A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
Rats of Chevy Chase: In case you don’t already have rats lurking in your yard and squirming through your trash can, one Chevy Chase family is offering free pet rats. One neighborhood email subscriber writes, “My children acquired pet rats one year ago. I am allergic to these little critters! They don’t play with them nearly enough, and I can no longer accept the responsibility. We are hoping to find a new home for them as soon as possible. They are both female, white rats with black spots. The girls live in a multi-level rat home with a running wheel in the bottom. We have attached multiple wooden chewing/climbing structures along the sides. They also have a nest ball and water bottle.” And don’t worry, they only bite if you go near them: “We have not had any issues with them biting aside from one instance during which my brother-in-law stuck his finger into the cage grates and wiggled it. Rats bite in order to determine what something might be—so he received a bite. They are accustomed to being held and placed in large hamster balls to run around.”
Erroneous Notice: Some District streets have fallen victim to a redistricting mistake. One subscriber to the Logan Circle warns neighbors of the error and the coming correction: “Some residents in ANC 2F06 have received notices from the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE) that they are being moved from Ward 2 to Ward 6, due to redistricting. I received one of these notices myself. The BOEE reports that ‘there appear to be a few streets that were incorrectly split between wards 2 and 6.’ They informed me that they have ‘identified 250 affected voters and will be sending a correction to them.’ Therefore, if you received one of these erroneous notices, you should receive a corrected notice soon.”
Bad Lab School Experiment: After news that a private institution, the Lab School, bid to take over Hardy Park, Palisades residents have been taking to their neighborhood email list to voice their concerns. One member writes, “I have noticed through the years that the Lab School has little concern about their impact on the neighborhood and there is little to no consultation with neighbors. I live very close to the Lab School and would not agree they have been good neighbors. For instance, their modus operandi is to exceed the levels set by the BZA for staff and students, and then seek ratification of this behavior from the BZA (which seems to always be granted). Nothing was disclosed to the neighborhood in that instance and the impact has been substantial. On the current matter, I do not think a private school should be allowed to reserve public space as they have done. Since this neighborhood is filled with private schools we risk being unable to use neighborhood facilities that we pay for as taxpayers.” Another resident chimes in, “Our Palisades neighborhood sports teams should not be forced to search in other neighborhoods for field space. I would like to add that the field space is not only used by organized sports teams, but also used by neighborhood kids after school, those who enjoy flying kites, folks walking their dogs, college kids just hanging out, and people of all ages who just want to go out and enjoy some open space on a nice day. We will all be affected by this decision.”
Fresh Eggs: Multiple Brookland residents are looking to bring chickens back to the neighborhood. One resident writes on the email list that “if you look at that Brookland photo history book, you see horses, chickens, cows, and gardens at various places right here in Brookland. I think we should bring them back, where possible. (are you listening, Franciscan Monastery? Or the HU Divinity School? They **DEFINITELY* * have room, and if they felt like going in on, or initiating, some sort of urban farm, I would definitely approve. I’d also approve if my neighbors even had roosters. Or donkeys. Or goats.” One resident also wants a goat, but thinks it might be illegal: “I actually looked into this because I would love to keep a couple of chickens in our backyard, and a Brookland yard could probably accommodate one goat comfortably. .. But alas, livestock keeping is prohibited in DC.” However, according to D.C. law, chickens are not prohibited, but must be 50 feet from any residence.