Spring 2023 Issue of Ripples

From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News

Helpful Information

From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp

Once again spring has come to Lakeport, with all the beauty that this season of rebirth and new growth brings with it. Although the weather has been somewhat erratic, it feels great to be able to open up our houses and enjoy some fresh air between the “closed” heating and air-conditioning seasons (saving a little bit on our electric bills at the same time!). And as the picture accompanying our Table of Contents shows, we do not even have to journey downtown to the Tidal Basin to appreciate cherry blossoms!

As we now increasingly move our lives outside, let’s take advantage of the opportunity this affords us to interact with our great neighbors in Lakeport, greeting those we know and meeting those we have not yet had the opportunity to get to know. The upcoming “I Love Lakeport” dock party on May 6 is an excellent way to share some time with other Lakeport residents and enjoy Lake Thoreau. As I have said consistently throughout my “From the Editor” messages for the past six years, in addition to the beauty of both the natural and the built environment of Lakeport, it is the friendliness of our residents and the sense of community it engenders that make our cluster such a wonderful place to live.

If you have comments about this Spring issue of Ripples and/or would like to submit an item for our Summer issue, you are welcome to email me at ssapp@miami.edu.

President’s Message

By Chuck Foster

Each spring, a pair of geese sets up a nest in my neighbor’s yard. This starts a multi-month relationship between the couple, me, my wife, and my neighbor. Daddy Goose is a constant and aggressive defender of the safety of his mate and their eggs. His near-constant patrol inside a roughly 100-yard perimeter and his aggressive manner toward trespassing geese is very impressive to watch. Daddy Goose appears to be on duty 24/7. We humans have learned to speak to him in a gentle tone, avoid eye contact, and stay at least four yards away from the nest. This approach allows us to go about our business without the risk of being attacked.

Unlike Daddy Goose, your Board of Directors is not constantly patrolling the neighborhood looking for violations of cluster rules, violations of Reston Association rules, and violations of county and state laws. This responsibility applies to us all. We are all Daddy Geese.

Periodically, the Board receives suggestions, concerns, and complaints. We welcome this dialogue because it encourages us to take a hard look at our priorities, our decisions, our practices, and the policies and rules that apply to cluster residents and their guests. For example, the Board recently revised several sections of the Lakeport Handbook (to be distributed via email). The revisions directly reflect dialogue we have had with residents about the interpretation, breadth, and enforcement of cluster rules. 

Is the Handbook perfect? Of course not. A resident recently relayed a concern about a situation that is not specifically addressed in the cluster rules. In such a case, the Board welcomes a resident drafting a proposed change to address an area of concern. Some potential rules can be tricky to write and difficult to enforce, which means the Board could use help in the careful evaluation and drafting of a new rule.  In addition, if a resident has a concern that is outside the scope of the cluster rules, the Board welcomes the communication.  Actual examples include observing non-residents (primarily middle-schoolers) using a resident’s kayak without permission, littering, and throwing stones into the lake that were purchased to manage erosion around the common dock.  In cases such as these, the cluster relies on everyone to be observant of unusual activities.  One of these examples was resolved by the witness taking photos of the perpetrators from a safe distance and having them shared with the local School Resource Officer (SRO).  The SRO recognized the students in the photo and spoke with their parents about the unacceptable behavior.

While discussing revisions to the rules, the Board had a hearty discussion about the importance of neighbors speaking directly with each other about concerns they may have. Sometimes calling on the Board to address an issue that can be resolved between residents is not the best approach. Of course, there are scenarios in which involving the Board is necessary. Alternatively, making your first call to the Board is not prudent if you witness activity or behavior that appears to be illegal and/or threatens injury or death. Your first call should be to the police.  One example is coming across someone that appears to be experiencing a medical emergency.  Another is finding your car door open and the contents of the vehicle removed.

There is no doubt we are all caring residents of this community, and we should work together to keep Lakeport a cluster that maximizes harmony, beauty, community spirit, and safety. We are all Daddy Geese.

Social Committee

By Shelby Friedel

To celebrate the return of spring and enjoy some good times with our wonderful neighbors, please join us on May 6 for a Potluck by the dock! The event—the conclusion to “I Love Lakeport Day”—will be a great time to reconnect with your neighbors after a cold winter. Please use the following link to sign up to bring sides, desserts, and drinks: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0944AFA622A1FCC61-ilovelakeport.

Also, be sure to mark your calendar for another opportunity to socialize with your neighbors. Lakeport’s next TGIF will be at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 2, at 1977 Lakeport Way, the home of Sandy Laeser who is co-hosting the party with Elizabeth Pan. Guests are asked to bring an appetizer, dessert, or wine/beer to contribute to the festivities. If you are interested in hosting a TGIF, let me know by emailing lakeportsocial@gmail.com.

There is still space on the Lakeport Social Committee. If you are interested in making this fun contribution to your community, please email lakeportsocial@gmail.com

Landscape Committee

By Mary Sapp

You can help beautify Lakeport by joining your neighbors for our spring workday on Saturday, May 6, as part of “I Love Lakeport Day.” Email msapp@miami.edu to volunteer. We’ll meet in Triangle Park at 9:00 a.m. Please bring work gloves and any weeding implements you may have. Owner Rich Shelton has graciously volunteered to cut down around a half dozen dead trees and use his trailer to help haul debris into a pile for Blade Runners to remove as part of our annual landscape contract. Volunteers are needed to help collect brush, weed a couple of areas, and clean/spruce up our landscaping. 

After obtaining proposals from two arborists, the Board approved having Riverbend Landscape & Tree Service remove two dead double-trunk trees (one near the back of 1964 Lakeport Way and the other next to communication equipment on Lakespray Way) and trim six other trees along Lakeport’s roads. In accordance with a requirement from Reston Association that all stumps visible from a sidewalk or road be removed, Riverbend is also scheduled to grind the stump from a dead spruce adjacent to the sidewalk on the Lakespray hill that was cut down last December. In addition, to try proactively to maintain the health of a 40” white oak beside 11121 Lakespray Way (the largest on our property), SavATree applied ArborKelp, a biostimulant that is supposed to promote root growth and heighten stress tolerance. 

New plants have come to life with our warm weather and rains, and some new plants have also been installed. Three fire engine heucheras were planted on the west side of the entrance (see photo above), along with two sedums in the planter at the entrance (the two blue-green plants in the photo on the right). And Blade Runners will be here next week to plant 32 native plants between 1952 and 1954 Lakeport Way as replacements for plants their crew accidently removed last year. Blade Runners also did a special hydroseeding of two areas that have been experiencing erosion, and volunteers have been watering them.

If you have suggestions for any landscaping areas that should be addressed, please email msapp@miami.edu so we can consider them as we plan other projects for the year. 


Maintenance Committee

By Paul Renard

This has been a busy Spring for the Maintenance Committee!

  • If you are walking in the neighborhood at night, you may notice that all the bollards and post lamps are working again. We have replaced all bollard bulbs and shifted the post lamps from incandescent to LED fixtures, which cost no more than the already needed maintenance on most of the lamps and will save the community money over time, definitely a win-win.  
  • The pipe railings along the path next to 1925 Lakeport have been sanded, spot-primed, and spot-painted to add one more year of life to the ancient paint that succumbs to rust spots/streaks/encrustations each winter. Some work still needs to be done on the unseen sections of the posts and the short section near Triangle Park, but we hope to have that finished soon. If you are wondering what we use to spot-paint the railings, it is Rustoleum Rust Killer primer in black after scraping and thorough sanding, and then Rustoleum Ivory Silk for the cover coat (both are usually available at Home Depot). Although Ivory Silk is not a perfect match with the community color palettes, it is close enough to let you get rid of the rust on your railings while you put together your plan and budget to paint the entire railing in the future. 
  • We also arranged for Brothers Paving to seal the cracks that appeared in our streets post-paving a few years ago, and at zero cost to Lakeport.  
  • Several neighbors have offered to wash the shared mailboxes soon. If you are so moved, Windex and some paper towels work well—no need to ask, just clean them up!

That’s all for now from the Maintenance Committee—the people who fix things and save you money!

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 usually meet monthly on the third Monday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8-ish, either rotating among members’ homes or, in comfortable weather, taking advantage of our beautiful Lakeport setting to meet earlier (5:30) outside in Triangle Park.
May Meeting

Book:   On Freedom Road by David Goodrich 
Date:    Monday, May 22 
Time:    7:00 p.m.
Where: 1967 Lakeport Way (home of Robin Kolko)

A thoughtful and illuminating bicycle journey along the Underground Railroad by a climate scientist seeking to engage with American history  

Thanks to Our Volunteers

Please be sure 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 meet your neighbors and to contribute to your community.

Landscape Projects 

  • Mary Sapp (chair), Steven Browning, Don Nagley, Elizabeth Pan, Rosemary Welch, and Jeannette Malin-Berdel (Board liaison) – serving on the Landscape Committee 
  • Marilyn Bursch – trimming sedges and grasses and mulching near rain garden 
  • Marilyn Bursch and Don Nagley – cleaning up ferns near rain garden
  • Andy Nagley and Don Nagley – removing leaves from rain garden
  • Steven Browning, Kevin Dandy, Shelby Friedel – watering hydroseeded area
  • Sandy Laeser – tending the Kids Garden in Triangle Park
  • Shelby Friedel – chairing the Social Committee
  • Carol Leos – welcoming new residents


  • Paul Renard – chairing the Maintenance Committee 
  • Paul Renard – using a grinding wheel, sanding, priming, and painting metal railings along the RA path


  • Rich Rosenberg – chairing the Standards Committee


  • James Pan – chairing Neighborhood Watch
  • Barbara Khan – coordinating the Lakeport Book Club 
  • Tom Barnett – maintaining Lakeport’s online directory and listserv for announcements and posting Ripples
  • Stephen Sapp – editing Ripples

Neighborhood Watch

By James Pan

As we all look forward to summer, it's a great time to travel. Here are two action items you can implement to ease your worries while you are away:

1. Limit internal water damage from leaks with Wi-Fi leak alarms. Place leak alarms around every sink, toilet, hot water heater, and appliance (including behind the fridge where the water line for the ice maker goes). You may need as many as 15-20 sensors. Consider this leak alarm: https://www.amazon.com/Detector-Wireless-Notification-Security-Basement/dp/B07J9HZ5VN/ref=sr_1_4?crid=1P16.

These alarms are Wi-Fi enabled so if you're on the road, you can ask your trusted neighbor with a key to investigate. Although it can be tricky to get the Wi-Fi to work with the alarm, here is a YouTube video that will help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_1fNhZKbKk&t=42s

Alternatively, you can just turn off your main water valve and drain your pipes before you go.

As someone who has had four incidents of serious water damage, I know that it can be stressful. It's even more stressful if the water leaks to the neighbors’ homes and you need to remediate their damage, too.

Editor’s note: Please take this advice seriously! Mary and I returned from a recent trip to see our son in California to find our lower level partially flooded from a faulty pressure reduction valve on the main house supply line. The aftermath has not been pleasant, I assure you (our lower level is now basically in our garage, and we are looking at two-plus months before we are back to where we were—and that’s with the water damage restoration expert here within two hours of our discovering the problem and the plumber here to fix the problem early the next afternoon!).

2. Take valuables out of the office and bedroom, the areas thieves are likely to check first. Temporarily place valuables in the attic or some other non-obvious place. Thieves are quick and will spend only about 10 minutes in your home; so anything that makes it harder for them to discover valuables increases your chances of finding those items where you left them upon your return home.

Have a fun and safe summer!


Maintenance of the Exterior of Your Home: As you think about maintenance and possible changes to the exterior of your home in anticipation of Lakeport’s upcoming home-exterior inspections, be sure to check Lakeport Standards, and if a relevant Lakeport standard doesn’t exist, you will need to follow the relevant RA Guideline. Links to Lakeport and RA architectural requirements, the DRB application, discussion of RA’s counter-intuitive party-wall rules, and resources for landscaping and replacement trees (required by RA if you remove a tree) are all available in Section A at https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/documents.html

Maintenance Resources: Be sure to review the Preventive Maintenance Checklist in this edition of Ripples for advice about smaller maintenance projects that could save you major expenses and headaches in the future. And remember that RA has arranged with Sherwin-Williams for a discount of 30% to 40% off paints and stains (exterior and interior) and 15% off paint supplies at Sherwin-Williams store #3385, located at 495A Elden Street in Herndon (703-471-1484). If you want to take advantage of the discount, the code is 2214-8496-7.

You Must Replace Any Tree You Remove: If you plan to remove a live tree on your property, you need approval from Reston Association (RA). Furthermore, if you will remove or recently removed a tree (dead or alive), RA requires that you replace it with another tree, preferably a native. RA has several resources for finding a replacement tree. See https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a1epMYHN4gx8EB7l_K68ewk8bZnXnh1-/view

and https://www.dropbox.com/sh/f4ch21s6x062qsc/AABzwoLgm7q7-HL-WcrWbmCOa/Native%20and%20Invasive%20Species?dl=0&preview=Trees+in+Reston.pdf&subfolder_nav_tracking=1.    

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. 

Drive Slowly: With the warmer weather, neighborhood children are outside even more now, playing on sidewalks and in the streets. Please remember to drive slowly and keep your eyes out for children (and other pedestrians), who are not always thinking first and foremost about their own safety.

Improve Lighting in Lakeport: Even though it is staying light later and becoming light earlier, please leave your outdoor lights on at night. 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. This is of course voluntary, but doing this one small thing is a gracious contribution to the overall safety and attractiveness of our community. 

Lock your cars: If you park your car outside, be sure to lock it and do not leave valuables visible, especially at night. Also remind guests to do the same. 

Vistitors: If you have visitors whose car will be parked in common space for more than one night, put a note on the dashboard with your name and address and the dates they will be parked in Lakeport so their car is not towed.

Report 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 any other 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 James Pan at jpamco@gmail.com. Please pay special attention to suspicious activity or sounds near the Lakeport dock, in the woods, or at night.

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 are out walking and enjoying nature in Lakeport (and elsewhere).

Composting. If you are tired of smelly garbage cans and want to reduce the amount of garbage you send to the dump, consider signing up for the compost pickup service offered by Veteran Compost DC–From Combat to Compost, which will turn your food scraps into high-quality compost. The company provides a bin, which has a sealing mechanism that is effective at trapping odors inside. The bin is picked up and replaced once a week with a clean one (currently on Fridays). The group rate for residents of Lakeport is $25 per month. For more information, see https://veterancompostindc.com/ or email Fritz C. Gottschalk (US Army, retired) at Fritz@veterancompost.com

Geese: We continue to experience problems with goose poop on our dock. Please don’t feed the geese (not only does this 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!). 

Never Again Be Late Paying Your Quarterly Assessment: If you’ve been contacted by the Board for not paying your assessment as the end of the month nears (or even if you haven’t), please consider paying your quarterly assessments by direct debit through your bank instead of mailing a check or paying on TownSq (which incurs an extra fee). Doing so 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 can pay the entire assessment at the beginning of the year ($1400 for 2023, no increase from last year). Either approach means the Board doesn’t have to spend time contacting you or pay SCS for mailing quarterly statements to owners who have not set up direct debit or prepaid. A third option for avoiding late fees (but you’ll still get a quarterly statement) is to use your bank’s electronic bill-pay option to set up recurring checks. For information about any of these three options and for mailing checks, go to https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/hoa-fee-payments-lakeport-cluster-hoa.html

Update Your Contact Information: Please go to the Lakeport Directory https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lQmLFN8lmLdfoXajXB-j2ad5whVDsmO9/view, PW=lakespray) and check the contact information listed there for you. If a correction is needed, either 1) send an email to webmaster@lakeportcluster.org and copy along@scs-management.com or 2) fill out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFILfWGBoWIgWlBPSQmIKj4kIX0kPA7XsRjnsaOsNXuvVSkw/viewform. If your home has renters, please 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 remember someone’s name you have forgotten, you can always check this directory.

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 Reston Association’s Design Review Board.

Homes in Lakeport Cluster, all of which are more than 30 years old and some over 40, are unique in several ways. This checklist is designed with Lakeport homes in mind. Your help in keeping this list current and relevant is essential. Please send suggestions to Board@LakeportCluster.org.

Outdoor Checklist (these items will also help you prepare for annual inspections)

  • Several Lakeport owners 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 may avoid potential damage to the interior of your home.
  • Check for mildew, mold, and grime on exterior walls, garage doors, fences, decks, walkways, brick, roofs, etc., and power wash if needed.
  • Sand and paint rusted railings so the rust does not cause further damage.
  • Trim overgrown vegetation. 
  • A dark vertical line in the middle of your garage door is most likely caused by insufficient tension on the chain from your garage door opener to the front wall of your garage. Over time, the chain will slacken and start to drag on the door, which leaves that black mark and eventually will wear through the paint if left uncorrected. Most of these chains have a tensioner or turn­buckle that can be tightened to fix the problem. Once you have tightened the chain, the door can be cleaned with something like Scott’s Outdoor Cleaner (or whatever you prefer) and the gentle use of a scrubbing sponge from your kitchen.
  • 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 that the brass number plate is glued tightly to the surface and that the numbers are legible from the street. This helps first responders find your house more easily in 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 have not been damaged by snow or harsh winter weather. Check that camera lenses are focused on the areas you want them to cover. 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.
  • Remove leaves from gutters and make sure gutters are still firmly anchored and properly connected to downspouts.
  • Take steps to protect wood on your 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 (next to the water heater, under each sink and toilet, behind the refrigerator for water line for the ice maker). 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. If you have a wi-fi-enabled sensor, you can be alerted while you are away from home so you can ask a trusted neighbor with a key or code to investigate (you might want to search the internet for a video on how to set that up 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 your 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.

Lakeport Governance/Management



Chuck Foster - President and Treasurer

Rich Rosenberg - Vice President

Jeannette Malin-Berdel - Vice President

Rich Kolko - Vice President

Jen Walter - Secretary 

Contact the board via email:  Board@lakeportcluster.org

What Residents and Board Can Expect



Landscape Committee – Mary Sapp

Maintenance Committee – Paul Renard

Neighborhood Watch Committee – James Pan

Social Committee – Shelby Friedel

Architectural Standards Committee - Richard Rosenberg




Webmaster and Listserv Administrator – Tom Barnett

Editor for Ripples, community newsletter – Stephen Sapp

Book Club Coordinator – Barbara Khan

Fill doggie-bag stations – Kevin Burke and Steven Browning

Keep community dock clean – Paul Renard


Portfolio Manager: Alexandra "Ali" Long

Email: along@scs-management.com    

Direct: (703) 230-8725

Fax: (703) 266-2804

PO Box 221350

Chantilly, VA  20153  

Hours: Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.mm, Friday 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Website: https://app.townsq.io/login 



Genesis Fonseca

Covenants Advisor

phone: 703-435-6506



Winter 2023 Issue of Ripples

From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News

Helpful Information

From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp

Yes, I know that this is the Winter issue of Ripples, and typically this column would be accompanied by a picture of a beautiful snow-covered scene in our community instead of spring flowers, but Lakeport’s daffodils have a different idea of the seasons, and this picture (taken on Valentine’s Day!) is a clear harbinger of what we can look forward to right around the corner.

In some ways, this situation can serve as a reminder that life in general often does not follow the pattern we expect it to (or hope it will). We think X is going to come as it always has, and all of a sudden we are confronted with Y. Or we’ve counted on Y because that’s what’s happened in the past, only to find X waiting for us this time. So let’s demonstrate our flexibility and resilience by getting outside a little sooner and enjoying the early spring in beautiful Lakeport with our neighbors!

If you have comments about this issue of Ripples and/or would like to submit an item for our Spring issue, please email me at ssapp@miami.edu.

P.S. The cover picture for this issue is from the one noticeable snowfall we’ve had so far this winter, but in case you are missing the snow, below are some pictures from last winter’s issue to remind you of how lovely Lakeport can be when it snows!

Message from Lakeport President

By Chuck Foster

Believe it or not, the next election for Board members is only eight months away. And there will likely be current members who will choose not to run again, resulting in vacancies. If you wish to learn more about what is involved in being on the Board, you can contact any of the current members to receive an orientation. Serving on the Board gives you unique insight into the operations of the cluster and grants you broad authority to determine our funding, expenditures, contractual relationships, policies, rules, and amenities. And it is a great way to meet people beyond your immediate neighbors.  

Last September, there were no declared candidates prior t
o or during the annual meeting. Fortunately, after the annual meeting two members of the community stepped up to serve (thank you!), which brought the Board back up to five members. I believe it is unfortunate when there are no declared candidates prior to the annual meeting. With declared candidates, community members have the opportunity to read each candidate’s statement and cast a vote for their preferred person(s). Declared candidates also send a strong public signal that members of the community are stepping forward to serve.

You may recall that, in my candidate’s statement in 2021, I wrote that I felt an obligation to run. As a member of the community, I have benefitted greatly from the hard and thoughtful work of former Board members. So I decided it was my time to make my contribution. 

Is being on the Board a back-breaking responsibility? Actually, each Board member decides how much of their personal time they want to commit to the task. If you simply want to make sure the trains run on time, you can do that. Alternatively, if you want to contribute your time, energy, and creativity to improving some aspect of cluster life, you can do that, too. How many Board meetings are required over the course of a year?  According to the by-laws, only four. However, the Board can hold more if the business of the cluster requires it. Each Board member brings a unique set of skills and experiences and is the sole determinant of his or her level of contribution. Some Boards accomplish a lot, others less. However, the important thing is that the residents of our community (as opposed to a professional manager) are the ones making the decisions about the train schedule, where the tracks go, and thus the quality of life in the cluster.

It’s not too soon to consider running for the Board. Give a Board member a call for insight into the responsibilities. And remember, in the grand scheme of things, it’s only a brief commitment, much less than some of the other commitments we might make in life, such as getting a tattoo, buying a boat, or having children!

Maintenance Committee

By Paul Renard

The Maintenance Committee has mostly been busy with administration over the past weeks. We have supervised the repair of the bollard lights that were burning out and made fixes to the photo cells that were keeping lights on around the clock. We still have a few street lights that need repair, and we are working on a budget to have the incandescent ballasts replaced with LEDs (cheaper to fix and longer lasting) as the ballasts stop working. 

We are finishing up negotiations with Brothers Paving to have the cracks fixed that have appeared in our streets since repaving a couple of years ago. We will let you know when we have a repair date, but the sealing should not create any traffic issues.

We just received an estimate for the every-three-year resealing of the dock planking to extend its life and are planning to have that done once the lake gets a little warmer (since the workers have to be in the water to use their clever “no sealant polluting the lake” process that they invented for us last time).

Otherwise, Spring is coming – with the annual anticipated fixes to the walkway railings around the neighborhood and our annual survey of other repairs to consider.

Landscape Committee

By Mary Sapp

Winter tends to be a down time for landscaping, but we are planning for the new year and did have some tree work done in December. A nearly dead spruce behind 11122 Lakespray was removed and replaced with a Green Giant Thuja. Unfortunately, a large red oak behind 11108 Lakespray also had to be removed because two arborists deemed it a hazard to nearby homes due to disease at the top. It was replaced with a native American hornbeam (see photo to right), adding to three other native trees and a dozen native seedlings planted last year in the wooded natural area between Lakespray and Lakeport Ways. 

With the encouragement of Reston Association and Fairfax County, we have been planting natives there and in other areas in Lake
port to provide screening for owners and shelter and food for birds. Last year, a rhododendron and three other native seedlings were planted between Lakespray and South Lakes Drive, and a witch hazel and six native shrubs were planted on Lakeport property between Sunrise Valley Drive and the RA path to the pool. At the request of Fairfax ReLeaf, Inc. (the source of our free seedlings), we reported native trees and shrubs planted in 2022 to https://www.plantnovatrees.org/report-your-plantings.

Last year’s native trees are in addition to others planted over the preceding few years as replacements for live trees that had to be removed: four American hollies, four Eastern redbuds, two fringe trees, two serviceberries, a sweet bay magnolia, a witch hazel, and five native shrubs. In addition, several small hollies and a redbud that showed up as “volunteers” in other locations were transplanted to our wooded areas, and native ferns, grasses, and other perennials were used exclusively in the two conservation landscaping areas and the rain garden installed for storm-water mitigation. 

Let me end with a request: As you may recall, volunteers planted almost 500 liriope near the Safeway sidewalk. Unfortunately, walkers and bicyclists have cut across this area, flattening the new plants in two areas in particular and interfering with their ability to get established. We will be installing signs shortly asking people to avoid walking on plants and to use one of the paver paths through the liriope from Lakeport Way to the RA path instead. Sticking to paths and sidewalks rather than walking on planted areas here (and other areas as well) will help Lakeport landscape look more attractive. Your cooperation is appreciated. Thanks. 

Social Committee

By Shelby Friedel

With a year of fun-filled activities coming up, I would love to hear your ideas. Now that we have all gotten our feet below us a bit more and the weather is warming up, please send me your feedback on the types of social events you would like to see in Lakeport. We have received some great suggestions of a s’mores night, movie nights, and a game night; so please keep them coming.

Another request I have of you all is for folks to join the Social Committee. As some of you may know, I have had to travel for work a great deal lately, but I don’t want that to hinder the parties! If you’re interested in hosting a TGIF, joining the committee, and/or helping with some of these fun events, please let me know. 

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 usually meet monthly on the third Monday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 6-ish, either rotating among members’ homes or, in comfortable weather, taking advantage of our beautiful Lakeport setting to meet outside in Triangle Park.
Here are the upcoming selections for February and March:


Book:   Us: A Novel, by David Nicholls
Date:    Monday, February 20
Time:    5:00 p.m.
Where: Jeannette’s house, 1973 Lakeport Way


Book:   Band of Sisters, by Lauren Willig
Date:    Monday, March 20
Time:    5:00 p.m.
Where: Linda’s house, 1915 Lakeport Way
Note: This book is especially appropriate for Lakeport’s Book Club   given the following communication from Linda Rosenberg, who is hosting the March meeting: “My cousin has been sitting on my great aunt’s letters in his attic, and he just sent them to me. She was Ruth Joslin, listed among the original Band of Sisters in the front of the book. I am in the process of reading the handwritten letters and typing them up for easier reading. Willig says all the things that happen in the book are true, but when I first read it I didn’t know what Ruth did. Now I know she was one of the drivers. I will be so happy to share what I learn.”

Thanks to Our Volunteers

Please be sure 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 meet your neighbors and to contribute to your community.

Landscape Projects 

  • Mary Sapp (chair), Steven Browning, Don Nagley, Elizabeth Pan, and Rosemary Welch – serving on the Landscape Committee 


  • Shelby Friedel – chairing the Social Committee
  • Carol Leos – welcoming new residents
  • Marcy Foster – hosting Lakeport cookie exchange


  • Paul Renard – chairing the Maintenance Committee 


  • Rich Rosenberg – chairing the Standards Committee


  • James Pan – chairing Neighborhood Watch
  • Barbara Khan – coordinating the Lakeport Book Club 
  • Tom Barnett – maintaining Lakeport’s online directory and listserv for announcements and posting Ripples
  • Stephen Sapp – editing Ripples

Neighborhood Watch

By James Pan

Scams have probably been around as long as human beings have, but it seems that recently they have become more numerous, and scammers have certainly become more sophisticated in their techniques. We can all take certain precautions, however, to ensure that we do not become victims:

Always confirm any phone call, email, or US mail stating that you have a problem with a bill, taxes, or postage, and be sure to use a phone number you get from a verified source instead of one in an unsolicited communication. There is always a chance the problem is real, but you want to confirm the issue first by finding an independent phone number. If the problem concerns a credit or debit card, call the number on the back of the card, find a number on an old statement, or log in to the official website. If someone claims you owe postage due, verify the issue with the post office.

If the alleged problem concerns taxes, call only the number you obtain from the official government website and work your way through the phone tree (which can be its own challenge). NOTE: The IRS or any other official government agency will never send you an email or call you. If someone claiming to be from such an agency does call, hang up! Government agencies do business only via official US mail. 

These precautions can take some time, but think about the alternative: Let’s say you get a notice from the IRS and you call the phone number in the letter. For the IRS to verify you, you have to give them your address, Social Security number, and date of birth. But if the IRS letter was a scam and you give the fake IRS person all your personal information, they can wreak havoc in your life by opening fraudulent accounts under your name. Again, call only numbers you have verified as authentic!

Fraudulent wires are even more potentially devastating. Suppose you are buying a home for $400,000 and you receive the wire instructions from the settlement company. If the instructions are sent via email from a scammer, your email responses are now being intercepted, and you will be given false account, routing, and phone numbers. Once you send the $400,000 to the wrong account you have no recourse, and you have lost the money. The solution once again is to call the settlement company directly using a verified phone number from its website or a previous contact. Ask the recipient of the funds to verify all routing and account information and only then send the money.

One possible tool of defense for many of these scams is to freeze your credit with the three major credit bureaus, which is explained in this article from nerdwallet:


To recap, always confirm that the alleged problem is legitimate, being sure to use an independent phone number. Never believe the phone number on any email or even regular mail. Hackers are very clever, and they have to be right only once to devastate your savings. Taking the few extra minutes needed to discover a potential scam can save you a great deal of heartache and money.