City Desk

The Needle: Wrath of God Edition

Look Out Below: When Michele Bachmann (a House member from Minnesota, currently pretending that she's got some chance of being elected president of the entire United States) said the recent earthquake and hurricane in D.C. were an indication God wanted Congress to cut spending, it was easy to laugh. Today's accident at the Washington National Cathedral, though, might mean Bachmann was onto something. A crane toppled during heavy rains; the crane, of course, was there repairing earthquake and hurricane damage. No one was seriously injured, but theologists and meteorologists alike warned of a chance of further smiting around Woodley Park tonight. -2

Giant Going, Going, Gone: When the Giant Food in Shaw opened in 1979, it was apparently the first new grocery store to open in the District in a decade. Times have changed (in some neighborhoods, at least, if not all of them). Now the O Street Giant looks woefully outdated compared to its newer competitors, and it's shutting down until a new development on its current site is built, including a new store. The store will shuttle shoppers to the Giant on Park Road in the interim, but it won't exactly be convenient if you live nearby. -2

Not That Kind Of Historic House: The house where Robert Wone was murdered five years ago might seem like the kind of place to avoid if you believe in ghosts. Apparently, Forest W. Kettler doesn't spook easily, though. The son of area real estate tycoon Bob Kettler, who works at the family's McLean-based firm, bought the Swann Street NW house for a bit less than $1.5 million. The home sold in 2008 for $1.42 million; it came on the market this time at $1.6 million. Just shows location beats everything else in the property game. +1

Strasburg!: A year and three days ago, the hope of the Washington Nationals had surgery on his elbow. Last night, Stephen Strasburg returned to the major leagues right where he left off before getting hurt. He threw 56 pitches through five innings, striking out four Los Angeles Dodgers, and left the game with the Nats ahead. Of course, the team went on to lose 7-3; that's why Strasburg represents the future, not the present. +1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 56 Today's score: -2 Today's Needle rating: 54

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