Democrat, Republican to Discuss Election

The Democratic and Republican party platforms adopted at the national conventions this summer will be discussed Wednesday at Northern Virginia Community College.

The presidential election discussion will feature state Del. Vivian E. Watts (D-Fairfax), representing the Democrats, and Tara Wahl, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. A question-and-answer session will follow.

The free event is at noon at the Ernst Community Cultural Center at the college's Annandale campus, 8333 Little River Tpk.

For more information, call 703-323-3455 or send an e-mail to srobinson@nvcc.edu.

Clinics on Emergency Preparation

On Oct. 19, the local Red Cross office and the county's Citizen Corps Council will hold the first of a series of emergency preparedness clinics scheduled monthly throughout Fairfax.

Participants will learn how to make an emergency kit designed for the first 72 hours of a local or regional emergency, prepare a list for what should be kept on hand for disasters, find out where to give blood or volunteer during an emergency and prepare a family communication plan.

The Oct. 19 clinics are from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. One is sponsored by Supervisor Catherine M. Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) at the Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Rd., Reston. The other is sponsored by Supervisor Sharon S. Bulova (D-Braddock) at the Kings Park Library, 9000 Burke Lake Rd., Burke. The Red Cross of the National Capital Area's Fairfax/Falls Church office is assisting.

Representatives from the Citizen Corps will be available to provide information about signing up for their training courses that include neighborhood watch; volunteers in police service; medical reserve corps; and community emergency response team.

Citizen Corps is the Homeland Security Department's nationwide grass-roots program created to involve Americans in making communities safer and better prepared for emergencies, including a terrorist attack.

For more information or to host a clinic, call 703-805-2332 or send an e-mail to kurylor@usa.redcross.org.

Donations Requested

In Memory of Pennino

The family of former Fairfax County supervisor Martha V. Pennino, who died Friday at 86, has asked that donations be made to the George Mason University Foundation in Pennino's memory. She had Parkinson's disease.

Flags flew at half-mast at county buildings Monday for Pennino, whose service also was Monday at Wesley United Methodist Church. She was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with her husband, Walter A. Pennino Sr., who was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army.

"I feel a great sense of personal loss," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly. "Martha Pennino personally inspired me to run for public office -- and she inspired others through her example. For Martha, the mission was always about people, not politics. 'Mother Fairfax' [as Pennino was known] nurtured this community into what it is today, and we must carry forward her love and care for Fairfax County."

For information about how to make a contribution, call the foundation at 703-993-8850.

New Courses Offered

To ESL Students

The county schools' adult English as a second language program is offering four new courses this fall that are designed to help students understand American culture and current events, along with improving their reading, writing and pronunciation skills.

The courses are "American Culture and History"; "American English Pronunciation"; "Current Events Through Video"; and "Transition to Developing Academic Skills." These were added after requests from the community and current ESL students. Courses are taught on various days and at several locations throughout the county. For more information or to register, call 703-714-5566.

County Hires Expert

On Domestic Violence

Seema Zeya, a 15-year veteran in the field of domestic violence, has been hired as the county's new domestic violence coordinator.

She will work with the county Domestic Violence Prevention, Policy and Coordinating Council, which the Board of Supervisors said is designed to coordinate the Fairfax area's response to domestic violence.

The council, which will meet quarterly, will consist of public officials and community leaders who will advise county officials on the development of a consistent and comprehensive response.

Although the county has many services for victims of domestic violence, Zeya said, the council was established to coordinate the intervention, prevention and education efforts.

For more information, call 703-324-7472. For free, confidential 24-hour assistance, call the Fairfax County Women's Shelter at 703-435-4940 or the Fairfax County Victims Assistance Network, 703-360-7273. For domestic abuse treatment services, residents may contact Anger and Domestic Abuse Prevention & Treatment at 703-968-4052 or 703-471-6096.

Library Foundation

Elects Board Chairman

Janet Kerr Tener of Oakton has been elected chairman of the Fairfax County Public Library Foundation board of directors. The foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation that raises money for the county library system. Kerr Tener has been actively involved on the foundation board since 2000. She recently co-founded the Friends of the Oakton Library.

Joining the foundation's governing board are three newly elected directors: Courtney Bulger of Fairfax County public schools, Gerald Gordon of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Cathy Lange of BusinessWorks of America Inc.

Clinic for Gay,

Bisexual Women Opening

The Falls Church office of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington is scheduled to open a reproductive health clinic today for lesbian and bisexual women. The clinic will provide services such as pelvic and breast exams, Pap tests, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, counseling and follow-up treatment referrals.

The clinic will be open from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month. It will accept several forms of health insurance. Private donations are requested to help subsidize costs. No one will be turned away because of lack of money.

The clinic is at 370 S. Washington St., Suite 300. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 703-533-5651.

Bush Names Pastor

To Disabilities Committee

President Bush has reappointed Lon Solomon as a member of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Solomon, pastor of McLean Bible Church, will serve the remainder of a two-year term that ends May 11, 2006. The reappointment took place in a ceremony Monday.

The federal panel advises the president on issues concerning citizens with mental disabilities.

-- Compiled by DIANE MATTINGLY and STEPHEN C. FEHR