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

To the Google Doc!: A recent spate of robberies in MPD’s Second District has prompted a member of the Ward 3 email list to write this modest proposal: “We have been suffering through  a sustained  attacks on our citizens in our ward and there seem to be little in the way of community participating in this discussion. Too often I am talking with someone in the ward that is not aware of the ongoing situation. I think we need to set up a Google doc or open document that will allow us to start tracking the ongoing assaults  that are happening. From there we can use the open streetmap or a googlemap mash up of the locations,” he says. “We have savage, unmoral predators  in our community and there is nothing being done by the civilian leadersh ip.  And, one by one our neighbor are being robbed. So we better start doing something ourselves.”

Information Highway Robbery: Reports of rate increases by local cable and Internet provider abound on the TakomaDC email list. “I tried to renegotiate earlier this week and the RCN Rep (who took almost 20 minutes to figure out he could not lower my monthly bill amount) said that with the new rate increases they are no longer offering discounts to loyal subscribers. So, if anyone is successful in getting their rates lowered I will be very interested in how you did it,” writes one member. Another says, “RCN has attempted to raise our bill $10 a month for the past few years. Two years ago I staved them off, threatening to cancel. The following year I didn’t protest, but this year, the increase came a third time, so I just cancelled. They didn’t even offer to give me a better rate. In fact the rep was very confused as to what our rate for internet would be going forward. She quoted me a higher rate than what was being offered to new customers on the website. It’s disappointing, because my wife and I have been loyal RCN customers for a combined 15 years. I guess they feel they don’t need our business anymore.” And a third writes, “Can anyone explain why we don’t have more options for cable? Why can’t we get Cox, for example, which is in Virginia (dunno about MD). What’s the process for getting new services available in DC? I have friends who have Cox and love it. I’ve never said I loved any cable, and have had both Comcast and RCN, plus have had (and dropped) Verizon for phone and Internet (to get the bundled RCN). I’m hearing rumblings that FIOS isn’t as great as it’s been touted..and can we get it around here anyway? At any rate, I didn’t like Verizon’s service, and I understand it hasn’t improved. Sigh…”

He Doesn’t Even Go Here II: In response to an ongoing conversation on the Dupont Forum email list about a shady individual approaching women in the neighborhood, a member asks, “Thank you for the alert, but why exactly is this man being reported to the police? Because he tries to pick up women by telling them he’s new to the area when he seems to have been here longer? I didn’t see anything about him making gestures that might be perceived as threatening or asking for money or personal information. What’s the scam here? As a woman, I completely understand being on guard when someone seems off and think we all need to trust our instinct, but I also think we have enough profiling of people who appear foreign, dark-skinned, and different (from some of us) without contacting the police just because some guy seems weird and creepy.” Another member writes, “People in our neighborhood don’t freak out when we see people of a different color or nationality. But someone had enough street smarts to notify the police of something suspicious in an alley, leading to an arrest in the rooftop burglar case. And the posters here have enough street smarts to realize that this guy is telling lies in his attempt to pick up women in public places and there’s something wrong here. Maybe he’s harmless, but maybe not. And if someone goes missing or has a bad experience, it would be helpful for the police to know about this guy from the get-go….We do our best to act like grownups, and understand that troubled and dangerous people come in all colors and nationalities, and it is NOT profiling to identified such INDIVIDUALS by their skin tone, hair color, accent, or whatever. Identifying such characteristics helps us protect one another, and helps the police do their job.” The member continues, “And don’t forget that women HAVE disappeared from the streets of our neighborhood, and while worries about profiling are theoretical, these women have died – not in theory, but in real life. Again, if you see something, say something.”

They Taste Better than Pillowcases: “Borrow your sewing machine, I bake you cookies?” offers the title of a thread on the Chevy Chase email list. Its author writes, “I would love to borrow a sewing machine over this long weekend to make some pillowcases. I’m totally flexible for pick-up time on Saturday, and will happily return your sewing machine on Monday with some fresh baked cookies. :-)”

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