Trump not coming, Donna’s closes, Capital Gazette staffers named ‘Guardians’

Trump no longer coming to Baltimore this week

After considerable hype over the weekend about a forthcoming visit from President Donald Trump to East Baltimore, it turns out 45 isn’t actually coming, according to Baltimore Fishbowl. Rep. Elijah Cummings’ office confirmed the news, first tweeted by WBAL-TV’s Jayne Miller Dec. 10, to Baltimore Fishbowl. The planned meeting has been relocated to the White House. Cummings’ office first learned of the schedule change Dec. 10. The Sun reported on Dec. 7 that Trump was planning to come to Baltimore for his first time since taking office, when he went to M&T Bank Stadium to watch the Army-Navy football game and had a brief exchange with Mayor Catherine Pugh. Over the weekend, more details emerged about the planned visit. The Rev. Donte Hickman, of the Southern Baptist Church in East Baltimore, had invited the president to come tour Broadway East, a neighborhood in need of economic investment, as a way to promote the administration’s Opportunity Zones from the tax reform package signed into law by the president last year. Baltimore has 42 of them. There was to be a roundtable discussion with local leaders and others over in Broadway East focusing on community revitalization.

Read more: Trump no longer coming to Baltimore this week

Donna’s at Cross Keys closes

The Village of Cross Keys lost a mainstay, with the owners of Donna’s announcing the closing of their last remaining location, according to Baltimore Fishbowl. Donna Crivello and Alan Hirsch, who own the Mediterranean-inspired eatery, said in an announcement their final day in business would be Dec. 9. Donna’s has operated in the upscale shopping center off of Falls Road for 19 years, offering a café and spot for brunch, lunch and dinner with a patio view of the community that developer Jim Rouse opened in 1965. It’s the last surviving member of the Donna’s family. Hirsch and Crivello, both alumni of the newspaper business, previously ran locations in Columbia, which closed in 2012, and Charles Village, which shut down in 2016 after nearly 18 years in business.

Share your memories about Donna’s with co-owner Alan Hirsch Dec. 13 at 12:30 p.m. on This Week in Baltimore Eating on

Read more: Donna’s at Cross Keys to close down after this weekend

Also see: Restaurant News: Old Bay, Can’t You See?

David Alt

David Alt (left) enjoys a smile and selfie with the author. (Handout photo)

The ‘Waving Man’ dies

Celebrated as the “Waving Man” or the “Park Heights Gnome” because of his bushy beard and rather impish appearance, longtime Owings Mills resident David Neil Alt Sr. was quite a welcome sight to many weary motorists in the Northwest area. With his trademark friendly roadside greetings and hearty salutations, he was a fixture that brightened the days of countless passersby for many years along the Park Heights corridor. Alt passed away on Dec. 8.

Read this touching tribute.

Also see: Tributes and Messages for David Alt

Anti-Semitic Fliers Found in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh

Anti-Semitic fliers were found in Squirrel Hill, the Pittsburgh neighborhood where 11 worshippers were killed in an attack on a synagogue building. The fliers also were dropped in other surrounding neighborhoods, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Dec. 9. “The Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police are aware of and are investigating the dissemination of anti-Semitic pamphlets in Pittsburgh neighborhoods, including Squirrel Hill. Such hate-filled material will not be tolerated in Pittsburgh — not by residents, City officials nor Law Enforcement,” the Public Safety department said in a tweet. The pamphlets signed by the Loyal White Knights of the KKK provide information about the Ku Klux Klan and encourage people to join the neo-Nazi organization. Copies were posted on social media.

Read more: Anti-Semitic Fliers Found in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appears on “Meet the Press,” July 1, 2018. (William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she is descended from Sephardic Jews

Incoming progressive Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced at a Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony that she is descended from Sephardic Jews who fled to Puerto Rico during the Spanish Inquisition. Ocasio-Cortez told a crowd gathered Dec. 9 at the Jackson Heights Jewish Center in Queens for a party organized by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice that her ancestors were Jewish. “One of the things that we discovered about ourselves is that a very long time ago, generations and generations ago, my family consisted of Sephardic Jews,” she said. Ocasio-Cortez said that her knowledge of her ancestry came from “doing a lot of family trees in the last couple of years,” the Washington Post reported. “I think what it goes to show is that so many of our destinies are tied beyond our understanding, beyond even what we know,” she also said. In a tweet, the incoming congresswoman also posted a video of her learning to dance the hora at the event, writing: “I can never turn down an opportunity to try a new dance.–JTA

Charlottesville protester found guilty of murder in death of Heather Heyer

The man who rammed his car into a group of counter-protesters at a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was found guilty of murder. A jury found James Alex Fields Jr., 20, guilty of first-degree murder on Dec. 7 during the first day of deliberations after an almost two-week trial. He faces 20 years to life in prison. Fields also was convicted on five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and one hit and run count for injuring at least 20 others with his vehicle. He also is charged with 30 federal hate crimes, which will involve another trial. The rally on Aug, 12, 2017, was first organized to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. It was held under the banner of “Unite the Right.” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called Heyer’s death a “tragedy.”

Read more: Charlottesville protester found guilty of murder in death of Heather Heyer

‘The Guardians’ named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

Time magazine announced on Dec. 11 a group of journalists it called “The Guardians” as 2018 Person of the Year, referring to individuals “who have taken great risks in pursuing the truth.” Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi was one of several reporters named in the award, along with Filipina journalist Maria Ressa and Reuters’ Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, according to Huffington Post. The Capital Gazette, the Annapolis-based media company that lost five staffers to a mass shooting in June, was also featured.

Read more: ‘The Guardians’ For Truth Named Time Magazine’s 2018 Person Of The Year

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Frank Sinatra's yarmulke

A yarmulke that belonged to the late singer Frank Sinatra sold at auction for close to $10,000. (Sotheby’s)

Someone bought Frank Sinatra’s yarmulke for almost $10,000

A hand-crocheted yarmulke that used to belong to Frank Sinatra sold at auction for close to $10,000. The black kippah, with musical notes and “Frank” decorating its border, was auctioned off by Sotheby’s Dec. 6 in New York as part its sale of items belonging to the estate of the singer’s late wife, Barbara Sinatra. The catalogue did not indicate who made the kippah or gave it to Sinatra, although it does note that he was “a lifelong sympathizer with Jewish causes.” The yarmulke sold for $9,375, shattering its original estimate of $200-$400.–JTA



NYC high school known for ‘Fame’ bans Nazi symbols from ‘The Sound of Music’

“The Sound of Music” is about a singing family that defies the Nazi takeover of Austria. But one New York City principal believes Nazi symbols and flags have no place in her high school’s production of the Tony Award winner. Lisa Mars of LaGuardia High reportedly ordered the props removed, though the New York City Department of Education later told the New York Daily News that the symbols and flags would still appear in two scenes. The prominent performing arts school was made legendary in the musical “Fame.” Mars did not respond to inquiries from the Daily News. The Third Reich symbols appear in the play in the context of the family von Trapp opposing the Nazis. LaGuardia students designed the set. “This is a very liberal school, we’re all against Nazis,” one sophomore performer told the Daily News. “But to take out the symbol is to try to erase history. … “Obviously the symbols are offensive. But in context, they are supposed to be.” A portion of the show’s profits will be donated to Holocaust remembrance groups, and audience members will receive a pamphlet insert reading, in part, “When we say never again will those atrocities of war be repeated, NEVER AGAIN must be a promise kept.”—JTA

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