Last word on empty storefronts, Sept. 23

Empty storefronts

In response to “Empty storefronts:” The caller should be reminded that once the building is built, the city and county don’t care whether it’s occupied, just as long as the taxes are paid on it. So empty buildings equal income, not poor planning.

To the person that’s counted the 122 vacant retail stores in the area: You have way too much time on your hands. Why don’t you do something positive, like volunteering in a hospital or shelter or the VA Hospital? Then you wouldn’t be so worried about 122 vacancies in our area.

Candidate forums

I was so surprised to read in The Gazette on Sept. 16 that Brenda Pogge refuses to participate in an open debate with Kelly Delucia. As a constituent of the 96th District, I want to hear what the candidates have to say. Pogge is harming her constituents by not allowing them to hear both sides. Come on, Ms. Pogge, join the debate.

I was deeply disappointed to learn Delegate Brenda Pogge, incumbent in the 96th District, and Heather Cordasco, candidate for the 93rd District, have refused to participate in the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum. Sadly, their non-participation does not serve the public interest and shows a disdain for their constituents. I encourage them to reconsider so we, the voters, can better understand their positions and priorities.

Bicycle races

To the person who complained about the bike race last week: It’s not true that the bicyclists use a road they don’t pay taxes on. I live in James City County, pay taxes and rode in the race. Many out-of-town participants stay in hotels and eat in the restaurants, boosting the local economy and paying sales and occupancy taxes. The event also raised money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. I appreciate James City County hosting the event.

I was just a bit tired of the person complaining at least three times about bicycles. I don't know if it's the same person who is like a broken record or if I should address it. I try to be positive and not complain. Bicycles are great.

CW grounds

I have lived here for 71 years and am thankful I have my memories of how beautiful the gardens used to be behind the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg. Today, it was sad to see the state of the gardens. Yes, the two long flower beds were pretty, but the long grass strips on either side of the walk were filled with weeds, crabgrass, wire grass and clover. The low square box garden features were unclipped and had a lot of brown and bare spots needing attention. The two beech arbors on either side are untrimmed and bushy. Having outside contractors for the gardening is just a bad idea. I foresee a lot of the topiary features being eliminated. People used to come here to study the gardens and enjoy them. For just over $400 round trip, they can go to England and see some colonial era gardens that have been maintained impeccably.

I walk Duke of Gloucester Street almost daily. For years, Melody took meticulous care landscaping and cleaning Merchants Square and the first couple of hundred feet into the Colonial area. Within the last month, Melody was transferred or removed from the area and a low bid contractor is "working.” Melody was constantly applying sprinklers to each landscaped areas as well as the numerous planters. She was always using the blower and rake to gather up trash and leaves, keeping the walkways spotless. She took her job personally and demonstrated pride. Along comes the contractors, who drag two yellow hoses from the truck to the street, apply water without a sprinkler attached to flood a small portion of the landscaped area, missing most flowers and plants. Is this the picture we want to show our visiting guest and residents? I think not. Bring back Melody or place her as the supervisor over the team out there now.

Fresh start

The atmosphere at Berkeley Middle School appears to have improved drastically with the start of the new school year. A sense of order and discipline now permeates the building. This is a benefit to both staff and students. Let's hope the good work continues.

Traffic control

Last week’s excellent Lafayette-Warhill football game was attended by thousands, the largest crowd I have seen in my 20 years going to Lafayette games. But the traffic control by the JCC police upon leaving was abysmal. One unmarked police car blocked access to leave the sports complex toward Longhill Road for most fans. That just made the mess leaving, with many cars coming in for pick ups and the cars parked at Warhill High School, a total jam up. It took me 45 minutes to finally get out. The squad cars on Centerville Road accomplished nothing. I would rate their traffic control effort an “F.”

Food trucks

I couldn’t help but laugh about the coming of food trucks providing gourmet food. I guess they can always serve some wine or champagne along with it. I tell you, it’s really, really ridiculous.

Folks that own food trucks should have disguised their request to operate in the city as a meal tax increase. Not only would the request have been approved, it would have jammed through in the fast lane. The city saying it does not have enough time is clearly a stall tactic, because they have demonstrated that when they want something to happen, they can push it through.

Shopping center

It would be wonderful if the developer would reserve one of the apartment buildings at the proposed Midtown Williamsburg for tenants who are not college students. My husband and I would be interested in living in that area, but not in a building with up to four college kids per apartment. Who is going to monitor their activities/noise level, etc., since it will not be a college-owned apartment? The property manager might have her/his hands full.

W&M flag pole

Memory serves you wrong. The KKK Flag Pole was at a site along Jamestown Road. In fact, it is where the triangle is at the corner of South Boundary and Jamestown Road just off college corner. The KKK presented the college with a United States flag and pole and President J.A.C. Chandler found it difficult not to accept the gift. However, at the acceptance program in 1926, Chandler repudiated KKK politics in his remarks and called on the KKK for tolerance and diversity. The plaque at the pole was removed in 1942 after College President John E. Pomfret said he would be happy if someone would remove it. Within a day or two, the plaque was gone. The plaque was found in 1955 by a student in an old warehouse and was ultimately thrown away.

Garden question

There appears to be some kind of pest attacking my dogwood and redbud trees. A section of the tree leaves have webbing on them and only a skeleton of each leaf remains afterwards. Any help would be appreciated. Please respond in the Last Word or call 757-566-0869 prior to 9 p.m. Thank you.

Drool at the pool

Thanks to the Heritage Humane Society for the great time for dogs and owners this year at Drool in the Pool. It was so organized and so fun.

Bad idea

A local Dollar Store chain is selling Mexican jumping beans, a throwback to the 50s and a barbaric and cruel product. The beans "jump," because a fly larva has been implanted into the bean. When the larva hatches, the fly tries to escape the bean, making it jump. It dies at birthing, so the beans don't jump very long, anyway. How cruel and useless. Please don't buy them — and voice your protest at the counter when you see them on display, there. Perhaps, the company will stop feeding that market.

Just neighbors

When you have children, why don’t you let them play in your yard and not on others’ property, that you know nothing about? You should teach them to stay where they belong. A street is no place for children to play in. Others live in the neighborhood, on the street, just like you do, so have some respect for your neighbors.

Background checks

The comment about how people with outstanding warrants can rent upscale apartments: Many of those background checks really only check to see if you have the financial ability to pay or if you have been late or evicted. They just want to get their money regardless of the source — or so it seems.

Food Lion flier

I miss the Food Lion grocery flier that used to come in the Wednesday Virginia Gazette. I hope Food Lion management will consider that many of us still rely on paper to plan our weekly grocery shopping.

Flooded cars

Reply to "Buyers Beware. Insist on a Carfax report." There was a previous TV show on 20/20 about many dealerships creating their own false Carfax reports. I was personally told by a dealership worker recently that they can "only hope" the Carfax report is legit. Just info. Google: False Carfax reports.

Road worries

Regarding waiting at a stoplight: I was taught you need to be able to see the rear tires of the vehicle ahead of you. In the event a car rear-ends the line of waiting cars, the chain reaction would result in many cars being damaged if you are waiting too close together. Just my take on this.

With more than 30,000 cars a day traveling through the Route 199/Jamestown intersection, fining or taking away cellphones for driving or texting could be a great source of county revenue. Those of us who don't have that habit would appreciate it. Also, fewer accidents would occur.

Traffic flow

I’m a regular shopper at Food Lion at the Williamsburg Crossing, and we’ve got that new housing development going on right next to it. I shop there sometimes four times a week. Every time I come out of there, cars and contractors and trucks and everything are flying right by the entrance way for Food Lion. Somebody’s going to get killed. They need to have a better entrance for construction people.

Flat-fee sales

Who in Williamsburg does flat-fee for realty for the seller for the sale of their home? In San Francisco, it is a big, hot thing right now. Flat fee is running around $3,200 to sell your home. There’s not enough inventory on the market and competition for Realtors is up. So if you know, please post it in the Last Word.

Grocery stores

Are there any plans for another gocery story to move in to the Farm Fresh on Merrimac Trail? One suggestion would be for Lidl to move in there, instead of building a new place in Lightfoot, where yet another grocery store is not needed. Too bad Farm Fresh couldn't have consolidated their inventory and rented out part of their building to another business. I wish the employees of Farm Fresh the best of luck. I will miss that store, been shopping there since the early 1980s.

I also miss Martin’s, as the individual wrote in The Last Word last week. I’m going from store to store to make up for what I used to purchase at Martin’s. Does anyone know what grocery store is going to replace Martin’s? I’ve heard Publix mentioned several times recently.

Dogs need help

Homes Fur Hounds, a local nonprofit dog rescue, received small dogs from Florida this week. These dogs will be available for adoption. The dogs are all Yorkie, Maltese, Bichon and Poodle mixes. These dogs were either left in shelters or tied to fences and trees and left behind in the hurricane, so they need loving, safe, homes. If you are interested in helping either by fostering, adopting or donating supplies or money, please contact Homes Fur Hounds at

Today I saw a dog in a red Chrysler Town & Country at a DIY store. Although two windows were open several inches, I could still feel the heat coming out of the car. The store would not make an announcement because of prior incidents. Another dog was barking in a car also, but I could not see him. I waited more than 5 minutes. What is my legal right in this case?

Circus animals

In response to the person about the treatment of the animals performing in Ringling Bros Circus: This is just another instance of a person speaking about a subject they know nothing about. I was there, were you? Just for your information, Ringling fought PETA in a court of law where Ringling was awarded millions of dollars. Look it up. There was no mistreatment of animals by Ringling Bros. I cannot speak for other circuses, but I can speak about this one. And by the way, Ringling does not perform any longer, another American tradition that is gone because of liberals.

Thank you

To all the folks of Williamsburg, who I had the privilege to bring flowers to from Schmidt’s Flower & Accessories, I would like to say thank you for being so nice to me this past year and a half. After 78 years in the floral business, the doors are now closed at Schmidt’s. It really has been a pleasure working with Patti, Dave, Laura, Betsy, Sonny and Annette. I will miss coming to your door and putting a smile on your face with a nice arrangement of flowers. Best regards, Billy Hott.

I want to thank Dr. Vols and his staff for the wonderful care they’ve given me for the past two months and the care I received from the doctors and nurses on the fourth floor north at Sentara Hospital in Williamsburg. I went back to work on Monday. Thanks to all those that were involved in my care. I appreciate it and recognize them, a caring and loving group of people. Thank you very much.

Thank you to the woman who noted in the Last Word that Daynelle Dedmond, M.D., is now located in the Center for Women’s Health on McManus Boulevard in Newport News. Her number is 757-280-1062.

Looking for …

I'm looking for someone who would be willing to sit with me for a couple of hours to help me understand my GEDMATCH DNA report. I understand the "where I'm from" part, but I need help understanding the detailed report that can help me identify DNA matches, etc. If you can help, contact me at

Is anyone familiar with an Alibaba Chinese all electric car? Would like to see one assembled. Please contact 757-220-0310.

I would like to speak to someone who has a sawmill or a portable sawmill. Reply in the paper, if possible. Thank you.

I am in dire, desperate need of a used queen-size box spring and mattress. If someone has one that’s in decent to excellent condition, could you please give me a call at 757-256-5270? Thank you.

Has anyone found a key chain with no keys, just a bunch of swipe cards for various stores, including Food Lion, Ace Hardware and Kmart, among others? If so, please leave a message at 757-220-0265 and/or email Thank you so much.

Years ago, I reached out looking for a magic club and people responded. I have lost the information. Are there still magic clubs in the Williamsburg area? If so, please contact me with info at 871-0200. Thank you.

Could anyone recommend somebody that would install seamless gutters on a house and garage with leaf guards? Thank you.

A couple of weeks ago, someone was looking a company to tint their car windows. I have a name. I had this person do mine. Safe & Sound is the name, and it’s located at 18421 New Kent Highway in Barhamsville. The phone number is 757-566-2233. He does a real good job.

Bad sports

Is it any wonder that television ratings for the NFL suffer when the networks inflict on local viewers such teams as the Bengals (who have yet to score a touchdown this year) and the Bears (who are just down right terrible). Just saying.

Seller beware

To the lady looking for help selling goods leftover from downsizing: Make sure you find a reputable company to help you sell your goods. That would be one that keeps computerized records and gives itemized receipts. In contrast, there are some facilities that will take your items and then send you a check for the total, with no other explanation or record. Seller, beware.

No privacy

Why do government officials have the right to look at the 1,900 Americans citizens whose information was unmasked in 2016 by National Security Agency surveillance programs? Ask your incumbent representatives what they are doing to insure your privacy, versus protecting Washington’s intrusion into our lives.

Hurricane help

For those looking to help victims of Harvey and Irma, a great place to donate money is the Lions Club International Foundation, All of the donations go to help those in need. There are no administration fees. Contact any Lions Club member or Google “Lions Club Williamsburg” for information.


Celebrated my birthday at Cochon on Sept. 15 with four others. Pam was our server and she did an awesome job and the food and ambiance was perfect. The owner, Steve Griggs, made a point to come to the table personally and thank us all for coming and celebrating at their location — first class, on Second Street.

For a lovely gift shop in Lightfoot, try the pottery at A Touch of Earth. Many local potters represented. The owners/managers are Paul and Lianne. Helpful and professional.

If you're very lucky when you visit the Monticello Post Office, you'll be served by Laurie. She's proficient and serves you with a beautiful smile and a touch of humor. You made my day.

Kudos to Julie Wallace, owner of Pet Utopia, an outstanding mobile pet grooming service here in Williamsburg. Julie has repeatedly gone above and beyond in having patience when grooming our very stubborn English Springer Spaniel, who insists on lying down during the entire process. Julie can be reached at 757-566-1818.

We all want a contractor who will be on time, do a skilled job and treat us fairly. For the past 10 years, Bill Hood, 757-645-7573, has been that person for us.

If you’re metal lawn furniture is looking a little worn, I heartily recommend Peninsula Custom Coaters, off of Penniman Road on the east side of Williamsburg. They’ll do a wonderful job of making the stuff look better than new.

I have nothing but the highest praise for one of our local merchants. I have availed myself of Carpet Gallery services, time and again. Their prices and quality of products are competitive to the larger big-box stores. In addition to always striving to have customers happy with beautifying their home, they are always good to their word. No need to travel anywhere when we have this excellent business locally. Give them a try and I promise you that you will be impressed. They are on Second Street. Call 253-0688.

If anybody is looking for a dryer vent cleaning person to come who they could absolutely trust, I would recommend Atlantic Vent. They can be reached at 757-595-7660. I’m a resident of La Fontaine, and they came and cleaned my dryer vents, and from the second they came in they operated with the most integrity, honesty, efficiency that you could ever imagine. I never met them before, but I know that from now on, when I need their service, I will be going to them.

Word choices

I’m not sure of the education level of the CNN reporter the other day when she cut a guy off when he used the word “boob.” If you look up the definition of “boob,” you’ll learn that a boob is a “foolish or stupid person.” Why would you cut someone off for saying that? Evidently, you’re not very well educated.


I find it ironic that a generation after integration was forced on the southern states, when the federal government decided to force Boston to integrate its schools, the race riots up there were in many ways more violent than the racial protests in the South in the 1960s.


I say let California secede from the U.S. With the number of illegal aliens living there and using the state’s resources and not paying taxes, the state would be bankrupt in a couple of months. Also, the state annually receives hundreds of thousands in federal aid to fight forest fires; without this aid, the state would burn up. Maybe we can also get all sanctuary cities to secede and see just how long they would last without federal aid.

Up in Washington

Still waiting for the Democrats to thank President Trump for their new found wealth with the stock market at an all-time high. I’m sure if the stock market was to fall, they would be the first ones to state that it is because of President Trump.

I am responding to an inquiry: Does anyone know where I can get the new Trump drink, Im-peach mint schnapps? I am not familiar with peach schnapps, but maybe someone heard about a cocktail we serve at the distillery? Perfect MMMMPeachmint: Copper Fox Peachwood Single Malt Whisky, Peach Juice (100 percent), Garnish with fresh mint and orange peel. The peachwood single malt is available at the distillery in Williamsburg and in Sperryville, or by special order at any VA ABC store. (code 953875) Cheers.

It is true that if the government shuts down you will get your Social Security check. However, if they don't raise the debt ceiling in December, the check will bounce.

Why does our government allow more than $103 billion in welfare benefits to households headed by immigrants? Illegal immigrants are barred from directly receiving welfare, but may obtain it through their U.S.-born children (dreamers). Time to fix immigrant laws and stop wasteful spending.

We agree with Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel. He said the Trump’s talk at the U.N. was the best talk from the U.S. in 30 years. That’s correct.

I’m proud of the president’s speech at the United Nations on Tuesday. In front of a world audience, he proved to the world he can speak in complete sentences.

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