<sh>Fire Stations Hold Open House

<bt>Residents are welcome to visit their local fire stations, this Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., during their open houses as part of Fire Prevention Week. Station 17 is on Old Centreville Road in Centreville, Station 38 is off Stone Road and ODay Drive in Centreville, Station 15 is on Walney Road in Chantilly, and Station 21 is on Route 50 in Fair Oaks.

There'll be displays and activities highlighting fire safety and burn prevention, and information will also be presented about smoke alarms and emergency preparedness. Children will also be able to climb up on the fire trucks and talk to the firefighters.

<sh>Killed Pedestrian Is Identified

<bt>Fairfax County police have identified the pedestrian who was struck and killed by a van, Sept. 20, while walking along Route 28 in Centreville, just north of Braddock Road. He was Leszek Karol Stepniak, 63, of no fixed address.

However, the police Crash Reconstruction Unit is still seeking witnesses to this crash. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call police at 703-691-2131. The fatality occurred around 3:20 p.m. Stepniak was walking southbound on Route 28.

At the same time, Salazar Alejandro, 35, of Manassas was driving a 2000 Ford van southbound in the center lane of Route 28. For unknown reasons, say police, he reportedly changed lanes and drove into the right lane — which was occupied by a southbound-traveling 2003 Chrysler van driven by Susan McGregor, 32, of Bristow.

"This caused McGregor to drive onto the shoulder, striking and killing the pedestrian," said police. "Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, but the investigation continues." Neither driver was injured.

<sh>Coffee House Discussion About the Local Poor

<bt>Wellspring Church and Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) will hold a coffee house discussion about "Where are the Poor in Western Fairfax County and What Can We Do?" It will be held Sunday, Oct. 10, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Coffee Time, in the Pickwick Shopping Center (to the left of O'Toole's) off Route 29 in Centreville. WFCM Executive Director Dorothy Fonow will speak, and the entire community is welcome.

Her topics will include homelessness here; although a family shelter is planned for the area, it's not yet built and the need for it is growing. She'll also talk about other factors that have an adverse influence on the poor, including lack of affordable housing and public transportation, increased prices of homes and rentals and low-paying jobs.

<sh>Park Authority to Meet

<bt>The Fairfax County Park Authority will meet Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m., at the Herrity Building, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 900 in Fairfax. Call Judy Pedersen at 703-324-8662.

<sh>Drug-Awareness Program Set

<bt>A drug-awareness program for parents will be held Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. at Westfield High School. It's hosted by the Westfield High PTSA and the Westfield Community Coalition, is free and is for adults only. Parents of elementary, middle and high school students are welcome.

Presenting the informative program will be Leslie Churn, substance-abuse counselor/school resource specialist at Westfield High, and Michelle Turead, an alcohol, tobacco and other drugs specialist with Fairfax County Public Schools' Safe and Drug-Free Youth organization. For more information, call Nancy Bennett at 703-266-2370.

<sh>WFCM Urgently Needs Food

<bt>Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) is in urgent need of canned goods and groceries for its food pantry for local needy families. Especially needed are all canned proteins (fish, meat, etc.), fruit juice, canned corn, canned vegetables, ravioli, etc., complete box meals, tomato products, canned fruit, canned and dried beans, cereal, pasta, macaroni and cheese, personal products and paper products. Items may be brought to WFCM's Shepherd Center in the Sully Plaza Shopping Center at 13981 Metrotech Drive in Chantilly.

<sh>Check Out Bond Referendum

<bt>On Nov. 2, Fairfax County residents will be asked to vote for four particular items on the bond referendum. The ballot will request approval from the voters so the county may borrow money to fund the following improvements: Human service programs, $32.5 million; libraries, $52.5 million; parks, $75 million and transportation, $165 million. The county has also created a Web page providing residents with further information about these projects. See or call 703-324-3187.

<sh>Blood Donations are Sought

<bt>The Inova Blood Donor Center in the Centremed I Building on Route 29 in Centreville (across from the Centreville Multiplex Cinemas) is in urgent need of blood donations — especially O positive or negative, as well as A and B. They're accepted Tuesday-Friday, noon-8 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. For an appointment to give blood, call 703-322-1970, or drop in at your own convenience.