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

Come Together, Right Now: Though there’s been lots of drama posted to the LeDroit Park email list lately, thanks to a spate of local robberies, one member seems to have decided it’s time to have a kumbaya moment: “If I’m white and my neighbor is African American, what does that have to do with our mutual desire not to get robbed, and how does talking about my being white or her being African American solve the crime problem? In this instance, the crime problem is a discrete problem; let’s not muddle it with laudable but attenuated notions of diversity. I simply would like more cops patrolling this neighborhood. I should also say that I find even the invocation of Black Wall Street, Rosewood or Red Summer to be really inappropriate here. Has there really been any recent incident in this neighborhood that even hints of that kind of hatefulness? […] But above all, even if I’ve happened to be that guy that stared at you or didn’t smile back at you (and I truly am sorry if that has been me), I assure you that if I hear you scream for help, I will come running out my house to your aid as fast as I possibly can, even in my bare feet and pajamas. You are, after all, my neighbor, and we are in this together.”

DC Water, Meter Maid: “For the past couple of weeks, several posters have made mention of having received inordinately high water bills for recent billing cycles,” writes a member of the New Hill East email list. “All posters indicated that their excessively high bills were generated from [alleged] ‘Actual’ meter readings by DC Water. The ‘Historical Usage’ graph (which appears on each month’s bill) showed an unusual spike in water usage for that particular billing period. I received a similar bill this weekend, and nearly fell on the floor when I saw that the amount appearing on this invoice was $123.63 (I still can’t believe it!!!) for an ‘actual’ reading for the time perior 11/9/11 thru 1/23/12. By way of comparison, my monthly water bill is NEVER larger than $20.00. Never. (I’m not really at the house often enough to use a lot of water — I take very few showers there, and do very little cooking/dishwashing and absolutely no clothes washing, as there is no washing maching in the house.) There are no leaks, no dripping faucets, no running toilets, and no (visible) means for anyone on the outside to tap into my water pipeline. This morning, I lodged an online complaint with DC Water. Within 20 minutes, I received a call from a pleasant gentleman at the utility. He insisted that there could not have been an error in the meter reading, and went on to explain that this particular bill covered 75 days (rather than the typical 26-35 days) because the reading from the prior month was ‘estimated’ due to some sort of metering problem. He suggested that I schedule a ‘site visit’ (i.e., a DC Water employee will come to the house to ‘investigate’) – that visit has been scheduled for this coming Friday morning.”

Getting Better All The Time: Third-person blogger Georgetown Metropolitan quotes himself in his annual post on the state of Georgetown’s stores: “GM was wrong to say the worst was behind us (any year we lose Furin’s has to be considered worse than the years before it) but the pick up in new store openings does suggest a positive direction.”

Drive My Car (To A Parking Meter That Works Properly): Parkview DC notices a discrepancy in a couple of parking meters. “The two meters above, located on the southwest corner of Otis Place and Georgia Avenue — just outside of Mom N’ Pop Antiques — appear identical in every respect. That is, until you look closely enough to what you get for your money. As you can see from the close up below, one of the meters will give you 1 1/2 minutes for a nickel and 7 1/2 minutes for a quarter while the other meter will provide 4 minutes of parking for a nickel and 20 minutes for a quarter. My overall sense is that one of the meters was originally set up for parking in another part of the city.”