Last Word on being kind, May 18

Being kind

Thank you to the members of the 2019 Class of LEAD Greater Williamsburg for launching the WMBGKind campaign and for working with the Colonial Road Runners to organize the May 18 Miles of Kindness races and festival. I can’t wait to come by and feel the love.

Great performance

Congratulations to all involved in the creation and production of "Mother Tongue," a play that premiered last week at Jamestown Settlement. While profiling the lives of three tenacious women of early Jamestown, the performance allows us to witness and understand what lies between the lines of written history. All those who appreciate the wonderful history of our area should see this play.

Sharing the road

I just got stopped for the bicycle event that left from somewhere near the JCC police station. Motorcycle cops stopped all traffic at the intersection in all directions so the bikes could make a right turn. Everybody had to sit while the people on the bikes used 25% of the intersection. Why? I could have gone straight and kept on going. People turning right out of the Harris Teeter area could have gone as well. It wasn’t a funeral, it was a bicycle event. I don’t care what the bicycle event was for. They interrupted everybody at the intersection. We should have been allowed to proceed; we would not have been in their way at all.

Performing space

I just finished reading the Gazette article (May 11) about overcrowding at the Williamsburg Regional Library and am confused as to why the library thinks it needs to add more performing space. What is the mission of a public library? Maybe the public would be better served if the current auditorium at the library were converted to actual library space and the City of Williamsburg purchased the Kimball Theatre for the performances that currently happen at the library

Arts Festival

In years past, the Virginia Arts Festival placed several excellent events in Williamsburg, a variety of performances that attracted audiences. Then fewer and fewer were scheduled in Williamsburg. Now, just one small event? What happened? Why is Williamsburg left out of the great performances? Not everyone is interested or able to get to Southside. Virginia is a large state. If the shows are only for Southside, change the name to reflect the reality.

Oakland Pointe

The recent article on Oakland Pointe (May 11) by Jack Jacobs is very interesting. I wonder how comfortable the Board of Supervisors is now with their decision. Even if each is ultimately OK with the Hampton vouchers, shouldn’t they and the public have had a right to know this before deliberation? It appears the developer knew this probability all along. Seems to me a classic case of bait and switch.

Looking for …

Can anyone recommend a local person to sharpen my pruning saw? I used to have it done through Ace Hardware, but apparently the person they used has retired.

I’m looking for vintage fishing lures for my son-in-law. Does anyone have some they aren’t going to use? Thank you! 757-253-2550.

Looking for a service that refurbishes brass hardware locally. Call 757-810-7046 and leave a message. All calls returned promptly.

I have a white wicker desk and chair to be refurbished, and I was wondering if someone in the Williamsburg area knew of someone I could get in touch with. Leave the information with Last Word, and thank you very much.

Celebrate together

As an alumna of the college, I read with interest the plans for William and Mary's 2019 graduation ceremonies. It was interesting to see a variety of graduation ceremonies scheduled for special groups, such as LGBTQ+ (gay and lesbian), LatinX (students of Latin American descent), and the Donning of the Kente (students of color). Do these students also participate in the traditional graduation ceremony held at Zable Stadium? A diploma from the College of William and Mary is an impressive achievement, and I would like to think these scholars go forth into the future as a united group of scholars. Editor’s note: Yes, all graduates attend the ceremonies at Zable Stadium.

Retired in Williamsburg

Is your editorial cartoonist implying that women should not hold positions such as provost or college president, and that the accomplishments of women should not be honored if there are not men being recognized alongside them? Or is he saying that the one man on the stage probably can't handle being alone among a group of five or six women? How many times has William and Mary conferred honorary degrees to one or more men while a male provost and president looked on? The sexism in this cartoon is beyond the pale. Editor’s note: Fred Siegel was commenting that the tide has turned, and that what was once a stage dominated by men, isn’t any longer.

Water rates

You wouldn’t think our local water companies are regulated by our government, as the rate increases are out of control. Even without another rate increase, the cost of water here is already way too high.

Easy neighbor pass

Colonial Williamsburg complicates renewing the Good Neighbor Pass. We received a postcard informing us that our Good Neighbor Passes are expiring and we can renew online or by calling. We renewed online. But wait, we have to appear in person to get our new cards. Oh, that CW would have mentioned that in their correspondence. What could have been a one-step process by just showing up has now become a two-step process by renewing online and then showing up for the new card. The pass holder does the data entry and spends time and money picking up the pass. The business part of CW needs to enter the 21st century.

Indoor/outdoor cats

A recent commenter stated that the city of Williamsburg and James City County had ordinances that all cats must be indoor cats. Not true. Having just spoken with Animal Control for JCC, their ordinance allows cats to roam as long as all health vaccinations are up to date. This, as I was told, is how false information is spread (i.e., the measles vaccine debacle). The reader also said they should not be expected to “clean up” after a cat. Since cats bury their feces, you would have to be out looking for it. Try to remember that it has really only been within the past few decades that cats have been “brought indoors,” taught to use litter pans and painfully declawed for the convenience of their owners.

Road worries

Who is responsible for cleaning the debris from the concrete curbing along Route 199 from Brookwood Drive through Jamestown Road area past the CVS store? It needs to be cleaned so that not only does it look nice, but so the rainwater is able to drain in that area.

Inviting mosquitoes

I live in a new housing development where construction is ongoing. There are a lot of puddles and places for water to collect. I have had more mosquitoes already this year than ever in my many years here. I read that James City discontinued their spraying program because it was too expensive. If tourists get eaten up by mosquitoes, they are going to remember that, so maybe we could use some of the Tommy Tax money that went to the county for spraying.

A few bad apples

I am asking high school athletic directors to make good decisions on hiring and renewing contracts for coaches. I know of a softball coach and two volleyball coaches who are vocally abusive. High school girls and boys should have lifelong, positive memories of their high school sports careers, not negative ones. I ask all athletic directors to conduct exit interviews with random players and weed out bad coaches. Just because a coach has a winning record doesn’t justify the negative verbal attitudes toward the athletes. There are too many good coaches who do it the right way to justify bad coaches not being removed.

Student housing

After reading Mayor Haulman’s letter pertaining to student housing and rental properties in the city of Williamsburg, I’m somewhat at a loss for words. In James City County, if we don’t desire an Oakland Pointe, for instance, we hear we are racists, elitists and trying to tell people what to do with their lands, when we’re just concerned with rampant growth, higher taxes and water bills, and overcrowding in our schools in the Stonehouse District. But that’s what we hear. But to hear a former mayor asking for draconian standards and a police state is somewhat mind-boggling. The cap and gown relations when he and others were sitting on council is well documented, and the reason students started running for office and winning. The city has done nothing to address its housing situation for the poor, has not preserved green spaces and is building on nearly every square inch of available property, yet they are viewed in a positive light. I wonder what Haulman would think coming out to the country in Toano to see how the working class lives — grills, bicycles, basketball hoops, swimming pools, and oil changes in driveways. The horror of it all.

A real eyesore

The wooded area of Monticello Avenue between Ironbound Road and Compton Avenue is a real eyesore. There are numerous downed limbs and trees close to the roadway. I note from a sign close by that the James City Lions Club is responsible for the trash clean-up along that portion of Monticello, and they regularly picked up the trash. Kudos to them. I don't know who is responsible for clearing the downed limbs and trees. However, since the College of William and Mary owns the land, you would think that they would have a vested interest in clearing it with their work crews.

About America

To the commenter complaining about America: If it’s so bad, why are so many trying to get into our country? Also, if anyone doesn’t like the way our country is being run, you’re fee to leave. The border is open and the doors swing both ways.

Armed teachers

Arming teachers makes less sense then allowing elementary school students to run a track race while carrying knives or scissors. When the FBI allows an agent to carry a firearm, the agent must re-qualify quarterly and spend a large number of hours on a range or training in simulations throughout the year. Giving a teacher a gun after 144 hours of training and assuming they won't panic when surrounded by screaming panicky children and cause a "friendly fire" accident, not to mention the possible tragedy when a police officer pumped up on adrenaline and fear charges into the fray and sees an armed suspect rather than a teacher, is a recipe for disaster. The outcome will be worse if the armed teacher isn't white.

Just asking

After exiting the ferry and driving toward Smithfield in Surry County (I think), we noticed several very large parcels of land where most of the trees had been cut down. What’s being developed there? It’s pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.

Talking taxes

The many who purchase products online are realizing that sales tax is now being collected on virtually everything, where many products previously could be purchased without it. This new requirement for sales tax collection on online purchases is a revenue windfall to the state, the localities, and in the case of our local ZIP codes, increased revenue via the Norment tax. Seems it’s very timely to utilize this new revenue stream to fund recycling costs.

Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world. Amazon not only didn’t pay taxes on $12 billion in taxable profits, they got a $112 million refund. If the GOP thinks that’s fair, they will go the way of the Dodo bird or the Whig Party.

Republicans, I hate to burst your bubble but the economy right now is the tail end of the Obama economy. It takes two years for legislation to truly have an effect on the economy. We are just at the beginning of the Trump economy. Let's have a look at how it goes after the trade war with China and the unpaid for tax cuts creating a huge budget deficit.

Speedy delivery

Inquiring minds want to know why a package that arrived in Sandston on Saturday with estimated delivery on May 13 arrived on time in Keysville, yet a pair of packages, which arrived in Sandston on Friday also with an estimated arrival in Williamsburg on May 13, still hadn’t left Sandston on that date and are marked as "delayed in transit" on the USPS tracking webpage?

Feeding the hungry

I witnessed several pizzas go in the trash can in the deli area at a local supermarket. I approached the staff manning the pizza area and asked, "Why are you throwing out good pizza?" and I got a quick response, "If they are two hours old they get trashed." Honestly, the pizzas looked fresh and decent. I can only imagine the amount of pizza disposed of and those who would benefit from the discarded ones. Surely the company could make a policy to donate them to food pantries and food assistance programs. Feeding the hungry each week matters, especially to starving souls with empty tummies.

Need some info

Can someone tell me where to go or who to see when an employer requires a seven-day notice to be sick or it's not accepted even with a doctor's note and there are threats of severe discipline if a seven-day notice isn't given. I would like to know, also, who knows seven days in advance that they are going to be sick or incapacitated?

Mind the line

Just as drivers decide to leave a number of car lengths in front of them when waiting for a light to change, the same is true for waiting in line to pay for something. Move up and you won’t let others in front of you.

Comic wisdom

To all the writers of messages to the Last Word complaining about recycling, trash on the roads and many other items, I say this: A few years back there was a comic strip called “Pogo.” One of the character's quotes was: "I have met the enemy and it is us." ’Nuff said.

W&M men’s basketball

How in the world will William and Mary get to the NCAA with so many of their players leaving? They might not have enough for the regular season. What were the people thinking when they fired Tony Shaver? I am closing my checkbook as far as donations to the athletic department — money talks. I hope other alumni will do the same. Firing Tony Shaver has really hurt the school.

Now that the William and Mary basketball team has lost six players, what I predicted has come to pass. What would have most likely been the best William and Mary basketball team in the past 5-10 years has been decimated. These were Coach Shaver’s recruits, and he deserved a shot at another year with essentially the entire team back, plus a 7-foot-tall redshirt player. And Coach Shaver is getting paid anyway. What a mistake.

Pardon my privilege

On NPR recently, a far left commentator was railing against Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal for free college. I found myself agreeing with his argument that those who didn’t go to college shouldn’t have to pay for those who do. But then he said, “Why should we subsidize those who are guilty of cognitive privilege?” In other words, why help those who have committed the unpardonable sin of being smart enough to go to college? I have previously apologized for my white male privilege, but I feel that I must now also ask forgiveness for my cognitive privilege. It took me six years to finish college because I worked two jobs to pay for it, so I also wish to apologize for my ambition privilege.

N.Korean missiles

Referring to Kim Jung Un, Trump said, “We are in love.” Those ballistic missiles North Korea shot into the Sea of Japan were Cupid’s arrows.

Dogs getting too hot

I’d like to go one step further in regard to the stupidity of leaving dogs in hot cars. When it’s in the 90s or even high 80s, it’s no time to walk your dog. I often see people walking their dogs in the hot sun, the dogs with their tongues hanging out, needing water.

Unemployment numbers

The reason the unemployment rate is 3.6% is that in the last two years 5.2 million Americans died and only 4 million were born, reducing the workforce.

Recommended

I want folks to know the very best coffee shop in Virginia is Aromas on Prince George Street in Williamsburg. The help there is the very best, the food is the best you will find anywhere and the place is great for good conversations with tourists and William and Mary students. You won't find a better place for good food and coffee.

Up in Washington

I never thought I’d see the day when there would be Republican socialism. Placing tariffs on Chinese imported goods that the American consumers pay (it’s a tax on Americans, the Chinese don’t pay anything) and then subsidizing American farmers with the very money Americans paid in tariffs is pure socialism.

Tom Brokaw wrote a book called "The Greatest Generation." All the progress and growth for America's world standing and for the individuals and businesses that made America truly a great nation is being wiped out by Mr. Trump and his administration as they flaunt and disregard the Constitution, the law, common decency and the American people. Be aware, people.

Trump’s trade wars with China and Canada are unconstitutional. According to Ron Insana and Neil Caputo of Fox Business News, not one dollar is being collected from these countries. It’s being collected from U.S. importers at point of sale and is a tax on Americans. Only Congress can levy taxes.

The Mueller investigation says that there were 144 contacts with Russians by Trump’s campaign and 10 counts of obstruction of justice according to 800 former U.S. attorneys. It’s time to impeach.

Congress has the power of the purse strings. It is their job to oversee how our money is spent whether it’s the Mueller investigation, Attorney General Barr and Trump. It’s right there in Article 1 of the Constitution.

Yes, Barr decided no collision and no obstruction — before he ever read the evidence. Republicans need to stop calling Democrats whiners when the attorney general is a biased partisan hack.

Now that the New York Times has revealed a decade of the president's taxes, he is tying himself into a knot which closely resembles a plate of spaghetti to rationalize why it is OK for him to lose over a billion dollars of pretend money enabling him to pay no taxes for a decade. Maybe he should spend time on Twitter teaching the American people how to do things the way he did so that all of us can do it his way rather than whining about how badly the press is treating him.

Trump didn’t win in 2016 because he promised to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. He won because millions thought he was going to have health care for all at a fraction of the cost. That’s why 10 million more people voted for Democrats in 2018 and it will be worse for Trump in 2020.

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