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NEW 9/14/17


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 in terms of difficulty, information wealth, and success. Click on the image for an informative overview.

NEW 9/11/17


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 9/11/17

Irma Deadly, but Far Less Than Expected.

The predicted path of Irma, up the Gold Coast from Miami to Jacksonville, did not come true.

A late right turn steered the 7th largest hurricane of record across the upper keys where it made landfall near Naples, a relatively small city.

Once inland, the wind speed rapidly slowed, as it tore through the Everglades, disturbing the alligators, but mercifully avoiding

the carnage which was feared. About 3 AM on Sunday morning, Irma fell below 75 MPH as it passed by Tampa, 30 miles inland.

Meanwhile, the strong inland winds blew the sea up the St Johns River causing massive flooding in Jacksonville. Millions are without power.

While the loss and suffering are immense, Irma's potential destruction was largely avoided in Florida.

NEW 9/8/17
Florida Braces

Irma Landfall
expected Sunday

Bargain hunters will appreciate this. A seat on the mostly empty planes to Miami currently go for about $45. The return trip, however, is $1400 and rising.

I-95 has opened a normally southbound lane to northbound travel to accomodate the exodus as Irma approaches. Current forecasts predict a north to south path up the east coast toward Jacksonville.

The long path through Florida could make Irma the costliest storm the state has ever experienced, according to some authorities.

St Martin island was particulary hard hit on Tuesday, suffering ten dead. The popular Maho Beach was completely destroyed.

The attraction here to the younger crowd was the jet airliners skimming the beach at 20 feet overhead as they landed. During takeoffs, the beachgoers would cling to the chain link perimeter fence, and be blown horizontally by the hot exhaust.

NEW 9/7/17

Final 2017 Block Party
at the Caboose!
Friday, September 15th, 6:30 to 9:30
Music by Chump Change (classic rock)

About ten food trucks will provide a wide range of eats. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase with identification. Surrounding streets will be closed to traffic. See you there!


Speaking of Rock ....

Check out the awesome talent of these young performers:


NEW 9/7/17

Just About Ready for
Prime Time

Open House


Stop down on Park Street S. on Saturday. September 23 for the
dedication of our renewed Community Center.

Come early and enjoy music by Vienna's own Jammers.
Ribbon Cutting at 1 PM.

After that, do your own touring through the facility. See demos of
Sports for Kids, Pickleball, Seniors N Synch, giveaways and more ....

NEW 9/5/17

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.



We Have a


Drone Video

What Happened: A combination of natural and man-made realities. Hurricanes typically reach land, continue on course, lose power rapidly, and disperse rain over a wide area. Not so this one. Harvey was held in place by a high pressure system to the west, lingering over Corpus Christie and Houston for five days, where it dumped enough water to fill the Great Salt Lake. A factor in the flooding is that the Houston soil is one of the most impervious in the nation. It does not soak up water. Moreover, the topography of the city has many low areas which do not drain well, even at best.

Houston is one of the fastest growing cities, bouyed by plentiful jobs and favorable tax structure. There is pressure to pave and build, but long range infrastructure planning is substandard, according to urban engineering experts. A storm like Harvey was never seriously considered.

If you are inclined to help, please be aware that internet scam artists take advantage of situations like this. Red Cross is a reliable organization. You might also contact organizations in Houston directly to ask what their needs are.



Town Logo Nears Approval

Vienna moved forward in selecting an official logo. Originally nineteen concepts were received from the public, and of these, two were presented to the Council last night. Concept A, immediate right, was selected, but the discussion is still open as to the exact Vienna buildings used in the icon.


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.


A Lunar Encore

With the Eclipse so near in the rear view mirror, it may be too soon for this ..... but click on the image for a short but very beautiful time lapse of the Moon in another perspective.

The photographer is also an astronomy buff and knew exactly where he had to be at Boston Harbor. The early distortions are due to the many extra miles of atmosphere.


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.


F35 Shows off its Hover Capability


Our trillion dollar air superiority fighter has of late been showing off its unique capabilities to hover, to land vertically, and to take off on zero or very short runways.

It's been a long time coming, and its future is still up in the air. But you will enjoy seeing the Star Wars flight characteristics of this new generation of jet.


Patience is a Virtue


Incredibly, nobody was seriously hurt.

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.


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

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.

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.

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.


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.

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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