City Desk

The Needle: Goodnight Irene Edition

Irene, Goodnight: If you're still thinking about Tuesday's earthquake, your anxieties are hopelessly passé. All the cool kids are now worrying about Hurricane Irene, set to blow by the Delaware coast this weekend on its way to turning New York City into an outtake from a disaster movie, tossing a bunch of rain and wind the District's way as it passes. The latest forecast actually brought good news for D.C.; the storm track is moving to the east, which should mean we get spared the real ugliness. Don't expect to be very happy if you go outside much tomorrow, though. Not that there'd be much to do if you did: From the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial dedication to a D.C. United match to Columbia Heights Day, just about every large event set for the weekend has now been postponed in advance. On tap for next week: locusts, with a chance of frogs. -3

Not Standard Procedure: Arguments early in the morning have a way of ending badly—especially if weapons are involved. So the news that a confrontation early this morning between off-duty cop Kenneth Furr (allegedly driving while intoxicated) and five individuals ended with Furr in custody for allegedly shooting at them, hitting one, wasn't entirely a surprise. This isn't likely to ease concerns among the city's transgender community that they're being targeted for violence, though; several of the victims were transgender. There's no evidence yet that the shooting was bias-related, though. -2

All Of The Lights: Metro platforms tend to be dark places, perfect for taking a nap during an endless, unexplained delay between train arrivals. Not anymore. WMATA officials are installing bright new lights near the escalators on some station platforms in an effort to improve safety. No word yet on how long it'll be before the lights, like many of the escalators, break. +1

This Round Goes To The City That Reads: What with the earthquakes and hurricanes, a prolonged Washington Redskins winning streak would have been a sure sign of the coming apocalypse. Fortunately, John Beck and Rex Grossman were on the case last night to make sure that didn't happen. The Redskins lost last night, 34-31, to the Baltimore Ravens, in a nationally televised preseason battle. The bad news: Baltimore won, we lost. The good news: We live in D.C., not Baltimore. -1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 62 Today's score: -5 Friday bonus: +2 Today's Needle rating: 59

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