City Desk

The Needle: Domestic Oil Edition

That's No Oil Spill, That's Our River: D.C. officials and the Coast Guard responded last night to reports of an oil spill on the Anacostia River. The good news: There was no oil spill. The bad news: The river is sufficiently polluted that they thought there was. Keep toting those reusable bags. -3

The Rich Are Different From You And Me: The housing market is doing better here than in the rest of the country, but the days when a home doubled as an ATM machine are over. Except, apparently, for the very wealthy, who are swapping property like they're playing Monopoly. Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis literally traded houses with Nextel founder Chris Rogers, accounting for two of the five most expensive residential real estate transactions in the area this year. Meanwhile, in Great Falls, kids are driving Jaguars to high school. -2

Livable, Walkable, Huntable: D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells is a frequent advocate of policies aimed at getting people out of their cars, and now we know why—his own car is quite dangerous. Wells hit a deer while in Minnesota, totaling his wife's car. No word on whether he'll be setting up a venison stand at a Ward 6 farmers market now. -1

Memorial Day: The original plan for the new memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. set to open later this month would have required tickets for D.C. residents who wanted to take advantage of a special open house just for us. Organizers have since realized that a celebration of King's life should be open to all; now they say they won't turn anyone away on Aug. 23, between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. The main event for the memorial will be Aug. 28, 48 years after the March on Washington; Metro will open early and provide free parking. +2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 67 Today's score: -4 Today's Needle rating: 63

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