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Vince and the Vouchers: Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) want Mayor Vince Gray to get in line with school vouchers, and quick. The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which allows city students to attend private schools on federal funds, is seen by the mayor as overly meddlesome. But Vince might have to put away his notions of autonomy and make like Council Chairman Kwame Brown, who feels vouchers could help low-income families: The senators have tied funding for D.C. schools to acceptance of the voucher program. Collins is quoted as saying “I believe unless there is a three-sector approach, the money for D.C. Public Schools and D.C. charter schools will be in jeopardy.” -3
Counter Culture: At-Large Councilmember David Catania introduced a bill yesterday that would allow women to procure birth control over the counter. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to win any warm feelings from the District’s Federal overlords, and could clash with existing FDA regulations. But, for those that can’t afford the costly doctor’s visit needed to obtain access to birth control, this could be a boon for reproductive safety and quality of life. +1
Let them Read Bread! The District’s dwindling supply of bricks-and-mortar bookstores is about to get smaller. With this morning’s announcement that the Borders chain was filing for bankruptcy comes news that the city will lose two more places to buy biscotti and browse the novels you intend to buy online later: Both of the chain’s D.C. outposts are slated to close as part of the restructuring. But fear not, carb-addled, chain-loving Washingtonians: You’ll soon be able to take your Kindles to a new in-town outpost of Panera Bread that’s set to open in Columbia Heights. -2
We’re Number 41! Washington has cracked the list of the top 50 most moved-to cities in America, compiled annually by the good folks at U-Haul. Possibly propelled by the truck-rental preferences of incoming Republican house staffers, D.C., which wasn’t on the 2009 list, squeaked in at number 41 on the 2010 version. Alas, it’s nothing to get too proud about: Baltimore was number 33. And the top 10 included Houston, Sacramento, and Kansas City. +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 53 Today’s score: -3 Today’s Needle Rating: 50