City Desk

The Needle: The Heat Index Is Too Damn High Edition

Welcome to the Heat Dome: It's both the heat and the humidity, apparently. The heat wave that swept the Midwest this week arrived in the District in full force today, bringing temperatures near 100 degrees and humidity near 100 percent, for heat index readings that the region hasn't seen in more than a decade. The good news? Thanks to climate change, any records set this week won't last for long. The bad news? Thanks to climate change, any records set this week won't last long. -4

I Saw the Sign: D.C. laws about removing signs within a certain period of time tend to be honored in the breach; it's not hard to find signs urging you to vote Clark Ray in last September's D.C. Council at-large primary election, for instance. But it turns out the rules may also be unconstitutional. An anti-war group and a Muslim advocacy group sued the city over rules that allow signs for campaigns to remain up longer than signs for general political expression, and the judge suggested rewriting the regulations might be a good idea. More speech for all! +1

Reef Madness: You've heard of beating swords into plowshares. The Navy is about to try a new variation off the Eastern Shore: beating warships into artificial reefs. The destroyer Arthur W. Radford, which was decommissioned eight years ago, will be sunk between Ocean City, Md., and Dewey Beach, Del., where it will, presumably, become an attractive vacation destination for fish. No word on what it will mean for traffic over the Bay Bridge. +1

Mean Streetcars: When the city announced a while back that the H Street NE streetcar would be delayed, officials didn't bother to explain exactly why. Turns out it's because Amtrak wouldn't let DDOT connect the line to Union Station, and it took a while to get a definitive "no" and start looking for a backup plan. Will it surprise anyone to learn the alternative plan will cost more than the direct connection, as well as being less convenient for passengers? No, it will not. -2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 40 Today's score: -4 Today's Needle rating: 36

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