Friday, January 30, 2009

Website shows ratings for daycares

Gus Sentementes reports: Maryland has launched a new government Web site that allows people to sift through the results of inspections of several thousand licensed child care providers in the state, including day-care centers and registered home-based care providers.

The Web site allows users to search by company name, jurisdiction and type of provider. -- full story

But some say the site is misleading. Details here.


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

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TU funding extra police on Super Bowl Sunday

A message from Towson University, passed along by Citizens on Patrol's Karl Pfrommer:

"Towson University will provide the Baltimore County Police Department Precinct 6 grant funding for additional police presence in those residential areas experiencing problems with Towson University students having loud parties or behaving in a manner that is disruptive to the community, on Sunday, February 1, 2009 (Super Bowl Sunday with coverage just before the game, during game time, and after the game."


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

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County school board studies budget

The Sun: Poring over the proposed operating budget last night for the next fiscal year, Baltimore County school board members zeroed in on the details: Funds allocated for educational programs. Music instruction. Online learning materials.

"There's not a lot of money, and we only have a little tiny bit of discretionary" [funds], board member Meg O'Hare said, explaining her in-depth questions on the $1.32 billion proposed spending plan. -- full story


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

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Towson elementary school wins funding approval

Towson Families United reports: The Board of Public works yesterday approved state funding of a new elementary school in Towson. --read more


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

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recalls (some of which are kind of funny)

Necklaces Recalled By Spencer Gifts Due to Risk of Lead Exposure (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09111.html)

Aromatherapy Kits Due to Explosion and Projectile Hazards [that's not relaxing!] (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09112.html)

Toy Construction Play Sets Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09113.html)

Ice Cleats Used During Winter Weather Due to Fall Hazard [the opposite of why you bought them] (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09114.html)


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

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What do you make of The Senator's troubles and the city's plans?

Sun editorial:

Saving the Senator Theatre would be an uncommon gift to Baltimoreans. It would be a boost for the social and cultural life of the city and help the popular Belvedere Square marketplace continue to thrive. Bailing out the prickly owner of the historic theater with a city loan is less appealing, but the proposal deserves a serious review as a last-chance effort to keep the movie house in business. --more


Sun article:
Days after the city offered to save the Senator Theatre by turning it into a nonprofit business, owner Tom Kiefaber said he is working with the mayor's office to finalize the deal "as soon as possible."

But gaining nonprofit status would likely mean big changes at the historic theater. As a nonprofit, it would not just show movies; it would need to provide educational and cultural programming as well. The new status would also mean a new role for Kiefaber, who would give up day-to-day control of the movie house, which has been run by his family for decades. -- more


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

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Baltimore Examiner folds

The Baltimore Sun reports:

The Baltimore Examiner newspaper will be closing after several months of looking for a buyer, a spokesman confirmed today.

The last issue of the paper, which is distributed free to homes and through boxes and hawkers on street corners, will be delivered on Sunday, Feb. 15. -- more


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

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Helicopter over Rodgers Forge

From Citizens on Patrol's Karl Pfrommer:

"Thursday morning at 10:15 am. someone reported two males acting suspiciously near the intersection of Blenheim And Murdock Roads. A BCPD helicopter was dispatched and circled our area for about ten minutes. No one was found.

Whom ever made the call, Thank You!

Karl"


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

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Del. Steve Lafferty's take on Towson U's arena

From his latest e-newsletter: "While the budget is dominant, I have also been involved with a number of other issues. First, Towson University. Towson is a great economic engine in the metropolitan area. At the same time, it has failed to work with and communicate with the broader community. As the Sun editorial stated, it has "dropped the ball." I have been working since last summer to get the University to report on the impact of its growth and to be more open about the new Arena and off-campus student housing issues. Minimal progress has been made. I will continue to fight to ensure it is the neighbor it should be."


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

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

recalls

1. The Land of Nod Recalls Children's Canopies Due to Entrapment and Strangulation Hazards (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09108.html)

2. Outdoor Research Recalls Warming Gloves Due to Burn Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09110.html)


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

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How to bond with your kid

I just played this for my 6-year-old son and we were in hysterics. He made me play it over and over again. Ah, snow days.


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

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Empty Bowls event

Saturday, March 7, 2009: come anytime between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m.

Join us for Empty Bowls and make a difference in the lives of people suffering from the effects of poverty in the Baltimore community. Enjoy a wonderful selection of soups supplied by local restaurants, listen to live music, bid on items in our silent auction, and choose a hand-crafted ceramic bowl made by local artists and students. Take home the bowl as a reminder that many people are faced with hunger and homelessness each day.

Soup provided by: Atwater's, Ale Mary's, Neopole Savory Smokery, One World Cafe, Soups On, The Parkside Cafe, Whiskey Island Pirate Shop and more!

College of Notre Dame, Doyle Hall Cafeteria
4701 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21210 ... ticket info and details here


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

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

recalls

1. Milestone AV Technologies Recalls Television Wall Mounts Sold Exclusively At Best Buy; Unit Can Crack, TV Can Fall On Consumers [d'oh!] (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09105.html)

2. High School Musical Manicure Kits Recalled by Fantas-Eyes Due to Risk of Lead Exposure (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09106.html)

3. Lip Gloss Keychains Recalled By Markwins Beauty Products Due to Risk of Lead Exposure (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09107.html)


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

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Petition opposes TU arena

Janice Moore, president of the Rodgers Forge community association, asked that I post this link for those of you who are opposed to the Towson University's arena expansion. You don't need to live in RF to sign.

www.thepetitionsite.com/1/halt-tu-arena-now


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

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Monday, January 26, 2009

winter storm warning for tonight

RFES was closed today. My daughter's preschool is closed Wednesday. Please please please don't let us have a snow day or late opening on Tuesday. I have work to do! Here's what The Sun is saying about the weather.

UPDATE: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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

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Latest crime report

A few people have asked me if I know why there was a helicopter circling RF on Saturday night. I was not home so I didn't call at the time to ask, and I now have a message in to the police and they are checking, but they say nothing stands out in their minds and it wasn't anything that was reported as a major crime.

UPDATE: Police got back to me and said they had nothing logged, but the intrepid Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol got this email from his police contact: "Doing some research it turns out one of the midnight Officers made a traffic stop on York Rd at Chumleigh and apparently the operator exited his vehicle and ran away from the Officer on foot through the Rodgers Forge area. The helicopter and patrol cars were in the neighborhood using their spotlights trying to locate the violator. Apparently narcotics were found either in the car or on the ground at the scene because the Officer did write a narcotics violation report but it's not complete. Violator described as a black male in his late teens wearing gray pants and a black shirt and he was driving a purple Plymouth Voyager that was stored, so the Officer will be following up with the vehicle's owner. Sgt Fink"

In addition to the latest report, Citizens on Patrol reports that a car was stolen from the 100 block of Stanmore last night.

Here's the latest crime report, including a home burglary on Stanmore.


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

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Kids need more free-play time at school, study says

I hope school boards and officials take this to heart:

Reuters: All work and no play may be a hazard for some U.S. school children.

Researchers reported on Monday that a growing trend of curbing free time at school may lead to unruly classrooms and rob youngsters of needed exercise and an important chance to socialize.

A look at more than 10,000 children aged 8 and 9 found better classroom behavior among those who had at least a 15-minute break during the school day compared to those who did not, Dr. Romina Barros and colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York reported. -- full story


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

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rodgers Forgians planning TU arena protest for Monday night

I just received an email from one of the RF residents protesting the proposed Towson U arena expansion:

"Halt TU Arena Now" will be picketing on Osler and Auburn Drives on Monday (Jan. 26th) from 5:30pm to about 6:30 to protest TU's plans to build a redundant 5,000-seat arena right next to the Rodgers Forge community.

Towson University president Dr. Robert Caret will be a featured speaker at the Greater Towson Committee "Town Meeting" to highlight the positives of his university. Jan. 26 (Monday) 6pm in the Minnegan Room in TU's Unitas Stadium. ... (And perhaps a pro-arena group there, too? See comment below.)


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

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Friday, January 23, 2009

State funding to local schools falls, a lot

Sun:

State funding for local schools would plunge by $69 million next year under Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to eliminate a nearly $2 billion shortfall in Maryland's budget, a change that would hit poorest districts hardest.

Under the 2010 budget proposal introduced this week, Baltimore would receive $23 million less than in the current school year and Prince George's would be cut by $35 million. Baltimore County would lose $8 million. The belt-tightening comes after years of robust growth in education spending under the landmark 2002 education funding plan known as the Thornton formula. --full story


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

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Stay-at-home-dads documentary showing this Sunday

Sun Jan 25 4pm
$5, kids under 10 free. At Creative Alliance.

What happens when a family decides that Dad will stay at home with the kids while Mom works? SAHDs (Stay-At-Home Dads) are a growing trend in our culture. New doc by award winning Baltimore filmmaker Michael Ivan Schwartz, Happy SAHD follows a dozen Baltimore-area fathers who have chosen to be the daily caregiver for their children, for a variety of reasons. This illuminating and humorous movie reveals the everyday life trials, tribulations and triumphs of these men living outside the norm. Q&A and reception follow the film. ... details


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

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Colleges cutting back on sports (not arenas?)

A Rodgers Forge resident sent me this info about colleges and universities cutting back sports programs -- he felt it was particularly timely considering the controversy over the Towson University arena expansion in the sense of bringing up the question of if a larger arena is needed:

"It's a sign of the times that no one is discussing: Your favorite college sports may fall be the wayside in the coming three years due to the crappy economy. Ah! Not Badminton!

Take Stanford, for instance. Winners of the U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup for 14 years running — the award given to the best overall sports program in the country — the university is talking about slashing $5 million from its sports programs over the next three years. That could mean letting coaches go, and if things don't improve, even cutting loose some entire programs." -- read more


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

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Towson U arena meeting draws huge crowd

Were you there? Anything to add?

Watch a WBAL-TV report here, and here's a story in The Baltimore Sun:

They arrived with numerous signs saying "Halt TU arena now." They circulated a petition against the proposed $45 million Towson Center expansion, and they besieged university officials with questions as to why the building was being constructed.

Towson University officials provided campus neighbors with maps, architectural drawings and a construction timetable for the expansion project last night during a meeting between university officials and Rodgers Forge residents. -- full story


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

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Steve singing guy from PBS coming to Owings Mills

Concert Feb. 8. Details are here.


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

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Sun article on Towson U's planned sports arena

Reminder, there will be a meeting at Towson U tonight about the planned arena at 7 p.m. in the Towson Center Arena, main gym.

The Baltimore Sun: When Towson University officials unveil plans for a new campus arena at a community meeting [Wednesday], they are likely to find many residents dismayed by the prospect of a 5,000-seat auditorium in their backyards.

Officials, planners and architects for the $45 million Towson Center expansion project, which is included in the 10-year master plan for the campus, will present drawings and discuss a timetable - construction is scheduled for later this year - during the session. The proposal includes a new arena and renovations that would make the current arena's gymnasium into practice courts, mostly for basketball and volleyball teams. The plan calls for a parking garage between the new arena and adjoining athletic fields. -- full story here, and you can read the letter the Rodgers Forge board wrote here


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

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A bad week for local crime

This week's crime report has some brazen armed robberies, tons of home break-ins (including some in RF) and a rape. Here's the report.


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

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stroller Strides event

When/Where:
Towson Town Mall 1/26
White Marsh Mall 1/29
Time: 9:00 a.m.

JOIN US FOR A FREE CLASS & PARTY

Stroller Strides Baltimore has moved classes indoors for the season and we want to celebrate with a free class and party at the mall. Stroller Strides is the leading fitness program for moms with their babies. Come and get a great workout while spending time with your baby (and maybe a little shopping done while you are at the mall).

With, Special Guest, Josh Levinson from Charm City Run. He will be giving a free demo for fitting running shoes and sports bras. [Is it immature of me to giggle at this mental picture?]

Try out your first class free. After class join us for a party with refreshments, games, goodies, and some great raffle prizes.

P.S. We are accepting non-perishable food items for our Can Food Drive.


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

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Rodgers Forge board opposes new Towson U arena

Here is an excerpt from a letter sent by the Rodgers Forge Community Association to the president of Towson University regarding the new sports arena. And note that there is a meeting this Wednesday at TU about the arena, so if you have a point of view to share, it would be good to attend. The meeting will be Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Towson Center Arena, main gym.


"... The location of this planned construction comes as an unpleasant surprise to the Rodgers Forge community. Pursuant to the 2003 Master Plan developed by Towson University, of which the Rodgers Forge community and this Community Association were actively involved in helping develop, any renovation to the Towson Center was to be located on the northeastern-most side of the Towson Center, across the street from Johnny Unitas Stadium. Such a renovation pursuant to the Master Plan would likely have been largely acceptable to our community, as there would have been a sufficient geographic buffer between the neighboring houses and the new “Towson Center Renovation.”


However, the new $45.4 million arena, which is slated to be built on Lot 21, will drastically affect those residents owning homes north of Stevenson Lane. A number of the homeowners on Stanmore Road and Stanmore Court will literally be mere yards from the construction as well as the newly constructed arena. These changed plans were never clearly communicated to the Rodgers Forge community. There was little to no communication despite the fact that it was certainly clear that the surrounding homes would be profoundly affected by such a project. Our community is in outrage over this impending project, as it appears that the development plan that we spent so much time contributing to has been unilaterally altered and amended without any input from our community.


It is especially distressing that we have recently located an architectural plat of the revised construction plans, which was dated December, 2006. The fact that this enormous and intrusive project has been planned for so long in de facto secrecy gives the impression that the University has intentionally excluded the surrounding neighborhoods, including Rodgers Forge, from participating in the planning of this project. Such cooperation with the community might have yielded a design plan that would have served both the interests of the community and the University. Instead, homeowners of Stanmore Court and Stanmore Road were recently rudely awakened at 7 AM on several mornings, including New Year’s Eve and the first week of 2009, to the sound of trees being removed mere yards from their property lines.


We hereby request that you halt all construction activities and expenditures until the surrounding communities and legislators have had time to review the proposed plans, Towson University has been able to consider the needs of the community, and meetings have been held in order to create a mutually acceptable plan for the project. ..."-- read the entire letter here


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

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Watching the inauguration

The Senator Theater will be showing it live on the big screen (details here, scroll down) and the Towson Library will also be airing it.


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

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Meeting this Wed about Towson U arena that could impact the Forge

Towson U will hold a community meeting January 21 at 7 p.m. in the Towson Center Arena, main gym, to discuss the school's architectural plans for an expanded sports arena complex. TU officials will be on hand to get community feedback.

I know a lot of people are concerned about the arena and added noise and how it would affect the community.


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

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Free car-seat installation

The Pikesville Volunteer Fire Company will offer free installation of child safety seats from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the fire station, 40 E. Sudbrook Lane. ... details here


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

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More details on 4th graders' move to Dumbarton Middle

Read details on the Towson Families United blog.


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

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sun story on RFES 4th graders' move to DMS

Here's an article in The Baltimore Sun about the move, which was mentioned on the Forge Flyer a couple of days ago.


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

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Rock Candy closing

Alas, the rumors are true: the economy ate our gummy bears. Rock Candy will be closing its shiny pink doors, due to it being about the worst time since my grandmother was in first grade to try to operate an indie startup business. Perhaps we will regroup after Obama's had a chance to fix this hot mess and try again later. Or perhaps we will just enjoy having weekends off for the rest of our lives! Whatever the case, Joel and Ruby and I wanted to make sure that we make clear that this is simply a matter of economic realities and not at all an expression of our feelings about the venture or the community. We have loved this business and we will continue to love the neighborhood that has nurtured it, and us!

We'll be open through the MLK and inauguration weekend (wooooooo!!!!) and then, because we assume we won't have much candy left (yes, there will be discounts), we will be locking up for the last time. Come on over and bid us a not-goodbye-but-farewell.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you some more to all of our customers and neighbors and friends for your loyalty, your boundless energy, and all the smiles and laughter you and your little ones have brought into our shop and our lives. We will fiercely miss seeing all your faces every day at Rock Candy, but we certainly hope to keep seeing them at Red Canoe, Bediboo, the Chop Shop, Great Soul, Clementine, and all the other fantastic businesses that Lauraville and Hamilton have to offer. We know that your commitment to local, homegrown business is strong because we have been blessed to have experienced it ourselves.


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

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Balt County schools opening two hours late today

Details here.


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

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

more recalls

1. Toy Xylophones Recalled by The Land of Nod Due to Choking Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09095.html)

2. Giant Bicycle, Inc. Recalls Bicycles; Fork Can Break Causing Rider To Fall (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09096.html)


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

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Top baby names of 2008

Emma, Sophia and Madison top the girls' list, and Aiden, Jayden and Ethan top the boys. Here's the full list.


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

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Details on Obama's visit to Baltimore

AP/Sun: Baltimore's police commissioner says more than 100,000 people are expected to come to see President-elect Barack Obama speak on Saturday, but the venue where he's expected to speak can only accommodate about 30,000. -- more


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

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Baby, mom classes and groups at Bediboo

"Just a few words about what is ahead this week and weekend at Bediboo... New Mother's Group starts this Thursday at 10:00 AM -11:30 AM. Thursday night is pre-natal yoga, which is filling up quickly so please RSVP! Friday morning is storytime and craft @ 10:00 AM for all ages and it's free! This Saturday we are doing our cloth diapering and babywearing workshops at 12:30 and 1:30, respectively. Then Sunday we are going our doing our first Crafty Mama Night! There has been much interest, so please RSVP to make sure we have enough supplies!" Bediboo.com


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

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rodgers Forge fouth graders moving to Dumbarton Middle

RFES Principal Susan Deise says in a letter to parents that in order to address overcrowding, this year's third grade will be housed at DMS next year, when they're in fourth grade. "The annexation is temporary until the new school is open," she wrote, referring to the new Towson elementary school that's slated to open in the fall of 2010 on North Charles Street. (So I imagine they will be back at RFES for fifth grade, unless they are moved to the new elementary school.)

There had been talk previously of putting either kindergarten or fifth grade at Dumbarton, but people were very opposed to those ideas. I feel for Mrs. Deise; I'm sure she's getting an earful from every side. Too bad the county didn't plan ahead.

Here's more info from Towson Families United:

"In a special letter sent just to parents of those children affected, RFES Principal Susan Deise said Dumbarton provides the safest, most convenient option for annexation. The school, she said, will have an isolated wing with five contiguous classrooms — so the impact of the middle schoolers will be minimal.

Several meetings have been scheduled for parents to learn more about the annexation. A general meeting for parents of the incoming 4th grade class is planned on January 26th at 7 p.m. at RFES. A second meeting on February 4th is planned at Dumbarton, where parents can tour the special wing between 6:30 and 7:30, and ask questions afterward in the auditorium." ... read more at TFU



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

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Cribs and other recalls

1. Ryobi Corded Circular Saws Sold Exclusively at Home Depot Recalled By One World Technologies Inc. Due to Laceration Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09088.html)

2. Top Goods Trading Recalls Flashing Pacifiers Due to Choking and Strangulation Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09089.html)

3. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall of Window Blinds Sold at Cost Plus and World Market Stores (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09090.html)

4. TDI International Recalls Toy Cars Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09091.html)

5. Cheyenne Industries Recalls Vanity Stools Due to Fall Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09092.html)

6. Stork Craft Recalls More Than 500,000 Cribs; Mattress Support Bracket Failures Create Risk of Entrapment and Suffocation (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09093.html)


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

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Pediatrician says manners are key

New York Times op-ed:

"... Dr. Barbara Howard, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and an expert on behavior and development, told me that a child’s manners were a perfectly appropriate topic to raise at a pediatric visit.

“It has a huge impact on people’s lives — why wouldn’t you bring it up?” she said. “Do they look you in the eye? If you stick your hand out do they shake it? How do they interact with the parents; do they interrupt, do they ask for things, do they open Mommy’s purse and take things out?”

Dr. Howard suggested that the whole “manners” concept might seem a little out of date — until you recast it as “social skills,” a very hot term these days. Social skills are necessary for school success, she pointed out; they affect how you do on the playground, in the classroom, in the workplace. ..." -- full piece


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

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Meeting tomorrow about new Towson U arena

Members of the Rodgers Forge community will meet this Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Rodgers Forge Elementary to discuss the upcoming meeting (Jan. 21) with Towson U officials about the new arena.


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

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Infant garments recalled

Rashti & Rashti expands recall for choking hazard. Info here.


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

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Virus-laden email about Obama going around

Think twice before opening any email about Obama's acceptance speech, or any other news item. It might contain a bad virus. Here are details from Snopes.


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

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Update on the slashing of Towson High student

Sun: A 16-year-old female student at Towson High School has been arrested and charged as an adult with first-degree assault in the slashing of another female student during an altercation outside the school, police said yesterday. Shaniqua Green of the 1300 block of Limit Ave. in Northeast Baltimore was arrested yesterday at the Towson Precinct and was being held at the county Detention Center. -- more


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

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Rainforest Cafe at Towson mall closes


Wow, my son will be really sad. We only went there once but he loved it. I found it kind of annoying and was frankly amazed at the large percentage of people who were there without kids. I mean, why?

Here's a piece on The Sun's restaurant blog.


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

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Latest crime report

Includes a girl whose face was slashed as she walked home from school in the Donnybrook area.
Here it is.


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

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Meeting this Wednesday about Towson U arena

Members of the Rodgers Forge community will meet this Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Rodgers Forge Elementary to discuss the upcoming meeting (Jan. 21) with Towson U officials about the new arena.

Here's a message from concerned residents:

"Towson University is planning to build a new 5,000-seat sports arena next to the existing one. It will be directly behind Stanmore Road and Stanmore Court.

The arena was a possibility in the university’s 2003 plan, that if constructed was supposed to be away from the neighborhood and near the stadium.

Construction for the new arena is planned to begin this summer.

The only difference between the current arena and the new one is 500 extra seats, a big screen TV, entertainment suites and expanded lobbies – all for $46 million. The current arena will be used as a practice facility.

It will host more regional entertainment events beyond basketball games, like concerts and more shows. This facility will have much more use than the current one. It will also have more noise, more crowds, more cars parking in our neighborhood, drinking, etc.

This $46 million project comes when TU doesn’t have enough on-campus housing. In fact, 80-100 homes in Rodgers Forge are occupied by students. Only freshmen are guaranteed housing on-campus. TU plans to grow from the current 19,000 students to 25,000 by 2012.

TU needs to grow, but they need to grow smart with their neighbors in mind. Grow vertical, not so close to our homes. Don’t take down the value of our homes. Don’t take over our neighborhoods."


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

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Kid-to-Kid now buying clothes

Received this email today: "KiD to KiD is able to take the next step towards re-opening the store! We would like to thank you all for your patience and well wishes during our struggle to reach this point.

We will begin buying product tomorrow- Tuesday, January 13, 2009. It will take us 6-8 weeks to get fully stocked for our Grand Re-Opening. Please note that we are not yet open during all of our normal hours, and we will not be selling items during our re-stocking period."

556 Cranbrook Road
Cockeysville, MD 21030
410.667.0360


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Hard economic times for county schools

Sun:

Teacher pay increases and the struggling economy are among the issues that some hope will be addressed in the Baltimore County schools superintendent's budget for the next fiscal year.

Superintendent Joe A. Hairston is scheduled to present his operating budget for the 2009-2010 school year to the Board of Education on Tuesday.

"This is an extremely challenging economic time," said Donald I. Mohler III, a spokesman for County Executive James T. Smith Jr. --full story


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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Free seminar on children's sleep issues

The Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance presents the The Sleep Lady.

Kim West aka the Sleep Lady will be joining downtown Baltimore parents to talk about the gentle approach to helping your child sleep!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
7:30–9:30 p.m.
1121 Riverside Avenue, Federal Hill
Free parking available at
Digital Harbor High School
1100 Covington Street, Federal Hill

This seminar is FREE. Donations welcome. We will raffle off a copy of the Sleep Lady’s book. No childcare provided. Infants who will stay with the parent are welcome to attend.

Questions? parentseminar@dbfam.org.


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Friday, January 9, 2009

First grader helps choking classmate

Sun: A first-grader at Baltimore County's Bedford Elementary was proclaimed "Queen Bee" yesterday, in honor of her having performed the Heimlich maneuver on a choking classmate. Jobria McDonald-Yates, 7, was at lunch about noon Wednesday when a boy at her table began choking on his food, Principal Laverne S. Goins said. -- more


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Thursday, January 8, 2009

What to do if you break a compact flourescent lightbulb

(Which I did earlier this evening...) EPA says: Fluorescent light bulbs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. EPA recommends the following clean-up and disposal below.

Before Clean-up: Air Out the Room

  • Have people and pets leave the room, and don't let anyone walk through the breakage area on their way out.
  • Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
  • Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system, if you have one.

Clean-Up Steps for Hard Surfaces

Carefully scoop up glass pieces and powder using stiff paper or cardboard ... read more


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Beware of the phony BGE worker

This was passed along to me today, via a Rodgers Forge board member, about something that happened to a Rodgers Forge resident. Please let your neighbors know, especially those who don't generally go online:

A young man, well groomed, knocked on my door about 5pm today dressed in what appeared to be a complete BG&E uniform, had ID tag around his neck that looked authentic and even had a notebook type folder with BG&E information, etc. in it. He informed me that he was from BG&E and wanted to speak to me about gas usage, etc. I made an excuse as to why he couldn't come in. After about 15 seconds I checked to be sure he was not on my front porch then opened the door but he had disappeared and there was not truck, car or any BG&E vehicle outside, anywhere, nor did I see him!

I called 911 and they said they would send a car out. I requested they not come to my door as I did not want to be identified by this person in case they were still around. Then I called BG&E and started to ask if they had a rep but before I could even tell them what had happened they asked me if I lived on X Rd in RF. They further informed me that he was not a BG&E representative--that they had received “many calls” from my street.

I called 911 back and gave all of the above information to them and the Towson precinct officer.

Slim build, about 5’10”, well groomed, black male, wore dark blue “uniform” w/BG&E ID tag around neck, carried folder similar to note book that contained “real” BG&E bill and other materials.

And here's something passed on to me from Citizens on Patrol:

I wanted to let you know that a young woman dressed the same way as described below (the BGE person) came to my door last week. However, she was not from BGE. She was from Washington Gas Energy Services (a supplier of gas to BGE). She had a blue uniform, id tag, and BGE bills. She said that I could save 15% if I switched my supplier to Washington Gas. When I told her that BGE does not come door to door, she reminded me that she does not work for BEG, but works for the supplier Washington Gas Energy Services instead. I turned her away and told her that I would not open the door. I immediately called Washington Gas Energy Services who did confirm that they are offering a 15% discount for anyone who switches to their company. The rep did not know if people were coming door to door.
-----

There could be two things going on: A person could be impersonating a BGE worker to gain entry to homes to do gawd knows what (let's hope simply burglarize them). And concurrently, there could be BGE competitors using somewhat shady means of gaining entry to start a conversation about switching energy suppliers. Or maybe all is fine and it's just a big mix up. Either way, I'm not opening my door. -K


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Extend your library due dates instantly

I just read this on the Sun's website. I usually go online and renew everything anyway, but this would save me that step.

Sun: Your librarian can renew your books immediately, as you check them out, earning yourself an extra three weeks to read and peruse those books --- a total of six weeks, rather than the standard 21 days! -- full piece


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Nanny dumping kids at rundown apartment

What the &#@% is wrong with people?

NPR: ... According to Los Angeles' city attorney, Roxanna Patricia Villamarin was taking her clients' kids not to a world of books but to an unlicensed daycare provider in an apartment. ...

But one day in October 2007, when their twins were supposedly off at the zoo, the Oshers got a tip from a second nanny that worked for them. Ms. Villamarin is dumping your kids off at a rundown apartment, the woman told them. Police by their sides, they found out it was true.

"It was very dark and very hot, and our daughter was placed on a bed on her back with a blanket thrown over her. Nobody was around her," Gina Osher says, her shoulders tensing as she recalls that day. "Our son was strapped into a bouncy chair sitting on a bed — which is really dangerous, because he could have bounced right off. He had no toys. … As soon as they saw us, they were so excited. They just lit up and were like, 'Get me out of here.'" -- full story


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Early C-sections risk baby's health

New study says let that baby stay put. Here's an article.


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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Education Week ranks Maryland schools #1

Baltimore Sun:

Maryland's schools rank first in the nation in an analysis of factors such as high school graduation rates, student achievement, academic standards and accountability done by Education Week, a publication based in Bethesda.

Maryland, ranked third last year, edged out Massachusetts by one-tenth of 1 percent. Both states were given a B grade overall, but the national average was a C. Maryland scored well on the standards for early childhood education and preparing students for college. -- full story


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Rodgers Forge Community Assoc. meeting tonight

The Rodgers Forge Community Association Board is elected by and serves the Rodgers Forge Community. They meet once a month to discuss issues and take action where necessary. Meetings in 2009 take place on January 7, Febuary 4, March 18, April 15, May 20 and June 17 at 7 p.m. at the Dumbarton Middle School Cafeteria. All Rodgers Forge residents are welcome to attend. More info.


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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Only a few more days to see these miniature dollhouses

Runs through Jan. 10: Take your entire family on a tiny journey across America. Our annual exhibition of miniature dollhouses and art is a celebration of everything that makes our nation truly magnificent – in any dimension. You’ll visit the Oval Office, Baltimore’s famous row houses, a glass factory with workers inside, and more. You’ll also see six miniature scenes depicting historic moments in flag history. Children will even have a chance to touch at our special interactive programs, including a tea party just for kids. America, Great and Small is free with your admission to The Star Spangled Banner Flag House, and Flag House members can visit for free anytime. Experience America’s biggest moments down to the smallest detail. It could be the most mesmerizing trip your family’s ever taken.


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Crib recalled, and other recalls

1. Viking Range Corp. Recalls Toasters Due to Shock Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09081.html)

2. Bicycles with RockShox Bicycle Forks Recalled by SRAM LLC Due to Crash Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09082.html)

3. Children's Hooded Jackets with Drawstrings Recalled by Ms. Bubbles Inc. Due to Strangulation Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09083.html)

4. Jardine Expands Recall of Cribs Sold by Babies"R"Us; Cribs Pose Entrapment and Strangulation Hazards (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09084.html)


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PTA meeting tonight for Rodgers Forge Elementary

PTA says:

"There is an RFES PTA meeting tonight (Tuesday) at 6:30 in the library. AP Francesca Brown will be speaking about BCRs (Brief Constructed Response).

If the weather should become inclement, and BCPS cancels all afternoon/evening activities, our meeting will be canceled."

What is a brief constructed response?


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Monday, January 5, 2009

More booze and green space for Towson area

If Jim Smith's goals are recognized. I hope downtown Towson gets some more good restaurants if this happens. (How about that wine bar!?) Ixnay on the VTays in the arbays. Here's the Towson Times story.


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Crime report

Here's the latest.


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You should open a little wine bar in the old Purdum location

What we need around here is a cute, quiet place to get a glass of wine and some light fare. Wouldn't the spot at York and Regester, in the old Purdum Pharmacy store, be a great location? You get on that, OK?


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Rodgersforge.org has been re-done

As you may know, the Rodgers Forge Community Association was without a webmaster for quite some time. But now the website has been redesigned and has lots of good info about the neighborhood. www.rodgersforge.org


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Rodgers Forge board meeting is Wed. night

7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Dumbarton Middle. Details here.


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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dog lost

Our Black Lab got out of our back yard on Sunday 1/4 at 419 Dumbarton. She is wearing a pink collar with skull and crossbones. Her name is Zoey. ... UPDATE: Dog found.


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School-boundary meeting Jan. 6

Meeting this Wednesday about the proposed boundary for the new West Towson Elementary School. New boundary lines may include boundary changes at Hampton, Riderwood, and Rodgers Forge elementary schools. January 6 at 7:00 pm at Loch Raven High School, 1212 Cowpens Avenue, Towson 21286. Read details here.

There are rumors flying that Stevenson Lane will be a boundary line, meaning the kids on Stanmore, Brandon, etc. would take a bus to the new school. I don't know if there's any truth to that, but it would fly in the face of BCPS' own redistricting guidelines, which state:


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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Meeting this Wednesday about redistricting for RFES and West Towson

You are invited to provide input on the proposed boundary for the new West Towson Elementary School. New boundary lines may include boundary changes at Hampton, Riderwood, and Rodgers Forge elementary schools. January 6 at 7:00 pm at Loch Raven High School, 1212 Cowpens Avenue, Towson 21286. Read more here.


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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Police beefing up patrols near city line

From Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol:

"According to Sgt. Fink, BCPD is increasing patrols because cars are being broken into and vandalized along Gittings, Midhurst and Bellona Ave. I previously reported that two cars were broken into and a cell phone was stolen while the cars were parked in the driveway of a house on Bellona Ave. near Gittings and the next door neighbor's windshield was smashed. Darlene, of Pinehurst COP, had also reported that a cell phone was stolen from a car on Midhurst Rd. and found in the trash can and a car was broken into on Gittings. Now, Darlene reports, "There was another cell phone taken from another car on Gittings."

Please lock your cars. Even more important, regardless of its value, put everything out of sight! Thieves don't know if that bag or box, left on the seat contains anything valuable; not until after they break into your car. Then it's too late."


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