4/24/16

Stanley Cup: This Year? So far, so good. We were expected to get past the Flyers. But now a tougher rival blocks the path, a bird that doesn't fly.

Is this the year? Maybe ..... Unlikely things do happen. Watch the runner in red.


4/25/16

Ayr Hill Garden Club

Annual Plant Sale: May 7
8:00 to 12:00 Noon

Stop by the Town Green to get what you need to pretty up your home for the summer. There will also be a flea sale.

This organization has an 87 year history of working to keep Vienna looking great. Please support their efforts.

Proceeds from the sale help Ayr Hill Garden Club to maintain these six Vienna Gardens:

W&OD Trail, Maple Ave opposite Town Green
Children's Garden by the Caboose
Patrick Henry Library
Herb Garden at Little Library
Salsbury Spring, Lawyers Road
Emmanuel Luthern Church Butterfly Garden


3/2516

LOST
AND
FOUND

Sherman, a large, 15 yr old orange house cat is missing from his home on Westwood Drive.
He is very friendly, and not likely to run off if approached.

If found, please call Lynette at 703-907-9568.

Related Story
Looking for a Pet?
Fairfax County Animal Shelter

Check out available animals on line,
then stop by to meet them in person.

 


3/21/16

Eggs, Eggs, ...

Everywhere!

A mad scramble for hidden eggs keeps the excitement going for hours.
(photo: Adam Kincaid)

Easter Egg Hunts were the order of the day, and of the night as well, as flashlights were used to find the elusive treasure in Glyndon Park.

Saturday brought an old fashioned Easter Egg Roll on the lawn of the Freeman House. The competition was fierce, a true test of spoonyskills.

Winner of the 3-4 year old division was Westbriar's own Paige Watts (right), daughter of proud parents Karen and Jeff of Mashie Street SE.


3/6/16

Vienna Election
Coming Up May 3

 

For Mayor, popular and proven Laurie DiRocco is unopposed this year.

With three Town Council seats open, two incumbents, each long time Vienna residents, are seeking second terms.

Pasha Majdi is a lawyer who previously
served on Town Committees.

Linda Colbert is a former JMHS math
teacher and currently a math tutor.

The
Challengers
this year are:

 

More...

Roy Baldwin is a member of the Vienna Architectural Review Board, and a principaal at Baldwin Law Firm. He ran against Del. Mark Keam unsuccessfully in the 2009 VA race.

Doug Noble works for the Institute of Transportation Engineers in Washington DC, is a member of the Vienna Planning Commission and chaired the Maple Avenue Vision Steering Committee. Craig Burns is pastor of the Vienna Assembly of God Church. He is a cancer survivor and author of two books. He wants to ensure that all voices are heard.

Here's a Real Winner....

Edythe Kelleher, first elected to the Town Council in 2002, served seven consecutive terms, making her Vienna's Elder Townsman. Her experience has been invaluable in providing continuity and institutional memory for effective management.

Among her accomplishments, she initiated the Vienna Town Green summer concert series, and helped bring the Green Expo to Vienna. Edythe is proud to have been part of the team that brought the Town's bond rating up to AAA with a stable outlook. The rating helps everyone's finances by allowing Town borrowing at the lowest interest rates.

"Serving has been an honor," she said, "and I will miss it." Sadly, Edythe is bowing out of this year's race. Hey, we are going to miss you too, Edythe. Thank you for the service.

Did you know? Town Council Members draw a salary of only $5000 per year, and the Mayor $2500 more. This is about enough
to buy yard signs and shoe leather for the next campaign. So, it makes their service not even a part-time job.
It makes it more like a hobby. It takes a special kind of person with a love for the Town.

Update 4/4/16

From the Nest

The eaglet twins, going on 4 weeks, continue to do well, with fresh fish flown in daily by Dad. They have gone from white cotton balls to grey cotton balls as their down feathers darkened. Their feet are growing quite fast, and will give them an almost comical look as they will seem outsized for the rest of them. But their wings are the real growth story. Starting as tiny buds on each shoulder at hatching, the wings are now long enough to wrap completely around their sibling, a touching gesture often seen as they play.

By late June, they will be very dark brown all over, and will be ready for their first flight. But they will still be dependent on their parents for food through the next year. It will be five years before they are fully mature, at which point, their head and tail feathers will turn brilliant white.



Click the Pic to join them in the nest. Choose from two cameras. Then go to full screen for best viewing.


3/15/16

FISH RODEO!

APRIL 23, 10:00 AM
Rain or Shine

(Actually, fish bite better when it rains.)

You know it's spring in Vienna when the Wolftrap Creek is stocked with 400 good sized trout, and Westbriar's own Wildwood Park is stocked with excited youngsters.

Registration is required for available time slots, and $3.00 tickets are required (limit of 6 per household) and will be available starting next Saturday at the Freeman House on Church Street. Don't wait too long, as this is a very popular program.


3/3/16
Notes from
Fairfax

The Board approved the Disease Carrying Insects Program. Nine cases of West Nile Virus and 190 cases of Lyme Disease were confirmed in 2015. Four pedestrian signal and curb ramps were approved for installation in Tysons: 3 along Route 7 at Gosnell, Spring Hill, and Tyco Roads, and one at 123 and Boone Blvd ( Bed Bath & Beyond).

NEW 4/2816

Taste of
Vienna!

Come on down the the 5th Annual Taste of Vienna at the Firehouse this Saturday. Experience the fare of Vienna's most popular restaurants. Admission is FREE, Proceeds will directly benefit the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.

In addition to food and drink, there will be live entertainment, a moon bounce, and face painting. So bring the kids, and have a blast.


 

 

Free Sand, Anyone? Still some left ...

Directly across the street from the streetlight mentioned above is a pile of sand left over from last year's Luminaria. It is available free to any Westbriar member, in any amount, on a first come basis.

The sand is clean, and great for concrete projects, soil conditioning, or for the kid's sandbox. The pebble count is a little too high for laying bricks, although it could be screened for that purpose.

Any sand left after April 15 will be disposed of by the Civic Association by donating or other means.


New 4/15/16

Stanley: This Year? Even in their worst years, our Caps were not all that bad. They have been very successful in getting into the playoffs, never as much as this spectacular season. They were out in front of the Eastern Conference the whole way, first to clinch a berth, and fast to sieze home ice. And last night's win over Philly bodes well. Looks good. Almost too good.

But Caps fans are not about to hex their luck with premature hoots. You see, for all their history of excellent hockey, the Stanley Cup has so far been out of reach. Is this the year? Maybe .....


3/5/16

An Open & Shut Case

Responding to a tip from alert reader Chuck D. on Fairway Drive, Crier reporter Leon did a speedy investigation of Westbriar's closest busy intersection. It's true. The long-awaited new McDonalds is open for business. It's a bit smaller in the eat-in section, but the kitchen has been upgraded for higher speed.

Meanwhile the convenient Sunoco across the way has orange cones and chainlink. What's up? Not to worry. Inspection and repair continues, they are just getting new gas pumps. Back to normal soon.

3/13/16

Wow!
Did we goof!

The attendant interviewed last week did not know this, but alert reader John F. on Kramer Drive has more on the Sunoco story.
There is no more Sunoco.

It is now Shell. Nothing else has changed. This is great news. The station will be participating in the Giant Food Rewards Program, and it is much closer to us.


1/6/16

Asbestos Hazard Found in Community Center Renewal Project

Workmen discovered a layer of asbestos flooring under the present tile, requiring special safety procedures to remove. Cleanup costs of $23,400 were approved from a contingency fund at Monday's Town Council meeting.

3/2516

LOST
AND
FOUND

Sherman, a large, 15 yr old orange house cat is missing from his home on Westwood Drive.
He is very friendly, and not likely to run off if approached.

If found, please call Lynette at 703-907-9568.

An aluminum and cedar bench mysteriously disappeared
from a front yard on Niblick Drive. If spotted, please
call Rick or Viviana at 703-907-9555.


1/15/16


Fairfax Unveils
Plans for OCHR
Problem Spot

 

On Wednesday, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and FCDOT hosted a community meeting to address a problematic stretch of Old Courthouse Road a quarter mile west of us. This is the point where OCHR intersects with Besley Road, and the Wolftrap Creek passes under on its way to the Potomac.

There are two issues. The first is that the culvert taking the creek under the road is undersized for the job. It is an oval, only 4 feet wide by 3 feet high. This is no problem in fair weather, but when the storms come up, the creek rises fast. Actually, the culvert could still handle this except for one thing: Occasionally a log will float out of the woods and get lodged in the culvert. Other deadfall branches soon join. Then come vines and leaves, and in a very short time, the culvert is completely corked up. When that happens, the creek has no place to go except up and over the road, creating a massive problem for commuters, as well as real danger to anyone caught in the resulting fast-moving flood.

The second issue is that the combination of hills, curves, and poor sight lines makes this a dangerous place to try to navigate by foot or bicycle. It is an obstacle in a natural series of trails including the Novi Trail, the W&OD, and others, bringing parklands and other points of interest into a comprehensive integration advocated by bicyclers, trail and nature enthusiasts.

The proposed plan addresses both of these issues with a bridge large enough to be immune to clogging, along with separate pedestrian and mixed use pathways along 1000 feet of the road. A trail connection from Wolf Trails Park to Creek Crossing Road will require one crossing of OCHR, which could be either to the east or the west side of the bridge.

For more information, contact Paul Davis at the Hunter Mill Supervisor Office.

703-478-0283


9/5/15

Follin Lane
Project in
Full Swing

Work continues apace on Follin Lane between Maple Avenue and Echols Street. The pavement is all removed, and trees and brush along the right of way are being taken down over the next two weeks

This stretch of Follin forming a border to Westbriar, was known for a complete canopy of trees which sprang from both sides and met a hundred feet over traffic, giving the feeling of driving through a green tunnel. Bamboo and other brush nearly touching the road's edges completed the imagery. It was unique and beautiful.

After the tree removal is complete, the storm water infrastructure will begin. Large pipes will be buried where now the rain water is carried away in open ditches. These pipes will remove water from the road at intervals and carry it down to the stream that runs through the Westwood golf course.

Traffic seems to be humming along with no snarls. The largest contributor to rush hour is Navy Federal, who advised their employees to exit if possible by other routes.

When the project is complete, Follin will have curb and gutter. The accident-prone Hine intersection will be fully developed and no longer semi-hidden. A sidewalk will extend from Maple to be continuous to the Navy Federal Credit Union. New trees will be planted along the right of way.

In all, it will be a big project, and should go a long way in making things safer for cars and pedestrians alike.

Few get to see in such vivid detail what it is like under a manhole cover.


15" pipes will carry the stormwater underground on both sides.

Tree #17, a magnificient 30" poplar near Pine Street, was considered by many as the saddest loss. Ironically, it turned out to be maybe one windstorm away from becoming a road block... or worse.

3/20/16
Having Trouble Opening
Your Laptop?

Erosion is usually thought of as a slow process. But it doesn't have to be slow. If your warranty allows it, here is an interesting alternative when the hinge gets sticky. Click the computer at right.

2/15/16 by Leon

PLOWMAN STRIKES AGAIN!

He comes out of nowhere. All you hear is a roaring in your driveway. You see a flurry of white as your snow is destroyed, and by the time you get your shoes on to thank him, he is gone ....

 

Who is this guy?

I found out that as a child, he was addicted to a penny arcade game where you push sand around in a big glass case with a bulldozer, and you could shove prizes into a chute that plopped into a tray at your feet.

His name is Damien, but does not want to be identified. It seems that shoving things around in the arcade stuck with him, and he now has a shiny red Jeep outfitted with lights and chains to continue his obsession.

He is widely, but not univerally appreciated. The gangs that walk around the neighborhood with snow shovels have a different take.

He can be found in Westbriar Zones A and B, where he has been attacking snowflakes for the last three years, because he "he likes it here, and just wants to give back a little to the community." If you are a Westbriar member in good standing, chances are you have already encountered Damien.

Find out how to enhance your chance of a free snow removal. Click Here to see if your Westbriar dues are up to date. If not, contact our Treasurer, Beth Corrigan. This does not guarantee a plowing, but it won't hurt.

Damien is just one more reason to enjoy living in Westbriar.


New 2/22/16

Countdown

to H-Day

This is a great one for the kids.

A pair of Bald Eagles, our American Icon, is expecting. In a nest perched high in a Tulip Poplar tree at the D.C. National Arboretum, two eggs laid on Feb. 10 and 14 will be hatching on or about March 16. Meanwhile you can keep an eye on the young Parents-to-Be as they work in shifts to keep the eggs warm around the clock. Two high resolution cameras are equipped with infrared illuminators, so we can tune in even at night. Expand to full screen for best viewing experience.

Both Mom and Dad helped build the nest, which is a huge conglomeration of branches and grass, weighing up to a ton. and spanning perhaps 8 feet in diameter. Click HERE for more facts on this magnificant bird.

Click on the images at the right to take you straight to the live Eagle Cam. After this story goes to the archives, you will find an eagle link under Cathy Hudgins' photo in the right column, so you will always be one click away. While you are watching the nest cams, join in the chat. Wildlife experts are acting as moderators to guide the discussion and provide answers to your questions.




2/18/16

Antonin Scalia

1936 - 2016

 

"His preferred methods of interpretation were "textualism" and "originalism," which seek to ascertain how a reasonably skilled user of language would have understood the enacted text at the time it was adopted."

Much is available in the media this week on the remarkable career of Justice Scalia. A particularly good read is by his one time boss and friend, Bradford Clark at the George Washington University Law School


New 3/20/16
Lost and Found

Bandit has been found and reunited with his owners, who thank everyone who has been keeping an eye out.

Happy Spring Equinox!

Today, day and night are equally long: 12 hours each. Spring officially begins.


This Saturday


Presents ...

'Til the Spirit Moves

Traditional Songs and Spirituals

Saturday, March 12
7:30 PM

Vienna Baptist Church

Tickets


3/2/16

When do They Peak This Year?

Having friends coming to see you, and hoping to combine it with a stroll around the Tidal Basin?

You might suggest that they come March 18 to 25. That is when the experts at the Park Service promise the best experience.

But any time is a good time in springtime Washington. The underrated Arboretum could also be on your itinerary.

1/8/16

Follin Lane Job
Criticized by WRC
Channel 4 News

 

Last week TV Channel 4 News did an on-location story about the Follin Lane Project which is located in the Westbriar Civic Association's boundary. The on-camera reporter claimed that houses are isolated by the work and the occupants are stranded, and without services.

Actually the two block long street has few homes. At Monday's regular Town Council meeting, Manager Mercury Payton asked DPW Director Dennis Johnson for his comments on the TV news story.

Mr. Johnson conceded that the living in the middle of a construction project can be a bit stressful, but denied that anyone is stranded or cut off from services. He said that care is taken to make sure that access is open at the end of the work day for the two houses. The photo above is the intersection with Echols Street, showing access to one of the affected homes. Johnson said the trash and recycle pickup has never been missed. When it is not feasible to drive in with the big trucks, a pickup truck is used. Mail service has not been affected.

The projected finish date has slipped a few months, due to unforeseen situations. A fiber optic cable carrying securiy data was uncovered but could not be moved until proper procedures were in place. Also, it was decided to install several more shut off valves for drinking water running to the surrounding neighborhood.

 

"This actually is a plus," said Johnson. The additional valves will minimize the number of affected homes if water needs to be shut off, for example by a pipe break.

At the moment, most of the pipes carrying rain runoff have been buried, and the drains from the road gutter are installed. The invisible infrastructure is the most time-consuming part of road work. The concrete curbing should be ready for installation by July, although weather needs to cooperate.

The project will eliminate ditches, and add a sidewalk and bike path. The improved sight lines and intersections should substantially improve safety as well.


1/14/16


WW2

Invasion
That Didn't
Happen

 

At the Mayor-At-Your-Service meeting on Tuesday, a large turnout listened intently to noted historian Jim Lewis outline little-known facts pieced together from recently declassified material and years of research. The subject was the detailed planning for the invasion of Japan to bring an end to the largest and most destructive war ever fought.

After years of uphill battle involving virtually all the islands of the southern Pacific Ocean, the US was closing in on Japan. But we knew from experiences with Kamikaze pilots, and more intimately in caves and fortifications of those islands. the fierce loyalty and mindset of the enemy. Bringing the war to the mainland was going to be very costly. Estimates of a million more US casualties were projected.

The plan, code named Operation Downfall, was to begin on November 1 of 1945 with the capture of the southern island of Kyushu, and followed if necessary by a northern assault in the Tokyo area. Lewis walked us through the particulars.

Fortunately, with the Soviet declaration of war against Japan, and the delivery of two atomic bombs, Operation Downfall never took place. [Photo courtesy of Adam Kincaid]

 


NEW Mark your Calandar:
March 5
Special Recycling

Used motor oil, batteries, paint, solvents, and electronics* which are not acceptable in weekly pick up can be dropped off at the Vienna North Property Yard. That is all the way up Mill Street and into the woods.
*Flat screen TVs only.
Those old cluncky CRT type from the last century
must be taken to Fairfax I-66 Transfer Station.

12/1/15

How NOT to take
down a chimney.

Graphic, disturbing, horrifying even. But it has a happy ending.

Click HERE

and scroll to the bottom of the page for amazing video.


12/3/15

Welcome Sunshine
Restarts Projects
at Caffee Field

After a stretch of dismal weather, it was back to work for crews on Caffi field, and the nearby Vienna Community Center.

The entire athletic field has been regraded, and the new green astroturf is down. It's looking great, but now the fine touches begin. The bases and pitcher mound have been cut out like

cookies, and the missing green pieces will be replaced with tan.


Rolls of white and tan astroturf await some precision slicing to form the details of the playing fields.


The final touch will be a special sand and rubber crumb mixture spread on the field. A rotary broom will distribute the material to uniform depth. This will produce a realistic turf "feel" under the players' feet.

To make the white lines for baseball and football, an electric shear is used to scalp the turf down to the substrate. A steel bar acts as a guide for the shearing operation.


Blocks of glue are heated to liquid state to permanently bond precise narrow strips of white astroturf to the exposed substrate.