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Greetings from the fourth floor of your Capitol where the repairs to the building are moving along faster than first expected. If you come by and see me, you will have a great view of the Missouri River.

Since last writing, a number of things have occurred within the district. About two weeks ago, I met with Conservation Department staff and volunteers for their annual goose banding exercise. At sunrise, I met these dedicated folks to “round up” the geese at Binder Park. That in itself was a challenge; Conservation used two boats and a radio-controlled boat to “herd” the geese into a confined area where they were carefully removed from a pen.

The geese that had already been banded were recorded and then released. Those that had not been banded were checked for which sex they were and then banded with the information being recorded. This information goes into a database where they can be tracked for migration and length of life, along with other data.

I was impressed with the number of youth involved in the exercise and the thoughtfulness the staff took with handling the geese. The banding of the geese is done throughout the state, and this crew made their way around a number of locations in Jefferson City. The information gathered can and will be used in a number of different platforms for years to come; a big thank you to the Missouri Department of Conservation for your due diligence.

Recently, I attended the “Raising the Flag Dedication Ceremony” at the patriotic roundabouts at East McCarty Street. This is a project that came to fruition after two years of hard work by the East Side Business Association and American Legion Post 5 as well as a number of business partners and volunteers. Maj. Gen. Hank Stratman along with Post 5 Commander Jim Rosenberg welcomed a robust crowd on a hot Wednesday morning and were joined by Mayor Carrie Tergin, Rep. Rudy Veit, myself and our keynote speaker, Sen. Mike Bernskoetter. Along with the speeches, we shared in song with Nicole Slusser singing the National Anthem, Grand Ole Flag and God Bless America.

These roundabouts will serve as a reminder of those who have served our country with one of the panels reading “Freedom is not Free — All gave some, some gave all.” The roundabout at the Walmart exit was sponsored by Legion Post 5, and the roundabout on the opposite side of the overpass was sponsored by the Eastside Business Association.

Projects like this begin with the vision of an individual — Maj. Gen. Hank Stratman. His first project was revitalizing Vinyard Square followed by Freedom Corner, which is now home to veterans ceremonies on Veterans Day. Stratman and his wife, Linda, have been a wonderful asset to our community, and his dedication to honoring those who have served, those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and educating our youth of the importance of serving your country is something we can never thank him enough for. So as you make your way to Walmart or the Eastside of Jefferson City from either direction, you will now enjoy another piece of our patriotic salute to those who have served and continue to serve this great country. Thank you Post 5 and ESBA for all your hard work.

Now finally, the cleanup and recovery of our city continues a little over a month after the tornado and the recent flooding impacted Jefferson City and Cole County. Neighbor helping neighbor has been a common theme along with #JCStrong, and that will continue in the weeks and months to follow. Different committees are meeting to address the needs of those affected both in the short term as well as long-term recovery. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the number of not-for-profit agencies out there that have a long history with disasters like ours, and while it may seem they are not moving at the pace we would like, understand that this is a marathon and not a sprint — and it will take time.

In the face of disaster, heroes arise, and we have seen many of those over the past month and will continue to see many more of whom will never be recognized but do the right thing even when no one is watching. We live in a remarkable community, and for that, we can all be proud. If you have your own story of May 22 and would like to share it with me, I would welcome you reaching out.

As always it is an honor to serve you, and please reach out to me if you need to talk.

State Rep. Dave Griffith, R-Jefferson City, represents the 60th District, and shares his perspective on statehouse issues twice a month.

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