Await Voters' Touch
Fairfax residents will cast their ballots this fall on video touch-screen monitors authorized by the Board of Supervisors to replace the county's outdated push-button voting machines.
The new voting machines are about the size of a briefcase and transmit election returns from voting precincts to the Board of Elections in a matter of seconds. The results will be faster election results and built-in safeguards against fraud, officials say.
County election officials chose Advanced Voting Solutions' "Winvote" for approximately 1,000 machines. The system will cost about $3 million, of which $1 million will be covered by a lease-purchase agreement with the company.
Although the current push-button system is reliable, the machines are costly to maintain, store and transport, election officials said.
Hearing Set for April 7
On Lowering Tax Rate
The county Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the tax rate at 3:30 p.m. April 7 at the Government Center. County Executive Anthony H. Griffin has proposed lowering the tax rate from $1.21 to $1.19 for each $100 of assessed value.
The tax rate hearing is separate from the public hearings on the fiscal 2004 county budget. Those are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. April 7, 8 and 9, with the School Board presentation at 6:30 p.m. April 8.
Those wanting to speak at the hearings should call the office of the clerk to the board, 703-324-3151.
The public hearings will be aired on cable Channel 16.
Vienna Council Plans
The Vienna Town Council has scheduled work sessions and a public hearing on the proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
The work sessions are at 9 a.m. April 12, 7:30 p.m. April 14 and, if needed, 9 a.m. April 26. A public hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. May 12.
Beginning April 9, residents can view the proposed budget in the administrative services office at Town Hall and at Patrick Henry Library.
Town Hall is at 127 Center St. S. and the library is at 101 Maple Ave. E. A free budget summary is available at Town Hall, and the entire document can be purchased for $10. For more information, call 703-255-6350.
Town Meeting Monday
At Baileys Center
County Supervisor Penelope A. Gross (D-Mason) will host a town meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Baileys Community Center.
Scheduled speakers include County Executive Anthony H. Griffin and County Chief Financial Officer Edward Long, who will discuss the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
Citizens will have the opportunity to introduce other topics during a question and answer session.
The center is at 5920 Summers Lane, Falls Church. For more information, call 703-256-7717.
Relief Fund Set Up
For Injured Bicyclist
A fund has been set up for a 28-year-old graduate student at American University who was seriously injured in a traffic accident in Reston.
Ya Wen Su was riding her bike on Wiehle Avenue just north of Baron Cameron Avenue on March 15 when she was struck and maimed by a driver who police alleged was drunk. The driver, Cynthia Paulson, 45, of Great Falls, was found dead in her bathtub the next day, an apparent suicide.
Su's right leg was severed and her other leg severely injured. Neighbors of the nearby Longwood Grove area who assisted Su have set up the fund. They suggest checks to: Ya Wen Su Assistance Fund, United Bank, 1948 North Point Village Center, Reston, Va. 20194.
Doctors to Discuss
Pediatricians T. Berry Brazelton and Joshua Sparrow are scheduled to discuss "The Role of Discipline in Building Strong, Successful, Self-Reliant Children" at 7 p.m. April 10 at the Langley School.
Audience members will be able to ask questions after the presentation, which will be moderated by CBS News "60 Minutes II" correspondent Scott Pelley.
Brazelton and Sparrow, who have collaborated on two books, also write a syndicated column on how to raise children.
Tickets are $30. The school is at 1411 Balls Hill Rd., McLean. For more information, call 703-356-1920.
County officials will dedicate a historic marker for McLean at 11 a.m. Saturday at Old Dominion Drive and Chain Bridge Road.
McLean is named after John R. McLean, founder of the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad, which began operating in 1906 between Rosslyn and Great Falls. The railroad named the community after him in 1910.
The marker is sponsored by the McLean Historical Society and paid for by the owner of the property, David Slan.
At Long Branch Park
The Fairfax County Park Authority has started improvements at Long Branch Stream Valley Park.
Projects include construction of an additional 6,500 feet to the existing Long Branch Stream Valley Trail and a pedestrian bridge crossing the stream. The projects are scheduled for completion in June.
The Park Authority also is installing new playground equipment at the Luria Park playground in Falls Church.
3rd Computer Site
Opens at Willston
The county Department of Community and Recreation Services has opened its third computer clubhouse at the Willston Multicultural Center in Falls Church.
The clubhouse is a place where children ages 8 to 18 can go after school to learn about computers and software applications from adult mentors.
The Willston clubhouse is free and open from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. It is at 6131 Willston Dr. For more information, call 703-324-5641.
The other clubhouses are at Baileys Community Center, 5920 Summers Lane, Falls Church, and Gum Springs Community Center, 8100 Fordson Rd., Alexandria.
-- Compiled by Diane Mattingly, Lisa Rein and Stephen C. Fehr