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NEW 3/22/14


Navy Federal Credit Union, largest credit union in the country, and Vienna's largest employer by far, will get even bigger. And with the growth, approximately 600 job opportunities.

The present Annex D building will be replaced by a quarter million square foot, four story office complex with parking. An elevated walkway across Electric Drive will connect empoyees with the main structure.

Navy Federal has been mentioned in the Crier last summer in connection with an improvement to Follin Lane, which will add a lane for two blocks to better accomodate 123-bound traffic at the end of the work day.

NFCU is Westbriar's closest commercial neighbor to the south.
Architectural drawing credit: Vienna Patch.

NEW 3/22/14

by Leon

The performance by the Vienna Choral Society last night at the beautiful and acoustically excellent Vienna Baptist Church was indeed "goose bump good." The program, titled Text and Sound was an eclectic mix of poetry and other writings, first read, and then interpreted through beautifully arranged tonal renderings.

Perhaps the most inspiring, certainly the most emotional for me, was a reminder that we are in the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, ending in May. It was a letter written by Major Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah, on the eve of his deploying for battle.


Click to read the entire letter

Some singers and staff of the Vienna Choral Society live among us here in Westbriar, which is one reason why we are happy to promote their work.

The other is that they are very good at what they do. Treat yourself to a future performance.

NEW 3/17/14

What's Up?

Renewal in Westbriar

Where's the "Hot Spots"?

There is no question that the County's commitment to Tysons and the Silver Line debut have made our end of town a red hot real estate market.

But where exactly is the most renewal activity in Westbriar? The answer is not surprising: it is in the area of the oldest homes, Zones A and B. Prior to 1955, there were a few older homes up at the top of Westbriar Court horseshoe, and the Westwood golf course was there. But the rest of what was to become our Civic Association was at the time corn and hay fields, and some forest.

The first major development occured in the summer of 1955 and consisted of eighteen split-level homes on Niblick Drive from 123 and extending to Echols Street.

The homes at that time were built to standards that were in the process of rapid change. For example, the electrical outlets (usually only two per room, had only two slots, lacking the round ground socket. The old rusty screw-in fuse box that was home for spiders (remember?) had a capacity of only 60 amperes. There was no air conditioning. As home owners added the A/C to individual windows, they soon found they had to increase the electrical capacity.

Insulation in these original homes consisted of a light sprinkling of cellulose in the attics, and was completely missing in the walls. The double hung wooden windows were drafty, and the homes did not come with storm doors or windows.

By the time the homes on the north side of the golf course were built, central heating and A/C were pretty much standard. Home builders had learned a lot, it seemed, about insulation in those five years. Not like modern houses, however. The reality of energy costs forces a great deal of attention to R-factors and air leakage in building materials and techniques.

And it works. When you tour a brand new home during open house, you will be astonished at how small the furnace is.

Over the years, the original 18 Niblick Drive homes were reworked by successive owners to make them livable. All have acquired central A/C, several have had bump-out additions, and one has been completely rebuild using the original framing as a start. However, it is more likely that these homes will be replaced when changing ownership. It's just more practical in most situations.

Looking forward, neighborhood renewal hot spots in Westbriar will continue to follow energy efficiency and electrical convenience, which puts them roughly in line with the dates of the original construction.

How are we doing?

Long time Westbriar member James Nelson has provided The Crier with an interesting exclusive report which identifies recent trends within our association's boundaries. Our outlook is great.

Like most real estate agents, Nelson confirms that an active Civic Association is a strong positive factor for buyers choosing a home or neighborhood.

James Nelson is an agent with Long and Foster in McLean. He can be reached at 703-861-8675.

NEW 3/17/14

How are your New Years
Resolutions Coming?

Polls show the most popular resolution people make is to get into better physical shape this year. Coincidentally, this is also the resolution most often broken, year after year.

It is somewhat surprising, because almost nothing is more certain to be achievable, effective, noticeable to ourselves and to others than reversing the effects of age through common sense. "While we can't do much about age, we can do a lot about how it affects us," says Ken Bowman, a knowlegeable exercise enthusiast.

The Crier is going to examine some fundamentals of exercise in a multi-part article through interviews with Ken. Watch for them coming up.


March is Water Main Maintenance Month

As part of spring housecleaning, Vienna's crew will be flushing out water mains to keep everything in top shape.

In the process, sometimes sediments get stirred up. If you experience a little cloudy water, don't worry, it is harmless. Just run your cold water for a few minutes to clear it all up.


Vienna Election Tuesday May 5

With the filing deadline for candidate in the rearview mirror, incumbents Carey Sienicki, and Howard Springsteen are in the race, and Tara Voigt is running for the third open seat. So, unlike last year's hard-fought campaign by six contenders, it looks like all have a Council seat waiting at Town Hall.




The question for each person to settle is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence and educational advantages; the question is what he will do with the things he has. The moment a person ceases to dream or to bemoan his lack of opportunities and resolutely looks his conditions in the face, and resolves to change them, he lays the corner-stone of a solid and honorable success.

Hamilton Wright Mabie


New Art Commission Formed

Vienna has new Arts Commission to advise and assist the Vienna Town Council on matters relating to the advancement of public art in the Town, including the development and funding of a public art program. The proposal for a Vienna Public Art Commission evolved from the research for a M. Jane Seeman Memorial by the Mayor's Advisory Committee.

Want to help?

Residents of the Town or representatives of businesses or professions located in and licensed by the Town interested in serving on the Commission can apply online HERE.


Solar Iniative Moving

The Vienna community can get free home solar assessments and bulk purchasing discounts to reduce the cost of powering their homes and businesses with solar energy. To assist homeowners who may not be candidates for solar, the program also offers a free home energy checkup to any resident who registers before June 30.

"This program offers something for everyone," said Mayor Laurie DiRocco. Solarize Vienna will be featured at the Town"s Green Expo to be held on April 23 at the Vienna Community Center. More Info.



Prime Ministers of foreign lands have addressed our Congress on issues that they felt were pressing. In 1941, Winston Churchill spoke of a rising threat in Europe, and travelled at great personal risk through a sea of U-boats to bring his message.

Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu travelled at considerable political risk to outline this morning the perils the Mid East and world could be facing in a situation of similar dimensions.


Ice Sculptures

Monday brought us a wonderous sight as the bright sun revealed the work Mother Nature had spent the night silently constructing.

While walking could be downright dangerous, still the beauty of the quarter inch of clear ice on everything was stunning.


Happy Birthday,

Vienna celebrated the 125th Anniverary of its incorporation Saturday, with a bit of hoopla including period music performed by the Vienna Community Band, a reenactment play featuring several of our present council members as actors, free rides on a horse drawn buggy, light refreshments and open house at the Little Library, Caboose, Freeman House and Train Station.

And of course, some appropriate words by our local leaders, including Mayor DiRocco, US Rep. Gerry Connally, VA Sen. Chap Peterson, Del. Mark Keam and Fairfax's Sharon Bulova and Cathy Hudgins. A nice way to mark the milestone.


in Vienna

$30,000 is being offered by the FBI for information on two serial bank robbers who have hit seven banks in Northern Virginia, Anne Arundel County, Md., and Charles County, Md. since Jan. 2. The "Black Hat" bandits have become more brazen at each robbery . On Wednesday afternoon the two robbed a BB&T Bank located at 440 East Maple Ave. in Vienna. Both subjects were dressed in all black and carried handguns. Forty minutes later, at 3:56 pm, the two subjects robbed the Wells Fargo Bank located in Sterling. In both robberies the subjects fled with an undisclosed amount of money.


Fairfax County Budget Proposed

Fairfax County Executive Edward L. Long presented his proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget, including the Multi-Year FY 2016-2017 Budget Plan to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. He proposed a General Fund budget of $3.8 billion for FY 2016 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016), an increase of 2.61 percent over FY 2015 .

"Underlying this budget are the realities of our fiscal situation," explained Long. "Although the county’s economy continues to grow, we are clearly underperforming the national economy. Residential real estate assessments are growing at only half the rate of last year and nonresidential real estate assessments are down from last year. In this economic environment we are not able to fund all our priorities."

The proposed budget maintains the FY 2015 Real Estate Tax Rate at $1.09 per $100 of assessed value.


Vienna Town Initiatives
Under Consideration

Formation of Arts Advisory Panel

An advisory panel created last year to study a memorial to the late mayor Jane Seeman has been tentatively expanded to become a permanent Vienna Arts Commission. Presented at the February 2 regular meeting, this concept has been opened up to public comment, and a vote on it is scheduled for this Monday's meeting.

The new Commission would advise the Council on matters involving artistic content, primarily, but not limited to concepts along Maple Avenue.

Solar Power Initiative

Vienna is looking seriously at regional programs which are designed to support the expansion of solar energy generation at the home level.

As the price falls and the efficiency of solar cells rises, sunlight power is no longer a pie-in-the sky. The components are commercially available now. Every bit of energy that you pull from the sun is energy that slows down your meter and lowers your electricity bill. Under certain conditions, your meter could even run backwards!

Watch for more news on this issue.


Snow Bandito Strikes Again

Residents woke up Tuesday to find their driveway snow missing.


It's just Damien having fun with his shiny red Jeep and new plow.

Nobody seems to be complaining. Except maybe some teenagers walking around hoping to shovel for money.

The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone.

But the things you do for others remain as your legacy.


Thoughts on
President's Day

by Congressman Ron DeSantis

In the U.S. Code, the third Monday in February is set aside to commemorate the birthday of George Washington, yet this has evolved into an unofficial "Presidents' Day."

This is too bad. Washington was one-of-a-kind and deserves the special recognition that the federal statutes afford him. In modern America, Washington is at the same time ubiquitous and under-appreciated.

On the one hand, his name is honored by the federal District of Columbia,

numerous universities, and a state in the Pacific Northwest. His likeness adorns our currency and the monument to him in the nation's capital is by law the tallest structure in the federal district. On the other hand, Washington's legacy seems to have little influence on modern political debates. Continue reading.


State of the County,
and more...

County Chairman Sharon Bulova's newsletter this month is particularly informative and interesting. The State of the County Assessment is given in video format. There is important information about your property tax assessments, I-66 improvements, and lots more to absorb at your leisure. Click HERE.


Another Scam Reported
in Westbriar

A telephone caller identifies himself as the IRS, and claims you owe back taxes, and makes threats of dire legal action. He gives you a chance to get your account in order by .... you guessed it .... buying a GREEN DOT card at the drug store. He is mostly targeting the elderly. Do not fall for it.

No real IRS or any Federal agent, or law enforcement officer would ever contact you by telephone with demands of this kind. Just hang up, and call the police.



A Lesson in Durability

A great read by our favorite local human advocate ...

Sometimes, fate needs to knock you right over to get you to pay attention. That's what it took for me to be mindful.

It was a winter Saturday morning and I was ready to tackle a list of home projects when I took a last peek at my email. A town meeting popped up and suddenly I had to be there. I figured I could also get some exercise if I rode my bike. [Continue]


New Signs Added

Bright yellow "Cross Traffic Does Not Stop" signs have been added below the stop sign at two intersections along Hine Street SE. The intersections of Mashie Drive and Follin Lane have been the scene of accidents and near misses over the years. Nearby residents have asked the Town to consider making these four way stops. A decision has been deferred until after the Follin Lane widening project has been completed.

REALLY NEW 1/13/14

At age 49 hours, Eden Annabel is all belted in for her first automobile ride, home from the hospital.


"Hello, this is
Microsoft calling....
Your computer has a
Problem and we are
here to help you


Great! Except that none of it is true. He is not from Microsoft, your computer is fine, and his intention is to harm you.

Nobody from Microsoft, or any legimate company would ever place a call like that. It is a scam. It is a very lucrative scam that is being reported widely on the evening news and in the newspapers. Six Westbriar members have reported it to us in the last month.

If you play along a bit, he will have you hold the Windows key down and press the R key. This will bring up a dialog box, into which he will tell you what to type. This will take you to an error log, which will typically show many low level harmless self-correcting errors that your computer logs daily. This is to gain your trust, and convince you that your computer is malfuctioning.

Then, he will direct you to a web page where you will download software which gives him remote access to your entire computer, so he can "fix things." He will guide you through the steps to marry your computers together. Then, he politely says "Good bye." He will at leisure browse all your communications, banking, and everything else. You shouldn't store your passwords on your computer, but we all do that, and he knows it. He can and will go into your on-line bank accounts and clean them out.

When Microsoft calls,


Vienna VA

Fairfax County

Hunter Mill District

Cathy Hudgins



Browse other Crier stories
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Save the Forest

432 BUS Archive

Creek Crossing
Traffic Calming



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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
703-861-8675. Coupon