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MLK Memorial, Take Two: The last time the new memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. was scheduled for a dedication ceremony, a tropical storm got in the way. This weekend, the weather’s set to be perfect for the rescheduled event. (Yes, there was a tornado last night near Quantico, Va., but the ceremony isn’t until Sunday.) President Barack Obama and other dignitaries will be on hand; Mayor Vince Gray will lead a D.C. democracy protest on Saturday, taking advantage of the attention to human rights that an MLK memorial naturally provides. Don’t plan on going to a D.C. statehood memorial any time real soon, though. +3
A Streetcar Named Walter Reed: Nothing in the city gets people dreaming, or arguing, quite like the streetcar plans—people either love the new transit system or hate it, and it hasn’t even started running yet. So expect the news (broken by Washington City Paper) that a planned line along Georgia Avenue NW might get built earlier than expected in order to attract development to the land vacated by the Army at Walter Reed to set off the usual disputes. Plus, since the site is relatively close to a planned Walmart location, one of the other frequent topics of District controversy, there’s bonus contentiousness! And, in the end, maybe a streetcar to Silver Spring. +2
No Guns, Thanks, We’re Washingtonians: Like clockwork, Congress tries to tinker with the District’s gun laws every few months. The only surprise in the most recent attempt? It didn’t work. The House Judiciary Committee voted Thursday against a bill by Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, to allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit from elsewhere to carry a concealed weapon here, despite the GOP’s control of the panel (and the whole House, of course). This isn’t likely to be Gohmert’s last gun scheme; he had proposed, last winter, allowing lawmakers to arm themselves on the House floor. +2
iPhone, YouPhone, We All Scream for iPhone: The latest Apple device went on sale today at 8 a.m., spawning not only a frenzy at Apple stores (and AT&T, Spring, and Verizon outposts), but a bit of a media frenzy, as well. The Post had a blogger camped out in Bethesda at 4:30 a.m.—and he was there to buy the iPhone 4S, not just to cover the people buying it. Another piece looked at the retail boom provided simply by being next to a Steve Jobs-designed store. The Metropolitan Police Department emailed a helpful list of tips on how not to get your new iPhone stolen minutes after you purchase it. Full disclosure: We also succumbed to the Apple frenzy, but our pre-ordered phone arrived by FedEx, so we didn’t have to file any dispatches while waiting. +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 63 Today’s score: +8 Friday bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 73