City Desk

The Needle: Winning Edition

Fully Loaded Panniers: The days of luxury SUV leases for District government officials might be over—Capital Bikeshare now has a station set up outside the Wilson Building. The new station was part of a big expansion for the service. Mayor Vince Gray checked out one of the rides, but didn't actually go anywhere with it. Those of you inclined to write your own punchline there may feel free to do so; we're just glad to see more bikes available. +3

D.C. Survives Charlie Sheen Visit: A grave danger has passed us by; Charlie Sheen's tour has come and gone, and for the most part, the city escaped unscathed. The actor, better known here as the Gossip Columnist Full Employment Act of 2011, was late to his own show at DAR Constitution Hall, but arrived in plenty of time to join fellow self-promoter Donald Trump in indulging in ludicrous fantasies about President Barack Obama's birthplace. Remember, if you see signs Sheen is coming back to town, call 911 immediately. -1

Home Field Tax Advantage: Week in and week out during the baseball, hockey, and basketball seasons, well-paid athletes come through D.C. and earn big paychecks for their time playing here. (In soccer, the checks aren't quite as generous.) With a massive budget deficit, District officials would like to see some of that money, themselves—and not just from their city-owned luxury boxes. Councilmember Jack Evans wants to tax pro athletes on the income they earn while playing here, as other cities do (the tax would cover local teams' players who live outside the District, as well). It could generate $5 million, but since Congress bans any form of commuter tax, it'll be complicated to put together. Sort of like a winning season for the Nationals and the Wizards! +2

Pollen Peaks?: Economists and energy experts worry about when peak oil will arrive—the moment at which production starts declining until there's none left. D.C. area allergy sufferers, though, are likely to greet word that the pollen counts may be peaking with a little less trepidation than peak oil, which is typically discussed in apocalyptic terms. Now we have to get back to trying to breathe and gouging our eyes out. -2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 64 Today's score: +2 Today's Needle rating: 66

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