November 2010

  Woodburn Homes Civic Association Newsletter  November,  2010

News from Summer 2010

A huge thank you for Scott and Patty Bailey who generously opened up their home and swimming pool for the wonderful summer picnic.  It was a fabulous time for all.  The kids loved the pool activities while adults enjoyed lively conversation and catching up with neighborhood news.   Everyone enjoyed the potluck dishes and grilled burgers.  Thanks also to Kristin Haynes who coordinated the event.

President Ed McCurry’s Message

Merrifield Projects Update

I attended the Providence District Council meeting on Tuesday the 16th of November.  Doing the presentations were 3 developers, all concurrently working on projects in the Merrifield area.

A brief synopsis of the status of the various projects follows;

1) The Metro Project. This is a joint project with Trammell Crow and WMATA and takes up the entire block between Gallows and Prosperity where the Dunn Loring Metro station is located.  The back half of the project will be where the Bus stops and Kiss and Ride areas will be relocated and will abut Interstate 66.  There will be a Main street cutting off  that half of the project from the residential and retail sections.  The street will run from Prosperity to Gallows. Trammell Crow expects to build 630 residential units along with 125,000 square feet of retail space.  Harris Teeter will be the main commercial tenant, taking 52,000 square feet.  The Metro parking will increase by 650 spaces to a total of 2,000 parking spaces and the number of bus stops will increase by 2 to a total of 8.

Phase 1 will be a reshuffling of the current configuration of Metro.  By about February of next year the Bus stops will be relocated on to Prosperity and Gallows…they will not be obstructing travel lanes.  The first phase of the parking garage will be completed in 15 to 17 months.  They expect the entire project to take 4 years.  You may find more information at:

2) The Mosaic Project.  Developed by Edens and Avant this will encompass the entire area in back of the current residential/retail space at Gallows and Lee Highway, across from the Silver Diner….where Strawberry lane is located. This includes the area where the old Multiplex theaters were located as well as United Rentals.  The site is 31 acres.  There will be 500,000 square feet of retail space, anchored by Target and 1,000 residential units (mixed town homes and condos is what I thought I heard them state). Mom’s Organic Market has signed a commitment to have a store in that development and there will be a 150 room hotel as well as an 8 screen theater.  I believe the theater will be run by Angelika.  The developer expects the project to be completed by October of 2012. The developer states that he is trying to get a boutique feel to the entire project (except for the Target store, which is considered an anchor store).

Eskridge Drive that either cuts through or borders the southern end of the project will run the entire length of the development and meet up with a short road that Fairfax County is now building.  I believe this ends up somewhere around Luther Jackson School.  Eventually those roads will connect with Williams Drive which will give traffic another avenue parallel to Gallows Road to reach local destinations.

3) The Halstead Project.  This project continues on with the 2 buildings that have already been constructed on Merilee drive. There will be 25,000 more square feet of retail space to be built between Merilee and Gallows.  Buildings (I think 2) with 860 residential units are to be built and there will also be a 150 room hotel with separate restaurant and bar.  The developer expects construction to be completed between October 2011 and January 2012.  You may find more information at


In conjunction with these developments, Fairfax County is going to put construction of the Lee Highway/Gallows Road intersection out for bid next March.  Six lanes in each direction, which includes two left turn lanes, is the plan. They are targeting December of 2012 for completion.

Ed McCurry, President.


Chesapeake Watershed by Nan Bradley 

At the last WHCA meeting, our President, Ed McCurry, spoke about a meeting he had attended regarding the huge amounts of money being spent to first study and then act on the damage being done to the Chesapeake Bay.


We live in the Chesapeake Watershed.   A watershed is an area of land that drains to a particular body of water, in our case the Chesapeake Bay.   This watershed travels 64,000 miles beginning in Ithaca, New York, and through parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, D.C and most of Virginia–whew! that’s a long way for a lot to go wrong!


As more and more of our area becomes built on with large parking lots, miles and miles of roads and houses being built closer and closer, we begin to have major problems with run-off because the water from rainstorms and winter snows doesn’t have a place to sink in.   We get soil erosion and sediment makes up the largest volume of pollutant carried by run-off.   Most of the phosphates and pesticides entering our waters are attached to soil particles.


Erosion happens to the best of us….I noticed a stream of red-clay water running through my yard early in the Spring.   I followed the trail and it led all the way to the street!    I found a groundcover (Ajuca) to put down which has really helped by absorbing and therefore slowing the water.   That’s the idea….slow the water so that it sinks in rather than run on and on.


Check your own space.   Aim your gutters to a garden area.  Create a swale (wide, shallow trench) to intercept water flow.   Stick a rain barrel under a gutter and you will be amazed how fast it fills even after a small rain shower.   Plant a Rain Garden (doesn’t that sound lovely) at the bottom of a slope (just google “rain garden” you’ll get loads of information).   Don’t over fertilize your lawn.   Pick up dog droppings (this is still a big problem).   Be aware that the Bay needs our help and that any one thing can make a big difference!

Nan Bradley

Upcoming Events

The WCHA Holiday Party is planned for Saturday, January 8, 2011 at the home of Mimi Harris.  Many thanks to Mimi for hosting this year’s party.  We will send an email with more information.

SCHOOL NEWS- Message from Camelot School Principal

Dear Community, 

It seems like only yesterday we welcomed our students back from summer vacation!  After a very smooth opening of school, students have been engaged in many different activities in the classroom. 


At the last PTA meeting I provided an update on the planning to redesign the preschool and elementary Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program for next year.  Focus groups were held on September 20th for the staff in the afternoon and families and community members in the evening.   The purpose of the focus groups was to collect input from stakeholders in this process.  Participants were given an additional opportunity to communicate their thoughts by mail or email.  A complete summary of all the focus group comments can be found on the FCPS website.  You can find the site by clicking on Special Services, then Deaf and Hard of Hearing which will take you to the redesign information.  All updates regarding the Steering Committee and other plans will be posted to this website.   The Steering Committee will be submitting recommendations to Kim Dockery, Assistant Supt., and she will meet with the Leadership Team. 


I have some exciting news to share about our music program!  Approximately forty of our third graders were asked to sing the National Anthem at the school board meeting on November 4th at 7:00.  Additionally, we just found out that our chorus has been invited to sing at the Pageant of Peace on the Ellipse in Washington D.C. on December 14th at 7:00 PM.  

Craig Gfeller , Principal, Camelot Elementary School        (703) 645-7000

School Fundraising by Kristin Haynes

There is a NEW BJ’s located near 7 Corners on Wilson Blvd. in addition to stores near Fair Lakes and Landmark and both Camelot Elementary and Falls Church High Schools are running membership campaign fundraisers which are good deals for both you and the schools!

BJ’s will discount their basic membership from $45 to $35 for the Inner Circle (basic) Membership or save $20 off of the regularly $90 BJ’s Rewards Membership price.  Both offers will also give you 3 extra months (15 months instead of 12) and $5 will be donated to the Camelot ES PTA or the Falls Church HS PTSA.  If you’re not currently a member or your membership has expired, you will receive a temporary card to use right away.

This special offer is not valid online or at any BJ’s Club location.  If you have joined within the year but would still like to save with this promotion, you certainly can and fifteen months will be added to your current expiration date.

The schools will plan to run this fundraiser annually!  Please contact Kristin Haynes at 703-698-5484 or and she will get you the short form to fill out. Kristin Haynes

Compassion submitted by Loretta Rowe

As we approach this holiday season it can be difficult to be confronted with the news of world conflicts and hard times both locally and globally, and to be limited in our ability to help those in difficulty. It can be easy to get caught up in anger or despair or a sense of powerlessness, none of which leads to productive action.  As an alternative, it might be helpful to look at compassion, a positive emotion which has been shown to promote health and well-being physically, mentally and emotionally.

What follows is excerpted with the author’s permission from an online newsletter, Just One Thing, which can be found online at   The author, Rick Hanson is a neuropsychologist, founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, author of Buddha’s Brain. The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom, Stress-proof Your Brain, Meditations to Change Your Brain, and other articles, and educational materials.

In the November 17, 2010, newsletter, Dr. Hanson offers some concrete suggestions for cultivating compassion which is basically a wish for the well-being of the object of compassion.   He points out that “compassion is not pity, agreement, or a waiving of your rights.”  We can be both compassionate and assertive.  He says, “Compassion by itself opens your heart and nourishes people you care about.  Those who receive your compassion are more likely to be patient, forgiving, and compassionate with you.  Compassion reflects the wisdom that everything is related to everything else, and it naturally draws you into feeling more connected with all things.”  (This is certainly consistent with our goal of building connections among all of us in WHCA!)  “Additionally, compassion can incline you to helpful action.  For example, one study showed that motor circuits in the brain lit up when people were feeling compassionate, as if they were getting ready to do something about the suffering they were sensing.”

As far as the practice, Dr. Hanson offers a number of suggestions including –

  • “Relax and tune into your body.
  • Remember the feeling of being with someone who cares about you.
  • Bring to mind someone it is easy to feel compassion for.
  • Perhaps put your compassion into words, softly heard in the back of our mind, such as:  “May you not suffer…may this hard time pass… may things be alright for you.”
  • Expand your circle of compassion to include others; consider a benefactor (someone who has been kind to you), friend, neutral person, difficult person (a challenge, certainly), and yourself (sometimes the hardest person of all).
  • Going further, extend compassion to all the beings in your family…neighborhood (WHCA heartily endorses this idea)…city…state…country…world.  All beings, known or unknown, liked or disliked.  Humans, animals, plants, even microbes.  Beings great or small, in the air, on the ground, under water. Including all, omitting none.”
  • What a gift this would be for all!  Loretta Rowe

Cookie Recipes

This is a rather unusual holiday cookie recipe, one of our favorites.  It’s an old Southern Living recipe. Betty McCurry

Rosemary shortbread cookies

½ cup butter, softened

1 ½ cup flour

1/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tbsp chopped rosemary

Beat butter, add sugar – beat well. Gradually add flour at low speed ‘til blended. Roll dough to ¼” – bake on lightly greased cookie sheet until edges are lightly browned.  Bake at 325 degrees, usually 16-18 minutes.  Makes a dozen cookies.

Betty McCurry

Here’s another favorite of ours:

Pecan Crispies

½ cup softened butter

½ cup shortening

2 cups brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 ½ cups flour

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 cup chopped pecans

Beat butter and shortening until creamy – add sugar, beat until fluffy.  Add eggs – blend. Combine flour, soda, salt – add to butter.  Stir in pecans. Drop by tablespoon on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly on sheet.  Makes 3 dozen. Betty McCurry

Autumn Musings by Alan Mathias

As the glory of Fall ushers in the beauty of the autumn leaves, clear skies at night and the pleasant weather we are enjoying, we are reminded that the short days and long nights of winter will soon be upon us. And these changes bring about change in the wildlife around us, with the squirrels gathering up nuts and acorns, the reptiles hibernating, the deer herding up, the insects dying off (or coming into our houses….beware of the stink bugs) and the birds migrating south (and some migrating here, from the mountains and farther north).

So as we say good-bye to the wood thrush, catbirds, cowbirds, wood ducks, gnatcatchers, grackles, oven-bird, pewee, towhee, vireo, phoebe, tanagers, house wrens and all warblers (except the myrtle warbler), we welcome here the brown creepers, hermit thrush, junco, white-tailed sparrows, winter wrens and a few others.  And we have our full-time resident birds like the cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, titmice, mourning doves, woodpeckers, blue birds, gold finch (their colors fade), kingfisher, house sparrows, starlings and Carolina wrens. The barred-owl, coopers hawk, red-shouldered hawk and red-tailed hawk are also here year round. Some birds such as robins and blue-jays (and there are others) move around; whereas the resident birds leave, some from the north come here to winter. Although there are fewer species here for us to observe, there are also fewer leaves on the trees to obstruct our vision, so we are able to get some great looks. Winter is a great time to take up bird watching because of less foliage and this makes it easier to identify what we’re looking at. And it is also a great time to be walking on the trail or in the neighborhood to see old friends and make new friends. Alan Mathias

Status of Construction of the New Church

Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church on Woodburn Road

  • Any questions about church construction should be directed to WHCA President Ed McCurry (703-409-6055) who is our coordinator with the Church Representatives.
  • Completion of the Church basement should be accomplished soon.
  • Parishioners are asked to be mindful of the construction areas, keep children safe, and not interfere with any of the contractor’s personnel.
  • Parking in the area between the church and Woodburn Road is restricted to Sunday, Tuesday for bingo, and Day Care staff.

Join or Renew Membership!!!

You can join or renew membership in the Woodburn Homes Civic Association by sending your name, address, email address and phone number, along with your $15.00 per household annual dues, to:

Richard Morris

8413 Hayden Lane, Annandale, VA 22003-1126

Reminder:  2011 Annual Dues will be due in April, 2011.

Make check payable to:   Woodburn Homes Civic Association

Welcoming and Helping Our Neighbors

All WHCA residents please let Ernestine Hall know if you know or hear of new

neighbors or anyone who needs any type of assistance (such as a ride to the doctor, or the grocery store or pharmacy for medication, etc.)  Ernestine will try to help or find a neighborhood volunteer.

Ernestine has been great in organizing assistance!  Thanks Ernestine!

Also, please let Ernestine know if you would be willing to help in such situations. You can email her at:


For Police Emergencies, Call 911 For Non emergencies, Call 703-691-2131

Social Committee Open to Ideas for 2011 Social Events.  Please contact Kristin Haynes at with any ideas for 2011, if you’d like to suggest we do them again, or if you’d like to host an event.  Among ideas under consideration are wine tasting and trips to local theaters and dinner theaters.

Holiday Shopping Ideas!

 Handcrafted Work in Nearby Gallery

There is a Craft Gallery nearby with crafts created by local artisans.  Stop by the Craft Gallery in Annandale Community Park.  Artists show and sell works such as pottery, weavings, porcelain, and jewelry.  Check the website for directions and details:


> • Babysitting Services.
> Kelly Haynes
> Red Cross Certified Babysitter

> • Pet Sitting Services
> Nicole Haynes
> Pet Sitter


Service & Replacements

Call Scott Bailey at Lanark Mechanical


Email address is:

Website is:


Minutes of Woodburn Homes Civic Association Meeting

October 25, 2010 


The fall meeting, held at Epiphany Byzantine Catholic Church, was called to order at 7:30 pm by Ed McCurry, President.

In addition to the Officers listed below, 14 members attended the meeting. Officers present were:

President Ed McCurry

Vice President Loretta Rowe

Treasurer Richard Morris

Secretary Carol Russell

The proposed agenda and minutes from the July 2010 meeting were adopted.

Treasurer Richard Morris gave the Treasurer’s report, announcing that $429.50 is the current total in the WHCA Treasury.  Most recent expenses totaled $65.69 for the summer picnic.  Copies of the Treasurer’s report were distributed.  The report was accepted by the members.

Treasurer Morris also announced that the Association is required to file with the IRS; however the interest earned is minimal.

Secretary Carol Russell announced that the next newsletter will be published in November, 2010 and requested all submissions by November 15.

Vice President Loretta Rowe thanked Carol Russell for continuing the WHCA newsletters and also thanked Patti and Scott Bailey for hosting the WHCA summer picnic.

Ernestine Hall reported for the Welcome Committee, announcing there are new neighbors on Hayden Lane.  They have a new baby, born prematurely.  Ernestine has offered assistance from the neighborhood and will check if meals are needed.

In response to Loretta Rowe’s announcement about the Holiday Party, Mimi Harris volunteered to host this year’s party.

President McCurry reported that a WHCA member, Quinta Seida, requested an agenda item:  discussion of the two trash companies who service the neighborhood.  American Trash Service picks up very early in the morning, sometimes before 7 am, while AAA Trash Service picks up later.  AAA also offers recycling points.  Quinta would prefer that only one service be used in the neighborhood.

President McCurry provided a status report on the construction of the new church at Epiphany of Our Lord Church, noting planned completion of the basement in the coming weeks.

President McCurry also advised that there has been a series of burglaries in Fairfax County where the burglar enters through unlocked doors or windows (sometimes while residents are home) and takes money, purses, etc.  In one burglary, two guns were taken. Burglaries have also occurred in homes with dogs.

President McCurry then reported on recent Providence District Council meetings that he had attended.  His report follows:

At one meeting, citizens complained to Chair Sharon Bulova about increases in taxes when services appear to be reduced.  The county presented information on the budget, noting that the 2012 shortfall is projected at $30 million, significantly lower than the $600 million shortfall of two years ago.  The county announced a citizen budget initiative which allows residents to participate in budget decisions.

Ed McCurry added that the Board of Supervisors developed four main goals to accomplish:  quality education; safe neighborhoods; clean, sustainable environments; and caring, livable and affordable communities.

At the October meeting of the Providence district, an ecologist in the Storm Water Management office presented information from the draft storm water management plan.  The county has identified projects in Accotink Creek which will be completed as the budget permits.

Storm water projects in our area that have been identified include Prosperity Heights storm water retrofitting and stream restoration between Monarch Land and Highland Street, as well as watershed structural projects at Eakin Park and near Arlington Boulevard and Williams Drive.  In addition, the US Environmental Protection Agency will request the county take steps to cut the flow of Accotink Creek by half in order to reduce pollution.

Citing the recent Providence newsletter, Ed noted that the county has recently stocked Lake Fairfax with lake trout.

Further Fairfax news included the notice that the county police will hold a car safety check for older adults on November 10 at 10:30 am at the Kingstowne Center for Active Adults, 6488 Landsdowne Center, Alexandria.

Vice President Rowe asked what measures we can take to avoid water pollution and Ed reminded members to restrict fertilizing grass and shrubs to the fall time period and take care with car maintenance so that oil does not wash into streams.  Ed suggested that planting new trees is also helpful.  Ed also noted that the Friends of Accotink Creek is a useful organization.

Treasurer Richard Morris made a motion to authorize payment of dues to the Providence District Council for annual association dues; the motion was adopted.

Nan Bradley asked how to report a street light malfunction and advised she will start with calling Dominion Power.  She also asked about county ordinances regarding a neighbor who is leaving garbage bags in the yard, attracting animals.  Mr. McCurry volunteered to look into the county guidelines.  A member also noted that the overhanging trees at the corner of Taylor and Hayden could be hazardous to drivers.

Quinta Seida continued the earlier discussion of neighborhood trash services, noting that she prefers that only one company service our neighborhood and recommends AAA since they offer a recycling program as well as a senior citizen discount.   President McCurry announced that the Association can certainly promote options but cannot dictate the choice of trash service.

The meeting was adjourned around 8:30 pm.

Carol Russell