Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

I think this thread works well on Monday and Friday.  If it doesn’t I’ll go back to just Fridays.

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have.

23 Comment

  • My rant, since it’s the day before the election…we have a new candidate running for the ANC in Petworth (ANC4C08). This is a seat that’s been held for years by Timothy Jones, who consistently votes down every single initiative of the ANC – he’s anti-tree, anti-development, anti-park, anti-beautification and on and on. He’s essentially an obstructionist who opposes any changes in the neighborhood, no matter how seemingly unobjectionable.

    Of course all of these measures typically pass with only one vote against them, but as a resident of ANC4C08 I would love to have a representative who is more positive and proactive on representing neighborhood interests. Jeff Green is running for this seat (see a story on him today in the Petworth News – http://tinyurl.com/669l3m)…I would love to see him win!

  • I am so sick of the lack of accountability of our leadership and the residents that allow crime and blight to continue. I am so sick of hearing excuse after excuse made for young black men in my community. Just recently, I did what everyone suggests needs to be done by approaching a young man and trying to mentor him. I told him his mother would be saddened to know he was selling weed. His response was that his mom knew what he was doing. It just made me throw my hands up in disgust.

    I am just sick of the senseless shootings over drugs, disrespect, etc. Sadly, I know that nothing is going to change. Obama can’t stop this. Fenty is helpless. So much for having a role model.

    The only way to live in a neighborhood without crime & blight is to move away from the people causing the crime & blight. Complaining on messages boards and doing community cleanups just drains you after a while. No sense of waiting for DC gov’t & MPD to do its job. It just isn’t going to happen.

  • Good luck to Jeff Green. Got to meet him at the halloween block party on Saturday. I wish I could vote for him, but I am not in his district. Get out and vote for Jeff, we need someone who isn’t an obstructionist!

    Rant: Dog owners who don’t clean up after their dogs, specifically in my yard or tree boxes. I love animals and I understand dogs go where and when they need to, but if your dog decides to relieve him/herself in my yard/tree boxes, please be responsible enough to clean it up. I hate being out in my yard working and stepping in a pile of crap. Okay, enough ranting, I have to get back to being nervous about the election!

  • Rant: The 11th & R/Rhode Island NW Dog Park is ready to go except they don’t have the gates up and a back fence up. Rumors have that the hold up is because Fenty wants a photo-op. Can we just get the fence and gates up? I can send Fenty a pic of my dog playing in the park with him shopped in, if he is so needing the photo op.

    Rave: Yay! Dog Park is almost finished!

  • Rant: Fixed-gear bikes, aka “fixies” are nothing more than lame fashion statements. It’s the most annoying hipster trend since ironic mustaches.

    Not to mention the fact most of them don’t have brakes or reflectors, which makes them illegal to ride on city streets and just downright dangerous.

  • I second Fellow Petworthian.

    Just because a tree box is not directly in front of a house DOES NOT mean that you can leave your dog’s giant dump right there on the grass.

    Today I stepped in a very fresh steaming pile, which kicked off a spontaneous hoedown to the tune of moaning and retching. And once I had finished doing a little slide jig with the curb and a large tree, I had to walk back to the house and change.

    It wasn’t a total loss though; my girlfriend got a huge kick out of the unexpected theatrical piece taking place by the car.

    Please, dog owners, have a heart.

  • Rant: Squirrels ate my Jack O Lantern, I officially drank myself into debt this weekend, and if McCain wins I will lose all faith in the American people and their capacity for rational thought (and yes, I realize thats a loaded statement, bring it on.)

    Revel: Halloween remains my favorite holiday, I have recently achieved a sense of complete satisfaction with my life for the first time since 2004, and finally I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

  • Ladybugs pull?

  • Nate, I totally agree. It would be easy for MPD to make it much less attractive to sell drugs on the street all night. They could actually arrest drug dealers that sell drugs on the street all night. It is pretty clear who is dealing what, as well as when and where all of this is going on.

    Like you, I am about ready to pack it up and move out.

  • oh wait, nm. its close

  • Fixies are indeed the worst! I commute to work on my bike (responsibly). The fixies are constantly blowing lights and signs, even breezing by other cyclists who are giving right of way to cars. if anything, they don’t stop due to the effort involved in braking and starting again. seize ’em!

    HBD, i was on jury duty last week for a drug offense in CH. ended in a mistrial because one of our MPD cops sweetened his testimony with (probably false) information that he failed to mention since the bust 9 months ago. couldn’t believe that he’d basically put this guy back on the streets by lying.

  • Oregonian,

    Interesting. And I am sure there are a million other things that could get a drug dealer out of jail within hours of being arrested or at least well before the trial phase. Just galls me that this happens in public, on residential streets with multiple neighbors calling the police nightly to report the activity and somehow nothing can be done.

  • “Nate, I totally agree. It would be easy for MPD to make it much less attractive to sell drugs on the street all night. They could actually arrest drug dealers that sell drugs on the street all night. It is pretty clear who is dealing what, as well as when and where all of this is going on.

    Like you, I am about ready to pack it up and move out.”
    HB, the falllacy is that we can stop people from selling drugs by catching everyone. The other fallacy is that people are going to stop dealing drugs if we increase the punishment enough. Someone WILL ALWAYS step in to fill the void when there is that much money at play. We are not going to be able to arrest our way out of this. That is what burns me more than anything.

    I have seen drug dealer after dealer on my block get arrested only to be replaced by younger more violent ones. I could at least approach the older ones and ask them not to sell drugs in front of my home. But now the dealers are more ruthless and unapproachable.

    To top that off, the parents seem to condone this behavior. We have not come up with any alternative approaches in 50 years. We have to try something new. It is easier to send a kid to buy cocaine than it is to buy a pack of cigarettes.

    What do you think would have happened had the jury convicted the guy? What do you think the positives woul dhave been? Do you think he would have quit dealing? Do you think other dealers would quit dealing? Nothing happens. People are not going to quit using. As such, people are not going to quit selling. It is as simple as that…

  • Kudos to Jeff Green for putting his platform out there on the Web. Now, I’m looking at who to vote for in the 4C05 SMD race (Andy Tuck vs Joseph Vaughan). Nothing, nada, zero out there on the web.

    I guess I’ll have to get off my ass and go visit them. Doesn’t it usually work the other way ’round?

  • I agree that someone somewhere will always deal drugs if there is money to be made. Everywhere I have lived, there have been drug dealers. What there hasn’t been is people doing it repeatedly, in the same place, out in the open, with the police not caring at all.

    My situation is specific, but if the dealers in my neighborhood were arrested and they lost the house they live in, there would be a significant drop in drug dealing on my street. The market they serve would undoubtedly be served by another dealer, but it is extremely unlikely that they would deal on my street.

    This may not not reduce drug dealing in Columbia Heights as a whole, but it certainly would not cause it to grow. Like you said, all you can do is separate yourself from the people causing the crime and blight. I do not expect any of them to undergo a conversion. Frankly, I don’t care what they do as long as they do it far away from my house.

  • The drug dealers on my street were evicted from their house, and now there aren’t any drug dealers on my street. On the next block the drug dealers lost their house when it got sold, and now a family lives there.

    I realize of course they are just selling drugs somewhere else, but if keeping them in jail doesn’t work, then I am happy to have them leave my neighborhood.

  • I wonder about a meta-conspiracy whereby large housing corporations ‘contribute’ to ANC members in order to secure Section 8 and similar gov’t funded housing complexes in poor areas. Then, those S8 complexes become drug havens, and ANC members refuse to push police to arrest and detain people, lest it interfere with the S8 harmony (and profit). Any takers?

    For my part, I see MPD arresting a fair number of people, but there’s no incarceration beyond a couple hours, and certainly no long-term counter-dealer operations. I no longer simply blame MPD, but rather ANCs, and our lack of congressional vote, which means that the larger law enforcement agencies like FBI and US Marshals don’t consider us important. DC is thus a haven for multi-jurisdictional criminals, who in other parts of the country (ie states) are pursued with great zeal.

    Also, I see MPD as woefully understaffed. They have about 3500 officers if I’m not mistaken. Which broken into three shifts and a certain amount of administrative and jail-tending leaves paltry few on the streets. Don’t even talk to me about the Federal law enforcement guys, they are security guards at best who seem to only shoot homeless every now and then. Again, this is an ANC and Mayoral issue. The folks who built us a baseball stadium. Twits.

    If anyone has the Bat-Signal, throw it up!!!!

  • Arresting these kids and keeping them in jail will not work. If any of you have spent time in DC jail you will know that it is practically a crash course on the best places to buy/sell drugs in DC. You learn about what streets are best for what drugs at what times of the day and what places to avoid.

    Have you ever considered what it would be like living in an arrangement like they have?
    They come home to their mom who is probably hooked on drugs or alcohol… their apartment is probably old and poorly lit… they get yelled at all the time by their family and they think they are worthless.

    They don’t see that they have other options in life because after a decade and a half or more of being considered a hopeless case they have come to accept their fate.

    If anyone wants to do anything about this problem I’d say start volunteering in the DC public schools and offering these kids hopes and dreams at a young age.

  • I somewhat understand their problems, I come from a relatively similar though not as drastic background. Unfortunately, the world is an imperfect place, and self-protection dictates that either they get incarcerated, eternally if necessary and with opportunities for rehabilitation, or I go somewhere else. Sadly, the latter seems to be the solution. Kumbaya is a great song and all, but won’t stop their bullets from exploding your head.

  • I realize that there are perfectly rational reasons why drug dealers deal drugs. I also realize that sending someone to jail, especially in DC will not rehabilitate him or her from doing just about anything. However, mentoring the idiots who deal drugs on my street is also ineffective. They ignore pretty much everything but threats to call the police (why I have no idea) and to photograph the Maryland and Virginia license plates of their biggest customers.

    While mentoring in the DC public schools may or may not help anyone, it certainly will not help in my situation, while police arresting the drug dealers and having them evicted from their property would definitely help my situation. I doubt it would help theirs, but I do not think that anything would. Nor do I care to help them if I could.

    Being poor and black in DC is extremely tough, but it should not be a blank check justifying any sort of behavior. Most of my neighbors who are also upset at the lack of response by police to these drug dealers are also poor and black. They seem to manage not to deal drugs on the street all night just fine.

  • What if some drugs were legalized like alcohol was in the early 19th century? Re-legalizing alcohol turned a whole lot of criminals into law abiding citizens.

    What if we did the same for some substances which are currently considered illegeal? It would help cut down on the criminal activity and be subject to some level of regulation.

  • It would not make me any less pissed off if they were selling beer or anything else outside my house. I am sick of having a nightly block party/bazaar going on in my street with screaming into the wee hours. It is illegal and conspicuous. The police’s only function is to enforce the law. They do not do that in this case even when the illegal activity is obvious and is constantly brought to their attention. Apparently we have to wait for someone to get shot to get a response.

    If the dealers would sell drugs in their house or in a less conspicuous and loud fashion, so that it doesn’t bother everyone in the neighborhood, I would have no problem. Apparently concern for their neighbors is beneath them.

    My problem is not a moral one. I couldn’t care less what they or others take to get through the day. I care that my neighbors and I do not matter enough to have a useful police response. If these morons pulled this shit in Cleveland Park, they would be in prison so fast it would make their heads spin. Having screaming idiots in front of my house every night also does not make me too happy.

  • Yes, I see your point. I agree with the possibility that, as someone who lives east of the park, if the roles were reversed and this was happening in Clevaland Park, the response by law enforcement would be different.

    I wonder what can be done if the real issue is police enforcement. We’ve had two Chief’s of Police within the last 5 years with vastly different styles. There is a police presence, although we all may disagree on what level is approriate; the police are around. And finally, there seems to be a will in the neighborhood to fix the problem.

    I guess the elusive answer is to the question of how to enforce enforcement, if you will.

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