Last Word on Exceptional Games, June 16

Area’s greenery

As a frequent visitor from New England to Williamsburg, one of the charms that we love is the greenness and the natural beauty. It seems like every time we’ve come back over the past 15 years, which is in the spring and the fall, there are more things torn down. The highway even — the whole divider with all the greenery — is getting torn down on Route 64. And now every corner, starting with the Berkeley Middle School all the way over to Monticello, has lost all of its trees and wood-like atmosphere. Is there no end to this? Because it will keep away tourism. We will go, like others, somewhere else.

Sporting event

The classes for students with disabilities at Clara Byrd Baker had the privilege of participating in the recent Exceptional Games at Jamestown High School. Donnell Brown and his staff did an amazing job creating and organizing a mini-olympics for W-JCC schools. It was an amazing day for these students. They participated in track and field events, complete with a Walk of Champions, lunch and medals. The JHS staff thought of everything, from transportation to a nurse’s station, and the students left with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Bravo to all of the volunteers who helped. It was an unforgettable day for all.

Looking for …

I need to find a Medicare supplement before August and I'm so overwhelmed at the choices. I don't know who has the best coverage and has vision and dental. Who do I go to for help, please? I've been told AARP is good, but I don't know since I don't know what I'm doing. Help me, please.

I would be interested in some of that 40-year-old dried walnut and/or cherry wood that was left in the Last Word. I can be reached at 757-345-1944. Thanks.

To the person looking to find the China House restaurant: My understanding is that the restaurant has closed. They did not relocate.

To the person giving away walnut and cherry wood: I would be interested in some of that. My name is Mark and my phone number is 970-372-4353. Thank you.

To the person looking for a new house cleaner: I would really like to recommend the wonderful, loving Christian couple that comes to clean our home. If interested, contact Averina at 757-813-1803.

The Williamsburg Knitting Guild is seeking donations of yarn as we continue to provide handmade crocheted and knitted items for charity. We focus on baby layettes, hats and scarves for children and adults, prayer shawls, lap blankets, dog sweaters, cat mats and twiddlemuffs. We appreciate all donations and types of yarns. Please call 757-258-3847.

I am interested in learning how to sew pillowcase dresses. Are there any groups in the area that make them? If so, when and where are your meetings held? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Does anybody has any suggestion on how to get rid of voles? They are destroying my yard. Thank you.

I am calling about the Last Word item looking for the reputable person who appraises coins. I’d like his name and contact number. My number is 757-378-5635. Thank you.

I have some Chinese art work, including etchings, embroidery, etc. for sale. Does anyone know of a dealer or individual who would be interested? Contact 757-810-5952.

How can I reach or see Joyce who worked at the Norge Farm Fresh Pharmacy now closed? Lost contact with her and she is part of my medical care team. Please email me at bowlingdm04993@gmail.com if you can help.

I found a TV antenna. Give me a description and I will return it to you. 757-810-9800.

I’m responding to the Last Word that was put in June 2 asking to find someone to do house repairs and is reasonable and is interested in doing some work. My name is John Hogan and I have a handyman business called J Hogan Jobs. Call me at 757-525-5402.

I have misplaced the name(s) of the companies that do screen replacement for a screened porch that was in the Last Word a few months ago. Can someone be kind enough to resubmit the recommendation? Thanks!

For the person looking for a local carpenter to make a custom base cabinet: I highly recommend Bruce Long at 140-B Tewning Road, 757-784-5360. E-mail: blwoodworks @aol.com.

Moving around

Our educators are taking away from class time to provide for more recess, i.e., exercise time. Meanwhile, there are perpetual efforts to provide school bus pick-up and delivery of students as close to their doorsteps as possible. Huh? Sounds dumb to me.

What happened?

Isn’t it about time we learned of the reasons for the city manager’s departure? After all, this is a democracy, isn’t it?

Gas prices

This first week of June you can buy all the gas you want in Roanoke at Kroger or Sheetz for $2.49. It must be summer in Williamsburg so gas stations can hike prices 25 cents a gallon for us.

Dogs in cars

As someone who worked in a veterinary hospital, I am concerned about the number of people who open a window and let their dog hang its head out the window. I have seen many dogs who have come with eye damage, some with ear damage or were hurt by a rock flying up from the ground that hit them in the face. Please, dog owners, take care of these pets. They are your best friends. Thank you.

Summer fare

Stopped by Jerry's Garden on News Road today. Couldn't resist buying some of his freshly picked squash and cucumbers. Time to make some pickles!

Teacher pay

To the person who recently wrote in castigating teachers: Your attack is unfair on many points, but I will address just one. If teacher salaries were annualized, yes, their pay would be better. The fact is, however, the salary is for only nine months of the year. Consequently, many teachers work second jobs to make ends meet or to try to put their own children through college. Teaching is a profession that requires at least a four-year degree; some states require a master’s. The price of a four-year college degree is outrageous. Tack that bill onto those that we all pay just to live. America needs good teachers and those teachers need to earn a good salary. And no, I am not a teacher. I am a lawyer who is thankful for the dedication and hard work of all the public school teachers and professors she has had from kindergarten through law school.

Thanks, Mr. Shaeffer, for the letter about your experiences as a "Teacher-Widow." I abandon my family for many months during the school year because of my 10-month, 7.5-”contract-hours daily" job for which I put in an average 10 hours a day at school. After my "contracted hours," I have to attend faculty/course/department meetings (at my school every Wednesday from 2:20-3:30), after school tutorials (every Tuesday/Thursday 2:20 -4:15), and as a club sponsor I meet Mondays. And once my contracted hours plus mandatory "non-contract hours" are over, I go home — to grade students’ work. When I assign an essay, it takes me 5-7 minutes (if it is a good one, longer if not) to grade, multiplied by my 135 students. I do that twice a marking period at least (that is 11 hours or so if your math is not great). If I grade a non- multiple choice test or quiz, I am looking at several hours. If I just glance at homework before entering it in the grade book, then it is probably a 30-minute time frame for each class, classwork the same. Now that is just to grade the work. Planning is on top of that. And rarely can any of this be done during active teaching time, i.e., the hours we are contracted for. And then somewhere in all of that I respond to parent emails, as well as day-to-day emails. So, without even discussing further education classes or pre-planning done in the summer, I am looking at about a 12-month year easily crammed into this "10-month" job. I look forward to summer. I think I earned those two months.

I had to laugh at what a writer in the opinion section wrote on how hard his teacher wife worked. He said his wife took classes to earn higher degrees during her summer break. Well, I had it much harder, as I had to do it at night after working a 10-hour day. The husband also forgot to mention that his wife was protected by tenure, while I could have been fired at any time.

Ginger tea

To the person who was surprised by the ginger tea: It also works for nausea for cancer patients. My dad used it during his chemo treatment and he had tremendous relief from the side effects. One thing, though, is you really have to know (in my opinion) it tastes horrible. But if you can learn to tolerate it, more power to you, because it really is very helpful and it was a blessing that he had it during that time.

Suicide’s toll

Last week two celebrities took their own lives. This is sad but what is truly tragic and should anger every American is that 22 veterans take their lives every day. Think about that. More than 8,000 veterans who have served our country, most of whom put their lives on the line in combat, take their lives each year. The Veterans Administration is not meeting the needs of our veterans. Congress and our president need to fix, overhaul or scrap and replace the V.A. before we ever consider amnesty or asylum for any non-citizens.

Buzzing bees

It seems that there are more bees around now. Do the apian experts agree? Isn’t this a good omen for our flowers, plants and crops?

No-so-funny cartoon

I don't understand why “Retired in Williamsburg” continually chooses to deride Virginia Tech, a respected university. The cartoon writer should spread his stupidity around.

Something new?

I noticed they were doing some work at the old Ukrop’s store on Mooretown Road. By any chance, does anyone happen to know what is going in there? Thank you.

NFL anthem

Apparently the person that quoted the U.S. Code, Title 36, Section 171, should read it again. It comes under Chapter 10, patriotic customs. Customs are not requirements. The word should is not the same as must. This means it is the person's choice as to whether to do this or not. While the person has an opinion, we all do. The code is not a requirement, merely stating a custom. As this is a custom it means the NFL is in no position to penalize their employees. We are a land of liberty, not litigiousness based on personal opinion.

Guns

To the solider who served 23 years in the U.S. Army and carried an M-16A2 assault rifle, shame on you. You know darn good and well an AR-15 is not an M16A2 rifle. You also know that an AR-15 is a standard semi-automatic rifle, rifles that have been in our homes for more than 80 years. It is cosmetics that make it look like an M-16. By the way, you are not the only one who reads the Virginia Gazette who has served in the military.

In response to “Oklahoma shooting,” There is a law that says a person can respond and react on behalf of someone else in danger. It is not considered vigilantism. It would be very irresponsible to sit back and see someone being hurt or being in danger and not doing something. What is a child were being grabbed and you just sat back because you didn’t want to be considered taking the law into your own hands? Learn your law. There’s definitely no crime when someone steps in to help someone else if there is a crime being committed.

I'm perplexed by those writing in against reasonable gun control. I've lived in a country where handgun ownership was illegal. I was often asked what it was like to live in a violent society like the U.S.; frequently people would ask, "Is it safe to go outside?" After a mass shooting in the 90's, Australia reacted by reforming gun ownership laws in a way that maintained handgun ownership rights and reduced gun violence. Shame on the NRA and others for preventing exploration of reasonable, win/win solutions.

She’ll be missed

I am heartbroken over the passing of Betty Jo Schiller of Godspeed Animal Clinic. She was an outstanding veterinarian to our schnauzers for more than 25 years, and no one could ask for a more sincere friend. Rest in peace, Betty Jo.

D-Day losses

Michael Loh’s letter on D-Day’s toll was certainly worthy of note of that auspicious event 74 years ago. However, his Allied casualty number for the first three days (“289,000 casualties including 63,000 killed,”) is erroneous. For the entire Operation Overlord invasion and lodgment action in Normandy that ran from June 6 through Aug. 30, Allied casualties were 209,000 including 37,000 killed. The first three days of battle beginning D-Day were heavy, but not nearly as horrific as he portrayed. The aforementioned does not include German and German allies losses or French civilian losses, both of which were high.

Powerful symbols

The coiled snake of the "Don't Tread on Me" symbol is a favorite of the Tea Party, which advocates conflict and strife. My favorite is Benjamin Franklin's "Join or Die" banner, that advocates compromise and civility.

Bad-news squirrels

I hate squirrels. Oh, how I hate squirrels! I have a peach tree that had 40 beautiful little peaches, getting ready to ripen and be eaten by me and my family, and those rodents cleared every little peach off my tree. Please, somebody, help me. What can I do next year so that I can get to eat a peach?

Longhill potholes

We need to have the potholes fixed on Longhill Road, all away from the 7-Eleven all the way past Lafayette, past Ford’s Colony. These potholes are killing everybody’s cars. Need to get done. Thank you.

Birding column

I always enjoy Dan Cristol’s column, but June 9 edition stands out. I learned from his concise yet detailed explanation of the relative benefits of wind turbines for bird populations, and I was impressed by his strong reaction to his anti-environmental critics. It’s a slippery slope from a criticism of Mr. Cristol that disregards facts, to enthusiasm for a leader who reinforces prejudice and disparages science, to eager acceptance of American strongman dictatorship. Thanks to the “apologists for President Donald Trump” who criticized Mr. Cristol, and his reply, for reminding us that good citizens will go to the polls and vote Democratic in November.

No problem here

To the man that tried to tell me my truck tire was leaning and ready to fall off in front of Aldi's: I drove straight to my mechanic from Aldi's and my tire is fine. I don't appreciate the unprofessional approach.

Not fixed yet

In her own words, Samatha B moved from Canada to the U.S. to “fix it.” If a part of “fixing it” is to return us to a time when we were more civil toward one another, she appears to have fallen a bit short. A reminder to all of us, “if you’re spewin’ it; stop doin’ it.”

Free to you

Propane gas grill (covered), two grilling sections, warming rack, side burner and enclosed tank storage section. Weather protection plastic cover included. Please call 757-564-0818. Thank you.

Chicago homicides

I just heard today that in Chicago as of June 1 there have been 189 homicides. When is the last time you heard of some of these groups — the kids going up there and protesting or whatever? Are these not important people? These are just as important as anyone getting killed. I think, probably, the majority of them are young men, 15 to 25. No one says or does anything about it. What a shame.

Speedy delivery

It is ironic that the person from Windsor Forest thinks that that the U.S. Postal Service should contract with Amazon and Fed Ex to deliver the mail, because the reality is that they already contract with the Postal Service to complete their deliveries! Even so, the situation you describe is unacceptable and you should try to escalate your complaints. Maybe you should contact your member of Congress.

Immigration

The young Illegal immigrant in Paris is a true hero for putting his safety and future at risk to save a child, and I congratulate him on his French citizenship that he was awarded for his actions. But for someone to think that all illegal immigrants deserve U.S. citizenship for breaking the law and not following an established process that has been used and refined for decades is ludicrous.

Separating children from their parents when they come across the border from Mexico brings up visions of children being separated from their parents when they arrived at Auschwitz.

To the person responding about the French Spiderman: Our president is not talking about legal immigrants. Why are people so dense? This argument is about illegal immigrants. Once they cross the border without permission, it is a crime and they are illegal. Democrats did a tremendous job and being able to brainwash you all to only hear the word “immigrant” versus “illegal.” It is not about immigrants; it is about illegal immigrants. Please, open your mind, your brains and hear what is really being said. This is the most ridiculous thing that has gone on now for years. The term is “illegal,” which means you have committed a crime, not “legal.”

Reaching Wittman

I have personally had the pleasure of dealing with Rep. Wittman’s office over the past two years. While they have been unable to get a satisfactory conclusion to my concern, I have found the staff, their communication letters, and their demeanor to be above reproach. I have supported him and will continue to do so, regardless of his political affiliation. This district is very well represented by this gentleman.

To those Democrats who are complaining about Wittman: Maybe he just refuses to respond to absurd questions. Just like the liberal White House reporters who continue to bombard the press secretary with their absurd and unintelligent questions.

Thank you

My daughter is quite ill and has mobility problems, and I wanted to take her to the theater over at New Town the other day to see a movie. And when I got there, a little woman from nowhere came up, helped me and my daughter up the stairs, and then they sent an usher over who was equally as nice. After the movie was finished, this lovely human being came running back to help me and my daughter leave the theater. She’s an exceptional person and my personal hero. Thank you so much for helping us at the theater in New Town!

Up in Washington

It refreshing to see a president who puts America first, again! As a veteran, a true leader never leads from behind. While in Canada, he was putting we the people first by proposing to eliminate all tariffs, so our workers and farmers can compete on a level playing field. America can do it!

Mueller should wrap up his collusion investigation now. No need for it any longer. No matter what Mueller finds, Trump’s collusion with Russia is totally apparent now. Putin likes nothing better than to see the U.S. alliance with long-time allies fail, so he is even freer to pursue his aims. With his explosion at G-7, Trump took another step in that direction. And his buddy Putin loves it.

Trump is notorious for regularly insulting, berating and threatening our allies as well as anyone who doesn't support him. His hypocritical lambasting of Trudeau's comment that Canada won't be pushed around and will retaliate against tariffs Trump has announced is disgraceful. Worse are the ridiculous public comments by Trump's minions that Trudeau is a back-stabbing betrayer and there is a place in hell for such those who renege on Trump. Trump often reneges on supposed agreements as part of his negotiating style.

As a Democrat, I would like to assure the commenter that I and many other Democrats very much hope that President Trump negotiates successfully with North Korea to avert a nuclear showdown. The idea that we are hoping for a nuclear war just because we distrust Trump is very insulting.

President Trump said he is considering a tax around 25 percent on German cars coming into the U.S. and said it would make American cars more attractive to car buyers. What would make American cars more attractive to buyers would be quality and reliability — and being able to resell them without losing 60 percent of their value after just a few years.

Trump believes there are parallel constitutions. One for him and one for the rest of us.

Question for the political pundits: Why are there so many comments on President Trump’s presidential pardons when President Clinton waited ‘til the last day of his term to pardon Marc Rich? What did Marc Rich do? Does anyone remember? Please answer.

In eight years, President Obama had 927 pardons. You think that President Trump can keep up with that?

Will the real Donald Trump stand up? Some countries are governed by a democracy and some by a dictatorship. The countries governed by a dictatorship do so at the expense of the majority. If you want to make your citizens happy, you must govern as a democracy. This is also true with businesses in America, such as an old folks’ home.

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