News to Use Podcast Transcript: October 3, 2012

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Good day, and welcome to the Fairfax County News to Use podcast for October 3, 2012. Coming up, learn about seminars for family caregivers of older adults, the deadline to register to vote in Virginia plus information about county bonds on the November ballot, fertilizing this fall and kinship care. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

Beginning in early October, the county is offering free seminars for family caregivers of older adults. Speakers include experts in law, care management, finances and community resources. Seminars take place across the county. Register by calling 703-324-5205, TTY 711, or visit


The deadline in Virginia to register to vote or make changes to your registration is Monday, Oct. 15. To register to vote, get information online or call the Fairfax County Office of Elections at 703-222-0776. You must update your voter registration if you have moved or changed your name, or you may not be able to vote. Every registered voter in Virginia is receiving a new voter registration card this fall. Make sure you read it and note the location of your polling place, which may have changed due to redistricting. There are a number of convenient ways to check your voter registration status. Fairfax County residents can check your voter registration status by calling the Office of Elections at 703-222-0776; downloading the free Fairfax County app by searching Fairfax County Government at the Apple App Store on your iPhone and click on the vote icon; or by going online to


On Election Day, there will be four separate county bond questions on the ballot, and you can learn more during a live online chat on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 10 a.m. County staff will answer your questions. You can submit questions in advance or ask during the chat. The bond questions total $185 million dollars and the money will be used to make improvements to libraries, parks, public safety buildings and stormwater infrastructure. If a majority vote yes, the county can then sell bonds for the improvements. To submit a question for the chat or learn how to participate live on Oct. 24, visit


When it comes to fertilizer, more is not better. Gardeners waste money and injure their plants with too much or too many applications. Excess washes off lawns and sidewalks into storm drains and streams and is a major source of water pollution. The best way to determine if your lawn needs fertilizer is to test your soil. Soil test kits are available for about $10 from public libraries. Information on soil testing is available from your Fairfax County Virginia Cooperative Extension. Here are some end-of-year gardening tips that prevent water pollution and save money:

  • Apply fertilizer during the first two weeks in September or between the last mowing and Thanksgiving.

  • Look for fertilizers with high levels of water insoluble nitrogen.

  • Never apply more than one pound of soluble nitrogen per 1,000 square feet at one time.

  • Never fertilize when the grass is dormant or brown.

  • Keep fertilizer off sidewalks and driveways.

  • Use a decomposed organic mulch or compost around plantings as a non-chemical fertilizer.

For a free copy of, “A Virginian’s Guide to Yard Care,” call 703-324-1460. For more information contact the Master Gardener at the Virginia Cooperative Extension at 703-324-8556 or email


Finally, have you heard the term kinship care? Kinship caregivers are relatives who are raising a child for another family member. The county is sponsoring a free training for kinship families to discuss emotional needs, legal, financial and school issues on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria. For more information and to register, call 703-324-3517 or visit

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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