Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Towson U drops Senator Theatre bid

Charles Theater's owner is the only one left.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bal-senator-theatre-towson-u-0331,0,432617.story


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

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Free concert, April 1 and 2


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

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Cherry Blossoms and fireworks

Come to the Southwest Waterfront on Saturday, April 3, 2010 at 5:00 pm as the Washington Waterfront Association kicks off the fifth annual Prelude to the Fireworks – a free, three-hour festival of family entertainment that includes live musical performances, kids craft activities, cuisine from local restaurants and special guest appearances for the kids to enjoy.

At 8:30 pm, all eyes will head toward the sky for a spectacular Fireworks display. Enjoy the sky spectacle on land at the festival or watch them from the water on the fireworks cruise aboard the Spirit of Washington.

The Fireworks occur rain or shine; only extremely inclement weather will cause their delay or cancellation. For up-to-the-minute status reports if weather is questionable, please call (877) 44BLOOM.

http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/cms/index.php?id=927


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

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fairy Tale Festival at Enoch Pratt


Join us for the kickoff of the annual Fairy Tale Festival. There will be crafts, magic, and fairy tale fun for the whole family. Special events include a noon time performance of Goldilocks and the Three Dogs with Pets on Wheels friends and Magic with Mike at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 10th. MPT's Princess Presto makes a special appearance on Sunday, April 11th 1 p.m. - 3 p.m at the Preschool Fairy Tale Ball. Details here.


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

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Latest crime report

Nothing in RF but there was an attempted armed robbery somewhere near Wells/Boston Market/Rite Aid. Read it here.


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

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Ridgley Middle School parents say it's time to turn up the heat on Jim Smith

Received this email today:

Dear Friends of Ridgely members and others who support fixing the heat problems at Ridgely:

As you probably know, BCPS formally requested funding for chillers to be installed at Ridgely Middle School in its Capital Budget request (for Fiscal Year 2011). This request was “Exhibit P” in the exhibits for the Board meeting of January 12, 2010 (available online at the Baltimore County Board of Education website).

But this request does not automatically mean that Ridgely will receive this funding!

Last week a parent wrote to Jim Smith about the 90-degree temperatures already reached this year in one classroom at Ridgely, and the County Executive was not forthcoming in his answer about whether the funds for Ridgely would stay in the budget, citing difficulties with the economy.

It is crucial to contact Jim Smith now and explain (again, if you have already written or called) why this funding must not be removed for Ridgely.

If you live in the 7th District, where Jim Smith may well run for the State Senate, your messages to him are especially important!

We are so close – and Jim Smith has complete control over the Capital Budget. The County Council can only delete, not add, and the Board of Education has no fiscal power at all, they can only request.

Jim Smith must understand that students and teachers at Ridgely should not have to face yet another year of temperatures in the 90s and 100s in classrooms! The Ridgely renovation, undertaken to make the school more energy efficient for a planned air conditioning system, has resulted in classrooms with temperatures routinely above 100 degrees with virtually no ventilation - particularly in the fall and spring. Using fans in these classrooms exacerbates the problem because at these temperatures, fans create a convection oven effect.

• For two years, we have been saying either fix the window problem or install the planned air conditioning.
• For two years, we have watched our children come home with headaches and nausea caused by heat generated dehydration. It is not uncommon to have children passing out in the classrooms on hot days and at least one child has been transported to the emergency room because of heat stress and dehydration.

The Ridgely renovation debacle must be fixed now - our children have suffered enough.

Please write or call or send an e-mail today!
James T. Smith, Jr., Baltimore County Executive
2010 Old Courthouse, mezzanine,
400 Washington Ave.,
Towson, MD 21204
tel: (410) 887-2450

jimsmith@baltimorecountymd.gov


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

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Battle with Towson University = legislation in General Assembly

Delegate Susan L.M. Aumann, who represents Rodgers Forge and surrounding areas, noted this in her recent legislative update. The people who worked so hard to negotiate with TU over property lines and fences should feel good:

HB 348 – Public Institutions of Higher Education – New Design and Substantial Exterior Modification – Notice and Consultation

This bill will directly affect our district so I wanted to inform you that HB 348 passed the House floor today with a vote of 140-0. This bill requires a public institution of higher education to make reasonable efforts to notify and consult with communities within three miles of a proposed construction site. The public institution must make reasonable efforts to meet with local civic associations, government agencies, and other interested parties regarding the project design and methods to minimize adverse effects on these communities that include noise, traffic, pollution, loss of open space and other detriments.


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

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

New MacMedics fan here

I dropped my iPhone recently and the front glass cracked in about 25 places. But it was still usable. Price for to get it fixed at the Apple store: $200. Which is what I paid for the phone in the first place (well, my employer paid for it). Also, you have to make an appointment just to drop off your broken item at the Apple store in Towson. That seems a little weird to me.

So I ordered a kit from Amazon for $17 to fix it. That didn't go so well (I couldn't get all the screws out and then I couldn't get it back together correctly) so I called MacMedics down by BWI. Normally it would have been about $90 to fix it but because I already had the new glass and the digitizer, they only charged me $49. And they fixed it the same day. Yay!

My MacBook froze up and started beeping at me at about the same time and luckily it was still under the extended warranty and Apple fixed it well, so no complaints there.

(Wondering if these things come in threes? Why, yes, my transmission went out and is costing $4,500. Being an adult is so fun.)


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

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Martha Stewart likes The Forge Flyer

I just got an email saying Martha Stewart's Twitter account is now following the Forge Flyer's Twitter account. I think she just wants to feel superior. Which she is.


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

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Show support for Baltimore's school-food reform

A Recipe for Change, a new feature-length documentary about Baltimore City's school food reform movement, is in the running for a $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Foundation, and it needs your help to win.

Grant winners are decided by popular vote online, and you may vote up to once a day, so head over and support a great film about Baltimore's school food revolution. Voting ends March 31, 2010.

A Recipe for Change traces the radical transformation of Baltimore City Schools' food system to provide students with healthy, nutritious meals. The film follows the people who are making this transformation happen, including City Schools Food and Nutrition Services Director Tony Geraci, as well as the students, teachers, parents, administrators, and farmers committed to changing the way kids eat at school. More about the film.

Cast your vote now for A Recipe for Change!


Learn about or give to the Great Kids Farm Fund at BCF, which supports the work of City Schools' 33-acre working organic farm, featured in A Recipe for Change.


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

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Rodgers Forgian wins poetry prize

Ned Balbo, a professor at Loyola and a Rodgers Forge resident, has won the 2010 Donald Justice Poetry Prize for his manuscript The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems. In addition to receiving a $1,000 prize, his book will be published by Story Line Press. Alicia Stallings was the judge for this year's competition:

“One of the things I love about The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems is how pop culture references to the monsters and heroes of horror films, science fiction novels and television series, sprinkled throughout, are not glibly hip, but both personal and universalizing—we see them for the modern mythology they are. The father of modern horror, Edgar Allan Poe, himself provides a thread running through this book-length meditation on adoption and identity, on love and heartbreak, alienation and belonging."

Read more:
http://www.wcupa.edu/_Academics/sch_cas/poetry/DonaldJusticePrizeWinner.asp

Congrats, Ned!


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

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French-film festival

Free and open to the public, at Johns Hopkins. March 24-April 1.

http://sites.google.com/site/jhutournees/home


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Friday, March 26, 2010

New album by Rodgers Forge resident

Our friend and neighbor, John Lane, just released a record. I was sort of afraid to listen to it because, you know, what if it stank? But it's cool. You can hear the songs here: http://expo.bandcamp.com/.


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

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West Towson named best community for seniors

West Towson was named by AOL as the nation's #1 place for seniors to retire.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/bal-md.co.towson25mar26,0,5228322.story

http://www.walletpop.com/retirement/retirement-dream-areas


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

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Pet adoption this weekend and next

Pet adoption events at Petsmart March 27 and April 3. Click here for locations and pet details. So cute!

Also an event at Golden Ring Petco on Saturday!


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

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Towson happenings on April 21

Click image to enlarge.


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

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West Towson will have before- and after-school care

Someone wrote in to the Flyer and asked about before/after school care at West Towson Elementary. I posed the question to Sue Hershfeld, who will be principal at WTES. She wrote me back immediately.

Reader: "I have no doubt that it will be a great school and we are excited to have our daughter going to this new school. One thing I am concerned about though, does anyone know if West Towson is going to have Play Centers? What are the before and after school care options for working parents? Does anyone know?"


Kris,

I am happy to answer this important question. You have come to the right person!

West Towson will have a before and after school day care program. I met with four different representatives yesterday to hear about their programs, understand what they can offer families, and discuss their fee schedules. Two future West Towson parents joined me for the interviews. I will share our decision once I have contacted the representatives and finalized the paperwork.

Thank you,

Sue Hershfeld


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

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why, yes, yes I am the poop police

Wow, OK, no more comments being accepted on this post, either. I'm going to go out on a limb with this editorial comment: Dog poop should be cleaned up. Anyone who sees his/her dog poop and doesn't clean it up is being outrageously rude.


So a while a back a friend of mine was outside her house and a woman was walking down the sidewalk with her dog. The dog pooped in the front yard of my friend's neighbor's house and the woman just kept walking afterward. Didn't clean it up.

My friend said, "Would you mind cleaning that up? We've got kids playing around here."

The woman replied, "Who are you, the poop police?"

CAN YOU EFFING BELIEVE THAT?

So upon hearing this story, another friend of my friend made her this great ID card that she now carries in her wallet in hopes of running into this woman again. She said I could post it on the Flyer if I didn't show who she was.



I've been meaning to post this for a while but was reminded of it recently for obvious reasons.

Wow, OK, no more comments being accepted on this post, either. I'm going to go out on a limb with this editorial comment: Dog poop should be cleaned up. Anyone who sees his/her dog poop and doesn't clean it up is being outrageously rude.


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

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Roots of Steel author event

Red Canoe says:

Oh it is here—the book we have been waiting for—Roots of Steel: Boom and Bust in an American Mill Town by Baltimore’s own Deborah Rudacille. And are we ever pleased to be your local indie bookstore-with 150 copies in stock and itching to be sold. So stop in today to pick up your copy and save on shipping while buying locally. Join us for a delightful evening March 25, 6pm and meet the author!

Make coffee to go or breakfast or lunch a part of your visit to Red Canoe—you won’t be sorry!

See you soon,
Nicole and Peter
Red Canoe
4337 Harford Road
Baltimore MD 21214
410-444-4440
www.redcanoe.bz


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

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Learn about education in Pakistan

Did you love Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea? Then come hear Veeda Javaid, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Education Board (PEB) in Pakistan, at Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church, 6200 N. Charles Street, across from Eddie’s and Starbucks.

Saturday, March 27, 6:00 PM – Pot Luck Supper in the Fellowship Hall
7:00 PM – Conversation with Ms. Javaid

All programs are free.
Call 410-377-7232 for more information.

Sunday, March 28, noon – Lunch and a glimpse into life at the schools with Ms. Javaid
Learn about:
- Educating Christian and Muslim children together, from elementary through college age
- The challenge of educating girls in Pakistan
- The SHE program (Struggle, Hope and Empowerment), supporting women and children victims of violence.
- Celebrating success in the midst of chaos

The PEB has operated and managed schools in Pakistan for over 150 years, primarily focusing on education the poorest children of Pakistan. They now run 14 schools and 4 dormitories, community development programs, and schools for girls with special needs, in addition to the SHE program.

Find out more: http://www.friendsofpeb.org/about/about_the_schools.htm

http://www.peb.edu.pk/PresbyterianEducationBoard/AimsAndPurpose.aspx


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

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Board of Education formally approves Scenario G


Approved unanimously. Only one question from a board member and he asked if all schools would be under 115% capacity under Scenario G. He was told WTES and RFES would be under 100% and that Riderwood would be at 106%.

The eight homes on Pinehurst were not put back into Scenario G as far as I could tell. I know that the RFCA wrote a letter to the board encouraging them to include the homes because they are part of the formal RF community.


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

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Support Tech Trek!





Tech Trek is a walk-a-thon that Rodgers Forge Elementary holds every year to raise money for new technology in the school. Supporting Tech Trek is a great way for local businesses to support a good cause and to get their names out to local residents. This year Tech Trek will be held on the evening of Friday, April 16.

Any business or individual interested in supporting Tech Trek can download a corporate sponsor form here. If you're a parent or RF resident with some get-up-n-go, you can also download the form and bring it to your favorite local businesses and ask them to support Tech Trek.

And keep in mind, when the school spends less of its general budget on technology, that means it has more money for art supplies, etc.

SPONSORSHIP BENEFITS

$50 Sponsor: Company name on the TECH TREK sponsor board and in school mailings to 720+ families. Company name, address, phone and/or website in 2010-11 RFES school directory.

$100 Sponsor: All benefits as above, plus TECH TREK 2010 sponsorship certificate, suitable for framing.

$250 Sponsor: All benefits as above, plus company logo on TECH TREK sponsor boards.

$500 Sponsor: All benefits as above, plus company logo on TECH TREK t-shirts and framed TECH TREK 2010 sponsorship certificate.

$1,000 Sponsor: All benefits as above, plus company table at TECH TREK, Friday, April 16, 2010.

For more information, go here:
http://schools.bcps.org/schools/ces/rforge/techtrek.html


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

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Latest crime report

Includes the three RF burglaries discussed last week, and a few scary armed robberies in Towson. See it here.


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

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Student injured by unleashed dog near Dumbarton Middle School

Dumbarton Middle School's principal, Nancy Fink, asked me to post these emails on the Flyer:

Dear Principal Fink,

Last Thursday, our son was approached by four dogs while off their leashes and knocked over by the largest of the dogs on school grounds on his way to school. The dogs in question were not on leashes. This is most typical of residents of Rodgers Forge dog owners.

Your office and Nurse were made aware of his injury on that particular morning and we are most grateful for their concern and care. This photo attached is day 3 and we are pleased with his course of healing.

Maryland law states that dogs are to remain on their leashes and signs posted on your school grounds support this. The morning after this incident, our son stated that the very same owners and their dogs were again off their leashes and our son yelled at the owners to put your dogs back on their leashes. They ignored him.

Do you have any ideas that could stop this from happening again? Maybe the Baltimore County Police could be made aware of this problem and confront these people in the morning hours. It could be mentioned in your monthly newsletter as well to educate and warn parents. God forbid our son or any other student could have been bitten or worse.
----

Response from Principal Fink:

Hello, Mr. and Mrs. X. I have communicated often in the past few years with Jay Dunn, the editor of the Rodgers Forge newsletter, about the problem of unleashed dogs and the owners who do not clean up after their dogs. Everyone, including the members of the Executive Board of the association, agrees that this can be a problem. I even have unleashed dogs on the property during the school day. I have spoken to the owners, and they continue to do what they want on "Dumbarton park."

I suggest that you file a police report OR report this to the Forge Flyer, the daily email newsletter, to let people know that your son was injured by one of the dogs.
Their dogs even attacked our workers when there were renovations and the police were called. The practice continues. I think your filing charges would be the best things. I will call the Towson precinct community resource department on Monday to alert them of the problem, but there is nothing better than a citizen's involvement, especially if his/her child was injured.
----

I asked Principal Fink if she thought it might be possible to have a portion of the grounds fenced off for an enclosed dog park and she said that would have to be discussed with the main offices of Baltimore County Public Schools. Maybe someone wants to take up that cause?

I have turned off the comment feature for this post. It's getting a little over the top. If someone wants to start a conversation about a compromise -- setting up an actual fenced-in dog park in the area or something along those lines -- I would be happy to do a new post. kris (at) forgeflyer (dot) com


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

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Board of Education votes tomorrow on redistricting

The Baltimore County Board of Education will vote tomorrow on the new redistricting plan for Rodgers Forge Elementary and Riderwood.


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

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Former Rodgers Forge board member running for State House

Art Buist, who still lives in Rodgers Forge and whose voice you might recognize from WYPR, is running for the House of Delegates. He's holding a fundraiser on April 6. Here's what his Facebook page says:

I am running as a Democrat to add my voice to Steve Lafferty in representing the people of the 42nd District. Maryland elects 3 delegates for each legislative district. Right now Steve is the only progressive vote, the other two are conservative Republicans. Prior elections have been very close between the Republicans and Democrats. We can do this!

The Host Committee for the fundraiser includes....
Dr. Peter Beilenson, (Public Health Physician and former Candidate for Congress); Charlie Culberston, (Advocate for Senior Issues); Vince Gardina, (Member, Baltimore County Council); Tracy Miller, President, (Central Baltimore County Democratic Club, and former Delegate Candidate 42nd District); Carl Stokes, (Member Baltimore City Council).


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

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Police warn of burglaries

Here's a message from police regarding the recent incidents in RF.

Good Morning, got a bit of bad news for the Forge but just as in the past I know if we work together we can put a stop to it again.

As Police we are seeing the beginnings of a Burglary trend once again in Rodgers Forge. As the weather broke for the better last week (3/11,12/2010) unknown person(s) decided to take advantage of several residences. Thus far we have three reports but no suspect information. Two of the incidents we have confirmed as "cat-burglaries"--defined as the residents were home at the time of the burglary, either asleep in their beds or in another part of the house, and the suspect(s) able to access a first floor (ground floor) room of the house through an open/unsecured window or door and grabbing whatever of value may be immediately accessible. Usually these type of burglaries target the kitchen area where the resident has opened a window or door and has left an item of value (i.e.,pocketbook, wallet, cellphone) on the kitchen table within easy access of that door or window and all the suspect(s) need to defeat is a screen window or storm door thus they're in and out very quickly. These are still reported as First Degree Burglaries and when we apprehend the person(s) responsible that's how they're charged, "cat-burglary" is reference to the m.o.

What we need from you is to get the word out to the community to properly secure their homes when they're away or asleep; secure their valuables whether home or away, don't leave things out in plain view that could be easily removed, take away the temptation. As always we'd like to be informed anytime anyone sees a suspicious/unknown person or vehicle in the area so we can check things out and thus keep the community as safe as possible. Talking with Detective Parker, from our Burglary Team, and Detective Bankert, PC06 IST, right now we have no suspect information reference to these three cases. Thank you for your assistance, Sgt Fink


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

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Are these your underpants?


If so, you can find them on the sidewalk of 100 block of Dumbarton Road, even side. They have been there for days. Dude!


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

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Unruly teens in downtown Towson said to be a problem

The Towson Times reports:

If movers and shakers are singing the praises of downtown Towson as the place to go to have dinner and take in a movie, there's a concern that the scene in front of Towson Commons on a Friday or Saturday night might strike a sour note. -- full story

Dinner and a movie in downtown Towson? I wish.


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

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More burglaries in the Forge

I just spoke to Sgt. Fink of the Baltimore County Police and he said in the past few days RF has had three burglaries, including two "cat" burglaries, which is where the burglar looks into your window, sees your purse/wallet/computer sitting in plain view, breaks in (generally by cutting the screen on an open window or walking in through an open door) and takes it and leaves immediately. Generally the resident is home asleep at the time.

Sgt. Fink reminds everyone to keep their doors and windows locked and to call 911 if they see suspicious-looking people or suspicious-looking cars.

Thanks for the heads up on this, Neale!


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

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rodgers Forge yards - before and after

I received this email recently, and it's a great idea. Send in photos of your backyard, and "before" photos if you happen to have them so others can get ideas.

Hi Kris,
I have enjoyed seeing other Rogers Forgers' house renovations. Would you see if anyone is willing to share before and after pictures of their yard if they've redone it (e.g. new patio, deck, flower beds, etc.)? We are looking for some ideas - we need to take a walk through the alleys soon, but it's nice to see pictures too. (And the people with fences probably would prefer to share a picture rather than have us peek over their fence!) :)
Thanks!
You can send them to kris (at) forgeflyer.com.


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

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PTA needs volunteers!

A message from RFES PTA president Lindsay Conboy:

"RFES is a terrific place for our kids to learn and grow. The PTA strives to make the family part of this. Studies show the more involved the family is, the better the students do. The family is the pillar of strength behind the child.

As a PTA, we work hard to find different ways parents, grandparents, and caregivers, can be involved. We collaborate with the school to ensure our volunteers are best utilized.

Lately, I have been a bit perplexed as to why we are always short volunteers when we have over 500 people trained. What worries me is our population will be cut in half next year; how are we going to find volunteers to take on all of the jobs?

This year we still need your help. Not only are volunteers requested for activities around the school, we currently need 2 people to serve on the nominating committee (the committee that nominates candidates for the executive committee) and we need to replace most of the officers (president, vp of chairmen and programs, vp of volunteers, treasurer). All of the officer positions listed are vacant due to term expiration or redistricting. Who is going to step into these positions?

I am not trying to be a gloomy Gus, or guilt you into helping out. There is always something else to do, we are busy and overscheduled. There is work, errands, the day to day activities that have to get done. But volunteering is a feel good thing. Admit it, it feels much better to help out in school than do laundry.

On the home page of our website [in the right-hand sidebar] there is a list of openings for next year. Take a look. Is there something you are interested in doing? Do you have a friend you would like to co-chair with? Do you want to ensure that you have the best PTA possible next year? Join the nominating committee, or recommend yourself for an officer position. It takes an entire community to build a PTA, come take an active roll."


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

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Monday, March 15, 2010

What does your linen closet look like?

We redid our bathroom but we didn't do anything to the linen closet. It's just a bunch of shelves and I can not seem to keep it well organized despite numerous attempts with different boxes for bath towels, cleaning supplies, etc.

Has anyone found a great way to maximize storage in their small linen closet? Want to take photos and send them to me to be posted? kris (at) forgeflyer.com

(This photo is not my closet but it's not too far off.)


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

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mad Men Barbies

New York Times: ... The dolls are part of a premium-price collectors’ series for adults that Mattel calls the Barbie Fashion Model Collection. Although there have been Barbies and Kens based on other TV series, among them “I Love Lucy” and “The X-Files,” the dolls will be the first licensed line for that collection, Mattel says, with a suggested retail price of $74.95 each. -- full story


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

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Zoo re-opens tomorrow, $5 admission


"We just wanted to remind you that tomorrow the Zoo is opening for the 2010 season. We are really excited to have all our friends come and visit again this spring... so excited in fact that we are offering gate tickets for $5/person!

If you're already a Zoo member then you know your admission is always free. If you aren't a member, consider taking care of that right now.

As you may know the Zoo was slammed a few weeks ago from the nasty double snow storms that came to the Mid-Atlantic. You may have read about our two aviaries that were crushed under the weight of the snow. At one point we didn't even know if we would be able to open in March. But our members and community rallied behind the Zoo and we are opening tomorrow.


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

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Set your clock forward this weekend


Here's an article on how to not let daylight saving time throw off your sleep.


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

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Katharine McPhee concert, fundraiser


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

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Elected, not appointed, school board?

The Baltimore Sun reports: For the first time in years, state lawmakers are taking a serious look at reforming the school board selection process in Baltimore City and Baltimore County and are considering bills that would put elected members on those boards. -- full story


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

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Delicious-looking recipes and a cafe review


I was going to post a link to my friend's nutrition blog where she reviews the new Banksy's Cafe at Falls Road and Lake Avenue. Then I also wanted to post a recipe she posted for pork, then I wanted to post a chicken recipe she shared etc etc.

So instead, I'll just say: Check out the Nourish blog and get some good info.


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

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My neighbors got in to the White House Easter Egg Roll!

Damn, I knew I shouldn't have posted it on the Flyer! I am so happy for them!


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

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brief recap of Board of Education public-input meeting

Tonight's meeting where the public could speak to the Baltimore County Board of Education about the redistricting of RFES and Riderwood was sparsely attended. Only seven people signed up to speak, although a few more came up at the end to also add to the debate. People were told they could still write letters to the board if they had not yet done so. Email can be sent to brenda.stiffler@bcps.org.

One person spoke and encouraged the board to add to Scenario G the eight rowhomes on Pinehurst that are just south of Overbrook because they are technically part of Rodgers Forge.

Four people spoke in favor of Scenario G, including RF president Janice Moore who said Rodgers Forge literally surrounds RFES and that the school is a huge part of the neighborhood. She also supported the plea to add the eight Pinehurst homes to Scenario G.

The president of the Gaywood association, Melissa Broome, spoke against Scenario G and questioned why a neighborhood's historic boundary was more important than other factors that could be considered in the redistricting process.

Jeannine Fay, who lives in Pinehurst, questioned the redistricting process and the appropriateness of a hastily called Dec. 23 meeting in which Scenario G was added back into the mix of options. She said she has filed a complaint (with whom I didn't quite catch) stating that the open meeting law was violated. She also questioned the BCPS attorney's response that no law was violated in part because a quorum was not reached at the Dec. 23 meeting. How could there have been a vote to include G if there was no quorum, she wondered. She said Rodgers Forge appears to be ganging up on smaller communities. [If you have no idea what I'm talking about in regard to Scenario G and a Dec. 23 meeting but you want to know, you can read these posts.]

Dennis King, co-chair of the committee, said the process had been followed and the public had the opportunity to voice an opinion and he asked the board to honor the committee's recommendation of Scenario G.

That was the end of the list of people who had signed up to speak, but since there was more time they allowed people to just raise their hands and come up. One woman from Pinehurst spoke and reiterated much of what Broome and Fay had said.

Jennifer Helfrich, who is on the RF board, also then spoke and said she was disappointed at the accusations about the process and residents' motives. She said she has friends in Pinehurst and would have preferred a scenario that kept all the communities together at RFES and that no one wants to exclude anyone else.

A resident of Yorktowne Drive spoke and said it was odd that her street was staying at RFES under Scenario G while two other streets in her community -- Yorkleigh and La Paix -- were districted to the new school. She also noted that students from her street are bussed and that they will lose the bus now that RFES will be a walkers-only school. She said it made more sense to keep Gaywood at RFES than it does to keep her street there.

After the meeting I asked school board president JoAnn Murphy if the board might decide to start the process from scratch if it wasn't happy with what the committee recommended. She said the "board can adapt from what has been presented" but that "obviously we need to move forward quickly" so people know where there kids will be going to school next year. She said the board will definitely take a final vote on this issue on March 23 at its work session, which begins at 6:30 p.m.


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Towson University fence construction to begin next week

TU says: "Construction will begin on Monday, March 15, 2010 to the replace the fence that runs along the property border between the Towson Center Arena and the Rodgers Forge Community. The contractor will begin work by removing the existing fence.

As it stands there are no barriers (by RF neighbors) to construct the new fence except for fence posts on the property at 268 Stanmore Road. These posts were placed on Towson University property. The contractor will move them back 1 foot at no charge to the resident, who has been notified.

Questions? Call Marina Cooper 410-704-3300."


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Reminder: Redistricting meeting tonight

There will be a public meeting tonight, March 10, at Loch Raven High where community members can tell the Board of Education their views on the proposed redistricting of Rodgers Forge Elementary and other Towson elementary schools. The meeting is at 7:00 but at 6:00 they will start taking the names of those who wish to speak.


Here are driving directions from RFES to the meeting.

1. Head southeast on Dumbarton Rd toward Regester Ave. (0.4 miles)

2. Turn right at York Rd (351 ft)

3. Take the 1st left onto Regester Ave (go 1.4 miles)

4. Turn right at Loch Hill Rd (0.1 mi)

5. Turn left at Loch Raven Blvd/MD-542 N (go 2.6 miles)

6. Turn right at Cromwell Bridge Rd (0.1 mi)

7. Turn left at Cowpens Ave.

Destination will be on the right

Loch Raven High School
1212 Cowpens Ave
Towson, MD 21286


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Brahms Away, March 14

The 50 voices of The Frederick Chorale will sing Johannes Brahms’s thrilling masterpiece, A German Requiem – in English – with soloists Lisa Dodson and Scott Myers, and professional organist and timpanist. Free and open to the public, at Woodbrook Church on Stevenson Lane. Details here.


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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Nominiate your favorite teacher for free Let's Dish sessions


"Teachers are dedicated every day to shaping the lives and futures of our children. With all that hard work, it’s a wonder they have any time to put dinner on their own families’ tables at night. So to help make their lives a little easier, we'd like to provide them with a month’s worth of wholesome, homemade dinners.

If you know a teacher who should get a little appreciation, complete the form (here) by March 31, 2010. On April 3rd, we’ll announce the top nominees and let you (and everyone you know) vote for your favorite teacher. Five deserving teachers will each win a FREE 8-meal Let’s Dish! session! We’ll surprise the winners during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3-7, 2010)."


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Monday, March 8, 2010

Thumbs up for Crush restaurant



My husband and I tried Crush (formerly Taste) at Belvedere Square for the first time a couple of weeks ago. We weren't sure where to go, and then we said it was too bad Purdum Pharmacy was being turned into a cleaners and not a wine bar. So we decided we'd better support the restaurants we do have nearby, and decided to give Crush a shot.

It was great. I got pumpkin ravioli and a salad, both of which were lovely. My husband got a BLT and said it was the best he's ever had. Our waiter, who looked just like Big from Sex and the City, was great.

(I was not thrilled that they had two TVs in the bar that were showing sports; I've never understood the idea of having a refined restaurant and then adding a feature that is ... not. I think, though, that I am in the minority there. At least we couldn't see the TV from the dining room.)


All in all, a great addition to the area.


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Latest crime report

Nothing in RF, but there was a home invasion in 21286. Here is report.


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Plastic bags can't go in recycling

I just rec'd this email, and it's a good reminder:

"I happened to park out back last night so when I went out to leave for work this morning the recycling truck was finishing up at my house. The lead man seemed pretty exasperated and told me to remind my neighbor that "plastic bags or plastic wrapping of any kind" can not be in with the recycling.

They showed me my neighbor's old unread newspapers that were still wrapped in the delivery plastic bag as well as some cardboard flats from pet food where the plastic overwrap was still attached. They had pulled these things out of the bin and left them at the neighbor's back gate.

I needed to wait for them to clear the alley before I could pull out, and I watched as they moved on down the block, dumping the contents from the blue bags that folks had left then dropping those bags in place. I'm afraid if we don't get together and follow the rules for this single stream process we will be adding to the plastic bag litter and other trash we already see swirling around the neighborhood.

I'm going to mention it to my neighbors and take a look to see if I can grab some of those loose bags tonight but maybe you can post something about this as a reminder. Thanks much."


Here's what the county's website says:

Recyclables will no longer be collected in plastic bags.Recyclables must not be set out for recycling collection in plastic bags of any type or color (plastic bags will not be collected in order to prevent processing complications at the “single stream” recycling sorting facility).


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Friday, March 5, 2010

Idle parenting = happy children

A friend of mine just showed me this article in The Telegraph:

"... Our children's days are crammed full with activities: ballet, judo, tennis, piano, sport, art projects. At home they are entertained by giant screens and computers. In between, they are strapped into cars and made to listen to educational tapes. Ambitious mothers force hours of homework on bewildered 10-year-olds, hanging the abstract fear of "future employers" over their heads.

Then they buy them a Nintendo Wii, the absurd, costly gadget that's supposed to bring some element of physicality to computer games. It's only a matter of time before children have their own BlackBerrys.

I think of the New Yorker cartoon of two kids in a playground, each staring at a personal organiser and one saying: "I can fit you in for unscheduled play next Thursday at four." All these activities impose a huge burden of cost and time on the already harried parent. They leave no room for simply mucking about. They have the other unwelcome side effect of making the children incapable of looking after themselves. When they are stimulated by outside agencies, whether that be course leader, computer or television, they lose the ability to create their own games. They forget how to play. ..." -- full story

Reminds me of the weekend morning a while back when I slept in (maybe until the luxurious hour of about 7:30 a.m.) and came downstairs and my kids had already made themselves breakfast and eaten it. I thought, "They can do that?! Brilliant!"


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We have winners



The winners of the tickets are Julie C. and Lisa W. Thanks for all the submissions! Wish I had more to give away.


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Thursday, March 4, 2010

RF resident reports suspicious man

Hi Kris,
Thought I would pass this along to you. We just had a strange man come to the door about 40 minutes ago asking if I had anyone to "get rid of this" (referring to the recently ripped out baseboards from our remodel on our porch). This was less than 1 minute after my contractors left for the day- so soon after that I thought that it was them coming back to the door because they forgot something.

What struck me as unusual in addition to the timing and his question (we have a sign in our yard clearly showing that we are having construction done), was that he was dressed in workman's coveralls that were very very tattered (it looked like his clothing underneath was tattered as well) and he was holding some sort of chrome looking object in his hand. He kept looking at our lab, not as much at me, and I truly believe that something might have happened had she not been right there.

You might want to let other neighbors know about this and to be on the lookout.

Male
black
5'9
40s
long, crooked, and some missing teeth
tattered tan coveralls with hooded sweatshirt underneath, some sort of red clothing underneath pants portion
carrying shiny metal object- maybe a tool?
headed south on York , crossed to shopping center side while in front of Midstate Federal


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Carbon monoxide detectors now mandatory in Baltimore homes

Thanks, Kim, for the heads up on this story. I don't think it applies to the county, but it's a good reminder. I just bought more CM detectors a few weeks ago, coincidentally. This City Paper article notes that Hopkins is giving them away for free to those with low incomes.


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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Helicopter over Rodgers Forge

10:20 p.m. -- Towson Police say the helicopter that's over RF right now is just doing a routine patrol and that they are not looking for anything in particular...


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Vegetable garden class, March 9

Gardening expert Larry Kloze will teach you how to maximize the space you have to produce enough vegetables for your family during the growing season and beyond. Bring the measurements of your future or current garden and work with Larry and horticulturalist Angela Palmer to develop the best layout to produce the most vegetables. He will help you plan your garden based on the size of your family, sun exposure, and the vegetables that give the maximum yield. Larry will provide a myriad of essential organic gardening basics and tips for the beginner or experienced gardener. He has been feeding his family for many years from his backyard vegetable plot and never goes to the grocery store to buy vegetables! At Park School. Details and registration here.


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Free tickets to Home & Garden Show


I have four free tickets to the Maryland Home & Garden Show at the state fairgrounds for March 6-7 or March 12-14 (tickets are good for any of those dates). Email me at forgeflyer (at) gmail.com if you're interested and I'll pick names randomly tomorrow. Max two tix per person. Please put "home garden" in the subject line, and let me know if you'd like one ticket or two tickets.

By the way, if you're into gardening be sure to check out the Rodgers Forge Farm Initiative!


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Spring Fling in Baltimore County



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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hearing this Thursday about allowing more boarding houses in Towson area

Here's a message that was sent out by the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations (thanks, Chris!). Some precedent could be set here, so for those of you concerned about numerous renters in area homes, you might want to chime in.

GTCCA Members -- there will be a hearing this Thursday morning [March 4] that has implications for all Towson neighborhoods. The owner of 16 Skidmore Court in the Towson Park neighborhood is petitioning to have the property classified as a "non-conforming use" and continue operating as a rooming or boarding house (i.e. renting to more than 2 unrelated tenants).

To circumvent the code and avoid roominghouse/boardinghouse violations, the owner created a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), adding his tenants as "owners" of the house. To address this growing trend, the County Council passed a bill that increases the percentage of ownership that an "owner" must have to 50%, which prevents more than two people being claimed as owners.

The Skidmore owner is now seeking to be exempted from the rooming/boardinghouse law, claiming that because his LLC was formed before the law went into effect, he should not have to comply with it and should be able to continue to operate as a rooming/boarding house. This property has been occupied by multiple Towson University students and has been the subject of numerous noise complaints to police and complaints to code enforcement over the past several years.

The owner of this property owns at least one other property in Towson, which is also an LLC. There are also a growing number of LLCs in the Greater Towson area and this case could set a precedent, opening up the door for other LLC owners to seek similar exemption from requirements of current County code.

It is very important that we have a strong showing at this hearing to demonstrate to the zoning commissioner that this case affects not just one neighborhood but all 30+ of our neighborhoods. Please plan on attending this hearing and encourage your neighbors to attend. I encourage you to send letters, whether or not you can attend the hearing, to the zoning commissioner expressing your opposition to the owner owner's petition. Hearing information and the zoning commissioner's name & address are below.


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Wondering about new speed camera on Stevenson


So, the speed camera will be for eastbound cars on the 200 block of Stevenson. That is where the field is. But isn't this probably one of the slowest parts of Stevenson in that it's at the top of the hill? It seems speeding would be worse going west, or on a different block. Anyone know how they decide exactly where in the school zone to place the camera?


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Former 'No Child Left Behind' Advocate Turns Critic

NPR: "There should not be an education marketplace, there should not be competition," former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch says. "Schools operate fundamentally — or should operate — like families. The fundamental principle by which education proceeds is collaboration. Teachers are supposed to share what works; schools are supposed to get together and talk about what's [been successful] for them. They're not supposed to hide their trade secrets and have a survival of the fittest competition with the school down the block." -- full story (thanks, Beth!)


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Kid to Kid consignment sale

Saturday, March 6th:
10:00 AM until items are gone
Boys and Girls O-6 mos. - 2T ONLY!!!
All you can stuff into an 18"X18" bag for $8!



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Monday, March 1, 2010

Crime report

One incident in RF, which sounds like it was done by someone who knew the residents. http://docs.google.com/View?id=dg572f9p_756ggk87kg4


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It's true: Teens' brains are different

Interesting story on NPR this morning: ... "I watched my child morph into another being, and yet I knew deep down inside it was the same Andrew," Frances Jensen [a pediatric neurologist] says. Suddenly her own children seemed like an alien species.

Jensen is a Harvard expert on epilepsy, not adolescent brain development. As she coped with her boys' sour moods and their exasperating assumption that somebody else will pick up their dirty clothes, she decided to investigate what neuroscientists are discovering about teenagers' brains that makes them behave that way. -- full story


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