New Sign for Navy Federal

You may have noticed a lot of activity on the lawn of Navy Federal Credit Union, just where Follin Road turns right and becomes Electric Avenue.

There was a marker there, but it was rather small and got lost in the long vista up the hill to the the main administration building.  What was needed was something that stood out a bit more.

The job was given to Merrifield Gardens designer Tom McVean, who tastefully incorporated the Navy Federal logo into an attractive base of stonework and perennial plants.

The signage is illuminated at night, and was turned on Saturday for the first time.  It attracted the attention of a Whitetail deer and a few Canada geese who strolled over to check out their new acquisitions.

Navy Federal is Vienna’s largest employer and taxpayer.  It is a good friend to the town and regularly supports community activities.

This Saturday …..

… Vienna Choral presents its first program of its season with American Quilt, 7:30 PM 10/19, Providence Presbyterian Church, 9019 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax.

AMERICAN QUILT is a collection of songs you will know and have strong feelings for.

From the poignant “Will the Circle be Unbroken” and “He’s Gone Away, to the uplifting rise and fall and rise again of “The Boatsman’s Song”, this is a concert of shared American musical heritage where anyone can simply wait for an opening and step into the common square of song.

So come and hold your breath with a room full of people. And fall right into music that’s been there all long, waiting to be rediscovered. Join us!

Tickets are available online
until 11:55 pm, Friday, October 18, 2019.
We’ll also have them at the door on concert night. 

Halloween Parade Coming Up

Don”t miss Vienna’s 73rd annual Halloween Parade along Maple Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.

This year’s parade theme is “Famous Children’s Books and Fairy tales Brought to Life.”  Marching bands, fire trucks, stilt walkers, unicyclists, motorcycle formations, floats, antique cars, ……. there will be few dull or quiet moments.

Recently retiring Vienna Council Member Carey Sienicki will be Grand Marshal. A Vienna resident since 2000, she also served on the Windover Heights Board of Review, Vienna Arts Society’s advisory committee and Historic Vienna, Inc.’s Walk on the Hill coordinator.

The parade starts on Maple Avenue at Branch Road SE and turns left on Center Street S for one block. Best viewing is on Maple Avenue between Branch Road and Center Street.

The Vienna Halloween Parade is a state-wide fixture of the Autumn season, and is a must stop for politicians, especially in the years of their November elections.  For us in Vienna, that will almost certainly include State Sen. Mark Keam, and Fairfax County Chairman hopeful Jeff McKay, and Hunter Mill Supervisor Walter Alcorn.

If you were there, you may not remember the year, you did not forget the gigantic red tennis shoe float that was the easy winner for artistic creativity.

Cartwheelies at O’Hare

A runaway catering cart on the tarmac at Chicago O’Hare International Airport had airport employees scrambling to subdue the vehicle, and provided some amusement for passengers on the concourse above.

The cart seemed at risk of crashing into the nose of an airplane parked nearby before a vehicle being driven by an airport employee collided with the runaway cart, bringing it to a stop.  See it here.

In a statement to Business Insider, American Airlines said initial reports indicated that the catering cart’s accelerator got “stuck,” causing it to lose control.

Bike and Trail Advocates Celebrate Victory

Good things often start out as modest ideas.  Winding the clock back nearly 2 decades, it was a mother trying to take her 6 yr old son to nearby Meadowlark Gardens for a day of play, only to find out how dangerous and nearly impossible it was.

The problem?  As Fairfax County developed over the decades, getting from Point A to B was overwhelmingly designed around driving a car.  The road widths, the layouts, the bridges, … everything seemed to conspire against people walking or riding bikes.  The Dulles Access Road especially was a formidable barrier against such healthy (if primitive) transportation modes.

The mom in the story, Jenifer Joy Madden, did a little research, and discovered she was within easy walking distance not only of Meadowlark, but five other beautiful parks as well.  All it took, she reasoned, was a little tweaking of resources, many of which were already on hand.

Jenifer Maden with her son Reilly, 18 years later.

Jenifer took her concerns to Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins who was in her first term of service at that time.  She got not only a sympathetic ear, but practical advice on advancing her ideas, and a list of other people and agencies she should contact.  Above all, she got confidence that she was on a doable mission.

Cathy Hudgins

The mission needed definition, strategy, and support.  The definition was probably the easy part:  To connect Vienna and its northern neighbors with a system of trails that provided safety and efficiency largely independent of the roadways.  A key element of the plan was a way to cross the Access Road.

It took many years, and lots of determination and work, but the trails concepts took a quantum leap in 2012 when a pedestrian bridge was installed side-by-side with the existing roadway bridge connecting the Filene Center with the Barns at Wolf Trap.

After that, it has been mostly a matter of paving existing right-of-way and development of heretofore “hidden” trails to complete the network.  Three years ago, an important connection was made between the W&OD Trail and Meadowlark Gardens.  The program is still a work in progress, and more improvements and connectivity are sure to come.

On Sunday, 9/29/19, the bike-hike crowd and key figures of the newly minted “NoVi Trails” gathered at the Wolf Trap Barns parking lot to recount the steps of this accomplishment.  Present also were several of the friends on the government side, including Cathy Hudgins who is retiring after a twenty year run as our District Supervisor, and Jeff McKay, Lee District Supervisor. Also former U.S. Congressmen Tom Davis and Jim Moran, former VA Delegate and Senator Jeannemarie Devolites.

We all took a short walk over to what many affectionately call the Jennifer Memorial Bridge for the uncovering of a bronze plaque installed by VDOT and the National Park Service.  It was a beautiful day, and the sense of satisfaction at a job well done was palpable. Deservedly so.

Jenifer with the VIPs who brought it home.

Westbriar General Meeting Update

In our post on the Westbriar Crier in August, we expressed doubt about being able to use our usual meeting spot because of the disbanding of the Epiphany Methodist Church (above) on Country Club Drive at Old Courthouse Road NE.

We were wrong.  The new owners of the property have kindly allowed use of the chapel, for which we are very grateful.

Details of the meeting are being circulated shortly to all Members.  Not everyone subscribes to the Crier.