<b>Shamrock Fest

Returns to Ballston</b>

Shamrock Fest 2004, a St. Patrick’s Day celebration benefiting Northern Virginia SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now), returns to the streets around Ballston Common Mall this weekend.

The festival will run from noon-9 p.m. on Saturday, March 13, with 20 bands scheduled on four stages around the mall. The outdoor site wraps around the mall, featuring music stages, children’s activities and food.

Tickets cost $10 in advance, $15 at the gate. Children under 13 are free. Tickets, and information, are available at the <a href="">festival Web site</a>.

Arlington Police Department will close several streets in Ballston on Saturday for Shamrock Fest.

From 3 a.m. to 11 p.m.:

* Wilson Boulevard from Quincy Street to Glebe Road will be closed in both directions;

* Randolph Street and Stuart Street from 9th Street to Wilson Boulevard will be closed in both directions

* Quincy Street from 9th Street to 5th Road will be closed in both directions

* Taylor Street will be closed at Wilson Boulevard.

Police encourage festival attendees to use Metro. The Ballston station on the Orange Line is located less than two blocks away from the festival at the corner of Fairfax Drive and North Stuart Street.

In addition, street parking in the area will be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary "No Parking" signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-228-4252.

<b>Final Steps on School Budget</b>

School Board members will hold their annual public hearing on the proposed school budget next Tuesday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the first floor Board Room of the Education Center, 1426 N. Quincy St. That hearing will be followed by a School Board work session on the budget.

School Board members are scheduled to approve their final school budget during their April 1 meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m., also to be held in the Board Room. More information is available <a href="">online</a>.

<b>Schools Install Devices to

Save Heart Attack Victims</b>

Arlington Public Schools is implementing a countywide program to place an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in every school, administrative office building, and school facility in the county, becoming the first school system in the metropolitan area to plan, fund and implement a system-wide AED program.

A total of 59 Philips HeartStart OnSite devices have been purchased and are being installed, with multiple units at larger buildings, such as the secondary schools. The AED devices will be placed in buildings so that they are readily accessible in case of a cardiac emergency during any time the buildings are in use.

The school system’s Department of Health and Physical Education also will use the AEDs. To date, about half of the units are already in place, and approximately 160, or approximately one-third, of the employee volunteers have been trained on the devices. Once activated, the machine provides voice prompts to assist the rescuer. It analyzes heart rhythm and, if needed, delivers a shock that may re-start the heart.

Almost 500 Arlington Public Schools employees will attend the requisite five-hour training session by the end of April. The training combines American Red Cross Adult and Child CPR with AED instruction, and is being conducted in-house by Helena Machado, APS aquatics supervisor, coordinator of the AED program and a certified American Red Cross instructor-trainer.

The program will be fully implemented by the end of April 2004, with training completed and units installed in 44 locations.

The 59 units were purchased by Arlington Public Schools using FY03 budget savings. The total cost of the AED program is $117,000, which includes the purchase of the devices, associated ancillary equipment and training.

For more information about Arlington Public Schools’ new AED program, contact Helena Machado at 703-228-6264.