Last Word on Juan Spence, May 26

Well done, Juan

Congratulations to Juan Spence on all of your hard work during your ongoing miraculous recovery from the devastating auto accident last year. The fact that you have been able to achieve a GPA and graduate from high school this year is a tribute to you, Juan, medical professionals, teachers and your family. The article in the Gazette was good, but I am very disappointed in the description of your location in the car at the time of the accident as you were riding “shotgun.” At a time of tragic school shootings, a better choice would have been to simply say you were riding in the “passenger seat.” Bless you! You will accomplish your dream.

The open road

To the reader who asked why the Williamsburg Area Bicyclists schedule bicycle rides in the upper part of James City County instead of just the Virginia Capital Trail: We ride there for the same reason that cars drive on other roads than Interstate 64 — we enjoy it! I suggest the reader come out and join us in the beautiful countryside of upper JCC on a safe bike ride sharing the road with cars and see for yourself.

Warhill resignation

I am very disappointed to learn that Dr. Hudson has resigned from his position as principal at Warhill High School. Dr. Hudson set standards for the students and was a great role model for our children. I saw him interact with students and parents on a regular basis. He was always present at school events and was very approachable. I saw Dr. Hudson around the school more in one year than I saw the previous principal in three years. Dr. Hudson, you will be missed and I wish you much success with your future endeavors.

Funding Medicaid

Still more voodoo economics concerning Medicaid expansion preached in this weekend’s Letters to the Editor. One writer states: “We have left/lost more than $10.5 billion to date by not expanding Medicaid.” We, the American taxpayer, have lost nothing. All the tax dollars we have sent to Richmond and to Washington, and considerably more, have been spent. This contributor would have us believe that adding 400,000 individuals to Medicaid in Virginia would be cost free to Virginia taxpayers because it would be covered by future payments, such as the $10.5 billion previously “left/lost.” Adding to the Medicaid list will cause Medicaid costs in Virginia to go up. Who will bear those additional costs? The writer would have us believe that we (the Virginia taxpayer) will not pay those additional costs because we (the American taxpayer) will pay for those additional costs. We, my friends, are both the same person pulling hard-earned dollars from the same wallet or purse who want to hear a compelling argument based on facts for why I should send in yet more tax dollars each year. Expansion opinions based on voodoo economics will not do it for me.

Looking for …

To the person looking for a shooting range: There are none in our area that I am aware of. I suggest Colonial Shooting Academy in Richmond for the best training available in our area. Please get training. I conceal carry and I will tell you it is a big deal and a huge responsibility. Do not take this lightly, my friend.

Clawbacks at the pharmacy. Does anyone know how they work?

A senior citizen lost his hearing aid May 12 at the Yorktown Health Fair. Cannot hear his wife. Finder, please leave a message at 757-220-1078. Reward promised. Thank you.

I need to replace the concrete conduit pipe at the end of our driveway. Can anyone provide the name and number for a reliable contactor who can provide that service?

Need an art appraiser or coin appraiser. If you know of anyone, please publish in the Last Word. Thank you.

My longtime hair stylist, Rachel, is no longer at Shear Creations. If anyone knows where she has relocated, please submit the information to the Last Word. She has been my stylist for about 15 years, and “knows” my hair.

iPhone found. Post in the Last Word where you think you lost it.

Does anyone know someone that can strip a stairway and refinish it at a reasonable price? Please call 757-345-1469 and leave a message. Thank you.

For the person who was at Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church yard sale on May 5 and purchased the Chair Gym: We have instruction book and CD that goes with the Chair Gym. Please call the office at 757-566-0162 for the book. Thank you.

Tom Bigford is the local person who can convert your slides, photos and 8mm film to digital format. He comes to your home and explains in detail what can be done and how much it will cost. Best way to reach him is by email at tbigford82@gmail.com. Or call 757-645-7004 and leave a message. Tom’s been serving the Williamsburg area for many years.

I have numerous books in the Danish language, to include 12 books by Rudyard Kipling, two by Charles Dickens, 12 volumes of “Malerkunstens Historie” and many more. If anyone is interested in having these Danish books, please text or call 703-328-9794.

Too much bamboo

Bamboo, Kudzu, English Ivy, Russian Olive; all bad, very invasive. I tamed an acre of Bamboo in the Burg by cutting it all to the ground with a chain saw and then never letting a shoot leaf out and give energy back to the plant. Mowing over the shoots or weed whacking them before they leaf out. It's taken me three years. You could also just pick up the first foot and a half of soil and shake it free of the roots, but then you destroy anything else. Tractor Supply sells some chemicals that will kill it and everything else that might grow there for the next 30 years, my tree man implored me not to go that route.

Cutting rarely impedes growth due to the underground spreading of the rhizomes (roots). However, my neighbors taught me a very effective technique that involves three steps. First, cut the culms (stalks) as close to the ground as possible. Second, dig to break up the rhizomes. Third, rather than using an herbicide, mix one gallon of milk, one 16 oz. can of cooked red beets, and fourth cup of cayenne pepper in a food processor. Pour some of the mixture into each of the cut culms. The mixture neutralizes the cellulose lignin complexes and kills that particular bamboo culm. You'll have to repeat all of this as needed. Good luck. Bamboo is quite a challenge to control.

Errant calls

We keep getting phone calls several times every day from someone claiming to be from Microsoft in California, although the calls are rerouted through Sterling Heights, Mich., with phone number 586-264-8471, saying there have been several attempts to hack into our computer. Is anyone else getting these phone calls? And what do we do about it?

Publix opening

Unlike Food Lion going in and changing a few Farm Fresh signs (like Martin’s did with Ukrop’s), Publix is rebuilding the inside of the old Ukrop’s store, including changing plumbing that includes digging up old slab floors, new air ducts, new walls. Publix aims for a fall/October opening.

Fifes and Drums

Haydn Stulen and John Atkins opened a resident talent show at Williamsburg Landing on April 27, to the delight of the audience. The two young men are professional and personable ambassadors for CW Fife and Drum. Thank you both for a memorable performance.

School shootings

Once again, a minor has gone crazy and shot up his school and of course the gun is to blame. Are the parents ever to be blamed for the way they have raised their children? A big part of parenting is to know what your children are up to and not be totally surprised when they do something wrong. Guns have been around for a very long time; crazy people who use them have not.

Once again a mass shooting in an American school. Once again the Republicans in Congress will offer prayers and word salad to the families. And once again they will retreat to their offices and count their latest 30 pieces of silver from the NRA. Stand with Parkland and now Santa Fe High School.

After the shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, on Friday, I’d like to remind our right-wing readers that prayer without sweat equity is just noise. So after you pray for the victims and their families, roll up your sleeves and do something about the fact that this country has more guns in it than people.

Here we go again. When will the state of Virginia wake up to the tragic possibilities of little or no care for child safety and little or no care for patients? Intervention can be done. Prevention must be done. What happened? Again, another school shooting, another day of fatalities and broken hearts and families. Virginia, wake up! Open up your child psychiatric units. Give our young people a chance.

Another school shooting. There are sure to be more, maybe here in Williamsburg. Is there a group that’s working toward workable gun control? Please respond here. Thank you.

Progress?

“I don't understand why when we destroy something created by man we call it vandalism, but when we destroy something created by nature we call it progress.” -- Ed Begley Jr. Definitely Williamsburg, destroying all the trees and nature!

Cheers for volunteers

Huzzah to the outstanding school volunteers described in VG. How wonderful that these thoughtful, caring people would share their time and talents to assist young children. Thank you for your service, thank you to the school district for recognizing them and thanks to the Gazette for letting us know.

Check the mail

If you own a business in JCC, you better check your records to see if you got your business license renewal bill and that you paid it. I just got off the phone with Jennifer Tomes, who told me that only about 30 percent of the bills have been paid. I know several owners who never received a bill. I was told that the delinquent notices are going out today or tomorrow with penalties and interest included. She said they have received several calls about this problem. She also told me that even though the county knows that the bills were not received, they do not plan to waive the late fees. The problem was with the mail, and business owners are responsible for knowing that the bills are due because they are due on the same date every year.

Israel / Palestine

If undocumented persons on our southern borders were regularly shooting at us, launching missiles at us and otherwise carrying on guerrilla warfare against us while crossing our border, then we would probably respond with gunfire, artillery barrages and air strikes as well. The statement that these "victims" were unlawfully expelled from Israel is historically wrong; their own leaders urged them to leave during the War for Independence, which they thought they would win in 1947-1948. The underpinning of that post is barely concealed anti-Semitism.

The only Palestinians’ blood on anyone's hands is on the hands of the Hamas leadership that instigated these violent assaults upon the Israeli borders. Every nation has the right to protect and secure its borders and their citizens. We would do the same.

So, there must be more Palestinians that subscribe to the Gazette than Jews, as the shameful cartoon picturing Israel’s prime minster as being a warmonger suggests that it’s Israel’s fault for the recent conflicts. Let’s use facts. Whenever conflicts have started between Israelis and the Palestinians, it’s the Palestinians that have always started it. This is the case with the Iranians. Israel has the right to protect its people from the violence that is inflicted on them on a daily basis.

Why does a local paper like the Gazette print patently offensive editorial cartoons about international events? What kind of editor would allow such a clearly biased portrayal of the Israeli Prime Minister that libelously implies his unconcern for the violence in Gaza, a blatant media event organized and instigated by Hamas with every intent of provoking a clash? Not to mention another lie implied by the background of the cartoon showing a smoking battlefield littered with bodies. Has the Gazette fallen prey to the same devious anti-Semitic narratives popular in journalism today that constantly portray the nation of Israel as an aggressor even when it is defending its right to exist, all the while pretending the Arabs are helpless victims? Where is the balance and wisdom in journalism anymore?

To the commenter that stated that President Trump has blood on his hands: The blood is on hands of the terrorist organizations that supported violence in the first place. Israel has the right to protect its citizens from the ongoing violence which the Palestinian people always start first.

A point of correction: The vast majority of the 700,000 Palestinians displaced when the nation of Israel was created left of their own volition, fleeing the carnage and destruction that took place when five Arab nations invaded Israel on 15 May 1948. They resettled in refugee camps in the Arab nations surrounding Israel rather than return to their homes at the end of the war. As a point of fact, over 850,000 Jews were expelled from their ancestral homes in the Arab Muslim countries of the Middle East in 1948. An estimated 1.6 million Jews were expelled or forced to flee Arab countries between 1948-2012. Millions of Christians have also been expelled or forced to flee during this same period of time from these same Arab Middle Eastern nations.

Free to you

Free firewood, location near Williamsburg Crossing. Call after 5:30 p.m. 757-784-7732.

Dinged door

Just got back from a lunch at McDonalds. An elderly woman in the parking lot swung the door open to enter her pick up truck and it dented my car door. She and her elderly male companion were oblivious to the dent in my door and just drove away. I can not believe they did it. I did get the plate number, but I do not know what recourse there would be for such mindless actions on their part. It is just nit right.

Road worries

I second that question asking why arent the lights coordinated for 199 traffic between Windsor Meade Shopping Center to Route 60. It doesn’t make sense to clog up the traffic during rush hour when all that needs to be done is to synchronize them. Does anyone know how we can get the proper people’s attention to this matter? Thank you.

Improvements on Pocahontas Trail. Estimated cost between $28 and $41 million. The area is 2 miles long. That comes out to about 14 million per mile. I want that contract.

Public safety

With all the craziness in the world, why don’t we require all public safety persons to carry weapons? I think firefighters and medics should be armed not only to protect themselves but also to protect the public. They go through the same background checks — why not have more safety on the streets?

Rule of law?

A commenter stated that “Democrats stand for the rule of law.” Then why is it that the mayors and governors of sanctuary cities and states, which goes against federal law, are all Democrats? Why is it that the mayors of the cities with the worst crime rates are all Democrats? The truth is that Democrats only follow those laws which they choose to follow.

Car ashtrays

Regarding the person who said they did not know of a car these days that didn't have ash trays: Well, we have a 2015 Ford Escape that doesn't. And it didn't when we bought it and we didn't request a car without them, even though I am glad they don't, for we don't smoke and don't allow anyone to smoke in our car. I have respiratory problems.

Reaching Wittman

My opinion pertaining to the commenter complaining about Rep. Wittman not responding to him: Maybe if you were an actual supporter and had voted for him, he would respond to you.

Recommended

William at All Smiles Roof Cleaning & House Washing did a wonderful job at my home. The house looked freshly painted after he finished cleaning it. I’m very pleased with his work. Thank you. You can reach him at 804-514-3898.

We agree with previous Last Word comments about NAM’S Cleaners on Kings Way and Hwy 5. Pok has been always been a very talented, dedicated and enthusiastic owner who can alter almost everything you can bring to her. We need more business owners like her. If she cannot alter your clothes, she will tell you. Her work is always on time as scheduled. She is at 5251 John Tyler Highway, May 757-220-4808, open six days a week.

Our daughter just got married at the beautiful Shirley Plantation. Just wanted to thank some local vendors for making her day special: Kiskiack Golf Club, The Catering Co. of Williamsburg, Williamsburg Event Rentals, Morrison’s Flowers, Cakes by Tawanda, Colonial DJ’s, Beauty Rush Spa and Illusions by Marcus. Also a special thanks to Eunice Fenwick for the wonderful ceremony.

Tending squirrels

I just have to respond to the person about the squirrels. That person either needs a job or they need to volunteer if they have time to put a peanut on a string, throw it out in the woods and play with the squirrel. Anyway, hot pepper oil or flakes do not bother the birds. And, just like you teach your children, don’t touch the hot stove, you’re teaching the squirrels to get out of your yard or bird feeder. Have a good day.

Up in Washington

What if someone gave a trade war and no one came, especially after Trump got a $500 million investment from the Chinese into one of his properties. Some people are confused about collusion but they know bribery.

This is to the person that wrote in that John McCain was an American hero. Perhaps you should do a little more research on John McCain and maybe you can tell us what makes him an American hero. You probably think that Jane Fonda is an American hero also. Thank you.

The Senate has a powerful tool for resisting a president’s nominations who are totally qualified by withholding consent. The Senate — the elite, byzantine institution envisioned by the founders as the saucer that cools the teacup of popular opinion. We have seen both parties severely slow down the agenda of a president and we the people. Time to put country over party — vote out incumbents!

Attacking the FBI didn't work for John Gotti and it won't work for Trump.

In response to the person who says it's cynical for the GOP to lower taxes, increase the budget deficit to a trillion this year and then advocate for a balance budget. It's not cynical, it's maniacal. If they have a balanced budget amendment now, they would have to dramatically cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP and more to be in compliance. Which has been the plan for 50 years.

If Trump thinks the attorney general and FBI director he appointed are plotting against him, he should fire them and get someone who will swear an oath to defend him and not the Constitution.

We have spent $5 billion on Israel's iron dome missile defense system. It is the reason our embassy in Tel Aviv was never hit. By moving the embassy to the edge of the dome, it is only a matter of time before it's hit with a rocket attack.

Finally a few Democrats who aren’t wimps and voted correctly for Gina Haspel as our new director of Central Intelligence. Our country is once again taking its place as the most respected and feared country in the world. Since President Trump took office, North Korea, China, Russia, Syria and Iran all know there’s a new sheriff in town, one who isn’t a wimp like our last president was.

With President’s Trump appointments of a woman to direct the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security, the Republican Party showed itself to be more progressive than the all-talk, no-action Democrats. The Democrats calling President Trump sexist is like calling Bill Clinton a choir boy.

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