Thanks to a reader for passing on: “I thought PoPville might want to learn about this appalling situation. The good folks at the mosque on 4th Street in Truxton Circle circulated this flier warning about anti-Muslim demonstrations this weekend.”
“Notice of Demonstration
“Masjid Muhammad (MM) was recently notified by federal and local law enforcement agencies That anti-Muslim demonstrations are scheduled for October 9th & 10th in front of 20 mosques Across the country. There is a possibility that one of these demonstrations could take place at any time in front of MM on Friday or Saturday and may occur during our Salatul Jumma prayer service. (more…)
I’m a member of the Bruce Monroe Community Garden, located between Sherman and Georgia and Irving and Columbia on the eastern side of Columbia Heights. We had a fantastic bench in the garden, built by a longtime neighborhood resident, that was truly representative of the community (blurb below). The bench was recently stolen and we’re hoping you can help us recover it. Any information or sightings can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’d just be happy to have it returned intact.
Blurb by the bench’s creator: Just as the old Bruce School gave up its ghost to be reborn as this park, so too did it give of itself to provide this seat for your weary legs. Using floorboards removed from the original Bruce School gymnasium and a discarded rusty old park bench found in an alley near the school, this new bench was given new life (and a new paint job by neighborhood kids). So as we cultivate the rebirth of our community, we always remember where we came from.”
I really wanted to let the community, and especially other female cyclists, know about an incident that occurred on Monday, Sept. 26 at 4:45 pm.
I was biking north on 6th Street NE and followed by a gray Nissan with MD plates for many blocks. The driver kept his car at pace with me, even though that meant he was holding up rush-hour traffic.
He and his passengers, two other males who I believe were in their 40s or 50s, all were calling out to me. Eventually, the two on the passenger side of the car (the side closer to the bike lane) rolled their windows all the way down, hung out of the car from their waists up, and tried to grab me, touching me many times. Because there were parked cars to my right, I could not always swerve out of reach. Because I was scared, and just wanted to get to my destination where friends were waiting for me and I could get off the street, I kept going.
Eventually, I told the passengers closest to me that this was sexual harassment, and if they didn’t stop, I would call the police. At this, they laughed. They weren’t harassing me, they said, they were just having a little fun. I said ok, I would call the cops. I locked my bike on H Street and dialed. They parked the car and waited until I was clearly talking to someone on the other end before driving away. The cops came, I filed a report, they said they had people looking for the car, and I’m sure that will be all from that end.
But something else that I wanted to write, that I hope won’t sound preachy, that I hope you’ll share with our community:
In the past handful of days alone I’ve been yelled to by bus drivers operating metro buses, drivers and passengers in cars, pedestrians, and in one weird incident, another cyclist. In the fresh autumn dark, I have been chased by a group of high school students. I have been touched, threatened, followed, intimidated, and just in general pretty freaking scared–and I am not alone.
This isn’t new, and it isn’t happening because I am particularly young or good looking (even the bus driver told me I needed to comb my hair). This is happening because I am a female alone in public space in a city. Because under those circumstances, it is expected that I will invite and endure commentary and criticism on my body. It is presumed that I’ll remain silent or complacent as I am buffeted by insults, innuendo, and anger.
I refuse to believe that I am especially unlucky. I do not have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I do not happen to encounter only assholes and misogynistic loud-mouths in my path.
I’m afraid that, instead, from behind the safety of a steering wheel, behind a windshield, behind the security of anonymity, and in some cases the knowledge that no one they know is watching and there’s no accountability, some (I’ll sound sexist, but yes, predominantly men) are ready and willing to treat a female stranger the way they would never dream of treating their own mother/aunt/sister/wife/daughter.
I am someone’s daughter, aunt, wife, and I do not want to be perpetually afraid. If you’re one of the good people who spills out some ugly when you’re protected by obscurity, please consider the way your actions or words may resonate with their targets.“
My fiance and I live in an apartment that is accessed only by walking down a public alley. We’ve recently seen a major uptick in the homeless in our area (8th st. in Shaw) using the alley as their personal toilet whenever they need to go #2. We’ve been here for 2 years and the past 2-3 months we’ve noticed about 3 to 4 new instances of this occurring per week. And these aren’t discrete (i.e. hiding behind a garbage can, parked car, etc.), these are at the entry of the alley, in full sight of anyone walking by on the sidewalk, with “deposits” going all over the walls of the houses and restaurants that back-up to this alley.
We’ve called 311 to request alley cleanings, which can take up 30 days for those requests to be processed. I’ve notified the police, even pointing out the homeless woman I had previously caught in the act. Their reply was that nothing could be done unless they (the police) caught the person during the act. We’ve also called the Dept. of Health, given the amount of restaurants (i.e. 1905, etc.) that back up to our alley, noting that this increase in human feces has lead to an increase in the rat population in our area. They said they would “investigate the matter.”
Any other organizations, or other options we can consider, to try and stop this activity?”
“While on Third Street NW waiting to turn onto NY Ave by 395, I noticed something that is sadly typical. A driver lowered his window and proceeded to throw an empty water bottle onto the street. I proceeded to roll my eyes, mutter under-breathe curses towards said driver and wonder why nothing ever happens to people that litter, despite the ample signs warning of nominal fines.
As I crept up 3 feet and stopped for the 15 second light, something unusual happened. My hero of the day arrived on the scene. A man wearing a DCFD shirt got out of the drivers’ side of his car and proceeded towards the litterbug’s car. Without any words exchanged, Mr. DCFD shirt picked up the bottle and threw it back in the litterbug’s vehicle. He then strode back to his car and I flashed him the thumbs up sign of approval.
Though the litterbug unsurprisingly threw the bottle back out on the street, Mr. DCFD shirt stood up for those of us that wish we could take the action he took. And, that’s why this gentleman is my hero of the day.”
You can see previous nominees here. Should you spot a quiet act of heroism along these lines please do send an email with a brief description and the neighborhood where it was witnessed to email@example.com or tweet @PoPville.
“Can we cast some shame on the Parks and Recreation building on S Street for allowing their treebox and grounds to be littered with wine bottles, pizza boxes and beer cans for several weeks now? I have submitted a 311 service request and it has been over a week since they ‘acknowledged’ my complaint and reported it would be rectified within five days. It would take all of 10 minutes for someone to bring out a garbage bag and pick up the trash. Another example of the city employees who just don’t give a damn. Shouldn’t they be setting the example?”
Ed. Note: I don’t feel like it’s fair to blame the DPR employees – I mean it would be nice if someone there took the initiative but – Judge Not lest ye…