Archive 13

The following stories have appeared earlier in the Crier:

Hey! Vienna's
Farmers Market


Same location:
Faith Baptist Church
Across Center Street from the Fire House
8:00 AM to Noon, Saturdays

Same great quality:
Locally Grown, Vine Picked Freshness.

Celebrate Fairfax Festival

Friday June 5 - Sunday June 7

Fairfax County's homegrown festival takes place on the grounds of the Government Center. It features food, rides, mutiple stages of entertainment, plus informational booths and much more. Great family fun.

NEW 5/25/15


American Legion Post 180 performed a wreath laying service at Flint Hill Cemetery, with Town Council, State representatives and US Congressman Gerald Connolly.

Thank You.

While many were enjoying a spectacular day at the beach or at the last day of VIVA VIENNA!, it is well to remember the sacrifices of the 1/10 of 1% of Americans who stand guard over our freedoms that we often take for granted.

NEW 5/19/15

May 31

by Brian Hanifin
Vienna Parks & Recreation Coordinator

Come spend a beautiful, not to be missed, Sunday afternoon at the Avenue of Art street fair on May 31st!! That is the Sunday after Memorial Day Weekend. The fun will be from 1 - 5 PM. Sponsored by the Vienna Arts Society. Church Street becomes a Pedestrian Plaza with free demo's, art, jewelry, children's projects, food, wine, face painting, caricatures, photo opportunities. Free and open to the public. These are things that make Vienna so special . Come out and support your town.

How Things Work:
Chapter 35

Making of Dog Chain

NEW 5/20/15


This Weekend  Fri, Sat, Sun

You know it is spring when Viva Hits Town

Complete INFO


Vienna Election

This Day in History

May 6, 1937


The storm clouds of war in Europe were gathering in 1937, but the United States and Germany were opening a season of regular passenger service between Frankfort and Lakehurst NJ. The Hindenburg, the largest airship ever made, was on its way to a landing.

Suddenly, just as the mooring lines were being secured at the nose, the rear section burst into a ball of fire. It took no more than 35 seconds for the fire to engulf the entire ship, killing 36. Passengers and crew members sustained serious burns and broken bones jumping for their lives. Flammable hydrogen gas was used for boyancy. Bad choice.

Public confidence was shattered and the airship era came to an abrupt end. Modern blimps are nowhere near as large, and use safe helium.

Two passengers of the crash are still living. They were children that were dropped to ground by their parents from the passenger cabin.

The last surviving crew member, Werner Franz, at left, was a 14 year old cabin boy. Franz died last August at the age of 92.

A lengthy inquiry was made to determine the cause of the fire. A plausible case was made that the ship was being maneuvered quite hard because of windy conditions, and an internal guy wire snapped, cutting into one of the hydrogen gas bags.

To see the original news footage of the disaster, Click Here.

GREEN Expo Featured
Solar Initiatives


The Community Center was a place to consider all things green last night. Items on display ranged from an exhibit on the effect on clam shells of increasing acidity in our oceans, to vendors showing their offerings in the energy arena.

Vienna is actively engaged in adapting to new breakthroughs in energy technology.


On Stage ....

Performances for the Vienna Theatre Company's spring production of
"Other Desert Cites" opens at Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street SE, on Friday, April 17, and will run Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. through May 2, with Sunday matinee performances
2 p.m. on April 26, and May 3.

This comedy, drama, mystery-filled play is Jon Robin Baitz story of the Wyeth family. This clan, led at the top by a mother and father, is highly regarded in old Hollywood circles and admired by Republicans for their service to and friendship with Ronald and Nancy Reagan in their heyday.

Tickets are now on sale and are $14 general admission. Tickets are available for purchase in advance at the Vienna Community Center or at the door.

To reserve tickets, e-mail

For more information, call
(703) 255-6360 or Click


Cleanup at
Wildwood Park

Youth from Cub Packs 152 and 1116, and from Boy Scout Troop 987 scoured Wildwood Park this morning picking up a few dozen bags of trash from along the Wolftrap Creek. This effort was coordinated by Daniel Stux, and was part of the regional Ferguson Foundation and the Trash Free Potomac Watershed initiative. Click HERE to learn more.

The Wolftrap borders Westbriar on the south side, and then passes under Creek Crossing Road on the way north to the Potomac River.

Thanks, guys. We appreciate your efforts.


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.


GREEN Expo Featured
Solar Initiative

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.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.

Coming Up! Vienna Family Fishing Rodeo, Saturday, April 25, beginning 10 a.m.

Wolftrap Creek will be stocked with hundreds of trout just for the occasion! Volunteers will be on hand to provide instruction, stream education and fish cleaning demonstrations during the event. The Fishing Rodeo is $5.00 per fisherman and is open to Town residents only. Tickets are required to participate in this event and will be available first come, first serve at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street SE. Limit of 6 tickets per household. Bring your ID as proof of residency. Participants of the rodeo should bring fishing rod(s), a bucket, plastic bags and ice. Bait will be supplied. This event is made possible by a partnership with Navy Federal Credit Union, Northern Virginia Trout Unlimited, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Vienna Department of Parks and Recreation.

Happy Easter


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.



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.


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.

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.


Entire letter below

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.

My very dear Sarah: The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . .

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . .

Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, .... but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . .

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights . . . always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . .

Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later at the first Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861. Born March 28, 1829 in Smithfield, R.I., Ballou was educated at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.; Brown University in Providence, R.I. and the National Law School in Ballston, N.Y. He was admitted to the Rhode Island Bar in 1853. Ballou devoted his brief life to public service. He was elected in 1854 as clerk of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, later serving as its speaker. He married Sarah Hart Shumway on October 15, 1855, and the following year saw the birth of their first child, Edgar. A second son, William, was born in 1859. Ballou immediately entered the military in 1861 after the war broke out. He became judge advocate of the Rhode Island militia and was 32 at the time of his death at the first Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. When he died, his wife was 24. She later moved to New Jersey to live out her life with her son, William, and never re-married. She died at age 80 in 1917. Sullivan and Sarah Ballou are buried next to each other at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, RI. There are no known living descendants.