How’d He Get That Job? A man named Dave Megerle, who’s part of a so-called “Difficult Access Team” of engineers employed by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, inspected the Washington Monument today for earthquake damage. Doing so required hanging from the structure’s top. DCist has video. It is impressive. It is terrifying. +2

Not-So-Mellow-Yellow: Councilmartyr Saint Tommy Wells wants to know if taxis in the District can all be painted yellow, presumably for visibility purposes. Loose Lips isn’t convinced this is a good idea. I’d say Wells may want to focus on getting cab drivers to regularly turn their “occupied” lights off or on when appropriate, stop refusing to pick up riders because of their destinations, and installing credit card machines. Those things likely drive more people “crazy.” -2

Talking Tickets: $1 million: That’s how much revenue the city pulls in each year for ticketing drivers who talk on cell phones. According to the Washington Examiner, D.C. doles out nearly 12,000 such tickets a year. That’s a big chunk of change just for chatting. +2

Broken Homes: District social workers are pulling children from homes needlessly, says a new report. More children are being placed in foster care and then quickly placed back in their homes. In only about 25 percent of cases were children appropriately removed from their homes. -3

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 63 Today’s score: -1 Today’s Needle rating: 62