City Paper is not for tourists
A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
Words With D.C.’s Finest: Someone on the Chevy Chase email list would like MPD officers to follow the laws they enforce. After a short disclaimer that she appreciates the commitment of MPD 2D officers, she writes, “Now, all that being said….. I witnessed something this afternoon that has me somewhat taken aback,” explaining that she encountered a police officer taking a phone call while driving. “OK. I don’t have an issue with an officer on a personal call, if that is what this was. What I absolutely do have an issue with is, why was this officer talking non-hands free, whether it was a personal or duty call? This just isn’t right. Our officers uphold the law; they should, however, not be above the law.” But how to deal with minor lawlessness on the part of D.C.’s finest? One resident writes, “Reporting is easier said than done. If I’m driving, I need to follow the police car (including making a U-turn if necessary), find a paper and pen, get close enough to read the appropriate car information, and then take the time and energy to call or email the Lt. None of that is impossible, but not every time we see a violation of the law, can we take this course of action to report it. And we never know what the police person in the car will do if we start following him/her. (I don’t mean to sound hysterical here, I’ve just had interactions with several of the 2nd district’s finest where they treated me like the criminal when I was reporting someone else’s behavior; who knows what they would do if I was reporting them).” Another resident responds, “Are we (following, photographing) reporting them as a matter of enforcing the law or is this a ‘gotcha’ moment for us citizens? There are communities in this city that are thankful if they find a police cruiser parked in an alley way with officers playing ‘Words With Friends’! Perhaps the way to go is to build the relationship. Ask the offending officer why they are on the phone and share our concern about public safety. If he says, ‘I’m talking to my girlfriend,’ then thank him for being such a great multitasker and sleep well knowing that they are present in our neighborhood. (smile) This is the job they signed up for but in many ways I’m willing to cut them some slack because I’m personally not ready to put on a vest, carry a weapon and be confronted by some of the craziness that goes on in this town. I’m not advocating for special treatment… ok, yes I am.”
Bring in ‘da Noise: There’s a bit of uncertainty on the Brookland email list about how to handle a particularly noisy business. One resident writes, “There is a new warehouse behind Turkey Thicket that is very loud at night. They’re a catering company and they seem to be unloading there trucks at 1am and on almost every night. Its really very loud…I’m assuming its illegal to be making all this noise in the middle of the night next to a residential neighborhood.” One neighbor suggests that the area is most likely zoned for commercial use, and therefore can make as much noise as it wants. Another points out that, no, “DC Code prohibits loud noises—either commercial or residential—between the hours of 10:00 pm and 7:00 am,” adding, “I believe that I have more info on who to call and how to complain on my computer at home.”
Not Going Postal: Apparently Adams Morgan is experiencing some mailbox trouble. One resident writes, “Will the mailbox that was removed at 18th and Columbia be replaced? I just spoke to an employee at the PO who said a pipe bomb was put there. That’s unfortunate (if this can really be called a problem) is to remove the thing permanently.” Another resident adds, “They should restore the one at Mintwood and Columbia while they’re at it.” And a final neighbor chimes in, “Wouldn’t it be nice?”
Sidewalk-scaping: Some members of the MPD-5D email list are concerned about a company’s illegally dumping trash on residential sidewalks. One resident writes, “There are several large trucks full of commercial debris parking daily in the 2100 block of Upshur Street. NE. They bring smaller trucks, back them up on the wrong side of the street and then transfer the trash, while completely blocking the alley. The trash sometimes sits there all night and all weekend, rain or shine. When they do dump during the morning, the process just starts again around 4:30PM.” In a post titled “Illegal Dumping business… (and others??),” another resident writes, I refer to apparent landscape vendors with long bed trucks (AND long trailers attached) using DC alleys and DC sidewalks to transit their wide-throw riding mowers—UNBELIEVABLY while the mower is still on and presumably its blade is still spinning.” He adds, “There probably is no statute for reckless driving with a lawn mower on a public sidewalk … but maybe there ought to be.”