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Taja Construction Dumping Allegations Prompt Social Media Outcry, Penalties By D.C. Government (UPDATED)

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TAJA CONSTRUCTION DUMPING
The scene behind a property in the 1200 block of Florida Avenue NE, where a property owner has complained about improper dumping of construction materials by Taja Construction. | Elise Barnard

WASHINGTON -- While it's certainly not a new phenomenon for social media to elevate localized neighborhood disputes to wider audiences, the Twitter followers of one popular D.C. neighborhood blogger got an intense blast of dispatches this weekend detailing a conflict over allegations of improper dumping of construction materials.

And the complaints didn't fall on deaf ears.

As chatter about the conflict involving Taja Construction and the Trinidad property of blogger Frozen Tropics in the 1200 block of Florida Avenue NE festered, the Metropolitan Police Department and an inspector from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs showed up.

In the end, Taja Construction, which owns a neighboring property, was fined -- this coming after one company official told the blogger that the city didn't care about complaints coming from African-American residents, according to Frozen Tropics' tweets.

But here's a sampling of the tweets that kept the entire neighborhood and others talking this weekend ...


FrozenTropics
.@dcra returned from a community mtg today to find that Taja Construction once again dumped a huge pile of trash on my back lot.

FrozenTropics
Michael Watson of Taja Construction has returned & is calling me explitives again.

FrozenTropics
Michael Watson says & MPD don't respond when Black people call.

FrozenTropics
He actually taunted my ANC. Dared her to call saying they wouldn't fine him. He told her 2 "Get the f*ck off [his] phone"

FrozenTropics
He just told his business partner that he doesn't have to worry about the elderly lady next door bk MPD & won't come when she calls

FrozenTropics
I'm just glad he's getting a big fine. He was insanely angry when he showed up today.

FrozenTropics
Michael Watson of Taja Construction here calling me a "white motherf*cker." Classy

FrozenTropics
.@dcra It's Sunday morning. Taja Construction has a team using power tools on the house they are renovating next door to me.

FrozenTropics
Interesting that Taja Construction is able to get a team out Sunday AM to renovate a house, but can't remove debris they dumped next door.

Margaret Holwill
.@FrozenTropics Costs to city: MPD time, inspector overtime. Stronger penalties needed for repeat violators like Taja. Civil, criminal

FrozenTropics
Congratulations Michael Watson of Taja Construction! You win all of the crazy for today.

FrozenTropics
MPD & both responded quickly. Taja got a stop work order & ,000 in fines.

For Frozen Tropics, there was a happy ending on Monday morning ...


FrozenTropics
fined them. I saw it being cleaned up this AM. Thanks.

UPDATE, 9:20 p.m.: Michael Watson from Taja Construction responds with comment:

Taja Construction has been doing home building and remolding in the District for many many years. We stand behind the quality and artistry of our homes, and the satisfaction of our customers. It is never our intention to disrupt our neighbors.
(http://goo.gl/HxcBT)
Social Media is a wonderful thing, but often offers a platform to disproportionally amplify the voices of a disgruntled and misinformed few. This local blogger is entitled to his/her opinion...this, of course, is each American's right.

Taja Construction, on the other hand, is busy at the business of community revitalization, one home at a time. We invite our blog friends to busy themselves with loftier pursuits.

Fact correction:
TAJA was fined $1000 for working after hours without a permit, not $4000 as initially reported. As of Monday 8am, the debris in question was removed, as promised.

Additionally, Frozen Tropics reported Monday evening that tree debris was illegally dumped on her property.


FrozenTropics
Some cut down a tree and dumped it on my back lot behind 1220 Florida Ave NE