Ten Years Later: It was deja vu all over again this morning, as the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks approaches. Vague, unspecified warnings of terrorist strikes on either New York or D.C., urgings of “vigilance” from authorities, and wall-to-wall freakout coverage on cable news. Will the whole world be blown up this weekend? We suspect probably not. But the warning brought an unwelcome edge to all the retrospectives in the air anyway; we’re very much looking forward to Sept. 12, 2011. -2

Scofflaws Unite: Amnesty really works. Or at least, that’s the lesson from the first month of the District’s forgiveness program for parking tickets: The city took in $976,341 in fees it otherwise wouldn’t have gotten (since the people paying them had, so far, successfully dodged collection attempts). Maryland drivers paid the most, $475,360; District drivers paid $282,021, and Virginians paid $155,438. Which is to say, yes, go ahead and key that car with Free State plates. +2

Plants Or Petroleum?: The story keeps changing for what, exactly, the oil slick-looking mess on the Anacostia River was this summer. At first, it wasn’t an oil slick. Then it was maybe an oil slick. Then it was silt. Now, the official word from the Environmental Protection Agency, is that it was algae. Rain, which we’ve apparently had a little bit of recently, helped kill it off. +1

Happy Birthday, Washington!: Our fair city celebrates a milestone today—it was 220 years ago that the nation’s capital was named after George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Originally, the District was known as the “Territory of Columbia,” and the federal portion was the “City of Washington.” No word on whether city workers qualify, by proxy, for birthday drink specials. +1

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 51 Today’s score: +2 Friday bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 55