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A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
No Pipeline Without Representation: One Dupont Forum member hit a Home Rule nerve when she requested that other members “write your home senator to stop the tar sands pipeline (keystone).” Another member retorted, “My home senator? My home is the District of Columbia, so I have neither a ‘home state’ nor a senator.” When another member challenged the environmentalist’s knowledge of the issue, she responded, “I have been attending the Keystone XL demonstrations and using every avenue available to me to FIGHT AGAINST THE PIPELINE. I have read a great deal of the available literature re this issue.” She went on to sum up the issue: “It’s ALL MONEY AND POWER. GET THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS and maybe we can still have a Planet for our children and grandchildren to live on.” One of her fellow Dupont Forum subscribers was not in the least swayed: “Yes, by all means! Let’s stop anything that has any risk to it or any possible side effect! Let’s get rid of cars, houses, modern medicine…everything and anything! Let’s leave our grandchildren [a] stone-age world. They’ll happier – provided they don’t come down with an illness or get eaten by a tiger on their way to the communal watering hole. ;)”
The 1 Percent: Someone on the Shepherd Park email list “find[s] the leash law to be a complete joke.” Although “most dogs are too small or peaceful to be anything of a problem…at least 1% of the dogs are large, aggressive dogs that could cause serious damage to a person and certainly kill a smaller dog.” He recommends D.C. “change the law to something they can handle, maybe dogs over 40 lbs need to be on leashes.” But another member is worried about the small pooches as well. “When you are running or speed walking even a small friendly dog can easily trip you. So the usual excuse of ‘oh but it is very friendly.’ is meaningless.” At the very least, writes one member, “post signs ‘NPS is not responsible for injuries due to unleashed dogs’, so we know.”
Crash Into Me: Chevy Chase wants everyone to hang up while driving—a hands-free set isn’t going to cut it. Writes one neighborhood email list member, “The problem is that the party on the other end of the conversation doesn’t understand the driver’s current context and may, e.g. ask for detailed sales figures just as the driver is trying to negotiate Chevy Chase Circle.” Another member thinks that when it comes to enforcing the no-talking-while-driving restriction, “the city makes a mockery of the law.” But does it matter? Sales-figure member thinks not: “[F]rom a public safety point of view they are no more useful than making it illegal to drive while wearing a pink shirt.” According to this member, studies indicate that a hands-free cell phone device doesn’t decrease the risk of an accident. However, another Chevy Chase subscriber doesn’t see how using a hands-free device is different from talking to a passenger—“I suppose those can be distracting, too, but folks have been doing that since, oh, seats were installed in cars…” Touché.
Remix to Ignition: A Metro officer wrote to the MPD-4D email list encouraging members not to leave their cars running with the keys in the ignition. The officer cited a law against leaving a running vehicle unattended, inciting an enthusiastic response from one email list member: “My reply is, who cares if it is illegal? It is simply stupid.” He went on to wonder, “Whatever happened to common sense and personal responsibility? It is flat out STUPIDITY for anyone to start their car and leave it unattended….It’s a matter of being situationally aware.” This member is a “huge supporter of the Police, but more importantly I’m a bigger supporter of being responsible for my own actions and my own property.” Finally, he lamented, “Common sense is not so common anymore.”