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Let’s Go Crazy: For a minute, it seemed as if the Gray administration was attempting to silence one of its most prolific and helpful Twitter feeds, @dcfireems. The account inexplicably went quiet in August, and yesterday, DCist reported future @dcfireems tweets might have to go through a filter. (The fire department’s communications director, Lon Walls, said, “Social media is for parties. We ain’t givin’ parties.) But today, Tim Craig of the Washington Post tweets, naturally, that the powers-that-be have reneged on the gagging: “@dcfireems will resume today. Fire PIO Piringer will be tweeter, as had been case. He will also have backup. No filter.” +2
Where the Rich People Are: Montgomery and Fairfax counties, two of the D.C. area’s wealthiest jurisdictions, are a little less so, according to new census data. Medium household income fell about $4,500 and $3,000, respectively. “The declines have produced a Cinderella-worthy change in wealth rankings: Montgomery County, home to Congressional Country Club, now has a lower median household income than Prince William County, home of the Potomac Mills outlet mall,” writes the Post. The horror! -1
Fully Loaded SmarTrips: Welcome to 2011, WMATA! The agency will finally, finally allow all SmartTrip holders to put more money on their cards online, removing the totally annoying step of getting thee to a Metro station kiosk should funds run low. This giant leap forward, which comes after a pilot program with 150,000 users, is quite literally named “SmarTrip Online Reload feature.” +2
Ride Bikeshare, Be Less Sad: Capital Bikeshare is celebrating its first birthday tonight, and rumor has it there’ll be a moon bounce at the party. Now that the system is well-established, a psychiatrist has proposed studying whether riding those big red bikes can work as mental health therapy. That certainly befits a mode of transit whose fête will include entertainment intended to put a goofy grin on your face—like, a moon bounce. +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 61 Today’s score: +4 Today’s Needle rating: 65