Every Tuesday and Thursday, we run down what’s going on in local Internet discussion groups.

One poster’s delight over the beautification of the notoriously chintzy 17th Street Safeway leads to a decidedly rare form of posting: the rave. “The changes happening there are really a great improvement over the outdated store that it was,” says the poster. “Even the lighting seems to be making a BIG difference … cashiers are now extremely helpful … Whatever a difference better shopping—and working—conditions can make!” Other residents respond with wah-waah gripes: “Unfortunately, the renovations are all in the interior,” writes one. “The exterior needs help – the 17th Street storefront is currently a forlorn brick wall. Those three berths under the awnings need to be given real windows. Note how great Whole Foods on P Street looks with its glass entrance.” Result: The original poster tempers his enthusiasm. “Yes, that is a problem … though I noticed that they’ve changed the color of the awnings from red to black … not that that helps with the brick berths any.”

An unexpected gift spurs an unusual question. “My friend works at a vet’s office and found a ‘gift’ of two young-adult (?) female ferrets on the doorstep when she got to work yesterday,” writes a pet lover. “She was going to look for a home for them but has now fallen in love with them. She has no previous experience with ferrets and is very anxious to know whether she can expect them to live peacefully with dogs and cats.” One lurker doesn’t think this adds up. “Your friend works for a vet and she wants us to tell her about ferrets and cats ?” CCDogPark writes. “Call me crazy but I would expect a vet to know the answer to questions like this.” Other posters are more helpful: “From what I know, cats and ferrets can live very happily together,” writes one. “About 18 months ago, I placed a FeLV positive kitten in a home with a ferret. The worst problem their person had was keeping the ferret from burrowing through the kitty litter! “ “I remember years ago I had two dogs, a cat, a cockatiel bird and two ferrets,” reads a post signed by Paulette, Cholla, Willie, Dolly and Fred. “They all got along famously. The ferrets even played with my bird.”

While a resident was out of town for a week, the city planted street cleaning signs on the block where his car was parked. His car, along with many others, were given $30 parking tickets. “No notice was given to the buildings involved, nor were any other types of warning notices posted,” he complains. “What are residents with zoned parking stickers supposed to do if they go on vacation or are called away? Pay the fine? Risk getting towed? I moved here, bought a car for work, & I’ve paid a ton of taxes & registration fees to DC already. We thought things would work out okay if we bought just one space in our building. (We just don’t have $50,000 more for another space.) Now, all I want to do is move out of the District and it’s overly burdensome, money-milking ways. After 14 years, I really hate living here now. I can’t believe that even I am being gentrified out!” Excuse this man if he doesn’t sympathize. “Let me get this right,” he writes, “you live 1 block away from a Metro stop, have a dedicated parking space in your building, and can walk to 100’s of shops, restaurants, and other conveniences, and have two cars and your complaint is about going away for one week on vacation and not being able to leave your extra car on the street occupying a public space while you were gone because of street cleaning and you are calling this gentrification?” After some back-and-forth on the board, the original poster puts up a compilation of responses: “Answers to my original question have basically been:
1) Get rid of my car.
2) Add the price of parking tickets to my yearly car cost.
3) Make a neighbor move my car while I’m away.
4) Pay for parking in a garage.
5) Park in unrestricted spots that are not near my home.
While all are current real-world solutions, they also seem to indicate that we’re all helpless to what our government agencies have decided for us. Kinda sad, if you ask me.”