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A Street By Any Other Name: Renaming Pennsylvania Avenue as part of the fight for D.C. voting rights seemed like a good idea. So the D.C. Council has apparently decided to rename a few more, too. A plan under consideration at the Wilson Building would make Pennsylvania Avenue into D.C. Statehood Way, and also turn Constitution Avenue to Free D.C. Avenue and Independence Avenue into Let D.C. Vote Way. Councilmember Michael A. Brown is behind the idea; he’s experienced with the trouble names can cause, so we trust him to see it through. We also trust the GOP-controlled House to try to block any legislation renaming any streets. +2
Insert Obligatory “Can You Hear Me Now?” Headline: Sure, your cellphone works in the Metro. But once you get above ground, a new study says, you’re screwed. D.C. had the most problems per 100 calls in a survey by J.D. Power and Associates, which we assume didn’t survey cellphone users because, well, you know. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh did the best. -2
You’re Happy And You Know It: Those dropped calls aren’t causing too many hurt feelings, apparently—the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index ranks D.C. the happiest metropolitan area in the country. Criteria used to determine the rankings: how many people smoke and how often residents go to the dentist. Which makes the whole thing seem a little odd. But hey, who are we to complain? We’re happy! Austin, San Jose, Seattle, and San Francisco came in as slightly less happy. +1
Giant Elephants On Parade: Yesterday’s parade of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus elephants through downtown didn’t make some people happy—notably People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (to say nothing of the pachyderms, whose treatment by circus handlers is the subject of some debate). PETA will set up an inflatable elephant and graphic displays of abuse outside the Verizon Center to protest the circus’ stay. We say: Let the elephants start ferrying D.C. government officials around town. For less than $2,000 a month, we could probably treat them pretty well. +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 59 Today’s score: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 61