Story Ideas in Fairfax County

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

April 15, 2005


Story Ideas in Fairfax County

The Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs provides a summary of news briefs designed to inform the media about great story ideas in Fairfax County government. The information provided gives the background on a newsworthy story as well as the contact information to provide more information, interviews, etc. For additional questions on the Future Features service, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935.

Local Photographer Joins Relief Efforts
Local photographer Art Cole, regional supervisor for the Department of Family Services, is participating in a photography project to raise funds to help those devastated by the Dec. 26 Asian tsunami. Cole donated images that he has taken in Virginia, to the 110-page, full-color publication entitled, “Images to Brighten Our World,” that retails for $34.95. Twenty-five dollars from each sale will be given directly to relief organizations. For more information, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935.

Pet Fiesta
The Fairfax County Animal Shelter will be among the many exhibitors at the 5th Annual Pet Fiesta and Exhibition on Saturday, May 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Reston Town Center, 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston. Sponsored by the Reston Town Center, GoodDogz and Reston Dogs, the event will feature local pet adoption agencies, pet contests, face painting and caricature artists.

Pet Fiesta is dedicated to educating potential dog owners on dog selection and care and supporting the efforts of rescue groups. This year’s event will include a Super Pet Adoption which will allow rescue groups to showcase adoptable animals to potential families. Participating rescue groups include the Fairfax County Animal Shelter, Northern Virginia SPCA and Homeless Animals Rescue Team.

For more information about this event, contact Mark Bates at 703-623-3304, TTY 711 or e-mail or visit the Web site For more information about adopting a pet, contact the Fairfax County Animal Shelter at 703-830-1100, TTY 703-691-3255 or visit

One of Ten
The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board’s New Generations program is one of only 10 programs in Virginia to receive the “Living the Vision” recognition by the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services. New Generations is a long-term residential substance abuse treatment program for mothers and children. For more information, call James A. Thur, executive director of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board Office, at 703-324-7000, TTY 703-802-3015.

Ways to Save on Gas, Time and Stress
According to a recent USA Today survey, the Washington metropolitan region ranked 8th among the nation’s 20 highest prices for a gallon of regular unleaded gas. Coupled with the news that Americans spend more than 100 hours commuting to work each year, according to an American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau released in March – is not good news for commuters. This exceeds the two weeks of vacation time (80 hours) frequently taken by workers over the course of a year. For Fairfax County residents, the average daily commute lasted about 30.7 minutes in 2003.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation reminds commuters that there are alternatives. The RideSources program provides commuters with free ridesharing information, including ridematching assistance to form or join carpools or vanpools. By sharing the ride with just one other person, you can cut your commuting expenses in half, use the HOV lanes to travel faster and enjoy a less stressful commute. For assistance in setting up transportation programs at employer or residential community sites, call the Outreach Specialist at 703-324-1100, TTY 703-324-1102, or visit the Web page

Employees Recognized for Service
On March 11, the county honored 593 employees who have completed 20 (309 employees), 25 (207 employees), 30 (61 employees), 35 (13 employees) and 40 (three employees) years of service. “This is the largest group ever of employees recognized for continued service with the county,” said Peter Schroth, director of Human Resources. For more information, call Schroth in the Department of Human Resources at 703-324-3371, TTY 711.

In Addition…
On Thursday, April 28, Fairfax County government will observe the 5th annual “Bring Our Children to Work Day,” from 9 a.m. to noon at the Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax. The purpose of this event is to introduce school children, ages 9 - 15, to the world of public service. Various agencies will present demonstrations that include a helicopter landing and police dog workout in addition to interactive exhibits and displays. For more information about this event, contact Cathy Maynard in the Office of the County Executive at 703-324-3239, TTY 711.

The Fairfax County Department of Family Services Foster Care and Adoption Program invites school-age children to participate in Butterfly Days by hand-decorating butterflies at the Springfield Mall on April 16 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is no cost to participate and art supplies will be provided. Representatives of the county’s Foster Care and Adoption Program will be available to answer questions and provide information on how to become a foster parent. For more information about the Fairfax County Foster Care and Adoption Program, and to learn how you can help, call 703-324-7639, TTY 703-222-9453. Information also is available on the county Web site at



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