Friday, February 29, 2008

underground bunker for the new Bush library?

The Chronicle of Higher Education asked readers to submit back-of-the envelope designs for the new George W. Bush library. Here's an interesting video of what they came up with.


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

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Bradford Bank on York Road was just robbed

Bradford Bank, across from Uncle Wiggly's, was just robbed (around noon). Police cars and helicopter were searching for the suspect. More details when I get them.

Update: I just spoke with an officer at Precinct 6. He said they think the suspect has left the area; he's not been caught.

Karl Pfrommer reports that the robber's jacket was recovered in the middle of Dumbarton -- (and my neighbor spotted it in the road on Dumbarton near Regester or Rodgers Forge Road -- creepy!). Police have video of him in the bank.


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

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Document shows Jim Smith's priorities (and they don't include Towson schools)

Towson Families United has uncovered a document that shows Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith specifically requesting money for additions at two schools (one of which was barely overcrowded and the other was under capacity), while at the same time he was ignoring Towson schools. These were projects the school system had not requested. Read the gory details at the TFU site.


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Wells' 50% off wine sale starts March 5

A very important public service announcement from The Forge Flyer: The Wells Discount Liquor sale starts March 5 and ends March 10 (unless you're on their email list, in which case you get the discount now).

Here are the terms of the sale: "Buy two (2) bottles of the same 750ml size wine at the regular price and get the second bottle for 50% off the regular price. In stock items only, no special orders, no sale items, you cannot combine this sale with any other coupon or sale, prior sales excluded, and there are no limits on quantities."

Now, where'd I put my forklift?


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meeting March 11 about the bridge planned at Charles Street and the beltway

Gov. O'Malley has proposed an allocation of $40 million for construction of Phase I of the Charles Street / Beltway Interchange to build a new Charles Street Bridge over the Beltway to improve traffic flow and improve safety for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. There will be an informational meeting on March 11 at 6 p.m.

MG Harry C. Ruhl Armory
1035 York Road
Towson, MD 21204


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Thursday, February 28, 2008

for teens: virtual college tours on March 9

Mar 9, 2008
Jewish Community Center
Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC, College Center 11:00am -1:00pm
Cost: $15/JCC M; $25/NM
For More Information Contact: Esther Gunter, 410.356.5200, x612 or egunter@jcc.org
Guided by an expert, this workshop will help college bound high school students to explore colleges within three hours (150 miles) of Baltimore. Using the wide array of colleges in this radius, students will learn important facts to help them formulate opinions about the type of campus that is ideal for them. Elements beyond academics, such as urban vs. rural campus, large vs. small campus and other factors that affect student life will be covered.


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scam artists working in the Parkville area

Baltimore County, Md. (February 28, 2008) - Baltimore County Police are warning the public to be aware that deception burglars have surfaced again in the community, and residents should be aware of strangers at the door.

Deception burglars work in teams and claim to be something they are not in order to distract a homeowner. They may pose as contractors, utility workers, lost strangers or friends of neighbors. While one of the criminals distracts the victim, another moves through the house seeking cash, jewelry and other valuables.

In the latest case, an 85-year-old man was approached by a stranger who said he wanted to talk to him about a fence in the victim’s backyard. A second suspect came to the front door and told the victim’s 79-year-old wife that he needed to look at the plumbing and check the water pressure. He told the woman to stay in the basement while he went upstairs. While the two victims were distracted the man inside the house found a safe and took it. The suspects then left the area in a white Dodge Durango. The couple lives in the 3400-block of E. Joppa Road.

The suspects are described as Hispanic males, one about 25-30 years old, and 180 pounds, with short black hair. The other is about 35-40 years old, also about 180 pounds, with short black hair. Anyone with information about these men is asked to dial 911 and tell Baltimore County police.

All residents are warned to beware of strangers at the door. Do not let strangers in the house, and don’t leave the house with a stranger for any reason. In fact, residents do not even have to open the door. If there is someone outside who concerns them, they should dial 911 right away.

Neighbors of elderly residents are also asked to be on the alert. If they see strangers talking to their neighbors, they might ask what is going on. If they see strangers on the street who seem to be lingering with no apparent purpose, they should call 911 right away.


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

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crib recall

Majestic Curved Top and Flat Top Cribs, Essex Cribs, Brighton/Sussex Cribs and Captiva Cribs
Details and photos here.


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Feds remind parents that soft bedding in crib can be deadly

AP: From 2002 to 2004, 241 children under age 5 died in incidents involving nursery products. About 40 percent of the deaths involved cribs, with soft bedding cited as the leading contributing factor. Many of the children suffocated when lying face down on pillows or other bedding .... full story


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modern play worse for kids' development

Interesting piece on NPR today. Here's an excerpt:

Executive function has a number of elements, such as working memory and cognitive flexibility. But perhaps the most important is self-regulation — the ability for kids to control their emotions and behavior, resist impulses, and exert self-control and discipline. Executive function — and its self-regulation element — is important. Poor executive function is associated with high dropout rates, drug use and crime. In fact, good executive function is a better predictor of success in school than a child's IQ.

Unfortunately, play has changed dramatically during the past half-century, and according to many psychological researchers, the play that kids engage in today does not help them build executive function skills. Kids spend more time in front of televisions and video games. When they aren't in front of a screen, they often spend their time in leagues and lessons — activities parents invest in because they believe that they will help their children to excel and achieve. ... Here's a Q&A with parents and researchers, and the full story



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Elephant baby set to arrive soon at zoo

Baby elephant could be born within days, reports Brent Jones of The Sun. (Just in time for Saturday's season opener.)


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federal panel says most kids should get flu shots

Stephanie Desmon reports in The Sun:

Yesterday's proposal, covering all children 6 months through 17 years except for those with serious egg allergies, would not take effect until 2009. Officials said they held off a year because many doctors have already placed vaccine orders for the next flu season and might be unprepared for the logistical challenges that could come with administering so many more shots so soon. ... full story


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Towson Times editorial board tells Joe Hairston and Jim Smith to get with the program

On page 8 of today's Towson Times, the editorial board opines on the ridiculous situation with overcrowded schools in Rodgers Forge, etc. Regarding assurances that this is being taken seriously by BCPS Superintendent Joe Hairston and County Executive Jim Smith, the paper said,

"... But encouraging words are cheap. What is needed is money and a plan to build additions at several of the most overcrowded schools or, ideally, a new school that would ease the overall crunch and get most students out of trailers and back into school buildings. ..." read the whole thing here


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Radical Ropers of Dumbarton Middle

They're featured in a story today in the Towson Times. Word of caution for the parents of jump-rope-loving kids: My neighbor went to register for jump-rope camp last year and the line went down the block. Get there early if you plan to sign up!


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

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Rodgers Forge apartments turned condos turn apartments

So what happens to the people that bought condos thinking they'd be living in a condo community and have a pool and all that?

Loni Ingraham of the Towson Times reports: "There is no market for condominiums now," said Steven Bloom, a principal in PMC Property Group, which bought the 32-acre complex Jan. 28. "That's why the previous owner failed." ... full story


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Zoo opens this Saturday

Admission is only $5/person, which I'm sure will attract throngs of people and make the place feel like a ... zoo.

Opening weekend Animal/Keeper Schedule
Saturday, March 1, 2007
11:00am Polar Bears Enrichment/Keeper Chat
11:30am Elephants Wild Encounter
12:00pm Puppet Show (Education Dept.)
1:00am Chimp Keeper Chat
1:30pm Leopards Enrichment/Keeper Chat
2:00pm Giraffe Keeper Chat
2:30pm Crocs Enrichment/Keeper Chat
3:00pm Penguin Wild Encounter

more details here


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a REALLY easy way to support the Maryland Food Bank

Leave food by my mailbox? Could it be any easier?

Harvest for the Hungry Spring Food Drive
March 1-8, 2008
This drive helps restock the shelves of the Maryland Food Bank and its network of 1,000 soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters across the state after the harsh winter season. Participating in this campaign is simple: just leave a bag of non-perishable food by your mailbox anytime during March 1– 8 and local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Postal Service letter carriers will pick it up. Details here.


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Should schools be making our kids learn the names of fast-food chains?

A mom posted an interesting comment on the Charm City Moms blog (on the Sun site) today:

...(My kids) were placed in front of a large poster with about a dozen fast food logos printed on it (McDonalds, Dunkin' Donuts, and so on). The teacher pointed to each one and repeated the name of it over and over again. The kids were asked to say the names with her. ...
This was a topic of conversation in my neighborhood last year after a parent at Rodgers Forge complained. I have to say, I agree with the mom who is upset. I'm not holier-than-thou about fast food, but it's something we don't give our kids (although we allow them to eat it parties, etc.), and even so, my 5-year-old son knows what McDonald's is and I'm sure it's just a matter of time before he starts begging me to go there. I think our schools should not be reinforcing these brands in kids' minds.

The mom was told this was actually part of the county's curriculum. Think it shouldn't be? Let them know. (I think it's aimed at helping them read and learning that signs have meanings?)

State Schools Superintendent Nancy Grasmick
ngrasmick@msde.state.md.us
(410) 767-0462

County Schools Superintendent Joe Hairston
jhairston@bcps.org
(410) 887-4281

Central Area Schools Assistant Superintendent Lyle Patzkowsky
lpatzkowsky@bcps.org
(410) 887-3172

Dr. Sonia Diaz
Chief Academic Officer, BCPS Division of Curriculum and Instruction
410-887-4083

Board of Education
www.bcps.org/board


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Examiner story on TFU's request for info on school overcrowding

We also learn from this story that County Executive Jim Smith requested construction funds for two elementary schools that are less crowded than Towson's schools. Here's the full article by Dorothy Rowley.


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

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General Assembly seeks to limit public's access to info

Hopefully this won't affect the efforts of Towson Families United, which has filed a Public Information Act request to get more details from the county about the issue of overcrowded schools. Here's the story in The Examiner by Stephen Janis:

Amending the law — which gives the public the right to request and receive information from almost any government agency, subject to very few restrictions — would be a setback for transparency, another opponent of the law said. ... full story


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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New rule would ease restrictions on smoking ban

Right now, smoking is allowed in outdoor patios, etc. Under this bill, smoking would not be allowed there if they had to put up temporary walls due to rain, etc., according to this article in The Examiner. .... Actually, this disappoints me because I'm picturing how gross it will be to eat outdoors in the spring if all the patios are overrun with smokers.


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

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A debate about who should control school budget in Balto County

Here's a fascinating story by Gina Davis of The Sun about the power the county executive has. I've spoken with friends from out of state who are amazed at the way our system is run.

Cheryl Bost, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, said she was disturbed by the apparent pressure board members felt to avoid adding to the budget. She said county schools Superintendent Joe A. Hairston and board members should develop a reasonable budget based on the system's needs for Smith to review.

"It's a misuse of the checks and balance in the budget process ... for [Smith] to set a target and if you go over the target you get punished" with cuts, Bost said.

The school board must present a budget by March 1 to Smith, who may add or delete funds before sending it to the County Council. The council cannot add to the spending plan. ... full story


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attackers, not victims, would change schools under new law

Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow victims to ask that their attackers be transferred to other schools, according to this piece in the Examiner.

The federal No Child Left Behind Act includes a provision that gives students who are victims of violent crimes the option of transferring schools. But many principals and superintendents think it’s unfair that victims should have to lose their friends and transfer. ... full story


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Monday, February 25, 2008

Sheryl Crow playing Pazo;
tix start at $400

It's a benefit show for The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, which enhances lives by supporting, educating and connecting young adults, and their loved ones, affected by cancer. Show is Sunday, March 16.


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

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lawmakers might revise homestead tax credit rule

Timothy Wheeler of The Sun reports:

Last year, convinced that landlords and owners of second homes were claiming tax breaks they didn't deserve, legislators unanimously passed a law requiring all Maryland homeowners to apply for a valuable tax credit that they've gotten more or less automatically until now. Since December, though, state lawmakers have been peppered with questions and complaints from homeowners about the new application requirement. ... full story


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Today is Dan Rodricks' first day on WYPR

It's on right now. It's a pretty interesting show. Of course, I'm only half listening. I think he's doing a pretty good job, and that is not a comment on the appropriateness of firing Marc Steiner, just a comment on Rodricks. .... Someone just called him Marc. Oops. Bet that will happen for a while.


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

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Milkshake to play at Park School on March 8

Saturday March 08, 2008 - 11:00 AM
Milkshake Band at The Meyerhoff Center at The Park School, Old Court Road, between Greenspring Avenue and Falls Road. Open to the Park School community only until March 1st. Contact Park School for any available tickets after that date at pa@parkschool.net


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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Zen habits to simplify your life

I just read this posting on ParentHacks. It was pretty interesting. I should probably follow this advice more than I am now.

"I make priorities in my life, and simplify everything by eliminating all that isn't a priority. I keep my life simple so that I may have time for the important things: my writing, my wife, and my kids. Here's how I do it." ... read the post


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I like this new kids' consignment store

I went to Kid to Kid in Cockeysville the other day, a consignment-store franchise. This is the only one in Maryland. It was good. Very clean, not cluttered, well lit, and spacious. They have some neat new toys (Melissa & Doug and things in that vein) and a lot of good used clothes. They also have a little play area for the kids. Reminded me of Once Upon a Child but a little nicer. I really like Hopscotch, too, which is just off York Road in Timonium right by the Nautilus diner. Hopscotch has, along with consignment clothes, lots of neat new items, too, and many things that can be personalized.


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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Do you use a Pur or Brita water pitcher?

A little random, but we used to use a Pur water pitcher and keep it in the fridge. We switched a few weeks ago to a bigger version that has a spout on it like you see on water coolers. This has made a huge difference for us. Now, when the water is filtering down, you can still easily dispense water, and more importantly, our kids can easily access the water. Plus it needs to be refilled much less frequently, and filling it is not as cumbersome as it may seem. I find our kids drink a lot more water now because they're able to easily get it themselves. It took my 2-year-old a while to figure out this was not a toy, but it all worked out.

Anyway, just a little thing that made life simpler.


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changes to Family Leave act proposed

The Sun: Federal regulators have proposed relatively minor changes to the popular Family and Medical Leave Act, a relief for advocates who had feared a sweeping rewrite that would have made it difficult for people to take advantage of it. ... full story


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Baltimore County teachers vote in favor of job actions

Where are our priorities when teachers aren't paid enough and schools are overflowing?

Gina Davis of The Sun reports: "Our goal is not to hurt kids but to let parents and the public know that teachers do go above and beyond, and we do deserve pay raises," said Cheryl Bost, president of the 9,000-member Teachers Association of Baltimore County. ... full story


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Friday, February 22, 2008

author Ron Shapiro to speak at Loyola Blakefield

"Loyola Blakefield is proud to welcome best selling author and negotiations expert, Ronald M. Shapiro[,] to speak about his new book, Dare to Prepare: How to Win Before You Begin!

Ron Shapiro uses his own experiences as an attorney, agent, consultant, and master negotiator, as well as the stories of 38 successful individuals to illustrate how to become a preparation expert."

March 18. Free, but reservations required. Details here.


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girls' jewelry and magnetic dart boards recalled


1. Children's Metal Jewelry Recalled by Pecoware Due to Risk of Lead
Exposure
2. Family Dollar Recalls Magnetic Dart Boards; Ingested Magnets Pose
Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards


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Rock n Romp this weekend

Show in Charles Village this Saturday, Feb. 23 - details here.

"Rock-n-Romp is a family friendly concert series started in the DC area that showcases fantastic local musicians and bands, and now has outposts in Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Memphis and Philadelphia. Shows are held during the day in a relaxed, kid-safe environment, and while the volume is low, the music still ROCKS. You may hear a kiddie song every once in a while, but these shows are about the kind of music you listened to BEFORE YOU HAD KIDS. Kids enjoy the watching the bands, experiment with instruments, dance, or just run around and hang out, and parents get the ever-so-rare opportunity to see a great live show and hang out with other like-minded parents. Romps give parents who miss their social life a chance to get out, enjoy some music that might be new to them, and expose their kids to great bands in a safe, friendly environment. What's not to love??"


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American Craft Council show in Baltimore this weekend

More than 700 of the country's leading craft artists will gather under one roof to present their latest hiqh-quality, handmade work to the public - at the American Craft Baltimore Show - the largest juried, indoor craft show in the nation. The highest quality of handmade jewelry, furniture, clothing, home décor, and more, will be available for purchase at the Baltimore Convention Center, February 22-24, 2008

This sounds especially neat:
DEMO STAGE: Demonstrations range in content—from exploring techniques across glass, fiber, painting, jewelry, wood, digital photography and fiber arts media to learning how to dye yarn with Kool Aid—and will be presented by artists considered experts in their area of interest.

$14/person; kids 12 and under are free. Details.


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Have any Star Wars fans in your house?

We're planning to take a trip to Philadelphia to see this Star Wars exhibit at the Franklin Institute Science Center. The exhibit runs through early May.

My son's head almost exploded when he saw the website. Of course, my husband saw Star Wars more than 70 times when he was a kid, so maybe it's genetic.


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snow-day survival kit; fun activities

Here are some ideas from iVillage on fun things to do with the kids while everyone's home for the day, and check out the same topic on Charm City Moms. ... We have some Pillsbury crescent rolls in the fridge for some dish I thought I might make and never did, so I think we'll make this monkey bread for fun. [Update: It was delish!]


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Dr. Seuss event March 1 at Lakeshore Learning Store


The store is in Towson on Joppa Road.
Details here. ... The Roland Park library is also having a Dr. Seuss birthday party event on March 4.


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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Three interesting documents regarding overcrowding at Towson schools

1. Sen. Jim Brochin pursued the matter of Mays Chapel with state schools superintendent Nancy Grasmick and she basically said it could move ahead. Click here to download her letter in PDF form.

2. Here is a letter (PDF) in which County Executive Jim Smith says he's not keen on Mays Chapel.

3. And here is a PDF of a letter in which Jim Brochin and delegates Lafferty, Aumann and Frank ask BCPS's Joe Hairston and Jim Smith to come to Annapolis and resolve the situation.

(Thank you to Sen. Brochin and his legislative aide, Katie, for sending these along.)


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Towson Familes United takes legal action to get answers

This group is so great. Platitudes and promises will not cut it; they are demanding facts. Here's a post from their blog:

After months of getting no answers, conflicting answers and misleading answers from county and school officials, Towson Families United has decided to use the force of law to get some straight answers.

Josh Glikin, an attorney and parent of a Rodgers Forge Elementary student, today sent Public Information Act Requests to the Baltimore County Executive’s office, Baltimore County Public Schools and the Baltimore County Office of Planning. The requests, filed on behalf of Towson Families United, ask for copies of all correspondence, electronic or otherwise, that discuss or concern overcrowding, or an increase in the number of students above school capacity, at Towson’s four public elementary schools.

The requests also ask for specific correspondence related to the County Executive’s sudden decision to not fund a new special-needs school in Mays Chapel, that would have freed up space for another elementary school in Towson. -- Click here to read the PIA request on the TFU blog.



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Vin restaurant goes all
sports bar on us


An interesting item in The Sun's food blog (OK, I wrote it) about how Vin now shows sports on its TV screens.


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

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Would you go slower on Dumbarton if a police camera was watching you?

(Were watching you?) The General Assembly is considering putting speed cameras in school and construction zones. Here's the Examiner story.


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

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legislation sought to fight bullying

"Bullying is a very toxic form of abuse," said Dr. Jorge Srabstein, an associate professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University School of Medicine who specializes in children's issues. "It occurs not only in schools but over the Internet and cellular phones, in the neighborhood ... as hazing among young adults in college and lastly, among adults in the workplace." full story in The Sun


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winter storm warning for tonight

Snow and freezing rain expected.


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Steiner fans meet to fight his firing

Jill Rosen of The Sun reports:

To register their complaints, people filled the Baltimore Museum of Art's auditorium, which seats about 360. Some picketed outside. Others handed out stickers with slogans such as: "No Marc = No Money." WYPR, 88.1 FM, abruptly canceled the Feb. 1, noting declining ratings and what it called Steiner's focus on Baltimore despite the station's reach to all corners of Maryland. ... full story


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surprising story about John McCain in the NYT

This story shocked me a bit. I don't agree with McCain on a lot of things, but somehow I thought he was a stand-up guy (despite the Keating Five scandal). Of course, a lot of people will say there's nothing to this story. And here's an article with McCain denying the report and his supporters bashing the NYT.

NYT: A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity. ... full story
This photo is from 1973. Reminds me of a young Marlon Brando.


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words to all those nursery rhymes you feel like you should know

"This old man, he did something. He la la la la la la..." If you get stuck, this site has the words to practically everything.


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Let's dish about Rodgers Forgers in the New York Times

The Times has a story today about how meal-assembly businesses are not growing as fast as people thought they would. The photos for the article are of our own Melissa Tillman (who you'll perhaps recognize as a sponsor of this site) and her friends at Let's Dish in Timonium. Here's the story and the slideshow.


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

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new resource for parents

The Sun has started a new blog called Charm City Moms. Looks like it will have lots of good info. It also opened my eyes to this site: www.parenthacks.com, which I've only glanced at but looks interesting. Like the tip about using an ice cube tray to hold paints.


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parents urged to be proactive about overcrowded schools

From one of the parents who's been active in trying to get a new school:

Dear RFES families and friends:

Here are two things you can do toward getting an elementary school opened in Towson:

1. Write a letter to the Towson Times in response today's article about the meeting at RFES. It's available immediately at www.towsontimes.com. We need to keep this issue front and center. [email letters to towsontimes@patuxent.com]

2. Identify three families in your neck of the woods that have children not yet enrolled in elementary school. Talk to them about the overcrowding issue and tell them to go to www.towsonfamiliesunited.com and sign up. Let them know they need to be activists now so that their children won't have classes in trailers.

-Alyson Bonavoglia


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Towson Times on overcrowding

Here's Virginia Terhune's story* in the Towson Times about overcrowding at Rodgers Forge:

When those representatives encouraged parents to lobby for new construction at a March 13 capital budget meeting at Dumbarton Middle School, parents shot back their own request.

“Give us a plan by March 13, and we’ll advocate for you if you’ll give us a decent solution,” one parent said.

The March 13 meeting will give citizens a chance to lobby for new school projects as part of the development of the county’s 2009-10 school budget.
Here's the recap from the Forge Flyer, too.
*If the Towson Times link expires, go here.


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what teenage boys are thinking about girls

Boys care more about love and relationships than sex, a new study says. Here's the NYT story.


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city worker fired for charging for free services

Examiner: Green said Jones was terminated rather than suspended because he had been disciplined before for charging city residents to make repairs.

The latest work-for-hire scheme was uncovered after Jones charged $100 to unclog a sewer line for an unnamed homeowner. During the repair, a city-owned “router” — a long, metal snake used to unclog pipes — got stuck. Jones left the router at the home. ...


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Sun to focus on the younger set with free tab

The Baltimore Sun will start a free tabloid paper for Young People, reports another local free tabloid.


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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

recalled beef went to area schools, including Baltimore County


Here's the post from the Sun education blog. And a story.


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Cinderella cars and Spiderman water bottles recalled








1. Cinderella Battery-Powered Toy Cars Recalled by Dumar International
USA Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

2. Spiderman Water Bottles Sold Exclusively at Sears Recalled by Fast
Forward Due to Choking Hazard


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two recent daytime burglaries in Knollwood/Donnybrook

Citizens on Patrol reports that there have been two daytime burglaries in the Knollwood/Donnybrook neighborhood recently, apparently by the same man. He kicked in one door and forced open another. If you see anyone suspicious, you are advised to call 911 immediately.


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soccer in Towson;
registration starts March 1

Towson United Soccer's registration for the fall begins March 1.
Details here.

All programs ascribe to the small-sided philosophy of US Soccer. This ensures the greatest fun and the highest level of involvement for all players. Below is a general summary of each program. Much more info about the individual programs and links to team pages may be found by using the menu on the right.

Clinic is for 4-5 year old boys and girls. The date of age determination is August 1st. your child's age on that date determines the program and age group.

Rec is for boys and girls 6 to 18 years of age (as of August 1st). Above clinic age the boys and girls play in their own leagues.

The Rec program's purpose is for the players to have fun while learning the game and being exposed to the culture of the game. The importance of sportsmanship cannot be overstated. Equal playing time is the goal as are opportunities to play every position.

Travel soccer is a program for players who have a high interest level, whose soccer ability is above average, and who want stronger competition. We offer teams for ages 7 to 14. Travel is coached by trained, licensed adults who are very familiar with the game and who have generally played the game at competitive level. Competition does not get in the way of fun and sportsmanship. The approach remains age appropriate and dedicated to the goals of US Soccer.


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Monday, February 18, 2008

Sun reader thinks teachers are overpaid; others beg to disagree

Teachers overpaid? Overworked is more like it. Here's the discussion on The Sun's education blog.


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

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Seven simple dinners for the week

Courtesy of Yahoo


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County Exec Jim Smith goes cyber bowling with O'Malley


Not clear on the why of the Wii. ... Here's The Sun story. And here's a photo of Smith bowling.


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

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little athletes having big health problems

Torn ligaments in the knee, occurring during kids' sports, can cause long-term problems, the New York Times reports.

But the standard A.C.L. repair operation, with its drilling into the growth plate, may cause permanent damage to the still-growing bones of young children. After drilling, surgeons replace the torn ligament with a tendon taken from elsewhere in the body, like the hamstring, or from a cadaver. But if the drilling damages a child’s growth plate, the leg bone will not develop normally. That happened recently to a 14-year-old boy ... full story


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new technique classes at Williams-Sonoma

"Our [free] technique classes are an enjoyable way to broaden your culinary experience with new flavors and techniques. Led by culinary experts and featuring cuisines from around the world, classes include demonstrations and samples of prepared dishes as well as printed recipes you can take home.

Join us for the entire series or choose your favorite individual classes. Class size is limited, and classes tend to fill up quickly, so be sure to reserve your space today."

Cross Keys (410) 435-6020, or Towson Town Center store (410) 847-9021

On the Menu:

SUNDAY, MARCH 2 - Easter Baking & Cupcake Decorating
Cupcakes are the perfect something sweet to enjoy at your Easter or Spring Celebration. Enjoy new recipes, inspired decorating ideas and sophisticated flavors while adding whimsy and childhood nostalgia with our cupcake ideas!

SUNDAY, MARCH 9 - Soufflés
Take the mystery and intimidation out of making soufflés with this step-by-step class. We’ll teach you how to make a basic soufflé base, incorporate sweet or savory flavors and even how to make a frozen dessert soufflé.

SUNDAY, MARCH 16 - Easter Egg Decorating
Easter egg decorating is a fun way to gather family and friends around the table for some creative quality time. In this class we will share best practices for correctly boiling eggs and great decorating ideas, including beautiful patterns that can be mastered in one sitting. Kids are welcome with an adult.

SUNDAY, MARCH 30 - Cooking with Balsamic
Learn different ways to use this powerhouse vinegar. Balsamic can be used from appetizers, main dishes and even desserts. Experience a balsamic tasting and enjoy a delicious balsamic marinade, classic Italian vinaigrette and even a balsamic reduction for dessert.

SUNDAY, APRIL 6 - Knife Skills
Fine tune your knife skills in time for spring and summer produce. We will teach you how to maintain the quality of your knives as well as traditional vegetable and fruit cuts so your plates “pop”!

SUNDAY, APRIL 20 - Spring Pasta & KitchenAid Mixer
Learn how to enjoy classic fresh pasta by incorporate the flavors of spring. We’ll be making pasta from scratch, enjoying springtime recipes and providing seasonal variations.

SUNDAY, MAY 4 - Breakfast for Mom
With Mother’s Day in a week, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite ideas for breakfast with mom. Learn the basics to waffle making, a delightful Ebelskiver and much more.

SUNDAY, MAY 18 - Grilling 101
The first part in a three part series on grilling – we want to help you get ready for the grilling season. We will be covering everything from the essentials needed for grilling to different methods of flavoring, marinating and creative grilled accompaniments.


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Jim Smith and county school board say no to teachers' raises

BCPS requested money for raises, but the county executive and the school board said they didn't have the money. Here's the story from The Examiner.


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

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huge beef recall

LA Times via The Sun: The USDA recall list issued yesterday includes beef products with Westland, King Meat Co., Regal and Hallmark Meat Packing labels. ... full story


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Sunday, February 17, 2008

playtime is as fundamental as sleep, psychiatrist says

New York Times: ... Educators fret that school officials are hacking away at recess to make room for an increasingly crammed curriculum. Psychologists complain that overscheduled kids have no time left for the real business of childhood: idle, creative, unstructured free play. Public health officials link insufficient playtime to a rise in childhood obesity. ... full story


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buy art at MICA on 2/18

MICA’s biannual Raw Art Sale, named in City Paper’s Best of Baltimore 2007 as the “Best Way to Buy Art,” features a selection of relatively inexpensive student artwork created throughout the semester. A unique shopping experience, shoppers can purchase one-of-a-kind items including jewelry, prints, stationary, knitwear, household items, paintings, small sculptures, and other “raw” (unframed and unmated) artwork.

For more information about MICA, visit www.mica.edu or call 410-225-2300.



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new preschool sing-along at Red Canoe starting Monday 2/18

Zoe will be doing preschool sing-alongs on Mondays at 10:30 at Red Canoe. Scheduled to begin 2/18/08, but call ahead to confirm. 410.444.4440


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Maple Sugar event at Oregon Ridge is neat

We went to the maple sugar event yesterday at Oregon Ridge and it was great. I learned a lot about trees and tapping them, etc. You can taste raw sap dripping from a spout in a tree and later taste the actual cooked syrup. I think they do tours once an hour. The last one yesterday began at 3:00. It's going on next weekend, too.

Then March 1-2 they have a pancake breakfast fund raiser where you get to eat pancakes with the home-made syrup.


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County will "abosoultely, probably" help students

From the Towson Families United blog, another detail from the Feb. 14 meeting at RFES that just makes you want to stab your eye with a fork...

If we had to pick two words to sum up last night’s meeting at Rodgers Forge Elementary, it would be these:

“Absolutely, probably.”

That was the response from Erin Roberts, the county executive’s education liaison, when asked if the county would begin funding a construction project now to help alleviate Towson’s overcrowding problem. ...

read the entire post


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Saturday, February 16, 2008

another news report on school overcrowding in Towson

A solution is forthcoming, we're told....


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

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Baltimore is named most underrated city

Named by a travel agency, but still ... "If you're looking to broaden the scope of your trips to include some less-talked-about places with great art scenes, friendly locals, delectable cuisine, and rich history, add one of our most underrated cities to your "must-see" list." details here


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EcoMoms saving the earth

From the New York Times:

... Perhaps not since the days of “dishpan hands” has the household been so all-consuming. But instead of gleaming floors and sparkling dishes, the obsession is on installing compact fluorescent light bulbs, buying in bulk and using “smart” power strips that shut off electricity to the espresso machine, microwave, X-Box, VCR, coffee grinder, television and laptop when not in use. ...
full story


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Friday, February 15, 2008

ideas for how to get a new school in Towson

So, let's list all the ideas parents have had -- at the meetings and posting here -- for how to get a new elementary school in Towson. Surely one of these must be acceptable to Jim Smith and BCPS...

1. The original Mays Chapel project.

2. Put the Bykota Senior Center at the Mays Chapel site and give us back Towson Elementary.

3. Move the BCPS offices to Mays Chapel and build a school at Greenwood.

4. Buy the YMCA site, or a portion of it, and build a school there.

5. Have the county's Department of Aging partner with the YMCA (which needs a financial partner anyway) so it could provide the services seniors want, and we can have Towson Elementary back.

6. Move the senior center to vacant office space somewhere in Towson or the surrounding area and give us Towson Elementary.

7. Build an addition on to Rodgers Forge Elementary and/or one of the other over-crowded schools. So it sits on rock; if they can remove mountain tops they can certainly blast away some rock for gawd's sake.

Any more?


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goings on in Lauraville on Saturday

There will be a lot of excitement here in Lauraville this Saturday--Check out the Grand Opening of Studio C, and exquisite jewelry boutique by Constance Scott. Constance will be opening on the second floor of Red Canoe Coffee House. Visit her on Saturday and get treated to a complimentary coffee at Red Canoe!

Also, Rock Candy down the street in the pink building will be celebrating as well. Pick up a business card and bring it on by for a complimentary coffee at Red Canoe.

We are so grateful to our fellow local merchants who have invested in a community dream of developing our local business district. Books, Coffee, food at Red Canoe, Fine dining at the Chameleon, Jewelry at Studio C, yarns at Spinster Yarns and Fibers, Candy at Rock Candy, and a baby Boutique, Bediboo. And more to come. We are surrounded by excellence--especially in our neighbors and neighborhood organizations. Thank you!

Red Canoe
4337 Harford Road
Baltimore, MD 21214
410-444-4440
www.redcanoe.bz


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ABC News report on the overcrowding in Towson schools


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The Towson YMCA -- for sale or not?

There was some dispute last night about whether the YMCA in Towson is for sale. Parents thought it was and that it would make a fabulous site for a new school. Baltimore County Public School officials said it was not for sale and was therefore not an option. Hmm.

I called the Y today and the bottom line is that the Y would like to stay where it is and re-do its site. But if that doesn't work out, they may sell and relocate. Either way, they plan to still serve the Towson community.

Here's the official word from the Y:

• Towson Family Center Challenges
➢ 60+ year old, antiquated buildings, challenge to maintain
➢ Declining membership (2,267 today vs. 2,907 in 2004): 22% decrease over a 4-year period.
➢ People Count (# of people included in membership) (5,724 today vs. 6,873 in 2004): 17% decrease over a 4-year period. ... etc.

• Potential Redevelopment Solutions

To resolve this situation, we have identified three basic alternative solutions (all of which carry with them risks and opportunities):

➢ Go It Alone: Develop a capital funding strategy to tear down the current set of buildings on the current site and build a modern and more suitable structure (approximately 50,000 sq. ft. in size) similar to the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Center at Stadium Place.

➢ Sell and Move: Sell the entire property to a developer or other suitable party, and use the proceeds (along with other funding sources) to build or long-term lease a modern and more suitable structure in a nearby location.

➢ Partner and Redevelop on Current Site: Sell a portion of the property to a developer or other suitable party, and use the proceeds (along with other funding sources) to build a modern and more suitable structure on the remaining portion of the site. This structure would be designed in a manner to maximize the use of the site while providing all of the programming the Y currently offers.

To me, that means the option is still on the table and should be considered.


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Thursday, February 14, 2008

parents outraged at inaction of county school officials and County Executive Jim Smith

Tonight’s meeting with Baltimore County school officials was an exercise in frustration.

(Jim Smith didn't show, as you can see...)

The sparks really flew in the latter part of the meeting, but let’s start with the news of what will happen next year at Rodgers Forge Elementary. ...
Read the entire recap, and comments, here.


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

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girls' bracelets, ATVs recalled


Polaris Industries Expands Recall of ATVs Due to Fire Hazard and Mission City Press Recalls Girl's Bracelet Sets Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard. Details here.


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meeting March 5 about preservation and development in B County

"This [program] was designed by Community and Environmental Defense Services for citizens concerned about preserving land or resolving concerns about development projects proposed for sites in Baltimore County, MD. CEDS believes that development should always preserve quality of life for existing residents AND be designed to enhance quality of life for both current and future residents."


Feb 27th, Catonsville library, 7 PM

Mar 5th, Towson library, 7PM

Call 410-654-3021 to register


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activist fights for elected school board in Baltimore County

Here's the Towson Times article.


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more on overcrowding in Towson schools, and meeting tonight

State delegates and Baltimore County school officials will answer parents' questions and, we hope, tell us their short-term solution for overcrowding. 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Rodgers Forge Elementary

Here's what the Towson Times is reporting: "For Rodgers Forge, the short-term solutions also involve a mobile computer lab as well as the addition of trailer space and the relocation of space now allocated for the Department of Recreation and Parks to Dumbarton Middle School next door." full story here

And reaction to the article by Towson Families United: "...To go to a meeting [in March] and be forced to beg with residents in other parts of the county is just insulting. It’s also a needless distraction. Towson will soon have three of the county’s top five overcrowded schools. If the county school system has become such a bureaucracy that they need us to tell them again what the problem is, then we need a new school system...."


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Tide Point day care to close

Rona Marech of The Sun reports that it says it's not fulfilling its mission of serving low-income families: "We were floored that there would be such a beautiful facility with such great teachers and ... waiting lists for people to get in, and that would all be taken away," said Gigi Kwik Gronvall, who waited nine months to get her son into the program. "I've lived in Baltimore since '95 and the idea that there aren't enough low-income people here ... it still boggles the mind." ... full story


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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Maryland students rank #2 in nation on AP tests

The Sun reports: The results of the 2007 Advanced Placement exams, which were released today, show that Marylanders were second in the nation in terms of the percentage of all graduating seniors scoring at the mastery level on the exam, which means they earned a score of 3 or higher. ... full story


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boys' hooded sweatshirts recalled; strangulation hazard

Karl Kani Boys Fleece Hoody Sweatshirts. Details here.


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Towson Families United invites Jim Smith to Thursday's meeting

From the TFU blog about the meeting Thursday at RFES: "We’ve promised to reserve a seat for the county executive in the front row of the cafeteria, marked with a sign bearing his name. If he doesn’t show, we’ll all have a clearer indication of just how high a priority our overcrowding situation really is." ... Read the entire post.


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meeting tomorrow, Feb. 14, at Rodgers Forge Elementary on overcrowding

The Baltimore County Public Schools’ administration and the District 42 State Delegation will jointly hold a meeting to discuss short and long-term solutions to overcrowding at Rodgers Forge Elementary. The meeting is scheduled for February 14 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the RFES cafeteria. The Towson Families United group is hoping for a huge turnout.


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sing-along at Red Canoe canceled for today, and more long-term changes

From Red Canoe:

I'm writing to let you know that the roads are so bad we have canceled todays sing-along. Alina was not able to get back from her travels either. But we do have some good news! Sing-along wil re-start on Mondays [beginning 2/18] with musician Zoe Johnstone! Many of you know of Zoe through her work with children as well as through the guitar classes she gives here at Red Canoe. Zoe brings experience, passion and love for children to her music and we welcome her. Join us Mondays to sing and move, relax and enjoy, and to bring music to our little ones here at Red Canoe.

More news--visit the new candy shop/movie theater Rock Candy this Saturday (the pink building down the street) pick up a business card and bring it down to Red Canoe for a complimentary cup of coffee--yes, we love our neighbors!

See you soon,

Nicole and Peter Red Canoe 4337 Harford Road Baltimore MD 21214 410-444-4440
www.redcanoe.bz


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county school board may vote tonight on teacher pay raises

Here's the story from Gina Davis in The Sun.


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County school board voting for no money for Towson overcrowding?

The county Board of Education is having a meeting tonight, and from the agenda posted online, it looks like the county asked for $2 million for Towson overcrowding relief but the state gave no money so the county is not putting it in the final budget. (School me, people, am I reading this incorrectly?) If the county made this a priority, it could fund it on its own, yes?


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new rule gives city kids priority in magnet-school applications

Sara Neufeld of The Sun reports: A divided Baltimore school board approved a policy change last night that gives qualified city students preference over suburban residents in applying to prestigious public high schools. ... full story


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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Will superdelegates be 2008's
hanging chad?

Oh my goodness, I will freak out if the Democratic nomination hinges on these superdelegates and they don't support the candidate the majority of voters have chosen. I minored in political science and I didn't really know what a suprdelegate was until recently. Here's a nice piece that sums it up by Carl Huse of The New York Times.


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

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WYPR replaces Steiner with Sun columnist Dan Rodricks

He's keeping his column in The Sun. Here's the story. ... Also, the station postpones its pledge drive.


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

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remote controlled helicopter, tealights recalled

Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys Recalled By Soft Air USA Due to Fire and Burn Hazards and Christmas Tree Shop tea lights recalled for fire hazard.


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how to build kids' self-esteem

"Little Susie paints a picture. Don’t say, ‘That’s the most wonderful picture I’ve ever seen!’ Instead try, ‘Susie, I love the blue you used in your painting.’ It’s objective. It’s affirming. That’s what builds self-esteem.” Read more from Baltimore's Child.


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10 questions to ask when choosing a camp

Baltimore's Child offers a list of things you should ask before sending your kid to a camp.


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

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some charter schools in city could close because of test scores

Board to vote tonight on how to proceed, reports Sara Neufeld in The Sun.


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Monday, February 11, 2008

Maryland's primary is tomorrow, new poll shows Obama beating McCain

Associated Press: Democrat Barack Obama has a narrow lead over John McCain in a potential presidential matchup, while Hillary Rodham Clinton is about even with the Republican front-runner, an Associated Press-Ipsos poll indicated Monday. ... full story


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Today is the last day to appeal your home's tax assessment

Think the state made a mistake in your recent home valuation? Today (Feb. 11) is the last day to appeal.


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Sunday, February 10, 2008

All About Kids

site sponsor
All About Kids, a licensed family day care in Rodgers Forge, has immediate openings for children 24 months and older. There will be an opening for a child 12 months or older in October 2009. Full time or part time; drop-in care is an option if space is available.

Meals provided
Activities and crafts
Outdoor play area

Non-smoking environment
First-aid and CPR trained
22 years experience
References available
Registered through Central Baltimore County, #03-1821

Contact Mary Kay McGovern at 410-377-4742


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Thomas the Train coming to Baltimore

Thank gawd we're past the Thomas the Train stage (those little engines are psychotic!), but if your kid is into it, here's something he/she might like:

"Day Out with Thomas is an exciting way for children and grown-ups to enter the world of Thomas & Friends. The event provides an opportunity for kids to ride on board a train led by Thomas and have their pictures taken with Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of Thomas' Railway."

At the B&O Rail Museum in Baltimore April 25-27 and May 2-4. Details here.


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read this before you reach for that diet soda


Nicholas Bakalar of the Times reports: Researchers have found a correlation between drinking diet soda and metabolic syndrome — the collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes that include abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and blood glucose levels, and elevated blood pressure. ... full story


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Baltimore County gets new ice rink

Smith

said he has received numerous phone calls over the years from people looking for ice rinks.

"There are thousands of children out there who play in youth sports leagues. They are forced to go to commercial facilities to play in sports," he said. "But in some cases the kids can't afford it. The facility will give everyone a chance to participate in ice sports."


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Saturday, February 9, 2008

meeting with county school officials didn't cut it for everyone

Here's a comment the Forge Flyer received today regarding the Feb. 7 meeting at Stoneleigh about overcrowded elementary schools:

I'd like to personally thank the county school system for WASTING MY ENTIRE NIGHT! What a pointless meeting. All they said was, "You have a problem."

Duh.
Here's part of what Towson Families United posted on its blog:

Unfortunately, while [school-system officials] came armed with problems, they offered very little in the way of solutions. They mentioned some short-term Band Aid fixes. First, they are going to get rid of the computer lab and give the school laptops on carts. They’re also going to “consider” relocating the Stoneleigh pre-K program to one of the many other schools it serves. And then they’re going to… well…that’s it. This barely constitutes even a short-term solution. (Click here to read the blog post in its entirety.)

Hopefully the Feb. 14 meeting at Rodgers Forge Elementary will be more helpful. Even if it's not, a big turnout of parents will send a message and at least help us craft better suggestions/arguments as we pursue solutions. (7 p.m. in the RFES cafeteria)


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Friday, February 8, 2008

Obama will be in Balitmore on Monday

1st Mariner Arena
Doors at 2:45 p.m.
Details here.


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new "Storyville" at the Rosedale library sounds neat

Honestly, I don't even know where Rosedale is, but I think I'll figure it out because this sounds fun. It just opened.

Caregivers and their young children can explore the seven museum-quality learning areas in the village. These include a library, a two-story house, theater, store, Chesapeake Bay waterfront for toddlers, baby garden and construction site. Each area is furnished with books and engaging materials and activities which promote language and literacy, as well as other vital school readiness skills.

Babies and their caregivers can engage in peek-a-boo and play with sensory toys or read board books in their garden; toddlers can crawl through driftwood, read in a lighthouse, rock in a toy boat, fish or gaze up at the stars; preschoolers can play house in the home living area, present plays and puppet shows in the theater, shop in the store and practice building at the construction site. The library, stocked with a variety of children's books and comfortable seating, invites reading together. Books, displayed in every area, as well as parent resource materials and themed take home kits, are available for checkout.

Details here.


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cute hand-made rings


Some friends of friends make these neat rings from vintage buttons. They have a ton of different styles. Here's their Web site.


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Thursday, February 7, 2008

OK, so don't call 911 if you see the van

An update from Karl Pfrommer:
Attention Sgt. Moffet, Officer Doucette and COP members,

Thanks to several tips and all of your assistance, I caught up with the suspicious white van Thursday afternoon. The owner is helping a longtime friend, without remuneration. She lives in the 400 block of Regester Ave. I am convinced that he and his employee are not a threat to our neighborhoods. ...

Earlier message from Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol:

Suspicious van: If you see a white van with "Norm's Gutter and Windows, Handyman Services" painted on the side, call 911.

For the past two months this van has frequently been seen sitting with the engine running in the ally between the 300 blocks of Regester Ave. and Murdock Rd. on Jan 18,19, 22, 23, 31 and Feb. 1.


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turn your lawn into an edible estate

EDIBLE ESTATE #6 will be located in BALTIMORE and commissioned by THE CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM BALTIMORE. We are searching for a residential FRONT LAWN to replace with an Edible Estate.

This regional prototype garden will be planted over the weekend of April 11th-13th, 2008. We will work in collaboration with the residents to develop a planting list and design. With local volunteers we will remove the entire lawn and install the Edible Estate. All costs associated with the first season of the garden will be covered. See all of the guidelines here:
http://fritzhaeg.com/garden/initiatives/edibleestates/guidelines.html


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dinner and whiskey tasting at Ryan's Daughter

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2008
Ryan's Daughter and Wells Discount Liquor
6:30 – 7:00 PM: Welcome Reception
7:00 – 9:00 PM: Dinner and Tasting
Join us February 20, 2008 at Ryan’s Daughter in Belvedere Square for an evening of food, fun, and Irish Whiskey featuring Jameson brand spirits. Michelle Bourton, Jameson’s world ambassador, will be attending the event to present the whiskeys and introduce two new products: Jameson Gold Label and Jameson Rare Vintage. Enjoy delicious food, meet new people, and taste world class Irish whiskeys in a comfortable “family-style” atmosphere. $56/person, includes tax and tip.
For reservations, call Ryan’s Daughter 410-464-1000


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Romney quitting so as not to aid terror


I just watched part of Mitt Romney's "I'm quitting" speech on CNN.com and he says he's leaving the race not because statistically it would be nearly impossible for him to win since he'd have to get at least 80 percent of the votes in all the remaining primaries, but because he doesn't want to create a fractured GOP because that would be "making it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win. And frankly, in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror." Nothing like a little outlandish rhetoric to heal the wounds.


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free screening of "My Architect" at Park School Feb. 9

Park School showing the film My Architect: A Son’s Journey (2003)
February 8, 2008, 7:00 – 9:30 PM. Blaustein Lecture Hall

After architect Louis Kahn's death, one of his children who was born out-of-wedlock travels the world visiting Kahn's award-winning buildings in hopes of better understanding his father's secretive and chaotic life.

It's free. Get more details at Park School's website or call 410.339.4145.


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poetry reading this Saturday at Red Canoe

Clarinda Harriss, well-loved Baltimore poet, professor of English at Towson University and author of License Renewal for the Blind and The Night Parrot will be reading from her new book of poems entitled Dirty Blue Voice. Also reading will be poet Shannon Davis, (fellow) graduate of Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and instructor of English at Towson University. The reading starts at 4:00 p.m., and is free to the public. We will have an open mic session as well. Details here.


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meeting tonight at Stoneleigh Elementary

Ghassan Shah, planning administrator for Baltimore County Public Schools, will be answering parents’ questions about overcrowding on Feb. 7 at Stoneleigh Elementary at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. (You don't have to live in the Stoneleigh district to attend.) There will be a similar meeting at Rodgers Forge Elementary on Feb. 14.

Here's a related story in the Towson Times.



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High schoolers forced to miss class because hallways so crowded they can't get to classrooms

Dorothy Rowley of The Examiner reports: As district lawmakers continue to pour over the issue of overcrowding in Baltimore County high schools, students say an end to the condition can’t come soon enough. ... full story


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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I am seriously about to vomit

From a New York Times story on workers' medical issues in pig-processing plants: ... As each [pig] head reached the end of the table, a worker would insert a metal hose into the foramen magnum, the opening that the spinal cord passes through. High-pressure blasts of compressed air then turned the brain into a slurry that squirted out through the same hole in the skull, often spraying brain tissue around and splattering the hose operator in the process.

The brains were pooled, poured into 10-pound containers and shipped to be sold as food — mostly in China and Korea, where cooks stir-fry them, but also in some parts of the American South, where people like them scrambled up with eggs. ....

brains ... slurry ... scrambled eggs


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"Want cookie! Now!" (How to deal with an irate toddler)


NYT: Often, a parent will adopt a soothing tone saying, “No, honey, you have to wait until after dinner for a cookie.”

Such a response will, almost certainly, make matters worse. “It’s loving, logical and reasonable,” notes Dr. Karp [see right-hand column of the Flyer for more on Dr. Karp]. “And it’s infuriating to a toddler. Now they have to say it over harder and louder to get you to understand.” ... full story


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Nordstrom sweatshirts, eeBoo sketchbooks recalled



Children's Sketchbooks (pictured) recalled by eeBoo Corp. Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

Children's Hooded Sweatshirts Recalled by Seventy Two Inc. Due to Strangulation Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Nordstrom Stores


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Rodgers Forge resident charged with assault

Here's the report, passed along by Karl Pfrommer of the neighborhood Citizens on Patrol:

01/30/08 21:10
1st Degree Assault
York Rd. and Cross Campus Dr. 21204

The suspect pointed a real looking BB gun at the victim while their cars were stopped next to each other at the listed intersection. The suspect was arrested and charged with 1st and 2nd Degree Assault. [The person charged is a white male in his mid 60s.]


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Towson YMCA considering its options

Here's the Towson Times story.


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Baby Loves Disco sold out; you can still get tix to March event

Baby Loves Disco (disco for the under-7 set and their parents, at Rams Head Live) has sold out for February 9. There are still tickets to the March 30 event. Details here.


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tomorrow (Thursday) is the meeting at Stoneleigh about school overcrowding

Ghassan Shah, planning administrator for Baltimore County Public Schools, will be answering parents’ questions about overcrowding on Feb. 7 at Stoneleigh Elementary at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. (You don't have to live in the Stoneleigh district to attend.) There will be a similar meeting at Rodgers Forge Elementary on Feb. 14.

Here's a related story in the Towson Times.



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Maryland's presidential primary is Feb. 12


Wow, our votes will actually count. Probably more so in the primary than in the general election. Find your polling place here. (If you haven't already registered, it's too late now.)


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County schools superintendent keeps job

Gina Davis of the The Sun reports that Joe Hairston's contract will be renewed.


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