Archive 3

These Stories Previously Appeared in the Crier



Trail Bridge Closed 8/25/13

The aluminum bridge crossing the Wolftrap Creek is closed temporarily due to work on the stream bed. The bridge provides access to the W&OD "Bike Path" from the trail beginning near OLGC Church in Westbriar.

See other photos of the new look of the creek, currently being improved against erosion damage.


House Fire on Maple

The smoke and the fire were real enough, but no worries.

It is common for a house slated for demolition to be donated for training purposes. This was the case here on Tuesday as about thirty fire fighters and paramedics gathered at 1030 Maple Avenue for some serious fun.


Farmers Market in Full Bloom 8/10/13

The Farmer's Market on Center Street, across from the Fire Station in the Faith Batist Church lot is doing a brisk business these days. The bounty of the fields hits a peak in August, and there is nothing better or fresher to be had in Vienna.

Stand after stand of the best peppers, tomatoes, onion, squash, mushrooms, you name it, it is probably there. Other stands offer breads, pies, and folk art. A nice venue to meet your friends and chat.

Saturday Mornings, 8:00 AM - Noon

But it was the peaches that reallly drew the buyers this morning. And the simple marketing ploy of putting out bowls of peach cubes with toothpicks to let you know there was no guesswork. Grabbed six. I have had good peaches before, but never had better.



Did you know ...

    "OMG", one of the most popular phrases in email and Twitter, is not new. It was
        transmitted by telegraph by Admiral John Fisher to Winston Churchill in 1917.

    Tennis was originally played with bare hands.

    2013 is the first year since 1987 that has four different digits?

    Otters hold hands when they sleep so they do not drift apart?

    Europe has more diesel than gasoline powered automobiles? France leads with 66%.

Courage does not always roar.

Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying
"I will try again tomorrow."


Reason is experimental intelligence, conceived after the pattern of science, and used in the creation of social arts; it has something to do. It liberates man from the bondage of the past, due to ignorance and accident hardened into custom. It projects a better future and assists man in its realization. And its operation is always subject to test in experience... The principles which man projects as guides... are not dogmas. They are hypotheses to be worked out in practice, and to be rejected, corrected and expanded as they fail or succeed in giving our present experience the guidance it requires. We may call them programmes of action, but since they are to be used in making our future acts less blind, more directed, they are flexible. Intelligence is not something possessed once for all. It is in constant process of forming, and its retention requires constant alertness in observing consequences, an open-minded will to learn and courage in re-adjustment.  John Dewey


Free Legal Advice 7/17/13

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company. Maybe we could all use some of his advice! Make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday.

1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put 'PHOTO ID REQUIRED.'

2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the 'For' line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.

Click HERE to continue reading.

The Vines are Coming! 7/10/13

The agressive Wisteria and Grape Ivy vines are stealthy and fast-growing when the temperatures are high. They present a lot of weight on telephone and television lines, and can snap them or pull them right out of your house.

Vines can also cause a short circuit in the high voltage power lines, rendering whole neighborhoods without electricity.

Normally, it is not your responsibility to clear these vines. However, the utility folks do welcome a timely tip. It is in their interest also to catch things before there is damage to repair. Help them out when you see this situation.

The vines in the photo on left are on the electrical power lines, which are normally the highest. Call Dominion Virginia Power at 800-366-4357, and hit 3 at the prompt "working near power lines".

For telephone, or FIOS line, call Verizon at 800-837-4966. You will need your phone bill handy when you speak with them.


NATIVE PLANT SALE 9/11/13 The Town of Vienna will hold a native plant sale on Saturday, September 14, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street, SE. Along with vendors selling a variety of native plants at a reduced cost to the public, the Town's professional horticulturists will be on-site to answer questions. Native plants are easy to care for, consume less water and many are deer resistant. Fall is a great time to plant as there is less heat stressing your new plants. To protect your trunk and to reduce the use of new plastic, please bring bags or boxes to carry your plants home.

Following the native plant sale Saturday is the Sustainability Home and Garden Tour on Sunday 1:00 to 4:00. There is a map on the Town's web site. The tour includes a "Frank Lloyd Wright inspired" home owned by one of our Council members, native gardens, a home with a geothermal installation, two Energy Star new homes, an Eagle Scout project, the Vienna Elem community garden, two restaurants offering samples and more.
For more information click HERE.


A Pedestrian Safety Concept 6/22/13

Here is an interesting way of enhancing safety when crossing a busy street. It is popular in smaller towns where budgets are tight. It seems to be very effective.

The concept makes the pedestrian more visable, rather than tying up traffic unnecessarily with expensive sequenced lights. At appropriate intersections, a piece of 4" PVC sewer pipe with a cap serves as a flag holder. A pedestrian takes a bright flag, crosses the street in a marked lane, and deposits the flag in a holder on the opposite side. If one side builds up a surplus of flags, the locals know to grab several when they cross, to keep things about even.

Could this work in Vienna?

Click to Enlarge Photo



NEW Walmart Open 9/1/13

The new Walmart near the Tyco Road Metro Station is open for business. It seems to be quite popular, and the ample air conditioning is welcome on these hot days.


Green, Anyone? 6/12/13

I need some help!

As a participant on the Town's Enhancement Commission, I've been asked to find neighbors who have done something "Green". We'd like to add some Green ideas to the list of sites on the Town's Home and Garden tour.

Your commitment is only to be home for 3 hours (1-4pm) September 15th and answer questions that someone may have about your project.
Like ...."Wow, how did you manage to do it?", "Does it really work?", "Why this and not that?" GREEN can mean a lot of things. Here are a few to get you thinking:


Recycling Systems
Rain barrels
Air Sealing

Novel Insulation Uses
Solar Panels
Geothermal heating
Passive Energy

On-demand Hot Water
WIND systems
Electric car
Electric bicycle/scooter

Wildlife habitats
Container gardens
Organic garden
Energy Saving Landscaping

So, do you have a green project that you would like to show off? I'd like to hear about it. Please contact me.
Beth Corrigan, Treasurer Westbriar Civic Association
703-938-0296 (H) 703-732-4576 (c) email



Petersen Calls for Governor's Resignation 7/2/13

Virginia's 34th District (which encompasses Westbriar) Senator Chap Petersen has called on Governor Robert McDonnell to resign.

Speaking as a guest tonight on the Rachael Maddow Show (MSNBC), Petersen said it was the correct thing to do in light of a seemingly non-stop series of investigations and revelations of undeclared gifts and other benefits. Petersen has previously advised McDonnell to explain or return the gifts to regain trust. But earlier this afternoon, he requested the Governor to step down.


Mayor Seeman Diagnosed with Cancer 7/2/13

Jane Seeman, Vienna's Mayor for over a decade, is being treated for lung cancer, it was revealed at the Town Council regular meeting last night.

Seeman was appointed to fill the Council seat left by the death of her husband, Roger Seeman, in 1996. She won the next two terms on her own, and is in her 7th term as Vienna's top administrator.

Although last night's meeting was presided over by Councilman Carey Sienicki, Seeman intends to perform all job functions as her treatment continues.

We wish the Mayor well in this fight, and extend hopes for a speedy recovery.


No Texting While Driving, Beginning Today 7/1/13

Texting and Driving: Can now cost big $

It is now illegal to text or even read a text while your car is in motion. First violation is $125, and susequent ones are $250.

Formerly, texting was illegal, but the police needed another infraction to pull you over. Now, texting is a primary violation, and you may be stopped without other cause.

There are some loopholes. A real emergency is an excuse. Using the phone in voice mode is still ok, as well as using the GPS navigation feature. Interestingly, if you are in stalled traffic, absorbed in your texting, and a 20 car space opens ahead of you, causing other drivers to grit their teeth or toot their horns, you have not committed a crime. Your car has to be moving.

Since you can be stopped for even looking like you are texting, make sure you are sober, have no warrant outstanding, or any thing else that might compound your problem.


Wolftrap Stream Improvements By Beth Corrigan 4/10/13    Updated 7/10/13
This is a continuing story

Work has continued pretty much non-stop except for rainy days. Netting buried under vegetation keeps soil from eroding back into the creekbed. Rocks are artfully placed to create alternating pools and cascades. Work has progressed about 400 yards downstream from Niblick Drive, and includes improvements on drainage from the TSA parking lot.

Before: Pumps divert the water around the work site as the back hoe resculptures the stream bed. Note the leaning tree in the background of both photos.

After: The stream cascades from one pool to the next. Grass has been planted to stabilize the soil, but native species will soon replace it.

What is going on at our local streambed? I asked myself this question recently on my walk along Follin Lane near the Navy Federal Credit Union. I found answers through the town website and with Cathy Salgado and Leon Evans with the Town's Dept. of Parks and Rec.

Apparently, this has been in the works as far back as 2009 with letters going out to residents in the immediate area. When you drive down Follin you will see large machinery, orange plastic fencing, and a new mulch path detour. Be careful as you pass because it is eye-catching. Our "stream restoration" project is funded by our Fairfax County Storm Water tax dollars.

This is one of many projects selected to amend the negative impact development has to the natural environment. The primary objective is to prevent the further erosion of the Wolftrap Creek's banks and expand the aquatic and natural habitat. The plans are detailed and professional. The project is fully underway and should be largely completed by Labor Day with the possible exception of fall re-plantings. I walked Reston's restored Glade stream and Snakeden stream valleys to get a feel for our streambed's future. I liked the results. I'm looking forward to getting our area "cleaned up". The noticeable deterioration had caught many of my neighbors' attention as well as mine.

Please don't panic when many of the debris/trees come out, and when man tries to re-create the natural. We'll likely be better off. I'm still walking and watching with interest.


Pedestrian Bridges, Big and Small 6/29/13

The Beulah Road pedestrian bridge (see dedication ceremony below), although important to us in Vienna, is modest in the grand scheme of things. From a recent trip to New York, Leon sent some images of the largest elevated pedestrian walkway in the world. Spanning the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie, a 120 year old railroad bridge has been recently converted into a spectacular centerpiece of a regional trail as well as an immensely popular people place.   Click to enlarge images.

Placards along the rails tell the story of this bridge.

You are liable to meet anyone here above the river.

Looking north, from 220 feet above the water

Looking south, that is the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

Wondering where the Cicadas are? New York.



Beulah Bridge Dedication Ceremony 6/11/13

That's Better. Previously a perilous journey by foot, the new sidewalk has made the bridge a popular route between communities.

Under a brilliant late spring sun, about a dozen folks gathered this morning to mark a welcome moment in area transportation: The Beulah Road bridge reconstruction is done.

This bridge has been a trouble spot ever since it was originally opened in 1963. The spans were too low, and were hit on numerous occasions by trucks carrying high loads.

From the Top. The bridge spans twelve lanes and the Metro Silver Line. Tracks are rusty brown at the moment, but they will turn silver this winter. Promise.

None were serious until November 18, 2010. On that date, a flatbed truck hauling a backhoe caused enough damage to require a rebuild of the west span. It was a long and delicate process, minimizing traffic impacts as much as possible. For many months the bridge passed only one lane of traffic, controlled by lights at each end.

Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins turned the repair project into an opportunity to provide pedestrian and bicycle safety. She lobbied for, and found some extra Virginia state funds to widen as well as elevate the span. The result is continuation of a key Fairfax County trail, and wider access to Meadowlark Gardens from surrounding communities north of the bridge.

Continue reading this story

Before the dedication ceremony, Supervisor Hudgins confers with Vice Chair of the Fairfax County Transportation Advistory Commision, Jenifer Joy Madden.



From the Mailbag:

"Crier: Bus routes should be determined for maximum ridership. Thanks to programmer Leon Jensen for an outstanding job of putting the Crier together. I have done that in the past, and know how difficult it is."  John Freudiger, Kramer Drive

"Westbriar: You are doing a great job with the Crier. I enjoy reading it, and feel more informed about local happenings."
Maureen M, Niblick Drive

"I just Googled "civic association newsletter" Guess what? The Crier is the top newletter in the world. Hats off to Leon Jensen."
Paul Tazmini, Old Courthouse Road

"Westbriar Crier: I don't understand opposition to bus. It is the most convenient way we can make use of the Tysons infrastrucure that we paid for with our taxes. Why would anyone be in favor of forcing people to use only cars? Why not let people have the choice?"
Louis T. Westwood Drive

Way to go, John. I just saw the video for the wing suits. Awesome, indeed. Thanks for posting that.
Pat M, Mashie Drive

Quiet at Last! 6/1/13

The three year Decible Disaster appears to be over in Westbriar Zones A and B. Relief is finally here from the steady, metallic-sounding droning of the air conditioner cooling units on the roof of a Follin Lane building near the Navy Federal Credit Union. The task of cooling the building has been switched over from 230 small high speed fans to a newly-installed cooling tower.

Noise from the old cooling system has been loud enough to deprive residents of sleep on nearby Alma and Orrin Streets, and Mashie Drive. Particularly on high humidity days, the sound could be easily heard for a radius of seven blocks.


Twenty-three cooling units, each the size of a minivan contain ten fans that have very high rotation speed.

The original units will stay on the roof as an emergency back up in case there are ever problems with the new system.


The new cooling tower is the large grey structure in the center behind the security fence. The pipes transporting the cooling liquid are contained in the structure up the side of the building. Sound barriers and trim panels will be added soon.

Who to thank for a good night's sleep?

Nobody worked harder than Ken Foley, 511 Mashie Drive SE. Ken originally brought the situation to the attention of the Vienna Town Council. Since then he worked with the town in researching the cause, getting acoustical data, checking ordinances, and coordinating meetings with the building's owner, tenant, government officials and interested Vienna residents.

One of the problems in dealing with the noise issue was that the building's tenant does important security work, and the activities are required around the clock. Therefore, the equipment switchover had to be performed in a way that kept all building functions intact.

Anyway, it is now looking good, and only the birds can be heard in the surrounding neighborhoods. Thanks to all who helped make it happen.

Related: Tom Jackman, Washington Post 6/4/13


NEW Tag Day Saturday 9/4/13     

The James Madison High School Marching Band - the "Pride of Vienna" - will be marching through our neighborhoods on Saturday September 7, 2013 asking for donations for the band as the school year gets underway.

This is the main fundraiser for the year and they are counting on the community's continued support. Money raised on Tag Day helps to pay for competition and travel fees, instruments, section instructors, uniforms, and much, much more. Band students, including instrumentalists, drum line and color guard, will be walking through the neighborhoods, handing out Tags with details about this year's competitions and concerts.

If you are not at home, a notice will be left at your door.

All donations are tax deductible.

Westbriar Civic Donates Stop Sign 7/10/13
L to R: John Shreffler, Westbriar Civic; Lisa Pilson, Westbriar Principal;
Shannon Soria, Admin. Assistant; Pery Tsianakas, Crossing Guard.

Westbriar Civic Association contributed a new high tech stop sign to Westbriar Elementary School, to be used by their crossing guard at the busy intersection of Old Courthouse Road and Pine Valley Drive. This is the usual crossing point for walking students.

The new sign features an array of sixteen very high intensity flashing LEDs, as well as a reflective red background which combine to enhance visibility, especially under low light conditions.


Transcript of Meeting

Hi. Thank you all for coming.

Many of the students who walk to Westbriar Elementary School either live in our neighborhood, or at least walk through it to get to the busy crossing at Old Courthouse Road and Pine Valley Drive.

We are concerned, as are all parents and residents of the area, as well as the school faculty, about the safety of children as they make their way to and from school. We have been looking at ways to enhance that safety, and have recently tested some high tech traffic control signals intended for use by crossing guards and other traffic workers. The signals have features that give it much more visibility and authority, especially under low visibility conditions.

Since we in Westbriar Civic are actually the major reason why Westbriar Elementary has a crossing guard, we offer to your crossing guard this signal device, as a "Thank You" for good service over the years, and to help in getting the children safely across the busy street in the years ahead.

Westbriar Civic will also be responsible for maintenance should it be needed.



Accident at OLGC 8/4/10/13

The Rectory building at Our Lady of Good Council was damaged by an out-of-control car at about noon on Sunday. The driver of the 2000 Toyota Camry, a 66 year old woman, was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where she is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, according to Fairfax Police.


NEW FLEET's IN! 8/16/13

The Cruisers are unabashedly a PR and recruiting draw for the US Navy. They are to music what the Blue Angles are to aeobatic flight. And they are good at what they do.

You were expecting John Phillip Sousa marches by chance? Sorry. Think Las Vegas, or Atlantic City. Richly performed, on cue, varied, at times edgy, always precisely delivered. And the crisp summer whites didn't hurt a bit. It was like Payback Time from the IRS.

The Cruisers wowed one of the largest crowds ever attending the Free Concerts on the Green, comfortably filling the lawn all the way back to the fountain. The Sound System was delux, so every seat was the best.

Consider sponsoring or contributing to this
excellent program. Become a Friend.


Free Concerts on Town Green a Popular Draw 8/3/13

Triple Whammy Weekend


Become a
of the
Town Green!

Richard Walton Group

Next Weekend:

Another Triple Whammy!

All shows start at 6:30 PM



A perfect evening on the Green, sunny, cool, and Country-Ready.

The younger set thought the beat was just right to dance to.


Mosquito Season 7/10/13

July is when mosquitoes really get their act in high gear.

This pest requires both water and blood. They need blood to develop viable eggs, and water in which to lay them. The blood can be pets, other animals, or yours.

The Asian Tiger is the worst.
The egg, larva, and pupa stages take place in calm water. You can keep your local mosquito population down by denying them this sanctuary. Check around for standing water such as tree stumps, toys, bird baths. The eggs need about 14 days to hatch, depending on the temperature, and other stages about 5 more. Blasting the bird bath occasionally with a garden hose will do the trick.

Here's an effective and inexpensive mosquito repellent free from dicey chemicals:


Rubbing alcohol
1 oz. Whole cloves
Baby oil (small bottle)


Place cloves in covered jar, add enough alcohol to cover the cloves. Let stand four days, shaking a few times per day. After 4 days, strain out and discard the cloves. Add the baby oil It's now ready to use.

How to use: Gently rub a few drops into the skin of the arms and legs. Observe the mosquitoes fleeing the room. Repels fleas on pets too.


Westbriar Elementary News 5/29/13

Westbriar Elementary School has received the 2013 Virginia Index of Performance Board of Education Excellence Award. A school receives this distinguished award for meeting or exceeding all applicable state and federal accountability requirements for at least two consecutive years, and for making significant progress toward educational goals established by the Board of Education and the governor.

Congratulations to Westbriar Elementary students and staff! Earlier this year, the School Board approved Westbriar Elementary School to be an advanced academic center for the 2013 - 2014 school year. Advanced academic center services will begin for 3rd grade students in 2013 - 2014 and will increase a grade level each year until full 3 - 6 implementation in 2016 - 2017. As an advanced academic center, Westbriar will be the center option for students from Westbriar, Freedom Hill and Stenwood elementary schools who are found eligible to receive Level 4 services



The Vienna Police Department will offer another session of the women's self-defense class, R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense), for ages 14 and older on Mondays and Wednesdays, August 5, 7, 12 and 14 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Navy Federal Credit Union training center, 820 Follin Lane SE.

The program is designed for the average woman with no previous experience or background in physical skills training. Escape and response techniques are demonstrated in practical scenarios as well as ways to reduce the risk of becoming a victim. An equipment fee of $15 is due on the first night of class. For more info, or to register