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Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr.TinDC

“Dear PoPville,

I’m trying to get a parking permit for moving (the “emergency no parking” signs) and the area that’s sectioned off for commercial vehicles (i.e., moving trucks).

When I try to use the online system, it wants me to indicate the number of the meter, but I can’t find it anywhere on the meter itself. When I call DDOT, they refer me back to the website. What am I missing?

I thought I’d throw it out to you and the PoPville community as surely others have encountered this.”

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3145 Mt. Pleasant St, NW

@bgneumeyer tweets us:

“New “affordable housing” in Mt. Pleasant seems at pricepoint for college-educated paralegals, maybe?”

The Craigslist ad says:

“AFFORDABLE BRAND NEW STUDIO APARTMENTS IN MOUNT PLEASANT @ $1,065/Month. 3145 Mount Pleasant Street, NW. Newly Renovated. Energy Efficient. Walk to Columbia Heights Metro, buses, Restaurants, Shopping. Income Restrictions Apply. For single person, MAX Income of $44,940, MIN Income of $36,514.”

Ed. Note: This is the recently reopened Monseñor Romero Apartments, formerly the Deauville that burned down 6 1/2 years ago.

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“Dear PoPville,

I bled my radiators Friday night. Then I was woken up at 6am Saturday morning by my downstairs tenant that the basement had flooded. We shut off the boiler and the water flow stopped. It was coming from the pipe in the attached picture. Could it be that I tightened the radiators too much? Caused pressure on the system? Any advice would be great heat is off until I figure it out!”

“Dear PoPville,

Does anyone know what was going on last night at the Washington Plaza Hotel (on Scott Thomas Circle)? There was a major police presence (I must have counted about 10 cruisers, a fire truck, and an ambulance was arriving as I was walking away). This was just before 9pm. It was also taped off and parts of the entrance appeared to remain taped this morning. Do you know what happened? I can’t seem to find anything on MPD’s Twitter or anywhere else.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

“Dear PoPville,

There’s a train horn that’s been going on since at least 11:55, but that’s just when I looked at the clock. I’m sure that the horn doesn’t exist solely to annoy me, so I was wondering if you or your readers had any idea why it’s been going on for 20+ minutes. I live in Hill East and can hear it quite clearly, so I feel bad for anyone that lives closer to the tracks or Union Station.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

Ed. Note: Info from the office of the tenant advocate can be found here

“Dear PoPville,

Here’s the deal:

1) I paid two months advance rent and a security deposit, all totalling 6400, to occupy a single family home with an illegal basement unit.The landlord did not have an active license at the time he rented the unit but acquired roughly two months later, after I called the matter to his attention. However, I signed a one year lease which began in August 2014.

2) At the time of renting the place, the landlord said that he intended to rent the basement, and there was an ad for the unit on Craigslist at the same time my apartment was on the market. The landlord said that he would charge me $200 in rent per month to cover my half of the utilities. However, I discovered and brought to his attention that he only had license to rent the unit as a single family home per zoning restrictions for the area.

3) I was in the process of selling my primary residence and so I spent several evenings preparing at my old place, preparing it for sale. Also, the chemicals used to clean the carpet exacerbated by allergies and caused rash breakouts for my 3 year old daughter. While I was away, the landlord entered the property several times without any notice – once to clean the carpet, once to turn out the lights.

4) My house did not close on the scheduled date, and I was a little hard on cash, so I was unable to pay November rent. Just before Thanksgiving, I noticed that the landlord shifted my daughters toys and cleaned the carpet – again wihtout notice.

5) Two days after Thanksgiving, the landlord sent a text message to tell me that he had moved my things to the basement of the apartment. I texted back asking why. He phoned back and told me that he needed to move my things because he had rented the place to another person. He said I could arrange to meet him at the basement to retrieve my furniture and personal belongings.

6) I am scheduled to close on my house on December 5th, and I now have no place to stay because the landlord has moved my things and rented my place to someone else.

And so now…. I am freaked out trying to find another place. I wonder if I have any recourse or what steps I can take against the landlord. I have never been in this situation before, and I would greatly appreciate receiving any help or advice that Popvillians can offer.

PLEASE HELP!!!!”

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“Dear PoPville,

The (in)famous Bloomingdale / Eckington locks began to show back up a few months ago, and now they are joined by some lovely spray painting artwork right beside them. I see the similarity, but not really how they are different. I don’t see how some people call one art and one graffiti. They either both have to be, or not be, in my opinion. Here are what I see as similar.

1. They are both put on public property by a private citizen.
2. They are both considered illegal by DC law.
3. They both have been removed multiple times by DC Government, which clearly says to anyone who may be doubtful about doing it again, don’t do this.
4. They both have been put back multiple times after ignoring the DC Government removing them from the location.
5. They both are considered an eyesore to most, and art to some.
6. They both are being forced on all the other citizens of the neighborhood without any poll as to if they are wanted or not.
7. They both are not permanent damage but both would take considerable effort and cost to remove.
8. They both cause a waste of taxpayer dollars

The only thing I see as a difference is that one is associated with the European American Community and one is associated with the African American Community.”

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to let you know about the challenges my wife and I faced getting our infant car seat installed. After we bought our child car seat, we decided to have it installed by someone with a certification and experience. I heard that the DC Fire Department offers car seat installation, so I searched and found  this flyer with the schedule of installation times and dates.

We saw that our local Engine Company 8 would have an installation opportunity on November 1. I called ahead to confirm that the schedule was accurate, and they said it was. But they also cautioned that “sometimes the installation team doesn’t show up.” We went to Engine Company 8 on November 1, but sure enough no one from the installation team ever came. One of the local firefighters tried to help but he was called away on an emergency, so we went home without the seat installed.

I called around a little more and was referred to a woman named Karen Gay at DDOT who coordinates their car seat program. Ms. Gay was very helpful – she always returned my calls and offered a lot of good information. She said that the DC government offered child car seat installation at the police station at 501 New York Ave NW every Tuesday from 10 am to 6 pm.

On Tuesday, November 25, I called Ms. Gay to confirm that we could get the car seat installed that day. She confirmed that we could, so my wife drove to the station. When she arrived, she was told that MPD cancelled the car seat installation because they wanted to use the space to detain people protesting the Ferguson grand jury decision. Apparently DC has the time and energy to incarcerate people protesting injustice, but not to ensure children’s safety.

We called Ms. Gay again and she apologized. Even though she was on vacation, she arranged for us to go to the Half Street Inspection Station in SW, where a gentleman named Larry Walker finally installed the seat for us. It took less than 15 minutes.

After several weeks of effort, three separate trips, and about a dozen phone calls, we were finally able to get a certified DC safety expert to install our child car seat. But it shouldn’t be that hard. Not all parents have the time to make several fruitless trips across town and to follow up with phone calls. Moreover, parents should know that the Saturday installation schedule I linked to above is inaccurate and unreliable.

This may seem a minor problem to some, but to new parents it’s a big deal. I’ve reached out to my councilmember to alert him of our difficulties and hopefully the city will get this sorted out in the future.”

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“Dear PoPville,

There were sets of two young men (early-mid 20s) in suits and clipboards going door to door (at least two sets, more explained below) around 7:30pm Tuesday night. I live in the 1300 blocks in Petworth. The men represented themselves as being from PEPCO and asked my name and to see my utility bill. Their line was that “PEPCO send out an important notification on page 2 of your bill and we are here to make sure you are aware of it.”

Sounded a little fishy and I declined to show them my bill, but I thanked them for bringing it to my attention. I immediately called PEPCO and I was told that there wasn’t any general notification on their bills and that, in any case, they didn’t go door-to-door with that kind of information (much less to ask to see bills). Thinking this might be a scam I thought I should do something to report them, or at least discourage them somewhat.

I called the police, who later arrived and spoke with one pair of the gentlemen. As the police were on the way I received a call back from a dispatcher who said officers were speaking with the two men. I could still see the two men I spoke with working their way down the block and no officers in sight. Speaking to the dispatcher, it appeared there was another group of men going door-to-door.

After the confusion was resolved additional officers arrived and spoke with the two men on my street. The officers later came to me and told me the door-to-door men were “legit”. They may have been, but these men certainly lied to me about who they were and who they represented.

So are these gentlemen scammers or just really aggressive salesmen? I couldn’t know for sure, but I would hate for any of my elderly and perhaps more trusting neighbors to be caught up in some kind of scam.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Jim Havard

“Dear PoPville,

This will be my first Christmas in Columbia Heights and I was wondering if any of your readers knew where to purchase a live tree within a few blocks of 14th and Irving? I do not have a car so it will have to be walked to my apartment at 14th and Irving.”

Ed. Note: If you have a favorite spot and/or fundraiser sale you’d like to tell folks about in other neighborhoods please do so in the comments here. Thanks. And you can see last year’s recs here.