The Crier Archive

These stories were previously published on The Westbriar Crier

It's dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,
Where the dangers are double and the pleasures are few.
Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines,
It's dark as a dungeon way down in the mines.

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.

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Town Green!





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

One of the area's best-kept secrets is about to go crazy with color over the next weeks. And when it does, it will be just another dimension of beauty to an already picture-perfect expanse of woodlands, meadows and ponds. Sprinkled among the natural are easy walking trails, interesting structures and plentiful benches to get comfortable and lost in your memories.

Never heard of Meadowlark? Don't feel alone. You actually have to look for it. It is on a stretch of narrow Beulah Road that really demands your full attention to driving. Head north, and look for a modest sign on the left just after Symphony Meadow Lane. If you get to the bridge over the Dulles Access Road, you went too far.


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


Election Incumbents
Results Keep
2013 Seats










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
Caffe Amouri
California Tortilla
Chef Geoff's Tysons

Church Street Pizza
Crepe Amour Culinaria Cooking School
Famous Dave's BBQ
Kabob Tavern
La Sandia
Maple Ave Restaurant

Maplewood Grill
Noodles & Compan
Outback Steakhouse
Panache Tysons
Peking Express of Vienna
Pure Pasty Co.
Purple Onion Catering Co.

Silva's Patisserie
Sweet City Desserts
Tara Thai
Tequila Grande Mexican Cafe
Vienna Inn
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
Westbriar Civic Association
wishes everyone a
Happy New Year

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, 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 but when you click it, it takes you to a bogus site,

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.

Coming Up

Mark Forrest, International Tenor, in Concert at OLGC
Date Changed

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




Beautification Award 11/22/12

On November 19th, Vienna's Community Enhancement Commission presented their 2012 award to the Lofty Beauty and Wellness Salon at 354 Maple Avenue W. The purpose of the commission is to develop, promote and coordinate voluntary efforts to improve the appearance of the commercial, industrial, public and residential areas of the Town. The award is based both on impact, and on maintainability. .

Lofty's owner, Mona Harb on left accepts the award from Commission Chair Susan Stillman, center, and Mayor Jane Seeman.

The Lofty Salon concept was a tasteful, but splashy oasis of sun and shade on the urban hardscape







Hurricane Sandy Aftermath 10/30/12

Half of a large tree at 301 Old Court House Road fell across Westbriar Court. Fortunately, there are two exits for this neighborhood.

Westbriar, thankfully, weathered the storm pretty well. A quick drive around the neighborhood at first light shows we were largely spared the destruction we are learning about in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

Against a week of solid news coverage of the approaching storm, it was almost anticlimatic, but we all would rather have it that way, for sure.

A pine tree fell across the yard at 603 Niblick Drive, taking down the power lines, telephone and cable TV.









Is This Your Cat? 12/5/12

All black, somewhat short legs gives it a mink-like look when running. Likes to rub against your ankles, but resists being petted or picked up. Appears very healthy, no collar. Call John 703-319-0840

It seems this cat is not a stranger around Westbriar. Two readers have advised it was on a Lost Cat poster on telephone poles around the golf course many months ago. One reports that its name is "Mo". So maybe it is being missed. Meanwhile, it is being fed by my kind neighbor.

Whatever one's feelings for cats, it is hard not to admire this particular animal, if in fact it is leading a semi-feral existence. It has obviously developed some awesome survival skills, making it through freezing nights, avoiding foxes, coyotes, dogs, and cars, knowing just how to con a meal from a random human, all the while taking exceptional care of its flawless fur coat.



Dulles Corridor Metrorail construction will close westbound I-66 at night between
West Falls Church Metro Station and Leesburg Pike (Route 7).
Dates: Monday, Jan. 7, through Saturday, Jan. 12, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The closure is due to work on the overhead bridges crossing the highway.
Detour: use westbound Dulles Access Road (Route 267), exit to southbound Route 123,
exit to southbound I-495, and then exit to westbound I-66.
For further information about the project and other scheduled traffic interruptions,
please visit the project website at or call 703-572-0506.






First Sunday Jazz Brunches

First Sunday Jazz Brunch begins Sunday January 6 with the series being continued on the first Sunday of each month following. Bring your friends and family for wonderful Sunday Brunch Bazin's style while grooving to jazz performed by members of Virginia Music Adventures' Chapel Square Combo! A portion of the sales will be donated to VMA to support their international outreach programs.






Monday Evening February 4th
Bazin's on Church will be offering a 5 Course Prix Fixe Wine Dinner featuring Matanzas Creek Wines. Winemaker Marcia Monahan will be on hand to answer your questions. The event begins at 6:30 with sparkling wine and passed hors d'oeuvres. $100.00 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) Seating is limited and reservations are required and can be made by calling
703-255-7212 or click the Logo above.



Next Season....


NEW Meet Our State Leaders 1/7/13

Virginia State Senator Chap Petersen and Degate Mark Keam will co-host a Town Meeting this Saturday at 9AM at the American Legion Post 80 on North Center Street. They will give an overview of pending and proposed legislation on which they are working.

The public is invited to attend and ask questions and express viewpoints. For more information, Click Here.      Photo: Vienna Patch



Vienna at Night

Town Green shines brightly.

The reflections of the tree lighting is caught in the polished granite fountain. Click the picture to see more holiday night lights along Church Street.








It was party time on Friday afternoon, as Mayor Jane Seeman hosted a well-attended holiday reception for Vienna residents at the Town Council meeting room. A huge array of delicious sandwiches and cookies was assembled by the Fire Department Auxillary. Music was provided by the Green Hedges School Jazz Band.

Leaf Pickup Near Finished 12/10/12

The bulk of the leaves are gone, at least in this end of town. There will be one last quick touch-up pass at the end of this month to get the few that may have been missed.

This year, the crews have had discretion over the scheduling and deployment of equipment, rather than work to an arbitrary schedule chosen a year in advance. It seems to have been a good decision.

This year has also been favorable in that wind has been fairly calm, so that once the leaves were raked to the curb, they stayed put. Thank you, wind.


Golf Course Gets Complete Facelift

The Westwood Country Club golf course is undergoing a rather severe landscaping job. At the moment, there is hardly a blade of grass to be seen. As a matter of fact, it resembles more of a moonscape as the yellow machines tear into the ground, making a bunker here, a knoll there, and providing drainage improvements in all areas. The project is under the general direction of Gene Bates, one of the most recognized names in golf course architecture.


According to Westwood's Golf Course Superintendant, Pat Franklin, one of the most challenging aspects of the project is flooding that affects the course during even modest storms. Rain runoff, starting in the Woodford Road area is channeled along Wolf Trap Road, and enters the golf course under Route 123. Normally a tame, almost dry stream, it can quickly become a raging river, inundating the course pond. This is a result of the loss of absorbent woodlands to asphalt in the last decades. The current is sometimes strong enough to churn up dozens of golf balls and leave them on the banks as the water recedes.

All the top soil has been carefully pushed back into piles as the sub soil is reshaped. Extensive new irrigation will be put into place. When all the grading is finished, the top soil will be redistributed and seeded. "We are anticipating having all 18 holes open by next fall", said Franklin.

Westwood Country Club is a good neighbor to us, giving open vistas to contrast with the rapidly developing cityscape to the east. They make efforts to provide sanctuary for bluebirds, deer, foxes and other wildlife species. Plus, we are in the front row of the best-kept secret of Vienna: A first class fireworks show on the 4th of July. We wish them well in this major undertaking.

What's Happening on Beulah Road? 10/18/12

Commuters using Old Courthouse Road between Reston and Tysons have been encountering a snag at the intersection with Browns Mill Road for the last six weeks. At times, the backup has been lengthy, making travel through this scenic section less than enjoyable.

What's happening is that the concrete bridge abutments on both sides of the Wolftrap Creek have been deteriorating from erosion and vibration, especially below the water.

Virginia State workers are excavating and pouring new sections of concrete to extend the life of the bridge at moderate cost. The work appears to be at about the half way point and should be completed by the end of November.

This intersection is notorious for flooding during periods of heavy rain. As you can estimate from the workman standing in knee-deep water, the road surface is only about six feet above the normal creek level.

The flooding here is not caused by debris getting trapped under the bridge, as is the case of the crossing on Old Courthouse Road (see story Flooded Roadways below). It's the general topography of the watershed. The creek had been flowing fairly rapidly after leaving the marshy plain in the Shouse area, and confined in steep, well defined banks. However, after passing under this bridge, the land levels out, and the stream tends to overflow its banks in a forest of dense high grasses, cattails, and brush. This puts the brakes on the water speed. Meanwhile, the stream approaching from behind has nowhere to go but up, sometimes putting the intersection under a foot of water. A permanent solution will involve raising Beulah and Browns Mill roads in this area, which will be a major job, and expensive.

It was not always this way. Fifty years ago, there were few houses along the Wolftrap and not many roads. The forested land was a natural sponge for excess rain, and flooding was rare. But each roof, driveway, sidewalk, parking lot, and road is land that no longer acts like a sponge, it just rejects the water, sending it directly through drains into the streams of the Difficult Run. Fifty years ago the intersection was safely above any envisioned creek level.

The Wolftrap Creek, which skirts the golf course in Vienna, joins up with the Tysons Spring Run, which begins as a spring in Tysons Corner. The two normally small creeks merge deep in the forest behind the Wolftrap Filene Center.

The Tysons Spring Run and its surrounding forest is currently under consideration by the Fairfax Department of Transportation to be converted into a highway ramp serving the new Tysons Corner commercial area. The loss of this 33 acre absorbing forest might contribute to the frequency and depth of flooding unless other water management steps are undertaken.

Looking west, the Wolftrap on the left, joins the Tysons Spring Run from the bottom. The combination flows under Beulah Road on its way to the Potomac River.



Sand, Anyone?

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.


Vienna Launches New Solid Waste Regulations 7/8/13

Since July 2 the new Vienna solid waste program has been in effect. Gone are the separate days for trash and recycleables. Gone are the two Special Pickups per year. You will have really only one day to think about.

If you live South of Maple Avenue (Zones A and B of Westbriar Civic) your day is Wednesday.
If you live North of Maple Avenue (Zones C, D, E, F, and G of Westbriar Civic), your day is Tuesday.

Help your collection crew by separating the brush, the recycleables (they can be mixed), the trash, and what normally would have been Special Pickup, now called Bulk Items. For further info, click HERE.


Leaf Collection Underway 10/22/12

Leaves are now being collected by Vienna from your curbside.

The rules have changed this year. Rather than three passes at dates selected a year in advance, the pickup crews will use their best judgement on how to allocate equipment, based on "facts on the ground". This sounds like a better way.

The challenge in leaf collection, of course, is to get your leaves to the curb "just in time" so that a windstorm does not undo your hard work. Vienna is helping with that by posting signs in neighborhoods shortly before you can expect the vacuum truck. For more info, CLICK HERE.

Twinkies Demand Levels Off 12/10/12

The bad news is that America's beloved Twinkie has disappeared from the supermarket shelves. The good news is that the
still can be found on ebay. The even better news is that the prices have fallen into to the affordable range just in time for
the holiday gift-giving.

Three weeks ago, there were over 20,000 entries on ebay for boxes of ten Twinkies, with prices sometimes in excess of $1000. Apparently, speculators filled up their van with the cream-filled delights, and then filled up the furnace room, hoping their investment would pay off the emenhouse, put their kids through college, and maybe finance their retirt. It now looks like maybe these hopes were overly optimistic. Today, there only 1000 listings, and the average price is about $8, not all that much higher than the original retail price.





The sell-by date is fast approaching, and if the trend continues, who knows? It may be a stocking stuffer supreme. Will they still be edible? While Twinkies are known to have a practical shelf life over two months, due to the copious amounts of preservative chemicals, urban legend has it that a Twinkie can still be eaten after one full year. After that, perhaps it should just be bronzed and hung on your wall, a relic of fond memories of days of yore.



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!

Happy Thanksgiving

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings each morning,
thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes tightly closed against the morning light as long as possible,
thank you Lord, that I can see. There are many who are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off the effort of rising,
thank you, Lord that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, and tempers are short,
thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest,
thank you, Lord, for the gift of life.


4 More Years for Obama - Biden

Tim Kaine for VA Senator

Gerald Connolly 11th District US House of Representatives

Happy Halloween 10/24/12

This photo is kinda funny, but also carries an important message for all drivers.

Halloween Time!

Wednesday the 31st is Trick or Treat Night.

See these tips from the
Fairfax Police on how you can
have a safe one

At the Vienna Parade










Sandy is Coming! 10/28/12

Hurricane Sandy is not a make-believe goblin. It's the real thing.

Sandy's course is expected to take a left turn in the Atlantic over night, and make landfall in the Delaware region. Because of the unusual size of the storm, our area is certain to get hit. Starting tomorrow afternoon, winds and rain will increase and be steady all night. We can expect to see wide-spread and long lasting power outages.

Temperatures will drop, and without power, furnaces will not function. Make sure to have warm clothes and blankets at hand, also flashlights and extra batteries. If you have large trees overhead, it is a good idea to move to the basement, since winds could gust to 60 miles per hour. We all remember what Vienna looked like in the morning after last July's derecho. Don't drive unless absolutely necessary. If you have not already done so, take a tour of your property, and secure anything that you don't want to get soaked, or blown away. Prepare for worst, hope for best. Good luck.

Supervisor Hudgins Elected to VACO Presidency

At their annual convention in November, the membership of the Virginia Association of Counties selected Cathy Hudgins as the 2011-12 VACO president. Ms Hudgins represents Vienna Citizens in Fairfax County as Supervisor of the Hunter Mill District. Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross was named secretary-treasurer of the Executive Committee and Providence Supervisor Linda Smyth serves as VACO Board member. Supervisor Hudgins becomes the eighth VACO president to hail from Fairfax County. Former presidents include Gerald Connolly (2005), Katherine Hanley (1996), Martha Pennino (1989), Jim Scott (1979), Stuart DeBell (1964), and Wallace Carper (1952).

Snow Removal Ordinance Defeated

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.

Hunter Mill District TAC Meeting

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 Civic Associa

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.

Update, June 1, 2012

Lots of heavy infrastructure work is going on this month as temporary holding tanks are being replaced with permanent run-off structures.

The cul de sac driveway has been installed, and two homes are underway. One has been sold, and the other is being constructed as a model.

Freeman House 9-11 Observance 9/11/12

On a cool late summer morning under a cloudless azure sky, so much like that of eleven years ago, Mayor Jane Seeman led a remberance ceremony of those lost in the tragic event.

Flanked by Town Council members, and Veterans from American Legion Post 180, she issued a proclamation to memorialize those who "...were suddenly, without cause, and pointlessly taken from them on September 11, 2001 ... may they forever rest in peace and abide in our memories."

Vienna Police Department Color Guard prepares to enter ceremony.
Guest of honor Delegate Mark Keam introduced.
Mark Mishoe of Army National Guard reflects on his memories of the day.
How do you like us now?

Vienna's iconic Freeman House was recently restored after a somewhat arduous process involving funding, authenticity, and budget considerations over the last several years. The historic building served as the backdrop for this morning's 9-11 memorial service.

The Freeman House in fall, 2011


Shuttle Buzzes Westbriar

It came with little advance notice, but there is was above Westbriar at 10:50 AM, out of the north, making a slow, wide right turn toward Oakton, Chantilly, and into Dulles. The last flight of the Discovery lifted off this morning from Cape Kennedy in Florida, and took a couple of turns around Washington DC, thrilling visitors and natives alike. The final flight of the Space Shuttle era will become a permanent attraction at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum located at Dulles Airport.

Photo courtesy of Pat Melton


Sun Trust Bank comes under Attack

The nearby Sun Trust bank, where Westbriar Civic Association happens to have their account, has come under a double attack recently, according to Vienna Police.

The first instance involved a clever fraud with the bank's drive-through ATM machine. The thieves attached their own card reader over the bank's card reader. This device captured a victim's credit card number as he attempted unsuccessfully to withdraw cash. Meanwhile, a camera was attached under the roof over the ATM machine, and focused on the keypad, recording the victim's index finger as he poked in his security PIN number. All work was done on a Sunday, when no bank employees were present. After a day of collecting account numbers and PINs, the thieves generated magnetic strips, applied them to cards, removed their own card reader, and raided the accounts. The total haul was $27,000.

The thieves are still at large. According to a Sun Trust executive, all losses to its customers were made good. His advice to people when using an ATM machine: be aware of your surroundings, and cover your finger as you poke in your PIN number.

The second unrelated instance, two weeks later, involved a truck driver who, unaware of how tall his vehicle was, hit the roof over the drive-through teller, tearing the whole structure off its moorings. The driver then panicked and quickly drove off. Fortunately, a witness who was in the drive-through line, chased down the truck, got close enough to read the license plate, and phoned it in to the Police. The driver was arrested a short time later and charged with hit and run.

stbriar Civic

Citizen's Help is Needed

Could this be Your Property? The Vienna Police are Seeking the Owners of Found Property On November 24, 2011 at approximately 4:30 a.m. officers encountered and arrested an individual that had broken into a vehicle in the area of the 100 block of Patrick Street, SE in Vienna. In the area of that event officers also discovered a shopping cart full of various other items. Police are attempting to locate the owners of the found property. It is possible that the property was previously stolen. Some of the found property includes various construction tools, a flashlight, a purse, and a portable emergency readiness kit. If you can describe and identify any of these items as being yours, please call PFC Ruddy of the Town of Vienna Police Department at 703-255-7805.


Water Outage in Westbriar Zone D 11/9/12

The water line serving a new home under construction at 1115 Westbriar Court was accidently severed by a backhoe today, causing loss of service to about 20 homes. Westbriar resident Dave Hicks reported a pressure drop to the Town of Vienna about noon. A Town utility crew responded by pumping water out of the flooded excavation site, and making necessary repairs. The repairs are expected to be complete this afternoon.







Cold Weather Cures the Noise 7/20/12

A large five story building on Follin Lane has been recently renovated, and has acquired a noisy airconditioning system. So noisy, that it can be heard on Niblick Drive. So noisy that it seriously affects living on Mashie Drive. "Some nights, I have to sleep in the basement", said Ken Foley, a resident of the Mashie Drive house closest to the offending office building.

The matter has been brought to the attention of Vienna's Town Council which has responded by initiating an engineering evaluation to quantify the sound levels. According to Vienna government personnel, the building's engineering staff are aware of the problem, and are currently working with the equipment's manufacturer to solve it.

There are a total of 23 rooftop cooling units, each of which has ten fan driven motors. One of the problems seems to be that no matter what the outdoor temperature is, either all 230 fans are running at top speed, or they are all turned off. No provision seems to be made to modify the operating configuration as the cooling demands change. A barrier has been erected on the rooftop in an attempt to direct the sound upwards, but it has not been effective.

Old Man Winter has brought welcome relief from the droning of the propellers. We hope that next summer will see a permanent solution.


Spotlight on Vienna Business

Ask your teenager about Pure Pasty. There are few that don't know about this little gem tucked in the alley between Maple and Church, half way between the mattress store and Ye Olde Clock Shoppe. That is where they would rather spend their lunch allowance. And who can blame them? An array of various fillings of chicken, beef or veggies, wrapped tight into a dreamy flakey buttery crust that defies description. The un-cheeseburger, the un-burrito, the un-everything one might expect. But so good! The perfect walk-around companion.

Check out Pure Pasty HERE, starting with how to pronounce it. Learn the interesting history behind this distinctly British creation, going back to how the construction warded off poisons in the tin mines.

At the moment, Pure Pasty is contending for one of the Chase Living Social Grants awarded to outstanding small businesses. We asked proprietor Mike Burgess what he would do if he was a lucky winner.

"We are maxed out on our present facilities", he explained. "We do absolutely everything here, and we are running out of room, and no place to expand."

There really is no current space available, and all businesses in the block know that their very survival could depend on getting through the next year, when extensive construction looks likely on Church Street.

"What we desperately need is a separate facility to do the dough mixing, and rolling, and on-line ordering, and catering. To get us through the next years and perhaps expand into other locations", said Burgess.

Applications for the Chase Grant requires 250 on-line votes from the community. Pure Pasty is a delicious product, an asset to Vienna, and the business projections and needs seem to be valid. If you would like to cast a vote to show your support, go HERE, log in, search for Pure Pasty in Vienna and Vote.
NEW Update:
On June 20, the on-line votes broke through 250. Mike says
"Thank You to all supporters."




Speed Humps on Old Courthouse Road

Update 1/21/12: Ballots are about to be mailed out to eligible property owners. However the scheduled increase in postal rates has introduced a slight delay to explore procedures to obtain lower postage rates.

An official public hearing was held October 27th at the Epiphany Church, hosted by the adhoc task force, Citizens for Traffic Calming on Old Courthouse Road. Representatives from the Fairfax Department of Transportation were on hand to answer questions from the audience. Thirty one homeowners from the surrounding community attended, not counting the Task force members.

Most of the attendees seemed to be in favor of the proposal for four speed tables across OCHR at four equally spaced locations between Creek Crossing and Fairway Drive. However some expressed pessimism that the tables would solve safety concerns and may even create congestion problems.

One issue brought up concerned the wording of the ballot which will be distributed to surrounding homes in Westbriar and in Tyson Green Civic Association areas. The current draft of the ballot presents a choice of: vote YES to calm traffic and promote safety or Vote NO. The unwritten assumption is that a NO vote means you do not care about safe driving or safety in general. After discussion, this was deemed a bit too prejudicial, and the CTCOCR promised to revise the wording to be neutral. [Update, Nov 16:] The ballot wording has now been changed to neutral wording, and approved for printing.

The issue of traffic calming measures has been under public discussion for about seven years. After this hearing, ballots will be distributed to residents of the surrounding neighborhoods in accordance with long-standing Fairfax County procedures. The households eligible to vote on the issue number approximately 320, most on the north side of OCR, and 119 in our Civic Association. Click HERE for map of eligible voters. The proposal will be finalized in November, and then ballots will be distributed to residences. 50% of residences must return the ballots, and 60% of returned ballots must be in the affirmative in order that the speed tables be submitted to the Board of Supervisors for approval. [Update, Nov 16;] Ballot addresses are currently being cross-checked regarding the ownership of the eligible homes. Only property owners, not renters, are eligible to vote on the matter.

The boundaries of the Westbriar Civic Association include Old Courthouse Road where two of the four proposed speed tables are located. The Board of Directors of Westbriar has taken no official position on the issue, because a majority of its members will not be directly affected. Association President John Shreffler said "We are satisfied that the protocols of the Fairfax Department of Transportation are being applied transparently and fairly. The matter is being played out in the finest traditions of democracy, that is, being decided by those citizens most affected."


VIENNA ELECTION TODAY, Tuesday, May 1 5/1/12

Four seats, including the Mayor's, will be decided in this election, held from 6AM to 7PM at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street SE. All candidates this year have at least ten years of experience on the Town Council, and are unopposed.

The candidates this year are:

Jane Seeman (Mayor), Laurie Cole, Edythe Kellerher, and Mike Polychrones.

Westbriar Civic Association, by tradition and charter, does not endorse or oppose political candidates. However, we certainly encourage your participation in this election.



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
Location: Fire Department, 400 Center Street South
Outdoors, Rain or Shine

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:

Bazin's on Church
Brio Tuscan Grille
Caffe Amouri
California Tortilla
Chef Geoff's Tyson Corner
Church Street Pizza
Crepe Amour

Culinaria Cooking School
Famous Dave's BBQ
Kabob Tavern
La Sandia
Maple Ave Restaurant
Maplewood Grill
Noodles & Company
Outback Steakhouse
Panache Tysons
Peking Express of Vienna

Pure Pasty Co.
Purple Onion Catering Co.
Silva's Patisserie
Sweet City Desserts
Tara Thai
Tequila Grande Mexican Cafe
Vienna Inn
Whole Food Market
Yirasai Sushi & Grill

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.

But in the last two decades, with computers and electronic equipment designed expressly for the Pinewood Race, accuracy and efficiency are pretty much assured. There are other categories besides speed for which awards are made. Lots of fun, and some good pizza too.

The fastest single run on Sunday also set a new record for the track: 2.3581 seconds, turned in by Charlie Logman. The fastest cars among the Tigers (in order) were made by Scott Shields, Shane Lynch, and Jack Bacarra. Among the Wolves were: Paul Pantzer, Charles Wise, and Jacob Limb. Among the Bears were: Charles Logman, Alexander Longo, and Caleb Callen. Among Webelos One were: Mark Provost, Patrick DiTulio, and Reilly Glass, and among Webelos Two were John Hollingsworth, Will Hemmingson, and Vinnie Allegra

Winners in other categories were: Most Unusual, Luke Francese; Coolest Idea, Mark Provost; Most Aerodynamic, Thomas Jenkins; Most Humorous, Reilly Glass; Funniest Driver, Corey Knauf; Most Colorful, Jack Koenig; Most Patriotic, Will Hemmingson; Creative Use of Weights, Stephen Argauer; Best Decaling, Patrick DiTulio; Fastest Looking, Jack McNiff; Most Futuristic, Eddie Hughs; Smoothest Paint Job, Chris With; Most Realistic Looking, Spencer Schmid; Judge Favorite, Jack Shields; Overall Best Craftsmanship, Micah Weisenberger. Congratulations to all!


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 good job.

Halloween Winner October 2011

The winner of Best Halloween Decorations goes this year to Rick Peel at 305 Niblick Drive. Wow!
Great Job, Rick. Pretty frightening!


Happy Thanksgiving

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings each morning, thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes tightly closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you Lord, that I can see. There are many who are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off the effort of rising, thank you, Lord that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, and tempers are short, thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest, thank you, Lord, for the gift of life.     --anon


Vienna Choral Society NEW
Saturday, December 17

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 developments.

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.


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.