Saying Goodbye to Gil Sandler, Seasons gets new management and National Returns Day

Gil Sandler

Gilbert Sandler and his iconic hat (sans bow tie), circa 1995. (File photo)

The Bard of Jewish Baltimore dies at 95

Gilbert Sandler — author, history columnist, folklorist, radio personality, city life advocate, raconteur, bon vivant and the great chronicler of Jewish Baltimore — passed away Dec. 19 after a lengthy illness. He was 95 and would have turned 96 in early February. Funeral services for Sandler will be held on Dec. 21, at 9 a.m. at Sol Levinson & Bros., 8900 Reisterstown Road, in the main chapel. His wife, Joan Strouse Sandler, passed away in 2002. For decades, the Sandlers were residents of Mount Washington. A proud Baltimore native, Gil Sandler was the father of three, grandfather of seven and great-grandfather of three. He lived most recently in Roland Park, and grew up in lower Park Heights.

Read more: Gilbert Sandler, the Bard of Jewish Baltimore, Dies at 95

Also see:


After three years of anticipation, Seasons Pikesville opened for business in 2017. (Photo by Steve Ruark)

For everything there is a Seasons

Pikesville’s Seasons Kosher Supermarket will remain open and operate under a new ownership, with a new, still-to-be-determined name, according to Shalom Rubashkin, one of the store’s prospective new owners. Rubashkin, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., is a former regional manager of Meat Mavens, which provides meat products that are sold at all Seasons supermarkets. “This happened very fast,” said Rubashkin. “What happened was that a buyer bought up other Seasons stores, but they didn’t buy Baltimore for some reason. … It’s a beautiful, nice, clean store with good customer feedback, so we put together a group of businesspeople to buy the store.” Rubashkin said the Pikeville store is currently being managed by the three new prospective owners, who are expected to close on the sale of the business next week. The store’s current general manager, Zachary Richards, will remain in his job.

Read more: Seasons Supermarket in Pikesville to Remain Open Under New Management

Also see:

Stevensville cannabis producer fined

Stevensville cannabis producer ForwardGro has been ordered to pay $125,000 in fines, toss out all cannabis products made before May 31 and remain under probation for the next two years after a state investigation found the company used unauthorized pesticides on the weed it was growing, according to Baltimore Fishbowl. The investigation, the results of which were published Dec. 18 in a consent order, also found the company failed to make sure employees who sprayed pesticides or were exposed to them used proper safety equipment, and that the grower, one of 14 authorized in Maryland, failed to properly track some of the plants in its building using video surveillance back in August 2017. Beyond the aforementioned sanctions, the state has also forced the company to appoint new leadership. Gary Mangum, a ForwardGro co-founder who was also a top donor to Gov. Larry Hogan’s campaign and a former member of the governor’s transition team, has replaced Michael McCarthy as CEO. The company has been ordered to hire a new head grower within the next three months.

Read more: Anne Arundel cannabis grower ordered to pay $125K fine, gets two-year probation for pesticide use

Another noose in Anne Arundel Co.

Another noose has been found at Chesapeake Bay Middle, one month after a similar incident at the Pasadena school, according to the Capital Gazette. Principal Michael Dunn sent a letter to families informing them of “another disturbing and unacceptable incident” at the school on Dec. 19. As students began entering the school around 8 a.m., a noose made from a sweatshirt drawstring was found hanging in a stairwell by a staff member, the letter said. Bob Mosier, Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman, said the student who the school believes is responsible for the noose was identified “in a matter of minutes.”

Read more: Another noose found at Chesapeake Bay Middle

George Soros

George Soros speaking in Berlin, Sept. 10, 2012. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Soros Named Person of the Year

Liberal Jewish financier and philanthropist George Soros was named  Person of the Year by Financial Times, which called him “the standard bearer of liberal democracy and open society.” The British news outlet also noted that there have been “so many anti-Semitic conspiracy theories targeting Mr. Soros that it is difficult to keep count. Hardly a day goes by without a statement, a tweet or an image depicting him as a master manipulator of global politics.” The choice by the centrist, free market Financial Times seems aimed, in part, to counter such allegations and focus on what it called “the values he represents,” including openness, media freedom and human rights. “These are the ideas which triumphed in the cold war. Today, they are under siege from all sides, from Vladimir Putin’s Russia to Donald Trump’s America,” the paper writes.

Read more: George Soros Named Person of the Year by Financial Times

National Returns Day

By its own estimate, United Parcel Service says the busiest day for holiday and Christmas gift returns won’t happen after Christmas and the actual holiday season is over. As it happens, the busiest day for returns was Dec. 19, according to Fortune. A total of 1.5 million returns were expected to be sent back to retailers on what is known by UPS as National Returns Day, the very busiest day for returns for the entire year. It’s the sixth year in a row that a new record has been set for the number of parcels returned in a single day. Throughout the month of December, UPS says consumers have been sending back an average of one million parcels a day.

Read more: UPS Says the Biggest Day For Holiday Gift Returns Will Happen Before—Yes, Before—Christmas

Don’t miss the best of Jmore each week. Go to to sign up for our weekly Jmore Newsletter and This Week in Baltimore Eating newsletter.