Fall 2023 Issue of Ripples

Fall 2023 Issue of Ripples

From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News

President’s Message – Stephen Sapp

Landscape Committee – Mary Sapp

I Love Lakeport Dock Party

Halloween at Lakeport

Report on Lakeport Garage Sale

Book Club – Barbara Khan

Thanks to Our Volunteers

Helpful Information


Fall Home Maintenance Checklist 

Lakeport Governance/Management

From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp

Fall is a time of transition, and this Fall issue of Ripples also marks a transition in the life of Lakeport Cluster, as we welcome a new Board of Directors. After two years of outstanding leadership, Chuck Foster has stepped down as President, and Jen Walter has relinquished her role as Secretary. I am happy to inform you that Jeanette Malin-Berdel has agreed to assume the duties of Secretary, and though happy might not be the dominant emotion I am feeling, I will try to replace Chuck as President. New Board member Tod Vollrath stepped into the Treasurer’s role just in time to oversee the creation of the budget for the coming year. With the support of continuing Board Vice-Presidents Rich Rosenberg and Rich Kolko, we plan to continue the trend of recent years of having Lakeport be a prime exemplar of Bob Simon’s dream for Reston to be an excellent place to “Live, Work, Play”!

As the weather turns cooler, the humidity drops, and the smell of woodsmoke permeates the air, let’s all get outside and enjoy this beautiful place where we live, remembering the words of Albert Camus, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”!

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

President’s Message

By Stephen Sapp

I now switch hats from my role as Editor of Ripples and write to you in my new capacity as President of Lakeport Homeowners Association. I am fortunate to follow in the footsteps of Chuck Foster, who left Lakeport in great shape through his tireless efforts as President and Treasurer. Thank you, Chuck (and Marcy)!

Speaking of Treasurer, in addition to having the benefit of working with three experienced Board members—Vice Presidents Rich Kolko and Rich Rosenberg and Secretary Jeannette Malin-Berdel—I also welcome fellow newcomer Tod Vollrath, who will be handling Lakeport’s finances, including the first and arguably most important responsibility of the Board in the fall: setting the budget for the upcoming year.

Working from a draft left us by Chuck Foster and with the assistance of Ali Long, our Portfolio Manager from SCS, Tod presented the 2024 budget to the Board at its November meeting. After due deliberation, the Board unanimously approved the budget, and I am very pleased to let you know that there will be no increase in the quarterly assessment, which will remain at $350, even in the face of recent inflation. Thanks to Tod, and  also to the many Lakeport volunteers who give so much time and energy to do many things that we would otherwise have to pay contractors to do.  

One more note on the assessment: If you have not set up Direct Deposit, I urge you to do so (see Reminders elsewhere in this issue for how to do this). The main advantage is that you never have to worry about being late and incurring extra fees, but you also 

save the hassle and expense of mailing a check (or being charged a fee for using a credit card online). Some people have told me that they don’t like to use direct deposit because they want to know how much their bills are, but unlike, say, electricity or water, you do know exactly how much your quarterly assessment will be and when it will be deducted from your account! So please consider this time- and cost-saving way to pay your assessments.

I look forward to serving Lakeport in this new role and continuing to make us the wonderful place to live, work, and play that we know it to be. Please feel free to communicate any questions, concerns, or suggestions you have to board@lakeportcluster.org.

Landscape Committee

By Mary Sapp, Chair

New Landscaping 

This past summer, Meadows Farms planted a red-twig dogwood, three American callicarpa beautyberries, three caramel heucheras, six sylvan lace tiarellas, and six Pennsylvania sedges in a raised bed created in Triangle Park, as well as three hummingbird clethras and five Christmas ferns in the other new raised bed. This new landscaping is to replace grass that, despite hydroseeding, has never thrived there due to the shade. 

Meadows Farms also installed three iteas behind a rock wall built last summer between 1930 and 1932 Lakeport Way to beautify that area and block the view from the sidewalk of the transformer. 

We enhanced screening between Lakeport and Lakespray homes with the addition of three American hollies near the Safeway access road and a new red maple near them. In addition, a sweet bay magnolia tree and three inkberry bushes were planted at the end of Lakespray Way. Two junipers were also added to fill in gaps near the dock.

Volunteer Projects

As part of the Fall I Love Lakeport Day, 18 volunteers cut down around ten trees and trimmed others, transplanted a number of plants, and did a great deal of weeding (in the rain garden, next to the RA path to the pool, and next to the RA path near Triangle Park). In addition, the Landscape Committee has done supplemental weeding, treated poison ivy, fertilized hollies, and moved brush to block access from the Sunrise Valley sidewalk into the wooded area next to Lakespray. In addition, a number of volunteers have watered new plants to make sure they become established and survive the drought we are currently experiencing. 

See the “Thanks to Volunteers” article for the names of your neighbors whose volunteer efforts save thousands of dollars and keep your assessment fees lower. 

I Love Lakeport Dock Party

Halloween at Lakeport

Costumed revelers gathered at the dock before heading off for trick-or-treat.

Adults also got into the Halloween spirit.

Homes were decorated well in advance.

Report on Lakeport’s Yard Sale

By Elizabeth Pan

Free vector hand drawn flea market conceptElizabeth Pan had the idea to host a yard sale with the proceeds of her sale going to the victims of the recent Maui fires in Hawaii. She recruited Robin Kolko to help with planning and logistics. People donated items to be sold in her driveway. Signs went up around the neighborhood, and on Saturday, September 30, people showed up early to go through all the interesting items. There were kitchen gadgets, games, books, dishes, a few bicycles, and a scooter. But best of all, designer clothes and shoes! The weather cooperated – not too hot or cold!


Everyone went home happy and the victims in Maui received a donation of more than $1200 (the leftover sale items were donated to local charities). At the end of the day, the Lakeport yard sale fulfilled all the goal of the sale.   


Elizabeth and Robin want to thank everyone for participating in the sale, donating goods, or even just accommodating the extra traffic through the neighborhood. If you want to learn more about how you can help the fire victims, check out @peoplefundforMaui.


We hope those hosting their own yard sale had as much fun and success!

Book Club

Image result for book club picturesBy 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.

We usually meet monthly on the third Monday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., rotating among members’ homes or, in comfortable weather, outside in Triangle Park so that we can take advantage of our beautiful Lakeport setting.

Note that in December the meeting will be on the second Monday.

The Covenant of Water (Oprah's Book Club)The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Monday, December 11

5:00 p.m.

Marcy Foster’s home, 1999 Lakeport Way


If you want to join the book club or have questions, contact Barbara Khan at bskhan@att.net.


Thanks to Our Volunteers

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Please be sure to thank your neighbors for their efforts to make Lakeport a better place for all of us to live and to save the HOA money. 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

Committee Work 

  • Mary Sapp (chair), Steven Browning, Marjorie Myers, Don Nagley, Elizabeth Pan, Rosemary Welch – serving on the Landscape Committee
  • Jeannette Malin-Berdel – serving as Board liaison to the Landscape Committee this past year
  • Steven Browning – hosting tea for Landscape Committee to discuss proposals
  • Jeannette Malin-Berdel and Mary Sapp – drafted RFP for landscape maintenance
  • Mary and Stephen Sapp – re-treating poison ivy near three trees where the RA path goes downhill from the sidewalk to the pool, and behind the back fences of 11118-11120 Lakespray
  • Steven Browning and Don Nagley – hauling brush to block access from Sunrise Valley sidewalk to transformer in woods 
  • Steven Browning, Marjorie Myers, Elizabeth Pan, Mary and Stephen Sapp – fertilizing 6 hollies
  • Rosemary Welch - transplanting junipers by dock

Lakeport’s Fall Workday 

  • Rich Shelton, assisted by Pete Hatfield and Stephen Sapp – cutting down around 10 dead trees and trimming branches
  • Dave Fleming – removing volunteer Bradford Pear saplings near Triangle Park 
  • Don and Andy Nagley – transplanting liriopes to Triangle Park, carexes to fill in edge of rain garden, decorative grass to help shield a transformer, and a large yucca from next to the RA path near Triangle Park to make room for a new hydrangea
  • Kristen Bobik, Steven Browning, Matt Callan, Steve and Devika Chase and their two daughters, Robin Kolko, James and Edwin Pan, Stephen and Mary Sapp, Rosemary Welch – weeding next to RA path to pool, in the rain garden, and near Triangle Park


  • Scott Connally, Clarence Delaine, Elizabeth and James Pan – new plants in Triangle Park
  • Don Nagley – transplanted plants
  • Mary and Stephen Sapp and Jeff Warrington – plants at entrance 
  • Ashley, Henry, and Mary Strickland – needle-point hollies near Safeway
  • Alex and Lizzie Driscoll – hollies by Safeway access road
  • Steven Browning and Marjorie Myers –new trees in wooded areas
  • Henryk Gorski – green giant Thuja on Lakespray hill


  • Shelby Friedel – chairing the Social Committee this past year
  • Carol Leos – welcoming new residents

Dock Party

  • Shelby Friedel and Mary Sapp – organizing 
  • Jeannette Malin-Berdel and Joerg Dronia – providing tables and benches 
  • Stephen Sapp and Joe Powers – cooking hamburgers and hot dogs


  • Paul Renard – chairing the Maintenance Committee 
  • Paul Renard, Jonathan Hammer, Stephen Sapp – cleaning goose poop off the dock


  • 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

Reminders for Fall in Lakeport

Improve Lighting in Lakeport: As the days continue to grow shorter, it is increasingly important to turn on your outdoor lights at night, and if they are on timers, to adjust the time they come on. 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 exterior lights on at night, especially those in units with post lights, which according to long-time Lakeport residents used to be standard practice. This is of course voluntary but doing this one small thing would be a gracious contribution to the overall safety and attractiveness of our community. 

Drive Slowly: Neighborhood kids continue to be outside even as the weather turns colder, playing on sidewalks and in the streets. Please remember to drive slowly and keep your eyes out for children (and other pedestrians).

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. 

Report Suspicious Activity: Image result for image of burglarIf 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, please 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.

Maintenance Resources: Be sure to review the Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Fall in this issue for 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. Washington Consumer Checkbook is a publication, now available online (www.checkbook.org), that offers a huge user-friendly database of reviews of many types of local service providers, along with high-quality advice about how to approach selecting and working with them.

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 and is picked up and replaced once a week with a clean bin (currently on Thursdays, meaning you can put everything curbside at the same time). 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

Snow Shoveling: Please be aware that residents are asked to remove snow from the sidewalks in front of their homes for safety reasons, and we encourage everyone to help their neighbors whenever possible, especially if they are unable to perform this task themselves. Also, remember to be cautious while walking (or driving) on snow/ice. 

Avoid Frozen Pipes. Turn off the valves of the water lines to outdoor spigots and open the outdoor spigot to drain the line so that there is no water in the line to freeze over the winter.

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 nature in Lakeport (and elsewhere).

Canada geese used to feed D.C. homeless | CBC NewsGeese: 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!). It would be appreciated if you could help sweep the dock (there’s a broom behind 1925 Lakeport Way that you are welcome to use). 

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 administrative charge from SCS for sending the letter). Alternatively, you can pay the entire assessment at the beginning of the year. Either approach means the Board does not 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/1C3GQPozt0_35XwbkLbTsc4F6zpkmKmjw/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.

Fall Maintenance Checklist

This checklist is intended for homes in Lakeport Cluster, which are more than 30 years old and unique in several ways.

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

Outdoor Checklist

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  • Although the cluster’s landscaping contractor takes care of common areas, our own driveways, yards, and other areas are our responsibility. Residents should not dump what they collect into the wooded common areas or on the street. Instead, they should dispose of leaves and other debris from yards (e.g., fallen and pruned branches, dead outdoor potted annuals), patios, driveways, decks, and entranceways by placing them in large compostable paper yard-waste bags available at home improvement stores and Costco. Pickup for yard waste is Thursdays.

  • Gutters, particularly those that are beneath a tree, may experience two problems: In the fall especially, the gutters easily become clogged, and/or any time of year, the spikes that attach them to the house may be pulling away. When a gutter is not working properly, you’ll often see staining on the vertical wall below the gutter. Fixing the first problem is easy – have your gutters cleaned. Even if you don’t have a tree nearby and have something like Gutter Helmet or a strainer screen over them, gutters can still fill up with cinders washed down from your shingles over time.

Gutters that are not slanted properly toward the downspout can put a lot of weight on the gutter, leading to the second problem. If you see gutter spikes coming loose, you can just drive them back in, which may hold for a while. However, there’s a better, longer-term, inexpensive solution. Home Depot sells long gutter screws that can replace failing gutter spikes. They go through a ferrule (a sleeve that keeps the screw from compressing the gutter itself) and screw into the wood behind the gutter. These are far more secure in the long run.

  • Fire-retardant plywood roof sheathing must be replaced if the material degrades due to high attic temperatures, which can cause it to fail to retard the spread of fire.
  • Check wood siding and trim for signs of splintering, deterioration, softness, green mildew, or other discoloration. These are indicative of potential wood damage. Replace damaged siding and trim following Cluster standards for material and color. In the case of mildew or discoloration, ask a home improvement provider to suggest the appropriate cleaner to preserve the wood.
  • In past winters several Lakeport residents have had to deal with burst water pipes as a result of freezing temperatures. If you have pipes that are vulnerable, you should take steps to avoid broken pipes and potentially costly damage and repairs. It is also a good idea to arrange with a neighbor to have access to each other’s homes in case one or the other of you is out of town when this (or some other emergency) arises.
  • Turn off the inside valves of the water lines to outdoor spigots. Typically (but not always), the valves are located in the same room as the hot water heater or the main water shutoff. After turning off the water, open the outdoor spigot to drain the line so that there is no water in the line to freeze over the winter.
  • Snow and ice removal – The Lakeport Handbook states that “Residents are asked to remove snow from the sidewalks in front of their homes for safety reasons.” You should also clear your driveway and consider de-icing it and the sidewalk using pet- and environment-friendly products available at home improvement stores. Shovel decks to avoid water leakage into the house.
  • Ice that accumulates in gutters and downspouts can be harmful to the heat retention of the house and can allow water to enter the home. Where possible and when it can be accomplished safely, remove icicles from gutters and downspouts.
  • Remove snow before applying deicers to avoid having the deicer run off before melting the ice below. Use a deicer that is appropriate for the temperature range you are experiencing and consider one that won’t be detrimental to the environment (e.g., possibly bird seed for light snows). After the storm, sweep up and store remaining deicer for the next storm (do not deposit it in Lakeport’s wooded common areas because that may damage plants and trees).

Indoor Checklist

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  • Homeowners should check and if necessary replace gasket/pressure regulators in bathtubs and showers (including the overflow) to avoid flooding from a leak.
  • Be sure to replace or clean your HVAC filter regularly.
  • Periodically remove screens and tighten the four Phillips screws for casement windows shown in the photo. This keeps windows operating well, especially if they don’t seem to close all the way from time to time.