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Power to the People: Frustrated by the frequent power outages that have plagued Howard Kurtz‘s home (and possibly yours, too)? Pepco has finally found a solution—spend $256 million trimming tree limbs. And voilà: a reliable supply of electricity. After, uh, a five-year wait to implement the plan. Potentially faster solution—go solar. -2

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Labor Department stats show D.C. posted the second-largest gain in employment in the nation last month. A total of 17,800 new jobs were added to D.C. payrolls in July; it was the biggest one-month gain in the District since the department started tracking the statistic in 1990. The biggest gainer? Michigan. Fenty administration rumored to be testing new slogan: “D.C.’s Economy—Almost as Dynamic As Michigan’s!” +7

It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature: Elevators at Metro’s Union Station stop will be out of service for three months as part of a $177 million Red Line rehab project. Unlike the system’s many escalator outages, this one was announced in advance. Like the system’s many escalator outages, it’s still likely to prove inconvenient and irritating. -3

Socialist Schism in Mayor’s Race: Trouble could be brewing among D.C. leftists if Vincent Gray wins the Sept. 14 primary—the rival D.C. Democratic Socialists of America and Socialist Workers Party have split over endorsements for the District’s chief executive office. The DSA backed Gray; the SWP put up its own candidate, former Floridian Omari Musa. Presumably, if Adrian Fenty wins the nomination, both sides will unite behind a plan to exhume Leon Trotsky and run him. -2

Lost Highway Found: One of the most least pressing issues of our time is on the way to resolution, as District officials have started removing misplaced Route 29 highway markers from the Dupont Circle area. Soon the scourge of lost, interstate highway-phobic drivers wandering around New Hampshire Avenue on their way from Baltimore to Florida will be a thing of the past. +1

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 41 Today’s score: +1 Bonus points for Friday: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 44