If you have a poker tip, count me infor the taking

The Baltimore Sun

I keep getting messages from a tipster who claims to know about the existence of daily high-stakes poker games in Baltimore. My informant, wishing to remain anonymous, says he keeps getting text-message invitations to the games, one of which has a $500 buy-in.

"There are at least four games being played in various locations around the city every day," he says, adding that he knows all the places and all the game times, and that he has shared this with vice squad police - and yet, the games go on.

"I must be the only person who thinks this is an issue in this town," the informant says.

Not at all, boyfriend. I'm keenly interested. Please pass along the info. I'd love to get into a game.

Take that, bunny

I might not have the prettiest, weed-free lawn in the neighborhood, but I have City Bunny. I don't use a lawn service. I don't use chemicals. So I have clover. I let the clover grow. City Bunny likes the clover. He eats it. I love when City Bunny comes into my yard. I open the back door and release my dogs, and I yell: "Hey, City Bunny, say hello to my little friends!"

A bright idea?

A Harford County guy named Eric - no last name given (out of modesty, I assume) - cried "Eureka" the other day, and not because his vacuum cleaner came back from the shop, but because a bright, energy-efficient light bulb when off in his head.

"I think this is the best idea I've ever had," Eric asserted by e-mail. "What do you think about the 'BP Solar Center' [for a new arena in Baltimore], nestled conveniently off of I-95, wherever Ed Hale wants to put it? Let BP Solar cover the entire roof in solar panels, thus collecting, storing, and supplying a massive amount of energy. Let various think tanks and universities spend some grant money to devise new ways of making the building energy efficient. Make it a science project of the highest order.

"In turn, BP Solar gets free naming rights to the venue for some extraordinary number of years. Everybody wins!"

Thanks for sharing, Eric. I don't even know you, but I can just tell that's the best idea you ever had.

Baltimore needs a new arena. It should be located away from downtown, in southeast Baltimore by the interstate, just as First Mariner Bank Prez Hale has suggested. Making it a green building is an even cooler idea. (Plus, any place that is going to have an ice rink - because we will have a professional hockey team here again - must conserve energy costs.)

This concludes the great-ideas portion of today's column.

Movie night

The Baltimore premiere of Hairspray was last night at the Charles and not the Senator? Oh, my, whatever is up with that?

The opening of Hairspray, the film based on a musical based on a film, brings back fond memories of opening night of the John Waters original at The Senator in 1988. I got to escort and sit in the mezzanine with Czech-born supermodel Paulina Porizkova - I swear on my grandmother's paisley shawl! - and, I even bought her popcorn (no butter). She was there because the guy she ended up marrying, Ric Ocasek (once of The Cars) was in the film, but I don't know where he was that night, or why I ended up as Paulina's "date." I think it had something to do with a charity, and you know me: Anything for charity.

I'm still waiting for a John Waters' movie about crab-price wars among the crabhouses at the corner of West Pratt and Monroe, titled Steamed Females.

Jim Carrey's two Ace Ventura films are among my favorites, so you can imagine my excitement upon hearing of a third AV going into production this fall. Problem is, there's no Jim Carrey, which is like trying to make a Tremors sequel without Fred Ward. Forget about it.

Dreadful comparison

I don't know about anyone else around here, but I really miss the Gebco Girls. I miss Charley Eckman, too. (But thanks to Alan Goldstein for reviving him in a recent Press Box.)

I was listening to The Commish on 105.7 FM Monday - as I do, each and every weekday - and he and his listeners were flapping gums about the Roger Taney statue controversy in Frederick, and The Commish pretty much let go unchallenged a caller's assertion that, when it came to attitudes toward blacks, Taney was no better a human being than Abraham Lincoln. Right: Author of the Dred Scott decision and The Great Emancipator - what's the diff?

Anti-crime rally

The wife, friends and neighbors of Zach Sowers, the 27-year-old Patterson Park resident beaten into a coma by teenagers near his home last month, are going to stage an anti-crime "Neighbors' Night Out" from 2 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5. Bars in Canton, Patterson Park, Fells Point, the Inner Harbor, Federal Hill and Locust Point will be donating up to 20 percent of their profits to help Sowers with hospital bills as he slowly recovers from life-threatening injuries. Participating establishments: Growlers Pub, 2910 on the Square, Coburn's Tavern, Mama's on the Half Shell, Nacho Mama's, Pazo, Gecko's, JD's Smokehouse, the Green Turtle, The Sly Fox Pub, Ryleigh's Oyster Bar, No Idea Tavern, Don't Know Tavern, Portside Tavern and the Rowan Tree. You can get a complete listing on the Web site that was established for updates on Sowers' condition: www.zachsowers.comdan.rodricks@baltsun.com

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