I scratched my head in understanding the meaning of the following passage in the article titled, “The tragedy of Ferguson” of Time magazine (September 1 issue). [Some excerpts appear at mediabistro.com, and a teaser at time.com.]
“Ferguson is no longer just the name of a township. It has become a stern lesson in the value of public trust - the city learned too late that the well was dry – and a painfully familiar one. When the shots rang out on Aug 9, the usual figures assumed the customary positions. Al Sharpton? Check. Cable-news anchors? Check. Activist in Guy Fawkes masks? Check."
What does “the well was dry” mean? What does "well" account for? Additionally, What does “Check” mean? Does it mean “Yes / Possible”?