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Don’t Fall into the Turkey Brine: Nurses at Washington Hospital Center, angry about what they say is chronic understaffing and busily haggling with management over a new contract, say they’ll go on strike on Thanksgiving eve if their demands aren’t met. We hereby predict that at least one breathless media story on the negotiations that will involve a pun about how a high-stakes game of chicken is happening on Turkey Day. -2
Veterans’ Day Mystery to be Solved by Next Veterans’ Day: Once upon a time, the District Building featured a plaque adorned with the names of fallen veterans. But during a 1990s renovation of the building, the plaque was lost—only to turn up again in a janitor’s closet of the since-renamed John A. Wilson Building two years ago, broken into pieces. Now Mayor-elect Vincent Gray is vowing to restore the plaque by next Nov. 11. He also says the city will identify the 1,800 people on the list and what war they served in. (Given the city’s record identifying, say, people in its criminal justice system, a year might be ambitious.) +3
Virginia Is for Tea Partiers: The list of reasons to be glad you live in the District and not in Virginia is long—for instance, you’re not required to carry a concealed weapon whenever you go out in public, and the streets around you are not universally named for Robert E. Lee. Add to that list a new reason: Your car’s license plates say “Taxation Without Representation” instead of commemorating the burgeoning anti-government Tea Party movement. A new plate with a “Don’t Tread on Me” motif may soon be coming to the commonwealth across the Potomac. Presumably, cars with this plate will be banned from any highways funded by tax money. -2
Unleaded Parking: A park in Columbia Heights, at 11th and Monroe streets NW, has been closed since August, ever since Department of the Environment auditors found it was contaminated by lead. This being D.C., it probably got that way because it had been, at some point, contaminated with drinking water. Now the park has re-opened, after an extensive mitigation project—and none of the people who came forth for free blood tests the District offered were found to have elevated levels of lead in their systems from going to the park. Which means we can all go back to campaigning to change the city’s postal abbreviation to Pb. +3
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 42 Today’s score: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 44