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New 2/13/17

Wind Wins!


On Echols Street in Westbriar a blue spruce made a direct hit on the homeowner's car.

Serious wind moved into the region last night, making an impressive game of peek-a-boo between fast moving clouds and a bright full moon. This morning, however, it was no so pretty on the ground. Parts of Vienna were without power, and many trees were on the ground.

The wind is expected to last until this evening.

No flowers or candy here .....
... National Geographic offers an interesting collection of courtship rituals in the bird and insect world. Click on the peacock spiders at the left for details.

New 2/13/17   Going Up!

The aggressively evolving Tysons skyline will be dominated for the next few years by the massive Capital One project, a campus of new buildings which will fill the triangle bounded by the 495 Beltway, Route 123, and Scotts Crossing Road, outlined in yellow. The McLean Silver Line station adjoins on the south boundary, with the pedestrian overpass crossing 123 visible in the photo.

Building 5 at left and depicted in red is first out of the gate, and will top out at 185 feet. Impressive, but it will be dwarfed eventually by Building 12 at a whopping 392 feet.

The campus will be an architectually-coordinated combination of hotel, office and residential space.


New 2/13/17   The World in Gumballs

"Why don't we take in all the poor people in the world and put them in Wyoming where there is a lot of empty space, and give them all a nice garden to grow food?" Myra Fosick, 10th grade

Immigration policy has been in the spotlight for the last two weeks in the US, and in Europe for the last two decades. A helpful way to look at UNESCO and UIS statistics is to click on the colorful gumballs.

New 2/9/17


Suspects Still on Run

The warm evening calm was shattered last night by a high speed chase by at least 12 Fairfax police cars along Old Courthouse Road. They were trying to catch up to three shoplifters who had made off with high end purses from Bloomingdales at Tysons. The chase ended when the suspects turned onto Besley Road and crashed the car near Bois Avenue.

The three occupants of the car were apparently not hurt, and disappeared into the woodsy area. A helicopter and K9 units were brought in to locate them. The chopper stayed aloft about two hours, mostly over the Irving, Drewlaine, Montmorency, and Creek Crossing areas. The unproductive search was called off at about midnight. The car, now in police custody, was stolen in another state.

Many residents of Westbriar and nearby subdivisions contributed real-time observations of the search activity on NextDoor

This morning at 10 AM police reported that the three suspects are still at large, and asked via Twitter that residents of the area report suspicious activity. 703-691-2131 or 911. Police describe the suspects as black, early 20s, wearing hoodie and sweatshirts. One with goatee, another with short Afro-style hair.

The location of the abandoned car is 0.7 miles from the nearest part of Westbriar. The cold air that moved in during the night could be a factor in the fugitives' calculations. See latest Fairfax Police update HERE.


Is Back!

Back by popular demand: Saturday, April 22
Wildwood Park at Follin Lane crossing.

The Wolftrap Creek will be stocked with hundreds of hungry trout, giving "city kids" a cool look into how their "country cousins" do the nature thing. It's rain or shine.
BTW, did you know that fish bite better in the rain?

Tickets are limited, and go on sale tomorrow, January 30. Click HERE for all the details.



Real Estate

Jim Nelson, a Long and Foster agent and resident of Westbriar Zone E over on Westwood Drive, has put together a comprehensive report on property sales and trends in Vienna. It is rather interesting stuff. To take a look, click on Jim's photo at the left.

Westbriar members in good standing may promote their businesses for free in the Crier.


May Election:
All Incumbents Onboard


The annual election for Town of Vienna Council, scheduled for May 2 is off to an early start with the announcements from sitting Council Members Tara Voight, Carey Sienicki, and Howard Springsteen that they will be seeking reelection.

So far, no challengers have filed. Each year, three Council Members are elected to 2 year terms, with the Mayor elected in the even years.



1/23/17   by Leon
Lasagna Bake Off

I was a guest last evening at a Westbriar dinner party with a theme. Each of us came with a small homemade lasagna, and we all did a blind taste test to determine the best. Among the guests were David Hicks, an epicure and food critic for local newspapers, and Mme Antoinette Grenouille, a well-known French and Italian chef.

While my offering did not do very well, there was a clear winner, Maricel Capalla, who actually baked her entry on a charcoal grill because of oven problems. Maricel confessed that her recipe was not original, but it was so astoundingly good, she was persuaded to pass on the secrets HERE

Do YOU have a
great recipe?

Let's hear from you.


Happy Chinese
New Year!

It's the
Year of the Rooster.

Click to see how
we feel about it.

New World's Longest Commercial Flight landed Monday

Flight QR920, a Boeing 777, left Doha, Qatar, and landed in
Auckland, New Zealand after 16 hours and 20 minutes
in the air, crossing 10 time zones, five countries, and
travelling 9,032 miles.

Going Viral ....

First published in 1779 by its creator English poet John Newton, Amazing Grace fell there into relative obscurity, but was adopted by Americans in the early 19th Century to become probably the most popular or at least the most recognizable hymn. It is often chosen to amplify heavy emotional situations, such as funerals of public safety officers.

Recently, Peter Hollens and his five vocalist friends (Home Free) have released their version. Yes, there are so many versions, all are beautiful, and many are exceptional. Elvis has one.

But this one is worth the listen. Click on the image at the left, but don't entrust things to the little speakers in your phone or computer; use earbuds. Enjoy the goosebumps.        Thanks to Patti

A new calendar for the refrigerator. What are your New Year Resolutions?

The most popular is enjoying life to the fullest, but that is sort of nebulous. Getting in shape and staying there is also on the list. It is more specific and doable.

Click HERE to find out about a special offer available to Westbriar members to achieve your goal for 2017.

The Eagles
are Back!

The world-famous mated pair of bald eagles, Mr. President and First Lady are back in the nest at the National Arboretum. By all indications, they are working on a repeat performance of last year. As you remember, two eggs were laid in February, and hatched four weeks later. We witnessed the youngsters' first flights. The Crier had a link to the live camera action until all four left the area in late summer.

But now they are back, and the cameras have been updated for sound. We will get the tap tap tapping of little beaks breaking out of the shell, the crunch as they munch on fresh fish fins. Click on the pic at the left to go directly to the 24-7 high resolution camera, which works even at night. The same link appears up near the weather report above so even when this story is taken down, you will still be a click away.

Eaglet twins, about 3 weeks old.

(c) 2017 American Eagle Foundation

Fibre Optics Project Causes Delayed Problem in Zone A

Early in 2014, the Crier noted the installation of an important fibre cable from Falls Church to serve the Dulles Access corridor. The cable was buried along the north side of Wolf Trap Road in Westbriar Zone A, then westward through Vienna NE.

Unfortunately, the project caused a problem for the homeowner at the intersection with Echols Street. During installation, a drill had put a neat hole through the sewer line serving the house, resulting in gradual leakage and soil infiltration over the years. Finally, last week, the sewage flow stopped altogether.


Crews spent the weekend working in a snow shower to correct the situation. In the process, they carefully documented the damage the help the homeowner recover the costs.

Memorial Statue Slated
for Town Green Area

On December 5, Vienna Parks and Recreation Director Leslie Herman requested a $3900 down payment to commission a bronze statue to honor the late Mayor Jane Seeman and all Town volunteers. The project was inspired and managed by the Vienna Public Arts Commission.

The statue, named "Taking Flight," depicts a child ascending from a stack of books, and is the creation of Texas artists Seth and Missy Vandable.


Approval by the Town Council was unanimous.

The ultimate costs of the statue and installation will be approximately $50,000, and will be raised through private donations. Fund-raising activities are currently under way. The location, still to be finalized, will be either at the Town Green, or the new Community Center.

See related story by Mary Ann Barton:


Some Laughs?

A little remixing with a banjo and harmonica, and you would have something better than half of the music out there.

How long can you watch this without cracking up?

Luminaria, 2016

Wasn't it Beautiful? Late afternoon drying conditions, plus near calm wind allowed one of the best Luminaria displays in the last decade. The Luminaria is a perfect metaphore for many hands working together in a spirit of creation. In this case, to create a community of safety, harmony, strength and good will. Thanks to all for your work and support.

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly.     Andy Rooney

Thank you, Santa,
you made my day!





Outdoor lighting seems to get better and better each year. Along with the rest of Vienna, Westbriar turns up the wattage as 2016 draws to a close.

First Night Vienna!

Free, family-friendly, celebration of New Years Eve on Church Street

Music, entertainment, food, noisemakers, hats

See you there!




The trudge down the driveway to get the morning paper was nervewracking enough, but nature does have a way of presenting even dangerous situations in beautiful ways.

Road conditions were a nightmare all Friday night, responsible for hundreds of collisions and at least ten traffic fatalities along the eastern seaboard. One occured locally on the beltway as a driver was struck after he abandoned his car and began walking along the road. Slippery conditions persisted until rising temperatures yesterday brought things back to normal.


Metro Problems:
Larger than thought

The safety surges have made Metro a rough commute. Some have suspected a bit of grandstanding by the new manager.

Probably not. Turns out that an investigation of the July 29 derailing of a Silver Line train near East Falls Church has revealed lax inspection, falsified reports, and a management culture that discouraged reporting safety issues. The issues are serious enough that the investigations have been upgraded to examine possible criminal actions.

More information


Vienna is officially


Mayor Laurie DiRocco announced at last night's Town Council meeting that the Town of Vienna has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community. This difficult-to-achieve recognition is shared by 11 other communities in Virginia and a total of 404 communities nationwide.

The Bicycle Friendly Community designation recognizes Vienna's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure, and pro-bicycling policies. DiRocco says: "We recognize that by supporting bicycling we can improve the environment as well as the health and well-being of residents, reduce congestion and automobile parking demands, increase opportunities for residents of all ages to participate socially and economically in the community, and encourage additional choices in travel modes, particularly among seniors and children."



The Moon's orbit is not a circle, but an ellipse, so the distance between us is continuously changing. When the distance is the least at the time when the Moon is full, it can appear up to 14% bigger, and 30% brighter.

Check it out. You haven't seen a bigger full moon since 1948, and won't see it as big again until 2034. The weatherman promises great viewing.


Veteran's Day 2016


11/9/16 Hillary Clinton wins
Fairfax County

.... but not White House, as WI and PA tip the Electoral Vote to Donald Trump in early morning. Meals Tax defeated.



A threatening sky was of no concern at the biggest and best Oktoberfest yet. Bratwurst, sauerkraut, pizza, and giant pretzels seemed to top the list of edibles, while our own Caboose Brewery supplied the most popular of the potables.

And who to thank for a great afternoon? One would be Vienna Business Association's Director Peggy James, who was spotted as a reveler along with her dad.

Can still smell the deliciousness of the smokey brats.

Face painting was a favorite.

Some mellow sounds from Fat Chance.

Many opted to schmalze it up with party garb and accessories.


There was no shortage of ways to keep the kids entertained.

Can't wait 'till

Arf! Parties are not just for humans.




Vienna Appoints New DPW Head

Town Manager Mercury Peyton announced at the September 26 meeting the selection of Michael Gallagher as Director of Public Works. He had been serving as the Interim Director since the June retirement of Dennis Johnson.

Gallagher, 36. has 12 years of experience in civil enginnering, and has worked for the Town since 2010. He was appointed Deputy Director last February.

Explaining the Federal Budget Let's keep it simple:

* U.S. Tax revenue (income): $2,170,000,000,000
* Federal spending budget (outgo): $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt (the difference): $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $19,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Simple, but hard to understand.

Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent this year: $38,200
* New debt added onto the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $192,271
* Total budget cuts so far: $3.85

Now do you get it?


Following the
Blue Line

When planning to build something that involves digging, you must contact Miss Utilities, a group that keeps track of what is underground. They come out and mark stuff: Red for electrical lines, yellow for gas lines, blue for water, etc.

Westbriar's Echols Street has a lot of colorful markings as a new water line is being installed below. This particular stretch has experienced an unusually high number of pipe leaks over the last decade, indicating a probable systemic problem.

At left, workmen excavate to expose the connection point between Echols and the main line running under Niblick Drive. Above, with the work almost done, neighbors take turns rolling out the hot asphalt.

"The Pessimist complains about the wind; the Optimist expects the wind to change; the Realist adjusts the sails." William Arthur Ward


2-Way System
Up and Running

NextDoor has already
found 4 cats in our

Members of Westbriar have asked for it, and we now have it!

And that's the ability to talk directly with their neighborhoods. Do you want to borrow a ladder? Report a lost cat? Organize a book club or exercise class? Sell your old golf clubs? Share a great recipe? Advertise your availability for dog walking, or leaf raking? Recommend a painter?

You can do all this and much more. Join us on NextDoor. 100% of Westbriar Civic Association is now "wired" together. Each of our eight Zones is now a NextDoor Group. Much of Vienna has already joined and you can reach out to them also.

To join, simply CLICK HERE. Put in your address.
It will know you are part of Westbriar. Enter your CODE.
Fill out your profile, and say "Hi" to your neighbors.

See this short video for an introduction to NextDoor.

Still the #1 Scam
in this Area

It is the Computer Version of the Nigerian Letter. Twenty one Westbriar residents have reported getting the call, and four have been taken for an expensive ride. Thousands in Northern Virginia have been hit. Don't let it happen to you.
The caller usually has a thick Asian or African accent. "Hello, this is Microsoft calling. Your computer is giving out errors." See More.


Mosquitoes and Zika

Tiger Mosquito

Named for its black
and white bands

Native to SE Asia, it has invaded USA over the last decades, and is now the most common specie in the Eastern and Southern states.

Only a few months ago, we knew nothing about it. The Center for Disease Control didn't know much more. They suspected a connection, but were not sure. But now it is confirmed.

Zika Virus, which causes babies to be born with an unusually small head and brain, is transmitted through mosquitoes found in South America. And more recently, it has been proven to be transmitted by our own local pest, the Tiger. Some international scientists are cautioning about holding the scheduled Olympics in Brazil in August, worried that people will bring back and establish hot zones in other parts of the globe.

Mosquitoes need standing water for their life cycle. Fight them by depriving them of that water. Police your property for toys or other containers or surface shapes that trap rain. Blast out the birdbath with a garden hose every week. The Tiger goes from egg on the water surface to adult in 10 to 14 days. Disruption at any point kills the insect. Working together can eliminate them from an entire community.

Spraying one's own property does not last long, and is environmentally questionable. Honey bee populations are susceptable to the toxins, and bee keepers are concerned.

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

The Crier is the newsletter of the Westbriar Civic Association. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Search: Civic Association Newsletter, Civic Association Publication

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Greek * Italian * American Cusine

Authentic  Delicious  Nearby

Westbriar's favorite carryout


Housekeeping Services

Eldercare, Babysitting


Add a little Latin energy to your next party or catered event.


Pure Pasty

Click photo to learn about something deliciously different

The un-burger
Buttery, Flakey, Dreamy

Emmaus UCC

"Many paths, traveling together..."



Call Rick

Full Service Landscaping



...more than coffee



Cafe Renaissance

... for that special occasion


2 great reads ...

... by a local author


How's your roof?

Advanced Roofing

Highly recommended.


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Jim Nelson is a Westbriar member and real estate agent with Long and Foster in McLean. He can be reached at







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