Park Heights investment, Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame, James Beard finalists and more
City Unveils Plan for Investment in 4 Zones, Including Park Heights
With an array of new funding sources and a Department of Housing and Community Development that’s now independent of the Housing Authority, the city plans to work with communities to fulfill their visions for short-term growth. Mayor Catherine Pugh and Housing Commissioner Michael Braverman announced their planned “new era of neighborhood investment” at her weekly press conference Feb. 27. One of the key points of the “new vision” is designated impact investment areas in four areas of the city. Each one is generally low-income, has a strong culture and local history, existing for-profit and nonprofit organizations to help push for redevelopment, borders an area with “strong markets/and or anchor institutions and have strong assets such as high-quality architecture,” according to the newly published plan. All of the areas also have, or are working on a consensus for, a long-term vision, and are places where DHCD has amassed or can assemble “a critical mass of vacant properties.”
Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore announced Feb. 27 the next round of inductees for the Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame. Every other year, up to 10 Jewish Baltimoreans — alive and deceased — are honored for their contributions to the local and global community in such fields as science, education, business, politics, law and sports. This marks the JCC’s seventh set of biennial inductions. This year’s reception will be held May 15 at 7 p.m. at the Gordon Center For Performing Arts. Deborah Weiner, co-anchor of WBAL-TV, will serve as master of ceremonies.
Michael Cohen calls Trump a ‘racist’
In prepared testimony honed to deliver deep wounds to his onetime mentor and employer, Michael Cohen said President Donald Trump was a con man and a racist, and once again cited his father’s survival of the Holocaust to explain why he turned on Trump. “My father survived the Holocaust thanks to the compassion and selfless acts of others,” Cohen said in a statement set to be delivered Feb. 27 in dramatic testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives. “He was helped by many who put themselves in harm’s way to do what they knew was right.” Cohen was Trump’s longtime lawyer and his fixer. He has pleaded guilty to fraud and violating campaign finance laws when he paid off Trump’s alleged mistresses to keep silent and to lying to Congress about how long into the presidential campaign Trump was working on a business deal in Russia.
New York Times editor Bari Weiss writing book on anti-Semitism
“How to Fight Anti-Semitism” will address the “alarming rise of antisemitism in this country and in Europe,” as well as offer solutions, the Jewish writer posted Feb. 25 on Twitter. Weiss said the book will be released in September. She is also working on another book, part of the same deal for Crown Publishing, called “The New Seven Dirty Words.” Since starting at The Times last year, Weiss has risen to prominence for her commentary on issues such as Israel, the #MeToo movement and cultural appropriation. Her writing often criticizes what she sees as hypocrisies among progressives, which has earned her both praise and vilification.–JTA
Israeli ranked 10th healthiest
Israel is the 10th healthiest country in the world — 54 spots ahead of the United States, which ranked 64th. The Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, published Feb. 24, ranked 169 nations based on factors such as life expectancy and access to sanitation and medical care. Countries were penalized for tobacco use and obesity, among other health risks. Unsurprisingly, the Mediterranean diet — common in Israel, as well as Spain and Italy, numbers one and two on the list — was noted in Bloomberg’s analysis. The rest of the top 10, in order, are: Spain, Italy, Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Singapore and Norway.
Baltimore has a couple James Beard finalists
Remington mezcaleria Clavel and local star chef Cindy Wolf are representing Baltimore on the list of semifinalists for this year’s “Oscars of the food world,” according to Baltimore Fishbowl. The James Beard Foundation, which every year honors culinary professionals across the country through its annual awards, picked Clavel for its nationwide Outstanding Bar Program category. The W. 23rd Street taqueria, which specializes in cocktails made with mezcal, is among 20 bars across the country picked for the semifinal round. It’s a repeat honor for Wolf, executive chef and co-owner of Harbor East mainstay Charleston. She’s been nominated for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region eight times—each of the last five years, as well as in 2006 and 2008—and is now pursuing her ninth.
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