An item in the Oct. 14 Fairfax Extra briefs column gave an incorrect time for a forum on Saturday to discuss a management plan for the Cameron Run Watershed. The forum will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Holmes Middle School, 6525 Montrose St. (Published 10/21/04)
Plan to Expand School
To Be Topic of Meeting
A town hall meeting on the proposal to expand Mount Daniel Elementary School in the city of Falls Church will be held Tuesday at the school.
The 7:30 p.m. meeting, hosted by the School Board, will include a discussion of the architect's plans for the expansion, which school officials say would help relieve crowding at Mount Daniel.
The meeting will take place in the multipurpose room; the address is 2328 N. Oak St.
GMU President Discusses
The decision to call off filmmaker Michael Moore's appearance later this month at George Mason University "had nothing to do with free speech," GMU President Alan G. Merten told the faculty senate.
In his annual fall update to the senate Oct. 6, Merten said of Moore's cancelled appearance at the Patriot Center: "I want to make it clear that it had nothing to do with free speech. I'm all for free speech, but I'm not for a $35,000 speech. That was the only issue. I would have loved to have had him here if [his appearance] were free."
The school cancelled Moore's speech after complaints by Republican state lawmakers about using state money to pay Moore, who is seeking to help defeat President George W. Bush on Nov. 2.
According to the Daily Gazette, an internal GMU electronic newspaper, Merten explained that using state funds for what he termed a partisan speaker was "a very, very, very questionable use of state funds."
Past appearances at Mason by political speakers were paid for by their campaigns or by private sources, Merten said at the senate meeting.
On School Bond Question
The Fairfax City School Board tonight will hold the first of four presentations on the $86.8 million bond issue question on the Nov. 2 ballot. The money would pay for improvements at Lanier Middle School and Fairfax High School.
Tonight's meeting, at 7, is at Providence Elementary School, 3616 Jermantown Rd. Other scheduled meetings:
* 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fairfax High School, 3500 Old Lee Hwy.
* 7:30 p.m. next Thursday at Lanier Middle School, 3710 Bevan Dr.
* 7 p.m. Oct. 28 at Daniels Run Elementary School, 3705 Old Lee Hwy.
In addition, the School Board is mailing out brochures on the bond question. For more information, call 703-385-7911.
To Get Cell Phone Tower
The Fairfax County School Board has agreed to sign a lease with Smartpole Inc. to replace an existing field light pole at Robinson Secondary School with a monopole, or cell phone tower, capable of supporting at least three telecommunications providers.
The school system currently leases space to AT&T, Sprint, Nextel, T-Mobile and Verizon at Centreville, Chantilly, Langley and South Lakes high schools, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Westgate Elementary School and the Lorton Administrative Center.
Proposals have been approved to place monopoles at Annandale, Bryant Alternative, Edison, McLean, Oakton and Woodson high schools and Hayfield Secondary School. The School Board is considering proposals to place monopoles at Hybla Valley Elementary School; Longfellow, Sandburg and Stone middle schools; Mount Vernon High School; and the Virginia Hills Administrative Center.
The school system receives a one-time fee of $25,000 for each new monopole installation; each additional provider added to an existing monopole pays $5,000. Providers pay a monthly rent of approximately $2,000, of which 60 percent goes to the company that owns the pole as an administrative fee. The school receives a third of the rental income and the remaining two-thirds of the money is used by the school system to fund emergency preparedness technology.
Day for Volunteering
Volunteer Fairfax, the county's main volunteer clearinghouse, is organizing the 10th annual VolunteerFest, to be held Oct. 23 at more than 45 sites throughout the county.
Volunteers sign up for one-day projects such as landscaping, painting, cleaning, sorting, restocking food pantries, helping the homeless and more.
Individuals, families, community groups and corporate teams are welcome to take part in VolunteerFest, which is part of a national effort on the same day.
The opening ceremony will be at 9 a.m. at Pine Ridge Park, 3401 Woodburn Rd., Annandale. The event will be held rain or shine.
Volunteers can register for projects through the Volunteer Fairfax Web site, www.volunteerfairfax.org. For more information, call 703-246-3460.
Forum to Cover
The county Department of Public Works and Environmental Services will host a forum Oct. 23 to receive comments about a management plan for the Cameron Run Watershed.
The 3 p.m. meeting at Holmes Middle School is the second of four public meetings planned. The watershed is south of Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway and includes parts of Falls Church, Arlington and Alexandria and the Franconia Road and Kings Highway areas.
The forum will focus on solutions to water quality problems and other issues that were identified at public meetings in June.
Holmes Middle School is at 6525 Montrose St. Information on watershed management planning efforts can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/watersheds. For more information about the Oct. 23 meeting, call Jennifer Shore of Versar Inc. toll-free at 866-341-4599. Versar has been hired to help develop the Cameron Run Watershed management plan.
Veterans May Apply
For Honorary Diplomas
The county schools' Office of Adult and Community Education, in conjunction with the state Department of Education, is offering honorary high school diplomas to veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
The diplomas recognize the life experiences of veterans who were unable to complete their high school educations because of service in the armed forces.
More than 1,000 veterans of the three wars have received the awards since the first honorary diplomas were issued in 2001.
Interested veterans are asked to submit a statement describing their service, giving the location of the last school they attended and affirming that they were unable to complete high school upon returning to civilian life. Family members and veterans organizations may also submit information on behalf of veterans.
For more information, call 703-503-6407.
County Obtains Better
Rate for Sewer Bonds
The county government recently sold $94 million in sewer refunding bonds to Citigroup Global Markets Inc. at an interest rate of 4.33 percent for 24 years. Refunding bonds are used to refinance previously issued bonds.
County finance officials said in a statement that the refunding bonds were sold to take advantage of current market conditions and low interest rates, replacing bonds that have higher interest rates.
The refunding bonds take the place of 1996 sewer revenue bonds that had a true interest cost of 5.907 percent, resulting in a savings of $7.72 million.
For more information, call 703-324-4087.
Open House Set
At 1825 Home
Historic Huntley, a Federal-style villa built in 1825 for a grandson of George Mason, will be open Saturday for one of its twice yearly open houses.
The Friends of Historic Huntley will sponsor the event from 1 to 3 p.m. at 6918 Harrison Lane in the Alexandria section of the county. The house is to be restored and renovated for public use; county park officials said that the design phase of the project is nearly completed. Until the work is done, the house has been boarded up and fenced to protect it.
For more information, call Huntley Meadows Park at 703-768-2525.
Parks to Provide
Free Miniature Golf
The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority will offer area residents a free round of miniature golf Sunday at the authority's courses at Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria and at Upton Hill Regional Park in Arlington.
The first round of play will be free for residents of the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun.
Weather permitting, the course at Cameron Run will be open from noon to 8 p.m. and the course at Upton Hill will be open from noon to 9 p.m.
Cameron Run is at 4001 Eisenhower Ave., off Interstate 95. Upton Hill is at 6060 Wilson Blvd., at Wilson and Patrick Henry Drive near Seven Corners.
For information about the parks and miniature golf courses, call Cameron Run at 703-960-0767 and Upton Hill at 703-534-3437.
To Offer Fun Days
The Mott and David R. Pinn community centers will hold family fun days from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.
There will be prizes, cotton candy, carnival games and rides, and live entertainment. In addition, there will be a fish fry and a white elephant sale including arts and crafts, clothing, books and more.
Fairfax County fire and rescue personnel will show kids a fire engine and talk about fire prevention. The county police will be conducting safety checks on children's car seats.
The Pinn Community Center is at 10225 Zion Dr., Fairfax. The Mott Community Center is at 12111 Braddock Rd., Fairfax. There will be a free shuttle operating between the two locations. For more information, call 703-250-9181 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/rec and click on "Community Centers."
Coming to Herndon
Cox Communications Northern Virginia is sponsoring a Hispanic heritage festival from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday on the Herndon Town Green.
The festival will feature children's activities, food and Latin music by Grupo Eclipse and Grupo Salsa Fuego.
Proceeds benefit the Hispanic Committee, a nonprofit agency that supports the Hispanic community in Fairfax County. The Town Green is next to the Herndon Municipal Center, 777 Lynn St.
History of Franconia
To Be Celebrated
The Franconia Museum will hold its annual Franconia History Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Franconia Elementary School.
The celebration will feature a special tribute to the history of Boy Scouting in the Franconia area and the former popularity queens of the Franconia Volunteer Fire Department's Labor Day parades.
Churches within the Franconia historic district will put up displays showing the histories of their congregations. An interviewer from the Library of Congress will be available to ask veterans about their wartime experiences.
There will also be food and music. The school is at 6043 Franconia Rd.
Service to Remember
Pregnancy, Infant Loss
The Reston Hospital Center will host a pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day memorial service from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday in the Hospital Center Plaza Atrium.
Robbie Miller Kaplan, author of "How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words for Difficult Times," will speak at the service, which is open to anyone who has been touched by pregnancy or infant loss.
The Plaza Atrium is at 1800 Town Center Dr.
To reserve a seat, call 703-639-9409 by tomorrow.
Human Rights Committee
Seeks Volunteer Members
The Fairfax-Falls Church local human rights committee is looking for new members.
The committee consists of five or more volunteers appointed by the state's Human Rights Committee and represents the interests of people receiving services from programs operated, funded or licensed by the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services.
The local committee provides oversight to the programs, helps assure that the legal rights and protections of those in the programs are observed, and assists with the formal resolution of human rights complaints.
Training is provided and meetings are held in the evenings, usually on the first Tuesday of the month.
For more information, call 703-324-7027 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
-- Compiled by DIANE MATTINGLY
and STEPHEN C. FEHR