City Desk

The Needle: Welcome Home Edition

All's Fair In Love And Fares: The bad news? Metro fares will go up, as planned. The good news? They might not go up quite as much as originally announced. Some new accounting based on better than expected performance has found extra money in the transit agency's projected budget, and now officials are scaling back the increases. "We're Making It Marginally Less More Expensive!" still doesn't seem like an ideal slogan, though. -2

Where The Weed Is: Medicinal marijuana took another small step toward (eventually) becoming reality today, as the District approved four sites for dispensaries where patients can come buy their pot. They'll be in Takoma, the West End, Barracks Row, and Truxton Circle. The law allows for one more, but getting the sites past neighborhood groups—difficult enough when the product isn't illegal under federal law—has proven to be a challenge. Non-medical marijuana distribution, of course, will continue all around the city, just without an official license. +3

It's Not Old, It's Vintage: File this one as a rare victory of common sense over bureaucracy. The used books, records, and vintage clothing shops raided by District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs last week will have more time, and less expense, to comply with the rules they were never originally told to follow, after a meeting between the agency and the stores. The law now requires all those shops to act as pawn shops, getting a different kind of business license than stores selling new goods and reporting all sales to the police. No word on whether hipsters will also be required to get licenses in order to shop at the stores. +1

Nats Win!: A quick check of the baseball standings will show something that looks unusual both to relatively new Washington Nationals fans and longtime fans of the Washington Senators—the home team in first place. The Nats won today's home opener, 3-2, on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning, which is not a frequent way for games to end. They sit a half-game ahead of the New York Mets. Even more unusual: The game was sold out. +2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 40 Today's score: +4 Today's Needle rating: 44

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