Archive 2 These articles previously appeared in the Westbriar Crier


NEW Moooooo! 7/12/13

What were 500 cows doing over at George Mason University the other day?

Click the photo to find out.



NEW Happy 4th 7/4/13

Vienna's Fourth of July centered around Caffi Field, and had a lot of attractions to keep the crowds involved.

A forty foot climb was nothing for this young mountaineer, although his dad was carefully manning the safety rope from the ground.

A little welcome shade on a hot day provided a place to chat and enjoy a cold drink.

Third place in the Chili Cookoff went to to Steve from Charlottesville. We didn't get his recipe.



Possibly the world's largest inflatible castle provided super fun for the youngsters.

Two young ladies proudly show off their new tattoos.



Vienna Town offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. The Vienna Community Center will be open, however, no classes or drop-ins will be held. Refuse will be collected as normal on Thursday, July 4.

VIENNA CELEBRATES Independance Day on Thursday, July 4, at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street SE. Admission is free. Activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. will include food and drink for sale, games and rides, arts and crafts vendors, community organization booths, antique cars, a chili cook-off and music.

New this year is "Pooches on Parade," sponsored in part by the Hope Center. Pet lovers are invited to bring their pets dressed in their finest Independence Day costumes and participate in a parade on the festival field at 1 p.m. Register on site at 12 p.m.

A fireworks show will be held at Southside Park, 1315 Ross Drive SW, beginning at 9:15 p.m.; spectator seating areas open at 5 p.m. Pre-fireworks entertainment by Fat Chance begins at 7:00 p.m. In the event of rain, call (703) 255-7842 for cancellation information.



Mother Goose and brood took a long walk yesterday, looking for water. Amazingly, they hiked all the way from the Navy Federal Credit Union, down Follin Lane and Echols Street. I shadowed them as Mama tried to find a route through the back yards, but the gates were closed. They camped overnight behind 1006 Echols, and I opened the gate for them to cross Wolftrap and said "nite".

The neat thing was that all the drivers carefully slowed down, and even stopped for them when needed.

Although, some good luck certainly didn't hurt.

Canada Geese are usually migratory, known for their awesome V formations and loud honking as they go over. But we seem to have a population that prefers our climate the year around.

Hopefully, the six fuzzy chicks are now safely on the golf course getting swimming lessons and learning all the other goosy skills.

Closer to home, we snapped this pic of a two day old nest of robins
outside the window while Mama went off to get lunch.


Weekly History - See Data Table
This chart shows the weekly hits for the last 52 weeks.
Hits for this week are counted since midnight on Sunday morning.


Unique Hits Only 6/5/13

The Crier's Hit counter (top of right column, currently at 7213) advances one click for every new reader. Repeat visitors do not advance the counter.

The activity in the last 7 weeks has been remarkable, and is approaching the all time high of exactly one year ago, when the top stories concerned the proposed forest ramp.

What is causing the interest? It might be the story on Mother Goose and her brood.

NEW Lyme Disease Note from Del. Barbara Comstock 6/22/13

Join me this Tuesday, June 25th at Claude Moore Park in Sterling at 2:45 p.m. for a ceremony and bill signing of my Lyme Disease legislation, The Lyme Disease Information Disclosure Act. Virginia is now the first state to require health care providers to notify anyone tested for Lyme that current laboratory testing can produce false negatives, especially in the early stages of the disease.


Whew! 6/24/13

Did You Miss It?

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TONIGHT Transforming Tysons Open House 6/9/13

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Westbriar Elementary School

The public is invited to attend an open house on on-going Tysons planning and implementation activities following the adoption the new Comprehensive Plan and anticipating the arrival of the Metrorail Silver Line. Representatives from Fairfax County agencies will provide project updates and answer questions. Rezoning applicants who have submitted plans to redevelop in Tysons will also be available to present their proposals and answer questions.


An Evening with Fairfax 6/12/13 Well Attended, Interesting, Informative

Fairfax Board Chairman Sharon Bulova welcomes attendees of "Transforming Tysons" update at Westbriar Elementary School last night.

Clean Sweep 6/11/13

The Street Sweeper will be going through Westbriar this week, doing a little spot cleaning where needed. For best clean up, please see if you can park in your driveway on the day it arrives. We will advise of schedules.



Vienna residents may recycle used automotive items at the Northside Property Yard, 600 Mill Street NE, on Saturday, June 1, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Motor oil, antifreeze and car batteries may be dropped off to be recycled. For more information call the Department of Public Works at (703) 255-6380 or visit



When: Thursday, May 30, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Where: Westbriar Elementary School Cafeteria
         Pine Valley Drive in Vienna

The Fairfax Department of Transportation will be presenting new configurations for ramp access to Tysons from the Dulles Access Road. This meeting is for the purpose of public comment. The Crier has obtained detailed drawings of the proposed ramps, but the enormous file sizes exceeded our server's data allotment. This is just one small section after converting to a reasonable resolution. The intersection of Route 7 crossing over the Dulles is at the upper right, and the Metro Silver Line in black. Yellow, red and green lines show proposed new construction. Complete drawings will be available at the meeting.

Note the ramp exiting from the eastbound lane and wrapping around the 24 story Sheraton hotel in the lower right corner, coming down near the Walmart currently under construction. Traffic returns westbound on a flyover ramp (red) at the left. Additional lanes associated with this feature extend west beyond Wolftrap Filene exit.

Other ramps are proposed between Rte 7 and the Beltway.

Town Hall Council Room gets a Facelift 3/6/13

Progress continues apace on Vienna's Town Meeting Room. The work, which began January 14, is not what might be expected in renovation: scaffolding, tarps, plaster dust and debris all over the place.

Quite the contrary. It is deliberately slow, carefully planned, and meticulous executed to keep the impact low so that regular Monday night meetings, and other activities can continue. However, the scope is broad, and involves almost all of the room's visual surfaces.

Most of the renovations were required by upgrades to the 40 year old HVAC system, and include multiple energy saving components.

According to Carl Lord, of Sigal Corporation, the final touches will be complete in October. "There will be new lighting, wall treatment, flooring, and refinishing of the circular rostrum at the head of the room", he said. Lord is the on-site superintendant of all phases of the work.

New wiring has been installed in the walls for modern audio and video presentations. New triple pane windows are also on the way.

The renovations will involve more of the building than just the Council Room. As work progresses, the first floor of the building will be increasingly involved, and various departments will need to be temporarily be relocated.

Workmen put the finishing touches on the flooring of the Town Council Room



Civil War Fort added to Vienna Historic Sites 11/22/12

The Town Council voted unanimously in the November 19 session to make an addition to the list of Vienna Historic Sites and Places. At 330 Center Street N, accessible by stairway from the American Legion Post 180 parking lot, and another parking lot above it, is the site of an interesting stategic Union asset. This is the highest point in Vienna, and second only in the region to Tysons Hill. It overlooked a sizable rail switching yard below in the area where the caboose is situated. The railroad continued on to the west, but in 1863 the Confederate forces were regularly blowing up the rails and bridges beyond, making Vienna effectively the end of the line. Union Soldiers were stationed on this high ground to sound the alarm and defend against trouble from the west.

During the Town Hall proceedings, Mayor Seeman recounted her recollections of friends with metal detectors finding the area rich in artifacts.

Today, one can still see the network of trenches that soldiers could use to advantage. The best view is actually from the air, which reveals the hill to have a six-pointed cross section. Click HERE for more detailed information, courtesy of Mike Berger at American Legion Post 180.


Tysons Crest Update 10/30/12

Remember when it looked like this? The Sekas project is at the intersection of Old Court House Road and Country Club Drive.


Four houses are there now, two are sold, and two more are yet to be built.

Building Height Limitation Overturned 10/9/12

On October 1, the Town Council approved a waiver of the 35 foot building height limitation in the historic Church Street commercial area. This decision will allow a proposal to go forward to erect a five story parking garage in the 100 block of Church Street. Plentiful off-street parking is considered an important element of the Church Street Vision Plan, which will feature enhanced pedestrian movement. The full description of the Plan and the history of the proposed parking facility can be found here.

Flooded Roadways: Don't Try It! 9/25/12

Experienced drivers know this, but there are thousands of new young drivers taking to the road every year. When you see a flooded road ahead, forget it. It does not matter if you are running late. What matters is you see tomorrow.
Stay out of the water, and stay alive.

Lots of people think a car is heavy and that it ought to make it through shallow water. Well, yes, it is kind of heavy. But it is also hollow, and quite boyant. It will start to float in surprisingly shallow water. And when it does that, you could be in a heap of trouble. Even if you get out of the car, fast moving knee deep water is almost impossible to get through to safety. The owner of this car was very lucky.

In this area, we have a lot of hills, a lot of woods, and a lot of little streams. That is part of the charm of living in Virginia's Piedmont. Decades ago, the streams stayed pretty calm when it rained. There was lots of spongy forest floors to soak up the overflow. However, as the area has grown up, with lots more roads, and parking lots, and new roofs to shed the rain water, the forests are getting overwhelmed, and the creeks now rise much faster and higher when the skys open up.

When that happens, even a little stream that you usually can cross with one step can become a disaster area. Case in point, Old Courthouse Road at Besley, shown in these photos. Normally, Wolftrap Creek easily goes under the road, even during the worst of storms. But fast moving currents can float deadwood out of the forests, which will pile up against the culvert. The bigger logs stop smaller branches, which in turn stop brush, vines and leaves, and within minutes a critical situation can develop. Of course at that point, nothing can be done to clear the problem. First the stream needs to return to normal.

Who clears the culverts? If you are within Vienna, generally it is the town. If the road bears a state highway designation, it is the Virginia Department of Transportation. Otherwise, it is Fairfax County.

It is not practical for road crews to stop to examine every culvert they cross, and culvert intakes are not usually visable from the road. Governments do encourage the citizens to report on problems. In the case of the Old Courthouse situation, the middle photo was emailed in a report on Monday and crews cleared it the next day before the heavy rain hit. The website for state reports is


Photo courtesy Dave Gibson


(Some) Noise Relief may be on the Way 8/13/12

The constant summer air conditioning noise emanating from a building on Follin Lane may lessen by next year, if all goes well. The building owner and tenant have finally concluded that the fault lies in a poor selection of roof-top condenser units using an unusually high number of very high speed fans. Efforts to shield Vienna residents from the incessant droning using sound walls, have been unsuccessful. The latest proposed solution is to keep the noisy system, but add a cooling tower to the building. The cooling tower will operate silently, and allow some of the noisy existing units to be turned off, thus reducing overall noise.

The Follin Lane building, recently rebuilt after being stripped down to columns and floor slabs, is being leased to the Terrorist Screening Center branch of the FBI. Once the cooling system went into operation three years ago, a noise problem became apparent. The building can be easily be heard within a seven block radius, and has been the subject of many meetings with the Vienna Town Council.

The reason for the noise is obvious ..... read more.