Paging Captain Stubing
When Ramondo and Carol Devenney got married at the Inner Harbor on Friday afternoon, their union was triply blessed -- by a minister, the city of Baltimore and the crew of the Constellation.
The Rev. Bernard Remmey Sr., a nondenominational minister, said he has twice performed weddings on the Constellation's pier, without anyone noticing. But those were low-key affairs, with the bride and groom in street clothes and only a few witnesses in attendance. When the couple told him they wanted to tie the knot on the pier in full wedding regalia accompanied by 30 guests, Remmey figured he'd better make the event legal. He asked the city for a permit.
City officials at first refused, then said it was OK with them if it was OK with the Constellation's crew. And the staff of the nonprofit foundation that owns the Civil War fighting ship said, "Permission granted." So all hands were on deck for the wedding with a view. Remmey said city officials told him it was the first permit ever granted for an Inner Harbor wedding.
-- Heather Dewar
Leonard J. Kerpelman, a candidate for the City Council's new 5th District in Northwest Baltimore, is running on an unusual platform: elect me, and you'll see political signs popping up even in the woods.
Outraged by the recent arrest of mayoral candidate Andrey Bundley on charges of illegally leafleting cars, Kerpelman held a news conference last week in a public woodland near Greenspring Avenue and Northern Parkway.
City law prohibits political signs on public property or vehicles. Kerpelman insists this is tyranny.
"To show our dedication to the principle of free elections, every candidate running will be personally invited ... to place every political sign or notice he or she may wish to place along the perimeter of our beautiful woods," Kerpelman wrote in an invitation to the event.
"Cars with leaflets on them are, to us, more beautiful than cars without leaflets," Kerpelman wrote. "We say, even a woods, Mother Nature's ultimate expression of earthly beauty, gains more of that beauty if adorned with American democratic signs."
-- Tom Pelton
Raising the bar
Tempting though it may be in Baltimore's soupy August air to shed the extra layers of clothing and quaff a few cold beers, you'd better be careful picking a watering hole in Towson. Two bars near the traffic circle there, The Crease and Souris' Saloon, are putting their feet down in the dress code department with signs in their windows prohibiting men from wearing tank tops.
Kevin Farrell, co-owner of Souris', which started the no-tank-top trend last summer, said the idea is to delicately draw the line on exactly how casual a place they wanted to have. Tank tops, as he sees it, aren't much of a step above wearing no shirt at all.
"We had to do men because all of a sudden women with tank tops can't come in," he said. "We had to be explicit on that."
-- Andrew A. Green
The swing(set) vote
Interest in City Council elections seems high among Baltimore's young people -- and not just the 16-year-olds who can vote in the Sept. 9 primary.
Eight-, 9- and 10-year-olds mobbed a voter registration booth that 2nd District candidate Cheryl D. Glenn set up last week at a Police Athletic League center on Goodnow Road. The children attend a day camp at the center.
"I just explained to them, I said, 'Sweetie, I love the fact that you want to register to vote but you can't,'" she said.
Day camper Taylor Bishop, 8, wasn't taking no for an answer. She was confused because her grandmother -- Glenn -- always takes her along on Election Day.
"She didn't know why I couldn't register the kids to vote because I always take her in the booth with me," Glenn said. "She said, 'But I vote with you.'"
-- Laura Vozzella
But can he act?
Mayor Martin O'Malley almost always makes time in his frenetic schedule to sneak off to the gym to lift weights. But he is facing increasing political pressure to pump up his workout regimen.
"What do I think about [Arnold] Schwarzenegger running for governor of California?" he said to reporters last week. "I think I'm going to have to get myself a personal trainer."
-- Tom Pelton