City Desk

The Needle: Climate Controlled Edition

What's a Holiday? Despite the fact that barely anyone (including Washington City Paper staffers) gets Columbus Day off, WMATA will shut down several stations, including Shaw, U Street-African American Civil War Memorial-Cardozo, and Columbia Heights, for weekend track work. That's a nice lead-in to the release of information on all major track work for the rest of the year, which will hit every single line as the agency rushes to meet National Transportation Safety Board-requested standards. Meanwhile, NBC4 explains the air down there: Speeding trains create a vacuum, which accounts for the breeze one feels while waiting on a Metro station platform, and chillers keep temperatures regulated in the summer. -5

Mixed Messaging: Occupy DC, the local affiliate of the Occupy Wall Street protests, has been chilling in McPherson Square since early this week. Today, most of the protesters decamped to Freedom Plaza to hang out with their friends rallying in the name of Stop the Machine. But wait! The two protests aren't the same. They're just united. HuffPoDC reports one Occupy DC participant "said that Occupy DC is united with Stop the Machine, but that the group had no plans to leave McPherson Square or disband. 'We're different entities,' she said. 'We're going to maintain our own presence.'" Presumably, everyone will bond over Guy Fawkes masks, or something. -3

That's So 2009: The Washington Times has senior editor Emily Miller to figure out what a District resident needs to do to procure a licensed gun, and use said licensed gun. Miller's navigation of the bureaucracy of arming oneself will be chronicled in the charmingly-titled series, "Emily gets her gun," the first installment of which was posted today. Unfortunately for Miller and the Times, the Post pulled this stunt in 2009; staffer Christian Davenport reported it took "$833.69, a total of 15 hours 50 minutes, four trips to the Metropolitan Police Department, two background checks, a set of fingerprints, a five-hour class and a 20-question multiple-choice exam" for the licensed-gun thing to happen. -2

Scarier than the Adams Morgan Bogeyman: Councilmartyr Saint Tommy Wells has introduced a plan to turn operations of Eastern Market over to a not-entirely-public entity. Currently, the city oversees the market, which was rebuilt following the 2007 fire that left it gutted, as well as the street vendors that surround it. Wells is proposing a public-private trust, and says on his website that the city is, effectively, unfit for the job of running a market. This is likely the case, but vendors are none too pleased, and seem to repeatedly invoke the specter of—gasp!—Dean & DeLuca as an example of what could happen if the city reduces its involvement. -4

Yesterday's Needle rating: 81 Today's score: -14 Today's Needle rating: 67

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  • Ben

    Does anyone actually shop at Dean & Deluca? Other than occasionally buying a bottle of water there when I find myself dehydrated in Georgetown, I fail to see a reason to pay their 1500% mark-ups for stuff I can buy in most other supermarkets.

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