04/14/14 12:12pm

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Thanks to a reader for sending the photo above that was taken this morning:

“Trashy Blossoms on the Mall”

The Washington Post reported on Sunday:

“Officials, he said, “weren’t adequately” prepared for what he described as record crowds for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, though he didn’t have a precise number of visitors. Thousands arrived early, which caused a quick pileup of trash, and trucks had a difficult time getting through the crowds and to the packed sidewalks to pick up waste.”

04/11/14 1:25pm

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“Dear PoPville,

We live in Mt. Pleasant. We have a very modest front lawn–some dirt, mostly grass. Hoping to spruce up our yard, as well as beautify the neighborhood in our own small way, my partner planted some flowers in our flower box. Three times over the past two weeks someone has ripped flowers out of the box and tossed them onto our lawn. Perfectly nice flowers, not harming anyone, and doing pretty well given the amount of direct sunlight they get.

Why would someone do that, again and again? Does this happen to other people who plant flowers in their flower boxes. Or is it just someone who lives near us who doesn’t like our flowers (or us)? Like I said, sometimes I just do not understand people.”

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04/02/14 3:15pm

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Photo by PoPville flickr user johnmcochran2012

I’m told special attention will be focused on illegal dumping and littering from vehicles. Each police district will have patrols addressing these issues for the next month. There is a ticket for littering from vehicles that start at $50 and illegal dumping can be $500.

From MPD:

“To understand the purpose of Litter Enforcement, we must first have a working definition.

Litter consists of waste products that have been disposed improperly, without consent, at an inappropriate location. Litter can also be used as a verb. To litter means to throw (often man-made) objects onto the ground and leave them indefinitely or for others to dispose of as opposed to disposing of them properly.

Larger hazardous items such as tires, appliances, electronics and large industrial containers are often dumped in isolated locations, such as National Forests and other public land.

It is a human impact on the environment and is a serious environmental issue in many countries. Litter can exist in the environment for long periods of time before degrading and be transported large distances into the world’s oceans. Litter can affect quality of life.

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, with 4.5 trillion discarded annually. Cigarette butts can take up to five years to completely break down. Statistics in 2003 showed metal/aluminum soft drink cans as the least littered item.

Litter can remain either visible for extended periods of time before it eventually biodegrades, with some items made of condensed glass, styrofoam or plastic possibly remaining in the environment for over a million years.

About 18 percent of litter, usually traveling through stormwater systems, ends up in local streams, rivers, and waterways. Uncollected litter can accrete and flow into streams, local bays and estuaries. Litter in the ocean either washes up on beaches or collects in Ocean gyres such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. About 80 percent of marine debris comes from land-based sources.

Some litter that is collected can be recycled, however degraded litter cannot be recycled and eventually degrades to sludge, often toxic. The majority of litter that is collected goes to landfills.”

03/20/14 11:30am

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Photo by PoPville flickr user thelester

From the GEORGIA AVENUE BUSINESS ALLIANCE (GABA):

“MARK YOUR CALENDAR – PCM which operates between Upshur & 9th at Georgia Ave will become a Saturday market beginning May 3 to October 25, 2014 from 9am-1pm

Petworth Community (Farmers) Market (PCM) moves to Saturdays. Let’s support its Annual Fun-Raiser on April 16th for a Great Cause! Join PCM for a fun night and great cause at Chez Billy – 3815 Georgia Ave NW, on Wednesday, April 16 from 6:30-9:30 pm. Buy Tickets in Advance or at the door Online.”

and Dupont Circle [20th St. NW between Massachusetts Ave. and Connecticut Ave] hours are currently Sundays, 10 am to 1 pm (Jan. through Mar. 2014) but will increase to Sundays, 9 am to 2 pm (April 6th through Dec. 2014).

03/14/14 2:30pm

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Photo by PoPville flickr user johnmcochran2012

“Dear PoPville,

I’ve been living in a small, 4-unit, apartment building in Mount Pleasant for four years. At times over the last four years, myself and two of the three other units have worked to address the smoking of the 4th resident. This individual is a bit agoraphobic, avoiding all contact with neighbors, no matter the time of day. We are an otherwise friendly and sociable community. But the “other” resident is a heavy indoor smoker, preferring to smoke with the windows closed!

In addition to the utterly foul stench that permeates the hallway, the smoke filters into the other three apartments. It’s really bad. I’m recently recovering from radiation treatment, and the smell of smoke is more than I can stand.

We have all addressed the smoke problem with our landlord, a small private company, over the course of the years to no avail. What recourse do we have, if any, to take action against this individual to get him to stop smoking indoors. It’s a very small building, so it’s very noticeable when he smokes.

Any advice from the PoPville community would be immensely helpful. Thanks!”

Ed. Note: Last week we spoke about a similar situation in a condo.

03/14/14 12:30pm

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Photo by PoPville flickr user clif_burns

From ABRA:

“The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) is encouraging ABC licensees of restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, hotels and multipurpose facilities to learn about and comply with D.C. noise laws.

District ABC noise laws (D.C. Official Code 25-725) prohibit on-premise establishments from producing any sound, noise, or music of such intensity that it can be heard in any premises other than the licensed establishment with a few exceptions, which includes areas that are in certain commercial zones.

The Noise Control Act prohibits individuals and businesses from generating noise outside their property that exceeds maximum noise levels of 60 decibels in commercial or light-manufacturing zones at nighttime. Other limits include 55-70 decibels depending on the area and time of day.

ABRA recommends ABC on-premise establishments regularly verify whether they are compliant with District noise laws by listening outside their establishment to ensure noise is not emanating from the premises.

As part of the campaign, ABRA has sent letters to on-premise establishments and posted information on its website about noise law compliance. In addition, officials from the Noise Task Force—a joint initiative between ABRA, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)—will be increasing unannounced visits to establishments during the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.

During compliance checks, officials from DCRA stand outside of establishments with a sound meter and take a number of readings to establish the decibel level of the sound emanating from businesses. Businesses will be notified by officials if they are exceeding noise limits. DCRA will issue a warning for a first-time offense of the Noise Control Act. A second offense of the Noise Control Act will result in a citation from DCRA, which is a $1,000 fine.
In addition to these checks, members of the Noise Task Force will continue to respond to noise complaints. Members of the public can file a noise complaint about an ABC licensed establishment online or call (202) 329-6347. ABC licensees and the public can visit ABRA’s website to learn more about District noise laws.”

03/06/14 1:30pm

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Photo by PoPville flickr user johnmcochran2012

“Dear PoPville,

I recently purchased a condo near Brookland. I’ve lived there for just about a month and this past weekend the new owners below me moved in. Great for them! However, they are both chain smokers. I live with my 9 year old and long-time partner who is asthmatic. The smell of cigarettes has taken over my home. We cannot eat at the dining table, we can’t turn on the heat because it makes the smell stronger, we wash up in the kitchen because we can taste it in the bathroom. My family is miserable.

My partner spoke with the lady in the unit who thinks that scented air-filters are a reasonable solution. She obviously is unaware of how pungent cigarettes are. I realize it is her property and she is free to do as she pleases but her actions are directly affecting my home; It’s an absolute nuisance. What can I do to make my condo board take action? Do I have any rights?

Please note that I have a HEPA filter and UV air purifier in addition to indivual filters on ALL of my vents. Also, air freshners on vents and in rooms. I’m not only concerned about the smell but my daughter’s health. She’s having trouble breathing and getting warm at night since we cannot use heater. They’re habit is costing me more than just money.”

03/04/14 11:00am

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Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

“Dear PoPville,

Just wanted to drop a note to let you know about a couple of random acts of kindness we witnessed today during our drive to work. My husband and I were making our way up Irving St, NW towards Mt Pleasant St when a car in front of us got stuck on ice and couldn’t get enough traction to make it up the hill. Two people walking by saw what happened so they got behind the car and pushed it out. They were all smiles.

Just after they were done, ANOTHER car had the same problem and the people came right back to push that car as well. Plus, a third person came over to help.

All smiles again.

Good work MtP!”

02/25/14 1:30pm

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From an email:

“There is currently an effort underway to darken or to remove some of the street lamps around the newly completed Harvard Triangle construction project.  This includes Adams Mill Road and portions of Kenyon, Irving, and Harvard Streets (see attached photos).

Shields have already been installed around eight of the lamps in this area so that light does not shine directly into any one’s home.  Residents living across from the bus stop have said that this has been effective and light is no longer shining into their windows.

Community concern

Some residents feel, however, that the area should still be darker in general.  And other residents – particularly those living in Harvard Towers – have serious concerns about this proposal.  Many are some of our most vulnerable residents.  They are seniors or live with disabilities.  They are grateful for the new lighting and they have asked for our support in maintaining it.

The seniors and persons living with disabilities in Harvard Towers take the bus to get to or return home from work.  They have said that the better lighting helps them navigate the steep slope to Harvard Towers and allows them to better see what is around them.  In addition, they have a greater sense of security knowing that if someone approaches them with criminal intent, someone else will be better able to see it.

Opportunity for support

As a Mount Pleasant resident, I am most proud of the strength we display in coming together to support our neighbors.  Those in Harvard Towers are supportive of the lighting shields that have been installed on the street lamps across from and adjacent to neighbors’ homes.  They empathize with the annoyance of dealing with a bright street lamp.  In return, I believe that we can and should offer the same empathy for those who wait at the bus stop alone or return home from the bus stop at night.  Because better lighting matters to them – our most vulnerable — it also matters to us. (more…)