Free Taxi Rides

For Holiday Revelers

Free cab rides will be offered between 4 p.m. Sunday and 4 a.m. Monday to Washington area residents who have had too much alcohol to drink and should not drive.

The nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program, based in McLean, said it would operate its Fourth of July "SoberRide" program to help keep roads safe from alcohol-impaired drivers.

To get a ride, residents 21 and older celebrating with alcohol should call 1-800-200-TAXI (8294). Rides are free up to a $50 fare.

AT&T Wireless users can call #TAXI.

More information is at

GMU Again Is State's

Largest University

George Mason University begins today's fiscal year as Virginia's largest university, school officials said. It is the second year in a row the Fairfax-based university has held that distinction.

With a projected enrollment of 28,750 students, GMU tops Virginia Tech (27,755) and Virginia Commonwealth University (26,755), according to George Mason spokesman Daniel Walsch.

GMU has a $480.8 million budget for fiscal 2005, a 7.3 percent increase over last year. As a result of being the largest institution in the state, "George Mason receives about 10 percent of the new funding each year for enrollment growth, operating fund deficiencies and research," said Thomas Hennessey, chief of staff to the university's president, Alan Merten.

Falls Church Moves

A Red Light Camera

Falls Church has moved a red light camera from Annandale Road and Hillwood Avenue to Cherry Street and East Broad Street.

Since installing the camera at Annandale and Hillwood, city officials said, the number of motorists running red lights has significantly decreased there.

Falls Church also has red light cameras at West Broad Street and Annandale Road, and West Broad Street and Birch Street.

The city installed the video-based camera system in 2001. The cameras detect vehicles as they approach the intersection and monitor the speed, acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle to determine its probability of stopping for the red light.

If the device determines the vehicle will not stop, the camera is triggered and the red light violation is recorded and transmitted to the police department. The registered owner of the vehicle is cited and fined $50.

For more information, call 703-248-5052.

New Group Promotes

Tourism in County

Starting today, a new organization is in charge of the county's tourism interests.

The county Board of Supervisors recently signed papers launching the Fairfax County Convention and Visitors Corp.

The slate of directors confirmed by the board consists of members of the county's business, tourism and hospitality industry.

They are:

Mark Carrier, senior vice president, B.F. Saul Co.-Hotel Division; Stuart Damon, area general manager, Westfields Marriott; David Eisenman, general manager, Hyatt Regency Reston; Heeren Patel, president and owner, Axar Management Inc.; Meredith Quarnstrom, general manager, Doubletree Hotel and Executive Meeting Center -- Tysons Corner; Mame Reiley, vice chairman, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; Michael Sternberg, chief executive, Sam & Harry's Restaurant Holdings; Celia Stokes, vice president of marketing, Independence Air; Matthew White, chairman and chief executive, White and Baldacci; and James Wordsworth, owner, JR's Stockyard Inn and founder of JR's Goodtime Inc. and its affiliates.

The Board of Supervisors will appoint 10 more board members to the organization, which will represent all areas of the county. In addition, five nonvoting ex officio members will serve on the board.

Fairfax City Launches

Debit Service for Bills

Fairfax City is offering residents the opportunity to pay their quarterly water and sewer bills through an automated bank debit service, officials said.

With the automated service, the city will automatically debit the customer's bank account on the bill's due date. Customers will continue to receive quarterly bills that will be marked "paid by direct debit."

Direct debit enrollment forms are available on the city's Web site,, or from the treasurer's office in City Hall. For more information, call 703-385-7900.

Sully Site to Host

Civil War Event

Sully Historic Site will host its annual weekend Civil War encampment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 10 and 11.

Costumed interpreters will enact many of the daily activities of Northern Virginia residents during the early years of the Civil War.

Reenactors will demonstrate military drills, rifle firing and marching maneuvers. There also will be skirmishes between Union and Confederate forces on both days, with artillery demonstrations on Sunday.

Civilian reenactors will show how life went on back home when the men in the family went off to the war.

Food will be prepared in Sully's open-hearth kitchen, a blacksmith will demonstrate forging, and visitors can watch and participate in period games.

The Fairfax Symphony's Brass Ensemble will perform at 1 p.m. July 10, and local duo Evergreen Shade will perform at noon and 2 p.m. July 11.

Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and children. Sully Historic Site is at 3601 Sully Rd., Chantilly. For more information, call 703-437-1794.

Park Board Approves

'Green' Purchasing

The county Park Authority board recently adopted a "green" procurement policy that it said would integrate environmental considerations into purchasing goods and services and construction.

Each year, the Park Authority purchases about $13 million in goods and services.

Park officials said the new policy requires purchases to be durable, repairable, recyclable or recycled, have a minimum of packaging, toxic content or chemical hazard potential, be environmentally friendly, use raw materials efficiently throughout the product's life cycle and minimize the organization's environmental liability.

-- Compiled by DIANE MATTINGLY