4 Arrested in Liquor Sting
County police arrested four salesclerks in Burke and Springfield on charges of selling alcohol to minors, as part of a national sting organized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The nonprofit group, which works to stop drunken driving, set up similar stings with law enforcement officials in 21 jurisdictions, including Fairfax County, last Friday night.
The Fairfax salesclerks allegedly sold alcohol to underage county police cadets dressed in plain clothes. Cadets visited 21 locations in the West Springfield and Burke areas. They were denied sales at 17.
The four businesses where clerks sold alcohol were a Safeway at 9596 Old Keene Mill Rd., Burke, and three CVS pharmacies: at 8930 Burke Lake Rd., Springfield, 8330 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield, and 9582 Old Keene Mill Rd., Burke.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving said the four Fairfax arrests proved that teenagers have widespread access to alcohol through illegal purchases in the county. Nationally, eight in 10 checks conducted Friday night did not turn up violations.
Separately, Fairfax City police said they arrested six people for driving drunk at two sobriety checkpoints set up between Friday and Saturday. Of 887 vehicles stopped at the checkpoints, 31 drivers had consumed alcohol, police said.
Fort Belvoir Makes Ready
The main entrance to Fort Belvoir has been closed until Sept. 1 as workers install pop-up and crash barriers to bolster security.
Pence Gate, which is at Route 1 (Richmond Highway) and Belvoir Road, was closed Monday to start the upgrade of what the military calls force protection, post officials said. The overall appearance of the entrance also will be improved, officials said.
Until Pence reopens, there are two other options for motorists who normally use it to enter the post: Walker Gate, just off Route 1 on Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, or Tulley Gate, at Route 1 and Pohick Road. Hours at those gates have been extended.
Post officials said commuting times will increase by about five minutes during the first couple of days that Pence Gate is closed.
"I do believe there will be some impact on traffic initially," said Bill Sanders, Fort Belvoir's director of public works. "It takes people some time to adapt to change."
The new barriers at Pence Gate are set in concrete, which must cure before the security upgrades can be completed, Sanders said in a news release.
GMU Building Honors Ally
George Mason University's Board of Visitors has voted to name the law school building after John T. "Til" Hazel Jr., a prominent Fairfax attorney and real estate developer.
Hazel, whose association with the school dates back 50 years, led an effort to help Mason acquire a law school in 1979, according to a news release. The building, on Mason's Arlington campus, will be known as John T. Hazel Jr. Hall.
"Til fought hard for the acquisition and accreditation of the law school in the face of considerable opposition throughout the state," Sidney Dewberry of the Board of Visitors said in a statement. "Over the years he has worked diligently in support of higher education. His influence among business leaders has resulted in a boon for George Mason and all of Virginia."
Hazel, 74, along with other community leaders, helped the institution acquire land in Fairfax on which GMU was built. A formal dedication is being planned for fall.
New Parks Leader Named
The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority board has hired Paul A. Gilbert, president of the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, as its executive director.
During his six years with the trust, Gilbert expanded its funding base, added environmental education programs and oversaw the conservation of more than 60 properties.
The authority operates parks, trails, golf courses and pools in Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, the city of Falls Church and Fairfax City. The 45-mile W&OD trail, which stretches from Arlington to Purcellville, also is part of the agency's 10,000 acres.
Redistricting Forum Set
The Fairfax area League of Women Voters has announced that it will launch a free program on congressional and state legislative redistricting in early September.
The program, called "Does Your Vote Really Count?" is the first of several discussions to be held over a two-year period on the legal constraints and political aspects of drawing electoral district lines and the ways in which Virginia and other states currently handle or could improve the process, according to a news release.
Officials said the state League of Women Voters adopted the two-year program topic for study and action by leagues throughout Virginia after becoming increasingly concerned about the relationship between gerrymandering and the number of uncontested elections.
"As an organization that has been working to increase the number of informed and participating voters in Fairfax County for over 50 years, we have become very concerned about the lack of choice on Election Day. This lack of competition results in decreased voter turnout," Fairfax league President Sherry Zachry said in the news release.
The meetings will be held during the second week of September at 16 venues throughout Fairfax and Prince William counties. Those interested in attending can call the league at 703-658-9150 for the location of the meeting most convenient for them, or visit www.lwv-fairfax.org.
Stay Informed in Crises
In the aftermath of the July 7 terrorist attacks in London, and with the arrival of hurricane season, Fairfax County emergency officials are reminding residents how to get emergency information.
The Community Emergency Alert Network, or CEAN, is a service of the county Office of Emergency Management. People registered on the warning system will be connected to real-time updates, instructions on where to go, protective actions to be taken, and other important information such as National Weather Service watches and warnings, according to a news release.
CEAN alerts may include personal safety, weather, major accidents involving utilities or roadways, or disaster notification such as a terrorist attack. In addition, residents may register for any or all of the additional CEAN alert categories such as severe weather, serious traffic disruptions, and county government closings or schedule changes.
County officials will use the network to deliver emergency alerts, notifications and updates during a major crisis or emergency. Messages will be delivered to e-mail accounts, cell phones (for which text messaging costs may apply), text pagers, satellite phones and wireless PDAs that are registered on the system.
To register, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cean. For additional information on CEAN, call 703-324-2362, TTY 711.
Regional Look at Potomac
A regional forum on the Potomac River has been set for Aug. 12 at George Mason University's Prince William campus in Manassas.
The Potomac Council is hosting the Potomac Watershed Forum IV, bringing together public and private opinion leaders to share information on ways to protect the quality of Potomac River water. The council was formed by soil and water conservation districts in the Potomac watershed seeking a regional management approach to the river.
The forum is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration is $20, which includes parking and meals. Download a registration form at www.potomacroundtable.org or www.fairfaxcounty.gov/nvswcd/forumiv.pdf. The deadline to register is July 29. The school is at 10900 University Blvd.
For more information, call Nick Kokales at the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, 703-324-1460, or e-mail email@example.com.
Education Officers Elected
The board of trustees of the Fairfax County public school system's Adult and Community Education Training and Scholarship Foundation has elected officers.
They are: Ron Kirby, president; Jack Cunningham, vice president; Bonnie Moore, secretary; and Michael Clarke, treasurer. The past president is Elaine Baush.
The 16-member board plans to fund 44 career training scholarships this fall, according to a news release. Money has been raised with both small and large donations and through matching-fund challenges to promote a skilled workforce and address labor shortages in the community. The scholarships will be applied to tuition and books for career development classes.
Sports Seminar Talks Turf
The county Park Authority and the Virginia Recreation and Park Society will hold their annual athletic field management workshop from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Centreville.
Attendees, including coaches and volunteers, will learn about the new artificial-surface playing fields, and tips and techniques to care for athletic fields. Turf specialists from throughout the region will hold demonstrations and lectures.
The cost is $40; registration is required by Aug. 4. For more information or to register, call 703-324-8597.
Fundraiser for Father of 7 The friends and family of Clifton resident Dave Armendaris will hold a fundraising event from 6 to 10 p.m. July 30 at the Arlington-Fairfax Elks Lodge to ease the financial burden caused by his recent diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Armendaris, 39, is the father of seven children ranging from 3 to 12 and is undergoing treatment, which leaves him unable to work, according to a news release. Armendaris, a McLean High graduate, has been at Fairfax Auto Body for 21 years.
His sister, Jane Armendaris Gross said: "Dave does not have short-term or long-term disability and will be out of work during his chemotherapy. A bone marrow transplant may be necessary, depending upon the outcome of his chemo. His out-of-pocket medical expenses will continue to soar. My brother's biggest concern is not knowing what the financial future holds for his wife and seven children, who had just one year ago bought their first home."
The lodge is at 8421 Arlington Blvd., Fairfax. The event is open to the public. Admission is $20. There is a buffet dinner with a cash bar and a silent auction and raffle. For more information, visit www.FriendsOfDave.net.
-- Compiled by STEPHEN C. FEHR and DIANE MATTINGLY