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

Despicable You: There’s some dastardly parking ticketing going on in Petworth, at least according to one member of the email list: “I wanted to post that last night at 2:30 am I received a $50 ticket for ‘Fail to properly affix stickers’. My sticker is displayed where is should be, and all information on it is clearly visible – I am sure it has been viewed and processed hundreds of times in the past 8 months it’s been on my car, in exactly the same place.” Another member points out that the original writer actually did break the (unclear) law by not removing the previous years’ sticker, adding: “I do find it interesting however that this issue would have been a non starter if the previous year sticker had been removed and the new sticker put in its place. It would seem laziness just makes us do more work and is costlier in the long run….” But another thinks it’s all about the dollar bills: ” Now that we are running a budget surplus, will the Mayor/Council stop using tickets/fines (ie: misuse of law enforcement discretion) as a way of balancing the budget?” The second writer responds again, “You may disagree with the ticket and if you do you can contest it. If you strenuously oppose the law, well you have recourse there as well to try and get the law repealed or changed. But if its on the books it must and should be enforced. Who enforces the laws? Why the police/ticketing powers do. You don’t want a ticket? Well then don’t break the law.” Believe it or not, the disagreement does not end there.

Amateur Detective: Writes a member of the New Hill East email list: “Just wanted to report that my red Honda Accord was badly “keyed” on the hood, roof and trunk sometime Sunday evening or early Monday morning Feb. 19,20. around 12th and D Sts. SE. A neighbor in the 500 block of 13th St. SE told me that Sunday evening about 6 pm, a gang of young guys were in the block stalking/intimidating her husband who was trying to park his car.  He was forced to drive around until the gang moved on. I don’t know if there is any connection, but would not be surprised if one is found.”

Dirty Deeds: Someone writes to the MPD 5-D list to commend a recent neighborhood meeting with cops, and notes a solution the neighbors can take up themselves: “My personal concern for the block is how absolutely dark it is. On a regular basis there are only two or three front entry way lights on at night. At first I thought the front porches lacked light fixtures, because I’d never lived on such a dark block. But last night I actually looked at each house on the block. And 99% do have porch fixtures. My home unfortunately does not.Dirty deeds are even easier under cover of darkness. Wouldn’t it send a great message to the crooks that we care enough to illuminate our block, the front of our homes. Let’s shed some light on the night.”

Gas Impersonators: One member of the LeDroit Park list thinks he almost got duped: “on Monday evening of this week, 2 men dressed in white hazard-type jump suits with Washington Gas logo embroidered on them showed up at my door at 8pm. They claimed they were there to speak with me about ways to lower my gas bill and they had a binder where they flashed me some papers that looked like Washington Gas and Pepco bills. I did not let them in and told them it was inappropriate to be coming to my door unannounced at 8pm to talk about this and that if Washington Gas had a way to lower my bill they should send me that information in writing in the mail. They did not push further and said definitely it would come via mail instead. I should have called the police but I didn’t have complete proof that they were not indeed from Washington Gas, since their outfits were the legitimate Washington Gas logo. It was too late at night to call Washington Gas and check with them. But putting all the pieces together, no way Washington Gas is sending people to your door, unannounced at 8pm on a government holiday to talk about a deal on your BILL.”