City Desk

The Needle: Atomic Edition

Drop The Bomb: Some elementary schools in the D.C. region still have Cold War-era air raid sirens outside (when we were growing up in Rockville in the 1980s, the siren tests used to interrupt after-school soccer practice every now and then). Now a new report indicates that all that preparation was—surprise!—not really necessary: A nuclear bomb detonation in downtown D.C. would pretty much destroy the region's economy, as well as killing thousands and thousands of people and wiping out blocks downtown. The good news: We understand the Soviet Union is no longer a threat, unlike back in elementary school days. -3

Vote Early, Not Often: There's no reason to wait until next Tuesday, April 3, to vote in the upcoming primaries—early voting opened around the city weeks ago. And if the daily counts released by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics are correct, there's not likely to be much of a wait. Through today's 4 p.m. data dump, only 2,121 people had cast early ballots. The figures, by the way, are released on Facebook; no word on whether Zynga is working on a version of Farmville based on city politics. +1

Steady Diet Of Endorsements: At-Large D.C. Council candidate Sekou Biddle already won Washington City Paper's endorsement, along with the Washington Post's and the Current newspapers. But now comes a much more punk rock nod in his bid to unseat Vincent Orange: the Fugazi endorsement. The band's drummer, Brendan Canty, gave Biddle $250; guitarist Ian MacKaye gave him $50 in last year's special election campaign. If Biddle had time to organize a Fugazi reunion show as a get-out-the-vote rally, he might be rolling to a victory. +1

He Slimed Me: School lunches have been punch lines for as long as there's been school. But when news broke last week that many districts around the country are feeding kids something known as "pink slime," an ammonia-treated filler that barely counts as meat, as part of their ground beef, it wasn't that funny. Turns out D.C. is slime-free. DCPS prohibits meat that contains "hormones, antibiotics, Genetically Modified Organism(s), unnatural feeds or have been subjected to irradiation or ammonias in the processing phase," and also strives to serve "local, grass-fed, free-range, hormone and antibiotic free meats" whenever possible, DCist reports. Which means those sloppy Joes are actually pretty fancy. +2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 58 Today's score: +1 Today's Needle rating: 59

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