It’s Fire Time: An entire fire station on U Street NW was taken out of service yesterday after the visiting fire chief discovered a case of beer in the firehouse fridge. WTOP reports that 15 firefighters and EMT were marched down to the department’s clinic and tested for alcohol. They tested negative, and things were soon back to normal, with the chief assuring residents that “coverage was not compromised.” Unmentioned in the report: Was the case full? -1

Fully Loaded Office Suites: Just when you thought the D.C. Council’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week couldn’t get any worse, it seems  Michael Brown has got himself some new office furniture. A Washington Post reporter spied a delivery man wheeling an olive couch and chair into the office of the at-large councilmember. It doesn’t take a political consultant to explain why the delivery didn’t look good: Two days earlier, Brown was among the one-vote majority that voted to raise taxes, citing the city’s financial straits. As it happened, it also didn’t smell good: Brown claimed that the furniture was “used,” but the Post reported that the $2,300 worth of furniture “smelled like” it was new. -2

Name that Panda! It’s official: After public voting, the two red panda cubs born at the National Zoo in June have been named Pili and Damini. Pili means “clap of thunder” in Chinese, and Damini means “lightning” in Nepalese. Alas, “Yetta,” “Fernando,” and “Stan” did not make the cut. +1

Swag: NBC4’s most intrepid reporter, Pat Collins, has swapped his Gorton’s Fisherman-inspired get-up for something a little more fruity. DCist reports that Collins recently headed down to Virginia to interview a Stafford County high school student who was meted out a 10-day suspension. The offense? Running across Colonial Forge High School’s football field during a game—in a banana suit. For the occasion, and presumably in solidarity with those in fruit suits everywhere, Collins donned a purple ensemble shaped of a bunch of grapes. +3

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 65 Today’s score: +1 Friday Bonus Points: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 68

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