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Hi Ho: The original Kermit the Frog puppet will join the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, along with several other Muppet prototypes that used to star on Sam and Friends, on WRC-TV, the first showcase for the Sesame Street crew. Presumably, they’ll take their place alongside other treasures of American pop culture in the nostalgia-inducing, albeit somewhat randomly assembled, collection that draws some of the museum’s largest crowds. Might Willard Scott, who also debuted on WRC in the 1950s, be heading there soon, too? +3

See You in September August: For students in the District, Prince George’s County, Frederick County and Anne Arundel County, Aug. 23, 2010, is a date that will live in infamy. (Any area students who don’t get that reference: Google it.) Why? School started up again, nearly an unseemly two weeks before Labor Day. In Upper Marlboro, students walked into Barack Obama Elementary School for the first time. Good thing it’s not in D.C., or Republicans in Congress would already have introduced legislation to name it for Ronald Reagan instead. +4

More Saving. More Doing. More Shooting: An off-duty Metropolitan Police Department officer working security at the Home Depot on Rhode Island Avenue NE is shot in the arm during a scuffle with a man in the store—with his own gun. Authorities haven’t said what the struggle involved. If Home Depot were a nightclub, the outcry to close it down would already be deafening. Also, if Home Depot were a nightclub, they’d probably want to lock up the power tools. -4

Wake Up to the Times: Last year, the conservative-leaning, Rev. Sun Myung Moon-owned Washington Times laid off most of its staff and tried to reinvent the newspaper as… something else. (Exactly what was never clear.) Evidently, that didn’t work; the paper may now be preparing its final edition and could close any moment. Before it does, though, the few remaining staffers will be joined together in holy matrimony to each other in a mass ceremony. -2

Weak Tea: A visitor’s guide for the horde of Tea Party-ing masses heading to the District for a Glenn Beck march on Washington this weekend advises conservative activists that Metro’s Green and Yellow lines are unsafe at any time. The guide also suggests Eric Ripert‘s West End Bistro as a dining option—in spite of Ripert’s suspicious French origins—because notables like Nancy Pelosi, Alan Greenspan, Andrea Mitchell, and Clint Eastwood have all eaten there. (Overthrow tyranny! But first, try this 2005 Bourdeaux… Ooh, look! Someone famous!) The guide also serves, perhaps unintentionally, as a tip sheet for how locals can avoid the Tea Partiers: Just go wherever it says to avoid. Which, happily, is most of the city. +3

Friday’s Needle rating: 44 Today’s score: +4 Today’s Needle rating: 48