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A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
A Bee in Your Sandbox: “We were at the tot lot at Lafayette today and found the sandbox unusable due to the large number of bees in the sandbox. I saw a hole near the edge of the sandbox that seems to be their home,” writes a member of the Chevy Chase email list. “Does anyone know whom I can contact about this so that the toddlers can reclaim the sandbox?” But another member feels those bees are critical to a greater cause. “Let’s take a moment here. I, too, would love to know who to call in situations like this. The bee population in the U.S. is under horrible stress. It has been the subject of articles for several years now because it is dying off at crisis numbers. I refer to crisis because bees have traditionally pollinated our vegetal food supply, orchards, garden varietals, farm produce, flowers, aromatic bushes, etc. Over the past few years, we have seen a massive drop in bee population, such that we are now witnessing a drop in vegetal production. If the extinction of the bee comes to pass, so will the extinction of ‘real’ fruit…If we just DDT these bees for the sake of ‘playtime at the park,’ we are going to lose that beautiful peach farm at the end of River Road in Montgomery County with many more serious ramifications! No offense meant, I want to see toddlers back in the sandbox as well. But I love my peaches, and hope there is a way the sandbox and the bees can be saved.”
What’s in a Curly W? JDLand reports, “Michael Stevens, the executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, has sent a letter to the mayor, the city council, the WMATA board and other city officials, formally requesting that the Navy Yard station on Metro’s Green Line be renamed ‘Capitol Riverfront/‘ (aka Curly W, for Nationals Park). With Metro letting it be known this week that any new station names will have to be 19 characters or less thanks to the transit agency’s decision to begin enforcing their own naming rules again, the BID’s earlier desire to add their name and the Nationals’ logo to the existing station name would not be allowed. Therefore, in order to get Capitol Riverfront added, the BID feels that ‘Navy Yard’ can be, well, shipped out to sea.” Commenters weigh in with insights such as, “To quote my mother when she was visiting DC: ‘Why do so many people here wear Walgreens hats?’ A single ‘W’-even in logo font-is just not useful as a subway station name. My vote (not that I have a vote) would be Navy Yard-Ballpark.”
Pooling Opinions: Members of the Takoma Park email list continue to ruminate over whether it’s appropriate to shorten some of the lap lanes at the neighborhood pool, one of only two in the city with 50-yard lanes. The discussion began with one member saying, “This 20 yard lane and attached kiddie pool provides sufficient area for children swim classes (I take my kid to one). I totally understand that Wilson is a community pool, but accommodating more experienced swimmers at ONE pool doesn’t seem like an outrageous request.” But a clarification comes from another, who writes, “The idea is not to take away 50-meter lap swimming, but to share the pool more equitably. I know that the 50-meter supporters imply in their petition that opponents want to eliminate lap swimming, but that simply is inaccurate. Having swum in the smaller pool, it really is not very satisfying for adults. Besides, adults are more likely to be at work and unable to use the pool in the afternoons when it is less crowded…A multi-use arrangement that could be replicated wherever possible throughout the city pools system seems to me to be the fair thing to do.”
To the Left: The debate on jogger etiquette continues on the Hill East email list. “Two quick points: first, it’s illegal for joggers to be in the bike lanes. Having said that, obviously it’s not the worst crime in the world, so, like jaywalking, make the calculation yourself. Second, cycling or running against the flow of traffic is extremely dangerous in an urban environment. Why? Because when a car is pulling out of a stop sign, driveway, or otherwise entering the roadway, they’ll be looking for oncoming traffic to their left, not to their right.” But another says: “Bike lanes aside, if you’re running in the street you’re best off running against traffic for the exact reasons he cited. You can see oncoming cars before they might collide with you. You’re not running fast enough to spook a car pulling out into the street and the responsibility is on you as a runner to keep yourself safe b/c if a car hits you (and you live to tell about it) who’s at fault doesn’t much matter in a collision that ends up with dented sheet metal on a car and broken bones in your body…I’d rather look out for myself than expect a motorist to do it for me.”