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No Turkeys for Turkeys: The holiday Turkey giveaway is a staple of old-time urban politics. But this year, D.C.’s old-timiest urban pol is adding a twist to the tradition by trying to use the freebies to engender good behavior in addition to goodwill: Recipients of birds from Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry‘s giveaway will be required to pre-register for a bird and to meet requirements, like attending parent-teacher conferences or getting themselves registered to vote. Barry discovers Nudge! Plus, he guarantees no repeat of his disastrous giveaway last year, where it turned out that there weren’t an actual birds for the taking. +4
APB for Satirical Tweets: All together, folks: News from The Onion is not true! But that didn’t stop the U.S. Capitol Police from investigating a series of tweets linking to one of the fake-news pub’s fake stories: A satirical piece reporting that Congressmen had taken a group of schoolchildren hostage on Capitol Hill. In the piece, the heartless legislators threaten to kill the kids unless they’re given $12 trillion to appropriate. Now, if only the Capitol police could only investigate everyone on the Hill who makes unfunny jokes. +1
School Closings Ahead: Good news, kids: D.C. is about to close your schools. The catch: You’ll have to go to other ones that may will be a bit farther from home. With more than 40 schools that have enrollments of fewer than 300 apiece, the city’s school system is preparing plans to shutter significant numbers of schools. Most of the damage will happen on the eastern side of town, where the bulk of the low-enrollment schools are, reports the Post. Unfortunately, that’s also the part of town where Adrian Fenty got in trouble for a previous round of school closures. No wonder schools chief Kaya Henderson says she plans to spend the winter “hunkered down” with members of Vince Gray‘s administration looking for targets. -3
Walter Reed’s Economic Legacy: During the long decades when Walter Reed Army Medical Center dominated its stretch of upper Georgia Avenue, it was hard to think of the hospital as a business dynamo. After all, the nearby commercial corridor included a pizza joint, a liquor store, and a video store specializing in dirty movies, among others. But now, a month after the final patients left the shuttered facility, the negative impact on the neighbors is apparent: The liquor store tells WTOP that business is down by 75 percent, and the pizza places says the lunch-hour crowd has vanished. No word about the movies. -1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 64 Today’s score: +1 Today’s Needle rating: 65