Neighbors Helping to Defeat Snowzilla

posted Jan 27, 2016, 10:31 AM by Courtney Desautels

Dominion Hills survived Snowzilla 2016 thanks to great communication from our board, listserve, and Facebook group.  Through these online tools, neighbors were able to request help in plowing and also exchange which streets were plowed and which streets were more suited to sledding.  As the refreeze will be coming tonight and tomorrow please be alert to very slick crosswalks, gutters, and sidewalks.

Neighborhood Day Potluck May 9th

posted Apr 22, 2015, 7:02 AM by Courtney Desautels

Post Storm Update

posted Jul 3, 2012, 7:42 AM by Courtney Desautels

Dear Neighbors,

We hope all Dominion Hills neighbors survived the storm in relatively good shape and that recovery is proceeding normally.    We understand that some of us are still without power.

Please make a special effort to check on any elderly and/or disabled neighbors during this period at during all times of extremely high heat.

The following information is provided by our neighborhood Community Emergency Response Team members and the Arlington County Website.

9-1-1 service continues to be sporadic. If you have an emergency, call 9-1-1. If for any reason you are unable to get through, call the non-emergency number             703-558-2222       or visit any Arlington fire station  to report an emergency.
There are currently 26,000 to 27,000 accounts without power in Arlington CountyUtility crews are working hard on restoring service to all, but with priority attention to healthcare facilities, critical public infrastructure (e.g. water, wastewater, public safety facilities), and facilities with large populations. Crews from areas unaffected by the storm have been called in to provide support to local crews.
Arlington County Water is SAFE. There are NO water restrictions or advisories in effect in Arlington.

There are a number of County facilities without powerPlease check the cancellations page on the Arlington County website, or call the facility for the latest information
There are currently fewer than 40 traffic signal intersections without power.  Please continue to treat these intersections as an all-ways stop.

There are 16 cooling centers open today --- most libraries, all Arlington public pools, community centers and Ballston and Pentagon City malls are open.  The closest cooling center to Dominion Hills is the Westover Branch Library. 
Storm debris removal is underway. The Solid Waste Bureau is focused on debris removal operations. Street can collection, mulch deliveries, cart repair, and roll-off services are still in operation.

Trash and recycling services will operate on a normal schedule during the week of July 2 with ongoing brush collection to collect storm debris. At this time, you do not need to request a brush collection. Crews are going house to house this week.

Tips for Food Disposal

If you have lost power and have to dispose of food, please follow these tips to reduce odors and to help prevent attracting rodents to the trash.
  • Spoiled food should be placed in plastic bags prior to placing it in the trash.  Bagging will reduce the odors and help prevent attracting rodents and insects to the trash.  
  • Place moth balls or small amounts of ammonia in the bottom of the trash cart will also help discourage vectors from getting into the trash. 

Arlington Alert is an alert system that allows the County to contact you during an emergency by sending text messages to your:
  • e-mail account (work, home, other)
  • cell phone
  • text pager, BlackBerry, iPhone, etc.
When an emergency occurs, the County will instantly notify you with updates, instructions on where to go, what to do, or what not to do, who to contact and other important information.
Arlington Alert is a free County service. However, your carrier may charge you a fee to receive messages on wireless device(s). Please read the FAQs for more information. This service does not replace existing public safety warning methods also used by the County.
Arlington Alert is open to all County residentscommuters, and visitors and is part of Capitalert

Warning to Dominion Hills Homeowners on Collapsing Ceilings

posted Apr 13, 2012, 1:54 PM by Courtney Desautels   [ updated Apr 13, 2012, 1:55 PM ]

Ceilings in several Dominion Hills homes have fallen in over the past few years.  Your civic association wants you to be aware of these incidents – not to alarm, but to ensure that all our neighbors are aware of this important information and the possibility of damage and/or injury in your home.


Reports received by the civic association indicate that most of these occurrences have taken place in the older area of Dominion Hills – east of Patrick Henry Drive – but all homeowners should be alert to this possibility.


Around the time that Dominion Hills homes were built, a new method of wall and ceiling construction was used.  Rather than the old “wood lath” and plaster, the new method involved using panels of gypsum wall board known as “rock lath.”  These panels were much heavier than the familiar wall board that is used today.  Rock lath panels one-half inch thick and approximately 2 ft. by 4 ft. were nailed to the wall and ceiling joists, and then covered with several coats of plaster.  The result, as we all know, was very solid construction.


The problem results from the fact that the nails used to hold the rock lath to the joists are only one inch long, so they only penetrate 1/2 in. into the wood.  While this was evidently sufficient for vertical walls, over time the weight of the rock lath and plaster has proven to be too much for the ceiling nails to hold up in some homes.  Sixty years of heavy upstairs foot traffic and other vibrations have contributed to loosening the nails’ hold on these ceilings.


There is some similarity in reports of these incidents.  In most cases, lengthy cracks have appeared in the ceiling prior to the collapse.  Most of the collapses reported have occurred in living rooms, though there has been at least one report of a falling dining room ceiling, and one homeowner has reported sagging bedroom ceilings.


To date, there have been no reports of serious injury from these incidents.  However, these ceiling materials are heavy, and when a collapse occurs, it tends to include a substantial area of the ceiling.  All homeowners should be aware of the possibility of this incident.  In the event that cracking or sagging occurs, we recommend consulting a qualified and licensed contractor.  In some cases, ceilings can be re-anchored to the joists with screws.  In others, the ceiling may need to be removed and replaced.  While expensive, neither process is more costly than the injuries that could result if a member of your family were struck by this falling material.


Information on how to hire a contractor, to avoid home improvement scams and to check on the licensed status of contractors is available from the Commonwealth of Virginia at .

Bike Clinic for Two Wheel Success

posted Apr 9, 2012, 5:55 PM by Courtney Desautels

Dear Neighbors,

BikeArlington is hosting bicycle safety and informational sessions at the Westover Library on Tuesday evenings this month.  This is a great way for Dominion Hills neighbors to get information about biking in Arlington at a convenient location.  

Two-Wheel Tuesday sessions will be held in Westover every Tuesday night in April from 7:00 – 8:30 PM.  In May, June and July, sessions will move to Courthouse Plaza and the Central Library.  A specific topic will be covered each night – safety tips; equipment, clothing & gear; and routes & directions.
Tomorrow evening, BikeArlington will be giving away a one-year Capital Bikeshare membership at the Westover  session.  In addition, a representative of Revolution Cycles will be on-hand to provide a hands-on fix-a-flat tutorial.  BikeArlington will continue to give away a nice prize at each session (last week they gave out a Timbuk2 messenger bag).  These sessions are designed for bikers of all experience levels.
To register for tomorrow's session, go to
Thanks to Bike Arlington for providing these convenient, helpful and informative sessions.
For additional information, contact:
Zanna Worzella
BikeArlington Events & Outreach Coordinator

1501 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1100
Arlington, VA. 22209

English Ivy Not Welcome for Trees

posted Apr 9, 2012, 5:55 PM by Courtney Desautels   [ updated Apr 9, 2012, 5:55 PM ]

Be on the look for English Ivy that can Choke and Kill Trees

What looks like a lovely little green plan can actually strangle trees, accelerate rot, attract mosquitoes and cause mature trees to fall down during storms.   Fight back against this English Invasion!

Protect your trees, landscaping investments and home by cutting ivy away from your trees by following these steps:

·        1.   Use garden clippers to cut ivy at the bottom around the entire trunk of infested trees

·        2.  Pull all ivy out of the ground around the base of the tree, making a 2 foot “life saver ring” around the tree.

·         3.  Once cut, leave ivy on the tree. Do not pull it off because it could harm the tree. Ivy will gradually blend into the tree bark after it is cut.

For more information visit

DHCA Annual Meeting and Board Vacancies

posted Apr 5, 2012, 8:59 AM by Courtney Desautels

On Thursday, May 3, at 7:30 pm, the Dominion Hills Civic Association (DHCA) will be holding its Annual Meeting at the DHARA pool house, 6000 Wilson Blvd.  Please plan to join your neighbors for this important event.  We have a full agenda planned that will be of interest to all neighborhood residents.  More details on the agenda will be circulated shortly.  


Pursuant to our Constitution and By-Laws, an election of officers and members of the Board of Directors will be held at this meeting.  The four officers (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) all serve one-year terms.  The eleven Directors serve two-year terms.


As chair of the Nominating Committee, I am pleased to report that the incumbent President (Brian Hannigan), Secretary (Carrie Mitchell) and Treasurer (Jeff Coughlin) have all agreed to be nominated for re-election to those positions.  However, additional candidates may be nominated from the floor at the Annual Meeting, provided they are present to consent to their nomination or that consent can be vouched for by at least two members present.  The office of Vice President is currently vacant and I am seeking interested candidates to submit for nomination.


I am also pleased to report that eight of the current members of the Board have agreed to be nominated for re-election.  They are:  Chuck Adkins-Blanch, Gina Boller, Tom Fatouros, Kevin Mitchell, Matthew Robarge, Jeremy Scott, Max Scruggs and Eric Sildon.  This is a very active Board and we are fortunate that these neighbors have agreed to serve another term.  However, we also need more nominees to fill the three vacancies.  Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the May 3 meeting.  In the event that more than eleven candidates are nominated for the Board, a paper ballot vote will be conducted with the top eleven vote-getters declared the winners.


Joining the Board is a great way to meet new neighbors and contribute to maintaining Dominion Hills as a great neighborhood in which to live.  Responsibilities for Board members include attendance at monthly meetings (usually the first Thursday of every month), as well as ad hoc projects throughout the year.  Some of the issues/topics that the Board is currently working on relate to Dominion Hills Park improvements and maintenance, pedestrian safety, zoning issues and code enforcement, fundraising, neighborhood clean-ups, or one of the several events that we sponsor throughout the year (such as the Halloween Party or Spring Egg Hunt).    


If you are interested in joining the DHCA Board and running for one of these positions, please contact me by Saturday, April 21.  If you have questions or want more information about serving on the Board, please don't hesitate to ask.  




Jeff Coughlin

DHCA Treasurer

and Chair, 2012 Nominating Committee


Spring Park Clean Up!

posted Mar 23, 2012, 6:09 AM by Courtney Desautels   [ updated Mar 23, 2012, 6:09 AM ]

Grab your pitchforks and rakes and plan to join in on Saturday March 24th at 9am.  Once again, we’ll rake and bag leaves, spread mulch and do some light gardening where needed.  In 2011, about 25 neighbors stopped by to help out, making less work for all.  The park and playground have become extremely popular with neighbors and visitors alike and we take great pride in keeping them looking as presentable as possible.  

Please bring leaf and garden rakes, pitchforks, shovels, and a wheelbarrow if you have one.  We’ll supply refreshments and leaf bags.  Please wear gardening gloves.  See you there!
  The current weather forecast calls for a 40% chance of thunderstorms on Saturday and a 40% chance of rain on Sunday.  We will proceed as planned on Saturday and, if necessary, reconvene on Sunday to complete the job.

Assistance Need for Family after Fire.

posted Mar 7, 2012, 5:51 PM by Courtney Desautels

An electrical fire that began in the basement at 970 Patrick Henry Drive last Tuesday substantially gutted the house and destroyed most of its contents.
Diana Robbins, a single mother of two children in their 20's who has rented the house for the past 15 years, has been forced to relocate with her family and is hopeful of finding a similar rental house in or close to Dominion Hills.  Some neighbors may know Diana from her days as a Swanson and Yorktown parent while her daughter Katy and son Chris were in school. 
According to accounts forwarded by Diana's friends, minimal assistance provided by renters' insurance has been exhausted and the family now needs to re-acquire virtually every household item -- from furniture to kitchen ware to basic household staples -- in order to create a new home.
If you are able to offer any assistance to Diana and her family, please consider donating a useful household item or surplus piece of furniture.  Cash contributions are also welcome.
Neighbor Liz Weist of 978 Patrick Henry Drive, a member of Arlington's Community Emergency Response Team, has volunteered to serve as a contact for neighbors wishing to provide assistance to the Robbins family.  Liz will accept monetary donations and help to coordinate future gifts of furniture or other items once Diana has been able to find a new place to live.  We are not posting Liz's email on the website due to internet spam.

Thank you for whatever you can do to support the Robbins family.
This incident is a reminder for all of us to perform regular fire safety inspections in our homes and make sure our smoke detectors are in working order.  It is also helpful to know your immediate neighbor's work or cell phone numbers in the event of an emergency.
Brian Hannigan
Dominion Hills Civic Association

February Newsletter is here!

posted Feb 15, 2012, 6:53 AM by Courtney Desautels

Hot off the press!  Here is the latest newsletter from Dominion Hills!

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