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Geology Rocks: A day after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake generously described by anyone on the West Coast as “moderate,” things aren’t quite back to normal around here. The Washington Monument was closed, DCPS was closed, and the panic that an impending visit from Hurricane Irene would have ordinarily generated in the local media was entirely subsumed by quake follow-ups. The only sign of the usual routine? Fox News Channel was spinning. On the other hand, the alien invasion, tornado, or deadly virus outbreak that—on the heels of a once in a century earthquake—would have made clear that we’re living in a big-budget Hollywood feature didn’t come to pass. +1

The D.C.-Cleveland Metropolitan Area?: Some of the biggest buzzwords in foodie circles for the last few years have been “seasonal” and “local” (along with the ever-popular “pork belly”). So it’s no surprise that grocery store chains, accustomed to selling products grown more with an eye on shelf stability than on sustainability, are getting into the act. The only problem? Their definition of “local” for the D.C. area includes Syracuse, N.Y., Raleigh, N.C., and Cleveland. We can’t wait for the fight over extending Metro all the way there. -2

No Taxation Without NATO Airstrikes: As D.C.’s non-voting delegate to the U.S. House from 1971 to 1990, Walter Fauntroy‘s job was to deal with a basic lack of democracy and respect for human rights. Which probably served him in good stead as he wound up in Tripoli this week, as rebels battled Moammar Gaddafi’s forces for control of Libya. Exactly why Fauntroy went to the middle of a civil war is unclear, but apparently he plans to be back for this weekend’s dedication of a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr., presumably flying on one of the many direct Dulles-Tripoli connections offered daily. +1

Go Back to Baltimore: The perils of losing year after year in the National Football League are many: no playoffs, lackluster regional morale, and a high likelihood that Chad Pennington, not Joe Buck, will be calling your team’s game on TV. Add to that list a new threat: Some other team might come try to steal your fans. Such is the fate of the Washington Redskins, as the Baltimore Ravens continue their push into the D.C. market. The teams play each other in an exhibition game tomorrow; no word on whether the loser will meekly retreat back to Howard County. -1

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