Friday, September 28, 2007

Woman gives birth to a 17-pound baby (her 12th child)

I'm reminded of the story of Groucho Marx asking a woman on his show why she had so many children. She replied that she loved her husband. "I love my cigar, too," he said, "but I take it out of my mouth once in a while."
Here's the story.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

renaming the blog

I'm thinking of renaming the blog to reflect the fact that it's not solely for Rodgers Forge residents. Any suggestions? I'd like something that encompasses the North Baltimore-Towson region, but if that area has a name, it's unknown to me.

What do you think?

Leave a comment here (click link below) or email rodgers.forge@hotmail.com.

Thanks!


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lots of garage sales this weekend

See the section on the lower right part of the blog.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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wine event for Mother Seton Academy

Mother Seton Academy Wine Harvest
Saturday, October 13th
4-7pm
Loyola College, McGuire Hall

Sponsored by Loyola College & Grand Cru in Belvedere Square

Join us for a grand wine tasting event to benefit
Mother Seton Academy, featuring the
finest wines available in Maryland and wine courses
with noted wine experts Kevin Atticks and Nelson Carey.

Mother Seton Academy, an all-scholarship, independent,
co-educational Catholic middle school serving economically
disadvantaged children living in Baltimore City, is
hosting the "Mother Seton Academy Wine Harvest" in partnership
with Grand Cru, an exceptional wine shop in the
Belvedere Square Marketplace.

The tasting features the finest wines brought in from distributors
throughout the State of Maryland. Work your way from light,
summery whites to bold, assertive reds.
Or, join in a wine class for a guided tasting of select wines.

details here


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Ex-Ferris broker pleads guilty to fraud

fascinating story...
Sun: A former Ferris Baker Watts broker has pleaded guilty to helping a client carry out a multimillion-dollar stock manipulation scheme. story


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Baltimore family joins health care showdown

Sun: Bonnie and Halsey Frost say the federal health insurance program enabled them to afford medical care for two of their children who were badly injured in a traffic accident. President Bush has said he will veto a bill that would extend the program for another five years. story

(Meanwhile, Bush asks for $190 billion for Iraq.)


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Home-schooling organization warns parents of county’s new online program

Examiner: A nationally focused home-schooling organization advised its members in Baltimore County who home-school their children to steer clear of a pilot program offered by the county, because it inadvertently brings in a boatload of state funding for the school district and, they say, removes God from the curriculum.
story

These sound pro to neutral to me, not something to warn against. Red alert! Red alert! The county wants money for services provided! Not only that, they want their program to be constitutional! Oh, what will we tell the children?!


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lots of kids' toys, jewelry recalled

Also: Kolcraft Recalls Play Yards After the Death of a
10-Month-Old Child



1. RC2 Corp. Recalls Additional Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Toys
Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

2. Target Recalls Children's Toy Gardening Tools and Chairs Due to
Violation of Lead Paint Standard

3. RC2 Recalls Knights of the Sword Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint
Standard

4. Children's Toy Rakes Sold Exclusively at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft
Stores Recalled Due to Violation of Lead in Paint Standard

5. Guidecraft Inc. Recalls Children's Puppet Theaters Due to Violation
of Lead Paint Standard

6. Children's Spinning Wheel-Metal Necklaces Recalled By Rhode Island
Novelty Due to Risk of Lead Exposure

7. TOBY N.Y.C. Expands Children's Metal Jewelry Recall Due to Risk of
Lead Exposure
details here


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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

part of Roland Ave. closed

Sun: Roland Avenue between 38th and 41st streets in North Baltimore is closed because of a water main break, according to the city's Department of Transportation. The closure of the north and southbound lanes will be in effect until repairs are completed, the agency said.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area. Drivers headed north are being redirected west onto 37th Street, north onto Falls Road, east onto 41st Street and back to Roland. Southbound traffic is being redirected west onto 41st., south onto Falls Road, east onto 37th Street and back to Roland.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Paws on Parade, Oct. 21

Paws on Parade 2007 will take place
Sunday, October 21 from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
on the grounds of the Humane Society of Baltimore County.

The walk will take place at what we hope will be the peak of the Fall colors.
The 1.5 mile walk route winds through the beautiful rolling hills and fields of the
Humane Society’s wildlife sanctuary. This fundraising walk is one of the very best ways to enjoy the spectacular Fall colors!

This year’s walk will be the biggest and best ever with longer hours, more activities, new activities for children, a Blessing of the Animals by Rev. Joyce Klein, music by Karen Goldberg, canine frisbee and flyball demonstrations, and and the very best Halloween costume competition for animals in the Baltimore area! details


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Milkshake concert Sunday 9/30

At 4:30 p.m. at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Rodgers Forge playgroup starting up

This was posted to the Rodgers Forge listserv:
I am interested in getting together with other Rodgers Forge SAHM who
have babies. I have a 6 month old daugther and would be fun to start a
play group in the neighborhood. Let me know if you are or know anyone
who would be interested.
Jorie
posting: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rodgers_forge/


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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Garrison Keillor at Enoch Pratt, Oct. 14

Garrison Keillor will be appearing at Central Library to read from his new Lake Wobegon novel, Pontoon, and will be followed by a book signing. Sunday, October 14th at 6pm. Open limited seating- doors open at 5:30 pm. Information at www.prattlibrary.org.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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more on the GM strike

From The Sun.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Home prices fall -- far

(AP/Sun): The decline in U.S. home prices accelerated nationwide in July, posting the steepest drop in 16 years, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index released today. story


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Baltimore Book Festival is this weekend

Sept. 28-30
"Located in historic Mount Vernon Square, the Washington Monument overlooks the festival site, whose manicured parks and cobblestone streets are the perfect location for a weekend outing. In 2007, our roster of 150+ author appearances includes Nikki Giovanni, Pearl Cleage, Tim Gunn, Rev Run & Justine Simmons, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Karrine Steffans, Tina Louise, Earl “Bubba” Hiers, Cat Cora, Stephen Hunter, David Matthews, Stephen Dixon, Jacqueline Wilson, Roscoe Orman, Rafael Alvarez and many more!

Dynamic, personal interaction between readers and authors is the hallmark of our festival - please explore the stage schedules to learn about all the authors attending this year’s event. We look forward to seeing you at the Baltimore Book Festival!" details


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O'Malley is looking at gas tax

Sun: Maryland's gasoline tax would go up in 18 months - and possibly sooner - if Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to add $400 million a year in transportation funding is approved by the General Assembly. Although an immediate increase in the gas tax is not part of the $2 billion revenue plan the Democratic governor has been rolling out over the past week, he said yesterday that he will push to tie future increases to the rising cost of road and bridge construction materials. story

(I think this would be easier to swallow if it went toward public-transportation initiatives.)


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Universities try to cut costs of textbooks

Examiner: The cost of college textbooks is spiraling out of control, and some schools are fighting back.

The practice of bundling — packaging textbooks, CDs, quizzes and supplementary material for one price — and requiring students to buy newly printed editions of standard textbooks are setting students and their parents back about $800 annually, according to the National Association of College Stores. story


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B County starting free online lessons for home schoolers

Examiner: Baltimore County's school system will start testing a free full-time online school this week.

The Baltimore County Virtual Instruction Program, thought to be the first of its kind in Maryland, will provide certified teachers and lesson plans for home-schooled students. story

And Sun story.


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6-year-old Colin Jackson of Crofton is found

According to this website: http://www.findcolinjackson.com/
Examiner story about his mom looking for him.


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GOP no-shows disappointing to Morgan State

Examiner: By skipping the presidential debate at Morgan State University, the Republican front-runners appear as if they don’t care about the African-American community, said students and professors at the historically black college.
story


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Monday, September 24, 2007

Volunteer Café

BVU Volunteer Central’s Volunteer Café


Tuesday, October 2 at 6:30-8 p.m.
Learn about volunteering opportunities in Baltimore and meet with local non-profit organizations Meals on Wheels, Maryland SPCA, AFS-Intercultural Program, Salvation Army, and Tuttie's Place. Registration required. Visit www.volunteercentral.net for more information.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Morgan State of Jena 6

city paper: Monday, October 1 at 7 p.m.
Student leaders join national efforts to raise funds and awareness for Lousiana students. A town hall meeting will be held in the University Student Center, Room 316.
EVENT PHONE: 443-885-3333


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campaign for universal health care

Wednesday, September 26 at 7 p.m.
Public forum on campaign for universal health care under single payer system. Featuring labor organizers and legislators. Sponsored by UHCAN of Maryland.

details


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Roar-n-Snore at Zoo, Sept. 28, 29

Friday, September 28 at 5 p.m - 10:30 a.m.
(also on 9/29 )
Explore the Zoo's African Journey before it opens to the public as well as camping, flashlight adventure, s'mores, and a special breakfast with the animals. Reservations are required.
EVENT PHONE: 410-366-5466


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A fight to keep Towson courthouse grounds as they are

Sun story: ... "It makes no sense to destroy a beautiful garden, created at public expense ... by a nationally known landscaper for one more characterless, barren open field for nebulous public gatherings or party rallies," Dick Parsons, a West Towson neighborhood activist wrote in a letter to other community leaders last week. "It seems folly to destroy it on a consultant's whim."

The recommendation for change comes from consultants hired by the county to look at ways of revamping Towson, making it more attractive to pedestrians, more lively for shoppers, and more comfortable for residents and students. ...


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GM on strike

Sun story: About 375 Allison Transmission employees in White Marsh joined thousands of United Auto Workers who walked off the job nationwide today after talks with General Motors failed to produce an agreement. ...


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Muzzling pit bulls in Baltimore County

Examiner story.
I know people say these dogs can be great, but as the parent of two little kids, those dogs scare the crap out of me. I wouldn't even mind a ban.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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No school for the unvaccinated

No vaccine? No school. Examiner story.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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MARC wants to triple service

Sun story.
I think this is great. My husband rides the train to DC every day and it would be wonderful to have more trains. What also would be great is if the light rail actually went to Penn Station, where he catches the MARC, so he could maybe take light rail instead of paying $130/month to park at Penn. Can you believe the light rail does not go directly to the central hub of transportation in the city? To get to Penn, he'd have to take light rail to a different stop, then walk a long distance, or wait for a shuttle bus. MTA says they could bring light rail to Penn, but then it would have to back up to get out, something it could do but doesn't do now. Well, I say, do it!

I wrote to Del. Susan Aumann (susan.aumann@house.state.md.us) about this and got no response. I also wrote to Paul J. Wiedefeld, head of the MTA (I think that's pwiedefeld@mtamaryland.com) and he wrote back saying he forwarded it to the appropriate department, whatever that means.


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Another BGE price increase?

Story from The Examiner. ... OK, I'm no Paul Adams (a Sun reporter who covers BGE), but the last rate increase made me scratch my head. BGE says it's forced to raise rates because it costs them so much to buy energy. But aren't they buying it from Constellation, which owns BGE? That's like a grocer saying, "Hey, I'm sorry we're charging $10 a gallon for milk, but that's what the dairy farmer charges us." And then finding out the grocer and dairy farm are owned by the same company.


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Sunday, September 23, 2007

The War

Anyone watch Ken Burns' new film on PBS Sunday night? We turned it on and expected to watch it casually but couldn't take our eyes off it. There are still about 11 hours left, if you want to catch it. It's really fascinating.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Firefighter, teen arrested in library arson

Just so brilliant....

Examiner: A 28-year-old firefighter and a 17-year-old boy were arrested today and charged in the Aug. 22 firebombing of the Havre de Grace library, authorities said.

Daniel Woodrow Ramsey, 28, worked with a 17-year-old juvenile to firebomb the library so Ramsey could respond with the Susquehanna Hose Co. and help put out the fire, said Deputy State Fire Marshal Joseph Zurolo. story


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Roland Park rape suspect freed

Examiner: Baltimore City prosecutors today dropped all charges against a man accused of committing an armed home invasion rape in the upscale Baltimore neighborhood of Roland Park after DNA evidence proved the suspect was not involved. story


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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TEDDY BEAR FARM VISIT and PUMPKIN GROWING CONTEST WEIGH-IN, Oct. 6, 7

Bring teddy bears! Free hayrides for all children who bring a Teddy Bear. If you bring your own Teddy Bear, you can participate in the Teddy Bear Contest at 1 PM and 3 PM Saturday and Sunday. Or you can bring a NEW Teddy Bear and donate it to the Pediatric Department of the Howard County General Hospital. Folk singing with TONY MCGUFFIN Noon-4 PM both days. Sunday is our PUMPKIN GROWING CONTEST WEIGH-IN!! It’s time to see how big your pumpkins grew over the summer. Bring your biggest pumpkin to the farm for weigh-in and display. The winner will be announced on Sunday at 4 PM and will receive a special prize and a season pass to the farm for 2008. details


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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FARM-CITY CELEBRATION WEEKEND at Clark Elioak, 9/29

Join us Saturday (8:30 AM to 10:30 AM) for the HEALTHY HOWARD FAMILY WALK to learn about good food, local produce and healthy lifestyles. Take a walk around the farm, enjoy refreshments and informational displays. Our PUMPKIN PATCH opens this weekend. Apple cider. details


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Children’s Nature Series: Discovering Fall (6-session course)

Wednesdays, October 3 through November 7
Preschoolers will explore the natural world through trail walks, animal encounters, crafts, puppet shows, games, stories and more during this fun-filled class. It's a great introduction to science and nature in a uniquely hands-on forum. details


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Fall Equinox Family Campout at Irvine 9/22

Enjoy a night of sleeping under the stars. This is a special time since the daylight hours are equal to the night hours. It also marks the first day of autumn! Arrive on time and ready to set up camp. Irvine can provide tents (limited); please mention when registering. Campfire snacks and breakfast will be provided. Arrive Saturday evening and head home Sunday morning.
details


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Cribs Recalled Due To Failures Resulting in Infant Deaths

Please pass this along to anyone who might have this crib. How scary.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing today a voluntary recall with Simplicity Inc., of Reading, Pa., of about 1 million cribs. The drop-side can detach from the crib, which can create a dangerous gap and lead to the entrapment and suffocation of infants. CPSC is aware of two deaths in Simplicity manufactured cribs with older style hardware, including a 9-month-old child and a 6-month-old child, where the drop-side was installed upside down. CPSC is also aware of seven infant entrapments and 55 incidents in these cribs.
more info


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Baltimore County to crack down on park vandalism

As an aside, last weekend we took the kids to Loch Raven Reservoir to bike, scooter and look at the ducks/geese/seagulls. I was so sad to discover that the beach was completely littered with broken glass from beer bottles. My kids love to throw rocks in the water, but it was nearly impossible because there was almost more glass than rocks.

Examiner
: Mess with the parks, and Baltimore County will mess with you.

That was the message Tuesday as Baltimore County park and police officials launched a campaign to crack down on vandalism at recreational facilities — where recent incidents have included melted sliding boards, stolen golf carts and a destroyed grill — including constant video surveillance at five major parks. story


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Zoo celebration 9/22

Sun: The Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce and the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore will hold a one-mile, family fun walk through the zoo to celebrate the zoo and wellness at 8 a.m. at the zoo, Druid Hill Park, 2570 Druid Hill Ave., Baltimore. The cost is $10 to $25. 410-825-6200.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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art classes at Towson U

Sun: Art classes -- Towson University is offering fall art classes for children, teens and adults during the week or on Saturdays, Sept. 22 through Nov. 17 at the Center for the Arts, Community Art Center, Osler and Cross Campus drives. 410-704-2351.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Study ties sprawl to climate change

Sun: .... Living in more compact, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods actually would do more to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide - the chief climate-changing gas - than driving a hybrid car while staying in a typically spread-out suburb, the report asserts.

"The research shows that one of the best ways to reduce vehicle travel is to build places where people can accomplish more with less driving," said Reid Ewing, the report's lead author and a research professor at the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland. story


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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gingrich says he might run for prez (ha!)

If I remember correctly, he left his first wife for another woman (telling his first wife that he was leaving her while visiting her in the hospital where she was recovering from cancer), and then he left that woman (who became his second wife) for his current (third) wife. Yah, that will play real well. Although, come to think of it, Giuliani's past isn't so different and he's doing OK so far.

(AP) Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he still might run for president if supporters will pledge $30 million by November.

"You can't bring all your good ideas if you don't have the resources to communicate," Gingrich told reporters Thursday at a breakfast in Washington.

story


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free "Grow Right" program

The Grow Right Grow Bright initiative, funded by the Maryland State Department of Education, is a dynamic, new statewide program offering educational outreach and support to informal child caregivers. Through a series of interactive workshops and conferences, professional trainers will utilize videos and hands-on activities to teach participants about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), asthma, lead poisoning and early learning concepts using PBS programming as a springboard for delivery. Upon completion of a two-hour program, participants will be equipped with significant health, safety and child development resources to help them prepare children in their care for formal schooling.


We invite grandparents, neighbors, relatives or friends who care for kids in the home to this exciting new program.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Baltimore City
Northern Community Action Center
3939 Reisterstown Road
Baltimore, MD 21215
No Childcare available

more info and other dates/locations here


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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Maryland court upholds ban on gay marriage

Sun: In a split decision today, the Maryland Court of Appeals upheld a state law declaring that marriage must be between a man and a woman.
story


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Meanwhile, Mitt Romney fights to be the most anti-gay candidate

From the AP: ... Romney, who has come under criticism from conservatives for his past support of some gay rights issues, says he is the only major GOP candidate backing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. ... (full story)

(Wonder what he'd say about the "Civil Marriage, Civil Right" signs in Rodgers Forge. ... So, he used to be pro-choice and, I guess, somewhat in favor of gay rights, but now he's falling over himself trying to prove he's as anti-gay and anti-choice as any of his opponents. Have you seen this? Pretty interesting.)

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton proposes doing something that actually helps people.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Planning Board Citizen Input Meeting on the Capital Program

The Baltimore County Planning Board will host the Citizen Input Meeting for the FY 2009-2014 capital budget and program on Thursday, October 4 at 6 p.m. in Room 407 of the County Courts Building, Towson. The Capital Budget and Program is a 6-year plan for expenditures of capital improvements such as roads, sidewalks, storm drainage, public buildings, and parks. The plan is reviewed annually. The citizen input meeting is an opportunity for citizens, businesses, and community groups to express their concerns related to public facilities. Representatives of the following county agencies will be present to hear the comments: Aging, Community Conservation, Economic Development, Environmental Protection, Fire, Libraries, Police, Public Works, And Recreation And Parks.

Information: Kathy Schlabach 410-887-3521 or kschlabach@baltimorecountymd.gov or Capital Improvement Program Schedule


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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volunteer weekend Oct. 19-21

Baltimore County Volunteers will hold its 11th annual Pitch-In for Progress volunteer weekend October 19, 20, and 21. Last year's event attracted thousands of participants and resulted in over 200 completed projects. This is a great opportunity for individuals, groups, and associations to create their own project. Registration may be completed online.

Information: Baltimore County Volunteers 410-887-2715 or volunteers@baltimorecountymd.gov


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Clinton, Giuliani top Md. poll

Sun: Maryland voters strongly favor the nationwide presidential frontrunners, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, but about a third of likely primary voters of both parties remain undecided, according to a recent statewide phone survey. story


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Paramedics arrive at governor's mansion

Sun at 9:24 a.m.: An ambulance arrived at the governor's mansion about 10 minutes past 9 o'clock this morning and paramedics have gone inside where the governor was meeting with legislative leaders to discuss the budget.

More details to follow.

And here they are.


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Advocates claim leaders not making changes to save bay

Examiner: An environmental group said state leaders lack the will to make changes to save the Chesapeake Bay from pollution. ... CBF’s report released Monday chronicled a decades-long trend of fish kills and algal blooms in the Bay during the summer, and criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state government for not doing enough to curb runoff pollution. story


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Monday, September 17, 2007

Forge meeting conflicted with Rosh Hashanah

The following comment was sent in recently regarding the Rodgers Forge board meeting that was held Sept. 12, and the note's sentiments were echoed by others in the neighborhood:

"Our annual membership meeting was scheduled this year for the night before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year for which our schools are cancelled. I'd like to see the community association respect the important religious holidays of religions other than Christianity."


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Abell street fair, Sept. 23

City Paper: The Abell Improvement Association invites all of Baltimore to celebrate urban living at its best with live music, an all-u-can-eat crab feast, Silent auction, and local artists and vendors. Beer and wine served up by the Wine Source ands kid’s activities. 3100 block of Abell Avenue 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
www.abellimprovement.org


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Homewood Museum celebration, Sept. 21

Homewood Museum celebrates 20 years of Baltimore history with walk-through tours, and refreshments on the lawn. details


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Baltimore trees suffering

Examiner: Stress from this summer’s drought and a general lack of mulching have Baltimore City trees barely standing upright.
story


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cinema sundays at The Charles

Admission to this film series includes gourmet coffee, bagels and spreads, occasional movie passes and post-film discussions. Single walk-up tickets are also available. The series host is Jonathan Palevsky.details


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MICA film festival

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and Maryland Film Festival are to host a film series. The screenings take place on Tuesdays, September 18, and 25; and October 2, 9, 23, and 30; and November 6 and 13 in Brown Center’s Falvey Hall at 1301 Mount Royal Avenue. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m.
details


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"Dead Man Walking" author to speak at St. Pius

Sun: Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, will speak about the death penalty at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Pius X Church, 6428 York Road, Towson.

story


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Police seek information in hit-and-run on I-83 south of Ruxton Road

Two pedestrians were struck and killed by 18-wheelers early this morning in separate incidents in Baltimore County, and the driver of one of the giant trucks left the scene and remains unaccounted for, State Police said.
details


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frogs return to Stony Run

Sun: Every day for the past year, biologist Eric Schott turned over mossy rocks in Stony Run, looking for hope. Finally, this summer, he and other members of the Jones Falls Watershed Association, a volunteer conservation group that protects the 3.3-mile creek in Baltimore, found it.
story


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part of Joppa Road temporarily closed

From The Sun at 1:15 p.m.: Joppa Road was closed early this afternoon between Loch Raven Boulevard and Oakleigh Road in Towson due to an apparent barricade situation at the Welcome Inn & Apartments in the 8700 block of Loch Bend Drive, Baltimore County police said.

No further details were immediately available.


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Friday, September 14, 2007

Safer toys = more expensive toys

I think maybe we'll just give the kids books this year instead of piles of plastic crap that could damage their brains (in more ways than one)...

(AP) American consumers will be bearing the cost of safer toys, but not until after this year's Christmas season.

Shoppers can expect price increases up to 10 percent next year to pay for increased vigilance by toy makers and stores after more than 3 million lead-tainted toys from China were recalled worldwide since June. That means a $6.99 Barbie doll could go up to about $7.70, or a $70 child-friendly digital camera could retail next year for almost $80.

story in The Sun


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pioneer crafts tomorrow

From The Sun: Pioneer crafts -- A naturalist will lead a program on how pioneers made candles and corn husk dolls at 2 p.m. at Cromwell Valley Park, Willow Grove Farm, 2002 Cromwell Bridge Road. The cost is $3 for members; $6 for nonmembers. Reservations required. 410-887-2503. Sept. 15



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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Scammers posing as BGE bill collectors

The neighborhood watch people warn that there is a scam going on where someone calls a home (usually that of an elderly person) and tells them their BGE bill is overdue and they owe a huge amount. But, they say, they have a BGE rep in the neighborhood and if you pay cash now, they'll accept a lesser amount and clear your bill. Sometimes this "rep" shows up at the door of the resident even while they're still on the phone.

Might be worth mentioning to anyone you feel might fall prey to such a thing.

And here's a story about it in The Examiner.


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Free admission to the zoo, Oct. 1

Details here.


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Reggae & Brew Festival at the Zoo, Sept. 15

"The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is resurrecting our wildly popular annual Reggae & Brew Festival featuring Jah Works & Unity Reggae Band!! We will also be featuring Caribbean foods, jewelry, artisans and craft vendors, games and plenty of brew and frozen tropical drinks!!!

This annual festival is wildly popular with all age groups and also features special appearances from our animal ambassadors."

Saturday, September 15, 2007
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Advance Tickets: $18 (immediate entry)
Door Tickets: $25
Under 21/ Designated Driver: $5
Military/Student Discount (with valid ID) $10

Event includes free Zoo admission (same day only). Zoo closes at 4:00 pm

DETAILS


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Maryland Wine Festival, Sept. 15, 16

"Take pleasure in Maryland wine with tastings from the wineries, live music, foods from local restaurants, arts and crafts and wine education seminars. Don't miss the presentation of the Governor's Cup Awards announcements on stage each day of the festival." details


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(ride on) Thomas the Train event

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
13 Canal Street, Cumberland, Maryland
September 21, 22, & 23
September 28, 29, & 30

More cornea-burning info here.


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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Book reading at Red Canoe on Thursday

Author Martha Randolph Carr will be reading from her new book A Place to Call Home at Red Canoe on September 13 at 7pm. Join us to meet Martha and to hear from her new and excellent book, described as: The untold success story of present-day orphanages -- now called residential education facilities (REFs) and academies -- and how they fit into the spectrum of choices for children who no longer have a family to come home to every night.
more info


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Caribou Coffee on York Road is closing Sept. 17

I am so sad! I know this is a chain, but it had a great atmosphere, great coffee (better than Starbucks) and you could always get a table -- not a great situation for generating revenue, of course... I also loved the free wi-fi. This neighborhood is definitely lacking a good local coffee shop. I like the Evergreen and Common Ground a lot, but those are quite a haul from Rodgers Forge. I guess I'll be hitting Atwaters more often.


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new "upcoming events" feature on the blog

In the right-hand column.
Enjoy!


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Who Dunnit? - Jurassic Justice, this Saturday

A crime has been committed in one of the Science Center's exhibits. Using some of the same processes real-life crime solvers use everyday, you become the detective as you analyze the crime scene, gather information on the likely suspects, and compare fingerprints and hair samples, and more. All activities free with paid admission. Noon to 4 p.m. More info.


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Power company not amused by GOP mailing in Baltimore Co.

This is kind of funny.

Examiner: The parent company of Baltimore Gas & Electric is threatening to sue Baltimore County's Republican central committee unless it stops mailing mock billing statements that blame the company and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley for huge increases in electric rates. The mailing, designed to resemble a BGE bill, replaces the account number with "We're paying through the nose," and replaces the company motto with "a company O'Malley thought he understood."

story


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Towson retail proposal weighed

What do you think of this? I wish downtown Towson had more attractions and was more pedestrian friendly. It's not really a place that beckons to people to come, relax and explore.


Sun: Baltimore County officials are considering kicking in $18.2 million toward a new parking garage for a private retail development near the heart of the county seat called Towson Circle III.

The project, a joint development by Heritage Properties and the Cordish Co., generated controversy in Towson several years ago when plans included student housing for Towson University, an unpopular proposal among community leaders.

story


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Lackluster voter turnout

So, city dwellers, did you vote yesterday?

Sun: Though state officials had been predicting a paltry 30 percent of Baltimore's 331,987 registered voters would cast ballots in yesterday's citywide primary, late in the day it seemed hitting even that would be a stretch.

City election officials estimated that 82,921 ballots were cast at polling places yesterday, representing about 28 percent of registered Republicans and Democrats.
story


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State's suburbs nurture diversity

Sun: Marylanders are increasingly diverse and better educated and endure commutes more grueling than those in nearly any other state in the nation, according to figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Immigrants are fueling population growth even in places not previously known for having ethnic enclaves. While the Washington suburbs have long been a magnet for thriving immigrant communities, the Baltimore region was home to about 200,000 foreign-born residents in 2006, an increase of nearly 38 percent since 2000.
story


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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Red Oak Apartments not so red

An eagle-eyed reader sent this in:
"This is probably nitpicky of me, but the folks behind Red Oak at Rodgers Forge should have consulted their handy Field Guide to Trees before they named their development and erected the sign outside the buildings. The leaf on the sign is from a white oak, not a red oak.

Red oaks have pointed leaves, like thes
e.
The leaves on the sign have rounded ends, which are characteristic of white oaks.

As much as developers like to invoke feelings about nature with names like “Red Oak at Rodgers Forge” or “Ashton Woods of Ellicott City,” they are more involved in vanquishing nature than living within it."


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Sept. 11 Peace Path today starting at 4:00

Info here.


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Slow turnout as primary election voting begins in Baltimore

Examiner: Baltimore City election director Armstead Jones says voting in the primary election in the city is off to a slow start. By 9 a.m. Tuesday, his office showed 6,835 people had cast ballots citywide. He said that was not a good showing, although he says numbers from 2003 are not available for comparison.

story


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Baltimore County gains clout on state budget board

Examiner: Baltimore County is picking up new clout at the State House on an expanded Senate Budget and Taxation Committee as Sen. Ed Kasemeyer becomes the vice chairman and Sen. Bobby Zirkin gets one of two new seats on the committee.

story


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Towson gas station to be urban park

Examiner: Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith is expected today to announce a settlement with the owners of the condemned Towson gas station he hopes to transform into an “urban park,” officials said.

The county will pay Shell affiliate Motiva Enterprises $500,000 for the third-of-an-acre site on the busy Towson traffic roundabout. The fuel company has agreed to pay for the environmental clean-up that has stalled negotiations for more than two years, county spokeswoman Angela Heffner said.

story


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Monday, September 10, 2007

new feature on the blog

The column on the right now has an "upcoming events" section. Enjoy!


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Volunteer firefighters get $5 million grant

From The Examiner: Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith will present $5.1 million to the county’s 35 volunteer fire companies today at the Boring Volunteer Fire Company in Northwest Baltimore county.

The money is part of a county aid package that includes grants to fire companies and money for insurance expenses, utilities and fuel. Also included are $1.5 million worth of incentives for companies to provide medical services during peak demand hours. ... story


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Senator aims to change sex-offender law

[I say one strike and you're out, forever.]

From The Sun: Maryland law should be changed so that sex offenders' sentences are not shortened for good behavior, a state senator said yesterday, days after a man with a record of burglaries involving sex offenses going back 30 years was found in a Dundalk boy's bedroom. ... story


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Girls' school goes green

Good for them!
From The Sun: ... To become a Green School, St. Paul's School for Girls took such steps as creating a butterfly garden and banning commercial water bottles from campus. Teachers and students also refined used cooking oil to power one of the tractors used for work on the school grounds. ... story


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Bel Air teen's got talent -- and hometown pride, too

From The Sun: Long before she captured the attention of millions of viewers this summer as a finalist on the hit NBC show America's Got Talent, 14-year-old Julienne Irwin had her eyes set on singing the national anthem at Camden Yards. ... story


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pollution concerns at Sparrows Point

From The Sun: A decade ago, Bethlehem Steel promised to clean up its sprawling Sparrows Point plant and to curb pollution that had fouled the air, water and land for more than a century.

But as the fourth owner in four years prepares to take over, some Dundalk residents say they wonder what happened to the extensive cleanup ordered by federal and state environmental officials. ... story


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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Johnny Appleseed Festival at Weber's Farm

Saturday and Sunday, September 22 & 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. *Hayrides, *Hay Maze, Scarecrow Making, Apple Picking, *Pumpkinland, *Boo Barn, *Farm Animals, *Farm Tunnel Crawl, *NEW!!! Hillside Slides and Duck Races, mums, cider donuts, cider slush, caramel apples, apple picking, ice cream, sundaes, & fresh baked goods.

http://www.webersfarm.com/calendar.php
*These activites are by general admission tickets


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Friday, September 7, 2007

Some Food Additives Raise Hyperactivity, Study Finds

From the New York Times: Common food additives and colorings can increase hyperactive behavior in a broad range of children, a study being released today found.

It was the first time researchers conclusively and scientifically confirmed a link that had long been suspected by many parents. Numerous support groups for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have for years recommended removing such ingredients from diets, although experts have continued to debate the evidence. ... full story


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Star Spangled Weekend

Starts today. From City Paper: A special weekend celebrating Defender's Day with parades, activities, fireworks, a military encampment, and more. Friday's fun takes place in the Inner Harbor, Saturday and Sunday at Fort McHenry. ... more info


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Ellicott City art walk - tonight

SPECIAL EXHIBITS AND REFRESHMENTS AT 5 LOCATIONS listed from east to west. Tonight, 6-9 p.m. ... details


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Saying Yes to Mess

This article from The New York Times is not brand new, but it's great and I wanted to share. In fact, I printed out a copy for overnight visitors to read (not that I can find it now).

Saying Yes to Mess
It is a truism of American life that we’re too darn messy, or we think we are, and we feel really bad about it. Our desks and dining room tables are awash with paper; our closets are bursting with clothes and sports equipment and old files; our laundry areas boil; our basements and garages seethe. And so do our partners — or our parents, if we happen to be teenagers.


... An anti-anticlutter movement is afoot, one that says yes to mess and urges you to embrace your disorder. Studies are piling up that show that messy desks are the vivid signatures of people with creative, limber minds (who reap higher salaries than those with neat “office landscapes”) and that messy closet owners are probably better parents and nicer and cooler than their tidier counterparts. It’s a movement that confirms what you have known, deep down, all along: really neat people are not avatars of the good life; they are humorless and inflexible prigs, and have way too much time on their hands. ... full story


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Aquarium cash problems

From The Sun: The National Aquarium took a hit yesterday when Moody's Investors Service downgraded its bond rating, voicing concerns about the attraction's depleted cash reserves - particularly as a multimillion-dollar aquatic center project looms on the horizon. ... full story


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Sales tax solutions

From The Sun: Gov. Martin O'Malley said yesterday that he expects the state will increase the sales tax and expand it to cover services as part of a solution to Maryland's $1.5 billion budget shortfall. ... full story


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Md. lawmakers looking for health care fixes

Examiner: Maryland lawmakers say they're determined to try again on a health-care reform package that would boost the number of people with health insurance, put more workers in wellness programs and reduce premiums for people with insurance. ... full story


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Man charged in child drugging was out on good behavior

From The Examiner: In 1991, Richard Marks was sentenced to 25 years in prison with no parole after he pleaded guilty to burglary.

So why wasn’t Marks behind bars late Monday night, instead of hiding in the bedroom of two children in Dundalk? ... full story

And from The Sun


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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bipolar Illness Soars as a Diagnosis for the Young

from The New York Times: The number of American children and adolescents treated for bipolar disorder increased 40-fold from 1994 to 2003, researchers report today in the most comprehensive study of the controversial diagnosis.

Experts say the number has almost certainly risen further since 2003.

Many experts theorize that the jump reflects that doctors are more aggressively applying the diagnosis to children, and not that the incidence of the disorder has increased.

But the magnitude of the increase surprises many psychiatrists. They say it is likely to intensify the debate over the validity of the diagnosis, which has shaken child psychiatry. ... full article


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DOJ approves sale of Sparrows Point

E2 Acquisition Corp., the buyers group led by Chicago metals distributor Esmark Inc., says the Justice Department agreed to steel mill's sale for $1.35 billion. The group expects to close the deal with Mittal Steel NV by mid-October. ... full Sun story by reporter Paul Adams


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Hand-on-olidays Rosh Hashanah Party

This Thursday (9/6), 10:30-11:30 a.m. and Monday (9/10), 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Includes snacks, crafts, stories, and sing-a-long. Ideal fro families with babies and toddlers ages 18 months- 3 years.
EVENT PHONE: 410-542-4900
Weinberg Park Heights Jewish Community Center
5700 Park Heights Ave.
Baltimore
VENUE PHONE: (410) 542-4900


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and at Whole Foods tomorrow...

Borscht and Kugel (Demonstration)
12:00–2:00 p.m. Free, Prepared Foods Area
Maia will be sampling our borscht and kugel just in time for the Holidays. See our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur menu for other items available from our Prepared Foods and Bakery departments. (Mt. Washington)


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at Whole Foods today...

Back to School Tasting for Kids
3:00–6:00 p.m. Free
Please join us for a fun event for kids! Kids participating in the tasting will go to various stations around the store, taste great food, and take home a goodie bag filled with treats. Stop by the Café on your way out to receive your kid's take home goodie bag. Listen to music and enjoy entertainment for younger children provided by the JCC in the Café.


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Dad finds man hiding in children’s bedroom

This is so creepy!

It was an odd smell coming from his children’s bedroom in the middle of the night that told a Dundalk father that something was wrong.

When the dad entered the bedroom of his 6-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son on Monday at 2:30 a.m., he found a strange man — who apparently had drugged the children — trying to hide in a wardrobe, police said. .... full story in The Examiner

also in The Sun


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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

RF board meeting Sept. 12

At Dumbarton Middle School at 7 p.m.
details


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Dumbarton Middle School PTSA meeting Sept. 10

PTSA Executive Board Meeting: Sept. 10, 7:00 PM


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Milkshake concerts at the B&O

Mark your calendars -- Milkshake will play at the B&O Kids' Fest on Sept. 15 and 16. Details here.


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Towson U's film festival begins Monday

THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA & FILM DEPARTMENT PRESENTS THE 2007 ANNUAL FALL FILM SERIES: MUSIC/MUSICIANS/MUSICALS

Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium

Monday, September 10- Monday, December 3, 7:30 p.m.

Every Monday night during the fall 2007 term

The EMF and music faculty will present their favorite films about music, musicians and musicals. Each screening will begin with an introduction by an EMF or music faculty member and concludes with a short discussion. The complete schedule will be posted on the EMF Web site and here.

Admission is free.


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Md. losing millions by undervaluing properties, not pursuing filing fees

From The Examiner: Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation has cost the state and counties millions of dollars in property taxes by undervaluing commercial properties in eight jurisdictions and by not adequately pursuing filing fees from out-of- state corporations, according to an audit obtained by The Examiner. ... full story


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Aging lecture tomorrow

The Baltimore County Department of Aging and the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will hold a lecture on treatment and prevention of the disease at 10:30 a.m. at Liberty Senior Center, 3525 Resource Drive, Randallstown, 410-887-0615; and at 11 a.m. at Cockeysville Senior Center, 10535 York Road, 410-887-7694.


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Board of Education meeting tonight

The Baltimore County Board of Education will meet at 7:30 p.m. in the Education Support Services Building, Room 114, 6901 Charles St., Towson. The Building and Contracts Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m., followed by an open board session at 6 p.m. to discuss school board events. A closed session will follow. 410-887-4126.



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College-admissions session tonight

Martha O'Connell, director of Colleges That Change Lives, will lead an informational session, "College Admissions: It's the Journey, Not the Destination," at 7 p.m. at the Rosenbloom Jewish Community Center, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills. The cost is $20 for JCC members; $25 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. 410-356-5200, ext. 612.


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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

More ethanol could pollute bay

From The Sun: ... As a crop, corn often requires more fertilizer than soybeans or wheat, environmentalists say. Much of that ends up running off the land and into waterways, where it leads to overgrowth of algae that consumes the oxygen in the water, leaving little for fish and sea grasses. ... full story


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Volunteer training for RFES parents

September 5th, 2006, 6:30 p.m.
This session is required by BCPS for anyone interested in volunteering at RFES. The session will be offered again on September 20th at 9:30 am and November 15th at 3pm.


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Ice Cream social at RFES on Sept. 7

From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


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County to hold immunization clinics

from The Examiner: The Baltimore County Department of Health is holding seven free immunization clinics for children who still need to be vaccinated for chicken pox and or hepatitis B. ... details


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New plan for Middle River eases many fears

From The Examiner: New changes to a Middle River development proposal have eased fears that the plan would turn parts of the Baltimore County community into a congested nightmare. ... full story


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Area concerned over effects of gas cleanup

From The Sun: ... Some Jacksonville residents say they are concerned the operation will drain their wells. At the same time, many say they aren't confident that enough is being done by state environmental officials to make sure the water supply is protected. ... full story


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Yearlong rezoning begins in Balto. Co.

From The Sun: ... The process, called comprehensive rezoning, comes around every four years, and county officials and community activists say it is one of the most significant actions that local government takes. With the stroke of a pen, County Council members can radically alter the landscape, deciding, for instance, whether farmland will become the future site of single-family houses. ... full story


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Monday, September 3, 2007

last Belvedere Square concert of the summer

is this Friday.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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It's strawberry-picking time at Huber's Farm

Details on the Web site.


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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new ice-skating schedule is up

At Northwest Ice Rink in Mt. Washington.


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antique fire engines, cars and a bull roast

Antique Motorized Fire Engine Muster
Antique Car Show
& BULLROAST
Saturday, September 8th
1:00 -5:00 p.m.
At the Fire Museum


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