Woodburn Homes Civic Association Newsletter September 2016
Neighbor Shares Gardening Expertise
Nan Bradley, Master Gardener and long-time WHCA member, spoke at WHCA’s July 25 meeting about sound, safe horticultural practices. Nan built upon her existing knowledge of gardening by becoming a Master Gardener in 2006. She works with the Virginia Cooperative Extension and at Green Spring Gardens, located behind the Fairfax County Park at Braddock Road and Little River Turnpike, where she donates many hours of volunteer work and continues her gardening education.
Nan offered neighbors the following advice that she has learned over the years:
- Do your research first so that you buy the right plant for the right place. Read plant labels about amount of sun needed and plant size.
- Be ready to move plants to another location if necessary for their better growth.
- Be patient.
- Take a list of plants you want to buy with you to the Garden Center. You don’t have to stick to the list, but at least it will give you a place to start.
She further advised neighbors to plant native species, which are defined as those that have existed in our area, known as the Eastern Deciduous Forest area, since before the arrival of Europeans. Native plants require less maintenance because they survive naturally in our region’s environment. Although there are circumstances in which native plants can become invasive and have a deleterious effect on ecosystems, it is important to avoid planting non-native invasive species, such as the Kudzu vine.
Nan suggested planting milkweed to attract Monarch butterflies and help them survive their long migrations to and from Mexico. She also advised against using excessive amounts of fertilizer and pesticides, which can negatively impact our environment. However, she did note that using Roundup in a limited and targeted fashion is an effective way to eliminate poison ivy and poison sumac, both of which grow abundantly in our region.
Nan concluded her presentation by offering numerous gardening reference materials and websites on native and invasive plants and on how to attract wildlife to our backyards. WHCA neighbors are very grateful to Master Gardener Nan Bradley for sharing her expertise with and offering to be a gardening resource for her community.
We wish to thank the Wilkinsons for hosting our annual summer potluck social on Sunday, August 28. The event was a great success. It was well-attended, the conversation was interesting, the food was delicious, and the weather was perfect.
WHCA Working with Officer Kat O’Leary, Crime Prevention Officer
When three police officers came to the quarterly WHCA meeting on July 27, 2015 to discuss crime prevention in our neighborhood, Officer O’Leary introduced herself as our Crime Prevention Officer. She reminded those in attendance to report any suspicious activity by calling 911 for emergencies and 703-691-2131 for non-emergencies. Should a police officer need to contact the caller to follow up, the caller may request that the officer contact them by phone rather than in person.
In August, when the WHCA Council asked Officer O’Leary for information regarding drug arrests rumored to have taken place during the summer, she provided information regarding two separate, drug-related arrests. In the first case, which took place on June 15 at approximately 10:45 p.m., an officer investigated a suspicious vehicle parked near the intersection of Hayden Lane and Knox Road. Marijuana was found during the stop and a juvenile male was arrested for possession of marijuana. In the second instance, which took place on June 21 at approximately 10:42 p.m., an officer patrolling the area observed a suspicious vehicle parked at Eakin Park. Marijuana was found during the stop and two men, one 21 and the other 20 years old, were charged with possession of marijuana and released on a summons.
VDOT Supervisor’s Assistance Sought to Expedite Road Repaving
In July 2014, VDOT conducted an evaluation that found Beverly Dr., Hayden Lane, Knox Rd., Reedy Drive, and Taylor Lane to be in very poor condition, and these roads were prioritized for repaving as a result. Since then, the WHCA Council has inquired with VDOT every three months into the status of the repaving plans. Citing limited funding and the staggering number of miles of roads that are in poor or very poor condition in the county, VDOT has been unable to provide any more information or updates, nor can it commit to repaving the roads anytime in the near future.
On August 2, the WHCA Council sent a letter to VDOT Supervisor Linda Smyth asking her what the Council could do to obtain more information about the status of the roads, as well as how to get them moved up the priority list. The Council will keep WHCA neighbors informed of any new developments.
Helpful Safety Tip from Neighborhood Watch Coordinator
You can use your car alarm as an alarm for your whole home by keeping your car keys next to your bed at night or on your person at any time of day. If you hear a strange noise or suspect that there is an intruder about, you can activate your car’s alarm to scare them away. Test your car’s alarm from various locations in your home to make sure it can be activated from anywhere.
Woodburn Mental Health Center Under Demolition
Carol Russell has learned from INOVA Fairfax Hospital that the old Woodburn Mental Health Center is to be removed entirely and that the land will be left as green space. The services that were previously provided at Woodburn have been transferred to the new Merrifield Center, located at 8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive in Fairfax. The Merrifield Center delivers vital services for local residents who have challenges related to mental health, substance use, and intellectual disability.
Fairfax County Code Compliance Representative to Speak at October Meeting
A representative from the Fairfax County Department of Code Compliance will speak at our October meeting. This office deals with most neighborhood quality-of- life complaints in the county, such as complaints about cars parked on grass, junk in yards, over-occupancy of homes, uncut grass, building without a permit, and hoarding. The office enforces health, property, zoning, fire, property maintenance, and other county codes. Please let Carol Russell know by September 20 of any specific topics you would like the representative to cover.
National Night Out
WHCA observed National Night Out on August 2, by gathering at our Little Lending Library, taking a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, and then stopping in at the Rowe’s house for cookies, cooling beverages and conviviality. National Night Out is an annual campaign intended to make our neighborhoods safer and friendlier places to live, and is thus in keeping with WHCA’s mission of promoting a spirit of warm and welcoming community all year long.
WHCA Asks VDOT to Assess Lanes and Traffic Patterns at Intersection of Woodburn and Gallows
At the last WHCA meeting, neighbors expressed concern about the traffic pattern resulting from the way the lanes were recently reconfigured at the intersection of Woodburn and Gallows Roads. Many feel that the new lane configuration is dangerous no matter which direction one is turning. Therefore, on August 11 Carol Russell wrote on behalf of WHCA to VDOT requesting a thorough review of all the turning lanes at the intersection. In her letter, she emphasized the need for a response in time for our October meeting.
Seeking Social Coordinator
There are many in our community willing to help out with social events, but it really takes a good social planner to pull it all together and make things run smoothly. Kristin Haynes has done a wonderful job in this regard for seven years. Now that she is president of WHCA, it is time to pass the baton to a neighbor who is organized and willing to take on the responsibility of planning WHCA social events. Kristin would be happy to share advice with her successor(s).
If you are interested in volunteering to fill this much-appreciated position, please contact any WHCA Council member listed at the head of this newsletter as soon as possible. We need your help! Thank you.
Don’t Forget to Pay Your Annual WHCA Dues!
To date we have 20 paid members in the WHCA for 2016. Folks are welcome to pay their dues ($15 per household) any time during the year, although we collect most annual dues at the spring meeting in April.
We end this issue of the WHCA Newsletter with a poem by E.B. White (July 11, 1899 – October 1, 1985), whose children’s novel Charlotte’s Web sparked in many a lifelong admiration and appreciation of spiders.
The Spider’s Web
The spider, dropping down from twig,
Unfolds a plan of her devising,
A thin premeditated rig
To use in rising.
And all that journey down through space,
In cool descent and loyal hearted,
She spins a ladder to the place
From where she started.
Thus I, gone forth as spiders do
In spider’s web a truth discerning,
Attach one silken thread to you
For my returning.
Join or Renew WHCA 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:
Jeanne Midgett, WHCA Treasurer
3413 Beverly Drive, Annandale, VA, 22003-1110
Reminder: Dues are collected annually at the April WHCA meeting; however, payment of dues is welcome any time during the year.
Make your check payable to: Woodburn Homes Civic Association.
Welcoming and Helping Our Neighbors
All WHCA residents, please let Ernestine Hall at email@example.com know if you have information about any new neighbors or anyone in our community who may need some assistance (such as a ride to the doctor, the grocery store, or pharmacy for medication, etc.). Ernestine will try to find a neighborhood volunteer to help.
Also, please let Ernestine Hall know if you would be willing to help in such situations. You can email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Loretta Rowe for her efforts to keep our WHCA website up to date. Please provide Loretta with any ideas and feedback on improving the website’s effectiveness.
Starting a Home Project? Need Help around the House or Yard?
Want to Pass on a Referral?
WHCA HAS A NEIGHBORHOOD REFERRALS DATABASE!
What better way to help each other than to use the Woodburn Homes Civic Association to share contractors you recommend. If you have any recommendations , please send them to the WHCA Newsletter Editor. The following have been recommended by our neighbors. Please note: WHCA does not officially promote or criticize contractors.
Air Conditioning and Heating
Scott Bailey at Lanark Mechanical for air conditioning and heating service and replacement, Call: 703-489-7944, Website is: http://www.lanarkmechanical.com
Email address is: email@example.com Excellent job of installing heating/air conditioning. Recommended by Loretta and Michael Rowe.
Chimney Cleaning and Repairs
Woodburners Chimney Sweep and Repair, LLC, 8975 Miles Place Manassas, Va. 20110, 571-379-4820. Recommended by Nelson Hall.
Quality Electric Services at 703-642-1880. Recommended by Ed and Betty McCurry (703-560-2262).
Brian’s Home Services for gutter cleaning, 703-505-6153. Recommended by
Joyce Mcphee (703-560-5382).
Need your Gutters Cleaned? Call Jose Landscaping, 571-594-6630. Recommended by Mark Russell (703- 573-1124). Nan Bradley recently called Jose to clean the gutters on her house and was also very pleased.
Home Heating Oil
Capital Discount Fuel Company in Purcellville, Virginia, for home heating oil, 115 East Main Street, Purcellville, Va. 20132 , 703-978-6400. Recommended by Ernestine Hall.
Sabina Carrera, 703-583-7509. Excellent House Cleaning on occasional or routine basis.
Recommended by Carol Russell (703- 573-1124).
Yolanda Ochoa for excellent, dependable house cleaning. Phone: Jose Funes at
571-238-5447. Highly recommended by Anna Fotias (3434 Beverly Dr.)
House Painting and Repair
CertaPro Painters of Arlington (located in Annandale) for house painting,
1-800-462-3782. Recommended by Joyce Mcphee (703- 560-5382).
Norton Enterprises Residential Painting is a family-owned, licensed and insured, personalized painting company serving our community for over 26 years. Services include all types of interior and exterior painting; exterior rotten wood repair and replacement; preparation for painting, including power washing, drywall/water damage repair, caulking, and wallpaper removal; and moldings installation (crown, chair, base, frames, and wainscot). For the quickest response to a request for a free estimate, contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 703-753-2255. Highly recommended by Anna Fotias and Keith Wilkinson (3434 Beverly Dr.).
Pier Professional Painting (Bill Pier), who can be reached at: 703-402-2857. Maria Mitchell highly recommends and notes he is generally booked far in advance.
Excellent General Contractor (drywall, painting, tile, bathrooms, plumbing, electrical, cabinetry) Alan Schottroffe 540-869-6390 or 540-533-7467. Recommended by Mark Russell (703-573-1124) and Michael and Loretta Rowe.
F.A. Landscaping, Martin A. Ortiz, Phone: 240 408-9254. E-mail: Martin03072@hotmail.com. Highly recommended by Nelson and Ernestine Hall.
Randy Carroll, who grew up in Camelot neighborhood, at Rimble Landscaping for lawn service. Phone: 703-527-6950. Highly recommended by Loretta and Michael Rowe.
Sergio Ayala and family for lawn maintenance. They do several lawns in the neighborhood and are very dependable. They also remove leaves in the Fall and do landscaping. Phone: 703-981-9060. Highly recommended by Jeanne Midgett.
Lawn Mower Repair
Branch Grigg Small Engine Service and Repair. Near Woodburn Elementary School. Mark Griggs: 703-560-3317. Kristin Haynes had her almost 20 year old lawn mower serviced and recommends this company as reasonable and great, quick service: Also, highly recommended by Michael and Loretta Rowe.
Jim Hughes of MAILBOXXPRESS at http://www.mailboxxpress.com/index.html delivers quality service and mailboxes at most reasonable prices! Recommended by Michael and Loretta Rowe. Also highly recommended by Carol and Mark Russell.
JL Tree Service, Inc., Fairfax, VA, 703-359-4444, www.jltreeservice.com, serving Northern & Fairfax, VA, MD, and Washington ,DC since 1975. Certified arborists provide tree removal, tree pruning, tree trimming & cutting, and 24 hour emergency tree service. Recommended by Randy and Jess Fulk at 8300 Taylor Lane, who contacted JL Tree Service to remove 3 trees from their yard due to proximity to the house, and commented that JL Tree Service did an excellent job, was very cost competitive and followed-up to ensure satisfaction with their work.
Ross Tree Service at 703-583-8733. Recommended by Ed and Betty McCurry
CLASSIFIEDS and ADVERTISEMENTS
Share, Inc. is an organization based in McLean that provides services to the less fortunate in Arlington and Fairfax Counties. It is looking for able-bodied volunteers to help with picking up donated furniture and delivering it by truck to the homes of needy individuals and families, all of whom are referrals from county social workers, local faith communities, and several nonprofit groups serving the formerly homeless or victims of spousal abuse. Moving crews meet in McLean on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m and are usually finished before 1:30 p.m. Volunteers are generally willing to do three to six furniture runs per year. If interested, please contact Joshua Goodman at email@example.com.
Woodburn Homes Civic Association (WHCA) Meeting
July 25, 2016
Proposed Minutes for Approval at October 24, 2016 Meeting
The summer WHCA meeting, held at the Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church, was called to order at 7:30pm by Kristin Haynes, President.
In addition to the 4 officers listed below, there were 16 members who attended the meeting, for a total of 20 attendees.
Vice President Loretta Rowe could not attend the meeting. WHCA Officers present were:
President Kristin Haynes
Secretary Anna Fotias
Treasurer Jeanne Midgett
Area Representative Carol Russell
President Haynes reported that WHCA Council members met on July 12, 2016 to prepare the agenda for the July 25, 2016 WHCA meeting, copies of which had been distributed. She asked for approval of the previous April 25, 2016 proposed minutes (also distributed). A motion was then made, seconded and passed to approve the WHCA April 25, 2016 meeting minutes.
President Haynes proceeded to ask for the Officers’ reports, provided as follows:
Treasurer Jeanne Midgett provided a report on the WHCA budget. She reported that the current balance in the WHCA Treasury is $440.23. Disbursements have been made of $75 to the Byzantine Catholic Church, $75 to the Falls Church High School All-Night Graduation event, for website hosting expenses of $176.15, and for a membership fee of $25 to the Friends of Accotink Creek. She then noted that she would be available to receive payment of 2016 annual WHCA dues of $15 by any members who had not yet paid.
Secretary Anna Fotias asked that everyone remember to sign the meeting attendance sheet. She also reminded members that WHCA is still looking for a volunteer(s) to be WHCA’s social event planner/contact.
President Haynes reported that National Night Out was on Tuesday, August 2 and that WHCA neighbors would meet at 7pm at the Little Lending Library on the corner of Hayden and Beverly Drive to take a short walk through the neighborhood. She also announced that this summer’s WHCA “pot luck” picnic would be held on Sunday, August 28 at 4pm – to be hosted in the Wilkinson’s back yard with swimming pool at 3434 Beverly Drive.
Area Representative Coordinator Carol Russell stated that she would provide her reports on various topics under “Follow up Items from Last Meeting” later in the agenda.
Newsletter Editor Josh Goodman could not attend the meeting, and it was stated that he would provide a deadline for newsletter submissions later in August.
Follow up Items from Last Meeting: Reports were provided on the following items of continuing interest to WHCA:
- Little Lending Library. President Haynes reminded members that WHCA’s Little Lending Library is installed, filled and available for use by neighbors.
- WHCA Joined Friends of Accotink. On April 9, 2016, the Friends of Accotink completed a cleanup of the streams and paths at Eakin Park, from Pickett Road to Woodburn Road. As a new member of this group, WHCA will receive notices of upcoming cleanup and other special events.
- Status of Road Repaving. Area Coordinator Carol Russell reported that we are still on VDOT’s list but there has been no progress in learning when our roads are scheduled for repaving. When she asked if WHCA members had any suggestions on how to proceed, Ernestine Hall responded that we should write to Supervisor Lynda Smyth to enlist her help in expediting matters on this issue. Carol Russell said that was an excellent idea and that she would follow-up.
- Clean Up Day Proposal. Steve Nider’s proposal for a WHCA neighborhood clean up day to coincide with Earth Day activity in April next year needs planning/coordination.
- Request VDOT Address Woodburn Road Trash. Area Coordinator Carol Russell has contacted the hospital to see if they will still arrange to pick up trash at hospital entrance and across Woodburn Road. She also learned that VDOT contracts to pick up litter in order to mow along Woodburn Road twice a year between May and November. She recommended that we postpone requesting VDOT put up Do Not Litter signs along Woodburn Road until we see if there is less litter there as a result of either or both the hospital’s and/or VDOT’s efforts.
- Green Spring Gardens. Nan Bradley has offered to contact Green Spring Gardens to see if they had any suggestions on how we could address Ernestine Hall’s concern that the public garden plots along Woodburn Road presented an unsightly view since we can now see all the fenced in garden structures through the recently cut back tall pine trees along Woodburn Road. The Park Authority had responded to us that the available planting area alongside the pine trees is too narrow, and that there are no evergreen shrubs that would survive the shady dry conditions under the pine trees along that section of Woodburn Road.
- Fairfax County Code Compliance Office Speaker. Area Representative Carol Russell reported that she would arrange to have a Fairfax County Code Compliance Office representative to speak at our October 2016 WHCA meeting. In response to her request for topics of interest for this speaker to address, it was suggested that regulations on the size and location of sheds in our neighborhood be explained. Other topics of interest for this speaker to address will be solicited from WHCA members.
- Local Elected Official Speaker. President Haynes reported that WHCA could look into inviting local elected officials to speak at future WHCA meetings, such as Lynda Smyth and new School Board members. WHCA members expressed interest in having such speakers in order for them to get to know us and our concerns.
The following was reported under Community Needs:
- Use Your Car Keys to Save Your Life. Richard Morris shared some helpful advice about using car keys as a security alarm system that requires no installation. By keeping your car keys next to your bed at night, you can hit the panic button whenever a strange noise is heard or an intruder enters. Your car alarm will be set off, and the alarm noise will usually scare away any possible threats. Test the panic button on your car keys at various locations in your house to ensure that it will activate your car alarm. It should go off from most everywhere inside your house if you park in your driveway or garage, and the alarm will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. This use of your car keys to set off your car alarm could also be useful in case of other emergencies when you want to attract help or scare away threats.
- National Night Out. President Haynes reiterated that National Night Out observance this year was on Tuesday, August 2, and invited WHCA neighbors to meet at 7pm at the corner of Beverly Drive and Hayden Lane to take a leisurely stroll through the community.
- Summer Picnic. President Haynes reported that more specific information would be forthcoming about this year’s WHCA summer picnic on Sunday, August 28 at 4pm.
The following was reported under Public Comments/Concerns:
- Dangerous Intersection at Woodburn and Gallows Road. Joan Omand expressed concern about the dangerous traffic patterns at the intersection of Woodburn and Gallows Road. Specifically, while there are two right turn lanes for drivers who want to go south from Woodburn Road onto Gallows Road, these two right turn lanes feed into more than two lanes on Gallows Road. As a result, it is confusing as to which lane on Gallows Road a driver should merge into while making this right turn. This confusion creates a dangerous situation for many drivers who are forced to make a quick lane change on Gallows Road due to the lack of any lane guidance markings. Area Coordinator Carol Russell offered to follow-up with VDOT on this issue.
Featured Speaker: Master Gardener Nan Bradley spoke about her “gardening rules” and on native and invasive plants and how to attract wildlife to our backyards.
President Haynes adjourned the meeting at 8:15pm. Coffee and desserts, provided by WHCA Council members, were enjoyed by attendees, who remained to socialize. The next WHCA meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 24, 2016 (since October 31 is Halloween) at 7:30pm in the basement of the old Byzantine Catholic Church’s social hall.