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With the end of the search, 13 probably died in a capsized boat in the gulf

The Coast Guard announced Monday it was ending the search for eight crew members of a commercial lifting boat who have been missing for six days in the freezing waters off Louisiana after the boat capsized during ‘a storm in the Gulf of Mexico. The probable death toll now stands at 13.

The bodies of five crew members were found, said Captain Will Watson, Coast Guard Area Commander for New Orleans, at a press conference where he announced that the search effort and rescue would end at sunset Monday.

“Unfortunately, five were found dead and eight people are still missing,” he said.

“We just came here after talking to the families,” he said. “I told them what I’m telling all of you now. There was a lot of hugging and a lot of crying. There was a lot of sadness and sorrow. But there was also a lot of hope and a lot of faith, still. I just want to tell all of these people that our deepest condolences go out to all of you.

“The focus will now shift” to a National Transportation Safety Board investigation, Captain Watson said.

The Coast Guard, he said, “would work very hard in the days to come, in the weeks to come, in the months to come with the NTSB to figure out what happened here so that we can hopefully it, learn lessons that will help us prevent this from happening. that will never happen again.

Six people were rescued a few hours after the craft capsized, and one person was found dead on the surface of the water the next day, the Coast Guard said. Another body was removed from the water on April 15 and two more were recovered by divers the next day. Captain Watson announced the recovery of a fifth body at Monday’s press conference.

The Coast Guard had searched for the missing for more than 175 hours and sent a scuba diving team to the boat’s hull in hopes of finding survivors trapped inside. But divers who hit the hull heard no response, the Coast Guard said Thursday evening.

The Coast Guard searched more than 9,268 square nautical miles – an effort that Captain Watson said included four Coast Guard cutters, three 45-foot response boats, six fixed-wing aircraft and three helicopters.

The vessel was on its starboard side after turning. When the Coast Guard arrived, rescuers faced waves of seven to nine feet and winds of 80 to 90 miles per hour. Images and video footage released by the Coast Guard showed waves pounding the side of the partially submerged ship.

The Coast Guard said the scene was a “major marine accident” and said it was investigating with assistance from the NTSB.

The 129-foot commercial lift boat capsized about eight miles off Port Fourchon, Louisiana, according to the Coast Guard. A spokesperson for Seacor Marine, a Houston-based shipping company, identified the vessel as the Seacor Power.

The Coast Guard received a distress message at approximately 4:30 p.m. on the day the vessel capsized.

Seacor did not say what the boat’s mission was that day. In a statement, the company thanked the Coast Guard and the “Good Samaritan Ships” that responded.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the capsizing of the vessel and are working closely with the United States Coast Guard and local authorities to support all efforts to locate our valued members and partners,” the company said in a statement. “Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone involved.”

Darra Morales told NOLA.com that her son, Chaz Morales, 37, a crane operator on the boat and a father of three, needed to take time off but decided to work an extra shift on the boat to earn money. ‘silver.

News of the capsizing passed through Port Fourchon, a major base of operations for offshore oil and gas companies that plays a role in supplying the country with about 18% of its total oil supply, according to the Grand Port Commission. The fork.

More than 400 large supply ships pass through the harbor canals every day and around 15,000 people per month are airlifted to offshore oil and gas sites off Port Fourchon, the commission said.

“It’s a dark feeling that we are feeling throughout the community right now,” said Rodney J. Gisclair Sr., vice-chairman of the Grand Lafourche Port Commission.

“We are a marine community, and tragedies like this take the community to heart,” he said. “We all feel a sense of loss. I don’t mean to say it’s inevitable, but it’s part of our life here on earth.

Lift boats are self-propelled work boats with wide open decks and are typically found along the Gulf Coast. They support drilling, construction and ocean exploration and can work in shallow or deep environments.

Harris Cheramie Jr., chairman of the Grand Lafourche Port Commission, said the families of those aboard the Seacor Power came not only from Port Fourchon, but from across the state.

The job is dangerous, said Cheramie, who was a sailor for over 30 years, but “it’s just part of life.”

“You hate to say it, but down here we are all raised with it, and you hope for the best that it doesn’t happen, and you thank the Lord every day when you come home,” Mr. Cheramie said.

He said the Seacor Power was most likely surprised by the strong winds that knocked her down. The storm, he said, had surprised other boaters, including a shrimp boat.

“It was an abnormal storm,” said Mr. Gisclair.

Severe weather had hit Louisiana, bringing wind gusts of over 60 miles per hour and an average of three to five inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a flash flood alert for much of the Louisiana coast.

Michael Levenson and Heather Murphy contributed reporting.

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Video: Police search for gunman in Austin filming

new video loaded: Police search for gunman at Austin Shooting

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Police search for gunman at Austin Shooting

Authorities said they were looking for Stephen Nicholas Broderick, 41, in a triple homicide in Austin, Texas on Sunday. “It appears to be a domestic incident,” said the city’s acting police chief.

When officers arrived, they located three people who were injured and were ultimately declared dead. All three are adults. We have two Hispanic women and a black man. Our suspect – at this point we think we know who it is. And he’s identified. And I’m going to publish his name, because it’s a matter of public safety at this point, because at this point he’s still not in custody. He is tentatively identified as Stephen Nicholas Broderick. Stephen Nicholas Broderick. He’s a 41-year-old black man. This is not an active shooting situation. We don’t call it that at the moment. It appears to be a domestic incident, and the victims were all known to our suspect. And so at this point, we don’t think this individual is aiming at random people to shoot them. This does not mean that it is not dangerous. He is still at large. We believe he is armed and very dangerous. At this point, we have lifted the shelter-in-place order. We tell people that they can go ahead and get out of their businesses and residences in this area, but stay alert and be safe.

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Trillion-dollar search for federal aid in cultural venues is interrupted by a glitch

As the government prepared to start accepting requests for a $ 16 billion relief fund for music clubs, theaters and other live event businesses on Thursday, thousands of desperate applicants eagerly awaited submit their documents as early as noon, when the system should open.

And then they waited. And I waited. Almost four hours later, the system was still not working at all, sending applicants into spasms of anxiety.

“It’s an absolute disaster,” Eric Sosa, owner of C’mon Everybody, a Brooklyn club, tweeted at the agency.

Shortly after 4 p.m., the Small Business Administration – which manages the initiative, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant – abandoned its efforts to recover the crashed system and shut it down for the day. No request was processed.

“Technical issues arose despite several successful tests of the application process,” Andrea Roebker, a spokesperson for the agency, said in a written statement.

After discussions with the vendors who built the system, the agency decided “to close the portal to ensure fair and equal access when reopened, as it is on a first come, first served basis,” Ms. Roebker said. . “This decision was not taken lightly, as we understand the need to quickly relieve this hard-hit industry.”

In social media forums and Zoom calls, frustrated candidates vented out and shared their anger.

“It’s hard to keep hearing ‘help is on the way’ and not being able to apply,” said Tom Weyman, the director of programming at the Columbus Theater in Providence, RI. “I don’t think any d ‘between us did not think of the application the process would be completely fluid, but it is life or death for our rooms. ”

The collapse echoed problems the agency faced last year in accepting applications for the paycheck protection program, which it also oversees. When this program was launched, the agency’s overwhelmed systems seized up – and the same happened again, weeks later, when a new round of funding became available.

Applicants for the grant program were incredulous that the agency was not better prepared – especially because funds must be distributed based on the order in which people apply. Those who receive their application early have the best chance of getting help before the money runs out.

“It pits the venues against each other because we’re all crazy for it,” Brooklyn club owner Mr. Sosa said in an interview. “And it shouldn’t be. We are all a community. ”

For companies like Crowbar, a music club in Tampa, Florida, getting a grant is a matter of survival. Tom DeGeorge, the principal owner of Crowbar, took out more than $ 200,000 in personal loans to keep the business afloat after it closed last year, including one using his liquor license as collateral.

More than a year later, the club reopened with a handful of downsized events, but the business is still operating in the red, DeGeorge said.

“We wasted an entire year of concerts in the blink of an eye, which was almost a million dollars in revenue,” said DeGeorge. “That’s why we need this grant so badly.”

The aid was authorized by Congress late last year after months of lobbying by an ad hoc coalition of concert halls and other groups who have warned of losing everything a sector of the artistic economy.

For concert halls in particular, the past year has been a rush to stay afloat, with local club owners running crowdfunding campaigns, selling t-shirts and racking their brains for a creative way to fundraise. funds. For the holidays, the Subterranean Club of Chicago, for example, agreed to place the names of customers on its marquee for donations of $ 250 or more.

“It has been the busiest year,” said Robert Gomez, the main owner of Subterranean, in an interview. “But it all revolves around the question, ‘Where am I going to get funding from? “”

Even before Thursday’s fiasco, the opening of the closed sites program was fraught with pitfalls and confusion.

The Small Business Administration released a 58-page guide for applicants late Wednesday night, then quickly took it offline. A revised version of the guide was released a few minutes before the portal opened on Thursday. (A spokeswoman for the agency said the guide needs to be updated to reflect “some last minute system changes”.)

And less than two hours before the agency was supposed to start accepting applications, its inspector general issued an alert if there were “serious concerns” about the program’s waste and fraud controls. The Small Business Administration’s current audit plan “exposes billions of dollars to possible misuse of funds,” the Inspector General wrote in a report.

Successful applicants will receive a grant equal to 45% of their gross earned income from 2019, up to $ 10 million. Those who lost 90% of their income (from the previous year) after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic will have a 14-day priority window to receive the money, followed by another 14-day period to those who lost 70% or more. If any funds remain after that, they will go to applicants who experienced a 25% loss in sales in at least one quarter of 2020. Sites owned by large companies, like Live Nation or AEG, are not eligible.

The application process is extensive, with detailed questions about budgets, staff and site equipment.

“They want to make sure that you don’t just put a piano in the corner of an Italian restaurant and call yourself a concert hall,” said Blayne Tucker, attorney for several music venues in Texas.

Even with the grants, concert halls can face many dry months before touring and live events return to pre-pandemic levels.

The grant program also provides assistance to Broadway theaters, performing arts centers, and even zoos, which share many of the same economic hardships.

The Pablo Center at the Confluence, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, for example, was able to raise around $ 1 million from donations and grants during the pandemic, but it is still $ 1.2 million short of its spending on annual fixed operations, said Jason Jon Anderson, its executive director.

“By the time we open again, October 2021 at the earliest, we will have been closed longer than we had been,” he added. (The center opened in 2018, at a cost of $ 60 million.)

The thousands of small clubs that dot the national concert map lack access to major donors and, in many cases, have survived on the fumes for months.

Stephen Chilton, owner of the 300-seat Rebel Lounge in Phoenix, said he took out “a few hundred thousand” loans to keep the club afloat. In October, it reopened with a pop-up cafe inside, and the club hosts some events, like trivia contests and open mic shows.

“We lose a lot less than what we lost when we were completely closed,” said Mr. Chilton, “but that doesn’t make up for the revenue lost in hosting events.”

The Rebel Lounge is hoping a grant will help it survive until it can bring back a full array of concerts. What if its application fails?

“There is no plan B,” said Mr. Chilton.

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Biden revokes Trump order in search of ‘classic’ civic architecture

Another classic age of sorts has come to an end – an age of very short duration.

An executive order former President Donald J. Trump issued in the dying days of his administration, which sought to make classical architecture the default style for new federal buildings, was revoked this week by then President Biden that the White House continues its policies of the previous administration.

Although the ordinance issued by Trump does not ban new designs, it has been strongly condemned by several leading architects and architectural associations – including the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation – for attempting to impose a preferred official national style. .

Trump’s executive order, which he signed in December after losing his candidacy for re-election, was titled “Promoting Beautiful Federal Municipal Architecture,” and he praised Greco-Roman architecture as “beautiful” while describing the modernist conceptions as “ugly and incoherent”. Those who defended the order heralded it as a throwback to a bygone federalist-style era. The American Institute of Architects, which had said it was ‘appalled’ by the Trump order, hailed the decision to revoke.

The debate was not just about aesthetics.

“By rescinding this order, the Biden administration has restored communities with the freedom of design choice that is essential to design federal buildings that best serve the public,” institute president Peter Exley said in a statement. “This is fundamental to an architect’s process and to achieving the highest quality buildings possible.”

New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman condemned the measure during his discussion last February. “Just having this argument is humiliating,” he wrote.

President Biden’s executive order, released Wednesday, directs government officials “to promptly consider taking action to rescind any orders, rules, regulations, guidelines or policies, or parts thereof” that have allegedly implemented Trump’s decree. He also called for the removal of any “post of staff, committee, working group or other entity created” to carry it out.

It is still unclear what wider impact the revocation might have on the new administration’s relations with the other people Trump has appointed as head of the United States Fine Arts Commission.

Justin Shubow, the newly elected Chairman of the Fine Arts Commission and appointed by Trump, said it was “disappointing” to see the former president’s executive order, which he had called for, revoked. As one of the foremost critics of modern architecture and president of the National Civic Art Society, Shubow has helped bring Trump’s attention to the issue. On its website, the group denounces modernist styles like brutalism as “blobitechture” and “parasite”.

Shubow said in an interview that the company “intends to work with the Biden administration to promote change that will build a truly democratic architecture.”

Opposing the order proposed last year, the National Trust said in a statement that while it values ​​traditional and classical buildings, any attempt to stifle the full record of American architecture by requiring that Federal buildings being designed, and even modified, to conform to a shortlist of styles determined by the federal government is inconsistent with historic preservation values. “

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After the Russian cyberattack, search for answers and debate on retaliation

These options, according to officials familiar with the discussions, include variations of measures President Barack Obama envisioned and rejected after the hack into state electoral systems in 2016. They have included the use of cyber tools to reveal or freeze assets secretly held by Russian President Vladimir V.

At a White House press briefing on Tuesday, Jen Psaki, the press secretary, said an American response would come in “weeks, not months.” But first, the United States will have to make a definitive statement that one of the Russian intelligence agencies was responsible.

“There’s not a lot of suspense right now about what we’re talking about,” said Smith, who added that while Microsoft had not identified the intruders, nothing contradicted the intelligence services’ tentative conclusion. Americans that Russia was “likely to be the culprit.

Mr. Biden will then have to overcome another problem: to differentiate what the Russians have done from the kind of spying the United States is doing, including against its allies. Officials are already preparing the ground for this argument. Last week, Biden called the malware intrusion “reckless” because it affected more than 18,000 businesses, mostly in the United States. Privately, US officials are already testing the argument that Russia should be punished for “indiscriminate” hacking, while the US uses similar tools for only targeted purposes. It is not certain that this argument will convince others to join in the measures to make Russia pay.

Mr Biden’s upcoming actions appear likely to include executive orders on improving the resilience of government agencies and businesses to attacks and proposals for mandatory hacking disclosure. Many companies that have lost data to the Russians have not admitted it, either out of embarrassment or because there is no legal obligation to disclose even a major breach.

But the subtext of most of the testimony was that Russian intelligence might have linked American networks with “backdoor” access. And that possibility – just fear – could limit the type of punishment Mr. Biden inflicts. While he had promised during the presidential transition to impose “substantial costs”, previous promises to hold Russia accountable did not create enough deterrence to worry them about punishment if they were caught in the hack. most sophisticated supply chain in history.

“The reality is they’re going to come back, and they’re going to be a pervasive offense,” said Kevin Mandia, chief executive of FireEye, the cybersecurity firm that discovered the intrusion after the Russians stole its fighting tools. the Pirates. Mr Mandia, a former air force intelligence officer, noted that “since the front door was locked” hackers have turned to known but poorly addressed vulnerabilities. In this case, they entered the network management software update system created by a company called SolarWinds. When the SolarWinds Orion software users downloaded the updated versions of the code, the Russians were there.

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In search of fresh start with Iraq, Biden avoids drawing red lines with Iran

Diplomatic and military officials said Mr. Biden’s broader goal was to reduce hostilities between the United States and Iran and their proxies in the region, including Iraq, and to seek a return to peace. diplomacy with Tehran. This week, the United States opened an opening to new negotiations with Iran to limit its nuclear program.

The reconciliation effort comes as the Biden administration is simultaneously watching the murderous militias in Iraq that officials say are acting with Tehran’s help and, perhaps, orders. Attacks on the Americans by Iran or its proxies could defeat the broader diplomatic goal, officials said.

They could also reverse a new attempt by the United States to persuade Iraq to move away from Iran – without hoping to sever their spiritual, economic and cultural ties – by offering incentives instead of threats.

“For America to pursue our values ​​and interests around the world, we must be engaged with the world,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said after the Erbil attack. “And, of course, engaging in some corners of the world carries additional risks.”

So far, two senior Defense Department officials said, there has been no detailed discussion at Pentagon central command over a specific military response to the Erbil strike on Monday, as US authorities and Iraqi women are investigating who launched the attack. Mr. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, who flew three combat missions in Iraq, spoke to their Iraqi counterparts to offer assistance with the investigation.

Officials blame the Erbil rockets from Iran-backed militias such as Kataib Hezbollah and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, which were held responsible for previous similar strikes. But officials from the White House, State Department and the Pentagon refrained from making specific charges.

“What an important test for the new administration,” Simone Ledeen, senior Pentagon politician in the Middle East until last month, said on Twitter Monday. “Will be interested to see if there is an answer.”

Iraqis have long been suspicious of US officials who, after ordering a military invasion in 2003 and deposing Saddam Hussein, are still blamed for the security vacuum that followed after the US occupation authorities disbanded the Iraqi military. Anger towards the United States erupted again last month, when the Trump administration pardoned four American security contractors for their role in the 2007 massacre of 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad.

As vice president of the Obama administration, Biden was among those who oversaw the end of the American-led war in Iraq and the withdrawal of the last 50,000 combat troops in 2011, only to be surprised by the rise of the Islamic State two years later.

Officials said Mr Biden had a very personal interest in Iraq, where his son Beau served in the Army National Guard and was exposed to toxic burners that could have led to brain cancer which l ‘killed in 2015.

Its Secretary of State, Mr. Blinken, has begun what a senior State Department official on Friday described as a review of US policy in Iraq that allows for a change in approach. The review will include comments from the Pentagon before it is presented to the White House, possibly as early as next month.

The administration plans to return hundreds of diplomats, security agents and contractors to the Baghdad embassy; staffing was downsized in May 2019 during a period of heightened tensions with Iran, resulting in fluctuating staffing levels since.

The State Department is not yet ready to reopen its consulate in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, a key listening post near the Iranian border, which the Trump administration closed in September 2018 after the compound of the airport where he was based was blown up by militias. No one was injured in this attack.

The department is also considering expanding the limits the Trump administration has placed on the amount of energy the Iraqi government can buy from Iran – an arrangement that critics say could fund attacks from Tehran, but provide a lifeline for millions of people who would otherwise go without electricity.

Iraqi bank officials met with U.S. diplomats this week on the issue, which currently forces Baghdad to ask Washington every few months for a waiver to buy energy without facing sanctions.

Two other officials in the Biden administration said the United States Agency for International Development is also considering sending more humanitarian aid to parts of Iraq, mainly to the western and northern regions. north of the country, which have been the hardest hit by the Islamic State.

But several Pentagon officials and senior officers said the red lines of Biden’s team were unclear when it came to protecting U.S. personnel in Iraq from Iran or its proxy fighters.

After a rocket attack that killed an American contractor in December 2019, the United States blamed Kataib Hezbollah and shelled five of its bases. This led to a siege at the U.S. Embassy, ​​where protesters trapped diplomats inside the sprawling compound for two days and, in turn, prompted Mr. Trump to order a military strike that killed Iran’s most revered general on his way to Baghdad.

David Schenker, Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Policy under Mr. Trump’s leadership, said it was the responsibility of the Iraqi Shiite government to coerce Iran-backed militias.

“I don’t think that by spreading flattery on Iran you will get better behavior in Iraq,” Schenker, now a senior researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said in a statement. interview. “At the end of the day, it’s all about Iran – the missiles, the weapons, the funding, the leadership all come from Tehran.”

Military officials say 14 rockets of 107 millimeters were launched in the attack on Erbil, but six failed. The attack from territory controlled by Kurdish forces raised concerns about security gaps in what has been considered the safest region of Iraq.

A little-known group known as Awliya al Dam, or Guardians of the Blood, claimed responsibility for the attack, but they provided no evidence. The group claimed responsibility for two bombings last August against convoys of US contractors carrying military equipment.

A rust prevention system was in place and operating at Erbil airport at the time of the attack, but the rockets landed in an area not covered by the system, a US military official said.

U.S. commanders said the 2,500 troops currently in Iraq – about half the number last summer – would be enough not only to act as a bulwark against Iranian proxies and other influences, but also to aid the forces of Iraqi security to hunt down the remaining pockets of Islamics. State fighters.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday he would increase his military mission in Iraq to 4,000 out of 500 troops, and expand training beyond Baghdad.

Jane Arraf contributed reporting from Amman, Jordan.

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My search for the time lost in a slice of Jewish rye

Was it really as good as I remembered?

My wife was asking. For years she had heard me talk about the rye bread of my youth, and now, after decades of deprivation, I had the real item in front of me: a rye sandwich from Gottlieb.

Gottlieb’s Bakery in downtown Savannah, Georgia had closed in 1994, and I had left town years before. It had been over 30 years since I last tasted his rye bread. It was conceivable that I had romanticized him in the intervening years.

The sandwich on hand was pedestrian-friendly: vegan bologna, plastic-shelled greens, a slice of purple onion, and Dijon mustard. But the first sharp bite of rye was transporting. The last time I ate it I was a carnivore, making Reubens with my mom’s corned beef instead of the tempeh I use now.

The knotty pine-paneled kitchen of our post-war suburban home was scorching and fragrant with corned beef brine, mingled with the intoxicating wave of rye that turned golden in the Sunbeam chrome toaster. My job, which I loved as a teenager, was carving thin, even slices for the whole family with a finely sharpened butcher’s knife. As the six of us were crowded around the kitchen table, the usual banter and bickering gave way to industrious quiet as we each assembled our sandwiches.

I took the bread for granted. But now I realize that my parents went out of their way to incorporate this Old World taste into our mid-20th century American diet. The standard then was bread made in the factory and packaged in the supermarket.

Every now and then Dad would grab a loaf of bread from Gottlieb’s on his way home from his downtown office and ask for it to be sliced ​​thinly. As a child, when I was with him, I watched in awe as one of Gottlieb’s men nestle him in a machine, flick a switch, and a jaw of jagged blades leaped up and down, sawing it into an accordion of perfect slices. .

Bread, with its moist crust and zesty flavor, adorned chicken and roast beef sandwiches. At home I would grill him for a shrimp salad sandwich. But there was nothing better than a slice of bare rye for breakfast, grilled in butter; eggs and oatmeal optional.

Finding a suitable replacement was the least of my concerns when I moved to New York City in the early ’90s. The city, after all, was the Jewish pastry capital of the world. There were the best bagels, the best rugelach. The brash, brash New Yorkers I had met in college assured me that everything in New York City was “the best.”

During a visit as a child, I marveled at the city’s Jewish grocery stores, black-hat Hasidim and the Jewish mayor, all of which astonished a boy from Savannah, where Jews were a tiny minority. This town surely had world class rye bread.

For years, I have tasted the brands and bakeries in the city. A childhood friend of mine, a kid named David Levy, had a poster in his bedroom, stolen from a famous advertising campaign of the time, of a smiling black kid eating a rye sandwich under the slogan, “You don’t. you don’t have to be a Jew to love Levy.

I tried Levy. I didn’t like it.

I have tried the other supermarket brands. I bought breads from the best Jewish bakeries on the Lower East Side and downtown. I ordered rye sandwiches from famous (“best!”) Jewish grocery stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn, where I lived. None has matched the rye in my memory.

After a few years, a startling truth began to enter me: this rye was a rare thing.

And a corollary: perhaps, in this case, New York did not have the best.

I should specify that I do not claim to have tried all rye breads. I didn’t do a rigorous side-by-side blind tasting either. I cannot say with any objective authority that Gottlieb’s rye was the best in the world.

My wife wisely suggested that maybe the best rye was the one you grew up with. I’m sure there is some truth to this. Especially if you grew up in Savannah when Gottlieb was there.

Gottlieb’s was the only Jewish bakery in town. It has not always been the case. In its early decades, it had competition from Buchsbaum Bakery, the storefront business of my great-grandparents. My grandfather delivered bread on horseback and in wagon to the working class Jewish community on the Westside, then Savannah’s shtetl of immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Our family’s bakery did not outlive my great-grandparents, but Gottlieb’s, founded in 1884, did.

One of the reasons Gottlieb suffered was related to local synagogue politics. Savannah, much to the astonishment of my friends at Yankee college, had taken in Jews soon after its founding in 1733. But by the turn of the 20th century, the few thousand Jews had split into three congregations representing the main branches of Judaism. American. And for any community-wide activity, like Hebrew school or day camp, Orthodox rabbis have sought to impose their strict rules on everyone, including kosher food.

One consequence, since Gottlieb’s was the only kosher bakery, was that snack time at the day camp was bug juice and a thick, dense shortbread from Gottlieb.

No bar mitzvah night was complete without a bad local band – a cover of the Doobie Brothers’ “China Grove” was in order – and tables filled with Gottlieb goodies: rich brownies, chewy rainbow cakes, cakes. white iced canasta and petits fours adorned with a silver candy bead or the name of the boy or the maid of honor in blue icing.

During those years, Gottlieb’s rye was part of the way my parents took care of my three sisters and me. Decades later, it reappeared when we were taking care of my 80-year-old widowed mother.

In 2018, she was shot down by Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease that kills most people her age. My sisters and I started to visit Savannah in weeklong shifts to help take care of her.

During a visit, I learned that two members of the fourth generation of Savannah Gottliebs, Laurence and Michael, had reopened the family bakery in a soulless mall on the south side of Savannah. Bright and modern, it lacked the flour-dusted vibe of its forerunner in the city’s oak-lined Victorian neighborhood. But it had a lot of my old favorites: sticky pecan breads, Danish cheese, chocolate chewies and, I was delighted to find, rye bread.

I started stopping off my sightseeing: I would drop by Gottlieb’s on my way to the airport, grab two loaves, thinly sliced ​​and double-wrapped in a double bag, put them in my suitcase and immediately freeze them in my return. I then made grilled cheese, tempeh Reubens, tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, and a smoked whitefish salad on toast until my supply ran out.

It was the same bread I ate as a child, Laurence Gottlieb told me, the recipe given to her by her father, Isser Gottlieb, who ran the bakery, first with his father and uncle, for over 50 years. years. Isser said the recipe was the same one his grandfather brought with him from Eastern Europe, according to Isser’s widow Ava.

Jewish-style rye is sourdough, and that rye flavor embedded in my taste memory comes from the starter. Laurence made hers with medium rye flour, water and natural yeast.

The recipe is also moderate: “Salt, baking powder, caraway seeds, flour, water and a starter – that’s it,” he says. “The shelf life is not there,” he admitted, but that’s not the problem.

There had been minor adjustments over the years, not to the recipe for inheritance but to the process. The old Bull Street bakery didn’t have air conditioning, so bakers threw ice cream into the dough as they mixed it to lower the temperature. The starter was mixed by hand in a large bucket, a job no one wanted because it stuck to your skin like wet cement.

Gottlieb’s made Deli Rye, Corn Rye, Onion Rye, Seedless Rye, Rye Rolls, and Marbled Rye with Pumpernickel Swirls. They were shipped by Greyhound bus to small towns in Georgia and South Carolina that did not have their own bakeries, and were cast overnight to worshipers further afield who were happy to pay a premium for a sandwich. of superior quality.

Like me, Ava Gottlieb remembers visits to New York City delicatessens that were culinary exciting, but bread disappointing. “It wasn’t because I was prejudiced,” she says. “Our bread was better.”

The original bakery succumbed to supermarket competition in 1994, a victim of the American preference for convenience over quality.

Laurence, now 47, grew up in the bakery, but trained as a chef and cooked in stylish restaurants. Then one day he walked into a bakery. “I walked in and fell in love with it,” he says. “The smell, the sweetness of baked yeast is doing something in my mind.”

In 2016, he opened the new Gottlieb’s bakery with his brother.

In March, our trips to Savannah ended. My mother’s assisted living facility banned visitors as the start of the pandemic loomed. That didn’t stop my mother from contracting Covid-19, landing her in the isolation room of an understaffed rehabilitation center. She recovered from the virus but died there, alone, in August after falling.

My sisters and I flew to Savannah to bury him. The funeral, in a cemetery overlooking the swamp on a hot August morning, was sparse. A handful of parents sat amid the rows of empty folding chairs and the insistent sound of cicadas. The rest were watching Zoom.

Before returning to New York, I had one last race to do. I drove my mom’s battered Toyota at Gottlieb.

It was gone.

Part of the mall was being demolished. The bakery had been evicted. With the retail market in a spin, the Gottlieb brothers had no plans to reopen. Gottlieb’s all-too-brief rye recovery was over.

The smell and taste of things, wrote Proust, hold in “the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of memory”. A piece of madeleine in a spoonful of tea evokes a childhood in a French village; a bite of rye with Dijon mustard calls mine in Savannah.

In the roaring white silence of the plane back to New York, my mother’s voice was already fading in my head, the solid strength of her life breaking into bits of half-remembered anecdotes. The rye bread was gone.

It was as good as I remembered.

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Conservatives search the Capitol for damage to building or its art

Barbara A. Wolanin didn’t leave her television much Wednesday afternoon, looking terrified, she said, as hundreds of Trump rioters rushed into the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building where eight large paintings historical framed are hanging.

She was once a curator for the architect of the Capitol, the office that preserves and maintains the art and architecture of the building. She knew much better than most of the horrible possibilities that presented themselves.

What if the rioters reduced John Trumbull’s “Declaration of Independence,” one of the great paintings from the early 1800s that depicts the Americans’ struggle for freedom? Or smashed the bronze bust of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

“All the art of the Capitol is essentially visible,” said Dr Wolanin, 77, who was curator of the Capitol architect from 1985 until his retirement in 2015. “There isn’t a lot of hidden things. “

For nearly four hours, the collection she had spent more than 30 years caring for was at the mercy of a mob that broke into rooms on the south side of the Capitol (including the office of the President of the Nancy Pelosi Room), smashed windows and then walked through National Statuary Hall, waving American, Confederate and “Trump is my President” flags.

Their stay in the building is now represented by the damage they left behind. A 19th-century marble bust of former President Zachary Taylor was spotted with what appeared to be blood. A photo frame was left on the ground, the image disappeared.

The photos and videos, some taken indoors by the rioters themselves, were startling. One man crammed a framed photo of the Dalai Lama into his backpack, while another smoked marijuana in a room with maps of Oregon on the wall. A man in a leather jacket tore up a parchment with Chinese characters.

“Yeah, look at all that fancy furniture they have!” said a man in a winter parka and a red hat.

By the time Capitol Police secured the building at around 6 p.m., the windows and doors of the historic building had been smashed, offices had been ransacked and some furniture had been damaged, knocked over or looted.

Detailed damage assessments from the Capitol Architect or the U.S. Capitol Police have yet to be released. But the singular works of art that curators regard as the building’s treasures do not appear to have sustained major damage.

It could have been a lot worse, said Dr Wolanin.

His greatest concern were the 18-foot large-scale paintings by Trumbull and other artists that depict scenes from the founding of the republic in the rotunda, and the dozens of statues that fill the National Statuary Hall to the south.

“The Apotheosis of Washington”, a fresco on the ceiling of the Rotunda that shows the country’s first president flanked by Liberty, Victory, Science, War and other allegorical figures, was inaccessible in any way. security.

Particularly vulnerable was the National Statuary Hall south of the Rotunda, which contains 35 statues of prominent Americans, part of a collection of 100 statues on the Capitol – two from each of the 50 states – which commemorate notable figures like Samuel Adams, Rosa Parks and Thomas Edison.

The Capitol painting collection also includes works by artists such as Thomas Crawford and Constantino Brumidi, with a mix of portraits and landscapes. George Washington’s original paintings, such as the one in the Old Senate Chamber, are among the most valuable.

The building itself is a work of art, a model of neoclassical architecture designed by Dr. William Thornton in the late 1700s and completed by Boston architect Charles Bulfinch in 1826. But in the height of the world riot, people climbed its exterior using ropes, while others used poles as rams to open an entrance. Inside, a pro-Trump loyalist posed on the Senate dais while another hung from the bedroom balcony.

The history of the Capitol as a place is captured in the hallway of the Hall of Capitols in the House wing, in a series of murals by Allyn Cox. Eight milestones from the building’s first 65 years and portraits of the nine men appointed architect of the Capitol between 1793 and 1995 adorn the ceilings.

Dr Wolanin said it was the first time that the Capitol’s collection had been threatened on this scale. Although individual rooms have suffered “a little” damage in the past, such as when an armed man broke into the building in 1998 and killed two police officers and injured a tourist before being captured, the latest violation by a large violent group from during the War of 1812 almost 200 years ago, when British troops set the building on fire.

“They had no respect for any of these things,” Dr Wolanin said of the mobs that ransacked the building on Wednesday. “That’s what’s really scary.”

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Utah man in search of treasure pleads guilty to digging in national park

A Utah man who searched for buried treasure in Yellowstone National Park has pleaded guilty to two felonies and now faces years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, a Wyoming federal prosecutor said Tuesday.

The man, Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52, pleaded guilty Monday to causing more than $ 1,000 in damage to federal property as well as digging or trafficking archaeological resources during the excavation of the Fort Yellowstone Cemetery, which can be found in the park, from October 1. , 2019, until May 24, 2020, Mark Klaassen, the U.S. attorney for Wyoming, said in a press release.

Mr Craythorn was looking for a treasure hidden by Forrest Fenn over a decade ago, Mr Klaassen said.

“Forrest Fenn’s scavenger hunt was often viewed as a harmless hijack, but in this case it led to substantial damage to important public resources,” Klaassen said in the statement. “The defendant let his quest for discovery win out over respect for the law.”

The crimes Mr. Craythorn has pleaded guilty to carry combined maximum sentences of up to 12 years in prison and a $ 270,000 fine, prosecutors say. He is expected to be sentenced on March 17.

Christopher Grant Humphrey, an attorney for Mr Craythorn, declined to comment on Tuesday.

In a 2010 book, Mr. Fenn, an eccentric art dealer, said he hid a bronze chest full of gold nuggets and jewelry. He encouraged people to find it, and many have tried. Thousands of people searched for the treasure, and at least two people died trying to find it.

Mr Fenn died on September 7 at his home in Santa Fe, NM, just three months after saying someone had finally found the treasure chest, which he estimated to contain $ 2 million worth of nuggets from gold, sapphires, diamonds, Colombian pre-artefacts and other riches.

At the time, the person who found the treasure disclosed his identity to Mr. Fenn, but remained anonymous to the public. After the discovery was announced, a Chicago attorney took legal action against Mr Fenn and the anonymous finder, and said she painstakingly searched for the treasure when someone hacked her cell phone and stole items. information that had led them to the treasure.

Last month, Jack Stuef, a 32-year-old medical student from Michigan, publicly identified himself as the person who found the treasure.

In June, Mr Fenn said on his website that the treasure “was under a canopy of stars in the lush, wooded Rocky Mountain foliage and had not budged from where I had it.” hidden more than 10 years ago ”. He did not give a precise location.

Mr. Fenn had said he buried the treasure and encouraged the hunt to encourage people to “get off their couch.”

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Travel News

Coast Guard suspends search for missing boat with 20 on board

MIAMI – The US Coast Guard on Friday suspended their search for a late boat that was heading to Florida from the Bahamas with 20 people on board, after authorities said they had exhausted their efforts to find it.

The boat, a 29-foot blue and white Mako Cuddy Cabin, took off from Bimini, Bahamas on Monday, the Coast Guard said.

The boat did not arrive as expected in Lake Worth Beach, Florida, approximately 10 miles south of Palm Beach.

The Coast Guard said it and other agencies, including authorities in the Bahamas, searched approximately 17,000 square miles for more than three days.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the missing,” said Captain Stephen V. Burdian, the Seventh District response chief. “I encourage anyone with information about the people on board to contact us as soon as possible.”

Authorities in the Bahamas reported the boat missing after a family member of someone on board did not receive a call that the boat had traveled to South Florida, the master said on Saturday. Third Class Jose Hernandez.

“Anytime we have to cancel a suspension it’s not an easy call,” he said.

Many details of the trip, including the reason the ship was heading to Florida and the names and nationalities of those on board, were not immediately known, sea master Hernandez said.

The search could resume if officials get credible new information about the boat, he said.

“This time it was a search and rescue business,” he said. “For now, the suspension just means that we are focusing on other cases until we get more information, and then we will look for that particular vessel and those people.”