Lawmakers Create Opinion Line

The Virginia General Assembly has set up a toll-free constituent viewpoint hot line. This is an opportunity for residents to provide lawmakers their opinions on issues before the General Assembly. The toll-free number is 800-889-0229.

The hot line will receive calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on each legislative workday until March 11. Operators will ask callers to provide their names, addresses, telephone numbers and the legislative issues on which they are expressing their views. The operators also will inform callers of their legislators, record the messages and forward the information to legislators for their review.

If a caller seeks additional information concerning legislation or wishes to speak directly with a legislator, the operator will provide the appropriate telephone number.

For additional information regarding this service, call Jay Braxton, of the House clerk's office, 804-698-1552, or Jeanette Moore, of the Senate clerk's office, 804-698-7460.

Studying for Financing College

Area high school students and their families are invited to a free workshop Saturday on planning and paying for college.

The program will offer information on financial aid, college loans, the differences in federal student loan programs and more. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) is scheduled to speak at the event.

The event is sponsored by Sallie Mae, a company that provides educational loans. It will take place at 9:30 a.m. at J.E.B. Stuart High School, 3301 Peace Valley Lane, Falls Church. To register, call 877-840-8224. Seating is limited.

Library Helps Put Users Online

The Arlington Central Library is offering a four-part training series on searching for information online. The sessions are free and open to the public. Knowledge of specific software or the Internet is not necessary; beginners and intermediate users are welcome.

The sessions will take place on four consecutive Thursdays beginning Jan. 27. The first session covers how to use an Arlington County Public Library computer workstation to access the online card catalogue and look up patron records. The Feb. 3 session will teach how library databases can help locate current newspaper and magazine articles, many of which are in Spanish. The Feb. 10 session covers how to research a health condition, diagnosis or disease online. The Feb. 17 session will prepare job seekers by showing them how to find information on businesses online.

Participants do not have to be library members and do not have to sign up for all sessions. Participants should have a working knowledge of Windows and how to use a mouse. Classes will be at the Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., from 10 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, call Susan Kaminow at 703-228-5716.

Time Running Out to Register

The deadline to register to vote in Arlington County is 29 days before an election. With the Republican presidential primary scheduled for Feb. 29, the deadline to register is 5 p.m. Jan. 31.

Voters who have changed their names or addresses since the last election or moved within the county must re-register. A voter registration card will be mailed within a month of the submission of new information.

In-person voter registration sites include the Office of Voter Registration, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 320; Ballston Common Mall, 4238 Wilson Blvd., lobby level near the information desk; and the Department of Motor Vehicles, 4150 S. Four Mile Run Dr. Mail-in voter registration forms are available at all county libraries, post offices and recreation centers. For more information, call 703-228-3456.

In-person absentee balloting will be available during business hours at the Arlington Office of Voter Registration from Jan. 31 to Feb. 26. The office will be open two Saturdays, Feb. 19 and 26, to accommodate voters. Mail-in applications for absentee voting are available by calling 703-228-3456.