The Crier Archive
These stories were previously published on The Westbriar Crier
It's dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,
It was the Annapolis Bluegrass Coalition Friday night on the Vienna Green, belting out the oldies and familiars, and a few surprises, at one of Vienna's best kept secrets. About a hundred enjoyed the free concert despite the 95 degree heat.
In case you missed it, here is the group doing Katie Sue from two years ago.
Click on photos to enlarge.
Scroll down the page for the schedule of the Summer Concert series in the right column.
Happy Mother's Day
An old lady was sitting on a bench in a garden with her 40 year old son. There was a tree beside the bench. Old lady saw a bird sitting on the tree. She asked her son, "what's this?" Son replied "it's a crow. The lady again asked what's this? Son said, "I already told you that it's a crow." The old lady again asked later, "what's this?"
Her son angrily said, "Are you deaf or mad, mama? How many times must I tell you it's a crow." Can't you understand?
Old lady patiently replied, "My dear son, when you were 5 years old, you asked me 174 times the same question, what's this? And I replied every time with a kiss that it's a crow! Now, I asked you 3 times and you were irritated."
NOTE: It's the difference between the love of parents and love from the children. So please do your duty when your parents are dependent on you. Don't hurt them. Love your parents, you'll be in their shoes soon.
Anne Yin Dee
Meadowlark: As Pretty as its Name 10/19/12
Three ponds are home to Canada Geese, turtles, and brightly colored carp, who coexist in harmony. The woods abound with the usual squirrels and chipmunks, chattering in squeaks and clicks.
Hundreds of species of plants and trees are identified with low-key nameplates, and a meadow of perhaps three acres has been allowed to go wild, save for a maze of mown paths.
Colorful butterflies seem to like the wild meadow. Meadowlark offers private gardening activites, hosts school trips, and particpates in merit badge programs with local Boy and Girl Scout Groups. Click HERE to see more photos.
Vienna: Tree City USA 4/28/13
Photo by Vienna Patch
For the twelfth consecutive year, the Town of Vienna has been named a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to urban forestry. The award was presented to the Town by Mr. Joe Rossetti of the Virginia Department of Forestry at the Town's annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony on April 26. During the ceremony, the town planted a Golden Willow tree in the Town's Centennial Park located by the W&OD Caboose on Church Street.
Four standards must be met to become a Tree City USA community: having a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service. Information can be found at www.arborday.org/TreeCityUSA
Pothole Repair Season Begins 4/8/13
Now that the temperatures are warming up, it
is time to do something about the winter damage to our streets.
Here, the Vienna Department of Public Works resurfaces a badly worn section of Echols Street SE.
More work in the Westbriar area is coming soon.
NEW An Idea for Good Food-Lovers 4/26/13
If you are out strolling today, Saturday, enjoying the perfect weather and long-awaited profusion of spring, what if you suddenly come down with a case of the munchies? You would head over to your favorite restaurant, right? The great part about today is that no matter what your favorite is, it is all located in the same spot: The parking lot of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.
Back by popular demand: The Taste of Vienna
Sample the best from the local fare
Admission is free. Food and beverage including beer and wine is purchased from vendors.
Proceeds are donated to the fire department. A great way to support those who have your back.
A great way to get to know your local restaurants.
The Brooke Rentals crew readies the tents
Bazin's on Church
Brio Tuscan Grille
Chef Geoff's Tysons
Church Street Pizza
Sweet City Desserts
Tequila Grande Mexican Cafe
Yirasai Sushi & Grill
|Vienna Police Chief Steps Down 1/5/13||Robert A. Carlisle, Vienna's Chief of Police since early 2001, is leaving this post to become the Vice President for Security at the Navy Federal Credit Union. Prior to his tenure with Vienna, he was with the Fairfax Police Department for 21 years, serving lastly as the Commander of the Criminal Investigations Bureau. He also served as Assistant Chief of the Falls Church Police Department prior to his joining Vienna.|
Mayor Jane Seeman said of Carlisle, "Col. Carlisle was an excellent Police Chief to work with. He believed in community policiing and reorganized the VPD to reflect that belief."
Town manager, Mercury Payton said Carlisle "transformed the way the police departmet does business" and provided "invaluable guidance" to Vienna in its budget, emergency management and personnel selection. "He will most assuredly be difficult to replace." The search process for a replacement has not yet begun.
The Staff at
2012 was an eventful year, with a presidential election, and interesting Vienna and Tysons developments.
This is a time for reflection and enjoying family, friends and good memories. If we have these, we are wealthy indeed.
The Luninaria, postponed due to rain on Monday, was really nice. Thanks to all who particpated.
Luminaria is also our annual fundraiser ($10 per household). Most of the funds go back into buying next year's luminaria materials, and a small profit goes into web registration and server hosting for this newsletter, and certain other direct operating costs. If we missed you, please send in your annual dues.
Scam Alert: Navy Federal Hit by "Phishing" E-mail 12/20/12
A heavily circulated e-mail is currently targeting members of the nearby Navy Federal Credit Union. The email header purports to be from email@example.com, and the Subject is "Identification Update". The letter is poorly written, with spelling errors, and directs customers to click on a link so that they can update their information and change passwords.
The link presented appears to be the valid Navy
Federal URL, which is
WARNING: This site is bogus, and was created to extract your password and other information in order to clean out your account and steal your identity.
Mark Forrest, acclaimed Irish tenor, will present an concert of seasonal and other inspirational songs at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church on Sunday, 1/20/13, 7:30 pm. His melodic voice has filled concert halls and cathedrals from Carnegie Hall to The Vatican. He has sung for the late Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul II and has entertained the like of Charlton Heston and Maureen O'Hara. From the White House to his own house, with his wife and 7 children, he continues to inspire the world with his music. Tickets: $20 in advance; $25 at the door; available at 703-938-2828, x 130.
Venue: Our Lady of Good Counsel Church Address: 8601 Wolftrap Road
Hurricane Sandy Aftermath 10/30/12
Is This Your Cat? 12/5/12
NEW Meet Our State Leaders 1/7/13
Golf Course Gets Complete Facelift
Leaf Collection Underway 10/22/12
Twinkies Demand Levels Off 12/10/12
Annual Church Street Holiday Stroll ....
... will take place on Monday, November 26,
from 6 to 9 pm on Vienna's Historic Church Street. Santa will arrive via fire
truck at 6:15 and help the Mayor light the tree, there will be musical performances
on the stage and strolling singers along the street. Historic structures including
the Freeman House, Vienna Presbyterian's Old Chapel, the Knights of Columbus
(formerly 1st Baptist), the Caboose and the Train Station will be open. There
will be a petting zoo, supervised bonfires with marshmallows to roast, hot
chocolate, shopping and Coldwell Banker will sponsor a Toys For Tots collection.
The event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by Historic Vienna,
Inc., the Town's Department of Parks & Rec and Church Street merchants. Hope
to see you there!
4 More Years for Obama - Biden
Tim Kaine for VA Senator
Gerald Connolly 11th District US House of Representatives
Happy Halloween 10/24/12
Supervisor Hudgins Elected to VACO Presidency
The Vienna Town Council held public hearings December 5 on adoption of a proposed snow removal ordinance Chapter 10-20.2 to the Town Code. The proposal would have affected only businesses and industrial zones, and would require property owners to clear the sidewalks within 24 hours after snowfall ended, or receive a notice which gave a deadline of 12 more hours.
Several business and property owners spoke in opposition to to proposal. Donny Sobel, owner of the Clock Shop on Church Street, pointed out the difficulties of complying during heavy storms. "My parking lot gets sealed off completely every time the plow passes," he said. "I don't mind taking care of the snow that falls on my property, but the snow donated by the town is a different matter. I have no place to put it, and it has to go back on to the street."
The Council Members spoke at length on various procedures for exceptions during large snowfalls. Wording was proposed to empower the Public Works Director to suspend notices under such conditions.
Councilman Springsteen indicated that he saw no real public pressure to make snow removal part of the Town Code. "Also, it is a slippery slope where the next step would be to require it of residential areas also," he said. His views were echoed by Councilwoman Cole, who said she had reservations about having an ordinance which would be not possible to enforce. "We should rely of the goodwill of the business sector to do the right thing," she said.
In the end, the proposal was defeated by a vote of 5 to 2.
The Hunter Mill DistrictTransportation Committee will be hosting their quarterly meeting on February 15 at the North County Governmental Building beginning 8 AM. HMD TAC discusses the transportation issues affecting the Hunter Mill District with various transportation staff and agencies. Meetings are open to the public. If there are any questions, please contact Paul Davis at 703-478-5124.
The Army from the West
Every year, our town is a destination for the "Army from the West", as it is called by an employee of the Fairfax County Consumer Complaint Bureau. The army is a collection of rural folks who come to Vienna, usually from the Blue Ridge and beyond, to trim your trees, clean your gutters, and solve any and all problems. They are unlicensed, uninsured, and working outside of Fairfax County laws. They usually ask for cash, or a check made out to themselves personally, and without a paper trail, they rarely pay taxes.
If you really know what you want, what a fair price is, and personally supervise the job, you can get your job done and be happy. But you are not what many of this army is looking for. Their ideal customer is a homeowner who does not really understand what they want, has no idea what is fair, and trusts that the job will get done properly as they go away for the day.
Case in point: In May, an elderly lady in our neighborhood engaged one of this kind to solve a water problem in her basement. Not understanding what she was getting, she left for the day after signing a contract for $9000. The contractor dug two shallow pits, one close to her house, another further away, and connected the pits with drain line. Then, they filled the pits with gravel: About four wheelbarrow loads of it. The total effort was four man hours, and about $50 worth of material. The solution would not have worked anyway, since the pit near the house was lower than the other. But the intention was not that it worked. When the lady came back, the contractor was waiting and demanded another $4000 because he had used "high quality gravel". We are talking about a material that costs about $19 per ton. She did not know what to do, and meekly wrote out the $13,000 check, which was cashed immediately.
As senior citizens, we tend to become more dependent for yard work, and do need help. Many of us do not really know the value of a particular job that is outside our experience. And most importantly, we come from an era when dishonesty was not so common. Please be careful when approached by the Army from the West. In most cases you will pay more that if you used a local reputable tradesman. At the very least, get second opinions and estimates. Don't be bullied. Call the police if you are unsure.
Fortunately, the story above has a happy ending. A neighbor got interested and called the Fairfax County authorities, who in turn called in the Vienna police. Enough pressure was applied to the contractor's bank, that the bank simply gave the money back to the victim out of the contractor's account. Apparently, the contractor's habits were well known in his community. Happy endings, however, are rare.
Vote Fraud Alert 11/1/12
If you get a phone call that invites you to vote by phone or email, it is a scam.
Voting can only be done by absentee ballot through US mail, in person at the registrar's office or in person on Election Day, November 6, at the polling place at which you are registered.
The Virginia State Board of Elections said voters - particularly older Virginians - are receiving phone calls from unidentified individuals informing them they can vote over the phone. "This information is false," the SBE said. The purpose is to suppress the votes of persons assumed to be on the opposing side.
If you receive such a call, ask for the name, phone number, and organization from where the individual is calling. Then, contact the State Board of Elections at 800-552-9745 and report the call.
Happy Ending: Lost Dog, Buddy, is Found Safe
Buddy, an 80 pound lab/bloodhound mix, was lost for a long time. Click HERE for details. Westbriar Civic Association
Westbriar Crier is the Newsletter of the Westbriar
Ground broken for new Cul de Sac
Work has started on the Tyson's Crest cluster of six single family homes, which is located on Old Courthouse Road near the intersection with Country Club Drive. According to Sekas Homes sales manager, Grant Johnson, the lot sizes will be uniform at one quarter acre, the houses will range from 4800 to 6000 square feet, and start at about $1.2 million.
Shuttle Buzzes Westbriar
Water Outage in Westbriar Zone D 11/9/12
Cold Weather Cures the Noise 7/20/12
Taste of Vienna: Hope to see you there! NEW
The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (VVFD) announces the Taste of Vienna. The focus of the event will be to showcase the many excellent restaurants the the Vienna area has to offer. The VVFD parking lot will be lined with over 25 local favorites, and the event is expected to draw large crowds of area diners.
Time: Saturday, April 28, from 11 AM to 8:00 PM
Admission is free, and guests may purchase food from an array of local restaurants. Alchoholic and soft drinks available. Proceeds are for the benefit of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, who have served our town for over 100 years, protecting lives and property.
A partial list of participating restaurants:
More information Here
Unwanted Newspapers UPDATE
A Westbriar resident has asked the Crier if it knew how to stop unwanted copies of the Fairfax County Times from being delivered to all homes on Fridays. John Freudiger on Kramer Drive has been unsuccessful in several requests that his delivery be stopped, and asked The Crier if anyone else cared about this
About a dozen residents responded to our solicitation of opinion. It appears that many people are likewise dismayed by a number of different publications that appear uninvited on the driveway.
K.B. writes, "Basically, these papers are supported entirely by advertisements, and not by subscriptions. It is in their interest to essentially throw the papers all over the town in order to say their circulation is, say, a quarter million. Even if nobody reads the paper, the advertiser is lured by the circulation figure, and the paper can in turn command higher prices for advertising space. It is a circular argument, but it works, even through the primary result is to turn green trees into paper for the landfill."
H.W basically agrees, adding that "...what we are seeing is temporary, only one vestige of a moribund technology that began with Gutenberg. As the information age develops, this will be self-correcting."
In the meantime, I guess we need to live with the annoyance.
As L.E. put it, "When some jerk throws his McDonalds lunch bag out the
window, we don't let it lie there because we didn't get to taste the french
fries. Same with the newspapers. Trash is trash."
Pinewood Time at OLGC School
Local Cub Scout Pack 976 held its annual Pinewood Derby at OLGC last Sunday, and by the end of the afternoon, determined the winners from a total of 74 young participants.
In the summer, the Cub Scouts are at camp, learning how to pitch tents, tie knots and paddle a canoe. But in the winter, the Pinewood Derby is King. This activity was introduced about 60 years ago, and is wildly popular across the country. About 50,000 groups participate. Winners of local groups go on to compete against other regional groups.
It's quite simple, really. Each boy is given a block of wood and some wheels, and the object is to turn it into the fastest car he can. The boy gets help from Mom or Dad, but is expected to do most of the work himself.
Then comes Derby Day, where all the cars are raced down a
sloped track in an effort to find the three fastest cars in the room. In the
old days, this was usually determined by adults standing over the finish line
and trying to call it, while another adult put the information on a large
chart. A tedious and almost impossible chore to get it right.
Twin Burglaries Reported in Westbriar Community
Vienna Police are investigating two burglaries which occurred in the early evening of March 21. One took place in the 1000 block of Country Club Drive NE, and the other took place in the 600 block of Manor Drive NE. These are adjacent streets.
In each case, entry was made when the house was occupied. In the Country Club Drive incident, the property owner was playing cards with friends in the living room when the burglar entered the house through an open front door. He took a purse which was visible from the exterior of the house.
In the Manor Drive incident, a purse was also taken while the victim was at home. No arrests have been made.
Westbriar Drive Traffic Calming Moves Forward
The Vienna Transportation Safety Committee has recommended effectively narrowing Westbriar Drive NE by adding paint striping from Old Courthouse Road to Maple Avenue. Also proposed is another police traffic study for four months after completion of the striping to evaluate the effectiveness. A proposal was considered earlier this year for speed tables to be installed, but no action was taken. Residents of Westbriar Drive have expressed concern about cars speeding on this route in morning and evening rush hours. The striping proposal is on the Town Council agenda for 12/19. Click HERE to see the location of Westbriar Drive. It is exactly in the center of this map.
Update 12/19/11: The Vienna Town Council voted unanimously to accept the Transportation and Safety Committee's recommendation to apply paint striping on Westbriar Drive, and conduct a study on its effectiveness.
Update 5/21/12: Vienna Police has conducted another
traffic study and the results seem to show a significant improvement in mean
and maximum speed distributions. Apparently the paint striping is doing a
Halloween Winner October 2011
The winner of Best Halloween Decorations goes this year to
Rick Peel at 305 Niblick Drive. Wow!
Vienna Choral Society
Come to one of Vienna's
best loved holiday traditions, the Vienna Choral Society's annual holiday
concert! This year, enjoy Christmas Stories, where we'll tell the Christmas
story from a few different perspectives and also have some fun with contemporary
Christmas stories such as The Night Before Christmas, The Nutcracker,
A Charlie Brown Christmas, and more. VCS will sing 4:30 pm, December
17, at Vienna Baptist Church.ĘTickets are Adults/$20, Seniors and students/$15,
Families/$35. Season tickets are also available. Buy them online
at or at the door. Children are most welcome! Vienna Choral Society is nearly
25 years old, and a non-audition, open rehearsal choir with singers from Vienna,
Oakton, Tysons Corner, Fairfax, and beyond. Learn more
about us, friend us on facebook,
or follow us on twitter - @ViennaChoral. Questions?
email us We'd love to hear from you and see you in the audience!
American Legion to Host Virginia Leaders
State Senator Chap Petersen, and Delegate Mark
Keam will be at the American Legion Post 180 on N. Center Street at 9AM, Saturday,
January 23. The public is welcome to ask questions and hear about Virginia
There is still a little left. The truck that brought us sand in December for the luminaria apparently was a little overloaded, and we have several tons that need a good home. All Westbriar residents are welcome to help yourselves to the sand piles on Fairview and on Westbriar Drive. The sand is clean, and can be used for concrete projects, drainage, soil conditioning, or for a sand box for the grandchildren. The pebble content is a little too high for good brick laying. This is strictly first come, serve yourself, with no limitations.
Sand remaining after April 20 will be offered to Westwood country club for use in their on-going drainage projects, as they re-do the golf course. Click to see sand locations.