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Photo by PoPville flickr user Kevin Wolf

“Dear PoPville,

Here’s our dilemma and we are looking for advice and insight.

We’ve redone our basement apartment in our new house (less than 2 months ownership) in the hopes of renting it out and mitigating the monthly mortgage payment. However, we are finding that it is rather loud down there–footsteps and voices carry, and we have two kids under 5. We are now considering trying to do Air BnB instead of having a renter so that we do not have to be on tenterhooks about any noises disturbing our renter at any time and instead can just be careful about volume whenever someone is in the basement as an Air BnB client.

The house is under 1 mile from the Brookland metro, and the basement is about 500 sq feet with two rooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, its own entrance and its own washer/dryer. Would it make more sense to rent it and have a consistent stream of money coming in while being very careful with noise every day OR to try the Air BnB market where we’d be able to be more relaxed about kids’ play and general ambient noises, but we would have to make up any differences in monthly payments ourselves? Convince me!”

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“Dear PoPville,

I’m curious if any readers received notification of a scheduled power outage on Monday (Memorial Day)?

My apartment building located in Adams Morgan received notification yesterday saying the outage is between 8:30 to 5pm.

I spoke to a Pepco customer representative and I also spoke to a regional representative. They both were sketchy about information saying the power outage will affect the Washington region (they did not provide any neighborhood or street names, etc.). When asked if the service interruption could be rescheduled for Tuesday, May 26th Pepco replied no because the information had already been sent to dispatch. They also could not provide any information on what repairs or improvements were being worked on.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user m01229

“Dear PoPville,

I found a Smart Trip card today between Portals I and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. While WMATA says to return the card to their office in Chinatown, I’m curious whether they notify registered Smart Trip card users of their card being found and whether anyone has successfully received their card from WMATA after losing their card.

My plan is to drop the card off after work tomorrow (earliest time I can get there during normal business hours) unless there is a better way to return the card to its owner.”

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“Dear PoPville,

I just bought a house in Takoma with a very nice driveway- but literally since the day I closed, there has been an issue with many, MANY different cars parking so they are about 1-2 feet into my driveway. It baffles me that so many people either think this is OK or are just that careless with their parking. The space between mine and my neighbor’s driveway is just enough that 2 small cars parked very close together can fit, but not really anything more than that. When cars are a foot or two in front of my driveway I can still get out, because my driveway is connected to my neighbor’s on the other side, so I can just go over into their side but:

1- this is still really annoying! This driveway is mine and I want full use of it!

2- I’m having a lot of repair work done on the house and it is definitely difficult for repair trucks and vans to get in and out

3- If my neighbors ever decide to use their entire driveway, or a 3rd car parks in there, I might NOT be able to get in and out.

I’ve considered calling the city to see if they can add one of those no parking signs starting just before my driveway, or paint the curb or something, and I have left 1 very nice note (I just moved in and I have no idea whose cars these are- haven’t caught anyone in the act yet) but it seems to have been removed from the windshield and the huge van was kept parked there.

What does everyone suggest? I am reluctant to tick off my neighbors before even meeting most of them…”

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“Dear PoPville,

Earlier this spring, a color run was held at RFK Stadium, and hundreds of people showed up in bright white shirts to be doused in neon powder at each kilometer along the 5k course. This powder comes in clear plastic packets that race staff rip open and discard throughout the day. Later that day, as I rode my bike along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail between the parking lots and the river, I noticed thousands of these empty plastic power packets littering the grass and blowing into the river. I wanted to believe that a cleaning crew was coming along later in the day, because I couldn’t accept that such negligence would have been tolerated by Events DC or the race coordinators. Additional cleaning crews did not come before wind carried these packets farther away.

On May 2nd, the “Color In Motion 5k Run” took place at the same venue. The event concluded by mid-day, and as we walked to the DC United soccer match that evening I noticed a disgustingly familiar sight along the paths. Hundreds of these plastic pouches were still strewn about the parking lot, adjacent lawns, and the riverwalk.

Participants in these races likely assume that their race fees cover clean-up costs, and it should. I’d like to believe people wouldn’t be signing up for something like this if they knew how much plastic from this event ended up in the Anacostia River, but this is beside the point. The groups organizing such events should not let this happen.

I’m a firm believer in taking action, so I donned some rubber gloves and spent two hours on Sunday morning picking up these neon powder packets. I filled two garbage bags, and hopefully got a majority of the remaining litter, but this is not my job.

I write this, not to complain about a single event or to be praised for picking up the trash, but as a call to action for the coordinators of upcoming fun runs and other events. Over the next four months, RFK Stadium will host another six color runs (including one this month) and the coordinators of such events need to be held accountable. Out of respect for the community, both the people living in and enjoying the neighboring areas, and for the wildlife that call the Anacostia and Kingman & Heritage Island Park their home, please help make a difference. Please help to drive accountability around these events!”

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“Dear PoPville,

I’m looking to rent out the house I’ve owned for 6 years, which I’ve been renovating over time. It’s a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house on Florida Ave. just north of U Street (by Blind Dog Cafe and 9:30 Club). Here are the details:

-3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1220 sq feet (bedrooms are big, medium and small)
-Fenced-in patio/parking area (as in patio OR parking — depending on how you choose to use the space) — with a propane grill and pots for planting if you want them
-Newly renovated kitchen, bathrooms
-Wall-mounted flat-screen TV in living room
-Available partially furnished (for a fee) or unfurnished
-Central air
-Washer/dryer
-Ceiling fans in all bedrooms
-High ceilings
-2.5 blocks to U Street metro

I’m also planning on repainting and replacing a couple windows before the renter moves in (hopefully July 1). As negatives go, Florida Ave is pretty busy/noisy.

Any idea of how much I should charge?”

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“Here’s a zoomed out photo of their delivery zone. Weird chunk out by Trinidad/Arboretum”

“Dear PoPville,

I live at 1600 Maryland Ave NE, not exactly off the beaten path, but for some reason Postmates won’t dare go north of H Street. I’ll leave it to them to explain why that’s different than, say, Dupont or Gtown. Whatever their reason, it’s not an issue for Uber, Instacart, Seamless, GrubHub, etc.”

Ed. Note: As of this posting Postmates had not returned the OP’s query. Will update when/if they do.

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“Dear PoPville,

Every morning for the past week on my ride to work, I pass by a fire hydrant that’s intentionally spewing water into the street in front of the Willard hotel. Anyone know why this is happening? Are they doing some type of maintenance or work on the sewage system?”