Dear Village Neighbors / Friends,
What’s going on? Have more complaints in the last couple weeks that I can recall in similar periods over the last 15 years. Failure to clean up after your dog, barking dogs, homes that don’t uphold what many want the image of the village to be, speeding and too often reckless driving. Apparently, we (collectively) have let slip some of our civic and civil responsibilities. If we drive slowly and even more carefully, bring in our dogs during quiet hours, pick up after them when they answer nature’s call, make sure your home looks like those close by in terms of yards and the absence of junk and trash – wouldn’t a lot of the complaints end? Let’s all take a deep breath and get back to being friendly, neighborly and a bit more responsible.
Barking Dogs / Noise Complaints – Barking, howling, meowing, squawking or quacking animals between 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM that can be heard inside a home with its doors and windows closed, or if these sounds can be heard 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM for more than five minutes consecutively or non-consecutively during a 10-minute period constitute a violation of the county’s noise ordinance. Got that Suzanne? For dog noise or immediate noise concerns, call the police non-emergency number at 703/691-2131. To enforce the law, the county may seek civil and criminal penalties against violators, as well as court orders to prohibit current and future noise. Civil penalties start at $250, rising to $500 for subsequent offenses. Criminal convictions would be a misdemeanor.
Slow Down! – Some are driving much too fast during the times that our children are heading to or from school or to school fields for athletic events. Granted, the speed limit is 25 MPH, but the presence of children enjoying the spring weather should want us to drive even more slowly and carefully. Other than Bellamy, we don’t get much cut-through traffic so the violators are mostly us.
Seems like just yesterday, we were trying to tame the traffic in and around our elementary schools. Residential street speed limits are set at 25 MPH by Virginia since our village streets are owned and maintained by Virginia Department of Transportation. We asked for speed humps only to be rejected and thankfully so. Talk to those in Kings Park who now hate the speedway the speed humps cause. Slow down to cross the hump and then accelerate like we’re at Daytona to get to the next hump and then repeat. You may recall that the positive outcome of that debate was and is the traffic light at Barnack & Rolling Road.
We have asked for more police presence, but until they open the South County Police Station and staff it – our West Springfield PD have too large an area to cover with too few patrols. They go where crime and traffic accidents and traffic violations happen more frequently than in our village.
Please discuss with the young drivers in your family.
Amazing! – what you discover about your neighbors while sitting on your front stoop/porch. I often sit out in the evening to enjoy conversations with our neighbors. Just recently, Jason Henry joined us along with Mike Warrington (Landor Lane). Mike mentioned something causing me to realize that he shares a passion for the Rocky Mountains region in Montana. His probably more than mine, but he told wonderful and historic stories about the region and his family. Knowing that others in the Village would also be interested, I asked and Mike agreed to provide the following.
My family is involved with a summertime mountain hotel operation in Glacier National Park, Montana. After World War II, a number of 10th Mountain Division Soldiers returned from Italy and started ski resorts and outdoor recreation businesses in the Rocky Mountains. My grand-dad leased the concession for these hiker shelters from the National Park Service in 1954. Their operation has been in my family since.
Initially part of a larger hotel chain built in 1914 by the Great Northern Railroad to draw tourism west, they are good destinations to tie-in with a larger trip to the region. Calgary Canada, and Yellowstone Park are both a day's drive away. Kalispell International Airport is the local airfield. Spokane and Missoula are a little cheaper to fly into and are within a few hours' drive. Amtrak stops at Whitefish and West Glacier.
The operating season is usually 4th of July through early September depending on the weather. We generally dig out the snow drifts from in front of the doors in June, and the snow usually flies again around Labor Day. Weather during the summer is mostly clear with daytime highs in the 70's and nighttime lows in the 50's. Weekly afternoon thunderstorms are available. Propane, food, and supplies are packed in twice a week on horseback or mule with trash, bedding, and laundry back-hauled on each trip
To get there, it is a 6-mile hike or horseback ride from Lake McDonald Lodge (free parking available). Cost of an overnight stay includes 3 hot meals and a solid bed in a closed room. Horses are extra and are rented by a different company. No electricity or showers. Nearby hiker's campground for those who like to rough it. Composting public toilet and water for hand-washing. All the beautiful sunsets you can stomach. The Chalet is good jumping-off point for hikes to a nearby glacier and fishing lake. Google Earth is a good tool to use to fly around the area and get a sense of the local geography.
I may not have done Mike’s write up justice, but I know he’d be glad to sit on your front stoop or porch to entertain you with stories. He also provided pictures; I can share with you on demand.
Landscaping Contractor Recommendations Wanted – Someone capable of concrete work as well as landscaping. If you have a good recommendation, send to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to our webmaster, Bob Havey at email@example.com. Bob will add to the list of contractors who have satisfied others in the village in terms of price, quality of work, timeliness and cleanliness. Please remember that every contract is different and each homeowner has their own unique expectations, but the list is a good place to start.
Free Pallets – Two of the extra-long pallets are available, first come - first served at 8129 Edmonton Court. You’ll see them from the road; if not someone beat you to them.
Public Safety Day – 22 April (sponsored by the Fairfax County Communities of Trust Committee, including FBI, sheriff's office, FCPD, Fire & Rescue, state police, & county Office of Emergency Management). Enjoy a day with your community and the public safety family.
- Face painting, ballons, games, food and drinks
- Fire and rescue vehicle display
- Police, state patrol, sheriff, & FBI vehicle display
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM at Southrun Road at Ballfield in Newington Forest. From the Newington Forest Community Center on Southrun Rd near the intersection with Pohick Road, go 1/2 mile to ballfield on the left.
See the event flyer at http://www.communitiesoftrust.com/.
Upcoming Village Events:
Late April/Early May – Village Crier Due Out (Deliverers Needed)
11 May – Village Meeting - 7:30 PM in the Art Room at Rolling Valley ES
13 May – Village Wide Yard Sale – 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM (Coordinator needed, see below)
20 May – Rain Date Yard Sale – 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM, if needed. Same or Different Coordinator.
27 May – Memorial Day Parade, Picnic and Pool Party (Co-hosted with Village West Pool)
24 June – Village Cleanup (this is a change from Directory). 8:00 AM – 12:00 noon. CAWSV members only, but can join at the site (Rolling Valley ES parking lot).
Crier Distributors Needed – It takes about 12 folks to deliver the Crier to each home in the Village. It is a great way for young folks to get community service credit. Even if you delivered the last Crier, please let me know if you will again or if you are willing to pitch in.
Also let Crier Editor Larry Mark (firstname.lastname@example.org) and me (email@example.com know if you have announcements, articles or ads you want to include in the April/May edition of the Village Crier. We should have a lot of HS seniors committing soon to a university or college; others getting promotions or new jobs, some getting engaged to be married, even more celebrating anniversaries and some of us simply getting older, but still celebrating birthdays. All joyous family news helps promote our “village” lifestyle. Note - We do not include obituaries – just joyous family news.
Yard Sale Coordinator Needed – Volunteer needed to work with me to coordinate the community yard sale (13 May). Duties include making a list of participants by street address and a general category of items for sale. Attach that list to a map of the village and distribute to participants who then should provide to their customers to help guide them to the next sale site. Place yard sale signs Friday, 12 May before the evening rush hour and pick them up after the sale ends on the 13th. Signs can’t be placed on Rolling Road right-of-way; instead we put them just inside the sidewalk along Rolling Road in front of Rolling Road homes. Signs are stored at my 8131 Edmonton Court home. I can help with the list and will place an ad in the Washington Post (print and online editions) and NextDoor. Total time investment for yard sale coordinator – not more than 6 hours over 3-day period.
Dine Out Night - Wednesday 4/26 & Thursday, 4/27 – from Angie Walker (Brisbane Street) - Save the Date for Dine Out Night at Coal Fire (9276 Old Keene Mill Road)! Bring a hard copy of the fundraising flier or show it electronically on your phone to help WSES PTA fundraise. The PTA will receive 20 percent of the proceeds on those nights. The flier is available here: http://www.wsespta.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Coal-Fire-Pizza-Fundraiser-FlyerWSES.pdf.
Stay safe and please drive carefully. And for the sake of our village, get to know your neighbors.
John Cooley, CAWSV