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What Snow?: Reports filtered in this morning of commuters taking as long as 13 hours to get home from work yesterday, thanks to the snow that smacked the region just as evening rush hour got going. Which, adding insult to injury, probably meant those commuters were already late for work today by the time they got home last night. But don’t try to read about it in today’s Examiner—the free tabloid apparently went to press before the storm hit. (As did the Express.) News as wishful thinking! +3
Taxation Without Representation, In Person: The District government was closed today, but Mayor Vince Gray apparently counted as an essential worker, as he showed up for work. (Or maybe he was just trying to escape his cold, dark house.) Gray met with House Speaker John Boehner on Capitol Hill for the first time since Republicans took over, a day after Boehner introduced a bill to reinstate a voucher program for D.C. school kids. The meeting was closed to the press, which means no one knows if Gray made Boehner cry. +2
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word: Pink Line Project mastermind Philippa Hughes is not easy to mug, as a would-be assailant learned last October. “Did you really think you could take me down?” she asked him at the time. Whoever her attempted robber was—Hughes won’t say—apparently learned some lessons from the failed attack; he’s now sent a hand-written apology to her for the attempt. Let this be a lesson to us all: Do not, under any circumstances, mess with Hughes. (We already learned that lesson here.) +1
New Metro Boss Is Old Metro Boss: Times are tough at Metro; after all, there’s only so many fare increases you can get away with while service deteriorates before riders revolt. Which may be why the new contract for interim general manager-turned-permanent general manager Richard Sarles is a little less lucrative than the one the previous GM, John Catoe got. Sarles, whose contract was finalized by the Metro board today, will make $350,000 a year—up from Catoe’s $325,000—but won’t get the $60,000 annual housing allowance Catoe also got. No word on whether Sarles will get any subsidy to actually ride the transit system, but if fares keep going up, he may need some help, even on that salary. +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 46 Today’s score: +7 Today’s Needle rating: 53