“Dear PoPville,

I have a large collection of CDs, most of which have neither cases nor booklets. I can no longer play them as I don’t have a cd player or stereo. I would like to give them to someone or some place that can use and enjoy them. Do you know of anywhere I could donate them in the DC area, or alternatively, what to do with them? There is music from many genres.”


“Dear PoPville,

What’s the criteria for an alert to be sent through AlertDC? I live at 18th and D NE and there were 5-7 shots fired around 7:30PM tonight. Police were on the scene and were clearly aware, though there was no alert. This is a busy time and place where there are often children out playing, people out and walking around, etc. so I was surprised when no alert came through. Why are some crimes alerted and not others?”

In my experience regarding shots fired, MPD and AlertDC will only issue an alert if a person is hit by a bullet. Occasionally they may issue an alert if there is property damage although that seems to be prompted by resident requests. Regarding guns (or knives) another time alerts are issued by MPD or Alert DC is when an armed robbery or carjacking occurs. For example from last night:


Thank to a reader for sending No more missed deliveries: Amazon trials technology that will let drivers leave parcels INSIDE your home:

“The retailer is reportedly planning to trial ‘home access’ deliveries, where drivers are given one-off access to a customer’s home to leave the package.

According to Endgadget, two companies close to Amazon are looking at developing smart locks which would provide delivery drivers with a code for a customer’s garage or hallway, where they could leave the package.”

Is this something you’d be comfortable doing? Of course you’ll still have to pay that sales tax


“Dear PoPville,

Question–a rental property I saw has an English basement front door. The facade is similar to our Eckington home (which has no front door to the street). I’d love to get one built in. I understand permitting and so on. But I’m not clear on costs and so forth. Do you have any guestimates on costs to put one in and do you know anyone you can refer me to that does good work at a fair cost? Any thoughts on how one might quantify what value putting a front door from basement to street adds to your property?

It’d also be nice to know how the door compares with an egress window. I’m wondering if/where it makes more sense to put in an egress window or spend the extra for a door.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user John M

“Dear PoPville,

I have a question regarding Emergency No Parking signs and DDOT’s rules (and enforcement).

I live in Mt. Pleasant (18th St.) and I walked out of my house this morning to a bunch of orange cones surrounding my car (among others) and a construction crew or something getting ready to set up for work. I looked at the sign, which was dated for today and had a print date of yesterday (9/26). The cones definitely weren’t up with 24 hours notice — I left in the morning to no sign, and I came back around noon to work from home to other no sign there. I’ve moved my car, though I admit it’s not even clear if moved up it’ll be safe given how they were setting up.

My reading of DDOT’s website is that anyone who gets the signs must post them at least 72 hours in advance in non-metered areas. These folks have even violated the 24 hour rule. Does anyone know of any exceptions to this policy? Do contractors have more leeway? And if something happens to my car (ticket or whatever – though I hope not), do I have recourse? I’d also love to know why DDOT even allows these to be printed so late, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

“Dear PoPville,

I live in a 10-unit condo building and would like to take advantage of the security camera rebate program offered by the DC city government. I was wondering if others have recommendations on installation. Is it easy enough for someone with little/no experience figure it out, or is it better to hire a professional? If so, any specific recommendations would be greatly appreciated!”

pain sculpture

“Dear PoPville,

In March 2016, I leased a new vehicle from Rosenthal Mazda in Arlington, VA. I am a DC resident, and it was the first time I had a new vehicle in DC. The dealership took care of securing the registration and DC tags since it was a new, leased vehicle. I have the registration sticker on the driver side front windshield.

There was no inspection sticker placed on the passenger side front windshield. I assumed because the vehicle was brand new, it did not require a sticker, and I’d need to get one upon my registration renewal in 2017. I had the vehicle for six months when I was suddenly ticketed this week for not displaying an inspection sticker. The ticket was $50.

Per the DMV website, “New cars will automatically get a sticker for the vehicle.” I assume the dealership should have been responsible or this, but I could be mistaken. I can’t go back to Rosenthal Mazda for assistance now because they closed the dealership in April 2016. I have contacted another dealership associated with Rosenthal, but they have not been helpful. The manager on duty at the other dealership seemed to think an inspection sticker was not needed on new, DC-registered vehicles. Per the DMV website, and as evidenced by the ticket this week, apparently a sticker is needed.

Has anyone in PoPville dealt with this situation or know what should be done?

PS – In the interim, I went to the inspection station in SW this week to get my own sticker to avoid future tickets. The inspection station would not let my vehicle go through the testing though. They directed me to the DMV office next door where I had to pay $10 to get a “duplicate inspection sticker”!”

speed limit
Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

“Dear PoPville,

I’ve noticed something since becoming a driver in DC: our city just doesn’t give a sh*t about school zone speed limits. I drive past the PCS on Riggs NW near North Cap and LaSalle a few blocks further north a few mornings a week, and I’m almost always the only sucker who actually obeys these 15mph limits while others zoom on by. Usually I just chalk it up to rush hour impatience, but today I worked from home in the morning and drove up around 1pm, and had the same experience (not sure why the zone lights were flashing in the middle of the day, but they were). I actually had a short but heated verbal confrontation with a fellow in a Home Depot truck when he leaned on his horn behind me in the middle of the zone, which ultimately pissed me off enough to make me want to write.

What is going on here? Do others have this experience in other parts of the city? Are school zones just not enforced generally? I’d imagine if there were ever a place to obey/enforce these limits, it’d be where children are clustered. I didn’t grow up here, but where I did, cops would issue tickets on a daily basis in the hundreds of $ for going slightly above school zone limits, so that probably makes me a bit more cautious than average. Still….Its kind of a appalling. Wondering what others think.”