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Old Newsletters: Spring 2005; Spring 2006; July 2006; Dec 2006, March 2007,

June 2007, November 2007, March 2008; May 2008

May 2009 Newsletter in PDF Format (to print: download here)
April 2009 Newsletter in Word Format (to print: download here)

APRIL 2009 

Long Branch Hit by Brazen Mid-Day Break-in

There is much news to cover in this long-delayed edition of the Long Branch News, but first, let’s look at a significant safety issue about which we all need to be aware.

One of our neighbors’ homes, on Mignonette Drive, was burglarized during the middle of the day in March .  The thieves broke a window in the rear of the house and they backed a truck right into the driveway and loaded a number of items.  Neighbors who saw the truck assumed that work was being done on the house.

Here are some safety tips from the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator:

With the downturn in the economy, we are hearing more frequent stories about thefts from cars, keys to home and wallets being stolen from lockers at the Audrey Moore Recreation Center, vandalism and suspicious behavior in our neighborhood and those close by. This is a reminder to consider the security features of your home and to consider crime prevention outside the home.  The Fairfax County Police Department has some information and resources online that may be of use to you (see  Note that one of the services available for free is for a police officer to visit your home to do a security assessment and to make recommendations on how to improve your own home's security. 

If you notice suspicious behavior in the neighborhood, please call the Fairfax county police non-emergency number: 703 691 2131.Thanks to the 45 families who volunteered this year to help out with the Neighborhood Watch!  The 2009 Watch calendar is now full and we are grateful to all of you for the efforts you make to help keep Long Branch safe. 


If you have questions about Neighborhood Watch, please e-mail Sharon Hrynkow at

Easter Egg Hunt to Take Place on Sunday, April 12, at 3 p.m.

 Please join us for the annual Long Branch Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday at the community pool.  Bring a plate of treats to share, such as cookies, brownies, chips or drinks.  If you can help with preparing for this event, please contact Mark or Julie Wiggins at (703) 425-1986. 

Community Meeting April 28

Neighborhood Traditions Need New Sponsors


Long Branch will hold a community meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, in the Canterbury Woods Elementary School library.  The school is at 4910 Willet Drive.

Primary among the goals of this meeting are recruiting a new group of volunteers who are willing to take over management of our neighborhood’s valued holiday traditions.  Remember, a community association is only as strong as its members! The recent election of David Cook, the president of the Kings Park Community Association, as our new Braddock supervisor, shows that community activism pays off!

We hope you will take pride in your community and give of your time to keep our community strong.  If you are a newcomer, or if you have lived here for years but have yet to get involved, or if you are a retiree that knows the value of giving back to your community, we need you!  Please consider our request to take on one of these fun activities that the neighborhood and especially young children have come to expect and enjoy.  We have found over the years that the best and most efficient way of running these events is by bringing together the residents of a street or cul-de-sac to share the tasks.  Loosestrife, Colt and Mignonette have done a great job!  Come on Tabard, King Solomon, King David and the rest!!

It would be optimal to establish a structure in which residents give of their time for a year or two, and then move on and leave the fun to others!  Following is a list of each annual celebration, and who to contact to volunteer now, before the community meeting. 

Volunteers Needed to Run Long Branch Annual Celebrations

Easter Egg Hunt

This event was originally started by Jayne Carmona, who lives on Loosestrife Court.  Her Loosestrife neighbors, including (but not limited to) Barb Mink, Kathleen Browning and BeaAnn Phillips-Brown, lent a hand to expand the event.  It was so popular that about two years ago, the Easter Egg Hunt was turned into a community-wide event, and now takes place at the pool.


Handling this event consists of collecting or buying wrapped candy (the civic association’s treasurer will reimburse you with receipts), and arranging a stuffing party in someone’s garage, during which adults and kids stuff the eggs with the candy.  Then on the day of the hunt, the coordinator oversees the hiding of the eggs (by volunteers) near the pool.  The Easter Bunny usually kicks off the hunt and stays around to greet the kids.  It is tradition to take some folding tables up to the pool parking lot and stock them with baked goods or other treats that neighbors are asked to share.


Please contact Mark or Julie Wiggins if you will take this over next year. 


Halloween at the Pool

This fun and entertaining event has been handled by the able and generous residents of Colt Lane for many years.  The two primary coordinators have been Karla Gill and Patty Edmunds.  It is past time to turn this over to new and able hands. 

As you will see by the article featured later in the newsletter, this event includes lots of games for the young set, and a scary haunted forest (or this year a haunted locker room) for the older, braver set.  Of course, no event would be complete without the table full of treats that young and old enjoy.  The event will almost run itself, as Patty Edmunds has all the materials, signs and directions needed to set it up. From painting scary fingernails, to toss-the-beanbag-in-the-plastic pumpkin, to the fortune-teller, to the find-a-toy-in-a-haystack, the event is a fun-filled visit for any child.  Last year, our teens did an amazing job with the haunted (forced inside by rain) locker room. 

We are looking for a group of families to take over management of this event.  Those who have arranged it for many years in the past have the management of this event down to a science, and will be happy to share the instructions and materials for whomever takes over.  To volunteer, please contact Patty Edmonds at

Luminary and Santa Visit

For the past two years, Mignonette’s Julie Roberts has done the organizing for this important annual holiday tradition.  Before that, Jeff and Ruthanne Stoll spearheaded this for years.  It’s always a fun (but usually cold) Saturday morning when the community gathers to stuff the paper shopping bags with a paper with the directions, loose stone, votive candles, and white sandwich bags.  It’s quite an organizational undertaking, but with hot chocolate or coffee often provided, and donuts, bagels or other treats contributed, the work is easy and fun.  The goal is to put together enough ready-to-assemble luminary kits to stock each house in the neighborhood.  For the kids, their favorite part is riding in the back of cars and dropping off the “kits” at each house.  And finally, on the chosen Sunday night, hopefully every resident will put out their luminary bags and the neighborhood will be aglow with the holiday spirit.


In the past, another aspect to this event was having Santa appear at the pool that same night.  In recent years, Santa has been too busy to stop by, but that could change with the right folks in charge!


If you and your neighbors can take over this worthy event, please contact Julie Roberts.  It is time for someone new to have the honors!


Homes Tour

After many years of no home tour, in 2006, the Long Branch Homes Tour was re-launched.  Melinda Malico coordinated the tour, with help from many neighbors.  The event, which with your help could take place next fall, provides neighbors with great ideas on ways to renovate or add to their homes.  Handling this event consists of finding neighbors to show their homes, gathering descriptions of the work done and the outcomes achieved, and putting those descriptions into a brochure (we have a template).  Then, on the day of the event, someone sets up at the pool and sells tickets (we only charged $5 last time) and anyone with a ticket is admitted to the homes during the three- or four-hour home tour.  The oohs and ahhs are enough of a payback for those who agree to open their homes.  If you would like to plan and coordinate this event, please contact Melinda Malico via e-mail at


So please consider doing one of these jobs so the traditions can continue!


Read on below to find out how many of these events went last year:




The streets of Long Branch looked absolutely gorgeous the night of December 21st with the seemingly endless lines of candles celebrating the holiday season.  Many thanks to all of the volunteers who came out on the morning of the 20th to help assemble and deliver the luminary bags.  It was great to work together as a community and to have fun at the same time!!  If you missed it -- there's always next year.

A special thanks to Trader Joe's on Main Street for donating the brown bags (those handles sure made things easier!); to Don Saunders of Saunders Landscaping for picking up and delivering the rocks without charging us for his time and gas; to Trish Schrade and Blue Kamen Benefits for copying the instruction sheets for us at no charge; and to the Fruchterman family for allowing us to take over their yard and driveway.


--Julie Roberts

Long Branch Neighborhood Halloween Fest Provided Scary and Sweet Treats for All

Last October, Long Branch residents came together to celebrate Halloween at the annual gathering that took place at the Long Branch Pool.  Some came in costume to try their hands at the games, others came to enjoy the refreshments and say hello to old friends.  Because of a soaking rain the preceded the celebration, the Spooky Forest had to be modified.  Thus, the new hit of the gathering was the Spooky Locker Room, pulled together by an astute group of young volunteers. This is a wonderful community holiday tradition.  We hope that everyone enjoyed it!


Thanks to the volunteers (many of whom live on Colt Lane) who worked hard to make this event scarilicious!  Thanks to Karla Gill, Patty Edmonds, Dave Everett, Sharon Hrynkow, Ruthanne Stoll, Megan Bondy, Melinda Malico.


These volunteers wish to thank everyone for making this event fun, year and year.  Next year, we will turn this over to another group or street to sponsor.  Please contact Patty Edmonds if you can lead this effort next year.


Fall Membership Drive Enrolls 65 Percent in Civic Association

A fall membership drive collected more than $6,000 and paved the way for the new directory that is in the works.  Several resident volunteered to help with neighborhood watch (nearly 50), and a few others signed up to help in other ways. This year we tried a new approach for the membership drive, which asked residents to simply mail the membership form with a check for $25 back to the treasurer.  Unfortunately, many of our residents did not do so, despite being reminded with a follow-up mailing.  During the directory update, many residents received e-mails to give them one last chance to join.  If you know of someone who did not join and wants to, please tell them to contact the community treasurer, Michele Johnson, by e-mailing her at

President’s Pen


As we enter spring and get warmer weather, I have a few things to update.  We will host a Community meeting at Canterbury Woods on Tuesday, April 28 at 7 pm.  At this meeting we will ask for people to volunteer for the open board positions of secretary, membership/welcoming and directory/database. Additional volunteers are needed in order to support the various activities for the community. We will also discuss whether to repair the peeling curb numbers or have a company use traditional paint for each home address number.  The social calendar will be laid out and we look forward to volunteers helping to run those events.  We will also need to schedule the annual Long Branch Yard Sale. 


I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Melinda Malico who has kindly prepared our newsletter for the last four years.  Melinda will be taking a well-deserved break in the action and we are so happy to inform you that Susan Betts has generously agreed to author the newsletter going forward.  Thanks again, Melinda for your great work. 


In closing, 2009 will be an eventful year for Long Branch and we look forward to supporting the Community with your help.  Those wanting to volunteer please contact me or any board member. 

Mark Wiggins, President

(703) 425-1986


Useful Numbers

Other numbers that might be useful to you are: If you notice burned out street lights, please call Virginia Power at 703 359 3300.  To report downed or damaged street signs, call Fairfax County office at 703-934-2840. 


The Virginia Department of Transportation is using a new tracking system for customer service.  Any inquiries related to the VDOT, including maintenance issues, snow removal and signal problems, can be called in 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at (703) 383-VDOT (8368) or e-mail concerns to  This system allows VDOT to track issues more effectively and to maintain a more complete database of issues for funding purposes. 


Digital TV Conversation (DTV) postponed until June 2009

This change from analog broadcasting was federally mandated for several reasons, including freeing up frequency space for emergency personnel and first responders.  If you receive television signals through an antenna and do not have television with a digital tuner your reception will be affected by the transition.  Options for viewers include purchasing a newer television, subscribing to cable or satellite service, or purchasing and installing a converter box for each TV.  The federal government is offering a $40 coupon to help with the cost of the box, which can range from $40-$70 each.  For information on this program, go to or calls 1-888-DTV-2009. 


HOT Lanes Under Construction


You can’t miss the massive construction and deforestation on the Beltway between Springfield and McLean.  Virginia has contracted with two private companies to construct four new carpool lanes—two in each direction between the Springfield interchange and Old Dominion Drive—to be used by carpoolers, buses and those who pass a toll.  In addition to increasing capacity, the project will upgrades interchanges and add, improve or replace bridges, overpasses and sound walls.  Extensive work is underway for the bridges that carry Braddock Road and Little River Turnpike over the Beltway.  The project is scheduled to be complete by 2012.  More information is available at 


Swim Team Had a Banner Year! 


It’s almost time for this year’s swim team season to begin, but don’t forget that last summer was a big year for the Swim Team!  We had the most swimmers ever with 128 participating!  The Long Branch Dolphins went 4-1 in Division 13, which was amazing since we moved up from Division 15 last year.  The Dolphins sent a team to the All-Star Relay Carnival, and six individuals went to All-Stars. 

Here are the details: 

  • Long Branch Meet Record - 4 wins 1 loss - 2nd place in our Division (#13).  Very impressive results after moving up 2 Divisions from the year before.)

  • Long Branch had over 70 families signed up on the team and over 120 swimmers. 

  • New this year, the Long Branch Dolphins held an Intersquad Meet (on 7/22/08) where parents and swimmers participated in an assortment of relays and fun events

  • Team Rep - Kathleen Browning   Coach - Ali Porter

  • All Star Relays - Our 8&U Boys Medley Relay Team (Tommy Brown, Matthew Fruchterman, Nicholas Margraf and Hunter Browning) participated in the All Star Relay Carnival at Springboard Pool, held on 7/16.  The boys were seeded 18th going into the meet, and came in 12th.

  • Individual All Stars – In this Meet, held at Little Rocky Run on 8/2/08, the top 18 swimmers in each event (across the entire NVSL) competed. This year, we had 6 Dolphin swimmers qualify for Individual All-Stars; Emily Wiggins (8 & U girls Breast stroke), Matthew Fruchterman (8 & U boys Breast stroke), Nicholas Margraf (8 & U boys Freestyle and Backstroke), Christopher Margraf ({Alternate} 9-10 boys Freestyle), Ryan McQuade (13-14 boys Butterfly), and Peter Slattery (15-18 boys Breast stroke)

  • In addition, several of our Dolphins broke many Long Branch pool records (some were as old as 1980).


--Thanks to Denise Margraf for providing much of this information.


Long Branch Swim and Racquet….
Still a Good Summertime Investment

The 2009 Summer Pool Season is just around the corner. Where better to spend your time on those long summer nights and weekends than at the pool? We are currently taking membership applications.

Mark your calendar with these upcoming Events:

Spring Break Pool Clean-up Dates:
April 18
April 26
May 2
May 17
Cleanup Hours: 8AM - 11AM
Kids get your community service hours.

Polar Bear Swim
Friday, May 22, 2009

Pool Official Opening Day
Saturday, May 23, 2009

Visit the Long Branch Swim and Racquet website for all the details!

Your Pool Board


Byron Browning, Treasurer

Todd Hartung, Board member

Vicki Santaniello, Membership

Julie Roberts, Secretary

Heather Hartung, Social

Tom Schrade, Maintenance

Julie Wiggins, Swim Team Rep


Lifeguards Needed


With the pool season rolling around, Long Branch is looking for lifeguard applicants. This job is open to all teens 15 and older. It is a great first job and requires no prior work experience. The only preparation needed is a Lifeguarding and CPR course. If interested, please contact Lisa Lockerby at for more information or to receive an application.

Long Branch Officers


President                                  Mark Wiggins, or 703-425-1986.

Vice President/Social ............... Karla Gill, (703) 764-4919

Treasurer ................................. Michele Johnson,

Secretary................................. vacant

Membership and Welcoming ..... vacant

Newsletter................................ Susan Betts,

Web site.................................. Melinda Malico, and Steve Alvo

Neighborhood Watch................. Sharon Hrynkow,

Database and Directory............. vacant



Street Representatives

Alyssum.................................. 9218 Joe Fidd................ 703-323-7841
Bradfield & Burnetta.................. 9201 Katzer................... 703-978-2352

Bramble................................... 9106 Heather Hartung..... 703-978-1524

Cascus.................................... 9113 Emily Wiggins........ 703-978-1355

Claytonia.................................. 9206 Elliott.................... 703-978-2654

Colt......................................... 9117 Jodi Kalantgis........ 703-764-9669

Gloxinia................................... 4910 MaryEllen Slattery.. 703-425-0671

King David (4900–5015)............. 4926 Cheri Jacobs.......... 703-425-0529

King David (5017–5031)............. 5024 Kathy Moore ......... 703-764-9485

King David (5032–5126)............. 5124 Linda Leonard........ 703-503-8441

King Solomon (4800–4816)........ 4815 Bruce.................... 703-323-9211

King Solomon (4817–4838)........ 4821 Rabadan ............... 703-425-8927

King Solomon (4900–4920)........ 4918 Burns ................... 703-503-5756

King Solomon (4921–5008)........ 5002 Wright .................. 703-425-8155

Loosestrife............................... 4910 Letellier................. 703-425-0664

Meadow Rue............................ 9111 Herrick.................. 703-978-4004

Mignonette............................... 5002 Banks .................. 703-764-0548

Sabra/ Windflower (9100–9123).. 4949 Ellis...................... 703-978-1182

Windflower (9000–9026)............. 9009 Alvo....................... 703-323-5336

Steeplebush............................. 9112 Maritza Taylor........ 703-503-0438

Tabard (4800–4817)................... 4803 Lisa Spero............. 703-426-5590

Tabard (4819–4838)................... 4835 Susan Roden ........ 703-425-9886




Stay Informed!

Don’t forget to check the Long Branch Web site at for updates and all our community information!  And don’t forget to give us information for the Web site!


Please add to the “safe list” in your address book.  Also, send any change of address to the same address.  The newsletter editor will be unable to deliver the newsletter if the e-mail does not go through.  Thank you!


Classified Ads


Spring Studio Show


Spring Studio show on May 2 & 3, Sat and Sun  10-6 pm     10% off EVERYTHING in STOCK!!!

New “fun”- ctional and decorative pottery.

Lots of new designs and colors for today's interiors.

Great gifts for moms, grads & brides too.

Come sign up for summer pottery classes! Have an artful summer in Susan's Long Branch Pottery studio!

New programs for Girl scouts, Boy and Cub Scouts too!


Susan Fox Hirschmann  Art Pottery



Tiny Steps Day Care

Mother of three in Long Branch has opened her home to care for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old on a full-time or part-time basis. The Fairfax County licensed family home day care offers a happy, caring, and fun environment that fosters individual growth and learning through hands-on activities, developmentally appropriate toys, arts and crafts projectsmusic and movement, and storytime. Visit to learn more or call Nicole at (703) 425-1288. Convenient location on same street as Long Branch pool.








Contact Billie Leigh @ (703) 424-6274

References available


Velasquez Painters 

If you need a painter, hire a reputable one who has worked for many Long Branch families.  Mr. Velasquez specializes in interior and exterior painting.  From drywall, wallpaper removal, expert surface preparation, to door replacement, new moldings & power washing, Mr. Velasquez and his crews do it all. Please call for a free estimate:  Mr. Velasquez at 571-245-9026. 


Community Info


Sharon Bulova won the race for Chairman of Fairfax County Board. She can be reached at . Our new supervisor is David Cook.  To contact his office, call 703-425-9300.

Deadlines for Submissions


Please send any newsletter submissions to in Word or PowerPoint (not PDF files).

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