Friday, November 30, 2007

parking and golfing in county to cost more

Examiner: Fees for Baltimore County’s public garages and golf courses will modestly increase under a budget adopted Thursday by the county agency that oversees both operations.


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

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HGTV could help clean up Baltimore -- with your vote

Change the World. Start at Home is a new community revitalization and environmental cause effort launched by HGTV in partnership with Rebuilding Together, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The campaign focuses on revitalizing communities across the country and helping consumers make smart choices for the environment within their homes and daily lives.

You can vote on communities and projects you feel are most deserving of a makeover. One project in each community will focus on environmentally-friendly improvements while another will focus on a historic place that helps preserve the fabric of the community.

Vote for Baltimore here.


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Swing dance club

Sun: The Friday Night Swing Dance Club will hold a beginning swing workshop for all ages at 8 p.m. tonight at the American Legion, 125 York Road, Towson. Immediately following the workshop, The Rock and Roll Rellics will perform. The cost is $12. 410-583-7337.


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dance show at Towson

Sun: The Towson University Dance Department presents "Winter's Rejoicing," a collection of modern and ballet works at 8 p.m. today and tomorrow, and at 2 p.m. Sunday in the campus' Stephens Hall Theatre, 8000 York Road. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for seniors and students. 410-704-2787.


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Thursday, November 29, 2007

slots coming to Timonium?

Towson Times: Leaders of the Greater Timonium Community Council question why the Maryland State Fair wants to rezone its 100-plus-acre site from manufacturing and residential uses to commercial uses, fearing a change could open the door to unwanted slot machines off York Road.


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Kenilworth residents leery of expansion

Towson Times: The owner of The Colony at Kenilworth garden apartments is seeking new zoning that would allow stores and shops as well as residential buildings, which could be as high as five or six stories and have elevators.


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Sater's Baptist Church in Lutherville opens building to the public

Towson Times: Trustees of the historic Sater's Baptist Church building in Lutherville are inviting the public to use the building for weddings, funerals and christenings as a way to highlight the site's significance.


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two Chyslers stolen last night in Rodgers Forge

from Karl: Two Chrysler vehicles were stolen last night, one stolen from Overbrook and another stolen on Blenheim in Gaywood. The thieves also broke into several other cars on Blenheim.


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confetti bursts recalled for lead

American Greetings Corp. Recalls Confetti Bursts Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using
recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: DesignWare Confetti Bursts

Units: About 60,000

Distributor: American Greetings Corp., of Cleveland, Ohio

Hazard: The surface paint on the individual bags of confetti contains
excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.


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Meet author/illustrator Lynne Cherry, Dec. 9


Meet author/illustrator Lynne Cherry on Sunday December 9 at 11:00 am at the Red Canoe bookstore.

"Lynne Cherry is the author and/or illustrator of over thirty award-winning books for children. Her best-selling books such as The Great Kapok Tree and A River Ran Wild teach children to respect the earth. Lynne lectures widely -- and passionately -- about how children can make a difference in a democratic society -- if they feel strongly about something, they can change the world. She explains to educators how using nature to integrate curriculum makes a child's learning relevant. Lynne's books were inspired by her love of the natural world and she is an avid canoeist and hiker.

Lynne Cherry hopes to get children excited about the prospect of exploring nature so that they will go outside and explore the natural world. Her books are a good start for getting kids interested in nature."


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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

a new grocery store that's kinda Eddie's, kinda Whole Foods


My neighbor David sent an email today about The Fresh Market, a new grocery store in Pikesville. It's actually so new it's not on Mapquest, but it's just off Greenspring Ave.

Here's what he had to say:

We recently shopped at The Fresh Market (TFM). I would say it is hands down the best grocery store in northern Maryland.

They have plenty of parking and plenty of help on hand.

The aisles are fairly wide (unlike Whole Foods and Trader Joe's) and
the store layout is well done. The signage is clear and the displays
are artistic. The shelves are well stocked (unlike Giant). The
place is very clean.

The workers were friendly, competent, and quick.

The prices are more reasonable than Eddie's or Whole Foods (a.k.a
Whole Paycheck).

The size is more reasonable than Wegmans. No losing your spouse or kid(s).

It is not too crunchy or snobby.

The prepared foods are excellent and affordable. We tried a good
wrap. I don't think you can pick up a chicken box, a greasy slice of
pizza, or Chinese with an overdose-fill of MSG.

They carry some items that are hard to find locally (e.g., good fresh salsa).

The bakery is good - artisan breads, pastries, and desserts.

The produce is outstanding. They had the best pears I have seen since
I left Oregon.

They have Moonstruck Chocolates - a family favorite.

It has a good stock of organic, international, and health foods.

The accompanying wine/beer store is excellent. They have a vast array
of premium micro-brew beers and quality wines (including a good stock
of fall Beaujolais). Not sure about the stock of Natty Boh or local
wine faves (e.g, Boone's Farm, Night Train, Thunderbird, etc.).

They have a wide variety of cut flowers, healthy orchids
(phalaenopsis for $20), and nice holiday wreaths.

The whole vibe is very Oregon, Seattle, N. Cal.

Here is the site: http://www.thefreshmarket.com/

I can't wait to try it!


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Are you a fan of Paula Deen?


I admit that I had never heard of the FoodNetwork's Paula Deen, but she was on the Diane Rehm show today and some callers/emailers asked her to stop promoting Smithfield ham because the conditions at its plant are so bad. She basically said labor negotiations were not her thing and too bad, so sad. Work is hard. Life is hard.

I just found this online and it was kind of disturbing. We don't really buy ham, but I don't think I'd buy Smithfield after this.


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I am so addicted to 24

I ordered the show 24 on Netflix just so I'd have something to watch as I fold the baskets of clean clothes that I let pile up. We don't have cable and aren't huge TV watchers. So, a friend said she liked the show and I checked it out. Can I tell you, I folded not one piece of clothing while watching it, I was so glued to the screen?

It's like reading the Da Vinci Code. A total page turner, yet by no means a great work of art (in fact, you even roll your eyes -- but can't turn them away). So, if you're looking for something mindless and fun, this is for you. I don't even get it on Netflix anymore because the turn-around time is too slow. I go to the video store and then watch all four episodes in one sitting. Addicted, I tell you.


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armed robberies in Towson


Courtesy of Karl's crime reports:

Significant Events Report for the week of November 19-25, 2007

11/24/07 20:30 07-328-1428 Armed Robbery
Washington Ave. and Pennsylvania Ave. 21204 The suspects approached the victims from behind as they returned from an ATM. The suspect placed a handgun against the victim’s head and removed his wallet. The second suspect implied a handgun and removed property from victim #2. M/B, 20’s, dark clothing and red bandana over his face. M/B, 18-22, dark clothing

11/24/07 22:19 07-328-1590 Attempted Robbery
Dulaney Valley Rd. and Joppa Rd. 21234 The suspects asked the victim
for his money then began to assault him. The suspect fled in an unknown
direction. B/M, dark clothing and red bandana B/M, dark clothing, red bandana

11/19/07 14:00 07-323-1580 1st Degree Burglary
38 Solar Circle Apt D 21234 An unknown suspect entered the residence by
unknown means and stole two X-Box 360 games.

11/21/07-11/22/07 17:00-20:35 07-326-1244 1st Degree Burglary
6601 Loch Hill Rd. 21239 An unknown suspect entered the residence
through a front window and removed a TV and jewelry.


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Cromwell Bridge Road gets temporary tree-cutting reprieve

Sun story: BGE representatives pledged to temporarily stop cutting trees around power lines along Cromwell Bridge Road after a heated meeting last night with residents and elected officials who denounced the project, citing its environmental impact and the road's status as a scenic byway.


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mainstream capitalist says "Legalize drugs"


My former colleague, mentor and pal Jay Hancock had an interesting column in The Sun recently in which he argued in favor of legalizing drugs.

He wrote: ... Would it lead to new addicts? Of course. Would it send a bad message to kids? Yep. Would it cause problems we can't envisage? Probably. And it would be an enormous improvement.

Once again, Jay is my hero. It's great to hear a pretty conservative guy embracing something largely rejected by the mainstream. Now if only people would pay attention.

And here's Jay's blog if you want to read more.


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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

parts of Loch Raven Blvd to be closed


Sun: Most lanes on Loch Raven Boulevard from Gorsuch Avenue to The Alameda will be closed starting tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and lasting for four months. ... more


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Fundraiser tonight at The Charles - film Black Diamonds, about coal mining


7:00 at The Charles
"The mission of Coal River Mountain Watch is to stop the destruction of our communities and environment by mountaintop removal mining, to improve the quality of life in our area and to help rebuild sustainable communities."


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Calvert School wants to raze Castalia, a large stone house on its campus.

Sun: Six years after Calvert School drew protests for razing a 91-unit apartment complex at 4300 N. Charles St. to expand its campus, the school has sparked a new preservation controversy involving one of its own properties.

School officials disclosed this fall that they are seeking permission to tear down Castalia, a large stone residence at 200 Tuscany Road that was built by the school's first headmaster, possibly to make way for an outdoor amphitheater. ... more


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top 10 "stupidest" holiday gifts for 2007


I don't know, I think the Hillary nutcracker is kind of funny. (Not that I want one, Husband, if you're reading this.) And I love the idea of a Larry Craig action figure. I could do without the electronic yodeling pickle, though.

NEW YORK, Nov 26 (Reuters) - From Mother Teresa breath spray to a screaming rubber chicken, manufacturers come up with stockings full of stupid gifts in time for the holidays with one Web site dedicated to finding the most idiotic.

Web site Stupid.com, which claims finding a truly stupid gift is an art form, on Monday unveiled its list of the top 10 "stupidest" holiday gifts for 2007. ... more


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Scientists find fossil of super-sized bug


For those of you with little scientists in the house...

From the AP: British scientists have stumbled across a fossilized claw, part of an ancient sea scorpion, that is of such large proportion it would make the entire creature the biggest bug ever.

How big? Bigger than you, about 2.5 meters, or 8 feet, long. ... more


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a place for unusual holiday gifts


Merry Mart, Sun Dec 2 11am-6pm
Free! Cash bar. Do your holiday shopping at The Patterson with just the kind of fabulously charismatic and eccentric holiday gifts you’d expect from us! 40+ handpicked artists. Jewelry by Laurie Flannery and Sue Lowe, new creations from Baltimore Glassworks, Mark Supik’s superb turned bowls, Monica Broere’s gorgeous ceramics, Devin Mack’s wire sculptures and mucho more! Food, beverages and live entertainment!
3134 Eastern Ave. 410.276.1651


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Monday, November 26, 2007

Clinton trails Republicans, Obama and Edwards beat them


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton trails five top Republican presidential contenders [including Rudy, pictured right] in general election match-ups, a drop in support from this summer, according to a poll released on Monday.

Clinton's top Democratic rivals, Barack Obama and John Edwards, still lead Republicans in hypothetical match-ups ahead of the November 4, 2008, presidential election, the survey by Zogby Interactive showed. ... full article


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Did you hear helicopters on Sunday night? Here's the scoop

from Karl's crime report: 

"November 25, 2007 Sunday night approximately 6:30,
units from the Baltimore County Police Department
searched the Rodgers Forge corridor looking for a
youth wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and black jacket.
This individual allegedly attempted to break into
a vehicle in the Forge. I don't know exactly
where.

The search intensified to include the area of the
elementary school with a helicopter and foot
patrols scanning the wooded area behind the school.
The suspect eluded police and escaped.

-Karl"


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new favorite high for kids can be fatal

My aunt sent me (and everyone she knows) an email about this today. Generally these turn out to be urban legends, but this one is true -- and scary.

Boston Globe story: Generations of teenagers have sniffed common household products -- from glue to Whiteout to the propane in cigarette lighters -- for a cheap, easy route to intoxication. But the danger posed by the latest inhalant of choice, a common computer keyboard cleaner called ''Dust-Off," has prompted area police to warn parents and teens that the ''high" could be fatal.

Inhaling the compressed gas can cause brain damage and heart failure by robbing the lungs of oxygen, authorities say.


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Best Places to Raise Your Kids, 2007

BusinessWeek: The 50 most kid-friendly small towns and suburbs in the U.S. -- where crime rates and cost of living are low, and schools, test scores, and cultural activities are better than most ... full story (No, we're not on the list.)


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Sunday, November 25, 2007

pushing green at the holidays

... Frivolity versus severity. Materialism versus sacrifice. Welcome to the “green” holidays.

The holidays have always been an emotionally combustible time for families, bringing together a sometimes volatile mix of siblings, crotchety grandparents and ill-behaved children. But in recent years, a new figure has joined the celebration, to complicate the proceedings even further: the green evangelist of the family — the impassioned activist bent on eradicating the wasteful materialism of the holidays. ... full story in The New York Times


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Sandy Asirvatham - local mom, writer and singer

Have you heard local jazz singer (and former City Paper writer) Sandy Asirvatham ? Check her out here.


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car burglarized in Armagh Village

more from Karl's crime reports:

"Last Wednesday a car was accidentally left unlocked on Armagh Drive. Neighbors happened to be up at 3 a.m. preparing to leave for a Thanksgiving Day trip. They saw the interior light on in their neighbor's car and another car parked in the middle of the street. When they turned on their house lights, the car left. Their neighbors' car had been riffled.
-Karl"


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escaping the present trap at Christmas

Is it time to talk about cutting down on gifts at the holidays? Here's a Sun piece on the subject.


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several ideas on how to develop old jail site in Towson

The old jail site on Towsontown and Bosley could be turned into a park or indoor basketball courts or a private swim club. Here's the Sun article.


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

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

another auto theft in Rodgers Forge

More from Karl's crime report:

Today I learned that a Ford Explorer was stolen Tuesday
night from the 200 block of Murdock Road.

This in addition to the Jeep recently stolen in the
100 block of Stanmore Road and, a couple of days later,
an attempted auto theft of a Jeep parked on the
triangle at Dumbarton and Stevenson Lane.

Also, several cars were burglarized Tuesday and Wednesday
nights earlier this week. Most of those burglaries were in
the Old Section, two in the 300 block of Murdock Road,
two or more on Dunkirk and another one on
Pinehurst Road near Hopkins Road. At 6 o'clock Thanksgiving
morning a burglar(s) smashed the window of a SUV
parked behind the even numbered houses on Stanmore Road.
He/they knew where to look.

A GPS system was recently stolen from a car parked on
Dorking, between Dunkirk and Hopkins Roads.


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Parents aren't playing around with toy purchases

By the way, have you been to Shananigans Toy Shop in Roland Park? It's got great toys, it's locally owned and the staff is helpful. Free gift wrapping, too.


Sun: As soon as she had found the perfect present for her niece and dropped it in her shopping cart, Lovey Lane had a nagging worry.

"It just hit me -- this is made in China," the Dundalk resident said, checking the Disney princess costume box and scrutinizing the beads adorning a tiara as a possible hazard. "I thought I'd better put it back."


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just a barn, or a Green Spring Valley landmark?

Sun: One day this week, workers began to disassemble a red barn in Green Spring Valley. They did not get far.

Before the crew could finish removing the siding, a neighbor had called police, and Baltimore County officials ordered the work stopped, threatening a hefty fine.


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Friday, November 23, 2007

100 books to help you not be one of the Americans reading less

New York Times' 100 Notable Books of the Year. Read the list here.


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car burglaries in Rodgers Forge

From Karl's Citizens on Patrol report:

Rodgers Forge neighbors suffered several car burglaries
Tuesday and Wednesday nights of Thanksgiving week.
Most of the burglaries were in the Old Section, two in
the 300 block of Murdock Road, two or more on Dunkirk
(I need more information about these incidents) and
another one on Pinehurst Road near Hopkins Road.
Some of these vehicles were accidentally left unlocked.

Earlier, I emailed reports about teenagers walking along the
street and trying the door handles of every vehicle they
pass.

A more serious automobile breaking and entering occurred
6 o'clock Thanksgiving morning. A burglar(s) smashed the
window of a vehicle parked behind the even numbered houses
on Stanmore Road. He/they knew where to look. The
burglar(s) also rifled the console and glove compartment
before driving off at a high rate of speed.

I'm reminded that a GPS system was recently stolen from
a car parked on Dorking, between Dunkirk and Hopkins Roads.
When parking in an urban or commercial area, we are
careful not to leave exposed equipment or packages in our
car. Unfortunately, we are not immune to automobile
burglary in our own neighborhoods.


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body found in Gunpowder Falls State Park

Oh, great. Is this the new Leakin Park?


Sun: Baltimore County police are seeking to identify the body of a man who was found today in Gunpowder Falls State Park, spokesman Bill Toohey said.

A father walking with his two young sons found the body about noon in the woods off Belair Road, about a mile north of Forge Road...


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Graffiti sprayed on Timonium Elementary

Sun: Neighbors out for a morning stroll yesterday discovered that graffiti had been sprayed on the outside of Timonium Elementary School, Baltimore County police said.


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train display at Kenilworth opens today

Sun: Justin Thillman started setting up the platform before Halloween. Georgette Robertson painstakingly created display scenes for two weeks. Bill Gough bought electrical wire and bulbs, and helped assemble the display.

Now, the trains at the Shops at Kenilworth are ready to roll for another holiday season. The train garden opens today.


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Alternate plan offered for Mt. Washington biking-hiking route

Sun: For months, many residents of Northwest Baltimore's Mount Washington neighborhood have been fighting a city plan for a hiking and biking trail to run across nearby Northern Parkway.

Some say it's unsafe and bad for the environment. Others say it's too far away to benefit the community.


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Black Friday: Sleep-deprived customers camp overnight for midnight, pre-dawn deals

I am so happy to be lazily sipping coffee in my robe and fuzzy slippers on Friday morning instead of battling crazed crowds.

Sun: Bargain shoppers kicked off the start of the holiday retail season in traditional fashion this morning: Sleep-deprived customers camping overnight for midnight and pre-dawn deals for electronics, apparel and accessories
By 4 a.m., there were a few parking spots at the Best Buy on York Road in Timonium. ...


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more Starbucks bode well for city

I still miss the Caribou Coffee on York Road...


Sun: "If you look at the thriving cities in the country, they all seem to have a predominance of Starbucks," said Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership. "It's a measure of the health of the city."


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Burning off the calories from your Thanksgiving dinner isn't as easy as it sounds

Sun: Thinking of taking a nice evening stroll to "walk off" your Thanksgiving dinner? Plan to be gone for more than six hours. That's how long it would take a person who weighs 155 pounds to burn the roughly 1,650 calories eaten in a typical Turkey Day feast - and that's without going back for seconds. ...


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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

12 new recalls

Metal jewelry does not fare well here ...

1. Metal Jewelry Sold by Family Dollar Stores Recalled Due to Risk of
Lead Exposure to Children
2. Cooper Lighting Recalls Fluorescent Shop Lights Due to Electrical
Shock Hazard3. Discount School Supply Recalls Paint Brushes Due to Violation of Lead
Paint Standard
4. Pure Allure Recalls Metal Jewelry Sold at Michaels Stores Due to Risk
of Lead Exposure to Children
5. La Femme NY Inc. Recalls Children's Necklace and Earring Sets Due to
Risk of Lead Exposure
6. Children's Metal Jewelry Recalled by Colossal Jewelry & Accessories
Due to Risk of Lead Exposure
7. Cherrydale Fundraising Recalls Bracelets Due to Risk of Lead Exposure
8. Children's Metal Jewelry Recalled by Buy-Rite Due to Risk of Lead
Exposure
9. Children's Pencil Pouches Recalled by Raymond Geddes & Co. Due to
Violation of Lead Paint Standard
10. Slipcovers Used With Boppy Pillows Recalled Due to Choking Hazard
and Risk of Lead Exposure
11. Elmo USA Corp. Recalls Visual Presenters [what is a visual presenter?]Due to Fire Hazard
12. Flashing Pacifiers Recalled By Sailing (U.S.) International Corp.
Due to Choking Hazard ... DETAILS FOR ALL HERE


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Helping the hungry

Towson Times:

Want to help a family that may not be as fortunate as yours? The Assistance Center of Towson prepares baskets during the holiday season and distributes them to needy families. Last year, the combined efforts of Towson churches set a record by providing 1,886 families in Baltimore city and county with a holiday dinner. This was the largest number in the 20-year history of the center. DETAILS


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Hampton Mansion ready to show off its renovations

Towson Times:

After all the renovations, a grand reopening is scheduled for Nov. 30 at 11 a.m. National Park Service hierarchy and Hampton faithful will be there for this important ceremony. No, no Tea Room -- yet.


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Baltimore County vs. rats

Examiner:

Rat hater Susan Rayba called it the “answer to her prayers.”

A proposal that would more than double the number of Baltimore County inspectors patrolling for violations that aggravate rodent infestations has residents like those in Rayba’s Dundalk neighborhood — where her husband has killed 83 rats since June — celebrating. Already, a herd of inspectors swept her street Monday and issued nearly all of her neighbors $25 tickets for heaps of junk, trash cans without lids and festering pet waste, she said.


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Dixon aide forced to step down

This really surprised me. I thought McCarthy was a rising star. I'm really only familiar with him from when he was on WYPR, but he seemed to do a good job. I wonder what's up.

Sun:

Allegations of inappropriate behavior leveled against Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's former communications director did not originate from a City Hall employee - suggesting the accusation is focused on activities outside of his official city duties.

Anthony W. McCarthy, a close aide to Dixon and the mayor's chief spokesman, was placed on leave Monday after the administration learned he is being investigated by Baltimore County police for a complaint to the department of "inappropriate behavior."


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local officials could have last word on slots

Examiner says:

Even if voters approve next year's referendum authorizing slot machines at five Maryland locations, local officials could still have the final say.

A provision in the slot machine legislation approved this week by the General Assembly requires slots operators to comply with local zoning regulations, said assistant state attorney general Kathryn Rowe.

I wonder how much power local officials would really have to stop slots.


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city teachers OK contract

From The Sun:

Baltimore teachers and paraprofessionals overwhelmingly approved a two-year contract yesterday that will give them a 4.5 percent pay raise this year and a 4 percent increase next year but will not resolve proposed changes affecting planning time, an issue that will stay in mediation.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Festival of Trees starts Friday

Includes a Milkshake concert.


Even with all those elves, the fat man himself couldn't have designed a better fantasy world than Kennedy Krieger Institute's Festival of Trees. It's a three-day extravaganza of fairyland forests, gingerbread towns and toy train gardens, complimented by 110 craft boutiques, holiday goodies and activities for kids of all ages. You can also enjoy a special line-up of nightly entertainment for the whole family! Learn more...

Thanksgiving weekend, November 23, 24 & 25. Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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Drive for slots heats up

Sun article: Some believe the public campaign for the gambling referendum will rival the most bitter state political races, in a year when the 2008 presidential contest will drive high voter turnout.


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Monday, November 19, 2007

Dr. Seuss show

The Children’s Playhouse of Maryland, in residence at CCBC Essex, presents Seussical 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16 and a 3 p.m. December 9 in the J Building Lecture Hall at CCBC Essex, 7201 Rossville Boulevard. All seats are $10.


"I can see that you’ve got quite a mind for your age! Why, one Think and you dragged me right onto the stage! Now, I’m here, there is no telling what may ensue With a Cat such as me, and a Thinker like you!"

So says the mischievous Cat in the Hat at the onset of this fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza!

This musical lovingly brings to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and all of the Whos of Whoville! These classic, colorful tales are seamlessly brought together by Jojo, a young boy and “thinker of strange and wonderful thinks”!

(Special Breakfast with Santa performance, call for date and time.)

Call the CCBC Box Office at 410-780-6369 for tickets and information.


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a great guide for holiday fun

From City Paper

Along with lists of what's hitting Baltimore's stages and concert halls, we've included open houses, children's stuff, ways to help others, interesting shopping opportunities, and whatever else we could stuff this here Holiday Calendar bird with. So get to planning some fun family events, or get together with friends or fly solo during the chilly months leading to the New Year, and we promise you'll sleep better. Entertainment is our winter stress reliever. Cheers, and we'll see you next year.

read events here


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more patrols at Towson U amid threat

Sun: Towson University police are stepping up campus police patrols this week after an anonymous threat indicated something would happen today at Linthicum Hall, a spokeswoman said yesterday. ...


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the state's new tax plan

from The Sun: ... Another area of compromise between the two chambers was in the individual income tax. The current levy is essentially flat, with all taxpayers qualifying for the top bracket of 4.75 percent.

Under the proposed new structure, individuals would pay 5 percent on taxable income above $150,000 a year, and couples would pay that rate on taxable income over $200,000 a year. A 5.25 percent bracket would apply to income greater than $300,000 a year for individuals, and $350,000 a year for couples. All income above $500,000 a year would be taxed at 5.5 percent.

O'Malley had proposed a new top rate of 6.5 percent, and the House had adopted a top bracket of 5.75 percent, but the Senate refused to accept anything higher than 5.5 percent. Legislators from Montgomery County, one of the state's more affluent counties, had lobbied hard against the higher income tax brackets. ...


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Americans reading less -- are you?

Chronicle of Higher Education story: Americans aren't just reading fewer books, but are reading less and less of everything, in any medium. That's the doleful conclusion of "To Read or Not to Read," a report scheduled for release today by the National Endowment for the Arts. ...


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

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

a must-see film that will make your blood boil

We just rented "No End in Sight," a documentary about the Iraq war. First, I will say there are no dead babies in this movie, so while there are a few scenes of violence, they are watchable. This is mainly a movie about policy and (lack of) planning for the war. Even if you support this war, you can't watch this film and not be enraged at the willful ignorance behind it. It's very well done; almost dispassionate and not at all Michael Moore-ish. (I like Moore's films but I will admit they are a bit over the top sometimes.)

Here's an excerpt from a New York Times review:

... The film’s title evokes the apparent interminability of this war more than four years after President Bush declared that “major combat operations” were over, and it twice shows Mr. Rumsfeld telling journalists, “I don’t do quagmires.” But Mr. Ferguson’s focus turns out to be fairly narrow. He does not dwell on the period between Sept. 11, 2001, and the beginning of the invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein, nor does he spend a lot of time chronicling the violence that has so far taken the lives of more than 3,000 American soldiers and marines and tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of Iraqis. Instead, most of the movie deals with a period of a few months in the spring and summer of 2003, when a series of decisions were made that did much to determine the terrible course of subsequent events.

It is important to note that Mr. Ferguson’s principal interlocutors were not, at the time, critics of the Bush administration’s policies in Iraq but rather people who had, often at considerable professional cost and personal risk, committed themselves to fulfilling those policies. They include Barbara Bodine, a diplomat with long experience in the Middle East; Paul Eaton, an Army major general; Seth Moulton, a lieutenant in the Marine Corps; and Jay Garner, the retired lieutenant general who served as head of the Organization of Recovery and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq. ...


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Saturday, November 17, 2007

child's storage rack and Halloween baskets recalled

1. Children's Wooden Storage Rack Recalled By Jetmax International Following Child's Death
2. Hobby Lobby Stores Recalls Halloween-Themed Baskets Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

details here


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Friday, November 16, 2007

When your pediatrician's not listening to you

CNN: ... In all, she says, eight doctors prescribed stimulants such as Ritalin -- often increasing the dosage -- even though she explained they hadn't worked before.

"They just kept saying, 'You need to give it time,' " Shelly says. "But he was so jacked up on drugs he couldn't sleep at night. We thought, 'These drugs aren't working, so why do they keep increasing the dosage?' "

Finally, after three years of trying stimulants to treat ADHD, a psychologist diagnosed in Travis a high-functioning form of autism. At 9, Travis stopped the ADHD drugs and started therapy for autistic children.

His behavior improved, his grades went up, and now at 14, his mother says, he's a "model student." ... full story


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Better hurry if you want to switch sides

Towson Times says:

The deadline for voters to change their political party affiliation for the upcoming presidential primary election is Nov. 19 at 9 p.m.

State law prohibits a voter from changing affiliation after the 9 p.m. on the Monday 12 weeks before the election Feb. 12. For more information, go to www.baltimorecountymd.gov/news/releases/1107deadline.html


Wouldn't it be neat if the candidates hadn't already been chosen by February and our votes mattered?


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County tries to boost recycling

The county collected 32,700 tons of paper in 2006 -- a 13 percent decline since 2001. Over the same period, the county collected 7,700 tons of bottles and cans -- representing a drop of more than 8 percent. ... Towson Times article


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Naked Towson U student found sleeping in office at Black & Decker

Shockingly, alcohol appears to be a factor, according the story in the Towson Times.


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Cromwell Bridge Road losing trees, angering residents

Sun: Brightly colored leaves aren't the only things falling along Cromwell Bridge Road this autumn. Some of the trees that produce them are coming down as well.

Looks like the Towson Times had a story earlier.


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tour of Rodgers Forge Elementary - Dec. 4

Tour for prospective families. Dec. 4 at 9:30 a.m. Mark your calendars.
http://rodgersforgees.bcps.org/school_calendar.htm


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thieves stripping copper from Rodgers Forge garages

From the neighborhood Citizens on Patrol:


Copper downspout and gutter thieves are stripping garages in the old section of Rodgers Forge. Early this week they took all of the copper down spouts from garages in the four hundred blocks of Regester and Murdock. They may have taken others.


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Thursday, November 15, 2007

the birth order of children

This was in my email today. Didn't make me "LOL" (gag) but it was pretty on. Am I a bad mom that I can relate to the 3rd-baby scenarios and I only have two kids?


Your Clothes:

1st baby:
You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.

2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.

3rd baby:
Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
_____________________________________________________
Preparing for the Birth:


1st baby:
You practice your breathing religiously.

2nd baby:
You don't bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.

3rd baby
: You ask for an epidermal in your eighth month.
______________________________________________________
The Layette
:

1st baby:
You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color- coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.

2nd baby:
You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.

3rd baby:
Boys can wear pink, can't they?
______________________________________________________
Worries:
1st baby:
At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick up the baby.

2nd baby:
You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.

3rd baby:
You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
______________________________________________________
The Pacifier:


1st baby:
If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.

2nd baby:
When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.

3rd baby:
You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
______________________________________________________
Diapering:


1st baby:
You change your baby's diaper every hour, whether they need it or not.

2nd baby:
You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.

3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
______________________________________________________
Activities:

1st baby:
You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.

2nd baby:
You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.

3rd baby:
You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.
__________ ____________________________________________
Going Out:

1st baby:
The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.

2nd baby:
Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.

3rd baby:
You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
______________________________________________________
At Home:

1st baby:
You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.

2nd baby:
You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.

3rd baby:
You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
______________________________________________________
Swallowing Coins (a favorite):


1st child:
When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.

2nd child:
When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.

3rd child:
When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance.
___________________________________________ ___________


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Baltimore County Board of Education meeting Nov. 20

TOWSON, MD. - The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education of Baltimore County will be held on Tuesday, November 20, 2007.

The Building and Contracts Committee of the Board will meet at approximately 4:45 p.m. The full Board will meet in open session at approximately 5:00 p.m. to discuss upcoming school board association events, school system and community meetings, and items of interest to Board members. The Board will then move immediately to a closed session. The Board will resume its open session at approximately 7:30 p.m.

The meeting(s) will be held in the ESS Building, Room 114, on the Greenwood Campus, 6901 Charles Street, in Towson. The public is welcome to attend all open sessions of the Board.
And here's a recap of the meeting on Nov. 13 at RFES.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jeep stolen on Stanmore

From the crime log:

"A Jeep was stolen 11/11, Sunday night in front of
111 Stanmore Road.
The thieve(s) also tried to steal another Jeep parked
on Stanmore Road at the triangle between Dumbarton
and Stevenson Lane. Because the battery was dead in that
Jeep, they could only steal the radio.

Chrysler products are the vehicles most easily stolen.
If you own a Plymouth, Dodge or Jeep, I strongly recommend
that you get a bar device for your steering wheel or
your brake pedal."


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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Here's a recap of the Rodgers Forge Elementary meeting

Representatives from Baltimore County Public Schools, along with Rodgers Forge Principal Susan Deise, met with parents tonight at RFES to discuss solutions to overcrowding.

Here’s a recap, and please feel free to send me corrections or additions, or post a comment:

Rodgers Forge Elementary has 625 kids. Its capacity is 396, not including the 161 spaces provided by the seven trailers (“relocatables”). There is physical space for one additional trailer.

Stoneleigh Elementary has 623 students with a capacity of 499 without its four trailers.

The Mays Chapel project (building a new special-education school in Mays Chapel and turning Ridge Ruxton back into a traditional elementary) is on track. We were told there is nothing major on the horizon that could derail it. There is no guarantee the state will help pay for any of it, though the state so far has not indicated its willingness or lack thereof to provide funding. However, BCPS said the state’s portion would be so small that even if it doesn’t pay, the plan could move ahead, although that is not optimal.

Even the most optimistic prediction is that Ridge Ruxton wouldn’t be open for new students for three to four more years.

One short-term solution to the overcrowding being looked at is moving RFES 5th graders to Dumbarton Middle School and having them be sort of segregated from the rest of the middle school.

That did not go over well with parents at the meeting who feel 5th grade is the students’ time to be leaders of the school and that putting them in a weird limbo for a year would do damage at an already-fragile time in their lives (that is, going into junior high, which can be a stressful period of a child’s life). Even if they do move, 5th graders would be considered part of the elementary school in terms of sports and academics.

There was no definitive answer as to when that move might be made. Theoretically it could happen next year, although BCPS seemed to indicate it would probably be two or more years. But it is possible that a student who is currently in 4th grade at RFES could be housed at Dumbarton next year.

Housing kindergartners off site was also discussed. At first we were told that option was totally off the table. Then we were told it was actually being considered. The kindergartners could potentially have classes in space rented from a church, or perhaps use part of Dumbarton Middle or part of the current Ridge Ruxton, which is way under capacity and is said to be in very good condition.

The idea behind moving the kindergarten is that it would not be as disruptive to kindergartners because they have never been to RFES and it wouldn’t feel strange to them to not be there.

We were told there is no projected danger that Dumbarton will also suffer from overcapacity issues. Some in the audience expressed disbelief that this could be the case. (Dumbarton was 131 kids under capacity as of September 2007.)

Details about countywide enrollment projections can be found here:
http://www.bcps.org/offices/strategic_planning/reports.html

If Ridge Ruxton does open as planned, there were questions as to how the districts would be divided. Will a circle be drawn around RFES so neighborhood kids can go there? Would Dumbarton be a dividing line, cutting the neighborhood in half? We were told that would all be looked at in the redistricting process and that resident concerns would be addressed in the process.

Several people asked why the overcrowding had gotten so bad and had not been solved earlier. BCPS said they can’t build schools based on projected overcapacity; they need to wait for schools to actually be overcapacity (and to have done things like added trailers already, etc.) Who made/enforces this rule was not entirely clear.

People brought up concerns about the size of the trailers and safety issues with kids walking from them to the main building. BCPS said they shared our concerns.

We were told RFES is within code for the bathroom-to-child ratio.

We were encouraged to talk about this issue with our neighbors, even those without children, because good schools increase property values and betters the community in general.

We were also encouraged to be assertive in our desires when speaking to BCPS board members or state lawmakers but to also be polite because that will go a long way and is greatly appreciated by officials.

You may leave a comment or read comments by clicking the link below.


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Football helmets, folding chairs recalled

Nike Recalls Football Helmet Chin Straps Which Can Break and Pose
Risk of Serious Injury

Iceberg Enterprises LLC Recalls Folding Chairs Due to Fall Hazard

details


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thinking of starting a new business?

Nov. 15 at 2:00 p.m. at the Towson Library:

A workshop offered by the Small Business Development Center at Towson University on how to write a business plan and other aspects of starting your own business.


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

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Milkshake plays the Towson mall this Friday

Friday November 16, 2007 10:00 AM -- "Milkshake DUO celebrates the holiday season at Towson Town Mall's Family Fun Day. Join us for prizes, music and lots of fun."


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

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meeting at Rodgers Forge Elementary tonight

School board officials will meet with parents to discuss the overcrowding issue, why re-districting is not on the table, any special plans for the kindergarten (there is talk of moving it) and other issues. Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Rodgers Forge Elementary.


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

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seeking insults at the holidays

Dear Miss Manners: I love hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have hosted these holidays for all my siblings and their children every year since my mother was no longer able to host it herself. My parents are, of course, invited, and it really ends up being a potluck, but I always have it at my house.

Now that my boys are married, they seem to not want to come to our house every year. One of my daughters-in-law even suggested that I let her host it at their apartment one year and try out some new “traditions.”

I feel very insulted ... more


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34-year-old grandmother allegedly steals her grandson from hospital

Good gawd, just the words "34-year-old grandmother" are enough to make you shudder.

Sun: Baltimore police found yesterday a 2-year-old boy and the grandmother accused of taking him from Johns Hopkins Hospital early Saturday, a police spokesman said.


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

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Baby born on I-95

Sun: A Maryland State Police trooper responded to an unusual request for assistance yesterday afternoon: a woman in labor on Interstate 95.


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Balt. Co. Council can swiftly amend, pass legislation minus public study

Sun ... Tinkering with bills throughout the lawmaking process is not uncommon for any legislative body. But while governments in other nearby counties require amended bills to undergo additional public review, no such requirement exists in Baltimore County, where changes are sometimes made hours before bills are passed into law. ...


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O'Malley promise on taxes erased by Legislature

Sun article: ...Estimates from the nonpartisan Department of Legislative Services show that O'Malley's plan would be a better deal for low- and middle-income households (and worse for high earners) than the plans passed by the legislature. O'Malley has maintained his support for the package, but the amendments have altered his claim that 83 percent of Marylanders would actually pay less under his tax plan. ...


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Monday, November 12, 2007

Findings Could Ease Concerns About Troubled Schoolchildren

New York Times article: Educators and psychologists have long feared that children entering school with behavior problems were doomed to fall behind in the upper grades. But two new studies suggest that those fears are exaggerated.

One concluded that kindergartners who are identified as troubled do as well academically as their peers in elementary school. The other found that children with attention deficit disorders suffer primarily from a delay in brain development, not from a deficit or flaw. ...


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new Reading is Fundamental web site

Baltimore's Child: Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF) has launched a new, free educational website to help parents and caregivers develop the language skills of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
http://www.rif.org/leadingtoreading/en/


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

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neat health-food store in Towson

Someone told me about this store a long time ago but I just today got around to going there -- spurred on by my need for lots of cream of tartar for homemade play dough. It's called The Health Concern and it's at 28 Susquehanna Ave. (410-828-4015) in downtown Towson. My bulk cream of tartar was super cheap, and I also got some bulk organic whole wheat flour. I plan to go back when I have more time to browse.


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

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meeting at Rodgers Forge Elementary tomorrow night

School board officials will meet with parents to discuss the overcrowding issue, why re-districting is not on the table, any special plans for the kindergarten (there is talk of moving it) and other issues. Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Rodgers Forge Elementary.


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

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

8 secret scores that lenders keep

Lenders track every last detail of your spending habits, then use the data to estimate not just how big a risk you are but how profitable a customer you might be.

Liz Pulliam Weston: Recently my husband and I received nearly identical balance-transfer offers from our respective Bank of America cards. The offers were identical, that is, except for the rates we'd be given. He was enticed with a 0% rate. Mine was 2.99%.


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

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How to respond to "Just ignore the mess"

Dear Miss Manners: What’s the proper response to a homeowner’s admonition to “just ignore the mess” when entering her home? “OK!” seems insulting; “What mess?” is phony; and “Mine’s a lot worse” is transparent and self-deprecating. ... more

(Visitors to my house should probably read this....)


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Slots in Middle River?

Sun: Baltimore County delegates are considering a plan for a slot machine gambling parlor in the Middle River area, an idea that could gain political traction amid opposition to proposed sites in Cecil and Worcester counties.


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

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possible standardized test for college students

Sun: College students in Maryland and across the country might soon be taking standardized tests to determine how much they've learned on campus - part of a national effort to hold universities accountable for student achievement.


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Group protests foie gras as cruel

Sun: ... Tom Chungsakoon, owner of Ten-0-Six, was turned off by a video BARC sent him. "It's torture, and I just cannot serve it anymore," he said. Dean did not return a call seeking comment. "I don't need the drama," he told the Baltimore Business Journal this month.


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Saturday, November 10, 2007

A great way to stop unwanted catalogs

I just discovered Catalog Choice, a service that lets you quickly stop catalogs from coming to your house. I collected about 10 catalogs I don't want to receive anymore and I just entered the customer numbers and in a few minutes I was done.


Here's the company's description from its Web site:


Catalog Choice is a free service that allows you to decide what gets in your mailbox. Use it to reduce your mailbox clutter, while helping save natural resources.

Catalog Choice is a sponsored project of the Ecology Center. It is endorsed by the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council, and funded by the Overbrook Foundation, the Merck Family Fund, and the Kendeda Fund.


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Friday, November 9, 2007

Have you been to this new kids' store in Towson?

Have you been to the new Lakeshore Learning Center? It's a teacher-supply store that has lots of neat crafts and some educational toys. (Similar to the Learning How store at Kennelworth, but much larger.) They also offer free crafts on Saturdays -- see on-going events in column on the right side of this page. Store is on Joppa, right next to Hooters -- so, hey, you're probably there all the time anyway.


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

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county targets rowdy college students

Towson Times article: Baltimore County police in the Towson Precinct now are assigning two officers to handle "disruptive behavior" calls concerning college students Tuesday through Saturday from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.


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

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county police warn Honda Civic owners

Towson Times article: Baltimore County police are investigating a series of thefts of Honda Civics in the Towson area.
"They're remarkably easy to steal," said Bill Toohey, a police spokesman.


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

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B County schools enrollment falls and rises -- and don't forget the meeting Tuesday night

Sun article: Although the Baltimore County public school system has a declining number of students overall, pockets of growth continue to cause crowding in some schools, and officials must "think creatively" to balance the district's space needs, the head of the county school board said in an interview yesterday.

"A lot of times, such as in the Towson situation, you don't even have the option of moving kids around to nearby schools because those schools are in the same crowded position," board President JoAnn C. Murphy said.

ALSO: School board officials will meet with parents to discuss the overcrowding issue, why re-districting is not on the table, any special plans for the kindergarten and other issues. Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Rodgers Forge Elementary.


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

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too much lead in fountains; city schools to get coolers

This seems like a tricky subject. Obviously, kids should not be drinking lead-tainted water. And fountains can be dirty. But think of all the plastic for the coolers and the plastic/paper for the cups. Also, what's the situation of fountains at schools in Baltimore County and other areas?

Sun article: The Baltimore school system is abandoning 15 years of efforts to remove the lead in its water fountains and will instead provide bottled water in coolers to all schools.


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downtown traffic to be diverted for Ravens game

Sun: Traffic patterns on streets around M&T Bank Stadium will be changed on Sunday to accommodate fans attending the football game between the Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ... details


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smoking-ban waivers debated

Sun article: Less than three months before the state's sweeping smoking ban will go into effect, supporters and opponents of the ban tackled the details of the proposed regulations at a public hearing yesterday, focusing on a provision allowing for temporary waivers.
The waivers would give bars and restaurants that prove financial hardship a three-year extension to comply with the smoking ban.


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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Senate gives preliminary approval to slots referendum

Examiner article: The Maryland Senate gave preliminary approval Thursday to holding a November 2008 referendum on slot machine gambling and moved toward voting on Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to address the state's budget deficit.

A final vote was expected later Thursday. The Senate also considered amendments to O'Malley's slot machine plan.


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Two area men indicted on separate child porn charges

Sun article: A federal grand jury yesterday indicted a man from Columbia and a man from Pikesville in unrelated child pornography cases, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.


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

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police seeking Owings Mills shooters

Sun article: Baltimore County police asked for the public's help yesterday in finding two men who committed a robbery in Owings Mills that ended with the victim's being shot in the head as he lay on the ground.


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

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Maryland's state parks in a crisis

Sun article: Maryland's 49 state parks are in "a state of crisis" because of cuts in funding and manpower and require an immediate infusion of both, a new study concludes.


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

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Baltimore City making it easier to recycle

Sun article: Baltimore is planning a major overhaul of its recycling program that aims to boost participation by making it easier for residents to dispose of their cans, paper and plastic, city officials said yesterday.


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

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

nine recalls

1. Northern Tool & Equipment Recalls "Big Red" Wagons Due to Violation
of Lead Paint Standard
2. International Sourcing Ltd. Recalls Toy Dragster and Funny Car Due
to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
3. Toy Cars Recalled by Dollar General Due to Violation of Lead Paint
Standard
4. Schylling Associates Recalls Duck Family Collectable Toy Due To
Violation of Lead Paint Standard
5. Additional Spinning Top Recalled by Schylling Associates Due To
Violation of Lead Paint Standard
6. Schylling Associates Recalls Dizzy Ducks Music Box Due To Violation
of Lead Paint Standard
7. Schylling Associates Recalls Collectable Toy Robot Due To Violation
of Lead Paint Standard
8. Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Recalled by
Carrier Due to Fire Hazard
9. Spin Master Recalls Aqua Dots - Children Became Unconscious After
Swallowing Beads

details


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B County Bd of Education meetings postponed

Sun article: The Baltimore County Board of Education meetings scheduled for tonight have been postponed until tomorrow because of a power outage.


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Explosion rocks Hampden street

Sun article: Five people were injured, and three rowhouses were condemned by city building inspectors after an explosion yesterday afternoon rocked a quiet street in Hampden.


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Sarbanes having a virtual town hall meeting tonight

"On November 7, 2007 at 7:00 P.M., I will be holding a Virtual Town Hall, via telephone, so that I can answer your questions and share my thoughts on how we can work together to fix the problems facing Maryland's Third Congressional District.

To participate in tomorrow's Virtual Town Hall, please call 1-866-447-5149 and, when prompted, enter # 12965 as your PIN.

If you are unable to participate in my Virtual Town Hall but still wish to share your questions, comments or concerns, please call my district office at 410-832-8890 or contact me through my website www.sarbanes.house.gov."


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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

recalled products

1. Laugh & Learn Kitchen Toys Recalled by Fisher-Price Due To Choking Hazard

2. Hunter Fan Recalls Humidifiers for Fire Hazard

3. Swimways Corp. Recalls "Skippy" Pool Toys Due to Laceration Hazard

details here


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No more Halloween parade at RFES

Maybe the community should do a lantern parade at the Tot Lot instead, as they do in Patterson Park?

Towson Times article: The October issue of "Rodgers Forge Chronicles," the school newsletter, cited safety concerns and cultural diversity when it announced the cancellation of future Halloween celebrations.


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Towson's Brochin to side with Republicans on taxes

Sun article: Democratic leaders in the General Assembly remain confident they will pass Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed tax increases, but at least one member of their party says he will stand up with Republicans to stop them.

Sen. James Brochin, a conservative Democrat from Towson, said he will participate in any filibuster that Republicans attempt to derail the tax plan.


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county discusses more cable options

Sun article: Baltimore County Council members approved last night the start of negotiations on a deal that could give county residents a third choice of cable television providers.


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Woman guilty of manslaughter in child's death

Sun article: The woman driving a truck that struck and then dragged a toddler in a stroller for nearly a mile was convicted of vehicular manslaughter yesterday, after the judge hearing the case said the boy would likely still be alive if the driver had only stopped.


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Balt. County school board reps to meet w/parents re: overcrowding

School board officials will meet with parents to discuss the overcrowding issue, why re-districting is not on the table, any special plans for the kindergarten and other issues. Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Rodgers Forge Elementary.


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