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Tuition Increases and “Sacrifices” At Howard: The recession is still having an effect at Howard University. In a letter to the university, President Sidney Ribeau writes that now’s the time to make some sacrifices. City Paper intern Maya Rhodan notes for The Hilltop: “Some of the sacrifices include the deferment of selected campus facilities projects, full closure of the University during spring break except for essential services, and a review of all University contracts in an effort to reduce reliance on them.” This is in the wake of an expected 12-percent tuition increase. -3

Local Kid Makes Good: Onion staffer and blogger Baratunde Thurston has been on a media blitz over his new book “How To Be Black.” Thurston, who lives in Brooklyn, grew up in Columbia Heights, and tells Arts Desk some of his fondest memories are at Hains Point: “There’s a lot of memory tied up in that spot and a lot of things that have significance for my family,” Thurston says. “Parks and water, playing outside, and getting dirty—kind of the opposite of a typical city life.” +4

Pixel-Stained Wretches: Postie (and former City Paper editor) Erik Wemple cops to the sin of reading emails from nonprofit Media Matters and occasionally linking to the organization’s posts, in the wake of a Daily Caller “investigation” into the group’s influence. He adds, cheekily: “I apologize to my employers, my readers, and the public at large for receiving these emails. There is no room in journalism for such conduct.”  +2

If A Sign Falls On A Pick-Up Truck, Will It Hurt Anyone?: In this case, no. A 30-foot sign fell into the eastbound lanes of I-66, striking a passing truck, but not injuring anyone. “This is a very serious matter and I want to assure motorists and the public that VDOT will get to the bottom of what caused the collapse so we can prevent this from happening again,” VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley said in a statement. Uh, thanks. +1

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 43 Today’s score: +4 Today’s Needle rating: 47