City Desk

The Needle: Emancipation Edition

Free Lunch Isn't Free: Deals like the ones LivingSocial was offering today don't come along every day—and thank God, because if they did, it would mean no one would ever be able to get into a restaurant for lunch ever. The debut of the coupon site's instant $1 lunches led to long lines and near anarchy at the several dozen participating places. By 11:30 a.m., only 30 minutes after most of the restaurants involved even opened for lunch service, 24,000 vouchers had been sold. How many of them were used, though, is another story; we waited 5 minutes to try to get in on a deal in Adams Morgan, then gave up when we realized that saving $14 was nice, but waiting four hours to do it didn't make it worthwhile. -2

Smoke It If You Got It: Marijuana is against the law, so of course it's completely impossible to find any here in the District. Or at least that's what the people behind the nation's drug laws must tell themselves every night. But don't dispair, D.C. residents: The day when some of you may get to see what this whole "pot" thing is all about—legally— is one step closer to reality; Mayor Vince Gray officially issued regulations for the District's medical marijuana rules today. Within 90 days, or sooner if the D.C. Council votes on the rules, the city can assemble a five-member board to start issuing licenses for dispensaries and growers. +3

School's Out: On a day like today, it's easy to imagine sneaking out of work early. Apparently, for 13 percent of D.C. Public Schools students, it's also easy to imagine sneaking out of class early many days. A new study reports 13 percent of DCPS students missed 15 or more days of school during the first half of the 2010-11 school year without what authorities considered a valid excuse. The excuses they considered invalid, though, included lack of Metro fare to get to school, unsafe conditions between school and home, and "teen dating violence." Those actually do sound pretty valid; probably easier to shake your head at truancy, though, than to fix the underlying problems that contribute to it. -2

Budget Fundraising: President Obama signed the budget deal he and Congress worked out last week into law today—and along with it, the provision barring the District from spending any of its own local tax dollars on abortions for low-income women. The D.C. Abortion Fund, though, has been busy raising money to fill the $62,000 gap the budget rider would leave. A board member told Washington City Paper the fund raised $2,600 over the weekend, immediately after the budget deal; since then, an emergency appeal helped bring in thousands more. Fund president Tiffany Reed says the group took in nearly $12,000 just on Wednesday night and Thursday. By this afternoon, apparently, that was up to over $25,000. Just goes to show Congress isn't as powerful as it thinks it is. More District activists got arrested today protesting the deal, too—which shows the Capitol Police are as powerful as they think they are. +2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 61 Today's score: +1 Friday bonus: +2 Today's Needle rating: 64

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  • professor syed farzand ali shah

    Religious fanaticism, wishful thinking, human rights and solutions
    I think one cannot be so stupid who pays for one's murder. Yes, the Americans did and still they are doing? Though this sounds strange yet this is an undeniable truth.
    Dear Madams/Sirs,You gave us law and democracy, thank you. You helped us, again thank you very much. But all your money went to the drains to this date. You are promoting criminals and your opponents with your money. Really,
    this sounds to be strange but this is the only fact. My conclusion of decades' thought in  plain words is that simply  work for the cause of easy, speedy, cheap and corruption free justice and then things will settled amicably. Look at the poor and pathetic condition of our
    rotten system. For example: I cannot afford the fee of lawyers anymore and traveling is prohibited by doctors. Therefore how can I get my Constitutional Petitions, D-736 & D-455 both of 2006, for pension,promotion and,etc, transferred from Honorable High court Bench @ Sukkur to Hyderabad, Bench? What should I do for it?

    I wrote many letters with affidavits to Chief Justice of Sindh, Chief Justice of Pakistan, by registered mail and
    sent scores of email. But all are of no use. Both chiefs justice can do it, easily. I mean, The Honorable Chief Justice of Sindh and Pakistan.But who cares? Will you?
    Doctors prohibited to travel and I cannot afford the fee of lawyers.Is there any remedy in our worm eaten judical system? We are again thankful to your gifts of democracy and law. Please compel us to get
    rid of worm eaten system. Promote just judges, true lawyers and judiciary helpful to the commoners. I think every fanaticism will stop if our courts function with integrity and simplicity. Just to the concept of Late Sir Winston Churchill. I salute him. Keep the legacy and send my message to every quarter for the sake of humanity.
    Syed Farzand Ali Shah, (An age-bent retired person living with the enigma of existence, that is, several diseases plus sufferings of the spouse)
    Spread the word around as cheap popularity of suo motto has nothing to do with the actual justice. Right under the high chair of honorable justice palm greasing for the date of hearing's business is a routine.Please send this message to every quarter for the sake of humanity. I will never recede but fight  up to my last breath. Help me in this crusade as you can do this honorably. Save yourself please along with the cause of human right I am Pakistani and love to see the world a prosperous haven for every one without any discrimination of color, creed, gender and etc.

  • Less Teen Dating Violence, More Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy

    Could you be more specific on the "teen dating violence" bit?

    Mostly because that sounds insane, not accepting that as an excuse sounds insane, and uh...yeah..insane. Also matches really well with the slashing of services to survivors of domestic violence.