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No More Free Parking: At least a third of D.C.’s neighborhood political disputes boil down to parking. Which is why word of secret free spaces by Thompson Boat House near Virginia Avenue NW caught our eye when a message about it appeared in The Mail, Gary Imhoff‘s e-newsletter. Park Police, a tipster wrote, never patrolled the federal-owned lot, meaning commuters could park there all day for no cost, within easy walking distance of Foggy Bottom and Georgetown. And with that, the gravy train was over: Cops wrote $25 tickets to 54 of the 70 cars parked in the lot yesterday afternoon. The only bad news: The revenue won’t help the District budget. +1
Just Dance (In Class): Academic life long ago shed its staid, ivory tower reputation. But at the University of Maryland, they’re really trying to make sure everyone gets the message: College is cool! A gender studies course next semester will study Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Nikki Minaj. No word on whether students will be able to link their iTunes accounts to their university bills so they can get mom and dad to pay for course material. +1
Creep Cam: The next time someone drops his pants (and we say “his,” because it is always men doing this crap) on the Metro, don’t just feel violated—take a picture and send it to transit authorities! Of course, you’ll also feel violated. Which is why Metro is finally taking concerns about sexual harassment on the system seriously, asking for reports, complete with photos of the perps, in order to help catch offenders. Just make sure no one steals your smartphone while you’re taking the photo. -1
Spring Forward: Speaking of Metro, the agency wants everyone to remember not to get stranded out this weekend by Daylight Savings Time. Clocks jump from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. early Sunday morning, which means the subway will close immediately. Bars will, too—so drink up, then run for the fare gates. -1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 70 Today’s score: 0 Friday bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 72