D.C. Meets MLK: The latest memorial on the National Mall will honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose 1963 March on Washington took place 48 years ago this Aug. 28. D.C. residents will get both a sneak preview of the memorial and a chance to claim King would have backed more autonomy from the federal government for the city, as officials are planning a sovereignty rally on Aug. 27, the night before the memorial’s dedication. On Aug. 23, District residents get special admission to the site, before people from the rest of the country. On the other hand, people from the rest of the country have voting representation in Congress; on the whole, we’d take their side of the trade. +3

Tea Party Athletes?
: Speaking of Congress, our federal overlords—you know, the ones who are so hyper-vigilant about debt that they nearly allowed the U.S. government to default on its bonds—don’t seem to be interested in helping the District balance its own books by taxing extremely rich sports stars who come through town for games. An effort by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton to get lawmakers to amend the Home Rule Charter to allow the tax has gone nowhere. Must be all those backbenchers hoping for a pro basketball career when they leave politics. -2

Take The Endowment Train: Arts education, in the era of No Child Left Behind and budget cuts, has been harder and harder for public schools to pay for. After all, standardized tests don’t measure how well students can read sheet music. But the Duke Ellington School of the Arts may not have to worry so much about finances in the future; the school got a $17.2 million endowment from the Eugene B. Casey Foundation. Even better than swing? +2

Winning: Escorting Charlie Sheen through the streets of D.C. may not be a punishable offense, but is criticizing Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier? MPD Commander Hilton Burton, whose unit provided the Sheen escort, was demoted after he clashed publicly with Lanier; MPD brass say the move had nothing to do with the controversy. At this point, we’d probably support banning Sheen from setting foot in the District, just to prevent future problems. -1

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 58 Today’s score: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 60