Saturday, January 14, 2012

Something to Wag About

   USPS unleashes the new Dogs at Work stamps. Each 65-cent stamp features one of four breeds: a Black Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Yellow Labrador Retriever and Springer Spaniel.
   Artist John M. Thompson created original paintings for the stamps, which were designed by art director Howard E. Paine. The new Dogs at Work stamps will be available for sale at the 2-oz stamp rate, 65 cents each, the new rate taking effect January 22, 2012.

Emergency Averted on Gunston Road

A hole-in-the-road emergency was averted last week when hidden erosion was discovered before half of Gunston Road collapsed. 
Marilyn Breedlove, was doing her unheralded roadside litter clean-ups when she turned and noticed the cracked culvert and washed out embankment below the West bound lane near the entrance to Mason Neck Stare Park. She called Hyland’s office and VDOT. Fortunately, her assessment of the situation was given heed and VDOT had an emergency repair crew out the same night. 
The cracked cement culvert has been replaced, the aggrigate packed back and stones laid to prevent another wash out all before the pavement could give way. A few residents had to wait for one way traffic.  It could have been much worse flipping vehicles off the roadway.  
This could be a side benefit of community Adopt-A-Highway clean-ups. 

Beard Makes Dean’s List at Shenandoah

Arianna Beard of Woodbridge, and South County Secondary Class of 2010, was named to the Fall 2011 Dean’s List in the School of Arts and Sciences at Shenandoah University in Winchester. Beard is a Criminal Justice major. Lorton Valley Star congratulates our neighbor.

Legislation Regarding Illegal Signs

State Delegate Dave Albo has introduced a Bill in the Virginia Assembly regarding illegal advertising signs on roadsides.
Fairfax County officials have been struggling since 1997 to devise a plan for enforcing Article 12 and to remove illegal signs. If given enforcement authority through HB 34, the county need not expend it’s budgetary resources in removing illegal signs.
The applicable penalty and fine for sign violators can be applied three days after the violator is notified and the Sheriff’s Community Labor force can be used to make the notifying calls.
Signs on roadsides in the public right of way or on trees, utility or VDOT poles are illegal. Signs on private property with permission are restricted. Special allowances are for non-profit temporary drives. The county has a brochure to describe proper display. Off-site signs advertising a private business, service, or other concern are not permitted. 
The bill has Passed in the house and been referred to Senate committee. Environmental activists are pleased that this has been introduced  so that the County will finally have incentive to keep roadsides clear of drain clogging litter. NOVA Realtors want to gut it so they can have exception to keep placing their illegal signs.  Write your Virginia Senator to encourage HB34.