City Desk

The Needle: Armed and Rich Edition

Kill the Poor: The District's strict handgun control laws, thrown out by the Supreme Court two years ago, turned out to be yet another example of the rich in America being oppressed. Nearly half the weapons registered under the new regulations are owned by residents of Georgetown, Chevy Chase, and Palisades; more than 10 percent of D.C.'s handguns are registered in the wealthy 20016 Zip code, which has a total population of only 14,000 households (far less than 10 percent of the city). So ¡viva la revolución!—but remember, when you show up with your pitchforks and torches in Spring Valley, you might get shot. -2

Next Stop, Pollution: It seems like common sense that operating a large railyard near a river might lead to some problems down the line, but apparently that didn't occur to anyone back when CSX Transportation Inc. set up on 40 acres near Benning Yard. Turns out, large amounts of petroleum products leaked into the Anacostia River as a result of "unpermitted discharges," for which CSX has agreed to pay a $500,000 civil penalty and cover the $7.5 million tab for the D.C. Department of the Environment to clean up the mess. Which might get in the way of its ongoing marketing campaign, promoting rail as the "most environmentally friendly" mode of transporation—if cars, trucks, and airplanes weren't actually dirtier. -3

Fumblerooski: The NFL released figures yesterday that showed 111 million people watched Sunday's Super Bowl—the largest U.S. audience for a TV show ever. (Sorry, M.A.S.H.) The overwhelming popularity of pro football may help explain why police say Maurice Carter was able to scam $500 from a woman he met outside the Eden nightclub last month by posing as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. Saying he was on the phone with Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGahee, Carter told the woman he'd forgotten his wallet and needed cash from her to pay for his hotel room. He was arrested, and penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. -2

Food Truck Fans: And now, time for another in an occasional series of arbitrary rankings by national magazines. Today: QSR, a trade publication about trends and features in fast casual restaurants, ranks the 20 best food truck concepts in America—and D.C.'s Fojol Bros. of Merlindia make the list. The turbans and fake mustaches the Merlindians wear apparently helped vault them into the t0p 10. Other news we learned from the list: In Phoenix, you can get french fries made in duck fat from a truck. +2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 56 Today's score: -5 Today's Needle rating: 51

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