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I’ll Change, I Promise: Mayor Adrian Fenty finally gets around to admitting that the main obstacle holding him back in his bid for re-election is… Mayor Adrian Fenty. In a debate televised on NewsChannel 8 TBD TV, the incumbent promised to “change some things” and “listen better” if voters opt to give him a second term instead of replacing him with D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray. The debate was interrupted frequently by commercial breaks, most of which featured Fenty ads. If you missed it, don’t worry; at this point, the candidates debate two or three times a day, so chances are they’ll be bringing their traveling road show to your front porch soon. +2
Fancy An Evening Swim?: It took 51 days of 90-plus temperatures, but finally, the silver lining in this ridiculous summer has revealed itself. Ten District pools will stay open late today to help residents try to cool off. This being D.C., there’s no official closing time; pools will shut down “later, depending on the availability of lighting,” per the Department of Parks and Recreation. Bring a flashlight and a bathing suit, and maybe you can stay all night. +3
Busboys & Poets Expanding—To Harlem: Today U Street and Mt. Vernon Square, tomorrow the world! The popular bookstore/café/restaurant bucks the usual flow, in which New York hotspots spread to other cities, by planning to plant an outpost in Manhattan. (The normal order was restored with the news that New York-based burger mecca Shake Shack would open south of Dupont Circle.) Eat your heart out, Frank Rich. +3
Bike Like A Salmon: New “contraflow” bike lanes opened this morning on New Hampshire Avenue NW, letting cyclists ride against traffic for the two blocks the street runs one-way north near U Street. A slightly convoluted set of signals, street markings and other fun new gizmos are also up. The contraflow pattern is similar to a bike lane recently installed running south on 15th Street NW, which runs one-way north. Cue the inevitable outcry from drivers upset that a few inches of street pavement have been reserved for other uses in 3, 2, 1… +4
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 31 Today’s score: 12 Today’s Needle rating: 43