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New 6/14/17

Resident Studies Town's
Variance Procedures

Dale Sawaya, a long time Vienna resident and Vice President of the Westbriar Civic Association, has been looking into Vienna's standards and procedures regarding variances in real estate. What she has found is that applicants for variances have been using a voided standard. The new standards, based on Virginia codes, have been accepted by the Town, but never actually put into effect. Dale wants to help update the standards.
Click HERE for more details. If interested in this issue, please contact Dale..

New 6/14/17

Revised Plan for New Subdivision

Mashie LLC, has submitted a new plan for their properties at the corner of Follin Lane and Maple Avenue. See previous story.

The new layout would create six, rather than seven new lots. All homes would share a cul-de-sac accessible from the 100 block of Mashie Drive.

The new layout is welcomed by residents on Mashie Drive. "It's a dramatic improvement from where the process began months ago," said neighbor Karen Watts on

New 6/14/17

Stories and Sprinklers


Historic Vienna provides some cool diversion for the young set on Wednesday afternoons at 1:30 PM, from June 28 through August 2. Come down to Town Green behind the Freeman House for a picture book story read, a guitar performance and sing along, and then jump into some water sprinkler fun.

And on Saturday July 29, 1-3 PM join the Water Park Extravaganza, also on the Town Green. You will get wet, so bring towels, and sunglasses.

New 6/14/17

Wow. When Have You Seen a Play Like This,
Even in the Major Leagues?

"Our worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts. No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts." Budda

Father's Day this Sunday

A New Taco
Your Home, as seen by .....





Farmers Market Open

.... through Oct., 8 AM to Noon. Faith Baptist Church Parking Lot, 301 Center St S.

Enjoy a cup of cocoa and music as you select your fresh-picked, sun-ripened produce, baked goods, and crafts.

Ken Liu, who lives in the 900 block of Country Club Drive, sent in a photo of a fox that has taken a liking to his street.

Caution: foxes are a carrier of rabies.

Good News from
the Tax Offices

The property tax rate for the next Fairfax County budget cycle will not increase despite some talk to the contrary. How are the rates set? Chairman Sharon Bulova offers an overview in this Video.

Likewise, Vienna's property tax rate will stay the same for Fiscal Year 2018.

Is this the year?

Unfortunately not, as the Penguins
skate to the next level.



A huge apparently healthy tree in the 400 block of Blair Road NW suddenly crashed to the ground without warning. Fortunately it fell toward the street, and damage was limited to utility lines.

Crews worked over the weekend to tidy up.

Looking into the tree from the new perspective ....

.... reveals it was hollow.


Wildwood Park

Stream News

The Wolftrap Creek upstream from Follin Lane will soon be upgraded to match the work done three years ago on the downstream side.

The banks will be strengthened by large rocks and buried netting to resist erosion damage during heavy rainfall. The effects of rain runoff are severe now that the watershed is almost completely built out. Fast moving flood waters undermine and topple trees, and in general degrade the forest environment.

The new phase, costing about $1M, is funded the VA Dept. of Environmental Quality, and by Fairfax County. Vienna will contribute design and construction management.

Left: Erosion damage is evident along the stream path. Above: The finished project down stream in this winter shot shows the cascading pool technique of flood control.


Zone H has
New Officer

Westbriar Civic Association welcomes a new staff team, Chuck and Polly Dombroski, who will represent Zone H on the Board of Directors.

Chuck and Polly live at 912 Fairway Drive with their dog, Iggy.


When you synch your camera to a chopper's rotor


The Hill

Perfect day, stately mansions along shady streets, hundreds of interested and interesting folks, free lemonade and cookies along the route, and tons of azaleas of every imaginable color.

Walking Windover Heights, Vienna's Olde Towne, is a springtime tradition at once casual and genteel, dating back four decades. Sunday's walk mixed in a bit of info on energy state-of-art.

Can a meter actually run backwards? Yes. A solar energy engineer points out features of Council Member Carey Sienicki's installation

The DC Electric Vehicle Club showed up with seven fume-free rides.

VA Del. Mark Keam couldn't resist checking out a model legally classed a golf cart, but does 65.


..... and

Temperatures climbed into the mid 90s, but fortunately huge tents provided shade and a chance to catch up with friends at the annual Taste of Vienna. About 20 of Vienna's popular restaurants offered samples of their fare.

Perfect Fit!

The last piece of Navy Federal Credit Union's pedesrian overpass was installed this morning. The structure will shorten the walking route between the main structure and the new Annex building under construction, and eliminate the crosswalk on Electric Drive. A concrete floor will contain heating elements to prevent snow and ice buildup since the sides will not enclose the walkway completely.

Clockwise from right, the section is slowly lowered with only a small fraction of an inch to spare on either side.

Welders filled the gaps. The bridge will remain suspended until the welds have been inspected.

The view from street level. Navy Federal is Vienna's largest employer, and will expand its workforce significantly when the Annex is finished.

Public Hearing
Vienna Town Hall

Wednesday, April 26, 8PM

The Vienna Planning Commission will consider a proposal by the owner of four contiguous land plots at the intersection of Maple Avenue

and Follin Lane to subdivide the land, which is part of Westbriar Civic Association Zone B. The land is Zoned RS16, which means single family, minimum 16,000 square feet. Although none of the present individual lots are large enough to be subdivided, in aggregate the land could be divided to accomodate up to seven homes meeting RS16 specifications. The addresses are 101, 103, and 201 Mashie Drive, and 701 Maple Ave SE. See current Map and proposed new home layout.

A related issue is the disposition of a small frontage road between the properties and Maple Avenue. The road originally provided parking, since the homes built at the time typically had no garages.

A proposal to rezone the same four properties early last year to allow townhouses was defeated.

Update: 4/27/17 The subdivision discussion was continued to the May 10 meeting to allow time to obtain legal advice on the ownership of a frontage road along Maple Avenue, and to examine a claim that driveways to the proposed houses would constitute a safety hazard.
Update: 5/11/17 The Planning Commission certified that the proposal had met all applicable zoning requirements.

Update 4/23/17

From the Nest


One of the eagle chicks got its leg caught in the branches of the nest, and was being injured by the mother's attempts to free it. A decision was made to intervene with a dangerous night climb to the 80 foot high nest just as a storm approached on April 20. The chick was taken down for observation, and returned to the nest the next day. All is now well.

See a composite summary video of the dramatic three days HERE.


Easter Weekend
Water Line Break

A water main break closed off the 900 block of Fairway Drive over the long Easter weekend, and left the residents briefly without water. Vienna dispatched an emergency crew to restore service. One resident said "I applaud the Town's rapid response, as they were on scene and at work in force rapidly after it occured."

NEW 4/19/17

Vienna Ranks High on
Best Places to Live

According the the Niche Report,
Vienna scores 13th best across Virginia.
See Story in the Vienna Patch.

Summer on the

Coming Up

First up: talented James Madison High School Jazz Band on May 5. All concerts begin at 6:30 PM. Bring chairs, blankets, munchies, but no alcohol please.

Click HERE for the complete summer's lineup.


ISS Video

Swing on board as Astronaut Sunita William shows off her digs a couple of hundred miles above Earth. This homey, low key but fascinating tour is packed with information on living in space, and is recommended for anyone with a technical bent, especially the young set.

Why does this work?

Make a circle or square on
the floor with masking tape,
and your cat will go there.
Any explanations?

New 4/15/17

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.


Street Makeover

The two block section of Echols Street between Niblick Drive and Wolftrap Road got a completely new surface this week. This was the scene of a water pipe replacement last September, which had left a somewhat bumpy scar. Next week will bring a brand new road.


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.


Clean Sweep

With the melting of surprise snowstorm Stella, the Vienna DPW will be turning its attention back to the annual spring cleanup. Notices will be posted in your subdivisions to advise of dates. Please help the Town to get the best sweep by not parking your vehicle on the street.


Police IT Upgrade

Vienna Police will get an upgraded software package to handle its operations. The $95,000 purchase was approved by Town Council 3/13/17


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.



noun or verb. The act of absorbing oneself so fully into an iphone as to lose awareness of the surroundings, sometimes with undesirable results.

Click and watch the surfsnoozer on a New York train platform Tuesday.

Did you set your
clocks ahead?


Lunar eclipses are a dime a dozen, and partial solar eclipses visible from home are not all that rare. But on August 21 of this year, a total solar eclipse will streak across the entire country from Oregon to South Carolina, and will give those inclined to do some reasonable travel a once-in-a-lifetime blast of cosmic flourish. Much detailed info on this event is available, and here is a particularly good link.

In Vienna, most all of the sun will be eclipsed. But to get the full effect you must go to the path of totality. For us that would be a trip down 81 past Knoxville, or down 95 to Columbia. If you don't experience totality, you won't quite understand what the fuss was all about.

Two things: It needs to be a sunny day.....

....and you need to protect your eyes.


Swim Power!

James Madison High School girls swim and dive team came in first in statewide competition.

The boys team came in 2nd place after edging out Oakton.

The Boss meets an unusually skilled apprentice.

This will put a smile on every Springsteen fan.

Westbriar Contributes to
Arts Fund

Westbriar Civic Association has made a $500 contribution to the Town of Vienna Public Arts Commission for a marker to memorialize the late Mayor Jane Seeman's support, promotion, and appreciation of volunteer citizens' services. UPDATE 3/13/17 The location of the marker will be at the Community Center, which is currently under reconstruction.

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.



Real Estate

Jim Nelson, a Long and Foster agent and resident of Westbriar Zone E over on Westwood Drive, has put together a comprehensive report on property sales and trends in Vienna. It is rather interesting stuff. To take a look, click on Jim's photo at the left.

Westbriar members in good standing may promote their businesses for free in the Crier.

1/23/17   by Leon
Lasagna Bake Off

I was a guest last evening at a Westbriar dinner party with a theme. Each of us came with a small homemade lasagna, and we all did a blind taste test to determine the best. Among the guests were David Hicks, an epicure and food critic for local newspapers, and Mme Antoinette Grenouille, a well-known French and Italian chef.

While my offering did not do very well, there was a clear winner, Maricel Capalla, who actually baked her entry on a charcoal grill because of oven problems. Maricel confessed that her recipe was not original, but it was so astoundingly good, she was persuaded to pass on the secrets HERE

Do YOU have a
great recipe?

Let's hear from you.

Going Viral ....

First published in 1779 by its creator English poet John Newton, Amazing Grace fell there into relative obscurity, but was adopted by Americans in the early 19th Century to become probably the most popular or at least the most recognizable hymn. It is often chosen to amplify heavy emotional situations, such as funerals of public safety officers.

Recently, Peter Hollens and his five vocalist friends (Home Free) have released their version. Yes, there are so many versions, all are beautiful, and many are exceptional. Elvis has one.

But this one is worth the listen. Click on the image at the left, but don't entrust things to the little speakers in your phone or computer; use earbuds. Enjoy the goosebumps.        Thanks to Patti

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.


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
from 2011 to present in
the Crier Archives

In memoriam ...


Our Leadership at a glance


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Have an interest in singing?

The Vienna Choral Society
would like
to meet you!


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Westbriar Members
advertise their favorite
businesses for free.


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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Next ISS

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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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