City Desk

The Needle: When $77 Million Isn’t Enough Edition

More Money, More Problems: Ordinarily, finding an extra $77 million in tax revenue floating around the District's budget would be great news. But since the D.C. Council was hoping to find an extra $135 million, today's announcement of new revenue projections actually came as a bit of a disappointment. The wait list for how to spend the new money is considerably longer than the new projections can pay for. What won't make the cut: More cops, Sunday library hours, and a whole bunch of other stuff the council was hoping it'd be able to deliver. -3

Does This Taxi Go To The Jail?: One way to make sure your organization doesn't receive negative press coverage for what it's doing is to avoid doing controversial things. Another is to arrest journalists who try to watch what you're doing. The D.C. Taxicab Commission apparently decided the second plan makes more sense, getting U.S. Park Police officers to detain Pete Tucker from The Fightback and Jim Epstein from Reason for recording and photographing a public meeting. Most taxi drivers at the meeting left in protest. Prediciton: If Tucker and Epstein have to pay cab fare any time in the next year, it'll only be because they're too shy to tell the drivers who they are. -2

The One That Got Away: There's nothing worse for newspaper types than to see a good story wind up running in the competition's pages before you have it—especially if you could have run it, yourself. As former Washington Post staffer Jose Antonio Vargas' moving narrative in the New York Times Magazine, exposing himself as an undocumented immigrant, made its way around the Internet today, the Times disclosed that it only ran there because the Post's Outlook section had killed it. Outlook editor Carlos Lozada says "a decision was made" to pass on it. Wonder how many people interested in the story will decide to pass on reading the Sunday Post and read the Times instead this week. -2

Are You Ready For Some Football?: Fantasy football addicts won't be the only people in the area complaining if the NFL season doesn't get on track this year. A study by the Maryland comptroller estimates the treasury will miss out on $40 million in revenue if the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins, both of which play their home games in the Old Line State, don't take the field. Which could be a reason to be glad D.C. hasn't actually built a stadium for the Redskins to return to the District—just what the city needs now is more unexpected budget cuts. (See the first item, if you had any doubts.) -1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 58 Today's score: -8 Today's Needle rating: 50

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
...