Peace Out, Plotkin: Just the other day, we at Washington City Paper had a little laugh at the expense of WTOP’s Mark Plotkin, poking fun at his obsession with symbolic slights against D.C.’s colonial status. Little did we know that’d be our last chance! Plotkin, a fixture on the District’s airwaves for decades, was canned today by ‘TOP after nearly 10 years at the station. The Post‘s Erik Wemple reports that Plotkin was fired over his behavior in the newsroom, not his work on air. Plotkin tells TBD’s Bruce DePuyt he’ll be fine. Listening to the radio won’t be the same without him, though—and the real crisis, of course, is how much longer this will set back the District’s efforts to get a statue in the Capitol. -3

Pay Up Or Go Home: The District has been bending over backwards lately to collect on unpaid traffic tickets, running a months-long amnesty program to let drivers settle old debts without a penalty. And what does the city get in return? Not much in the way of cash from Maryland or Virginia drivers. Our neighbors still owe $140 million despite the amnesty, accounting for 83 percent of the unpaid tickets D.C. is still waiting to get paid for. So the next time you see a Virginia or Maryland license plate, feel free to yell at the driver until he or she pays up. -2

Goodbye, Grande: When the first Starbucks on the East Coast opened on Wisconsin Avenue in 1993, no one could have predicted that, eventually, the chain would expand to the point that it now has more than one store in D.C. for every 10,000 residents (which is to say, 65 stores in our 68.3 square miles of turf).That first foothold is now closing up shop. Given the retail pattern in the city, our bet is it’s going to turn from a Starbucks into a CVS. +1

Run Or Pass Or Score, We Want A Lot More: Twenty years ago today, the Washington Redskins won their last Super Bowl by spanking the Buffalo Bills in Minneapolis, 37-24. The current Vegas odds on the title drought ending in 2013 are 100 to 1, which is actually probably pretty generous (though it’s the worst odds the bookies are giving). The chances of the drought ending in 2012, of course, have been at 0 percent ever since the team was eliminated from playoff contention in early December. Meanwhile, Super Bowl XXVI quarterback Mark Rypien might be available to start next season; he played a game as part of a promotional stunt six years ago, which might make him as game fit as John Beck or Rex Grossman is. -2

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 43 Today’s score: -6 Today’s Needle rating: 36

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