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New 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, 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.


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

But it is a serious rumor. The new occupant of the long-time Magruder's Grocery Store will become Mrs. Green's Natural Market.


The vacant old Magruders, today
Jack Reeves in the corporate offices of Mrs. Green's said "We can't confirm at this time, but when everything is in place, we will shout it from the rooftops." That didn't exactly sound like a denial. According to knowledgeable sources, the whole complex of buildings will undergo refurbishing of the facades for a coordinated look.

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.

 

NEW Vienna Elections Coming Up May 6 3/13/14

The Mayor and three councilmembers will be elected this year with 2 year terms effective July 1, 2014 - Laurie DiRocco is running unopposed for Mayor. If she is elected, Council must appoint someone to fulfill her unexpired term as a Councilmember, which is set to end June 30, 2015.

NEVCA is holding a candidate forum on April 22 at the Community Center.

Six candidates are running for three Council seats:

Mike L. Cheselka, 317 Cabin Road, SE
Linda Jane Colbert, 851 Shady Drive, SE
Edythe Kelleher (Incumbent)   210 Cedar Lane
Pasha M. Majdi   411 Pine Street, SE
Dennis E. Rice   412 Glyndon Street, NE
Tara L. Voigt   910 Meadow Lane, SW

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:

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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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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.

 

NEW 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Bus Routing Meeting Held 2/20/14

Local area residents met Thursday at the Westbriar Elementary School to hear Fairfax County Department of Transportation's rational behind the selection of exact routing of the new Connector 432 bus service. The bus operation will begin on the same day as the Silver Line Metro begins service between Reston and Washington DC.

Basically, the route known as Alignment 7 was selected on the basis of Service to Old Courthouse and Beulah Road residents, avoidance of competition with the Metro 2T on Maple Avenue, and no infrastructure expenses for bus operations. Also, it penetrated most deeply into the community and provided the optimal ridership potential of all of the ten options studied.

A number of improvement along the route is planned to enhance walkability and safety. About fifty residents turned out.

 


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.

 

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.

 

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.


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.



 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Deputy Police Chief Takes Office

Vienna Chief of Police Jim Morris has announced the appointment of Daniel Janickey as the new Deputy Chief of Police. He will succeed Captain Mike Miller, who retired on October 1, 2013, after serving 29 years with the Vienna Police Department.

Janickey was selected from among 103 candidates. "Dan has over 24 years of local law enforcement experience and brings with him a very diverse resume of accomplishments," said Chief Morris. "He will be a great addition to the Town of Vienna Police department and the community."

Commenting on Chief Morris' selection, Town Manager Mercury Payton said, "The selection for Deputy Chief is indicative of the Town's commitment to excellent service. I expect that Dan will immediately assist the Chief in advancing the goals for the department."

Janickey began with the Fairfax County Police Department in 1989 as a police officer and has held several positions during his career with the department, most recently serving as Commander of the McLean District station. He has held several leadership roles within the County's police department including positions in hostage negotiations, special operations, incident support services and peer support, and internal affairs. Janickey also held the position of Assistant Commander of the Franconia District station and has previously worked out of Sully District and the Mason District stations. Janickey holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Bluefield College in Bluefield, Virginia and completed the Executive Leadership certificate program at American University in Washington, DC. He holds several professional certifications including leadership, hostage negotiations, emergency management, crisis intervention, interrogation, public speaking and investigations.

Janickey will assume his official duties with the Town of Vienna on January 21, 2014.


Lights, Sound, Action! 12/3/13

Church Street Stroll offically brings the
Yule Season to Vienna.

Well over a thousand hardy folks braved the crisp temperatures to join the fun last night as the Mayor lighted the Town's Christmas Tree, ushering in the Holiday Season.

The original Presbyterian Church looks down at the newly-lighted tree.

But nobody seemed cold, thanks to a bottomless supply of hot chocolate served up by Cathy Salgado and her crew from the Town's Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Church Street Stroll is a long-
standing and immensely popular Vienna program.

The night seemed to be owned by the young set. Infants in strollers, toddlers perched on Daddy's shoulders, and the elementary-agers easily made up half the crowd. The early evening program is bedtime-friendly.

Music was served up on a portable band shell parked at the trail.

Here, the class from Wolftrap Elementary School belt out a few favorites.

Trains were a big draw as the caboose, decked out in bows and boughs welcomed a steady flow of visitors.

Meanwhile the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders showed off their awesome handiwork at the historic train station.

The marshmellow roasting pit was a popular spot on Church Street.

 

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.

 

Town Hall Meetings Now on Live TV 10/29/13

Vienna residents no longer have to go to the twice-per-month Town Council Meetings to see what is happening in the Vienna government. You can now see it all on Cox 38.27 or Verizon FIOS 27.

For many years, Vienna Town Meeting videos have been available a day or two later on the Vienna website. But the single camera was stationary in the center of the room's ceiling, and showed only the back of the speaker as he or she addressed the Council members. Now, there are several cameras, and the proceedings are covered professionally by panning, and zooming to the person speaking at the moment.

It turns out that the first member of the public to address the Town Council on the new televised system was from the Westbriar Civic Association. Click HERE, about 4 minutes in.

 


9/25/13

Do You Have a Plan?

Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova thought a while before posting this link on her Facebook page, since the subject matter is something many people don't want to think about. But with VA Tech, Sandy Hook, Ft Hood, Navy Yard, and now, Nairobi, she thought the greater good was to see it.

This video, produced by the Houston Police, could save your life.

 

 

 


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