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

It Came from Beirut: In response to the report of a mugging on the MPD 5D email list, one member writes, “This area has become a super-hot-spot for this kind of activity in the last week. Is it appropriate for undercover agents to be placed in this area to resolve this problem as quickly as possible?” But another blames the victim, writing, “Not that I am condoning any type of violence but why was a female in an alley at almost 9 p.m.? In this day and age I just think all precautions should be taken for safety especially with the history of events in this neighborhood.” Rightfully, a third member points out, “…Seriously? Why would a woman be walking at 9 p.m.?????? Some women are coming back from work or even at the grocery store at that time. Any woman or man should be able to walk or drive even at midnight and feel safe. No wonder DC feels like a ghost town at night.” The second poster counters, “YES serious as a HEART ATTACK! If you know your neighborhood has had heightened criminal activity in the not-so-distant past…why not take extra precautions to keep yourself safe? Am I asking anyone to live as if they are in wartime Beirut…no…but come on, do what you have to do to be safe!” Poster No. 3 is not deterred, responding, “I do not think people in DC go on strolls at certain hours because of leisure. They happen to be there for a reason. Give them benefit of the doubt before you give everyone a lesson on safety and precaution. Seriously 9 pm is late???? Criminals usually do not target busy streets, because they are afraid of being caught. Police should be on the streets protecting us. I do not see that happening.I am from BEIRUT. You can walk there at 2 a.m. in the morning without fear, believe it or not. I never felt more fear than when I moved to DC. I agree that we should avoid alleys and quiet streets, as much as possible. But, sometimes it is not possible and everyone has their reasons. Please give them benefit of the doubt and let us focus on something more important here. WE need more protection, we need more police presence…we need more people to support safety so we can make our city a better one. I am upset that nothing is being done about it just like everyone else.

Unimpressed Person is Unimpressed: “I for one want to say thanks to everyone who got this done within the time estimated…and a little sooner, I think, than the estimated five weeks. Given the number of agencies involved and the bureaucracies involved at the federal and city level, I’m pretty impressed,” writes a member of the Crestwood email list in response to an announcement that Broad Branch Road has been reopened. Another member isn’t quite so overjoyed: “Yes, I am glad it is open too. Impressed, though, not so much. I am not blaming anyone specifically, but you’ll recall it has been restricted since April 2011 (In a manner that suited commuters, but not residents—for instance, the one-way bridge hours worked against those of us who needed to take that route in the morning to get our children to their in-boundary public schools), work promised in June, then began in December. Again, I am not blaming anyone specifically, but this is not impressive.”

Document That Sick Tree: “Does anyone know how to best follow up on a tree that is in a tree box maintained by the City but dropping branches? I’ve called 311 and registered the concern about the tree since it keeps dropping large branches and recently a limb onto Military Road. The tree is in front of our yard and with four small kids I’d rather find out sooner rather than later if this tree needs to be removed. It looks sick and with the rate that the branches are falling it seems to be deteriorating,” inquires a member of the Chevy Chase email list. Another member suggests getting in touch with the city’s forester, Robert Corletta, and writes, “I might also add, if you think that the tree is likely to fall over or be blown over (or drop more branches) I would strongly suggest that you keep a record of whatever communication you have with Mr. Corletta. RE: should you have a property loss, the fact that the sick tree has been reported to the city (and they did not respond) could make a difference in any insurance claim that you may want to file. Document, document!!”

Flower Thief, 2012 Edition: “Within the past days or so, someone cut several branches off a recently planted and still quite small oakleaf hydrangea on the corner of our house….The plant is diminished by almost half, so this smacks of vandalism, although I’m not discounting the possibility that someone wanted to help themselves to some illegal cuttings (but why take them off this vulnerable and small plant, when there is a much bigger and more accessible oakleaf hydrangea on our lot? Do they root more readily??),” reports a member of the Tenleytown email list. “I know a flower thief has been reported in the neighborhood before, and as I’m quite upset for this beloved shrub of mine, I wanted to ask my neighbors to keep an eye out for this new kind of horticultural criminal…”