City Desk

The Needle: Downward Zoning Dog Edition

Yoga District: As readers of the Washington Post know, yoga is increasingly popular among D.C.'s gentrifying class. So you can almost hear thousands of myopic little twit types breathing a sigh of relief now that the city's Zoning Commission has moved to eliminate an odd quirk that made it illegal to operate a yoga studio in districts zoned for commercial businesses. Six yoga studios that were technically out of compliance with the zoning rules would be good to go if the change takes effect. Om. +1

No Smoking: Packing for a long overseas trip is always tough—how do you decide what's essential and what you can leave behind? Customs and Border Protection officials say a man who flew into Dulles International Airport from Vietnam, via Japan, opted for the somewhat unorthodox approach of stuffing ten suitcases full of 924 packs of cigarettes. The passenger allegedly declared a few cartons of the smokes, but an x-ray machine noticed the rest. -1

No Café Is An Island: It's not just downtown nightclubs that get shut down by Metropolitan Police Department officials after violence breaks out. A small neighborhood bar and restaurant on Upshur Street NW in Petworth, Island Café, was closed for several days for a police review after a man was stabbed in the stomach during a fight there Saturday morning. As it happens, Washington City Paper is sponsoring a Ward 4 D.C. Council candidates' debate a few doors down from the bar tomorrow night; no word on whether the candidates will be coming armed. -2

March Madness: Office productivity is about to decline everywhere, at least if you believe the breathless reports issued every year about how much time the NCAA college basketball tournament causes to be wasted. Here in the D.C. region, there's plenty of reason to be distracted; of the schools in Post sports blogger Dan Steinberg's "Atlantic 11," four—Georgetown, Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Loyola—made the tournament. Games start Thursday; office pool preparations started last night. +4

Friday's Needle rating: 72 Today's score: +2 Today's Needle rating: 74

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