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Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

“Dear PoPville,

Last night (Thursday) I was on the circulator towards McPherson from Mt. Pleasant just after 8 PM. The driver was actively engaging a vision impaired rider to see where she was going. He offered her detailed instructions to assist her. He kindly helped her off the bus at her stop in Columbia Heights and pointed her in the right direction.

Then, as we were driving away, it became clear she was disoriented. He pulled the bus over in traffic, got out and ran about half a block to turn her around and show her to her correct bus stop and she was obviously very grateful.

He then got back on the bus and resumed his route. In the obsession of smart phones, I’m not sure who else noticed.

It was circulator bus number 1147 and the driver’s name was Kieran Prospere.

Hopefully you can share his kindness.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

From a press release:

“DC Water reminds customers that lead sources are different in each property and urges residents to eliminate lead pipes and plumbing materials in their homes. Recent results from the utility’s required lead testing program mark the lowest lead levels measured in the last decade. Levels have continued to decline since 2004, when the water treatment process began including a corrosion control additive to reduce lead release in water. Since 2003, DC Water has replaced more than 19,000 lead service pipes on public property, representing the removal of nearly 115 miles of lead pipes that connect public water mains to household plumbing. DC Water replaces lead service pipes during water main upgrades or when customers choose to replace their portion of pipe on private property. (more…)

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Huzzah! Thanks to lorie shaull who took these great shots:

“The sledding news from Capitol Hill grounds was that there may have been more media covering the event than actual sledders. CNN, ABC7, Washington Post, Reuters, and many more were all in attendance. When I talked briefly to the Capitol Police they weren’t interfering and said they were there to make sure nobody got hurt; they did mention two reporters had fallen and been hurt. When I left, all sledders seemed happy and uninjured–no arrests were made.”

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Photo via ‘Lift the sled ban on Capitol Hill’

From Change.org:

“The forecast calls for a sled-worthy snowstorm to hit Washington, D.C. in the next 24 hours, likely the last opportunity for the children of D.C. to partake in a favorite childhood pastime, sledding, this winter. In recent weeks, those attempting to sled on the Capitol grounds have been brusquely asked to leave the premise.

The Regulations currently read:

AOC Sledding Regulation
No person shall coast or slide a sled within Capitol Grounds. Skiing With the exception of the use of cross-country skis or snowshoes as a means for transportation, no person shall ski on any area within Capitol Grounds.

Please lift the sled ban and allow the children of D.C. (including those who are children at heart) to take advantage of the last bit of snow this winter.”

Sign the petition here.

Also:

“Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today wrote U.S. Capitol Police Board Chair Frank Larkin requesting a waiver of the sledding ban on Capitol Grounds effective from March 5-8 in anticipation of a snowstorm expected to drop a significant amount of snow in the District of Columbia. Members of Congress and the public can request a waiver of any of the Capitol Police Board Regulations. Last month, Norton wrote Larkin urging the U.S. Capitol Police Board to overturn of the prohibition on sledding on the Capitol Grounds. The Board has until March 26, 2015, to provide Norton with a formal response to her letter.

“This could be the last snowstorm the D.C. area gets this winter, and may be one of the best for sledding in years,” Norton said. “Children and their parents should able to enjoy sledding on one of the best hills in the city. This is a one-time waiver that will allow D.C. kids to sled while we await a more formal review of the ban, which will likely come after the last snow has fallen in our region. Have a heart, Mr. Larkin, a kid’s heart that is.”

Below is a copy of Norton’s letter: (more…)

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“Dear PoPville,

This is what Sherman Circle has looked like for days. The pocket parks around are just as bad – no sidewalks or pathways cleared. In the Spring the NPS takes too long to cut the grass, in Winter they ignore the ice. Earlier this week folks were walking in the street in the circle – I guess it was safer than falling on the ice.”

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and while I sympathize with the early wake up I still gotta file the following under damned if you do and damned if you don’t:

“As you know, this Saturday we got a snow storm that gave us lots of snow and ice. I hope/expect that our neighbors will shovel the next day to make the sidewalks safe for walking around. However, this Saturday night/crack of dawn Sunday, we were woken up at 4am by people shoveling/chipping away at the ice on the sidewalk across the street. It was REALLY LOUD and this went on for two hours until they finally finished, so we were kept awake from 4-6am because of this. This seemed a little absurd. It is possible that it could have been a church doing it for their Sunday morning service, but still, 4am seems a little crazy for shoveling ice and waking everyone up. I know there is a law that people have to shovel/de-ice their sidewalks within a day or so of the precipitation, but is there a law banning people from loudly shoveling ice in the middle of the night within the city? Or just common courtesy?”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Mike Maguire

“Dear PoPville,

Last Tuesday (the snow day), I fainted while I was going down the escalator into the Columbia Heights metro. It was pretty scary–I was standing on the escalator not feeling so great, and then, the next thing I knew, I was lying at the bottom of the escalator with a big cut on my head. But what made it SO much better was the kindness of other Metro passengers. I remember three women, in particular, who stopped to make sure I was ok and then stayed with me until the ambulance came to get me. They were so comforting and kind; I think I would have totally panicked if they weren’t there. One of them let me borrow her phone to call my husband, another ran to get help, etc., and they all stayed and talked with me, which made me feel a lot better and less scared. I don’t remember any of their names, but on the off chance they read this, I wanted to say thank you! (The WMATA employees and EMTs who helped me were also really great–very sympathetic and professional.) I ended up having to get three stitches in my forehead, but the doctor otherwise gave me a clean bill of health, and I got the stitches removed yesterday!”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

The following was written by anonymous. If there’s something you feel strongly about that you think should be shared, don’t hesitate to email me at princeofpetworth@gmail.com

Depressed in the District

I’ve lived in DC for the past three years and consistently struggle with depression. The young professional bubble, with its unyielding insistence on happy hours, Ann Taylor outfits, and impressive career tracks, can be quite challenging for the depressed. I recently found myself spiraling into a familiar black hole, with work, faltering relationships, and my dreary routine all leading me to question the point of everything. Although I spend a good amount of my time in such black holes, I’ve slowly gotten better at crawling out of them over time. I’m certainly not an expert, but I humbly offer you some tips that have helped me get through the bad days. Take what you like and leave the rest!

1) This one’s obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: Get help if you need it, whether it’s therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. If you are able, shop around until you find a therapist you jive with. It took me a few tries to find a therapist who gets me, so don’t give up.

2) Reach out to people, but don’t become dependent: Absolutely reach out to your family and close friends when you need them. At the same time, I think it’s important to learn to trust yourself and not become dependent on validation from others, because no one can be there at all times. Relying on yourself can also be a confidence booster and make the next dark phase feel just a little more manageable.

3) Be comfortable with doing things alone. Whether you just moved here and haven’t made friends yet, are victim to DC’s merciless cycle of friend turnover, or just can’t get anyone to respond to your texts, doing things by yourself is a valuable skill. This goes with the tip above about not getting dependent on people; plow ahead with your plans regardless of who’s joining. Next step: Make some plans (see below).

4) Go to open mic and comedy nights: There’s at least one open mic event every night of the week. I love Bloombars open mic nights as well as stand up around the district. These are the best because you get to see a different side of people – less networky, more raw. Also, unlike at work, self-deprecation, depression, and general mediocrity are popular topics. At least for me, one of the hardest parts about being depressed in DC is feeling like an alien among people who – at least on the surface – seem successful, happy, and productive. Open mic nights help expose me to DC-ers who I might not have encountered otherwise and tone down those feelings of isolation and failure. Also, comedy makes you laugh.

5) Explore different neighborhoods: Sometimes when things feel stagnant, I’ll just pick a random place in DC to explore (often by myself). Even though it can be a monumental challenge to get myself outside, being in a new environment that isn’t usually featured in my daily routine gives me energy. If you are so inclined, bring along a sketchbook or camera.

6) Find comforting local haunts: Keep a list of places – coffee shops, museums, bookstores – that you can’t help but feel good in and make yourself visit them frequently when you feel down. (One of my favorites is Kramer Books in Dupont.) Use #5 as an opportunity to expand your list. (more…)