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Ho, Ho, Ho: Now you can do your holiday shopping on your way to watch a Georgetown Hoyas basketball game—the downtown holiday market opened up again today. Vendors, including crafters and local restaurants, will be out from noon to 8 p.m. until Dec. 23. (A few generations ago, of course, going shopping along 7th Street NW wouldn’t have seemed novel, nor have been a seasonal treat.) Remember: It is your patriotic duty to spend more money than seems reasonable, what with unemployment at 9.8 percent nationally. +3
Oh, Donna: Galileo only recently reopened, but prices at the Italian restaurant may be going up soon. Why? Because a federal judge ruled today that owner Roberto Donna must pay $527,000 to 11 former employees who alleged he didn’t pay them enough at the original Galileo and at Bebo Trattoria. Finding half a million in back wages to pay out means selling an awful lot of braised stuffed artichokes. -1
Streetcar Named Desire to Cut the Budget: By now, everyone in the District has formed a consensus that life in the city simply cannot continue much longer unless streetcars begin running along H Street NE. Unfortunately, everyone in the District has also formed a consensus that the city’s budget is seriously out of whack. Which is why Almost Mayor Vince Gray is reported to be considering cutting some of the funds allocated to getting the streetcars going. We’re sure they’ll be operating, and paid for, by some reasonable date, maybe, oh, 2037 or so. -2
All Inventory Must Go!: Back in the boom days before the economy fell apart, navigating the real estate market might have seemed like war. But only now have military psy ops tactics come into the housing game. That’s the only plausible explanation for why the most expensive house for sale in D.C. just raised its price by $500,000. If you want to live at 18th and R streets NW, it can be yours for only $15.5 million. Or you could probably live around the corner for about $2,000 a month. +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 50 Today’s score: +1 Friday bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 53