Sunday, May 31, 2009

Random attacks on the rise at Inner Harbor

I don't frequent the Inner Harbor at night much anyway -- not because of safety issues -- and this is not really making it more attractive.

Sun: Many of the assaults, which have been reported in areas within walking distance of the harbor, follow a similar pattern. The victims report being attacked from behind while they walk, punched and kicked in the head and upper body by groups of males and females. Items are rarely taken, and few, if any, words are spoken. -- full story


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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Free movie nights at Cross Keys

A new tradition is being created at The Village of Cross Keys — MovieFest — a month-long series of free movies in the Cross Keys courtyard on Saturday nights throughout the month of June. The MovieFest line-up features block buster films, each with a Baltimore twist. The MovieFest festivities begin each Saturday evening at 6:00 pm with food, drink, music and prizes in the village square. Details here.


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Friday, May 29, 2009

Vacation Bible School

Timonium United Methodist Church presents "Camp Edge" Vacation Bible School - August 10 - 14, 2009, 9:30 a.m. – 12 noon. Children ages 4 to 10 are invited to join. (Must be 4 by 8/31/09 and potty-trained.) Advance registration is required. BIBLE STORIES – MUSIC – CRAFTS - PLAYTIME – WORSHIP – SNACK - Cost: $20/child
Contact: Timonium United Methodist Church 410.252.5500
2300 Pot Spring Road Timonium, MD www.timoniumumc.org


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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Babysitter/mother's helper wanted

"Work-from-home mom seeks a Rodgers Forgian to be a mother's helper over the summer, probably about 10 hours per week. Flexible on hours and days. 6-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl. We live near Rodgers Forge elementary school. Contact Baltimama@yahoo.com. Thanks!"

Interested in placing an ad? Info is here.


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

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Does that wandering dog belong to anyone?

This was posted on the Rodgers Forge listserv: "Does anyone else see a small Shepherd type dog wandering the streets of the Forge aimlessly every morning? I live on Dunkirk Road and each morning see this dog -no collar or tags- wandering in traffic and pooping wherever he likes. If
someone knows who owns this dog could they pass on to them what an annoyance this dog is? I have seen him get almost hit by cars so many times and of course the pooping is no big thrill. Does anyone know this dog?"


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"Mom, can I have some more yogurt? It's so good!"



Success! We have homemade yogurt, and it was so easy. My kids and husband loved it. My son ate his with granola and a tiny bit of honey, and my daughter had frozen blueberries in hers. They both asked for seconds.

I left the yogurt in the machine a long time (about 7+ hours, I think) and that made it pretty tart. Next time I'll do it for maybe five hours. But it was still good. I added dried milk to the liquid milk to thicken it.

To quote my husband, "We're ready for the apocalypse now. All we need is a cow!"

Update: For my second batch, I left it in the machine just five hours and it was PERFECT. Not tart, and it was very thick -- almost like Greek yogurt.


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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Ridge Ruxton - West Towson school site


Click above to see captions and larger photos.


View Ridge Ruxton/West Towson site in a larger map

There has been so much news coverage and interest in the new West Towson Elementary that I thought it would be helpful to go the site and see it for myself -- and share images. The above map and photos show generally where the new school will go and where it will be in relation to the homes of the people trying to stop the school.

I will say that I think the two homes that sit adjacent to the school could make a good argument that the school system should create a buffer zone for them -- more trees or a wall or something along those lines. But I don't think it seems invasive enough to justify halting the entire project. It's not like there's going to be a slaughterhouse there. And I'm baffled by those on the other side of Boyce who joined in the lawsuit. You can't even see the school from their homes. I'm sure someone will fill me in.

And if you look at Rodgers Forge Elementary, there are homes that are just a few yards from the Kindergarten entrance. I live right by RFES and know what it's like to have school traffic near one's home. It's funny, I can go outside at 8:55 a.m. and it's totally quiet and peaceful. Then at 9 a.m. all the cars and walkers converge on us. But they are gone by 9:15 and it's quiet again. And I actually get this (sappy?) great feeling from seeing so many bright young kids off to their nice little school. And the new school seems like it will mainly have bus riders anyway, so it doesn't appear that traffic should be an issue for nearby residents. I do think a traffic light there would be in order, though.

What do you think?


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School lawsuit could have chilling effect on future construction

The Towson Times has a story today on the lawsuit over West Towson Elementary:

...Margaret-Ann Howie, an attorney also representing the system, said stopping construction because of proximity to existing homes would have a chilling effect on future construction.

If that argument succeeds, she said, "There is no local board of education anywhere in Maryland that could build a school in a residential area." -- full story

It occurs to me that there are homes in Rodgers Forge that are right next to RFES and Dumbarton Middle. I think they're even closer than the new school would be to the homes at the Ridge Ruxton site. Anyone know for sure?


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

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Volunteer opportunities to be showcased on June 2

"Are you ready to get involved in Baltimore? Join Volunteer Central for Volunteer Café and learn more about finding the right volunteer match. You will also hear from community organizations who are doing incredible work in Baltimore and need YOU as a volunteer." June 2, 2009, 6-7:30 pm - details. ... (Or you could volunteer to organize my attic and scrub down my baseboards, if nothing at the event works out for you.)


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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There's a farmers' market at the Shops at Kenilworth

Who knew? I've actually only been to the Towson Farmers' Market (farmer's market? farmers market?) once, and that was on a Saturday. My husband goes to the Waverly market every Saturday pretty much year round. This site says the Towson market will open June 11 (Thursday).

Kenilworth Farmers' Market
798 Kenilworth Drive
Tuesday: 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. May 5 - October 27


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Rodgers Forge yard sale this Saturday

Multi-family yard sale 100 block of Hopkins Rd
Saturday May 30th 9am - 1pm
Furniture, bookcases, beds, toys, clothes, books, bikes, etc


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NASA space event in downtown Baltimore on May 30

Maryland's Place in Space: Exploring the Universe in Your Own Backyard at the Baltimore Convention Center

Maryland’s revolutionary work in space and technology will be featured at the Baltimore Convention Center during a free, family event on Saturday, May 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md. are hosting this unprecedented showcase that will have over 100 imaginative, hands-on exhibits, NASA astronauts, mind-blowing multimedia presentations, thrilling robotics competitions, and much more. Details here.


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My kids love this


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Latest crime report

This one includes a rape, a bomb threat and county employees being threatened for telling someone to clean up his property. Nothing in Rodgers Forge. Here it is.


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

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Rodgers Forge Farm Initiative mentioned in Baltimore Sun

Meredith Cohn of the Sun did a story today about community gardens and mentions the Forge Farm Initiative. Here's the article and here's the Forge site.


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

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Rodgers Forge picnic is June 13

RFCA says: The annual Rodgers Forge Community Picnic will be held on Saturday, June 13th from 11am-3pm in the glen behind Rodgers Forge Elementary School.

This is a great event, sponsored by the Community Association, to celebrate our wonderful neighborhood.

We'll have pony rides, clowns, face painters, a moonbounce and lots of games for the kids. For adults we'll have a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and quality BBQ for sale by Pat Wolford Catering. We'll also be collecting canned goods for the Assistance Center of Towson.


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

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Meadowbrook pool summer session starts today

Meadowbrook is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week starting today I'm told.

Also, did you know they have debit cards so you can buy food without cash? (Info here.) Very convenient, although the last thing I need is easier access to grilled cheese and french fries.


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

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No trash/recycling pick up on May 25

From Delegate Susan L.M. Aumann:

Baltimore County government offices, and the District and Circuit Courts, will be closed on Monday, May 25, in recognition of the Memorial Day holiday.

On that day, there will be no charge for metered parking in the county. Health Department clinics, libraries, senior centers, and the county animal shelter will be closed, and CountyRide vans will not run.

No Trash, Recycling, or Yard Materials Collection on Memorial Day; Drop-Off Centers Closed

Baltimore County residents whose trash or yard materials would normally have been collected on Monday, May 25, should set it out on Monday night for collection on Tuesday, May 26. Residents whose recyclable bottles and cans or mixed paper would normally have been collected on Monday, May 25, are asked to hold these recyclables until the next scheduled day for those types of materials (Monday, June 8).

Collections of all types may occur later than usual during the week following Memorial Day. If a collection does not occur on the scheduled day during this period of time, materials should be left out until collection occurs.

Trash and recycling drop-off centers, as well as County offices, will be closed on Monday, May 25. The drop-off centers will be open with normal hours Friday, May 22, and Saturday, May 23.

For more information, residents should visit the County's web site at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/recycling or call 410-887-2000. Residents can now go online and view, save, and/or print their trash and recycling collection schedule and program guide by visiting www.baltimorecountymd.gov/go/collectionconnection.


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Friday, May 22, 2009

bunkbeds and more recalled

1. Gothic Cabinet Craft Recalls Bunk Beds Due to Fall Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09218.html>

2. Girl's Hooded Sweatshirts Recalled by Ely and Walker Due to Strangulation Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09226.html>

3. Bunn-O-Matic Recalls Single Cup Tea/Coffeemakers Due to Burn Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09227.html>

4. Ross Stores Recalls Benches Due to Fall Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09228.html>


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

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Towson United Fall Travel Soccer Tryouts Announced

From Lorie: If you are interested in having your son play travel soccer this fall, tryouts will be starting as early as next week. If you have already registered please check the website calendar or individual team pages to the left to find out each teams tryout dates and times.


If you have not registered for Fall soccer and wish to do so you may do so on the same website following the registration prompts. PLEASE remember registration is late as of June 1st. If you have any questions please contact me- towsonsoccer@hotmail.com.

Towson United is a volunteer organization that is always in need of a few new faces...so please check that box on your registration. "Get off the bench-Volunteer"


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Apple summer camp for kids

Oops. This is not being offered in Towson this year. You would have to go to a different location. Thanks to those who let me know.

This summer, your kid could make a movie, create a photo slideshow, write and record a song, put on a show for everyone, and have a blast doing it all. At Apple Camp, kids learn how to do cool stuff on a Mac and discover their hidden talents along the way. Apple Camp occurs at every Apple Retail Store, and each free workshop lasts three hours. Sign up your kid today and get ready for an adventure. Details here.


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

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WJZ coverage of West Towson Elementary debate


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No ruling today on West Towson Elementary

Updates: Here is a Sun article about the hearing. I find it odd that the plaintiffs are focusing so much on the hassles of construction. I mean, construction is temporary, it's not like it will be going on for decades.

And here is a comprehensive recap of what occurred, courtesy of Towson Families United.
----

This was posted seconds ago on Towson Families United's Facebook page:

"Judge in Towson school injunction case hears arguments from both sides, but will not rule today. BCPS has filed a motion to immediately dismiss the case, because plaintiffs brought no witnesses."

I hear the courtroom was packed! Will post more as they update. I was not able to go to court today. BTW, you can become a fan of TFU on Facebook here.


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I hope WYPR's pledge drive is a success

Update: The station says it was "an absolute success." Yay. Not clear if this is how they will always do it. I sure hope so.

WYPR, which is almost always on in my house, is having a one-day fund drive today. I hope it is a rousing success and that we can in the future avoid the long, painful, drawn-out drives. You can donate here.

I just made my pledge!

support@wypr.org to me
show details 3:27 PM (0 minutes ago)
Reply
Follow up message

Thank you for your contribution! WYPR depends on support from listeners like you.


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Girls' science festival May 30

Sally Ride Science Festivals are designed to encourage 5th-8th grade girls in science.

The festival features:

  • An inspiring talk by astronaut Wendy Lawrence
  • Discovery Workshops for 5th-8th grade girls, given by local scientists and engineers
    (examples include chemists, veterinarians, microbiologists, and others)
  • Workshops for parents and teachers on ways to support students' interests in science and math
  • A Street Fair with booths, hands-on activities, food, and music
May 30. Click here for ticket prices and other details.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Info on court hearing tomorrow re: West Towson Elementary

Towson Families United has details about tomorrow's (Thursday's) court hearing on the injunction to stop construction of West Towson Elementary. Looking for a big turnout!
Details here.


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

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Do we need a traffic signal at Dumbarton and Stevenson?

I've heard a few people say there should be a traffic signal at the intersection of Dumbarton Road and Stevenson Lane. What do you think? Would it be helpful? Or would it make things worse?


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Roadwork on Dulaney Valley Road

From Del. Aumann: I received information from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) that I thought might be of interest to you and friends and family. Roadway milling and patching operations along three miles of MD 146 (Dulaney Valley Road) from north of Pot Spring Road to south of the Loch Raven Reservoir bridge will begin today, May 20th. The $570,000 pavement repair project will be complete early this summer, weather permitting.

During the next several weeks, lane closures and flagging operations along sections of Dulaney Valley Road may occur between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. The State’s contractor is American Infrastructure of Fallston.

If you have any questions about this project, please feel free to contact Mr. Andre Futrell Assistant District Engineer for Maintenance at 410-321-2760 or by e-mail at afutrell@sha.state.md.us.


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

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Public meeting tonight about fate of Senator Theatre

Details here.


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Smash and run

Karl Pfrommer says: At approximately 1:15 Monday afternoon, a visitor to the preschool at First and St. Stephen's United Church of Christ, next to Uncle Wiggly's, had her car window smashed and her purse stolen. The suspect headed south on York Road after the theft.


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

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Nearby yard sales

"Pinehurst Community Yard Sale: Part 2 will be held Saturday, May 30 8am – 12 noon. (Part 1 was May 16.) We have about 10 families participating. Pinehurst, Midhurst and Blenheim Rds."

"400 block murdock rd will have a huge yard sale Sat. May 30! art work, household items, electronics, baby clothes and gear, adult clothes 8am-2pm"

Campus Hills community yard sale, June 6 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


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Friday nights at Belvedere Square has restarted

It is back - the ever-popular Friday night outdoor concerts. Enjoy gourmet food and drinks from the restaurants and market at Belvedere Square all while listening to the sounds of summer through some of Baltimore’s hottest bands! Every Friday through September 4, 6-9pm.


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

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Have you used the Scan It thingie at Giant Food?


My neighbors were telling me this is a neat thing and one even declared she would never shop any other way. I tried it last night and I have to say it was pretty cool.

You use the hand-held gun to scan the items as you take them off the shelf, and then you just put them right into your bag in your cart. When you're done you just take the gun to the register and it tallies up everything in your cart. You don't have to take things out of your cart again, put them on the belt, scan them, and put them back in the bags.

At first it was a little hard to get used to and it put me off my game and made me wander and feel kind of confused -- why, I don't know -- but after a few minutes it was all fine. I hope they keep regular cashiers, though, because I could see older people really having an issue with this.

I'm told you get "audited" sometimes, where an employee checks your bags against your receipt to make sure you didn't try to steal anything. One friend told me she was letting her daughters do the scanning and something got missed. She didn't get in trouble, but they did say she'd be audited in the future.

Anyway, thumbs up from my perspective.


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bike recalls

1. Norco Recalls Bicycle Frames Due to Crash Hazard <https://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09223.html>

2. Trek Recalls Bicycles; JD Forks Can Lose Alignment, Posing Crash Hazard <https://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09224.html>

3. Cannondale Recalls Bicycles; JD Forks Can Lose Alignment, Posing Crash Hazard <https://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09225.html>


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

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I'm tweeting, gawd help me

The Forge Flyer is now on Twitter. To follow, click here.


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

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County going to single-stream recycling

YIPPEEEEEEEEE!

Mary Gail Hare reports for The Sun: "Baltimore County expects to launch single-stream recycling early next year, and officials hope that allowing residents to mix their paper, bottles and cans in the same containers will encourage greater participation in the curbside collection program." -- full story

By the way, it says they will have people use bins instead of bags to put out their recycling. We have three of the Sortera boxes from Ikea stacked on our back deck. We just take the lids off on recycling day and put them by our garbage cans. Couldn't be simpler. They come in two sizes.


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Monday, May 18, 2009

Art + brain = good

The Baltimore Sun reports: For years, school systems across the nation dropped the arts to concentrate on getting struggling students to pass tests in reading and math. Yet now, a growing body of brain research suggests that teaching the arts may be good for students across all disciplines. -- full story

So to summarize where we stand, play is good for kids. Arts are good for kids. Therefore, schools are cutting play time and the arts.


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

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Towson residents urged to go to school hearing Thursday morning

Towson Families United reports: "A second court hearing on a lawsuit to stop construction of the new West Towson Elementary School is set for this Thursday morning, most likely at 9:30 a.m. in the Circuit Court building at 401 Bosley Avenue. We will post the exact time and courtroom number late Wednesday afternoon, when the information becomes available.

There is strength in numbers. So please plan on attending this hearing, to support the more than 500 Towson-area families who stand to lose if four Ruxton residents are successful in stopping the school’s construction. When you arrive, please sit or stand behind the attorneys for Baltimore County Public Schools — generally the right side of the courtroom when facing the judge." Details here.


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

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Latest crime report

Including hold up at Austin Pharmacy. Drugs stolen. Here's the full report.


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

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gearing up for homemade yogurt!

I just ordered this yogurt maker.* I know you don't actually need a formal machine to make yogurt (I'm looking at you, Sue!) but I have a feeling I'll never do it unless it's really easy. My friend has a similar one, by Salton, and she loves it.

I'm looking forward to saving money but mostly not having all that plastic around.

I'll keep you posted on my success. If you have any tips, do share!

* I actually ordered this one because it was a special deal, but the other link has more reviews.


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Brew at the Zoo

"Sample many of the area’s finest craft beers and wines with great music at one of The Maryland Zoo’s biggest events of the year!

We’ll have give-aways, VIP tents, merchants, delicious fare from a variety of vendors, artisans, a fun-filled Kid Zone, and so much more! Join us to partake in the delicious brew and wine tasting and relax while we provide YOU with A ZOORIFFICLY WILD experience you’ll never forget!

Purchase advance tickets online NOW! This event will happen RAIN or SHINE. Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Event will sell out!" Details here.


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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bike jam is this Sunday

Details are here: http://www.bikejam.org/bjfest.html


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Friday, May 15, 2009

Tofu with spicy garlic sauce

I made this tonight and it was really good. I was in a hurry so I put it on cous-cous instead of rice and it was fine. Next time I'll add fewer red pepper flakes because the kids thought it was a bit spicy. But they are lightweights in that department.

"This gently simmered tofu topped with a stir-together sauce is a common banchan. It would also make a great vegetarian main course served with rice. The sauce—speckled with chopped garlic, scallion, sesame seeds, and Korean hot red-pepper flakes—couldn't be simpler or more satisfying. You will want to eat it on everything." Here is the recipe.


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Michael Pollan says school lunches not about health

Interesting interview with Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food.

Pollan:
Well, the reason we have a School Lunch Program, you know, it began as an effort really to get rid of this incredible overproduction of American agriculture. I mean, we’re using our children as a disposal for excess, you know, cheap ground beef and cheese and all these corn products, and that the—you know, under the School Lunch Program, we feed our kids chicken nuggets and tater tots in school. We’re using the School Lunch Program to teach them how to become fast-food consumers. So, it’s not about health, and it needs to be about health. So, if he can move that program in that direction, I think that will be wonderful. -- read more

FYI: Here is what Baltimore County had on the lunch menu for elementary students in the first week of May:

Mozzarella Dippers
BBQ Grilled Chicken Patty
Sandwich
Turkey and Cheese Sandwich
Pizza
Fiesta Mac and Beef
Chicken Salad Box w/Animal Crackers
Chicken Nuggets w/ Roll
Lasagna w/ Roll
Bologna and Cheese Sandwich
Pizza
Hot Dog
Cold Cut Deli Sandwich
Chicken Nuggets w/ Roll
Fish and Star Nuggets


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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why we have moms

OK, you've probably gotten a thousand of emails like this, but my step-mother-in-law sent me this and I thought it was kind of funny.

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of ?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My Mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom.. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms & dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Mom's have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.


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New hearing date set for West Towson school case

Towson Families United says: This new hearing is expected to be much more in-depth than the one held April 28, when the four Ruxton residents aiming to stop construction of the new school failed to win a tempoary restraining order. Those residents contend that the new, state-of-the-art elementary school will hurt their property values. School system attorneys, meanwhile, argue that the needs of more than 500 Towson-area children must take precedence. -- read more


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

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City to buy Senator Theatre mortgage

Here is the story in The Baltimore Sun.


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Kids' dance camp at Lynne Brick's in Belvedere Square

"Move 'n' Groove Summer Dance Camp" This is a dance camp for boys and girls at Lynne Brick's Belvedere Square. Each day will spotlight a different type of dance, including Latin, Hip Hop, Ballet, Jazz, and more. Participants will play games that improve flexibility, coordination, and balance. There will also be a daily, age-appropriate short session focusing on nutrition, skin care (for older girls), self-esteem, and meditation through yoga. Cost per week is $129 for
members/$159 for nonmembers. Space is limited, so call or visit the clubs to sign up! See below for more information:

Lynne Brick's Belvedere Square 410-433-8200
All camps will be from 1-4pm

June 15-19 - girls/boys ages 3-5
August 10-14- girls/boys ages 3-5
August 17-21 - girls ages 6-10/ boys ages 6-8


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Play yards and decks recalled

Eddie Bauer Play Yards with Rocking Bassinets Recalled by Dorel Juvenile Group Due to Suffocation Hazard http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09219.html

Composite Decks Recalled by Louisiana-Pacific; Decks Can Deteriorate and Break, Posing Fall Hazard <http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09217.html>


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Bad food habits start early

Update: He will be on Fresh Air today at 3 p.m. (88.1 fm).

I just caught the tail end of the Diane Rehm show with David Kessler. When I tuned in he was talking about how these changes take root during childhood. Here's a description of his new book from Amazon:


Conditioned hypereating is a biological challenge, not a character flaw, says David Kessler, former FDA commissioner under presidents Bush and Clinton. Here Kessler describes how, since the 1980s, the food industry, in collusion with the advertising industry, and lifestyle changes have short-circuited the body's self-regulating mechanisms, leaving many at the mercy of reward-driven eating.

Through the evidence of research, personal stories (including candid accounts of his own struggles) and examinations of specific foods produced by giant food corporations and restaurant chains, Kessler explains how the desire to eat—as distinct from eating itself—is stimulated in the brain by an almost infinite variety of diabolical combinations of salt, fat and sugar. Although not everyone succumbs, more people of all ages are being set up for a lifetime of food obsession due to the ever-present availability of foods laden with salt, fat and sugar.

A gentle though urgent plea for reform, Kessler's book provides a simple food rehab program to fight back against the industry's relentless quest for profits while an entire country of people gain weight and get sick. According to Kessler, persistence is all that is needed to make the perceptual shifts and find new sources of rewards to regain control.


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Planting workshop at Cromwell Valley this Saturday

Saturday, May 16 at 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Companion Planting – Plants can be just like people. Some get along really well and others...well, let’s just say they are not very compatible. In this CVCSA workshop we will explore the benefits of growing some plants together and create a companion plant mini-garden to take home. All ages (young children with an adult). Reservations required. $3 CSA members/$5 non-members. Meet at the Willow Grove Farm Parking Lot.
http://www.cromwellvalleypark.org/scheduleOfEvents.html


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Face-paint recall

The Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers to stop using certain cosmetic “Face Paint” items labeled as distributed by Oriental Trading Co., Omaha, Neb., due to adverse event reports of skin reactions in children. These items were distributed nationwide. Details here.


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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rodgers Forge listserv to help residents find gardening space and useful info

The Rodgers Forge listserv, which now has more than 200 members, is now also serving as the "swap meet" area for the Rodgers Forge Farm Initiative.

This is where people who want to do a vegetable garden but don't have the space can seek others who have space but aren't up for gardening -- due to time or physical limitations, etc. (Modern-day sharecropping!) You can also offer up your own yard for gardening. Or just ask for advice about the best time to plant those veggies or how to get rid of slugs or how to compost or ...

And of course the listserv will also continue to serve its original purpose of connecting Forge residents who are looking for recommendations for plumbers, roofers, nannies, etc.


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Monday, May 11, 2009

Community yard sales May 16, May 30

"200 block of Blenheim Road will be having a multi-family yard sale on Saturday May 16th from 9am-1pm. There will be baby gear, toddler toys, housewares, etc."

and

"100 block of Murdock will also have a yard sale on Saturday, 5/16"

and

"Pinehurst Community Yard Sale, Saturday, May 16 8am – 12 noon....And Part 2 will be held Saturday, May 30 8am – 12 noon. We have about 10 families participating each day. Pinehurst, Midhurst and Blenheim Rds."



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Latest crime report

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


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Do you have a vegetable garden in Rodgers Forge?

The Rodgers Forge Farm Initiative (which is not my brainchild) wants to hear from you:

"How many vegetable gardens are there in Rodgers Forge? Herb gardens? Fruit Trees? Nut Trees? How many compost piles do we have here? Or what about worm bins?

The first project of the Farm Initiative is Project Every Block which will document every garden in the Forge. Do we already have a garden on every block? Maybe we do. If so, we'd like to know. If we do not, then we'll promote that as our first project--to establish a vegetable garden on every block of the Forge!

If you have a garden, a fruit or nut tree, a compost pile or worm bin, please contact us here at theforgefarm@comcast.net with your details and we will update the map. Please attach any photos you may have. The more detail the better."

More details here:
http://theforgefarm.blogspot.com/2009/04/every-block-project.html


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Free topsoil

From Jay Dunn, for his neighbor: "Free topsoil can be picked up in the alley behind 170 Stanmore Road. First come, first can have. Bring shovel and bags or containers and haul it away. There is about 50 cubic feet but it will go fast. Take as little or as much as you want."


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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Meet your legislators


Details here.


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Friday, May 8, 2009

Market Day at Cylburn Arboretum is tomorrow


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One of the outcomes of laying off almost the entire newspaper staff

I just went on the Sun's website, as I do numerous times a day, and saw this as the centerpiece on the site.

"Four of the five emptiest areas in the Baltimore region are all in East Baltimore beighborhoods that have weathered decline for decades."

Beighborhood decline is such a prevalent problem!


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More Engrish hilarity


These are awesome. Especially the "8 Steps." Click here.


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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Serving kids healthy food in schools -- sadly, it makes news

The Washington Post has a story about Baltimore City's new lunch director. He's bringing sustainable, organic foods to the students. I think this is great and am still hoping the county follows suit soon.

As a sidebar, my son conceded the other day that instead of buying milk to go with the lunch that I had packed, he instead bought Funyuns. I was not happy, but my husband and I ultimately concluded that it must be pretty hard for a 6-year-old to pass up these snacks when they are right there in front of them.

"Why do they even have that crap available in the first place?" my husband asked. Hmm. I don't actually know.

Washington Post: ... Geraci's plan is to involve students in food at every step of the process. Take Great Kids Farm. The city had long owned the land, which it used as a nature center, but was set to sell the property. Geraci convinced school officials that a farm was just the place for children to learn about where food comes from. The property had three greenhouses. Since taking it over, the staff has planted a three-acre field of vegetables and a small orchard and brought in pigs, chickens and goats. -- full story


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Dumpster Day (and donation day) is this Saturday

Beginning at 7:00 A.M. and running until noon on Saturday, May 9th, you can get rid of all your unwanted stuff at no cost by bringing it to the Rodgers Forge Elementary School Parking Lot and depositing it within one of the many dumpsters that will be provided by the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc., your community association.

This popular event happens (usually) only once a year. Volunteers will be on hand to direct you and help you unload. In fact, if you can help out, be it only for an hour or two, call chairperson Janine Schofield at 410-616-9358 to volunteer. You can also just show up to lend a hand but do wear work clothes and bring a pair of work gloves when you do. Any assistance is appreciated.

Please note that you must be a Rodgers Forge resident to use our dumpsters for disposal purposes on that day. Do your neighbors a favor, too, and pick up and bring any bulk trash in your alley to the dumpsters. Tell them about the Dumpster Day event, too!

SPECIAL NOTE: AmVets will have a truck available from 8 AM until Noon for reusable items such as furniture and computers. The Loading Dock will have a truck for reusable building materials such as almost any type of wood that is not damaged.

ACCEPTABLE ITEMS FOR DUMPSTERS:
  • Yard Waste
  • Paper
  • Mattresses
  • Carpets
  • Metal Waste
  • Appliances With Freon
  • UNACCPETABLE ITEMS FOR DUMPSTERS (Absolutely Not Permitted):
  • Tires
  • Paint
  • Gasoline Containers
  • Explosive Materials, i.e., No Propane Tanks

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    Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    Farming yards in Rodgers Forge

    Hey, if they're doing it at the White House, then why not right here? Check out this new site/movement:

    The Rodgers Forge Farm Initiative fosters greater food security and resiliance for Rodgers Forge through sustainable food production in the yards and gardens of our community.

    The Rodgers Forge Farm Initiative:
    -connects residents of the Forge who are interested in organic gardening
    -promotes and coordinates collaborative gardening efforts among neighbors
    -educates the neighborhood on local food and energy issues
    http://www.theforgefarm.blogspot.com/


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    County buys supplies for West Towson Elementary

    School board OKs purchases of chalkboards, etc., for the new school. Read the Sun story here.

    And here's a letter from Del. Aumann:

    Dear Constituents,

    I wanted to share the good news that the Baltimore County school board approved approximately $8 million in contracts for the new West Towson Elementary School. Approved contracts included electrical and mechanical work, including lighting and wiring as well as plumbing, ventilation and air conditioning.

    The Board of Public Works comprised of Governor O’Malley, Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot approved today the final installment of $267 million in school construction.

    I wanted to thank all of the families for their efforts that made this possible. Together we can accomplish great things for our children!

    Very truly yours,

    Delegate Susan L.M. Aumann

    District 42 - Baltimore County


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    Shakespeare's Shorts at Brown Memorial


    The Woodbrook Players, a church and community-based theater group, presents Shakespeare's Shorts at Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church, 6200 N. Charles Street (across from Eddie's Supermarket).

    Performances are on Saturdays, May 9 and 16 at 8 pm and Sundays, May 10 and 17 at 4 pm. The production includes scenes from "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "The Taming of the Shrew," and "Macbeth," as well as "The Fifteen Minute Hamlet - The Musical."

    A free dessert buffet will be offered during intermission. Tickets are available at the door: Adults $10, Students $8, Children under 12 FREE. Call 410-377-7232 for more information.


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    Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    The revolution in school lunches

    Speaking at the 2007 EG conference, "renegade lunch lady" Ann Cooper talks about the coming revolution in the way kids eat at school -- local, sustainable, seasonal and even educational food.


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    Federal Hill home tour

    Do you love peeking into a neighbor's house? Do you want to see how others have renovated and decorated their home? Do you want to be inspired by other families who have created imaginative spaces for their kids?

    Take a stroll through historic Federal Hill during the first annual Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance House Tour featuring the best kids' rooms, nurseries, and play spaces. May 9 - details here.


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    Monday, May 4, 2009

    This week's crime report

    Not to blame the victim, but you can't say he didn't warn her: "The victim got into an argument with the suspect about using a payphone in front of the location. The suspect told the victim, "I’m on the f****** phone, you ask me again and I’m going to slap the sh** out of you!' The victim asked to use the phone again. The suspect punched the victim in her face and grabbed her wallet from her hand."

    Here is the full report. Nothing in Rodgers Forge.


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    Plant sale May 9 and 10

    MOTHER'S DAY HEIRLOOM PLANT SALE TO RAISE FUNDS FOR LOCAL NONPROFITS

    Cromwell Valley C.S.A. (CVCSA) and Therapeutic Alternatives of Maryland (TALMAR) share a common home in Baltimore County's Cromwell Valley Park. This Mother's Day weekend, May 9th and 10th, the two non-profit organizations will be sharing something else: a fund-raising plant sale.

    CVCSA, an organic co-operatively owned farm and community-supported agriculture organization, will be selling organically grown vegetable seedlings of rare heirloom plant varieties such as Green Zebra and Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes, California Wonder orange sweet peppers, and Snow White and Tingtung Long eggplants plus many other cool veggies grown right on the farm. TALMAR, a therapeutic horticultural program focusing on people with special needs and disabilities, is contributing a rainbow of annual flowers and perennial plants and fascinating herb varieties such as chocolate basil. On Saturday, May 9th only, CVCSA and TALMAR will be joined by representatives from the Herring Run Watershed Association who will be selling native plants produced from native seed.

    Prices will be extremely affordable, allowing local gardeners to stock their flower and vegetable beds with healthy, organic stock ready to plant Mother's Day weekend, the state's last frost date and the traditional opening date of the Maryland transplanting calendar. All proceeds benefit these local non-profit organizations and help further their environmental, educational and sustainability missions.

    The sale will be held Saturday, May 9th and Sunday, May 10th, rain or shine, in the historic Sherwood Barn inside Cromwell Vally Park, 2002 Cromwell Bridge Road (21234). Sale hours are 10 am to 4 pm both days.

    We hope to see you there!

    Directions and park information are available at www.cromwellvalleypark.org. For questions or more information about the plant sale, email cvfarmer@yahoo.com or call 410-825-2854. For more information about the sponsoring organizations, please visit:
    www.cvcsa.org
    www.talmar.org
    www.herringrun.org


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    Crime report from last week

    I was on vacation in South Carolina last week so am trying to catch up. Here is the crime report from last week.


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    More evidence that our schools are getting it wrong

    Interesting story recently in the New York Times about the lack of play and the amount of academics in kindergarten. I know this is blasphemy, but the more I read about how kids should learn and how they are actually being taught in today's schools, I am tempted to home school my kids or start my own small school, even though we have a highly regarded public school here in RF. Especially after seeing my 6-year-old almost have a panic attack while trying to write a note for Teacher Appreciation Day. (This is not a slam against the teachers; I know they are doing what is expected of them.)

    NYT: ... Thinkers like Daniel Pink have proposed that this country’s continued viability hinges on what is known as the “imagination economy”: qualities like versatility, creativity, vision — and playfulness — that cannot be outsourced. It’s a compelling argument to apply here, though a bit disheartening too: must we append the word “economy” to everything to legitimize it? Isn’t cultivating imagination an inherent good? I would hate to see children’s creativity subject to the same parental anxiety that has stoked the sales of Baby Einstein DVDs. -- full story


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    Sunday, May 3, 2009

    Great article about making food basics at home

    A friend just sent this to me. I've been making homemade peanut butter recently, and next on the list: yogurt. Aside from cost, the thing that really kills me about store-bought yogurt is all the plastic containers -- and they can't be recycled!

    Slate: Although I love to cook, I've always secretly, darkly, suspected it is costlier to craft at home what you can buy at Ralph's. Obviously, homemade bread tastes better than Wonder, but does playing Martha Stewart really save you money? While packaged food is mostly lousy, some of it can be spectacularly inexpensive. Out of work and increasingly obsessed with our grocery budget, I decided to test my intuition and run a cost-benefit analysis on how much I'd save—if anything—by making from scratch six everyday foods that I usually purchase from Safeway and my local bakery. -- full story


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