Last Word goes round and round on recycling, Aug. 10

Recycling

I am doing an experiment. I have two small bins set up, one for paper waste and one for plastic metal and glass. If I don’t have to empty them in the large recycling bin in two weeks because they are not full, I plan to opt out of the recycling service and take the accumulated materials to the transfer station when I go shopping. It’s not about the $7. Between this and the Tommy Tax, it appears we are in the same position as we were 243 years ago. England was 3,000 miles away and not listening to the colonies on taxation and fees. Now we have local government doing the same thing. Find the funds within the James City County budget to pay for it.

Last Wednesday's Gazette article on recycling stated JCC earmarked $1.8 million in the 2020 budget, and $500,000 is covered by county funds, leaving an estimated cost of $1.3 million to be covered by fees. The $7 per month fee, times 12 months, times 25,000 families will collect $2.1 million. Where does the remaining $800,000 collected going to go? Even if the reduced estimate is 22,000 families, the collected fees total $1,840,000, and still leaves more than $540,000 from fees collected. Can someone please explain? I guess the new mailing of bills to collect fees must cost a bundle.

I agree with the person who wrote in to say they were surprised at those making a big deal of paying $7 a month to recycle. My guess is these people are the same ones who complain about anything that doesn’t benefit themselves directly. If it is $7 or $10 or $15 a month to protect the future of our planet, it is well worth it.

I'm one of those cheap people someone wrote about in the Last Word who is opting out of the recycling program. As much as I would like to save the earth by paying the $7 monthly fee, quite frankly, I'd rather eat. During the past eight years that I have received legitimately earned Social Security benefits, I have received a grand total of $7 a month in cost-of-living increases. Sorry, but I am not spending that vast windfall on recycling. So, you ask, what is wrong with me for not paying the fee? Just being elderly, I guess.

The flyer that came with the new recycling bins states butter tubs, yogurt cups and clamshell containers are accepted in James City County and Williamsburg, but that’s not so. I checked with the department that handles recycling in James City County and was told the flyer was wrong.

This is in response to the writer who wondered how people who opted out of the recycling program could be so cheap. It’s called “principles.” The Tommy Tax promised tax relief to residents, but instead a whole new level of bureaucracy has been added to deal with — phone calls, billing, etc. All this comes with no promise that my recycling won’t end up in the same landfill as my garbage. Take a stand and move the tax pigs away from the trough, opt out and send a message that enough is enough. Thank you.

As I pulled into my neighborhood today, I saw a recycling bin full of pizza boxes, items in plastic bags and water bottles with lids on them. These are items that will make the entire truck-full of recycling from our neighborhood unable to be recycled. These are clearly stated as not recyclable in the literature provided by the county with the can. This is why I will not pay to participate in the recycling program.

To the person complaining about having to throw yogurt and berry containers in the trash: I, too, am disgusted at the lack of ability to recycle more vs. less; however, there is an alternative. Buy yogurt in glass containers, which is what I am doing, make your own or stop eating yogurt. I have totally stopped buying some products because of their packaging, including many bakery/deli products, butter in tubs, applesauce and fruit cups.

Colonial Williamsburg

My teenager and I discussed the proposed Merchants Square splash pad on our way to the parking garage. She wondered why a splash pad was needed if we have Water Country. We briefly talked about free versus ticketed admissions. She then wondered who would want to pay for parking to go to a free splash pad and then go shopping wet. Take care.

Are there any local CW board members? Any who might be the least bit aware or interested in the negative impact CW’s real estate VP Duncan has on the community? The people who like to shop and dine in Merchants Square and Prince George Street? Considering the buffet of angry Last Words and letters to the Virginia Gazette, at the ill-considered, expensive, unneeded or wanted green, the board appears to have no interest at all. Well maybe letters from reconsidering local donors will wake them up! We moved here because of CW, but no longer feel any real basis for continuing our support.

Just got a packet of papers from Colonial Williamsburg Foundation begging for money. Maybe if CWF would stick to what they were once good at -- discovering and telling the story of Williamsburg and the 1700s -- maybe they would not need to beg from disabled people on limited fixed incomes. CWF needs to sell off their hotels, golf courses and spa (money pits), and stop fantasizing about splash fountains and maybe they could once again be a premier museum.

Plans to convert Goodwin Square to an amusement/entertainment park are ridiculous. How many handicap parking spaces are in the four lots adjacent to Merchants Square, excluding the garage and paid parking lot? Assuming the total to be around 30, move them to Goodwin Square and make all of that lot a handicap parking lot. As for an amusement/entertainment park, what is wrong with the lot at the northeast corner of Prince George and North Henry streets? It is less than a block from Goodwin Square.

There are already two water features adjacent to the library. I have seen children playing in both. I have also seen apparently homeless people in the water when it was very hot recently and I cannot blame them. So, why do we need to take away parking for benches and a splash fountain that nobody is going to use half the year? Oh, I think I’ll go sit in Goodwin Square when it is cold or rainy — no way! But I would like to park on those days to go to my cozy favorite Blue Talon. Don’t say parking garage, because I can’t walk that far.

Doing good

The 11th annual Community Clothing Giveaway takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 17 at Smith Memorial Baptist Church in Lightfoot. Families in need can browse through items donated by members of the church and residents of the community and select clothing of their choice. Free clothing for men, women and children available. Smith Memorial is located at 6515 Richmond Road. Call the church office at 565-0476 for further information.

Looking for …

My hardwood floors are squeaking. Can anyone recommend a company or handyman who can fix the areas that squeak? Please email loret1@cox.net or respond to the Last Word. Thank you.

For anyone looking for Michelle who used to be at Great Clips on Monticello Avenue, she is now at The Beauty Xpress at 4548 John Tyler Highway. It’s a new, full-service salon. Phone is 757-290-658.

Searching for a professional house painter with good standing and good references. Please call 757-570-4619 or 757-345-0118. Thank you.

When is the next time Williamsburg and James City County residents can carry their paperwork to the courthouse and get it shredded free? Thank you.

Where in the Williamsburg area would I be able to purchase the following items? Fresh Italian blue plums, Stash tea bags, English breakfast, Andes Turtle candy. Thanks.

Here for the Girls is once again looking for gently used baskets of all sizes for our raffle gift baskets we make throughout the year. Email Lisa.Marshall@hereforthegirls.org to arrange delivery. Thanks so much!

I live in a house in Kingsmill built in 1976 and am in need of about 6 square feet of floor tile to match the existing tile, which is hexagon, glazed and white with small black. This tile was commonly used at the time. If anyone has old stock of this tile, please contact me at 757-784-4099.

Our favorite waiter, Vladimir, has left Maurizio’s restaurant. Does anyone know where he has gone?

In your recent Last Word column, you listed a meeting of the City Planning Commission at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 14. Where is the meeting? Editor’s note: City Council Chambers, Stryker Center, 412 N. Boundary St.

Road worries

Oh, the joys of living in Williamsburg in the summertime. Interstate 64 to Newport News is a parking lot as far as the eye can see.

One more time the ineptitude of James City County rises to the surface. We spent a lot of money doing studies of Route 60 to determine the best path to correct previous errors to no avail. Funding is not available, so we wasted time and money with the study. Now they have repaved sections of Route 60, and the reflectors that divide the road are in the middle of some of the lanes. During the study, I specifically asked, “Do they state manhole covers are to be lowered below grade?" I was told no, but they are almost recessed enough to be potholes. We paid or this!

Who should be contacted to discuss changing the light sequence on the corner of Jamestown Road and Route 199? There is always a backup going east on Route 199. Before and after that corner, everything is fine. Thank you.

Guns

Once again there is a massacre in America. This time in Texas. This time the Right will claim the time isn't proper to discuss weapons safety in America, as Republican politicians once again line up to get their bags containing 20 pieces of gold. Again, the NRA will tell us that it wasn't the weapon that did the killing. If not now, when do we address weapon's safety?

Has anyone else considered putting firearm safety training in our schools? I was taught the dangers of misusing a firearm of any type before I was 10 years old.

Republican-controlled legislative bodies, such as the U.S. Senate and Virginia General Assembly, are failing all of us. I thought the Senate was the most deliberative body in the world, but it won't even allow debate to proceed on any gun legislation. Is Mitch McConnell afraid a few sensible Republicans might vote to pass gun legislation if something is allowed to be debated? Same goes for Tommy Norment and Kirk Cox when they punted after a wasted hour during the special session called by Gov. Northam. Seems like the only remedy is to remove all Republicans from office. What sensible Republicans there are have already left or are planning to leave, with gun control possibly playing into that.

Immigration

Half of the Fortune 500 companies were started by first- or second- generation immigrants. Henry Ford was a second-generation immigrant.

ICE arrested 680 workers at chicken killing plants in Mississippi. So all those older white men afraid their jobs are being taken away by Hispanic men can now rush down to Mississippi and take those jobs. And why aren’t the employers being made accountable for hiring people without green cards? If they did that, then no jobs would go to people without proper papers.

Video rolling

To those who don’t think they are addicted to their smartphones, see how many videos have come from the two mass shootings Saturday. Someone is trying to kill you and your first reaction is to start a video? Am I the only one who thinks this is an abnormal reaction? My instinct would be run and seek shelter. People wake up to what is important -- your life, not your phone. I wouldn't care if I ever saw my phone again if I survived such horrific incidents.

Noisy restaurants

Regarding the Aug. 3 Last Word about how loud it is in local restaurants: You can't talk to those with you and also have to yell over the loud music that is playing in most restaurants. Seems they would take away the music, as it is hurting their business by us not going back to them.

There is a free app called “Soundprint,” which I have used several times with no problems. When you are in a restaurant, you open the app, press the "Start" button, and it will take a 15-second decibel measurement of the space you're in. Then, it gives you the option of filing that decibel level — and a comment, if you wish — online, so that others can see how loud that particular space is. If you hit the "Search" button, the app will show you submitted decibel data for several restaurants in town, the noisy ones and the quieter ones. Let's start sharing!

Celebrate this!

In response to suggestions for some sort of local festivals or large gatherings to help our tourism industry and entertain locals, I recommend a "Vine and Cheez" Festival, since Williamsburg/James City County/York County must be the kudzu-vine capital by now. There is not only that particular attractive kudzu vine that is overgrowing fields, bushes and trees, but there are also wild grape vines, wild kuzu vines, wild morning glory vines, wild corkscrew vines, and even the occasional wild wisteria vines, which are actually attractive but also deadly for our trees. Somebody in the horticulture department in our three governmental jurisdictions needs to address the killing of so many of our large trees that are being covered by these invasive plants — and while it's happening, let’s celebrate!

I have a taste for …

I'm just wondering why Williamsburg doesn't have a Krispy Kreme doughnut place here in town. The closest one is in Newport News. I'm also wondering if another Dairy Queen is going to open up anytime soon, because it is sorely missed. Both places would be an asset.

Keeping cool

Some cities, including Phoenix, Arizona, have misters throughout the city streets so as people shop or walk, the mist keeps them cool. That’s my suggestion for the problem with the heat in Merchants Square. Mist evaporates very quickly but keeps people cool. This would be an ideal solution to the problem in Merchants Square, especially when there’s a concert going on. Thank you.

Jamestown protests

What a disappointment! How immature of our governor to not attend the speech of President Trump at Jamestown. I did not vote for Northam, but I did support him in the yearbook crisis. After his actions at Jamestown, I have lost all respect for him.

Perhaps anti-Trump protesters outnumbered supporters at Jamestown because they were more disgusted and better organized. Equally plausible is that far more Trump supporters were at work earning paychecks instead of protesting that their taxpayer-funded subsidies weren't enough. It's far from the beginning of the end for President Trump.

Why in the world do people think a protest means "hate"? It's the exact opposite. People are saying hateful and divisive speech is "not OK" and they want to vocalize that disapproval. Protest was important enough to protect in the First Amendment. Letting elected officials know when we don't approve is a foundation of American Culture. Dissent is not hate.

It is so disappointing to see the disrespect that was paid to the president of the United States when he came to visit Jamestown. Opinions aside, one should show respect for our nation’s president.

Critters at bay

Someone mentioned putting mothballs in your car to keep squirrels or mice from nesting, etc., in your car. Where in the car should you put them? Thanks!

Recommended

If you ever need soil, seed or wonderful plants, Jamestown Feed and Seed on Richmond Road in Norge is the best. The staff are very helpful if you have a problem with your soil or mulch and are knowledgeable about plants. They have lots of other items, too many to mention. The only thing to do is visit; you will not be disappointed.

Stump B Gone delivers excellent service. Ron can be reached at 1-508-729-1147.

If anyone is in need of a house cleaner, I highly recommend Carol Lee. She has been cleaning my home now for a few years and she’s absolutely wonderful. She will do whatever you need doing. She will even run errands. Contact: 869-0050.

Medical costs

My husband and I are in our 70s. Our medical expenses total almost $12,000 for premiums, insulin (by June, we are each in the coverage gap), dental savers premiums for cleanings and X-rays only, Part D drug and the Medicare premiums, etc. This is getting really ridiculous. We do not qualify for the extra help from Medicare because we have some savings and our brilliant legislators voted to do away with Medicare Supplement Plan F, which pays deductibles and copays. Their rationale was that if people had to pay the copays, they wouldn’t go to the doctor so much when they didn’t need to. What? My rationale is that if people go when they need to, illnesses could be treated before they get worse and cost Medicare more. Oh my!

Up in Washington

The president has recently trashed Baltimore, calling it "rat infested," implying that the cities run by Democratic mayors are not worth living in. He should give equal billing to the rural American communities that are run by Republican administrators and call them opioid dens because of the drug addiction problems in many of them driven by the hopelessness of the people living there on the edge of total collapse.

The good news about 2020 is that there are several million fewer older, low-educated white males than there were four years ago, and there are at least 15 million new young, registered voters who are sick and tired of burying their classmates.

While many continue to criticize the president for his actions (well-earned criticisms), we are overlooking the most powerful man in Washington, Mitch McConnell. This man has made unilateral decisions stopping legislative actions so many times, that the cowardly members of the Senate that won't challenge him might just as well go home.

More word salad from the president over the massacres this weekend. It is time for him to instruct Moscow Mitch to bring a strong gun control bill to the floor of the Senate. He should also instruct Billy Barr to come down hard on illegal weapons sales and interstate transportation of weapons.

The Fed lowered its rates this week and the president whined that the drop in rates wasn't enough. In response, he announced another round of tariffs on goods from China just in time for Christmas shopping. These tariffs will have a negative influence on the economy, further slowing it as we go into the Christmas shopping season and most likely causing the Fed to lower rates again in three months. When the president sees the reaction to his tariffs, he will most likely do it again to force the Fed to cut rates a third time.

The poll that has Trump most worried shows that only 20% of white non-college educated men voted for Clinton while Biden is showing 40% among that demographic. That’s landslide territory for Biden.

Trump’s socialist bail out of farmers is the same as his tax cut. Eighty-three percent of the money is going to the 1% largest agricultural concerns while many with 1,000 acres haven’t seen dime one.

To the person complaining about the amount of money Trump is spending playing golf: You may not realize, but when he’s playing golf, he’s playing at his golf courses. Not at Kingsmill. Not at Ford’s Colony. He’s playing at Trump golf courses. Another thing you may have forgotten — he also is not taking a salary. President Obama took a salary and we paid for his golfing. We’re not paying for Trump golfing at his own golf courses or his salary.

The McConnell reelection campaign committee is selling "Team Mitch" tee shirts to help Mitch support Kentucky values. Given the photographic evidence, those values include young men groping life-sized cutouts of a freshman congresswoman and displaying tombstones with the names of Mitch's political opponents on them at a political rally. Given the "Me Too" movement and the recent shootings, both actions may reflect Kentucky values, but they do not represent American values and need to be condemned with utmost vigor by the majority leader.

Thank you

Thank you to the cook/chef Grace at Earth Fare. I was a little under the weather and called to inquire about soup and she was very kind and helpful — and the soup was delicious. Thank you also to Michelle at Ulta for her assistance in Clinique. You rock!

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