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Posts from the ‘Baltimore magazine’ Category

The Lion of the Senate

At 70, Maryland’s longest-serving Senate President isn’t stepping aside anytime soon

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Reality set in during the 11th hour of the final day of the General Assembly last April at the State House in Annapolis. The last day of session—known as sine die, which in Latin means to adjourn without assigning a further date to return—often goes late into the night, with the state Senate and House of Delegates working overtime to pass hundreds of last-minute bills. When the clock strikes midnight, confetti and balloons drop from the balcony and the state’s lawmakers go home until next year. On April 9, 2012, there was no confetti or balloons.

With time running out to pass a series of bills that make up the state’s multi-billion dollar budget, House Speaker Michael Busch attempted to extend the session, only to have such a motion rejected by the Senate. In the end, the legislature met its constitutional duty to pass a balanced budget, but failed to advance a revenue bill for the first time in two decades, thus incurring hundreds of millions of dollars in “doomsday” education and public-safety cuts. Read more

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The Cupcake Crooks

The bizarre lives of the men behind the most brazen heist in Maryland history.

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Shortly after the library of the Maryland Historical Society opened on the warm morning of July 9, two men dressed in jackets and ties arrived at the society’s Mt. Vernon complex. After registering at the front desk, they made their way to the library on the second floor. They were expected, having e-mailed a list of historic documents they wished to view days earlier.

The older man, whose dark, slicked-back hair, puffy face, and thin gray beard stood in stark contrast to his younger counterpart’s boyish good looks, presented himself as 63-year-old Barry Landau, an esteemed collector of presidential memorabilia and published historian doing research for a new book. The younger man, he said, was his nephew. On the surface, their story seemed to check out. Read more

Kosher Soul

A warm February sun beams through the skylight above the entry hall of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. On most Sundays, the building is bustling with Baltimoreans exploring various Jewish history exhibits, but today the smells of sautéed vegetables waft through the halls instead.

Stationed at a table looking out at an audience of about 100 people, Michael W. Twitty, a culinary historian who is both black and Jewish, wears a knitted black kippah, a Jewish head covering, while preparing the first of several dishes for a cooking demonstration he calls “Kosher Soul.” Read more