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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.

New 1/8/17
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

New 1/8/17
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.

New 1/5/17
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

Happy Thanksgiving

from the Crier staff
at Westbriar

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings each morning,
thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes tightly closed against the morning light as long as possible,
thank you Lord, that I can see. There are many who are blind.

Even though the election may not have gone my way,
thank you Lord that I can vote. Most people in the world have no meaningful voice in their future.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, and tempers are short,
thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though I grumble about my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest,
thank you, Lord, for the gift of life.


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.


Country Fair a Crowd Pleaser

Perfect 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 on inside.

Churning butter seems close to magic to the present generation.

A young Huck Fynn whitewashes the picket fence.

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 publications.

Buckland is a leading authority
on the colorful local character
John S. Mosby, whose group
could be considered one of
the early versions of the
US Special Forces.

"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
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Browse other Crier stories
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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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