Village News, 10/21/21

Dear Village Neighbor / Friend,

Halloween this year falls on a Sunday. If you will hand out treats to the children for a couple hours after sunset (6:00 PM) – turn on your outside lights. And when you’re done, or your candy dish is empty – turn off your outside lights. Of course, we will do what we can to distribute treats safely. Check out our FaceBook Group for discussions about how we can safely enjoy Halloween.

1. CAWSV Membership – thanks to you and 288 others, we are getting closer to our funding objective (350). If you have new neighbors, please let me know but all should have by now received a hard-copy, follow-up newsletter with the membership form.

2. At the Last Village Meeting – thanks to those who attended the meeting last Thursday evening. Yes, we voted on 3 critical items of business:

  • To ratify the auditor’s report of our financial records. Thanks to Nelson Ritchie and Jeannette Swain for doing the audit. Vote was unanimously “aye”, audit was ratified.
  • We also voted unanimously to pass the proposed FY22 budget without markups. Please note – the Board of Directors can amend any budget line upward by no more than $300.00. In the last 22 years, we have not without  including the Executive Council members in that vote and soliciting input from the village.
  • Lastly, we voted unanimously to elect a new Board of Directors. Bernie Koehle will stay on as Vice President, Molly Alonzo will take on the Secretary position and Nelson Ritchie became our Treasurer replacing Liz Greene who I personally credit for absolute control of financial accounts and a major contributor to our success. Kirby Myers had served our village in many capacities over the years, but just recently as Directory Editor and as Past President (5th member on the BOD). That position did not require a vote, but after the meeting – Jeff Carter agreed to relieve Kirby and become our PP. I will continue as President, but this is my last year. If you are interested, please let me know so we can start working the transition over the entire year.

Also want to recognize Andrea Lewis for taking on the Directory Editor position. I know she’d appreciate any constructive comments about the directory and possible cover pictures for her selection.  

Minutes from that meeting to include the auditors’ report and the financial statement that shows the FY22 budget should be posted to our website tomorrow following review and approval by those who were there.

3. Expanded No-Excuse Needed Early Voting - All registered voters can still vote early through 30 October. Currently you may cast your ballots at:

Hours of operation:

  • Weekdays: Fairfax County Government Center 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. All other locations 12:00 Noon - 7:00 PM.
  • Saturday (23 October and 30 October) - All locations 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
  • Sunday (24 October) - All locations 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM.

You can also vote by mail and return your ballot via mail or via ballot drop box. You must request a mail-in ballot by tomorrow, Friday, 22 October.

Old fashioned, regular voting at normal polling stations is on 2 November. Rolling Valley ES is the polling station for those on the west side of Rolling Road, West Springfield ES for those on the east of RR. More on voting can be found here.

4. "Eat to the Beat" – at Rolling Valley Elementary School, Saturday, 23 October from 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM. Join the Rolling Valley Elementary School PTA for outdoor fun including food trucks, live music and more! Featured food trucks are Chix N Stix, Wagon Wheel and Kona Ice. The North Illinois Street Band will play classic rock covers that will have you singing along.  Bring a chair or picnic blanket and watch while you eat! (Kona Ice and the band are from 12 - 2 PM).

5. Deer Rutting Season – it’s on and should reach peak mid-November. The does will run from unsolicited advances and the bucks go crazy seeking the doe’s acceptance. Incidents of vehicle accidents involving deer will increase to include deer running into your cars. Watch for deer on the shoulder of roads knowing they will jump into traffic focused only on “love” or to avoid “love”. Bucks have shown aggression toward people during the rut – just advise your children to give them space.

6. Deer Archery Season – Ongoing and not scheduled to end until Saturday, 19 February 2022. Archery is a safe and effective deer management tool to control deer populations on public lands in Fairfax County. Qualified, licensed bowhunters with superior skill, ethics, and experience can efficiently and discreetly hunt deer. Hunters utilize tree stands which allow the hunter to engage the target from above. The resulting downward trajectory of the arrow means that the ground acts as a natural backstop. If you encounter a hunter in his/her tree stand – simply try to avoid disturbing his/her hunt. Don’t worry, they are not after Bambi, but Bambi’s evil kin are fair game.

7. Rolling Road Trash Collection - The West Springfield Rotary Club was out in full force last Saturday picking up trash along Rolling Road.  They try to do a cleanup four times a year and their club covers the section from Old Keene Mill to the Parkway under VDOT's "Adopt-a-Highway" program.  You can tell when they've done their work when you see the orange bags along Rolling, which generally are quickly picked up by VDOT crews.

8. Streetlights and Front Porch Lights – Recent incidents of theft to include a vehicle should point out the need for all of us to make sure the area around our homes is illuminated either by street lights, pole lights in front yards or porch lights whether on motion-detection or simply left on.

Our streetlights are maintained by Dominion Virginia Power (a.k.a. Dominion Energy). If you see one light that isn’t working note the nearest street address and the pole number that is located directly on the pole. It may be in one of two formats:

  • one letter, four numbers, two letters, two numbers (for example, B1831 RL22), or
  • two letters, two numbers (for example, ND66).

To report, call 866/366-4357 or use the form that can be found at Streetlight Outages | Virginia | Dominion Energy.

9. Storm Water Intakes – If you look at those curbside intakes, you’ll see a sticker posted like the one below. That program was Katrina Cooley’s initiative along with a sidekick Michelle Ott. Katrina went to county while still in elementary school to brief her idea to county staff and to be awarded the project. She and Michelle along with their mothers drove the entire village to find the curbside intakes and place this sticker on each.

Storm Drain Label: Drains to Potomac River, Copyright 2005 das Manufacturing, Inc.

But folks are still using the intakes for disposal of waste. If you have ever been on the Pohick Stream Cleanup, you’ll know that we had a problem then, and now. Just last week, two commercial landscapers were observed illegally blowing grass clippings down the curbside drains that were clearly marked with the stickers. Practically every day, some of us illegally sweep leaves, grass, and clippings down the same water drain. And too many also put what their dogs dropped while walking those drains.

10. Village Security - Last week we included a report about two cars picking up two young men. Don’t want to rehash that but did talk to a policeman who said that Suspicious Activity or Suspicious Persons can also be reported using 9-1-1 to get a police officer dispatched to check it out. If license plates can be read and recorded, it would help even after they had left the area. We are fortunate to experience very little crime; still, our Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, Jeff Carter pulled down some security tips that may help keep us safe.  

  • Don't provide places for thieves to hide - Trim trees and bushes that someone might hide for unnoticeable access to your windows. Trim shrubs that block a window.
  • Keep thieves in the spotlight - Look for dark places around your home that may conceal a thief trying to get into your home. Install lights there and in various places that can light up entrances. Motion detection spotlights are the best option to conserve energy and not annoy your neighbors or yourself with always-on lights.
  • Don't let thieves know you are not home - Never announce beforehand your vacation plans. We like to share, and thieves love that about us. Sending a tweet that you've arrived at the airport or posting a status update on Facebook are both great ways to alert thieves that your home is empty. Save updates and pictures about your vacation for when you return. While vacationing, have a trusted friend or neighbor stop by to pick up the mail, newspapers and any fliers that may be left at the door. If you are going to be gone during the night, even if it's just returning from work after it’s dark, have interior lights set on a timer to keep thieves guessing and to help you feel safer when you come home.
  • Keep your yard clean to prevent giving thieves a broken tree limb, outdoor toys, gardening tools , and barbequing tools to break a window to get into your home. Don’t leave a ladder outside that can be used to gain access to a higher window.
  • Install a security camera system. Security cameras are becoming a more common source of protection, but keep in mind that some connect to the Internet. You may be conceding some privacy.
  • Install a home alarm system. It will deter some and bring the police to your home more quickly. Engage them when you are away and while at home.
  • Protect windows. Consider upgrading to shatterproof glass. Or, adding a security film to windows to prevent the glass from shattering upon breaking and may deter thieves from continuing their attempt.
  • Secure sliding glass doors. Most sliding glass doors have incredibly flimsy locks. Install a security bar for sliding doors and windows.
  • Lock doors and windows. Lock them when you are not home, when you go to bed and when they are not in use. If you sleep with a window open, install window locks that only allow the window to open a few inches. Keep your garage door down, even during the day.
  • Lock your vehicles. Place valuables, including the garage door opener, out of eyesight in the trunk or under the seat. Keep documents with your name and home address at home, not in the vehicle’s glove box.
  • Change locks as necessary. After moving into your home, change the locks. If you've had a breakup recently, it is time to change the locks even if that person gives your key back.
  • Get to know your neighbors and report suspicious activity. Our village has been relatively crime free in large part due to our sense of community and neighbor-looking-out-for neighbors. That familiarity makes it easier to spot things that appear out of sorts. If you notice suspicious things, such as individuals loitering about, vehicles appearing to be ‘casing’ the neighborhood, etc., you should contact the police non-emergency line at 703/691-2131. If an emergency, dial 9-1-1..

Fairfax County Police Department offers a Home Security Survey program. The above list likely covers most items covered in the program, but our West Springfield District Station’s Crime Prevention Officer can provide a site visit for anyone interested. Please contact CAWSV for additional information on arranging a walkthrough.

11. Random Act of Kindness – Thanks to Jason Henry (Edmonton Court) for bailing me out of an impossible schedule conflict. I needed a driver to check me in for a medical procedure many of you who are 55+ years of age will know about. And that same driver had to return to check me out after the deed was done. Without hesitation, Jason took the early morning mission. Other neighbors also offered help making me once again realize just how lucky we are to live in West Springfield Village. I am grateful!

12. National Drug Take Back Day - this Saturday, 23 October, is drug-take back day all over the County, including the West Springfield Police Station from 10 AM to 2 PM. Please take this opportunity to empty your medicine cabinet of unused drugs so they do not fall into the wrong hands. Find a collection site near you.

13. Calendar:

  • 21 – 30 October – early voting at West Springfield Government Center
  • 23 October – RVES PTA “Eat to the Beat”
  • 1 November – end of the FY22 CAWSV membership drive – will you be in?
  • 2 November – Election Day
  • 7 November – Daylight Savings Time ends

Happy Anniversary WrongWay! Stay safe and enjoy this cooler weather!

John Cooley


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