President’s Corner September 2013

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Springfield Civic Association (SCA) achieved a successful 2012-13 season of community engagement and enrichment.  We tapped local legends like George Towery and Jim Atwood who addressed American schools and American gun culture, respectively.  The SCA hosted its political representatives, too, particularly Supervisor McKay and his Commonwealth counterparts Senator Saslaw and Delegate Vivian Watts.  We didn't back down on issues and problems that plague us either; that was demonstrated when we coordinated the "Springfield groper" town hall meeting with the Fairfax County Police Department and the Lee District Supervisor's Office.  A crowd estimated at over 250 citizens filled Crestwood's cafeteria to hear and to send a clear message that we are a vibrant community; we pay attention.  That vibrancy was further demonstrated in early August when the SCA hosted a dozen National Night Out gatherings, far more than any other community in the Franconia Police Precinct, an enviable feather in our community cap.  The annual Veterans Bridge Walk will show more of the same spirit.

The sages say that the past is prologue.  Though the SCA has deep roots, its gaze is forward, to the future, to the 2013-14 season.  It endeavors to stay out in front of the issues, to anticipate what the membership wants and needs to know.  With Fairfax County in constant flux, that's a challenge, but to remain relevant that's where we need to stay, out front, in touch, and unyielding in our work for a better community.  The SCA needs your connections to the world; help us shape the future of Springfield by taking an active role in its formation.  Communicate, partner and participate in a fashion that suits you.  We will have meetings of topical interest ranging from gardening to the Springfield Town Center, plus politics and zoning or whatever life may throw our way.  Keep building momentum.  Come join us. 

Yours in Springfield,

Bruce Waggoner

SCA Celebrates National Night Out

SCA extends a warm and grateful thank you to all of our great hosts, participants, the FCPD and MPO Jim Reid for arranging visits from patrol officers,  and Captain Todd Gorham from FXFRD and his crew from Station 22.

We began celebrating National Night Out in 2008. This year we had twelve hosts and about 400 neighbors attended the gatherings. Despite drizzles, cloudiness, and humidity, the rain never materialized. YAY.  Plan to host or attend next year!

Many of our hosts sent follow-up reports and we are pleased to provide some of the highlights:

Nancemond Street had 40 attendees from 13 of our 25 houses including 4 of the 6 new babies born since July 30 of last year.  budandfcpd

An exceptional variety of wonderful sides and desserts showed up from the neighbors:

  • chili and cole slaw for the hotdogs,
  • stuffed jalapeno peppers,
  • sushi,
  • watermelon balls in the hollowed out rind,
  • potato salad,
  • corn on the cob (fresh picked!), and brie with craisins and crackers.

Doncaster: Twenty-five neighbors/kids attended the dog friendly event at the Doncaster NNO as three of our neighbors up and down the block had dogs. One of our neighbors in the cul-de-sac is 92 years old and has lived in her house in the house since 1963 (50 years!). When I handed her the NNO invitation the previous weekend, we ended up talking for about 20 minutes. She has children that live in the far western suburbs of northern Virginia who visit every week and bring food but she doesn’t get out much any more. She was so excited to be invited to meet the neighbors and to talk to some of the 'new' neighbors (i.e. since 1985).  Although she lives only 5 houses away down the street, it was too far for her to walk, so another neighbor drove her in the car and parked in our driveway so she could visit. We set up a folding chair on the level ground in the middle of the front yard and everyone who was there said hi and listed to her stories of growing up in Springfield. She liked the Oreo cookie pie and having so many new people to talk to. Kids LOVED the Springfield Volunteer firetruck when it drove up, lights flashing; the unmarked police car… not so much đŸ™‚ 

Edgebrook: Had about a dozen people, overall, show up.  What was great about it was that there were 3 families living on our block for more than 12 years, and none of them had ever met. Now all can put names with faces and look out for each other. 

Charlotte and Bath: The combined Charlotte Street and Bath Street NNO had a wonderful turnout. We had 35 neighbors come out and hang out in the front yard.  We were visited by at least 15 other firefighters and paramedics.  Their trucks and tours were enjoyed by everyone in attendance.  It was a treat to meet the people who protect and serve our area in a relaxed and fun environment.

We ate bbq pork sandwiches, hotdogs, meatballs, slaw, potato salad, chips, watermelon and cookies.  The visit from the police detective and the Target representative was a big hit for our 8 friends under the age of 12 who enjoyed the free frisbees, Target stuffed animals, stickers and reflective lights.  We caught up on all the news especially regarding our children, travels and grandchildren.  We especially enjoyed having a few of our teenagers on the street join in the fun and food before leaving for college in a few weeks.  We had a new family join us and it was nice to put names with faces. Many of us donned a light jacket or a sweater and braved the drizzles. The kids found a cardboard box and turned it into a robot  A fun time was had by all!

Atteentee Rd: Proof that a good thing only gets better: this event had over 50 people spread over one and a half lawns.  This event has it’s own Facebook page! Families of all ages came out.  

Loretto: Over on Loretto Street, there was a good turn out – about 45 neighbors to include firefighters and police.  We made it a dog friendly so the neighbors could meet other dog walkers. The party was so much fun that we are looking forward to hosting it again next year. 

Essex Avenue: We had 42 plus media join us last night. That number includes our fire station friends and our police officers. 28 were from our neighborhood. See a news story that includes the hosts, Rose and Josh Moore, along with MPO Reid right here: http://bit.ly/18RYnrb

Greenville  So, one more time we (the neighbors on and around Greenville Place) had our Annual National Night Out in George's front yard. The Rain was not invited but had been threatening to come with her whole entourage of Thunder and Lightning. We were prepared, of sorts, with a tent. And, of course, we always had George's lovely porch to retreat to.AtGeorges21

But 6 o'clock came and she didn't arrive. Who did show up, bright and early, were three gallant firefighters. Only they were a bit too early –– or our neighborhood kids a little late… So just one of them, Lily, fetched in a hurry, made it to meet with the awesome and loud beast, the Fire Truck.

Soon several other neighbors, little and tall, started to arrive, and we shared burgers and hotdogs, salads, pop corn and other treats. Some made their acquaintances for the first time –– either because they are new to the area, or just don't walk around much ––, while others had the chance to stop and chat a bit.

Grace St: About 35 people attended the Grace Street gathering, including long-time residents and newcomers.  Visitors stayed until darkness fell. This multi-generational event featured a great visit from Springfield Station 22. Our youngsters of all ages enjoyed climbing into the ladder truck but did not take advantage of the opportunity to blow the air horn. engine422

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President’s Message May 2013

Supervisor McKay will cap off a busy and productive 2012-13 SCA season on May 21st at Crestwood Elementary. Social time starts at 7:00pm with business commencing at 7:30pm.  This season we have participated in many events and discussed varied topics, from the Veterans Bridge Walk and the tear-down of the old mall, to Campaign Night, National Night Out and the "Groper."  Your SCA led the way and partnered wherever we could to enhance the community's safety, viability and relevance in our evolving county.  Looking ahead the SCA will continue its standing dialog with the Supervisor's Office and our state representatives along with the business community.  Also, Springfield Days is fast approaching.  Look for opportunities to participate in one of the events directly or as a volunteer, e.g., the Springfield 15k/5k Road Race or the Cardboard Boat Regatta.  In autumn, the SCA is planning a program focused on gardening along with other events we think will keep you informed and enthused.  On a personal note, I wish to thank and acknowledge my fellow SCA Board members for their time and talents, as well as our Executive Committee members for making our success.  Together we all find ways to serve our greater community and keep the American spirit of volunteerism alive and well. So, come out in May to hear Jeff's news, and to be heard by Jeff.  We will have some door prizes to give away, and good cheer as well. 

Yours for Springfield,

Bruce Waggoner

SCA’s Role in Establishing the Richard Byrd Library

Real estate developer, Edward Carr in 1946 wanted to create a “satellite city” within 12 miles of the capital – right off Shirley highway.  Springfield was the only large lot of land available.  He bought it and the first homes were built in 1952. By 1955, 2,000 homes were occupied with thousands more going up. These new residents wanted schools, parks, a public swimming pool and a library!  However, the county planned for a permanent library no sooner than 1960.  Until then they would have to make do with a book mobile.  For the residents of Springfield – this was not satisfactory!  Now the story gets interesting.

Beginning in 1956, Crestwood Woman’s Club investigated population growth and available space for the library.  They wrote the Library Board and Supervisors to request funds for a library.  They were told this would not happen.  Joseph Wheeler, President of the Springfield Civic Association named Wilmer Baatz as the SCA library chairman. Based on the foundational work of the Woman's Club and the SCA, a new organization was formed.   In August of 1956, the Friends of the Library was created.  SCA's Baatz served President and five local civic association representatives served as Board members. They included SCA, Upper Pohick Community League, Beverly Forest Civic Association, Springfield Forest Civic Association, and North Springfield Civic Association. While the leadership came from the SCA, many other organizations still alive and well in Springfield today participated, including the VFW Auxiliary and Chamber of Commerce.

The County agreed to entertain the following plan – the Friends working with the community would provide funds for library rent, utilities, shelving, and furniture for the first year.  The County would provide books and library staff and after the first year, the County would take over the entire enterprise.  So the community went to work.  

The original goal of $6,000 was upped by community consensus to $6,600 to provide for air conditioning – making the goal even more ambitious.  Door to door solicitations, a 4th of July celebration ($830), Woman’s Club Square Dance, White Elephant Sales (Springfield Woman’s Club), bake sales, and benefit lectures all raised money.  Leading community organizations (SCA and the Woman's Club were key factors here) spoke at the 1957 County budget hearings and those that could not attend sent letters.  The County agreed to open a library in 1958 – 2 years early – and the Friends provided a check for $6,600.

Opening day was January 22, 1958 at 6816 Backlick Road with Mrs. Evelyn Olson, Librarian and Mrs. Florence Briscoe, library aide in the library with 3,800 books – all because of a community that wanted a library and worked hard to get one.

SCA Meeting: Washington Gas

Tuesday, Nov. 20, 7:00 pm

Crestwood Elementary School, 6010 Hanover Avenue

Social interaction begins at 7 pm and the business portion of the meeting kicks off promptly at 7:30. The drawing for door prizes is promptly at 9 pm. Pay your dues to be a member-in-good-standing for the drawing!

Washington Gas representatives will be on hand to discuss the ongoing infrastructure improvement program that has involved our roads, sidewalks, yards, and homes. Expect an informative session about the overall program, timeline, outcomes, and other details from an engineer who has oversight of the work and also the lead Community Representative for Washington Gas, Mr Huey Battle. 

Thanks to Supervisor McKay's office which helped us to coordinate this program.

Police representatives will also be at the meeting to discuss the Springfield groper case and how to stay safe.

President’s Corner

Dear SCA,

Greetings from the SCA Board; our next meeting is Tuesday, 20 November. We hope that you came through Hurricane Sandy without too much discomfort. Overall, I think that June's Derecho storm cleared out many trees that weren't in the way for Sandy to bring down. There was a silver lining to the June pain we experienced, and for those of us who visited Fairfax County's County Emergency Management Operations Center tour we know that the County was better prepared for anything Sandy would deliver.

Continue reading

Special Program: Community Opportunities

SCA’s October 16th special presentation on community opportunities at Grace Presbyterian Church laid out a myriad of opportunities both for volunteering to help and for benefitting from the services offered by our local organizations. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together those organizations in our SCA area with our membership to explore ways in which we can support each other. Sixteen organizations shared their volunteer opportunities and services they offer with the audience of about 50.

Continue reading

President’s Corner

Friends and Neighbors,

Our first SCA meeting of the new season is Tuesday, 18 September. In this election year the focus for the evening is "Candidates Night". We expect cool heads and cooler weather will grace the evening. Over the summer, the SCA Board has been busy planning the November, January, March and May meetings, perhaps to include one special meeting set aside for Supervisor McKay. Stay tuned for more of what's in store for membership.

Continue reading

National Night Out Report

National Night Out scored well in our Crestwood community. With eight events that evening, we had a total of 165 neighbors in attendance. In addition, we greeted the Fairfax County Police and Fire Departments. The big red and white fire trucks are always a hit, especially with the kids, but I assure you, the adults appreciated their presence and that of the uniformed police officers as well. We joined communities from across the country in showing that we care about our neighborhood, our police and fire safety and our support for each other.
SCA President Bruce Waggoner has this to say about the event:
"The SCA's successful involvement in National Night Out (NNO) on 7 August is attributable to our neighbors and friends who hosted gatherings. George Towery led the way and we commend him. I had a terrific time at two cookouts, renewed acquaintances and got to know several folks I had not met before. It was yet another reminder of the eclectic nature of our community, i.e., people of all types and experiences who are doing amazing things with their lives and have much to share and to give to others. The SCA neighborhoods are rich in skills, talent, variety and experience. Our demographic is our greatest resource.”
Thanks to Betty and Joe McGowan, Cassie and Jason Planakis, Peggy Woods-Clark, Gail Nittle, Merry Macke, Kim Hatfield, Gail Parsons and George Towery who opened their yards and graciously welcomed neighbors some of whom formally met for the first time. Next year, let’s continue to celebrate and expand our National Night Out events. Four hosts have already agreed to repeat the event next year.

A large multi-generational gathering on Atteentee Rd. 

Babies, firetrucks, and lots of neighbors

Board Members Gail and Merry teamed up to host 25 neighbors

Neighbors who previously only waved met for the first time at this event