Saturday, February 28, 2009

Have you joined a pool for the summer yet?

FYI, rates for Meadowbrook go up tomorrow (March 1). You can sign up over the phone with a credit card, which is what I just did. (I am SO EXCITED about showing the world my thighs and belly.) Details here. (About membership, not about my thighs.)


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

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Target clinic has FluMist for kids

Reading that story recently about the Howard County teen who died from the flu reminded me that I never did get my daughter a flu shot this year. My pediatrician's office is closed for a few days so I just called the Towson Target Minute Clinic - (410) 823-4423 - and asked if they had a mercury-free flu shot for kids. They don't right now, but they have FluMist, which the nurse told me was as or more effective than a shot and contains no mercury. $36.

Just an FYI in case you or your kids haven't had the flu shot yet this year.


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

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

School in Minnesota experiments with standing vs. sitting

From The New York Times:

... “We just know movement is good for kids,” Ms. Bormann said. “We can measure referrals to the office, sick days, whatever it might be. Teachers are seeing positive things.”

Marine Elementary lies in a small, fitness-minded, high-achieving school district where experimentation is encouraged. Ms. Bormann bought the desks with money from several grants awarded to the school, which is now in its second full year of using them.

Ms. Brown says she got the idea for the stand-up desks after 20 years of teaching in which she watched children struggle to contain themselves at small hard desks ... full story


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

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Griffins found guilty in son's death

Sun: A Baltimore County judge this afternoon convicted John J. Griffin and Susan J. Griffin of second-degree murder in the starvation death of their 2-year-old son, Andrew Patrick. Each also was convicted of child abuse leading to death. -- full story. And here's a story in the Daily Record.


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

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Father takes the stand in trial for Rodgers Forge toddler's death

This story was so disturbing, especially the last two paragraphs.


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

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More on the importance of recess

I'm planning to send this article to Dr. Hairston at BCPS and the school board, etc.

From the New York Times:

...The lead researcher, Dr. Romina M. Barros, a pediatrician and an assistant clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said the findings were important because many schools did not view recess as essential to education.

“Sometimes you need data published for people at the educational level to start believing it has an impact,” she said. “We should understand that kids need that break because the brain needs that break.”

And many children are not getting that break. In the Pediatrics study, 30 percent were found to have little or no daily recess. Another report, from a children’s advocacy group, found that 40 percent of schools surveyed had cut back at least one daily recess period.

Also, teachers often punish children by taking away recess privileges. That strikes Dr. Barros as illogical. “Recess should be part of the curriculum,” she said. “You don’t punish a kid by having them miss math class, so kids shouldn’t be punished by not getting recess.” -- full story

Joe A. Hairston
Baltimore County Schools Superintendent
6901 North Charles St.
Towson, MD 21204
(410) 887-4281
e-mail: jhairston@bcps.org


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

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Towson rep to testify on Towson University bill in Annapolis

Ed Kilculle, the president of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations (www.gtcca.org), will be testifying today on behalf of HB693, which is
"Requiring designated growth institutions to submit a Community Impact Statement to the General Assembly if there is an increase in a specified number of students and when an institution updates a Master Plan; requiring designated growth institutions to submit a Community Impact Statement at a specified time and to post the Community Impact Statement on the institution's website; providing for the requirements of the Community Impact Statement; etc"


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

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Prosecutors rest their case in toddler death

Story in the Sun today about the Griffin trial.


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

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American Craft Show coming to Baltimore

More than 700 of the country's leading craft artists will gather under one roof to present their latest designer, handmade work at the American Craft Council Show in Baltimore, the largest juried, indoor craft show in the nation. The highest quality of handmade jewelry, furniture, clothing, home d├ęcor, and more, will be available for purchase at the Baltimore Convention Center, February 27 - March 1, 2009.

Note, On February 27 tickets are just $6 (originally $14) after 6 p.m. More details.


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

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Bill in Annapolis would force Towson U to do more communicating with neighbors

The Towerlight reports: The representatives of District 42 are making a statement.

Delegates Steve Lafferty, Susan Aumann and Bill Frank have penned a piece of legislation that has a specific message for Towson University. House Bill 693, the University System of Maryland - Designated Growth Institutions - Community Impact Statement, seeks to force Towson University to communicate better with the surrounding neighborhoods. -- full story


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

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Latest crime report

Happy to say it was a relatively quiet week, and nothing reported in Rodgers Forge. Here's the report.


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

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Name for new elementary school

The school system is hoping to name the new school West Towson Elementary. Read details here.


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

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Piece of Rodgers Forge history offered to historical society

Sun: The heavy black piece of iron has spent the past few decades at Rodgers Forge Elementary School, first on display in the school library, then migrating into storage and even serving as a doorstop before the principal spirited it away to a closet for safekeeping.

Now the Rodgers Forge school is offering the piece to the Maryland Historical Society, in hopes that it will once again serve as a reminder of the Towson-area neighborhood's roots. -- full story


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

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Towson U working to grow

The Baltimore Sun: ... In six years at Towson, Caret has not wasted a second. The university's recent skirmish with neighbors in Rodgers Forge, over the location of a new 5,000-seat arena, is an example of both Caret's urgency and his diplomacy. He wants to step up athletics, to broaden Towson's name recognition, and he got recalcitrant neighbors to sign off on the arena.

At the same time, he has been planning a satellite campus in Harford County and a friendly takeover of Baltimore Hebrew University, as well as adding thousands of students and starting construction projects valued at a half-billion dollars. Research grants and contracts have tripled in five years. -- full story


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

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

County should take a page from the city

Sun: ... Tony Geraci, the system's new food service director [in Baltimore City], plans to turn the 33 surprisingly rural acres in Baltimore County into an organic farm where schoolchildren will learn about healthy food and sustainable living, by digging in the dirt, planting seeds and watching fruits and vegetables come to life. -- full story

Is the county doing anything like this? Baltimore City is growing its own food, buying local and making healthy school lunches. If the city can do it, can't the county do it, too? After all, their farm is in the county.


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

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kids' activity centers recalled


The recall involves Evenflo ExerSaucer Triple Fun stationary activity centers made between October 2006 and December 2008. The model number is 6231711. Stage 3 position involves converting the product into an activity table. No other ExerSaucer models use end caps and, therefore, no other models are included in this recall.

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09131.html


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

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Some are not fans of Towson Library's spiral entrance

There's a story today in The Towson Times about the design of the Towson Library -- mainly the winding three-story entrance. What do you think of the setup?


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

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

RFES student wins national "Ask the President" contest

Luke Bieneman, a kindergartner at Rodgers Forge Elementary, was on WBAL's evening news for a picture he drew commemorating Barack Obama's inauguration and asking the new president to help people. The picture will be in a new e-book.

Way to go, Luke! Here's the clip. (This is the right one.)


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

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Trial begins in death of Rodgers Forge toddler

Nick Madigan of the Sun reports: The photographs beamed onto a courtroom screen showed a scrawny, emaciated toddler, his body covered in bruises and abrasions, arms and legs limp, eyes half-closed, mouth agape.

Andrew Patrick Griffin was two months shy of his third birthday when the picture was taken in the emergency room at St. Joseph Medical Center on Dec. 26, 2007, about an hour after he was pronounced dead. -- full story (a sad, sad story)


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

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Raw-milk debate

I have a friend who loves raw milk, but it's illegal.

Meredith Cohn of the Sun reports: "... Raw milk consumers are a small and not-yet-mainstream faction of a larger movement of people who have turned to food grown locally, organically and unadulterated by excessive processing in an effort to lead a healthier lifestyle. They reject the safety warnings because they believe raw, also called "real" or "fresh," milk is more nutritious." -- full story


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

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Child sleep seminar tomorrow night

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
7:30–9:30 p.m.
details


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

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Latest crime report

No Rodgers Forge burglaries, but there was a fatal shooting over near Taylor and Loch Raven Blvd. Here's the report and here's the Sun story about the shooting.


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

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fox at Woodbrook on Stevenson



Forge Flyer reader Ted was inspired by the fox v. possum post to send in photos of a fox that he regularly sees at Woodbook Baptist Church on Stevenson. (Not that he's saying this is the animal people were wondering about, since it's clearly a fox.)


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

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Can you name that Rodgers Forge critter?



Here's an interesting discussion that's happening on the Rodgers Forge listserv:

"Over the past year i have a seen a small fox-like animal in Rodgers Forge. I know this is not unusual but I'm not so sure it is a fox, since this animal seems to be missing the requisite bushy tail and instead has thin, smooth tail. I thought it might be a coyote, but they also have bushy tails.

I've seen it 3 times now:
in early 2008, I saw it twice after dark crossing Stevenson Lane: once in between Bellona & Charles, then right at the Rodgers Forge sign. It's a fast runner. Then I saw it again on Sunday 2/8, in the middle of the afternoon walking up a driveway to a single family house on Pinehurst.

Just curious if anyone else has seen this curious animal."

Click on the "comments" link below to see many theories. Some guess it's a fox with mange (lower photo), some think it's a possum (top photo). (To clarify, neither of these photos is the actual animal spotted in RF; one is just a possum photo I pulled off the Internet, and the other was submitted by someone asking the original poster if the animal he saw looked like the mangy fox in the photo.)

We've had a possum under our deck several times and I think it'd be rather difficult to mistake one for a fox -- a rat or a raccoon, maybe, but a fox?


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

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Milkshake plays at Creative Alliance on Sunday


Sun Feb 15. 1pm.
$8. Age 2 and under Free! Adv tix sug.

"Sunny, fun, GREAT pop ROCK for cool kids! Famous for their songs on PBS Kids and Noggin, Baltimore’s very own Milkshake makes their Patterson debut with a Valentines dance party celebrating their NEW DVD Screen Play! A new Milkshake comic book and a chocolate kiss from Moo the Cow FREE to every family with admission!"

I also just heard they're going to be on WYPR's Midday show today.

http://www.creativealliance.org/events/eventItem1654.html



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

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Area crime

From Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol:

Another burglary, this time in the 7000 block of Heathfield Rd. in Rodgers Forge. There is a pattern. These guys, yes, more than one, began on the 500 block of Stevenson Lane, the north side, east of York Road, and, the same day, on Yorktown Drive. They climbed onto a porch roof and got in the second story.

Then it was farther west on Stevenson Lane, 09/05/08 06:00-21:15 1st Degree Burglary 1XX Stevenson Lane, An unknown suspect forced open a rear window to gain entry. A flashlight was taken from the kitchen but was left on the back porch. Nothing else is missing. On the same day, 09/05/08 17:30-22:00 1st Degree Burglary at 1XX Stevenson Lane. An unknown suspect removed a glass pane from the rear basement door to gain entry. The kitchen, dining room, and upstairs bedroom were ransacked. A camera and jewelry were taken. Next was the south side of Stevenson Lane in the 400 block. Then it was in Rodgers Court and on the January 16 it was the 400 block of Old Trail. They were on Stanmore Rd. too. Now it's twice on Heathfield Rd.

They are breaking in during the day while you are away. They are taking electronic equipment, lap tops, cell phones, small stuff they can carry off and sell quickly. Please tell your neighbors. Ask neighbors who are home during the day to watch out. If they see anyone who does not belong there, call 911 first. Police will ask questions later.

-Karl


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

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Recalls, including one related to a fatality

1. Nordica USA Recalls to Repair Skis; Binding Plates Can Break, Poses Fall Hazard to Skiers
(http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09127.html)

2. Disney Store Recalls Toy Tool Sets Due to Choking Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09128.html)

3. Strangulation Death of a Child Prompts Hill Sportswear To Recall Hooded Sweatshirts with Drawstrings (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09129.html)


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

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Arena agreement signed

Kiel McLaughlin of The Towerlight reports: With a laugh and a smile, Towson President Robert Caret and Rodgers Forge Community Association president Janice Moore signed an agreement on the new tentative plans for the Towson Center Arena expansion Thursday evening in the lobby of the athletic facility. -- full story


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

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rodgers Forge and Towson U reach agreement on arena

beepity bee beepity beep beep
(that's the sound of the teletype newswire, obviously!)

Just got this email from the people who were fighting the arena:

Rodgers Forge Community and Dr. Caret (president of Towson University) have reached a tentative agreement on the location of the proposed new arena.

Dr. Caret and Rodgers Forge Community will sign the "Good Neighbor Accord" memorandum of understanding in a 10-minute signing ceremony/press conference tentatively planned at 5:30 p.m. at the Towson Center Arena lobby for tomorrow, Thursday, February 11, 2009.

The new arena will be placed on the west side of the existing arena, away from the neighborhood, along with creating a buffer zone along the property lines and the creation of an ombudsman position that the community can to go to concerning any issues.

At the Board of Regents meeting this Friday (13th) from 8:30 to 9:30am, this MOU will be read to the regents by representatives from Rodgers Forge and the GTCCA (Greater Towson Council of Community Associations (the umbrella organization of 30+ Towson neighborhood associations). This meeting will be at TU's University Union (the student Union at Towsontowne Blvd and Osler Dr), Chesepeake Room (3rd floor).

The community thanks Dr. Caret for listening to their neighbors. We look forward to a continuing dialogue.


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

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Police activity in the Forge last night

I received this message today and Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol confirmed it with police:

Hi Kris,
I just wanted to bring you up to date on all the police cars at our house last night.

One of Baltimore County's finest pulled over a car that apparently rolled through a stop sign. The suspect fled the car and the officer gave chase. They ended up in my yard [near corner of Dumbarton and Stevenson].

I heard a commotion around 9Pm or so out front. Initially we thought it was just someone who was chasing a dog that got away or something.

I peeked out the front window and saw an officer running into my side yard and yelling at the suspect to get down on the ground. My girlfriend and I ran to the back door to lock it (for some reason it took two of us) and saw the officer with his gun drawn at the corner of the house where he had trapped the suspect in our basement stairway.

He was able to subdue the man and immediately called for backup. The response was immediate.

In what seemed like less than 30 seconds, we had 10 more cars at our house (11 total) to back him up at which time the suspect was placed under arrest for what I presume would be fleeing an officer (although he did admit to having outstanding warrants).

It was quite scary (being that close to the action), but good to know that the BCPD is right on top of things in our neighborhood.
Also, thanks to the good citizen who helped the officer give chase when he saw the suspect run.

Police say: "The arrest was the result of a traffic stop and the violator had an open warrant from Harford County. -Sgt Fink"


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

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Festivities at Studio C Jewelry

I just received this email. I haven't been to Studio C yet, but my friend says it has great stuff. It's in Lauraville above the Red Canoe bookstore.

Hooray! Studio C Jewelry is almost a year old! Join us for a wonderful love-filled weekend of sugar cookies and pink libations (for those old enough!). And for all those who spend $30 or more on that special beloved we will add in a free hand crafted pendant! The love fest will start Saturday, February 14th from 10 a.m to 6:00 p.m. and will continue on Sunday, February 15th, for those who just can't get enough, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Studio C Jewelry & Gifts
above the Red Canoe
4337 C Harford Road


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

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Rodgers Forge Elementary wins Black Saga Competition

Way to go!

BCPS says: After spending months studying and a Saturday morning testing their knowledge of African American history against students from other Baltimore County schools, teams from Rodgers Forge Elementary School and Cockeysville Middle School emerged as elementary and middle school champions of the 2009 Baltimore County Public Schools Black Saga Competition.

... The winning team from Rodgers Forge Elementary included fifth-grade students Wolfgang Drake, Vaughn Parts, and Nicholas Smith, coached by team advisor Elizabeth Ceanfaglione. Cockeysville's first place team was comprised of seventh-grade students Tionne Barmer, Regina Ledesma, and Shirley Shen, coached by team advisor Carolyn Dickerson. -- more


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

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Towson U to test sirens this morning

Just an FYI, in case you hear them.


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

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Towson University's take on the arena negotiations


This was sent to me just before 6 p.m. today from TU, which I assume was prior to today's meeting. I expect the Halt TU Arena group will have a statement shortly. I will post it when I receive it.

Update: The Halt TU Arena group says it has a tentative agreement, as of Tuesday evening, with TU. It needs to be approved tonight (Wednesday) at the Rodgers Forge board meeting, and then details will be released. Sounds like TU has agreed to move the proposed parking lot.

TU says: Message to the Rodgers Forge Community about Towson University’s Update on the Proposed Towson Center Addition:

* After public meetings with the broader community on January 21 and January 26, 2009, where President Caret directly addressed attendees, on February 2, 2009, President Caret also met with Rodgers Forge community representatives, designated by the community association president to discuss possible alternative locations for the Towson Center addition. The President of the Greater Towson Council of Community Association was also in attendance.

* One option Towson University offered for the community’s consideration would move the addition to the west side of the existing Towson Center, thus placing the entire existing Towson Center between the Rodgers Forge community and the new addition. The new location places the new addition below the current Towson Center, rendering it nearly invisible to the community.

* On February 5, 2009, President Caret met with elected officials to review alternative locations as presented to the community representatives. The District 42 elected officials supported alternative plans that call for the addition to be located on the west side of the existing Towson Center. Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith has also been briefed and saw the west side location as a reasonable alternative.

* On February 10, 2009, President Caret is scheduled to reconvene with Ms. Moore, Mr. Kilcullen, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Foretich, Mr. Ketzis, and Mr. Goetz, to further discuss plans regarding an alternative addition location. These designees of the Rodgers Forge community will also share the results of the community’s feedback of the alternative locations as Towson presented at the February 2, 2009 meeting.

* Nothing is to be gained by Towson University and the community being at odds. Keeping our commitment to being a good neighbor and keeping the community informed, Towson University will continue to extend our communication efforts by meeting with Rodgers Forge representatives.

* We trust that the individuals representing the broader Rodgers Forge community are continuously disseminating the information provided by Towson University. We look forward to continuing this flow of information with the Rodgers Forge community.


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

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Also very funny

This is really funny but it's got LOTS of cursing in it so I didn't embed it, but here's a link:
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/93143?utm_source=embedded_video


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

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These cracked me up



Ah, these made me laugh. See more here.


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

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Latest crime report

Here's the report, including a burglary on Heathfield.


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

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Virtual town hall meeting on televison transition -- tonight

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the DTV Delay Act of 2009 to help mitigate anticipated challenges for families affected by the digital television (“DTV”) transition. Specifically, this bill postpones the date of the analog-to-digital television transition from February 17, 2009, to June 12, 2009.

On Monday, February 9th at 7:20 p.m. I will be holding a Virtual Town Hall, via telephone. We will have experts from the National Telecommunications Information Agency (NTIA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the line to discuss the digital television transition and to answer questions from participants.

To participate in my Virtual Town Hall, please call (877) 229-8493 and, when prompted, enter # 12965 as your PIN.

If you are unable to participate in my Virtual Town Hall but still wish to share your questions, comments or concerns, please call my district office at 410-832-8890 or contact me through my website www.sarbanes.house.gov.


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Loophole allows for more renters than county law allows

The Towson Times reports: ... To the chagrin of complainants, four unrelated Towson University students will be able to continue to live in the townhouse at 16 Skidmore Court in Towson Park, according to a Jan. 29 ruling issued by acting county hearing officer Don Brand. -- full story


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

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Scooter missing from RFES

A Rodgers Forge resident asked me to post this:

"Did someone take our scooter for a spin and forget to return it?

I left my son's red Razor scooter behind a bush at RFES on Wednesday while I volunteered at school. I forgot about it, and by Sunday it was gone.

Please return to 323 Dunkirk or email bonaberg@yahoo.com. No questions asked!!"


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

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Free "Music Together" demo class

Saturday classes are coming back this spring, with new teacher Shelly Work. Shelly teaches music on weekdays at Bolton Hill Nursery School. She will teach a free Music Together demo class on Saturday, February 28th in Roland Park. Reservations required. Call Miriam at 410-825-3881 or email miriam@musictogethercharmcity.com. Spring classes begin March 25th and registration for new families begins March 1st.
http://musictogethercharmcity.com/


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

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

What? Poopy pants and sleepless nights AREN'T the key to wedded bliss?

New York Times: Half a century ago, the conventional wisdom was that having a child was the surest way to build a happy marriage. Women’s magazines of that era promised that almost any marital problem could be resolved by embarking on parenthood. ...

Over the past two decades, however, many researchers have concluded that three’s a crowd when it comes to marital satisfaction. More than 25 separate studies have established that marital quality drops, often quite steeply, after the transition to parenthood. And forget the “empty nest” syndrome: when the children leave home, couples report an increase in marital happiness. -- full story


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

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Rodgers Forge, Towson U still discussing arena location

Towson University officials have offered representatives of the Rodgers Forge community several alternative sites for a proposed $45 million sports arena on the campus, all of them adjacent to the current arena. While the residents said none of the options presented at a meeting Monday night was satisfactory, they agreed to continue discussions next week. -- full story


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

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Meeting tonight about Towson sports arena

Rodgers Forge will be meeting with Towson University Monday night to discuss the location of the proposed new 5,000 seat, 90,000 square foot Towson Arena.

This meeting is based on Dr. Caret's agreement at last Monday's (26th) Town Hall meeting, sponsored by the Greater Towson Committee.

This meeting will be between Rodgers Forge community representatives and Dr. Caret along with TU Reps.

Also attending will be the GTCCA (Greater Towson Council of Community Associations), which is the non-profit umbrella organization representing the interests and concerns of more than 30 community associations in the Greater Towson area.


Date: Monday, February 2, 2009
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Place: Towson University Administration Building (corner of York Road & Cross Campus Drive), Room 340.


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

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Latest crime report

Here it is.


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Michael Phelps

I took down the Phelps post because some of the comments got pretty negative and since he's not just some national figure but a local guy whose mom might even read this website (though I have no indication she does) I don't really want to publish aspersions.

I'll save MP-related posts for more medals, etc.


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