We value your support now more than ever.

All year we’ve been covering the issues that matter most to you—the pandemic, the election, policing, housing, and more—and now our end of year membership campaign is here. Will you support our work to ensure we can bring you the same informative local reporting in 2021?

The Snakeheads Are Coming: When snakehead fish first appeared in Maryland a few years back, it was easy enough to be amused at the prospect of land-borne invasive fish, at least if you didn’t live near Crofton, where they were first spotted; the whole thing sounded like a horror movie concept that didn’t quite make it to production. The fish, though, had the last laugh: Snakeheads have now been seen in the Rhodes River near Annapolis, which means they’ve escaped the Potomac and could be spreading faster. Maybe there’s a b-movie plot in there, after all. -1

Feed The Meter By Phone: Parking in the District no longer requires hoarding quarters (which is probably good, as a quarter doesn’t buy you much time anymore, anyway). The pay-by-phone system city officials rolled out recently is up and running, and early returns look pretty good: More than 37,000 transactions were recorded this month and last, with only 250 mistaken tickets issued—an error rate of less than 1 percent. The typical cause of a problem? Human error. If only smartphones could run everything. +2

In Bloom: The District doesn’t always get the same kind of recognition from federal agencies that states do; it took a while to get a D.C.-designed quarter approved, Congress won’t let us have two statues, and then there was the whole taxation without sanitation thing. But the Postal Service is showing the District some love. A stamp will debut next year featuring cherry blossoms and the Tidal Basin. Be a good D.C. nationalist, and use the stamps to mail in your angry letters about budget autonomy. +2

Energy Drain: No one would accuse today’s weather of being particularly pleasant—it’s in the mid-90s, muggy, and thunderstorms are brewing. But the real heat predicted for later in the week is still 24 hours or more away. Lest they be more overwhelmed than usual, Pepco issued some guidelines on how to save power when it heats up: Turn up thermostats, turn on fans, keep the refrigerator closed, shutter windows. Not mentioned: Live in a region with a reliable utility. -1

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 43 Today’s score: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 45