News to Use Podcast Transcript: October 17, 2012

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Good day, and welcome to the Fairfax County News to Use podcast for October 17, 2012. Coming up, learn how to stay safe and healthy this Halloween, learn about Medicare’s open season, keeping storm drains clean and an upcoming rain garden workshop. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at


Have a safe and healthy Halloween this year with these tips from the Fairfax County Health Department:

  • Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped and to resist eating any candy until an adult has time to inspect the treats.

  • Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

  • Give kids a light meal before they head out trick-or-treating, so they are less likely to eat the candy before you have a chance to inspect it. Also, you’ll avoid belly aches on Halloween night!

  • If you have very young children, be sure to remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys from their goodie bag.

Visit and search for “Halloween” to find out more about keeping your kids’ treats safe this year. 


It’s that time of year when Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their health and drug plans. Medicare’s Open Season runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.  Even if you are satisfied with your plans, it’s a good idea to review them because plans can change from year to year. To help you review the 2013 Medicare plans, Fairfax County is offering seminars across the county this month. Find the seminar schedule at or call 703-324-7948, TTY 711.


The Department of Neighborhood and Community Services is now accepting applications for the 2012 Synthetic Turf Field "Mini-Grant" program. Through this program, community-based athletic organizations can apply for one of two "mini-grants" of $175,000 toward developing synthetic turf rectangular fields. Synthetic turf fields are more beneficial to Fairfax County than natural grass surfaces due to their lower maintenance costs, minimal wear and tear on the surface, and year-round usability. Notice of intent to apply is due Nov. 1 and full applications are due Nov. 15. Visit for more information, or call 703-324-5533, TTY 711.


Streets, gutters, storm drains and streams are not trash cans. Any litter that is thrown from a vehicle, left on a parking lot or dumped into a storm drain is carried by rainwater or melting snow directly into county streams and lakes, not to a waste water treatment plant. This includes cigarette butts, plastic and glass bottles, food containers, cans, plastic shopping bags and anything else that is not disposed of properly in trash receptacles or recycled. Ultimately the trash flows to the Potomac River and on to the Chesapeake Bay. As litter moves through the water, it harms the fish and the turtles and other wildlife in county streams; damages wetlands; and pollutes. Litter also blocks storm drains and causes flooded streets, property damage to homes, vehicles and businesses. Let’s all do our part in helping to keep Fairfax County litter free. Find more information, at


Finally, there is a rain garden workshop for homeowners on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Rain gardens are attractive landscape features that allow rainwater and snow melt to soak into the ground. A layer of mulch and plants intercept water running off streets, driveways and rooftops, slowing its flow and removing pollutants before the water reaches local streams and the Potomac River. This partnership-based workshop will take place at Fairlington Community Center, 3308 South Stafford Street in Arlington. To register, email That’s

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.  

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
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