City Desk

The Needle: Unoccupied Edition

You Don't Have To Go Home, But You Can't Stay Here: Nothing like some nosy House Republicans to bring a protest to an end. After last week's hearing in Congress, the National Park Service and U.S. Park Police began enforcing a long-ignored ban on camping in McPherson Square today, which could be the first step toward closing up the Occupy D.C. encampment there. Now if only Congress would show similar concern about all the real problems in D.C.'s national parks. -1

Make Money Money: Turns out 2011 wasn't quite as bad financially for the D.C. government as everyone thought. An audit of the now-ended fiscal year revealed an extra $240 million in unexpected cash, thanks mostly to higher than projected capital gains and estate tax revenues. Predictably, the D.C. Council is already eyeing the windfall for an election-year tax cut. Also predictably, the city is expected to run a $150 million shortfall in the upcoming 2013 fiscal year. +3

Let Them Eat Beer: The District is suddenly awash in breweries, which means a lot of leftover zymurgical grain. The District also has a lot of people going hungry, especially with the economy the way it is. Turns out all that grain can be baked into bread. DC Brau teamed up with Pizzeria Paradiso recently to produce 65 loaves for Bread for the City, recycling barley that would have been turned into cattle feed and feeding people with it instead. The brewers eventually want to produce 500 loaves a month to donate to charity. Which could mean your bar tab is tax deductible. +3

The Circus Leaves Town: Besides the running circuses at the Wilson Building and the Capitol, the D.C. area is also home to one of the largest traveling three-ring productions in the world, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which is owned by Feld Entertainment (the same company behind Disney on Ice). That may soon be changing. Feld announced plans today to relocate 190 jobs from its Vienna headquarters to a new office in Florida. Another 100 jobs will remain in Virginia. No word on where they'll send the clowns. -1

Friday's Needle rating: 34 Today's score: +4 Today's Needle rating: 38

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