Thursday, November 29, 2007

Neighborhood Watch

Just a reminder: Neighborhood Watch meeting is tonight at 7:00 pm in the Legacy ES cafeteria.

Karaoke night at Nick's

Former Brambleton resident Shay M. is back in town this week, and a group of us celebrated by meeting her for drinks at Nick's last night. BrambleDirt and husband could only stay until time to leave for our band rehearsal, but promised to come back afterward if the party was still going.

We called around 10 p.m., and were thrilled to hear that not only were some of them still at Nick's, but karaoke had started up. Shay, Becca C., and Kim W. were singing together as a group, taking turns with a guy named Butch (who did an awesome Springsteen). I joined right in with the girls as Jason C. and Mr. BrambleDirt watched with glee and/or terror and/or embarrassment. We entertained the few patrons left at Nick's with classics like "The Warrior", "Alcohol" (Brad Paisley, not Barenaked Ladies), "I Love This Bar", and many more. I sang a few solos, and husband sang with me on a duet from "Rent". There is a rumor of video evidence, but I haven't seen it yet.

Much thanks to Steve the karaoke master (I think his name was Steve, right? Geez, I wasn't even drinking.) If only Nick's would replace the Friday DJ with karaoke... there'd be a lot more participation and much more fun on Fridays.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


More details have surfaced on the Brambleton Intranet's Merchant Village about Annalee's, the new shop in the BTC:
ANNALEE’S at the Brambleton Town Center will be the premier place in the Washington DC metropolitan area to specialize in women’s formal dresses. Our dresses will be simple and elegant to flashy and outlandish, and everywhere in between in absolute upscale fashion.

ANNALEE’S will be the headquarters for all your special occasion dresses. If we don’t have the dress, we will be able to get it by special ordering it just for you. We register your dress so shop early for the best selection for your prom! We look forward to opening soon! We are now hiring both part time and full time position to begin in February 2008.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

First turkey pardon - Truman

Well, pardon me!

BrambleDirt is on hiatus this week as we've journeyed south to Georgia for Thanksgiving. Hope everyone is having a great holiday! I'll be back soon...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Out-of-towners on the town

BrambleDirt has some out-of-town family guests this weekend, and we decided to hit the Friday night scene at the BTC. First, we had dinner at My Thai Place, which was delicious as always. I've never seen it so crowded - which is a good thing. It means that even on a cold, windy night, they can attract business (California Tortilla and Subway were empty). You cannot beat the #24 with chicken, people! And the Thai iced tea was mmm mmm good.

Next, we decided to check out Nick's (which you may remember from the incident back in October). I haven't been there in a while - actually, since the last time these particular guests were in town, which was months ago. Part of the reason for our avoidance of Nick's was a certain craptastic bartender, who didn't seem to be getting any better at doing his job in the time since Nick's first opened. Many of you know exactly who I'm talking about.

Well, good news - he wasn't anywhere in sight last night. (I don't know if this is a permanent situation or not.) We were seated in the bar area, and our server Andrea was AWESOME - drinks were prompt, drinks were correct, and the bill was prompt and correct. She was even proactive with BrambleDirt's Diet Coke refills (BrambleDirt is almost always the designated driver), bringing replacement glasses of delicious soda goodness before I even realized that I was near the bottom of my current glass. For that she is to be highly commended. (Also, Mr. BrambleDirt recognized one of the other bartenders as being from the Broadlands Pub - so I guess they've brought in a slate of new talent.)

Unfortunately, the other reason for avoiding Nick's was still in evidence - the DJ. Last night, the usual guy had another gig, so there was a sub. He didn't get there until 10:30 p.m. (DJ usually starts around 9-9:30), but once he did, the jukebox-and-TV-sports vibe died when the bad house mixes started up. It's just not the right crowd for that. Although we did get a sweet cougar sighting - two women in full-length furs slunk into the bar area, but didn't stay long. Maybe it was because my sister-in-law growled and did a fake paw in their faces as they walked past.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Free concert this Sunday

This isn't a Brambleton-area event, but it involves a couple of Brambletonians, so I thought I'd plug it here anyway.

BrambleDirt and husband are members of the Falls Church Concert Band. We are having our fall concert this Sunday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m. at the Annandale United Methodist Church. Program includes "Chorale and Shaker Dance", "Blue Ridge Saga", "Slavonic Dances", "Carnival of Venice", "Armed Forces Salute", and more! And you can't beat the price... free!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Verizon - my first Living in LoCo item

Here's my first Living in LoCo item:

Brambleton Complaints Net Verizon Help

BCA annual meeting recap

The Brambleton Community Association annual meeting was last night, and turnout was fair. There were enough attendees (and proxies) for quorum. I wrote up the Verizon-related stuff for another blog, and I'll link to it when it's up. I'll also be writing elsewhere about the nightmare that is the Ryan Rd/Loudoun County Parkway interchange.

Here I want to talk about the other topics - Rick Stone gave the Manager's Report, Steve Schulte gave the Developer's Report, and there were reports from each of the committees (Finance, Covenants, Grounds and Facilities, and Activities). Highlights and factoids:

By the end of 2007, we will have over 2000 homes. With the four rezoned parcels, Brambleton will be the largest community in Loudoun County, with nearly 9000 homes!

The second pool is planned to open in 2008, but no guarantee that it will be ready for Memorial Day. It is planned to have outdoor fireplace, grills, and hot tub, and they hope to have some of the facility open year-round (not the pool itself).

The HOA office is moving upstairs to the Visitor's Center; the Visitor's Center is moving to that center space in the "Daily Needs" section of the BTC.

They are implementing an HOA management database that will allow us to have a "Pool Pass for Life", among other things. No more in-person renewal of the pool passes every year.

Freedom Fest will be on Saturday, June 28, 2008, and there will be FIREWORKS. Literally.

They want to start up a new committee to discuss community traffic safety (and possible solutions, which do NOT include speedbumps, because the county says NO).

Shame, shame: this year there were 201 first notices about lawn violations, 84 second notices, and 20 lawns had to be mowed by contractors. There were 180 complaints from residents about other people's covenant violations.

The first ever Distinguished Community Service Award was presented to Cady Coe and family. Coe is the current chair of the Activities Committee, and has worked really hard to bring us the activities we enjoy, and which have really been expanded and enhanced this year.

Brambleton is still one of the best-selling communities in Loudoun County. The next phases to be built will include the "Water Tower District" - "edgy, industrial" townhomes by the water towers. They want to build up the density around the BTC.

The golf course is still in progress, people... eight holes have been roughed in. No date for completion. Patience, patience.

Fox Cinemas is doing better than they expected - they are the 5th largest grossing theater in the DC metro area. No news on other tenants for the vacancies in the BTC. They would like to sign a gym/health club.

There are no plans for a dog park, but it's on their radar as something they'd like to have. The problem is finding a place to put it. It couldn't go in any existing neighborhood.

An agreement has been signed with an unnamed day care provider.

There won't be any stop signs put in along Belmont Ridge Road near Legacy ES; once the 659 relocation is all finished, they might be able to get the speed limit lowered, but that involves Virginia bureaucracy, so don't hold your breath. There will be four pedestrian underpasses related to the golf course: two on BRR, one on North Star, and one on Ryan.

Boundary recommendation

The LCPS staff recommendation for Creighton's Corner ES/Steuart W. Weller ES boundaries is in:

Staff recommendation (PDF)

DN36.1, DN36.2, and DN33 will stay at Legacy ES if this plan is approved by the Board. The public hearing will be on Monday, November 26, at 6:30 p.m., at the LCPS Administration Building in Broadlands.

Monday, November 12, 2007

HOA and School Board meetings

There are a lot of things going on today and tomorrow:
  • Covenants Committee meeting - tonight, 7:00pm, at the Management Office
  • Activities Committee meeting - tonight, 7:00pm, at the Management Office
  • Brambleton Community Assocation Annual Meeting - Tuesday night, 7:00pm, at Legacy ES Cafeteria
  • School Board meeting - Tuesday night, 6:30pm, at LCPS Admin Building (Broadlands, behind Clyde's)
At the School Board meeting, the Planning and Legislative Services staff will present their recommendation for the 2008-2009 Creighton's Corner ES and Steuart W. Weller ES boundaries. The Board will then hold a public hearing on the recommendations on Monday, November 26. We need to stay active in this process if the staff recommendation doesn't keep DN36.2 and DN33 at Legacy ES.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day

Thank a service member today by sending a free thank you card through the Let's Say Thanks program. The cards you pick online are batch-printed and sent along with care packages created by Give2TheTroops.

There are tons of local events in honor of Veterans Day. BrambleDirt and husband are members of the City of Falls Church Concert Band, and we will be performing for Falls Church's annual ceremony.

For all that they do, and all that they give, the least we can do is stop to think about what this day means and honor it somehow.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Congratulations to all the winners, especially our new Dulles District Supervisor, Stevens Miller! He won 10 of 11 precincts, and overall had 1464 more votes than Snow.

Other races that affect us: Mark Herring keeps his VA Senate seat; Bruce Roemmelt lost his VA House challenge against Bob Marshall; and Sheriff Simpson keeps his job, as does BoS Chairman Scott York. Incumbent Supervisors Sally Kurtz, Jim Burton, and Lori Waters will be joined on the Board by Miller, Andrea McGimsey, Susan Buckley, and Kelly Burk. Oh, and Eugene Delgaudio sticks around for another term as Court Jester. Great (sigh). Bob Dupree stays our School Board rep, and Tom Reed again won the At-Large seat.

All of the bond initiatives passed, except for the Broadlands Rec Center, which was defeated by a whopping 64%. At least we'll be getting our library - the Gum Spring Library bond won, but only by 55%. Why can't our part of the county have nice things? Why should we have to drive 30 minutes (through the traffic suck that is Waxpool and/or 28) to swim indoors or check out books? Here's a map of the current PRCS facilities, with Brambleton conveniently circled. I guess we will be pushed more and more towards South Riding, just because it's less hassle to get to.

The big news statewide is that the Virginia Senate will have a Democratic majority for the first time in a decade. Woo-hoo!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Weekend roundup


Tomorrow is the last day to vote absentee for Tuesday's election. You can vote until 8:00 pm tonight at either the Voter Registration Office (801 Sycolin Road, S.E., Suite 102, Leesburg) or the Cascades Senior Center (21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling). Tomorrow you've got 8:30-5:00 at the Voter Registration Office and 9:00-5:00 at the Cascades Senior Center. Please vote absentee if you are a registered voter that cannot make it to the polls on Tuesday!

Tomorrow is also the Brambleton Blood Drive. The INOVA Blood Mobile will be at the BTC near Harris Teeter from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Call 1-866-BLOODSAVES to make an appointment. You will need a photo ID; please allow one hour for donation.

And finally - you know I don't like to scold. But there's some bad stuff going on in Legacy Park. First, there's a guy with a Rottweiler who doesn't pick up his dog's poop. He lets his dog run off-leash in various common areas and pee on other people's fences. Yesterday he left a giant pile of poop in Legacy Park near the playground (which was picked up later by a kindhearted resident/dogwalker). He's been confronted by neighbors and just doesn't seem to care. Hopefully someone will file a formal complaint with the HOA, since he's a repeat offender and has clearly violated multiple portions of the pet policy.

Second - yesterday a Brambletonian with his toddler in tow stumbled on a box of condoms, with one opened, near the playground. It's great that people are having safe sex and all, but I just don't think that the kids who are buying these (self-checkout at the Teet, no doubt) are really getting any action. Anyway, no one likes to find condoms, new or used, in the park. Take your condoms and your dog poop and put them in the garbage cans. Your community thanks you.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Steve Snow is shameless

If you're like BrambleDirt, you've been getting tons of last-minute political flyers and mailings in this last week before the election. I've gotten several postcard-type mailings from Steve Snow (and a lovely letter from his wife, "handwritten" on pink stationery), but this one in particular caught my eye:

I'd seen this car before. It was parked next to Stevens Miller's tent at the Brambleton Fall Fest. Steve Snow's tent was directly across the street, facing this car. Snow also had an eye-catching automobile next to his tent. I read the postcard, thought it was crap, and threw it in the recycling bin with the other lies.

But then something interesting turned up at BrambleDirt headquarters. An unedited photograph of the car in question:

The Snow campaign edited out the "Lamborghini Washington" window shade text. The car was there strictly as an advertisement for Lamborghini Washington, and Lamborghini Washington is neither supporting nor affiliated with any political party.

Ironically, this same flyer says this:

People, we get the government we deserve. Snow calls Miller a liar in an ad that is in itself an obvious lie. (He's also using that photo of Miller without permission.) If you vote for him, you are asking for an unethical Supervisor to represent you. How can you trust him?

P.S. The Washington Post has endorsed Miller. They say:
The incumbent, Republican Steve J. Snow, thinks the county should absorb however many new houses the market will bear. Democratic challenger Stevens R. Miller, with broad experience in local government matters, is a bright lawyer who would help restore common sense to growth policies.