City Desk

The Needle: Practice Gambling Edition

Bank Busted: Feeding families who can't afford to keep enough food on their own tables was a difficult job before the economy collapsed. But these days—with more and more people in the region needing to turn to food banks—it's gotten even harder. The Capital Area Food Bank says it'll have to start charging member agencies a fee of 10 cents a pound for fresh vegetables, in order to offset higher fuel and food costs. Fortunately, Congress is ready to step in and make things better... er, wait, no, Congress is actually considering cutting $800 million from federal food assistance programs. Never mind. -3

Plug In: Electric vehicles are supposed to be the wave of the future, but for now, few people drive them—and few people know where to charge them. Add one charging spot to the list, though: Union Station opened a power outlet for the no-emission cars today. Drive into the station's garage, pay the regular parking fee, and you can charge your electric car all you want. Too bad the movie theater in the food court closed, or you'd have somewhere to go while you waited. +1

Play to Win: The D.C. Lottery wants to make sure people know how to play its new online gambling—er, sorry, gaming—site when it goes live later this year. So they're going to let you practice. Two new wager-free games will debut on the lottery's website, iGaming, late next month. No word on when Apple's Steve Jobs will buy the name, forcing the lottery to start over with its branding. +1

Oh, Canada: The dominion to our north is best known as a hockey powerhouse, not a soccer stronghold. But don't tell D.C. United, which now has two Canadian national team stalwarts on its roster: United traded for five-time Major League Soccer all-star midfielder Dwayne DeRosario late yesterday, doubling its Canadian quotient (injured defender Dejan Jacovic is the other). Brandon McDonald, a defender, also came to RFK via trade yesterday. Might this year be the first since 2007 for United to make the playoffs? +2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 46 Today's score: +1 Today's Needle rating: 47

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