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

Nothing Nice to Say: Congress Heights on the Rise posts an email from a customer that faced physical assault when returning an item to H&M Hardware in The Shops at Park Village on Alabama Avenue SE: “Then when I said I would video him saying this to post on YouTube, he came charging at me first swiping my phone, then coming after me with a bat. When I called the police, he took off in his own vehicle.  10 minutes later he returned and came charging at me when I was innocently standing on the sidewalk waiting for the police. He said don’t videotape me, but I wasn’t. I only starting videotaping him after he threatened me then came charging at me again. He hit me for the second time. The owner of the store refused to apologize. I felt he was disingenuous in not providing refunds for a faulty product (twice). What was more amazing, the Police Department refused to arrest this individual.” Congress Heights on the Rise, which also posted the video mentioned in the email, writes, “There are two sides to every story but I can not imagine any situation where anyone (let alone a store merchant or their employee) would pick up a bat to settle a return dispute. This is not customer service and this is not how rational people do things. In my opinion this is criminal.  I would also like to know from MPD why they chose to not take a report, let alone arrest the man on the video swinging the bat”; a commenter says, “H&M is a sorry excuse for a hardware store to begin with. Everything is over-priced and they don’t carry many items one goes to a hardware store for. They don’t honor their own store credits. I always end up going over to Frager’s. H&M is just a bait shop. There should be more justification for businesses to remain than their being long-time residents. They need to benefit the neighborhood.”

Leafy Green: Apropos of nothing but a rather whiny complaint about leaf pickup (“I live on the west side of Conn., north side of the street, and, as happens every year, the leaf vacuum truck has not come. While I enjoy the pocket parks across and behind my house, I also am inundated in fall leaves. I can’t rake them into Nebraska Ave. So I have to bag everything. Anything left in the tree box eventually blows into my narrow cut-into-the- hill driveway where, of course, it’s my job to bag the leaves. Oh well, it’s not nearly as bad as the annual massive blocking-of- the-driveway by the snowplows… and I should be grateful that I live on an always-plowed street [If I can get to it.].”), a member of the Chevy Chase email list offers this tidbit: “Please don’t overlook the opportunity to use your leaves as leaf mulch. With the help of a decent lawn mower, you can turn those large piles into much smaller piles and then gather on a tarp to use as mulch throughout your yard…anywhere you might use hardwood mulch.” The member is clearly well-versed in the greenness of leaf mulching—”Over time the effects on the soil are dramatic, protecting soil, alleviating erosion, keeping moisture in the soil. When we think of ecological health, we sometimes stop at air and water, don’t forget soil…..it is a precious commodity”—and the process’ other benefits—”And you can cut your need for other mulches in half or even to none. If you like mulch, you can likely do a much lighter layer, focusing on the edges, and reduce considerably the amount needed.”

Spectacular Commercial Views: A member of the Palisades email list inquires, “I am interested in hearing of any special locally-known spots to view the beautiful Potomac River with instructions on parking and foot  accessibility. Many thanks.” Presently, the only suggestion is the following, which reads a bit like advertising copy: “The C&O Canal Trust has partnered with the National Park Service to identify 40 remarkable sites along the C&O Canal in recognition of the Park’s 40th anniversary. Many are close to the Palisades. The Trust has also restored several Lock houses that can be rented for brief stays….The C&O Canal Trust is a terrific non-profit worthy of a year end donation as they are working hard to ensure the Park Service has the funds needed to maintain the tow path and canal structures that border the Palisades.”

Brookland Workout Plan: “Suggestions on gyms in the area with good equipment with little to no wait? Maybe some group exercise classes? Anyone tried either of the somewhat new $10/month-no-contract places in Hyattsville?” writes a member of the Brookland email list. “I’m a member of Bally’s in Hyattsville. They have plenty of elliptical machines and treadmills, but the free weight area isn’t very big, and nobody likes to rack the weights after they are done. There is an area for classes and they have a pool. They also offer month to month and cheap rates for new members for the first year,” responds a second member. They add, “In my research, it’s the closest, decent gym in the area. Shame, there isn’t a good gym in North East to speak of.”