section 8 rent
Photo by PoPville flickr user Christopher Schmidt

“Dear PoPville,

My dear friend and I purchased a condo in Langdon to rent out. It’s a spacious, light-filled 3br, 1.5 ba, on two levels. It’s about 1 mile from the Rhode Island avenue metro in a quiet neighborhood three blocks from Langdon Park. We’re looking to rent it for $2200 and are finding the only folks interested in renting it are part of DC’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (aka section 8). We have no experience with this and would love some advice about it all.

Advice, comments?

The website says DC pays up to 70% of the rent, with the tenant paying the rest. I’ve heard stories of tenants not paying their portion, leaving the landlord in the lurch. As it’s extremely difficult to evict someone if any payment is being made, I’d like to hear of others’ experiences with renting to Section 8 voucher holders.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

“Dear PoPville,

Ever since I’ve had Netflix I’ve been charged a 10 percent sales tax. Every month for maybe 3-4 years I’ve been charged $7.99 (+$0.80 tax). I had thought that the only 10 percent tax in the city was for restaurants and I didn’t think that should include Netflix, so I reached out to D.C. government to see what the correct tax should be. They confirmed it should be 5.75 percent.

As per the D.C., code 475.1 ( information services), gross receipts from the sale or charges for information services shall be subject to the sales and use tax at the rate of 5.75%.

I have reached out to Netflix for a refund of the small amount of money they’ve been overcharging me, but so far I haven’t heard back from them (and I was just charged my next month’s bill with the same incorrect tax). What interests me, though, is if most D.C. residents are getting charged the incorrect tax. If that’s so, who pockets the extra cash? It’s a lot of money if it’s everyone with a D.C. address that subscribes to Netflix. Just wonder if I’m the only one and if I’m not who is making off with the extra money.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Chamberlin

“Dear PoPville,

We just bought a house in Petworth and are moving from Columbia Heights. We are currently in a 1 br apartment so we don’t have a ton of stuff (for two people) but our last move across town was enough of a nightmare that we aren’t doing it again ourselves. Could anyone recommend a small scale moving team who could move a small amount just a mile or so across town? We have about a month until move date so any and all suggestions would be appreciated.”


“Dear PoPville,

My wife and I are moving back into the city after a short mistaken stint in the burbs. We’ll be moving into an apartment in a renovated townhouse, which means there is no front desk or foyer. While we’re looking forward to our return, we just came to an odd realization this week that I had never really considered – any packages that are delivered will be left on the doorstep, and package theft is a standard (and sad) part of city life. And yet, we’ve come to rely on these deliveries for everything from pet food to home goods.

We can’t be the only people who have pondered this, and I’m wondering if anyone in PoPville knows of a solution to get packages delivered from non-USPS mail handlers (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.). Amazon has lockers, but the closest one is in Arlington. I’ve read about services in other cities that accept packages for you and stay open late so that you can get them after work. Are there similar services that we don’t know about?”

Swale rendering by mary mattingly

“Dear PoPville,

I sent this to Mayor Bowser. It is my hope that DC can offer a program such as the one described in the below article. I think it would be cool for High School Seniors to have an opportunity to earn their community service credit and do something human for the needy.”

People Will Soon Be Able To Forage For Free Food In This Floating Forest:

“New Yorkers will soon be able to pick apples, arugula and rosemary — for free — from an edible forest planted on top of a barge. The vessel and project, named Swale, will glide along New York City’s waterways, docking at locations like Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governor’s Island starting early this summer.”

watch the full video on Swale’s kickstarter here.

Lots of info from Swale’s kickstarter here and on their website here.

police week

“Dear PoPville,

Police Week sure is annoying. [this year’s official NPW dates are Sunday, May 15, 2016 through Saturday, May 21, 2016]

MPD is great and works with our neighborhood on a lot of difficult issues even when some of their bosses downtown can’t get their heads out of their butts. But even MPD must be annoyed at the knuckleheads our Cities’ Finest choose to send to Police Week. I feel bad for Chief Lanier; at least this time, it’s not her fault.

I wouldn’t mind a cathartic “Out of Town Police Behaving Badly During Police Week” PoPville photo contest. As usual, there will be plenty of opportunities to see it this week.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mike Rucki

Thanks to all who emailed about this rise from DDOT:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to implement adjusted parking meter rates as part of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015. The new rate structure was ordered by the Council of the District of Columbia last year, and establishes parking meter rates at $2.30 an hour for commercial and passenger vehicles citywide.

Approximately 14,850 parking meters across the District will be reprogrammed over the next several weeks. DDOT and the city’s pay-by-phone vendor will update software to accommodate the new rate structure, which takes effect June 1, 2016.

Following are the new rates:

Premium Demand Zones
$2.00 to $2.30 an hour

Normal Demand Zones
$.75 to $2.30 an hour

Commercial Loading Zones
$2.00 to $2.30 an hour

Commercial vehicle operators have the option of purchasing annual passes for $323, day passes at $25, or pay-by-cell for loading zone use. Information on the loading zone program can be found at

Motorcycle Parking
$0.25 an hour citywide”

And since we’re on the topic:

“Dear PoPville,

I just had a very frustrating parking experience. My meter was a few minutes from expiring, but I was on my way to the car to move. When I approached the car I could see a meter attendant coming towards it as well. I used my electric door opener to signal that I was on my way. Nonetheless, as I approached the meter attendant was writing a ticket. My meter expired at 11:42:41 and it was now 11:43. As I walked up I said to the meter attendant, “my parking is just expiring right now in one minute.” she responded, “well you are one minute too late”, wrote the ticket and printed it out and stuck it under my windshield. Annoyed, but resigned, I grabed the ticket off the windshield and went to leave. She stated ” I need to take a picture of that, you can’t take that” I said, well I have to go, and I grabbed it and put it in my car. She then printed a second copy ripped it off and put it on my windshield. I grabbed that ticket too and put it in my car and went to go leave. At that point she started taking pictures of my car, my license plate, and the meter. When I rolled down the window to ask what she was doing, since all that info is on the ticket, she started chanting “I’ve got you, I’ve got you. You are busted.” Obviously this is an annoying experience on many levels.

In this case, I am wondering a few specific things. First, who can we complain to about specific meter attendants. Second, is there any sort of grace period for a ticket? In this case my meter expired literally 20 seconds before a ticket was written. I guess if I had picked up my pace a little bit or not stopped at a crosswalk I might’ve made it to the car in time.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

Ed. Note: Hopefully OP doesn’t live on Archibald Walk

“Dear PoPville,

Can you ask the community if anyone knows where I can get a cheap/free utility pole? I contacted Pepco and they sent me an email to another division, which I’ve emailed several times to no response.

I’m trying to set up a zipline in the back yard for the kids, and I want to bury a pole 3 feet down and still have it high enough for the line.”

parking pain

“Dear PoPville,

I have lived in Logan Circle at Vermont and N st NW for 6 years and over the past 2 months we have had a string of car break-ins within the garage of the condo unit. The person responsible for this matter breaks the driver side windows and steals anything of value inside. This has happened three times to over 30 cars in our garage over the past few weeks. The police have offered little help and have not even finger printed the cars broken into. The building has reconfigured the fobs for the doorway entrance, but the break ins continue. We believe this is an inside job as the offender knows where all the cameras are in order to move them so he / she does not appear on camera for long. Just a PSA of what is happening in our area so that others do not become victims as well.”

and from Union Market over the weekend:

“Wanted to give you a heads up about a pretty crappy situation at Union market today. My car was broken into at 11:30am during the brunch rush while security was on duty “monitoring” the parking lot. Just want everyone to be aware that the main parking lot has no cameras and is prime territory for break ins, even during the busiest time. Union market had 3 parking lot security guards on duty and none of them seemed to see it.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

“My wife and I are planning to get rid of our concrete carport and have pavers installed, and we are looking for recommendations for good people/companies who do this type of work (I’ve seen a few previous PoP posts about DIY paver projects, but we won’t be doing this ourselves). Anyone?”

You can see all forum topics and add your own here. If you are having trouble uploading your question please email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail Please Note this is NOT an events calendar.