Baltimore City Power Rankings: Solidarity, D. Watkins, Gov. Hogan, 911, more

D. Watkins
(Alex Fine)

↑ Solidarity

Baltimore's mourning and support for the victims of the shooting rampage that killed 49 in Orlando last week did not stop with the massive and deeply moving vigil at the Ynot Lot in Station North last Monday. Soon after, organizers began to put together benefits for the victims and their families, as well as LGBTQ resources both here in Baltimore and in Florida. Over the weekend, the Mount Vernon lesbian-owned restaurant Flavor hosted a "Stonewall Family Reunion Tea Dance"; this week, fundraisers continue with shows at the Metro Gallery and The Depot; and Joe Squared will host a benefit the first week of July. Considering Baltimore's love for dancing and celebrating queerness in spite of bullshit, more events and demonstrations of solidarity are sure to come.


↑ D. Watkins

It's been a pretty good couple of weeks for Baltimore writer and CP contributor D. Watkins. His latest book, "The Cook Up," a memoir that begins with the death of his brother Bip when he was a teen and moves through Watkins' decision to give up drug dealing and become a writer and educator, is featured in the July issue of Oprah Winfrey's magazine O (also included, Baltimore writer Laura Lippman's "Wilde Lake"). The book also made it to the New York Times' Crime and Punishment bestsellers list, sitting at number seven. And this Saturday, June 25, Watkins introduces his Cook Up ice cream flavor in collaboration with Taharka Brothers at Red Emma's. As City Paper said when we recommended "The Cook Up" as a summer beach read, "if Watkins' first collection of essays, 'The Beast Side,' a caustic piece of post-uprising literature, felt very much of-the-moment, then 'The Cook Up' feels timeless and full-stop literary."

↑ Boss Hög

Demurring that latex makes him "too sweaty, and you would not like me if I became too sweaty," Governor Larry Hogan said that he would decline to wear the gimp suit Donald Trump had tailored especially for him, and would in fact decline to vote for the Republican Party's Cheeto-hued presumptive Presidential nominee. "Perhaps [New Jersey] Governor [Chris] Christie could use a spare," Hogan quipped. A Christie spokesman declined comment, other than to confirm that Christie's ball gag was not to be removed without Trump's permission.

↓ 911

An hour-and-a-half outage in the city's 911 emergency system Tuesday left officials scrambling, and they reportedly took most of an hour to decide how to notify the public. Verizon says the outage came when calls were routed to an empty backup call center, but did not say why the back-up was needed. Callers got a recording saying all operators were busy—not an unusual thing in Baltimore at night. A fire department spokesman told The Sun that the city had experienced similar outages in the past, but a spokesman for Verizon, which controls the system, said that wasn't so. The FCC collects data on 911 outages nationwide—but that data is secret.

↓ State's Attorney's Office

The third trial of officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray drew to a close as we went to press. Even without knowing the verdict, we know it was a bust. The State's Attorney's Office did a poor job of mounting its case, neglecting to introduce strong evidence on "rough rides" and failing to share with the defense notes on an interview it conducted with a fellow passenger in the police van with Gray. Three trials down and three to go—the SAO needs to up its game.