City Desk

Neighborhood News Roundup: Church and State Edition

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

Neighborhood News RoundupSolar Panels Don't Speak to God: From one enthusiastic member of the Takoma email list came this notice: "Trinity Episcopal Church, at the corner of Piney Branch and Dahlia, the big old stone church, is in the process of a $97,000 energy efficiency upgrade. With the help of the city through a stimulus funded program, the effort is already underway. However, the church is facing a significant funding shortfall. The city is providing assistance through a little known program that supports energy efficiency improvements in house of worship and other non-profit entities." But others have taken umbrage with the fact that a church is receiving assistance from the city government. One asks, "I'm all for energy efficiency, but I'm an even bigger fan of separation of church and state. Is there some exception to the Establishment Clause at work here that I am not aware of? Or are we not talking about government funds. If someone can provide an explanation, I'd love to hear it." Though the initial, cheery poster explains, "Since the District supplies energy efficiency assistance to nonprofits and owners of historic buildings through the same program, it cannot refuse to provide the same service to a house of worship," the list has continued to as feel as "God should provide, not the government."

Spambotted: Every so often, spam messages will hit neighborhood email lists, which are typically supported by Yahoo! Mail or Gmail. A member of the Adams Morgan email list is baffled by this fact of life, however, asking, "The msg entitled 'hey there Adamsmo' is a scam and I'm surprised it got on here. I don't check this out often, and was just looking around to see what gets on there. It's fairly elaborate, made to look like an NBC report. But be careful when checking it out. I tried to send the link in an email to someone and my msg got stopped by Yahoo spam police. Any ideas who we should report this too?"

Police Resources: The Cleveland Park email list has been embroiled in serious discussion of what to do with the Connecticut Avenue NW service lane. The debate, whose two camps are those who think the service lane should be removed in order to accommodate more space for pedestrians and those who feel as if their mere existence necessitates parking in the same lane, has been largely summarized by the Ward3DC blog. But in the midst of all that, one list member found it necessary to provide an update on the still-mysterious Cleveland Park lilac thief. That update, which can be read in full here, extends beyond 500 words. A notable excerpt: "One of the officers had caught up with the guy yesterday when someone complained. The suspect's story is that he picks the flowers in public spaces along the sidewalk and uses them to establish new plants which he provides to his family in Georgia (USA, not Europe). He claims to be with the Jordanian embassy. He also says he's a security officer or private investigator or some such."

Brookland, ISO: One member of the Brookland email lists urgently requests help for "...how to wash tie dye off hands? I had the pleasure (bit of sarcasm involved here) of being at the tie dye station at my kids school today. My hands look as if they have gangrene!" But that's not all! The message continues, "To top it off I am going to a gala tomorrow night and am imagining what I will look like with a glass of champagne in my grubby hands. The dress I'm wearing does not have pockets so thats out:-) I have tried dish soap, face scrub, and baking soda. Nothing is working! I have been told it will fade away in about 3 days, but that just...how do I say it...stinks!" Another member offers simply, "bleach."

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