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NEW 3/3/18

March: Coming
In Like a Lion


Northeast Hit by Severe Windstorm


Some Westbriar Homes Still Wait for Power Restoration

Sustained damaging winds of near hurricane force hit the region Friday, toppling trees and leaving hundreds of thousands without power in Virginia alone.

Aside from heaps of broken branches dragged to the curb this morning by homeowners, Westbriar residents appeared to have been spared the kinds of serious damage reported in the area.

Electrical power was cut for many along Westwood and Fairway Drives, but was restored about midnight. Not so lucky are residents along Westbriar Drive and Old Courthouse Roads. The problem is a large tree that fell across the lines near the entrance to Freedom Hill Park.

Witnesses who saw the tree fall reported fire and smoke from the high voltage, before the line was de-energized.

Old Courthouse Road, a primary commuter route, is currently closed to traffic near the park.

Old Courthouse Road at Freedom Hill Park

This electrical line serves Westbriar houses along the east side of Old Courthouse, and those on Westbriar Court. In addition, the line serves many of the streets surrounding Westbriar Elementary School. It is not clear if the School can open on Monday.

A more serious damage to the electrical grid is being addressed by crews at Westwood and Burning Tree Drives, where the winds broke one of the huge wooden poles carrying power to Tysons.

Westwood and Burning Tree Drives, a new steel tower is being installed.


Chanting is the traditional means of
preparing the mind for meditation....

Join us Saturday March 10,
7:30 PM at the
Vienna Baptist Church for

Jubilae Deo

Back Again! This could well be Vienna's most popular program for the younger set, and it's right in our end of town!

Fishing Rodeo Saturday April 10

Details HERE.

NEW 2/27/18

Vienna Eyes Unique Parking Proposal

The single story building at 223-241 Mill Street NE has been sold, and long time businesses including Tops of the Town, Vienna Lawnmower, and Vienna Hardwoods will have to leave. The new owner wants to replace the building with a four story mixed use structure which has commercial businesses at street level, and condominium residences on the 3rd level. The 4th level would contain storage spaces for rental.

The proposed building would need a zoning variance to accomodate the residential feature, or perhaps a Zoning change for the currently industrial/commercial area. The owner has made an interesting proposal to the Town in order to succeed in obtaining the variance. He would make the 2nd level of the building a parking lot with 127 spaces. The Town would purchase the parking lot, and operate it as they see fit. The price is estimated to be $4.6M, although a grant from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority might be available to cover half of that, provided the parking facility is made available to commuters. An NVTA application has been made, but the outcome will not be known until May.

The project funding would be through Meals Taxes, currently set at 3%. Parking would initially be free to the public, although that could change in the future.

Vienna has been seeking additional parking along Church Street for ten years, and the proposal does seem like a solution. The Town has been listening to public input for the last two months through informational meetings. On Monday night a formal hearing was held at the Regular Council Meeting.

After a presentation by Finance and Planning /Zoning personnel, the floor was opened to the public for comment. A wide range of opinions were expressed, ranging from unqualified approval to disapproval of rezoning the industrial area. Most speakers prefaced their remarks in support of some kind of solution to the tight parking along Church and Dominion. Generally, business owners affected were in favor of the proposal.

Many speakers felt that construction, financial details, and projections were not sufficiently presented or perhaps even contemplated. Questions were recorded, and after a recess, the meeting turned to answering these questions. See video of the meeting HERE.

Negotiations with the property owner are scheduled for March 12.



Another Westbriar Lot to be Renewed

405 Niblick Drive was one of the first nineteen homes that were carved out of the corn fields, pastures and forest surrounding the Westwood Country Club golf course in the summer of 1955. The home was trucked away today in pieces to make room for a new one.

When property changes hands in Westbriar, the chances are better than 82% that a new larger home will result. Proximity to Tysons has made our neighborhood one of the hottest real estate markets in the region.


Vienna Welcomes New Planning Director

Cindy Petkac, a planning professional with more than 20 years of community development and long-range planning experience, will join the Town of Vienna as Planning and Zoning director beginning January 29. Petkac replaces Patrick Mulhern, who retired from the Town earlier this month.

Petkac most recently served as planning division chief with the City of Fairfax. She has also served a principal planner with the Union Station Redevelopment Corp, planning manager for Duluth MN, neighborhood planning coordinator for the District of Columbia, and transportation planner with the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission.



Westbriar Family
Hits All the
High Notes

The Redskin's season was cut short this year, but that is not going to affect its loyal fan base. While most diehard fans can name all the starting players, few know the name of the tall Army officer that regularly sings the Anthem before our games, or "God Bless America" at the two minute warning prior to halftimes.

That would be Master Sargeant Kerry Wilkerson, a twenty year member of the US Army Chorus, who lives here in Westbriar Zone A. He will be retiring from the Army this summer, but not from music. Freelance singing and voice lessons are part of his plan.

Click on the photos to relive a slice of the Redskin's season....

Kerry's wife, Danielle Talamantes, is also a football fan, and has treated the stadium to her fine soprano voice. However, she is better known as a classical singer, being on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City for the last seven seasons. Those interested in the genre will enjoy browing her website.


Web Picks


HS freshman saves game at buzzer from 70 feet.


Slicing a bare hand through a stream of molten steel.


Don't do this. Please.


Got some time on your hands? Interesting stuff


Did You Get Alexa for Christmas?

Shhhh. Alexa is listening. Jenifer Joy Madden, our favorite local author and exponent of common sense, especially with respect to children in the Internet Age, has some interesting insights into this and other high tech toys. Perhaps some things you have not considered. Check it out HERE.

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 2018.


Silver Line

According to Federal Transit Administration officials, all six Phase 2 Metro stations are in the building phase, and collectively at about 74% completion. Power has been turned on to some segments of the track near the Center for Innovative Technology.

Currently the Silver Line ends at Wiehle-Reston, but Phase 2 will add six more stations, including Dulles Airport. All stations will have the same standard design features we are accustomed to, except for Dulles, which will mimic the strong lines of this iconic landmark. There will be no new parking associated with this station.

The six stations beyond Wiehle-Reston are Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles Airport, Loudon Gateway, and Ashburn. All six stations will open for passengers concurrently, and current projections places the opening date in early 2020.


I-66 Express
Lanes Open

But Toll Rates are

DC Commuters on the new Express Lanes were sticker shocked. The price of gaining perhaps 15 minutes of time costs more than a tank of gas for single drivers. The toll hit $35 on the first day, and $40 the next, making it the most expensive toll rate in the world.

VDOT makes no apology for the price, and cadidly admits it is strongly discouraging single drivers. The antidote? Take along a passenger, and drive free. Or consider Metro.


Fairfax Appoints New
County Executive

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors appointed Bryan Hill as County Executive yesterday, replacing Edward Long, who retired two months ago.

Hill is currently the James City County Administrator, and prior to that, was Deputy County Administrator in Beaufort County S.C.

Hill's appointment will become effective January 2, 2018. Click on his image for more details.


For our troops serving around the world today, and those tansitioning out of the military, our obligations are only beginning. Taking care of them and the families is a sacred responsibility we must always uphold.

To all our veterans -- thank you. Thank you for everything you've done for our country. You're among the best our nation has to offer. God bless you and your families, and happy Veterans Day.



Dedicated at Community

The memorial is a fanciful creation by Texan artists Seth and Missy Vandable linking reading to imagination, creativity, and success.

Council Member Linda Colbert,
daughter of Jane Seeman, reflects warmly on growing up with her activist parents.

Mayor Laurie DiRocco and
Colbert unveil the statue.

About two hundred Viennians turned out on this crisp but beautiful morning to mark the installation of a memorial dedicated to the late, popular Mayor Jane Seeman, and her advocacy of volunteerism as the catalyst of community strength. This is the first production of the Public Arts Commission, which is part of Vienna's Parks and Recreation Department.



Today, the Cassini space probe, which has been toiling for two decades up close and personal with Saturn, has been steered into a planned fatal collision.

Cassini is arguably the most impressive space mission so far undertaken when considering difficulty, information wealth, and overall success. Click on the image for an informative overview.



American Legion Post 180 hosted the observance of 911 this morning ...

under a clear blue sky
evocative of that day
16 years ago.

Mayor Laurie DiRocco delivered Proclamation of Remembrance.

Keynote speaker Col Jerome Driscoll, USMC Ret offered personal recollections.


New Townhouse Development


Existing apartment building seen from Locust and Center Streets to be removed this week. Town Hall is in distant right center.

A seventeen unit townhouse redevelopment is slated for the parcel of land between the Vienna Town Hall and the Police Station. Final construction approval was awarded at the August 21 Council meeting to Sekas Homes Ltd. after discussion of minor setback dimensions to bring the design into better harmony with existing adjacent buildings.

Click here for a comprehensive description of the project.

An architectual rendering of the new town home cluster.


Revised Plan
for New Westbriar Subdivision

The Vienna Town Council has approved the development of properties by Mashie LLC at the corner of Follin Lane and Maple Avenue. See previous story.

The new layout will create six new lots and homes by combining four original lots. All homes will share a cul-de-sac accessible from the 100 block of Mashie Drive. This is the first instance of a new subdivision in Westbriar Civic boundaries resulting in more lots than a single lot split in half.

The layout details were influenced by input from Mashie Drive residents, many of whom viewed an initial seven lot division unfavorably.


Wildwood Park

Stream News

Restorative work is underway on the Wolftrap Creek upstream from Follin Lane. See previous article from May, when the project was approved. Diseased, stressed, or otherwise substandard trees have been removed (left), and the basic alignment of the creek has been carved out (right).

Next, large rocks will be installed to define pools from which the water will cascade one into the next, slowing the stream down and allowing it to percolate back into the water table. The rocks will form a strong bulwark against erosion.


This part of the Wolftrap is virtually a secret woods enjoyed by Westbriar residents in Zones A and B. It has entrances off Follin Lane, Niblick Avenue, and the Mashie cul de sac. The trail will be refurbished and have benches along the way.

The finished project down stream in this winter shot shows the cascading pool technique of flood control.

Patience is a Virtue


Incredibly, nobody was seriously hurt.

Your Home, as seen by .....


Town Logo

Vienna Town Council has capped off a community-intensive, 5 month brand development process by adopting a new Town logo. The logo was created by Ashton Design of Baltimore, and presents 3 iconic Town facilities: Town Hall, the Freeman Store and Museum, and the Town Green stage. Communications and Marketing Manager Lynne DeWilde said, "... it will be a rallying symbol of Vienna's strong community pride, active lifestyle, and nurturing nature."


When a Salesperson Knocks

Know the rules regarding door-to-door solicitors.
All solicitors must be licensed by Fairfax County.
All must respect a "Do not solicit" sign.
Click HERE for a complete summary of the
rules for when you get that knock on your door.


A Friend

How Sweet is This?


Town Hall Meeting

Monday, April 3, 7-9 PM
at the Fire Station, Center Street S.

Our voices in Richmond, Delegate Mark Keam and Senator Chap Petersen, will bring you up to date on events and plans, and take your questions.



Six months into its operation, the roundabout at Park and Locust is highly rated by Vienna commuters. In an informal survey taken at Giant and at Cedar Park, motorists were nearly unanimous in their praise for this innovation. "It completely solved the left turn backup from Locust," said one. "Best traffic upgrade Vienna has ever made," said another.

It was a risky decision, since roundabouts (as distinguished from traffic circles) are so rare in this country. It would take getting used to. And what if it simply added confusion, or led to accidents? Indeed, several people surveyed told of near-misses early on, where drivers on Park Street were unaware they no longer had their customary right of way.

But the gamble paid off. After some tweaking with signage, and a learning curve, the intersection seems in retrospect to be a no-brainer. Traffic on Park is a bit slower, but the payoff is that everyone gets through without a long teeth-clenching wait. While it is still a bit early for valid accident statistics, so far it appears that safety is not an issue.

The Verdict is in!

Kudos to the Vienna Transportation Commission.


Don't Fall
for it.

It's Tax Time, and police report the # 1 Scam has shifted from the "Your Computer is Malfunctioning" to "This is the IRS ...."

You just need to go down to the store and purchase a $500 prepaid Paypal card, and read him the number. Then you will be safe from arrest for tax evasion. The caller will get very aggressive. It works on lots of people. Don't let happen to you.

The IRS will NEVER make a call such as this. If they have an issue with you, it will be handled by mail. No exceptions.

When IRS calls, just hang up.

The way to a good Health Care System is to require that all members of Congress enroll in it.

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.



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."

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?

"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.

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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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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