Monday, March 31, 2008

Towson Families United wonders if Balitmore County Planning Board is psychic

A veddy intahvestink post from the Towson Families United blog:

How did they do it? How did the Baltimore County Planning Board manage to recommend an entire school addition — without speaking to anyone at the school! This is truly amazing. So many urban planners today get caught up in “fact finding,” studying “better alternatives,” and gathering “community input.”

But not our Planning Board. ...

The only thing we can’t figure out is…how did the County Executive arrive at the exact same conclusion as the Planning Board a week before the Planning Board wrote its letter to the county’s Office of Budget and Finance? After all, the Planning Board is supposed to be recommending its plans to the county executive, not the other way around.

Wait! Is the county executive psychic too? Read the entire post here.



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Stuff White People Like

A friend just sent me a link to this site. It's pretty hilarious. And I love everything on this page except maybe three things.
http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/page/5/


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Rodgers Forge homes burglarized and gunman robs Royal Farms on York

Police say: The suspect browsed the store for several minutes, made a purchase, and brandished a revolver once the register was open. The suspect stated, “You know what this is, give me everything.” The suspect fled on foot N/B, across the lot. A search of the area was negative. 7204 York Road 3/30/08

On 03/24/08 at 1715 HRS, the suspects were seen on the property of 5xx Murdock Rd. carrying a tan bag that contained a laptop computer, flash drive, and headphones. The bag was discovered missing by the victim on 03/25/08. The suspects entered the residence through the unlocked front door. The subjects were last seen walking on Murdock Rd. toward York Rd.

4XX Regester: An unknown suspect forced open the rear basement door and stole a Dell laptop computer.

Unit block of Dunkirk:
An unknown suspect entered the home and removed a computer, TV, and Sony Playstation 3. There were no signs of forced entry. Th victim’s son’s ex-girlfriend has a key to the residence. Investigation to continue.

See details and other incidents here.


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Gonna go hug my babies

Sun story about the father who killed his three kids:

... Dr. Castillo wrote in court documents that her husband had threatened to make her suffer by killing the children. She sought a protective order Dec. 25, 2006, in Montgomery County District Court and asked that the court order Castillo to receive counseling.

"He has never actually hurt (the children), but did tell me that the worst thing he could do to me would be to kill the children and not me so I could live without them," she wrote in the petition.

... Circuit Judge Joseph Dugan rejected a permanent order Jan. 10, 2007. In explaining his decision, Dugan wrote there was "no clear or convincing evidence that the alleged acts of abuse occurred."


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Try a sample Music Together class in Towson on April 5

A message from It's Groovy Baby:

"IT'S GROOVY BABY is offering an exciting sample early childhood music class to families who have never experienced a 10-week session of Music Together®. This delightful 30 minute class will give families a chance to get a feel for the program before our next 10-week session begins in April. The class will feature music and movement activities, songs, chants and rhythm instrument play. All Music Together classes are filled with children ags newborn-4 1/2 years & parents. Grandparents also often share in the fun!

Children blossom in Music Together classes through experiencing wonderful sounds, new movements, rhythm instruments to play, other children and grown-ups to watch, silly things to laugh at, and most importantly - the chance to sing and dance with their favorite adults! By emphasizing music experiences rather than concepts about music, Music Together introduces children to the pleasures of making music instead of passively receiving it from CDs or TV.

SAMPLE CLASSES Scheduled dates: Towson on April 5th at 10:30
Go to www.itsgroovybaby.com for directions and to save your spot. Happy Singing!"


We do Music Together of Charm City with Susan and it's great!


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March scheduled for tomorrow re: school funding

Smithschoolcuts.com says:

Join the Unity March on Tuesday, April 1
Begin gathering at 3 PM
March begins at 4 PM


Towson Courthouse
400 Washington Avenue


County Executive Jim Smith is waging a battle against public education.

While teachers leave in droves and students suffer, Smith continues to redirect schools funds to other areas of the county budget.

  • Jim Smith cut the county’s contribution to our public schools by 7.2%.
  • Jim Smith supplanted Thornton dollars meant to improve our schools.
  • Jim Smith’s plan to freeze teacher salaries will turn a teacher shortage into a teacher crisis.
  • Jim Smith says there’s no money for education, but his own budget numbers tell a different story.



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Did you see the Examiner interview with guy who threatened O'Malley?

My my my. Quite interesting.


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Sunday, March 30, 2008

School board members say they were pressured to vote for Ridge Ruxton expansion

Gina Davis has an interesting story in The Sun today in which Baltimore County school board members say on the record that they were pressured to approve the Ridge Ruxton expansion instead of funding a new school. County Executive Jim Smith's spokesman said that is absolutely untrue and said Smith has a great relationship with the board and with Superintendent Joe Hairston. Hairston declined to comment for the story. (Has anyone noticed that it's always Donald Mohler, Smith's spokesman, who is quoted? I don't remember seeing a story anywhere that quotes Smith directly.) Though I still hold out hope that Jim Smith will come around on this issue. I think maybe he didn't understand the severity of the situation before, but I'm hoping he'll make the right decision in the end.


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Zoo in Baltimore has lots of challenges

There' s a story in The Sun today by Doug Donovan about the Maryland Zoo and its problems, including poor management and a lack of creativity. I have to say, the zoo has been a disappointment on a number of occasions and I always wonder what's going on. One example of this came last year when I received a 2007 zoo calendar in, I think, February. They are sending these out for marketing purposes, but hasn't everyone already hung up a new calendar by February? They also failed to name any of the animals pictured, so I had some trouble even talking about them with my son. "What's that, Mommy?" ... "Um, I have no idea. Something with horns that resembles a deer." Not a huge deal, but I thought it exemplified larger issues.

From The Sun: "Many problems underlie the Maryland Zoo's financial crisis. Facilities are deteriorating, workers are underpaid, money is running short, and the national accrediting agency might withdraw its approval."


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Saturday, March 29, 2008

car stolen on Dumbarton

Police say a blue Honda was stolen last night/this morning from the 200 block of Dumbarton.
That's all I know.


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Cherry Blossom season starts today in DC

Family Day, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Opening Ceremony, 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Opening day marks the beginning of the two-week long celebration of the cherry blossoms and the commencement of spring in Washington, DC. DETAILS HERE.


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Ron Paul to speak at Goucher

Did you know he's still in the presidential race?

Ron Paul — the Republican congressman from Texas and Libertarian-leaning presidential candidate — will discuss his hopes for America at a lecture on Monday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Goucher College’s Kraushaar Auditorium. Following the lecture, Congressman Paul will hold a book signing. Free but registration required. Details here.


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Retired Navy Attorney Alberto Mora Discusses U.S. Mistreatment of Detainees

While he was general counsel of the U.S. Navy, Alberto J. Mora waged a campaign inside the Bush administration to prevent policy sanctioning the mistreatment of detainees held as part of the war on terror. Mora will discuss the abusive interrogation methods used by U.S. military personnel and the high-level shifts in government policy that made these tactics common practice at “American Cruelty,” a lecture that will be held Thursday, April 3, at 8 p.m. in Goucher College’s Merrick Lecture Hall.


Free, but you must register. Details here.


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Goucher's Great Kite Fly will be April 12

Kids will have the chance to make and fly their own kites at the second annual "Great Kite Fly at Goucher College" on Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event is free and open, rain or shine, to all children younger than 12 and their families. You must register ahead of time.

"The Great Kite Fly" will include kite-building workshops, which will be held at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in the Heubeck Mulitpurpose Room, and a group kite fly on Mary Fisher Lawn. DETAILS HERE


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Ladew Topiary Gardens opening weekend today and tomorrow

Ladew Topiary Gardens is known around the world for its topiary and flower gardens. A self-taught gardener, Harvey S. Ladew (1887-1976) created 15 thematic "garden rooms" on 22 acres of his 250-acre Maryland property. Visitors frequently comment how Mr. Ladew's vibrant personality and vision is reflected in the unique design of his garden. The Garden Club of America described Ladew's garden as "the most outstanding topiary garden in America."

DETAILS HERE.



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particle accelerator could cause earth-swallowing black hole

A lawsuit was filed to stop an $8 billion experiment that plaintiffs say could annihilate the planet. New York Times:

... But Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.” Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Although it sounds bizarre, the case touches on a serious issue that has bothered scholars and scientists in recent years — namely how to estimate the risk of new groundbreaking experiments and who gets to decide whether or not to go ahead. ... FULL STORY



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Friday, March 28, 2008

Walking with Dinosaurs at 1st Mariner

Giant, life-sized robotic dinosaurs stomping around. Could be really neat or could be totally ridiculous. Here are details from the show's website, and a story in The Examiner. April 30 - May 4 at 1st Mariner.


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

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A win for anti-smoking advocates

Here's a story in The Examiner about the failure of a bill that would have allowed smoking in some outdoor areas of restaurants.


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

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Are Martin O'Malley's people taking over everywhere?

My neighbor, who is a huge fan of state Sen. Jim Brochin but who is a Republican and can't stand Martin O'Malley, says he's worried that O'Malley's people are going to be installed in too many facets of our lives. He pointed to the fact that Martin's brother, Peter O'Malley, who lives in Mt. Washington, is Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith's chief of staff.

And the man who will likely challenge Brochin for the Democratic nomination in the next election is Martin G. Knott, a close ally of Martin O'Malley's. Now, I like O'Malley way more than I like Ehrlich. But it is very troubling to me that we have so much resistance from Smith to a new school when the need is so obvious. And the fact that Smith is tight with O'Malley doesn't make me feel as warm and fuzzy about the governor as I might otherwise. And Brochin has been an advocate for a new elementary school in Towson. I don't think I'm happy about the direction things are going.

Contact info for Smith, O'Malley and Brochin is here.


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red-light camera on Charles at Lake Ave.

I just noticed there's a red-light camera at Charles at Lake. Not sure if it's new or if I just haven't been paying attention. This is actually a form of Big Brotherism that I don't mind if it keeps us safer.


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"Man killed while beating would-be robber"

The headline to this Sun story could also have been "Victim-turned-crazy-person killed after ordering would-be robber to strip naked and beating him." I had to read the top of this story twice before I got what actually happened. Sounds like a Guy Ritchie film. A little "reap what you sow" on both sides, it appears.


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Thursday, March 27, 2008

plush rocking horses recalled - injuries reported

Hazard: The base of the rocker can become unstable and allow the rocker to tip forward or backward, posing a fall hazard to children.

Incidents/Injuries: Tek Nek Toys has received 35 reports of the rockers tipping over, including ten reports of injuries such as bumps, bruises and lacerations.

Description: This recall involves Rock 'N Ride plush rocker toys sold in eight models: brown pony, pink pony, pink unicorn, deluxe pony, deluxe bull, lil' penguin, lil' propeller plane and Clifford big red rocker.

Sold at: Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us, Kmart, Target, Atwoods, and Pamida stores nationwide and Internet retailers from September 2007 through March 2008 for about $30. DETAILS HERE


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Milkman delivers natural milk to your door

Here's a story in The Sun about milk deliveries by South Mountain Creamery. We buy their milk at the Wavery farmers' market every weekend. You can also get it delivered by Hey Milkman.


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

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Parent re-thinks move to Towson because of overcrowded schools

There are two interesting letters in the Towson Times this week about school issues. The first one I can't really figure out because she applauds Jim Smith for not funding Mays Chapel but then encourages the county to find a long-term solution to the problem, though it's not clear what that should be. Maybe she's for a new school somewhere else?

There's also one from a parent who's considering moving to Towson but is getting discouraged by the school situation. Here's part of the letter:

The more informed we become, the more disappointed we are at the lack of involvement and action on the part of Baltimore County's Executive Office. If we move to Towson as planned, our child would be attending Rodgers Forge Elementary, which is already overcrowded.

You can read both letters here.


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when your kids just can't get enough violence

Try Ultimate Fighting. The Examiner has an AP story about this new trend: "The bare-knuckle fights are now attracting competitors as young as 6 whose parents treat the sport as casually as wrestling, Little League or soccer."


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

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B County might amend smoking ban

Change would mean that outdoor areas, including enclosed tents, can become smoking dens. How lovely. Here's the Sun story.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

new group fights Baltimore County's lack of school funding

Smithschoolcuts.com says:

County Executive Jim Smith is waging a battle against public education.

While teachers leave in droves and students suffer, Smith continues to redirect schools funds to other areas of the county budget.

  • Jim Smith cut the county’s contribution to our public schools by 7.2%.
  • Jim Smith supplanted Thornton dollars meant to improve our schools.
  • Jim Smith’s plan to freeze teacher salaries will turn a teacher shortage into a teacher crisis.
  • Jim Smith says there’s no money for education, but his own budget numbers tell a different story.

Join the Unity March on Tuesday, April 1
Begin gathering at 3 PM
March begins at 4 PM


Towson Courthouse
400 Washington Avenue
Towson


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My kids are never leaving the house again

I just read that Zach Sowers, the man who was robbed and beaten into a coma near Patterson Park, died today -- 10 months after the attack. Earlier in the day I read that a man was sentenced to one year in prison after stalking a 14-year-old girl and trying to get her to get into his SUV, inside of which police found a knife and rope. The backseats had been removed. He had been charged several years ago with two rapes. And now I read that a teacher in Howard County has apparently been molesting his students, male and female. What in the hell is wrong with people?


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Jim Smith raises money for ...?

Bryan P. Sears reports in The Towson Times that Jim Smith is raising campaign cash, though he won't say for what.

"There's still a number of options," [Smith] said, adding that the presidential campaign could open up other opportunities. "I'm not going to speculate, though," Smith said. "I'll get myself in trouble."

Not everyone was so coy.

"I think he's running for comptroller," said Vince Gardina, a Democratic county councilman whose 5th District includes Perry Hall, Carney and Towson. "That's certainly what it sounded like." FULL STORY



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political pressure reportedly put on board members to comply with Smith plan

Bryan P. Sears of The Towson Times reports that county school board members are told to vote their way or get off the board, though the Smith administration disputes that.

Members of the Smith administration have indicated that school board members who fail to support a controversial expansion of the Ridge Ruxton School would not be reappointed, according to critics. ... School board members are appointed by Gov. Martin O'Malley. Smith and O'Malley are close personal allies, and O'Malley's brother is Smith's chief of staff. FULL STORY
FYI: Jim Smith's chief of staff:
Peter O'Malley (410) 887-2450
e-mail:
pomalley@baltimorecountymd.gov


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County rejects report on raises

Gina Davis of The Sun reports:

Baltimore County's labor commissioner rejected yesterday most of a fact-finder's recommendations in negotiations between the county and two unions, including one that the county give the workers a 3 percent pay raise. The unions said they will seek nonbinding arbitration to resolve the dispute. ...

Reached for comment yesterday, county spokesman Donald I. Mohler referred to the county's previously stated position on the fact-finder's decision. Those remarks included that complying with the fact-finder's decision would strain the county's budget because the county would be faced with giving a raise to all employees, including the county's 9,000 teachers. FULL STORY

And here's The Examiner's take on it.


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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Towson Families United meets with Jim Smith rep

There's a fascinating, must-read post on the Towson Families United blog. TFU met with the spokesman for County Executive Jim Smith to discuss options for a new elementary school in Towson. Kudos to TFU for taking this step, and it's great that Don Mohler met with them. However, all the group's suggestions were basically shot down. Here's an excerpt of the post:

We told Mr. Mohler that we couldn’t support the 400-seat addition [at Ridge Ruxton] without assurances that it would include a second cafeteria, gymnasium, health suite, and other common areas. While Mr. Mohler told us at the meeting that it would, he has since retracted that statement. And he now says he agrees with school system officials, who argue (somewhat unbelievably) that it is the architects, not the school system, who will determine what is built. Isn’t that the tail wagging the dog? READ THE ENTIRE POST HERE.


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

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Dogwood restaurant now serves alcohol


The Dogwood, a fabulous restaurant in Hampden, now has a full bar and will begin serving drinks as of tonight. Cheers!


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

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tomorrow is the last sing-along with Alina at Red Canoe

Alina's pregnant belly is getting too big for a guitar, so tomorrow is her last day of doing the sing-along at Red Canoe (unless she changes her mind at the last minute). There is still a Monday sing-along with Zoe. Details here.


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

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Loch Raven High School expansion being fought

On March 13, many parents attended a pre-budget hearing regarding school priorities. Many people spoke in favor of a new elementary school in Towson. There is also a movement to block the planned addition at Loch Raven High School, a proposal that area residents say is wrongheaded and will create more problems than it will solve.

Here's what one area resident, Dr. Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, had to say:

Those present here today with regard to overcrowding in the elementary schools, should consider that the overall cost for the addition to Loch Raven High School, for 400 students, not counting the proposed renovation of the heat and air conditioning, is over $18 million dollars. The funding amount in the Board Proposed Operating Budget for 2009, for all new elementary school construction, as far as I can tell, is zero. ...

The proposed addition to Loch Raven High School has been rushed through the planning process and is not needed in a school whose projected enrollment for 2009 is 960, below the current capacity of 975 .

Neither the Board of Education nor the Planning Board recommended the addition to Loch Raven High School. The project was added to the budget for proposed for FY09 by the County Executive, as is stated in the report from the Office of the County Auditor, dated May 17 of 2007.

When government conducts the public's business in an autocratic and opaque way, it erodes the public's confidence and trust, and sets the stage for divisive conflict. Please reconsider this “steamroller” approach, please slow down, and help us find good solutions to these complex issues. Most importantly, please help us to restore good faith, and trust in the relationship between the Central and Northeast communities and Baltimore County Government.


Read her entire remarks here.


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Monday, March 24, 2008

Can you spare 37 minutes?

Of course I'd heard about Obama's speech on race, but I'd only read excerpts of it in the paper and heard snippets of it on NPR. It's actually pretty astounding. I read that he wrote it himself.



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Where are they now?

Last night I was trying to remember the name of that congressman who had the affair (um, alleged affair) with that intern who was killed. I looked it up today (Gary Condit) and this sentence in a Fresno Bee story just got me giggling:

After losing his congressional seat in the March 2002 Democratic primary and formally leaving office in January 2003, Condit moved to a suburb of Phoenix. He and his family ran a Baskin-Robbins franchise, although the ice cream company is suing the Condits, alleging they failed to comply with the franchise agreement.

On a related note, I also came across this interesting piece in Slate about Washington sex scandals. Chris Dodd of all people is mentioned. Oddly enough, neither Ted Kennedy nor Bill Clinton made the list. (Just kidding!)


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

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Baby Loves Disco adds more dates

May 10 and June 14. These events have been selling out so get your tickets now if you want to go. Details here.


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

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Multiple Sclerosis walk will be held in Towson on April 13

Help raise money for a good cause. Details here.


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monkey butt



My husband received a Duluth Trading Co. catalog in the mail today. They have a lot of things to solve common everyday problems. Like anti monkey butt powder (I feel like there should be some hyphens in there somewhere.) And extra-long t-shirts for plumbers.


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

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car break-ins and other issues in Rodgers Forge

Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol says:

Monday 3/24/08
At approximately 4:00 a.m., the windows of two cars were smashed on the 100 block of Regester Avenue, at the bend. A GPS was stolen from one vehicle and a stereo was stolen from the other. A golf club was left at the scene. Immediately after the incident RFCOP Rob Williams noticed 2 individuals dressed in dark clothing walking up the Glen Argyle alley. He lost sight of them when he went to get his cell phone. However, as Rob walked about after the incident he saw a vehicle resembling a Toyota Sequoia [SUV] traveling around the area. Rob believed that vehicle was searching for the 2 thieves. Rob reported this information to the responding police officer.

From Pinehurst COP comes word,
"One of our neighbors in Bellona Gittings had a newly installed copper downspout stolen last week [before Easter]. Please be aware that guys in trucks may not be legitimate workers and keep an eye open. On the other hand, if you are doing roofing work or have contractors of any sort coming to your home, please inform your neighbors so we don't have false alarms."

If contractors come soliciting door to door for gutter cleaning, etc., residents should ask to see their Maryland State Contractors License. Not all, but some, unlicensed contractors may be canvassing for victims.

Last Thursday night, after County Schools were closed for Spring Break, vandals sprayed graffiti on the rear walls and windows of Dumbarton Middle School. They used black automobile undercoating. If anyone is aware of juveniles possessing aerosol cans of undercoating, please notify police, 410 887-2222.
Also, here are some area crimes as reported by Baltimore County Police.


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GBMC wants you to know about these events

BALTIMORE, Md. – March 24, 2008- Greater Baltimore Medical Center’s Milton J. Dance Jr. Head and Neck Center is holding two events in April for Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week.

The Center presents a special program, “Dental and Oral Care After Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer” on Tuesday, April 15, 7-8:30 p.m. in GBMC’s Physicians Pavilion East Conference Center. The guest speaker is Ghassan Sinada, D.D.S., Maxillofacial Prosthodontist and a consultant at the Dance Center.

Oral screenings will be held on Thursday, April 24, 4-6 p.m. at the Dance Center, 6569 North Charles Street, Suite 200. Please call 443-849-3080 to schedule a screening.


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profile on state Sen. Jim Brochin

Laura Smitherman of The Sun has a story today on Jim Brochin, who represents the Towson area

... The maverick lawmaker from Baltimore County has been moved to the back row of the Senate chamber with freshman lawmakers despite his six-year seniority - a subtle retaliatory move by one of the state's most powerful Democrats for defying his party during last year's special session.

His fiscally conservative and socially progressive views make him a reliable ally for neither the Democrats nor the Republicans. And a wealthy constituent is already exploring challenging him in the 2010 Democratic primary. ... full story


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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cow Caper Festival in April

We took our son to this a few years ago and it was pretty fun. We also buy milk, and sometimes beef, from them every week at the Waverly Farmer's Market. They also do home deliveries.

"We would like to invite you to South Mountain Creamery’s Cow Caper Festival. This is a fun filled event, filled with activities for the whole family. [Located near Frederick.]

Saturday, April 26 - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, April 27 - 11 a.m to 5 p.m.

South Mountain Creamery invites you to enjoy our Cow Caper Treasure Hunt. Seven cows have broken through a fence in our west pasture, and we need your help to locate the cows.
While exploring through our treasure hunt you will see our milking parlor and milk plant in the “Moo to you Tour.” You will also see and maybe help feed our calves, help make ice
cream and butter, and most of all have a mooooific time down on the farm!

The day is full of fun and education. Where does milk come from? How do you milk a cow? How does the milk go from the cow to your table? These and many more questions will be
answered at our Cow Caper Festival. We hope to see ya’ there.

Hayrides
Ice Cream Making
Demonstrations
Butter Making
Demonstrations
MOO to YOU tours
Petting Zoo
See cow milking from 1:30 – 5:00 pm
Help feed calves at 4:00 pm
THE BEST TASTING BEEF AND PORK BAR-B-QUE in the STATE

Directions from Frederick: 270 North to 70 West, take Exit 49
Middletown/Braddock Heights. Turn Left on to Alt. 40, follow
approximately 9 miles. Turn Left on to Bolivar Rd. At stop sign
bear to the Left. Look for signs."

SOUTH MOUNTAIN CREAMERY
A family-owned and operated company
8305 Bolivar Road
Middletown, MD 21769
www.southmountaincreamery.com
301-371-8565


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Saturday, March 22, 2008

So, what's a guy gotta do to get a deal on this here hammer?

Don't pay full price for that X-Box thingie! The New York Times reports that a slowing economy means haggling is back, everywhere from Best Buy to Home Depot.


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

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Forge Flyer exclusive:
Easter Bunny visits Tot Lot


You won't read about it in the real-estate-magnate-controlled Baltimore Sun. You won't read about it in The Examiner, which considers egg hunts to be a Socialistic form of welfare handouts. You won't read about it in the Jewish Times because why would you?

But we are here to report that the Easter Bunny did indeed show up at the Tot Lot today, thanks to the Rodgers Forge Association, and eggs were indeed distributed.


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parents' rejection of vaccine for kids seen as health risk

New York Times: SAN DIEGO — In a highly unusual outbreak of measles here last month, 12 children fell ill; nine of them had not been inoculated against the virus because their parents objected, and the other three were too young to receive vaccines.

The parents who objected to their children being inoculated are among a small but growing number of vaccine skeptics in California and other states who take advantage of exemptions to laws requiring vaccinations for school-age children. ...

Children who are not vaccinated are unnecessarily susceptible to serious illnesses, they say, but also present a danger to children who have had their shots — the measles vaccine, for instance, is only 95 percent effective — and to those children too young to receive certain vaccines. FULL STORY


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Friday, March 21, 2008

Bill requiring car seats for all kids under 8 is on hold

The Examiner reports, with an obvious point of view, that a bill requiring booster seats for kids up to 8 years old has not passed but it may go up for a vote later.


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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Celebrate Baltimore stories

March 30: A Celebration of Gilbert Sandler

Sunday, 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Free Admission
The Baltimore Museum of Industry will formally accept the written and audio works of famed journalist and radio commentator, Gil Sandler. Attendees will enjoy highlights from his career. Refreshments will be served. Details here.


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Police seek help finding missing Towson woman

Baltimore County, Md. (March 20, 2008) - Baltimore County Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 45-year-old woman missing from her home in the 8700-block of Raven Drive in Towson.

D
eborah Elizabeth Wilburn has been missing since 11 a.m. on March 10. A family member told police that Deborah advised him that she was going to walk to a Safeway food store located in the 8800-block of Waltham Woods Road, 21234. Wilburn has not been seen since. Police have also learned from family members that Wilburn suffers from unspecified mental health issues.

She is described as a white female, 5’5” tall, 147 pounds, with medium length brown hair, and brown eyes. Police do not know what she was wearing at the time of her disappearance.

Anyone with information about her disappearance or location is asked to call Baltimore County Police at 410-307-2020.


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Baby elepant born at Baltimore zoo

Baby and mom will not be on public view for a while so they can bond, The Sun/AP reports.


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Eat this, not that

The NYT has an interesting piece today on The Worst Foods in America. Lots of mind-blowing examples of how horrible commonly eaten foods are.


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Cromwell Valley Easter Egg Hunt

Cromwell Valley Park will hold its Easter Egg Hunt from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at 2002 Cromwell Bridge Road. Details here.


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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

parent not happy with direction of county schools

"If Mr. Smith's goal is to run the Baltimore County school system into the ground before he leaves office, he seems to be accomplishing that goal in a spectacular fashion. If he has another goal in mind, he's failing miserably. It's time to get serious about fixing our schools." -- David Gosey in the Towson Times. Read the entire letter here.


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volunteers needed to help keep Rodgers Forge beautiful

Mike Ertel of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations is looking for volunteers to help with Towson Clean Up Day, or to get involved by starting a Rodgers Forge Clean Up Day in conjunction with the larger event. He can be reached at mkertel@aol.com.Here's his message:

We would love to see a Rodgers Forge team tackle a project or projects in the area for the April 19 Towson Day.

In October, we had the first Towson Clean Up Day – projects included trash + debris pick-up, stream clean-up, power washing, beds mulching, tree plantings, painting over graffiti, gum + sticker removal, trimming of overgrown shrubs + small trees, and weed pulling.

Two of our many successful projects involved the neighborhoods of Towson Manor Village and Burkleigh Square.

Towson Manor Village had a team that gave their community park a make-over. They trimmed overgrown hedges, weeded badly overgrown flower beds and replanted new plantings. They picked up trash, mulched beds and planted two new trees donated by the Herring Run Watershed Assn. The mulch was donated by Baltimore County Public Works. The park looked 400% better.

Burkleigh Square cleaned up lots of trash and debris, pulled weeds, cleared gutters, repainted graffiti on poles and trash cans.

The beauty of this program is that you pick the project for your neighborhood. We help get you tools (wheelbarrows, power washers, rakes, shovels, brooms), materials (mulch, trees, bags), resources (manpower, dumpster, pick-ups, etc).

We found the most successful projects had a team leader that pre-planned what needed to be done and supervised the day of the clean-up. We would encourage you to identify a project and appoint a leader who can e-mail me their needs, etc.

Hope you will join us for this Spring Clean Up.


Mike Ertel
GTCCA Coordinator – Towson Day


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seminar on How to Create a Kid-Friendly Outdoor Space

This could also be useful for those of us with area rug-sized yards ....

Wondering how to turn your cement pad into a garden oasis for your kids? The Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance (DBFA) presents, "The Urban Patio: How to Create a Kid-Friendly Outdoor Space" on Saturday, April 12th at 1 p.m. at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Southeast Anchor Branch.

Guest speakers will include Baltimore Garden Company's Jennifer Kirschnick and Claudia Towles of aMuse toy store. Topics include creating a safe environment, tips for gardening in the city, great outdoor toys, and getting kids excited about planting. The event is FREE but a $5 donation is greatly appreciated to fund future DBFA parenting seminars and events for downtown families.

Enoch Pratt Southeast Anchor Library
3601 Eastern Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21224
410-396-1580

RSVP at parentseminar@dbfam.org


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false alarm; no burglary in Cedarcroft yesterday

Cedarcroft citizens' patrol says:

"I have since learned this was a false alarm. One of our neighbors was returning home from the grocery store when a man stopped by her home making her feel uncomfortable. She went in the house and called the police. In the end he was dropping off business cards to do concrete work. The police response was impressive but fortunately this time not warranted."


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Children's nature series at Irvine

Children’s Nature Series Print
Wednesday, April 2 2008, 2:00pm - 4:00pm


(4-session course)
Wednesdays, April 2 through April 23.
Preschoolers will explore the natural world through trail walks, animal encounters, art projects, puppet shows, games, stories, and more during this fun-filled class. It's a great introduction to science and nature in a uniquely hands-on forum. Please note that children should be dressed appropriately to be outdoors, and plan to attend without a parent/guardian. Snack is provided. Register now, as spaces are limited.

Leader: Linda Eustis & Rachel Swanson
Fee: $60, members $45
Registration Deadline: March 31
Ages: 4 & 5 (without adult)


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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

attempted burglary today in Cedarcroft

Cedercroft citizens' patrol reports that there was an attempted burglary in the 400 block of Gittings today (just west of York Road). Several police cars and a police helicopter were searching for the suspect. This was around 10:30 - 11:00 a.m., the same time of day as the attempted break in on Regester last week. No further details available right now.

UPDATE 3/19/08: It was a false alarm.


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Sign up now for kindergarten registration

So, I sort of thought you could just show up on registration day and show a BGE bill and your child would be registered. Wrong. It's much more involved. You first call and get a packet of documents and make an appointment. Then you fill out a bunch of paperwork that you bring in to your registration appointment.

At that appointment, your child will take an assessment test, for lack of a better word, and the school asks that you not bring other kids along because they can be distracting.

Registration is happening at Rodgers Forge Elementary on April 21-22* and it takes about an hour. Not sure of dates at other schools. Call now to set up an appointment.

Rodgers Forge: 410.887.3582
Stoneleigh: 410.887.3600
Hampton: 410.887.3205
Riderwood: 410.887.3568

You will need:

- child's birth certificate
- four proof-of-address documents.
- parent's photo ID w/current address on it
- consent for release records
- health registration
- health inventory
- immunization records
- lead testing certificate
- dental health record
- language and guidance questionnaire

(Some of the health docs are not due until June.)

If your child was born outside of the United States you must call 410.887.6752 before registering.

If you need after care, you sign up with one of four independent providers. One is located in the school, but the only downside is that if the school closes early because of snow, etc., then the after-care has to close, too. There are three off-site locations that also offer after care, and the bus will take your kids there after school.

Day care list for RFES:

Rodgers Forge Children's Center
56 Stevenson Lane, 410.377.5142

Towson YMCA
600 W. Chesapeake Ave., 410.494.7778

Trinity Episcopal Children's Center
120 Allegheny Ave., 410.823.3589

Playcenters (at RFES)
410.821.6717

*Registration had been scheduled for April 6-7 but it was changed.


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The Baltimore Sun wants to cook dinner for you

A friend of mine at The Sun writes the Make Over My Meal series. They are always looking for new people to feature. Let them know if you're interested. You'll probably get some valuable tips, and you'll for sure get a free meal! Here are some past stories to see what they're like.

Bored with dinner? Too busy to eat right? Trying to cut out the fat? Want a healthy alternative in your lunch box? The Baltimore Sun is looking for people who need a little help in the kitchen to participate in its "Make Over My Meal" series that runs monthly in the Food section.

The Sun brings a dietitian, a chef or other expert to your house to cook you a meal, offer you tips and answer all your specific questions. It's free. In the past we've have had a mom looking for some fresh ideas, a dieter in need of motivation, a vegetarian facing the holidays and a runner with high cholesterol. If you have interest, please contact Meredith Cohn at meredith.cohn@baltsun.com


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Monday, March 17, 2008

more Eddie Izzard

So those of you with cable might be totally familiar with him and I know I've seen clips of him somewhere but I really wasn't sure who he is. Now I know, and he's hysterical. Here are some clips.


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schools are the heart of the community, but libraries are its soul

The same day Towson parents were making their case for a new school (we are overcapacity by 451 students; more students than are even supposed to be in one school), county officials were breaking ground for a new library in Perry Hall. Now, we love libraries and go to them all the time. But is an overcrowded library really more important than an overcrowded school?

County news release: Perry Hall, Md.(March 14, 2008)–
Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, Fifth District County Councilman Vince Gardina, Library Director James Fish, members of the Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) Foundation Board, and many community members gathered [on March 13] to break ground for construction of the new Perry Hall Library located at 9685 Honeygo Boulevard.

The new library will have a total of 25,000 square feet, an increase of 15,000 square feet from the current structure. The facility, constructed as a “green” building, will be ADA accessible. Other new features include a designated teen area, a quiet study area, two group study rooms, and a drive-up window for library customers.

“Perry Hall is a thriving community that is experiencing unprecedented prosperity—this is a community in the midst of a renaissance,” said Smith. “I often say that while schools are the heart of a community, libraries are its soul. Nowhere is that more obvious than here in Perry Hall where this library is so valued by so many people.”

Councilman Gardina agreed, saying, “Libraries are important components of a community. These improved facilities will make a difference in the quality of life for Perry Hall families.”

The community has outgrown the current library located at 9440 Belair Road. With the neighborhood growth, the new library plans to expand as well by increasing the number of library computers from 7 to 37; public seating from 17 to 152; parking spaces from 43 to 149; and its collections from 60,000 items to 125,000. An expected completion date is February 2009. [Cost: $6.4 million, according to The Sun.]


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more magnetic-toy recalls


You might have noticed many toys with strong magnets have been recalled. I read a scary story a while back about a toddler who swallowed two magnets from his brother's toy. He didn't choke, but the magnets stuck together in his intestines and he died. These toys just freak me out in general since I read that. Please click on "email this post" below to warn anyone who might have purchased these. They were sold at big-box retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, etc.

1. MEGA Brands Recalls MagnaMan Magnetic Action Figures; Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards

2. MEGA Brands Recalls Magtastik and Magnetix Jr. Pre-School Magnetic Toys; Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards ... Details here.


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attempted break-in on Regester

From Karl Pfrommer:

A burglar tried to break through a bay window in the 300 block of Regester Ave. at 10:30 am. last Wednesday, March 14. The resident got up to see what was happening and the man then ran to his car parked on Dorking Road.


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architect asks schools and county to think more creatively about building design to relieve overcrowding

At the rally/meeting on Thursday night, Chris Parts, the parent of three Rodgers Forge students (and one Dumbarton student), stood up and spoke about the possibilities for a new school in Towson. He's an architect and he mentioned a school project his firm is doing in DC on a very small parcel of land. He was kind enough to send along the text of his comments.


Consider with an open mind the best school model for how we provide an elementary school for 400.

I was rather astounded that the Baltimore County School team that presented options at the RFES night recently indicated they needed a 20 acre site to fit a 400-student elementary school. ...

I am an architect and my office is currently designing a three story Pre K-8 school for 850 students a few blocks from Union Station in Washington DC, on a 3.2 acre site. This project also incorporates a community library on the ground floor. This project was identified as a priority by Mayor Fente and rather than go through conventional routes, it is a turnkey project, being built by a developer for the city to speed up the delivery. The site still provides an ample play field and playground for the students. This is one small example of many similar projects that prove a creative approach may be a viable solution on a site thought too small. (Read the full text of his comments here.)


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County Executive plans to push forward with Ridge Ruxton expansion project

Despite fierce opposition, Jim Smith says he plans to push for an expansion at the Ridge Ruxton school. Here's an ABC news report:

The school board tabled the expansion of Ridge Ruxton. Smith says the option remains a possibility. “I do think the school system and I know the county is going to work together with them to address some of the concerns that were raised at the meeting,” he said.

Parents say adding 400 students to the Ridge Ruxton School doesn't even solve the current over-crowding of the four Towson-area schools. But Smith said that expansion could be combined with expansions at other schools in the York road area. (full story)


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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Death Star Canteen

My sister-in-law sent us this. Rated R for language. Also, a story today in the New York Times about this comedian, Eddie Izzard.


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

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funny political quotes

“What’s a man got to do to get in the top fifty?” –Bill Clinton, reacting to a survey of journalists that ranked the Monica Lewinsky scandal as the 53rd most significant story of the century

“Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.” —Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, D.C.

“Friends, the press and the government are in bed together in an embrace so intimate and wrong, they could spoon on a twin mattress and still have room for Ted Koppel. Journalists used to question the reasons for war and expose abuse of power. Now, like toothless babies, they suckle on the sugary teat of misinformation and poop it into the diaper we call the Six O'clock News. Demand more of your government. Demand more of your press.” –Kent Brockman, on The Simpsons

Read more quotes here.


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Update on Saturday farmers' market

They asked for your opinion and you gave it. Nancy Hafford, head of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, says she's received more than 500 e-mails in support of adding a Saturday market. They're trying to make arrangements now, and if all goes according to plan it will open the third week of June.


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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Upcoming events at Oregon Ridge

At Oregon Ridge Nature Center. Reservations required: 410-887-1815

March 16 at 2 p.m. - FROGS DON’T DRINK ANTIFREEZE - Slip on your rubber boots and go on a hike to find out why frogs don’t drink antifreeze.

March 20 at 4 p.m. - AFTER SCHOOL NATURE EXPLORERS - 1st to 4th graders enjoy nature activities after school. $2/child is due in advance.

March 22 at 2 p.m. - GREEN EGGS AND “HAMPHIBIANS” - Help us unscramble amphibian eggs in the pond, then come back and dye eggs at the Center. Bring your own hard-boiled eggs.

March 29 & 30 at 9 a.m. - THE STONE AGE RETURNS - Stone tools saw us through tough times. Learn the process of flint knapping at this 4 hour mini-course.


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Whiskey Island 5K run/walk April 13

Set out on a new adventure! Grab some friends and be the first to discover the new leg of the Jones Falls Trail. All proceeds benefit the Baltimore Fund at University of Maryland’s Greenebaum Cancer Center. Fun for all ages, the kids will enjoy the Chili Pepper Fun Run! Details here.

Chili Pepper Fun Run: $15.00
5K Run/Walk: $35.00

Online Reg. Closes: April 13, 2008 12:00 AM Pacific Time


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Friday, March 14, 2008

A great place to buy wine

The kids and I got take out from Cafe Zen the other night and I wanted to buy a bottle of white wine to go with it. So we zipped on over to Grand Cru wine bar at Belvedere Square, a place my husband and I like to go for drinks. They have a huge selection of wine, and the the white is already chilled unlike at a liquor store where almost none of it is. One of the best things -- and this is the part where you nominate me for Mother of the Year -- was that I was able to leave the kids in the (locked and not running) car while I ran in because I could park right in front and keep in them in sight. Also, you can buy wine there on Sundays.
I'll drink to that!


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neat sale on trees -- plant one in your yard!

Parks & People Foundation has partnered with RPM Ecosystems, a leading Native plant nursery, to provide the Baltimore Metropolitan region with exceptional trees for planting this spring. RPM native species are reliable, hardy, and naturally adaptable to the climatic conditions of the Eastern U.S.

Through RPM, Parks & People is offering trees that are suitable for conservation and restoration plantings as well as for park, neighborhood and lawn greening. These native hardwood trees will provide immediate ecological benefits wherever they are planted.

Trees are one year old (2' - 6' high), in three gallon containers (10 1/8" diameter, 7" deep) and sell for $45 each. Details here.


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Lauraville festivities/shopping this Saturday

Saturday, March 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"A Neighborhood shopping spree featuring all our new businesses: Studio C Jewelry and Gifts, Rock Candy, Bediboo Children's Boutique, Beth's DIY Workshop, Spinster Yarns and Fibers all welcomed by Zeke's Coffee, The Chameleon Cafe, and Red Canoe. Show us a receipt from ALL the new businesses and get a gift certificate from The Chameleon, buy a raffle ticket for a basket full of $450.00 worth of jewelry, candy, baby gifts, coffee, yarn projects and books at Red Canoe and get a Complimentary Coffee. Refreshments, delight, fun, and a really great kick-off to a really great downtown Lauraville shopping experience. Wow!

And of course, take the time to meet up with your friends and neighbors, perhaps stroll through the park, and enjoy being a part of the fastest growing neighborhood in Baltimore--that's right, that's us---Lauraville!

Saturday Night enjoy the film "Gold Diggers" as part of the Donovan Fund Film Series. 7pm at the Rock Candy Movie Theater call Chris Muldowney at 410-426-2529 for reservations

See you on Harford Road in downtown Lauraville this Saturday for good food, good coffee, and the best of neighbors."

-Nicole and Peter
Red Canoe
4337 Harford Road
Baltimore, MD 21214


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update from the Towson YMCA

The YMCA sent out an email yesterday (read it here) updating where they are with plans for renovation. ... Wouldn't it be a great partnership if the county relocated the BYKOTA senior center to the Y and Towson Elementary could be used again as a school? I think that's what they call a win-win.


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Did you go to the Q&A with Joe Hairston last night?

I opted to go to the rally instead. If you went to hear Hairston speak and would care to share what you heard, I'd love to post it. You can comment below or email kris@forgeflyer.com.


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media's take on school rally

Visit the Towson Families United site to see how local TV news covered the rally last night. Two stations covered it.


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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Big turnout at meeting in support of a new elementary school in Towson

Nearly 300 parents and kids turned out tonight in support of a new elementary school (not an addition to an existing school) in Towson. Here's what some of them had to say. (Keeping in mind that I'm simply a mom with a camera and a new iMovie program that is frustrating me to no end...) Check the Towson Families United blog, too, which I'm sure will have more info.

Below, you'll see the parent of a 3rd grader at RFES say that building an addition to Ridge Ruxton is like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. ... A PTA organizer discuss the politics behind the Mays Chapel plan. ... The TFU president discuss the huge explosion of kids in Towson. ... And an attorney/parent arguing that reclaiming Towson Elementary (now BYKOTA) should at least be on the table. (I agree.)



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photos from Towson school rally 3-13-08






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another photo from Towson school rally 3-13-08


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more photos from Towson school rally 3-13-08







See them all on Shutterfly, here (OK, clearly I am not a photographer)


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more toy recalls; serious risks involved

1. Toy Sundae Sets Sold at Target Recalled Due to Choking
Hazard ... 2. Battat Recalls Additional Magnetic Construction Sets; Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards ... details for both here


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Easter Bunny will be at Tot Lot on March 22

A message from the Rodgers Forge board:
"The much beloved Easter Bunny visit will take place at the Tot Lot in Rodgers Forge from 11:00 AM until Noon on Saturday, March 22nd. All our little neighbors are invited to meet and greet the happy hopper and his helper. Goodies will be distributed and there will be photo opportunities aplenty. Come and enjoy the fun! The visit is sponsored and conducted by the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc."


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Earth Hour is March 29

I received this message today and this sounds pretty interesting, especially since it's supposed to lead to a greater awareness and not just one less hour of power usage:

"I live in West Towson and have been telling people about Earth Hour. The World Wildlife Fund started this event in Australia where businesses, residences, landmark buildings and even bridges turn off their lights from 8-9 pm. on Saturday March 29th. This year they are going global and hope to create a positive "rolling blackout" that moves around the whole world. I think if the community of Rodgers Forge knew about it, their participation would be significant. The link is www.earthhour.org . I chose to register myself as a participant so I could be added to their tally, but anyone can participate by just turning out their lights. People who register can also opt in or out on receiving more information about reducing their carbon footprint."


Here's what the website says:
"Created to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming.

This simple act has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world. As a result, at 8pm March 29, 2008 millions of people in some of the world’s major capital cities, including Copenhagen, Toronto, Chicago, Melbourne, Brisbane and Tel Aviv will unite and switch off for Earth Hour."


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parent rally/meeting tonight in Towson

From Towson Families United:

“Rally for Families”

Tonight. 6:45 p.m. sharp.

Meet in front parking lot of Rodgers Forge Elementary.

Bring your kids, their grandparents, and your neighbors.

Make a difference.

Details of a possible addition to the Ridge Ruxton school are too sketchy for us to change course. And what we do know about the plan already concerns us — and the parents at Ridge Ruxton — greatly. We need, and expect, a complete new school — not a poorly thought out addition that fails to address the needs of all our children. So join us Thursday night at 6:45 in front of Rodgers Forge, and bring your children. Together we’ll march to Dumbarton for the 7 p.m. budget hearing. The news media will be in attendance. We hope you will be too.


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Alley Signs biz gets noticed by the Towson Times

If you're looking for something a little fancier than the inexpensive house numbers you can buy at Ayd Hardware, read on about this home-based business that makes "alley signs." She was mentioned before in the Forge Flyer and now she's in the Towson Times.


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author Laura Numeroff at Children's Bookstore tomorrow

At The Children's Bookstore in Roland Park

Friday, March 14th
Time: 4:00 PM

Laura Numeroff

Known for her series: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, etc.

presenting her new book: The Jellybeans and the Big Dance

http://www.thecbstore.com/events.html


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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

finally, a story about what's up with the Rodgers Forge condos

I've been wanting to read a story about this. Who bought the condos and lives in them? And what's the deal now that they're being converted into apartments and there's no pool and all that? I'd still be interested to know how many lawsuits have been filed; I've heard there have been some.

"The ability to pursue a claim against a developer entity after that single-purpose entity has been foreclosed upon is speculative at best and realistically not worthy of pursuing," he said.

Now Rose and Harry Zbar are living in a somewhat flawed condo in the middle of an apartment complex. They have had to deal with three management companies since they've been in their condo. ... full story



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school board won't bow to pressure

Here's Loni Ingraham's interesting story in the Towson Times about the school board refusing to be pressured into approving a sub-par plan.

“Those constituents in Mays Chapel didn’t want that property used for a school,” said board member Joy Shillman. “It was a political thing.“If the money was available to build at Mays Chapel, Ridge Ruxton would be an elementary school.” full story


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residents wonder: Why no new schools?

Here's a story from The Examiner about overcrowded schools.


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school board refuses to approve expansion of Ridge Ruxton

Baltimore County school board members said last night they felt pressured by county officials to approve a plan that might not be best for kids and the county. It's on hold for now. Could it be they might actually give us a new school, which is obviously the best solution?

Gina Davis reports in The Sun: "It's very difficult to vote when we don't know what all our choices are," board member John A. Hayden III said in proposing that a vote be delayed.

Other board members said they recently had felt pressured by county officials to support an addition to Ridge Ruxton instead of seeking funds to build a new school. ... full story

And here is a great op-ed piece in The Sun by Cathi Forbes of Towson Families United. Also, check the TFU blog for lots more info on this.


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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rodgers Forge board meeting is Wed. night

At 7:00 p.m. on March 12 in the cafeteria of Dumbarton Middle School. All residents welcome.


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"new Barbie criticized"

EL SEGUNDO, CA—Toy company Mattel is under fire from a group of activists who say their popular doll's latest incarnation, CEO Barbie, encourages young girls to set impractical career goals.

"This doll furthers the myth that if a woman works hard and sticks to her guns, she can rise to the top," said Frederick Lang of the Changes Institute, a children's advocacy organization. "Our young girls need to learn to accept their career futures, not be set up with ridiculously unattainable images." ... full (spoof) story in The Onion


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Baby Loves Disco adds a third date

It's April 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. (That's naptime, isn't it?) The last two events were sold out, so if you want to go, better get on it.


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city to hear plan for gondola

Lorraine Mirabella has an interesting piece in The Sun: Picture floating high above Pratt Street in a ski-lift style gondola, soaring over the Inner Harbor on a seven-minute journey from the Convention Center to Fells Point.

Trey Winstead of Winstead Brothers LLC has been studying, planning and engineering such a 1.3-mile route along overhead cables for six years. Now, along with his brother Peter Winstead, he's ready to pitch the plan to put Baltimore on the cutting edge of urban aerial transit to the city's design panel. ... full story


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exercise linked to girls' academic performance

USA Today:

Time spent in physical education does not detract from elementary school students' ability to excel in the classroom and may even help improve girls' academic performance, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. ... full story


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1 in 4 teen girls has STD

That lovely finding was reported by The Sun's Stephanie Desmon, who writes:

One in four teenage girls in the United States -- and nearly half of African-American girls -- has at least one sexually transmitted disease, according to a study released today, providing the first national snapshot of infection rates among this age group.

Those numbers translate into an estimated 3.2 million adolescent females infected with one of the four most common STDs -- many of whom may not even know they have a disease or that they are passing it to their sex partners. ... full story


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baby sling, Nordstrom sweatshirts, deep fryers recalled



1. Ellaroo Recalls Infant Sling Carriers Due to Fall Hazard

2. JCPenney Recalls Cooks Deep Fryers Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

3. Children's Hooded Sweatshirts Recalled by Urgent Gear Due to
Strangulation Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Nordstrom Stores ... details for all at www.cpsc.gov


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