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NEW 5/28/16

It's Here!


Head for
the Caboose

Saturday May 28th kicks off 3 days of fun!

Rides ++ Music ++ Food ++ Entertainment
Free Admission


NEW 5/28/16

New Weather Forecast Above

We have just replaced The Crier's weather forecast at the top right of this page with something better. Click on the Forecast Vienna link and explore its many capabilities. The Maps, Satellites, and Radar features will satisfy any meteorological urges.



Introduced by the talented percussion team of the Mosby Wood Elementary School, the Vienna Choral Society wrapped up its season with an intense and immensely satisfying treat for the eyes, ears, and soul.

NEW 5/18/16


Are YOU Durable? Find out in this unprecedented handbook for being an effective human in a world of information overload, artificial intelligence, and shrinking attention span.

Our Review

NEW 5/14/16

Follin Lane

Mother Nature
Has Been Winning

An exceptionally wet spring has been frustrating for work crews hoping to finish this area's largest infrastructure project by the end of May.

Certain types of work simply cannot be done in wet weather: excavating, compacting, grading, concrete-forming, and paving in particular. A 31 inch snow in January knocked out many weeks. Ten days of continual rain prior to Mother's Day, and five rainy days since have brought work to a standstill. More rain is expected today. Even when the sun comes out, many days have to pass before the water table goes down sufficiently to resume.

Meanwhile we can all catch a glimpse of what will be as we cross at Echols Street. It is not hard now to imagine the new blacktop with yellow lines, the green grass along that new sidewalk, and traffic back to normal.

The woodsy Follin Lane SE, looking
north from Echols Street

Note: Vienna DPW and its contractors have been informative and transparent in progress and scheduling reports which they have made
available to Westbriar Civic Association. If you would like a recent copy, email us at


Vienna DPW
Head Retiring

Dennis Johnson, who served Vienna for the last eight years as Director of Vienna's Public Works Department, is retiring. Prior to this, he worked 34 years for the Arlington County Government, and retired as Chief of Engineering.

Deputy Director Michael Gallagher, was appointed acting director until Johnson's successor is selected. Related story HERE.

Never regret a day in your life.
Good days give you happiness
and bad days give you experience.
Both are essential in life.
All are God's blessings.
Have a great day.


New 5/12/16 Vienna Teen Pop-Up Events 7-9 pm Bring your own flashlight.

Club Phonix members, grades 6-10: Teens must wear sneakers and be dropped off by parent.

5/20 Flashlight Tag @ Glyndon Park.
6/10 Capture the Flag @ Glyndon Park
7/29 Tennis Court Dodgeball @ Meadow Lane Park
6/12 Flashlight Manhunt @ Glyndon Park

More info: Tammy Funk or



What is THAT?

It looks like landing lights on a plane heading your way, but it doesn't move. It is orangy in color, but too bright for Mars. A Navy weapons test or something? A space ship?

Nope. It is Mars after all. The unusual brightness will grow and peak at the end of May. Rising at sunset, it climbs low in the southern sky, shining all night. It is in opposition, meaning opposite the sun. We are making a close encounter of the normal kind. Nothing too exciting, but on the other hand, not something to be missed. Really pretty.


Farmers Market
Opens for Season

Not only fresh veggies and flowers, but so much more!

Sponsored by the Optimist Club, this is our only not-for-profit market in Vienna. Stop by every Saturday morning, 8 AM till Noon, for handicrafts, cheeses, breads, candies, coffee and flea market items.

Faith Baptist Church, Center Street S, across from the Fire Station. Proceeds support youth programs and scholarships.



Click the Pic. Geronimo!

Jump with the US Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs, into the enthusiastic crowd at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville TN to kick off the University of Tennessee Volunteers Spring Scrimmage.

Emma Morano of Italy is now the oldest person in the world, and the only person who was born in the 19th Century.

Dolce Vita ....


Tornadoes in

Extreme weather always makes for interesting viewing, unless maybe you are in the middle of it. Some of the best has been captured by professional storm chasers.

But this one tops anything done by the pros. From the audio, it sounds like a bunch of excited youngsters on an adventure, with far more bravado than common sense.

Fasten your seatbelts, Click the Pic, and take a ride on the wild side.


Vienna Town Election

The Winners are:


Mayor Laurie DiRocco

Pasha Majdi

Doug Noble

Linda Colbert

Congratulations and best wishes from Westbriar!

UPDATE 4/29/16

From the Nest

They Now have Names!

It's official! After a world-wide poll conducted by the American Eagle Foundation, the offspring of Mr. President and The First Lady are Freedom and Liberty.

And how they have changed! Only 6 weeks ago, the twins resembled fluffy round cotton balls with eyes and beaks. Now they are are the size of chickens, and are almost completely covered with sleek, dark brown flight feathers. By mid-June, Freedom and Liberty will be as big as their parents, and ready to dive off the edge of the nest to test out their wings. Click the Pic and join them in the nest.


The Bet
is On!

The mayors of Vienna, City of Fairfax, and City of Falls Church believe so strongly in the solar energy option and free home energy check-ups being offered through May 15 that they've put dinner on the line. The mayor and Council of the winning community, to be determined by number of home energy sign-ups will host a dinner and sustainability conversation with the mayors and councilmembers of the other two communities, who will pick up the tab.

Vienna came out on top last year with 289 sign-ups for home energy check-ups (and nine homes installing solar energy systems). power strips, and pipe insulation. To sign up for a home energy check-up or solar site assessment, visit by May 15!


VDOT Hearings on I-66
Project Scheduled

Virginia Department of Transportation has scheduled a number of public hearing on the I-66 road widening, both inside and outside the Beltway. The hearing will be held at a number of different venues nearby. For the latest schedules, contact us at


Wildwood Park
Delights Young

There seemed to be agreement that live angleworms were the best bait along the Wolftrap Creek this morning as the park was taken over by the 4 to 10 year olds eager to try their luck.

Brook and Rainbow trout, some as large as 13 inches were seen jumping the little chutes of white water separating the cascading pools.


Renewed Shopping Center Rushes
Toward Finish


Vienna Shopping Center at Lawyers Road and Maple Avenue is bustling with activity as workers are putting on the finishing touches for a number of new openings in the next months.

Best known to Viennians as the location of the long time Magruder's grocery store, the new wing will be home to a Chopt Salad, a Mod Pizza, an INOVA health clinic, and other retail spaces yet to be determined.

First to open was Chopt Salad, based in New York, with five other locations in the DC area. It features soups and salads with emphasis on freshness and top quality ingredients.

Chopt opened on Tuesday, April 26 with a very pleasant surprise: A free lunch!. All of Vienna was invited, and made contributions to the benefactor. Which was Westbriar's nearest public school, Westbriar Elementary. "It's our way of saying 'hello' to the community," said manager Michael Caine. "And we want to make a statement about the importance of a healthy diet, especially for our kids."


Westbriar to Get

The Westbriar Civic Board of Directors voted last night to institute a community-wide social network which will give members the ability to communicate with other individuals, or selected members (such as a book club) or broadcast messages to an entire zone (such as a lost cat). Members will also be able to reach out farther into the surrounding neighborhoods, because this network is growing fast and many parts of Vienna already connect through it.

The network, based and managed in the San Francisco area is called "NextDoor." It has been used to advantage for the last six months by a smaller group in Westbriar. Look for further announcements soon. Meanwhile click HERE for an overview.


Vienna got some tidy-up
work done this morning
by an army of young volunteers.
Thanks, guys!

Mill Street from Caboose to Sheets
was handled by this amazing team.

Wildwood Park was scoured for
traces of human intervention

David Burgess and his father, Craig,
spiffed up the western side of the
Wolftrap Creek.



Another of the original homes of Niblick Drive, Westbriar's initial foray into the cornfields and meadows back in the late 50s, is now becoming the foundation for a new home.

More than 78% of property sales in Zone A result in immediate tear down and replacement, making this one of the hottest real estate markets in Vienna.

"Things will go much faster now," said site supervisor Luis Brandon of Vienna DPW. "The roadway itself will be the most visible, but actually the smallest part of this project."

According to Brandon, there remains a gas routing detail at the Echols Street intersection, but this is expected to be completed soon. "We are all working for the earliest opening date."

The gas line relocation narrowed Echols Street to a single lane this week.

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


Vienna Bear

Black bears have been sighted this week in Oakton and Vienna. The Vienna case was near Southside park, pretty far from Westbriar.

But we do have nearby wild areas, so it is possible. Keep in mind that bears are timid, and will want to get away from you. Give him plenty of room to do so. Keep your garbage and pet food indoors.

If you see a small cub, do not "rescue" it. The mother may be nearby, and can get dangerous in this situation. Call Police.


3/15/16 Let There be (better) Light

"The street light at Course and Fairway Drive needs some improvement," said nearby resident Ross Shearer. He has contacted Vienna Public Works about the light which is currently not working. Ross has also inquired about the design, which is not very effective even when it does work.

This area was Ground Zero in a large number of auto tampering reports occuring five nights ago. The poor lighting may be a factor, according to Shearer.

Vienna DPW chief Dennis Johnson has Dominion Electric Resource Manager Tim Sargeant looking into it. There are more effective designs available which may be indicated for this location.

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


A Drama


Seems simple enough. The FBI has the Apple iPhone of the San Bernadino shooters, and would like to get the stored content so they can learn the terrorists' contacts and other information. Obviously, that would be the patriotic duty of Apple.

But it is not so easy. The data is highly encripted, and the software does not exist to retrieve the information. "Develop it," says the FBI. "We want that content, and we will pay you."

That would still seem patriotic for Apple to do. But wait. The FBI does not want Apple to just give them the content of this phone. They want Apple to give them the means to get the content of ALL iPhones.

"Oooops, now that is a problem," says Apple. People store their entire lives confidently on the iPhone, including medical, financial, highly personal stuff, and business secrets. iPhone has been considered, up until now, unhackable. When the hacking tools are out there, however, the hackers are never far behind.

All this happened just days ago. See the full position of Apple. It looks like it is headed to court, and there seems to be a lot riding on the outcome for all.


Westbriar Townhouse Proposal Meets with
Mixed Reactions

A proposal by the owner of two Maple Avenue lots at the intersection with Follin Lane to build townhouses has brought out a variety of reactions. Some consider it a smart use of valuable land in keeping with the rapid growth of Tysons. Others, particularly those living adjacent to the proposed redevelopment have expressed strong disapproval at a public meeting last week with the Vienna Planning and Zoning Department.

The lots in question are zoned RS16, meaning single family, so the concept would face a rather steep hurdle from the beginning: obtaining a zoning exception.

"It is an interesting proposal," said John Shreffler, President of Westbriar Civic Association, of which the lots are a part. "There does not seem to be much of a conflict with the Town's Comprehensive Plan, and there is nothing in our constitution that conflicts."

Derick Hess on Mashie Street is among many on Mashie Street close to the proposed project. "I am completely opposed to the proposal," he said. Others are not quite so sure. "I am in support of changing the zoning to allow for THs," said Kevin Cole of Woodnor Drive. "Done right, I think it is a positive enhancement for Vienna."

The lots (bright yellow) are contiguous with existing medium density housing (brown) on Maple Avenue.

This part of Westbriar is undergoing rapid redevelopment, with a substantial percentage of home sales resulting in new houses of 4000 square feet and greater. A decade ago, residents were distressed by this 'changing character of the neighborhood.' Not so any more.

"I would like to know more about our members' thoughts on some diversification at our end of town," said Shreffler. "People age. Should they be forced to move away from their friends when they can no longer handle the work of maintaining a half acre?"

Update 2/21/16 The property owner withdrew his application for this zoning waiver.
How do you feel about land use changes when they are close to home? What do you feel that Westbriar Civic's role should be in these matters? Contact us, and let us know your thoughts.


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


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....

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,



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.

The Crier is the newsletter of the Westbriar Civic Association. All rights reserved.
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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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