Friday, October 31, 2008

Great turnout for the parade!



I'm so happy everyone turned out for the parade! Hope you had fun. Here's a little coverage of the event on WJZ (I don't see a way to embed this, do you?) And here are some photos. I wasn't able to get one that showed how big the crowd was but I'd guess there were 200 or 300 people -- much more than I was expecting. I hope this can become an annual event that just gets better each year.


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The Halloween Parade is today!



(Note: this was 2008)


It's parade time! The weather looks like it will be cooperating, fingers crossed.

Meet tonight (Friday, Oct. 31) at 5:30 p.m. in front of Rodgers Forge Elementary.

Students who attend RFES but don't live in Rodgers Forge are encouraged to join in!

After meeting in front of the elementary school, we'll head toward Dumbarton Middle, cross the field, loop around behind the playground and end in front of RFES. We won't be crossing any streets and the route will be stroller friendly (some grass but no steps).

Here's the plan:

- Get the kids in their costumes

- We'll be making some noise, so bring along a pot and pan (or whatever) to bang on, or a real instrument if you play one. I'll also be passing out some kazoos. Miriam of Music Together will lead us in a round or two of "When the Saints Go Marching In" (in the key of D, for kids with real instruments). If you have music-related questions, contact Miriam at miriam@musictogethercharmcity.com.

- Meet in front of Rodgers Forge Elementary at 5:30 p.m.

- March in parade, see friends, make a racket and have fun and be done by 6:30 or earlier

- Go back home and go trick-or-treating

This year's parade will be short and sweet, just like our kids. No costume contests, etc. In coming years we can add events or make the route longer if people want to do that.

About the weather: If there's a light drizzle, the parade will still be on. Pouring rain = no parade.

Thanks to the Rodgers Forge Association, which has agreed to sponsor the parade, and to Three Wheels Design for designing the cute fliers and images.


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Shops at Kenilworth getting a make-over

I hope they keep the Christmas train display. Here's the story.


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It's Mischief Night

Sun article on Towson's attempts to keep things under control tonight: At first, the pranks were annoying but harmless. Kids moved outdoor furniture and trash cans from one porch to another. They flattened car tires by opening the valves.


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What to eat before the treat

Here's a Sun article on what you can feed your kids prior to trick-or-treating.


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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Five recalls

1. Wooden Toys Recalled by Earth Friendly Due To Choking Hazards (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09030.html)

2. Homelite Consumer Products Announce Recall to Repair Chain Saws Due to Chain Brake Failure (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09031.html)

3. Fit & Fresh(tm) Mixers Recalled by MEDport LLC Due to Laceration Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09032.html)

4. DYMO Recalls Power Adapters Sold with DYMO(r) Printers Due to Burn Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09033.html)

5. PC Notebook Computer Batteries Recalled Due to Fire and Burn Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09035.html)


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

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Zoo to close for the winter in mid-December

The winter break will be longer this year because of budget problems, says The Sun.

"It was not a decision we made lightly, as it does affect some of our seasonal staff," Don Hutchinson, interim president/CEO, said in the news release. "However, the Zoo currently operates without a reserve fund, has no endowment, and is in need of costly structural repairs. So after considering a number of options, we are choosing to move in this direction." -- full story


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Netflix and TiVo hooking up

SAN FRANCISCO - Home entertainment trendsetters Netflix Inc. and TiVo Inc. are finally joining forces to deliver more movies and old TV episodes to their mutual subscribers, consummating a relationship that was supposed to come together four years ago.

Under the partnership announced Thursday, the latest generation of TiVo's digital video recorders will be able to beam selections from 12,000 movies and TV shows offered through Netflix's streaming service, which must be piped over high-speed Internet connections. TiVo's DVRs will start catering to Netflix subscribers in early December. -- more


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Changing signs may change in Baltimore County

Sun: Does a flashing roadside advertisement draw your attention as you zoom by? And will you crash your car if you try to read it?

Those were the kinds of questions posed yesterday as the Baltimore County Council debated the merits of updating an 11-year-old law to take into account new electronic technology in so-called "changeable copy signs." -- more


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three recalls

1. Cybex International Recalls Treadmills Due to Fall Hazard; Can Speed Up Unexpectedly (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09026.html)

2. Ghost Tealight Holders Recalled by Trade Associates Group and Crate & Barrel Due to Fire and Burn Hazard
(http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09027.html)

3. Halloween Figurines Recalled by Coyne's & Company for Lead Hazard
(http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09028.html)


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I love this cookbook!

The "Healthy in a Hurry" cookbook by Eating Well magazine is wonderful and has changed how we eat. I was never much of a cook but have been trying to get better. This book has really helped. Its recipes are fast and easy and my family has loved all of them that we've tried. Especially popular are the chicken with pistachios and asparagus, and the sweet-and-sour tofu. It's also helped me to try harder recipes because now I feel more comfortable in the kitchen.


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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Young kids now getting kidney stones

New York Times: ... The increase in the United States is attributed to a host of factors, including a food additive that is both legal and ubiquitous: salt.Though most of the research on kidney stones comes from adult studies, experts believe it can be applied to children. Those studies have found that dietary factors are the leading cause of kidney stones, which are crystallizations of several substances in the urine. Stones form when these substances become too concentrated. --full story


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Obama to be on The Daily Show on Wednesday

I'm so psyched. Two of my favorite guys on one show.


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Serta mattress recall

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09025.html


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Latest crime report

Here it is.


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County Executive Jim Smith urges support for slots

Here's the story.


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Towson High teacher charged with sex abuse

Of a girl beginning when she was 5. Disgusting, if true. Here's the story.


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Boy accidentally shoots self at gun show

A sad, cautionary tale:

WESTFIELD, Mass. – With an instructor watching, an 8-year-old boy at a gun fair aimed an Uzi at a pumpkin and pulled the trigger as his dad reached for a camera.

It was his first time shooting a fully automatic machine gun, and the recoil of the weapon was too much for him. He lost control and fatally shot himself in the head. -- full story


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Monday, October 27, 2008

This meal was a big hit

I had some green peppers laying (lying?) around that I needed to use, so I went on allrecipes.com and did an ingredient search. It came up with Spanish Chicken and Rice and it was a huge hit and not hard to make. Here's the recipe if you want to try it. (I left out the pimentos.)


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So, I'll be staying away from Arundel Mills after dark

I hardly ever go there anyway, but it sounds like it's getting a little nutty there with these armed robberies.


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Cockeysville teen pleads guilty to killing his family

Sun: A forensic psychiatrist who examined [Nicholas] Browning testified for the defense at a hearing in July that the teenager was in a "trance-like state" when his family was killed and that he did not recall pulling the trigger but remembered hearing the fatal shots. Dr. Neil H. Blumberg also testified that the killings followed an escalation in verbal and physical abuse by Browning's parents that the defendant told him began after he entered middle school. -- full story


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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Landlord fined for renting to too many people

Owner of home in the Knollwood-Donnybrook neighborhood fined $2,000 for renting to four college students.

Towson Times: Jim Turner woke up “when there was somebody on the front porch talking on a cell phone,” he said, “so I had to get up and shut the bedroom windows.

“I’m just angry this person could be allowed to tap dance without being held to account.”

“This is a community in which people live, not an investment for people who try to exploit it,” Dan Riley said. -- full story


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Being energy efficient at home (class)

"You may be surprised at how easy it is to adopt energy-saving habits, and perhaps you have already started. Use our handy checklist to see if you and your home are using energy wisely. Use the list to set your goals and keep track of them. Then learn how to take control of your energy bills." Free class Oct. 29. Details here.


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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Election speaker series at Towson Library 10/29

Your Vote and the War on Terrorism
Wednesday, October 29, at 7 p.m.

Dr. Steven David, director of the international studies program in Johns Hopkins University's political science department, discusses the candidates' positions on the War on Terrorism and homeland security. http://bcplonline.org/branches/branch_to.html


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Towson mall's luxury addition might not be immediate hit

The bad economy means the new high-end retail stores at the Towson Town mall might take a bit longer to catch on, according to this Sun article:

General Growth began looking to lure in more upscale brands after a luxury retailer told them it wanted to locate to the market, Bisenius said. The mall company began doing its research and found that the demographics could support high-end retail.

"I think that Baltimore has money," Mackler said. "I think that Baltimore is not accustomed to spending their money in Baltimore, but that there is a market here. People are carrying Louis Vuitton bags and they're wearing Gucci and Prada. The wealthy people of this town are getting it from somewhere." -more


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Tell your neighbors about the Rodgers Forge Halloween parade!

The parade will be at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, October 31.

Send your friends the details by emailing them this link:
http://tinyurl.com/6x56bh


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Friday, October 24, 2008

Candy recall


Might want to check for these in any Halloween booty. They contain melamine, the ingredient that sickened and killed babies in China. Here's an article about it from Snopes. (Thanks, Karl!)


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Leapfrog recall plus two others

1. YMCA Trading Recalls Lighters Due to Potential Burn Hazard to Children (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09021.html)

2. Shimano American Corp. Recalls Wheels for Bicycles; Flat Tire Can Pose Injury Risk to Riders (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09022.html)

3. Gaming System Batteries and Recharging Station Recalled by LeapFrog Due to Burn Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09024.html)


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Thursday, October 23, 2008

ZooBoo this weekend


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Towson Town Center opens new luxury wing today

Sun: Towson Town Center opened a new 110,000-square-foot luxury wing today that includes retailers Burberry, Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. Mall executives also announced that retailers Louis Vuitton and Lacoste will open next summer at the shopping center. -more


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Hazardous-waste drop off for city residents this weekend

Here are details.


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Towson rape suspect might have struck earlier

Sun: Baltimore County police were trying to determine whether a Baltimore man charged in the recent rape of a Towson University student has assaulted other victims, officials said yesterday. --more


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Huffington to speak at Goucher tonight

The event is free and open to the public. Here are details.


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gas grills and wireless guitars recalled

1. Rage Wireless Guitars Used with Popular Video Gaming System Recalled Due to Chemical Burn Risk (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09019.html)

2. Fiesta Recalls to Inspect and Repair Gas Grills Due to Fire and Burn Hazards (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09020.html)


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updated: Where your local representatives stand on speed cameras

Del. Aumann was out of town but has now added her position to the speed-camera issue. See below.



A few months ago when traffic-calming options in Rodgers Forge were a hot topic, the issue of speed cameras was raised. Some wondered why the county or state didn't install speed cameras along Dumbarton Road, Stevenson Lane and other roads where speeding is common.

The answer is that they are illegal; a bill to legalize them didn't make it out of the General Assembly last session. (Read a Washington Post editorial about the issue here.)

The Towson Times had a story recently about speeding on Regester Avenue east of York Road. This quote really struck me: "A child hit at 25 mph has a 90 percent chance of survival," said One Less Car board member Mike McWilliams. "Change that figure to 40 mph and the child has a 90 percent chance of dying."

The bill will likely come up again. I asked, via email, the people who represent our area where they stand on speed cameras and this is what they said in response:

Senator Jim Brochin: I used to be all for them, and even voted that way in committee last year. The problem is the County Executive can put them anywhere he/she wants, and this causes me concern. If I had to vote again, based on the info I've seen from Montgomery County, I would vote no. I have no idea whether the legislation will come up again. I still have serious concerns about how this could ever be implemented impartially, and that I have some concern about the excessiveness of the fines; especially with the financial struggles that many of us are going through these days.
jim.brochin@senate.state.md.us

Delegate Steve Lafferty: The speed camera legislation that was introduced last Session would have enabled counties to place them in residential areas and school zones and the State Highway Administration to install them in work zones on its roads. The bills were heard in my committee. There was a lot of concern about this being a bountiful income stream and, on the opposite side, that it would greatly enhance safety. I supported the bill that we had before us because I want Baltimore County to have another tool to slow down speeders in our neighborhoods and near our schools. I expect the bills to be reintroduced this year. If the bill is similar and testimony reasonably the same, I am optimistic that the bill will pass. This could allow Baltimore County to develop a program for their use.
stephen.lafferty@house.state.md.us

Delegate Bill Frank: The issue of installing speed cameras will be re-introduced in the General Assembly again in 2009, I'm certain. I have opposed these devices in the past, based on safety and cost issues, and as well as questions about their effectiveness and accuracy. Moving forward, I will continue to keep an open mind and listen to both sides of the issue.
william.frank@house.state.md.us

Delegate Susan Aumann: Please forgive my late response to the issue on speed cameras. I was out of the state when the request arrived. Last session I drafted a speed camera bill for the state, but withdrew it because Governor O’Malley had an almost identical bill and I thought his version would be more attractive for support.

The bill was unsuccessful because of arguments of this tool being an income producer to the state and “privacy” issues. The goal is to have safer roads and slow drivers down especially in high walkable areas. I believe this bill will be re-introduced in the upcoming legislative session and could allow the counties to develop a responsible program for their use for protecting people from careless drive behaviors.
susan.aumann@house.state.md.us


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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

McCain and Obama be funny

Did you catch the remarks/roasts done by McCain and Obama? Pretty hilarious. Here's McCain's and here's Obama's (McCain spoke first).


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Infant death leads to crib recall

1. Infant Death Prompts Recall To Repair 600,000 Drop Side Cribs By Delta Enterprise; Spring Peg Failure Can Cause Entrapment and Suffocation Hazards (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09016.html)

2. Infant Death Prompts Recall to Repair 985,000 Delta Enterprise Drop Side Cribs; Missing Safety Pegs Can Cause Entrapment and Suffocation Hazards (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09017.html)


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Robbery on 7100 block of York Road

Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol passed this along:

"A lady in the 7100 block of York Rd., between Chumleigh and Hatherleigh Rds., said two men came to her house early this afternoon. They claimed that there was a problem with a water main & that they needed to check her pipes. She didn’t ask for ID and they robbed her of $500 and some jewelry. She did call the police. Remember, never let anyone in unless you see their identification first."


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Top 10 non-chain kid-friendly restaurants

Sun food critic Elizabeth Large has a good piece today on kid-friendly restaurants. Check out the comments too; there are some other suggestions there as well. Here it is.


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Health fair at GBMC this Saturday

GBMC FREE Community Health Fair!

Saturday, October 25th
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
GBMC's Civiletti Conference Center
Physicians Pavilion East
6701 N. Charles Street
Towson 21204

Participate in FREE screenings: Blood pressure, bone density, glucose, vision, hearing, pediatric voice, skin damage analysis and body mass index (BMI).

Meet with healthcare specialists on-hand to provide information and answer questions.

BRING THE KIDS - THEY CAN LEARN GOOD HEALTH PRACTICES AND PARTICIPATE IN A "HEALTHY" TRICK OR TREAT AND COSTUME CONTEST!!

Come and receive free gifts and be entered to win great prizes!! For more information, please call Kim Davenport at 443-849-2400.


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Monday, October 20, 2008

Latest area crimes

Here is the report.


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Funeral procession for firefighter today in Towson

For Brian D. Neville, who was only 32. Here are details.


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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rodgers Forge mom says she didn't kill her son

Ugh, this is so sad. I feel so bad for their other kids.

The Sun: She joked that before he died, her nearly 3-year-old son weighed less than her infant daughter. She offered no explanation for the blood that police found on the bedroom walls and ceiling or on the bassinet in which the boy often slept - other than the bloody noses that she said she and her children suffered in the dry winter air. And she said she and her husband worried whenever company came to their Rodgers Forge home that they would be accused of starving their children. --full story

Actually, I think that lead should say that "She joked before he died that her nearly 3-year-old son ..." From the story, I don't think she was joking after his death.


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Sarah Palin on SNL

In case you missed it.




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Construction delays around Perring Parkway

Details here.


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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Moon bounce fun in Rodgers Forge today

Come Join Towson United Soccer Program for a Picnic and Silent Auction

Place: Travel/ Rec Fields in between Rodgers Forge Elementary and Dumbarton Middle
300 Dumbarton Road

Date : Saturday, October 18th
Time: 2:00 pm
Cost: FREE

Great food, DJ, Moon Bounce and Crystal Palace to sign autographs.

We will have 20 plus Silent Auctions up for bid from the teams. Bring your check book!

Bring you family, friends and neighbors!
Come Support our organization!


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Friday, October 17, 2008

Palin to be on SNL this weekend

Palin says, "I just want to be there to show Americans that we’ll rise above the political shots that we take, because we’re in this doing serious business for serious challenges that are facing good American people right now." -- more


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Towson U hosts high school band competition this Saturday

Sun: Preliminary performances start at 9:30 a.m., with the 10 top-scoring bands going that evening to the final competition, where the regional champion will be named. A preliminary class awards ceremony will be held at 4:45 p.m. and the Towson University Band will perform at 4:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. -- more details


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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Baby-item recalls

Infant Death Prompts Recall of Convertible Cribs by Playkids USA; Crib Poses Entrapment and Suffocation Hazards (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09015.html)

My Way Corp. Recalls Baby Walkers Due to Stairway Fall Hazard
(http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09014.html)


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Poor Joe the Plumber

I sort of feel bad for this guy, although he'll probably get a reality series and his own line of cologne out of all this. It's just so weird to think of how he ended up accidentally famous.

AP: Joe the Plumber said Thursday he doesn't have a license and doesn't need one. Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, the nickname Republican John McCain bestowed on him during Wednesday's presidential debate, said he works for a small plumbing company that does residential work. Because he works for someone else, he doesn't need a license, he said.

But the county Wurzelbacher and his employer live in, Lucas County, requires plumbers to have licenses. Neither Wurzelbacher nor his employer are licensed there, said Cheryl Schimming of Lucas County Building Regulations, which handles plumber licenses in parts of the county outside Toledo. --more



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Election speaker series at Towson Library 10/19

Your Vote and Your Health Care
Sunday, October 19, at 2 p.m.

Pediatrician Dr. Margaret Flowers addresses the current state of health care and the candidates' plans for changes to the system. http://bcplonline.org/branches/branch_to.html


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Crime map of Towson

I just got an email from the county police saying there is a new website that shows you a map of the area and what crimes were committed where. (You can also plug in other areas of the country.)
See the Towson map here, and the main page here.


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

film, toy boats recalled

1. Toy Boats Recalled Due to Burn Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09012.html)

2. Fujifilm Recalls Battery Chargers Due to Shock Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09013.html)


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Rodgers Forgian, band leader passes away

Paul was such a sweet guy.

The Sun: P
aul John Mangione, whose spirited piano playing with the Paul Mann Band enlivened not only numerous social events but helped Baltimoreans welcome the New Year for decades, died of complications from dementia Oct. 7 at the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation & Extended Care Center in Northeast Baltimore. He was 91. -- full obituary


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Art Under Glass this Sunday

Please join us to revel in the transformation of the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory's greenhouses into exotic art galleries during this stunning, single-day exhibition. The event will juxtapose nature, art and music within spectacular light and plant filled spaces. A variety of works from Baltimore artists - including paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, jewelry, and performance art - will be displayed to conjure distinct dialogues between the art and the surrounding flora. Details here.


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County to buy land at the Y for rec space

Towson Times: If the county and the Y reach an agreement, the county will buy four to five acres of the Y's 17-acre tract and convert it into fields that the Towsontowne rec council can use. The Y will use the money to replace its current buildings with a new facility featuring a gymnasium that the rec council will be able to use for its basketball programs. -- full story


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States with slots face budget shortfalls

Dan Rodricks has an interesting piece on the fact that slots are not the saving grace they are sometimes said to be. Just look around at who else has slots and how they're doing:

... Pennsylvania, also blessed with lots and lots of slots, is facing a budget shortfall of about a billion bucks. ...

In Connecticut, revenues from gambling don't seem to be able to fill the gap -- at least not at the current collection rates. Estimates on the budget shortfall there range from $300 million to $800 million.

New Jersey has lots of slots -- in Atlantic City. This state is staring at $1.7 billion budget shortfall. -- read more


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Festival and silent auction this Saturday

Picnic and Silent Auction

Great food, DJ, Moon Bounce and Crystal Palace to sign autographs.

Dumbarton Middle School soccer fields
300 Dumbarton Road

Saturday, October 18th at 2 p.m.

Great food, DJ, Moon Bounce and Crystal Palace to sign autographs.

There will be 20+ Silent Auctions up for bid from the teams. Bring your check book and support Towson United Boys Soccer Program.


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Towson rape suspect linked to second assault

Police say he is also a suspect in a rape at the Inner Harbor. Here's the article.


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Dumbarton Middle on NBC Nightly News

Here's the clip (thanks, Lorie!)


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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Teens abducted and assaulted at Timonium parking lot

Towson Times: Baltimore County police are looking for two men officers believe were involved in kidnapping two teenagers from the Deereco Park and Ride in Timonium and sexually assaulting one of them. -- full story


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Public-safety meeting this Friday for the Knollwood-Donnybrook community

"Representatives from Baltimore County Police Community Outreach have been invited to meet with the Knollwood-Donnybrook community to discuss public safety.

Learn more about the two recent serious crimes in our area and what we can do to help the police and our neighbors. We will give suggestions for community members to get involved to ensure continued community safety."

Where: Woodbrook Baptist Church, 25 Stevenson Lane
When: Friday October 17, 2008
Time: 7 PM


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baltimore county speed limit rodgers court

Every day, my Google analytics tells me, I get two hits on The Forge Flyer from someone doing this keyword search: "baltimore county speed limit rodgers court." Every day.

Any thoughts on what's going on?


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Today is deadline to register to vote


You can go here to make sure you're registered (it takes about 30 seconds) and go here for details on how to register.


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Monday, October 13, 2008

Arrest made in Knollwood Donnybrook rape

Sun: Ian Alexander Murphy of the 1000 block of Cedarcroft Road is charged with raping a 21-year-old woman, who was attacked while she was unloading groceries outside a building about 1 a.m. in the 7900 block of Knollwood Road. Police said the man forced the woman to walk to the 7600 block of Knollwood Road, where he assaulted her behind some bushes, police said. -- full story


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Dumbarton Middle to be on NBC Nightly News tonight

In a segment on diversity. Here's info.

(If anyone gets a clip of this, can you email it to your cable-deprived Forge Flyer editor? kris@forgeflyer.com)


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Food and Fellowship night

Govans Presbyterian Church

Wednesdays – September 17th – December 10th

Everyone welcome for all or part of the program

5:30-6:00pm – Children’s Choir Practice

5:30-6:15pm – Yoga with Joanna Brandt - $40 for six sessions childcare included

6:00-7:00pm – Catered Meal - $6.50 – adults, $3 – children

7:00-8:00 – The Verb – A Youth Group for children in 1st-6th grade

6:45-7:15 – Peaceful Bedtime Stories – Stories and programming by the Peace Study Center for children ages 3-5.

7:30-8:00pm – Hand Bell Choir Practice

7:00-8:00pm – Adult discussion oriented bible study

7:30-9:00pm – Band Practice

Childcare is provided for children of all adult program participants. Call 410-435-9188 for more information.


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Latest crime report

Ferret stolen and numerous home break-ins. Here's the report.


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Car thefts up in Towson and other nearby areas

Dodges seem to be an especially large target, police say. Here's the article in The Towson Times.


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Kids need more Vitamin D than thought, docs say

AP: The nation's leading pediatricians group says children from newborns to teens should get double the usually recommended amount of vitamin D because of evidence that it may help prevent serious diseases.

To meet the new recommendation of 400 units daily, millions of children will need to take daily vitamin D supplements, the American Academy of Pediatrics said. That includes breast-fed infants — even those who get some formula, too, and many teens who drink little or no milk. -- full story


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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Many teens receiving cervical cancer vaccine

About a quarter of the nation's teenage girls received the controversial cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil last year in its first full year of distribution, federal authorities said Thursday.

"For a new vaccine, 25% is really very good," Lance Rodewald, director of the division of immunization services at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a telephone news conference releasing the data.

"We need to see that rate every year if we are going to meet our goal" of having 90% of teenagers vaccinated, he said. -- full story


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Interesting pro and con conversations on slots

The Sun has two pieces on slots today. One with a slots opponent and one with a slots supporter.
What do you think of slot machines in Maryland?


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How to save $1,000

This story in the Sun lists a dozen ways to save $1,000 over a year.

With the economy in turmoil, consumers can't count on much these days.

Getting loans for cars, houses or anything else is no sure bet. Credit card companies are clamping down on credit limits. The stock market is taking investors on the bumpiest of rides. The equity in your house is getting squeezed as home prices have halted a once-steep climb.

And costs keep going up. -- full story


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Pumpkin picking in the Baltimore area



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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Converter boxes for the switch to digital TV

I was chatting with some neighbors the other day and the topic of new TVs came up. I thought that if we wanted to watch television after the digital conversion in February, we'd need to buy a new TV. Not so. You can buy a converter box (Wal-Mart has them for $50 and Radio Shack also has some) and you can also get a $40 coupon, so basically you pay $10 and hook up the box and you can still use your old TV. We don't have cable, so I don't know what the process is with that.

At midnight on February 17, 2009, all full-power television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting promises to provide a clearer picture and more programming options and will free up airwaves for use by emergency responders.

Congress created the TV Converter Box Coupon Program for households wishing to keep using their analog TV sets after February 17, 2009. The Program allows U.S. households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40, that can be applied toward the cost of eligible converter boxes.

A TV connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service does not require a TV converter box from this program.

Consumers have a variety of options. Options to explore include:
  1. Keep your existing analog TV and purchase a TV converter box. A converter box plugs into your TV and will keep it working after Feb. 17, 2009, or
  2. Connect to cable, satellite or other pay service, or
  3. Purchase a television with a digital tuner.
Go here for details: https://www.dtv2009.gov/


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Friday, October 10, 2008

Bediboo store to be open weekends and by appointment


"Due to the struggling economy, we are now going to be open during the week by appointment only. We will be open on the weekends, though. So, make your way down to Lauraville on Saturday or Sunday and get everything you need on those days (Saturday & Sunday 11-4). Otherwise, if you would like to try on a carrier, get a private diaper consultation, or pick up a gift, etc. we will be available by appointment. Just call 410-444-6060 or email bediboo@gmail.com. Please note that our regularly scheduled classes and events will go on as usual during the week. We appreciate your business and love providing you and your families with comfortable and stylish baby gear!

Sincerely,
Gretchen @ Bediboo"


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Road closures for the Baltimore Marathon tomorrow

The marathon is Saturday so if you're going near the route you'll want to check this site for road closures.


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Details emerge on rape suspect

Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol sent this info about the suspect in the recent rape on Knollwood:

Green Ford Escort Station Wagon
Black Male age 25-30 200 pounds around 6' 2"

The rape occurred in the median strip ( in front of residential houses) at 1 AM on Monday, 10/6/98. 1st degree rape. He had a weapon which is why the victim may not have screamed or at least no one has admitted to hearing her.

If you have any information about this, please call 410-877-2222.


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Parent keeps pushing for air conditioning in schools

Towson Times blog: Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, an education activist, is trying to keep attention focused on the need for air conditioning in more than half of the county’s schools.

The school system is currently examining the costs of adding to or upgrading air conditioning in all county schools. That report is expected to be completed next month. -- read entire post here and see a video of her testimony


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Thursday, October 9, 2008

recalls

1. Hasbro Inc. Recalls to Repair Nerf Blasters; Child's Skin Can Get Caught in Plunger of the Toy (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09007.html)

2. Gas Vent Dampers Recalled by Effikal Due to Carbon Monoxide Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09008.html)


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O'Malley considers cuts to education

The Sun: Amid a gloomy economy that has severely eroded tax collections, Gov. Martin O'Malley is considering steep cuts to public education and health care programs and might ask state employees to take a six-day unpaid leave.

The spending reductions under consideration total $397 million in a state general fund budget of $14 billion, according to a memo obtained yesterday by The Baltimore Sun. Budget Secretary T. Eloise Foster, who compiled the list, said in the memo that the cuts "will certainly impact services and programs," compared with previous budget-cutting that eliminated "non-contentious items." --full story


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Presidential pumpkins

A friend just sent me a link to a site that has stencils for Obama pumpkins. I found there are quite a few places online you can find McCain, Palin, Biden, etc. stencils, such as this site. Who knew?


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Fall Harvest Festival this weekend

At Cromwell Valley Park, Oct. 11 and 12 noon to 4 p.m. $5 per car.

hay rides
pony rides
farm animals
children's crafts
compost demonstrations (this would be my husband's favorite event)
beekeepers
food
cider pressing
tractor exhibit
rope making and more


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recalls

CPSC and Chance Rides Manufacturing Announce Recall to Inspect and Repair YO-YO Amusement Rides (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09005.html)

Rack Room Shoes Recalls Girls' Sandals Due to Choking Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09006.html)

Coby Electronics Recalls Rechargeable Batteries Sold with Portable DVD/CD/MP3 Players Due to Fire Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09004.html)


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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

County teachers protest changes to retirement plans

That reminds me, I was driving north on Charles Street this afternoon and saw a lone woman standing by the school headquarters sign with a homemade sign that said, "Dr. Hairston discriminates." I don't know if these are related.

Towson Times: More than one issue brought protesting educators out by the hundreds to a school board meeting Oct. 7. But the issue that irked them the most was simply this: The schools superintendent got a raise and they didn’t. -- full story


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Linens n Things closing and another Bed Bath and Beyond secret



I stopped by Linens n Things in Towson today and discovered they are closing. (Is this old news?) Everything is at least 30 percent off. It looks like a lot of the kitchen items have been cleaned out but there's a ton of bedding.

On another note, did you know you can use those 20-percent-off Bed Bath and Beyond coupons retroactively? I was in line there a while ago behind a woman who came in with a really long receipt and a stack of coupons. I asked about it and was told you can bring in your receipt and coupons and they'll credit back the discount. No time limit or quantity limit.

(And as I've mentioned here before, BB&B coupons never expire, even though they say they do, and you can use them on anything in the store, even on things they say you can't use them on. And you can use as many coupons on as many items as you want in one transaction.)


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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Children's Necklaces, CD and MP3 Players Sold at Limited Too and Justice Stores Recalled Due to Lead Paint

This recall involves a Ball and Heart Necklace with pink beads of varying sizes and a pink heart located in the center; a Portable CD Player with flowers and dots available in blue and pink; a pink MP3 Player with purple, green, blue, yellow, and red hearts; and a light blue MP3 Player with a picture of a monkey's face on the front.

Sold at: Limited Too and Justice retail stores nationwide, the Limited Too catazine (catalog), and on www.limitedtoo.com from May 2007 through August 2008. The Ball and Heart Necklace sold for about $8, the Portable CD Players sold for about $25, and the MP3 Players sold for about $55.


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Bill to ban trucks with flashing ads fails

Towson Times: Of the bill itself, Councilman Bryan McIntire said, “I did this to call attention to the fact that these trucks, large trucks with constantly changing signs, are a present and apparent danger to safety on the roads. They constitute a major distraction.” -- full story

The other thing that I've wondered about is the amount of pollution these trucks (website here) put into the air as they drive around for the sole purpose of advertising.


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Towson park to be dedicated to Phelps

Examiner: Baltimore County officials plan to rededicate a park off the Towson traffic circle to local Olympians, starting with Michael Phelps. -more


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Kids under 4 shouldn't be given cold medicine, drug compaies say

AP: The voluntary change in advice to parents comes less than a week after federal health officials said they also saw little evidence that the drugs work. But government officials were afraid that taking the medicines off store shelves might prompt parents to give their children adult medicines. --full story


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Meeting about replacing Seminary Ave. bridge

The State Highway Administration (SHA) will be replacing the MD 131 (Seminary Avenue) bridge over Tributary to Roland Run in Baltimore County during the summer of 2009. The MD 131 Bridge was originally constructed in 19900 and is in need of repair. There will be impacts to traffic during construction, but the SHA has assured me that they will make every effort to minimize inconveniences.

On Wednesday, October 22nd the SHA will have an informational meeting at MG Harry G. Ruhl Armory Drill Hall, 1035 York Road, Towson from 5:30 – 7:00 PM to discuss the major bridge work. No formal presentation will be given. Please forward this information to friends and family. If you have any questions, please contact Ali Chaharbaghi, SHA’s Project Manager at 1-800-375-1084.

Very truly yours, Delegate Susan L.M. Aumann


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Monday, October 6, 2008

Crime report

Lots of home burglaries, the previously mentioned purse-snatching in Rodgers Forge, and a rape (not in Rodgers Forge but still close and scary). Here is the report.


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Deadline to register to vote is Oct. 14


Go here for details.


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Rodgers Forge crossing guard featured in The Sun

Sun: The crossing guard teaches the newcomers walking to Rodgers Forge Elementary School the rules: no sticks, no running. She placed orange cones on the traffic calming island, where street signs have been knocked down several times. She even has the kids and adults wait behind a painted line on the sidewalk before they cross just in case a car jumps up over the curb. full story


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Potential non-fatal Darwin Award at RennFest

Sun: A couple were bitten by a snake at the Renaissance Festival in Crownsville yesterday, an Anne Arundel County fire official reported. Division Chief Michael Cox said a woman in her 20s picked up the wild snake about 6 p.m. and was taunting her boyfriend with it when both of them were bitten. Cox said the two were taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center with minor injuries. He did not know what kind of snake had bitten the couple.


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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Coverage of Phelps parade

Here's the article in the Sun.


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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Laura Lippman book signing

Oct. 10 at the Barnes & Noble at Johns Hopkins. With Dennis Lehane.
Details here. And here is a link to Lehane's latest book.


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Friday, October 3, 2008

Election speaker series at Towson Library 10/7

Your Vote and Your Wallet
Tuesday, October 7, at 5:30 p.m.

Join political, business and nonprofit leader Don Hutchinson and economist/WYPR on-air personality Anirban Basu as they present the economy's role in this year's election and provide their analyses of how the candidates' economic positions could affect the money in your wallet. http://bcplonline.org/branches/branch_to.html


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Fun stuff for kids this month


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FDA won't ban kids' cold medicines

Sun: A top government health official rejected pediatricians' calls for an immediate ban on over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for young children, saying it might cause unintended harm. -- full story


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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Purse snatched in Rodgers Forge

From Citizens on Patrol's Karl Pfrommer: Oct. 2 at 10:14 p.m. Police were swarming Murdock Rd. after a purse snatching. Woman got her purse snatched as she walked from her car to her house at Murdock and Blenhiem. White male, 6 feet tall, clean shaven wearing black hoody.


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So, what about that Palin-Biden debate?



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Are you ready for this weekend's hurricane?

The Phelps hurricane, that is. The Rodgers Forge area, I hear, will be basically shut down on Saturday for the parade. We plan to not drive anywhere on Saturday for fear of not being able to easily get back home and find a parking spot near our house. Be sure to stock up on toilet paper and canned goods now!!!


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Meadowbrook pool people -- did you get your chairs?

The pool just sent an email saying if left-behind chairs weren't picked up by Oct. 19 they'd be "recycled."


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"The best place" for pumpkin picking

I ran this post last year and never actually went to this place, but thought I'd post it again in case anyone else is interested:

The mother of my son's classmate told me today that there is a great farm in Frederick that has huge slides, hayrides, animals to pet, a pumpkin patch, etc. She said it's the best place she's ever seen for such things. I'm looking forward to trying it. Here's the website: http://www.summersfarm.com/

Be sure to also see the list on the righthand sidebar, under Recurring Events, for other places to go pumpkin picking.


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Organ extravaganza

Family Organ Extravaganza, Sunday, October 19, 2008, 2-3 p.m. (Adults: $10; children and youth through 12th grade: FREE)

Enjoy a fun-filled concert featuring teenaged performers, live video projection of the organ and organists, and music ranging from settings of Mother Goose rhymes to Bach’s spectacular Toccata in D Minor (known to many from “Phantom of the Opera”).


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Children's autumn festival this Saturday

Join us in West Shore Park in the Inner Harbor for this classic fall harvest festival, featuring a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, square dancing, straw maze, hayrides, pie eating contest and more. Admission is FREE. More info here.


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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This just killed me


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Religious wackos to picket Phelps parade

I've learned that Westboro Church, those freaks who picket events with signs claiming that God hates homosexuals, is going to picket the Phelps parade. The police say the group has agreed to be at Cross Campus Blvd and York Road (a change from their original meeting spot).

I mention this only because if you have little kids and you don't want to expose them to this crap, you might want to avoid that intersection. I'm not even putting up a link to the church here, but if you google Westboro Church, it's the first thing that comes up. They also detail their picketing plans on the site.


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Lutherville Historic House Tour is this Saturday

Go here for details and ticket info. (2008 event)


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