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

Damn Bugs Whacked Him: From the Tenleytown email list comes this urgent warning: “Our sugar maple is severely infested with aphids. The newly grown tender leaves are dropping everywhere. They are on the underside of the leaf, initially little white bugs smaller than kosher salt, and then as they mature, they are black, about the size of a rice grain.We had an arborist…out yesterday and they will be treating the soil, which will be absorbed into the tree through its roots to kill the aphids. In the meantime, I bought lady bugs (actually they are beetles). The arborist said to get the convergens or the twice stabbed variety of lady bugs. They are voracious aphid eaters. Johnson’s on Van Ness sells them. I just wanted to pass this on, if your maple is infested.”

(I Was Born) A Unicorn: The Hill is Home has a surprisingly candid take on the redistricting process. “There’s been a lot harsh things said about Ward 7, and that’s been unfortunate. The truth is, we have little to do with our neighbors across the river, and I’m disappointed that that distance, coupled with the outrage many of us have felt, has caused us to become even more distant. Not very One City of us, but it takes more than plastering a slogan on stationary for that admirable concept to become reality. You have to get out and lead to make it happen, and I’m not seeing that happen. I really wish some leader, perhaps a Mayor, a City Council Chair, an at-large Councilmember (bonus points if you’re on the redistricting committee), or even my (possibly) future Ward 7 Councilmember would stand up and give a better rationale than ‘well, someone’s got to get screwed, and I guess it’s you guys.’ I’d also like a unicorn,” says the post. Commenters, as to be expected, have descended into armchair analyses of possible redistricting strategies. BaancBlog, based in Shaw, also has some smart thoughts.

Tip Your Bartender: Penn Quarter Living talks the people behind the booze with an ode to a favorite, now-departed bartender at Central: “On nights when we’d walk into Central and see Brian wasn’t working we would turn around go someplace else. And then suddenly it seemed like we were doing that all the time.  When we finally asked we found out he had moved away from the area. Central must have a knack for hiring great bartenders as subsequently we’ve had all of our drinking & dining needs well looked after by Nikki; but we always wished we had given Brian his due when he was still in Penn Quarter.” Commenters offer their suggestions for great bartenders, including “Amy at the bar at the newly opened Fiola (678 Indiana Ave) does a nice job of tending to patrons. very nice space too” and “RFD, where all of the bartenders are always helpful and friendly and my Makers and Ginger won’t cost $10 or more.”

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left: “Recent signage (above) located on both sides of the street helps neither lane of traffic because the implied action is not right. The sign says ‘MERGE RIGHT, which makes sense only if ‘Right’ is to be interpreted as Correctly — as in Correctly Merge. Perhaps the sign is warning ‘MERGE (Coming from Your)RIGHT’. With all kidding aside, the traffic warning sign should read “MERGE LEFT.”Right?” asks Park View D.C. The semantics are important: “As a result there are daily near-accidents and a total disregard for the bike lane.” A commenter who identifies as an ANC commissioner says, “Thanks for this post. As someone who cycles through this intersection on an almost daily basis, I understand the problems for cyclists and vehicles. I have been in communication with DDOT and have received confirmation that plans are in the works to modify the lane configuration to make them more clear.” But others think “I have no doubt that the lane configurations can be tweaked. At the end of the day, though, there are too many lanes, the roads are too wide, and coming off/getting on the speedways around the Hospital Center and North Capitol, everyone is going far too quickly.”