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I Can’t Pay My Taxes: Being on the D.C. Council comes with a few perks—the chance to weigh in on important matters of public policy, the ability to use donations from powerful business interests to buy things to make your constituents like you, free Lady Gaga tickets. And oh, yes, also an average salary of $130,538 a year for a part-time job. So it’s a bit of a mystery why Ward 8’s Marion Barry has so much trouble filing federal income taxes properly. But he does, and the IRS has now filed a lien on the house he owns on Orange Street SE, seeking $3,267.19 in unpaid taxes from 2010. Which, of course, still doesn’t even make him the councilmember with the biggest IRS worries. -2
Ho Ho Ho: ‘Tis the season to be jolly, as the saying goes—or, perhaps, to attack your neighbor’s Christmas light display with baseball bats, doing $7,000 in damage. Which is what happened in Fairfax Station over the weekend. Unfortunately for the grinchy teenagers suspected of doing the deed, the homeowners whose lights they smashed (and ran over with their Ford Taurus) caught the whole thing on a security camera. Someone will find out who’s been naughty, in other words. -1
Boom: Metal detectors have popped up all over the city in the years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and sometimes it’s tempting to wonder whether they serve any purpose. Especially after the news that undercover police officers have managed to smuggle fake bombs into the Wilson Building and other government offices more than a dozen times recently. Only the security at Metropolitan Police Department headquarters was able to catch every attempt to bring a simulated explosive into the building. -2
Snow Problem At All: The District will not be caught unawares the next time a snowstorm hits. So vows Mayor Vince Gray, who lined up snow removal equipment on Pennsylvania Avenue NW yesterday to demonstrate all the tools at the city’s disposal to keep roads clear in icy weather. The new plan for dealing with winter actually mostly involves keeping people where they are, rather than sending them all out onto the street at the same slippery time. Another key piece of the official D.C. strategy: “Build snow people.” Meanwhile, new forecasts say there probably won’t be much snow to worry about this winter, anyway. +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 37 Today’s score: -4 Today’s Needle rating: 33