As we put this issue together, it felt like so much of the city was in mourning. 

Thirty-one-year-old Blake Bozeman, a former basketball star at Morgan State University, was shot and killed on September 23 at a nightclub in Washington, D.C. Friends and family of the father of three said he was a businessman and was always looking to give back

Pava LaPere, a beloved tech CEO, was found murdered on September 25. She was only 26 years old. Everyone who knew her described her as an innovator — someone with boundless energy. 

A vigil was held in her honor. “Pava woke up every day with the belief that … we have the power to ignite change — and that Baltimore and the world would be stronger, fairer, and better connected as a result,” Jamie McDonald, CEO of UpSurge Baltimore, said, according to the Associated Press.

If you have frequented restaurants like Cookhouse and Mera Kitchen Collective or sat at the bar at Hotel Ulysses or Sugarvale, then you may have been lucky enough to sip a drink crafted by beloved bartender and artist Maja Coleman Griffin. Griffin always had a sweet smile and a warm hug. We learned of her passing as the month of September came to a close. 

And, of course, there are other lives lost here that, although not as widely known, mean just as much. This city can be beautiful, but it can also break your heart.

Baltimore is actually a dangerous ass city, and we don’t say “be safe” as an accessory to the sentence WE MEAN THAT SHIT,” rapper Miss Kam tweeted last week. “I pray for some peace over my city man my goodness.”

Miss Kam is one of the artists that Arts and Culture Editor Teri Henderson chatted with for the latest installment of Baltimore Music Right Now. This edition also features Mighty Mark, a producer, DJ, and stalwart advocate for music and culture in the city. Also, learn about rapper and producer Kilian Fonlon.

Also in this issue, you’ll find the latest on the long fight over affordable housing in Baltimore City. Elected officials like City Council President Nick Mosby and Councilperson Odette Ramos know that we need solutions — so what’s the holdup? Gabriel Donahue explains. 

Be sure to also catch up on the latest from our friends at Baltimore Courtwatch, film critic Dominic Griffin, and, as always, a poem from a participant of Writers in Baltimore Schools. 

Please take care of yourself, and thanks as always for reading.

Lisa Snowden is Editor-in-Chief and cofounder of Baltimore Beat. Previously, she was an editor at Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore Sun, and The Real News Network. Her work has also appeared in Essence,...