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A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.

Social Butterfly: Someone on the East of the River email list had a roaring good time last Friday night. She began with a disclaimer that she had expected “to trudge back home at a decent hour to catch the latest homicide mayhem on ID or South Beach Tow on Tru TV.” But she ended up having a great time at a neighborhood fundraiser, and when she did go home, she skipped the TV watching and wrote a blow-by-blow of the evening instead. She explains that, like her dog Toby, she would only really leave her comfort zone—her metaphorical backyard—if someone left the gate open. She writes, “Well, at the dinner’s end, when one of our neighbors invited me to Langston’s Grill with a few others, he left the gate open. Wide open. I was out and only the threat of turning into a pumpkin could herd me back in.” As someone who never drinks “anything stronger than carbonated water or Communion wine (Welch’s grape juice),” she rarely goes to pubs. On this rare outing, she was pleasantly surprised by the crowd: “I’m not one to kiss and tell but I will tell and yell. I had no idea I would so enjoy that motley crew anywhere in Ward 7 let alone in Ward 6. A few of those present who I won’t name, (yes, I know, you hate that, don’t you?) are NOT as they seem or as I thought and even further, what I heard. Maybe folk just act differently in another ward. I can’t say.” Though this subscriber didn’t want to divulge too many details—“Let me stop, this is how rumors and scandals get started”—she does say that she didn’t leave the bar alone, not to return until “almost 2:30 am.” As for Ward 7, “We hardly have fun in Ward 7. We attend plenty of meetings to discuss a multitude of pressing issues but we seldom get together just have some good clean fun. How come, y’all?! I wanna have some fun!”

Carrying On: The New Hill East email list is in the throes of a carry-out controversy. As previously discussed in NNR, some subscribers are concerned that a new pretzel establishment is the wrong type of business for the neighborhood. One neighbor summed the issue up, writing, “I’ll just assert my opinion that the neighborhood was once plagued by people who used the carryout restaurants as a base of operations. Likely, the word ‘carryout’ came to equal ‘drugs’ or ‘violence’ in many minds. The knee-jerk reaction was that people stated they no longer wanted new carryouts in the neighborhood. They were scarred and could not imagine a different type of carryout that attracted a different type of clientele. Well, now it is different and people like it. Simple as that.” However, “The point is that the nature of the pretzels and crepes establishments are not likely to appeal to drug dealers and users and responsible residents enjoy them. I think that is a win for the neighborhood.” Another neighbor agrees, writing, “Let’s get real folks. This isn’t about race or crime or quality of food. I support these establishments because I can eat their products while walking. And let’s be honest, this is something we can all benefit from. I, for one, will not rest until we get more food on sticks.”

Doggy Dependents: Chevy Chase residents have been pushing for a dog park in Lafayette Park, much to the chagrin of some of their neighbors. One dog-park-dissenter writes, “I know I am going to draw fire for this but oh well. I’m not a fan of all of these dog parks that are popping up all over D.C. As a parent, I’d like more green space for my child to play without fear of stepping in dog poo or a dog biting her. I know dog lovers view their pet as a member of the family or as their child, but when it comes down to it, my child is going to contribute to the well being of the population. At some point she’ll pay taxes, Social Security (if it’s still around by the time she’s of working age) and might find the cure to cancer/AIDS/ arthritis or World Peace. Her contributions are going to help those dog lovers who want more space for their dog and not a person. So at the end of the day, I’m not interested in another dog park in this city for a pet that’s not going to contribute to the betterment of society.” Another neighbor came to the defense of man’s best friend: “The whole purpose of a dog park is to allow family pets to run in an enclosed area where children are not present. I do not have a dog anymore but when I did they were registered (for a fee) with DC and considered a part of our family. We paid taxes but could not deduct the dog as a dependent. If anyone ever visits a nursing home when dedicated pet owners bring in their animal family members, they will see the joy and comfort dogs provide to the residents.  The police often say that having a dog in the house in our best protection against break-ins.  Children exposed to pets at an early age seem to have less trouble with allergies in later life. Dogs really are our best friend. My cat, who frequently edits my postings, (as the long suffering moderator of this listserv can attest) just hissed and gave me a swat!”

How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog: A spectre is haunting Takoma Park—the spectre of barking dogs. One email list subscriber writes, “My wife is asking me to see if anyone knows where or how to report a neighbor for excessive dog barking if the personal plea doesn’t work.” Several neighbors responded with their addresses, concerned that they were unwittingly disrupting the peace. Several neighbors suggested that the annoyed party call the police. One writes, “The short answer: Call 311 and ask for a non-emergency police response. Excessive noise is illegal in the District of Columbia. It’s also a tort, but let’s hope you don’t have to hire an attorney to enforce your right ot peace and quiet under common law.” Apparently there’s also an entire website, barkingdogs.net, devoted to this issue.