No 'bah, humbug' in the Last Word, Dec. 22

Christmas spirit

On this Christmas Day, my family will be sure to say a prayer of thankfulness for those medical and public safety personnel who are on duty so that we may enjoy a safe holiday. May they be richly rewarded.

Be sure to roll your window down while on Vaiden Drive in Indigo Park to listen to the Christmas song as the light dances to the music. Listen to both classic songs from Bing Crosby to the latest artists’ renditions. It’s simply different.

My Christmas prayer: May all of us remember that God sent His Son to show us how to make the world a better place. God will be happy when we learn to love all people unconditionally and not judge others. I believe this is what the world needs now.

It’s the holiday season; people are shopping, it’s busy, it’s crowded. People are looking for parking spaces. What would be really wonderful is if you pull into a parking space, turn your lights off so that people know whether you’re going to just sit there or back out. It’s so hard to tell what the plan is. Also, but if you’re getting into the car, get into the car and pull out so that other people can pull into your space. People are waiting. You probably can check your messages on your phone at some other time so that other people can pull in and finish doing what they also need to do. Just a little courtesy is all I’m asking. Be thoughtful of those that are in the street waiting, trying to figure out what it is that you’re planning to do. Thank you.

Remember to keep Christ in Christmas.

I attended the “Christmas Dreams” show at the Kimball Theater and was amazed at the talent and acting skills of the performers. The production was professional in every detail and the costuming was stunning. Outstanding dancing was observed and the lead and her three friends were a joy to watch with their enthusiasm and big smiles throughout the show. It was a Christmas treat for our community.

Williamsburg firefighters gave out turkeys during Thanksgiving at the Williamsburg Pottery. The Pottery is celebrating 80 years of business this year. Thanks for all the kindness of other businesses also, such as Ace Hardware’s grand re-opening and Big Lots’, Food Lion’s grand renovation. There are many changes here and more to come. As residents of this city, we all must stick together and be very considerate of one another. Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year, 2019!

I am curious to know what has happened to the very popular presentation of Scrooge in Merchants Square. It just doesn’t seem like Christmas without this clever attraction. Anybody have an explanation?

Road worries

Drivers on Monticello Avenue, through the college woods, right before the Ironbound intersection, have been forced to hit that badly broken pavement with a bang for over a year. At the December City Council meeting, we asked — face to face — why our city would not repair it. “Not our problem. State’s problem.” Rise up, drivers, and demand the problem on Monticello right before the intersection be repaired now. Thank you.

There are numerous tree limbs in the ditches from the snow storm all along Lake Powell Road that need to be removed. They pose a danger to drivers on a road that is very narrow for all the traffic which moves through on a daily basis. Also, some of the ditches along that road need to be cleaned out as they are loaded with fallen leaves which does not allow for drainage when we have heavy rains. Could VDOT please do something about cleaning this up?

Finishing touch

For years, the huge desert and treeless asphalt parking in front of the new Earth Fare store on Monticello Avenue has been an ugly, uninviting spot. With the renovation of that shopping center, we hoped the city would require trees and other landscaping to pierce the desert of asphalt and let the property breathe. What has happened? Are we going to retain this ugly parking lot or are we going to have some landscaping to make it more attractive?

Your heritage

Tuesday, Dec. 18, was International Migrant’s Day. Untold numbers of individuals have the courage to leave the home they know for the possibility of a better life elsewhere. Perhaps they are victims of war or violence or cannot find work to support their families. Before you decide this has nothing to do with you, think about how you arrived in this country. My ancestors came from Germany, England, Switzerland, and others, as early as 1727. Celebrate your heritage and your ancestors’ courage, and offer your support to those who are still making their journeys.

Downtown park

The one place in front of everyone's face and begging to become a park is the enormous field in front of the art museum. Why is this huge, open space never mentioned? No parking would be lost and with the correct landscaping and hardscaping would be a wonderful area to sit, picnic, have concerts and hold art shows, just to name a few. As it is, it is wasted space. Please consider this area for a park instead of the tiny area which has been under discussion. It would be a wonderful addition to CW. Thanks.

Looking for …

If you need any dry, seasoned firewood, please call 757-784-1242, and you can come pick it up. No delivery. Thank you.

Recovering from surgery, I discovered a pattern for “Preemie Baby Caps,” for CHKD. I have crocheted some. I need to speak to someone who can help me on this.

To the commenter who needs a handyman, I have a church friend who has done a lot of different tasks for me and other church members. You can contact Jeff at 757-603-0612.

Does anyone have an update in regards to the demolition and rebuild of the 7-Eleven near the entrance of Riverside Doctors Hospital? This location has been closed for almost three months and there is no sign of progress.

My sister lost her Collegeg of William and Mary ring in or around Colonial Williamsburg during Homecoming and is heartbroken. It is sentimental and so worth more to her than the monetary value. She's offering a reward for anyone who finds and returns it. It is yellow gold with the William and Mary crest stamped on the top (no stone), has her degree on one side (B.A.), her grad year on the other side (2009), has the William and Mary weather vane and her signature is stamped inside. If you find or have it, please respond to Last Word.

I would recommend the Center Street Grill as a good place to go with a party when someone is in a wheelchair. The food is modern American, well made, and most important the staff is wonderful. Last year when my wife had gastric surgery, they pureed their soups so that she could eat in the weeks after and have been quite helpful with other problems we have had including when I was on crutches three years ago. Call ahead and I am sure they will cheerfully help you.

Christmas market

A friend said she is going to Steubenville, Ohio, not to visit relatives, but to see the world’s largest collection of life-sized nutcrackers and the Christmas Market. They have 250 large nutcrackers, free train and hayrides and a European-style Christmas market. We need something unique in addition to CW to draw people here. Merchants Square would be perfect for a Christmas market. Steubenville has been very clever to find a way to attract visitors.

Better publicity

It was sad and embarrassing to see how low the attendance was for the Don Irwin concert last Saturday night. William and Mary, please try much harder to widely publicize the future performers you book, or they may not want to come back to Williamsburg. Those of us who heard him truly enjoyed his piano playing; it was delightful. He is a remarkable artist.

Mixed message

Two Catholic nuns were recently charged with stealing from their school. The church has very publicly stated they will not defend the nuns and that they should be fully prosecuted. Where is this "no defense and full prosecution" stance when it comes to pedophile priests? The female nuns will be prosecuted and the male priests will be moved to prey on another parish. The church needs to stop convening conferences to discuss the pedophile issue and turn them over to law enforcement. This is the only profession I'm aware of that you can abuse people (especially children) and keep your job.

Power outages

Don’t blame Dominion Power. It doesn’t take much wet snow to weigh down tree limbs or entire trees to the point where they break or fall.

To answer the commenter’s question about why six inches of snow knocked out so many lights: All you have to do is ride around the community with your eyes open and notice the number of trees that were pulled down by the snow. The snow we had was a wet, heavy snow and it pulled trees down across power lines, which causes an outage. It’s very simple.

Night driving

To the person having issues with night driving and glares: It sounds to me -- and I’m not a doctor -- like it could be cataracts. My first thing would be, if you’re able to, see an eye doctor and let them determine what the problem is. Otherwise, Williamsburg area is very much in need of more light at night, so that when oncoming traffic hits you, there isn’t so much of a glare.

Reading about the driver issues with night driving was nothing less than scary. If a driver can’t drive safely at night, they shouldn’t do it at all.

Health care

The ruling from the highly partisan court in Texas declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional because the Republican-controlled Congress repealed the individual mandate last year proves that the president and Mitch McConnell don't give a fig for the average American. The only good news from this ruling is that if the rigged Supreme Court upholds the ruling, those who voted for this president might finally wake up and realize they have been played. In the run up to the launch of the law, the only alternative to the ACA presented by the Republicans was "do not get sick."

Equal rights

To the writer who complained that it was disgusting that Virginia has not yet passed the Equal Rights Amendment: There is nothing to pass. The deadline to pass it expired in 1982, with 15 states not passing it. Since then, three states have rescinded their ratification. The Supreme Court generally holds that the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause already ensures equal rights between the sexes, as does the Virginia Constitution.

As a constituent of Representative Pogge, I am calling on her in the upcoming session of the Virginia House of Representatives to introduce support and vote for a bill that would ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, thereby giving women the same rights that men have in this country.

Border wall

The U.S. government sent me to the far side of the Earth to protect a totally corrupt government. I was wounded twice, lost more than 60 pounds from a fever, had 11 operations and still have after-effects. But the Democrats and Republicans in Congress don't want a border wall for my own country?

All Democrats and Republicans want strong, fair and reasonable immigration rules and border protection, but a growing majority of Americans do not want a wall along the border. ICE and Border Patrol officials and experts argue that there are better methods than spending tax money on such a wall. Trump's claim that Mexico would pay for a wall has been absurd from the start. Long border walls fail to keep out persistent violators. Despite these factors, Trump stubbornly clings to building a wall, as it was his loudest campaign promise and rallying cry. This doesn't make him or America great.

Speedy delivery

Misinformation published recently regarding Postal Service pension funding must be corrected. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 requires USPS to fund only already-accrued liabilities of current and past employees. There is no “paying forward” requirement; the only forward-looking requirement is to calculate estimated future benefits, not to pay them. The operative word is “accrued.” This means the actual, actuarial value of the benefits already earned and promised to current beneficiaries. Yes, the USPS is the only U.S. Government organization required to prefund its accrued pension liability. This is a good policy.

As of 7 p.m. this Monday, I have at least seven packages in the less than gentle hands of the USPS, which, according to their own tracking system, should have been delivered here in Williamsburg from as recently as today and as far back as Nov. 24. In the PO's own words, they have "departed USPS regional facility RICHMOND VA DISTRIBUTION CENTER" and are "IN TRANSIT TO NEXT FACILITY" (USPS caps). Most of these packages have been in Richmond for over a week. Over the same time, FedEx has delivered six packages to family members across the country in an average of three and one half days. Maybe the solution to the problem is to fire everyone who is employed in the Richmond Distribution Center and hire a set of FedEx retirees to run it.

The eight year old with his little red wagon who delivers packages from Richmond to the Williamsburg area post offices must have been allowed out of the house today, as three of the nine packages that I’m aware of were delivered.

Once again residents in Williamsburg are having problems getting our mail. Tuesday it arrived at 8 p.m., and yesterday, Wednesday, no mail was delivered at all. When problems occur, there are generally solutions. During the past weeks, people have written to express their frustration with the lack of mail delivery service. What will it take to make things right again?

Being frustrated by U.S. Postal Service failure to deliver packages for bogus reasons, such as mailbox full, driveway obstructed, no access to building, I finally received some good answers from chatting with my postal carrier. She said my package is not being delivered because it is too heavy for her to lift onto the truck. There is no place on the form to note this so she must check some other box. This is a systemic issue that should receive management attention. In the short term, postal carriers should have management support to get help loading heavy packages. The longer term issue is their contract with Amazon to deliver packages. They need to be sent UPS or Fed Ex which are geared to deliver packages; the post office is not, but they have a contract with Amazon. Meantime, I must wait until the post office can find someone to load the package.

All that jazz

To the commenter asking about the fifth annual Winter Blues Jazz Festival: Additional information on lineup, event descriptions, ticketing options can be found on our website at winterbluesjazzfest.com or by calling 757-592-4289.

Scam calls

To the person confused about the missed call numbers: Scam callers are able to hijack numbers that are not being used at the time. I've been called by these numbers in the past and my number has been used for these calls in the past. Just this week, I came home to a voicemail of a man asking me to stop calling his office despite my phone being on my dresser all day. So it's entirely possible that, no, that person did not call you despite that number "being right there" in your missed call list.

Scam calls can be controlled by legislation against phone service providers being able to give out more than one phone number per business. Currently blocking numbers don’t work, as the user just uses another one.

Checkout lines

I strongly agree with the commenter about the need for sign by the self-checkout limiting the number of grocery items to use this service. Still, it’s common sense what the intended use is and just plain inconsiderate to use it for large amounts. Being inconsiderate seems to be the norm these days.

To which store are you referring regarding people with large orders? Walmart on Rochambeau has self-checkout lanes specifically for large orders. This store often has self-checkout lines open on both ends of their long line of registers. If you are referring to someone with a couple dozen items to check out, that is not an excessive number worth your concern or complaint, no matter which self checkout the individual is using. The checkout lines are there for optional use by all shoppers. Unless the particular store to which you refer has designated limits on the self checkout lines, a gray area has been created and common sense and common courtesy are called for on the part of the customer. Perhaps contacting management for the store or stores would be advised in such locations where you have had a less than desirable checkout experience.

Guns

Each year in the United States over six times the number of people are killed by gun violence than the total number of U.S. servicemen killed in the 17 years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every year we kill 11 times as many Americans as were killed on Omaha Beach on D-Day. More Americans have been killed by guns than the total number of casualties from all causes in all of America’s wars since 1968 (the year in which statistics were first recorded).

West Point teacher

To the person who criticized the West Point teacher and stated that he'd been cruel to the child in question: You obviously do not know the whole story. The teacher was never cruel to any child. He had this child in his class in previous years and was used to identifying the student as female. This year, when the student changed to wanting to be identified as male, the teacher did all he could do to comply, using the student's male name, but avoiding using any pronoun. He was pressed by the principal to use the male pronoun. That is what the teacher objected to, saying it would be a lie and against his religious beliefs. He was fired for what he did not say. He is a very kind, caring person. I hold him in high regard. Please know what you are talking about before you make such criticisms.

Recommended

I became a member of 9Round on opening weekend. First workout was great, much better than riding a stationary bike in a crowded gym. Personal training every time. I get to punch stuff and kick it. It was not easy, but it was rewarding.

I highly recommend Wildwood Farm on Ironbound Road. (Open Wednesday and Saturday). James and Paige Ewell offer a nice selection of quality handmade soaps, lip balms, scrubs and other products from their small-scale farm. A local enterprise well worth our support. Check them out at www.wildwoodwilliamsburg.com then go visit.

If anyone is looking for a reliable and affordable cleaning service, I highly recommend Lazy Dayz Cleaning Service. I’m an elderly woman on a budget and they worked with me. Contact information is 757-603-5998.

Just came from Roberts Furniture & Mattress on Richmond Road. What a wonderful experience! I found so many items I've been looking for in the big box stores. (I don't buy furniture online because I can't really see the color or comfort and it's a hassle to return.) I purchased a pair of leather recliners, a glider rocker for the nursery for my new granddaughter, a sectional for the family room, and some great accent cabinets, all at unbelievably reasonable prices. Staff is friendly, helpful but not pushy, and customer service is phenomenal. It's a pleasure to have a local family business to deal with that remembers your name! I will be returning.

If anyone ever needs assistance with their in-home computers, I recommend Randy Hisle of Cyberwizards who has been our computer guru for years. He is knowledgeable, personable, reasonably priced, and always stands behind his work. He is patient with folks who are less computer savvy and is always ready to teach about computers. The tag line from one of my favorite movies, "The Big Lebowski," is "The Dude abides." Well, "Randy abides!" also.

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