Alex Wroblewski Alexus McBride Alfred Carrington Ali Ouedraogo Allen Rice Alphonza Watson Alves Stephens Andrew Jackson Andrew Terrell Andrew Zachary Angelo West Angelo Wheeler Anthony Cheeks Anthony Cooke Anthony Foster Anthony Griffin Antoine Fritze Antoine Mayo Antoine Rich Anton Carter Antonio Griffin Antonio Littlejohn Antonion Paesch Antwan Bond April Ellis Ashley Long Ashley Quaster Aurelio Rios-Rodriquez Barry Lee Bernard Mackey Bernard Madison Brandon Anderson Brandon Lucas Brandon Neville Brandon West Branston Lewis Brian Deshields Bruce Chester Bruce Williams Bryant Beverly Carlos Jones Carlos Montgomery Carlos Watkins-Smith Channon Simpkins Charles Frazier Charles Gatuthu Charles Hamilton Charles Johnson Charlie Stevenson Charmaine Wilson Chris Pennington Christopher Hockaday Christopher Lessane Christopher Yancey Sr. Claude Maid Cody Boyd Corey Earl Brown Dâ€™Andre Johnson Daivon Evans Damontez Hudgin Dandre McLaughlin Daniel Brewer Daniel Brinkley Daniel Mullhausen Danny Grant Dante Hicks Darania Tibbs Darian Singleton Darian Watson Darnell Rice Darrell Webb Darryl Burks Jr. Darryl Owens Daryl Singleterry Dashanae Woodson Dashon Griffin Dashon Houston Davante Wilson David Deminds David Miles Davon Fair Davon Williams Dawan Hawkins Deandre Coleman Degoul Pietros Demetrius Mitchell Deointe Fisher Deontae Bleufort Deric Ford Sr. Derrell Smith Derrian Griffin Derron Strickland Desean Mcelveen Devante Monroe Devante Wright-Felder Devin Booze Devon Perkins Devonta Jackson Devonte Tyler Dimitrius Jones Jr. Dione M. Solomon Dominick Marshall Dominick Smith Dominique Hall Dominique Thaniel Donald Cherry Donald Holbrook Donald Rouse Donald Symptom Donay Smith Donnell Delbridge Donnell Hale Donnell Pierce Donta Cook Donta Culp Dontais Gaines Dontay Parker Donte Johnson Dontia Akins Donya Rigby Dorian Faulkner Dorian Lumpkins Douglas Holt Dustin McNeil Earline Thomas Earnest Brown Edgar Powers Edralin Montebon Eing Ming Huang Ejijah Stratton Elijah Johnson Emmanuel Johnson Ernest Solomon Everette Brown Fernando Riley George Cookson George Madariaga George Thompson George Yurek Gerald Gardner Gerald Long Gerry Hall Greg Manuel Gregory Jones Herbert Allen Howard Frazier Howard Martin Iran Timmons Jackie Burris Jamal Washington James Hendricks James Steadman IV James Wellman James Williams Jamil Owens Janie McCray Jeffrey Quick Jeffry Douglas Jeima Bell Jeremy Hall Jermaine Mitchell Jessica Gibson Jessie Worthen Jim Forrester John Gray John Stevenson Jon Hickey Jonathan Tobash Jose Gonzales-Jiminez Joshua Bayne Joshua Perry Joshua Richardson Julio Valdes Juwan Gladney Kahy Kuhn Kalil Matthews Kamal Thomas Kathy Schultz Keith Davis Kelvin Armstead Kendel Lecompte Kenneth Bunch Kenneth Burton Kevin Bailey Kevin Crockett Kevin Joyner Kevin Nixon Kevin Watkins Khaya Lambert Kwame Cheeks Lamar Chambers Lamontrey Tynes Laron Griffin Larry Brown Larry Bustion Larry Lawson Larry Miller Latasha Walls Lavander Edwards Lawrence Jones Lennell Reece Leonard Carolina Leroy Moore Levar Bailey Louis C. Young Lyndon Wadell Jr. Mackinley Williams Malcolm Parker Mailk Hall Malik M. Perry Malone Sanders Marco Stevenson Mario Jones Markel Gray Markel Scott Markell Coleman Marquette Hall Martrell Harris Marvin Odell Maryus Smith Jr. Maurice Byrd Maurice Finney Maurice Stovall Maurice Walker Melvin Chisholm Melvin Ford Melvin King Melvin Truesdale Michael Blevins Michael Cudnik Jr. Michael Duncan Michael Scott Michael Wise Jr. Michelle Mettee Montell Pridgett Montez Macklin Nakim Turner Nathan Matthews Necole Raheem Nijenae Allen Omar Farabee Oscar Acevedo Philip Bradford Philip Johnson Preston Nichols Quincy Hammonds Raekwon Leach Raheem Payne Rahine Doughtry Randolph Washington Randy Rochester Rashad Parks Rashaw Scott Rashawn Fenner Ray Woodland Jr. Raynesha Hunt Reazon Owens Green Reese Bowmn Reggie Adams Reginald Jefferson Ricardo Lyles Robert Breen Robert Bridgeman Robert Brown Robert Gardner Robert Smith Jr. Rodney Wheatley Rominico Roland Ronald Mondell Jr. Ronald Rice Rondell Williams Ronnie Banks Sean Suiter Sean White Sean Williams Sean Woods Sebastian Dvorak Shahidah Barnes Shaquan Trusty Shawn Armstrong Shawn Davis Sheamon Pearlie Sheldon Chase Sherman Carrothers Sherman Johnson Sherman Smith Shi-Heem Sholto Sion Matthews Sir Moodie Stefon Cook Stephanie Hullihen Stephanie Weissner Steven Jackson Tarrol Carroll Tereze Pinkney Terrell Frank Terrence Newman Terrill Kennedy Terry Wells Teshombae Harvell Theodore Pigford Theron McClary Thomas Chambers Thomas Johnson Thomas Lee Jr. Thomas Wyatt Timothy Campbell Timothy Stephens Tion Singletary Tomez Lee Tonja Chadwick Tony Mason Jr. Tony Tingle Travis Carter Travis Rogers Travon Johnson Trayvon Chesley Troy Gladney Troy Horton Tyione Brown Tyrell Matthews Tyrelle Williams Tyrese Davis Tyrone Dickens Tyrone Donelson Tyrone James Tyrone McMillian Tyrone Ray Tyrone Rogers Vasunlala Irvin Vaughn Riley Victor Lane Victorious Swift Villani Campbell Vince Waters Vincent Curtis Waddell Tate Wanda Brown Wayne Damon Wesley Langford William Lesane William Wallace Winfield Parker J A N U A R Y 1 0 , 2 0 1 8 V O L . 2 I S S . 2 B A L T I M O R E B E AT. C O M
THIS WEEK’S SHOWS
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven .......................................... Th JAN 11 RJD2 w/ Photay .............................................................................................. Sa 13 Dorothy ......................................................................................................... Su 14 ALL GOOD PRESENTS
Collie Buddz w/ Jo Mersa Marley & The Holdup.......................................... M 15 JANUARY
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
ZZ Ward w/ Black Pistol Fire
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
STRFKR w/ Reptaliens .............Sa 17
Circles Around The Sun....Th 18 BoomBox ..................................F 19
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
The Infamous Stringdusters
w/ Dangermuffin........................Sa 20 D NIGHT ADDED!
FIRST NIGHT SOLD OUT! SECON
& Billy Raffoul ..............................F 16
U STREET MUSIC HALL PRESENTS
Ganja White Night
w/ Dirt Monkey & Subtronics ....Su 18
The Oh Hellos
w/ Lowland Hum .........................W 21
MØ & Cashmere Cat
w/ Darius ....................................Tu 23
Tennis w/ Overcoats ..................W 24 Big Head Todd & The Monsters
w/ Luther Dickinson ..................Th 25
Frankie Ballard.......................F 26
U STREET MUSIC HALL PRESENTS
Lane 8 ......................................Th 22
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
Railroad Earth w/ Roosevelt Coliler .......F 23 & Sa 24
Rhye ...........................................M 26 Lights w/ Chase Atlantic & DCF .Tu 27
STEEZ PROMO PRESENTS
Manic Focus and Minnesota .....................Sa 27 Enter Shikari w/ Single Mothers & Milk Teeth..Su 28
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
w/ Night Beats .............................M 29
Kimbra w/ Arc Iris....................Tu 30 Typhoon w/ Bad Bad Hats .........W 31 FEBRUARY ALL GOOD PRESENTS
(F 2 - w/ Butcher Brown) .... F 2 & Sa 3
w/ Melvv & Olivia Noelle ..............Su 4
LP w/ Noah Kahan .........................M 5 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark w/ GGOOLLDD ......Tu 6 Cornelius ....................................W 7 Beth Ditto ................................Sa 10 ALL GOOD PRESENTS
w/ Billy Strings
Attendance included with purchase of tickets to 2/3 Greensky Bluegrass @ The Anthem ..................................F 2 STEEZ PROMO PRESENTS
Emancipator Ensemble ......Sa 3 J. Roddy Walston and The Business w/ Post Animal..........Th 8 COIN w/ The Aces ......................Sa 10 Múm ..........................................Su 11 Sleigh Bells w/ Sunflower Bean ......................W 14 U STREET MUSIC HALL PRESENTS
w/ Jesse Royal & Etana .............Su 11
K.Flay w/ Yungblud ...................M 12 I’m With Her
w/ Elephante & Youngr .............Th 15
MANY MORE SHOWS ON SALE!
Henry Rollins Travel Slideshow .......................... JAN 15
FIRST NIGHT SOLD
Bianca Del Rio ...................... MAR 15
PostSecret: The Show ...... MAR 24
OUT! SECOND NIGHT ADDED!
Top Shelf ................................... JAN 21 Rob Bell
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
The Wood Brothers
w/ The Stray Birds ................... JAN 26 & 27
w/ Peter Rollins .......... MAR 27
Max Raabe & Palast Orchester.............APR 11
Calexico w/ Ryley Walker ............APR 27 Sucker For Love ................... FEB 10 Robyn Hitchcock Dixie Dregs and His L.A. Squires (Complete Original Lineup STORY DISTRICT’S
with Steve Morse, Rod Morgenstein, Allen Sloan, Andy West, and Steve Davidowski) ..................MAR 7 • thelincolndc.com •
w/ Tristen .......................................APR 27
U Street (Green/Yellow) stop across the street!
(Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan) ....................Tu 13
Mason Bates’s Mercury Soul ........................Th 15 Nils Frahm ................................F 16 Jon Batiste (Solo in the Round)
Early Show! 6pm Doors ..................Sa 17
STEEZ PROMO PRESENTS
Lincoln Theatre • 1215 U Street, NW Washington, D.C. THIS MONDAY!
Late Show! 10:30pm Doors .............Sa 17
9:30 CLUB PRESENTS AT U STREET MUSIC HALL Cuco + Helado Negro
w/ Lido Pimienta ............................Tu JAN 23
Flint Eastwood w/ NYDGE ..............F FEB 2 Anna Meredith ................................... Sa 3 Why? w/ Open Mike Eagle ........................F 9 Anti-Flag & Stray From The Path .. Sa 10 White Ford Bronco: DC’s All ‘90s Band ................................ F 16
Wylder ................................................ Sa 17 MAGIC GIANT w/ The Brevet.............. Su 18 Higher Brothers ............................... M 19 MAKO .................................................. Sa 24 Gabrielle Aplin w/ John Splithoff ...... Su 25 Missio w/ Welshly Arms...................F MAR 2 Ella Vos w/ Freya Ridings ....................... M 5 Amy Shark .......................................... M 12
The best thing you could possibly put in your mouth Cupcakes by BUZZ... your neighborhood bakery in Alexandria, VA. | www.buzzonslaters.com
• Buy advance tickets at the 9:30 Club box office • 930.com
TICKETS for 9:30 Club shows are available through TicketFly.com, by phone at 1-877-4FLY-TIX, and at the 9:30 Club box office. 9:30 CLUB BOX OFFICE HOURS are 12-7pm on weekdays & until 11pm on show nights, 6-11pm on Sat, and 6-10:30pm on Sun on show nights.
HAPPY HOUR DRINK PRICES impconcerts.com AFTER THE SHOW AT THE BACK BAR!
PARKING: THE OFFICIAL 9:30 parking lot entrance is on 9th Street, directly behind the 9:30 Club. Buy your advance parking tickets at the same time as your concert tickets!
The Real News Network produces independent, veriﬁable, fact-based journalism that engages ordinary people in solving critical problems in their communities. As legendary journalist Ida B. Wells said, “The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.”
The Future Depends On Knowing. Find us online at www.therealnews.com
We examine the underlying causes of the chronic problems facing Baltimore, and investigate and report on effective solutions and models for change. We don’t just cover people in high ofﬁce or limit news to the partisan horse race for power. People who ﬁght for human rights and work for solutions are newsmakers. We believe that real change will be driven by the people who need it most. While we report and investigate on all important issues of social and economic concern, we consider the climate change crisis an existential threat. In all of our programming and journalism the impact of environmental degradation and the climate crisis, especially on marginalized people, and the urgency of ﬁnding solutions will be front and center.
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410-646-8124 HAIR * ART * MUSIC facebook.com/SoulLoveSalon
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Too Cold To Learn
In freezing city schools, students and teachers struggle through the day, begin to organize.
Lisa Snowden-McCray email@example.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ext. 9461 Maura Callahan firstname.lastname@example.org DEPUTY EDITOR Brandon Soderberg email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR Ext. 9462 Jeff Stintz firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Ext. 9464 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING email@example.com 202-747-2077 Azer Creative firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN & PRODUCTION 202-540-8928
Taking stock of a deadly year in Baltimore City.
Eat This City
Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week Edition
WEEK IN REVIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 20 QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 BEAT NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 REAL NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 BLADE NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 DEMOCRACY IN CRISIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 FAITH WITHOUT WORKS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 STAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 ART . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 MUSIC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 ON PAPER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 BOOKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 SCREENS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 FOOD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 FIELD TRIPPING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 WEED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 CROSSWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
JANUARY 10, 2018
For distribution, contact Lynne Brown at 202-747-2077, Ext. 8075. Distributed by MediaPoint, LLC All material in the Baltimore Beat is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Baltimore Beat. Although the Baltimore Beat is supported by many fine advertisers, we cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by the Baltimore Beat, but the paper cannot take responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit any submission. A single copy of the Baltimore Beat is available from authorized distribution points, to any individual within Baltimore. Multiple copies are available from the Baltimore Beat office only. Call for rates. If you are unable to get to a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a 52-week mailed subscription for $195 per year or $5.00 per single issue. Checks or credit card orders can be sent to email@example.com. Postmaster: Send address changes to the Baltimore Beat, PO BOX 53352 Washington, DC 20009. The Baltimore Beat is published weekly, on Wednesday, by Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. Individual Subscriptions are $195 per year for 52 issues (only $3.75 per issue mailed to you USPS). Rates for businesses/institutions are $450 per year. Periodical postage paid at Washington, D.C., and additional mailing offices. Editorial positions of the Baltimore Beat are expressed in editorials and in editors’ notes as determined by the paper’s editors. Other opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Baltimore Beat or its staff. To submit a letter or commentary: Letters should be fewer than 400 words; commentaries should be fewer than 750 words. Submissions may be edited for content and length, and must include a name, address and phone number for verification. Send submissions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2018 BROWN NAFF PITTS OMNIMEDIA, INC.
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Week In Review Stories from last week in Baltimore not covered elsewhere in this issue
2nd Annual Baltimore Scarf Abandonment J A N . 1 3
Bike advocacy group Bikemore pointed out that the city is selectively enforcing international fire code standards so they don’t have to install bike lanes. While construction for bike lanes has been halted for breaking the rule that “Fire Apparatus Access Roads must maintain 20 feet of clear width, and that Aerial Fire Apparatus Access Roads must maintain 26 feet of clear width,” construction not for bike lanes on streets that break the same rule is going along as usual. For those that need a refresher, it was about a year ago that a bike lane in Canton was halted because NIMBYs invoked the 20-26 foot to stop a Potomac Street bike lane. In a city other than embattled and bafflingly anti-bike Baltimore, this would be a bombshell. The Baltimore Sun is moving out of its 501 N. Calvert St. building and probably, maybe headed over to Port Covington, where its printing plant already exists. It seems like another unwise move from Baltimore Sun Media Group/tronc, who proclaim “journalism matters,” but also move all their reporters away from where all of the news happens. Just ask Sun reporter Justin Fenton, who tweeted this last week: “This move, from the heart of the city to an outlying (for now) industrial area, brought to you by the bloodsucking corporate vampires who moved our properties into a separate business, sold them, and made us add rent to our costs.” Over the past few months, Twitter user @justcuriouskt (display name “Kevin Ma”), who many on Baltimore Twitter say is a Baltimore Police officer—a name has even been thrown around but it can’t be verified so we won’t print it—has been generally trolling users with tweets that veer into harassment at the least. The tweeter themselves said this when faced with criticism: “I can say whatever I want - off duty. I believe you want the room damaged by your tweet. That’s my 1A right, is it not, f’ing snowflake?” It hit a tipping point last week when the user tweeted stuff like this: “You libtards can’t hold your elected ppl accountable so you want to blame others for your lot in life. Weren’t you moving out of city at last bitch session about schools? Aha! You lied, didn’t you???” Emails to BPD spokesperson T.J. Smith—who has been known to critique how citizens and reporters use Twitter—were answered with claims that there’s no way to verify the identity and a link to the BPD’s social media policy. Hey, remember that highly-publicized Old Goucher convenience store, the Charles Village Discount Mart, which police made a big show of raiding and claimed was full of pounds and pounds of drugs—16 pounds of fentanyl and 13 pounds of morphine to be exact? Turns out all the charges were dropped and none of the seized “drugs” tested positive as hard drugs. Well, OK, they did turn out to be a different kind of “hard drug”: Boner pills! The drugs tested positive for erectile dysfunction drugs Cialis and Viagra, according to police. Two workers at the store, Ahmed Alraohani and Sharif Shaibi, spent a month in jail for the raid and have now been released. What was seized remains unclear—at the time, police also claimed they seized capsules and other equipment connected to drug manufacturing and selling—and both men’s lawyers note that neither had criminal records at all. A federal appeals court declared a Baltimore law requiring pregnancy clinics that don’t offer abortions to post signage in their waiting rooms making that clear has been declared unconstitutional. The Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, a Christian nonprofit, claimed their first amendment rights were being violated by having to post the signage. The case has been going on for eight years. It’s a devastating decision for abortion advocates—the law was created to counter misinformation about abortion and reproductive rights. Last week, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, one of eight officers from The Gun Trace Task Force federally indicted, plead guilty. Among the things he plead guilty to were the larger racketeering charges we’ve heard about since the indictments were announced in March of 2017, but Jenkins also revealed that he stole dirtbikes, resold seized cannabis and cocaine, and illegally used a GPS tracking device to track people he intended to rob and oh boy, a whole lot more. Jenkins faces a minimum of 20 years in jail and a maximum of 30. Jenkins also admitted to knowledge of drugs planted on a man in 2010—an incident that has become big news after it was revealed because another cop present at the time was slain detective Sean Suiter, who was set to testify about that incident the day after he was killed. The biggest scandal in Baltimore Police history keeps getting bigger. Due to an early pre-New Year’s Day deadline last week, the Beat has fallen behind on updating readers on homicides. This year so far—as of Jan. 8, when this issue of the Beat went to press—Baltimore has had five homicide victims: Andre Galloway and Brian Taylor on Jan. 1, and three as-yet-unidentified men (on Jan. 2, Jan. 3, and Jan. 6).
When temperatures dip the way they have, it’s even more important to check on the people in our community who are most vulnerable. Mary England, author and founder of Uncustomary, which integrates “self-love and creativity” through street art and more, is doing just that by collecting and distributing scarves for people in Baltimore experiencing homelessness. For the second year in a row for what she wants to become an ongoing tradition, England along with volunteers will be leaving scarves on the fence that surrounds the corner of Guilford Avenue and Madison Street under the 83 overpass—free for anyone who needs one. She began collecting the scarves before the holidays, but says anyone can bring more to donate today. It’s important to be on time, she says, because the scarves go quick. Hats and gloves are also welcome. 2-3 p.m., Guilford Avenue and E. Madison Street, facebook.com/ events/504184126583868. (Lisa Snowden-McCray)
MLK Day Celebration 2018 J A N . 1 5
Consider this your yearly reminder from me that when he was alive, Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn’t seen as the big friendly grandpa-teddy bear that he’s often made out to be today. Instead, he was at times deeply unpopular in both black and white communities and was hounded by the FBI: You pay a high price when you stand up for what’s right. Mark the civil rights activist’s birthday at the Reginald F. Lewis museum’s annual celebration. There will be a performance from the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women step team, a musical concert featuring chamber music and spoken texts from MLK, a quilting party to honor King and other freedom fighters, and more. The museum is also offering a special discounted ticket price—$5 instead of the usual $8. Noon, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E. Pratt St., (443) 2631800, lewismuseum.org, $5. (Lisa Snowden-McCray)
Activist, Community, and Government Events J A N . 1 0 - 1 7 West Wednesday. Tawanda Jones, the sister of Tyrone West, a man killed in police custody in July 2013, has been gathering every Wednesday with other activists in the city to call attention to West’s death and police brutality in Baltimore. Jan. 10 and 17. Usually held at the intersection of 33rd Street and Greenmount Avenue, check facebook.com/justicefortyronewest for details. Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee Meeting. Committee members discuss a resolution requesting that the police department provide the City Council with a full accounting of all seized guns, drugs, dirt bikes, and cash over the last five years, along with a thorough explanation of how this material was disposed of, how long the disposal process typically takes, and the best ways to include community representatives in that process. Jan. 10, 5 p.m., Du Burns Council Chamber, City Hall, 100 N. Holliday St. baltimore.legistar.com. Monthly Meeting Sandtown South Neighborhood Alliance. Monthly community meeting hosted by the Sandtown South Neighborhood Alliance on the second Thursday of each month. Jan. 11, 6:30-8 p.m., 1121 W. Lanvale St., sandtownsouth.com. Baltimore Ceasefire Public Meeting – NORTH. Find out how to support the February ceasefire, make community connections, and learn more about the Baltimore Ceasefire. Jan. 13, noon-2 p.m., 430 E. Belvedere Ave., baltimoreceasefire.com. Make Your Voice Heard District 8. Meet with Councilman Kristofer Burnett, along with other city representatives. Information about other city resources will also be available. Jan. 13, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Edmondson-Westside High School, 501 N. Athol Ave., facebook.com/events/140580543394568. Prepare/Package Meals for Those in Need - Moveable Feast. Work in the kitchen at Moveable Feast to prepare and package meals for delivery to individuals living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. Registration required. Jan. 13, noon-3 p.m., 901 North Milton Ave., eventbrite.com/e/preparepackage-meals-forthose-in-need-moveable-feast-tickets-41522604227?aff=es2. Workforce Development Job Club: Online Applications. Learn how to fill out a job applications, then take part in a follow-up discussion that will cover behavioral/ personality assessments that often accompany online applications. Jan. 16, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Enoch Pratt Free Library, Waverly Branch, Adult Study Room, 400 E. 33rd St., calendar.prattlibrary.org.
JANUARY 10, 2018
Meet artist Alanah Nichole, whose job as social media manager at Impact Hub Baltimore Nichole is to make sure that people know about all the ways people in the city can utilize the North Avenue incubator space. Learn more about Nichole and her work below.
Alanah Nichole Photo by Kyle Pompey
20 QUESTIONS WITH ALANAH NICHOLE
1. What do you do? I am technically a transplant into the arts and culture scene here in Baltimore City. Born of the Bronx in New York and a mother adamant about my involvement in theater, dance—I work to highlight my own voice in moments of fear. I founded and currently run Much More Than an Open Mic in Station North (since winter of 2015). I also serve as a house manager at the illustrious Everyman Theatre on West Fayette Street. I am on the ground for Light City 2018, privileged to work as project coordinator with both local and international artists for BGE Light Art Walk. I’m also the social media manager and space activation extraordinaire for Impact Hub Baltimore. I am also a freelance meditation facilitator. 2. Why do you do it? Many of these endeavors started with my pursuit of artistry as a spoken word artist in the city, post a failed marriage which was survived by two beautiful daughters Blair and Harper. So I also do a little momming. 3. What Baltimore stereotype annoys you the most? So everyone knows of the sacred chicken box and half-and-half, right!? Okay, cool. So I have been a vegetarian for the past three years, which means I have not eaten chicken for some time. I have also avoided many other Baltimore baby shower and party food favorites including but not limited to Swedish meatballs, hot “dugs,” and other mysteriously crafted meats. Because of this, I am judged very heavily in Baltimore streets.
Especially since I’m “thick.”
the city.” Folks have come to know me as quite the socialite and often message, DM, or call me for the next “move” but forget to ask me how I am doing or my kids, etc. Maybe they should pick up a copy of Baltimore Beat :)
We don’t all eat chicken boxes. Half-and-half is too sweet! 4. Favorite Baltimorean? I am a huge fan of fellow transplant Allison Robicelli. She is a baker-turned-food writer living in Hampden, but takes on the “Hon” personality with her own twist. You’d think she was born and bred here from her colored hair to her Doc Martens and acquired taste for many local cuisines. I first learned of her while hosting the Baltimore Book Festival at the Visitors Center this summer. She’s a joy to talk to, and a wonderful mom and wife. You just have to meet her to get it. I promise.
9. What do you believe in? I believe that we are all worthy and deserving of the love that the universe has to give us. That we are all magnets for abundance and in turn balance. Each and every one of us has a divine purpose and place to be. And the only thing dangerous is to be outside of the bounds of that purpose. 10. What do you wish you’d known when you were 18? That I didn’t have to worry about what people thought of me. That being expelled at 16 from Baltimore County Public Schools wouldn’t ruin me but propel me into unmarked but destined territory for every dream I’d ever had to come true.
It’s between her and Chino, also known as The Boy With The Blue Beard, who also works at a local bar in Mount Vernon Marketplace. His beard is big and blue, but his heart and personality are even bigger. I’ve shared some fun moments with him over the years.
11. “The Wire,” yea or nay? When it came out I was deemed too young by my mother to watch it in full, so I still haven’t, but don’t tell anyone, please! I do know enough to carry a conversation about it somehow, though. I usually just blurt out names like Stringer Bell or I’ll say Sonja Sohn and get out of the conversation unscathed.
5. Favorite restaurant/eatery? Dovecote Cafe, Dovecote Cafe, Dovecote Cafe, Dovecote Cafe, Dovecote Cafe. 6. Last thing you bought? A juicer from Target in Canton and fruits and veggies to cleanse myself from all the Dovecote Cafe food.
12. What are you tired of? RENT. I should be able to pick anywhere on this earth and live without paying a dime. Who made this silly system of good services, supply and demand up anyway?
7. Last thing you read? The instructions for the juicer, duh! 8. Last Facebook post or tweet? “I am Human…I am not a Guide to
Not my forefathers. It just doesn’t feel right. We should all be living communally like H House up on Calvert Street—at least they share the burdens. 13. What are you grateful for? Life, health, and strength. For my voice and the air that carries it. For my creator and this divine existence. My mother for always protecting and guiding me. And the young lady at The Gallery Nail Trix in Harborplace. She keeps my eyebrows right. 14. Favorite quote? “I am worthy and deserving of the love that the Universe has for me.” 15. Best gift you ever received Life. 16. Favorite local nightspot? The Crown. You have to have the veggie ramen, get your drink made by Dion, and dance when Trillnatured is spinning for Version 2.0 or Mr.14th for Big VIBE. 17. If your life were a book, what would the title be? “Press & Curl - A Guide for Women of Color” 18. What do you want the most? Freedom to love and be loved and understood by many. 19. What do you look for in a significant other? That’s a long story—but patience, kindness, supportiveness, faith, desire, passion, adventure, tolerance. 20. Why Baltimore? Because it’s lit, dummy.
JANUARY 10, 2018
“Too Cold To Learn” In freezing city schools, students and teachers struggle through the day, begin to organize By Brandon Soderberg At Western High School, where heat was only partially working last week, “teachers are struggling to teach and students are struggling to learn,” according to senior Maia Washington. “Right now I am sitting in the library with my friend and we’re bundled up in coats because the heat is not working. There are a select few classes that have fully working heat however for the most part you’d be lucky if you’re able to just wear a jacket in one of your classes,” Washington wrote via Facebook Messenger to the Baltimore Beat last Wednesday, Jan. 3. “While I love being in school because it’s like a second home to me, it’s not fair to subject students to these conditions and expect them to still stay focused on their work. We’re busy worrying about being warm and comfortable before anything else.” Frigid temperatures meant students like Washington all across the city returned from break on Tuesday, Jan. 2 to chilled classrooms often barely above freezing. On Tuesday and Wednesday Jan. 3, four schools were closed, and many of the schools that remained open operated with no heat or limited heat. In a statement emailed to the Beat on Jan. 2, Baltimore City Schools’ Manager of Public Information Edie House Foster wrote that the school system had been monitoring the school’s heating systems, but the extreme cold caused additional problems. “Our priority is always to open buildings whenever possible,” she wrote. “We want students to have every possible opportunity for teaching and learning, and we also want to make sure that students can get the services and supports that many families rely on—for example, warm meals and before and after-school care. We have many schools with leaky windows and outdated heating systems that have a hard time keeping up.” Like so many issues in Baltimore, the problems with school heating are well known and represent another effect of the divestment in city schools. Senator Bill Ferguson took to Twitter to point out that seven schools “requested HVAC/boiler facility repairs for funding and were denied due to ‘fiscal constraints.’” Ferguson also highlighted Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s longstanding claim that “enough money has gone to Baltimore City” (state calculations say that Baltimore schools are inadequately funded by nearly 20 percent). Cin’Shea Williams, a junior at Western High School, characterized the situation at Western on Jan. 2 as a combination of denial and desperation. She said that the school’s plan that day was to insist that “warm air [was] coming out of the vents” and encourage teachers to “turn on the
JANUARY 10, 2018
fans” in the ventilation system to increase circulation of the limited heat. “There was no heat on, and it was freezing. It felt a little better on the third floor, but it still was a little chilly,” Williams said. “Once I got to the basement it was horrible, the vents in my classroom were blowing out cold air.” The Baltimore Brew reported that at Frederick Douglass High School, “flooding from a burst pipe had rendered one classroom [there] unusable,” and an image of the school’s wrestling room tweeted by a Douglass teacher showed extensive flood damage. Other rooms throughout the school were also flooded or water-damaged. Vince Tola, who teaches English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) said Patterson High School also had pipes burst and a number of classrooms nearing freezing temperatures. “We had rooms in the 30s and 40s. Those teachers combined with other teachers in warmer rooms. By warmer I mean 50s and 60s,” Tola said. “Words such as ‘inhumane’ were being tossed around. . . . Students were low energy, some feelings sick and uncomfortable. As they entered the room, they would feel the air to see how bad it was going to be.” Rich Croce, an English teacher at REACH Partnership School, which also had heating problems last week, observed that when school is closed, many miss lunch, all miss out on a few days of class, and the rhythm of the whole quarter starts to slip away. “Everything we do is predicated on the previous day or week of work, so to maintain coherence, you need conditions to stay the same. That’s already hard with winter break, testing, extracurricular activities and then another wrench is thrown in there from the weather,” Croce said. “Then when you add something that screams ‘negligence’ to students, it exacerbates the situation.” Croce, by the way, is also known as MC Bravado, a word-twirling rapper with a slightly-askew traditionalist style. With schools closed, city and state politicians bickering, and residents crowdfunding space heaters, Croce hosted a Jan. 6 rap show and benefit for Baltimore City Schools titled “MC Bravado Is For The Children”—both a clear fact and an Ol’ Dirty Bastard reference—with all proceeds going to the senior class at REACH. At Matthew A. Henson Elementary School, teachers and students wore coats and jackets and dealt with power outages in the area, all while trying to learn. “Teachers and students are doing their best to manage the situation, however it’s simply too much,” said Nicole Chang, Baltimore site director for Huddle
Up and co-founder of Our Legacy Inc., both nonprofits that work with public schools. Chang was at Matthew Henson on Jan. 3. “On top of the deplorable conditions they face daily they now have to add battling the elements of the weather as while indoors? Our brown children deserve better than this,” she said. “How are they suppose to hold their pencils and pens to write their ABC’s with thick gloves on?” Chang mentioned an initiative to gather parents to get out to the Baltimore City Public Schools board meeting on Jan. 9 at 5 p.m. (after this issue of The Beat went to press) to address the lack of heat: “We plan on organizing as many parents as we can to attend the meeting on Jan. 9 to express our concerns, solutions, feedback.” Aaron Maybin, another educator at Matthew Henson Elementary as well as an artist-activist and former NFL player, used his celebrity to take frustration with city schools’ lack of heat to national news. The Nation’s Dave Zirin wrote a piece praising Maybin, adding, “For the children of Baltimore, humane funding for their schools shouldn’t be something that is dependent on Go Fund Me pages or whether former NFL players become school teachers.” By the end of the day on Jan. 3, Brittany Oliver and the advocacy group Not Without Black Women created a Facebook event tied to the board meeting called “Too Cold To Learn.” “Black and Brown children attending Baltimore City schools in cold, frigid, freezing weather with little to no heat is a civil and human rights violation. Not Without Black Women is encouraging people to show up to the next Baltimore City Public Schools board meeting because protecting children is a women’s rights issue, especially for Black women in a predominantly Black city,” Oliver said. “Baltimore City has been plagued by institutionalized racism for decades. Two years after the Baltimore Uprising, we must grapple with history and move forward at applying race-equitable frameworks with community leadership to resolve structural inequities that we face today. Our city is in a state of emergency, so let’s treat it as such.” The Baltimore Teachers Union hand delivered a letter to city schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises demanding schools close until heating issues are resolved. “Our educators have been forced to endure teaching in classrooms with dangerously low temperatures, instructing students who have been forced to try to learn bundled up in coats, hats, gloves. Trying to provide stable learning environment in these extreme conditions is unfair and inhumane, to say the least,” the letter reads in part.
In a live video posted to the City Schools Facebook page late afternoon on Jan. 3, Dr. Santelises explained that in keeping schools open she was taking into account the need for safety and food access the schools provide to students who may not find it elsewhere. “I think it is overly simplistic to say ‘shut down the system’,” she said. “We’ve heard you, we are deploying our resources. . . . If we need to close schools we will.” Schools were closed on Thursday, Jan. 4 and Friday, Jan. 5. Also on Jan. 4, Democratic candidate for governor Ben Jealous appeared in front of Baltimore City Public Schools headquarters on North Avenue and addressed media. At the core of the no heat issue, he explained, was the ongoing divestment in city school students. “Fundamentally, when you shortcircuit funding for your kids’ education today, you hurt them today, you also hurt your economy tomorrow,” Jealous said. “One of the hidden secrets of our state is that we have to import workers— specialized workers, everything from welders to teachers—from outside of our state because we don’t do a good enough job of preparing our own children every year. That needs to stop. The biggest pipeline into any industry in our state should be our public school system.” Jealous’ appearance was the result of a rather strange Twitter back-and-forth between Jealous and current Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, who was a no-show after the two debated on Twitter and Jealous told him to meet at BCPS HQ. The showdown was inspired by Rutherford’s clueless tweet: “If they were my kids, I’d be down there at the Superintendent’s office seeking answers! I’d be calling the local officials asking why this is happening?” To which “The Wire” creator David Simon responded: “They. Are. Your. Kids. You empty suit of craven partisan hackery, does it not occur to you that you are the Lieutenant Governor of the entire state of Maryland and every last one of its citizens? My god.” Over the weekend, as the story continued to spread and outrage continued, BCPS CEO Santelises was seen touring affected schools. She also released another statement. “I want to open by assuring you that we hear your anger about last week’s events, and we take your concerns seriously,” Santelsis said. “Beginning [Jan. 8], here’s what you can expect: Every student will be in a safe, warm learning space, or the school won’t be open.” On Jan. 8, eight schools were closed. Additional reporting by Jaisal Noor.
A DIFFERENT PICTURE Juvenile arrest numbers for 2017 indicate a return to zero tolerance policing By Baynard Woods
As part of an end-of-year PR push, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis wrote an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun acknowledging the problems the department faces while highlighting its reforms with a series of statistics. “Excessive force complaints are down 42 percent this year and were down 36 percent last year. Abusive language complaints are down 63 percent this year. Police-involved shootings are down 31 percent this year,” he wrote. Davis presents himself as a reformer, but the department’s internal numbers paint a different picture. The Real News has obtained the BPD’s “Juvenile Arrest Report Executive Summary,” released within the department on Dec. 22, 2017, with numbers up through the end of November. The report shows BPD returning to the “zero tolerance” and “broken windows” policies that were roundly criticized by the 2016 Department of Justice report on the department: The “legacy of zero-tolerance enforcement continues to drive its policing in certain Baltimore neighborhoods and leads to unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests,” the DOJ report stated. The juvenile arrest report shows huge jumps in precisely this kind of arrest. While no juveniles were arrested for loitering in 2017, other discretionary charges saw considerable jumps. Misdemeanor burglary—a charge tied to either breaking and entering with no intent to steal, or being in “a yard, garden, or other area belonging to the dwelling or storehouse of another” with an intent to steal—is up 2300 percent. Only one juvenile was arrested in 2015 on misdemeanor burglary and another one in 2016. BPD officers charged 24 youths with the charge in 2017. Likewise, in 2016, there were 24 juvenile arrests for trespassing. There were 55 in 2017, a 129 percent increase. Other non-violent charges are also up. Gambling arrests jumped from 15 in 2016 to 39 in 2017. Police arrested 14 juveniles for possession of marijuana in both 2015 and 2016. In 2017, 29 juveniles were arrested on the same charge, more than a 100 percent increase. Only 11 youths were arrested for marijuana with intent to distribute, a more serious charge, in 2016.
Police arrested 34 on the same charge in 2017, a 209 percent increase. AfricanAmerican males account for all juvenile drug arrests in Nov. 2017. “You might not think weed is something that we should charge people with but it’s the law and sometimes you have to use law’s leverage to go after young people who are continuously harming others,” said Baltimore Police spokesperson T.J. Smith. “And you talk about gambling, which, again, these are symptoms of the bigger problem.” Smith argued that “juvenile arrests are up as well—carjacking, violent crime among juveniles are up.” The BPD report however, shows that carjacking arrests are down 14 percent and armed carjacking arrests are down 17 percent. Assault and robbery arrests are down by 33 percent. Among violent crimes, attempted murder is the big jump, with a 275 percent increase resulting from 30 attempted murder arrests—a number that is deeply concerning in light of the record-setting homicide rate. But other charges such as deadly weapon possession and assault and robbery are both down. “There’s no concerted effort to arrest people for minor crimes but the operative word is crime,” Smith said. There was police-fueled media frenzy about “youth crime” in October and November after a few violent incidents in primarily white neighborhoods. “Although the police are talking about this wave of youth violence, that is not born out by the facts or by the truth, and that’s concerning to me,” Jenny Egan, a public defender in juvenile courts, told the Real News in November. “Why are we talking about youth violence or youth in these dehumanizing, fear-mongering ways when that’s not borne out by evidence?” The report shows that this rhetoric may have led to an even bigger jump in discretionary arrests for minor crimes in predominantly Black neighborhoods. Officers arrested 26 youths for trespassing in Nov. 2017, as opposed to three during Nov. 2016. Every single one of the juveniles arrested for trespassing in November were black, with 23 males and three females being charged.
A page from the BPD’s Juvenile Arrest Monthly Report
This discretionary enforcement seems confined to the city’s poorer, largely Black neighborhoods, as the DOJ reported observed. In the month of November 2017 officers in the Western District charged 15 juveniles with trespassing. Only three juveniles were arrested for trespassing in Nov. 2016, while 26 were charged with the same crime in Nov. 2017. These neighborhoods also have the least resources. In a Sun op-ed, Councilman Bill Henry noted “that over the last generation or so, we have increased what we spend trying to deter and catch criminals by 200 percent, but we’ve only increased what we invest in the programs most likely to keep our children from becoming criminals in the first place by 27 percent.”
If “the City Council and the mayor were to divert $100 million of that [$500 million] police budget, we could meet 100 percent of the needs of kids who are at risk or currently have been found to be delinquent in Baltimore City,” Egan said. Instead, in September, the state opened a new $35 million youth detention center in the city. The Commissioner’s op-ed deployed numbers that would paint a picture of a department muddling toward hope, but the statistics reflected in the juvenile arrest report reveal a department desperate to seem like it’s doing something. Baynard Woods is a reporter at The Real News. Email baynard@ therealnews.com.
JANUARY 10, 2018
A roundup of LGBTQ news from the region and around the world courtesy the Washington Blade the statement says. “D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and determined there were no signs consistent with life,” says the statement. Fox 5 News reported a police source said residents living near the location where the car was found reported hearing gunshots before seeing the car consumed in flames and hearing a woman’s screams from inside the burning vehicle. Mercedes Rouhlac identified herself to ABC7 News as Lewis’s best friend and exgirlfriend. Other news outlets also reported Rouhlac saying she and Lewis had been in a same-sex relationship. “No matter what, she still loved me and my son,” Rouhlac told Channel 7 News reporter Sam Ford. Police said they had no suspect and no known motive for Lewis’s murder. Lewis was the third of three people who knew each other that were shot to death on Dec. 28 in separate but nearby locations, D.C. police said. The first of the three, Ronzay Green, 23, of Northeast D.C., was fatally shot in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven convenience store in the 900 block of Eastern Avenue, N.E. about 11:20 a.m. According to police, about seven hours later Armani Nico Coles, 27, was found unconscious lying in the road at the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Kenilworth Avenue just across the D.C. line in Capitol Heights, Md. Police said he had been shot and pushed out of a vehicle. He was found about a mile away from the 7-Eleven where Green was shot. Police said Coles died after being taken to a nearby hospital. (Lou Chibbaro Jr.)
Michael Goldrosen Photo courtesy of Montgomery County Police
Federal AIDS official indicted for soliciting minor An official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who has been praised by AIDS activists for his role in administering the Ryan White AIDS CARE program, was indicted on Jan. 4 on a charge of sexual solicitation of a minor by a Montgomery County, Md., grand jury. The indictment came just under two months after Montgomery County Police arrested Silver Spring resident Michael Goldrosen, 56, on Nov. 8 at the Twinbrook Metro station, where an undercover police officer posing as a 15-yearold male had arranged to meet him, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court. The affidavit says the undercover officer responded to an online posting by Goldrosen in October seeking a male sex partner on a site on Craigslist used by men seeking sex with other men. It says that in the course of several text messages and email exchanges over a period of several days the undercover officer disclosed that he was 15 years old. It says Goldrosen was targeted for arrest in the sting operation after he invited someone he thought was a minor to his apartment to engage in sex. At the time of his arrest he was released on a $10,000 bond. He remains free on bond pending a hearing set for Jan. 26. Jonathan Fellner, Goldrosen’s attorney, told the Washington Blade it was the undercover officer who initiated the online exchange with his client and that Goldrosen “never sought out underage folks” in his Craigslist ads. “I stand by my initial comments,” he said, referring to remarks he made to other media outlets. “We intend to vigorously fight the charge in the case and believe that once all of the facts are revealed, Mr. Goldrosen will be vindicated.” Up until the time of his arrest, Goldrosen served as Director of State Programs for the HIV/AIDS Bureau at the Rockville, Md.-based Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which is an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fellner said Goldrosen was suspended from his job at the time of his arrest but remains an employee there pending the outcome of his case. (Lou Chibbaro Jr.)
These two anti-LGBT Republicans may run for Senate in 2018
Lesbian found murdered in burning car in D.C. A lesbian found shot to death in the trunk of her car that someone set on fire in Southeast D.C. on Dec. 28 was friends with two other people shot to death on the same day, and detectives are looking into whether the three murders may be linked, according to D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham. Police said the body of a woman they later identified as Kerrice Lewis, 23, a resident of Hyattsville, Md., was found about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, in the trunk of her burning Lexus in an alley in the 800 block of Adrian Place, S.E., near Fort Dupont Park. “Upon arrival, officers located a vehicle on fire,” a police statement released on Dec. 29 states. “Once the fire was extinguished, an unconscious and unresponsive adult female was discovered inside the vehicle suffering from multiple gunshot wounds,”
Shakeups in the U.S. Senate led to news Tuesday that two prominent Republicans and former presidential candidates who have anti-LGBT records — Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann — may run in 2018. Following passage of tax reform legislation, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) announced he’d retire after four decades in the Senate, opening the door for Mitt Romney, who had publicly mulled the idea of running for the seat. Meanwhile, former Rep. Michele Bachmann said on the Christian Broadcasting Network she’s considering a run for the seat in Minnesota being vacated by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) amid allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Bachmann, however, said she’s not certain and would consult God on whether she’s being called to pursue the open seat. Both Romney and Bachmann have extensive anti-LGBT records as public officials. As Massachusetts governor, Romney most famously sought to limit the 2003 Goodridge decision at the Massachusetts Supreme Court making the Bay State the first with marriage equality and became a national spokesperson in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have banned same-sex marriage nationwide. According to MassEquality, Romney abolished the Governor’s Commission on GLBT Youth and rescinded an executive order prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in the state workforce. True to his reputation as a flip-flopper, Romney has also stated contradictory positions on LGBT issues. As a U.S. Senate candidate in 1994, Romney told Log Cabin Republicans he’d co-sponsor the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and would seek to expand it to include housing and credit, but later in 2006 said he doesn’t support ENDA and in 2007 called it a state issue. A longtime favorite of social conservatives, Bachmann has an anti-LGBT record that has animated her career as far back as 2004 when she also championed the Federal Marriage Amendment and said “Gays live a very sad life” and “it’s part of Satan.” In the course of her career in Congress, Bachmann voted against hate crimes protections legislation, repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. She was elected to Congress too late to have voted on the Federal Marriage Amendment in either 2004 or 2006. (Chris Johnson)
JANUARY 10, 2018
The State of Protest in 2018: A Case Study What the People’s March on Washington tells us about the state of the opposition By Baynard Woods Donald Trump’s second year in office begins like every new Star Wars movie: with the Resistance in tatters, trying to rebuild. There is plenty of internet #Resistance, ranging from insane conspiracy theories to serious commentary and organizing—but this online profusion has resulted in IRL confusion. It’s certainly nowhere near “Homage to Catalonia” levels, but dissension among the opposition to Trump is fierce. The divide is mirrored in the Bernie/Hillary split—but it is also something deeper and something that moves further to the fringes. In many ways, it mirrors the new divisions within the far right where the alt-light litigiously differentiates itself from the more openly racist alt-right. Last year, there was the Disrupt J20 protest on Inauguration Day, which led to the prosecution of nearly 200 individuals, identified by the police and the prosecution as anarchists. The next day, hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets for the Women’s March. There is little sympathy or support between these groups, with many anarchists and hardcore organizers mocking the feel-good liberal desire to #Resist by supporting the FBI, intelligence agencies, and Robert Mueller. Liberals, on the other hand, attempt to distance themselves from anyone further to the left than they are for fear of being tainted by the the anarchist stench of hippies. As a result, liberals have been far more concerned about Putin’s abuse of reporters than they have about the prosecution of journalists who were covering the J20 protests. Though that case has been largely ignored by the mainstream press, it has had an immeasurable effect on the state of protest—and created fear, distrust, and division on the left. Over the last couple weeks, some of
these tensions have bubbled up in largely online debates about a real-life rally slated for Washington D.C. on Jan. 27. The “People’s March on Washington,” also called the “The Impeachment March,” has gained a lot of online support—25,000 are “interested” on Facebook and more than 2,000 say they are going—and it has gotten a lot of pushback. The rally was organized by a group called People Demand Action, which is headed up by a 24-year-old African-American man named Lawrence Nathaniel, who is a big-thinking, marketing-minded, millennial leftist who says that he worked on the Bernie Sanders campaign and, after he got over his disappointment following the primary loss, for Hillary Clinton. When Trump won, he began to think about what he can do. One of the things he set about organizing—he has a long list of sometimes improbable plans and goals, including opening a free, private school in Bamberg, S.C.—was this march calling for the impeachment of the president. But as interest in the march grew—and as organizers began trying to raise money— so did the questions surrounding it. I first heard questions about the march when Dave Troy, a technologist and writer in Baltimore, wrote me about it. Troy is deeply concerned about Russian trolls and “active measures.” When he saw some of the confusion surrounding the event, he initially thought it might be the result of some Kremlin campaign. But when he started to look into it, he attributed the perceived failings of the organizers to inexperience rather than malfeasance. Nathaniel has set up a number of organizations to promote the march and his various other endeavors. People have been calling them “shell organizations” or “false fronts,” but that seems a little too
harsh. The one organization that has filed official papers is called the Presidential House and proposes some sort of weird shadow government in Charleston, S.C. with Nathaniel as president. Troy called it “unhinged, fantastical nonsense.” “When I started the Presidential House I started volunteering for the Obama campaign,” Nathaniel said when I called him. He acknowledged that the original scheme was kind of goofy but said it came from his enthusiasm for Obama. “I was 16 or 17 and was very excited and so I started something called the Presidential House to get out in my community.” But for Nathaniel, inexperience is part of the point of protest. “Many of us, especially young people in the political realm, don’t really get our voices heard because it’s mostly a ‘who has more experience’ type thing versus a protest where we’re able to organize it, either locally or nationally, and our voices can be heard much easier there than working with politics,” Nathaniel said. But he said he is still interested in electoral politics and local issues. “My goal was to run for United States Congress this year but I decided not to because Annabelle Robertson, who is way more qualified than I am, decided to run [against Republic Joe “You Lie” Wilson]. So I decided to put my action behind her and get out and protest.” Critics point to the “Rally at the Border,” in San Ysidro, the only other rally Nathaniel has organized. It failed amid concerns of top-down organizing that didn’t take the needs of the community into consideration and could have put a lot of people at risk. Once news of the border rally became public, people began demanding to see the permit for the march on Washington. Nathaniel says he has a permit
and has met with D.C. police, Park Police, the Secret Service, and the FBI. But for the local organizers in San Ysidro and in D.C., working with the authorities is precisely the problem. Washington D.C.’s police department threw more than 70 grenades and emptied hundreds of canisters of pepper spray against protesters at the Disrupt J20 protest during the inauguration. At a rightwing rally recently, Park Police claimed to be working with right-wing militias. “In D.C. we do not like interfacing with police,” Brendan Orsinger, an organizer in D.C., said on the phone. “We don’t like the idea of the state giving permission for us to march. And we don’t need it. . . . It’s actually much safer not to have police involved in the planning of the march.” Orsinger has been vociferous in his criticism of the march. But like Troy, he doesn’t see a conspiracy. “There are good intentions here. But one of the things that I learned over the last year is that good intentions are not good enough to make change happen in this country,” he said. This raises the larger question: What are protests for? The prosecution of the nearly 200 people charged with rioting after the inauguration may have had a chilling effect, but it has also shown the effectiveness of protest—if the U.S. Attorney’s office works that hard to shut them down, then protesters must have some power. So, the question becomes: How can a larger movement bring Russiagaters like Troy, local grassroots organizers like Orsinger, and enthusiastic young people like Nathaniel together? If people really want to resist and not just #Resist, they need to answer this question while embracing a diversity of tactics and figuring out how to form coalitions.
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Faith Without Works Mayor Catherine Pugh offers prayers but not much else at December vigil By Lisa Snowden-McCray
Mayor Catherine Pugh SCREENCAP; COURTESYCHARMTV
Right before the end of the year, Mayor Catherine Pugh pulled together an Interfaith Candle Light Vigil to “honor the families impacted by violence in Baltimore City in 2017,” according to an online announcement of the event. Initially planned to take place outside City Hall, the Dec. 28 event was moved indoors to the War Memorial due to frigid temperatures (this may explain the lack of candles at the “candlelight vigil,” as it was promoted). A metal detector stood at the door, with security checking purses, coats, and bags as attendees filed through. There is a kind of comfort in ritual, one that is echoed in many religions. You could feel it that night at the vigil—in the call and response between religious leaders and people in the audience, and in the lyrical pacing of the prayers. “We gather this night with hearts full of hope as we pray for our beloved city of Baltimore,” intoned Archbishop William Lori of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. “Hear the prayers that well up from the depth of our hearts. Prayers for justice, prayers for love, prayers for peace.” If you are someone who prays, what you pray for says a lot about you—whether you come to your chosen higher power on your knees or on your face, bargaining
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or begging, whether you are active or passive in your quest for change. As the Bible says, “Faith without works is dead.” No victims’ names were read at the vigil, and you wouldn’t learn of any of the stories of the dead unless you looked out at some of the handmade signs and other memorabilia in the crowd, most visibly, those in the hands of protesters who lined the back of the building with signs that read #Justice4Jim. They were there to honor Jim Forrester, who was killed Dec. 18 outside of the Baltimore Tattoo Museum, where he worked. There were no details—only prayers, platitudes, and some music. “I want to remind us that as we continue to work together collaboratively, that we will change the future of Baltimore,” Pugh told the crowd at the beginning of the event. “That this will become the safest city in America.” “If you could see what I see right here,” she continued, drawing attention to the signs that her own staffers had handed out (white, rectangular placards with words printed on them in bold black lettering). She read them: “optimism, prosperity, faith, decisiveness, courageous, laughter, thriving, colorful,
confident.” Other signs, which felt particularly tactless, read “groovy” and “success.” Later, The Baltimore Brew would report that some protesters were not allowed to bring their own handmade signs in. Pugh acknowledged the leaders on the stage with her, some of the most powerful people in the city: Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young, Comptroller Joan Pratt, and various councilmembers. They didn’t speak, but also held signs (Young’s sign: “purposeful.” Davis’: “empower.”) “They gave us signs, then they took them back,” Minister Carlos Muhammad of the Nation of Islam said with a laugh. “But the sign that I was given had ‘visionary’ on it. And we know from the scriptures—the scriptures teaches us that where there is no vision, the people perish.” “We standing here at the mic would rather be less on words and more on prayer,” the mayor said, before introducing Bishop Angel L. Núñez of Baltimore’s Bilingual Christian Church. “We . . . come to repent tonight,” Núñez said, praying in both English and Spanish. “As citizens of the city, we repent for being silent. We repent for not getting involved. We repent for not doing nothing.
Children’s choir Singing Sensations SCREENCAP; COURTESYCHARMTV
Because we know, no political leader, no person, no police commissioner can change the course of a city. Only you, oh God.” Jamal Bryant, of Empowerment Temple, connected the deaths to the need for economic empowerment. “Mahatma Gandhi told us that the greatest form of violence is poverty,” he prayed. “So 340 people plus have been killed by bullets but thousands are dying from poverty. God, I pray that you not just send grace and angels—send jobs. Send opportunities, send education. I pray that this country will in fact stop declaring war on the poor and declare war on poverty. . . . Thank you Lord that 2018 is going to be a better year. We declare that we will in fact live a full life.” When there wasn’t prayer, there was music. Davon Fleming, recently eliminated from the NBC reality competition show “The Voice,” performed several selections, as did the ultra-talented children’s choir Singing Sensations (among the selections that the children sang: ‘Let There be Peace on Earth’). As the almost hour-long event began to wind down and the mayor wished everyone a happy new year, some yelled out the names of their loved ones, and chants emerged from the back of the room—from the same people there to honor Forrester. Their chants were drowned out by the children singing. As people filed out, Forrester’s widow, Tina, was surrounded by journalists. She linked her husband’s death, along with the other deaths in the city, to a wage increase for many of the officials who were seated on the stage, set to begin on Jan. 1. “I’m here to ask the mayor why she’s taking a raise,” she said. “I’m asking why she feels like she needs to take a raise when this community is in such poverty. I want to know why she’s taking a raise when there’s people out here struggling to feed their children.” Asked if she’d spoken to the mayor personally, Forrester said, “She wants nothing to do with me.
Vocalist Davon Fleming at the Interfaith Candlelight Vigil SCREENCAP; COURTESYCHARMTV
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343 Homicides A print vigil for the city’s 2017 murder victims ”This list of homicide victims for 2017 was put together using information provided by the Baltimore Police, the Beat’s own reporting, Edward Ericson Jr.’s Murder Ink column at the Baltimore City Paper (which ran weekly or at least online each week up to the paper’s last issue on Nov. 1), Cham Green’s homicide list (chamspage.blogspot.com), and the Baltimore Sun’s homicides list. The list names only those whose deaths were ruled homicides and excludes, for example, those killed in what police and medical examiners determined were “justified” means (those whose killers acted in selfdefense, which according to police includes the three men shot and killed by police in 2017). It also includes those who died this year due to complications from violence they experienced in previous years. All of which is to say this is a comprehensive if fraught list that nevertheless provides a window into the issue of violence— and especially gun violence—in Baltimore City, a deeply segregated, seriously divested, and, as recent federal indictments have shown, profoundly corrupt city, enduring long-simmering, oft-ignored systemic issues. Even a list that included those who died from heroin overdoses, in fires, in car accidents, even shooting victims who lived, and more would only begin to provide a window into what living in Baltimore is like for many of its residents. There are many kinds of violence perpetrated against Baltimore’s residents: Students attending schools with no heat is a form of violence too. “America loves violence, it is a violent place, it is founded on violence, it nurtures violence,” Baltimore Ceasefire organizer Erricka Bridgeford told Lisa Snowden-McCray and I back in July. “If we get mad at anybody we go and drop a bomb—forget all the problems we have, let’s go and fix those people with some violence. In order for the whole system to succeed, some of the people have to be at the bottom. Just think about that by itself: That system has to be a violent one, because how do you keep those people on the bottom? You have to use violent methods of oppression to make sure every time they think about rising up you have ways at every turn to keep pushing them down. And then you teach them that violence is the way you gain power.” The 2018 homicide victims were not named at Mayor Catherine Pugh’s vigil at the War Memorial on Dec. 28, when it should have been the sort of cathartic event with every victim’s name shouted out at least. We’ve named them below. (Brandon Soderberg, Baltimore Beat Managing Editor)
JANUARY Sheamon Pearlie James Williams Devonta Jackson Jamal Washington Timothy Stephens Jeffry Douglas Chris Pennington Cody Boyd Teshombae Harvell Desean Mcelveen Dominique Thaniel Dominique Hall Rashawn Fenner Andrew Zachary Angelo Wheeler George Cookson Herbert Allen Shawn Davis Oscar Acevedo Antonion Paesch Michelle Mettee Sherman Johnson Kelvin Armstead Stephanie Hullihen Lennell Reece Marvin Odell Raheem Payne Aurelio Rios-Rodriquez Dontia Akins Donnell Delbridge Maryus Smith Jr. Darrell Webb
FEBRUARY Brandon Anderson Donald Symptom Jessie Worthen Tonja Chadwick Lawrence Jones
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James Hendricks Dominick Marshall Tyrone Donelson Davon Williams Sherman Carrothers Deontae Bleufort Sir Moodie Bryant Beverly Iran Timmons Antoine Mayo Jackie Burris Sherman Smith Thomas Lee Jr. Derron Strickland Anthony Griffin Gerald Long Laron Griffin
Claude Maid Fernando Riley Brandon West
APRIL Lamar Chambers Larry Miller Maurice Walker Douglas Holt Tyrone McMillian Darian Watson Corey Earl Brown Tion Singletary Shaquan Trusty Victor Lane Trayvon Chesley Philip Bradford Michael Wise Jr. Mario Jones Shahidah Barnes Rominico Roland Lavander Edwards Davante Wilson Gregory Jones Michael Scott Mackinley Williams Derrell Smith Ronald Rice Andrew Terrell Ashley Long Steven Jackson Larry Lawson Edgar Powers Darian Singleton
MAY Darania Tibbs Donald Holbrook Kevin Watkins Charles Frazier Tyrell Matthews Carlos Montgomery Channon Simpkins Tony Tingle Raynesha Hunt Tarrol Carroll D’Andre Johnson Charles Gatuthu Michael Duncan Kwame Cheeks Deandre Coleman Joshua Perry Vincent Curtis Dashanae Woodson Tomez Lee Brandon Lucas Tyrelle Williams Kathy Schultz Damontez Hudgin Thomas Wyatt Brian Deshields Dorian Lumpkins Bruce Chester Maurice Stovall Tyrone Dickens Reese Bowmn Dorian Faulkner Bernard Madison
MARCH Jamil Owens Sean Woods Kahy Kuhn Kalil Matthews Dominick Smith William Lesane Andrew Jackson Montell Pridgett Howard Martin Earline Thomas Markel Scott Tyrone James Shi-Heem Sholto Donya Rigby Davon Fair Terry Wells Dashon Houston Alphonza Watson Melvin Chisholm Victorious Swift Ernest Solomon April Ellis
Jermaine Mitchell Troy Horton Omar Farabee Everette Brown Nathan Matthews Donta Culp
JUNE Donald Cherry Greg Manuel Stephanie Weissner Robert Smith Jr. Timothy Campbell Tyione Brown Emmanuel Johnson Marco Stevenson Antonio Griffin Tereze Pinkney Charmaine Wilson Rodney Wheatley Sebastian Dvorak Sean Williams Larry Bustion Khaya Lambert Alfred Carrington Charles Johnson Randy Rochester Dante Hicks Travis Rogers Robert Gardner Kamal Thomas Marquette Hall
JULY Louis C. Young Dione M. Solomon Donay Smith Malcolm Parker Charlie Stevenson Ronnie Banks Ejijah Stratton Eing Ming Huang George Thompson Darryl Owens David Miles Alves Stephens Lyndon Wadell Jr. Antoine Fritze Devonte Tyler Christopher Hockaday Melvin Truesdale Maurice Finney Rashaw Scott Jose Gonzales-Jiminez Waddell Tate Ray Woodland Jr. Malone Sanders Vince Waters Daniel Brewer Terrell Frank Necole Raheem Rashad Parks Kevin Joyner Donnell Pierce Dustin McNeil Montez Macklin Dawan Hawkins Donta Cook
AUGUST Ronald Mondell Jr. Wayne Damon
Degoul Pietros Melvin King Lamontrey Tynes Donte Johnson Barry Lee Deric Ford Sr. George Madariaga Tyrese Davis Thomas Johnson Carlos Watkins-Smith Theron McClary James Wellman Terrence Newman Rondell Williams Wanda Brown David Deminds Devante Monroe Allen Rice Keith Davis Jeremy Hall Jeffrey Quick Devin Booze Derrian Griffin Nijenae Allen Christopher Lessane Troy Gladney Nakim Turner Vaughn Riley Carlos Jones
SEPTEMBER Vasunlala Irvin Antoine Rich George Yurek Tyrone Ray Juwan Gladney Joshua Bayne Sheldon Chase Theodore Pigford Kevin Nixon Ricardo Lyles Daivon Evans Jessica Gibson Shawn Armstrong Branston Lewis Antonio Littlejohn Rahine Doughtry Darnell Rice Robert Bridgeman Kevin Bailey Earnest Brown Jeima Bell Michael Cudnik Jr. Kevin Crockett Sean White Gerry Hall Charles Hamilton Angelo West Michael Blevins Kenneth Burton Anton Carter Bernard Mackey
James Steadman IV Dandre McLaughlin Anthony Foster Daryl Singleterry Christopher Yancey Sr. Donald Rouse Terrill Kennedy Julio Valdes Demetrius Mitchell Edralin Montebon Kendel Lecompte Reggie Adams Antwan Bond Thomas Chambers Elijah Johnson Reginald Jefferson Melvin Ford Philip Johnson Anthony Cheeks Dontay Parker Robert Brown
NOVEMBER Janie McCray Dimitrius Jones Jr. Maurice Byrd Ashley Quaster Tony Mason Jr. Latasha Walls Winfield Parker Dashon Griffin Gerald Gardner Alex Wroblewski Brandon Neville Tyrone Rogers Sean Suiter Levar Bailey Preston Nichols Travon Johnson Alexus McBride Stefon Cook Joshua Richardson John Stevenson Danny Grant Darryl Burks Jr. Mailk Hall Jon Hickey
OCTOBER Larry Brown Devante Wright-Felder Daniel Brinkley Bruce Williams Leonard Carolina Robert Breen Dontais Gaines Malik M. Perry Kenneth Bunch
Anthony Cooke Raekwon Leach John Gray Deointe Fisher Travis Carter Randolph Washington Markel Gray Howard Frazier Ali Ouedraogo Sion Matthews Martrell Harris Donnell Haley Devon Perkins Jim Forrester Jonathan Tobash Villani Campbell Leroy Moore Reazon Owens Green Wesley Langford Quincy Hammonds William Wallace Daniel Mullhausen Markell Coleman
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From Blitzstein to Bernstein Musical theater as dissent gains traction in Trump’s America By Bret McCabe
Terrence Fleming as Larry Foreman in Iron Crow Theatre’s “The Cradle Will Rock.” Photo by Rob Clatterbuck, courtesy Iron Crow Theatre.
Two of the most striking works of social criticism hitting local stages this season are musical theater pieces more than 50 years old. And they’re both informed by the political imagination of one largely overlooked composer, librettist, and playwright. Marc Blitzstein was the musical prodigy of a rich Philadelphia banker, gay and leftist in a mid 20th-century America hostile to both. He adapted Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes” into an opera, translated and adapted Kurt Weill’s and Bertolt Brecht’s “Threepenny Opera” for the American stage, and became a close friend to Leonard Bernstein. In 1964, Blitzstein was on holiday on the island of Martinique, where he was robbed and beaten by three sailors, who he had picked up in a bar. He internally bled to death at the age of 58. Blitzstein was also deeply committed to the idea that art should have political imperative, which shaped his output. “Music must have a social as well as artistic base,” he wrote, “it should broaden its scope and reach not only the select few but the masses.” That spirit expanded the possibilities for musicals ever since, and Blitzstein’s own political commentary is as pertinent today as it was in his time. Baltimore’s Iron Crow Theater kicked off its season last fall with an updated and stripped-down production of Blitzstein’s most infamous work, 1937’s “The Cradle Will Rock,” and StillPointe Theater begins its new season this week with Leonard Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti,” which is dedicated to Blitzstein. Both are sprightly, popular entertainments that are uncompromisingly critical of the America of their times, and ours. “Cradle” tells the seriocomic story of a businessman, Mr. Mister, completely taking over the make-believe Steeltown, U.S.A. He uses his wealth to corrupt law enforcement, the political establishment, the press, and artists; the only thing that stands in his way are unionizing steelworkers. Its original 1937 production, produced by John Houseman and directed
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by Orson Welles, was legendarily quashed by the Works Progress Administration that funded it, leading to a celebrated performance by Blitzstein solo onstage with cast members joining him from the audience. “This unabashedly anti-capitalist 1937 piece was the first musical ever shut down by the federal government for fear of societal revolt and is a defiant indictment of capitalism and socio-political corruption,” writes Iron Crow’s artistic director Sean Elias, who also directed the company’s version, in an email interview. Elias was part of a “Cradle” production as an undergraduate at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, and has been a fan ever since. “It’s as much an attack on wealth and the political power it unjustly wields, as it is an homage to those with nothing, fighting to survive. Could this be any more relevant to the election of 2016 and this current administration?” “Tahiti,” which premiered in 1952, is a one-act opera about a troubled marriage in the suburban, shining-city-on-a-hill imagination of postwar America. The cast is small—the husband Sam and wife Dinah, and a stylish vocal trio that represents the idealized version of America that was being advertised in radio jingles—and the story takes place over one day. That day unpacks a wealth of turmoil roiling just beneath the surface of the couple’s lives—Dinah’s in therapy, Sam is having an affair with his secretary—and they, perhaps futilely, seek the temporary escapist balm of a movie called “Trouble in Tahiti.” The idea of marital discord as a metaphor for American anomie can feel like a welltrod theme (see also: everything from John Cheever short stories up through “Mad Men”) but in 1952, the paint was barely dry on Levittown’s first picket fences and Bernstein was already calling bullshit on this latest lie of American exceptionalism. David Schweizer, who is directing StillPointe’s production, appreciates the way Bernstein “upends the whole shiny ’50s American dream,” he says. Schweizer,
who grew up in Baltimore, started directing plays in the early 1970s at Joe Papp’s Public Theater in New York, and has been an imaginative director for hire ever since. He began regularly returning to Baltimore to direct plays at Center Stage in the late 1990s, where he met StillPointe co-founding creative director Ryan Haase, who assisted him more recently. In recent years Schweizer has been working on premiering new opera projects for companies around the country, and when Haase approached him about working with StillPointe, Bernstein’s “Tahiti” came to mind, as 2018 is the 100th anniversary of Bernstein’s birth. “Bernstein’s works are more emotional than political in a conventional sense,” Schweizer says, adding that by dedicating “Tahiti” to Blitzstein, a larger American critique is imbued in the opera. “Blitzstein has a much more obviously lefty, quasi-Kurt Weillian and Brechtian thing going on, but I think Bernstein purposely alerted us that in case we were imagining that he was amusing himself with this easy target of suburban satire, he did see a relationship between that climate and the damage it did to people’s lives. He doesn’t buy the bright and shiny American dream stuff. And by dedicating it to Marc Blitzstein, he was saying, pay more attention than you might think you need to.” For anybody whose first exposure to musicals was only catching touring versions of popular Broadway fare—a “Cats” here, a “Starlight Express” there—paying more attention than you might think you need to is good advice with which to approach musical theater in general. As America’s first mass entertainment, musicals can be too easily dismissed for being as opportunistically superficial as blockbuster movies and mainstream television, the song and dance to wrap around advertisements for consumption. But unlike independent movies or small-market television series, the scale of musical theater, and the ideas it can
“Love Is A Blue Tick Hound” J A N . 1 2
Leonard Bernstein (left) and Marc Blitzstein (right). Images courtesy Wikipedia.
advocate, makes it much more economically accessible. DIY theater companies can and do mount ambitious musical projects on nonexistent budgets all across America, creating imaginative experiences that movies and TV can’t touch. “I think what makes musical theater an ideal platform for radical or even nonmainstream ideas is that it happens live, in front of you, in the now,” Elias says. Iron Crow’s production of “Cradle,” he says, was a direct response to and protest against the current administration and evils of unregulated capitalism, but notes that the musical had lost the comedic edge it had for 1930s audiences. “I think audiences were experiencing this story as possibility rather than fact,” he says. “Now, with 80 years of history behind us, it’s harder to see the humor in what we know has happened, or what we think is happening, or what we fear could happen again. There’s something about history repeating itself for us as audience members that didn’t exist in the same way in 1930s, and that gives ‘Cradle’ it’s dark and sharp edge today.” Elias notes that how Blitzstein infused a political critique into his hummable scores provided a path for later composers/librettists to follow (see also: “Chicago,” “Cabaret,” “Hair,” “Spring Awakening”) and Schweizer says the past decade or so has witnessed a rekindled interest in what he calls music-driven theater, a catch all for operas, musicals, and narrative musical performance. “I think that part of it is that there are young artists who want to create in this mode and they’re no longer scared off by the economics,” he says. “They’re just figuring out ways around it.” He also notes that even big opera companies and musical producers are embracing new, edgier works that are finding both commercial and critical success. “Fun Home,” the musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir of the same name about growing up young and lesbian in a dysfunctional home, won three Tony awards in 2015 and went on to a national tour. Schweizer directed the debut of “The Long Walk,” an opera based on Brian Castner’s book about his experiences commanding an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq and his transition home, which is beginning to be produced around the country. “Politics comes in a lot of different forms,” Schweizer says. “’The Book of Mormon,’ a wild commercial success, is also highly political. I think people today, not in any concerted effort, are turning to this music-driven format to tell a very wide range of challenging stories.” “Trouble In Tahiti” opens Jan. 12 at St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and runs every Friday and Saturday through Jan. 27. For more information, visit stillpointetheatre.com.
As the theatre world continues to disproportionately produce plays written by men, the push for gender parity in theater has ramped up. It seems that in the last few years here in Baltimore, most theater companies have made efforts (not that it’s hard!) to include more women playwrights and directors in their seasons. We have to thank for that shift, among others, Stand Theatre Company, which has been producing women-focused theater in Baltimore for the past decade; Cohesion Theatre Company, which in its first year orchestrated a city-wide Parity Festival that encouraged local companies to stage full-scale productions, workshops, and readings of plays written by women; and the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, now in its fourth year. WVTF is centered in D.C. but stretches to Baltimore with a small handful of affiliated productions: This year, we have Center Stage’s production of Dominique Morisseau’s “Skeleton Crew” (Jan. 25-March. 4), Strand’s production of Dominique Cieri’s “Count Down” (Feb. 14-March 4), and starting this weekend, Rapid Lemon Productions stages “Love Is A Blue Tick Hound,” a new collection of four short two-handers by Audrey Cefaly, known for her distinctly Southern storytelling. According to RLP, “Hound” poses as its central questions: “Why do we settle . . . and what is the full cost of leaving?” Check it out and mark your calendars for the rest of WVTF—if you can, try venturing down to the capital to really bulk up on women playwrights. Through Jan. 21, Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., (410) 752-8558, theatreproject.org, $20-$21. (Maura Callahan)
STAGE Alex Hooper. Best known for his appearances on Comedy Central’s “Roast Battles” and “New Girl,” Alex Hooper performs stand-up with support from Mike Moran, Nikki Fuchs, and host Eric Navarro. 9 p.m., The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St., (410) 662-0069, theottobar.com, $5. Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club. “Elvis” and Kittie Glitter host two nights of elaborately staged celebrity fights plus burlesque from Nona Narcisse, Maria Bella, and Candy del Rio. Jan. 12, 8 p.m.; Jan. 13, 6 and 8 p.m.; Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org, $22-$28. “First Date.” A blind date newbie and a serial dater get set up on a date that turns out to be much more than they bargained for. Through Jan. 21, Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St., (410) 752-1225, spotlighters.org, $10-$22. “Inherit the Wind.” Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s courtroom drama chronicles the Scopes “monkey” trial. Through Feb. 4, Vagabond Players, 806 S. Broadway, (410) 563-9135, vagabondplayers.org, $10-$20. Monster Comedy and Superior Saturday Open Mic. Charm City Comedy Project hosts an evening of improv, stand-up, and sketch followed by an open mic. Jan. 13, show 8 p.m., open mic 10:30 p.m., Charm City Comedy Project at Zissimos Bar, 1023 W. 36th St., charmcitycomedyproject.com, $5. NYC Comedy Invades Baltimore. New York-based comedians Jordan Raybould, Bret Raybould, and Will Poznan perform stand-up. Jan. 13, 7 p.m., Joe Squared, 33 W. North Ave., (410) 545-0444, joesquared.com, $10-$15. Open Mic Comedy Night. Umar Khan hosts an open mic night for emerging comedians. Jan. 11, 8 p.m., Joe Squared, 33 W. North Ave., (410) 545-0444, joesquared.com, free. “Trouble in Tahiti.” In Leonard Bernstein’s one-act opera, the troubled marriage of a young suburban couple presents a critique of post-war American materialism. Jan. 12-27, StillPointe Theatre, 1900 St. Paul St., stillpointetheatre.com, $25.
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Detail of a quilt by Joan M.E. Gaither from “Freedom: Emancipation Quilted & Stitched” at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Courtesy Facebook
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American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. (410) 244-1900, avam.org. “The Great Mystery Show,” A group exhibition of self-taught artists exploring the unknown and human imagination. Through Sept. 2. “Reverend Albert Lee Wagner: Miracle At Midnight,” Art by the late visionary artist who experienced a spiritual epiphany at age 50. Ongoing. Area 405, 405 E. Oliver St., area405.com. “Retreat,” In a dual exhibition, Baltimore-based artist Lu Zhang presents an in-flux, experimental installation ‘Headspace’ alongside New York-based artist William Lamson’s video installation ‘Untitled’ (Infinity Camera).’ Through Jan. 13. Baltimore City Hall, 100 Holliday St., (410) 396-3100, facebook.com/MayorCatherinePugh. “WOKE,” Recent abstract paintings by Alma Roberts. Through Jan. 15. Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, (443) 573-1700, artbma.org. “Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Counterparts,” A suite of new paintings by 2017 MacArthur fellow Njideka Akunyili Crosby drawing from her experience as a Nigerian immigrant. Through March 18. “Phaan Howng: The Succession of Nature,” in collaboration with Blue Water Baltimore, local artist Phaan Howng highlights local environmental issues through a toxic-toned immersive installation. Through Aug. 31. “Spiral Play: Loving in the ‘80s,” Three dimensional collages in intense colors and spiral shapes by the late African-American abstract expressionist Al Loving. Through April 15. “Annet Couwenberg: From Digital to Damask,” Maryland-based artist Annet Couwenberg investigates the intersections of science, art, history, and technology through 11 textile works. Through Feb. 18. “Tomás Saraceno: Entangled Orbits,” Web-like clusters of iridescent-paneled modules are suspended in the museum’s East Lobby. Through June 10. “Black Box: Kara Walker & Hank Willis Thomas,” ‘Salvation’ by Kara Walker and ‘And I Can’t Run’ by Hank Willis Thomas are paired as explorations of the legacy of slavery. Through March 18. “Crossing Borders: Mexican Modernist Prints,” 30 prints and drawings by artists including Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Elizabeth Catlett. Through March 11. “Beyond Flight: Birds in African Art,” Approximately 20 works demonstrate the symbolic roles birds serve within African cultures. Through June 10. “Head Back & High: Senga Nengudi, Performance Objects (1976–2015),” Performance photography and a video documenting more than 40 years of work from American artist Senga Negudi. Through May 27. Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, 21 S. Eutaw St., (443) 874-3596, bromoseltzertower.com. “Moonifestations of Ancestral Earth: a voyage of expansion,” A celestial mixed media exhibition by Baltimore duo The Dandy Vagabonds (xander dumas and elliot moonstone). Closing reception Jan. 27 (guided meditation at noon, artist talk at 2:30 p.m.). Cardinal, 1758 Park Ave., cardinalspace.com. “The Post Contemporary Record Store,” Works by Seth Scriver, Neil Feather, Margaret Noble, Rutherford Chang, the Vinyl Vagabonds, and Vaunita Goodman examine the relationship between visual art and vinyl music culture. Artist talks and performances Jan. 19; on view through Jan. 27. C. Grimaldis Gallery, 523 N. Charles St., (410)539-1080, cgrimaldisgallery.com. “Tara Sellios: Sinuous,” Photographs and watercolor and ink drawings from Boston-based artist Tara Sellios. Through Jan. 12. “Ben Marcin: Structures,” New photographs from the self-taught Baltimore photographer’s ongoing series of abstract grids. Through Jan. 12. Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org. “James Hennessey: Enduring Concerns,” A career-spanning retrospective showcases large work produced by the former longtime MICA professor over the course of more than 50 years. Through Jan. 13. “Peter Stern: Third Spaces,” Aerial photographs of the Mid-Atlantic by photographer and pilot Peter Stern. Gallery talk Jan. 11, 6:45 p.m.; on view through Jan. 27. Goya Contemporary, 3000 Chestnut Ave., Mill Centre #214, (410) 366-2001, goyacontemporary. com. “Lilian Hoover,” A solo exhibition by the local painter. Through March 1. Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., (410) 685-3750, mdhs.org. “Unscripted Moments: The Life & Photography of Joseph Kohl,” Photographs from c.1980 through 2002 by the late Baltimore photojournalist Joseph Kohl. Ongoing. Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St., (443) 263-1800, lewismuseum.org. “Freedom: Emancipation Quilted & Stitched,” Documentarystyle story quilts by artist Joan M.E. Gaither, PhD that celebrate the contributions, lives, and legacies of people of color in Maryland. Through Feb. 28. Steven Scott Gallery, 808 S. Ann St., (410) 902-9300, stevenscottgallery.com. “Painterly,” Recent works by Robert Andriulli, Gary Bukovnik, Ellen Hill, Sheep Jones, Kathryn O’Grady, and Frank Trefny. Through March 31. Terrault, 218 W. Saratoga St., 3rd floor, (336) 707-5511, terraultcontemporary.com. “Cut, Copy, Paste. It’s Not What You Think,” New mixed media works by local artist Alex Ebstein and New York-based artist Leah Guadagnoli. Through Feb. 17. The Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., (410)547-9000, thewalters.org. “Fabergé and the Russian Crafts Tradition: An Empire’s Legacy,” 70 works including the Walters’ two famed Fabergé Easter eggs alongside gold and silver vessels, enamels, jewelry, carved stones, and icons from Russia. Through June 24. “After Fabergé,” Five digital prints of surreal, digitallyrendered Fabergé eggs by artist Jonathan Monaghan complement the exhibition “Fabergé and the Russian Crafts Tradition.” Through June 24. Y:ART, 3402 Gough St., (443) 928-2272, yartgalleryandfinegifts.com. “The Miniature Holiday Exhibition,” Small artworks that serve well as gifts by Craig Haupt, Diana Sanlorenzo Campbell, Edmond Praybe, Justin Wiest, Ken Karlic, Lois Borgenicht, Mary Bickford, Nieves Saah, Ricardo Hoegg, Roland Phillips, Sally Hopkins, and Susan McCurdy Yonkers. Through Jan. 13.
VENUES An Die Musik, 409 N. Charles St., (410) 385-2638, andiemusiklive.com Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW, Washington, D.C., (202) 888-0020, theanthemdc.com Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place, (410) 244-0057, baltimoresoundstage.com Bertha’s, 734 S. Broadway, (410) 3275795, berthas.com The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA, (703) 549-7500, birchmere.com The Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C., (202) 667-4490, blackcatdc. com Cat’s Eye Pub, 1730 Thames St., (410) 276-9866, catseyepub.com Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org The Crown, 1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848, facebook.com/TheCrownBaltimore The 8x10, 10 E. Cross St., (410) 625-2000, the8x10.com E.M.P. Collective, 307 W. Baltimore St., (410) 244-0785, empcollective.org Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE, Washington, D.C., (202) 503-2330, echostage.com The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, (301) 960-9999, fillmoresilverspring.com Germano’s Piattini, 300 S. High St., (410) 752-4515, germanospiattini.com Joe Squared, 33 W. North Ave., (410) 5450444, joesquared.com Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8000, bsomusic. org Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave., (410) 685-5086, modell-lyric.com Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia, (410) 7155550, merriweathermusic.com. Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St., (410) 244-0899, themetrogallery.net Motor House, 120 W. North Ave., (410) 637-8300, motorhousebaltimore.com 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW, Washington, D.C., (202) 265-0930, 930.com The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St., (410) 662-0069, theottobar.com Pier Six Pavillion, 731 Eastern Ave., (410) 547-7200, livenation.com/venues/14732/ pier-six-pavilion Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place, (410) 244-1131, ramsheadlive.com Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, (410) 268-4545, ramsheadonstage.com Red Room, 425 E. 31st St., redroom.org Reverb, 2112 N. Charles St., (443) 4474325, reverbcollective.com Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., (410) 347-2020, royalfarmsarena.com The Sidebar, 218 E. Lexington St., (410) 659-4130, sidebarbaltimore.com Tin Roof, 32 Market Place, (443) 8738137, tinroofbaltimore.com U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW, Washington, D.C., (202) 588-1889, ustreetmusichall.com The Windup Space, 12 W. North Ave., (410) 244-8855, thewindupspace.com
JANUARY 10, 2018
MUSIC W e d . 1 0
Anthem. The Killers, Alex Cameron. Baltimore Soundstage. Ja Rule, Donnie Breeze, Duck Myers, JayMoney Hackett. Bertha’s. Whale Show. Cat’s Eye Pub. Muleman Band. The Crown. Alcorn/Nace/Corsano, Twig Harper, Anna Crooks & Jarrett Gilgore. 9:30 Club. Passion Pit. The Ottobar. Karaoke Night. Rams Head On Stage. Brian McKnight. Reverb. Matt Pleas, Out of System Transfer, Izzy Stone Band. Tin Roof. Building The Band.
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An Die Musik. Joy on Fire, Heterodyne. Baltimore Soundstage. Marilyn Mosby Birthday Jam Session with Raheem DeVaughn with The Crossrhodes Band, Kindred the Family Soul, Wes Felton with The Crossrhodes Band. Bertha’s. Jeff Reed Trio. The Birchmere. Vivian Green. Cat’s Eye Pub. Skyla Burrell Blues Band. The Crown. Fractal Cat, Juxt, Dave Heumann. The Fillmore Silver Spring. Ja Rule, PatriceLive, Yusha Assad. Germano’s Piattini. Coup De Bop. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists. 9:30 Club. Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. Rams Head Live. Yonder Mountain String Band, The Southern Belles. Rams Head On Stage. Brian McKnight. The Sidebar. Psycho Hill, Never Hide, Flying Jacob. Tin Roof. As If - A ‘90s Tribute.
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An Die Musik. Cyrus Chestnut meets Warren Wolf. Anthem. Walk The Moon, Company Of Thieves. Baltimore Soundstage. Vivian Green. Bertha’s. The Juke Drivers. The Birchmere. Eddie From Ohio, Jake Armerding. Cat’s Eye Pub. Tony Calato; Sweet Leda. The Crown. DJ Amsies Presents PUMP with Pangelica. The 8x10. Splintered Sunlight. The Fillmore Silver Spring. Michael Jackson VERSUS Prince Silent Headphone Dance Party. Germano’s Piattini. Russ Margo and Stacey Schwartz. Metro Gallery. The Last Year, Megosh,
Smantx, Fatally Yours. 9:30 Club. The Disco Biscuits. The Ottobar. Say Anything, Tim Kasher, Backwards Dancer; #FLASHBACKFRIDAYS - Me & Mariah Edition. Rams Head On Stage. Jeff Richards. The Sidebar. Sleepers, Swallowed Alive, Pry, Betrayer, Nemesis, The New Reign. Tin Roof. Nate’s Band. U Street Music Hall. Honcho.
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An Die Musik. Cyrus Chestnut meets Warren Wolf. Anthem. The Disco Biscuits, Tauk. Baltimore Soundstage. AVATAR, The Brains, Hellzapoppin. Bertha’s. Garnet Hearts. The Birchmere. Eddie From Ohio, Jake Armerding. Cat’s Eye Pub. Arty Hill & The Long Gone Daddys; Tempo Tantrum. The Crown. Logicoma, Genie, St Clair Castro, Prison Religion, Melanin Free. The 8x10. Digital Ethos, Nocturnal Status, Parrotice, Nolweez, Morphics. The Fillmore Silver Spring. Fetty Wap. Germano’s Piattini. An Evening with Time For a Change Jazz Quartet. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Off The Cuff: Impressionist Masterworks. Metro Gallery. Eyes Of The Nile - Tribute To Iron Maiden, Master Sword, Dogs & Day Drinkers. Motor House. Wonderland with Jonathan Gilmore. 9:30 Club. RJD2, Photay. The Ottobar. Pond, Fascinator; Girls Rule Dance Party with Particol. Rams Head Live. Say Anything, Tim Kasher, Backwards Dancer. Rams Head On Stage. Beginnings: A Tribute to the Music of Chicago. Red Room. Sandy Ewen and Will Schorre. The Sidebar. Wild Eddy, Shadowplay, Beyond Adonis. Tin Roof. Advanced Party Solutions. U Street Music Hall. herMajesty, Honest Haloway, Greenland; Dimitri Max, Joe L., Team Zapata. The Windup Space. The BPM Experience: The Baltimore Edition.
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An Die Musik. 2nd Annual David Murray Baltimore Big Band’s MLK Birthday Memorial Concert. Baltimore Soundstage. New Year KickOff with Aeoxis, Derty, Q (Mr Baltimore
Blues), Common Courtesy, Young Poet, Interstate Drive, Skapparoneday, Mr. Poncho, Mild Cognitive Impairment. Bertha’s. Garnet Hearts. The Birchmere. Eddie From Ohio, Jake Armerding. Cat’s Eye Pub. Steve Kremer & The Bluesicians; Linwood Taylor Band. Metro Gallery. Restorations, Timeshares, American Television. The Fillmore Silver Spring. Black Alley. 9:30 Club. Dorothy; Revival: Def Mix DJ Quentin Harris, DC’s Legendary Michele Miruski. Rams Head On Stage. Max Weinberg’s Jukebox.
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An Die Musik. 2nd Annual David Murray Baltimore Big Band’s MLK Birthday Memorial Concert. Baltimore Soundstage. Graham Bonnet. The Birchmere. Angie Stone. Cat’s Eye Pub. Phil Cunneff New Trio. 9:30 Club. Collie Buddz, Jo Mersa Marley, The Holdup. The Ottobar. Metal Monday. Rams Head On Stage. Max Weinberg’s Jukebox. The Windup Space. Horatio Dark.
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The Birchmere. Tyminski. Cat’s Eye Pub. Ursula Ricks’ Blues Jam. The Crown. Karaoke Forever. The Ottobar. Violet Ripken, Surhoff, Gutless Wonder; Two For Tuesday with DJ Vodkatrina. The Sidebar. The Big Lonesome, MCI, Matt Ellin. Tin Roof. The Harikaraoke Band Gong Show.
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An Die Musik. Nate Hook & Friends. Bertha’s. Baltimore Songwriters Association Songwriters Showcase. The Birchmere. Eric Benet. Cat’s Eye Pub. Rachel & Chick Hall. Creative Alliance. Panorama Jazz Band. Germano’s Piattini. Open Mic Night with Mary Reilly. The Ottobar. Karaoke Night. Rams Head On Stage. John Sebastian. The Sidebar. Chris Swartz, Centerfolds, Oh, Weatherly Plans, Rookshot, Face Value. Tin Roof. The Harikaraoke Band Gong Show.
Maurice Ravel Courtesy Wikipedia
Ravel on the Rocks J A N . 1 3
Marilyn Mosby Birthday Jam Session J A N . 1 1
In a Baltimore Sun piece looking back at the devastating year of violence in the city, State’s Attorney for Baltimore Marilyn Mosby, along with Commissioner Kevin Davis and Mayor Catherine Pugh, gave the Sun some truly idiotic non-statements. “We are experiencing a new dimension of societal fracture in our city,” she said. “We have to come together to figure that out.” There aren’t enough upside down smiling emojis in the world, you know? There’s more here to Mosby, who on one hand charged the six officers in the death of Freddie Gray, and on the other hand, according to activists, has aggressively pursued Keith Davis Jr. and never reopened the Tyrone West case like she should have. I guess what I’m saying is if you want to look a little out of touch or elite, holding a kind of expensive “birthday jam session” for yourself at Soundstage is NAGL. Anyways, if you’re into Mosby, or organic, neo soul, funk, and blues, then come see Raheem DeVaughn with the Crossrhodes Band, Kindred the Family Soul, and the Crossrhodes Band’s Wes Felton. You can also pay $150 to meet Mosby. Maybe ask her what the heck that Sun quote means and why she, a person with a lot of power, can only say that, “We have to come together to figure that out,” and not you know, help figure it out. 7 p.m., Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place, (410) 244-0057, baltimoresoundstage.com, $45-$55 ($150 for meet and greet/early entry). (Brandon Soderberg)
The noble attempts to get more people interested in classical music are really admirable, especially when they make some sense. My sense is that the problem here is not people are dumb now or not interested, but rather that elites and smarmy jerks have elevated the music to some “higher” level, like a lot of things, which intimidates and alienates lots of listeners. I am ostensibly a classical music n00b myself, but when I worked at a record store, I loved telling metal-buying teens that if they liked say, Sunn0))) they might like Wagner or Tomita’s druggy synth takes on Debussy. And sure, there’s the dubstep Beethoven or whatever bullshit where they just fuse a “cool” genre onto the allegedly uncool genre. Then there are things like this event where they just kind of organically add some other things to a night of classical. Basically, here you’ve got music from Ravel and Debussy played by the BSO paired with a chance to ponder some contemporaneous Impressionist paintings courtesy of The Baltimore Museum of Art, followed by an after-party with gypsy jazz from Orchester Praževica. Also: booze! Lots of “culture” with the stakes lowered a little; sounds great. 7 p.m., Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., bsomusic.org, $30-$99. (Brandon Soderberg)
JANUARY 10, 2018
Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar August 2018 art by Marius Mason. Mason is an anarchist, environmentalist, and animal rights activist serving nearly 22 years in federal prison for acts of property damage carried out in defense of the planet. He pleaded guilty in 2009 to arson at a university lab researching GMOs for Monsanto and admitted to 12 other acts of property damage. He is incarcerated in FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. Marius came out as transgender in 2014. He changed his name (though not yet legally), uses male pronouns, and in 2016 received a medical diagnosis allowing him to receive hormone therapy. (supportmariusmason.org) Courtesy Certain Days.
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ON PAPER Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar was produced by activists and organizers based in Montreal, Hamilton, New York, and Baltimore in collaboration with political prisoners currently held in New York State maximum-security prisons—David Gilbert, Robert Seth Hayes, and Herman Bell. The collective claims to work from an “anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer and trans positive” position. The theme for Certain Days 2018 is “Awakening Resistance,” and includes art by political prisoners and outside activists and artists, including Marius Mason (left) and Annie Banks and Mutope Duguma (right). The artwork is accompanied by writing from activists on the prison system, racial profiling, the alt-right, indigenous struggles, and more; plus moments from movement history marked within the calendar dates. The proceeds from Certain Days 2018 go to Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association in Palestine, Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP), and other organizations. For more information, visit certaindays.org. A launch for Certain Days 2018 will take place at Red Emma’s (30 W. North Ave.,  602-7585, redemmas.org) on Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. with a panel talk featuring former political prisoner and Real News Network producer and host Eddie Conway, former ELF political prisoner and Certain Days collective member Daniel McGowan, and a recently-acquitted J20 defendant from Baltimore. The event will also include a discussion on political prisoner David Gilbert’s new book, “Looking at the US White Working Class Historically.”
Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar November 2018 art by Annie Banks and Mutope Duguma. Annie Banks is an organizer/artist in Berkeley, Calif., on Ohlone territories. Annie is an active member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and the Anti Police-Terror Project and has been a printmaker since high school. (anniebanks.net) Mutope Duguma was born and raised in Watts, Calif. has been held for 30 years in maximum security prisons where he was given a political education by the many California political prisoners who informed him of national/international politics. This is where he learned about how to resist against statesanctioned oppression. (mutopeduguma.org) Courtesy Certain Days.
JANUARY 10, 2018
DewMore Baltimore, organizers of the Baltimore Youth Poetry Grand Slam Photo Courtesy Facebook
Baltimore Youth Poetry Grand Slam 2018 J A N . 1 2 When tallying up the things Baltimore does really well, you have to put spoken word poetry near the top of the list. Look at Baltimore’s current Youth Poet Laureate, Mohamed Tall, who won the title by using his performance to out capitalism and Mayor Pugh for backing off her support for a $15 minimum wage. Or former Youth Poet Laureate Hannah Sawyerr, who recently released a book, “For Girls Growing into Their Hips,” and who we’ve profiled in this paper (“There’s something special about reciting a poem orally, and it’s obviously going to be different, but if your work makes no sense or is completely wack on paper, it’s just not it,” she told me about her writing process). Watch 12 other super-talented young people perform to compete in the international Brave New Voices youth poetry festival this summer in Chicago. 6-9 p.m., Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., (443) 602-7585, redemmas.org, free. (Lisa Snowden-McCray)
Photo: Lars Plougmann
JANUARY 10, 2018
Baltimore County Public Library Pikesville Branch, 1301 Reisterstown Road, (410) 887-1234, bcpl.info. Photographer Amy Davis discusses “Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore’s Forgotten Movie Theaters” her book of historic movie theatre in Baltimore. Jan. 10, 2:30 p.m. John Shields—chef, author, and owner of Gertrude’s—discusses his book, “Chesapeake Bay Cooking.” Jan. 17, 2:30 p.m. Bird In Hand, 11 E. 33rd St., (410) 8140373, birdinhandcharlesvillage.com. Writer and aid-worker Malka Older, novelist Ariel S. Winter, and short-story writer Tom Doyle share their work as part of the reading series Charm City Spec. Jan. 17, 7 p.m. Cylburn Arboretum, Volmer Center, 4915 Greenspring Ave., cylburn.org. Dr. Allan Armitage comes to the Arboretum to discuss his book about the origins of the common names for popular and obscure plants, “Of Naked Ladies and Forget-Me-Nots.” Jan. 12, 6 p.m. Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., prattlibrary.org. The Enoch Pratt Free Library presents Donna Brazile, a longtime Washington insider and the author of “Hacks: The Inside Story Of The Break-Ins And Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump In The White House.” Jan. 17, 7 p.m. The Ivy Bookshop, 6080 Falls Road, (410) 377-2966, theivybookshop.com. Children’s author, animator, puppet maker, toy designer, sculptor, and art director Timothy Young reads from his book “I’m Going To Outer Space.” Jan. 14, 10 a.m.
6080 Falls Road @ W. Lake Avenue Mt. Washington WWW. THEIVYBOOKSHOP. COM
11 East 33rd Street, 1 block from Johns Hopkins Charles Village WWW. BIRDINHANDCHARLESVILLAGE. COM
A LIFE DEFERRED Errol Morris’ “Wormwood,” a grift about grief and government intrigue By Brandon Soderberg
The latest nice-to-look-at nonfiction Netflix epic, from Errol Morris, delivers an endlessly fascinating story—in 1953, a biochemist named Frank Olson “fell” out of a hotel window in New York but was pretty much without a doubt killed by the C.I.A., having something or other to do with post-war LSD experiments—and then stretches it out to six episodes adding up to four hours, because serialization is what’s hot right now and length equals prestige says Netflix. Merging moody, fictional recreations (Peter Sarsgaard plays Olson) with Morris’ busied, baroque documentary style (split screens, tangential montage, obliquely framed interview footage, big important music, more) and an endlessly fascinating interview with Olson’s obsessed and eloquent son Eric, it’s Morris juggling all the things he’s good at juggling and totally showing off—”Wormwood” is the “Casino” to “The Thin Blue Line’s” “Goodfellas.” Not quite as discursive as something like Theo
Anthony’s brilliant essay doc “Rat Film” (and much more antiseptic) and not quite compelling enough of a story to justify its length (it is nowhere near as taut or plainspoken or empathetic as “The Keepers”), “Wormwood” ultimately feels like nervy, cinematic filibustering. The Village Voice’s Alan Scherstuhl compared it to “the fervid speculation of a Seth Abramson Twitter thread” and, well, yeppers. Morris withholds details and doles out information slowly to allegedly maximize impact, a frustrating hustle of “clever” narrative storytelling, especially here where so much of what you find out in the last episode or two is the stuff that really makes your head spin and would make “Wormwood” more compelling if you knew from the jump. So SPOILER ALERT if that sort of thing matters to you—it doesn’t to me and I’d argue that if “Wormwood” can’t sustain these spoilers then it is an all-out failure—but OK finally here we go: Dad’s death didn’t have much to do with LSD, throwing dudes out
of windows to kill them was C.I.A. S.O.P. back in 1953, and very famous journalist Seymour Hersh knows what the hell happened basically but can’t tell. What nevertheless makes “Wormwood” worth watching and why it sticks, though, is that it’s a corrosive exploration of grief. Eric Olson has dedicated his life to figuring out his father’s death and he eventually nearly gets there and it’s not what he thought and he’s not quite satisfied still, or rather his expectations change and suddenly it becomes about accountability and being in this documentary because to stop grieving would probably be impossible at this point, or maybe by the end it becomes about a whole other kind of grieving altogether: For his own life, deferred, while he never quite figured out whatever happened to Dad. “Wormwood,” directed by Errol Morris, is currently streaming on Netflix.
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SCREENS The Charles Theatre
Land of a Thousand Dances “Window Horses” animates a mixed-race poet’s discoveries in art and identity By Maura Callahan
Ann Marie Fleming’s blushing hand-drawn feature “Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming” finds the titular character, a 20-something Canadian fast food clerk, on an unexpected trip to her absent father’s homeland of Iran to perform at a poetry festival in Shiraz. Rosie (voiced by Sandra Oh, also an executive producer) would rather make her debut in Paris, home of her idols Baudelaire and Rimbaud. Her self-published collection, “My Eye Full, Poems by a Person Who Has Never Been to France,” is an ode to the land that she romanticizes as the pinnacle of culture. Rosie is disconnected from her Eastern roots—her father left the family to return to Iran when she was young, and her Chinese mother died shortly after. Raised by her protective maternal grandparents, she has barely left her hometown and inherited an affinity for Western art from her fellow Francophile grandmother. Unlike her more detailed counterparts, Rosie is rendered as little more than a stick figure with a pink triangle for a skirt (soon to be covered up by a traditional Iranian chador) and two slants for eyes, a go-to avatar Fleming uses elsewhere (she too is Canadian and partly of Chinese descent). Embodied as a reductive representation of both women and Asian people, Rosie’s infinitely more dynamic character challenges the caricature imposed upon her; at the same time, the sparing presentation suggests a person not yet fully developed, simple but unfinished. Though her naivete introduces her to a series of embarrassments and cultural gaffes, Rosie’s humility and limited exposure to non-Western culture work in her favor, to an extent. She is more open and therefore adaptable than another visiting festival performer, a perpetuallyscoffing German literary mansplainer who collapses when his non-Western audience finds his consumer-critical poem distasteful for its depiction of women dining with dogs. But though she’s no more informed of the real story behind her father’s disappearance than she is of his homeland, Rosie’s open-mindedness does not lend itself so much to entertaining the possibility that her father was not simply a neglectful man who abandoned his family. To Rosie, he is a spectre easier to bitterly reject than to understand; reconstructing that part of her personal narrative is a bigger hurdle than expanding her aesthetic vocabulary. Rosie quickly learns that Shiraz is as much a poetry capital as Paris, if not more so—Shiraz is the capital of the Fars Province, the origin of the Farsi language and the birthplace
JANUARY 10, 2018
of the legendary poets Hafez and Saadi. The people of Shiraz carry the words of their city’s poets as if they were part of their everyday lexicon. Poetry is alive here, and while Rosie learns about the lives and work of the powerful men who authored it, she also becomes aware of the underrecognized influence of women along the way. Beyond a coming-of-age tale, “Window Horses” serves as an intro to Iranian history and poetry, with about a dozen guest animators taking turns to illustrate different dives into the country’s past and literary figures, as well as pieces performed by the festival’s featured writers. The shifts in the film’s visual language are distinct yet cohesive, maintaining a kind of fluorescent buzz beneath a collage of rich textures and borrowing jewel-like details from Persian miniature paintings (which were influenced by Chinese art, so an apt example of cultural intersectionality here). One highlight: Guest artist Bahram Javaheri animates the mythic biography of the poet Hafez (who, as Rosie notes while others too quickly overlook, fucked over his wife in the process of becoming a great big important poetry man by keeping a mistress his muse) as a quasi-3D wall carving in motion with embellishments culled from illuminated manuscripts—the result is decadent. By bringing on a range of artists to reinterpret poetry and history, Fleming mirrors the exchanges her own heroine undertakes when she attempts to translate a poem given to her by a fellow performer, a Chinese expat who enlightens Rosie with pieces of history from her mother’s country. He titles his poem with a flexible Mandarin word meaning “horse, mother . . . a bridge from one world to another,” piquing the interest of his horse-fixated, motherless, wanderlusting new friend. Unable to read Mandarin, Rosie visits a bookstore in Shiraz seeking a Mandarin-English dictionary, but leaves instead with Mandarin-Farsi and English-Farsi dictionaries. What begins as a meticulous process of translating the poet’s words from Chinese to Farsi and then from Farsi to English becomes a creative pursuit of Rosie’s own, revealing the spaces between cultural non-parallels where bravery like hers is particularly useful. She does not merely take artistic liberties; she fills the gaps understood to divide civilizations with her own identity, where those histories and the words that shape them overlap, and letting it take new form. “Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming,” directed by Ann Marie Fleming, screens at the Creative Alliance on Jan. 11.
1711 N. Charles St., (410) 727-3464, thecharles.com. “Call Me By Your Name” (Luca Guadagnino, U.S./Italy, 2017), now playing. “Darkest Hour” (Joe Wright, U.K., 2017), now playing. “The Disaster Artist” (James Franco, U.S., 2017), now playing. “I, Tonya” (Craig Gillespie, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Lady Bird” (Greta Gerwig, U.S., 2017), now playing. “The Shape Of Water” (Guillermo del Toro, U.S., 2017), now playing. “The Crime of Monsieur Lance” (Jean Renoir, France, 1936), Jan. 11. “The Glass Key” (Stuart Heisler, U.S., 1942), Jan. 13, Jan. 15, Jan. 18.
Creative Alliance 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org “Window Horses” (Ann Marie Fleming, U.S., 2017), Jan. 11.
The Parkway Theatre 5 W. North Ave., (410) 752-8083, mdfilmfest.com. “Antiporno” (Sion Sono, Japan, 2017), now playing. “Bad Lucky Goat” (Samir Oliveros, Colombia, 2017), now playing. “Killing For Love” (Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger, Germany, 2017), now playing “The Strange Ones” (Lauren Wolkstein & Christopher Radcliff, U.S., 2017), now playing. Double Feature: “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (Stephen Herek, U.S., 1989) and “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” (Peter Hewitt, U.S., 1991), Jan. 12, hosted in person by actor Alex Winter (Bill). “Kaleidoscope” (Rupert Jones, 2017, U.K.), opens Jan. 12. “Quest” (Jonathan Olshefski, U.S., 2017), opens Jan. 12 with special screening on Jan. 13 with the director.
The Senator Theatre 5904 York Road, (410) 323-4424, senatortheatre.com. “The Greatest Showman” (Michael Gracey, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” (Jake Kasdan, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi” (Rian Johnson, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Molly’s Game” (Aaron Sorkin, U.S., 2017), now playing. “The Post” (Steven Spielberg, U.S., 2017), opens Jan. 12.
EAT THIS CITY
Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week Edition
Nourish bowl at Wicked Sisters (3845 Falls Road,  878-0884, wickedsistershampden.com) Photo by @crunchyvegangal
Oyster stew at Minnow (2 E. Wells St., Suite 116,  759-6537, minnowbaltimore.com) Photo by Lena Tashjian @dinewellbmore
Baltimore Restaurant Week starts this Friday and runs until Jan. 21—which means it’s actually 10 days, but why complain when we’re talking about discounted fancy food? To whet your appetite, here are a few photos from Baltimore foodies of dishes from some participating restaurants. Restaurant Week is presented by Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore. Special prix-fixe brunch, lunch, and dinner menus aim to make it more affordable for people to try out different eateries around the city. Most meals will be priced at $12-$20 for two-course lunch menus, and $20-$35 for three-course dinner menus. Some places will offer extras like free valet parking or live music. Be forewarned, though, that some restaurants exclude weekends with the offer.
Tuna poke at Rye Street Tavern (13 Rye St.,  662-8000, ryestreettavern.com) Photo by Jordan Zelesnick @jzeats
Visit baltimorerestaurantweek.com for a full list of participating eateries.
JANUARY 10, 2018
Field Tripping Johns Hopkinsing By Kate Drabinski I’ve lived in lots of cities as an itinerant academic without a permanent gig, and in each one of these cities there is an entity or two whose size and scale translates to an even more outsized influence over development patterns in the city. I say “outsized” because when we build our cities and distribute our resources to meet the demands of institutions and not people, a whole bunch of people find themselves bulldozed over—both literally and figuratively. In Baltimore that entity is Johns Hopkins. Johns Hopkins University is the largest private employer in the greater Baltimore area, and Johns Hopkins Health System comes in third. Taken together, Hopkins is massive, and it has massive influence on how the city is organized. Its nonprofit status means Hopkins doesn’t pay taxes, and that’s a lot of money out of city coffers. Sure, Hopkins pays taxes indirectly to landlords when they rent out property and on things like properties used for non-exempt purposes, parking and hotel taxes (for dorm beds), and payroll taxes for its thousands of employees. But if their properties remained on the tax rolls, Baltimore would have a lot more cash on hand. No amount of consumer spending by low-wage service workers at Hopkins will make up for that. As I learned more about the history of Hopkins in Baltimore, I learned more and more ugly stories about the effects of the institution on communities of color in the city. The story of Henrietta Lacks, finally wellknown, is just one case of muddled research ethics at the campus. And then there’s their development of Middle East, now known as Eager Park, the plunkingdown of shiny new condos and shops and private security into a neighborhood laid bare by decades of planned displacement. It’s an ugly history, and one that repeats itself in this city as time after time our collective monies are poured into institutions and neighborhoods already awash in relative wealth as the rest of the city starves.
JANUARY 10, 2017
This has been my understanding of Hopkins since I moved to Baltimore, an analysis deepened by the work of writers like Marisela Gomez, Lawrence Brown, and D. Watkins as well as bike rides across the city week after week for years, noting the both very slow and very fast changes in neighborhoods bowled over by Hopkins. And then I got cancer, and Hopkins became a very different place. It’s taking me a minute to figure out how to make sense of this newest field trip, given all that have come before. I found out I might have cancer at the beginning of November when I was called in for a second mammogram. I’m in my 40s, have great health insurance, and am a rule follower with a family history, so I’ve been getting these screening tests for awhile now. This wasn’t the first time I’ve been called back, so I wasn’t worried. I went back for a follow-up and an ultrasound, and the radiologist told me I would need a biopsy. I asked if it was an emergency, or if it could wait until I returned from my work trip to Chicago. She said it could wait, but I shouldn’t wait long. My twin sister had just gotten a biopsy and it was benign, so I went to Chicago, had a wonderful time, and decided I’d figure out the biopsy when I got back. When I got back I looked at my actual report from the radiologist. It said “BIRADS 5,” which is the scale they use to rate the chance of what they’re seeing on the screen being cancer. I googled it. Ninety-five to ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s cancer. Everything changed. I was already a patient at Hopkins because they take my insurance and I can get to the community clinic on my bike in 10 minutes, so I emailed my provider and asked her what to do. And the answer was to stay at Hopkins. I was quickly shuffled to the Greenspring location for a biopsy that showed I indeed had cancer, and then the Hopkins system took over. I got an email from the breast surgery
center in the very East Baltimore campus I’ve side eyed for years telling me to come in for a consult. Then they called to schedule surgery, and a few days later made appointments for me with a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. By the time this hits the paper, I’ll be a week out from my first chemotherapy infusion, three more to go. Johns Hopkins is running my life not just in the structural ways it runs all of our lives, determining how development dollars get spent and who lives where, but in the tiny minutiae as it turns my body into a toxic waste dump in order to save it. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to square the critiques of Hopkins with the reality that the hospital is also saving a whole lots of lives. The cancer-related rooms I’ve been in over the past two months have all been packed. So many of us have cancer or love people who do, and we all want to get through treatment and get on with our lives. Hopkins is helping loads of people do just that, even as doing that means pushing people out of their neighborhoods and sucking up huge swaths of our collective resources to do so. Mostly what I’ve felt, though, on a totally personal level, is lucky. I’ve got great health insurance through my state job that means I’m not worrying about paying for this care (mostly—I still worry because the side costs are bananas). I’ve got flexible work hours and a workplace that is taking tasks off my plate so I can focus on my health and still get paid. I have a partner and wider community that is doing all it can to shoulder some of the cancer burden. And a world-class hospital that will give me the care I need for a good prognosis (which I have). I feel lucky, but I also know it’s not just luck. The same structures that push people out of Middle East to make way for Hopkins produce this particular care for me. It’s complicated, and everyone should get the level of care I’m getting, and not just in cancer treatment.
Jeff Sessions memo may put a halt on legal cannabis By Baynard Woods In a Jan. 4 memo to U.S. attorneys, Jeff Sessions formally rescinded the Cole Memo, the nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement. The 2013 memo kept federal authorities from prosecuting cannabis laws in states that had legalized it. Sessions called the memo unnecessary. “In deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under the law with the department’s finite resources, federal prosecutors should weigh all relevant considerations including federal enforcement priorities set by the attorney general,” Sessions said. The Department of Justice announcement heightens the uncertainty surrounding this growing industry and raises concerns about mass incarceration and civil liberties. Eight states, plus the District of Columbia, have passed laws making recreational cannabis legal, and 29 states allow patients to use the plant under a doctor’s care (in Maryland, cannabis has been decriminalized since 2014). On the campaign trail, President Trump said that he would not interfere with state cannabis laws and Sessions assured members of his own party that he would respect the will of the states. “The decision directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation,” said Senator Cory Gardner from Colorado, where weed is legal. To talk about what all this means is Grant Smith from the Drug Policy Alliance. Baynard Woods: What are we supposed to expect from this memo that Sessions put out today rescinding the previous Cole Memo and saying that federal authorities could in fact prosecute marijuana laws? Grant Smith: I think right now there is a lot of speculation about what this means, but in reality the memo that was in place between 2013 and today really just gave guidance to prosecutors in terms of how they prosecute under the federal marijuana statutes. The states have been operating in violation of federal law all this time. It’s not clear right now what this means in practice in terms of what’s going to happen on the ground, but what I will say is it’s going to create more uncertainty in states that have moved forward with marijuana law reform. The memo that’s in place today, that Attorney General Sessions has put in place, that rescinded the old memos in the Obama administration, basically says that U.S. attorneys have an obligation to enforce federal marijuana laws. So it’s up to the U.S. attorneys in each of these states to do that. So we’re going to see, I think, a wide variety of approaches to enforcing federal marijuana laws in these states like Colorado and Washington where state marijuana reform has moved forward. BW: This is particularly crazy that we have an attorney general like Jeff Sessions, who is known for his states rights approach on many other things, but he seems to have this deep hatred of pot going back to when he said that he thought members of the KKK were okay until he found out that they smoked weed. What does Jeff Sessions’ history and personality tell us about what’s behind this memo today? GS: Sessions has a long track record of being very punitive in his views on marijuana, on drug policy. He was one of chiefest opponents in the Senate with respect to reforming drug sentencing laws. He was one of the only
and most outspoken opponents to marijuana reform in the Senate. When he was nominated by President Trump to be attorney general, we sounded the alarm: We were very clear that he is going to be a major foe as attorney general with respect to state marijuana reform, that he is going to do all he can to interfere with the implementation of state marijuana laws. In fact, he has followed through with this. Today is the biggest sign yet that he wants to prioritize this, despite all the evidence that refutes any notion that federal interference in state marijuana laws, or any interference in state marijuana reform efforts, is productive. BW: We know that these laws aren’t enforced equally. We’ve seen in state after state and study after study that minorities bear the brunt of drug enforcement, and particularly of cannabis enforcement, and going all the way back to calling it “marijuana” as a racist term to frighten people about Mexican immigrants. Do you think that Sessions’ alleged, or demonstrated, racism has a role in this memo? GS: Oh absolutely. As you said, the roots of marijuana prohibition go back to the 1930s and before, when marijuana enforcement was used as a ruse to crack down on people of color and communities of color. This has played out over the years. You saw in the ‘80s, on the war on drugs and Reagan, a similar approach and similar messaging. Jeff Sessions has been very clear, very blunt that he has an agenda here to bring back mass incarceration, to be very punitive. I think that’s clear from what he said and from what his intentions are. Unraveling just about every reform that has been implemented in recent years, that has helped to reduce incarceration and arrest amongst communities of color, and it has certainly helped to reduce marijuana arrests, including in states that have legalized marijuana. We recently issued a report that found that in states that have legalized marijuana, there’s been a dramatic reduction in arrests, including a reduction in racial disparities in terms of who was arrested in states that have legalized marijuana. All this is in jeopardy to some extent by greater federal interference in the implementation of state marijuana laws. BW: It seems crazy in other ways too. If the populations of these states vote to legalize marijuana, then the feds are going to spend a bunch of money trying these cases where juries are most likely not going to uphold the convictions. I feel like if people are in a dispensary today in Washington State or in Colorado, it doesn’t seem like anyone’s expecting them to be raided right now, or some kind of prohibition style crackdown to happen today. GS: One thing I would say about what to expect at the local and state level is I would not expect a lot of flashy, a lot of high-profile raids, or those types of actions from federal law enforcement. I would expect things to happen, enforcement to happen, more behind-the-scenes because I think Sessions recognizes that what he’s doing today is deeply unpopular and that the American public overwhelmingly supports making marijuana legal, certainly overwhelming support making medical marijuana legal. I don’t expect a lot of high-profile actions now, but what I would say is that we’re going to see the greater level of federal interference. Congress does need to step up.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions
BW: Congress has the Rohrabacher Amendment. What role does that have in the ability of the Department of Justice to enforce these laws? GS: In recent years, Congress has enacted a law, the Rohrabacher Amendment, that essentially prevents the Department of Justice from spending federal funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. It basically ties the hands of the Department of Justice to interfere with the provision of medical marijuana to patients and by caregivers and by dispensaries where states have made that legal. Congress has been very clear to the Department of Justice and to Attorney General Sessions that they do not want him to interfere at the state level with respect to medical marijuana. BW: Short of actually changing the cannabis laws, what else can Congress do? GS: We’re getting very close, and we have, in fact, a lot of bipartisan support in Congress for extending that protection to all marijuana, so all marijuana laws of medical and nonmedical. That would apply to states that have made marijuana legal for recreational purposes. There has been a vote within the last two years in the House that was bipartisan and nearly passed, called the McClintock-Polis Amendment, which would have extended the Rohrabacher policy to nonmedical marijuana. I think we’re very close to having a policy that applies to all marijuana laws at the state level, but Congress needs to act now, because Attorney General Sessions has made it very clear that he wants to make this a priority, despite the fact that it’s very damaging to communities, that it wastes a lot of tax dollars, disproportionately impacts people of color, runs contrary to the best evidence in terms of what is most effective, that marijuana should be treated as a health issue and not as a criminal justice issue, and that we are not seeing the kinds of harm that everyone expected. This interview comes courtesy of the Real News Network and has been edited and condensed. Visit therealnews.com for a video of the full interview and more independent local, national, and international journalism that examines the underlying causes of chronic problems and searches for effective solutions.
JANUARY 10, 2018
Crossword By Evan Serpick
Across 1. Top-ten hit for Macy Gray in 1999 5. Does part of the laundry process 10. Sajack and Benatar 14. Greenwood and Majors 15. Military unit 16. Dominican-born actress and AIDS activist who died in 1999, ___ Tanya Payán 17. #1 20. From ___ Z, all encompassing 21. 1981 film classic, “___ Boot” 22. Clove cigarettes 23. Ibsen’s homeland 25. ‘It’s a ___ Tell a Lie,’ song popularized by Fats Waller and recorded by Billie Holiday, John Denver and others 26. Plaything 27. Organization designed to wield power in Washington, for short 28. Butts 32. Handheld support 34. #2 36. U2 single covered by Mary J. Blige 37. #3 38. Biblical donkey 39. 1986 Middler/Nolte/Dreyfuss vehicle, “___ in Beverly Hills” 41. #4 42. Belgian painter James 43. Spiegelman or Garfunkel 44. Neither fish ___ fowl 45. Inferno author 47. Apt description for Richard Simmons, until recently 50. #5, Read ___ 53. Sushi mainstay 54. Early 20th Century entertainer West 55. #6 58. One way to order a drink 59. “To no ___,” fruitless 60. Commedia dell’___ 61. Male heirs 62. Busybody (Yiddish) 63. Famous G-man Eliot
Down 1. Song from Chris Brown’s 2016 mixtape “Before da Trap: Nights in Tarzana” 2. One way to send a message en Español 3. #7, for aspiring journalists 4. Iconic French designer, for short 5. Go off the path 6. Metals 7. Rogers or Moore 8. Prepped for a party 9. Turn away 10. A work by Salvador Dali 11. “That’s ___!” 12. Editor filler
JANUARY 10, 2018
13. Simon ___, game 18. Orioles reliever Darren 19. Record over 24. “___ is me” 25. #8 27. Something only Adam does 29. #9, Take the ___ 30. Local record label, home of Horse Lords and Wume 31. IT job title for short, with “Engnr” 32. Encrypt 33. Shortly, in Shakespeare 34. Pearl Jam’s breakout album 35. He pities the fool 37. Mexican shawl 40. #10, for drivers 41. Dorothy to her friends 44. The Big Easy, for short
46. “Absolutely not” 47. ___ Montgomery, recently appointed CEO of Crate and Barrel and one of the most prominent women of color in business 48. Gary and Bret “The Hitman” 49. Affirmations 50. Things to climb, for short 51. Two-tone cookie 52. Republican Congressman who says he’s dreamed of kicking people off Medicaid since college 53. Change 56. India bread 57. Longtime Baltimore City Paper reporter Smith Check back in next week’s issue of the Beat for answers.
R E S E A R C H
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After the Ceasefire
Joseph Kohl’s Baltimore
Lisa Snowden-McCray talks to Erricka Bridgeford
Scenes from the end of the century at the Maryland Historical Society
Photos by Devin Allen Stor y by Rebekah Kirkman • Photos by Reginald Thomas II
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Baltimorebeat.com, Volume 2, Issue 2, January 10, 2018