City Desk

The Needle: Exploding Plumbing Edition

Blow-Up: An extended metaphor broke out on Capitol Hill today, as a urinal in the men's restroom in the House Press Gallery exploded, overflowing into the gallery. The House wasn't in session, so the resulting flooding didn't douse as many reporters as it might have otherwise. We don't watch cable TV news during the day, so we can only imagine the deep significance this was imbued with there. But as a former inhabitant of many a Capitol Hill press workspace, we're sure anything interesting happening in one is good news—even if it's an exploding toilet. +1

Moving: For 115 years, the Corcoran Gallery has called the corner of 17th Street and New York Avenue NW home, but that may not be the case anymore. The museum is exploring a sale of its historic building and a move to destinations unknown. Besides the questions about what a move out of the District would mean for art in the city, the possibility of the Corcoran's departure raises another one: Just what is the market like for museum resale? -3

Paycheck: There are good bosses, and then there's Alfred Atanga. The former supervisor at a Metro call center in Hyattsville was sentenced to nine months in jail today for falsifying his employees' timesheets, causing the transit agency to pay them more than $24,500 for overtime they didn't work. That is, of course, bad news for anyone who rides Metro or pays D.C., Maryland, Virginia, or federal taxes, since the agency is funded from those sources. But we suspect the people who worked for Atanga were sorry to see him go. -1

Burglar: A pro tip for any would-be office supply resellers—get a job at the Capitol first, then just steal the stuff you need. Authorities say they've recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars of furniture and supplies stolen from Senate office buildings, but they won't prosecute the people responsible because, basically, Congress didn't do enough to keep them from taking it in the first place. -1

Friday's Needle rating: 51 Today's score: -4 Today's Needle rating: 47

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