Last Word on downtown plans, Aug. 25

Delivery drones

With Amazon and others planning to drone-drop goods to individual addresses, who are the drone pilots? Where will they work? Will each drone be programmed to go to a particular address and then back to its own nest? Will all the drones work perfectly? Have totally correct addresses? What’s to keep them from hitting things, crashing, injuring people and property?

Downtown plans

“A mixed eat-entertainment venue” with plans for a street-style taco shop, a stage for live entertainment and a bar arcade with about 20 classic video games and pinball machines. Wow. Now, that is what I call “Colonial.” Are you kidding me?

Just what we need, yet another alcohol-serving business. And better yet, one that gets tax dollars as a start up incentive. Yes, we have college students. Let’s make sure there is at least an alcohol dispensary. Well, since we already have more than one in a block … and it must make the non alcohol-serving businesses a little hurt. And since the city wants even more rooms/apartments for students in town, not those boring adults who pay taxes, donate to keep community organizations alive; of course, the students will expect more beer at hand. Gotta love the thinking that goes into the city planning .

The city of Williamsburg is now trying a new scheme that is supposed to attract “younger adults” to the historic area by authorizing a brewery that will have a restaurant with it and, interestingly, an arcade. I suggest this project be considered with great care and skepticism, as most young people have their own games on their personal equipment, and an arcade for amusement does not seem a good fit for Colonial Williamsburg, frankly.

Tourism council

The tourism task force is comprised of all the usual suspects who have served on these various tourism committees for years. I can just see the influences of Tommy Norment and his cronies for the implementation of the Tommy and Monty Tax. I see those who have served on so many failed ventures to prop up a dying product: tourism in Williamsburg. The oddity is localities such as Williamsburg, James City and York are giving incentives to new brewery and restaurant endeavors, well over a million dollars with the most recent project in the city. They do know that more than 90 percent of new restaurants fail in their first year and the market for breweries is oversaturated. When one talks $220,000 in incentives for new ventures and raises taxes on old established ones, why not? Also, this tax affects retail sales, yet the committee is devoid of retail representatives. It’s time for a change. Goodbye to Norment and many supervisors next year, and in two years, city residents need to get involved, replace council members — but others must run.

Counting trees

To the person who wants trees planted in Earth Fare’s parking lot: I think shrubs and trees in parking lots obstruct visibility, cost money and maintenance and takes up valuable space. Look around, Williamsburg already has too many trees — please don’t add more.

I was absolutely sick to my stomach when I read that as part of the Midtown Row “improvements,” 21 trees are going to come down on Richmond Road and Monticello Avenue. What are we doing to our lovely town? Why are the Planning Commission and City Council allowing this devastation, despite the wishes of the citizens? Is there any way we can stop this? There will be no charm left.

Looking for …

To the person who has fabric to donate: Our CHKD Circle can use fabric to make bears and other items for the young patients at CHKD. Even small remnants are welcome. We can also use yarn for knitting and crocheting NICU caps. We will arrange pick up. Please email ColonialCircle@gmail.com if you have anything to offer.

Does anyone know how to make the mint juleps from King’s Arms Tavern? They are the best ever.

To the ladies looking for fellowship: The Mature Singles Network has been bringing single people 55 and older together for fellowship for more than a decade. For information, email maturesinglesnetwork@gmail.com.

Does anyone know a respectful way to dispose of old, damaged or surplus Bibles? Thank you.

For the Aug. 18 person seeking recommendations for at-home riding lawn mower repair: I highly recommend Glen Ayers, owner of Cardinal Small Engine Repair, at 757-784-0774. Glen does a great job on my Husqvarna, is honest and reasonable, and has a fully-equipped van that comes to your home to work on your machine.

I'm looking for someone to reinforce a wooden wall of a terrace that was built after tropical storm Ernesto in 2006. It does not have to be fancy, only able to do the job. If you are able to help, please email pogs4kids@gmail.com.

To the person looking for a place to dress for dinner: You could try the Aberdeen Barn, as well as the Jefferson. They expect more up-styled, upgraded apparel (dress apparel), versus jeans, hats, T-shirts and tank tops.

Responding to the comment concerning free fabric; please call Natalie James, 566-1272.

I’m interested in the free fabric that’s available. Would you call me at 804-785-2033 and ask for Rachel? Thank you.

The number for RIDES in Williamsburg is 757-345-6166. In York and Newport News, call 757-872-0541. If you could please put that in the paper for people that need rides. Thank you.

Eliminating pollinators

I thought we were trying to protect and save pollinators? Would someone in James City County please explain why they mowed all the goldenrod in the cloverleaf at Routes 199 and 60 by Harris Teeter? The entire circle surrounding the exit from Route 60 east to Route 199 west was full of goldenrod, a food source for bees and other pollinators. Was this a follow-up to the city of Williamsburg spraying for mosquitoes and killing off pollinators in the area? (VA Gazette, Aug. 15) Pretty disgusting. Does anyone in authority care what they are doing?

Deja vu all over again

About 40 years ago, there was a big push to widen the main streets of small towns to improve the traffic. It was improved all right. Cars were able to shoot straight through town without stopping while pedestrians were afraid to step off the narrow sidewalks, which were now stripped of trees. Shopping then became stressful and dreary, and towns suffered economically. Now there’s a push to revitalize downtowns by narrowing the roads, widening the sidewalks, adding benches and planting trees.

I’m calling about everyone having this new ban on plastic bags. You know, we’ll never have a perfect world. Nothing will ever be 100 percent right, ever. I don’t have an issue about them trying to decrease plastic bags. My issue is, back in the 70s, we went to plastic bags because people were complaining that we were cutting down too many trees for paper bags. And here it is, about 40 years later and people are complaining about the plastic versus the paper again. So, 40 years from now, I guess we’ll be back to plastic. Just an interesting thought for those of us who can remember when paper went out and why it went out and plastic came in and now why it’s going out.

Pricing pioneer

The practice started here in Williamsburg, William and Mary, in the early 70s when alumni of UNC began working with the WM sports department. The UNC basketball team had a never-ending waiting list for season tickets for basketball, and the season ticket holders had first refusal on ACC Basketball championship tickets. The UNC athletic department saw a means to obtain more money out of these ticket holders, knowing if a ticket holder did not pay the additional fee for the season tickets there was always other fans who would. It came a point where some UNC alumni would buy season tickets from another ACC school and obtain the ACC Championship tickets through that university and give the season tickets away.

Library space

At the Williamsburg Library recently, a person was taking up two tables and four seats sewing. Perhaps the library needs to review utilization purposes before expansion plans.

Grocery stores

Farm Fresh has the best deli and bakery in the area. Maybe they create this kind of store only — the quality is the best I’ve bought for the lowest price and quality. Fresh Market is next but a bit pricey. Both are clean.

Aren’t we lucky! We have so many good places to buy food! Competition is the issue. But, like the real estate market, there seems to be no middle class, except Harris Teeter, my No. 1. Either it’s rock bottom prices with a good reputation (new stores) or gourmet, high-quality food chains (my favorite). But for the middle guy, it seems a battle. And if the managers are following people who have knapsacks around, and the customer service only talks about themselves, they’ll struggle by just chasing people away.

A good read

Ballet lovers, you must read David Hallberg’s amazing story. From Rapid City, S.D., to the Bolshoi. The Met, Australia — his story is amazing; his book is amazing. Enjoy “A Body Of Work.”

Just wondering

I have heard that a new Tricare Prime Clinic is opening in New Town. Does anyone know when this is supposed to happen?

Affordable housing

While a commenter is correct in stating that if you can't afford to live where you work, you commute to your job, he or she fails to mention the cost of that commute in time and money. Generally, the more it costs for transportation to your job, the cheaper your housing must be. I make the same hourly wage today as I did 10 years ago. Then I commuted 50-plus miles to my job in Williamsburg, but my housing cost was small, as I lived with family. Now my housing costs are 80 percent or so of my income, but fortunately I have only a three-mile commute. The problem comes when your housing costs plus transportation is more than your income. That is why there is such a need for affordable housing in this area. Those who insist that "education and hard work" are the keys to success are perpetuating one of the greatest myths of our time. I have nine years of post-secondary education and have worked hard for more than 20 years, yet, as I said, my wages haven’t changed. Although I have applied for countless jobs the last few years, I have received little to no response from would-be employers. I have also noticed that the jobs requiring the hardest work pay the lowest wages. So, if this myth were anywhere near true, I should be very wealthy indeed and able to afford a much more expensive home.

Good eats

Cheerio to the person who enjoyed the food at The Chipper in Yorktown. I saw the write up in the paper a few weeks ago and gave it a try. Best beer-battered fish I’ve had since England. And do try the mushy peas. Look for it across the road from the Grafton Post Office on Route 17.

Required viewing

I think every American needs to watch two old movies: “Elmer Gantry” and “The Hiding Place.” These two movies reveal important information about morality. Public libraries have a copy.

Surprising words

A commenter recently inquired as to why we think it's okay for our store to offer the occasional product containing curse words. I'll start by stating the obvious, it sells, a lot. It gives our customers a chuckle and reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. But, more importantly: we sell those items because we like them. You, of course, do not have to like or purchase those items. If you’re offended, we won't say we are sorry, because we aren't even going to try to please everyone. Your sensibilities are what give those words their potency, and for some of us, it's just no big deal. We're not even bothered by your attempt at public shaming. What we are bothered by, is having our well-meaning team members harassed in our place of business by folks who want to lecture or make a scene regarding our products. Seeing something you don't like is not an invitation to insult our business or team. We are an inclusive business and nothing featured is derogatory to anyone. But we’re also realists, so we aren't even going to try to please everyone.

Mail delivery

With all the negative talk about mail delivery, I need to say there are great people out there. One of them is Chris, our regular carrier, who bring packages to the door if they don’t fit in the box, actually rings the bell and waits for an answer. He’s very faithful; so is our Gazette carrier – and we reward them both at Christmas.

I thought the “informed delivery” service offered by the Postal Service would be a great idea, so I signed up to receive an email each morning with an image of each piece of first class mail scanned in that day for delivery. Mostly what purpose it has served is to show me what I should be getting but never do. So far I never got a replacement credit card, another credit card statement and important mail from the Commonwealth of Virginia. What happens to this mail that it just disappears after being scanned? The address is correct. While some things can be done online, the mail is still needed for others. This is highly stressful.

Ballot signatures

I’m disgusted with Congressman Taylor in having his staff put forth false signatures to get an independent on the ballot to help him get elected. I thought he was a Navy Seal vet. He has now stained other Seals who are heroes and should immediately resign. He doesn’t deserve to sit in our Congress. He is also not willing to go before a debate on WHRO between him and Elaine Luria. Remember to vote this November.

Church and state

On Aug. 19, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed the congregation of First Baptist Church of Crown Heights from the pulpit. Cuomo’s comments on the current President of the United States are not the focus of my concern. My first reaction to reading this was: abuse of power by Governor Cuomo. Separation of church and state is being attacked. No politician should be talking or preaching to any congregation from a pulpit, ever!

Recommended

If you are looking for a great local construction person to handle brickwork, concrete replacements or patching exterior cement problems and more, I highly recommend Eugene Morrison of C.E.Morrison Construction. Professional, knowledgeable, reasonable and trustworthy. Call him at 757-897-8970. I’m a very happy customer.

If you have computer problem, you’d be well served by contacting Khalid at 757-291-3663. He can fix any sort of problem quickly and efficiently and is very responsible and dependable. You’ll be pleased if you call him. Thank you.

Just found a great new antique shop, called “Lucky Junque.” It’s in Toano, in the old Farm House building — the one with the big yellow chair. Brand new people, great stuff, really worth a trip.

We’ve been so impressed with the wonderful changes at Carlton Farms Equestrian Center. The new barn managers make everyone feel welcome and the horses are being taken care of better than ever. If you were there before and felt you had to leave, it’s completely different now. It is once again a wonderful place for lessons and boarding.

We are new homeowners in Williamsburg and love living here. A few weeks ago, we found that a “blast” in the attic left us with 5-foot hole from the partially collapsed ceiling. Water from the air conditioning system in the attic had leaked and accumulated in the insulation and the sheet rock until it fell through. We called Cook’s Heating and Cooling Service in Mathews, explained the situation and Billy Cook and his crew came to our home that same day. They spent hours repairing the equipment in our blistering hot attic, they stopped the water leak and inspected and “tweaked” the entire system to prevent further damage. Cook’s was a life saver and the best service company we have in any of our homes in 40 years. Cook’s Heating and Cooling Service, 804-725-9147.

Panhandler’s dog

To the person who contacted PETA in regard to the panhandler and his dog: It is obvious you could care less about the welfare of the dog. In the time you took to roll down your window, yell at the man, drive home, get out of the car, go in the house, sit down, look up the phone number for PETA, and place a call – you could have driven to the Walmart right across the street and purchased a bag of dog food and bottled water for the dog. One thing for sure, there is no denying this panhandler loves his dog. The very simple fact that he has no money yet has a dog for a companion and takes care of it says much about him. Unless you have walked in his shoes and know the reasons he is in the situation where he needs to beg for money, you have no right to judge him! Enough is enough; leave this man and his dog alone.

Road worries

The Last Word commenter who said that the first person who gets in an accident at a roundabout will be a Yankee may be right. But they won’t be from New Jersey; we have roundabouts there and figured them out long ago. You take it slow, keep your eyes open and put down the cellphone.

This is the call about the roundabouts from up North. There were too many accidents with the roundabouts. That’s why many states have done away with them in their towns.

People, use your turn signals! With all the traffic we have, with the college students due back shortly, and other schools to begin soon, it becomes necessary for us to be as safe as possible. Using turn signals is one way to do that. Give it a go!

As we drove past the college on our way home from the Culture Cafe, we saw a car being towed. It was parked in front of a driveway, where the painted markings on the street look similar to those that separate the legal spaces. We almost made that mistake ourselves once, but figured it out before getting towed or ticketed. The markings need to be clearer that the space is not a legal space, especially given the number of visitors, new students, parents and people who are easily distracted. Just paint the words “no parking” on the street at that space. Unless, of course, it would upend the authentic nature of the area. If so, just keep towing.

Wind power

Previously, I sent a query about the life cycle of wind turbines — their dereliction in the Florida Keys, the problems with their platforms. What happens at the end of their usefulness? I see ads in the Washington Post and local papers for the application to run the power cable out to these wind turbine farms. I just saw a Yahoo-posted article about the tidal generator being used in Scotland. It is named the Scotrenewables SR2000 tidal generator. With our abundance of water sources and bridges. Why not use this technology?

Security clearance

Back in the last century, I had a top secret clearance. I had it because it was needed to do my duties as an officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. When I left the Army, it went away. Listening to people say they are “entitled” to security clearances after they leave their government jobs truly angers me. They got their clearances to do their jobs. When they left their jobs, the need for their clearances went away. This should be the standard for all government employees. If they then move on to a job which requires a clearance for working with government, they should reapply and be granted a clearance only if it is in the best interests of the government. I do not think a job as talking head on a TV show would qualify for a clearance, but that’s just my opinion.

You know, President Trump is taking everybody’s classified clearance from them, so who is going to run the country after they all lose their classified clearance? Trump and Mike Pence will be the only two able to run the country, so in the next presidential election and he wins again — I don’t know what’s going to happen to America.

Thank you

Many thanks to Dr. Cavasos, Rita and the amazing team at Sentara Ortho Joint Unit. Their wonderful, smooth functioning program made a hip replacement a remarkable experience.

Thank you to the wonderful family who treated us to dinner on a recent Thursday night at the Olive Garden. My husband is blind and we don’t go out to a restaurant often. The restaurant was very busy, as it often is, and we had a very nice waitress and enjoyed our meal. When we asked for the check, the waitress told us that our meal had been paid for and said the family that had been seated across from us had paid for our dinner. You can’t imagine our surprise! She told us that you asked that she not tell us that you had paid for our dinner until after you left. You had a large family and yet you chose to bless us with your kindness. We pray that we are worthy of your kindness and we thank God for your blessing.

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