Village News, 11/4/21

Dear Village Neighbor / Friend,

And the heat(er) goes on!

1. CAWSV Membership – Thanks to the 317 of us who paid our dues that will fund our FY22 operations. We were short of our objective, but we’ll be ok, and we again did the drive without 40 block captain volunteers going door-to-door knocking on your door. Please let me know if you get new neighbors.

2. Sidewalk Obstacles – please don’t leave your electrical cord or water hose lying across the sidewalk, especially during the hours of darkness. And while we’re discussing sidewalk hazards - request all trim back bushes, trees and/or shrubs that also impede walkers.

3. Turn that Toter Around – Republic is again using a one-man crew with the hydraulic arms to lift your trash toters to dump into his/her truck. One of their drivers told me that by putting the toter’s opening toward the street (opposite the instructions on the toter itself) – it will open when it should cause most, if not all trash to be dumped into the truck rather than onto the street. I had included recycle toters in this report and then they came down the street with a 2-man crew to manhandle the toter after first turning mine back around. If you have American or Bates service, let me know what they want.

4. Lock in on Natural Gas Prices – CAWSV Secretary, Molly Alonzo (SVD) read reports suggesting that natural gas prices will likely increase substantially this coming winter due to demand outpacing supply and distribution capabilities. Rates habitually go up with winter demand, but many believe this may be a bad winter in terms of costs to heat our homes.

Natural gas is provided my home by Washington Gas & Light (WGL Energy Services). They offer a blanket bill once you’ve been with them for a year or more. They took my yearly consumption and then divided that by 12 and multiplied that by the costs at that time to give me a standard bill for each of the next 12 months based on actual consumption. So, I pay the same amount during the worst of the winter as I do during the summer when the AC takes over. For more information Residential Natural Gas Supply - WGL Energy. You can speak with a WGL Energy Services at 844/427-5945.

Dominion Energy Solutions offers a fixed price per therm for a two year or three-year lock-in period. In this plan the rate per therm is constant but your bill will fluctuate based on your consumption. To find out more about this plan, click on offers (dominionenergysolutions.com.

There are other 3rd party providers of natural gas to our area. If your supplier is one of those, I’d like your feedback if it will help others.

Molly also suggests that now is a good time to clean chimneys, gather and stack firewood and to prepare for winter:

  • Replace your furnace filter and have a heating professional check your heating system
  • Check all window and door locks for proper operation
  • Check your home for water leaks, turn off outside spigots and protect against frozen pipes
  • Review your fire escape plan with your family
  • Make sure there are working nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs
  • Run all gas­-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone
  • Test your emergency generator
  • Remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures
  • Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Change batteries if needed.
  • Make sure the caulking around doors and windows is adequate to reduce heat/cooling loss 
  • Edge your sidewalk and driveway to make it easier to shovel snow
  • Discuss with your neighbors a curbside parking plan to be used when snow is expected, and when snowplows will attempt to clear our streets. If cars park on just one side – they can clear more of the street meaning less digging out required by us. Park in your driveway bumper-to-bumper; dig out the lead vehicle and the rest should be able to use the same track.
  • Check on your neighbors who may need help to prepare.

5. Contractor Recommendations:

  • Hardscaping - Jose Asencio (240/406-6544) and his crew have laid flagstone on top of uneven and fractured concrete pad at my house. I am impressed with his attention to detail, cleanliness, and his prices. You are welcome to stop by (8131 Edmonton Court) to have a look.
  • Lawn Services – Mark Gregris (Edmonton Court) recommends that team who left yellow ads taped to mailboxes for a variety of lawn services to include pressure washing and gutter cleaning. The man in charge is Ismari Menjivar at 703/477-3673 or neighborhoodgeneral@gmail.com. Mark had him dethatch, rake, and bag his front yard and is happy with the provided services.

6. Neighborhood Chores - Leaf raking, dog walking, babysitting, mother’s helper, house sitting, snow shovelling, etc – We need more names on our registry of those willing to do these type tasks. Whether you or your children are willing to help others for pay or simply to help, please let me know along with our webmaster, Bob Havey at havey@dtwod.com.

If you are looking for help, first check out the list at our website, www.westspringfieldvillage.org in the “Neighborhood Chores” in the “Resources” Box halfway down the homepage on the left-hand side. There is no charge for your family members to be listed there and we’ll even advertise your willingness in future enews editions. Since last week, we have another family sign up. A father wants to teach his children about community service. Have a look.

**We have a neighbor on the east side looking for help to clean his gutters; anybody interested contact me and I’ll put you in touch with that neighbor. **

7. Community Service Supporting Toys for Tots – Michael Murray’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) unit is supporting the Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” program. The program aims to collect new, unwrapped toys to be given to needy children. Michael’s JROTC unit will collect the toys as part of their community service duty. Michael will come to your home “in uniform” on 20 November or 4 December to collect your donation and deliver to his flight room, and then later to a Marine Corps facility for distribution to needy children.

Michael will also shop for toys in your stead if you’d rather make a cash donation (payable to Michael Murray). You can also use PayPal (as I did) to donate to Michael at jodi_murray@cox.net. Use that same email address if you have questions. This is a feel-good and very successful holiday event. Let’s help Michael make it a success for his sake, that of his JROTC unit, the USMC and especially for the kids.

8. Dog Walking Etiquette – Please walk your dog so it relieves itself on the verge (that strip between sidewalk and curb) and not on neighbor’s property (house side of sidewalk). Even though responsible dog walkers pick up what their dog deposits, dog urine can also be detrimental to plants or grass, especially when a dog wants to mark over another’s “mark” and so on. Enough said; right?

9. Calendar:

  • 7 November – Daylight Savings Time ends (fall back one hour)
  • 11 November – Veterans Day
  • 24, 25 & 26 November – Student Holidays
  • 25 November – Thanksgiving Day

10. Alpine Adventures - Bruce & Suzanne Slawter (Vancouver Road) invite all of us to enjoy their brand-new blog post featuring photography from their September trip to the Alps. Click on this link:  https://bruceslawter.com/2021/11/01/alpine-adventures-2021/ to get to “Alpine Adventures – 2021” and view the Google photo album and YouTube action videos.

11. Winterfest – at the Village West Pool – 4 December from 1 to 5 PM (rain date is 12/5, 1 – 5 PM). Parents can shop from a variety of handicraft and other vendors while kids enjoy free activities including building their own gingerbread house, making s'mores, a winter scavenger hunt, and winter-themed photo opportunities. Refreshments for sale will include hot cider, sodas, and a hot chocolate and coffee bar. We will be raffling off gift cards and other items (raffle tickets $1; need not be present to win). Vendor spaces are available for $20, or you can donate a comparably priced item for our raffle and get some advance publicity for your business. For questions or to reserve a vendor space, email the pool's socials chair, Emily Stanton, at vwpoolevents@gmail.com.

12. 8th Annual Holiday Gift Card Drive - the Victim Services Division worked over 350 cases in 2021 involving child victims and witnesses of domestic & sexual violence as well as children who lost a loved one to homicide. Many of these children will not get to celebrate holidays due to the financial burden that comes with being a victim of crime. In the true spirit of the season, please donate to brighten the holidays for these children.

Donated gift cards will help those families most impacted by crime. Each child victim selected for the holiday gift card drive has been affected by crime and has been vetted by their assigned Victim Specialist. All the families selected are truly those in need.  The gift cards can be used to purchase toys, gifts, winter clothing or to purchase food for their holiday meal.

Now through Friday, 17 December you can donate gift cards to places like Giant, Safeway, Walmart, TJ Maxx, Target, Kohl’s, local restaurants, and clothing stores. Gift cards, will allow parents to be active participants in purchasing gifts for each child and practical, needed items that they would normally go without.

You can drop off or mail gift cards to Saly Fayez who is the Director of Victim Services Division, Fairfax County Police Department, 12099 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax, VA 22035. For more information, contact Saly Fayez at 703/246-2465 or saly.fayez@fairfaxcounty.gov,

Long report today, but that’s all folks. Stay safe!

John Cooley
CAWSV

 

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