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

Spoooooky Tulip Planting! Renew Shaw sounds the call for neighborhood beautifying on All Hallow’s Eve eve. “Mark  your calendar: on Sunday, October 30 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. is the third annual tulip planting on Ninth Street.  We’re hoping to have the biggest tulip planting event yet—with a heavy emphasis on the treeboxes between Rhode Island Avenue and U Street.”

Irony Isn’t Always In Order: Congress Heights on the Rise left a community meeting to discuss whether the neighborhood is “ghetto” only to arrive at a crime scene outside the door of the UPO Petey Greene Center. The author writes, “While I know that there will be ‘jokes’ and snarky comments about the irony of tonight’s events there is nothing the least bit funny or amusing or even expected about what happened. Crime happens everywhere whether it be Congress Heights or Georgetown and it is deplorable, despicable, and should never be tolerated, least of all expected.”

Maybe Verizon Should Employ Cats? A member of the New Hill East email list has a problem with phone service. “We have a ‘rat’s nest’ of wires in the alley behind our house. Though it may not be a safety hazard, whenever it rains, our telephone service is virtually unusable. I couldn’t figure out why my DSL throughput had gotten to be so slow until I took the handset off the cradle, and heard a tangle of crackling hissing noise over the dial-tone. I’ve had several Verizon technicians out to test the line where it goes into my house, and each one has pointed to the ‘rat’s nest’ and said, ‘Oh ho! There’s your problem!’ ‘Well, can you fix it?’ ‘You’ll have to call Verizon.’ ‘I thought you were Verizon.’ ‘Yes, but you need a different department.’ Needless to say, no one from Verizon has ever bothered to come out and clean things up so that they can even be properly diagnosed.”

Or Maybe D.C. Should Employ Cats! Apparently an increase in rats has led to an outbreak of leptospirosis, a disease that’s potentially fatal to dogs (and transferable to humans!). One LeDroit Park resident whose dog has been sickened writes on a neighborhood email list, “To our ANC commissioners: Please take this seriously, as well, and inform the proper D.C. authorities about this outbreak (animal control; Department of Health; CDC type authorities; etc.).  It is a very very serious, personally and emotionally tragic, and financially costly scourge in our neighborhood, caused medically by rats.  The rat epidemic needs to be stemmed and our D.C. taxpayer resources must be spent on doing so.  This is quite more important than many other things D.C. is doing with our tax dollars.”