A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
Bowser Bash: Many Petworth residents are frustrated by Councilmember Muriel Bowser‘s proposal for a 15 miles per hour speed limit on residential streets. “I think everyone agrees that there is too much speeding and stop sign running. But lowering the speeding limit is not the answer – more enforcement of existing laws is,” one resident writes on the Petworth email list. “What will get folks to slow down on streets and stop at stop signs? More enforcement. I am a big fan of random speed cameras (vs. fixed ones). Let’s add stop sign cameras too. Better yet let us have human enforcement – police stopping drivers and taking a loooong time to write the ticket (the delay is as painful as the fine).” Another list subscriber chimes in, attacking Bowser: “It is amazing that you would introduce legislation to place the speed limits at 15 MPH in residential neighborhoods but we couldn’t even get your office to help in getting stop signs installed on Sherman Circle. It is amazing how a desire to be re-elected really brings out the will to do more. Some of your biggest supporters have been on other list serves noting that they do not think this is a wise move and that they see no need for such legislation.” Bowser responds with a vague—but political!—statement: “My bill is a very good starting point for discussion. There isn’t one solution we know— education, enforcement and policy/engineering will all make our roads safer.”
Spaghetti a la Snot: One Columbia Heights resident has made it her mission to ban boogers from District food: The resident has created a petition to get restaurant workers paid sick days. “Restaurant workers in DC don’t have paid sick days!” she wrote on the Columbia Heights the email list. “No paid time off means more sick workers serving us food. Spaghetti a la snot, salad with sneeze vinaigrette, flu mignon, Cough-e (sorry, couldn’t resist), we might all be eating or drinking this stuff every day. Gross, right? That’s why I’ve started a petition to Mayor Gray and the rest of the Council, asking them to give DC’s restaurant workers paid sick days!”
911 Woes: Brookland residents are still infuriated that it took MPD two hours to respond to an attempted mugging. One member of the Brookland email list says police laziness contributes to crime trends: “The deployment of police is basically sitting in squad cars getting fat and out of shape aimlessly driving around… Parked and idling the motor. The criminals are not stupid and the kids are delinquent, they know the chance of being apprehended is minimal. They are clearly emboldened.” Another list subscriber blames parents: “Well said. The PARENTS should be made accountable. Kids don’t do crazy things unless they think they can get away with it. What can we do about getting parents to be more responsible?”
Prince George’s Gamble: In response to Prince George’s County’s decision to bring gambling to the area, the D9 Politico Blog lamented the decision as a lame attempt to generate revenue: “Do I believe there’s waste in our County government that can help reduce our operating deficit? Of course. I’ve pointed that out multiple times on this blog, and uncovered ways that our government overpays employees, overstaffs their administrative positions, and provides mediocre services. But that’s not going to fix the long-term structural deficit we face. We’re going to have to pay more now to get the government services our residents want, and if we’re unwilling to do that then our elected officials are going to make the lousy choice we observed yesterday by opening the door to putting slots in the County to generate the revenue we need. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee slots will deliver that revenue, but it is one of the few options left on the table.” At least slots policy in Ward 9 appears a little less fly-by-night than the District’s iGaming gamble.