Viewing, Discussion

Of Debates Planned

Tonight's first debate between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry will be shown on a large-screen television at George Mason University, followed by a roundtable discussion. The school also will host viewing events for the other scheduled debates between the presidential and vice presidential candidates.

The debate at 9 tonight and the debate Tuesday between Vice President Cheney and Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards will be shown in assembly rooms B, C and D of the Johnson Center on the Fairfax campus.

The second presidential debate Oct. 8 will be shown in the President's Park meeting room and the final Bush-Kerry debate Oct. 13 will be shown in the Johnson Center atrium.

Those interested in attending should arrive at 8:30 p.m., a half-hour before the debates begin. The events are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information or to register, send an e-mail to jmuir@gmu.edu or visit www.debates.org/pages/dwoverview.html.

List of Country's Richest

Includes Two From McLean

McLean residents Forrest E. Mars Jr. and Stephen M. Case were named to Forbes magazine's annual list of the 400 richest Americans.

Mars ranked 17 on the list with a net worth of about $10 billion. He is the co-president of Mars Inc., the giant McLean-based candymaker, along with John F. Mars of Arlington. John Mars also is worth about $10 billion, the magazine said.

Case was No. 363 on Forbes's list, with a net worth of about $825 million. He was a founder of America Online, which later merged with Time Warner.

First Meetings Set

For New Seniors Club

The Fairfax County Department of Community and Recreation Services is kicking off its new Seniors Community Club in the Tysons Corner-Pimmit Hills area with meetings Wednesday and Oct. 13 at the Pimmit Hills Senior Center.

Residents 55 and older are encouraged to attend and discuss what activities will meet the needs of seniors in the community.

The meetings will be from 5 to 9 p.m. at the center, 7510 Lisle Ave., Falls Church. Refreshments will be provided. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and offers exercise programs and opportunities to learn hobbies, gardening and Internet skills. For more information, call 703-734- 3338 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/rec and go to "Senior Services."

New Regulations Ahead

For Finishing Basements

Starting tomorrow, a new residential building code will go into effect in Fairfax County and the rest of the state that officials say will have a significant effect on homeowners who plan to finish a basement to create additional living space.

The plans for finished basement projects in homes without sprinkler systems will need to identify an emergency escape window or door to the outside from the basement.

Some options for an exit are a window or door opening directly to the outside, such as in a walk-out basement; a window or door opening into a window well or other area; or a door opening to a bulkhead enclosure.

In addition, the building code requires that escape windows and doors and window wells meet specific size requirements.

Those requirements and additional information can be found in a publication called "Fairfax County Typical Finished Basement Details," which can be read at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/publications/basements.

For more information or to request a printed copy of the publication, call 703-222-0114 or send an e-mail to bprmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Library Foundation to Hold

Planned Giving Workshops

The Fairfax County Public Library Foundation will offer free legacy workshops at several library branches this fall.

The workshops will include information about the tax and financial benefits of supporting the county's library system through monetary contributions; how to maximize estate-planning tools; and planned-giving options.

A workshop will be held Tuesday at the Chantilly Regional Library, 4000 Stringfellow Rd.; Wednesday at the Sherwood Regional Library, 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane in the Alexandria section of the county; next Thursday at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike (Route 7), Falls Church; and Oct. 26 at the George Mason Regional Library, 7001 Little River Tpk., Annandale.

All workshops begin at 7 p.m. For more information, call 703-324-8300 or send an e-mail to info@fcplfound.

Proposed School Textbooks

Available for Public Review

The county school district is asking the public to comment on proposed new social studies textbooks for students in grades 5 through 7 and on new science textbooks for high school students. The textbooks would be phased in over three years beginning in 2005.

The proposed new books will be available from Oct. 8 through Nov. 8 at eight library branches: Centreville Regional Library, 14200 St. Germaine Dr.; Chantilly Regional Library, 4000 Stringfellow Rd.; Fairfax City Regional Library, 3915 Chain Bridge Rd.; George Mason Regional Library, 7001 Little River Tpk., Annandale; Pohick Regional Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Rd., Burke; Reston Regional Library, 11925 Bowman Towne Dr.; Sherwood Regional Library, 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane in the Alexandria section of the county; and Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike (Route 7), Falls Church.

Citizens are encouraged to review the textbooks and complete a comment sheet that will be forwarded to the School Board before it votes Dec. 2 on whether to approve the textbooks.

For more information, call 703-846-8647.

Elementary School Students

Collecting Food, Coats

Students at Grace Lutheran Elementary School in Falls Church are collecting nonperishable foods to donate to the Capital Area Food Bank.

Students also are holding a coat drive through the Native American Heritage Association to benefit Sioux tribes in South Dakota.

Food donations from the community are welcome and can be brought to the school, 3223 Annandale Rd., through Oct. 15. Gently used winter coats can be dropped off through Nov. 15.

For more information, call 703-534-5517.

Program to Support

Walking in Vienna

The town of Vienna will kick off a new walking program Wednesday with local schools participating in an international day devoted to walking children to school.

A "Walk Vienna Committee" has been formed to promote monthly events that will encourage people to get around on foot more often, starting with walking with their children to school. For more information, call 703-255-6330 or send an e-mail to walkvienna@hotmail.com.

Governor to Give Yearly

Speech on Education

Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) will deliver his annual State of Education address Tuesday to business and community leaders at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.

The luncheon is hosted by the Fairfax Education Foundation, which supports education initiatives in Fairfax County schools.

Kids Clothing Shop to Raise Money

For Pediatric Center Equipment

The Red Apple clothing store in the Oakton Shopping Center is hosting a charity event Saturday and Sunday to benefit Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children.

The store will donate 10 percent of each purchase to help pay for a Titmus Vision Screener for patients at the hospital's Inova Pediatric Center. The equipment, which costs about $2,500, is used to screen for visual acuity, binocular vision, color and three-dimensional depth perception, muscle balance and peripheral vision.

The store is at Route 123 and Hunter Mill Road. For more information, call the store at 703-281-1701 or the Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children at 703-776-7422.

-- Compiled by DIANE MATTINGLY

and STEPHEN C. FEHR