City Desk

Neighborhood News Roundup: Lock it Up Edition

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

Neighborhood News Roundup

No, But Really, It'll Get Stolen: In Shaw, in a post titled "Yo bike gonna get stolen," warns against the dangers of chaining bikes outside. Apparently, a bike locked outside the Shaw-Howard Metro station is slowly being stripped of its parts, and the blog has personally witnessed an attempted theft: "I was in the living room watching TV when I noticed this guy lifting the bike over the fence. I yelled, ran out of the house and chased him. The bike was such a POS that the guy only got a few yards down the block before he ditched it and ran away from the crazy black lady." One commenter posts their own experience: “Some hobo sat in front of Safeway watching some guy try to cut thru my lock for 10min. Didn’t work. One time I caught a guy creeping up to the front of the window at work with huge pair of bolt cutters, ran after him cussing bloody murder but I have never seen anyone run that fast.”

Street Walkers: A member of the Shepherd Park email list didn't lock their car doors—and, unsurprisingly, had their vehicle broken into: “I discovered someone had ransacked my car, stole two DVD monitors, a few cases of soda and some chips. I realized it's my fault for not locking my door.But the responses to this post quickly segued into complaints about where, precisely, young kids deign to walk when they step outside. “For as long as we've lived in SP (25 yrs.) we've seen young people, usually school kids, walking in the streets rather than on the sidewalks, so I think that calling the police would probably be overreacting. On the other hand, I've never understood why they do it," writes a member.

The Whisteblower: On the Chevy Chase email list, a member asks if anyone's noticed an "uptick in unwanted phone calls" and, if so, what can be done to prevent such egregious offenses—or, "very annoying scams." Another member sends this advice: "If there is a live person on the other end, you can keep a loud whistle around your neck and blow it loudly into the phone. Years ago (before caller ID), when I was a single woman living alone, I was receiving obscene phone calls. The loud whistle in the ear of the creep was the only thing that worked. It may be drastic, but these people are incorrigible and unrelenting. Nowadays I do depend on caller ID. Of course caller ID does not stop them from trying repeatedly. Sometimes I pick up the phone and let it be known that I'm angry and tell them to take me off their list." They add, "Perhaps a whistle will even work with a robocall, assuming someone eventually listens to it."

Shut Your Mouth II: A few weeks ago, ANC1A Commissioner Lenwood Johnson invoked the word "bitchassness" when calling his associate Ken Boese, also an ANC1A commissioner, a "lowlife" in a private exchange made public on the Columbia Heights email list. Now, ANC1A Chairman Bill Brown may censure Johnson; though one member of email list things the chair would be overstepping his bounds, there's a general consensus that Johnson should be muzzled. One member writes, “It is certainly legitimate to reprimand a government official for using crude and misogynistic language while operating in an official capacity, whether the communication is intended to be public or private.”

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