Village News, 6/17/21

Dear Village Neighbor / Friend,

Lengthy report today; hope you find it meaningful.

1. Calendar:

  • 19 June – Juneteenth – soon to be signed into law as federal holiday celebrating the emancipation of all those who were enslaved in the United States.
  • 20 June – Father’s Day
  • 4 July – Independence Day – Federal Holiday commemorating the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Celebrate safely.
  • 14 October – Village Meeting, 7:30 PM

2. 4th of July Community Flag Project - To celebrate our Independence Day, Tim & Yee-Peng Royster (Smyth Street, 571/275-0871) of The Royster Hearth Group real estate team will, in cooperation with our Civic Association of West Springfield Village (CAWSV), place small American flags by residential mailboxes again this year. We’re looking for volunteers to place and remove the flags. If you will help, please e-mail Yee-Peng at yeepeng@roysterhearthgroup.com.

Flags measuring 12" x 18" on a 31.5" wooden staff will be placed next to your mailboxes from Thursday, 1 July and Friday, 2 July.  All the flags will be removed on Monday, 5 July for storage until the next holiday. 

If you do not want a flag placed in your yard, please e-mail Yee-Peng with your address at yeepeng@roysterhearthgroup.com by Monday, 28 June.

3. Community Parking District – Have received more-than-normal parking complaints lately and seemingly we interpret the restrictions differently. We are in the Springfield Community Parking Districts (CPD). That means that we have more restrictions than those established in county and state codes. So, I wrote the Residential Parking Programs Coordinator, On-Street Parking Group at the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to ask specific questions. Here’s that Q&A:

Are boats on trailers parked curbside a violation? Yes, CPD prohibits parking watercraft, recreational vehicles and all trailers, etc. in the residential public right-of-way within the District. If parked in driveway, is that a violation? CPD regulations do not apply to private property. You are also welcome to contact the Department of Code Compliance to verify regulations on parking such vehicles on private property - https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/code/.

Are utility trailers with tandem (two) axles parked curbside a violation? What about single axle trailers? Yes, CPD prohibits parking watercraft, recreational vehicles and all trailers, etc. in the residential public right-of-way within the District. What if they are parked in homeowner’s driveway or on their property? CPD regulations do not apply to private property. Please see further response above.

Commercial trucks/vans owned by the homeowner - can they be parked curbside? Some are tandem axle; others are single axle. Commercial Vehicles are defined by their size and/or weight, not necessarily by their markings or use (Fairfax County Code Section 82-5-7), and are prohibited from parking on residential roadways throughout Fairfax County. However, if a vehicle is not considered “commercial” by definition, and it does not fall into any of the CPD restricted categories, then it would not be restricted. Commercial vehicles that have 3 or more axles and/or have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 12,000 lbs or more, or are over 21 feet in length, or over eight feet in height, and/or 102 inches in width are prohibited from curbside parking on our residential streets.

Owners of vehicles parked in violation are subject to a $75 - $100 fine for each violation and may have the vehicle towed at the owner’s expense. Be warned, beware, but also have a civil conversation as “neighbor” before calling the police!

See the Code of the County of Fairfax, Chapter 82, Article 5B for more on the program and exemptions. For additional information contact DOT via their e-mail contact form.

4. Active Scam Alerts / Computer Corner – from village neighbor and D2D Computer Services Bob Havey:

“We have all received bogus email with an unbelievable offer, and invoice for something that we didn’t order, or a threat that some action would be taken if we don’t pay some ridiculous bill.  A really nasty one is the one where someone is asking for help. Everyone wants to help a friend.  The famous “I’m stuck in London and need cash” or more recently, “I need to get a gift card for some reason, and I can’t deal with it myself.  I will reimburse you.”  I have seen this one twice in the last 2 months.  It is done with multiple emails.

The first email asks if you can do an unspecified favor.  If you respond the second email asks you do purchase a gift card.  The apparent sender can’t do it himself for some flaky reason.  I have heard that if you actually get the gift card, you will get another email asking for a gift card with a larger sum of money.

The first thing to do is to check the sender’s email address.  Does the actual email address match the organization or individual that the email is allegedly from?  If there is no match, delete the message.

Yesterday’s problem was an email that looked for all the world like it came from someone I knew.  If you are really close to the apparent sender, you should be able to see the flaws in the story.  If you are not close to that person, you should know that the request is not appropriate, and that person wouldn’t ask for that kind of favor.   In this case, the customer’s email account had been hacked and in fact stolen.  The only protection you have in this case is to verify – by some other means than the incoming email address (think alternate email or phone) – that the apparent sender was the real sender and needs the help.  Without that verification, do nothing.

Most folks are pretty cavalier about their email passwords, and some just hate them, but this should demonstrate that they are necessary.  You don’t want to be the one with the hacked and stolen email account.  A lot of providers push randomly generated passwords, but those only fool humans.  Conventional wisdom is that longer is better.  Your favorite Bible verse, a quote from Shakespeare, Poe, Ian Fleming, or Danielle Steele is good if it’s over 14 characters.  Don’t be shy about misspelling a couple of the words and interspersing special characters.  No matter what you do, do not use a simple or obvious password on your email account.”

5. Stop Feeding Wild Birds - State and County agencies recommend we stop due to unexplained bird deaths, sick and dying birds with swollen eyes and crusty discharge and some neurological signs as well. No definitive cause of death is identified yet. But, birds congregating at feeders and baths can apparently transmit the disease to one another. So - we are asked to:

  • Cease feeding birds until this wildlife mortality event has concluded;
  • Clean feeders and bird baths with a 10% bleach solution;
  • Avoid handling birds, but wear disposable gloves if handling is necessary; and
  • Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a standard precaution.

If you encounter sick or dead birds in Virginia, please submit an event report at https://dwr.virginia.gov/.../bird-mortality-reporting-form/.  If you must remove dead birds, place them in a sealable plastic bag to dispose with household trash. You can see more recent news coverage of this issue at  https://www.washingtonpost.com/.../bird-deaths-stop-feeding/.

6. Covid-19 – Click here https://vaccinefinder.org to find who has which vaccine and to schedule an appointment to include for those 12+.

7. Lawn Mowers Wanted – many of us need a younger person to do our yard work. Do you have a reliable, hard-working youngster in your clan who is willing to do such work on a schedule for pay? Does he or she (pronoun police not needed here, thank you!) have a lawn mower for this purpose along with edger, etc? Many homeowners have their own equipment that can be used. Please let me know by name, address, contact information and if they have equipment. 

8. Contractor Recommendations - When negotiating with a contractor, throw in your willingness to advertise for them if you are granted a fair price, quality workmanship and thorough cleanup.

  • Dan Emrick (SVD) recommends JP Companies, Inc for concrete driveway work. Look around the yellow Honda sitting in front of the driveway at 8113 and you’ll notice a very nicely done new curved concrete driveway and carport. Contact Paulo Nicolau, part owner of JP Companies at 703/327-7007. He quickly understood our desires and offered very helpful suggestions. The crew showed up promptly as promised and completed the demolition of the old concrete and pour of the new concrete in one day.  Paulo left a foreman in charge of the crew but came to the job site several times during the day to check on the work. All went exceptionally well with minimal disruption of the lawn and flower beds plus good clean up after the job was done. Dan says that “if I ever have more concrete work to be done, I'll call on JP Companies without hesitation.”
  • Ed & Rachel Warren second the contractor recommendation for Presidential Exteriors. In March, they replaced their siding, trim, turned two doorways into windows, and also added an exterior door to their 6720 Greenview home.  They were on time, communicated clearly and often. 

9. Happy Anniversary!  Glenn & Dianna DeMarr (Barnack Drive) celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary on 13 June. Wow! Thanks for sharing Mr. & Mrs. DeMarr and congratulations!

10. Free:

  • Electronic ticket to Kings Dominion & Water park for 6/19. Contact Laura Rozier at roziers4@verizon.net 
  • Sleep Sofa - 68” long / 33” wide, Sand color with pearl gray and blue stripes. Opens to full sized bed and come with mattress. It is in remarkably good shape (except for 1 repair of a small tear in a not-so-noticeable place). The mattress has only been used 2-3 times and has no stains or spots on it. Will have to provide your own muscle and transportation. Interested? Contact Karen at khmarchant@aol.com or 703/569-4994.

 

11. Featured Directory Advertiser – Home Cleaners 4 You, come home to a clean house. Call for a free phone 703/256-1288.

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Take care to avoid scams, stay safe & healthy!

John Cooley
CAWSV

 

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