The following stories have appeared in the Westbrier Crier:

 

911 Remembered
9/11/14

Flags stood at half mast at the Terrorist Screening Center. These masts also carry state flags of New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and cast shadows on the centerlines of three stone markers on 9-11 at the instant of time of each attack.

Vienna Mayor Laurie DiRocco delivers "A Day to Remember" Proclamation.

Meanwhile, American Legion Post 180 hosted a simple, but moving ceremony under the shade of trees behind the Freeman House.

The events of 13 years ago were brought into sharp focus by a volunteer nurse who spent six weeks at "The Pile", which was what the disaster crews grimly called the debris which had been the New York Trade Center Twin Towers. Jane Davis recently wrote a book, First Aid for Heroes, about her experiences.


Keynote Speaker Jane Davis recalls her days at Ground Zero.

Vienna Choral Society under direction of Jennifer Rodgers, provided the music, including an inspiring rendition of "America the Beautiful."

 

New JMHS Tag Day is
This Saturday

The James Madison High School Band - the "Pride of Vienna" - offers one of the finest high school band programs in the United States. This Saturday, band and color guard members will be canvassing the neighborhood to solicit contributions in support of this excellent program.

Because Fairfax County does not fully fund the music program, additional funds need to be raised. Your contribution this year is especially important. The Band will be competing for the first time in the Grand National Championship in Indianapolis in November. This is the first time in twenty years that a high school band from Fairfax County has competed.

Contributions are tax deductible. If you are not at home when the band visits, a red tag will be left at your door for mailing your support.


COMMUNITY CENTER
DESIGN PHASE APPROVED
7/8/14

The Town Council last night awarded a $44,000 contract to The Arlington-based Lukmire Partnership to perform detailed design of an extension of the Vienna Community Center on Park Street. The design features a gymnasiam on the western end. The gym would contain a full size basketball court. The court would be designed to also accomodate volleyball, badmitten as well as other community needs.

 

 



The gymnasium extension is depicted in this satellite photo by the red rectangle above. The addition will also involve a minor alignment change in the W&OD Trail.


Existing rear exterior of Community Center, seen from the baseball field.

Repaving in Tight Quarters 7/10/14

The stretch of Old Courhouse Road in Westbriar Zone D between Westbriar Drive and the top of Freedom Hill is

being repaved. This is causing delays because of the high traffic volume coupled with the narrowness of the road. It is challenging task.

This narrow steep road section is notorious to its nearby residents and the commuters who use it. In summer, the vegetation along the road makes for a blind curve. In winter, snowmelt across it often makes it slippery. But worst of all, it is between two wide stretches of road, which tempts speeding. Often drivers are well above safe speed when coming down the hill, and many accidents have occured.

Despite efforts to calm the speeding with pavement marks and a flashing yellow warning sign, the problem persists. Solutions seem be be elusive.

Zone C Sidewalks Project Moves Along



As promised, the trees along Maple Avenue are back. A few finishing touches to go. Next up is a sidewalk along Westbriar Drive from Maple Avenue to Old Courthouse Road.


Follin Lane Project Wrong, Claims Nearby Residents 7/8/14

Follin Lane, which is a border of Westbriar Zone B, is an isolated, shady tunnel of 80 foot trees on both sides which meet each other high above. Most of its traffic is generated by the Navy Federal Credit Union, and three other high-tech buildings close by.

A plan is in the works to widen Follin between Hine Street and Maple Avenue to add an extra lane for northbound cars. This would help in relieving a traffic pile up every workday when the Credit Union employees are home-bound. But this plan is not universally seen as an improvement by nearby residents.

At last night's Council meeting, Loretta Roby and her neighbor Sean McClorey expressed their concerns about the project based on safety, traffic flow, and the damage to the striking, unique tree canopy, slated for removal.

There is little question that speeding is a problem on Follin Lane. In fact, the intersection of Follin and Hine has been a favorite post for police radar.

"It is a dangerous intersection," said McClorey, who lives right on the intersection, and has seen many accidents there. The last one was only ten days ago, and the tire ruts are still fresh where the car left the road, bounced across a deep ditch, and crashed through his back yard fence.

"Our concerns are for our children," he said, expressing his belief that widening the road will only invite more speeding.

Roby and McClorey asked the Town Council to revisit this issue, and consider the safety aspects more closely.


Singing, Anyone? 6/6/14

 

Back by popular demand

Vienna Choral Society offers another day-long, immersive vocal workshops this summer. Led by our artistic director, Jennifer Rodgers, and accompanist Greg Graf, the workshop will be held:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

9 am to 4 pm

2589 Chain Bridge Road, Vienna, VA 22181

The workshop is designed to help singers: Improve vocal technique, enhance sight-singing skills, and strengthen musicianship. All voice types and skill levels are welcome.

WHY TAKE THIS WORKSHOP?

Because at VCS we believe that singing isn't just for "Singers." It's for everyone who wants to be better at what they do, whether it's music or anything else.

When you sing you learn to breathe, project, be with a group, take the stage on your own, pivot when the music isn't going according to plan, connect and communicate with the audience, and find your voice.

Singing is full of life lessons. If you're a professional, get better at your craft. If you're not a professional, get better at being you.

Tickets are on sale now, but classes are limited.

email us or call at 703-349-7150


EXCUSE OUR DUST 7/8/14
NEW UPDATE: 8/10/14 DONE

Center Street between Maple and Locust underwent a complete facelift during the last 30 days.

"There have been so many resurfacings on this stretch, that another simple resurfacing will not work," explained Jennifer Sigler of the Vienna Department of Public Works.

The road is now open to traffic, with some yellow paint lines to come. Under schedule, under budget.


BREAKING 8/12/14

Heavy Rains This Morning Flood Old Courthouse Crossing

The Wolftrap Creek, which normally runs placidly under OCHR at Besley Road, is going to create problems for the afternoon rush hour.

At 3PM, the stream was cresting, but there is plenty more water to go before the road will be passible.


NEW Biggest Moon
You Will Ever See
8/10/14

The Moon's orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle. It is an elipse, and the distance from the Earth to the Moon varies significantly.

Tonight, the full moon coincides with the closest possible distance, resulting in a rare SUPER MOON, which is 15% larger than average.

It may be cloudy tonight, but it will still be great viewing for Monday and Tuesday.


Graffiti Incident
7/20/14

An alert Crier reader sent us a photo of a graffiti attack at Creek Crossing Road and Fairway Drive. The structure is used by Vienna in flood control of the Wolftrap Creek.

After a call to the Public Works, a crew was out the next day to do a new paint job.

The best way to deal with vandalism is a quick repair.


Vienna TOWN GREEN
Continues to be a Crowd Pleaser
7/11/14

Tonight it was the Country Rock Group, Stealin' the Deal connecting old favorites to a distinctive dancible beat.
What's next this summer? Click HERE to see the schedule

Children-friendly, no alcohol or dogs please.

Be a Friend of the Town Green!


Grab a blanket or lawn chair, meet
up with friends for a fun show!

Information Officer Appointed 6/23/14

Town Manager Mercury Payton announced the appointment of Ken Kroski as Vienna's new Public Information Officer.

Kroski was selected from 121 candidates. "Ken's communication and leadership abilities, along with decades of experience working with government and private sectors, will prove to be of great value to Vienna," said Payton.


EXCUSE OUR DUST 7/8/14


Center Street between Maple and Locust is getting a complete rebuild, starting today.

"There have been so many resurfacings on this stretch, that another simple resurfacing will not work," explained Jennifer Sigler of the Vienna Department of Public Works. "The road now has a severe crown to the center, and forces of traffic break it apart."

The roadway also does not line up well with the driveway serving the Town Hall and the school, posing problems sometimes for larger vehicles. The entire road surface, along with the curb and gutter will be removed and replaced, after the grading is improved.

The entire project will take about eight weeks. "Hopefully, less," said Sigler.


A pneumatic tool breaks up the concrete curbing at the Town Hall entrance.

 

NEW SILVER LINE Opening 7/23/14

Metro announced the date of the first passenger service will be Saturday, July 29. This is going to change Tysons in many ways. Will you be a first day rider? Hope to see you there!

Five years in the making, and the subject of contention and design concept clashes, the new line will provide direct service between the region's two largest economic centers: Tysons and the District of Columbia.

Sidewalk Project Moving 6/6/14

That was fast! A few weeks ago, it was all yellow machines, mud, and sawdust.

Westbriar Zone C is in the middle of a sidewalk project, funded largely by Virginia State, and was a deal that really could not be refused. The frenzy of development only a mile up the road makes it obvious that we will be eventually urbanized to some degree.

At Monday's Town Council meeting, a resident expressed sadness at the loss of the trees which made coming down the hill into Vienna so inviting. The Mayor assured her that replacement of those trees was always part of the plan.


The trees will be replaced soon. The location for each is marked by a little orange flag. Soon, Maple Avenue will be back to its familiar look.

Westbriar Gets a Trim 6/6/14


High above in the 12,000 volt lines, Ken Laska deftly removes branches. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew loads the boughs into dump trucks for grinding to mulch.

Tree trimming crews have been out in force in Westbriar in the last week, and there will more to come.

Some home owners have grumbled at the severity of the cutting, in some cases using descriptors like "mangling" or "butchery." Others have said they would have liked more taken off the sides.

Trees that were planted directly under the power lines sometimes have to be carved into improbable shapes. Choosing an appropriate specie under the lines can avoid problems later.

Keeping vines and branches away from the utility lines is vital for keeping the electricty flowing. "The leading cause of non-storm outages is vegetation shorting out the high voltage feeders," said Jim Urban, crew supervisor.


Whisper Has Real Wind in his Face 6/6/14

In the past, we have shared some spectacular videos of Wingsuit Flying, a sport that needs no explanation for its enthusiasts, and cannot be understood by the rest.

The Dog, Whisper, is out for more wind than he will ever get from the car window. CLICK HERE to Watch


Tree Cover Improvement Voted 5/19/14

Responding to citizen concerns about the Town's deteriorating tree canopy, the Vienna Town Council approved new Town Code provisions to adopt minimum tree canopy coverage requirements for single-lot development and redevelopment. Under the new Code, single-lot development and redevelopment activity will be subject to the same requirements as new subdivisions: 20 percent lot coverage within 20 years.

"This change was started by citizens who were concerned about a disconcerting trend in the Town," said Susan Stillman, chairperson of the Town’s Community Enhancement Commission. "Their persistence and the diligence of CEC volunteers have changed our Town for the better."

The code changes will affect new dwelling plans submitted for permits on or after May 22, 2014.


The World
in 4K
5/21/14

If you enjoy spectacular photography, and have some time to get awestruck, try THIS.

The title comes from the new standards in video resolution, which far exceeds that of your computer screen. If you can feed it into your Hi Def TV, so much the better. The Music is great also. Enjoy!

 

Vienna Council Appoints Sixth Member 5/20/14

On Monday, the Town Council appointed Emil Attanasi as councilman to fill the one year remaining term of Mayor DiRocco, who vacated her council seat when she was appointed mayor to fill the remaining term of the late Jane Seeman.

A 20 year resident of Vienna, Attanasi has served on the Vienna Planning Commission for 1983 to 2010, including as chairman and vice chairman. He has also served as the Town's representative on the Hunter Mill District Land Use Task Force.

Mr. Attanasi is currently employed as an economist with the Federal Government.


It's Official ... (well, almost) 3/13/14

The new occupant of the long-time Magruder's Grocery Store will become Mrs. Green's Natural Market.


The vacant old Magruders, today

Update 5/20/14

Our sources at this shopping mall now tell us that the old Magruder's will actually be home to two newcomers. The other will be Chop't Creative Salad which has eight stores in Washington DC.


An artist's sketch of the new Mrs Green's

Mrs. Green's is a rather new corporation with headquarters in Scarsdale and about 18 stores concentrated near New York City east to Connecticut. It recently opened a store in nearby Fair Lakes. Vienna will be the second store in the Mid Atlantic region. The focus is on organic foods and supplements, and the stores usually have a coffee, juice, and smoothie bar. For a review of the Fair Oaks store, click HERE.