LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Pot-Smoking Teens Plaguing Neighborhood

Ricardo "Two Canes" Taliaferro, a resident of Southeast, tries to keep Shepherd Park clean by sweeping up the area located at the gateway of the Congress Heights commercial district in Southeast. (Shevry Lassiter/The Washington Informer)
Ricardo "Two Canes" Taliaferro, a resident of Southeast, tries to keep Shepherd Park clean by sweeping up the area located at the gateway of the Congress Heights commercial district in Southeast. (Shevry Lassiter/The Washington Informer)

I read your article, “SE Community Split on Future of Shepherd Park,” with great interest. I walk past that park each and every morning. I agree that something needs to be done to beautify and clean it up, but I think there is a more pressing issue for the neighborhood. How in the world does any business operate before 9 o’clock in the morning on the 3700 block of Martin Luther King Avenue? There are so many students from Ballou High School all over the place smoking pot. I mean in every nook and cranny, even on The Informer’s steps. What can they be learning in school if they are going to school high? I just wonder, how in the world can you do business with that stuff going on? At least if they are doing it in the park, they are not impeding people from making a living or doing business. To me, that’s what the petition needs to be about, getting those kids from in front of the businesses and getting them to school.

Barbara Smith
Washington, D.C.

D.C. City Council Must Regulate Commercial Operators Exploiting Airbnb

Airbnb began as a way for people to garner extra income by renting out their home when they take a family vacation or go out of town on business. However, illegal hotel operators have bastardized the system by buying entire apartment complexes and renting them through Airbnb as if they are hotel suites.

This savvy operation to operate hotels without paying taxes sucks up already-limited housing options in D.C., raising rent costs for single mothers already struggling to get by. In 2016, for example, the median rent grew by nearly 15 percent in Airbnb’s top 20 D.C. neighborhoods.

It is high time that D.C. City Council members stand up for their constituents and address these illegal hotels. Life for a single mother is difficult enough, and housing in the District is already plenty expensive. The absolute last thing we need is to see rent increases, so hedge funds can get richer.

Sharon Farmer
D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner

Justin Fairfax Does D.C. Proud

I would like to commend The Informer and its reporter Stacy M. Brown for the outstanding and insightful article about Justin Fairfax, “Fairfax Dignified in Campaign for Virginia Lt. Governor,” in the Oct. 12, 2017, edition. I don’t recall reading anything about Mr. Fairfax in any of the other major news outlets. It really makes me feel a sense of pride knowing that Mr. Fairfax grew up in the District of Columbia. I hope the young folks across D.C. read and learn about this fine young politician. It doesn’t surprise me that his Republican opponent has stooped to using racist tactics to try to discredit his abilities. His Republican opponent, Jill Vogel, is just using the same nasty, racist playbook as Donald Trump.

Carl Malcolm
Washington, D.C.

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