NEW Lights, Sound,
Church Street Stroll offically brings the
Yule Season to Vienna.
Well over a thousand Viennians braved the crisp temperatures
to join the fun last night as Mayor Seeman lighted the Town's Christmas
Tree, ushering in the Holiday Season.
The original Presbyterian Church looks down
at the newly-lighted tree.
But nobody seemed cold, thanks to a bottomless supply of hot chocolate served
up by Cathy Salgado and her crew from the Town's Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Church Street Stroll is a long-
standing and immensely popular Vienna program.
The night seemed to be owned by the young
set. Infants in strollers, toddlers perched on Daddy's shoulders, and the
elementary-agers easily made up half the crowd. The early evening program
Music was served up on a portable band shell parked at the
Here, the class from Wolftrap Elementary School belt out a
Trains were a big draw as the caboose, decked out in bows
and boughs welcomed a steady flow of visitors.
Meanwhile the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders
showed off their awesome handiwork at the historic train station.
The marshmellow roasting pit was a popular
spot on Church Street.
Epiphany United Methodist Church
Bazaar Saturday Dec 7
10 AM - 3PM
Club Drive at Old Courthouse Road
wreaths, centerpieces, poinsettias, baked goods, and See's Candy for sale.
Daniel F. Lane
Dan Lane of Westbriar Drive passed away Sunday, Dec 1. He had served the
Westbriar Civic Association for many years as Treasurer.
Dan is survived by a sister, two children, and two grandchildren. There will
be a memorial service 10 AM Saturday, Dec 7 at Money and King in Vienna.
End of a Vienna Icon 11/26/13
authentic dining experience for special occasions, the Garden was also the
Source-of-Choice for Chinese carry-out fans.
The closing of Wu's after
so many years has hit its regulars in many ways. From the Crier mail bag is
this by Brian A:
Wednesday is the last day - need to get a final order in.
I believe I've isolated the missing Kang Pao ingredient as Hoisin sauce
(just bought some, and it's definitely in there - solves like 80% of the
tastiness mystery). But there are a whole host of unanswered questions:
What pieces of chicken do they use? I think it's just thigh meat, but would
need to see it again. Do they marinate the chicken first? If so, in what?
What kind of vinegar, and what's the ratio of vinegar to soy sauce? Do they
add sugar beyond what's in the Hoisin? Is there garlic? Is there ginger?
We might have to take it to a lab.
INGREDIENTS Chicken Peanuts Chili peppers Green onions
Hoisin sauce Soy sauce Vinegar? Garlic? Ginger? Other?????
NEW FIRST NIGHT VIENNA,
A FAMILY-CENTERED NEW YEAR CELEBRATION
The Town of Vienna and the Vienna Business Association announce a new Vienna
tradition , First Night Vienna, a family-friendly New Year's celebration.
The event will be held along historic Church Street on Tuesday, December 31,
from 7 p.m. to midnight. The alcohol-free celebration will feature local musicians,
great food, exciting entertainment and hands-on activities for both children
and adults. The event provides two opportunities to ring in the New Year -
9 p.m. for the younger kids and a New Year's finale at midnight. Admission
is free; food and other items will be available for purchase. email
for more info
NEW Notes from the County
Tysons Comprehensive Plan Amendment
Phase 1 Follow-Up Dialogue
with County Staff
Wednesday, December 4, 7:30
– 8:30 p.m. Freedom Hill Elementary School Cafeteria 1945 Lord Fairfax Rd,
Highlights: A follow-up dialogue on the draft updates to the implementation,
land use, and urban design sections of the Tysons Plan will be held on December
4 at 7:30 pm. In response
to feedback received from the community, the Plan amendment for Tysons will
be brought forward to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors as
a single unit, rather than in three stages as originally proposed. Staff will
propose text updates and seek community input in three phases, focused on
specific topics. The Plan amendment will be advertised for public hearing
at the conclusion of Phase 3. The public is invited to a follow-up dialogue
with Fairfax County staff on a proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Plan
Boxwood Blight The Virginia Cooperative Extension has issued additional
information on the boxwood blight that has been found in Fairfax County. With
the coming of the holiday season, residents are urged to be careful when using
boxwood garland and cuttings in their holiday decorations. Spores on infected
boxwood plants can be spread through plant debris adhering to shoes or on
tools used to trim greenery. You can learn more about Boxwood Blight on the
Old Fashioned Holiday Celebration at Frying Pan Farm Park: Saturday,
December 7, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities include Children's Holiday Shopping,
Santa visit and photos, wagon rides, live music, warming fire and more. Information
is available online at Frying Pan Farm Park website,
or call 703-437-9101.
|| SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, December 12, for the Hunter
Mill District Holiday Open House. Join Supervisor Hudgins and staff for a bit
of holiday cheer, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., at the Reston Community Center at Lake
Anne, 1609-A Washington Plaza, Reston. RSVP Hunter Mill office
by Dec 7, 703-478-0283 or email
Election Progress 11/26/13
The closest race in Virginia's history has moved closer to being
finalized as the State Board of Elections on Monday certified Herring as the
winner of the Attorney General constest. On Tuesday, Mark Obenshain indicated
he would seek a recount.
Lt. Governor Ralph Northam (easy win)
Attorney General Herring by 165 votes out of 2
Westbriar's 35th District Virginia Delegate Mark
Keam (close race)
Adjacent 34th District Virginia Delegate Barbara
Comstock (close race)
Wolftrap Creek Project
No more workers' cars
are along Follin Lane near the Navy Federal Credit Union, and no more yellow
machines are in the woods. The project that began last March is finished,
and the wildlife is settling in again after what, to them, must have been
The Wildwood Park, which
stretches from Our Lady of Good Council to the W&OD Trail has a different
look and feel now. Previously rain storms would have overflowed the banks
and made the woods a swamp. It also caused problems for nearby residences.
The streambed has been reinforced, and made into a series of cascading pools.
It is pretty, and the improvement of the trails will make the woods an enjoyable
hike for dog walkers and nature lovers. It is the only year-round flowing
stream that touches the Westbriar boundaries.
The renewed creek looks great surrounded by the blazing fall colors.
Wolftrap Creek is spring
fed, and drains an area of about two square miles to the south east of OLGC.
The beginning of the creek could be considered the woods surrounding the end
of Byrd Road, although most of the waterflow during storms is now runoff from
all the roofs, sidewalks, driveways and new roads built over the last three
decades. The source area is in essence completely developed at this point.
Rain is concentrated, and water rises fast and higher than the days when the
area was all woods.
From Wildwood Park, the
Wolftrap crosses Echols Street, runs behind Fresh Market, and crosses Maple
at Wendy's. At Creek Crossing Road, it joins forces with a minor branch that
flows across the golf course. By now, the flow has doubled during storms.
By the time the creek passes under Old Courthouse Road, it is capable of flooding
the road and causing nightmares for commuters.
The Wolftrap crosses under
the Dulles Access Road and meanders through the woods behind the Wolftrap
Filene Center. At that point it joins up with the Old Courthouse Spring Branch
coming from Tysons, doubling again in size. A mile later, it joins the main
channel, Difficult Run, which heads to the Potomac River a mile downstream
from Great Falls.
Town Hall Meetings Now on Live TV
Vienna residents no longer have to go to the twice-per-month Town Council
Meetings to see what is happening in the Vienna government. You can now see
it all on Cox 38.27 or Verizon FIOS 27.
For many years, Vienna Town Meeting videos have been available a day or two
later on the Vienna website. But the single camera was stationary in the center
of the room's ceiling, and showed only the back of the speaker as he or she
addressed the Council members. Now, there are several cameras, and the proceedings
are covered professionally by panning, and zooming to the person speaking
at the moment.
It turns out that the first member of the public to address the Town Council
on the new televised system was from the Westbriar Civic Association. Click
HERE, about 4 minutes in.
|Vienna Halloween Parade
to the parade from Westbriar Zones A and B takes one through the parade's staging
where excitement is high,
and things are always interesting. It is a flurry of activity where bands
do final checks on their instruments and uniforms, and last minute repairs
are made to floats. It is a cool perspective on what's next.
Left: A 50 member team
of Karate students practiced their precision moves, perhaps setting the tone
for the elections coming up on November 5?
The Vienna Halloween Parade
is a time-honored tradition of Northern Virginia, and always well attended
by our elected leaders.
Del. Barbara Comstock
looking good in her favorite color.
Del. Mark Keam takes the
reins of a horse-drawn buggy.
Do you have your treats ready?
Local Author Introduces an Important Life Guide
Jenifer Joy Madden speaks of ways we can keep ourselves durable.
I was at Jammin' Java this afternoon for an authors' meet, and
picked up a copy of Jenifer's newly published Manifesto. This thin but
powerful booklet can be read in five minutes, but the ideas expressed could
change your life. It is best read slowly. And with introspection.
Especially, if you are a parents of young children and have
nagging uncertainties about the fact that today's kids spend 7 hours a day looking
at a screen. Or, if you are simply looking for affirmation that there are others
out there that might share your mixed feelings about the Computer Age.
About the Author...
Jenifer Joy Madden is multi-faceted
Renaissance Woman, who juggles many disparate facets of her life with seeming
ease and light-heartedness, yet brings a certain gravitas and order to all she
A science, environment,
and relationship communicator, civic leader, speaker, and journalism professor,
Jenifer serves our end of town well through her accomplishments in transportation
planning for Tysons. She is widely known as the force behind the new pedestrian
bridge linking Vienna to the Wolf Trap Filene Center.
|Measuring up Westbriar 9/29/13
If you see someone walking what appears to be a red wheel along the sidewalk,
here's the lowdown: It is a rotating ruler.
For 50 years, the Luminaria program distributed 10 candles for every house
and 20 for corner houses. While simple, it was not very realistic. Because home
lots vary in size, it resulted in a non-uniform look. Especially in cul-de-sacs,
where the pie-shaped lots called for fewer candles per house, it resulted in
quite a blaze. A waste, really.
So, our new computerized data base now has an additional column: Your lot's
street footage. By the magic of computers and Excel programming, we can now
just plug in the desired candle spacing, and instantly, every one of the 435
Westbriar houses will have its required candles, with spacings nice and uniform
down the whole street.
Another reason for this effort is economics. Nearly two thirds of the revenue
raised go back into buying more candles for the next year. The cost of the Luminaria
materials continues to go up, as well as the costs of registering and hosting
this newsletter. We want to keep the costs down, and have recently done some
subjective testing at night. We find that we can space the candles out farther,
and still achieve the same beautiful look. So, starting this year, we are going
to aim for 15 feet between candles. This will forestall the day when we have
to raise our annual fee. And it should be good news for everyone, since folding
bags and setting them out is not the most enjoyable part of the Luminaria.
The measurements are not super accurate, like it would be with a surveyor.
We take our cues from fences, utility boxes, and how people mow their lawns.
You can look at our data base and see the figure we came up with for your house.
If anyone would like some extra candles, perhaps for a summer patio party,
to line your walk to the front door for a Christmas party, or to fill a gap
created by a new house under construction, you need only give us a call. We
have extras on hand, yours for the asking.
Tysons Walking Tour 9/24/13
The Coalition for Smarter Growth hosted a walking tour Saturday for community
leaders and other interested parties.
Decked out in comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, and water, the group of
about 25 strong was led through the western end of Tysons to get updates on
latest developments of building starts, sidewalks, Metro progress, rainwater
management, bike trails, and more.
The walking tour of the
area ended at the top of the blue glass iconic Sheraton Hotel for wrap up discussions.
The view to the east shows
the Spring Hill Metro station in in lower left, and the Greensboro station in
Orientation for the tour
was provided by Aimee Custis at the start of the tour in the Walmart parking
Nick Perfili, Metro planner
for Fairfax County DOT, gave an update on latest projections for the Silver
Line opening. It is now about March 1.
Stella Coch of the Audubon
Society explained various concepts for rainwater management to keep the Tysons
On September 24, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved Tysons
West, the latest development proposal for Tysons. Developer JBG's plans
call for two new apartment buildings with 700 units in total, a 20-story, office
building and 100,000 square feet of retail. These building will rise from the
present location of the outdoor Walmart parking lot.
Significantly, this new development helps to advance transportation plans for
Tysons, as well as contributes to the arts. JBG will offer the county land on
its site to build a new ramp to the Dulles Toll Road. At no charge for the space,
the developer also will provide 3,500 square feet in one of its high-rise buildings
for a public arts agency for up to 30 years, and it will pay $350,000 to help
create a county Master Plan for the Arts. More info
Do You Have a Plan?
Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova
thought a while before posting this link on her Facebook page, since the subject
matter is something many people don't want to think about. But with VA Tech,
Sandy Hook, Ft Hood, Navy Yard, and now, Nairobi, she thought the greater good
was to see it.
video, produced by the Houston Police, could save your life.
Old Courthouse Road Getting a Facelift 8/8/13
Alert residents along the Eastern edge of Westbriar may have noticed a lot
of new colorful markings on Old Courthouse Road. Crews have been out marking
certain infrastructure items in preparation for a complete resurfacing tentatively
scheduled for this fall. The resurfacing will be a large job, and will be done
by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
|| Old Courthouse Road, often nicknamed "OCR", is VA State
Road 677. New asphalt will be laid down from Route 7, up Gosnell Road, and all
the way out to Trap Road, according to VDOT Inspector Max Taheri. Repairs will
be made to drainage features as appropriate.
|Westbriar Community Outreach Committee will be in
contact with the VDOT offices to make suggestions for possible improvements. One
item being studied is making the crosswalk at Pine Valley Drive a raised table.
The edges of the table could contain reflective markers to enhance safety for
Another item concerns the frequent flooding of the Wolftrap Creek at Besley
Road. Westbriar Civic Association has "adopted" the culvert, and can
claim some success in mitigating the frequency and severity of the floods. After
every moderate to heavy rainfall, an Outreach Committee member checks on the
drainage, and if a cleanup is needed, a report is filed with VDOT. The response
has always been prompt, but it is a never ending task. A better solution is
needed, and this road work would be the ideal time to address it.
The creek passes under Route 677 through an oval shaped culvert, 5 feet wide
by 4 feet high. This would be sufficient for even the worst of storms unless
the culvert gets blocked. And that is the rub. If rising water floats some deadwood
out of the forest and it gets snagged on the culvert, soon other branches snag
also. Then comes brush, vines, grasses and leaves, and soon the stoppage is
complete and the water rapidly goes over the roadway. A larger culvert is needed.
Flooding is a dangerous situation, since cars will float in surprisingly shallow
water. Even wading to safety in knee-deep water is risky. At the very least,
closure of this important artery creates huge traffic problems.
Blockages of the culvert are not apparent to motorists crossing the culvert.
For this reason, the inspection must be done by checking from creek level. The
photo at left below is the normal condition.
The photo at the right was taken 7/31/13 after some moderate rains the previous
nights almost caused water over the road. Note the log caught in the culvert
and the flotsam piled to the road level.
VDOT cleared the situation the next day after this photo was emailed in.
suggestions from the community on other OCR
improvements that could be forwarded to VDOT.
Hunter Mill District
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Buttery, Flakey, Dreamy
Ready for really fine dining?
...more than coffee
Ladies…Come learn about football from the author
of Football 101 and local football Coach Casey Samson. Sample some great tailgate
foods prepared by Chef Patrick Bazin. Topics include:
Rules of Football
Myths and reality about football
Why do people love RGIII but dislike Albert Haynesworth.
Football terminology cheat sheet
Is football safe for kids?
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... for that special occasion
A great read ...
... by a local author