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No Snow Más: If you went out and bought a snowmobile (or as Todd and Sarah Palin call them, a snow machine) during last winter’s endless blizzards in hopes of using it to get around this winter… there may soon be one more used snowmobile up for sale on eBay. The National Weather Service and AccuWeather both predict a return to the District’s usual mostly snow-free winter this year. Where last year, El Niño sent record snow our way, a strong La Niña should mean more of the crap we’re used to: slush and “wintry mix.” But hey, at least you can leave the house in that. Meanwhile, Metro is uncharacteristically already prepared for snow. Just in time for us not to get any. +3
Put Down the Phone: Thousands of scofflaws live among us. The Metropolitan Police Department is on pace to issue a record number of citations for talking or texting while driving this year—14,784 by the end of the year, if the stats through September are any guide. The previous record was 11,904 in 2008. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood greeted the news with a jubilant tweet. Meanwhile, those of us who bike to work just rolled our eyes, wondering why the drivers who nearly ran us over this morning talking on their phone weren’t already in the citation stats. +2
Chateau de Dupont: Successful wineries can be found all over the world: Bordeaux, France; Mendoza, Argentina; the Napa Valley; and soon, Dupont Circle. The former streetcar tunnels-turned-failed food court underneath Connecticut Avenue will include, besides art galleries and restaurants, a winery. Presumably, the fact that the project is being described as a “winery” and not a “vineyard” means people won’t actually be trying to grow grapes 20 feet below Dupont Circle. But hey, this is D.C.; stranger things have happened. Remember, drink locally. +2
Clean Up, Losers: All those Vincent Orange, Delano Hunter, Clark Ray, and yes, Adrian Fenty signs still hanging around town are now, officially, contraband. The deadline for removing posters from public space—30 days after the primary—passed last week. (Candidates who won the Sept. 14 primary can keep their gear up, no matter how pro forma the Nov. 2 general election really is.) And yes, this item is really mostly just a bid to get the Fenty write-in folks to complain in the comments that their man is still actually a candidate. -1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 40 Today’s score: +6 Today’s Needle rating: 46