News of interest from across Fairfax County:

GOVERNMENT OFFICES CLOSED FOR HOLIDAY: Most Fairfax County government offices will be closed on Monday, Nov. 12 in observance of Veterans Day.

EMPLOYERS LAUDED FOR COMMITMENT TO WORKERS WITH DISABILITIES: The Arc of Northern Virginia has honored two Northern Virginia firms for their commitment to employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

AMC Theaters was honored for its employment-outreach program to integrate qualified workers with disabilities into their theaters, providing extra support needed by employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) was honored for a number of initiatives that focus on providing support to individuals with autism in the workforce.

Awards were presented at the organization’s “The Arc of Northern Virginia Goes Hollywood” gala, held Nov. 3 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.

NEARLY 400 RECEIVE HALLOWEEN TRIPS HOME THROUGH ‘SOBERRIDE’: A total of 387 local residents availed themselves of a free ride home during the Halloween period through the SoberRide initiative of Washington Reagional Alcohol Program (WRAP).

“For its hours of operation this weekend, this level of ridership translates into SoberRide removing a potential drunk driver from Greater Washington’s roadways every 55 seconds,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP’s president.

The initiative, conducted in conjunction with Lyft, operated Oct. 27 at 10 p.m. to Oct. 28 at 4 a.m., the prime period for weekend Halloween festivities.

Since 1991, WRAP’s SoberRide program has provided 73,510 free safe rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Washington area during designated holiday periods.

SUPERVISOR’S OFFICE COLLECTING BLANKETS, COATS FOR REFUGEES: The office of Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) is collecting blankets and coats in support of Syrian refugees.

Gently-used items that are donated between Nov. 10 and Dec. 8 will be sent to refugees currently in Jordan as part of an effort by Nova Relief Center.

For information about the drive, and other collection locations, see the Web site at http://novareliefcenter.org.

MEETING SLATED ON TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS AT BALLS HILL, OLD DOMINION: The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will hold a public-information meeting on Thursday, Nov. 15 to discuss the proposed spot improvements at Balls Hill Road and Old Dominion Drive.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. at Cooper Middle School, and will provide an update from the last meeting, held in June.

The proposal includes realignment of the existing intersection configuration and improvement of signalization. Bicycle and pedestrian facilities also are planned.

For information, see the Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/transportation/projects/balls-hill-road.

‘SCOUTING FOR FOOD’ COLLECTION SET TO ARRIVE: The National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America will kick off its 31st annual “Scouting for Food” collection with a goal of accumulating more than a million pounds of food for the Capital Area Food Bank and other regional food-assistance organizations.

“Scouting for Food helps local families in need and teaches our Scouts the importance of directly serving the community,” said Craig Poland, Scout Executive for the local council.

Scouts of all ages faned out across the region on Nov. 3 to distribute reminder fliers, then will return Nov. 10 to pick up food. (To conserve natural resources, the event this year has eliminated the distribution of plastic bags for collection purposes).

Among items most in demand are canned protein (tuna, chicken, salmon, peanut butter); soups and stews; 100-percent fruit juices; grains (pasta, macaroni and cheese, rice); canned vegetables; and hygiene products.

MEETING TO FOCUS ON REPLACEMENT OF PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE: A community forum sponsored by Supervisor Kathy Smith (D-Sully) on a proposal to replace a pedestrian bridge over Difficult Run Stream in the Oakton area will be held on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at Navy Elementary School.

At the meeting, staff from the Fairfax County Park Authority will present a planning update and answer questions.

The existing Gabrielson Bridge was dismantled in September due to concerns about safety. The former bridge was accessible from the east via the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Gabrielson Gardens Park and from the west via Flowerstone Street, a private road.  The bridge over time had become part of Hunters Valley Trail.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION KICKS OFF FUND FOR THE ARTS: The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has launched the Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts, a new fund to celebrate, promote and support the arts in Northern Virginia.

Thanks to a donation from Stephen Roberts and the Sue Goetz Ross and Stephen S. Roberts Endowment Fund, the new fund will make grants to support the arts in the region.

 To kick off the funding effort, the community foundation convened a volunteer panel to review letters of intent submitted by local arts organizations, and awarded $10,000 to 1st Stage to support its capacity-building and strengthen its development and education initiatives.

 

FUND-RAISER TO BENEFIT AGING AGENCY: Northern Virginia Women’s Club will hold a charity fund-raiser benefiting the Fairfax County Area Agency on Aging on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Country Club of Fairfax.

The event, which begins at 11 a.m., features a luncheon and live auction. Prospective members and guests are invited.

For information, call Anna at (703) 281-4811.

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