Last Word on the special session, July 13

Special session

Since Virginia’s Republicans voted not to do their jobs in Richmond, which was to pass comprehensive gun/weapon legislation, there is an easy fix for that. We must vote each and every one of them out of office and elect someone who is not afraid to do the work we expect our state legislators to do: Protect us and not kick gun/weapon legislation down the road until we have buried more mothers, sons and daughters because our politicians in Richmond want to get re-elected.

What a bunch of gutless wonders we have as Republican legislators in Richmond to not even allow any gun safety discussion at the recent special session. Tommy Norment’s stunt of introducing a bill was a transparent attempt to cover his backside. This will backfire on them when they are voted out this November. Please support Dr. Mark Downey!

Colonial Williamsburg

To the reader who wrote they would never pay $20 for a Colonial Williamsburg Good Neighbor pass. Really, not $20? That’s an annual fee, about five pennies a day. Let’s see, that’s eight hours of average mortgage expense, a 125-mile car ride, dinner at Cracker Barrel, four cups of Starbucks coffee, four fast food lunches or one decent bottle of liquor. In other words, totally insignificant to the average person. The reason that you even live here is probably because of the desirable town, which grew here because of the presence of Colonial Williamsburg. And yet you quibble over $20 for a year’s pass? And, further, would discourage others from visiting? CW isn’t perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than almost anything else. Picture Williamsburg without CW and then tell us again how $20 a year is too much to pay to help support it.

Incredible to read that Colonial Williamsburg’s Jeff Duncan is back with his pitch for taking out needed and totally used parking spaces for more green and relaxing space in a tiny Merchants Square, which is already filled with seating, flower beds, landscaped baskets, tubs and bins. The only things missing are the tables and umbrellas that have been proposed several times for DoG Street to add even more life to that see and be seen scene. With luck, Duncan will opt to leave with President Reiss this fall. We need and want the existing parking spaces more than ego greens.

It’s hard to fathom how people can get so upset over the Colonial Williamsburg Good Neighbor pass cost increase. True, it’s doubling in price, but the new total is only $20 per year. That’s a very small price to pay for 12 months of access. Get real.

I am shocked by people who write in whining about the increased price of the Good Neighbor pass. This is by far still the best deal for locals. Ten percent off at the taverns and 10% off at the stores. You get your money back very, very quickly. How can anyone complain about getting a season pass to Colonial Williamsburg for $20? I am pretty sure these are the same people who have never donated as much as $5, or even volunteered 5 seconds of their time to CW. Just be happy that you are living in a beautiful place.

Well-rounded health

This is in response to the comment “Well-rounded health” on July 6. What a callous person you are, criticizing people in wheelchairs! Don’t you think they would love to be able to get up out of these chairs and take care of themselves? You have no idea what happened in their lives that caused them to need assistance. For all you know, they may have been military, athletes, teachers, etc. The choice is not theirs. Life can change in a minute. Thank you.

W&M athletics

Why does the College of William and Mary take nearly $2,000 per student per year in athletic fees? Why can't the athletic program be made self-supporting and student fees lowered so when students graduate they have almost $8,000 less in debt, which will take more than a decade off their debt payback time.

I fully agree about the cost of athletics at our colleges and universities, including William and Mary. The first priority of higher education should always be receiving an education. The cost of higher education could be reduced by minimizing sports and having students concentrate on their learning.

Looking for …

To the person looking for a colorist in Williamsburg: You should call Linda Marie at 757-784-0066. She works with Schwarzkopf products and has been doing my hair for 13 years. She is great and has a beautiful little, serene studio.

All those who miss Bach FM, have you found an alternate station that you like? I would love to know if there is anything else out there. Thank you.

Patriotic birds

Like many people, Dan Cristol confuses patriotism with ornithology (July 6). Cristol's love of birds knows no bounds, which is admirable. Patriotism, however, is rooted in a specific place. A true patriot would have special feelings for the American coot and the American goldfinch, but not the Canadian goose. A true patriot would teach his parrot to sing "God Bless America," not "God Bless a Woodpecker." Such patriots are, I suspect, an endangered species.

Wasted resources

A few weeks ago, we visited Colonial Williamsburg and parked in the Prince George parking garage. The attendant advised us the payment system was not operating that day and we would receive a bill for parking. We received a bill in the mail for $1. The cost of the envelope, the paper it was printed on, the 50-cent postage on the envelope, and the salary of the person(s) tasked with sending out the bill surely surpassed the $1 I will remit. What a waste of taxpayer resources.

Interesting reads

I clipped out Walter Williams’ column in the Daily Press on July 6. Excellent column. It says exactly what offends the left. Williams is a pretty smart guy, and he always says things right to the point. He’s a professor of economics at George Mason University. It’s worth reading, even if you think you’re not going to agree with him. Read it. Excellent.

Great front-page article in Daily Press on July 7 about an Iraqi interpreter for the U.S. Army and Marines enduring 16 years of war and red tape to realize his dream and finally getting his U.S. citizenship after getting to America in 2013. We need to give these brave interpreters special priority in getting to the U.S. and citizenship. Why doesn’t Congress wake up and show some appreciation for the dangerous work these people have done for us?

Immigration

If our Democrats in Congress know so well how these detention centers need to be run, why don’t they take a couple of weeks off (about 100 or them) and go down and run one and get it straightened out? You know, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re the problem. And they are the problem, whether they recognize it or not.

The largest problem with the call to "build that wall" is that the majority of illegal immigrants arrive in this country with tourist or student visas and overstay their welcome. In order to keep them out, the administration simply needs to close the international airports and not allow any planes to land. A wall is a bumper sticker solution to a problem that those who support the president can wrap their simple minds around. As a solution, it is like taking an aspirin for a broken leg.

Liberals in our country keep complaining about the conditions in our detention centers. Well, one way to avoid being put into one of these centers is to enter our country legally. Also, if we had a wall, there wouldn’t be a need for detention centers.

Dominion scam

We got a phone call from someone saying they were from Dominion Power wanting to schedule the shut off of our power immediately. They said they were dispatch and gave us the number of the “home office” if we had an issue. We called and got a recording telling us that it was Dominion Power. The operator told us the crew was on their way. The only way we could prevent losing power was to buy a prepaid card at CVS, 7-Eleven or Walgreens for an exact amount close to $500. We were then to call back so the representative could personally call off the crew. It was not until he asked for cash that we became suspicious and called the phone number on the Dominion bill. There was no order to suspend our service. Following my conversation with the real Dominion, we got another call from the “technician” who was on the way. We hung up. One of the most surprising things was that Dominion was not interested in knowing any of these details. They said that since nothing had been taken from us, there was nothing they could do.

‘A’ for effort

Thumbs down to the retailer whose policy would not allow an announcement that an automobile with a certain license number was left running in their parking lot. I tried! Hope your car survived and didn’t run out of gas.

Road worries

We wonder what James City County will do with the contractor whose trucks brought a lot of black tar onto Highway 5 from the First Colony road? Those trucks literally re-painted the highway with black tar toward Jamestown High School, Greenspring and Monticello roads. Home builders are closely monitored so that their trucks don’t bring mud and debris onto the main roads. So, what penalty if any will the company with those black tar tires pay?

So the JCC police want to enforce an intersection in which there are many violators of the no U-Turn regulation, prevent an accident and earn some funds for the county? Watch the left turn lanes going west on Richmond Road turning onto Old Towne Road where the Shell station is. I go that way several times a day, and a day doesn’t go by without an illegal U-turn going back east on Richmond Road. And since the drivers on Old Towne turning right onto Richmond Road have a green turn arrow at the same time as the left turn drivers on west bound Richmond Road, someday a big collision will occur. JCC, you have now been warned. I have never in all my years seen any police enforcement there.

The reason police directing traffic at churches let the car leaving the church go first is because they’re being paid by the church. Police must remember that our roads are public, paid for by all taxpayers.

Recommended

Trying to keep the children entertained in this high-temperature weather was simply impossible and unsafe until our neighbor suggested try We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym at the Williamsburg Crossing Shopping Center. She had booked a birthday party there before. The place is impeccable! Not only was it nice to stay cool indoors, but the little ones truly enjoyed all the fun equipment there. Call them at 757-243-1102.

Today I visited the brand new Williamsburg Urgent Care in the Fresh Market shopping center on Monticello Avenue. The service provided by Nurse Wilbern and Dr. Ann was pleasant, thorough and positive. I recommend this center to anyone needing compassionate care for a medical condition.

I just wanted to post a review of an amazing loving, caring caregiver. After going through several agencies, we found an angel. Reasonable rates and outstanding care. Marie is her name and her phone is 757-256-8099.

Memory testing

A commenter assumed that memory testing during a doctor visit was used by insurers to limit issuance of driver’s licenses to senior citizens. That is not the case. Medicare covers this for the early detection of dementia. There is a question of its effectiveness. One other result is that it raises physicians’ income.

The insurance industry isn’t using memory tests to limit driving by senior citizens. However, they should be testing for reaction times, as this is what’s causing accidents by senior citizens.

Better news

On July 1, I had the misfortune of changing channels and saw part of the Chris Matthews “news show” on MSNBC. The panelists were giggling and discussing and critiquing the G20 photograph of the attendees. They were bullying, giggling and making stupid, inane remarks. This is a news channel? Give me a break! They should all be ashamed of themselves.

Paying taxes

Now that the commonwealth is requiring eBay to collect sales taxes, all buyers should find a friend outside of the high tax Tidewater zone to send your purchases to so you can avoid paying the Tommy tax and the road construction tax. In these days, it helps to save every penny possible.

Save us the nonsense about the wealthy not paying their fair share of federal income tax. The truth: the top 1% paid 35% of all federal tax, the top 5% paid 56%, the top 10% paid 68% and the bottom 50% paid 3%. The wealthy are not the problem; the problem is the 48% of our population that pays no federal income tax at all. More than 1 million jobs have been created since passage of the Trump tax reform bill. Business creates jobs, jobs create prosperity. Government-created jobs increase the tax burden on the taxpayer.

Too many bunnies

Just like the bunny issue, there aren’t too many of them, just too many developments with too many people living in them. Next it will be that there are too many deer, same answer.

Teacher pay

In response to several inquiries concerning the daily pay of a substitute teacher, it is $80 a day. I substitute because I love teaching — certainly not for the money. Although a raise would be appreciated when the teachers and staff get raises.

ID at the DMV

Yesterday I tried to renew my driver’s license. To my surprise, I was told I had to produce my marriage certificate. I had read several times in the Last Word about women needing a marriage certificate, but assumed it was because of a second marriage name change. Wrong! In order to get the new, real ID license, a marriage certificate is required for women. So, after 62 years, I have to locate one from Pennsylvania. Jokingly, I asked why my husband didn't have to prove he was married? So, ladies, be aware of new rules when going to DMV.

In our thoughts

We must support all Americans who have suffered from the terrible rainstorms throughout this spring, especially in the Midwest. The Wall Street Journal published a photo on July 5 showing a home flooded for the third time in Grafton, Illinois, from the overflowing Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Mother Nature can be very cruel. Your donations to the volunteer agencies will be helpful. We pray for all of the families who are suffering.

What it means

To the commenter that wants to know the meaning of “pride:” It’s earning to pay for the things you need and want and not expecting others to pay for them. It’s not expecting others to pay the debt that you incur. It’s wanting to stand up when our National Anthem is being played to show respect. Lying is when your president states, “You get to keep your doctor.”

Free to you

Free to a good home: Small light-brown leather La-Z-Boy chair in good condition. Call 302-299-6107.

Guns

I believe most gun owners support reasonable gun legislation that would extend time to complete thorough background checks, registration of all firearms, mandatory course on marksmanship and gun safety and periodic recertification as we do for drivers’ licenses. In a recent letter to the editor Mr. Stewart failed to identify a few realities: gun-related violence/homicides has been on a 30-year decline as has the percentage of households owning firearms. CDC estimates more than 60% of all gun related deaths were suicides, 3% were accidental shootings. Suicides outpaced gun related homicides 4:1. The CDC identified 11,004 gun-related homicides and 47,173 suicides in 2016. We have a mental health crisis, not a gun crisis.

Recycling help

Now that the too many no-longer-recyclable plastic single use containers are stacking up in homes, can our local grocery stores please consider a system to take back/sterilize/reuse them? We washed our “too many” before putting them in the recycle bin, but now we understand they’re no longer acceptable. Grocers! Scientists! Engineers! You can come up with a solution for those of us — thousands — who buy and enjoy our foods from little plastic tubs. Quickly, please!

Thanks to James City County's new let's-charge-'em-for-recycling policy, they have eliminated any desire I had to be "concerned" about the environment. I am a retiree, living on a fixed income and do not need any more taxes shoved down my throat. Everything now goes into the regular trash!

A good business

As a long-time customer, I was sad to see Patriot Buick closing down. I will miss their great service department and the vehicles they sold. This would be a good opportunity for someone to open a new dealership at this location. Has anyone considered opening a Subaru dealership here? I hope some of the bigger names, such as Casey, Tysinger, Priority or First Team, look at acquiring this location. I will be looking forward to a new dealership at this site.

It is with sadness that I bid a fond farewell to my friends at Patriot Buick. They were a prime combination of customer service and commitment to excellence, together with a true desire to offer the best value for one's budget. To all the folks that helped me over the last 16 years, prayers abound for a fruitful next chapter in your business and personal lives. Thank you from the bottom of a grateful heart!

Up in Washington

During the last presidential campaign, one candidate said if elected he would be too busy to play golf. We recently passed the 200th day of golf for individual one. It’s sad that hypocrisy and lying have become so acceptable to followers of one particular party. I fear for the future of our country if truth doesn’t become valued again.

Democrats keep stating that President Trump is always lying to the American people. How about using facts to support their claim? Please list the so-called lies, so we can know what they are.

The Flint water problem was started in Flint, Michigan, and it is those politicians that should be correcting the problem. Maybe if the Trump administration wasn't fighting Congress at every turn, they could address the issues and help the people of Flint.

We are seeing the beginnings of a dictatorship within our own government. Our government was formed constitutionally and we now have a constitutional crisis when we have an authoritarian president that does not believe in the rule of law. He does whatever he wants and goes against the Supreme Court orders and says to his supporters that he may stay as president for three or four terms or more. We are watching a dictatorship take form with no one, especially Republican senators, willing to protect this country. This makes it so important that we watch the public Mueller testimony before Congress at 9 a.m. July 17.

Will there ever be a time when the two ruling political parties start working together and compromise on the issues that face our government? Every Sunday I look in the Daily Press to see the results of bills voted on and 98% of the time it is straight down party lines. I understand that each party has its core values, but nothing is getting accomplished. The reason Trump was elected is because the two parties couldn't work together and everyone that voted for him was hoping he would shake things up. Please, please, let's work together and fix the immigration issue at the border, get spending under control and bring America back to the great nation we once were.

Our president's comments on the evening of the Fourth of July about airplanes and airports during the time of the Revolutionary War, had me shaking my head in disbelief. I was embarrassed for the office of the presidency and for the great people of this country. Yet again, just another example of this man's complete and profound ignorance. Donald Trump makes "W" (who I would welcome back in a heartbeat) look like a Mensa member.

Sadly, once again the gaffe in his July 4 speech unsurprisingly wasn't the president's fault. This time he blames the teleprompter for his claim that the U.S. Army captured airports in 1775. Just once I would love to hear him say "I messed up." But that will never happen because, as we all have discovered during the past three years, his narcissism will never allow him to admit fault, ever!

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