Last Word on upholstery, June 23

Huzzah, Mr. Graves

I am so thrilled about the front-page article on Leroy Graves, an upholsterer at Colonial Williamsburg. He deserves the front page, especially in Williamsburg. Having worked as a designer, I have to tell you, he’s exactly correct. You don’t want to have more markings on the frames when you’re doing the upholstery. You don’t want to disturb the frame. There is an absolute art to doing it. He is phenomenal in the way he approaches upholstery and he is exactly correct. Well done, Gazette! And well done, Leroy Graves. I’m clipping it and I’m saving it. Thank you for his dedication and thank you to the paper for running the article on him.

Looking for …

Does anyone know what is being built on the corner of Newman Road and Fenton Mill Road? Just wondered.

Hearing aid lost sometimes during the week of May 28. If found, please call 1-804-829-6021. Thank you.

I want to get in touch with Bob Perrie, who was so helpful to me. He came and cleaned my gutters and did yard work, including handling some concrete blocks. I appreciate so much his good work and would like to hear from him. Please contact me via the Last Word.

In response to the person looking for help with a Medicare supplement: I had Margaret Mondul of Household Document Organization (220-9285) help me with all my Medicare-related decisions. She was great. Very knowledgeable. I liked that she wasn't selling anything. She just charges by the hour.

I wanted to respond to a request in the Last Word about information related to Medicare supplement plans that mentioned a favorable recommendation about the AARP plan. My name is Gina Bundy. I am a local United Healthcare sales agent who can explain more about United Healthcare’s AARP Medicare Supplement Plans (also known as Medigap policies). I am happy to guide anyone through their decision-making process. My phone number is 757-256-3489.

Teacher pay

If the pay, benefits and working conditions of teachers are so great and envious, why didn't all of you who have recently voiced complaints about them become teachers yourselves?

Amen to Richard Schaeffer's letter about teaching. He did leave out one major point: teachers don't have just one boss. Parents expect individual attention to their student, forgetting that a middle or high school teacher might have more than 100 others also demanding individual attention. At least two layers of administration in the school, plus district and state bureaucrats, look over the teacher's shoulder and rarely stand up for the teachers when parents complain. Teachers live for the moments when their students make connections, but they have to really want to take on the rest of the system to get that reward. God bless them for the work they do, because our culture certainly doesn't.

Food trucks

The City of Williamsburg still doesn’t have an adopted food truck ordinance that makes changes from the fiasco last Fourth of July. The powers that be don’t want food trucks within 300 feet of buildings, and want “food tents” over trucks at the new Summer Breeze Concert Series. The issues with food tents are no refrigeration, not enclosed, no dishwashing capabilities if needed, the hand-washing situation is limited. I just can’t believe the city is so obtuse to something their own survey said was needed. We’ve heard from many that wanted trucks last week for choices for food.

What a show!

Thank you to the Williamsburg Players for their outstanding production of “Jane Eyre, the Musical.” A large cast of wonderful voices. All ages had big parts and each player carried their role wonderfully. Congratulations to the director, cast and company that produced a splendid show — and thank you! It was enjoyable from beginning to final notes. Thank you, orchestra, you were invisible but perfect.

There are not enough superlatives to describe The Williamsburg Players' awesome performance of "Jane Eyre: The Musical." We have been season subscribers since we moved to Williamsburg in 1992, and this production has to be one of the best, if not the best we have had the pleasure to see and hear. The Players certainly achieved their motto, "Community Theatre at its Best," as was affirmed by the standing ovation accorded the cast at the performance we attended. Bravo to everyone in the cast and kudos to director Marty Bussert for his flawless management of a large cast, a complex story and challenging vocal passages. Thank you, Players, for 61 years of outstanding entertainment and best wishes for a successful 62nd season.

Very long wait

What is taking so long for Publix to open in Monticello Marketplace? The long delay and the construction zone are not helping businesses in that shopping center.

Reading material

A recent writer to the Last Word column claimed that "with the cancellation of 'Rosanne' by ABC … we understand our First Amendment only applies to the liberal left." If you are going to talk about rights under a Constitutional amendment, please at least be responsible enough to know what the amendment says. The First Amendment is all of one sentence. The part about free speech says, "Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech ..." ABC is not part of Congress; it is an entertainment business. The writer says, "I'll be doing a lot more reading" rather than watching liberal TV. Please do. And for everyone's sake, start with the Bill of Rights.

Student housing

It is totally incomprehensible that the city is looking to put more student housing in, mentioned as a possibility for Merchants Square. Students are just here for part of a year, but adults as permanent residents would be in town all year round, supporting and enjoying the businesses. Why in the world, when the college makes its own arrangements for housing students — most recently buying two city hotels and converting them from commercial, tax-paying businesses to student dorms, vacant during summers? So why does the city see the need to provide student housing? Why aren't adults who could enjoy city life and be involved indefinitely in city life the desired residents?

Why would anyone be thinking of putting college students in the Goodwin Building? To me, high-end condos would be a good thing. I think after all the lead paint and asbestos is out of the building, something really neat could be built. What a great location to live and walk everywhere.

Sales tax increase

Kudos to Mr. Grimes for his excellent letter to the editor in the June 16 edition regarding Sen. Norment's new sales tax on local residents. Something is not right here. Shame on local officials for going along with this tax. Has Mr. Norment publicly documented his rationale behind this tax? It is indeed time for a change. May everyone remember this and take appropriate action if and when Mr. Norment's name is on the ballot again.

As I recall, Sen. Norment and the Chamber of Commerce stated that with the tourism tax increase, the Historic Triangle should see thousands of new job opportunities to support the increase in tourism and the service industry. Are they kidding? Just take notice while dining out or shopping and see all of the “Help Wanted” signs in the business windows around Williamsburg and James City County. Along with that, we have a large number of foreign students here to help out the service industry as well. It is an understatement to say that the politicians and the Chamber of Commerce should try to get their money back from whatever school they attended for business 101.

Kimball Theatre

No one was more upset than I was when I found out that they were going to try to close the Kimball Theatre. But today, I have been trying to reach the theatre to find out about a program that was supposed to be on today at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. No one answered the phone and they leave no message so that you know what’s going on. If you can’t be there, at least have a recording that says what’s going on at the theatre that day. Thank you.

Road worries

People, let’s all slow down and stop running red lights for all our sakes. Thank you.

I think when we are driving, we should remember that God gave us all five grains of sense, but it's up to us to use them. So when you are driving, don’t talk on the phone, keep your eyes and mind on the road. And watch out for the other guy. Have a safe and blessed day.

Thank you for the relatively quick road construction on Brookwood Drive. They added an extra lane and it was pretty painless for our community, at least on my end. Good job.

Not-funny cartoon

I’m generally a big fan of Fred Siegel’s political cartoons, but his mocking of Virginia Tech is ridiculous, and I am not a Virginia Tech graduate.

Scam alert

Here’s a new credit card scam warning: I received a tap on my phone with the following, saying, “Notice” and then my phone number from “Wells Fargo Visa Debit Card temporarily locked. Call us now at 234-218-8686.” That is a scam message. Do not call that number. Only call the number on the back of your debit card from your bank. This is a huge scam. Do not give them any information. Do not call that number.

Offshore drilling

Incredible to read that our federal representatives could vote to charge us for not allowing coastal drilling! Even though tourism and our military decry the impact of coastal drilling, big oil still carries the biggest stick, doesn't it? Thank you to the governors objecting to such a heinous bill before the House Natural Resources Committee. Let Rob Wittman, who sits on the committee, explain how this impacts Virginia so negatively in every way.

Follow-up article

I read with interest the Gazette article about New Horizons students. It would be great to do a follow up on how many of the students in the Career and Technical Education program had a full-time job a year later and what it paid. If the numbers are good, that would be a real plug for the program. If the numbers are poor, that would be another good issue to discuss.

Just wondering

When is the grass going to be cut in the median in Norge? It’s very tall and looks awful.

Nicely handled

My compliments to the folks in Rep. Wittman’s office for the concern and assistance they gave me recently with difficulty I’ve been having with the Veterans Administration since 2014. The issue was resolved this week. They have approved my claim and I am deeply pleased with the service I received from Wittman’s office.

Trying to vote

Went to Hornsby Middle School to vote in last week’s primary. The parking situation was horrible. People could not find parking spaces and were leaving without voting. Why wasn't the school closed or the primary moved forward until the end of classes?

In the garden

I have a hydrangea bush that is in full sun and it has been in the ground in the same place for about 10 years. It has never bloomed. What do I need to do? Thank you.

Grocery shelves

I agree with the caller who mentioned the large grocery store with practically empty shelves. I realize that the store is open 24 hours, but perhaps they could consider closing the store at midnight and just keeping the stockers on to stock during the night. It’s very annoying when you have to go to two grocery stores to complete your order. Thank you.

Cable service

We live in Queens Lake, an older community that was established in the late 50s. The technology that is available to us isn’t much better in 2018 than it was in 1959. The community has a mix of Verizon and Cox internet users, and both go down quite often. I don’t know how anyone would be able to work from home. For a neighborhood of that size, who decides on our providers, how do we get better options that are for 2018? Considering the money collected from the county in taxes, and the two companies in monthly fees, we deserve upgrades.

NFL anthem

To writer re: U.S. Code 36: The Supreme Court decided in 1943 in West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette that nobody has to stand for or salute the American flag or stand for the National Anthem. They had several minor points as well: one of which was that in a strong democracy, our most important protection, freedom of speech, can incorporate protest. Regardless of the issue — race, class event, or whether the country was at war when emotions are even stronger — the Supreme Court made its decision based on our U.S. Bill of Rights. This decision has been challenged over the decades many times by many states. However, the outcome has always been the same and I doubt it will ever change.

This my last take on the NFL/anthem: The players have rights. They are not required to stand or place their hand on their heart when the National Anthem is played. I believe the National Anthem is sacred. The military is sacred. If the National Football League and their athletes do not want to honor the anthem by standing and saluting it, take it out. Remove the National Anthem and anything with the military away from the football game. As for me, I’m a college football guy now. I won’t watch another NFL football game ever.

Recommended

On a recent Tuesday, five of us oyster lovers tried the Williamsburg Inn terrace for the first time since it was renovated last year. The experience was upscale and world class. The service was excellent and the oysters delicious (only $1 all day every Tuesday). The new terrace is relaxing and drink and other food options were very good. Well done, CW.

Social security

Last week there was an article about the money for Social Security and Medicare running out. The only reason it is running out is because many of the administrations have used that money for many other things. Many people have paid into it most of their lives, some starting as young as 14 years old. Why should it have been used for something other than Social Security and Medicare?

Delivery problems

I was waiting for a padded, envelope-sized package to be delivered by USPS. I got an email notification from the sender that it had been delivered one afternoon, but it hadn’t. The next day it did not come either. I reached someone at the downtown P.O. who took the tracking number and said that the carrier had brought it the previous day but it wouldn’t fit into the apartment mailbox and the office was closed so it got taken back to the P.O. It should have been brought back that next day but he could see that it wasn’t. He then looked at all the shelves in back and could not find it! So just where did it go? Supposedly the delivery supervisor was going to handle it from there and get back to me, but he never has.

Immigration

The U.S. already has some of the most rigorous immigration laws and procedures in the world. Illegal immigration has been declining for several years. However, stronger enforcement and deterrents are needed, but neither a policy that separates children from parents nor a multibillion-dollar wall is the answer. Trump was trying to blackmail Congress, particularly Democrats, into funding his wall before he reversed his cruel un-American policy of separating the children. The large majority of border patrol officials and immigration experts agree that a Trump wall is only to fulfill his campaign chant and promise whereas more reasonable and effective measures could solve the problem at much lower cost.

Is ICE going after white illegal aliens with the same gusto it’s going after black and brown ones? If not, the people who are being harassed by ICE have a civil rights case based on equal protection under the law. Those white immigrants from Europe who overstay their tourist or educational visas need to be rounded up, arrested, convicted and deported just like the brown and black ones are.

One has to wonder if law 101 was a required class to earn a liberal arts degree, as liberal Democrats can’t seem to understand the meaning of the word “law” when it pertains to illegal immigration.

Taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by illegal immigrants. For months, we have heard about the problem, yet the incumbent-controlled Congress has done nothing. Mark, Rob and Tim, where is your bipartisan solution? Time to quit talking and act — remember, it’s an election year.

Area’s greenery

To the frequent visitor from New England (“Area’s greenery,” June 16): Like you, we are not fond of the decline of greenery. While I can’t speak to what’s going on near Berkeley Middle School, I can say that the green along Interstate 64 had to be removed to widen the road, something that has long been needed. While we miss the wooded medians and the line of trees along the highway, we welcome what little relief the widening will hopefully bring and with it those who stayed away because of the congestion in the area. I’m sorry you feel the need to go elsewhere because of this, but sometimes you must make a mess to make an improvement. Don’t give up yet, there’s still plenty in the area.

Thank you

My thanks to Marina of Yarn Matters for her time and help. Not often do people stay after hours just to give you information and assistance. She’s a gem and I’m grateful for her, her expertise and her willingness to help others.

I live in Colonial Williamsburg and would like to thank our marvelous, wonderful police and fire departments. I think they are exceptional. I have been very well traveled all my life. My grandson is an adult with autism, nonverbal. And whenever we’ve needed help, they’re more than professional. Very caring. So cheers to the police department and fire department of Williamsburg. Thank you so much for all your kindnesses.

Up in Washington

Donald Trump has made 3,000 documentable misleading or false statements since taking office, according to Fact Check, with similar results elsewhere. It’s pretty darned ironic for the master of deception to accuse anyone else of “dishonesty” and "false statements." His undiplomatic attack on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is, according to his staff, designed to make him look strong. That’s the shameful, pathetic tactic of a schoolyard bully.

Trump says thanks to him I can sleep well. I sleep like a baby. I wake up every two hours crying that Trump thinks a mass murderer is "funny."

Trudeau has proven himself to be a socialist in sheep’s clothing and also has threatened our country’s security by letting people into his country from all countries known to have ties with terrorists. Trudeau’s father would be very disappointed in his son ruining Canada. President Trump’s decision to call him out on unfair trade is just what was needed and he did with the strength of our position in the economic world.

Trump and the Republicans inherited a growing economy from Obama who inherited the Great Recession from the Republicans. As they always do when given the chance (with or without Trump) the Republicans reduced taxes in a way that worsens the deficit and debt situation that they criticize when they are not in control. Trump is trying to eliminate protections against clean air and water, financial and health-care protections for Americans, and continues to defend our adversaries, Putin in particular while alienating our allies. Our president's disdain for and desire to inhibit any press or people who do not support him is treasonous. He and his team speak to and agree with Putin and his team much more often than with our allies. Almost everything he has done has pleased Putin and other adversaries. Contrary to making/keeping America great, Trump and his supporters are destroying our country.

Congress is a national embarrassment. With only a 17 percent approval rating, 95 percent of incumbents get re-elected. Beset by gridlock and petty partisanship, it struggles to do even the simplest tasks required by the Constitution, such as pass a budget. We need to stop re-electing incumbents like Kaine and Wittman who do-nothing except put party over country. Time to bring them home for Virginia's good!

I found it interesting that one writer thinks we should pray for the salvation of those who blindly support the president. Does the writer realize that during the Obama years, many of us were doing the same thing for those who placed blind faith in Obama? Funny how that works.

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