Last week, on August 26th, a tragedy occurred that has shaken our community as well as many other communities beyond those in the Commonwealth. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, two young individuals with bright futures, lost their lives as they were going about another day at work. It saddens me every time violence like this occurs with lives being taken too soon at the hands of someone with a mental illness. To have it happen right here, in our community, is unfathomable. I pray daily for the continuing recovery of Vicky Gardner and I pray for comfort and peace of the families and loved ones Alison Parker and Adam Ward.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. Please be observant that the Labor Day Holiday will be celebrated Monday, September 7th and most county offices in our district will be closed and will reopen for regular hours on Tuesday September 8th.
September is National Literacy Month. This is a great opportunity for teachers, parents and the community to share their best practices that help promote a passion for reading and writing. You can get involved by contacting any of our local county offices in the district that already have literacy programs in place or even plan something as simple as a family reading night.
I would like to make motorists in our district aware of new traffic patterns in the area of Nelson County during the Lockn’ Music Festival being held September 10th-13th, 2015. Motorists traveling through this area should be aware of possible congestion and changes in traffic pattern on US 29 and side roads near Oak Ridge Estate in Lovingston from Wednesday evening, September 9th through midday Monday, September 13th. Due to the possibility of increased congestion, several changes in the traffic pattern are planned. Message boards, other traffic control devices and a Traffic Hazard Advisory Radio will be used to alert motorists to these changes in the traffic pattern and any major congestion issues. A Safety Service Patrol unit will also be available during the peak traffic periods to assist with any incidents that may occur. For additional and up-to-date information throughout the event, please call 511 or visit www.511Virginia.org, follow VDOT on Twitter @VaDOTLynchburg, or contact VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-00-367-7623 (800-FOR-ROAD). The above contact information for VDOT is also an extremely useful source to check for any other traffic alerts and/or road maintenance work being done in our district.
This December, the holiday tree at Virginia’s Executive Mansion in Richmond will be adorned with ornaments handmade by artists/artisans from communities all over Virginia. Each county will be holding a juried competition whereby one ornament reflecting the quality of life and attributes of the county will be selected to represent said county on the tree. Please contact your county administration office for rules and deadlines.
If you have any concerns, questions, comments or issues that I or my Aide, Jenna, can help you with, please contact us at (434)821-5929 or email at Delmfariss@house.virginia.gov