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Votes

Week In Great Falls

<sh>Tax Relief Workshops for Residents

<bt>Supervisor Joan DuBois (R-Dranesville) invites senior citizens and disabled citizens to sign up for a one-on-one help session on applying for real estate tax relief. Staff from the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration will be on hand to aid seniors in determining if they meet the qualifications for tax relief and aid them in their application. Appointments are available to meet with a counselor on Friday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 20, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the supervisor's office in the McLean Governmental Center, 1437 Balls Hill Road, McLean. To sign up, call the Dranesville supervisor's office at 703-356-0551.

An additional session is available at the Herndon Senior Center on Monday, April 9 beginning at 1 p.m. The Herndon Senior Center is located at 873 Grace Street, Herndon. To sign up for the Herndon workshop, call 703-464-6200.

<sh>Station Renovations Approved

<bt>The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors officially approved Monday the agreement between Fairfax County and the Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department on Monday to proceed with the design and construction of a new county-owned and operated fire station in Great Falls at 9916 Georgetown Pike.

The new facility will replace the Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department owned station that currently occupies the site. The agreement also provides for the transfer of the ownership of the property to the county, and defines the financial commitment of Fairfax County and the Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department. The administrative and operational relationships between the county and the Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department are also outlined. Funding for the county's share of this project was approved as part of a 2006 Public Safety Bond. Construction on the project is anticipated to begin in 2008, with an estimated completion in early 2010.

<sh> Benjamin Street to Be Closed Temporarily

<bt>A portion of Benjamin Street between Balls Hill Road and Lawton Street will be closed to through traffic for approximately three months beginning on Wednesday, March 14 for the installation of a sanitary sewer main. This installation is part of the River Oaks Sanitary Sewer Extension and Improvement Project. Due to the location of the proposed sewer main, the location of existing utility lines and the depth of the sanitary sewer main necessary to maintain gravity flow, this work cannot be completed if the street is open to traffic. Traffic will be detoured along Arbor Lane. A letter of notification has been sent to the community and variable message board signs will be placed on site to notify motorists of the road closure dates. For more information, call Terrence Steele in the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services at 703-324-5815.

<sh>Foundation Seeks Items for Soldiers

<bt>Great Falls-based non-profit organization, Neighbors International Foundation, recently received a "Wish List" from a 50-person unit in Iraq. Anyone who is inclined to purchase some of the items on this list, and deliver them to the Neighbors office is welcome to do so. Neighbors will mail the items out to the unit members. Those who prefer to purchase only some of the items may do so. Although Neighbors cannot always honor specific request lists, the organization does try to do so whenever possible. The "Wish List" is: Axe deodorant (3), Axe body wash – small container (3), baby wipes (unlimited), Blue Magic hair grease (3), body wash – small containers (4), Dove baby fresh deodorant (3), cotton swabs/Q-tips (20), EZ Cheese handi-snacks (5), Fruity Peebles cereal (1), Jergens Shea Butter lotion (2), Nuts (20), oatmeal (3), Mach 3 razor blades (5), popcorn – sweet and buttery (4), Rice Krispies Treats – original (4), Oreo cookies – golden (5), Fusion Razors – manual (4), rubber bands for hair and scrunchies (20), socks (25).

<sh>Civitans To Host Medicare Meeting

<bt>Jan Galvin from the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association will address the Civitan Club of Tysons at its meeting on Tuesday, March 27 at 12 p.m. The venue for the meeting is Clyde's of Tysons restaurant, located at 8332 Leesburg Pike. Galvin will discuss "Medicare Part D: Its Background and Its Future." The Association is a trade group for independent, locally operated Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies, which includes consumer health advocacy and consumer education. The mission of Civitan, a non-profit organization, is to build good citizenship by providing a volunteer organization of clubs dedicated to serving individual and community needs with an emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities. For more information or to attend the meeting e-mail tysonscivitan@aol.com or contact Linda Powell at 703-356-0154. There is a $10 fee for lunch.

<sh>Writer To Speak at Alden

<bt>The Fairfax County Public Library presents "My Encounters With Extraordinary People " with Susan Orlean, author of "The Orchid Thief" at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20 at the Alden Theatre of the McLean Community Center, located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue in McLean. Tickets to this free event will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 7 p.m. There is a limit of four tickets per person. For directions call 703-790-0123. Books will be available for sale and signing courtesy of Barnes & Noble -Tysons Corner. Orlean's book "The Orchid Thief" inspired the 2002 film "Adaptation," in which the author was portrayed by Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep. Orlean's other books include "The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Ordinary People," "Red Sox and Blue Fish" and "Saturday Night" which have explored the lives of an range of subjects, including children, kings and choirs. Orlean has been a staff writer for "The New Yorker" since 1992. She has written more than 50 "Talk of the Town" pieces, as well as "Profiles" and "Reporter at Large" articles. Currently, she is writing a series of American popular culture columns called "Popular Chronicles." Prior to joining " The New Yorker," Orlean was a contributing editor at "Rolling Stone" and "Vogue." The library's "Perspectives" series continues on April 24 with David Rakoff, a contributor to Public Radio International's "This American Life." The series ends May 8 with Julian Bond, chair of the NAACP. The series is co-sponsored by the Fairfax County Public Library Foundation, Inc., and the Alden Theatre. For details, and to hear a brief podcast with Orlean, go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library.