Thursday, April 30, 2009

Balitmore Sun does even more layoffs

Incredible as it may seem given the ever-shrinking size of The Baltimore Sun, the company did even more layoffs this week. People who had worked there for decades were given a few moments notice then escorted out by security.

Absolutely shameful.

Details are here.


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

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Balt County opens hotline for questions on swine flu

Dear Constituent,

Baltimore County health officials are opening an emergency hotline to answer county residents' questions about 2009 H1N1 Influenza (swine flu). The public health emergency hotline will be available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, 2009. Officials have not determined when the hotline will operate in the future. County residents with questions about can call the hotline at 410-887-BCHD (2243).

I will keep you informed with any new information dealing with this flu outbreak. Additional information can be found at the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov).

Very truly yours,

Delegate Susan L.M. Aumann
District 42 - Baltimore County


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

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Arrests made for area crimes

From Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol:

Captain Al Jones believes BCPD has captured the robbers who plagued Rodgers Forge and surrounding areas recently. Four suspects, including two juveniles, have been arrested. Police are getting a warrant to search the houses where the suspects used to live. (They are now living in jail.) Police believe they will find stolen booty from the two Rodgers Forge robberies and other robberies which will further incriminate the foursome. According to Captain Jones, they suspect these four are responsible for robberies at 80XX York Rd. 80X York Rd., 1X Comet Court, the two in Rodgers Forge and others.

Additionally, a Knollwood resident and his accomplice have been arrested for a series of burglaries, 9 this year and 10 last year. The burglaries were in the Knollwood/Donnybrook, Far Hills and Aigburth areas. Police realized that the burglaries ceased for a while and then resumed. Police looked at records of area people who had been jailed during that period. The suspect was one of them, jailed for drug usage.

Several of you asked for a better description of the flasher who exposed himself twice last week. I shared your request with Sgt. Fink. He replied,

"Karl, the girls could only provide a very brief description, so that is all we have but we are keeping a presence in the area before and after school to try and locate this person.

Sgt Fink"

Captain Jones told me he will try to get more information for us.

BCPD continues to investigate the woman found drunk and drugged in her idling car in the 400 block alley between Dunkirk and Murdock Rds. I have seen her charging documents. According to the report, police found CDS, crack-cocaine, alcohol and Xanax in the car. Was this woman in Rodgers Forge to purchase more drugs? We don't know yet.

Captain Jones also spoke about the frustration police officers feel when, after a crime, a person says they saw something suspicious but he/she had not called 911 before or during the crime.

This past month we've had a couple of our own "no call" incidents in Rodgers Forge. One of them was a victim! A COP member in a nearby neighborhood also failed to call! If you see something call 911. If you hesitate to use 911, call 410 887-2222. That phone is in the same room as 911. You may remain anonymous. You will not be identified without your permission.

Karl


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

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Opportunities for public input on Baltimore County development

Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith today announced the schedule for amending the County’s guiding document that directs future development over the next ten years and beyond. The Master Plan embodies broad goals of protecting the environment, preserving agriculture, and ensuring safe and attractive places to live and work. Smith encouraged citizens, community groups and local businesses to actively participate in the decennial review process.

See the meeting schedule here:
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dg572f9p_584hpd6bc62


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

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dumpster Day in Rodgers Forge is May 9

Start getting your crap together for a good spring clean. Dumpster Day will be Saturday, May 9, from 7 a.m. to noon at the RFES parking lot.

The following items will not be accepted: tires, paints, gasoline or oil containers, propane tanks and explosive materials.


Also, don't forget you can also Freecycle lots of unwanted materials/junk that other people need for one reason or another.


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

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Judge denies request by Ridge Ruxton neighbors

Towson Families United reports: A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge today denied a request from four Ruxton residents to temporarily stop construction of West Towson Elementary School. -- read more


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

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Supporters of new Towson elementary urged to be in court this morning

A message from Towson Families United:

We have just been informed that an Injunction Hearing has been scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Tuesday morning (April 28) in the Circuit Court Building on Bosley Avenue -- Courtroom #6.


Four Ruxton residents are seeking a court order to stop construction of the new West Towson Elementary School. If they are successful, even in delaying the project, the school may not be able to open as scheduled. And our children will be forced for yet another year to put up with the worst overcrowding anywhere in the state of Maryland.

Can we really tolerate any more delay? Can we really sit back and watch another selfish person stand in the way of what our children deserve?

We are urging anyone interested in solving the overcrowding problem in Towson to attend. We should try to sit on the side of the court behind the County attorneys -- which we believe to be the right hand side of the courtroom, when facing the judge. Those attending should be quiet and respectful of the court.

It is important that we show the judge just how much community support there is for this project. We have come too far to see the only viable solution to Towson's overcrowded schools fail.
Hope to see you in Court.



Sincerely,


Cathi Forbes
Chairperson
Towson Families United



P.S. Please check our blog -- www.towsonfamiliesunited.com -- throughout the week for updates on this situation.


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

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Free oral-cancer screening at GBMC on April 28

The American Cancer Society recommends that adults check the mouth, gums, and tongue every month as a means of detecting possible oral cancers in the early changes. This is especially important for people who smoke cigarettes or cigars, chew tobacco, use snuff, and/or consume alcoholic beverages.

There will be a screening available during Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week (OHANCAW), in conjuction with The Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head & Neck Center on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 4:00-6:00 p.m. FREE, but registration is required.


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

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Sun article on lawsuit over new Towson elementary school

The Baltimore Sun has a story on the lawsuit filed by neighbors of the Ridge Ruxton site. Here's what a county spokeswoman said about it: "We supported the school system's decision," said Ellen Kobler, a county spokeswoman. "We felt it was a very viable location that works well." Here's the full story.


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

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Why they are wrong"

A very interesting post is up on the Towson Families United blog that dissects point by point the arguments that some people have made against a new elementary school at the Ridge Ruxton site. It's pretty powerful. Here's an excerpt:


1. “There are no sidewalks in the neighborhoods adjacent to the campus, which exacerbates the risk to children.” This is unfounded. There were no sidewalks in that neighborhood when the building that is now Ridge Ruxton School was a public elementary school. Are they saying that for all those years the elementary school operated, the children from those neighborhoods were in danger? This would be news to many who grew up there.

2. “Add to that the complicated traffic patterns of two schools and more than 20 buses during rush hour periods and the conclusion is that this site is not safe enough for our children.” Despite being told numerous times that the two schools on this site have days that begin and end at different times, the neighbors continue to argue that pick-ups and drop-offs will be simultaneous. They won’t. -- Read the full post here.


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

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Bridal Expo on April 25

Over 50 brand new designer bridal gowns and accessories in the shop available to the public for sale at 1/3 of their original cost!

Prom & bridesmaid next-to-new gowns
Almost new mother's of the bride dresses
Wedding raffles throughout the day

At the Surprise Shop in Towson. Details here.

Did you know about the Surprise Shop? I'd never heard of it. It carries kids' clothes and toys, women's clothes and accessories, teen clothes, men and boys clothes, books, linens and crafts, etc. It's on Allegheny Ave., about a block west of the traffic circle.


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

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Climate-crisis presentation April 26

There will be a conference about the Transition movement on April 26. Here is an excerpt of an Urbanite article about the founder of this movement:

For someone who believes that world oil supplies are about to begin an inexorable decline, possibly dragging down civil society in the process, Rob Hopkins is a rather cheery fellow. Hopkins, a 40-year-old doctoral student at Plymouth University in the United Kingdom, is the founder of the Transition movement, which encourages people to wean their neighborhoods, communities, and towns off oil and nudge them onto a path of self-sufficiency in an increasingly energy-scarce world. “The change we have seen over the past hundred years will be nothing compared with what we will see over the next twenty,” he says. But it’s not a dire warning; it’s an adventure. “This is an extraordinary time to be alive. I feel really fortunate to be around—it’s going to be a fascinating time in history.” (full story and some videos of him here)
Details about the event:

Baltimore Green Forum presents an Introduction to Transition facilitated by Larry Chang of EcolocityDC.

The presentation will address the challenges of peak oil, climate change and economic collapse. Participants will be invited to collaborate in formulating plans to reduce oil dependency and build local resilience. Residents of Baltimore and surrounding communities are welcome.

Sunday, April 26, 4:30-6:30
Maryland Presbyterian Church
1105 Providence Road, Towson, MD 21286
http://www.mpchurch.org/


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

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Flasher in Stoneleigh

From the president of the Stoneleigh Community Association:

"I just wanted to pass along some info that I received from a concerned neighbor yesterday.

Two girls walking home from school yesterday afternoon, at approximately 3:30-3:45 at the intersection of Wardman and York Roads were approached by a man in a blue vehicle. The man exposed himself to the two girls. The girls ran from the car and the police were notified. The local schools have been made aware. Please remind your children not to talk to strangers and be safe."

Update:

I wanted to clarify my earlier message -- the unfortunate incident happened near the intersection of Regester and Wardman.... Also, see below a post from Joe Oddo, head of the Stoneleigh COP... Jon

I wanted to follow up on this incident with everyone. I spoke at length with the parent yesterday. Spring is the time when most of these type of unfortunate incidents occur. Obviously being so close to a number of schools, we will be in a position where our location makes our neighborhood a prime target area for these individuals. I cannot stress the importance of having a conversation with your children, young and old, about safety when walking to and from schools, or anywhere for that matter. Walking in groups, not talking to strangers, not confronting anyone that they see doing something wrong are all important safety measures to stress. The two girls did exactly what they were supposed to do, run for help from an adult and
call the police. I will be updated on this incident and will pass on information as it becomes available. The car involved in the incident was a light blue Toyota Camery. Please keep your eyes open for this automobile. If you see something suspicious, anything at all, please call 911.

Again, as a reminder, please be aware of your surroundings at all times. Please keep an eye open for things that just don't seem right. The police would rather have a phone call and investigate and find nothing than have a phone call saying that something has happened. If it does not seem right to you, make the call. The more calls made, the more patrols in our neighborhood and the safer our neighborhood will all be. Do not leave bikes, lawn equipment, or strollers outside unattended or overnight. Crimes are committed when an easy opportunity presents itself, and a bike or stoller sitting on someones front yard at 2am is pretty easy pickins. Keep your car doors and your house doors locked. We live in a safe neighborhood, but simple things can make it safer.


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

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Last day of school is now June 12

According to RFES.


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

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Lawsuit blocking the new West Towson elementary is apparently imminent

Towson Families United has learned that the residents near the new school site are about to file a lawsuit to block the school's construction. You know, you'd think the county was looking for a place to build a new sewage-treatment facility by the way everyone is fighting having it anywhere near them.

TFU: "They contend that the school system should not be building a second school on the site of the Ridge Ruxton special needs school, and that school officials did not adequately publicize its deliberations in selecting a site.

Their pleas have been largely ignored so far, both at the county and state level, as the issue received almost weekly press for five months. Only when it was clear that the new school would be built in their neighborhood did the residents choose to get involved.

Towson Families United is monitoring the potential lawsuit, and is ready to organize the hundreds of families whose children are affected by Towson’s severe school overcrowding.

The new school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2010. Any delay is not acceptable, as Rodgers Forge Elementary will be nearing 200% capacity next year." -- read more

UPDATE: READ THIS FROM TOWSON FAMILIES UNITED.


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

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bike recalls

1. Specialized Bicycle Components Recalls Bicycles Due to Serious Fall Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09197.html>

2. Specialized Bicycle Components Recalls Bicycles Due to Fall Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09198.html>


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

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School board to vote on bids tonight for construction of new elementary school

Here's the story in the Sun.


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

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Four found dead at Towson Sheraton

Apparent murder-suicide. Here's the article in the Sun.


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

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Another mugging, and latest crime report

The latest crime report includes the Murdock Road mugging from April 15 and another mugging that happened on Hopkins Road last night. Also lots of burglaries, though not in Rodgers Forge. Here is the report.


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

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Mother's Day concert at Goucher

Sunday, May 10:

The Children’s Chorus of Maryland Presents “Think on Me,” music to celebrate Mother’s Day. The performance will feature works by Lajos Bárdos, Betty Bertaux, Gerald Finzi, Stephen Paulus, and others. Enjoy special Mother’s Day festivities and door prizes, as well as a post-concert reception.
Kraushaar Auditorium, 3 p.m. Tickets are $14-$18 general admission and $12 for students and seniors. For more information or to reserve tickets, go here or call 410-494-1480.


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

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Last day of school could be moved up a week

Or is it back a week? Anyway, the last day of school in the county was going to be June 18 but the board of education will vote Tuesday night on revising it to June 12. It seems they didn't need to use all the inclement weather days they'd built into the calendar. (Thanks for the heads up, Cathi!)


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

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Plant a tree, cheap

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

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

Trees are one year old (2' - 6' high), in three gallon containers (10 1/8" diameter, 7" deep) and sell for $45 each for individuals and $35 each for community organizations, watershed associations and land trusts.

Tree pickup is May 9. Click here for details.


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

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Kids throwing rocks at cars, hit-and-run arrest

Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol reports:

"A police helicopter hovered over Dumbarton Middle School about 10 pm. Friday night. Later police told me that they were looking for two boys who were throwing rocks at cars.

A man riding a motorcycle was struck by a car at the intersection of Heathfield Rd. and Dumbarton Road Saturday night. The driver of the car, a woman, did not stop. Fortunately, the victim was not seriously hurt. He refused treatment. His motor cycle was not so fortunate. It was totally demolished and left in pieces.

Two or three witnesses gave police very specific descriptions of the woman. They had seen her before because she lives in Rodgers Forge. More than an hour later, after the remains of the motorcycle had been hauled away, the hit and run driver returned to the scene and she was arrested."


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

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Helicopter over Rodgers Forge

The helicopter over RF right now (10 p.m.) is looking for kids who were trespassing at Dumbarton Middle, according to police.


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

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Griffins are sentenced in Rodgers Forge toddler death

Here is the story in The Sun.


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

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Towson Gardens Day is April 23

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Beginning in the 1980’s, the non-profit, all volunteer Towson Gardens Day Committee organized an annual street fair in downtown Towson. Every year “Towson Gardens Day” is held from 10 am to 3 pm on the fourth Thursday of April to welcome Spring to the area, to focus attention on the greening and landscaping of the surrounding communities, and to recognize those individuals and businesses that have enhanced their properties in a manner which benefits the greater community.

On Towson Gardens Day, plant vendors and non-profit organizations surround the large fountain in the plaza between the Old Courthouse and the New Courts Building in downtown Towson. Pennsylvania Avenue is closed off to accommodate food vendors and additional plant vendors. Baltimore Avenue is closed off for craft vendors who are mostly local, but some come from neighboring states.

The Towson High School Jazz Band plays before and after the awards ceremony which is held at noon during the Fair. Certificates are awarded for business landscaping and individual gardens of merit. Special awards and plaques are awarded for environmentally friendly Bayscaping projects, and to the “Azalea House of the Year.”



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

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Woman mugged on Murdock Road

It happened around 9 p.m. Here is the brief in The Sun.


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

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Griffins to be sentenced today

Here's a Sun article about the Rodgers Forge tragedy, including new quotes from a neighbor.


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

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recalls


1. Toy Maracas Recalled by Tupperware U.S. Due to Choking and Suffocation Hazards <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09195.html>

2. Fitness Balls Recalled by EB Brands Due to Fall Hazard; New Assembly Instructions Provided <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09196.html>


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

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Mock disaster drill today

If you see helicopters and ambulances... Towson University student volunteers will be made up in moulage and taking the roles of "smart victims." A Humvee ambulance will be stationed outside Burdick Hall. An Army helicopter will hover overhead. Stretchers will be carried and cots will be filled with hundreds of "victims" of a mock mass casualty on the campus of Towson University on Friday, April 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


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

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

More on the Lanark porch lawsuit

The Towson Times has an article about the Rodgers Forge board suing the couple that added a porch to their Lanark Road home without association approval. The original Flyer post about the lawsuit (and its 36 comments from readers) is here.

I am very interested to see how this all turns out. I think the precedent might be scary if the homeowners win. Not because I feel strongly one way or the other about this particular porch, but because I see the value of some regulations. What if my neighbors on both sides of us decided to do brick additions to their kitchens? We'd be on our deck on a breezy spring evening surrounded by walls. What if they decided to put a parking pad in their front yard?

I can see the argument that the rules need to be relaxed a bit. I would love love love to put a screened-in porch on the back of our house instead of a deck. Other houses on our row have such porches and if we made ours look like theirs, it would actually add symmetry to the block. We haven't asked for such permission and I would like to think the board would approve it due to the nature of what exists on our row, but it's far from assured given the fact that the guidelines say "additions are not permitted" and "new screened porches are not allowed."

Yet I think Rodgers Forge is a great neighborhood in part because of the rules that are in place. Even if you love this porch, and I admit it looks like a lovely place to have a glass of wine, the precedent set by a homeowner win might not bode well for the area, depending on how sweeping the ruling is and how wide its implications are.


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

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's soccer-registration time!
(And do you do web design?)

Here's a message from Lorie Kolesa, who volunteers an inordinate amount of time to kids' soccer. She's also looking for someone with web-design skills to help with the site, so if you have those skills to volunteer, let her know.

Towson United Soccer

Online Registration is now open for boys and girls for the 2009 Fall soccer program. Please register early as we had several waiting lists last year.

Walk in registration will be held April 15th from 7-9pm at the TRC Office at Dumbarton Middle School. Another walk-in will be held in June date TBA.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Towson United Soccer program, we are currently working with the Loch Raven Recreation Council to merge our two recreation soccer programs together. The combining of program resources will allow us to branch out onto other fields in the area allowing more children to be able to participate in the program. Please be aware that registration for FALL (recreation,travel, and co-ed clinic) soccer this year will begin April first instead of March first this year.

For more information on Towson United programs please contact, Lorie Kolesa- Boy's soccer, Clinic (4's, 5's): towsonsoccer(at)hotmail.com
Jennifer Bolster- Girl's Soccer: mjbolster(at)yahoo.com

Note: Towson Rec boys soccer has also merged with the Baltimore Soccer Club (BSC). For more info, go here.


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

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yummy homemade peaunut butter

A friend of mine was talking about homemade peanut butter the other day, and I decided to give it a shot. It is really easy to make (shockingly easy) and tastes great. Everyone in my family prefers it to what we normally buy (Trader Joe's brand, which we all liked). Here's the recipe I followed, using my Cuisinart.


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

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Rodgers Forge Elementary registration coming up

Registration for kindergarten and new 1st graders is April 20 and 21.
http://schools.bcps.org/schools/ces/rforge/calendar.html


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

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Compost-bin sale this weekend

This is actually a good bargain; we got one a couple years ago:

"What better way to celebrate Earth Day and the arrival of spring in Baltimore County than by starting a journey into the world of home composting?

Baltimore County will host a two-day truckload compost bin sale - Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19, 2009. Compost bins - valued at $80 - will be available for $35 including
tax (only cash or checks will be accepted). The Saturday sale will be held on the parking lot of Ikea Baltimore in White Marsh, 8352 Honeygo Boulevard (across from White Marsh Town Center). The Sunday sale will be held on the parking lot of Franklin High School in Reisterstown, 12000 Reisterstown Road. Both sales will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. Bins will be available on a first come, first served basis.

For more information on this event and home composting in general, visit the Bureau of Solid
Waste Management web site at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/recycling or call the Bureau’s
customer service line at 410-887-2000."

Here's more info about composting: http://vegweb.com/composting/


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

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Volunteers needed to rebuild Stadium Place playground

"As you probably know, Our Playground at Stadium Place was tragically burned this past September, 2008. The tot-lot and the swings are fine. All the parts that were destroyed will be rebuilt, by volunteers like you, between May 5th and 10th this spring!" Go here for details.


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

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Speed humps meeting tonight at RFES

Reminder: There will be a meeting in the RFES cafeteria tonight (Tuesday, April 14) at 7:00 p.m. regarding traffic calming in the Rodgers Forge community.

Rodgers Forge residents will have the opportunity to view the Department of Traffic Engineering's recommended plans to install speed humps on Dumbarton and Heathfield Roads to address the problems of excessive speed and high traffic volume. This meeting will provide residents the chance to ask questions and give feedback, as well as sign off in support of the plans.


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

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Here's how Rodgers Forge's reps in Annapolis voted on speed cameras

Speed cameras have been approved for use in road-work areas and within half a mile of schools. Here's how area legislators voted:

Delegate Susan Aumann - in favor of the cameras
Delegate Steve Lafferty - in favor of the cameras

Delegate Bill Frank - opposed the cameras
Senator Jim Brochin - opposed the cameras

Full vote details here.


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

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Good story in the Post about poisonous plants often found in our gardens

Good info for parents of kids in that look-what-I-just-ate age range. Here's the article.


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

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Stoneleigh and Wiltondale yard sale this Saturday

The Stoneleigh and Wiltondale neighborhoods are both having community-wide yard sales this Saturday, 9-noon. Rain date is April 19 for both.


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

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Crime report

Here is the latest, including bikes stolen from a RF garage and a break-in on the 1000 block of Overbrook Road.


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

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recalls

1. "CARS" Children's Shoes Sold Exclusively at Wal-Mart Recalled by Pagoda International Footwear Ltd. Due to Choking Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09190.html>

2. Women's Shoes Recalled by Wal-Mart Due to Fall Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09191.html>

3. Ross Stores Recalls Folding Patio Chairs Due to Fall Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09192.html>


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

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Swimming lessons for toddlers can reduce risk of drowning

That's according to a new study. Here's the article about it in The Sun.


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

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Anyone bank at Midstate Federal or Bradford Bank?

I'm going to explore refinancing our mortgage and I thought it might be nice to go with someone more local and personal than, say, Bank of America. Anyone have any thoughts on Midstate Federal or Bradford Bank? (Both on York Road.) Midstate's website says your mortgage will stay with them and won't be sold, something that sounds kind of nice in this economic environment.


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

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Meeting this Tuesday about speed humps

Reminder: There will be a meeting in the RFES cafeteria on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. regarding traffic calming (speed humps) in the Rodgers Forge community.

Rodgers Forge residents will have the opportunity to view the Department of Traffic Engineering's recommended plans to install speed humps on Dumbarton and Heathfield Roads to address the problems of excessive speed and high traffic volume. This meeting will provide residents the chance to ask questions and give feedback, as well as sign off in support of the plans.


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

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Mock disaster drill on Friday

So you don't freak out: Towson University student volunteers will be made up in moulage and taking the roles of "smart victims." A Humvee ambulance will be stationed outside Burdick Hall. An Army helicopter will hover overhead. Stretchers will be carried and cots will be filled with hundreds of "victims" of a mock mass casualty on the campus of Towson University on Friday, April 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


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

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County admits goofing on Stoneleigh parking lot

Thanks to calls from The Sun, county cancels tickets that were given for parking in a space that had no meter. Here's the story.


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

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Baltimore City to take over mortgage of Senator Theatre

Here's the story by Liz Kay in The Sun.


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

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Bunny will be at Tot Lot today

Reminder: The Easter Bunny will be at the Tot Lot from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. today (Saturday, April 11). He'll pass out treats and pose for photos. RAIN OR SHINE.


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

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Towsontown Spring Festival is May 2 and 3


Details here.


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Speed cameras approved


Here's the story in The Sun.


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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Brunch with the Easter Bunny

Brunch with the Easter Bunny
Friday April 10, 2009
10 a.m. to noon

"Baltimore's Best Events is hosting our Annual Brunch with the Easter Bunny on Friday, April 10. Bring your little ones in to have their picture taken and have brunch with the Easter Bunny. We will be serving a light breakfast and they'll play games, bounce in the moonbounce and much more. $10/child." That includes the photo.

For more details visit www.baltimoresbest.net.


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Towson U boundaries problematic

You probably saw the story in the Towson Times about Towson University placing stakes in what Rodgers Forge residents thought was their property. I took a walk today through the Stanmore alley. It sure is great, especially around the 170s. Even if TU technically owns it, I really hope they take the high road and leave it alone.

Very interesting; click on the "comment" link below to read Karl's additional information, which suggests Forge residents might have a right to that land.


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Calling all Rodgers Forge Hoppin' Totters


Ann Kotmair, owner of Hoppin' Tots, is looking for a Rodgers Forge family that currently goes to Hoppin' Tots to be featured in an article in the Towson Times. Call Ann ASAP if you're interested. 410.337.7012


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Estate sale this weekend

This was just sent to me:

Estate sale on Saturday, April 11 starting at 8 a.m. An entire houseful of stuff -
2 sofas, 3 love seats, a chaise lounge, upholstered chairs, bedroom sets, dressers, desks, filing cabinets, games, toys, books, cd's, DVD's....

7507 York Road (turn onto Yarmouth and park, you will be in front of the house). Front door entrance and exit only.


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New moms club opening in Balto-Towson

Received this notice today:

The MOMS Club is an International non-profit support group specifically for mothers who have chosen to stay home with their children. Moms who are home full- or part-time are welcome, as well as moms with home-based businesses. We meet a couple times a month as a large group during the school year, along with special events and smaller activity groups year round. We meet during the day and children are welcome at all our activities. Annual dues range from $20-30 (we haven’t set ours yet).

There are a few existing chapters around the Baltimore metro area, this one is open to families in the 21204, 21209, 21210, 21212, and 21286 zip codes of northern Baltimore City and Towson.

For more information or to RSVP for the open house please contact Kathy Rogers at 410-323-3383 or krogersmph@gmail.com

http://www.momsclub.org/welcome.html


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Military scholarship at Towson U

Another scholarship opportunity passed along by Del. Aumann:

Thank You Grant at Towson University: This scholarship is open to active duty and veteran US Miltary service members who have performed at least one year of active duty service. Veterans must have been released since October 24, 2001 and must be in a standing eligible for VA benefits. The scholarship can apply to undergraduate and/or graduate study.
https://inside.towson.edu/ScholarshipSeeker/ScholarshipDetails.cfm?SId=283


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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Get $5 off zoo membership

Go here for details. I received the code MDZOO. Probably works for everyone.


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Keeping your property secure

The Towson Police Department just sent out this message and asked that it be shared with the community:

As we in Towson prepare to venture out of our homes and into the warming climate outside, as winter turns to spring please remember to lock up your house, your garage, your shed as you leave. With springtime comes not only the robin, the growing grass and the blooming of trees and flowers but also those amongst our society who would like to permanently borrow that which we possess.

As a Police Department we see an upturn in burglary and theft this time of year as residents report lawn mowers, weed-eaters, bicycles, lawn furniture, etc being removed from yards, sheds, garages, homes throughout our neighborhoods. As investigators we will continue to do our part to document, investigate, recover and return property and arrest those we find responsible for these acts. We ask of you though as homeowners and residents to secure your belongings by properly locking all doors and windows to your homes, garages, sheds and other outbuildings thus decreasing the availability of your belongings to those who do not deserve to possess them.

Continue to lookout for yourself and your neighbor, call 9-1-1 should you witness or be a victim of a crime and by working together we can make Towson and Baltimore County a safer place for all.

Thanks,
Sgt Steve Fink


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Pacifiers, play yards, etc. recalled

1. Stanley and Solarwide Industrial Recall Stud Sensors Due to Shock Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09185.html>

2. Pacifiers Recalled by Healthtex Due to Choking Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09186.html>

3. Simplicity Play Yards Recalled by Various Retailers Due to Fall and Entrapment Hazards <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09187.html>


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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Festival at the Walters

ONCE UPON A TIME FAMILY FESTIVAL at The Walters
Saturday, April 25 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Free admission

Join us in celebrating stories and legends, books and their makers, authors, calligraphers and more! During this enchanting festival we will highlight medieval and modern methods of storytelling and illustration through hands-on exploration and art-making. Our youngest visitors can listen to costumed storytellers and travel through The Frog Prince in an exploratory zone created in partnership with the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

All ages will enjoy demonstrations and activities by members of the Washington Calligrapher’s Guild and the Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) Dolphin Press. In addition, families are invited to watch an array of charming fairy tale films, listen to Larksong perform songs from the Middle Ages and join in on medieval dances by Goucher College’s Choregraphie Antique.

Plus, enjoy free admission to our special exhibition, The Saint John’s Bible: A Modern Vision through Medieval Methods, all day!

Schedule of Events:

10 a.m.–4 p.m. Art Activities: Giant Fairy Tale Manuscripts, Streaming Story Hats and more

10 a.m.–11:45 p.m. A Fool Named O by Mark Jaster

10 a.m.–1 p.m. The Frog Prince Early Childhood Exploratory Zone in partnership with the Enoch Pratt Free Library

10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Bookmaking and calligraphy demonstrations by Washington Calligraphy Guild Members and MICA’s Dolphin Press

11 a.m.–3 p.m. Fireside Story Times

12 –1 p.m. Special a cappella performance by Larksong

1–3 p.m. Fairy Tale Film Festival

3:15–4 p.m. Medieval dancing by Choregraphie Antique


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U of MD scholarship opportunity

This came in an email from Del. Susan Aumann:

Tillman Military Scholarships at the University of Maryland

The Division of Student Affairs is seeking qualified applicants for the Tillman Military Scholarships at the University of Maryland. The scholarships are sponsored by the Pat Tillman Foundation “Leadership Through Action” initiative, which is dedicated to supporting educational opportunities for service members and their families. Veteran and active service members and their dependents (children and spouses) portray the very nature of leadership that the Foundation seeks to inspire in young people across the country. The scholarships will ensure these leaders have every opportunity to pursue broader educational goals. The Tillman Military Scholarships at the University of Maryland are intended to cover direct study-related expenses such as tuition, fees, books, and room and board as well as other needs such as child care.

Details here: http://www.stamp.umd.edu/tillman/


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Monday, April 6, 2009

New kids' consignment store opening in Rodgers Forge/Stoneleigh


Lily Pad is opening in Stoneleigh Shoppes on Saturday, April 11th (right by Uncle Wiggly's and Gratitudes).
Grand-opening celebration will be from 10am – 3pm and there will be face painting, refreshments, etc.

They are accepting consignment items from 12pm-5pm Monday – Friday or by appointment, taking spring/summer children’s, teen, and maternity clothing, plus quality gear, toys, books and DVDs.

It's a locally owned store; the owner grew up in the neighborhood.
http://www.lilypadoftowson.com/home.html


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Possible drug dealing in RF

I just received this message from Karl Pfrommer of Citizens on Patrol:

"Here’s the report from one of our RFCOP members. On Saturday April 4th a lady was found passed out on drugs in the alley of 400 block of Murdock with her car running. The police called Saturday night and said that they think a woman in the black Sentra came to Rodgers Forge with her husband to buy drugs. Police waited hoping her husband would come back to the car but he did not. The woman told police that her husband went into a house in the 400 block of Murdock.
Police found heroin and cocaine on the woman. The woman’s daughter told the police that both her parents went to Rodgers Forge Saturday morning to see her uncle, which lead police to think that someone near the 400 block of Murdock or Dunkirk Rds. is selling really bad drugs.

I told the police that I would get the word out.

She was a nicely dressed 47 year old white woman in a late model Nissan Sentra. Please forward this email and ask everyone to be on the alert for any strange people coming and going. If you should see any thing suspicious, call 911 immediately."

And here's the latest crime report. Nothing in Rodgers Forge.


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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Some amusement parks open during spring break

See this Sun article for details.


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Easter Bunny will be at Tot Lot on April 11

The Easter Bunny will be at the Tot Lot from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on April 11. He'll pass out treats and pose for photos.


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Pools for summer fun

Bolton Hill Swim & Tennis

Campus Cabana in Towson

Coldspring Swim and Tennis

Dulaney Swim Club

Meadowbrook in Mt. Washington

Mt. Washington Swim Club

Otterbein Swim Club downtown

Padonia Park Club in Cockeysville

Pine Valley Swim in White Marsh

Stoneleigh neighborhood pool

Swan Lake

Valley Country Club in Towson

Wiltondale neighborhood pool

find more pools here


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Friday, April 3, 2009

Del. Aumann wants your thoughts on speed cameras

Dear Friend,

House Bill 313/Senate Bill 277- Vehicle Laws - Speed Monitoring Systems - Statewide Authorization and Use in Highway Work Zone passed the Senate floor with a vote of 27-20. I will be voting on this bill next week. I think that this is an important issue and I would like to hear what you think of speed monitoring. The link to House Bill 313 is http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/billfile/hb0313.htm

Please respond “Yes” or “No” in the subject line. [I assume she means in any email you send to her on the topic. Wouldn't she also want HB313 in subject line?] Thanks for your help.

susan.aumann@house.state.md.us

Very truly yours,

Delegate Susan L.M. Aumann
District 42 - Baltimore County
303 Lowe House Office Building
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3258; FAX 410-841-3163

susan.aumann@house.state.md.us


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Dance for the Cure is this Sunday at Towson U

Over the course of eight hours, participants choose from 32 dance classes ranging from Flamenco to Square Dance, Ballet to HipHop.

Dance teachers from around the Baltimore region guide participants of all ages and levels of expertise through fun dance classes in disciplines like ballroom, salsa, swing, Irish, tango, Afro Caribbean, hula and belly dancing. Details: https://www.beacancerdancer.org/Home_Page.php


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Seven recalls

1. Evenflo Expands Recall of Majestic(tm) High Chairs Due to Fall and Choking Hazards <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09177.html>

2. Evenflo Recalls Envision(tm) High Chairs Due to Fall and Choking Hazards <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09178.html>

3. Radio Transmitters for Model Aircrafts Recalled by Horizon Hobby Due to Impact and Laceration Hazards<http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09179.html>

4. Faulty Installation Instructions Prompt RadioShack Corp. Recall of Electrical Switches; Shock Hazard to Consumers <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09180.html>

5. SunKids Convertible Cribs Recalled by Suntech Enterprises Due to Entrapment and Suffocation Hazards <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09181.html>

6. Best Buy Announces the Recall of Certain Rocketfish Universal Portable Power Sources Due to Fire Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09182.html>

7. Best Buy Announces the Recall of Certain Insignia 26-Inch Flat-Panel LCD Televisions Due to Fire Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09183.html>


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Hazardous-waste drop off for county residents this Sunday

Sunday, April 5, 2009 is the next one-day collection event in Baltimore County. Collect your unwanted paint, automotive fluid, mercury thermometers and don't forget your fluorescent bulbs. You may drop off your hazardous materials at the Texas Landfill, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The landfill can be accessed from Warren Road. If you have any questions, you may contact the Department of Environmental Protection & Resource Management (DEPRM) at 410-887-3745.

Household hazardous waste materials include many things that you probably are storing right now in your garage, basement, bathroom, or kitchen. Some, like paint thinner or car batteries, are pretty obvious, but there are many that you might not ordinarily think of such as polishes, insecticides, mercury thermometers and glues. These materials are too dangerous to be simply poured down the drain or placed into a garbage can. Some, such as gasoline, thinners, lighter fluid or glues and adhesives can catch fire. Others, such as pool chemicals and bleaches, can react violently with other materials to explode or produce toxic gases. Many, such as lawn and garden or agricultural chemicals, can be toxic if inhaled or ingested or can cause cancer, birth defects or other serious medical problems.

The average household contains between three and ten gallons of waste materials that are hazardous to human health or to the environment. Collectively, these materials can create serious health and safety risks or contaminate our goundwater, surface waters or the air we breath if they are not stored carefully and disposed of properly.

FULL DETAILS HERE


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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Meeting on April 14 about speed humps

Come to RFES on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. for an update regarding traffic calming in the Rodgers Forge community.

The Rodgers Forge Community Association (RFCA) will hold a special community meeting on Tuesday, April 14 in the Rodgers Forge Elementary School cafeteria. At the meeting, representatives from the RFCA and Baltimore County's Traffic Engineering Program will present the results of the Speed and Volume Traffic Study performed throughout Rodgers Forge late last year.

Rodgers Forge residents will have the opportunity to view the Department of Traffic Engineering's' recommended plans to install speed humps on Dumbarton and Heathfield Roads to address the problems of excessive speed and high traffic volume. This meeting will provide residents the chance to ask questions and give feedback, as well as sign off in support of the plans.


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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rodgers Forge board sues homeowners because of back porch



The case was filed in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County on March 30, 2009. Here is a statement from Rodgers Forge Community Association President Janice Moore regarding the case, filed against the owners of a home on Lanark Road:


In October 2007, the owners of this property erected an elevated deck with a permanent roof, fixed iron railings and stairs, portions of which do not conform to RFCA guidelines. No application was received by RFC, Inc Board of Governors for the deck before work began.

We received a number of complaints from neighbors about the deck. Members of the RFC, Inc Architectural committee tried to contact the owners to ask that an application be submitted. Letters asking them to bring the structure into guidelines were sent in October and November 2007.

An application was subsequently received. The Board of Governors denied this application on 28 January 2008 because;

  1. The deck was bigger than the permitted size of 10’ x 17’.
  2. The iron balusters and railings are not approved items for a deck.
  3. The roof structure was permanent. The guidelines allow for an awning.
  4. The deck included a projecting balcony beyond the stairway
RFC, Inc believes that every effort should be made to try to resolve cases by amicable means. Since the application was denied, RFC, Inc has made several genuine and honest attempts to meet with the owners in an attempt to work out a mutually acceptable solution. These olive branches have been met with silence. With great reluctance, we have therefore decided to pursue the only course left to us.
I spoke with one of the homeowners on the phone and he said he had no comment. He is circulating a petition among neighbors asking them to sign on in favor of his porch. I don't know how many signatures he's collected nor what affect that might have on the case.

Here is what the RFCA board is seeking, according to the court filing:
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs respectfully request this Court to:
A. Determine and adjudicate the rights and liabilities of the party with respect to the terms of the Deed and Agreement as set forth in Exhibits A, B and J as binding upon the Defendants
B. To find that the Defendants are in violation of the Restrictions and Conditions of the Deed by constructing a rear exterior deck and roof without prior approval by the Architectural Review Committee, or the Board of Governors of the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc.
C. To require the Defendants to remove that portion of the porch which is in violation of that part of the construction as set forth by the Architectural Review Committee in Exhibit J, in accordance with the approval of the Architectural Review Committee.
D. To award Plaintiffs all costs of this action, including reasonable attorneys fees and other relief as may be just and proper.


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