News to Use Podcast Transcript: Nov. 27, 2013



Good day, and welcome to the Fairfax County News to Use podcast – I’m your host Jim Person. Coming up, learn about an upcoming build-your-own composter workshop, the 12 Ways of Giving campaign, online holiday shopping tips and how to get info on holiday events and programs happening in Fairfax County. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

Reserve your space now for the next “Build-Your-Own Tumbling Composter Workshop” on Feb. 8 at 1:30 p.m. in Falls Church. There is limited space at the event. You will start this workshop with a pile of recycled lumber, a 55-gallon barrel and assorted screws and bolts, but you will leave with a fully functioning tumbler style composter. The cost of the workshop is $75 and registration is limited to 15, although helpers are welcome. For more information, visit


If giving makes you feel good then the Fairfax County Office of Public Private Partnerships has a way to make you feel great. The annual “12 Ways of Giving” campaign is in full swing and offers many ways for meaningful, local giving during the holiday season. The campaign is an alternative gift giving that benefits the giver and the receiver! Twelve groups are showcased in the campaign that highlights nonprofits in Fairfax County. The promotion is ongoing and runs through December. More information can be found at That address again is to learn more on how to get involved with this year’s “12 Ways of Giving” in Fairfax County.


The holiday shopping season has begun and many will forgo shopping centers and malls and do holiday shopping on the Internet. Whileshopping online, the Fairfax County Consumer Affairs Branch offers these suggestions to keep your online experience enjoyable and safe:

  • Staple a gift receipt to the merchandise tag in case it needs to be returned or exchanged. Keep your original receipts with any warranty paperwork for the life of the warranty.

  • Only buy gift cards from reputable retailers, not through online auction sites.

  • If you discover an online store that’s offering unbelievable specials on holiday merchandise, do some research to make sure it’s a legitimate store and not a false front that will disappear later along with your credit card information.

  • Make sure your antivirus client is up-to-date, as well as intrusion prevention to help guard against exploits that often are hosted on compromised sites. 

  • Malicious links don’t always come from spam emails. They could come from your closest friend whose machine has been unknowingly compromised.

  • If you’re a holiday shopper who likes to augment online shopping with actual store browsing and likes toting a notebook along for the ride for quick price comparisons, do not connect to an unknown unsecure hotspot.

For more advice or holiday shopping information, contact the Consumer Affairs Branch at 703-222-8435, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or email


Finally, be sure to check out the holiday page on the Fairfax County website. You can find it at to get the latest events and programs, gift and donation ideas and holiday tips. The events and programs are listed by date with the event map showing their locations at the bottom. That address again is

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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