City Desk

The Needle: Surrender, Dorothy Edition

One City Under a Logo: An iconic image or logo can set the tone for how the world sees your brand. That's what Madison Avenue marketers tell corporate clients every day; it's also, apparently, what Mayor Vince Gray deeply believes. How else to explain the news that the District is printing up new stationary, business cards, and signs with Gray's former campaign slogan, "One City," plastered on them, despite a $600 million budget deficit? We suppose things could be worse; at least Gray didn't follow in Baltimore's old footsteps and declare D.C. "The City That Also Reads." -3

Council Cuts Itself?: Signs of intelligent political life on the fifth floor of the Wilson Building! After a week in which various members of the D.C. Council made the news for their fancy cars and Lady Gaga tickets, Mary Cheh has proposed a 10 percent cut in the legislators' salaries—salaries which, at $125,583 for all but the chairman, are the second-highest in the country and the highest per capita. (And they can also hold down outside paying jobs.) Ordinarily, we find the routine demonization of public employees and their benefits that's become prevalent in American politics to be cynical and misguided. But this week? We'd probably go along with anything short of burning D.C. Council members at the stake. +2

Get on TV!: The lousy real estate market can make life tough for people trying to sell their homes. Chances are a sale right now could mean a long wait that just ends with losing money. But hey, at least you can be on television in the process. HGTV, continuing their economy-driven transformation from housing boom cheerleader to housing bust handholder, is looking for D.C. homeowners in need of help for a program whose title says it all: The Unsellables. +1

Blowin' in the Wind: No, that's not a train passing by your office; it's a 60 mile-per-hour wind gust. Weather advisories that sound like they were lifted from The Wizard of Oz have been issued for the region, and there are already reports of downed tree branches, which, inevitably, will mean power outages. Should you find yourself caught in a dangerous breeze, just remember: To get home, click your heels together, mutter, "There's no place like home," and hope your SmarTrip has enough cash on it to get out of the Metro system. -2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 30 Today's score: -2 Friday bonus: +2 Today's Needle rating: 30

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