County Invites Comment

On Transportation Needs

The county Board of Supervisors has scheduled a hearing for 4 p.m. Monday to hear from county residents about their preferences for spending federal money on transportation improvement projects.

Among such projects under consideration are bicycle and pedestrian features, the purchase of scenic or historic sites, landscaping, rehabilitation of historic transportation buildings, removing outdoor advertising, preserving abandoned railway corridors, transportation museums and environmental measures to address water pollution from highway runoff.

The hearing is in the board auditorium of the Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy. The board will choose the projects Oct. 17 and send its recommendations to the state. To sign up to speak, call 703-324-3151.

Computer Center Grows

To Serve All Ages

At 10 a.m today, the county Redevelopment and Housing Authority is scheduled to host the re-opening of the West Ford Computer Learning Center in the Alexandria section of the county.

The center originally focused on children, but officials said in a news release that a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has enabled the center to expand its services to accommodate adults.

Adult services will include: job skills training and employment, introduction to and familiarization with computers, access to the Internet and to local services and basic adult education, such as in literacy, English as a second language and GED diploma preparation.

The West Ford Community Center is at 3013 West Ford View Ct.

$1.1 Million Approved

To Help D.C. With Radios

The county Board of Supervisors has approved the use of $1.1 million in federal funds for the District government to buy 250 radios for its fire and rescue department as part of a homeland security initiative.

Under the program, select urban areas are to create regional approaches to planning for terrorist attacks. The radios are part of a regionwide communications network for first responders, county officials said. Fairfax and Montgomery counties already have their radios, but the District needs radios to complete the preparedness effort, officials said. Federal officials have asked Fairfax to buy and assemble the equipment because officials said the county is best equipped to manage the project.

State Transportation Plan

Is Topic of Public Meeting

The Commonwealth Transportation Board, which sets statewide policy, has announced that it will hold a public meeting Nov. 10 at Fairfax City Hall to hear feedback about Virginia's six-year transportation improvement plan.

The plan allocates money for rail, public transportation and commuter assistance programs as well as primary and interstate highway improvements. The board adopted the current six-year program in June. It can be found at www.virginiadot.org/projects/default.asp.

There will be an open house between 4 and 6 p.m., followed by a public discussion. Each person will be allowed to speak for three minutes; groups will be asked to designate one person to speak on their behalf.

The city hall is at 10455 Armstrong Ave. People who cannot attend the meeting can send comments on rail and public transportation to Public Information Officer, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, 1313 E. Main St., Suite 300, Richmond, Va. 23219, or by e-mail to DRPTPR@DRPT.Virginia.gov.

Comments on highway projects should be sent to Programming Director, Virginia Department of Transportation, 1401 E. Broad St., Richmond, Va. 23219, or by e-mail to Six-YearProgram@VDOT.Virginia.gov up to 10 days after the meeting.

Mason District Festival

To Be Held Saturday

The annual Mason District Park Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Annandale.

Scheduled activities include live entertainment, crafts, hayrides, pony rides and a moon bounce. There will also be children's rides, and police and fire department demonstrations.

Admission is free; tickets are sold for the rides. The rain date is Sunday. The park is at 6621 Columbia Pike. For information, call 703-941-1730.

Davis Offers Assistance

On Federal Matters

Staff assistants from the office of Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) will be available to talk with residents about federal matters from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Fairfax City Regional Library.

The library is at 3915 Chain Bridge Rd. For information, call 703-916-9610.

County Car Taxes,

Decal Fees Due Oct. 5

Payments of 2005 personal property taxes and vehicle decal fees are due by Oct. 5 in Fairfax County, Fairfax City and the city of Falls Church.

Personal property tax and decal bills are combined on one form, which was to be mailed to residents by early September. The county decals are green this year.

Payments received or postmarked after Oct. 5 will incur penalties. Bills can be paid online. Decal enforcement begins Nov. 16.

Fall for Fairfax Fair

Is Set for Oct. 1

The annual Fall for Fairfax community fair and festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at the county Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy.

There will be two stages of live entertainment, hayrides, pony rides, pumpkin painting, scarecrow-making, arts and crafts, a farmers market and more.

The Fairfax County Fire Department will have trucks on display. The Inova Bloodmobile will be on site to accept donations.

The festival is produced by Celebrate Fairfax, the same organization that holds the county fair in June.

Admission is free. For information, call 703-324-3247 or visit www.fallforfairfax.com.

McLean Harvest Festival

Filled With Kids' Activities

The McLean Harvest Festival will be Oct. 1 at the McLean Community Center.

Entertainment will include children's singer Billy B, the Country Steppers western dance group, Beale Street Puppets and deejay Kathy Vinelli. There will be a moon bounce, games, face painting, arts and crafts and pony rides.

Children can also decorate pumpkins for $2 to $3 or participate in a scarecrow-making workshop from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $12.

Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $6 for McLean area residents ages 2-10; $8 for nonresidents ages 2-10. Everyone else is free.

For information or to register in advance, call 703-790-0123 or visit www.mcleancenter.org.

Advocates for Disabled

Sponsors Trek to Richmond

The Arc of Northern Virginia, a support and education organization for people with developmental disabilities, will sponsor hiker Mike Brobston on Sunday as he starts a 100-mile hike to Richmond.

Brobston's trek is scheduled to end Oct. 1 at the Virginia Capitol grounds bell tower as he joins Arc of Virginia and 22 affiliates. Their message: Virginians with disabilities need a place to call home, health care, transportation, education, a job, recreation and a safe community.

The Arc of Northern Virginia is at 100 N. Washington St. in the city of Falls Church.

For information, call 703-532-3214 or visit www.thearcofnova.org.

Firehouse Teen Center

Welcomes Families

The Old Firehouse Teen Center in McLean will open its doors to families from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Families are welcome to play pool, table tennis and other games, watch a large-screen television with computer games, enjoy the computer room with Internet access or play musical instruments. A G-rated movie will be shown at 1 p.m. on family days, also scheduled for Oct. 29, Nov. 26 and Dec. 31.

Admission is free. The center is at 1440 Chain Bridge Rd. For information, call 703-448-8336 or visit www.mcleancenter.org.

Mount Vernon Festival

Gives Wine Historic Flavor

The fall wine festival and sunset tour at Mount Vernon will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 7-9.

The event celebrates the history of wine in Virginia with evening tours of the mansion and wine cellar, an appearance by an actor portraying General Washington and blues music by Bruce Evan and the Solid Senders on the east lawn.

Visitors can bring a blanket and relax on the lawn as they sample wines from 16 Virginia wineries.

Tickets are $25, available at Mount Vernon's main gate or through Ticketmaster (703-573-SEAT, www.ticketmaster.com).

Fruit-and-cheese boxes are available for advance purchase for $22. A variety of hot and cold food, including baguettes, gourmet sandwiches and specialty sweets, will be available on site from the Mount Vernon Inn restaurant and Firehook Bakery. Outside food and beverages are not allowed.

The mansion will be open for candlelight tours. Historic interpreters will discuss Washington's attempts to create a vineyard and will highlight various wine-related items inside the mansion, such as his spirits case, as well as the cellar where Washington stored his wines -- an area of the mansion open exclusively for the festival.

Proceeds benefit the ongoing preservation and restoration of Mount Vernon and its education programs.

Citizenship Classes

Planned in Reston

The Reston Community Center and Reston Interfaith will hold preparation classes from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday nights, Sept. 29-Dec. 1, for Reston area residents who want to become U.S. citizens.

Classes will help participants get ready for the interview and written exam administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The classes will be held at St Anne's Episcopal Church, 1700 Wainwright Dr., Reston. Participants must read, write and speak English.

The cost is $15 for those who live or work in Reston; $23 for all others.

For information, call 703-476-4500.

Falls Church Spokeswoman

Leaves to Pursue Degree

Dionne C. Williams, communications director for the city of Falls Church since 2000, has resigned to pursue a graduate degree at Howard University.

Williams came to Falls Church from the District government, where she held a similar post.

Cox to Host Hispanic

Festival in Herndon

Cox Communications Northern Virginia will sponsor its annual Hispanic heritage festival Oct. 2 on the Herndon Town Green.

The festival, from 1 to 6 p.m., will feature children's activities, food, Latin music, and programmers such as TV Chile, Univision, Galavision, Telemundo, ESPN Deportes, Discovery, MTV/VHUno, Fox Sports, HBO and Sorpresa. The co-sponsor is El Zol 99.1 FM.

Proceeds from participating organizations will be donated to the Hispanic Committee of Northern Virginia. October is National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Admission is free. For information, call 703-480-4916.

Explorer Post 1742

Sets Recruitment Meeting

The Fairfax County Law Enforcement Explorer Post 1742 will host its annual recruitment and information meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at police headquarters in Fairfax.

The community service-oriented scouting group is open to county residents ages 14-20. Members receive law enforcement training, citizenship education and leadership experience. Police officers serve as advisers.

The police headquarters is at 4100 Chain Bridge Rd. For information, call 703-246-4311.

Information Offered

On Natural Resources

The county Park Authority is publishing three brochures to help educate residents about the importance of managing and preserving natural resources.

The brochures, "Treasures," "Wildlife" and "Invasive Backyard Plants," will be available at Park Authority sites, local libraries and county supervisors' offices.

For information or to request a copy, call 703-324-8580 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/stewardshipbrochures.htm.

-- Compiled by DIANE MATTINGLY and STEPHEN C. FEHR