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

Anacostia is for Pets: A Chevy Chase resident seeks a veterinarian recommendation on the community email list, and one respondent makes no bones about the best place to go: “I drive from DC/Chevy Chase to Dr. Ashley’s Animal Clinic of Anacostia since her service is thorough, gentle, smart with no upcharges or unnecessary tests. She is significantly less expensive than any clinics in NW DC and she is as good if not more experienced than most of the younger vets I’ve dealt with at Friendship Hospital—all of whom I have liked very much. I also tire of the upcharges at Friendship. I am thankful it is in our neighborhood in the event of an emergency and the vets there are very good.” The poster continues, “However, with the exception of an office that could use updating, the experience with Dr. Ashley has been impressive. She is a very lovely person, experienced, wise and practical about healing both cats, dogs and birds and readily makes referrals to specialists when needed. The neighborhood and the clinic are a bit run down but I’ll choose substance over style anytime.”

Lead Paint is for Kids: A member of the New Hill East email list writes about his travails in getting a school to remove lead paint flakes from the front of its building—including informing officials that they are allowed to paint over even if it’s a historic site: “I am amazed at the casual way [AppleTree School] responded to this threat to the health of the children under its care. It’s very sad when the City has to compel a publicly-funded institution to protect the pre-schoolers in its care. I hope that AppleTree School is offering the families of the children attending the school free tests to determine their lead exposure. Counseling on the risks of lead poisoning should also be offered to the parents since at least some of the children have been exposed. While I only saw children handling the chips, not eating them or putting their fingers in their mouths after exposure, the possibility warrants careful testing. After the list member wrote to complain, “attorneys at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn have sent me a vaguely threatening letter banning me from AT’s public charter school property and making untrue allegations. I can understand their desire to retaliate after such an embarrassing event, but AppleTree and its attorneys must learn that it’s a violation of the law to expose children to lead.”

How to Have a Happy Halloween: Frozen Tropics lists a bunch of tips for having a successful Halloween experience. Number 4 is critical: “Why the hell aren’t those kids wearing costumes? Yes, that seems weird (and lazy) to me too. There are lots of cheap or free ways to dress up for Halloween, but it’s not uncommon for kids to trick or treat sans costume.”

How to Make Sure Your Pets Have a Miserable Halloween: If under-costumed kids are getting you down, The Hill is Home is sponsoring a pet costume contest: “Our first ever THIH Halloween Pet Costume Contest is in full-swing and you have until November 2 to snap a photo of your dog or cat (or bird or hermit crab) in costume to submit for some wonderful pet prizes, courtesy of Metro Mutts and Chateau-Animaux.”