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On Second Thought, Don’t RSVP: Eloping is hard enough when you’re a public figure. Eloping when you’re a public figure and you’ve already sent out invitations to the wedding that’s been described as the social event of the year (albeit in Sacramento)? Downright rude. But DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee and her fiancé, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, didn’t let that stop them. Freaked out about the scale of the event, they’ve been sending e-mails to guests they’d invited for Sept. 4, telling them the wedding is still on—just minus the guests. Don’t worry—you can still buy them a gift (perhaps a nice $311 sauceboat?) off their registry. -2
Burn, Baby, Burn: Three scooters are found wrapped around a tree near 16th Street and Arkansas Avenue NW early this morning, ablaze. No sooner is the fire put out than another one breaks out in the same spot, this time consuming four cars. Either a serious firebug is on the loose, or Vespa is launching an aggressive viral marketing campaign for its rumored new model, the Vespa Fuoco. On the plus side, at least no one has speculated that the fires were set by “eco-terrorists”—yet. -4
SmarTrip Gets Dumber: Changes announced today mean Metro passengers will no longer be able to run a negative balance on their SmarTrip accounts; a trip that costs more than what’s left on the card will require a stop at the dreaded ExitFare machines, which only take cash and—for now—don’t even work with SmarTrip at all. Metro claims the move is necessary because the cost of the cards will fall from $5 to $2.50. Which means for the first time in a while, a cut in quality of service is accompanied by a price decrease, instead of an increase. -2
Yes We Can (Have Food Trucks)!: Two years after Barack Obama rewrote the rules for online politics, the power of motivated grassroots activists is on display once again, as an organized campaign to fight back against new D.C. regulations on food trucks sweeps the local blogosphere. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs officials even agreed to extend a deadline for the public to weigh in on the rules until tomorrow, in response to higher-than-usual interest. Change—and lobster rolls!—is on the march. +3
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 41 Today’s score: -5 Today’s Needle rating: 36