News to Use Podcast Transcript: January 25, 2012

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Good day, and welcome to the Fairfax County News to Use podcast for Jan. 25, 2012. Coming up, learn about the free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, the recently adopted Tysons Corner Urban Design guidelines, advice from the Police about scams on seniors and a public comment period on fees at the Fairfax County Park Authority. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at


Families throughout Northern Virginia received over $8.1 million in federal refunds last tax season through the free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance service. If you worked in 2011, and earned less than $57,000, then you may qualify. IRS certified volunteers will ensure you receive the maximum tax refund and help determine if you are eligible for the earned income tax credit. Sites are open through April. For locations and times, visit


At its Jan. 24 meeting, the Board of Supervisors endorsed the Tysons Corner Urban Design Guidelines. While the land use plan for the area sets out the vision for Tysons as a walkable, green, urban center, these guidelines give specific recommendations on how to achieve this goal through urban design. The new guidelines offer principles for the design of streets, sidewalks, street lighting, signage, parks and buildings. These guidelines do not dictate urban design and architectural standards. Instead, they provide principles to guide how Tysons should look and feel in the future. These principles encourage creative, sustainable, pedestrian-friendly design and they call for a distinct character in each of the eight districts in Tysons. The guidelines recognize that a wide variety of conditions exist in Tysons and flexibility is necessary, so long as the outcome furthers the implementation of the vision set forth in the land use plan. For more details on Tysons, visit


Recently, several Fairfax County seniors were scammed out of money. Sadly, these are just a few of the hundreds of cases detectives in the Financial Crimes Unit see each year. Worse yet, once money has been wired, victims have very little recourse and these cases are rarely prosecutable. In an effort to help educate seniors, their children and the community at large, detectives from the police financial crimes unit are available for group presentations. As the scams change from year to year, police are aware of particular details and want to help raise public awareness as well. To learn more about financial crimes and scams or to report a crime, visit the Financial Crime online reporting site of the police website at To request a group presentation, contact Lucy Caldwell in the Police Public Information Office at 703-246-3271.


The Fairfax County Park Authority will hold its annual public comment meeting on the agency's proposed fee adjustments for this year on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m., in Room 106 of the Herrity Building, 12055 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. Information outlining all proposed fee changes is available for public review online; or a desk copy of the fee proposal is available to review at Park Authority offices in the Herrity Building and at staffed park facilities, including all RECenters, golf courses, nature centers and historic sites.


A 30-day comment period is underway. Mail and email comments must be received no later than Feb. 14. Email feedback to or send your written comments to: Attention Public Information Office/Fee Comments, Fairfax County Park Authority, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 927, Fairfax, VA 22035-1118.


Finally, this time of year brings colder temperatures and solicitors to your door selling firewood. What issues should you be aware of when a solicitor is at your door? The Regulation and Licensing Branch has put together a firewood information packet that has the Code of Virginia on firewood, units of measure and an example of a firewood sale transaction. Contact the Regulation and Licensing Branch of the Fairfax County Department of Cable and Consumer Services at 703-324-5966 with questions or visit for more details.

That’s all for this News to Use podcast. Thanks for listening. For more information about the topics in this podcast and for continuous news updates, visit You may also call 703-FAIRFAX, that’s 703-324-7329, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. News to Use is produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia, government.  

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