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

Emergencies Before Trash: “Early this afternoon, I witnessed a pickpocketing at the Safeway at Connecticut and McKinley. The victim’s caregiver chased the pickpocket, and, dramatically though dangerously, recovered a wallet and its contents,” writes a member of the Chevy Chase email list. “The caregiver and I both called 9-1-1, but there was no answer. Luckily, a bystander was able to cross the street and ask a police officer to take a report. Forty-five minutes later, I called 9-1-1 again to try to report to a supervisor that nobody had answered two earlier calls about a robbery in progress. Again, nobody answered. The police officer and a detective who arrived after a long wait explained that there already had been complaints today about 9-1-1. The detective said that he was the only precinct detective on duty. Trash pick-up can wait, but, please, can we have emergency city services on holidays?” Tom Smith, the Ward 3 liaison to the Executive Office of the Mayor, responds, “I have forwarded your email directly to the Deputy Mayor who manages 911 and his direct manager of our emergency communications. It goes without saying that our calls need to be answered, and done so promptly. Thank you for posting, and for your courageous and neighborly action.”

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me: On the MPD 5D email list, a member writes—in response to a thread about a spate of robberies around Seaton Place NE—”Curious to know if the burglars are from Ward 5 or are outsiders targeting our Ward because they think we’re sitting ducks. What do your arrest statistics tell us about the criminal’s place of domicile?” MPD Commissioner Andy Solberg answers, “We are still investigating a situation from last week, and it is best for me to not give out too much information at this point.  I would ask that residents call 911 if they see any person or event which seems suspicious to them.”

Shepherd Park, 1966: A member of the Shepherd Park email list inquires, “Good evening, the church I attend was built in the early ’60s. The exterior doors and locks are no longer working properly. Can anyone recommend a reputable contractor who has experience in diagnosing and repairing period doors/locks in large facilities?” Another member writes, “Try R.C.Huffman at Executive Lock and Key Service…He installed a number of old fashioned mortise locks—including troubleshooting one of them—in my 1930s house.” On the same list, a third member writes, “I need to get my hands on one for an hour or so to see which of my old 8mm cassettes might have any footage on them. I have a Groupon for transferring them to DVD/CD but first need to figure out which ones to send off. I checked online for 8mm rentals but nothing turned up so would appreciate borrowing one if any are still floating around.” Presently, no one has any suggestions.

Is That Cheating?: A member of the Tenleytown email list writes, “I have a friend that is taking the capitol police exam in March. I was wondering if anyone knew of any idiosyncrasies of the exam-like choose all ‘c’s or something of that nature-or just anything at all! It would be so helpful!” No study tips—or cracks for the exam—have been offered yet.