City Desk

Neighborhood News Roundup: Poor Little Trees Edition

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

Neighborhood News RoundupCleveland Park Problems: "I'm embarrassed I'm complaining about this, but I know I'm not the only one. My daily Washington Post delivery is routinely in the ivy/bushes — not nearly half-way to our front door. But our New York Times rarely makes it past the sidewalk. It frequently fails to get past the tree space, and one day last week it was literally in the street/gutter. I know we have a big front yard and Lord know I cant use the exercise, but it's not as if I expect the papers on the porch every morning. I also get that it's not like it was when I was kid throwing papers, but don't we all tip at Christmas for good service? I do," writes a member of the Cleveland Park email list. He continues, "Does anyone have direct contact info for either carrier or local distribution person? I've complained so many times to the newspapers' main circulation numbers, that's become embarrassing, as well. And it just doesn't work. Is it too much to ask that the papers make it to the top of our first set of steps? Thanks, in advance, for your inside phone numbers, advice and/or collective action." Mixed responses about service flow in, but another member relays this anecdote: "Our Washington Post mostly gets delivered without incident. But one weird thing that happened a few months ago was that our carrier wrote a message on our plastic bag complaining that we had been complaining about our service! It seemed a little aggressive, and also misplaced since we hadn't complained since we had a missed paper last fall. Has anyone else had this experience?"

Outrageous and Sad: Writes a member of the Mintwood Place email list, "I noticed that the poor little trees along the 1800 block of Columbia Road are really suffering in the heat. They are bone dry, and some of them seem to be a little over-mulched so that what rain might fall might not be. Would it be possible for businesses along that strip to do some watering—dripping water with hoses or with perforated tubs—to survive this heat wave?" "I'll ask my guys to water the tree outside of 1817 (Merrekesch) when they water our flower boxes in the morning," responds a staffer from Cashion's Eat Place. A second member of the list adds, "The suffering trees is outrageous and sad...This has also been a topic on the DCUrbanGardeners [email list], where some folks are also perplexed and distressed by trees being abandoned in this heat."

Portal to Pollution: A member of the Shepherd Park email list writes of a private landscaping company, "On my morning run, I watched workers...walk along 16th St and turn onto North Portal where about five workers headed into the woods with plastic bags full of debris. I stopped to watch. The good news is that they came out of the woods with the plastic bags balled up in their hands. The bad news is that they dumped the contents of these bags (debris from 16th St) in the woods. They then headed towards their parked truck on North Portal. I resumed running. Our tax dollars at work—polluting the stream beds in Rock Creek. Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser responds, "I am reporting this contractor to the appropriate agency Director. I’m also meeting with the responsible department directors next week," and another email list member replies, "This is disgusting – I live on North Portal Drive! What's wrong with these people? Is there no one with good sense managing the workers? The company needs to be fined!"

It Means Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Following the distribution of general awareness tips (think "Do not burden yourself with too many packages or items as you walk" and "avoid carrying large sums of cash) to the MPD 5D email list, a member asks, "What does 'be aware of your surroundings' mean, specifically? I've seen that a lot and never quite understood what it meant." Insofar, no one has stepped up to explain.

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