Summer 2020 Issue of Ripples


From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News 
Message from Lakeport President – Mary Sapp
Vote on Amendments to Bylaws
Reston Association Inspections Postponed to the Spring 
Landscaping
Maintenance Committee – Paul Renard
Book Club – Barbara Khan
Thanks to Our Volunteers

News from Outside Lakeport
Report on the Status of Lake Thoreau Pool – Barbara Khan
Soapstone Drive Bridge Across Toll Road – Kevin Burke

Helpful Information
Neighborhood Watch – Chuck Foster
Reminders
Summer Home Maintenance Checklist
Lakeport Board, Committees, and SCS Contact
Ripples Recipe: Boston Crème Casserole – Paul Renard

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 selected book and then participate in a lively, lighthearted discussion. We meet monthly on the third Monday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8-ish. We normally rotate among members’ homes, but during Covid-19, book club discussions will be held via Zoom, with the conference link sent in the reminder email before the meeting. Call Barbara Khan at 703-390-0506 or e-mail her at bskhan@att.net for further information.

Here is the August selection:


Book: American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins

Monday, August 17, 7:00 p.m.

Lydia Quixano Pérez runs a bookstore in Acapulco, Mexico, where she lives with her husband, Sebastián, who is a journalist, and their son, Luca. When a man starts visiting her store, buying books and striking up a friendship, she has no idea initially that he will be responsible for turning her life upside down. But Lydia and Luca will have to flee Acapulco, setting them on a journey they will share with countless other Central and South Americans-turned migrants. There is very little I can say about this novel that hasn't already been said, and it hasn't even been published yet. The buzz has been building early, and when it does go on sale it will likely be one of the most talked about (and widely read) books of the year. From the colossal opening chapter to the epilogue, American Dirt is a novel of crisp writing, urgent pacing, and remarkable empathy. It deserves the attention of a large audience. —Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

Thanks to Our Volunteers


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 serve on the front line of our community’s battle with Covid-19
  • Those who practice safe distancing and wear masks 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
  • Melanie Clement – for noticing and photographing County equipment on the Lakeport hill next to the RA trail between Sunrise Valley Drive and the pool, which damaged the small trees and bushes there and allowed invasive pokeweed to take over; the County has offered to plant replacement landscaping
  • Melanie Clement – for removing scores of pokeweed plants on the Lakeport hill and for trimming branches to open up an oak across from 1909 Lakeport Way
  • Marilyn Bursch – for agreeing to weed and water our new raingarden and conservation landscaping
  • Steve Jones and Don Nagley – for helping to water the new rain garden and conservation landscaping
  • Paul Renard – for donating a long hose for the watering
  • Anonymous owner for cutting down a half dozen dead trees near to Lakespray Way and saving Lakeport money for arborist to handle 

Standards
  • Kelly Driscoll – chair of the Standards Committee

Social
  • Michelle Simoneau – chair of the Social Committee
  • Carol Leos – chair of the Welcome Committee 

Maintenance
  • Paul Renard, Joe Powers, and Andy Powers – for removing the fencing by the shoreline near the dock which had protected the new plants until they were established enough to thrive even with the geese’s depredations
  • Stephen and Mary Sapp – for cleaning out the shed next to 1963
  • Elena Simonenko – for replacing the bulb in the light at entrance
  • Paul Renard – for re-mortaring stones on the wall in Triangle Park
  • Paul Renard – for cleaning all the mailboxes and some of the signs
  • Annabelle Hammer, Jonathan Hammer, and Paul Renard – for keeping our dock clean
  • Annabelle Hammer – for restocking doggie-bag stations

Other 
  • Barbara Khan – for overseeing updates to Lakeport Handbook approved by the Board at its May 2020 meeting
  • Barbara Khan – for reviewing Lakeport bylaws and drafting amendments and the ballot sent to owners in early August
  • Barbara Khan – for continuing to work with Tom Barnett to keep the Lakeport web site up to date
  • Barbara Khan – for representing Lakeport during meetings to discuss renovations for Lake Thoreau Pool
  • Kevin Burke for monitoring County construction projects
  • Chuck Foster – for chairing the Neighborhood Watch Committee 
  • 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


Soapstone Drive Extension Project Advances; Wiehle Pedestrian Overpass at W&OD Trail

By Kevin Burke

On July 9, the extension of Soapstone Drive across the Dulles Airport Corridor to Sunset Hills Road got an important boost in its funding. The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) approved partial funding for the project. NVTA will provide $15 million of the requested total cost of $69 million. This partial funding will allow the extension to move to initial project development, but it does not yet guarantee its completion. Specifically, NVTA has agreed to pay for costs of design, right-of-way acquisition, and some associated initial construction.

The project envisions extending Soapstone Drive, which currently ends at Sunrise Valley Drive and Association Drive, for about a half-mile across the Dulles Access Road and Toll Road to the east of Plaza America, ending at Sunset Hills Road. According to the County’s proposal, a typical section of the new roadway features a three-lane road (that is, one travel lane in each direction and a two-way, left-turn-only lane); five-foot wide on-road bicycle lanes on each side; a five-foot wide concrete sidewalk on the west side; and a 10-foot wide shared use path on the east side, for a total width of about 100 feet. By providing a third Reston bridge across the Dulles Corridor, the extension is designed to relieve congestion and delays at Wiehle Avenue.

Restonians are not likely to see much activity for this project right away. According the NVTA’s estimates, the project’s design, engineering, and environmental work will not occur until 2025, and right-of-way acquisition will wait until 2027. If the additional funding is secured, actual construction, according to this timeline, will not occur before 2028 and will take two to three years to complete.

Wiehle Avenue Pedestrian Overpass at the W&OD Trail

Meanwhile, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation has been acquiring land that would support the building of a pedestrian overpass at the W&OD Trail across Wiehle Avenue. Construction is slated to begin in the summer of 2022 and would likely take about a year to complete.


Reminders

Glass recycling: Glass pickup will always be the last Wednesday of each month, but if you’re ever
unsure of the date, you can go to http://www.lakeportcluster.org/ and check the calendar under the photo of the Community of the Year banner on the left. Just leave your glass by the curb in a plastic bin or sturdy cardboard box by 7:00 a.m. (warning: They do come early!). Plastic or paper bags cannot be used, and bins/boxes will be left. Your glass will be taken to the glass recycling center in Lorton so that it doesn’t end up in the landfill with your garbage (it is no longer allowed in the regular recycle bins).

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).


Boat owners: Lake Thoreau’s Annual End-of-Summer Boat Party will be held Saturday, August 22, from 6-10 pm. Turtle Recall will be performing again, but instead of being on a boat in the middle of the lake, they will perform from the Harbour Point dock. The rain date is Sunday, August 23, 6-10 pm. Donations to pay for the band ($30 per boat recommended) should be sent to David Prochnow, 2000 Swans Neck Way, Reston, VA 20191 (you may also donate via PayPal). Attendance is at your own risk. Keeping social distances and using lights after dark are requested.

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, improved mental health, and enhanced 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 nearby 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 and pull masks up when others approach.

Drive Slowly: Neighborhood kids are outside, playing on sidewalks and in the streets, even in the summer heat. 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 and may well be farther out in the street than expected.

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. 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 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!).

Maintenance of the exterior of your home: With the RA inspection approaching in the spring, now is a good time to line up contractors to make repairs to the exterior of your home to avoid a violation. Also check out the Summer Maintenance Checklist 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.

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, 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://www.bigbluebug.com/blog/post/tips-to-avoid-carpenter-bee-damage

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.


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 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.

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 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) 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 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 – Boston Crème Casserole

By Paul Renard

This favorite “low rent” dessert recipe sounds disgusting but tastes great. Our grandkids have adopted it as their go-to birthday cake! All proportions are very forgiving – more pudding, more Cool Whip, less icing . . . everything works. Generously serves 8-10.

Boston Crème Casserole
2-3 packages graham crackers (a little less than one box)
2 medium containers Cool Whip, thawed
1 large package French Vanilla Instant pudding
2 cups milk
2 containers of dark chocolate icing

  1. Make the pudding with only two-thirds of the milk called for on the package (it says three, so use two).
  2. Before it sets up, fold in all the Cool Whip.
  3. Place a layer of Graham Crackers in the bottom of a casserole pan (I use a 13.5x9.5 disposable aluminum pan which should give you an idea of the quantity); the crackers don’t have to fit perfectly.
  4. Smooth one-half of the pudding/Cool Whip mixture over the crackers.
  5. Add another layer of crackers and then another layer of pudding mixture (now completely used).
  6. Add a final layer of crackers that more or less solidly cover the pudding mixture.
  7. Take off the tops of the icing containers and warm the icing in the microwave at low power until it is runny.
  8. Pour the two containers of icing over the top layer of crackers.
  9. Refrigerate at least four hours (overnight is fine). The longer the casserole sits in the refrigerator, the softer the crackers will be.


Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Summer

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.

Homes in Lakeport Cluster, which are now more than 30 years old, are unique in several ways. This checklist is designed with Lakeport homes in mind, and these suggestions may help to reduce major repairs in the future. If you think you have a problem, however, we urge you to seek advice from a licensed and insured contractor or other service professional.

Outdoor Checklist

  • Be sure to water your plants. The longer days and increased heat of summer mean that the plants in our yards come under greater stress, especially during periods of no or sporadic rain. To maintain the appearance of your yard (not to mention to save yourself the expense of replacement), please remember to water your plants when needed. Helpful information can be found at the following sites (see also “From the Editor” in this issue):
  • Fire-retardant plywood roof sheathing must be replaced if the material degrades due simply 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 signs of potential wood damage. Replace damaged siding and trim following Cluster standards for paint color. In the case of mildew or discoloration, ask a home improvement provider to suggest the appropriate cleaner to preserve the wood.
  • A dark vertical line on 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 and the gentle use of a scrubbing sponge from your kitchen.
  • Gutters, and particularly those that are beneath a tree, may experience two problems: The gutters become clogged and/or 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 even if you 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.
  • Exterior railing pipes are prone to rust. Home Depot has a product that cleans the rust effectively. One bottle of Rustoleum Rust Dissolver is probably a lifetime supply (or sufficient to share with several of your neighbors). Scrape rusted areas with a putty knife or flat screwdriver, spray on the rust dissolver, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then wash it off with water (clear directions are on the spray bottle.) Keep doing this until all the visible rust is gone. Dry the metal, sand it lightly, and then spray it with a Rustoleum primer. When that dries, you can paint it with the approved trim color for your house. There’s no guarantee that the rust won’t eventually return, but you can prolong the life of your exterior railing pipes (and particularly the collars that attach the pipes to your trim wood) by many years.
  • Driveways should be maintained in good condition with no loose sections of asphalt, holes in the surface, or crumbling edges. All older asphalt driveways will crack, and we recommend filling these cracks annually with semi-liquid driveway patch (available from Home Depot either in a squeeze bottle or in caulk-style tubes.) Patching the cracks will prolong the life of the drive considerably, though this type of product works well only in cracks that are no wider than about 1/4 inch. When small sections of asphalt break up and are no longer easily patchable with a liquid product, cold patch can be used to repair that section: Dig out the loose asphalt, put cold patch in the hole (available in 60 lb. bags from Home Depot), and pound with the top surface of a sledge hammer to compact it. Be sure to bring the cold patch up to the level of the existing driveway and smooth it into the original surface.
  • Driveway sealers help to improve the look of the driveway and cover the differences among the original surface, crack fills, and cold patch fixes. From a cosmetic and lifespan point of view, they also help extend the life of the driveway. Sealers typically come in a five-gallon can and require a squeegee for spreading.
  • All driveways eventually will reach a point where small fixes are insufficient, and they will need to be repaved. When your driveway is more than 5% cold patch or has many cracks that can’t be filled, this is a good indication that professional repaving is needed.


Indoor Checklist

  • 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.


Neighborhood Watch

By Chuck Foster

This edition’s contribution on the topic of Neighborhood Watch is a little tangential. However, the hope is that it is helpful given the current state of emergency, which was in effect when this article was written.

The Lakeport Board recently published updated rules that apply to parking in the cluster. With that information in mind, you may be noticing “violations” in the common parking spaces in the form of expired license plates and vehicle safety inspections. However, looks can be deceiving.

Why do we care about expired vehicle “credentials?” It can indicate an abandoned or stolen vehicle, a vehicle that does not belong to a resident, an owner who has suffered a medical crisis or death, or simply a resident who has knowingly or unknowingly neglected to fulfill their obligations under law. 

Does the local police department have any authority with regard to parking violations? Because Lakeport Cluster is private property, the police have limited authority. By law, a police officer has the authority, without permission, to enter the property to enforce fire lane violations (where proper signage and markings exist) and the unauthorized use of parking spaces reserved for the disabled. The police have no further authority unless given written permission to enforce expired license plates and inspections. The police will not initiate the towing of a vehicle for a parking violation on private property.       

A new wrinkle in enforcement was created on March 17, 2020, when Governor Northam started issuing a series of “Executive Directives” that extended the expiration dates for driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations (temporary and permanent license plates), and safety inspections. In addition, the requirement to register a vehicle within thirty days of establishing residency was suspended.   

The safety inspection process is managed by the Virginia State Police (VSP). Executive Directive 8 directs the VSP to extend expiration dates until July 31, 2020. In other words, if the window sticker displays any month prior to July, the VSP would not issue a citation until after that date. However, the directive applies only to the VSP. Local police departments, such as Fairfax County or the Town of Herndon, were not obligated to follow the directive. Inspection stations have remained open throughout the state of emergency. If you are concerned about infection risk by turning your vehicle over to an inspector, the VSP offers a “modified” inspection in which you can remain in your vehicle throughout the inspection. Currently, the South Lakes Sunoco does not offer the modified inspection, but the North Point Sunoco does.

The vehicle registration process (license plates) is managed by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Registrations have been extended twice in recognition of the delays associated with titling and/or registering a vehicle if it is not possible to process a transaction online (e.g., out-of-state title and transfer of plates). Currently, the earliest available appointments with the DMV are approximately two months in the future.

Also, any registration that expires prior to July 31, 2020, has been extended 90 days beyond the expiration date, not to extend beyond October 31, 2020. However, vehicle owners will not be issued new license plate stickers to reflect an extension. The extension will be noted in the DMV record for use by law enforcement and tow companies. If you deem a vehicle to be suspicious and summon the police, the responding officer will have access to updated DMV records, which are confidential.

Lake Thoreau Pool Update

By Barbara Khan

The pool design consultants, Kimley-Horn Associates, put together a presentation of two plans for our remodeled Lake Thoreau pool. It is an excellent explanation of what they considered and how they put the design considerations in place. See the link below to watch the presentation and provide comments via the email listed:

PRESENTATION: Please use this link https://www.reston.org/capital-projects and scroll down to view the Lake Thoreau Pool Project presentation and meeting information.

COMMENTS: Please send comments by Aug. 7 to capitalprojects@reston.org.

SUMMARY
No kiddie pool or diving board in either pool concept. Spa remains and parking spots increased to 25 in both.
The focus group studies produced “must haves” and “nice to haves”:
Must haves were spa, lap lanes, zero-depth entry, views to lake, shade retention, and lake access.
Nice to haves were art, food concession, grassy area, and heated pool



(1) Parking – county requires about 25 spots; we currently have 16. There may be ways to eliminate a couple of those. No mention of whether on-street parking is taken into account in the calculation.
(2) Building – will be about 20% larger to accommodate ADA requirements and extra equipment since the designs include heated water for extended swimming hours/season.
(3) Food concession – rather than build a kitchen in the building with all its incumbent regulations, the design calls for places where a food truck could come and sit to offer food to those at the pool.
(4) Art – to implement the desired design element of art, the consultants suggested mosaic tiles at the bottom of the pool, decorative fountains near the zero-depth entry, and sculptures in the building lobby or murals on the building walls.

The picture at the top is at the end of the presentation. It shows the two concepts side-by-side. The next meeting is August 25 via Zoom.