Village News, 7/30/20



  • Security
  • Correction - Broken or Uneven Sidewalks
  • COVID-19 Update
  • Loose Parakeet
  • Computer Corner
  • Learning Pod
  • FCDOT Virtual Meeting / Presentation
  • Free Wooden Pallets
  • Baby / Pet Gates
  • Civic Association Membership


Security check your family, home and parked car security. Recent thefts from parked cars and a person caught on a home security system checking parked cars points to increased security and awareness. If you were or become a victim – report the incident to the police. Police patrols have to be assigned to the areas with higher crime.


Correction to Last Week’s Enews, re: sidewalk repair - All of the sidewalks in our village are owned and maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). Report an issue with a sidewalk to Virginia Department of Transportation, not county. Here's the link – or call 1-800/367-7623.


COVID-19 Update – The latest from Fairfax County concerning the virus can be found here.


Loose Parakeet – this one (picture below) has taken a liking to Mitra and Mike Newell’s backyard. They live at 7004 Barnack Drive and can be reached by email at Is it your bird?

Parakeet 2a  Parakeet 1a


Computer Corner – I asked Bob Havey (D2D Computer Services), our Webmaster to address some issues several of us had or have that we posted to our Facebook Group. Here’s Bob’s report:


In Facebook group last Sunday there was some discussion of FiOS woes after a power outage. There seemed to be several threads trying to answer 3 different questions. The original post was from Stacie Koehle:  “Question. Since Tuesday. Anyone having problems with Verizon fios and internet??? We are on our second tech out to the house and still can’t fix. We know we got a surge Tuesday fried our TV’s and home phones.”


I can only hope that Verizon got their act together and the FiOS problem has been resolved. There are 2 problems here 1) a power spike took out a whole lot of electronic devices, and 2) the Verizon techs who have come out have not been able to get her internet working even though they have replaced most of the equipment in the house.


I commented on the 2nd problem on Sunday. The techs that Verizon sends out are trained to replace parts in the house.  I had a similar problem a few years ago, and I told the 3rd tech who had yet another router under his arm to just get lost if he didn’t have a better answer. After a call to the help desk, we had a network engineer on the line. He watched as I was “pinging” the Google website and commented that I was losing 3 out of 4 pings. A clue!!  There was a problem at the Central Office.


As an aside the Central Office (CO) isn’t an office but a building full of Verizon equipment. There is one near the Cary building on Old Keene Mill Road. I don’t know where the one that services our area is, but it isn’t that one.


Back to my story. I had a customer on SVD who was having trouble sending attachments with his AOL account. The Verizon CO fix cleared that problem too – and it wasn’t billable.


My point here is that if the FiOS techs that come out are unable to solve the problem, have them call home and have the link between you and the CO checked.


There was a lot of good advice in the discussion about power surges and lightning strikes. You do need surge protectors on your sensitive electronics. My personal preference for desktop computers is an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). This unit provides battery backup that will typically last about 15 minutes. Plug the computer and monitor and any network related hardware (hubs, switches, auxiliary routers, etc.) into the battery backup. Plug printers, scanners, desk lamps, and the like into the surge protection only or into another strip. It would not hurt to spring for a UPS for one or more of your TVs and DVR boxes.


If lightning and surges caused by power outages and other external events are a problem, you might consider a whole house surge protector. I did a Google search on whole house surge protection.  There must be an electrician in the Village who can address this better than me, but what I found is that they are not all that expensive – typically $500 or so installed, certainly under $1000.  This would protect things like your microwave, and any other appliances that may have electronics in them.


Conventional wisdom seems to be that you still need the plug-in protection even with the whole house device because large appliances such as air conditioners or refrigerators can cause surges that start inside the house, but I’m not so sure. It has been a long time since one of those items dimmed my lights.


The 3rd question in the thread related to a weak Wi-Fi signal. This is a little different problem.  The weak Wi-Fi signal is not related to an actual FiOS failure.  That signal is strictly local – in the house or nearby. I am not a big fan of range extenders because I have never had much success with them. They are tricky to configure and they usually don’t address the problem, which tends to be a brick wall or other obstacle to radio transmission. If you have a kitchen on a slab, you may not be able to get Wi-Fi in the kitchen if your router is in the basement.


My preference in these situations is a set of power line adapters.  One device is wired to your router and plugged in to a wall socket. Another device (there can be more than one) is plugged into a wall socket in another room. The devices use the electrical wiring in the house as a network. The second device has a brand-new Wi-Fi “access point” that allows network connection to the rest of the house and the Internet.


Of course, if you don’t have the aforementioned whole house surge protection, you could lose the power line network the next time there is lightning. Anecdotally, that hasn’t been a problem for me.

Learning Pod – Carla Spitler (Rolling Valley subdivision) - With the impending school year commencing virtually in just over a month, we are searching for another family with whom we create a “learning pod.” We have a rising Kindergartner (son) at Rolling Valley and an older son entering 5th grade AAP at Keene Mill ES. Ideally, we’d love to find another Rolling Valley Kindergarten family (older siblings are great to include too!) to hire someone to help oversee their online learning and provide some extracurricular activities and playtime before and after distance learning sessions. Proposed hours would be similar to 9:30am to 3:30pm, but can be somewhat flexible. We are a low risk Covid-19 aware family, and willing to host at our home or split time with another family. If you are a caretaker/teacher/student that is interested, or another family searching for a similar situation, please contact me directly at


FCDOT Virtual Meeting - Fairfax County Department of Transportation will use webinar to discuss updates on the Fairfax County and Franconia Springfield Parkways Long Term Study next Tuesday, 4 August from 7 – 9:00 PM. This is a virtual meeting using webinar and requires that you pre-register if you are interested. I just received the flyer that I can forward to you if you want to attend the online presentation.


Free Pallets - Lindsay Latham’s office is a bit overwhelmed with wooden pallets. Most are in good condition in various sizes. They are free for anyone who would like to pick them up and do a fun Pinterest project. Lindsay’s office is Barbizon Capitol Inc, 6437G  General Green Way, Alexandria, VA 22312 (just about a 13 minute drive from our neighborhood). Questions? Contact Lindsay at


Free – I have a couple of child / pet gates still on my 8131 Edmonton Court front porch. Free, just come take them.


Membership Drive – our Civic Association of West Springfield Village dues are again $10.00 for FY2021 (1 October 2020 – 30 September 2021. Along with your dues, we need your name(s), address, phone number(s) and email addresses along with your directory listing instructions concerning what of your personal information can be listed in the village directory. The FY21 membership form is attached. Send the completed form and your dues payment to “CAWSV”, P.O. Box 2204, Springfield, VA 22152. Membership Chair Julia Hale or I will send you a confirmation email receipt.


Why join or renew your membership in your all-volunteer civic association? 1) representation of majority opinion at district, county and state (that’s how we got the traffic light at Barnack and Rolling), 2) weekly enews, 3) a professional website (, 4) our Facebook group (, 5) the Community Directory, 6) sponsored yard sale and 7) community cleanup, 8) professional maintenance of the Rolling Road median, 9) social functions (some co-hosted with the Village West Swimming Pool) during “normal” years, 10) two annual meetings; one in May, the other in October. All for $10 annual dues!


But, if you do decide to not join or renew your membership, please let me know so we can save on hard-copy newsletters and postage.


Stay safe; stay healthy and please do join or renew your membership in our CAWSV!


John Cooley




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