Happy April Fool's Day!
Phew. That's a relief.
An April Fool's joke from the Cleveland Park Listserv
I thought list members would be interested in hearing about this new service from the Department of Public Works. I'm looking forward to not having to deal with gathering the trash and recycling in my home every week. I hope they keep this service. Here's more information about it from DPW.
DC DPW's In-Home Concierge Trash and Recycling Collection Service
As part of its continuing program to provide beyond-excellent service to District of Columbia residents, the Department of Public Works is pleased to announce in-home trash collection. For residents who don't have the time or desire to bring their trash out for weekly or bi-weekly collection, DPW will doit for you.
We know that taking out the trash is a chore. Otherwise, why would parents give an allowance to their kids? We know that you'd rather be talking a walk on a warm spring night than taking out the trash. We know that in the dead of winter, sorting recycling from household rubbish can't compare to reading a good book in bed.
Here's how the Department of Public Works Trash and Recycling Concierge Service works:
1. The fee is $25 per week for houses, and $15 per week for apartments. The fee includes both trash and recycling collection.
2. You need to be home during a two hour window between 7pm and 9pm on the night before your scheduled trash pickup. If you're going to be away, log in to your DPW Concierge Account and let us know at least 48 hours in advance.
3. Trash will be collected from up to 5 containers per household.
4. DPW will provide you with RFID (radio frequency identification) stickers to affix to your trash cans so that we can locate the trash cans when we arrive in your home. Using handheld receivers, DPW's Trash Collection Agents will swiftly find and remove your trash, without your having to point out each trash and recycling receptacle.
5. If you own an aggressive dog or cat please have your pet leashed on locked in a room.
6. There is a $5 surcharge per diaper can.
DPW's Concierge Trash Collection Agents are gloved and wear sanitary, earth-tone uniforms that go with the decor of any home. DPW's Trash Collection Agents will not use their cell phones while in your home. If your trashcan uses a standard white or gray plastic liner, we will replace it with a stylish magenta liner embossed with DPW's logo. As professional trash collectors, we will handle the job faster than you can, too. And remember, tipping isn't permitted!
This first-in-the-nation program is part of the "DC Is a Great City" Initiative. For more information and to sign up for DPW's Trash and Recycling Concierge Service visit http://tinyurl.com/cmqa52t .
The Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) announced today that it will be planting artificial, storm-proof trees throughout the District of Columbia and Montgomery County. According to Pepco, these artificial trees will be able to withstand heavy snowfalls, ice storms, and winds of up to 100 miles per hour. “We’re excited about the storm-proof tree initiative,” said Pepco’s arborist, Mary Conti. “These trees, which are composed of carbon nanofibers, are able to hold up against just about anything that nature can whip up. Replacing living trees with artificial trees will dramatically reduce the number of power outages in the Washington, DC area.”
Pepco plans to initially replace some 4,500 living trees with artificial trees. “None of these real trees has a life expectancy of more than 20 more years,” Conti said. “Compare that to the Pepco trees that will last for at least a century.” The 4,500 trees that Pepco has targeted for replacement either intersect or overhang power lines. That alone should reduce the power outage rate by 75%, Pepco says. Eventually, Pepco plans to replace approximately 15,000 trees with these modern, indestructible artificial trees.
Pepco’s artificial tree project is in response to customer’s requests to have more reliable electricity.
Pepco, which already has considerable experience at cutting down trees, expects that it will take approximately eight months to replace the first batch of 4,500 trees. “When the next snowpocalypse strikes, we’ll just laugh at it,” Conti said.
Pepco pointed out that area residents will be impressed, even wowed, by these artificial trees, because they were created by the award-winning Italian design firm FioreNuovo. “We think that people will like our Pepco trees even more than actual trees,” Conti said.
Each tree will have three openings that lead to spacious hollows inside for squirrels, raccoons, birds and other critters to establish homes. “These are not just beautiful, but eco-friendly trees. I know that the squirrels will be very happy.” The upper leaves on the trees can be replaced with solar-cell coated leaves at a future date so that not only will we have fewer power outages, but the Pepco trees will actually generate more energy. “An ordinary tree can’t make electricity,” Conti pointed out. “Our trees are better than nature.”
The cut-down trees will be turned into firewood and given away to needy families, Pepco said.
"Metro is going First Class," Washington, DC's mayor Adrian Fenty announced today. Beginning May 1, 2010, two special passenger class cars will be inaugurated on Metro: The first car on every train will be First Class, and the last car will Tourist Class.
"Metro is the first city rail system in the Untied States to better serve its customers by providing options for different kinds of service," said John Catoe, WMATA's General Manager. "We think that First Class will appeal to Washington's lawyers and those upper level political appointees and staffers who want more luxury, but don't rate a private car and driver."
First Class cars will have leather seats, wider seats, and a configuration that allows the seats to be reclined. Eating will be allowed in Metro's First Class cars. Tourist Class cars will have narrower seats constructed out of a less expensive hardened plastic, without cushioning. The other four Metro cars, now called Business Class, will remain unchanged. "We're taking our cues from what works for the airlines," said Catoe. "Airline passengers are very happy with having the ability to choose what kind of seat and service they want, and we think that Metro riders should have that choice, too."
First class cars will cost 50 percent more to ride than Business Class, and Tourist Class cars will cost 10 percent less than Business Class. The first car of each train will be First Class, and the last car will be Tourist Class. The First Class car will be marked with a distinctive gold star on the side to make it easy to recognize; the Tourist Class Car will have a pair of sunglasses painted on the side of the car.
This two-tier change will benefit Metro and its customers in several ways. First, by having a more expensive First Class car, Metro will be able to increase its revenue. Tourist class, which is only 10 percent less than regular Business Class, will only marginally decrease the per-passenger revenue. Second, First Class cars will help improve the region's air quality by enticing people to take Metro rather than drive in their limos and other large cars. Third, Metro expects its First Class cars to attract visitors from around the world. "It's pretty exciting," Catoe said. "And we're not stopping with leather reclining seats, either. Metro will be adding bars to its cars sometime later this year. Washington is a high-stress city, and there are lots of people who would like to be able to have a drink on the way home."
Metro expects that selling alcoholic beverages will bring in millions of dollars of much needed revenue. Metro says, "Drinking and driving don't mix. Drinking while Metro drives is the safe and fun way to travel."
Tourists will be required to use the Tourist Class car. "By requiring tourists to ride Tourist Class we will not only make the ride more relaxing for area commuters who are tired of hearing stories about aunt and uncle so-and-so, and how cute the pandas are, but we will be enriching the tourist experience by giving tourists the ability to meet and converse with their own kind," said Metro's press spokesperson Jamie Roku. Metro will have escalator monitors at each station. Customers who stand to the left while riding down the escalator will be instructed to ride in Tourist Class. "We won't have any trouble spotting tourists. While tourists are hard to define, you know them when you see them," Roku added.
Mayor Fenty, who was at today's press conference, added, "Now when we say 'tourist class' we mean 'tourist class.'"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DDOT DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO GET FIRST IN THE NATION PAPERLESS PARKING TICKET SYSTEM Beginning today the District of Columbia will implement a 100 percent paperless parking ticket system. Instead of receiving a paper parking ticket, drivers can check online to see if they have a pending parking ticket. "All you need to do is enter in your license plate number and state, and the system, MY DDOT, will tell you whether or not you have a pending parking ticket. If you do, you can pay that ticket instantly using your credit card number or PayPal," said DDOT's chief technology officer, Martha Brady. "This system will save the city over $5 million a year, will help reduce waste, and will cut back on the number of tickets that fly off of windshields and end up in the Chesapeake Bay." Drivers who park in the District of Columbia should visit MY DDOT at least once a week to see if they have a pending parking ticket. If you don't log on and subsequently pay your ticket, your fine will be doubled, in accordance with existing regulations. "There are no exemptions or excuses allowed for not checking online. Everyone who drives in the District of Columbia should log on to MY DDOT once a week to see if they have any outstanding parking tickets." DDOT will be launching mobile applications for Blackberry and Windows Mobile phone users soon, so that people can check and pay their parking tickets while on the go. There is no iPhone application in the works. "We know that iPhone users are statistically less likely to park illegally, and we didn't want to spend money developing software that we didn't need to deploy," said Brady. The paperless parking ticket system will also be faster than the current system. As part of the paperless parking ticket initiative, District ticket writers will be using hand-held devices that take a photo of the illegally parked car and then transmit that information back to DDOT's central server instantly. DDOT has special software that can read license plates, so that drivers won't be able to drive off quickly to thwart a parking ticket. Starting in June 2009, you will be able to sign up for email notification of parking tickets. For a nominal $50 a year, you can choose to be notified if you receive a parking ticket. "Email notification is for people who are too lazy or forgetful to visit MY DDOT weekly, which is why it's a premium service," said Brady. "Email notifications may contain advertisements, so we recommend that you add firstname.lastname@example.org (youvegotaticket @ myddot.gov) to your safe sender's list. We hope that District residents who receive parking tickets will patronize the companies that advertise in our ticket notifications. This helps the DC Government's bottom line." "We're really excited about this," said Mayor Adrian Fenty. "One of the aspects of the initiative that I think is most helpful is that the online parking ticket system will let people determine whether or not they have a parking ticket while on vacation or during a business trip. No more surprise tickets and penalties when you return. Now you have a bona fide excuse to take your Blackberry with you to the beach or the mountains. We know that there are some families in which one spouse or another might find this helpful." DDOT also understands and appreciates the privacy issues surrounding a public database of license plates of cars that have received parking tickets. But it's already the case that anyone walking down the street can see whether or not a particular car has a parking ticket. "We don't expect parking ticket voyeurism to be a problem," said Brady. For more information about the District's paperless parking ticket initiative visit http://primaryinfo.notlong.com or http://tinyurl.com/d5r3ht .
Escaped Animal from the Zoo -- ALERT
Subject: Pet Hotel Coming to Cleveland Park - major issue
A San Francisco Pet Hotel company, Day 'n' Night Pet Hotels, is going to be moving into the space currently occupied by the Radio Shack on Connecticut Avenue and Newark Street. As far as I can tell, unlike restaurants, there's no zoning against a pet hotel. (But the pet hotel will apparently have a restaurant for pets and this may be an issue -- more about that later.)
Not that a pet hotel is a bad idea. But Day 'n' Night Pet Hotels appears to be both a pet hotel and *bordello*. That's pretty clear from reading their website:
"Day 'n' Night Pet Hotels offers more than just a refuge for your pampered cat or dog for when you're away. We know that you, the pet owner, are discriminating about where you board your precious canine or feline, which is why Day 'n' Night Pet Hotels offers unparalleled fun for your pet in the way of selective and supervised dating.
"Pets start out with their favorite meal (just tell us what it is and we'll have a fresh can or bag on hand.) Then our guests spend the next half hour or so playing together with a fabulous array of toys developed just for Day 'n' Night Pet Hotels. Following that is a little snack and some water (and a walk if needed), after which your pet gets to enjoy a night out.
"While you're away, not only will you have a great time, but your pet will, too. Many of our customers tell us that their dog or cat had such a terrific time that they send their pets back again and again.
"Our pet food is 100 percent made in the USA, inspected and taste-tested by our veterinary team.
"And, of course, we provide all pets with pre-date birth control, so that you don't have any surprises at home months later.
"We welcome gay pets, too, and pair those pets appropriately."
I hope that the pet hotel is sound-proof! Late night noise could really become a problem for people who live near the former Radio Shack. For more information, you can visit the company's website: http://daynnight.notlong.com
Which brings me back to beginning of this message: Does anyone know if this violates the zoning cap for restaurants? It seems to me that the pet hotel also has a restaurant for animals, and as far as my reading of the zoning regulations goes, there's nothing that exempts a pet restaurant from that cap. A restaurant's a restaurant, right -- even if it's part of a so-called pet hotel? Has anyone had any experience with Day 'n' Night Pet Hotels in San Francisco or elsewhere?
The 2006 Cleveland Park April Fool's Message:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2006
RENO ROAD TO BECOME TOLL ROAD MAY 1, 2006
Starting May 1, 2006, Reno Road (also named 34th Street at the southern end) will become a toll road, the District of Columbia Department of Transportation announced today.
"We’re turning Reno Road into a toll road for two main reasons," said William Wheat, DDOT’s spokesperson. "First, this will reduce the amount of traffic on this major thoroughfare. If people have to pay to travel on Reno, they’re going to drive less, making Reno less congested and safer. Second, this will also reduce the amount of traffic on Reno Road, enabling cars to move faster."
There will be two toll booths. The northern toll booth is being constructed just north of Military Road, rather than at Western Avenue. The reason for a toll both at Military instead of the most northern entrance to Reno is to prevent cheaters from avoiding the toll road by sneaking in at Military Road.
DDOT expects that the annual revenue from the Reno Toll Road will exceed $10 million. "I want to emphasize that this is not designed as a revenue enhancing measure. We are implementing the toll road for safety and traffic reasons," said Wheat. "Revenue is just a byproduct of the tolls."
The southern toll booth is being constructed at Massachusetts Avenue, at the southern entrance to Reno/34th Street. The south toll booth, which is across the street from the entrance to the Vice President’s house, will be staffed by a uniformed Secret Service agent. Drivers can expect random security checks at the southern toll booth, due to its proximity to the Vice President’s residence.
District of Columbia residents may apply for an annual toll permit for $250, which will permit them to pass through the toll booths without stopping. (The Reno Toll Road will be part of the EZPass system by January, 2007.) The Secret Service has informed DDOT that even with the permit stickers, cars at the southern toll booth may be subject to random inspections.
To apply for a toll permit and for more information about the Reno Toll Road please click here: http://tinyurl.com/mjtnr Note: The initial permits will be available only to District of Columbia residents.
2005's April Fool's Posting:
CLEVELAND PARK LISTSERV SOLD TO COMCAST
DC News Alert Service
April 1, 2005
The much venerated Cleveland Park Listserv has been sold to Comcast for an
undisclosed amount of money, Brian Roberts, Comcast's CEO, announced today.
"With the acquisition of the Cleveland Park Listserv, Comcast will be able
to fulfill its mission of providing complete information coverage in the
District of Columbia. And yes, the rumors are true: Comcast will soon be
replacing Fox TV with the Cleveland Park Listserv Television Channel. While
this may come as a disappointment for the many fans of Fox News, we believe
that the Cleveland Park Listserv Television Channel will be much more
interesting than old, stale shows like '24' and American Idol." Mr. Roberts
added, "When there's a hot issue in Cleveland Park, well, there's nothing
more interesting than that. It's time to televise these neighborhood
Comcast's acquisition of the Cleveland Park Listserv does not require
Justice Department or ANC Approval.
Former Cleveland Park Listserv owners, Bill Adler and Peggy Robin rejected a
larger offer from Microsoft, saying "Microsoft's plans for world domination
have to stop somewhere. We have our principles."
Adler and Robin, reached by satellite phone on their new yacht off the
Cayman Islands, said "We expect that Comcast will offer the same level of
personalized attention that we have over the years. We're glad that we were
able to find such a well-regarded corporate partner."
The Cleveland Park Listserv is the largest neighborhood email list in the United States. Wow! You can join or read more about us at http://www.cleveland-park.com.