City Desk

The Needle: The Weasel With The News Edition

Now Hear This: For years, tuning your radio to 99.1 FM meant one thing, and one thing only—alternative rock. Lately, of course, it's meant bachata, merengue, bomba, and other Latin pop, as the former WHFS became El Zol on Jan. 12, 2005. The station's changing formats again at the beginning of next year—to all news, all the time. CBS Radio bought another frequency, 107.9 FM, to move El Zol (which it also owns) onto, and will launch a competitor to WTOP. Prediction: Between 'TOP and the new station, you will be able to get traffic and weather on the eights and on some other minute. +1

Bienvenidos Al Museo: The Smithsonian Arts and Industries building has been closed for renovations for a while now. By the time it reopens, it may have a new purpose, as the home of a proposed National Museum of the American Latino. Lawmakers have introduced a bill to put the museum there; doing so would cost $200 million, but that's probably cheaper than building a new one elsewhere. No word on whether the budget includes money to battle conservatives who complain about the very concept. +3

Bad Sign: After Uniontown owner Natasha Dasher was arrested on allegations of drug trafficking, patrons and neighbors rallied to the restaurant's defense. But D.C. liquor authorities may not be so forgiving. The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration is starting its own investigation into the establishment; if Dasher is eventually convicted of a felony, she wouldn't be eligible to hold a liquor license. And everyone knows how well dry restaurants do in D.C. -2

Snow Days Ahead: Get those Snowmageddon-esque puns ready! Weather forecasters say this winter could see several "ferocious" storms (to borrow Bob Ryan's phrase), especiallyin January and February, in another year of extremes. There's a La Niña weather pattern in the Pacific, which usually means an easier winter, but is it really a surprise that a few months after an earthquake hits D.C., the usual patterns are being thrown out the window? Speaking of which, it's cold, close that window. -2

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