City Desk

The Needle: At-Large Edition

Vote!: The following piece of information will probably shock many readers—there is an election today in D.C. for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council. Turnout is, apparently, light enough as to be barely noticeable. (When we voted at 10:15 a.m. in Ward 4, only a few dozen people had cast ballots already.) Polls are open until 8 p.m., so there's still time to go participate in democracy if you haven't yet—chances are there won't be a wait! +1

Smells Like Tree Spirit: Spring in D.C. means two things, as far as nasal passages are concerned—horrible allergies, and the disgusting scent of gingko berries. District officials, wisely realizing that allowing streets around the city to stink might negatively affect quality of life, have begun their annual spraying of the female gingkos, which apparently makes things a little better than they would otherwise be. We shudder to think of the smell without the spraying. -2

You Can Tie?: When Major League Baseball's all-star game ended in a tie in 2002, it was considered a national embarrassment. That news has still not reached the organizers of the Helen Hayes Awards, evidently; there were ties in five categories at last night's ceremony, including the two marquee awards. Last year, there were three ties, and in 2009, there were four. Eventually, maybe they'll notice what happened with baseball. Prediction: By 2015, it will be illegal to use steroids in local theater. -2

And In Football News: The NFL lockout ended, at least temporarily, last night with a judge's injunction. That didn't mean Washington Redskins players went back to work, though. One, Albert Haynesworth, may have different court proceedings on his mind, anyway, as he was indicted today for alleged sexual assault. And then there was this other court case, too. -3

Yesterday's Needle rating: 67 Today's score: -6 Today's Needle rating: 61

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