City Desk

The Needle: Pepco Under Pressure Edition

Manly Deeds, Womanly Words, Pepco Oversight: The Maryland Public Service Commission announced it wants Pepco to appear at a hearing Tuesday morning to explain why the utility can't quite manage to actually provide electrical service to its customers. 60,000 people lost power in yesterday's storms, and nearly 40,000 of them were still in the dark by this morning. (Not Howard Kurtz, though!) Don't be surprised if the PSC headquarters suddenly loses power early Tuesday. +4

Vincent Gray Wins Free Subscription to Peaceoholics Publication: Peaceoholics founder Ron Moten wears many hats—community activist, go-go promoter, Adrian Fenty evangelist, and more recently, magazine publisher. Now Gray, Fenty's chief rival in the Sept. 14 mayoral primary, tells The Examiner someone stuck four copies of Moten's pro-Fenty, anti-Gray magazine to his front door Thursday night in the shape of an X. (Hey, at least they didn't tape them to his fence.) As threatening gestures go, it's a little weak; Gray's response—that if he wins, Peaceoholics will rapidly find D.C. government doors shut to them—should probably scare the organization more than the magazines scared him. But it ain't exactly a great sign for the prospect of a civil end to the campaign season. -5

Cupcake Counterrevolution Commences: When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands that have connected them to some cloyingly cute frosted calorie bombs, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. And in Georgetown, it seems, people have started doing just that, rising up with signs and angry rhetoric against the preposterous crowds that local bakery-turned-TV studio Georgetown Cupcake draws. It's high time D.C. started realizing the dirty little secret of cupcakes: They're just miniature cakes! And they cost too much money+5

Hail to the Redskins: Seems like just yesterday the Skins were in hot pursuit of their 5th win of the 2009 season (a pursuit that, alas, was never consummated). Tonight, they start the 2010 preseason with a game in scenic Raljon, Md., against the Buffalo Bills. Reasons to be optimistic this year: Donovan McNabb; Mike Shanahan; the team's apparent decision not to sue too many fans, at least not until the regular season starts. Reasons to be pessimistic: Albert Haynesworth; Dan Snyder; the gnawing sense that this year's roster was built to win your 2005 fantasy football league, not Super Bowl XLV. Still, meaningless, unsellable preseason game or not—the NFL is back! We want Dallas! +3

Adios, Jaime: Speaking of teams that may have left their glory days somewhere on East Capitol Street, things have not gone so well for D.C. United this year. The club fired its coach earlier this year, and though it could still win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, chances are the highlight of the season will be a 3-2 win over a vacationing AC Milan squad just before the World Cup. And now, forward (and all-time leading MLS scorer) Jaime Moreno says this is his last year wearing the black and red. Yes, he's looked slow, and old, lately, and hasn't played much. Even so, RFK Stadium won't be the same without him. -3

Yesterday's Needle rating: 41 Today's score: +4 Friday bonus: +2 Today's Needle rating: 47

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