Changes Start Sunday
For South County Buses
Because of complaints from riders, county transportation officials will make several changes to the Fairfax Connector's south county bus schedule and routes beginning Sunday.
Bus service in the area generally along Route 1 (Richmond Highway) was expanded last month, but some of the changes in service led to requests from riders for adjustments. Here are highlights of those changes:
* Route 171 will get a new timetable after heavier-than-expected ridership and traffic on Route 1 led to delays.
* Routes 321 and 322 will get new timetables because of delays from heavy traffic on South Van Dorn Street, Edsall Road and Backlick Road. Crown Royal Drive and Oakwood Road will be removed from the route and added to a revised Route 109.
* Route 109 will add Saturday service, so that service and connections between the Huntington Metro station and Van Dorn Street Metro station are comparable to former Route 109 service.
* Route 123 will delete from the route the Van Dorn Street Metro station and South Van Dorn Street between Franconia Road and the Metro station. Officials said this change would lead to faster trips between Huntington Metro station and Springfield, where most of the riders on this route are headed.
* Routes 310, 331 and 332 will add earlier and/or later trips.
* Route 307 will be adjusted so connections can be made with the new Route 171 at the Lorton park-and-ride lot.
For more information, call 703-339-7200 or visit www.fairfaxconnector.com.
Project to Send Packages
To U.S. Troops in Iraq
A county employee who served in Iraq is organizing an effort to put together holiday care packages to send to U.S. troops there.
Bill Dunn, who works at the James Lee senior center in the Falls Church area, was deployed as a sergeant with the Army Reserve's 299th Engineer Company, based at Fort Belvoir, from November 2002 to September 2003.
"When I returned home, I made a promise that I would do everything that I could to show the troops they are not forgotten. It is so important that soldiers feel like the community supports them," Dunn said in a news release.
Dunn's project has grown to include county and community organizations and private businesses. Needed items include soap, tissues, socks, writing paper, deodorant, lip balm, canned meats, toothpaste, flea collars (for sand fleas), neutral nail polish, fingernail files, books and prepaid phone cards.
The first boxes were packaged Saturday for mailing today by Project Success, a county-sponsored community service organization for teenagers with and without disabilities.
Donations should be delivered to any county community, teen or senior center or to the administrative office of the Department of Community and Recreation Services, which is in the Pennino Building, 12011 Government Center Pkwy., on the 10th floor. For the locations of the centers, call 703-324-4386 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/rec.
Sponsors also are needed to help cover shipping costs for the care packages. Those interested in helping in this way should call Bill Dunn at 703-534-3387, Ext. 217.
In Organ Donor Effort
Inova Fairfax Hospital and the Washington Hospital Center have joined the Washington Regional Transplant Consortium, a local organ procurement organization, in an effort to increase donation rates.
Of the 86,000 Americans waiting for an organ transplant, health officials said, about 2,300 of them are in the Washington area.
A program sponsored by the federal Department of Health and Human Services aims to raise the rate of organ donations among eligible patients in hospitals to 75 percent, from a current rate of about 46 percent.
Inova Fairfax and Washington Hospital Center, along with the consortium, sent teams to a training session to learn from other institutions that have already achieved a 75 percent donation rate.
For more information on the collaborative effort or on organ and tissue donation, call 866-232-3666 or go to www.beadonor.org.
Input Sought on Plan
For Difficult Run Area
County officials will hold a public forum from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 6 at Crossfield Elementary School to hear comments on a plan to control flooding, stream bank erosion, water quality and other issues in the Difficult Run watershed.
State forester Judy Okay will lead a stream walk at 12:30 p.m. at the Fox Mill District Park adjacent to the school.
The Difficult Run watershed, the county's largest, extends from Great Falls to Fairfax City and from Tysons Corner to Herndon. The planning process for the watershed began in June with a citizen's steering committee consisting of 21 community representatives.
The school is at 2791 Fox Mill Rd., Herndon. For more information, call 703-324-3187 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/watersheds.
Accotink Creek Gets
About 75 volunteers from Dominion power company, Trout Unlimited, the Virginia Departments of Game and Inland Fisheries and Forestry and the county Park Authority joined forces Oct. 19 to fight stream erosion.
Volunteers worked on about 200 feet of Accotink Creek in Annandale, removing crosscurrent snags and debris jams, planting native vegetation and installing protective log structures and rocks to guard the creek's banks and shoreline.
The group's efforts were targeted at stabilizing the shoreline, decreasing erosion and enhancing the habitat for stocked trout and native fish species.
Seminar on Adoption
Scheduled in Annandale
Resolve, a nationwide adoption and infertility support and advocacy association, will hold a free adoption seminar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 6 at George Mason Regional Library in Annandale.
The program will address everything from the decision to adopt to the emotional and medical aspects of the adoption process.
A panel of adoptive parents will share their stories during part of the program. Also, details about various types of adoption, such as international, domestic, independent or parental placement situations, will be discussed by adoption professionals.
A box lunch is available for $6. Register online at www.resolvedc.org/register.htm or call 202-362-5555.
Vienna History Fair
To Honor Heritage
The Patrick Henry Library and Historic Vienna Inc. will celebrate the town of Vienna's heritage with a history fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Freeman House.
The day will include a Civil War reenactor, games, handmade ice cream, music, crafts, storytelling and tours of the Freeman House and the Little Library.
The house is at 131 Church St. NE. In case of rain, the event will be from noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 7.
For more information, call the library at 703-938-0405 or Historic Vienna Inc. at 703-938-5187.
Reston Center to Begin
Yearly Food Collection
The Reston Community Center will hold its annual Thanksgiving food drive from Monday through Thanksgiving day.
Individuals, groups and businesses are asked to drop off nonperishable foods at the two community center facilities and other designated locations. Items sought in particular are canned meat and fish, peanut butter, rice, beans and canned fruits and vegetables.
Volunteers are needed to sort and pack food donations from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Nov. 25. Reston Interfaith, a consortium of churches, will distribute the food to those who need it during the holiday season and throughout the year.
Food can be delivered to the following sites: Reston Community Center at Lake Anne, 1609-A Washington Plaza, and at Hunters Woods, 2310 Colts Neck Rd.; the Reston Association, 1930 Isaac Newton Sq.; Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce Business and Visitors Center, 1763 Fountain Dr.; and Hunter Mill District office, 12000 Bowman Towne Dr.
For more information, call Haywood R. Hopson Sr. at 703-390-6161.
-- Compiled by DIANE MATTINGLY
and STEPHEN C. FEHR