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Dead Groundhogs See No Shadows: The little town of Punxsatawney, Pa., has a nice racket going with its Groundhog Day celebrations. So now the District is trying to get in on the act, too. Today marked the inaugural D.C. Groundhog Day festivities, complete with Potomac Phil, a stuffed, dead groundhog. Officials determined (perhaps by consulting a Ouija board?) that Phil had seen his shadow this morning, which means six more weeks of winter. But considering “winter” in 2012 means 70 degree days, who’s complaining? +2
Too Fast, Too Foxhall: A speed camera on Foxhall Road NW recently irritated chef Geoff Tracy, owner of various D.C.-area restaurants and husband of CBS News’s Norah O’Donnell. So Tracy did what comes naturally to a socially-connected chef: He emailed everyone in his restaurants’ customer database with a map showing where he got a ticket and hired a guy to hold a sign warning drivers. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier says Tracy’s efforts haven’t done much: The camera doled out 31,000 tickets in two months. -1
No Reelection For You: There must be something in the water in the District that makes it hard for incumbent politicians to manage the relatively basic task of qualifying for the ballot. First Tony Williams had to run a write-in campaign for his second term as mayor, and now Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander faces the prospect of getting booted from April’s Democratic primary over allegedly bogus signatures. The Board of Elections and Ethics will rule by Monday on the fate of Alexander’s campaign. -1
Snow’s Last Stand?: The winter, as noted above, has been pretty mild. But there’s a possibility that a snowstorm set to ravage Denver soon could leave us with some bona fide winter weather this weekend. Chances are still good no snow will fall—but it’s never too early to start stockpiling bread, milk, toilet paper, and clips of Pat Collins just in case! -1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 37 Today’s score: -1 Today’s Needle rating: 36