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His home is near the Westbriar Elementary School, but he might have crossed into our Westbriar neighborhood.

Felix is a huge indoor cat, as you can see in photo at right.
He is not wearing a collar.

If spotted, please contact Elaine


New 1/15/16

Fairfax Unveils
Plans for OCHR
Problem Spot


On Wednesday, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and FCDOT hosted a community meeting to address a problematic stretch of Old Courthouse Road a quarter mile west of us. This is the point where OCHR intersects with Besley Road, and the Wolftrap Creek passes under on its way to the Potomac.

There are two issues. The first is that the culvert taking the creek under the road is undersized for the job. It is an oval, only 4 feet wide by 3 feet high. This is no problem in fair weather, but when the storms come up, the creek rises fast. Actually, the culvert could still handle this except for one thing: Occasionally a log will float out of the woods and get lodged in the culvert. Other deadfall branches soon join. Then come vines and leaves, and in a very short time, the culvert is completely corked up. When that happens, the creek has no place to go except up and over the road, creating a massive problem for commuters, as well as real danger to anyone caught in the resulting fast-moving flood.

The second issue is that the combination of hills, curves, and poor sight lines makes this a dangerous place to try to navigate by foot or bicycle. It is an obstacle in a natural series of trails including the Novi Trail, the W&OD, and others, bringing parklands and other points of interest into a comprehensive integration advocated by bicyclers, trail and nature enthusiasts.

The proposed plan addresses both of these issues with a bridge large enough to be immune to clogging, along with separate pedestrian and mixed use pathways along 1000 feet of the road. A trail connection from Wolf Trails Park to Creek Crossing Road will require one crossing of OCHR, which could be either to the east or the west side of the bridge.

For more information, contact Paul Davis at the Hunter Mill Supervisor Office.


New 1/14/16


That Didn't


At the Mayor-At-Your-Service meeting on Tuesday, a large turnout listened intently to noted historian Jim Lewis outline little-known facts pieced together from recently declassified material and years of research. The subject was the detailed planning for the invasion of Japan to bring an end to the largest and most destructive war ever fought.

After years of uphill battle involving virtually all the islands of the southern Pacific Ocean, the US was closing in on Japan. But we knew from experiences with Kamikaze pilots, and more intimately in caves and fortifications of those islands. the fierce loyalty and mindset of the enemy. Bringing the war to the mainland was going to be very costly. Estimates of a million more US casualties were projected.

The plan, code named Operation Downfall, was to begin on November 1 of 1945 with the capture of the southern island of Kyushu, and followed if necessary by a northern assault in the Tokyo area. Lewis walked us through the particulars.

Fortunately, with the Soviet declaration of war against Japan, and the delivery of two atomic bombs, Operation Downfall never took place. [Photo courtesy of Adam Kincaid]


New 1/16/16

Join us.
All are welcome.

Gentle Yoga at Emmaus Thursday Evenings 6:30-7:45 pm.
Individual Consultations 7:45-8:00 pm One free introductory session!

Connect with your spirit, improve your flexibility, your breath,
fitness, and health. Reduce your stress.

Accommodations and discounts for seniors.
Certified Kundalini yoga instructor with 15 years experience.
Please call 571-213-3192 or email for more information and to register.

Basic Postures

Emmaus UCC

900 Maple at Westbriar Drive

Follin Update 1/8/16

Follin Lane Job
Criticized by WRC
Channel 4 News


Last week TV Channel 4 News did an on-location story about the Follin Lane Project which is located in the Westbriar Civic Assciation's boundary. The on-camera reporter claimed that houses are isolated by the work and the occupants are stranded, and without services.

Actually the two block long street has few homes. At Monday's regular Town Council meeting, Manager Mercury Payton asked DPW Director Dennis Johnson for his comments on the TV news story.

Mr. Johnson conceded that the living in the middle of a construction project can be a bit stressful, but denied that anyone is stranded or cut off from services. He said that care is taken to make sure that access is open at the end of the work day for the two houses. The photo above is the intersection with Echols Street, showing access to one of the affected homes. Johnson said the trash and recycle pickup has never been missed. When it is not feasible to drive in with the big trucks, a pickup truck is used. Mail service has not been affected.

The projected finish date has slipped a few months, due to unforeseen situations. A fiber optic cable carrying securiy data was uncovered but could not be moved until proper procedures were in place. Also, it was decided to install several more shut off valves for drinking water running to the surrounding neighborhood.


"This actually is a plus," said Johnson. The additional valves will minimize the number of affected homes if water needs to be shut off, for example by a pipe break.

At the moment, most of the pipes carrying rain runoff have been buried, and the drains from the road gutter are installed. The invisible infrastructure is the most time-consuming part of road work. The concrete curbing should be ready for installation by March, although weather needs to cooperate.

The project will eliminate ditches, and add a sidewalk and bike path. The improved sight lines and intersections should substantially improve safety as well.


Asbestos Hazard Found in Community Center Renewal Project

Workmen discovered a layer of asbestos flooring under the present tile, requiring special safety procedures to remove. Cleanup costs of $23,400 were approved from a contingency fund at Monday's Town Council meeting.

Will Fitness be your 2016 Resolution?
by Ken

Hi. Ken Bowman here. I am going to talk a bit more specifically this time about exercise and what you can reasonably expect when you take the plunge.

We will be talking about a modest, but thorough, practical routine that will get you to a place you never thought possible. But be warned, it will all vanish just as fast if you give it up. So, we are talking about a life-style change. But it will be worth it if you value being the best you can be for your limited time on Earth.

Continue reading ...

Mayor's Holiday Reception 12/11/15

When the town lights up for the holidays, Town Hall responds by inviting everyone down for a cup of cheer and some great muchies.

This year was especially nicely done with chocolate covered strawberries, and the usual top-rated chocolate chip cookies, courtesy of the Women's Auxillary.

Music was by the James Madison Madrigal Singers.


Welcome Sunshine
Restarts Projects
at Caffee Field

After a stretch of dismal weather, it was back to work for crews on Caffi field, and the nearby Vienna Community Center.

The entire athletic field has been regraded, and the new green astroturf is down. It's looking great, but now the fine touches begin. The bases and pitcher mound have been cut out like

cookies, and the missing green pieces will be replaced with tan.

Rolls of white and tan astroturf await some precision slicing to form the details of the playing fields.

The final touch will be a special sand and rubber crumb mixture spread on the field. A rotary broom will distribute the material to uniform depth. This will produce a realistic turf "feel" under the players' feet.

To make the white lines for baseball and football, an electric shear is used to scalp the turf down to the substrate. A steel bar acts as a guide for the shearing operation.

Blocks of glue are heated to liquid state to permanently bond precise narrow strips of white astroturf to the exposed substrate.


How NOT to take
down a chimney.

Graphic, disturbing, horrifying even. But it has a happy ending.

Click HERE

and scroll to the bottom of the page for amazing video.

Still Active in Vienna 11/26/15

"Hello, Microsoft calling....
Your computer is malfunctioning.
We are here to help you

We have printed this before, but it remains, sadly, one of the most active scams at the moment. Another Westbriar resident this week got taken for a ride. Paying good money to a stranger who does nothing for you is bad enough. The real danger of this scam is in the last paragraph below.

When he calls, he sounds real. He is smooth, but he has had plenty of practice.

If you play along a bit, he will have you hold the Windows key down and press the R key. This will bring up a dialog box, into which he will tell you what to type. This will take you to an error log, which will typically show many low level harmless self-correcting errors that your computer logs every minute. This is to gain your trust, and convince you that your computer is malfuctioning.

Then, he will direct you to a web page where you will download software which gives him remote access to your entire computer, so he can "fix things." He will guide you through the steps to marry your computers together. He will pretend to fix things, and perhaps ask for your credit card for a small payment. Then, he politely says "Good bye." During the conversation, he has downloaded the entire documents section of your computer. He will at leisure browse all your communications, banking, and everything else. You shouldn't store your passwords on your computer, but we all do that, and he knows it. He can and will go into your on-line bank accounts and clean them out.

When Microsoft calls,


Route 66 Upgrade Plans presented to Vienna residents

The Virginia DOT detailed the preliminary design concepts for Route 66 at a Vienna At Your Service meeting at the town hall last night. This is a major project transforming 25 miles of I-66 from the Beltway out to Route 15 at Haymarket.

The plan calls for three regular lanes and two express lanes in each direction, with a 42 foot median for future expansion of the Orange Line. In addition new Park & Ride lots would be added with bus service, and bicycle trails.

Worse before it gets Better

The plan envisions selection of the general contractor in September of 2016, with construction starting in 2017, in stages with completion by 2021. Details HERE.

The intersection with Nutley Street will be somewhat complex, to better serve the Vienna Station.

There will be a total of 11 homes slated for removal by eminent domain, but none are in Vienna.



Westbriar members at the General Meeting last night re-elected all present officers to a four year term.

The proposed Constitution was approved with some modifications, and is available HERE.

The division of former Zone G was approved, as shown HERE, and as an attachment to the Constitution.


Concord Honors
Mayor DiRocco

The Freemason Concord Lodge #307 on Tuesday presented Mayor Laurie DiRocco their Community Builders Award, the highest award given to a community leader by the organization. Lodge Director James Cudney said, "Mayor DiRocco is very deserving of this award. She has quickly become a pillar of the community and has a terrific grasp on what it takes to enrich the lives of the residents, businesses, and organizations that energize our town. She is a great role model and a genuine person. I am proud to call her a friend."

Walking with the Mayor

Join her on a walking tour, which takes place every Friday at 9:30 AM, starting at the Town Hall. Learn interesting facts about our town, as well as insider info on policy items that the Town is considering. A great way to spend a morning. Comfortable shoes mandatory.

Concord Lodge shares space at this historic building at 146 Mill St. with the Pennywise Thrift Shop near the Caboose. Founded in 1910, Concord Lodge is one of the longest continuously operating entities in Vienna.


GTGCC Elects New Civic Association Leaders

Our neighbors on the other side of Old Courthouse Road, the 575 -home Greater Tysons Green Civic Association, last night elected their new officers.

Because of our proximity, GTGCC and Westbriar have interests which are usually very close. We have worked together on key issues over the years, most notably Save Tysons Last Forest, the Connector bus routes, trails and street improvements. We look forward to continuing this productive relationship with their new Board.

L to R: Lisa Robinson, Board Member; Kalvin Saccal, Treasurer,
Luke Foster, President; Maurice Giguere, Secretary.

Fitness Just Got Easier in Westbriar

Westbriar Civic Association Members get 50% off Fee at Crunch Gym, located at nearby Pike 7 Plaza. Pricing for membership in physical fitness facilities differ. Some have no initiation fees, but a rather high monthly rate. Crunch has low monthly rates, but a somewhat high initial payment.

We visited several facilities in the area and were most impressed with this one, for the convenient location, the cleanliness, the newness of equipment, and the staff knowledge and attentivness. After a few months of negotiating with Manager Paul Harris, we struck an attractive deal. No excuses now for your fitness resolution in 2016....


New App Added to ISS Locator

The dark stripe on land is the fertile Indus Valley of Pakistan.

For our Science fans, an interesting new way of looking at the Earth has been added to the predictions of the Space Station sightings. You are presented the satellite with its solar panels in correct orientation, with the Earth slowly turning below. Your viewpoint is accurate in real time. In the photo, the ISS is approaching the coast of India. Click the Pic to see what the astronauts are seeing right now.

The video content is not broadcast from the ISS, but rather is constructed from Google Earth photos. If you don't know about Google Earth, it is about time you met. Warning: Highly addictive. Zoom in on your car in your driveway. Stroll down a street in Tokyo. Fly an F-16 in the Alps. Beats tweeting what you had for breakfast by a long shot.

Music Lovers:
Want to be Astounded?

Amazing talent is sometimes found among the very young. Here's 9 year old Amira Willighagen of the Netherlands, who began singing various classical pieces only a few years ago, without ever have taking a single music or singing lesson.

When she isn't demonstrating her command of music, she is organizing playgrounds for poor children. Click on Amira's image, turn the sound up, and enjoy.



Surveyors will be working along Old Courthouse Road for the next few weeks between Westbriar Road and Freedom Hill Park. A new concrete sidewalk is slated to replace the existing narrow asphalt strip, which has been of concern to residents for a long time.

The sidewalk runs along what many consider to be a dangerous curve, which is also a fairly steep hill. Although the speed limit of 25 MPH is clearly posted and emphasized with flashing yellow lights, the limit is often ignored. The hill has been the site of accidents, expecially in the winter, when runoff from snowmelt crosses over the road surface and refreezes.

This phase of the job will survey underground utilities, with Miss Utility on hand to identify all features which might affect the job, which has been awarded to Rinker Design Associates P.C. Eventually the crumbling asphalt trails all the way to Pine Valley Drive will be replaced by sidewalks, with the present open ditches enclosed underground.

The scope of the present pleliminary work is shown in red on the map at right.


Follin Lane
Project in
Full Swing

Work continues apace on Follin Lane between Maple Avenue and Echols Street. The pavement is all removed, and trees and brush along the right of way are being taken down over the next two weeks

This stretch of Follin forming a border to Westbriar, was known for a complete canopy of trees which sprang from both sides and met a hundred feet over traffic, giving the feeling of driving through a green tunnel. Bamboo and other brush nearly touching the road's edges completed the imagery. It was unique and beautiful.

After the tree removal is complete, the storm water infrastructure will begin. Large pipes will be buried where now the rain water is carried away in open ditches. These pipes will remove water from the road at intervals and carry it down to the stream that runs through the Westwood golf course.

Traffic seems to be humming along with no snarls. The largest contributor to rush hour is Navy Federal, who advised their employees to exit if possible by other routes.

When the project is complete, Follin will have curb and gutter. The accident-prone Hine intersection will be fully developed and no longer semi-hidden. A sidewalk will extend from Maple to be continuous to the Navy Federal Credit Union. New trees will be planted along the right of way.

In all, it will be a big project, and should go a long way in making things safer for cars and pedestrians alike.

Few get to see in such vivid detail what it is like under a manhole cover.

15" pipes will carry the stormwater underground on both sides.

Tree #17, a magnificient 30" poplar near Pine Street, was considered by many as the saddest loss. Ironically, it turned out to be maybe one windstorm away from becoming a road block... or worse.

track internet visits

Vienna VA

Fairfax County

Hunter Mill District

Cathy Hudgins



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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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