October was National Book Month, and I had a great time ending the month at the Great Valley Bookfest on Saturday where I got the chance to meet with many of our local authors and book lovers.
For children, a book festival is a great place to develop a love for reading. One of the perks of being a U.S. Representative is having access to a huge assortment of surplus books at the Library of Congress, which I have been collecting and donating to our local libraries. If your school would like to request books from the surplus collection at the Library of Congress, please contact my Modesto Office at 209-579-5458 to find out more information.
This week I attended a ground breaking for a new fire station in San Joaquin County. The Manteca Fire Station #4 is part of a strategic and critical public safety network within the city to benefit the entire region when wildfires, property fires and other emergencies occur. It's great to see our emergency first responders, who put their lives on the line and encounter enormous threats and uncertainty every day on the job, get the resources they need to continue assisting our communities.
On Wednesday I joined the Turlock Sunrise Rotary at the historic Latif's restaurant in Turlock on to talk about many different issues facing the community. I always enjoy the opportunity to visit with local business owners and community leaders in the Valley. It is encouraging to see problem-solvers and concerned citizens getting together regularly to share ideas and discuss solutions to address the needs facing their businesses and families.
Later that day I toured Recology Grover Environmental Products, a subsidiary of Recology Inc., which is an employee-owned waste collection and recycling company located in Modesto. I was able to meet with Mark Lomele, CFO of Recology Inc., Paul P. Dougherty, Tax Manager of Recology Inc., Vince Tye, General Manager and Organic Sales Manager, and Recology employees. I know firsthand as a small business owner how difficult it is to grow a business and hire in a struggling economy, and I want help small businesses like Recology succeed and create jobs for our local workers
by providing certainty and removing burdensome red tape.
A boost to the Stanislaus County economy and great news for local businesses was the City of Waterford's grand re-opening of their new and improved Downtown area on Wednesday! It was great to be with all of you who came to celebrate this momentous occasion for the City of Waterford and the Valley.
Earlier today I attended the district superintendents' meeting at the Gallo Center for the Arts with Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen. As a parent, I am very interested in providing the best possible education for our young people. I think our local school districts -- from the superintendents and teachers to the custodial staff and the librarians -- do a wonderful job taking care of and educating our youth. My highest regards goes out to our teachers and other educational employees who play an integral role in shaping our children's bright futures.
I also joined the Modesto U.S. Army Recruiting Station at Gregori High School in Modesto to recognize several local Future Soldiers and present them Congressional Letters. I enjoyed addressing the entire senior class regarding the importance of education, their civic duty and constitutionally-entitled right as Americans to vote, and the honored tradition of the U.S. Military. As an Air Force veteran, I have the highest possible regard for our troops and I do all that I can in Congress to take care of those who have served our country.
I was honored to be recognized by the Association of the United States Navy as 'Legislator of the Year' today for my efforts on behalf of America's veterans, and I'm proud to have worked with my colleagues in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle to uphold our commitment to our veterans and ensure a seamless transition to civilian life.
On Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11th, the Bureau of Reclamation will waive day use fees at New Melones Lake for all visitors in honor of the men and women of the U.S. military who have given so much. For additional information about New Melones Lake and the New Melones Visitor Center and Museum, please visit http://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/newmelones/index.html or call the Visitor Center at 209-536-9543.
Next week is an historic week for our nation as we will elect our President for the next four years as well as a range of other elected officials. It is your right as Americans to vote. No matter who you vote for, I encourage you to take the time to practice your civic duty and vote on November 6th.
I look forward to another week meeting with constituents and businesses in the district talking about significant issues such as water, housing, job creation and community service. Please continue to let me know your thoughts and concerns about issues facing our community, and also feel free to forward my weekly newsletter to your friends, family and neighbors. You may also visit my website, Facebook, and Twitter.