Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Events at Earth Alley

Coming up at the Earth Alley shop in Hampden:

Creative Determinationof Afghani Women:
** Handcrafts & Human Rights **
Friday, Oct. 3rd at 6 p.m.- free event
Come learn about creative ways Afghani women are bettering their economic & human rights conditions

and

Oct. is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Would you like to create your own custom bracelet?
Sat. Oct. 18th – 4 - 6 p.m.
No experience in jewelry making necessary!
Jewelry beads & pink ribbon pendant provided!

Workshop cost: $20 in advance, $25 day of.
Please RSVP


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

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Mommy & Me duckpin bowling

My friend picked up this flyer at Stoneleigh Duckpin Bowling Center the other day:

Mommy & Me (or dad, grandparent) bowling
first and third Wednesday of every month, noon to 2 p.m.

Bring in the kids for fun, activities and lunch for $5 per child.

410.377.8115


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

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Ikea dresser, toaster and toy boats recalled

1. Wal-Mart Recalls General Electric Toasters Due to Fire and Shock Hazards (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08413.html)

2. IKEA Recalls to Repair Chest of Drawers Due to Laceration Hazard
(http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08414.html)

3. Toy Boats Recalled by Buzz's Boatyard Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
(http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08415.html)


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

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Latest crime report

Here it is.


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

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How our reps voted on the bailout

Here's how local pols voted on the bailout:

Ruppersberger - yes
Sarbanes - yes
Cummings - no

full list here


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

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List of places to go pumpkin picking near Baltimore

Looking for a place to pick pumpkins this year? Scroll down to and see the "pumpkin places" section on the right-hand side of this page, just under recurring events.


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

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Towson U testing its siren system today

Towson U has a new siren system and it's scheduled to test it at 12:30 p.m. today. (Just a heads up so you don't worry that we've just invaded Iran or something.)


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

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Check out these free events for October


FREE FALL BALTIMORE RETURNS FOR AN INNOVATIVE 3RD YEAR
October 1-31, 2008

Right now Baltimore's vibrant cultural community is busy making plans to offer another full month of unique and free arts experiences for all to enjoy during October 2008. Get ready to be inspired by musical performances, theater, film, workshops, dance, lectures, and museums - a showcase of all the best of Baltimore's creative community and all for free.

Last year more than 350 unique performances, art exhibits and workshops took place in just 31 days. Look for Free Fall Baltimore programming for October 2008 on this website by mid-August 2008.

We encourage everyone to continue enjoying free admission at The Baltimore Museum of Art and The Walters Art Museum. Both museums offer free admission all year long. Please sign up for the Baltimore Fun Guide (baltimorefunguide.com) for weekly special discounts on Baltimore events and continue to enjoy all the cultural richness that Baltimore has to offer year round.

http://www.freefallbaltimore.com/index.cfm


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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Here's the Michael Phelps parade route


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

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Free admission to the Streetcar Museum throughout October


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

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Did the presidential debate move you one way or the other?


I'm turning off the "comments" feature because I'm not looking for a shouting match. I'm just curious what you thought.


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

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Volunteers needed for Phelps parade

Don Gerding, of the Rodgers Forge Community Association, says volunteers are needed to help with the Phelps-Hoff parade that will happen at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 4. They are hoping for a strong showing from Rodgers Forge, which of course we all know is the neighborhood where Phelps grew up.

Kids from the area are also encouraged to wear any sports uniforms they might have in order to show support for and participation in community athletics.

The parade will start at Burke Ave. and go south on York Road down to just past St. Pius X.

If you can volunteer, please call Karl Pfrommer at 410.377.5074.


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

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Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain to debate after all

Republican John McCain agreed to attend the first presidential debate Friday night even though Congress doesn't have a bailout deal, reversing an earlier decision to delay the event until Washington had taken action to address the crisis. --full story


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

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Want to be a Phelps parade marshall?

This is what I'm told: "You need to be able to work / stand for about two and half hours, keep people off the road and away from parade vehicles, give friendly info / flyers to parade attendees. You'll have the parade schedule to provide information about who's coming next, etc.

You will get an exclusive Phelps t-shirt for your efforts. Please email Mike Ertel at mertel@jacobscompany.com as soon as possible if you want to help out."


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

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Children's nature series at Irvine

Wednesdays, October 8 through November 12
Preschoolers will explore the natural world through nature hikes, 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.Fee: $125 members, $160 non-members
Registration Deadline: October 6
Ages: 4 & 5 years old (without adult)


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

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

three recalls

1. Toy Police Cars Recalled by TCB Imports Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08412.html)

2. Four-Wheeled Ride-On Vehicles Recalled by Razor USA Due to Throttle Controller Defect (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08410.html)

3. Razor USA Recalls PowerWing Three-Wheeled Scooters Due to Laceration Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08409.html)


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

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Help me compile free/cheap things to do with the family

A reader just wrote to me and said she'd love to see on the Flyer a list of cheap or free things to do with kids, aside from story hours at book stores -- such as going to the Walters, discounted admission to the Aquarium on Friday afternoons, etc.

What would you put on this list? Are there great deals out there we should know about? Fun things you do with the kids that don't cost a lot?

I'd love to hear from you!


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

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Mt. Washington Village festival Sept. 28

The festival will provide wine samples from Basignani Winery, Woodhall Vineyards, The Old Vine and microbrews from Clipper City Brewing Co. Cheeses from all over the world will also be featured courtesy of The Great Cheese and Whole Foods as well as delicious breads from Bonjour Bakery. Entertainment will be provided by jazz artists, Coldspring Jazz Quartet, Rumba Club and Greg Hatza.

In addition, a children's area will feature games, face painting, balloons and the Oriole Bird. There will also be antique cars, a Gumbo eating contest and much more. More details.


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

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DOG POOP

I was in my alley chatting with neighbors this morning when one of them opened her trash can to find a bag of dog poop in it. Another neighbor has complained that he has found just plain ol' dog poop in his garbage can -- no bag or anything. (How it actually got there we can't fathom.)

I'm not a neat freak, but I do try to keep my trash cans somewhat clean because otherwise if there are nasty liquids compounding in the bottom it gets really disgusting. I really don't feel like having leaking dog poop in the mix. (And don't even get me started on the people who treat the grassy area behind the schools as a toilet for their dogs and then just leave it for my kids to step in.)

What do you think? Is it kosher to leave dog poop in people's trash cans?


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Have you volunteered for the Michael Phelps parade?


Baltimore is going all out to celebrate Olympian and Rodgers Forgian Michael Phelps on Saturday, October 4. Read all the details about the Towson parade and the Fort McHenry fireworks here.

Also, the Rodgers Forge Association is seeking volunteers to help out at the parade, which will go down York Road right through Rodgers Forge. They also encourage all kids to wear a sports uniform, if they have one, to show support for local athletics.

To volunteer, call Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol at 410-377-5074 or karlpfrommer@msn.com.


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

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Brawl at Towson U being investigated

Towerlight: University policy-makers are questioning whether or not the current guidelines are effective in preventing future incidents. Meanwhile, student groups who had events planned for the semester are bringing their concerns to the Student Government Association. -- full story


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

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

CNN's Brown says Palin being treated unfairly -- by McCain

What do the women out there make of this?


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

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No cost-of-living increase for county teachers

I applaud this decision. My son attends RFES and it's not like his teacher works her tail off every day. It's not like she has an important job, I mean, it's just forming the minds of tomorrow's leaders. What's the big whoop? I would much rather have my tax dollars go to bail out Wall Street billionaires -- after all, they are the ones who make the world go 'round.


Sun: The Baltimore County school board voted unanimously last night to reject a mediation panel's recommendation to give teachers a 2 percent cost-of-living increase at the end of the school year. -- full story brief


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

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Towson will basically come to a standstill on Oct. 4

The Sun has a piece today on the logistics of the Michael Phelps parade. And if your kids have visions of shaking his hand or getting an autograph, better warn them to not get their hopes up. (By the way, is it a good message to have him riding in a Hummer? Ugh.)

Sun: Operating under the principle of saving the best for last, Phelps will ride at the tail end of the parade, in an open-top Hummer, as he did in a similar parade in Towson after the Olympic Games in Athens four years ago.

"Will we have access to him before the parade?" a journalist asked, hopefully.

"We don't even have access to him," Kobler replied. She said Phelps would not be hanging around either before the parade or afterward. "He'll be out of here," she said, whisked away by his "dignitary protection team." -- full story


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

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Ideas for cheap/creative Halloween costumes

From The Sun, though I foresee lots of tears when those balloons pop. Maybe best for older kids?


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

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The Baltimore Book Festival begins this Friday

The Book Festival in Mt. Vernon runs Friday through Sunday. Details here.


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

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Nanny share sought

At a reader's request, I added a "classifieds" section of The Forge Flyer (left-hand column). So if you're looking for child care in Rodgers Forge, check it out.


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

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Towson Library speaker series 9/27

What Your Vote Means
Saturday, September 27, at 2 p.m.

Stop and take stock of why we should vote and what we should think about while voting. Presented by Dr. Toni Marzotto, professor of political science at Towson University, in partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of Towson University. http://bcplonline.org/branches/branch_to.html


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

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City schools to provide breakfast in class

Sounds like the city is really trying to improve kids' meals and make sure they're not starting their days hungry.

Sun: The city school system has been providing free breakfasts for a few years, but participation has been low because students have had to come to school early to be served in the cafeteria and many viewed the food choices as unappetizing. Now, students will be able to grab breakfast boxes to take to their classrooms. --full story


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

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Wine Spectator magazine gives award to fake restaurant

This is pretty funny. An L.A. Times writer who suspected that Wine Spectator's awards were not up to snuff created a website for an imaginary restaurant. He entered it in a contest and the restaurant won the magazine's "award of excellence" despite the fact that no one from the magazine ever visited the place (obviously, since it was didn't exist) and the fact that its online wine list was made up of picks that the magazine had previously said were disgusting. Here's the article.


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

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Party at Borders in Lutherville


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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Your help and support needed for the Michael Phelps parade

Don Gerding, of the Rodgers Forge Community Association, says volunteers are needed to help with the Phelps-Hoff parade that will happen at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 4. They are hoping for a strong showing from Rodgers Forge, which of course is where Phelps grew up and where his mom lives.

Kids from the area are also encouraged to wear any sports uniforms they might have in order to show support for and participation in community athletics.

The parade will start at Burke Ave. and go south on York Road down to just past St. Pius X.

If you can volunteer, please call Karl Pfrommer at 410.377.5074.


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

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Local resident becomes Eagle Scout with Rodgers Forge history project

Timothy Tillman, presently a Presidential Scholar at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and the son of Rodgers Forge residents Bryan and Melissa Tillman, has attained the rank of Eagle Scout, an honor bestowed on a very small percentage of scouts.

As his project, Timothy electronically archived the Rodgers Forge newsletters, dating as far back as 1951.


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

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County school board to look at funding home-school program

This story in The Sun was frankly hard to follow, but basically Baltimore County participated in a program that lets kids go to school from home with a program that has actual teachers and textbooks, etc. I did some work for the company, called Connections Academy, in which I interviewed families who were participating and they were all very impressed with the program. The county had said it might not fund it anymore, but now will review the issue.


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

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part of JFX closed today

For the Play on the JFX event. Here are closure details.


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

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Party City on York Road selling lead-tainted kids' jewelry

Here are details in The Sun.


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

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Office tower in downtown Towson could be redeveloped

Sun:

If it goes ahead, a developer's plan to renovate the white-clad, 13-story Investment Building would be a crucial step in the redevelopment of Towson, where $700 million worth of retail, commercial and residential projects is planned over the next few years, officials said.

The rendering in The Sun makes the ground-level of the building look very uninviting. I hope anything they do adds to the street life.

full story


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Friday, September 19, 2008

Rodgers Forge board has new leadership

Here's the new list of officers for the Rodgers Forge Community Association:

President - Janice Moore (formerly the vice president)
Vice President - Lawrence Swoboda (formerly the president)
Treasurer - Kate Hammond
Recording Secretary - Michele Manahan
Corresponding Secretary - Jay Dunn


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

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Social-networking safety

There's a piece on Charm City Moms today about safety issues around social networking. Could be helpful for those with kids of this age.


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

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

New cooking classes starting

At For the Love of Food, including How to Think Like a Pastry Chef and Knife Skills.


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

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Play on the JFX

Its almost here! Join us for this year's Rally for the River (formerly the Jones Falls Valley Celebration) on Sunday September 21st from 8am-2pm.

The northbound lane of 1-83 will be closed to traffic to allow you to explore and play on (and under) the JFX. Bring family and friends to bike, hike, run, walk, kayak and skate!


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

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Cribs and scuba gear recalled

1. Simplicity Brand Drop Side Cribs Recalled By Various Retailers Due To Serious Entrapment And Suffocation Hazard To Infants and Toddlers (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08401.html)
2. Aqua Lung America Recalls Apeks Scuba Diving Regulators Due to Drowning Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08402.html)


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

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My kids loved these pork chops

I made these pork chops last night from a Mark Bittman cookbook and they were a big hit. I can't attest to them myself as I'm a vegetarian, but my 5-year-old said, "I love them!" and my 3-year-old daughter readily ate them, which is a huge coup. The husband liked them, too.

"A straightforward, simple method of cooking pork chops that always gives good results, no matter what seasonings you add. Use center-cut loin chops if at all possible. This will become a favorite; try the variations, too." Read the recipe here.


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The New York Times just told me I'm doing everything wrong

Well, not everything, but enough that I'm taking note of this article "Six Food Mistakes Parents Make." I do often send my kids out of the kitchen when I'm cooking (hello, I live in Rodgers Forge, there's not room for all of us in here!) but they say that's a no-no. We also sometimes make a big deal out of trying to get our daughter to at least try a new dish (no dessert unless you try it ... open your mouth and eat it!!). I've been back and forth in my mind as to whether that's a good idea. Apparently, it's not.


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

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Soccer goals, Pottery Barn bottles recalled



1. Pottery Barn Kids Recalls Children's Metal Water Bottles Due to Choking Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08399.html)

2. Regent Sports Recalls Soccer Goal Nets Following Strangulation Death of a Child (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08400.html)


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

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More problems found with certain plastics

Sun: Past animal studies have suggested reproductive and hormone-related problems from BPA. The new study is the largest to examine possible BPA effects in people and the first suggesting a direct link to heart disease, said scientists Frederick vom Saal and John Peterson Myers, both longtime critics of the chemical. --more


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These tags are great

A little FYI from me to you:

A few years ago I ordered metal dog tags with our home and cell phone numbers and I put them on my kids' shoes. Now I use these little Avery tags instead. I just jot down on the tag the cell phone number of whoever will be with my child, then put the tag on a shoe or on their clothes with a safety pin.

I don't do it every time we leave the house, but I like to have them on the kids if they're going somewhere crowded, such as a parade or a museum. I usually stick a piece of scotch tape over them so the writing won't bleed if it gets wet.

I also use them to ID lunchboxes and that kind of thing.


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

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Towson Library speaker series

Your Vote and Immigration
Wednesday, September 17, at 7 p.m.

Join Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies; Mary Giovagnoli, director of policy with the National Immigration Forum; Ralston Deffenbaugh, president of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service; and moderator Pat Hatch, League of Women Voters United States Immigration Study Committee, for their perspectives on the candidates' immigration positions. http://bcplonline.org/branches/branch_to.html


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

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Make-ahead meals

I was getting out a pork tenderloin that I had from a Let's Dish party and started thinking I should just do some of these things in my own home. I googled "make ahead meals" and found this website.

I think I'll start with Honey-Sesame Chicken Skewers.


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

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Tomorrow is volunteer training at Rodgers Forge Elementary

It starts at 9:30 a.m. No need to preregister.

http://www.rodgersforgepta.org/calendar.html


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

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What you should know about Rodgers Forge real estate

Here's an article written by Melissa Tillman, a Coldwell Banker real estate agent and a Rodgers Forge resident. It discusses home prices in the neighborhood and what residents can do to boost their homes' values.

"The Rodgers Forge market is booming! While it’s true that the market has leveled off a bit over the past few years, with more of a balance of buyers and sellers (versus the stressful, feeding frenzy atmosphere of a few years ago) our values are holding their own.

Sellers who have properly maintained and prepared their homes for the market and most importantly, priced their properties appropriately can expect a relatively short time on the market, achieving their desired price. And though I may be biased, the entire process will go much smoother and a higher profit will likely be achieved with the assistance of a Realtor.


Some of the best ways to enhance your property are very basic but often overlooked. A good thorough cleaning from top to bottom, from the oven, to bathrooms to ceiling fans and everything in between is job one prior to putting your property on the market. A home that is spic and span, regardless of updates and amenities will always be more enticing than an unkempt property – cleanliness often denotes a feeling of good overall maintenance – something all buyers are seeking." -- read the entire piece here --


If you have an area of expertise and want to share helpful information with members of our community, contact me at kris@forgeflyer.com.



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Sunday, September 14, 2008

And I can see Russia from my house!


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Michael Phelps on SNL


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Saturday, September 13, 2008

New (used) costumes available today

At Kid to Kid Consignment in Cockeysville. It's the day they "unveil" their costume selection. (Let me know if you see a Captain America, size 6-ish!)


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

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Graco and feds knew bassinets were potentially fatal

Federal safety regulators and Graco Children's Products knew two weeks ago that bassinets sold under the Graco name had the same dangerous design that caused two babies' deaths but did not alert the public as part of a larger recall, the Tribune has found. ...

"Oh, my God," said Cara Smith, Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan's deputy chief of staff, who has been investigating the bassinets. "What possible reason would you not get that information out? Utter disregard for the safety of babies. They sat on that information while people continued to use these bassinets believing they were safe." -- full story


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

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Rodgers Forge Ice Cream Social is on

It's still being held today at 5:00 despite the rain. It will be in the gym; they say enter through the back of the school.


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

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"We'll make the gov the president of
the U. - the me and you - S.A.!"





I love this website. It has political commercials all the way back to 1952.


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

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Evidence from Rodgers Forge home OK for toddler murder trial

The Examiner: A Baltimore County judge on Thursday set aside his “misgivings” about a broad search warrant and will permit at trial evidence collected from the home of a Rodgers Forge couple accused of starving their toddler to death. --more


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

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Michael Phelps to host SNL this weekend

Here's a story in The Baltimore Sun.


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

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Journalist Jeffrey Toobin to Discuss the Supreme Court

Award-winning legal affairs analyst Jeffrey Toobin will discuss how the composition of the Supreme Court will change under the next president at The Johns Hopkins University's 2008 Constitutional Forum, a discussion of important legal issues held in conjunction with the annual observance of Constitution Day. ... On Sept. 18, details here.


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

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bediboo to have cloth diapers on consignment

We know our customers are environmentally conscientious and are very cloth diaper savvy (perhaps that is how you found us!). So, after numerous requests, we are going to now be offering cloth diapers and baby carriers on consignment.

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle! Better for the earth and better for your bank account in this tough economy! Plus, it means more variety for you! http://www.bediboo.com/


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

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Bassinets recalled, and gas boilers

1. Some Recalled Simplicity Bassinets Include Graco and "Winnie the Pooh" Brand (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08396.html)

2. PB Heat Recalls Gas Boilers Due to Carbon Monoxide Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08397.html)


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

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Fort McHenry events this weekend

I just saw this on Charm City Moms: Join us for Fort McHenry’s flagship event! This three-day encampment and extravaganza is celebrated with over 100 War of 1812 reenactors, parades, military bands, fireworks, a symbolic ship-to-shore bombardment and much more! For more info, go here and scroll to bottom of page.


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

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

State of the Forge


The Annual Meeting of Rodgers Forge Community was tonight. Here's a brief recap of the highlights:

Lawrence Swoboda is stepping down as president but will remain on the board.

The RFCA is looking for a webmaster to keep its site more up to date. Please contact them if you are interested in helping out.

Rob Williams of Regester Ave. and some other volunteers now distribute the newsletter.

The board is working to have RF designated as a historic neighborhood.

If you see anything suspicious, don't hesitate to call 911 or 410-877-2222 (which is the number for non-emergency but probably-important police calls).

Three "refuge islands" have been installed. A fourth was blocked by a resident but the board is looking at placing it at another location.

One resident spoke up against the islands, which she feels are dangerous, and said that she hopes that before more traffic solutions are installed that the board will call a special meeting with plenty of notice so that anyone who is interested can come and voice his/her opinion and that we can even vote on what measures to take. (Such as speed bumps.) Another resident said he loves the islands.

The board is in the process of filing paperwork to have the county come monitor traffic in RF to see if speed bumps are warranted.

We were told if you see people speeding, you can jot down the license plate and the person will receive a citation, but you then have to go to court and testify as to what you saw.

The police are stepping up patrols of RF, including in unmarked cars.

Don Gerding was given a big round of applause for his 50 years of service to the Rodgers Forge community. He grew up in Stoneleigh and is an original owner in RF.

The board is looking at Towson U's plans to expand its basketball arena.

Towson U will test its new siren system on Sept. 30 at 12:30 p.m. so don't freak out if you hear it.

There are new bylaws for the board so instead of having 23 at-large members serving two-year terms, there are now geographic seats (11 of them) that serve one-year terms and then 12 at-large seats for two years. I think there were three "districts" in RF that no one sought to fill, but I'm not clear on whether it's too late to try to join.

Karl Pfrommer, who heads the RF Citizens on Patrol, may or may not still be on the board. The board tried to remove him in June and says it had enough votes to do so but he attended tonight's meeting and said the board failed to get the required number of votes to kick him off. The matter will be resolved at a later date. It is unclear what transpired to get us to this moment, and I have not sought details, although there was talk tonight of it not being a good idea to go against board decisions and upset the apple cart, and opposing talk of having constitutional rights to free speech. It was kind of awkward and weird, but under the circumstances it actually went pretty smoothly and everyone stayed calm and moved on to new business. There was no talk of lipstick on a pig or feigned outrage at the use of a phrase that has been in existence for decades if not centuries and has even been used by those claiming to be outraged, so Rodgers Forge can be proud of at least not sinking to that level.

There was discussion of adding better signage to the area to alert people that children are present and they should drive more slowly. Brighter paint to highlight the crosswalks was also requested by people in attendance.

The board will have another meeting on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. when it will elect a new president and conduct other business.

As an aside, I'd like to thank all the board members for their efforts. I might not agree with everything the board does but I appreciate that people are willing to work for their community.


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Details on new-school plans

The Sun:

The crowding problem "is not going to go away with this building," said Michael Sines, executive director of physical facilities for the school system, during the presentation on Towson West to the board's building and contracts committee. "This is the first phase of a multiphase process."

This month, the board is also expected to examine capital building plans for the next fiscal year, including additions at Hampton and Stoneleigh elementaries - two of the four Towson-area schools that are over capacity.


Here's the full story, including some residents who don't like the new school location.


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Irvine Nature Center festivities

This Saturday and Sunday:
Be among the first to experience Baltimore’s newest community attraction, and discover “your place to explore nature!” Bring the whole family for two days of free festivities and fun. Experience our new interactive exhibit hall; catch a puppet show; try your hand at traditional Native American games; meet our resident animals; take a guided nature walk; or head over to the main stage to sing and dance with award-winning musical acts. And don’t forget the food! Local and organic treats will abound, prepared by vendors who respect Irvine’s zero-waste goals.

No Fee. No pre-registration required. Irvine Nature Center


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Rodgers Forge annual meeting is tonight

Tonight (Sept. 10) at 7 p.m. in the auditorium cafeteria of Dumbarton Middle School. (DMS's Back-to-School night has been rescheduled for the same time in the auditorium and it's too late for the community association to change the night of its meeting.)

You can hear the "state of the Forge" from the association president; ask questions; run for election to board of governors; vote for board of governors; find out what's going on in the neighborhood.

I imagine there will be some discussion of traffic-calming options.


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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stoneleigh and Hampton elementary schools might get additions

Towson Families United reports: "Baltimore County school officials are proposing additions to Stoneleigh and Hampton elementary schools in order provide the more than 400 additional seats needed in the Towson area in coming years. Stoneleigh would be expanded by 200 seats, and Hampton by 300." Read their full post here.

TFU hasn't yet taken a position on the addition; it is waiting for further information from school officials and is seeking community input.


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Komen Maryland Race for the Cure

Is October 19. Details and sign up is here.


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Phelps-Hoff parade

Sun: After sweeping up a string of medals at the Olympics in Beijing, swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff will receive an honor of a different kind on Oct. 4 -- an afternoon parade in Towson and a gathering that evening, complete with fireworks, at Fort McHenry. -more


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Fire destroys playground at the new YMCA

This breaks my heart. I have several friends who worked hard on building this playground.


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Local mom starting a Bible-based "Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids" book study


My neighbor asked if this book-study/Bible-study group could be posted on The Forge Flyer. It's not really my speed but she's great and if this is your kind of thing it could be neat.


"Need encouragement? Feeling overwhelmed or just need a break to talk with other moms? Interested in connecting with other moms about spiritual and parenting issues? Looking for wisdom and practical tips in how to raise your kids? ME TOO!

As a mother of two boys (2nd and 4th grade at RFES) and two girls being added to our family in the next year, I need all of the wisdom, support, and encouragement I can get!


Each week we'll gather together to discuss a section from Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids by Sharon Jaynes. We'll meet in my home, share coffee, adult conversation, prayer requests, as well as explore together what the Bible has to say to us moms about parenting and life.

If interested, contact Jill Pope at jilpop@gmail.com for more information."


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Parade for Michael Phelps on Oct. 4

Details haven't been revealed yet, but here's what The Sun says for now.


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Monday, September 8, 2008

Crime report

Here is the latest crime report. Looks like quite a few home break ins.


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Heavy backpacks can cause problems for kids

The Sun reports: Overstuffed backpacks can cause aching muscles and strained backs, long the province of the over-the-hill set, in youths, says Chris Wood, a physical therapist with Good Samaritan Hospital's Back School. But there are some simple steps that, if taken, can help prevent injury. -- more


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Rodgers Forge annual board meeting is this Wednesday

Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium cafeteria of Dumbarton Middle School. (DMS's Back-to-School night has been rescheduled for the same time in the auditorium and it's too late for the community association to change the night of its meeting.)

You can hear the "state of the Forge" from the association president; ask questions; run for election to board of governors; vote for board of governors; find out what's going on in the neighborhood.


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

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

It looks as if The Examiner is going down the toilet, so to speak

I went on The Examiner's website today and clicked on "news." The top story was this:

Space Training 101: How Do You Poop in Space? (Part I)

I finally found some local news by clicking "news by location" but that was mostly old sports stuff. Do they still have local news reporters?


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Now is the best time to seed your lawn

So says the Sun. Here are details.


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Does that $200 commute come with a latte and foot massage?

The Baltimore Sun reports on tolls for new express lanes and the plans to add more. I don't understand why there isn't a bigger focus on mass transit. I drive my stupid minivan all over the place, but I wish I could just walk a few blocks and hop on light rail to go to Target or the grocery store. My husband commutes by train to DC every day but he has to drive to the train because of the screwy way the system is set up, such as the light rail not going to Penn Station. Hello! Major transit hub!

Of course, there's the bus, which he used to do. Besides the fact that one day he sat across from some teenager who casually polished his glock during the trip, the bus was totally unreliable and not something you can necessarily count on if you're trying to catch a train.


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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Jon Stewart is my hero

I wish the mainstream media would do more to call folks out like this. This is hilarious.


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Friday, September 5, 2008

Are your gutters ready for Hanna and Ike?

My husband is always concerned that our gutters will clog during a storm and flood our basement. Unfortunately, he usually waits until it starts thundering and lightening to get out the metal ladder and climb up and clean them out. ...
Here's the weather report.


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Thursday, September 4, 2008

There's this whole world of lunch containers I never knew about




I've become a little obsessed wondering if I should get a Laptop lunchbox. I googled it and found a bunch of discussions about them and about other options. Here is one example that mentions several different kinds. I like the Mr. Bento; it looks neat. I might get one for my husband to take to work. The steel food carriers also seem interesting -- not necessarily for school, but for work.


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Dumbarton Middle's Back to School night rescheduled

It will be Sept. 10, according to this piece in The Towson Times about the evacuation last night.


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Sunday is Children's Day at Ladew Topiary Gardens

Bring the entire family to one of Ladew’s most popular events as we learn all about plants from the biggest trees, and prettiest flowers, to some of the coolest plants around. Activities include plant learning stations, crafts, face painting, balloon sculptures, live performers and more. 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. Rain or shine. Regular admission: Members are free! Adults $10, Seniors/Students $8, Children $2. http://www.ladewgardens.com/event.html


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Schedule for MARC train changes

Here are details in The Baltimore Sun.


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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A look at the plan for the new Towson school


Go to Towson Families United to read about plans for the new school.


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Seven recalls

1. Bicycles with Deda Forza Handlebar Stems Recalled by Deda Elementi Due to Crash Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08385.html)
2. Circo Children's Bobbie Socks Recalled Due to Choking Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Target (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08386.html)
3. Worldwise Inc. Recalls Retractable Dog Leashes; Metal Clasp Can Break and Cause Facial and Body Injuries to Dog Owners (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08387.html)
4. Cordless Screwdrivers Recalled by Menards Due to Fire and Burn Hazards (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08388.html)
5. Optave Inc. Recalls Action Baby Carriers Due to Fall Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08389.html)
6. Pendants and Candle Charms Recalled Due to Risk of Lead Exposure (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08390.html)
7. Wolf Appliance Recalls Gas Ranges Due to Burn Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08391.html)


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Wegmans now has Laptop Lunchboxes


Update: Coincidentally, Annelies was featured in the Sun today, as were these lunchboxes. Here's the article.

The author of LunchNugget, Annelies, told me that Wegman's now carries Laptop lunchboxes. I checked them out yesterday and decided against getting one because reality set it in and I realized these really are geared to people who put in a lot of thought and effort to their kids' lunches. I am not that person. I try to make the lunches somewhat healthy (whole grain bread, no sugary stuff) but I also don't spend a lot of time on them so I'm not sure if this box is for me. I need to be able to throw in a yogurt cup and a granola bar.

Anyway, I know people have expressed interest in them previously, so thought I'd share Annelies' info. Check out her blog if you want inspiration for healthy lunches. She is more ambitious than I!


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Latest crime report

Lots of home break-ins, though none in Rodgers Forge. Here's the report.


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Your kids still might be learning the Fast Food song at school




Two different people have contacted me to say that although Baltimore County officially removed the Fast Food song (read about it here) from the curriculum, some teachers are still teaching it to kids. (Neither of the families I heard from go to Rodgers Forge Elementary.) I asked my son's teacher at RFES about it on the first day (way to label myself high maintenance, right?) and she said it's no longer in the curriculum and she wouldn't be doing it. Apparently not everyone in the county got the word. Might be worth talking to your kids' principals or teachers if you're concerned about it.

Here's what the old curriculum directed teachers to do:

Display the enlarged posters for “Fast Foods Song,” verse 1.
Read the fast food icons with the children.

Demonstrate the actions that accompany the signs. Have children practice the actions with you.
Pizza Hut – squat down, make rooftop with arms over head
Kentucky Fried Chicken – thumbs to armpits, flap arms like wings
MacDonald’s – arch both arms to form an “M”
Put the words and the actions together.
Sing the first verse with the actions for the children.
Have children join in singing and doing the actions for verse 1.

Repeat the same procedure for teaching verse 2.
Taco Bell – make rooftop with arms over head, move head from left to right
Dunkin’ Donuts - one hand make a cup, the other hand dunks into it
Wendy’s – hold fists to sides of head (for pigtails)
Review: Signs are pictures and words that give us information. Signs help us locate places. Signs are consistent from one place to another.

Schools have some signs that are used everywhere, too.
Display signs for boys’ and girls’ restrooms.

Display the Stop sign, if the Stop sign is used in the classroom to designate that the restroom is occupied. Walk children to the restroom(s). Orient children to restroom procedures.


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Sunday deadline if you want to join the Rodgers Forge board

You must turn in your credentials by Sept. 7 if you want to be considered for election to the community association board. Details here.


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Area zoning changes, and not

The Towson Times has a story today about winners and losers in the effort to change zoning regulations. Some include:

• The owners of a group of properties in the 600 block of Bosley Avenue that now features old houses with offices in them failed to win rezoning that would allow elevator buildings. West Towson wanted to preserve the residential-style buffer between its homes and the commercial core.

• The owner of the College Manor retirement home failed to win the zoning that would have allowed the construction of new apartments or condominiums for senior citizens on the park-like 11-acre tract in the heart of old Lutherville. -- more


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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Child strangulation hazard

1. Hooded Sweaters Recalled by Empress Arts; Children Can Strangle on Drawstrings

2. Rapid Reel(r) Recalls Portable Garden Hose Carts; Tires Can Explode Posing an Injury Hazard


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Why is he acting like such a jerk? Maybe it's in his genes

Variant genes linked to marital discord. OK, so, register at Crate & Barrel, reserve the reception hall, and get a genetic test....

Washington Post: "Men with two copies of the allele had twice the risk of experiencing marital dysfunction, with a threat of divorce during the last year, compared to men carrying one or no copies," said Hasse Walum, a behavioral geneticist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm who led the study. "Women married to men with one or two copies of the allele scored lower on average on how satisfied they were with the relationship compared to women married to men with no copies." full story


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B County looking at 4-day work week

Here are (a few) details in The Baltimore Sun.


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My new favorite wine (it's local!)

On Sunday I wanted a bottle of riesling, so I went to Grand Cru, a great wine bar and a lifesaver if you need beer/wine on a Sunday. I was in a hurry and didn't ask for help, I just grabbed what appeared to be the cheapest one -- $14. It's by Basignani, a winery in Sparks. It's wonderful! (Being a riesling, it's on the sweet side, but I like that.) I haven't looked around yet to see where else I can find it, but the website says it's available at Wells, Beltway Liquors, the Wine Source and lots of other places around town.


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Monday, September 1, 2008

Fall tree sale

Parks & People Foundation has partnered with RPM Ecosystems, a leading Native plant nursery, to provide the Baltimore Metropolitan region with exceptional trees and shrubs for planting this fall. 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 trees and shrubs 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. Go here for more info.


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