City Desk

The Needle: Give Acorns A Chance Edition

Please Sir, May I Have Some More (Acorns)?: Squirrel advocates (!) disagree on how to handle the coming Squirrel Famine—and whether there's even a famine coming. One group says they've noticed fewer acorns this year, and that once squirrels gnaw through their current stash, they'll be starving—so District residents may want to buy acorns, freeze them and pass them out through the winter. BUT! Another group says there isn't really a shortage of acorns, plus, there's a larger-than-usual crop of black walnuts, and feeding starving squirrels is a bad idea. No word on whether there's a chicken bone shortage. +3

The Temperature is Currently...A MYSTERY: Were you one of those people who calls Verizon's time and temperature hotline? If not, ignore this item. If so, then you probably know that Big Red ditched the service today. Fear not, however, a private company will tell you what you need to know if you call 202-589-1212. In fact, according to one Howard Phoebus, it is currently "5:16 p.m. and the current temperature is 59 degrees Fahrenheit." Crap, I should have brought a jacket today.+2

Metrobus Murder: A rider on the W4 bus at 24 Street and Alabama Ave. Southeast was shot and killed after midnight by two men who fled the scene. “To think that somebody boarded that bus and did that to my child is scary, real scary,” Talaya Thompson, the victim’s mother, told WJLA. -6

Late Night Slurps: Why the interest in late-night oyster happy hours—particularly in the District? At Old Ebbitt Grill, the popularity built slowly: "It started with restaurant waiters and cooks who were getting off work late. Then they invited their friends. At some point, the restaurant earned a reputation as a place that knew its oysters and went the extra mile to source high quality." Do oysters taste better at night? Unclear. But they're certainly cheaper, what with half-price specials going at places like Ebbitt and Hank's Oyster Bar. +2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 57 Today's score: +1 Today's Needle rating: 58

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