Photo by PoPville flickr user Jordan Barab

Ed. Note: I don’t mean to make light of this situation because it is a very serious one and a very frustrating one for the neighbors. Having said that, the final MPD response is one of the greatest I’ve ever read…

A resident inquired what MPD will do about a troubled house after a corpse was found on a porch in Petworth/Brightwood Park:

“Just heard a corpse was found on the porch this am???????!?!

Are we reaching an actionable point?”

MPD responded:

“All life is precious and I feel a certain way about simply referring to this person that was once someone’s baby as a corpse and in some way a reason for MPD to take police action. Everyone has a right to their life.

If it is determined that the cause of death was other than natural, our investigative unit will do their job throughly.”

Another resident wrote:

“Feel free to stop by. They are still removing the body. Her dealer was on the block last night”

MPD responded:

“Dying is not against the law per se.”


I’ve been included on a series of emails about a home in the 300 block of Gallatin Street, NW. It is painful but eye opening to read – all involved genuinely seem to want to help – but can’t. Following is just a sampling from this morning:

From a resident:

“Morning Everyone,

Just doing my monthly check to see if we are anywhere on 3xx [Gallatin St, NW]? there are still a dozen or so people in the home, it is still falling apart. there are still people living in the garage and urinating and defecating in the alley and backyards.”

Response from MPD: (more…)



Photo by PoPville flickr user JosephLeonardo

“Dear PoPville,

I normally would just talk my issues out with my neighbors, but I am not sure of the polite way to pose questions about, now legal, marijuana without making assumptions about any neighbors.

For the last few weeks I have had to deal with a constant smell of pot in my back yard, which I was able to handle despite it smelling awful (smelled like a skunk was spraying every night. I coped with that, but now that the weather has cooled, the smoking has gone indoors and is coming through the walls so my house smells like weed all the time.

I don’t know which neighbor is responsible and I don’t want to make any assumptions, so that is the main problem. Is there any polite way to ask who is responsible, and also point out that i’d love to buy them a vaporizer or anything that might reduce the smell.

I don’t think people realize how it permeates your whole house (I come home every day and it smells like there is a skunk hanging out in the place). I just need to find a polite way to ask which neighbor it is and buy them a vaporizer for Christmas.”

Ed. Note: Last year we spoke about Unintended Consequence for Pot Decriminalization.


“Dear PoPville,

I’m feeling annoyed today by the smokers who congregate outside the building where I work, 1411 K Street NW, smoking and then littering their cigarette butts and empty packs. What’s up with the sense of entitlement to litter that so many cigarette smokers seemingly feel? I know of no other group of adults that would and do get away with such habitual littering.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user LaTur

Ed. Note: On twitter DCRA tweets this mornning “Can you please provide the address? I can report it to our Noise Inspector once I have that information. [address given] Thank you! I will report this to Inspector Williams now.”

“Dear PoPville,

There have been a lot of early-morning noise issues in the alley adjacent to my apartment building (near Scott Circle) in recent months. One (non-city) waste management company in particular has started showing up daily between 3 and 3:30 a.m. to empty several of the dumpsters. According to the DCRA site:

Trash collection by private haulers is prohibited between the hours of 9 pm and 7 am in residential, special purpose, or waterfront zones, or within 300 feet of any of these zones. These rules do not apply to Department of Public Works vehicles, only private trash collection companies.

According to the DC zoning map, we are in a special purpose zone. I’ve called the company directly three times and been told this “would not be a problem any more.” Not the case as of 3:12 a.m. this morning. I left a voicemail with the manager. We’ll see what happens. In addition to directly contacting the company, I’ve filed numerous complaints with DCRA to no avail, but I wasn’t really hopeful about any results from that route. There have been a couple of other companies breaking the ordinance here and there, but this company has been particularly egregious…and at god-awful early hours. I shrug off 6 a.m; 3 a.m. is major bummer.

There have also been what seem to be some construction contractors who show up around 4-4:30 every few days to load and unload heavy equipment. I know the ordinance also included “construction noise,” but I’m not quite sure what this entails. They sure are excessively loud (as metal ladders tend to be, I guess). And excessively early.

So I’ve gone the direct route, the DCRA route, the earplug route (two different brands), the white noise machine route, and the drinking-too-much-whiskey route, which seems to have worked the best so far. This is a city, but the noise ordinances are in place for a reason. So what’s the next step? Should I wait in the alley tomorrow morning at 3 with a cup of coffee for the driver, explain the ordinance, and tell him he doesn’t need to be such an overachiever…that he can get a few (FOUR!!) more hours of shut-eye? I’m getting pretty sleep deprived at this point.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

“Dear PoPville,

Drug dealers hang out on Rock Creek Church Rd, across from the Georgia Ave Metro between Georgia Ave and 8th. It’s gotten really out of hand. They will sit on anyone’s front steps at any time of day or night and hang out, apparently waiting on buyers to meet them to exchange goods. I have had to say “excuse me” to young men sitting on my steps just so I can get into my house. When they know they’ve been seen, they will move, but just to another stoop. And they are often loud, carrying on conversations to the point that I have to close my window to sleep at night. It’s been getting worse in the past month. I have even had packages delivered to my house, stolen from my front steps. I have lived here for over a year and never had these issues until recently. There were always drug dealers, but they have gotten more bold.

I have alerted the cops to the issue of stolen packages, but nothing gets done. I want to know what else can be done. Are other folks having problems with this?”