Last Word on increasing sales tax, April 7

Sales tax increase

The sales tax increase has led to some interesting quotes from many in the community. Karen Riorodan: "It takes money to make money." Well, yes it does. Private money though, Karen, not tax dollars. Tommy Norment: "I’m re-booting.” You should be saying the $1 license plate tax and $2 room tax were failures at every level, and tax dollars will no longer fund private enterprise. Sue Sadler: “It’s found money.” Ms. Sadler, since taking office and with the new budget proposal, you’ve found more than $18 million, and spent it; giving 2 cents back is a slap in the face.

Tommy Norment has stated that visitors to the Williamsburg area will pay the bulk of the Tommy tax. I present to him a challenge. Show the voters the empirical evidence of the scientific research that he bases that claim on. I think it’s like most other things politicians do — smoke, mirrors, wishful thinking and a whole lot of fertilizer.

I would whole-hardheartedly support a 1-cent sales tax increase to support affordable housing in Williamsburg. But to give more money to an industry that is notorious for paying low wages while owners and managers reap unearned rewards makes me want to hold my nose and avoid any tourist businesses. But then, I'm just a local, a cashier at a retail store making $9 an hour, living in an income restricted project that claims the right to inspect my home 28 times a year. Fact is that the state government is going to tax the low-paid workers to create a slush fund to benefit their employers who will not pay their workers a living wage. Our local politicians are silent on this, as expected. I would support a 1-cent increase on the sales tax to raise money to build affordable housing. Not $250,000 town homes and "McMansions," which are out of reach of most of the retail and hospitality workers.

James City County supervisors are giving the residents a 2-cent decrease in real estate taxes to offset the Tommy tax. Don’t they realize that the residents most affected by the sales tax do not own real estate? They rent. They will get no relief. Those that can better afford a sales tax increase will benefit since they own their homes. Give relief to the rich and take from the poor. Trump would be proud of the board’s actions.

If memory serves me correctly, doesn't Virginia law require a referendum on the November ballot to increase a sales or a meal tax? I'm thinking about past referendums for meals and transportation that failed in Northern Virginia, as well as the Hampton Roads transportation tax that passed.

The main purpose for using half the money collected from the additional 1 percent sales tax is to promote tourism. They have a big job to convince people to come here in the summer when it is so hot and often humid. People want to go to the Outer Banks at that time of year — and I mean people from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Northern Virginia, etc. Business is sure booming there, and I don’t think we can sway people to come here. My family in Northern Virginia rents a very pricey house every summer in OBX and does not want to even consider going anywhere else.

Looking for …

I’m in search of a hair stylist who knows how to give an excellent bob haircut. I’m also searching for a hair stylist in McLaws Circle named Robin.

I’m calling about the person who recommended the Farmers’ Market in Toano as being excellent. You failed to mention when and where this is located. Please call this into the Last Word. Thank you.

I am searching for my Handy Husband workman who did repairs for me. What’s your phone number? Please publish it in the Last Word. Thank you.

Is there a restaurant that serves salt-free meals or very low salt? Information needed soon. Thank you.

I would really appreciate it if someone could refer a person for yard and fence repair work. Please leave the numbers in the Last Word. Thank you so much.

In response to “Looking for a less expensive cellphone:” I’ve been using Verizon Cell since 2008. I pay $100 a year and I get about eight hours for the entire year. Whatever you do not use will rollover to the next year so, for just six or eight calls a month (or for me, just when I’m out of town and need it on the road) — for $100 a year, Verizon cell fills the bill. Thank you.

School shootings, guns

I have a huge question: Why are we worried about guns and so many children are getting killed by them — generally children but some adults — when, according to the new health secretary, 116 people die per day from opioids? I mean, that’s a tremendous amount. Why don’t we attack the opioids and not the guns?

In response to the gentleman leaving his pistol on the table next to his front door and not causing any harm: I commend you, sir. There are no truer words that have been printed as of late. It is not our guns or our gun control that needs to be redone. It is, in fact, the way we are living that people need to take a second look at. When I was younger, the video games, the movies, the shows on TV were not nearly as evil as they are today, thus putting thoughts in everybody’s heads that would not otherwise be there. I have to say, when I was younger — the 60s — the simpler lives and being kept from such gruesome things made for a safer living environment. But I do commend you. Guns are not the problem. Students, on the other hand, may definitely be.

About Lafayette

Why is there now, in the middle of the Lafayette High School year, an interim principal? What’s happening at Lafayette High School? Thank you.

Odd, but true

In my many years, I've seen many pictures of Adam and Eve — and in every picture, they have belly buttons.

Road worries

Can I get an answer as to why a VDOT dump truck has to sit there all day long with a guy just sitting there with the contractors trimming trees on Forge Road? He’s not doing anything but just sitting there. So can somebody explain why our tax money’s being wasted on that?

Do people know how to use turn signals anymore? No. They pull right out in front of you. They’re either texting on the phone, talking on the phone or eating while driving. Our great governor needs to step up and put a stop to the texting and talking on phones. It’s not hands-free and they should not be able to use it. Thank you.

I would just like to encourage drivers to keep their distance when driving behind others. If they could respect that difference, it would make the world a better place.

Distracted driving is a public health issue that affects us all. The latest statistics show motor vehicle fatalities are up 6 percent from 2016. More than 40,000 people were killed on our nation's roadways last year, and distracted driving is a major contributor. Put down the phone when you are behind the wheel; it can mean the difference between life and death. Virginia needs to pass legislation against hand held cellphone usage while driving. Save lives.

Credit card theft

Photos show two men who stole a purse and used the credit cards to buy $2,000 worth of gift cards. The fact that they were stolen from a purse presumes the credit cards would have a woman's name on them. Really, do clerks choose not to check identity at all? I wish the Gazette would tell us which stores are so lazy as I do not want to shop in a store that doesn't check ID.

Mail delivery

There have been major problems with the United States Postal Service Richmond Distribution Center, now Sandston, for over 35 years that I know of. No one seems to be able to correct this problem. Our local carrier cannot deliver what is not sent to them in a timely manner.

‘Retired in Williamsburg’

About Fred Siegel: Enough is enough. He is entitled to express his own opinion, but when The Virginia Gazette allows him to target a specific religious denomination, all of our rights are in jeopardy.

Regarding the responses to “Retired in Williamsburg” cartoon: Those commenting and taking offense seem to have had on their “moral outrage blinders.” My take was that the cartoon was poking fun at those who blame illegal immigrants for all sorts of ills. Perhaps, instead of seeking to find malice in all they read, these folks should keep a more open mind.

I want to register my displeasure with the Fred Siegel cartoon in last Saturday’s Gazette. I never find him funny or amusing. He is always sarcastic, but this last submission is offensive to many, no matter what their religion. After numerous complaints, why continue to post his untalented drivel?

It’s hard to believe that The Virginia Gazette continues to publish Fred Siegel’s cartoons. Sad and disappointing.

Got it right

Charles Misak’s commentary regarding the demonization of America’s history was dead on. Educators have spent decades teaching our children that the Founding Fathers weren’t great men, that American culture is to be reviled and patriotism is for racists. The children who have been taught this are now grown up and don’t want to bring their children to such a disgraceful place. Both of my children went through the W-JCC educational system and have had only one teacher (Kurt Krass, Hornsby Middle) explain the historically significant achievements of our Founding Fathers. What Colonial Williamsburg needs to do is use its influence to put this country's greatness back into the classroom instead of paying for high-gloss ad campaigns.

Happy countries

To Ann Hunt in her letter to the editor, where she says socialist countries are more like Denmark and Sweden and not like dictatorships: Go to the dictionary. Look up communism, and it lists socialism. Socialism is soft communism. Communism, socialism — it’s a soft dictatorship, so the government is in charge. The people are not in charge of the country. So that’s a very slippery slope, and, you know, when you go to visit and you see people looking happy and this and that, that’s all you’re basing it on. You’re not basing it on real life and actually living somewhere. But look up the definition of communism and you will see the term socialism.

North Korea

The coverage on North Korea and the United States is lacking one critical item: 1950, deja vou. China and North Korea invade South Korea. Why hasn’t this been brought up? They’re back as buddy buddies against who? Well, South Korea and the United States.

Grocery stores

Here’s one thing that I am really concerned or confused about: We’ve lived in Williamsburg for eight years. Why are there so many grocery stores that close and reopen? I don’t understand that. I mean, it’s not like the population declines. Maybe someone can explain the theory or the problem, the cause and effect. It’s just a constant, someone’s buying this store, this store is closing, someone else is going to buy that store. I just don’t understand the issue with supermarkets here. Usually, a supermarket comes and they stay in a community forever. So if someone has some rationale for me, I’d appreciate it. Thank you.

Recommended

We want to thank Steve Schmidt, Virginia Green Lawn Care, for responding to our request about their lawn care service. Parts of our lawn did not grow as well as the rest did when they aerated and seeded it last September. Steve followed up on our discussion and had a crew come back and aerated and re-seeded the needed portions last week free of charge. We really appreciated it when a company responds on their word to a client. Call Steve or Virginia Green Lawn Care at 757-258-1788. We highly recommend them.

Would like to thank We Fix Computers by Khalid. He did a wonderful job fixing and updating our computers and explained everything. We highly recommend him.

We have eaten several times at the Old Mill Pancake House on Richmond Road. It has new owners and the breakfast food is delicious. In addition, the ambience cannot be beat: carpeting on floor, sound absorbing tiles on ceiling, low music in background. It is great for those with hearing problems, as the sound from other patrons is absorbed, not echoing through the restaurant.

Dharma Dog Grooming at 5810 Mooretown Road, owned and operated by April, is the best. I have a chocolate cocker spaniel who has many health issues but he is seemingly rejuvenated with every visit to Dharma Dog. April is reliable and fairly priced and always welcomes pets with open arms and it shows when your pet wags his tail fervently at the front door. My pet may be at the end of his life, but getting him groomed puts a spark in his step and Dharma Dog puts the spark back in our step to see him happy.

I highly recommend Rob Tasse, watchmaker at 315-955-4966. He did a couple of my clocks and he has done an outstanding job, and I’ve given him another one. I really think he’s tops. Thank you.

Free to you

We have a Baldwin spinet piano that needs a good home. You can have it for free, bench included. Please call 757-378-3855.

Up in Washington

I’m sorry for the losses in the stock market for many, but it will only be through huge losses will Republicans take the necessary steps to remove this unhinged person from the White House.

Rather than Putin coming to the White House, our President should go to Russia. He can be there for the Russian May Day celebration, witness their military parade and ask for asylum to keep him from being jailed for his numerous violations of the Constitution.

Build that wall and make Mexico pay for it sure had a better ring than renovate the Obama fence and nobody knows who’s going to pay for it.

Only Trump would think it's great that he is the first president to become the subject of a criminal investigation.

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