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 runniing under
Niblick Drive. Above, Kramer Drive is used as a staging area for pipes and
The project should
result in more reliable service for this neighborhood. We can all drink to
|Your Vienna Vehicle Tax is due October 5
|Register for the Halloween Parade by 9/23
The 15th anniversary of the 911 attacks was marked this morning at the Freeman
A persistant playful breeze made itself part of the ceremony, as it caused
occasional roaring noises in the sound system. While this might be distracting
in most venues, it seemed strangely appropriate this morning. At times it sounded
like high altitude airliners. At other times, it sounded like roaring fire.
Just as Congressman Gerald Connolly was describing his experiences on that
fateful day, and said, "... crashed into the Pentagon ....,"
a particularly strong gust sounded like an explosion.
How Do You Teach 9/11 to Kids that Didn't Experience It? See
Clockwise from top left,
American Legion Post 180 presents colors.
Congressman Gerry Connolly
contributes some personal memories.
Vienna Mayor Laurie DiRocco
reads our Proclamation of Remembrance.
Ron Patterson, past commander
of Post 180 adds some moving readings.
VA Delegate Richard Anderson
(51st District) delivered the Keynote Address.
Heather Colbert sang a moving
rendition of "God Bless America."
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
Fair a Crowd Pleaser
weather combined with plenty to see made Saturday at the Freeman House the place
to be. The theme was a walk back in history a hundred years or so, to celebrate
Vienna's farming roots, and see how things were done before we had Giant, Safeway,
and Walmart. Kudos to HistoricVienna
for a fun afternoon.
The talented Difficult Run String
Band kept it hopping with continuous Bluegrass music.
A future homemaker
managed to work the washboard and hang it out with clothespins, despite the
bright red cast on her arm
The petting zoo was especially
popular, with about two dozen kinds of creatures to meet.
A boa constrictor
has an interesting feel around one's arm.
A living hive showed what goes
Churning butter seems
close to magic to the present generation.
A young Huck Fynn whitewashes the
A mysterious blonde
headed robot darted among the crowd all afternoon, amusing most, but sometimes
startling little kids.
Noted Civil War historian
and author LTC(R) Eric Buckland set up a book signing table for his latest
Buckland is a leading
on the colorful local character
John S. Mosby, whose group
could be considered one of
the early versions of the
US Special Forces.
A few finishing touches, some signs and some white and yellow line painting,
and the new roundabout was operational last night. A Crier reader reported
entering from Locust Street, driving four and one half times around the circle
and returning on Locust. "Works great!," he said.
Meanwhile, a stone's throw away, the roof girders of the Community
Center's gym are silhouetted against the sky.
The Town has set August for making a roundabout at the intersection
of Locust and Park Streets near the Community Center.
Although popular in the rest of the world, we have few roundabouts in the
US. And that is a bit odd, considering that they have a lot going for them
when compared to lights. They cause no confusion during power failure. But
more importantly, they are much more efficient. Nobody waits idly for a red
light that happens to be doing nothing for anyone at the moment.
Roundabout Rules are few and simple:
1. Travel the circle counter clockwise
as the sign at the left suggests.
2. Cars already in the circle have
Right-of-Way over cars that have not yet entered the circle.
Don't do this.
It scares dogs.
So, how are they going to fit this thing into the tiny intersection?
Click image to enlarge.
It will be a Mini Roundabout. The center will be a slightly raised dome
of bricks, low enough that it could be driven over by fire engines and 18
wheelers when necessary.
Through traffic will be detoured
around the construction via Park Street and Moore Avenue.
So Far ....
If you are navigating a Metro commute through Orange and Silver lines Safety
Surge 2, nobody will blame you for being a bit on edge.
But in the air conditioned comfort of your car or admittedly crowded Metro,
do give a thought to the crew out there in the 100 degree sun. How many remember
the days before air conditioning? How did life work, exactly?
By the way, while looking for an image of steel-driving John Henry, we ran
across this video of how
modern railways are built. Who wudda thunk?
Track Crew, c. 1905
Full Moon by Louis Kasza
Aside from bus discounts
and increasing numbers of youngsters calling you "Sir," one of the
best perks of being a senior citizen is a free (to you) set of eyes if and
when you need them. At the left is what my left eye saw Tuesday night after
my recent cataract surgery. At the right is what my right eye saw.
Righty gets done this week so they will again be a matched pair.
Cataract removal is really
amazing. The only discomfort during the ten minute procedure was the needle
poke in the arm used to deliver a sedative-induced calm. There was none during
the operation itself, as hard as it might be to believe by watching
the procedure. Caution: Not
for the squeamish.
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
A ZIPPY DAY
Channel 5 has a fun Friday Thing called ZIP TRIP where they set up
an anchor point at interesting places in the viewing area, and return there
for a respite from the heavier news of the day. Today it was Vienna's turn
to show off our special stuff.
So, after waking us up to Brexit, the Dow-Jones nosedive, traffic-paralyzing
crashes, and more Metro delays, it was fun for Tucker Barnes, Allison Seymor,
and Wisdom Martin to learn that normal life still abounds in places like the
Freeman House, (right).
And it's fun to interview the Moms Run This Town running team. And
see the offerings from our bicycle shop, and play Trivia with Mayor DiRocco.
And taste some delicious local chocolates, and hear about our efforts in solar
energy. And much more.
Photo Credit: WTTG, via screen prints and tweets.
Who's on First?
Jacob, Flynn, and Sophia have the answer. They proudly show off the
very first tire that travelled the new Follin Lane.
After some minor finishing touches, Follin Lane was officially opened this
morning by the Mayor, Town Council Members, Town Manager, and Department of
Photo Credit: Adam Kincaid
love the smell of Hot Asphalt in the morning ...."
With apologies to Robert Duvall and Frank Coppola, the aroma is more like
roses, especially to Westbriar Zone A and B folks who have been anticipating
this rebirth for nine months.
The massive infrastructure upgrade, one of the town's largest in recent memory,
will bring walkability, better utilities distribution, and likely improved
safety to this tree lined entrance to Vienna's Technology Center.
The last underground work at the Echols intersection was finished today,
the excavation was filled in and the roadbed is being prepared for paving.
Life on the
as bad as expected)
Savvy commuters have long been
fond of their secret route to avoid the Route 123 morning and evening grind.
But things were disrupted on May 31 when the final phase of Follin Lane reconstruction
The intersection with Echols Street
needed upgrading of the storm conduits to cope with the additional run-off
from Follin's new curb and gutter system. Without the deep ditches to drink
in the raindrops, about three times as much water will now head, during storms,
down to the Wolftrap Creek in Wildwood Park. Without the upgrade, the intersection
To handle the gaping hole in the route,
a detour from Echols was created down Mashie Street, and made a crossing on
Hine Street over the partially paved Follin. For the first two days, it was
a bit confusing for all. Mashie and Hine residents had never before seen the
routine Echols Street rush hour traffic.
But several things combined to
ease the situation. For one, Navy Federal Credit Union, Vienna's largest employer,
beseeched its employees to find other routes if at all possible.
A second factor was that Vienna
sent over a police presence on Wednesday to keep the traffic calm. A trailer-mounted
radar display monitored speed, and officers brandishing hand-held radar guns
made sure the point was clear. The officers reported no speeding, but did
pass out a few tickets for expired safety inspections. Most of the delays
on that day was from lost motorists asking for directions.
But probably the most effective
measure came from a Mashie Street resident, computer IT specialist Cindy
Speck, who suggested that it was pointless to direct the detour traffic
in both directions. "Why not open Hine traffic all the way to Echols
Street, and just let the commuters take their choice?" she asked.
Speed display keeps it cool
Speck Detour goes into effect.
Speck's amazingly simple but logical
suggestion was passed on by Town Councilman Pasha Majdi, who was monitoring
the situation at the site, and by the next day, freshly painted signs were installed
at the appropriate locations. On Friday, there was zero morning rush hour traffic
on Mashie and the evening rush hour was cut to less than half. The 2-way traffic
on the narrow street disappeared altogether.
The Crier sent out an email
request to residents along the detour route for comments on how it affects
their life. Not one respondent had a negative word. Frank Johnson,
who lives on Hine, which bears the full detour volume, said "It's been
a long time, but I'm happy the project is nearly done."
Meanwhile, construction of the
sidewalk from Maple Avenue to Echols Street will be finished Friday. This
stretch had always been a No Pedestrian zone.
Metro Delays Start
Vienna Metro service is going to be much slower and more stressful starting
Saturday. The first move in a system-wide safety upgrade will be single
tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston stations, which will affect
both the Orange and Silver Lines.
Single tracking will require the number of trains to be correspondingly reduced,
so packed trains and station platforms will be the norm.
Also, to provide more time for track work at night, the closing time will
be moved from 3 AM to Midnight. To help alleviate the commute problems, Metro
is stepping up bus service. However, many commuters will likely opt to drive
to jobs in Arlington and the District.
This, of course, will have its own profound effect on our roads, 123, 66,
and GW Parkway, already up to near-capacity in rush hour.
Private ride services such as Lyft and Uber may turn out to
be the only winners as Metro repair work progresses over the next year or
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.
usually has a thick Asian or African accent. "Hello, this is Microsoft
calling. Your computer is giving out errors." See More.
Mosquitoes and Zika
for its black
and white bands
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.
A breath of fresh air into the constant PC drumbeat from most mainstream
media, including the Washington Post. VA Senator Chap Petersen, after
carefully researching the views of Native Americans, has concluded that the
overwhelming majority actually like the R-word. An assumption
had been made that "redskin" was derogatory, referring to the Native's
darker skin tone than the European's, and was deemed racist.
A false assumption, it turns out. Read Chap's entire statement
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
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.
"The Pessimist complains about the wind; the Optimist expects the
wind to change; the Realist adjusts the sails." William
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
Active in Vienna 11/26/15
Your computer is malfunctioning.
We are here to help you"
We have reminded you of 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
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
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,
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
Browse other Crier stories
from 2011 to present in
the Crier Archives
In memoriam ...
at a glance
Join our List Server
Have an interest in singing?
The Vienna Choral Society
to meet you!
Free Community Events Advertising
Send in your details, and we will post.
advertise their favorite
businesses for free.
Greek * Italian * American Cusine
Westbriar's favorite carryout
Add a little Latin energy to your next party or catered event.
Click photo to learn about something deliciously different
Buttery, Flakey, Dreamy
"Many paths, traveling together..."
Full Service Landscaping
...more than coffee
... for that special occasion
2 great reads ...
... by a local author
How's your roof?
Click photo for prediction
Jim Nelson is a Westbriar member and real estate agent
with Long and Foster in McLean. He can be reached at
Online Diet Plans