Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

“Dear PoPville,

Last week I had my driver’s window smashed and my car rummaged through. Mine was one of three cars that got hit. Unfortunate, but I’m resigned to the fact that this is a reality of having a car in the city.

I was parked overnight in a different zone than I am registered in. I came to my car to move it early in the morning, well within the allowed time. However finding my car as it was, I couldn’t move it and arranged for a glass repair company to come and fix it early that afternoon. When I returned to my car to meet the repair man, I had a parking ticket.

I certainly was parked in that zone beyond when other zones are allowed to park there. I thought, surely if parking enforcement saw a car broken into with a smashed window, they’d give some sort of grace period. Or at least find it in their heart to give me a break. No such luck! Any potential I can challenge this? Any idea if there’s some sort of exception to the zoned rules considering extenuating circumstances?”

Big Ass Satelitte

“Dear PoPville,

Lately, I’ve been noticing satellites in people’s yards. Dish usually puts them on houses in out of the way locations. However, I’ve seen one Dish satellite in the middle of someone’s front yard and I just saw another one being installed like that the other day. The worst case I’ve seen is a huge satellite in Michigan Park. It’s about 8 feet wide and is definitely an eyesore. It looks pretty old and may even be functionally obsolete. I’m curious about whether these are legal and whether people think they should be more regulated. Things like a fence and a shed are regulated so why not satellite dishes? It seems like they should all be mounted out of view from the street unless that’s not possible for some reason.”


@sas509 tweets us the photo above:

“What’s up at Columbia & Irving? New bus stop?”

Another reader emails:

“Do you have any information on the construction at the Columbia Heights Metro station this past week? Flower bed areas where people once sat and congregated have been removed, perhaps for no other reason than to push people out of the area around the metro where many once gathered.”

I stopped by yesterday and here’s how it looks now:

photo 3

photo 4

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

“Dear PoPville,

I was hoping to get some ideas from the PoPville community on how to get my junker car removed from DC. I have a 2000 Mercury Cougar that, while it still looks in good shape, has serious issues under the hood. A bad electrical system, leaking oil due to a water pump failure, and to top it off the gas tank has apparently developed a hole. I have been trying to find a junkyard that will take it for scrap but either they won’t accept it or won’t come in to DC to get it. I’m wary of trying to donate or anything like that because I’m afraid someone will get it barely running to sell to an unsuspecting person who would then have a problem ridden car they probably paid too much for. Basically I want to make sure this thing goes to the big parking lot in the sky as soon as possible and I’m sure my neighbors would appreciate its disappearance from the street as well since it’s starting to look grimy after sitting for so long.

Any help from someone out there that has dealt with this situations would be greatly appreciated!”

Photo by PoPville flickr user mlckeeperkeeper

“Dear PoPville,

My mom has recently loaned me her out of state car (she’s on bed rest from a surgery) and I will have it in my possession in DC until March 2015. I’ve had it for 2 weeks and I just received my out of state registration warning (I was expecting it). It says that I have 15 days to apply for a ROSA exemption, a recurring visitor pass, or just register the vehicle in DC outright. I don’t qualify for ROSA or a recurring visitor pass (I’ve lived in DC for 8 years and have a DC license) and I don’t want to register the vehicle in DC as it’s going back to North Carolina in just 6 months.

Any suggestions from PoPville? I’ve looked in to off street parking, and that might be my best option, but rentals on Craigslist seem prohibitively expensive. Any and all suggestions welcome and appreciated!”

Photo by PoPville flickr user ianseanlivingston

“Dear PoPville,

We are a newly formed condominum in DC and are wondering if your management company recommmends an annual sprinkler inspection? We are a small building with less than ten units.

The building was recently renovated and new sprinklers were installed in 2013. A sprinkler inspection was conducted this year (no issues) and are wondering whether this inspection should be done on an annual or less frequent basis. Of course we are concerned about safety, but also trying to find out what is specifically required and business practices. Also, if you have any companies that you would recommend, we would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!”

Photo by PoPville flickr user JoshBassett|PHOTOGRAPHY

“Dear PoPville,

I live in a three-story rowhouse rental unit with a fireplace on each floor (the living room and two bedrooms). In our lease, it states that the tenants are responsible for chimney upkeep/maintenance. The chimneys have not been inspected or cleaned in the two years I have lived here, and I highly doubt they had been checked for a number of years prior to that. I would like to know if PoPville has experience with reputable and ideally inexpensive chimney maintenance companies.

My chimney knowledge only goes as far as Mary Poppins. How much is a reasonable quote for inspection and cleaning in DC? As the fireplaces all share the same chimney track, does this technically count as one chimney, or would they charge additional costs for each fireplace/floor? Are there any particular questions you’d recommend asking, or specific conditions to be aware of? As we begin to approach fall, it would be great to have the option for a cozy fire. Thanks!”


“Dear PoPville,

My wife and I came home from the weekend away to find that all but one of the peach-sized apples growing in our backyard apple tree were gone. About a dozen or so were taken – the only one remaining looks like a worm got into it. Our backyard is enclosed by an 8-foot brick wall on all sides, so it would be quite an effort for a person to scale just to get some apples, but the disappearance of all but the worm-eaten apple is consistent with a human thief. We can’t imagine a squirrel or a bird could have taken them all, but is it possible that a raccoon or a fox or some other varmint might have done so? Any animals that would be likely to make off with so many? Any birds that could have done it?”

And speaking of racoons another reader asks:

“Labor Day raccoon sighting in Petworth near the Soldiers Home. Not pictured are two other large raccoons whom also shimmied down the neighbor’s downspout from the roof and to the the fence highway in the alley. They are not afraid of humans, and I swear one tried to snag a tomato. I’m afraid some trash issues in the alley may be attracting them. Any one have similar encounters? Should we call 311 or the non-profit City Wildlife?”

Ed. Note: I don’t think the District does anything about racoons (or possoms). You could call a private trapper like Adcock’s who I’ve used in the past. Anyone noticing more racoons than normal this year?


“Dear PoPville,

Do you know what the big wooden enclosure is outside the Thurgood Marshall Judiciary Building, on Mass. Ave next to Union Station? It’s pretty elaborate — the wood panels even have decorative trim — and building-sized, and it’s been there at least a month. The one time I saw the gate open, all I could see inside was a few parked trucks. Any ideas?”

The Hill is Home reported back in June:

“According to one of the workers installing the fenced area late last week, the [Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary] building needs roof repairs. The fence will hold construction materials, machinery, and trailers for about 17 months.”