about the “Tommy tax,” the article said it would not include grocery store food purchases. Now I read that the bill sitting on Gov. Northam’s desk does include food purchases at the grocery store. As bad as the whole tax idea is, this goes way over the line and affects those in our area who can least afford it — all the people working for minimum wage and close to it and those whose jobs were outsourced by CW. Even homeless people buy food in the grocery stores. Contact Gov. Northam. Why are we afraid to tax visitors? I paid $22 a night room tax in an area of Pennsylvania in the middle of nowhere and not a tourist area, to visit a relative. And we don’t want to offend anyone by charging $2?

So the person wrote that the sales tax would cost them at least $600 yet could not afford a vacation. So that person spends at least $60,000 a year on groceries, food, eating out, clothing, and other goods because that is what it would take to generate the $600. Somehow I doubt that. The tax is a bad idea. Everyone else in the state voted in favor of raising our taxes and why not, they don’t have to pay it. But using exaggerations like the one above weakens the argument.

They want our money to pay for businesses advertising. They don’t want to pay for their own advertising. So, are these businesses running our government, or is our government running these businesses?

Well done!

Kudos to the Kempers people who are now managing the courses at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club. They have brought much needed improvements and turned around the declining trend of the past few years.

School shootings, guns, March for our Lives

I am in total support of these young people. But, as with so many others who protest so many human actions, they also need to hold up a mirror. What are you as a person doing to contribute to helping to end these horrors aside from walking? Have you ever bullied someone? Ever along with your "clique" ostracized anyone? Have you ever talked with someone who no one else cares to have contact with? Reported strange behavior of another student that seemed questionable or dangerous in deed or attitude? A young lady at the forefront of this and other protests, a student of Stoneman Douglas High School, stated, "Everyone knew the shooter was crazy. That's why none of us had anything to do with him since middle school." You made your point during your march. But will you take meaningful steps to help prevent this sort of thing in some way other than speeches and signs?

Famous statements: JFK, "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what can you do for your country." MLK, "I have a dream." Emma Gonzalez, "would never," in 6 minutes and 20 seconds summed it up.

I had the privilege of attending the March for Our Lives in D.C. on Saturday. There were 800,000 people in attendance. To put this in perspective, take the total populations of the cities and counties of Norfolk, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, York, Gloucester, Williamsburg, James City, New Kent, Charles City and Surry. They represent the 801,000 men, women and children who reside in these communities. You cannot turn on the TV news any night in the 757 area and not hear about at a least one, if not more, persons being shot. At the march, posted on every light pole, was a printed message from the D.C. police. No firearms of any kind were permitted, not even with a concealed weapons permit. It was a gun-free zone with only law-enforcement being armed. No other “good guys with guns” permitted. Not one of those 800,000 participants was shot on Saturday. The only difference between these two populations was the easy access to a firearm. In one, people die by the bullet every day and the other co-existed in peace. You have to decide. What do you cherish more, your children, grandchildren, spouses, parents, siblings, loved ones and close friends or your guns? Sensible gun laws will become a reality when you choose family and vote your conscience.

Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941; Vietnam war protests; World Trade Center, Sept. 11, 2001; March 24, 2018 personifies E Pluribus Unum!

The NRA is a bully! The bully is afraid of a group of high school students! After the march on Washington to demand changes in America's gun laws, the NRA released videos and talking points denigrating the teenagers who organized the march and having their surrogates suggest that they could better spend their time learning CPR. It’s a sad day when a group of adults fears a group of children!

I’m sick and tired of smug NRA supporters portraying those who want sensible gun safety laws as naïve. Yes, we know such laws will not stop all violence — nor do traffic laws prevent all traffic accidents, but we don’t throw them out the window. Many older people cannot understand the reality of the world today’s youth face. It is hypocritical to say they need to grow up when so many NRA supporters clearly harbor G.I. Joe role-play fantasies. Our legislators need to grow up, have some courage and face reality.

Today, I placed my pistol on the table next to my front door and left it there alone. While I was gone, the mailman delivered mail, the neighbor's son mowed the yard, a girl walked her dog down the street, and quite a few cars stopped at the stop sign near the front of my house. An hour later, I checked my firearm. It was still quietly lying there, where I had left it. I must be in possession of the laziest gun in the world! Well, I'm off to check on my spoons. I hear they're making people fat!

President Trump’s idea of training volunteer teachers on how to use a gun for protection is an excellent one. Growing up in NYC and in a bad neighborhood where teachers were subject to assault and rape, letting would-be criminal students know that teachers might be actually able to protect themselves would be a deterrent to crime. I’m sure this applies to many of our inner cities where teachers are nothing but prey.

Over the years, thousands of black kids and young adults have been gunned down. Thousands, in places like Chicago, but no marches for them, no celebrities, nothing. Let a few white kids get shot and the celebrities and other liberals come out of the woodwork. Hollywood donates millions, MSM follows the story incessantly, the white kids become "student warriors" and are given honors. All the while, silence for the thousands of black kids who face violence daily. Shameful. But make sure you vote Democrat.

To the participants in the inane "March For Our Lives" on March 24: Congratulations, you "did something!" Now, here's a tip from America's 120 million gun owners, who collectively own over 300 million guns. It is not your right or your place to tell us what guns we do or do not need, and may or may not have. You can't have our gun rights. Not now. Not ever. Not without a fight. You'd best learn to accept that.

The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence starts: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I have a question for the supporters of the Second Amendment of the Constitution. What part of it trumps the Declaration of Independence's statement that I am endowed with the unalienable right to life and liberty? Your Second Amendment right stops when it interferes with my right to expect to live safely.

Only 18 percent of 18- to 21-year-olds vote in an off-year election. That number may triple this year. Voting out anyone with ties to the NRA will be the coolest thing young people can do.

This to the guy who went to a restaurant and he was carrying concealed and they had a sign that said no weapons and he was deciding what to do. Well, it’s real simple. You got two options. No. 1, you leave, take your business to a place that doesn’t mind having people with weapons. Or No. 2, if you really, really want to go there — and I’ve done this before — if it’s truly concealed, you go right on in there, you sit at a booth and nobody knows the difference. The worst they can do is ask you to leave. You’re not illegal; you’re not breaking the law. That’s your options.

Closing shop

After 20 years, La Petite Tea Room at the Williamsburg Antique Mall will be closing the end of April, but we’ll also be doing afternoon teas and teaching teaism, the history of tea, for special events here in Williamsburg. If you have any questions, call Miss Jean at 258-1559. Editor’s note: the original posting listed an incorrect phone number.

Looking for …

Can someone share the phone number for Mr. Howard who comes to your home for lawnmower repairs?

Multiple Sclerosis Support group. The Williamsburg MS Support group meets on the first Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Riverside Doctors Hospital, 1500 Commonwealth Ave., Williamsburg.

I lost my gold ring, oblong set in quartz in or near Fresh Market. If any kind soul comes across this ring, could you please call me at 757-220-3421. It is a family ring, of spiritual and sentimental value to me. I am hoping and praying it can come back to me.

To the person looking for a spring consignment sale for babies and toddlers up to age 8: You just missed a great one. King of Glory has theirs every spring and we just had one two weeks ago. So, put it on your calendar that the beginning of March/end of February, call King of Glory Lutheran on Longhill Road, 258-1070, and, like I say, every year we have children’s consignment.

In the good ole days, onions had some real taste, sharpness, and zing to add to meals and sandwiches. Now, the only onions I find are bland and tasteless. Where, locally, can I buy flavorsome sharp onions?

If anybody is looking for Ladda the tailor who used to be on Monticello, she has moved because they’re redoing the shopping center. You can find her now in the Five Forks Shopping Center, at Ironbound Road and Route 5. Her phone number is 229-2224. I have been looking for a long time for her, wondered where she went and finally found her. She was at the other location for 37 years.

I am looking for a Christian beauty salon. I have eight ladies on Wednesday that want their hair done. One of them went to a salon where a Christian girl worked, but it was not a Christian atmosphere. The owner was very loud and obnoxious.

Local market

There is a truly local farmers market that almost never gets mentioned in The Virginia Gazette. “Local” at the much touted Merchant Square Farmers Market means some vendors from out of town. “Local” at the farmers market in Toano means James City County, Williamsburg and York County vendors. When you shop in Toano, you support both local farmers and the fire department. You meet wonderful people, buy great vegetables and sausage and support your community. We need to support this great contribution to our community as The Virginia Gazette does not.

Pamunkey casino

This is in reference to the proposed Pamunkey casino. I think one of the Indian tribes needs to purchase Colonial Downs. They already have a state-of-the-art facility. All they need to do is add the slot machines and the table games, and they’re ready to go. It would be a shame to let that building just sit there and grow up in weeds.

Something new

Local folks who aren't sure if they'd like opera have an opportunity to sample opera at an upcoming event. Opera in Williamsburg is sponsoring a dinner concert and silent auction on April 15 at Colonial Heritage. Singers who will perform at the upcoming full opera, “Carmen,” will entertain the dinner audience. Newcomers to opera can then decide if they'd like to attend the complete, fully staged version of Carmen later in the month. Tickets and additional information are available at http://www.operainwilliamsburg.org.

Fair housing

Thank you, Virginia Gazette, and reporter Ricardo Arriaza, for the story on “Midtown Row Apartments face community pushback.” To view the seven filed complaints, google GoldQuarks.com.

Political cartoons

More anti-Trump cartoons from our apparently leftish local newspaper. How about at least one on our spendthrift local government?

Postal service

The comment on the postal service about Sandston: Remember, the post office up there uses a 9-year-old with his little red wagon to deliver packages on the Peninsula, and he only does it when his mother lets him.

Allergy season

I thought the article regarding the allergies was really good and even the advice Dr. Howard gave was great. I am a medical person, but I found one of the things helpful: I really have bad allergies and I also love to garden. So after a day of being out in the yard or if the pollen count is really high or it’s that time of year when the pollen is yellow and it’s everywhere, I have found that making sure I take a shower and wash my hair before I go to bed has made a tremendous difference in my life. I have been (knock on wood) well for four years and it’s because of the things that Dr. Howard mentioned in the article. But don’t take the pollen to bed with you. Good luck this season.

Free to you

Mistake by Amazon. I now have six boxes of 100 brown cone Melita Coffee filters for the taking. 757-220-2278.

Colonial Williamsburg

Yesterday my wife and I walked through Colonial Williamsburg, and we used our Good Neighbor pass to get to the Palace. We walked to the back garden area and there was a group of people and a gentleman on the stage. Found out that he was portraying Thomas Jefferson. And I think it’s very good that Colonial Williamsburg had this man up there because he was instilling values in our nation that we should really think about. And I say kudos to Colonial Williamsburg for doing these types of things. Thank you.

Parking lot woes

On Thursday, March 22, I parked in the pay parking lot near Merchants Square and it is in terrible condition. The gravel surface has needed refurbishment for years. My husband got stuck in the lot over two months ago because his ticket was eaten by the pay machine at the exit; this machine is still not repaired and that exit is blocked off. Last Thursday, the walk-up pay machine was out of order. That leaves one machine to handle everyone exiting the lot. You imagine the chaos this causes when a Christopher Wren class of 80 people tries to exit the lot at the same time. Whoever owns this lot raised the parking fee last summer to $2 and since then the lot has degenerated into worse condition. On top of this, Williamsburg wants to increase the sales tax. Since either the city of Williamsburg and/or Colonial Williamsburg — whoever own the lot — cannot responsibly take care of their property now with their revenue, how can we trust them to use the revenue from the increased sales tax in any way that benefits us, the taxpayers?

Recommended

About 10 years ago we had lovely custom-made cabinets installed in our remodeled kitchen. Over those years, they were given the usual rough treatment often given to kitchen cabinets and had begun to show wear, especially below the kitchen sinks. A referral from the cabinet maker led us to Furniture Magicians who did a great job bringing them back to like-new condition at a reasonable cost, and we highly recommend them. Their website is furnituremagicians.com, and they can be reached at furnituremagicians@hotmail.com or at 757-874-2858.

I followed a recommendation that was posted in the Last Word and called Jay K. Doyle (532-2793) to do a repair I needed on my condo. Jay was prompt, efficient and reasonable. Thanks for such a great recommendation!

We recently had Brantley & Ripley Construction and Chris Morgan, 757-253-0233, coordinate various jobs for us, i.e., replace carpets, repaint insides, redo floors, re-build front steps and bathroom fixtures to get it ready to rent. The following companies did an outstanding job: Bone Painting, Richardson Carpets, Sword Hardwood, P&P Tile, Johnson Electric, and Drywall Solutions. All of them were highly professional, dedicated and reasonable. We highly recommend them. Billy Brantley, Aaron, Jim and Casey of BRC did a great job, too.

Affordable housing

Regarding a recent affordable housing comment: We had a Civil War and a civil rights movement so that we do not treat some people as second-class citizens. The Supreme Court recently weighed in and affirmed you could not discriminate with affordable housing. We need to stop protecting our bad history that supports many plantations for the wealthy.

Loved the comment sent in to address the person who wrote in and said people should move if they cannot afford the rents here! Your comment was, “If they did move that would create a mass exodus of all hotels, restaurants and grocery store workers. Who would be left to wait on you?” I worked seven years for a very popular dress store, started at $8 an hour, and when store closed I was still making $8 an hour after numerous requests for a raise. I had to work another part-time job to pay my rent and electric bill. Furthermore, if you are late on your rent in the apartments in Williamsburg, they charge you a fee for every day you are late. Hard enough to pay $1,000 or more a month, and then come up with the charges for a late fee! It is a shame that apartment rents are so much higher in Williamsburg than in Newport News. Too bad something can't be done about that!

Up in Washington

The incumbents in Congress passed an “omnibus” spending bill which was only six months late. This is a testament to what Congress can do when both sides agreed to open the federal checkbook to spend our money which topped $21 trillion in debt. Both parties have failed us —new representation must be sent to Washington who know how to live within our means!

Thanks to Trump, the stock market is up a whopping nothing in the last 3 months. The worst first quarter since the last GOP recession 9 years ago.

How long is our country going to allow a non-law abiding criminal as president? Trump has disgraced this country to the limit. One just has to look at how many have left his administration and his continued lies regarding sexual assaults. We now have a war monger as new security adviser. Wake up, America, and vote in November.

China has threatened that they will no longer buy U.S. Treasury bonds. They’re holding right now 1.3 trillion dollars. Here’s my answer. I prefer you hold none. I prefer that the United States of America balances its budget and they stop spending. Obviously, Paul Ryan seems to think that there’s unlimited debt that we can go into when we’re now adding debt to Obama’s debt. Why don’t we start acting a little more responsible, except for the military and protecting our borders, that we get rid of the pork that doesn’t need to be there. Then we don’t have to depend on China, which is crazy. We got 40,000 troops in South Korea. North Korea has been financially sustained for years by China. We’ve got these sanctions in place, finally, and we’re doing business with China.

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