The following stories have appeared earlier in the Westbriar Crier:

New Echols Closure
Extended
6/24/14

The work on Echols Street SE near Branch Road will take a little longer than expected. The projection for completion is now July 17.

 

Although the activities are not within the Westbriar boundaries, Echols is the route of choice to get to the Giant store from our Zones A and B.

Echols Street is a morning and evening commuter route also. Residents are enjoying the unusual calm along Echols and Wolftrap Road these days.


NEW COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION STUDY 6/26/14

The Town Council is studying expanding the Community Center on Park Street by adding a gymnasiam on the western end, depicted in red in the image on right. The study at this point is conceptual, and no commitments have been made toward construction or detailed engineering.

The gym would contain a full size basketball court (the current Center has a High School size) and provide seating for 128. The court would be designed to also accomodate volleyball, badmitten as well as other community needs.

There would be emergency exit doors to the outside. However, entry would be through the existing building. The existing security system would be upgraded to accommodate the expansion.

 


NEW Water Line Break 6/25/14

At 9:00 AM today, emergency crews were sent out to fix a water line break in Westbriar Zone D. Roads were soaked in brown muddy water as repairs progressed.

The break occured as a contractor for Dominion Power Company was drilling horizontally under the road to hook up electrical power for a new house being built at 1102 Westbriar Court. The drill punctured a 12" water line in front of the house.

 


Muddy water rounds the curve into Old Courthouse Road as crews work on Westbriar Court above.

According to a Dominion repair crew member, the damaged water line was not marked on the work order. There are two lines that come down the road, one on each side. The other line was properly marked.

The water service had to be shut off at the water tower located in the woods above the horseshoe street.

The diligent work of the crews put the emergency to bed by 1:15 PM


Related: Tour de Tysons Bike Race 6/23/14

Sunday, June 29

Activities for families and potential bike travelers.

More information: Here, here, and here.
Also, email here

8:30 AM Members of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling will lead "bike trains" to show safe routes to the Silver line

10:30 AM League of American Bicyclist will hold a bike travel educational seminar.

1:00 PM Race begins

 

Notes from the County 6/30/14

Meals Tax? Probably Not ... at least for now

During deliberation on the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, a number of individuals and organizations have urged Fairfax County to revisit a restaurant meals tax. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, towns and cities are permitted to have a meals tax subject to an affirmative vote by the governing body, and most have done so. Counties, however, may establish a meals tax only if a referendum is approved by the voters. The last time this proposal was put on the ballot (unsuccessful) in Fairfax County was in April 1992.

There had been growing sentiment during recent years for Fairfax to once again allow the voters to decide if they wish to avail themselves of this additional source of revenue. Reasons for urging this include the desire to diversify the revenues we have available to fund schools, public safety, parks, libraries and human services. If a meals tax were adopted at the state-approved rate of 4% of the cost of the meal cost, it would generate about $88 million annually.

A Task Force of about forty county organizations and individuals, co-chaired by former Board Chairmen Kate Hanley and Tom Davis, was convened by the Board of Supervisors to study the issue and return with their recommendation on June 17th. However the Task Force did not present a straight up recommendation. Rather, they submitted an extensive report detailing the pros and cons of instituting the meals tax. At this late date in an election year, and with only tepid support on the Board, it is unlikely that the tax issue will move forward this year.

Read more details in the Washington Post HERE.

Honored

Lord and Lady Fairfax honorees from the Hunter Mill District for 2014 are Michael Amouri, and Baba Freeman. Baba Freeman has an unbroken 28 year record of service to Fairfax County under three different Hunter Mill area Supervisors on the Advisory Social Services Board, and subsequently, on the Human Services Council. Michael Amouri, proprietor of Caffe Amouri in Vienna, was recognized for his support of community organizations, service projects, and his founding of hometown programs including Vienna's First Night New Year's Eve Celebration and Vienna Idol competition. Oakton High School athletes representing various sports were recognized for their state championships: Girls Cross Country team, Jack Stone for individual men's cross country, and the Girls Swim and Dive team for their third consecutive championship.

ADMINISTRATIVE ITEMS

The Board authorized the Fairfax County Police Department to accept U.S. Department of Homeland Security Urban Areas grant funding to support the Capital Shield joint training exercise program. The Capital Shield program prepares government agencies to prevent, respond to and recover from local acts of terrorism.

The Board authorized the Fire and Rescue Department to accept grant funding from the Department of Homeland Security for the purchase of swift-water rescue equipment to be used to support water rescue operations.

ACTION ITEMS

The Board approved the proposed reduction of parking for the Veatch property, located north of Route 267, south of Sunset Hills Road, and east of Metro Center Drive. The basis for the request is proximity to mass transit.

The Board approved a memorandum of agreement between Washington Metropolitan Areas Transit Authority (WMATA) and the County to provide emergency bus service to Metrorail patrons during Metrorail service disruptions in and around Fairfax County. WMATA will fully reimburse the County for any emergency Fairfax Connector bus service operated under this agreement. INFORMATION ITEMS Info 1: New bus service, Route 983, will replace Virginia Regional Transit (VRT) Route 83 service from Dulles Airport to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center.

 

New Echols Closed for Repairs 6/6/14

Echols Street SE is closed to traffic until July 9 for road resurfacing and some drainage, curbing and sidewalks. This work will take place in the block where Wolftrap Creek passes under near Branch Road.

Although the activities are not within the Westbriar boundaries, Echols is the route of choice to get to the Giant store from our Zones A and B.

Echols Street is also a favorite of knowledgeable commuters avoiding 123 during morning and evening rush hours. The closure will probably cause noticeably worse congestion there until the job is done.

 

NEW ISS Coming to Vienna 6/16/16

The International Space Station zips around the Earth every 90 minutes, but it is rarely noticed. You have to know when and where to look in the sky. Of course the weatherman has to do his part.

Vienna will be treated to a near perfect overhead pass on Wednesday June 18. It will rise off the horizon in the direction of Reston at 10:34 PM, be directly overhead at 10:37, and just one minute later, when you are really getting to enjoy it, it will enter the Earth's shadow and suddenly extinguish.

It will be bright, about like Venus, or an airplane with landing lights on. But unlike an airplane, there will be no red, green or white strobe lights. A great educational moment for the kids.

Look for the photo at the right to become a permanent link in the right column of the Crier. It will let you know the schedule of particularly bright passes in the future.



The current crew took over in March, and their mission will end in September. A resupply ship will launch July 1st with some beer, charcoal and ribs for the 4th.

 

FAIRFAX COUNTY ADOPTS PARK PROGRAM 1/30/14

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board adopted a new Natural Resource Management Plan on Jan. 29. The Park Authority owns over 23,000 acres, most of it undeveloped. Residents expect and rely on natural areas to provide recreational opportunities as well as environmental services and benefits. This plan spells out how agency staff and partners are to protect, restore and manage the natural treasures entrusted to their care.

The Plan also provides direction to staff to incorporate natural resource management into all Park Authority functions and requires that we inventory, plan, protect, manage, educate and build partnerships to ensure proper stewardship in support of the agency mission. The Park Authority Board approved the first agency wide Natural Resource Management Plan on January 14, 2004.

To read the plan, Click HERE.

 

SILVER LINE CLOSE 5/20/14

The Silver Line is slated to be turned over to Metro next week to do final testing, which is estimated to take about 30 days.

But as we know, schedules can slip. Last year at this time, the opening date for full operations was December 30. Then came some glitches in software that had safety implications.

We certainly want the new line to be safe, no matter what. But the opening date has been changed so often that it calls for a bit of fun.

So .... When do YOU think it will open?

Send in your best guess for the first day of full passenger service.

Just email your date, name and address. If you are the closest, you win free annual Civic Association dues for this year.

Open to Westbriar Civic members only.
Contest Deadline is June 15.

 

NEW MEMORIAL WEEKEND HUGELY POPULAR.

A perfect 3 day weather streak swelled the Memorial crowds at Vienna's signature summer kickoff: VIVA VIENNA.

Judging from the length of the lines, the Rainbow seemed to take First Prize in the rides. Twenty brave souls belted themselves in to a pendulum of sorts, which began moving back and forth, slowly at first, but after 8 swings of increasing energy, the riders finally go over the top, and get another ten for good measure. It's pretty high, and the view must be pretty good up there!

Down below, it was a steady beat of entertainment both at the Children's and the Main stages. The festive crowd was large, but never to the point of gridlock. Plenty of room in the Town Green for families to spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic. The only problem with the food was the awesome number of choices available.


Monday, May 26, 2014

American Legion Post 180 provided a service at the Flint Hill Cemetery in Oakton this morning. The keynote speaker (left) was Walter Basnight, Jr. Behind him, Vienna Manager Mercury Peyton, Mayor Laurie DiRicco, and Virginia Delegate Mark Keam.

At right, Post 180 2nd Vice Commander, Joseph Payne, and President Emilie Larson lay a wreath in honor of the fallen.

 

NEW THIS WEEKEND!

Saturday 10-10    Sunday 10-0    Monday 10-6
See you there!

You know that Summer begins in Vienna when you see VIVA!

The Rotary Club of Vienna kicks off the season in its own special way. The area more or less centered on the Caboose becomes the focus of fun, food, and entertainment for a 3 day bash. Church Street will become pedestrian only, and filled with the aromas of funnel cake, popcorn, cotton candy, and loads of other food, both home-spun and exotic.

There will be continual entertainment, both on the Main Stage, and the Children's Stage. To see the talent line-up and schedule click HERE.

 

NEW Vienna Elections Results 5/6/14

Laurie DiRocco (right) was elected Mayor. She had been serving as Mayor for the last month after she was appointed to fill the remaining term of the late Jane Seeman.

The three open Town Council seats were won by incumbent Edythe Kelleher, and newcomers Pasha Majdi, and Linda Colbert.

Westbriar Civic Association congratulates our new representatives, and wishes them well in their work ahead. Their terms begin on July 1.

 

MATURE DRIVING SAFETY PROGRAM 4/16/15
The Vienna Community Center will host the AARP mature Driving Safety Program, May 8 and 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This two-day comprehensive classroom driver retraining course is geared to the needs of motorists 50 and older. Graduates of the course could receive a five to ten percent discount from their car insurance company. The cost of the course is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members and is paid on the first day of class. Advanced registration is required and registration cannot be taken over the phone.

 

Cubs On the Move 4/13/14

The parking lot at OLGC Church was the scene of speed and driving skill, as Pack 976 put on a Cubmobile Derby to introduce their young set to automotive wonders.

The cars are open air, and the breeze in the face is part of the allure.


Ready to Go

A power boost at the start line was provided by a large plywood ramp. From that point on, the racer's job was to keep it between the lines, steering with a little foot pressure on the movable front axle.

After crossing the finish line, the driver brought his car to a halt by a hand brake.


Crossing the Finish Line

 

Sidewalk Project Begins 4/22/14

Planning has been underway now for well over a year. But the first signs of real work are the huge mounds of wood chips, formerly trees, on the Maple Avenue median in Westbriar Zone C.

The Sidewalks to Downtown program is largely funded by Virginia, and is designed to give easy pedestrian access to local business districts. The upgrade here is one of four sidewalk projects taking place in Vienna, and will be accomplished in three phases. Phase One will place a sidewalk and bus pads on the median. When this is completed, the trees along Maple Avenue will be replaced.

Phase 2 will create sidewalks along Westbriar Drive, and Phase 3 will complete the sidewalks back to the frontage road on Saint Andrews and Saint Bernard Drives. The remaining major street of Zone C, Saratoga Waye, already has complete sidewalk access.

Plans for this project are found HERE.

 

Potomac Watershed
Clean-Up Day
4/12/14


A dozen bags of trash and recycleables pulled from the Wildwood Park await pickup.

The Alice Ferguson Foundation last weekend celebrated its 26th Year of Good, Clean Fun. Each spring, the foundation organizes and assists local groups in keeping the streams feeding the Potamac River free of debris. They provide bags, gloves, and leadership in this worthy project. Funding comes from environmentally-minded corporations and individual donors throughout the Potomac watershed.

Several places along Westbriar's Wolftrap Creek were among the hundreds of sites involved. The clean up of the Wildwood Park section was organized by Rick Ayers, and carried out by 25 volunteers from Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from the George Mason District.

 

GONE FISHING! 3/29/14

Vienna Family Fishing Rodeo, a new community event, kicked off March 29, at the newly restored Wolftrap Creek in Wildwood Park, 700 block of Follin Lane SE.

 

The steady light rain did not discourage any of the approximately 80 participants on the last Saturday in March. As a matter of fact, as any real fisherman will tell you, they bite better in the rain.

Wolftrap Creek was stocked the day before with hundreds of trout just for the occasion! Cathy Salgado and her staff from Vienna's Department of Parks and Recreation organized the event, and worked with the Fairfax County Storm Water Division, Fairfax County Public Works and Environmental Services, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Navy Federal Credit Union to make it all happen.

The woods was filled with colorful rain gear, and lots of excited giggling as parents passed their woodland skills to their children. Volunteers were on hand to provide stream and watershed education, and to teach participants how to catch and clean fish.

The Fishing Rodeo was free and open to Town residents only. Participants brought fishing rods, buckets, plastic bags and ice. Bait was supplied.

Vienna Mayor Jane Seeman Dies 2/23/14

Mayor Jane Seeman was diagnosed last year with lung cancer, and had put up a valiant fight since. While she vowed to serve as long as able, she recently indicated she would not run in this year's election.

Seeman, a resident of Vienna since 1968, was appointed to the Town Council in 1996 to fill the term of her late husband Rodger Seeman. She was elected to the council in '97 and '99, and then served six consecutive terms as mayor. Her current 7th term would have ended this May.

Seeman loved her town, and it was reciprocal. She chaired the bi-monthly meetings with a no-nonsense style of attention to detail, a keen insight and ability to get to the bottom of complex issues, and a warmth that connected with everyone who brought their business before the Council. She will be truly missed.

Monday Town Council Meeting, Vice Mayor Carey Sienicki:

Good Evening. Before we begin... to my right, you will notice an empty chair, draped with sash and a flower. It is with heavy hearts that we must report that our beloved colleague and Mayor, M. Jane Seeman, passed away yesterday, February 23, 2014, after a courageous year-long battle with lung cancer. We first extend our deepest sympathies to the Colbert and Seeman families, for the passing of their beloved mother and grandmother. Mayor Seeman has left us all with the legacy of how to be a model citizen, through her leadership, education and service to community with a caring compassion to others.

Over her nearly half a century in Vienna, she has left a positive impact on this town through her selfless commitment to creating a better, more vibrant community. Her loving hand and infectious smile has embellished many places within our Town, in the schools, libraries and organizations where she taught and volunteered much of her time, but most especially, in Vienna's gardens and public spaces such as the Town Green, Maple Avenue, Community Center, and Town Hall. Jane has truly left this world a better place and we are privileged to have known such a wonderful person who will live forever within the heart of Vienna. At this moment we ask you pause for a moment of silence in her honor

Friday, Feb 28

A pleasant sunny, but cool day. The huge chapel of the Presbyterian Church was barely enough to accomodate the mourners who turned out to say farewell to Mayor Jane Seeman. The story of her remarkable life was told best by her family members, who described it in terms of sharing, commitment, fun, achievement, and love.

"She left too early," her son said. "But then, she did more than could be expected in ten lifetimes."

The flags stood at half mast as Jane rode past what she considered one of her best accomplishments, the Vienna Town Green. Thoughtfully, a dozen buses were provided to take her friends to her burial service in Oakton's Flint Hill Cemetery. Else, the procession would have been miles long.

Arrangements by Money and King Funeral Home
Maple Ave W & Lawyers Road

Visiting Hours Thursday, Feb 27, 1-4 PM and 6-8 PM

Funeral Service Friday, Feb 28, 2 PM, Vienna Presbyterian Church.

Burial at Flint Hill Cemetery following service, with an immediate reception back at the church.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations in Jane Seeman's honor be made to the Rotary Club of Vienna, or the American Cancer Society.

 

Some Notes from Town Hall 1/14/14

TOWN BUDGET RECEIVES AWARD For the 20th consecutive year, the Town of Vienna has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. This award, for the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget, is the highest form of recognition for governmental budgeting. In order to receive the award, a jurisdiction must satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well a government's budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.

FY 2013 FINANCIAL REPORT AVAILABLE The Town of Vienna's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2012-2013 is now available here. Hard copies may be reviewed in the Finance Department at Town Hall or purchased for $5 each. The report summarizes the Town's financial position and the results of operations of the various funds and account groups. It also includes the auditor's report for FY 2013, information on internal controls for managing and safeguarding funds, and selected financial and demographic information covering the last ten fiscal years. For more information, call the Finance Department at (703) 255-6322.

 

VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE

Monday, April 14, is the last day to register to vote in the May 6 Town election. You are eligible to register if you are a Vienna resident, at least 18 years old by election day, and a U.S. citizen. You may register in person in the Fairfax County General Registrar's Office at the County Government Center or by mail. Application forms are available in the Town Clerk's Office at Town Hall, all public libraries and other locations around the county, and at www.fairfaxcounty.gov. If you are already a registered voter, no additional registration is required for the Town election; however, you should check your voter registration card to be sure it lists your current name and address. For more information, call the Fairfax County's Office of Elections at (703) 222-0776.

NEW TAX RELIEF DEADLINE APRIL 1 3/7/14

Both the Town of Vienna and Fairfax County offer real estate tax relief for low-income homeowners who are 65 years old and over, or permanently and totally disabled. To qualify, the following requirements must be met:

O

Total household income of $72,000 or less. This amount excludes $6,500 of income of relatives, other than the spouse, who reside in the household. Also excluded is $7,500 of any income received by a disabled homeowner. 100% tax relief is given for total combined income of $52,000 or less, 50% tax relief between $52,001 and $62,000, and 25% tax relief between $62,001 and $72,000.

O Total combined assets of no more than $340,000. This amount excludes the value of the residence, up to one acre of land, and household furnishings.
O Disabled persons applying for the first time must show evidence of disability.

In addition to real estate tax relief, Fairfax County provides rental grants and relief from personal property tax for one automobile per household. Applications for 2014 for all programs are due April 1. This date may be extended to December 31 of this year for first-time filers or if hardship conditions exist which, through no fault of the applicant, prohibit applying by April 1. For more information and to obtain Town application forms, call (703) 255-6325. For County applications, call (703) 222-8234. Applications and information can also be found at Vienna and Fairfax web sites.

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Westbriar is Growing 1/6/14

Westbriar Civic Association will soon have a new member. The house at 301 Niblick Drive SE was demolished today to make room for two new homes, which will have addresses of 301 and 303. When they are finished and occupied, Westbriar membership will grow from 435 to 436. We are not only the oldest continually active civic association, but also the largest in Vienna.

Our zoning regulations allow subdividing lots which are at least one half acre. This house was among the first eighteen Westbriar houses which were built in 1955. Most of the lots in Westbriar Zones A and B are in the half-acre size, so we can expect to see more such subdividing in the future.

 

I Won $200,000! 2/6/14 By Leon

I was still in bed reading the morning paper over a cup of coffee. The phone rang, and it was Mr. Williams calling to congratulate me for winning a drawing of a pool of people that always paid their bills on time. Mr. Williams said he was calling from Las Vegas, although the Caller ID was showing a number in Jamaica. The breezy Carribean accent said the Caller ID was correct.

He said there is a team of five prize presenters who are staying at a motel in Falls Church, and would be over at noon to present me with the $200,000 cashier's check. After the presentation, they would accompany me to my bank to assist me in depositing it into my account. In the meantime, I needed to take care of one little detail. "Do you have a pencil and paper?" he asked. I said I did.

I must clear the legal formalities of the prize with the U.S. Government by going to the CVS Pharmacy and purchasing a Green Dot MoneyPak Card in the amount of $500. I was not to discuss the purchase with anyone at CVS. "This is your business only," he cautioned. I was to call him when I returned on his private cell phone at 1-876-329-4394, which was different than that showing on the Caller ID. He made me read back the instructions. "When you have the card and make the call, I will dispatch the team to turn over the certified check."

I called the Vienna Police non-emergency number 703-255-6366 and gave a quick summary. "It's a scam," the dispatcher said. "I know, but I wonder if you want to nail the guys when they show up?" She said she would send over an officer.

The officer arrived in five minutes and gave a run-down on this operation. The pretext is often a huge prize, but sometimes it is a call from someone posing as a family member who is in jail and needs to be bailed out. The target is older people who might not be thinking as clearly as when they were young. The use of a Green Dot card is the medium of choice because it cannot be traced. CVS, Walmart, and other stores have racks of these pre-paid cards. In many respects, it is a perfect crime.

The officer said it would be a waste of time to wait for someone to show up to get the card from me, because it would be too risky for the scam artist. Invariably, there will be a "change of plans", and the victim will be instructed to mail the card, or to read the numbers over the phone. Once Mr. Willams has the numbers, he has $500.

CVS Manager, Mr. Chau, says that every day Vienna people come in to buy the $500 cards. "We always ask them why they are buying it," he said. "If they talk about a prize, or bail for a relative, we set them straight."

Prepaid cards are activated on line when you purchase them. Security numbers on the card are revealed when you scratch off a coating, just like a lotto ticket. When you have the numbers, even if you don't have the card, you have control of the money.

 

Notes from Fairfax 2/27/14

The following actions were taken at the Regular Supervisory Session 2/25/14

Action 1: The Board approved the 2014 Forest Pest Management Suppression Program. The program monitors, treats, and protects the County's trees from gypsy moths, fall cankerworm, Emerald Ash Borer, Thousand Canker Disease, Sudden Oak Death Disease, Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, and Asian Longhorned beetle.

Action 2: The Board approved the 2014 Disease Carrying Insects Program that educates residents and combats insects transmitting West Nile virus, Lyme disease and other tick-born disease, and other disease-transmitting insets.

Action 3: The Board approved awarding federal HOME Investment Partnership Program Community Housing Development Organization funds totaling $1,374,641, to three County nonprofit organizations for the acquisition and preservation of affordable rental housing for low-income households.

 

2/8/14

Wildwood Park's pools are thin sheets of ice as we have been feeling some Arctic air from Canada. But the days are growing longer, and spring will be here soon.

Click the picture to roll back the calandar to the dedication of the Wolftrap Creek's improvement program.

 

Wolftrap Creek Project Finished 11/2/13

No more workers' cars are along Follin Lane near the Navy Federal Credit Union, and no more yellow machines are in the woods. The project that began last March is finished, and the wildlife is settling in again after what, to them, must have been stressful.

The Wildwood Park, which stretches from Our Lady of Good Council to the W&OD Trail has a different look and feel now. Previously rain storms would have overflowed the banks and made the woods a swamp. It also caused problems for nearby residences. The streambed has been reinforced, and made into a series of cascading pools. It is pretty, and the improvement of the trails will make the woods an enjoyable hike for dog walkers and nature lovers. It is the only year-round flowing stream that touches the Westbriar boundaries.


The renewed creek looks great surrounded by the blazing fall colors.

Wolftrap Creek is spring fed, and drains an area of about two square miles to the south east of OLGC. The beginning of the creek could be considered the woods surrounding the end of Byrd Road, although most of the waterflow during storms is now runoff from all the roofs, sidewalks, driveways and new roads built over the last three decades. The source area is in essence completely developed at this point. Rain is concentrated, and water rises fast and higher than the days when the area was all woods.

From Wildwood Park, the Wolftrap crosses Echols Street, runs behind Fresh Market, and crosses Maple at Wendy's. At Creek Crossing Road, it joins forces with a minor branch that flows across the golf course. By now, the flow has doubled during storms. By the time the creek passes under Old Courthouse Road, it is capable of flooding the road and causing nightmares for commuters.

The Wolftrap crosses under the Dulles Access Road and meanders through the woods behind the Wolftrap Filene Center. At that point it joins up with the Old Courthouse Spring Branch coming from Tysons, doubling again in size. A mile later, it joins the main channel, Difficult Run, which heads to the Potomac River a mile downstream from Great Falls.