Yet Shepherd Park resident Don Squires came up with perhaps the most original protest. At an advisory neighborhood commission meeting earlier this year that addressed the unwanted deliveries, Squires showed up with a bag of Examiners that’d landed on his front lawn. He proceeded to dump them in the meeting room, provoking a commissioner to declare him out of order.
Squires responded that he was just making a point: No one wants a pile of trash in their space. Watching all of this was Examiner Publisher Michael Phelps.
Phelps also absorbed some blows on the very candid Shepherd Park listserv, which boiled over with nastiness about the free newspaper. Wrote one neighbor:
Recently, we were out of town for 10 days and our home was broken into. In our absence, The Examiner had been delivered and was littering the sidewalk to our house (I stopped the Post). For 2 years, I have begged and pleaded for delivery to stop, repeatedly voicing my concern about this being a home security issue. I have contacted Mr. Phelps and the head of circulation numerous times; I have called the 800 number; and, I have filled out the “Stop Delivery” function at The Examiner (all suggested by Mr. Phelps himself during his ludicrous ANC appearance).
The Examiner also got some pressure from the office of Councilmember Muriel Bowser, which acted as an intermediary between Phelps and the angry residents. Phelps was unavailable for comment.
These days, less newsprint is getting thrown around in this stately D.C. neighborhood. Squires reports that for the first time since mid-July, he’s not getting the deliveries. One big help is that the Examiner around that time bagged its nearly daily deliveries and went with a twice-weekly schedule. “I think it was done with an eye toward not bothering people as much,” says Squires.