Neighborhood News Roundup: ***Human*** Services Edition
A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
Count Your Chickens: The Takoma Park email list is all abuzz about D.C.’s policies backyard chicken coops. After several neighbors expressed interest—“Count me in…Yippee!”—someone questioned the D.C. government’s ability to competently regulate an urban Farmville. He writes, “I'm wondering how many staff are available in the Dept of ***Human *** Services to carry out these regulations. Did the Mayor submit a budget with sufficient funds for these responsibilities :-). Why "Human" services vs. Dept of "Consumer" & Regulatory Affairs. or Office of Zoning or. Health Dept ???? Seems like DC govt [is] not prepared for the latent demand for backyard chickens.” The relevant codes are cited on the thread, but one neighbor remembers simpler times, when “the District ‘rule’ was that you could keep livestock as long as the neighbors didn’t complain.” One summer during the 1970’s, he hosted 22 chickens as part of the DCPS 4H program. At the time, “the chickens didn't seem that far out of place since there was a horse living in the basement down the street and a donkey and rooster living around the corner.”
Soccer Mom Problems: Someone on the MPD-1D email list isn’t feeling the neighborly love on his daily walks. Calling for more concentrated traffic enforcement at a particular intersection, he writes, “I have almost been hit twice while walking my dog and trying to cross 12th at that intersection in the last week. On both occasions it was parents dropping their kids off at the private school at 138 12th NE. When I confronted one driver this morning she told me to ‘stay out of the way’ – while she blows through stop signs and talks on her cell phone.” One of his neighbors echoed his concerns, writing, “Posting a cruiser at either intersection is NOT A SOLUTION because there are no repercussions to the scofflaws aside from slow traffic. Oops, when I wrote ‘slow’ I meant ‘reasonable speed.’”
Emily Post’s Election Guide: Baruti Jahi is canvassing in Shepherd Park—and someone isn't too pleased about it. He’s calling it a “door-to-door electioneering faux pas,” writing, “Baruti Jahi came by going door-to-door to enlist support. Noting the signs in my lawn for someone else, he proceeded to taunt me for backing the wrong candidate (based on the signs in my yard). Rather than inquire why I am supporting who I am supporting, or offering reasons why I should support him instead, he bragged how he was going to win by 5%.” He goes on to reiterate that this lack of politesse is not what he wants in a City Council candidate: “Assuming you are reading this, and recall the encounter we had today, that kind of attitude does not make me want to vote for you, and only hardened my resolve that you are not someone I want in office. Just thought I’d share.”
Crafty Bastards: Cleveland Park is getting crafty. Someone on the email list is giving away a bunch of Wired magazines, “in case they are useful for collages or other purposes.” Someone else is looking for some empty Kashi cereal/snack boxes, writing, “I need about 15 empty Kashi boxes of various kinds (different cereals, frozen dinners, crackers, etc.) for a project. They should be in good condition.”