Spring 2020 Issue of Ripples


From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News 

Helpful Information


Message from the President of Lakeport Cluster

By Mary M. Sapp

I hope that all of you are safe and healthy as our community and indeed the entire world struggle to cope with Covid-19. Although our lives have been upended, we are fortunate to be able to shelter in place in a lovely setting with easy access to necessary shopping at South Lakes Village, and the Reston paths allow us to get out to exercise and enjoy fresh air and nature. The beauty of spring helps remind us that at some point in the future we will be able to resume lives that will be different from now even if they will not be exactly the same as they were pre-Covid. Until then I urge you to try to re-capture some of the social interaction that we all need now more than ever by greeting or chatting with neighbors (from a safe distance) when you are out walking or on your decks.

We are grateful to those whose job or volunteer work has helped support the fight against this pandemic. Special thanks also go out to those of you who are supporting your neighbors in various ways: by volunteering to shop for those who need to be most careful about going out, those who offer ways for neighbors to stay healthy, those who have engaged in random acts of kindness (a personal thanks to whoever anonymously left a lovely pink lily plant on my front walkway) or who do something else to brighten the days of others. Please use the “News about Lakeport Residents” topic on the Forum at https://www.townsq.io/ to share updates on how you and your neighbors are doing and to recognize neighbors who are helping out.

Unfortunately, guidelines for dealing with Covid-19 have required us to curtail some activities within Lakeport. Our Annual Easter Egg Hunt was canceled, and we will also be canceling this spring’s TGIF, postponing the dock party originally scheduled for the end of June, and skipping our spring work day. Board meetings are now being held via conference call. The Board also announced that we would grant an extension on quarterly assessment payments—fortunately only one owner has taken us up on the offer. However, despite Covid, the Lakeport Board has continued to conduct Lakeport business. Here are some of the projects undertaken in the last few months:

  • After reviewing proposals, we engaged Miller-Dodson to update Lakeport’s Reserve Study. The reserve analyst has already received requested documents and other background information, conducted a site visit, and submitted a draft of the Reserve Study. The Board reviewed the report and sent questions and requested changes, with an updated version expected soon. 
  • A new standard for garage doors was submitted and approved by RA’s Design Review Board (DRB). The color requirement was changed to allow a close match to the home’s trim color for doors with factory-installed finishes (previously an exact match to the trim color was required). This approval brings the number of Standards that the DRB has approved (out of Lakeport’s ten Standards documents) to eight in the last two years. I want to thank Kelly Driscoll for his hard (and continuous!) efforts to help make it easier for owners to repair the outside of their homes. 
  • We verified with RA that their inspection is still planned for next fall and received the maintenance checklist they will use. Note that RA will also check for violations of Lakeport and RA standards, which is one reason why we’re happy to be done updating the Lakeport standards. See the article entitled “RA Inspections Next Fall” for more details.
  • Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement, Landscape Committee co-chairs, have been working with Blade Runners to ensure landscaping on our common property is maintained. The two of them and Blade Runners walked the community independently and then met together (from a safe distance) to discuss maintenance, trees, and potential enhancement projects. We’ve already received a preliminary proposal for tree work and expect to receive proposals for landscape enhancements soon. 
  • At the end of last year, we received word that the County would reimburse us for 70% of the cost of a rain garden and conservation landscape to mitigate storm water damage on common property between Lakespray and Lakeport. That project will be started soon. 
  • A burned-out lamp in the streetlight behind 1944 Lakeport Way was replaced by J&J Electrical Works, who also voluntarily checked the ballasts of our other seven lights.
  • Board member Barbara Khan has been reviewing and editing Lakeport’s Handbook. The new Handbook will be posted soon and an email sent to the community to explain substantive changes made.

I’d like to close by welcoming some of our newest residents: Melanie Clement and Bill Birkas at 1907 Lakeport Way, Jeff and Heidi Warrington at 1913 Lakeport Way, Richard Shelton at 1942 Lakeport Way, and Dawn Fraioli at 11112 Lakespray Way. And I’m especially happy to share the news that we have two other recent additions to the Lakeport family. A baby girl was born this past weekend to Heidi and Kelly Driscoll, and  Kristen and Kevin Dandy also now have a new baby daughter. Both mothers and daughters are doing well. Their email addresses are in the Lakeport Directory if you want to send congratulations. 

I look forward to the time when we can gather again in person as a community!

Lakeport Board, Committees, and SCS Contact

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President - Mary Sapp

Vice President - Paul Renard
Vice President - Kathy Powers
Secretary - Barbara Khan
Treasurer - Kevin Burke

Contact the board via email ID:  Board@lakeportcluster.org


What Residents and Board can Expect

COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Disaster Preparedness Committee – James Pan
Landscape Committee – Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement
Maintenance Committee – Paul Renard
Neighborhood Watch Committee – Chuck Foster
Social Committee – Michelle Simoneau
Standards Committee – Kelly Driscoll
Welcome Committee – Carol Leos


VOLUNTEERS

Book Club – Barbara Khan, Coordinator
Webmaster and Listserv Administrator – Tom Barnett
Editor for Ripples, community newsletter – Stephen Sapp
Fill doggie-bag stations and keep community dock clean – Annabelle Hammer


SELECT COMMUNITY SERVICES

PORTFOLIO MANAGER: Alexandra "Ali" Long
Email: along@scs-management.com    
Direct: (703) 230-8725
Fax: (703) 266-2804
Mailing Address:  
PO Box 221350
Chantilly, VA  20153  
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-2pm
Owner website: https://app.townsq.io/login 


Book Club

By Barbara Khan, Coordinator

Want to join some of your neighbors and talk about a good book? Lakeport has an informal book club that is always open to new members. No master’s degree in literature is required (not even a bachelor’s!), and no grades are given. Just read the assigned book and show up for a lively, lighthearted discussion. We meet monthly on the third Monday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8-ish, rotating among members’ homes (Note: During Covid-19, book club discussions will be held via Zoom, with conference link sent in the reminder email before the meeting).

Here are the spring selections:

MAY
Book: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
Monday, May 18, 7:00 p.m.


JUNE
Book: This Tender Land, by William Kent Krueger
Monday, June 15, 7:00 p.m.

Eight of Ten Design Standards Updated in Last Two Years

Over the last two years Reston Association’s Design Review Board has approved revisions to eight of the ten Lakeport standards documents. Changes to each of these standards were generated by requests from one or more owners and were proposed to make Lakeport home repairs less onerous and to allow owners to take advantage of new technology. Many thanks to Kelly Driscoll, chair of the Standards Committee, who led these efforts! We’re happy to be finished updating standards for the foreseeable future.

This updated set of standards will be especially important for RA’s architectural inspections this fall because a number of items that would have been considered violations under the old standards are no longer out of compliance. Now is a good time to review Lakeport’s Cluster Standards at http://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/cluster-standards.html and then conduct a thorough check of the outside of your home to make sure the its various features are in compliance (and to identify any maintenance issues you need to address). More information on the 2020 inspections is available in the Ripples article “RA Inspections Next Fall.” Feel free to contact Kelly (kmdriscoll@outlook.com) or the Board if you have any questions about standards or whether you are in compliance.

Reminder: Before you do any work on the exterior of your home, be sure to check Lakeport Standards at http://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/cluster-standards.html. If Lakeport doesn’t have any relevant standards, you also need to check Reston Association Guidelines (https://www.reston.org/PropertyOwnerResources/DesignReview/DesignGuidelines/ClusterHousing/tabid/377/Default.aspx). The “Getting Started” document will walk you through the steps, including where to find the application form needed for a DRB application.

New Garage Door Standard: The Board was recently informed that the RA Design Review Board approved Lakeport’s new standard for garage doors (see https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JYdQZqwLP9LJPKvlvLfe92-u0Pet51bs/view). The color requirement was the only change in the new standard, which now allows a “close match” to the home’s trim color for doors with factory-installed finishes (previously an exact match to trim was required):

  • Color: If the garage door is painted after installation, it must match the home’s trim color (see Lakeport Color Summary). If the garage door has a factory-installed finish (e.g., “powder coat” or “baked enamel”), the door color must be a close match to the home’s trim color. If the door color is not a close match, a DRB application must be submitted and reviewed by Staff for approval of the color (and submission is recommended to ensure that RA approval of the color is on file).

Warning: Although this change means that many recently installed garage doors are no longer in violation due to color, an owner who recently sold her home alerted the Board that a board added to reinforce the bottom of the garage door and/or cover damage was found to be in violation of Lakeport standards by the RA resale inspector.

 

From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp

When last we published Ripples (late February), little did we realize that that would the last “normal” issue for the foreseeable future (or at least the last issue in “normal” times)! It was so easy to roll along in our “everyday” routine, assuming everything would be the same tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that . . . And then along came the coronavirus to pretty much destroy whatever had been our routine and to remind us that the unexpected is always a possibility. So much has been written about the pandemic and its frightening aftermath that I certainly do not want to try to add anything here.

I do, however, want to offer a word about something we all need right now, and that is hope: Near the top of my favorite quotations about hope is one by the poet-statesman Vaclav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic, whose writings helped bring about the end of Communist rule there: “Hope is not about believing you can change things. Hope is about believing you make a difference.” None of us can change the course that the Covid-19 pandemic will take in Reston, but we should strive to make whatever difference we can in helping others in these difficult times, in our own families if not beyond. At the least, we can follow the old admonition: “Be kind—everyone you meet is carrying a burden you know nothing about.”

Although activities in Lakeport Cluster have been markedly curtailed by the stay-at-home order, resulting in this somewhat reduced edition of Ripples, please enjoy these informative and helpful articles, and feel free to send any feedback or suggestions you have for our community newsletter to ssapp@miami.edu.

Neighborhood Watch

By Chuck Foster

In 1997, a fascinating book on personal safety was published. Written by Gavin de Becker, it was titled The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence (available on Amazon). The book provides a powerful and unique perspective on the roles of fear and intuition in keeping us safe. The author tells a number of gripping stories that demonstrate his concepts. What follows is a brief introduction to some of the author’s main concepts.
In western culture, we make decisions predominantly using logic. Logic is effective when we have the time to evaluate A through Z, which is a plodding process that slowly results in a decision. During an emergency, a logical thought process is too slow. Animals, not having the incredible brain of the human, naturally respond to any threat using intuition and instinct. Intuition is learned and instinct is inbred.       

Intuition is knowing something without knowing why. It’s the journey from A to Z without stopping in between. It is coming to a conclusion quickly. Intuition is the primary resource we use to protect ourselves from danger and is a process of constant learning. That’s one reason we are fascinated with recent tragedies. For example, we slow down while passing a traffic accident to assess the nature of the incident. What was the threat that resulted in someone being injured? How can I avoid that type of injury in the future?

How does intuition communicate with us? Suspicion, doubt, nagging feeling, gut feeling, curiosity, or a sense of something more to learn here can all be signs of intuition at work. Suspicion tells you to keep watching whatever has caught your attention. Suspicion is something that comes to you. You do not choose to be suspicious.

The work of intuition can be done in an instant. Intuition is there to guard and protect. Unfortunately, humans, unlike animals, can deny what intuition is telling us. Intuition is knowing something without knowing why, and denial is seeing something clearly and choosing not to see it. Interestingly, animals, other than predators, will never move toward danger. In contrast, humans move toward danger all the time by cross-examining and denying our own feelings. Intuition does not waste our time. During an emergency, we do not have time to waste critical mental energy cross-examining our feelings.     

There are important distinctions between true fear, fear, worry, and anxiety. True fear is a signal that we are in the presence of immediate danger. If we have fear about something that is not a present danger, that is usually unwarranted fear, worry, or anxiety. Imagination and memory are the origins of unwarranted fear. The news media are constantly feeding our intuition with false information. Tragedies that happen elsewhere do not present an immediate threat. For example, you live in a city of 8.5 million people (e.g., New York City) and you hear on the news that a child was abducted last night. The news makes you worry about your child’s safety although the odds of your child’s being abducted are statistically zero. This type of fear is not informed by intuition.             

True fear is the most urgent messenger of intuition. It is a signal that you are in the presence of danger and it’s meant to be brief. True fear will take over your body and stop time for you. Or it will speed up time, whatever is needed at that moment. Time is no longer measured in seconds but milliseconds. Everything else is forgotten. In this moment, every tiny action you take is under the control of this ancient internal guardian that is waiting in you for these very emergencies. If you allow it, true fear will get you out of most emergencies. Fear equals courage. When in a state of true fear, you will do something you would never volunteer to do. Fear gives you the courage to act and intuition gives you the information to act. Intuition will respond to “pre-incident” indicators of danger. You will not be intellectually aware of the information your senses are gathering in the environment that is triggering your intuition.   

Humans are the most powerful creatures on the earth. All non-humans fear us because we have the ability to kill every one of them. In the modern era, our greatest exposure is to the human predator, the most dangerous creature on earth.

The gift of true fear is that it alerts us to an immediate threat, which allows us to take action to defeat the threat. There is nothing to fear until you feel fear.


Reston Association to Conduct Inspections Next Fall

Later this year, Reston Association, rather than SCS, will be performing inspections of Lakeport homes. Note that although anything identified in this inspection would likely be caught during the required RA inspection when your home is sold, passing this inspection now will not guarantee that no additional issues will be identified at the time of sale.

There will be several differences in the approach taken by RA and SCS:

  • Focus: We have requested that the primary focus of the RA inspection be on maintenance issues (which was the case with SCS), but RA will also be looking for compliance with Lakeport and RA design standards. In addition, RA-trained inspectors may notice things SCS wouldn’t notice (and vice versa).
  • Timing: Inspections will take place in September and owners will have six months to remediate any issues that are identified prior to a re-inspection by RA the following spring. RA uses this timeline so owners can line up contractors over the winter months and schedule the work in the spring. 
  • Enforcement and extensions: Owners will be dealing with RA instead of the Board (we will not receive a list of violations and cannot give extensions, as we have been able to do with SCS inspections). 
Because this will be a somewhat different process from the past, we recommend you take the following steps to avoid receiving a violation letter from Reston:

  1. Review the ten Lakeport Cluster standards documents at http://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/cluster-standards.html as well as RA’s Cluster Property Guidelines at https://www.reston.org/PropertyOwnerResources/DesignReview/DesignGuidelines/ClusterHousing/tabid/377/Default.aspx to make sure you are in compliance. Eight of Lakeport’s documents have been changed in the last two years, and these recent changes mean that homes that otherwise would have been in violation (e.g., for missing house numbers, window replacements, or colors of garage doors, decks, or gutters) will now be compliant. That said, some Lakeport homes are still in violation of some of the standards. For example, an owner who recently sold her home alerted the Board that outside light fixtures painted to match the siding and a board added to reinforce the bottom of the garage door were found by RA inspectors to be in violation of Lakeport standards. 
  2. We anticipate that the main non-compliance issue will be color; so be sure to check all your colors (especially doors) to make sure they meet the requirements of the various standards. Lakeport’s Color Summary (available on the standards web page) is a helpful reference, but you’ll also need to check the roof, deck, window, and garage-door standards separately for those colors. If you aren’t sure of the name of a paint color used on your home, compare the colors on the exterior of your home with the colors used on the other homes in your building. If they’re the same, you probably should be all right because the color palettes are set up so that all the homes in each building are the same. 
  3. The checklist that RA inspectors will use to identify maintenance issues is included as Appendix A below. Please use it to check the outside of your home (safe to do even with Covid-19) and contact contractors to get proposals (again, this should be safe if you discuss the job over the phone and carry on conversations from a distance when the contractor comes to visit). 
If you have any questions about whether you are in compliance, please contact Lakeport’s Standards Committee Chair Kelly Driscoll (kmdriscoll@outlook.com) or the  Board; please realize, however, that although you will receive a good faith opinion from the Lakeport representative, the RA inspector may interpret things differently. Fortunately, repairs in response to the SCS inspections over the last three years mean that a number of issues have been taken care of already. And this year’s inspection will do even more to improve the appearance of Lakeport and thus our home values.







Reminders

Disaster Preparedness: Now that we’re in the midst of Covid-19, it’s more obvious that we need to be prepared for pandemics and other disasters. This might be a good time to check resources at https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/disaster-preparedness-plan.html. Those who followed the guidelines would have had N-95 masks, vinyl gloves, hand sanitizer, a stock of toilet paper, non-perishable food, and a number of other items that have been in high demand and hard to obtain.

Glass recycling: Glass recycling at the County’s purple box glass recycling locations resumed earlier this week. The closest glass recycling receptacle to Lakeport is at the far end of the Reston South Park and Ride, located just north of the intersection of Lawyers Road and Reston Parkway.

Drive Slowly: Now that spring is here and schools are not in session because of Covid-19, children will be out playing on sidewalks and in the streets. Please remember to drive slowly and keep your eyes out for children (and other pedestrians), especially given that the need to maintain a six-foot separation means that people cannot pass on the sidewalk.

Help Keep Our Community Clean and Beautiful: Please contribute to the appearance of our community by picking up trash anywhere you see it while you’re out walking and enjoying springtime in Lakeport. Also, if you notice overflowing trash from the can in Triangle Park or the one at South Lakes Village, please take a photo and forward it to the Board so we can pass it on to Reston Association or South Lakes Village management company.

Dog Waste: If you see a dog walker who fails to pick up the dog’s waste, please remind the person that doggie bags are available at two stations on the RA walking path in Lakeport and another on Lakespray Way.

Geese: We continue to experience problems with goose poop on our dock. Please don’t feed the geese (not only does that attract them, it’s not healthy for them), but do feel free to shoo them off the dock (just be sure not to harm them or allow them to attack you—we just want to make their time on our dock unpleasant enough that they will choose to hang out somewhere else!).

Regular trash collection: If your trash or recycling is not picked up by 2:00 p.m. on a scheduled collection day, please call ADS at 703-388-0500 (also imprinted on the outside of your trash bin if you forget the number).

Maintenance of the exterior of your home: Spring is a good time to line up contractors to make repairs to the exterior of your home to avoid a violation when annual inspections are done. Also check out the Spring Maintenance Check Up article in this issue for smaller maintenance projects that could save you major expenses and headaches in the future.

Party Walls: Although sometimes counterintuitive, the RA Deeds make the repair of any architectural element that falls on the property line between two houses (e.g., wall, trim, fence) a joint responsibility. If you aren’t sure whose responsibility it is to pay for the repair or replacement of a shared wall or trim, please see https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxSpjzCTaI6Jd0xnbEZEcEhLT3NiWjRKODNlZDBtTWdRdTBJ/view for information relating to party walls.

Group Projects: If you will be undertaking a major repair (e.g., new roof, new windows, siding replacement with HardiePlank, or resurfacing/sealing your driveway) and would be interested in investigating the possibility of a group rate from a contractor for multiple houses at the same time, let the Board know and we’ll share names of others doing similar work. For instance, two Lakeport owners received a discount for having their roofs done at the same time, and two others had HardiePlank installed at a discount for the same reason. In addition, several owners received a lower rate because they had work done on their driveways at the same time.

You Must Replace Any Tree You Remove. If you recently removed a tree (dead or alive) on your property, remember that RA requires that you replace it with another tree. Reston Association has several resources for finding a replacement tree: See the list of recommended small trees at https://www.reston.org/Parks,RecreationEvents/NatureEnvironmentalResources/EnvironmentalResources/RecommendedTrees/tabid/571/Default.aspx. In addition, you might want to review https://www.reston.org/Portals/3/2018%20PARKSREC/tree%20brcochure%20web%20FINAL%2018.pdf and https://www.reston.org/Parks,RecreationEvents/NatureEnvironmentalResources/NaturalResources/TreesinReston/TreesShrubGuidelines/tabid/569/Default.aspx

Do You Have Carpenter Bees (Lakeport Does!)? If you think you’ve seen lots of large bumblebees buzzing around your deck, chances are they are carpenter bees instead. Although they can be good pollinators of open-faced flowers (they tend to be too big to get down into other blossoms), they also can be very destructive of untreated wood, boring tunnels that can cause structural weakness.
This article from a pest-control company in New England offers some helpful tips to avoid problems with carpenter bees:
https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bigbluebug.com%2Fblog%2Fpost%2Ftips-to-avoid-carpenter-bee-damage&data=02%7C01%7Cssapp%40miami.edu%7C4eef081c19ea431467e508d6ccf4154e%7C2a144b72f23942d48c0e6f0f17c48e33%7C0%7C0%7C636921746032147815&sdata=f6Q%2FlwDl7Sc78yxqov3nXRNOVhTzy31E8L9%2B%2FKa09vk%3D&reserved=0

Improve lighting in Lakeport: A well-lit community is one of the most basic measures we can take to ensure the safety of our residents and the security of our property. One way to further the goal of safe lighting is for residents to leave their lights on at night, especially those in end units with short post lights, which according to long-time Lakeport residents used to be standard practice. This is of course voluntary, but doing this small thing would be a gracious contribution to the overall safety and attractiveness of our community.

Reporting Suspicious Activity. If you see suspicious activity, don’t confront anybody but instead call the Fairfax County Police non-emergency number, 703-691-2131 (use this number also to report vandalism or another crime that has already occurred). The police request that even if you just have a “gut feeling” something is wrong, you notify them with as many details as possible. It is helpful if you can also take photos unobtrusively. Police will be dispatched (or you may be able to provide a report over the phone). Also notify Lakeport’s Neighborhood Watch coordinator Chuck Foster at chuckfost@aol.com. Please pay special attention to suspicious activity or sounds near the Lakeport dock, in the woods, or at night.

Enjoy Time in Nature Frequently: A great way to enjoy nature and to relieve some of the stress we are all feeling right now is to explore Reston's trails. There are many proven benefits for spending time outdoors: better concentration, sharper thinking and creativity, improving mental health, and improving your immune function. Greenery and exercise are known to reduce stress. With 55 miles of asphalt trails and 12 miles of natural surface trails in Reston, there are plenty of opportunities to explore near-by nature. For Reston walking trails, see https://www.reston.org/portals/3/Whats%20New/RSA_Map_2.pdf. For Fairfax County trails, see https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/trails/trail-buddy. Please be sure as much as possible to maintain a six-foot separation from others using the trails.


Never Again Be Late Paying Your Quarterly Assessment: Please consider paying your quarterly assessments by direct debit through your bank instead of sending a check or paying online (which incurs an extra fee). If you decide to switch to automatic debit, it means that you never have to worry about incurring late fees because you forgot to make the payment (currently $25 plus the charge from SCS for sending the letter). Alternatively, you could pay the entire assessment at the beginning of the year ($1380 for 2020). Either way, you save the Board time spent reminding people who haven’t paid shortly before the late fee would be incurred, as well as extra costs to the Association for processing and mailing quarterly statements (last year we paid around $600 to have statements sent to owners who had not prepaid or set up direct debit). You can cancel the arrangement at any time. To take advantage of this convenient way to pay your Lakeport assessment fees, follow the instructions for filling out and mailing the form at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U_9xgrDVzZlOBoUG04XT2vlxmWa99C6q/view.

Questions for the Management Company: If you have a question about quarterly assessments or other questions for Select Community Services (SCS), contact Lakeport’s portfolio manager Ali Long at along@scs-management.com.

Update Your Contact Information: Please go to the Lakeport Directory (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oHeCXhec0Uu0n02cE-i1VrAJbZgw1l_g/view; PW=lakespray) and check the contact information listed there for you. If a correction is needed, either send an email to webmaster@lakeportcluster.org and copy along@scs-management.com or fill out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFILfWGBoWIgWlBPSQmIKj4kIX0kPA7XsRjnsaOsNXuvVSkw/viewform. If your home has renters, please also ask them to fill out the form to be listed in the directory. Remember also that if you need to contact a neighbor or just forget someone’s name, you can always check this directory.

Ripples Recipe – Beckett’s Galette des Rois (King Cake)

By Beckett Sapp

 (Editor’s Note: This cake was made by the editor’s seven-year-old grandson using a recipe he received in his Little Passports: World Edition installment for France. Little Passports (www.littlepassports.com) was a Christmas gift from his uncle and aunt in California, and Beckett has been learning about a different country each month since. His grandparents recommend that you check it out as an enjoyable and educational gift if you have children or grandchildren).

Beckett’s Galette des Rois (King Cake)
½ c. sugar
1 egg
½ c. ground almonds*
1 package puff pastry, thawed
1 t. almond extract
1 egg yolk
½ stick butter, softened
1 T. water

Mix the sugar, almonds, almond extract, and butter in a bowl. Add the egg and continue mixing. Set the mixture in the fridge to chill while you use a knife to trim two sheets of puff pastry into circles on a jelly roll pan (in case the filling runs out of the pastry) lined with parchment paper. Spread the chilled filling over the center of one circle of pastry, leaving about an inch around the circumference. Place the second circle of pastry over the top of the filling so the circles line up. Seal the two sheets of dough along the rim, making sure to seal the dough very well by pinching firmly with your fingers or pressing with the prongs of a fork (wetting the bottom rim with water first will help the pieces seal, important to keep the filling from running out). Whisk the egg yolk and water together and use a pastry brush to coat the top of the dough with the mixture. At this point you can use a knife to make a crisscross or other pattern in the egg wash, and then prick several small slits in the top to vent steam while baking. Preheat the oven to 450o while you chill the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Bake the cake for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350o and bake for another 20 minutes. The cake is done when it is golden brown.
Note: This cake is traditionally served in France at Epiphany, a holiday celebrated twelve days after Christmas, and it’s customary to hide a whole almond, dried bean, or little toy figurine inside before baking. The person who finds the toy while eating is declared king or queen for the day and is believed to have good luck the rest of the year.
*If you don’t have ground almonds, you can make your own by first blanching a little less than ½ c. unsalted whole almonds, removing the skins, and then processing (carefully) in a food processor (if you go too long you’ll end up with almond butter!).

Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Spring

Important note: If you are addressing issues with the exterior of your home, please consult the Lakeport standards and remember that you may have to seek approval from the Reston Association’s Design Review Board.

Homes in the Lakeport Cluster, which are more than 30 years old, are unique in several ways. This checklist is designed with Lakeport homes in mind. The Board has been building a checklist with suggestions that will reduce major repairs in the future. Your help in keeping this list current and relevant is essential. Please send suggestions to Board@LakeportCluster.org.

Outdoor Checklist

  • Several Lakeport owners recently have had to replace their roofs because of damage from windstorms and aging of the roofing materials. If you have not accessed your attic to check for leaks, it’s a good idea to do so. You can avoid potential damage to the interior of your home.
  • For most Lakeport homes, make sure your home address numbers are properly positioned over your garage door or entry arch (see House Numbers standards). If you have a brick wall by the sidewalk, be sure the brass number plate is glued tightly to the surface and that the numbers are legible from the street. This really helps first responders find your house more easily in the case of an emergency.
  • Inspect and repair any damaged fences or other outside boundaries. If you have a brick wall in common with your neighbor, examine it for mildew and mold. If there is staining from either, try removing the stains with a power washer.
  • Check the outside lighting around your house and replace bulbs and batteries that aren’t working.
  • If you have outdoor security cameras, make sure they haven’t been damaged by snow or harsh winter weather. Check that camera lenses are focused on what you want them to look at. Clean lenses with a microfiber cloth and tighten all camera mounts. As summer approaches, you may want to protect your cameras from spider webs and insects that can obscure the view. One suggestion is to attach a dryer sheet to the outside of your camera with a rubber band (just make sure not to cover the lens); the strong smell will keep bugs away. You can also try looping a flea collar around the camera.
  • Remove leaves and other debris that have collected over the winter and place in large paper yard bags available at home improvement stores. Check the current waste management company procedures for proper disposal.
  • Take steps to protect wood on the decks, patios, and entrance walkways. These areas should be sealed every two to three years. The wood will hold up better with a sealant rather than with paint.
  • Check your siding for staining. If you see a problem, check with a home repair supplier for a suitable cleaning product.


Indoor Checklist

  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors.
  • If you have an alarm system, periodically change your access code and remove passcodes you’ve given out to contractors, cleaning people, babysitters, or guests who no longer need access to your home. Test your security systems regularly to ensure they are functioning properly and communicating with the central station.
  • Flooding is the single largest source of loss for homeowners, so it may be helpful to install water leak sensors in flood-prone areas. The sensors will detect accumulation of water caused by cracked or broken water pipes, loose pipe connections, inadequate drainage, or flooding. Some sensors connect to larger security systems, some work alone, and some connect to an app on your phone.
  • Move boxes or other items at least 30 inches away from your furnace and water heater; crowding either could lead to a fire.
  • Do a semi-annual check of the furnace/heat pump to assure that you have sufficient refrigerant for air conditioning. Follow manufacturer guidelines for replacing air filters (typically once per month or quarter). A clogged air filter places an unreasonable load on the HVAC system and will likely shorten its life.
  • Turn on outdoor water spigots from inside the house and be sure the spigot is closed on the outside. The valve is usually in a storage area near the water heater or utility tub.
  • Inspect the firebrick panels inside the wood-burning fireplace for cracks and replace them if they are damaged. Have the fireplace cleaned if you use it frequently or haven’t used it in a long time. Remove all ash from your fireplaces and clean the grates. Additionally, schedule a chimney cleaner to inspect the flues once a year. 
  • Check all window and door locks. If any seem loose or faulty, tighten or replace them.
  • If cleaning your windows isn’t already part of your spring-cleaning routine, then add it. Clean windows will make your home brighter and improve the visibility of your surroundings.


Thank You’s

Please take time to thank your neighbors for their efforts to make Lakeport a better place for all of us to live. If you want to volunteer, let the Board or a committee chair know—it’s a great way to get to know people and contribute to your community.

Covid-19
  • Those who volunteered on the SCS Town Square web site to help their Lakeport neighbors who need to stay at home right now
  • Those who serve on the front line of our community’s battle with Covid-19
  • Those who practice safe distancing to keep us all physically well, and those who also perform random acts of kindness or just smile and say hello to others they encounter while they’re outside (even if they don’t know them) to help compensate for our loss of social interactions 
Landscape Projects
  • Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement – co-chairs of the Landscape Committee
  • Dawn Fraioli – for agreeing to let Deco Footprint connect to her downspouts to supply water for the new rain garden being installed soon
Standards
  • Kelly Driscoll – chair of the Standards Committee, especially for his work on developing new standards, most recently the one relating to Garage Doors
Social
  • Michelle Simoneau – chair of the Social Committee
  • Carol Leos – for delivering welcome cards to four new residents 
Maintenance
  • Kathy Powers – for writing the RFP and reviewing proposals for a new Reserve Study
  • Annabelle Hammer, Jonathan Hammer, and Paul Renard – for keeping our dock clean
  • Annabelle Hammer – for restocking doggie-bag stations
Other 
  • Barbara Khan – for carefully going through the Lakeport Handbook to correct grammar and identify text that needed to be updated
  • Paul Renard – for representing Lakeport on the “Best Practices” panel at the Washington Metro Chapter of Community Associations Institute (WMCCAI) “Jump Start” conference where Lakeport was announced as the Community of the Year in the small association category
  • Kevin Burke – for drafting a resolution for Ken Plum and Janet Howell to sponsor in the Virginia General Assembly announcing Lakeport’s Community of the Year award
  • Chuck Foster – for chairing the Neighborhood Watch Committee 
  • Kevin Burke – for monitoring density issues
  • James Pan – for chairing the Disaster Preparedness Committee and helping develop the disaster preparedness documents on the Lakeport web site
  • Barbara Khan – for coordinating the Lakeport Book Club
  • Tom Barnett – for maintaining Lakeport’s online directory and listserv for announcements and posting Ripples
  • Stephen Sapp – for editing Ripples

Winter 2020 Issue of Ripples


From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News 

News from Outside Lakeport

Helpful Information

Reston Comprehensive Plan Under Review

By Kevin Burke

Walter Alcorn, the new member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors who represents Reston, is off to a quick start. At his first meeting, he asked the Board
 to begin a review of the Comprehensive Plan for Reston that controls future zoning decisions. The Board approved his resolution, which, according to Supervisor Alcorn, directs the County’s planning and zoning staff “to review key elements of [the Comprehensive Plan], including the balance of existing and planned development, infrastructure and the environment across all of Reston.”

Typically, such a staff review and community engagement process would take about a year to 18 months. The County will establish a community task force, conduct public meetings, and provide opportunities for community input. The task force will submit recommendations for amendments to the Comprehensive Plan for Reston to the Board for its consideration and potential action. The process has the potential to change significantly the future development of Reston.

Supervisor Alcorn is currently seeking nominations to serve on the task force. Task force members should live in Reston, and nominees should provide a résumé and a brief statement of interest outlining why they want to work on a group to review the plan. The deadline is Saturday, February 29, 2020.

The current governing document, which includes the zoning plan for transit station areas in Reston and the plan amendment for village centers and residential areas in Reston, is about five years old. Supervisor Alcorn noted that in that period, the Board has approved more than 30 re-zonings, including millions of square feet of development in the areas adjoining or proximate to Reston’s Metro stations.

Supervisor Alcorn’s proposal would authorize a plan amendment for Reston that focuses on the following:

  • The appropriate balance of population, infrastructure, and the environment in Reston
  • The type of land-use development now allowed in the village centers (including our neighbor, the South Lakes Village Center) and under what conditions developers need to return to the Board for approval of any deviation from the comprehensive plan
  • The adequacy of the comprehensive plan to generate additional affordable housing and to preserve and enhance existing affordable housing
  • The appropriate encouragement of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure for accessing Metro stations
  • The effectiveness of the comprehensive plan to support urban-scale mobility and development design while protecting the stability of nearby neighborhoods
  • The alignment of transportation improvements with planned development
  • The enhancement of Reston’s natural environment, energy efficiency, and sustainable green neighborhoods
  • The encouragement of diverse ownership options
  • The examination of whether promoting privately owned and managed open space addresses the public needs of Reston residents.


Lakeport Board, Committees, and SCS Contact


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President - Mary Sapp

Vice President - Paul Renard
Vice President - Kathy Powers
Secretary - Barbara Khan
Treasurer - Kevin Burke

Contact the board via email ID:  Board@lakeportcluster.org


What Residents and Board can Expect

COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Disaster Preparedness Committee – James Pan
Landscape Committee – Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement
Maintenance Committee – Paul Renard
Neighborhood Watch Committee – Chuck Foster
Social Committee – Michelle Simoneau
Standards Committee – Kelly Driscoll
Welcome Committee – Carol Leos


VOLUNTEERS

Book Club – Barbara Khan, Coordinator
Webmaster and Listserv Administrator – Tom Barnett
Editor for Ripples, community newsletter – Stephen Sapp
Fill doggie-bag stations and keep community dock clean – Annabelle Hammer


SELECT COMMUNITY SERVICES

PORTFOLIO MANAGER: Alexandra "Ali" Long
Email: along@scs-management.com    
Direct: (703) 230-8725
Fax: (703) 266-2804
Mailing Address:  
PO Box 221350
Chantilly, VA  20153  
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-2pm
Owner website: https://app.townsq.io/login 

Book Club

By Barbara Khan, Coordinator

Image result for book club picturesWant to join some of your neighbors and talk about a good book? Lakeport has an informal book club that is always open to new members. No master’s degree in literature required (not even a bachelor’s!), and no grades given. Just read the assigned book and show up for a lively, lighthearted discussion. We meet monthly on the third Monday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8-ish, rotating among members’ homes.

Here are the spring selections:

Olive-Again-A-Novel-by-Elizabeth-Strout-2019-DigitalBook: Olive Again

Author:  Elizabeth Strout

Date: Monday, March 16, 7:00 p.m.

Place: Sandy’s house at 1977 Lakeport Way






The Fifth RiskBook: The Fifth Risk

Author:  Michael Lewis

Date: Monday, April 20, 7:00 p.m.

Place: Barbara’ house at 11125 Lakespray Way

Status of Construction Projects Near Lakeport

There are several construction projects near Lakeport that are nearing completion:

New sidewalk on Sunrise Valley Drive. The new sidewalk will be great for getting to the Metro station more easily, but as was pointed out in two announcements to the community, we need to increase our diligence turning into Lakeport from Sunrise Valley (especially going east when there’s a concern about being rear-ended by speeding cars behind us). So in addition to using your turn signal well in advance and slowing down in case you need to stop for pedestrians, we need to be aware that people may step into the entrance without looking for turning traffic. Several residents have already experienced this problem. We have learned from the County that they plan to paint two lines across our entrance area to mark a crosswalk, which hopefully will help increase awareness. They will also add a painted stop bar on the road at our exit, and we’ve asked for one to be added in the right-hand lane on Sunrise Valley Drive right before the entrance. A stop bar in that location will not only make it easier to get out during rush hour but also raise awareness of the entrance. In addition, we pointed out that the work crew had left a lot of dead branches and other debris, and they came shortly after our call to remove it so the area looks much nicer. Finally, we expressed our concern that the construction had cut roots in the easement area, which may cause some of the remaining trees to die, and they said they plan to send an arborist to identify any trees that are no longer viable so they can be removed.

We want to make you aware of another potential safety hazard as a result of the new sidewalk. The area at the entrance to Upper Lake Drive that leads to the pool, which is in a valley between the two hills, now floods, creating standing water after a heavy rain, which may turn into ice when it’s cold. So be sure to exercise extra caution when driving there in icy conditions. The County is aware of this problem, but  a storm drain for that spot was not included in the plans, and funds are not currently available to add one.

South Lakes Village. The renovation of the South Lakes Village mall area near the lake is in progress. The plan calls for completion this spring, including the addition of new seating. It will be nice to have our access on the Reston trail down the hill open again and a much more pleasant area to sit and enjoy the view.

Image result for image of dc metro car silver lineSilver Line Metro. The opening date for the extension of the Silver Line to connect Wiehle-Reston East Station with Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County keeps being pushed back. The latest estimates have service probably starting in 2021, although earlier is still possible. The rail yard, stations, and tracks will not be completed until the fall, but a problem with software will probably cause the biggest delay.

Report on Status of Lake Thoreau Pool

By Barbara Khan

A picture containing water sport, water, sport, swimming

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The first public meeting to report on issues relating to Lake Thoreau Pool and to obtain feedback about desired features was held on February 11. If you want to share your suggestions, either email the Board or keep your eyes open for an announcement about the next meeting. For more information, see https://www.reston.org/CapitalProjects/LakeThoreauPoolProject/tabid/1061/Default.aspx.

A representative from Kimley-Horn, the company retained to provide engineering and landscape architecture services, provided the following report about the current status and considerations for redesign of pool:
  1. Site/Elevation – 
    • The 20-foot drop in elevation in the pool area requires four levels and retaining walls.  
    • The pool is now in a Resource Protection Area (RPA), which means we can’t build any closer to the lake and can’t increase the impervious pool decking area by more than 10%.
    • The south side of the site has retaining walls that encroach on the private property of Winterport (the walkway to their boat dock). 
  2. Access concerns – 
    • The spa has steps to get to it, which is not good for ADA.
    • The building has narrow halls and many right-angle turns, which is also not good for ADA.
    • Access to the grassy area for lawn mowing is difficult, with no option except to walk equipment all the way through the pool area.
  3. Storm water/views -
    • Currently two paths exist for water to get from the pool area to the lake, and the new design needs to consider paths of water runoff to the lake.
    • Views of the lake and the amount of sun reaching the pool area need to be considered. Over the years, trees have grown so the view is obstructed and less sun shines on the pool.
  4. Utilities – 
    • The placement of existing electric transformers, drain inlets, and sanitary power easements must be considered.

After the presentation, the audience was split into five groups to make lists of features they would like for a new pool. Each participant was then asked to indicate his/her top three choices within the list the group developed. There was no review of all the teams’ comments so there was no voting across teams, and there were differences in opinions across teams. The following is a list of some of the suggestions:
  1. Be practical; don’t ask for too much or we may not get any pool.
  2. Leave the trees as they are; we don’t need a view and we like the shade.
  3. Make the children’s pool smaller; alternatively, eliminate the children’s pool.
  4. Take out the spa; make the spa more appealing.
  5. Incorporate art (like mosaics in the pool tiles)
  6. Install a smoothie machine so more teenagers are interested in coming to the pool.
  7. Add lights for night swimming.
  8. Heat the pool; don’t heat the pool.
  9. Eliminate the lawn because no one ever picnics there.
  10. Make sure to have plenty of lap lanes for swimming.


Neighborhood Watch Update

Image result for images for neighborhood watchBy Chuck Foster

This article offers two news items.

First, periodically a resident of the cluster will tell me he/she is uncomfortable calling the police because of uncertainty about what circumstances justify making a call. Fortunately, we have a recent example to consider: 

Last month, one of our residents was walking to the shopping center and observed a vehicle parked in a cluster space with the engine running and the windows closed. A man was inside with the seat reclined. The temperature was in the low 40s. After returning from the shopping center, the resident again observed the vehicle in the same location and condition. The resident felt the situation was odd and started thinking about possibilities. Could the occupant be experiencing some kind of medical emergency? Is the occupant at risk of succumbing to carbon monoxide? While walking home, the resident was unsuccessful in being self-convinced that everything was okay. So, the resident called the police non-emergency number, described the situation, and asked if a welfare check was justified. The police agreed and sent a police officer and a medical unit to check on the vehicle’s occupant. Later on, the resident observed the units leaving the cluster with the vehicle remaining in the same location. The resident did not inquire about the outcome of the event.

If faced with similar circumstances, would you have made the same call? In this case, the resident likely used a combination of analysis, intuition, compassion, caution, and conscience to make a quick decision. Every situation is unique, and every person is unique; so the call/no-call decision is necessarily case-by-case. When you consider that the police department and the fire department are “public safety agencies,” one could make a strong case that this resident’s call was the right thing to do.

Second, the Virginia State Police recently published the comprehensive annual report titled “Crime in Virginia 2018.” The 502-page report can be found on the website of the Fairfax County Police Department under the link labeled “Crime Statistics.” The report is fascinating if you are a crime-stats geek. What follows are just a few of the tidbits I found particularly interesting:

  • Crime declined in 2018 versus 2017 in 16 of the 23 most serious categories of offenses (“Group A” offenses). The seven categories that showed increases were kidnapping/abduction, sex offenses, aggravated assault, extortion/blackmail, motor vehicle theft, drug offenses, and pornography/obscene material.
  • A substantial majority of the victims of rape, aggravated assault, and kidnapping/abduction knew the offender (e.g., spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, family member, neighbor, or acquaintance).
  • The highest percentage of offenders committing robbery were between the ages of 18 and 34. The highest percentage of the victims of robbery were over the age of 34. 
  • The primary entry point for residential burglaries was a door or window. The primary form of “security” was a lock. The entry point was evenly divided between the front and rear of the dwelling. The highest percentage of burglaries occurred between noon and 6pm and on Mondays and Fridays.
  • The highest percentage of larcenies was shoplifting and theft from a motor vehicle, with most of those occurring on Mondays and Fridays.
  • Motor vehicle theft was primarily from residential property with occurrences concentrated between 6:00 p.m. and midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.         
  • Assault on law enforcement totaled 1,452 incidents. The majority of incidents were between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • In Fairfax County, the top five reported crimes by known category were simple assault, destruction of property, shoplifting, drug offenses, and larceny.     
  • Of the 37,102 of Group A offenses reported to the Fairfax County Police Department, 13,027, or 35%, resulted in an arrest. Juvenile arrests represented 2,146, or 16%, of the 13,027. Shoplifting and destruction of property had relatively low arrest percentages. Drug offenses had a relatively high arrest percentage.

     

Reminders

Related imageSnow shoveling: Please be aware that the sidewalk near your home is your responsibility to shovel, but we encourage everyone to help their neighbors whenever possible. And please remember to be cautious while walking (or driving) on snow/ice.

A suggestion to improve lighting in Lakeport: A well-lit community is one of the most basic measures we can take to ensure the safety of our residents and the security of our property. One way to further the goal of safe lighting is for residents to leave their lights on at night, especially those in end units with short post lights, which according to long-time Lakeport residents used to be standard practice. This is of course voluntary, but doing this small thing would be a gracious contribution to the overall safety and attractiveness of our community.

Regular trash collection: If your trash or recycling is not picked up by 2:00 p.m. on a scheduled collection day, please call ADS at 703-388-0500 (also imprinted on the outside of your trash bin if you forget the number).

Dog Waste: If you see a dog walker who fails to pick up the dog’s waste, please remind the person that doggie bags are available at two stations on the walking path in Lakeport and another on Lakespray Way.

Never Again Be Late Paying Your Quarterly Assessment: Please consider paying your quarterly assessments by direct debit through your bank instead of sending a check or paying online (which incurs an extra fee). If you decide to switch to automatic debit, it means that you never have to worry about incurring late fees because you forgot to make the payment (currently $25 plus the charge from SCS for sending the letter). Alternatively you could pay the entire assessment at the beginning of the year ($1380 for 2020). Either way, you save the Board time spent reminding people who haven’t paid shortly before the late fee would be incurred, as well as extra costs to the Association for processing and mailing quarterly statements (last year we paid around $600 to have statements sent to owners who had not prepaid or set up direct debit). You can cancel the arrangement at any time. To take advantage of this convenient way to pay your Lakeport assessment fees, follow the instructions for filling out and mailing the form at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U_9xgrDVzZlOBoUG04XT2vlxmWa99C6q/view.

Questions for the Management Company: If you have a question about inspections, we ask that you start with the Lakeport Board (board@lakeportcluster.org) because we are apt to be more aware of your property, and it saves a $10 charge for each phone call or email related to inspections. For questions about quarterly assessments or other questions for Select Community Services (SCS), contact Lakeport’s portfolio manager Ali Long at along@scs-management.com.

Update Your Contact Information: Please go to the Lakeport Directory (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1t3bYAGlA-u_NdjY2DxIbxm_nQqBBCX28/view) and check the contact information listed there for you. If a correction is needed, or if you need the password, either send an email to webmaster@lakeportcluster.org or fill out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFILfWGBoWIgWlBPSQmIKj4kIX0kPA7XsRjnsaOsNXuvVSkw/viewform. If your home has renters, please also ask them to fill out the form. Remember that if you need to contact a neighbor or just forget someone’s name, you can always check this directory.


Ripples Recipe – Jo’s Sweet Potatoes

Image result for sweet potato imagesBy Jo Leir

(Editor’s Note: This recipe is from Jo Leir, who recently moved from Lakeport to Ashby Ponds).

Jo’s Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 small sweet potatoes (select those with orange or red skin, preferably Garnet or Diane), unpeeled and pricked lightly with a fork
  • Salt and pepper

Method
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400o F. While the oven preheats, place potatoes on a large plate and microwave for nine minutes, turning every three minutes. Set a wire rack on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet, spray with cooking oil, place potatoes on rack, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. They will be done when lightly browned and soft to the touch. Slit open and serve with your favorite toppings.