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

Flower Flour Thief: On the MPD 1D email list, a member writes, “Someone stole my UPS delivery from King Arthur Flour…who would want flour??” They add in a second email, “I can not, for the life of me, wonder who UPS thinks is home at 11:30 a.m…I will reorder, but have it sent to my work..never again anything here. I wish I had a camera outside to see who this was..” While another member suggests, “Would it be a good idea I’d if MPD were to run an “Package Sting”? If the resources are available, I would favor it,” a third answers the original poster’s first question: “Probably the same people who when they broke into my car some years
ago and gained access to the trunk stole three cases of cat food. ;-)”

Say Yes to the Trolley Barn: The Rosedale Citizens’ Alliance blog posts a link to a Root DC article about a proposed streetcar barn near Springarn High School, with this commentary: “The above article from the Root DC blog affiliated with the Washington Post outlines the displeasure Kingman Park residents feel about the area possibly becoming more industrial with projects like the trolley barn right off of Benning Road NE.  Comments posted on various blogs in response to the story vary from charges of  NIMBY-ism to anger about the trolley project ever being started.” While one commenter on the Citizens’ Alliance post writes, “I’m completely baffled on what residents want in this area and how they are going to leverage this situation to get what they want,” another commenter writes a well-reasoned defense of the proposed barn. “If well planned and developed in concert with DCPS, our State Board of Education, and other relevant stakeholders, this barn and training center could be a national model in providing opportunities to train some of our young people in relevant job skills for the emerging  ‘Green Collar Economy’ that President Obama has emphasized since his inauguration,” the commenter says. “In addition to the above issue, I would be remiss if I didn’t note the opportunity costs of waiting even more years than we already have for the streetcar system to be placed into farebox service.  While the tracks could be extended to alternative sites, consider that such sites could possibly require several years of land acquisition, “studies,” environmental impact review, and other remediation work before being ‘shovel ready.'”

Trust Falls: After a spate of attacks on the Metropolitan Branch Trail, members of the MPD 5D email list have suggested undertaking  patrols of their own to supplement police surveillance. “The Guardian Angels will partner up with MPD to patrol the Met Branch Trail in April. We are in need of residents who ride and walk on the trail to come join us in helping make the trail safe for everyone. All it will take is about 4 hours a week of your time. I will put out more info as it get closer to April. Also if anyone have any ideas on ways to make the trail safer. I would love to hear from you. Together we can make a difference,” writes John Ayala, the D.C. Guardian Angels’ leader. After a member of the list writes, “Though I seriously, deeply appreciate my neighbors being willing to help protect us, its seems a bit primitive and weird.  Why am I paying taxes for a police department when in order to get the safety i need, I have to have neighbors willing to take the risks of self patrolling. I feel like with more community oriented policing and better trained cops, these problems could be mitigated,” Commander Andy Solberg says, “I don’t think that residents taking part in community walks, bike rides, and other forms of neighborhood engagement is primitive and weird. Just the opposite: I believe that when the community and the police engage in a joint partnership, whether it’s on community walks or at neighborhood meetings, the police are able to get insight from the residents about things we may not have recognized before, and the community gains trust and confidence in the MPD’s ability to look for problems and develop solutions to them. We aren’t asking residents to self-police their neighborhoods.  We’re promoting collaboration which we believe will foster stronger relationships and thereby make communities stronger and safer.”

A Cat Without Fish is Like…: “A question for cat owners – My vet has recommended that my older cat (12) take fish oil for his coat, which is suffering lately.  I’ve put the proper drops onto his dry food (which is all that he will eat), but then he has completely refused his food for until I give it to him without.  Is there another way to cleverly get him to take the oil?” writes a member of the Chevy Chase email list. A second member suggests the WholeCatHealth Yahoo! Group for advice, writing, “I’ve learned fish oil tends to go rancid and krill oil is a good alternative as cats are less likely to reject it. I’m not pretending to be an expert, but my cats will no longer be fed dry kibble or canned food with grain. I’m planning to remove all fish from their diet.”