Thursday, September 30, 2010

Del. Aumann does rumor control

UPDATED: I recently became aware of a rumor that is circulating about a tax rebate to Rodgers Forge property owners. The rumor that is going around in Rodgers Forge is that Delegate Bill Frank, John Fiastro and I are planning to introduce a bill in the next legislative session to propose a 10-12% property tax rebate to Rodgers Forge property owners who rent to Towson University students. The supposed object of which is to help relieve the lack of campus housing available to TU students.

I do not support a tax rebate for Rodgers Forge property owners who might rent to Towson University students. The “rumor” is not truthful or accurate and I will not support such an initiative.

If you have any further questions please contact me.

Very truly yours,
Delegate Susan L.M. Aumann
District 42 - Baltimore County
----

I received a comment from a reader who said Aumann wasn't clear on if an initiative like this exists and wondering if other lawmakers were considering such a thing. I wrote to Del. Steve Lafferty and Del. Bill Frank to ask. They both responded right away and here's what they said:

Kris - I had not heard of this issue before today. No such proposal was previously submitted in the legislature during the past 4 years.

It is an absurd suggestion to provide a tax credit that would encourage residents to rent to TU students when so many in the Forge and other communities are having problems with students.
Del. Steve Lafferty
----

Kris,

I want to immediately respond to your question. I am completely opposed to a property tax break for Rodgers Forge homeowners who rent their properties to TU students. It is such a preposterous idea that I would be very curious to find out who started this rumor.

My family and I lived in Rodgers Forge from 1985 to 1998 at 433 Old Trail. We are well aware of the issues involved in rental properties and the frequent problems associated with them. The last thing I would ever encourage is providing a tax or economic incentive to boost the number of rental properties, especially to college students.

The real issue here is who started this rumor. With the campaign season in full swing, I certainly hope this is not the kind of thing we can expect again. It's very disappointing, but I'm grateful to the good folks in Rodgers Forge who tracked down the rumor and allowed us an opportunity to respond.

Thank you,
Delegate Bill Frank




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Honey Harvest Festival, October 2 and 3

Bee lovers and beekeepers are headed to the Oregon Ridge Nature Center for the celebration of the Honey Harvest Festival. Members of the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association will kick off the festivities on Saturday with hive demonstrations, beeswax candle dipping, and mead (honey wine) making. Visitors can also hike with the "Honey Hunter," who dresses in colonial garb, reenacts the search for active hives, and demonstrates the use of homemade tools. Children will enjoy homemade baked delights. Other children's activities include face painting, puppet shows, hayrides, and a petting zoo with chickens and sheep. Food and drink will be sold.

http://www.oregonridge.org/honeyhrvst.php


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County schools closing 2 hours early today

Because of rain. Tell your friends.

Sent from my iPhone


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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bed bugs are a growing problem, including in Rodgers Forge

Bed bugs have been on my mind for the past few months, ever since a friend told me a horror story about her friend in Patterson Park whose home was infested. Then Diane Rehm devoted a show to them and so did Terry Gross. The Sun had a story about a horrible case in Howard County and a $500,000 lawsuit. A recent New Yorker cover featured two apparently post-coital bed bugs.

Then at Back to School night at RFES I ran into a friend I hadn't seen since the spring and she said they'd been out of their house all summer because of bed bugs. Turns out they either got them from a hotel her husband stayed at on a business trip, or from a bag they'd bought for their daughter at a yard sale. The tags were still on and it seemed pristine. (Bed bugs can be found at the finest hotels -- not just at "flea-bag" motels. Having them is not a sign of poor housekeeping.)

She woke up one morning with horrible hives and her daughters had them, too, but not as badly. Her husband seemed unaffected. Turns out some people really react while others don't. Her dermatologist had no idea what was wrong and was on the verge of ordering a biopsy and a whole host of other tests.

As soon as they realized what was going on, they warned their neighbors on either side of them and urged them to have a pest control company come in and do testing. The neighbors on one side did a preventative treatment and all was fine. The neighbors on the other side decided to just monitor things and their house became infested; it's hard to detect bed bugs in the early stages, although experts can usually spot them much earlier than a layman can.

My friend ended up throwing out her couch and all their headboards. One mattress was tossed but the others they were able to keep by putting encasements on them. (That seals in the bugs who eventually die when they can't suck your blood. Poor babies.) She and her family are now back home.

She called the Baltimore County Health Department in July and urged them to do a public health campaign to alert people to what was going on. They hemmed and hawed and said they would put something on their website. But they haven't. Baltimore City, though, has a fairly comprehensive package of info.

Michael Potter of the University of Kentucky is the foremost expert on bed bugs and he has a website with a host of information. My friend said it was the best source for her because it was clear and straightforward. You can find it here.

She also cautioned against trying to eradicate them yourself and instead to hire an expert. They interviewed three pest control firms and went with Ehrlich because they used a three-prong approach.

Baltimore City gives these tips for keeping bed bugs out of your home:

  • Wash clothing and bedding immediately after returning from a trip [and make sure you dry them on the high setting! It's the heat that kills them, not the washing.].
  • Inspect used furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into your home.
  • Never bring discarded bed frames, mattresses, box springs or upholstered furniture into your home.

So, that's the scoop. Sleep tight.


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A message about storm drains

Just rec'd this: I live in the 300 block of Murdock and noticed while walking the dog this morning that the storm drain was covered with leaves etc. With the potential for all the rain in the next few days I wonder if it might be good to remind people about checking these drains.

From an Associated Press story, crews in Baltimore are asking residents to do just that:

"In Baltimore, public works officials asked residents to clear trash from storm drain inlets, secure garbage cans and sweep sidewalks and alleys to keep storm drains clear."


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These are pretty fun


I have to imagine this woman has a nanny and a housekeeper, or a large supply of crack. In any event, she's made some pretty cool photos.
http://milasdaydreams.blogspot.com/


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mr. Rob's Forge Doggie Daycare


robertw613@gmail.com
410-561-6378


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Monday, September 27, 2010

Latest crime report

Read it here, including events on Pinehurst and Stevenson Lane.


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Sweet dog needs a home

Bailey is an unknown breed (abandoned). 3 to 5 years old. He would be a great addition to any family. He is house broken, gets along well with other dogs and cats. He likes to go for walks and is good on leash. He is good with people. He does not jump-up on people. He likes to play ball and with other toys.

Bailey should be in a house with older teenagers and adults. He does not like to be left outside in the yard by himself for long periods of time. He is an indoor kind of dog. He is also not an early riser 7am is a good start time for him. We need to find a good home for him before Oct. 1 or we will have to put him in to a shelter.

Dennis and Judy Dunham
410-529-1087
alpo380@verizon.net


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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Piece of forge in Rodgers Forge

The Baltimore Sun: The coffee table in the lobby at Rodgers Forge Elementary boasts a built-in conversation piece, one deeply rooted in the history of the school and its surrounding community.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/bs-md-co-school-displays-iron-artifac20100926,0,2157582.story


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Rodgers Forge hit with tragic death of college student

The Towerlight reports: Towson University junior Abe Cahan died Thursday, Sept. 23, according to his father.

The office of the chief medical examiner of the state of Maryland could not be contacted to determine a cause of death.

The physics and philosophy major was found dead in his off-campus apartment, according to John Cahan of Rodgers Forge, Md.

“He had a lot to live for and a lot of potential that he’ll never get to realize,” John Cahan said. “He was a wonderful son and will be very dearly missed.”

http://www.thetowerlight.com/2010/09/tu-rugby-player-found-dead/

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/bs-md-co-abe-cahan-20100925,0,5490017.story



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Model Making & Story Building Studio Workshop

Create your own artwork inspired by the work of Walter Wick, author of the Can You See What I See? and co-creator of the I Spy book series. Use everyday objects and sculpture materials to construct models and dioramas, write riddles and stories, photograph the creations and explore the special exhibition, Walter Wick: Games, Gizmos and Toys in the Attic.

Celebrate these works on October 17 with a small art exhibit. This event is part of our studio workshop series for children ages 7-10.
Where: The Walters Art Museum, Family Art Center

When: Sundays, October 10 & 17, 1–4:30 p.m.

Price: Member $50 per child, non-member $65; Materials and special exhibition admission included.

http://thewalters.org/eventscalendar/eventdetails.aspx?e=1627


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Friday, September 24, 2010

Lauraville Fair is tomorrow

Greater Lauraville Fair: "This year we will have some very unique attractions for you, the first of which is a screening of a film from our local director turned Baltimore hero Matt Porterfield. He will be showing a tape looped version of his film Hamilton continually all day. We are going to have an eclectic mix of Musical talents, an array of local artisans and crafts people and as always local food treats. Molly’s kid’s area will once again be the toast of the younger set. The neighborhood associations will also be there to catch you up on the events of the past year. We are also arranging for MICA sculpture students and faculty to have some of their work on display.

Save the date September 25th, 2010, the last Saturday of the month, and only because we have learned from history we will have a rain date of the following Saturday if necessary.

Please email me with any questions or comment greaterlauravillefair@Yahoo.com"
http://hamiltonlauravillemainstreet.blogspot.com/2010/07/save-date-for-greater-lauraville-fair.html


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Neighborhood yard sale tomorrow (Saturday)

The Orchards (neighborhood within North Charles and Lake Ave near Bryn Mawr School) is having a neighborhood yard sale on Saturday, September 25 from 8am until noon. Streets participating include Bellemore, Castlewood, Kenmore and Stony Run.


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Boutique warehouse sale at Wise Penny this weekend


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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Paulshock concedes

Read about it here. Just in time for the Democratic Unity Rally tonight in Towson.


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Is this totally ridiculous or a great idea?


I came across the Banana Guard while browsing lunchboxes. I think I might get one, but there's something that seems a little ridiculous about it. But since we use lightweight re-usable bags as lunch containers, I really don't like to pack bananas for fear for smooshing. ... I also love their FAQ section.

Speaking of lunchboxes, a friend sent me a link to these neat-looking lunchboxes the other day. If one of the compartments was just a little taller in order to accommodate an apple, I'd be sold.


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Saturday Science at Towson U, Sept. 25

This week's topic is “Repairing the Hubble Space Telescope” with Dr. John Grunsfeld, Associate Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute. At 10 a.m. and again at noon. Free and open to the public.
http://www.towson.edu/HackermanAcademy/Calendar_of_Events/index.asp


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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Towson Commons sells for $28.5 million at auction

Read about it here. ... I'm not very familiar with zoning requirements but I really hope the county requires that the first level be retail/restaurants and not just a big block of faceless offices.


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Today's Groupon is for Stoneleigh Lanes

"Bowling is like taking a road test: the only way to win is to knock over more obstacles than everyone else. Cruise to victory with today’s deal: for $22, you get one hour of unlimited bowling, a pizza, and shoe rentals for four people (up to a $53.95 value) at Stoneleigh Lanes, named Best Bowling Alley in 2009 by Baltimore magazine" www.groupon.com


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Monday, September 20, 2010

This looks really interesting - film showing Thursday at Loyola

You are invited to attend a viewing of the film “Soma Girls” and a Q&A with Alexia Prichard, the film’s co-director, which will be shown this coming Thursday, September 23rd from 7-8:30pm in Knott Hall B01 on Loyola’s main campus.

“Soma Girls” follows the lives of young daughters of sex workers in India and the group home that protects them from being forced into prostitution. For more information visit www.somagirls.org.

To get to Knott Hall, park on Charles street and walk towards the pedestrian bridge. Turn onto Ellis parallel and Knott Hall is the first building on the right hand side. Knott Hall B01 is in the basement of the building.

Free and open to the public. No reservations required.


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Seeking violists who are in 5th-10th grade

I'm told that: "The GBYO (Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra) is desperately seeking violists to complete it's Concert Orchestra. Most of the kids are 5th-10th grade and are at the intermediate level. They should be comfortable shifting and playing 2-3 sharps/flats/ key signature. The conductor Mary Poling is amazing! She brings a lot of energy and cohesion to the group. It is a full orchestra performing Copland's Rodeo and Suppe's Poet and Peasant Overture among other things. Rehearsals are Sundays 4:30-7pm in Timonium. Call for an audition. http://gbyomusic.org/"


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Rock-n-Bowl this Saturday at Stoneleigh Lanes


"The Stents are back THIS SATURDAY nite with the Return of Rock n' Bowl at Stoneleigh Lanes (6703 York Road Baltimore, MD 21212 - (410) 377-8115). 10PM to 1AM, 18+ please.

Cost: $19 for all the bowling you can stand or $9 if you want to save your moves for the dance floor and just rock to The Stents [a band of mostly Rodgers Forge guys].

And remember it's BYOB so you can drink the good stuff (or swill, we're not picky) while you throw down. PLUS: Huggy will be premiering a new dance move that you can't miss. Don't say we didn't warn you. See you THIS SATURDAY!"


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Is this your cat?


Just rec'd this message: "I have noticed this kitty cat spending a lot of time on my porch lately. Kitty had been by to visit me this summer when I was sitting out there, and now he/she seems to have taken a real liking to my wicker furniture. Kitty doesn't wear a collar, and I believe he/she heads home around dinner time and then wanders back down in the morning for nap-time. Kitty is well-fed and appears to be very healthy, so I don't think he/she is a stray. Just want to make sure his/her owners know that kitty is spending some quality time on Glen Argyle, in case they were concerned."


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After-school club at Cromwell Valley

Wednesdays, Starting Sept. 22 at 4 PM to 5:30 PM
Calling all 1st thru 3rd graders
We will meet on 9/22, 10/6, 10/20, 11/3 & 11/17 from 4 PM to 5:30 PM. We will explore a different
nature or farm theme with a brief lesson, hands-on games or crafts, and outdoor exploration. Parents are welcome to share in the fun & exploration, but not required to attend unless your youngster needs a little extra help. Children should dress for the weather, including sturdy shoes. Reservations required. $15 members/$20 non-members. Willow Grove Nature Education Center
http://cromwellvalleypark.org/index.html


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Summers Farm Adventure

Homegrown fun and farm fresh adventures at Summers Farm in Frederick, MD. Fall farm attractions include a cornfield maze, hay rides, pig races, jumping pillow, farm animals, pick your own pumpkins, hay slides, and much more! Enjoy nights at the farm with our flashlight corn maze or reserve a campfire site. Shop at the Country Market! Munch at the Sweet Shoppe and the Barnyard Grill! Fun for kids ages 2 to 92. The festival runs from September 25th to October 31st. Visit www.SummersFarm.com or call 301-620-9316 for more information about hours and ticket prices.


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Latest crime report

Read it here.


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Preschooler-and-parent nature classes at Cromwell Valley

Wednesdays, Starting Sept. 22 at 10 AM to 11 AM
NATURE, MOM & ME! - Sign up for all 6 classes - 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/20, 10/27 & 11/3. In each class, you and your pre-schooler will investigate a different topic through hands-on activities, stories, crafts and hikes. Be sure to dress for the weather, including sturdy shoes. Ages 3 - 6 with parent. Reservations required. $15 members/$20 non-members for all 6 sessions. Willow Grove Nature Education Center cromwellvalleypark.org


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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall Family Campout

Fri., Sept. 24 at 5 PM to Sat., Sept. 25 at 10 AM
FALL FAMILY CAMPOUT – Introduce your family to the camping experience close to home. Program will include an evening campfire and night hike. Families should provide own camping gear, BUT if you need a tent, REI has donated 4-four person tents for your use (call to reserve). BYO supper and breakfast will be provided. Rain date is Sat. 9/25 to Sun. 9/26. Reservations required. All ages. $15 members/ $20 non-members families. Willow Grove Family Campsite
http://cromwellvalleypark.org/index.html


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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kids' art classes at Towson U

http://www.towson.edu/cac/childrensclasses.asp

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Mike Ertel is the winner

A message that was just sent by Mike Ertel:

We did it!

Together, we knocked on enough doors, talked to enough people and passed out enough literature to win the Democratic nomination for 5th District Baltimore County Council.

The results were slow in coming, but the votes are now in:

Harden: 1718
Paulshock: 4533
Ertel: 4854

I'd like to thank Bill Paulshock and Gordon Harden for their efforts and their genuine concern about the issues affecting the 5th district. It was a tough race, but I look forward to unifying the district and moving forward together.

And I can’t thank you enough for the part you played in supporting our campaign to make Baltimore County a better place to live, work, and go to school. We were the underdog in the race – with the least funding of all the candidates. But in my opinion, we had the most spirit and enthusiasm.

We’ll need both of those things to help us now, as we turn our attention to the General Election on November 2nd.

For too long, our district has acted as a group of individual neighborhoods. If elected, I will work hard to unite us like never before. From Perry Hall to Towson, we will address individual needs, but promote our collective strengths.

I look forward to a positive, energetic campaign in the weeks ahead. [He will face David Marks, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary.]

Thank you again for your help and kind words. I'm grateful to you.

Mike Ertel
Democratic Nominee,
5th District, Baltimore County Council


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Multi-family yard sale tomorrow

MULTI-FAMILY YARD SALE IN THE SHARED ALLEY BEHIND THE 300 BLOCK OF REGESTER RD. & 300 BLOCK OF DUMBARTON RD.

Plenty of great buys. HH items, collectibles, seasonal items, toys, nursery furniture, futon mattress, women's career clothing, kids' clothing, and much, much more.....all at great buys!!!

Saturday, Sept. 18th
8:00 am.



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Trader Joe's festivities Saturday


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Thursday, September 16, 2010

SONGWRITERS PRESERVATION SOCIETY EVENT SEPT. 23


They say: In the relaxed atmosphere of the French Press Café in Towson, we will be holding our first "gathering" on Thursday, September 23rd at 7:30PM, which will feature some of the best songwriting talent in Baltimore. Scheduled to perform are:
• Brandt Huseman (Pale Stars)
• Ed Neenan (E. Joseph and the Phantom Heart)
• Justin Levy (Eureka Birds)
• Jen Peters and Mike Thiess
• C.L. Blake (that's me, your host for the evening)

Each artist will play 4 or 5 songs, providing background into the creative process, inspiration for the song, and insight into the lyrics. This will hopefully be an interactive session between songwriter and audience and provide for a unique experience for all in attendance.
If successful, we will showcase different songwriters once every two months, and perhaps more frequently if the demand is there.

There is limited seating (40 - 45 people) and tickets will be a tax-deductible $5 each, with all proceeds being donated to WTMD, listener supported radio.

The Songwriters Preservation Society is a great way to support local business, one of the best radio stations in the region (WTMD), and a host of area songwriters/musicians, in an intimate, laid back setting. Not to mention, there is plenty of parking!

For now, please join our Facebook Group called The Songwriters Preservation Society. We need your support and look forward to seeing you at the first gathering.


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lost dog - yellow lab

Hi Kris,

Could you post this lost dog….He was found wandering the alley of 300 Regester/Dumbarton. He is in my backyard and seems to be fine, but has no collar. I can be reached at 443-752-2876.

Thank you ,
Michon Horton


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Goings on tomorrow night

It's the last "Sounds of the Summer" concert at Belvedere Square, and the second-to-last "Feet on the Street" in Towson.


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Desolate Towson Commons could be demolished

Interesting story in Patch.com about the fate of Towson Commons (where the theater is, on York Road). Read it here. ... There are so many empty spaces in Towson now, it's really disturbing. I don't know if demolition is the answer, but Towson needs some serious help.


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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More girls needed for soccer

Just rec'd this message:

PLEASE spread the word that the Girls U12 Rec League (10 and 11 year olds) is looking for 4 more players to play this fall. (We have re-opened registration. It does not say it on the League Lineup page, but if someone clicks on REGISTER, they go through to the form.) Any help digging up 2 more players would be greatly appreciated...
http://www.leaguelineup.com/forms.asp?cmenuid=16&url=trcgirlssoccer&sid=62527753


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Fit kids = smart kids?

In an experiment published last month, researchers recruited schoolchildren, ages 9 and 10, who lived near the Champaign-Urbana campus of the University of Illinois and asked them to run on a treadmill. The researchers were hoping to learn more about how fitness affects the immature human brain.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/phys-ed-can-exercise-make-kids-smarter/?emc=eta1


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Rodgers Forge board meeting tonight - RESULTS

Update:
New president is Jennifer Helfrich;
vice president is Tyler Mays;
treasurer is Janice Moore (outgoing president);
secretary is Carol Zielke;
parliamentarian is Lawrence Swoboda (outgoing VP).

Sept. 15 at 7 pm at RFES. To elect new president. Meeting open to all residents but only board members can vote.


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The latest election numbers

According to this Baltimore County website, here's who's in the lead in key races here, with 94% of votes counted:

County Council:
Ertel 4377
Harden 1486
Paulshock 3909

State House (Dem):
Albin 5655
Bengur 4808
Buist 2970
Kosak 3552
Lafferty 7094

State House (Repub)
Aumann 4272
Fiastro 2893
Frank 4054
Gordon 1678
Pepersack 1007

See full results here:
http://egov2.baltimorecountymd.gov/ElectionResults/#HOUSE%20OF%20DELEGATES%2042

Here's a snapshot of how people voted at the RFES polling place:
County Council:
Ertel - 351
Harden - 80
Paulshock - 38

County Executive:
Bartenfelder - 163
Kamenetz - 339

Delegate:
Albin - 324
Bengur - 285
Buist - 217
Kosak - 123
Lafferty - 381


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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

glasses found

Hi Kris,

I found a pair of women's prescription glasses tonight on Blenheim and Bellona.

Could you post this on the Forge Flyer? Can you please ask people to respond in the comments, and I can contact them that way.

Thanks!
Torri


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Boston Terrier found

A neighbor found a Boston Terrier. The owner can call 410-377-2765.


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Sale today at Hopscotch

Happy Fall! Hope the start of the season has been smooth for everyone. Once the kids got off to school, the clothing has really been moving in! With many kids being off school for election day, we are having a ONE DAY ONLY sale of 20% off all consignment clothing, shoes and accessories! Don't miss this fun event! http://hopscotchgifts.com/


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Monday, September 13, 2010

Latest crime report

Nothing in RF. Locking our doors now? Read it here.


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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Children's Day at Ladew Gardens, this Sunday

Sept. 12: Bring the entire family for a day of crafts, hands-on learning stations, live animal presentations, sing-a-longs, face painting, balloon sculptors, a magic show and theatre performance! Admission: Adults $10, Seniors/Students $8, Children (12 and under) $2, Members are free. 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.

Be sure to visit the stand for "Carolyn's Little BOW Peeps," which is the brainchild of a Rodgers Forgian. She will showcase FALL, HALLOWEEN, and RAVENS bows and headbands.

Event details here:
http://www.ladewgardens.com/educate.html


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Amuse toys sidewalk sale

Sunday at Quarry Lake. They say there will be huge discounts.
www.amusetoys.com

Sent from my iPhone


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Big yard sale today



Sent from my iPhone


Date: September 11, 2010 6:28:09 AM EDT
To: <kris@forgeflyer.com>
Subject: Forge Flyer Posting

Kris – Good morning. Could you please post the following on your website?

Six-Family Garage Sale

Tons of kid's clothes, kid's items and toys, toys, toys. Sage-colored changing table with baskets, pad and covers. Surround sound speakers and receiver. Books. Sit-and-Stand stroller. Child's art desk and chair. Two Diaper Genies. Baby trend stroller. Kids "roller coaster" toy. Bikes. Scooter. DVD's and CD's. Items in great condition! Don't miss out. Saturday, September 11th, 8AM-12PM. 321 Stevenson Lane.


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Friday, September 10, 2010

Two dogs found (owner located)



Update: The owner has been found and the dogs (one of whom is in my backyard after he jumped into our van!) will be home soon.


One that appears to be a Jack Russell terrier was found crossing Stevenson Lane and the other, which is all white except for the ears, was near Dumbarton/Glen Argyle. Contact forgeflyer(at)gmail.com if you have info or are the owner of one or both, or post a comment below. (They don't belong to Betty on Lanark; I already called her.)


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

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I think I found my perfect lunchbox

I have grown to hate the ubiquitous soft-sided insulated lunchboxes you see everywhere. They get really stinky and even putting them in the dishwasher doesn't help. I've been on a quest to find the perfect lunch box.

After another RFES mom told me she really likes the Laptop Lunches lunch box, I went to Wegman's and bought one ($30). I haven't used it yet but I plan to return it. I love the idea, but my son wants to have soup for lunch sometimes, and I like to give him an apple without having to cut it up, etc., and those things just won't fit in the little Laptop pack.

What we use now are these cheapo bags from Target. They hold a lot, and to keep things cold I just use a little tupperware-type thing with a built-in ice pack (also from Target). Simple. Lovely.


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

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Free demo classes at Music Together


I did this with my kids when they were little and it was really fun. They are offering free demo classes on Sept. 13th and 14th in Roland Park (North Baltimore Mennonite Church) and Federal Hill (Church of the Advent). Sign up here:
http://www.musictogethercharmcity.com/demos.aspx


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

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Backyard Fest is this Friday




Sounds like a lot of fun and just a short walk from Rodgers Forge.


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

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Towson Times on Gordon Harden's legal troubles

Towson Times: ... In a sometimes emotional interview, Harden said he knew his court record would eventually become an issue in the council race. He defended his actions, saying he decided to delay paying taxes in order to send his oldest child, a daughter, to college at the College of Charleston, then to University of Maryland.

“I was fulfilling a promise I made to my family starting the day they were born,” Harden said. “Most people don’t get the option to decide not to pay their taxes because (taxes) are automatically withheld, but a lot of business people do make decisions like this.” (Full article here.)

I see. Average schmucks, like me and probably you, have to pay our taxes because they are automatically withheld. Yet the Business People get to play by their own rules and give a thumbs up or thumbs down to paying Uncle Sam. And he says that's acceptable and he'd do it again.

And if I'm understanding the article correctly, he also didn't pay the taxes he owed for his employees. So, were their taxes withheld ... and kept in his pocket? This is who Jim Smith says is the fiscally responsible candidate?


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

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Local mom says Towson Y has great kids' programs

Dear Kris,

I wanted to post something about the Towson YMCA. I have no affiliation other than as a mom who uses it for her children.

As a mother and a medical professional, I see a wonderful resource under-used in the community for adults and children. (Many people don't even know where it is!)

I feel that there are many kids, like mine, who are not interested in being all-state or all-stars in sports but who still love group physical activity. The Y provides an amazing way to get kids away from screens and playing together that can usually fit into a family's budget. It instills the value of physical fitness without stressing the competitive aspect of recreation often seen with other league sport activities.

There are after school PE-type classes for the school age children. There are a myriad of intro to sports classes for the 3-5 group. Of course there is swimming as well. And tons more for kids....There are weekend and weekday options.

Adults of every age have classes in yoga, swim, aerobics and more. There is even a semi-competitive swim group the goes up to age 99+.

The staff is really dedicated and seems to believe in the community resource they provide. They strike me as a rare group of people who are probably underpaid yet display a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and professionalism in their occupation.

I have my kids in a bunch of classes this fall. Sadly, many are being canceled be cause there is only one person in them. I would like to try to get the word out so the more families can consider participating.

Thank you,
Kelly

Here is info about some of the programs she's talking about:
http://ymaryland.org/pages/membership/program-schedules.php#towson


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Sirens going off at Towson U tomorrow

TU says: On Friday, September 10, at ~10:50 am, Towson University will be testing its external voice emergency system. Please be advised, audible warning tones, recorded voice messages and a live voice message indicating that a test is being conducted may be heard in the communities/areas adjacent to the university. No action is necessary.

If you have any questions, please contact the TU Office of Public Safety’s Department of Environmental Health & Safety at (410) 296-7593.


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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

RFCA election results

The election was tonight and although there are more than 1,700 homes in Rodgers Forge, there were only about 50 people voting. Here's who was elected to the board:

Joan Brooks* (incumbent)
Mike Calwell (new)
Doug Campbell (incumbent)
Jay Dunn* (incumbent)
Don Gerding (incumbent)
William Grothmann (new)
Brandon Mollett* (incumbent)
Janice Moore* (incumbent)
Roxanne Rinehart (new)
Del Schmidt (new)
Janine Schofield* (incumbent)
Stuart Sirota (new)
Lawrence Swoboda (incumbent)
Jeff Wible* (incumbent)
Carol Zeilke (incumbent)

*district representative running unopposed


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

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Cat found


This cat was found in Stoneleigh and the people who found her have cats and an infant and can't take her in. They are hoping to find the owner or someone who wants to adopt.


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

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Saturday Science is back at Towson U

"The Life and Death of Stars: From the Sun to Supernovae and Blackholes" is this Saturday. Details here.

The Hackerman Academy's Saturday Morning Science Series is held on campus at Towson University throughout the academic year. This series features presentations, performances and demonstrations that will excite the mind and spark the imagination of young and old. Targeted for students of all ages, the programs are designed to share the excitement of modern discoveries in mathematics and science. Free and open to the public.


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

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Rodgers Forge election is tonight

The RFCA election and annual meeting is tonight (Sept. 8) at 7:00 PM in the RFES cafeteria! Hope you'll be there; this is your opportunity to really help shape the community.

Nominations will also be accepted from the floor the night of the election, so even if you haven't put your name in as a candidate yet, you can still do so at the meeting (see page 2 of the September newsletter.) All Rodgers Forge residents can attend and vote, as long as they've paid their dues, which can even be paid that night.

Here are all the bios of RFCA candidates that I've received so far. Some of these people I know and some I don't (except for phone conversations to discuss bios) but I'm really excited that we have all these new faces and fresh energy for the board.

JESSICA BROWN-STROTT
, running in the 4th District
I have been in around RF since 2001 having lived on Stanmore Road and now Regester Avenue. I grew up in Newark, DE, earned my bachelor's degree in English from Towson University and my master's degree in teaching from Johns Hopkins University. I am currently an adjunct English professor at the Community College of Baltimore County and an active member of the Rodgers Forge Elementary School PTA.

Prior to joining CCBC, I was an elementary school teacher and academic coach in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore City. Additionally, I worked in public relations and spent five years at BGE/Constellation Energy in corporate communications. I'm married with two kids, 9 and 2 years old.

I am a resourceful and optimistic person and I hope to bring some new perspective and ideas to the board. Rodgers Forge is a great neighborhood -- I'd like to do my part in keeping it that way.
[Jessica is the one who spoke at Back to School Night on Tuesday and who somehow made the PTA election entertaining.]


MIKE CALWELL, running in the 6th district
I moved to Rodgers Forge in 2000 and live here with my wife and two daughters, who both attend Rodgers Forge Elementary. I grew up in Homeland and attended Calvert Hall College and University of Phoenix. I'm a Principal Consultant at an IT integrator in Columbia, MD.

I've been active in the Rodgers Forge Citizens on Patrol for several years and have represented the COP at events throughout the area as well as patrolled the neighborhood on numerous occasions. My interest in joining the board relates to my desire to keep Rodgers Forge a safe and stable place for the great families who are drawn to this excellent neighborhood. In my free time, I enjoy golf, mountain biking and small home improvement projects. [Mike is the one who arranged to have the home-security consultant speak at RFES to show us how to keep our homes protected from break-ins.]


WILLIAM A. GROTHMANN, running for at-large seat
I was born and raised in the Towson area, growing up across York Road from Rodgers Forge on Regester Avenue in Stoneleigh. I have been a part of the local community my entire life, minus my college years and a brief post-graduation "experiment" in Atlanta, GA. As a boy I may have spent more time at the Rodgers Forge Tot Lot and the Dumbarton Rec fields than I did in my own house.

My elementary school years were spent at St. Pius X, where my family were members of the parish. I attended Loyola Blakefield in Towson for middle and high school. Then it was on to Washington College in Chestertown, MD where I played lacrosse and came away with a BA in business. My wife Alicia and I moved into Rodgers Forge with our daughter Georgia (18 months), when we purchased 32 Murdock in May of this year. Our second daughter, Andy, was born on September 1, 2010. We are looking forward to raising them in the Forge.

I am currently employed in the construction/home building industry as a salesman for an interiors company.

My interest in becoming a board member is centered around my general concern for keeping Rodgers Forge, it's homes and public spaces, a desirable and valuable place to live and to invest in homeownership. [William is the RF resident who spoke at the June RFCA meeting and encouraged cleaning up the Tot Lot.]


DEL SCHMIDT, running for an at-large seat
I was born and raised in Roland Park and attended school at Gilman where I graduated in 1999 and currently serve on the Alumni Board of Governors and assist with annual giving efforts. I then went to the University of Maryland where I met my now wife, Meghan, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2004.



We spent our first 4 years out of college living in Federal Hill. Once the two of us were engaged to be married we decided that we wanted to purchase our own house and live in a more family oriented quiet neighborhood. Without thinking twice, we landed here in the Forge in November of 2008 on Overbrook Rd. We couldn't be happier. We now live here with our yellow lab, Bodhi and are looking forward to spending many years here raising a family.



What turned us on most about the Forge was its centrality to the City and County urban centers while maintaining county property taxes, top notch public schools, a safe environment to raise children and a general sense of community amongst its residents.



I currently work at my family's real estate firm, Chase Fitzgerald & Co., based out of Roland Park. I am the 4th generation in a long line of family members to own and operate the company. It was started by my great-grandmother Dorothy Fitzgerald in approx.1930 and is currently run by my mother Carol Schmidt as well as my grandmother Patsy Ross serving as the office manager. We have deep seeded roots in the North Baltimore City/Central Corridor of Baltimore County for nearly 80 years.



I was approached by a friend of mine, Tyler Mays, treasurer of the RFC board about running for an at large position. I noticed that most seats are going unchallenged and figured that it is important for any governing body to keep a cycle of fresh blood circulating with new ideas. If elected I look forward to providing my input in making this community the best it can possibly be. Because I am still relatively new to the neighborhood, I felt the at-large positions would be the best fit for me to learn the processes and inner-workings of the board. Using my expertise of the current real estate climate of the neighborhood and past experiences serving on other boards, my contributions will most certainly be an asset. Going forward, if I felt my contributions could be greater, I would most certainly consider running for higher positions.


STUART SIROTA, running for an at-large seat
Stuart Sirota has lived in Rodgers Forge since 2005, with his wife Lisa and three young children. Two of his children attend RFES. Stuart is a professional urban planner who been recognized nationally for his work as an innovator in planning walkable communities. Stuart is the president of a planning consulting firm located in Rodgers Forge in the Tasco Building at 6600 York Road. He can often be seen on his daily commute which is a short walk or bike ride down Hopkins Road between his home and office.

Stuart has volunteered a great deal of his time to local Rodgers Forge civic issues, including:

- Representing the Rodgers Forge PTA on the elementary school redistricting committee. If not for his individual efforts on the committee to stand up for the Rodgers Forge community, many children who live in Rodgers Forge would have been bussed to the new West Towson Elementary school.

- Initiating a new “Safe routes to School” program at RFES.

- Assisting residents with Stevenson Lane traffic calming issues.

- Assisting the Rodgers Forge Board in preparing a guidebook for homeowners relating to the National Register District designation and in developing a high quality reference map of the District.

Stuart believes that his background and expertise in community planning would be an asset to the Rodgers Forge Board of Governors. He is particularly interested in the following topics:

- Improving communication between the Board and residents through greater use of web-based media tools;

- Fostering greater responsiveness to Rodgers Forge among County and State officials;

- Promoting new opportunities for civic engagement and social interaction in our community;

- Enhancing walkability and creating more sustainable transportation options for Rodgers Forge residents.
[You'll remember Stu's name from the whole redistricting process; he made sure there was at least one scenario that didn't cut Rodgers Forge in half.]


KAREN RODRIGUEZ, running in the 1st district
Karen Rodriguez lives in the 400 block of Dunkirk Road in District 1 with her JHU Police Officer husband, four children, and one cat. She works full-time as a Marketing Analyst for ViPS, a healthcare IT company in Towson; is an active member of Woodbrook Baptist Church, where she chairs the Annual Ladies’ Tea and coordinates monthly Family Fun Days (both of which are open to the community); organizes monthly clothing drives for a women’s shelter in Baltimore; and arranges self defense opportunities on behalf of the Rodgers Forge Citizens on Patrol. She drinks copious amounts of caffeine and isn’t afraid to admit she likes Barry Manilow. [Karen is the one who organized those self-defense trainings at Woodbrook for Rodgers Forge residents.]


If you are running for a board seat and want to send me your bio, I'll add it to this list and post again. forgeflyer(at)gmail.com.


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

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Forget what you've been told about study habits

New York Times: ... psychologists have discovered that some of the most hallowed advice on study habits is flat wrong. For instance, many study skills courses insist that students find a specific place, a study room or a quiet corner of the library, to take their work. The research finds just the opposite.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/health/views/07mind.html?_r=2&emc=eta1


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

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Council candidate Gordon Harden skipped out on taxes for years

This is a doozy.

Patch: Baltimore County Council candidate Gordon Harden did not pay his state and federal income taxes for several years until the government forced him to honor his $144,000 total debt by placing court liens against his properties.

The Towson Democrat has made fiscal responsibility a centerpiece of his campaign to win the Sept. 14 primary for the 5th District race. Harden has said he will "secure our financial future" by continuing the conservative fiscal policies of Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr., who has endorsed him in the council race. Read more here.

... And click here for a list of non-tax-related lawsuits filed against Harden, mostly related to his properties. Center Maryland said the list was too long to publish in its entirety so it only goes back to 2000. (Scroll down the page.) Also lists court activity for Ertel and Paulshock.


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

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Latest crime report

Here's the latest report, including two burglaries in RF -- through *unlocked* doors.


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

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Reminder: Rodgers Forge election is this Wednesday

The RFCA election and annual meeting is this Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 7:00 PM in the RFES cafeteria! Hope you'll be there; this is your opportunity to really help shape the community.

Nominations will also be accepted from the floor the night of the election, so even if you haven't put your name in as a candidate yet, you can still do so at the meeting (see page 2 of the September newsletter.) All Rodgers Forge residents can attend and vote, as long as they've paid their dues, which can even be paid that night.

Here are all the bios of RFCA candidates that I've received so far. Some of these people I know and some I don't (except for phone conversations to discuss bios) but I'm really excited that we have all these new faces and fresh energy for the board.

JESSICA BROWN-STROTT
, running in the 4th District
I have been in around RF since 2001 having lived on Stanmore Road and now Regester Avenue. I grew up in Newark, DE, earned my bachelor's degree in English from Towson University and my master's degree in teaching from Johns Hopkins University. I am currently an adjunct English professor at the Community College of Baltimore County and an active member of the Rodgers Forge Elementary School PTA.

Prior to joining CCBC, I was an elementary school teacher and academic coach in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore City. Additionally, I worked in public relations and spent five years at BGE/Constellation Energy in corporate communications. I'm married with two kids, 9 and 2 years old.

I am a resourceful and optimistic person and I hope to bring some new perspective and ideas to the board. Rodgers Forge is a great neighborhood -- I'd like to do my part in keeping it that way.
[Jessica is the one who spoke at Back to School Night on Tuesday and who somehow made the PTA election entertaining.]


MIKE CALWELL, running in the 6th district
I moved to Rodgers Forge in 2000 and live here with my wife and two daughters, who both attend Rodgers Forge Elementary. I grew up in Homeland and attended Calvert Hall College and University of Phoenix. I'm a Principal Consultant at an IT integrator in Columbia, MD.

I've been active in the Rodgers Forge Citizens on Patrol for several years and have represented the COP at events throughout the area as well as patrolled the neighborhood on numerous occasions. My interest in joining the board relates to my desire to keep Rodgers Forge a safe and stable place for the great families who are drawn to this excellent neighborhood. In my free time, I enjoy golf, mountain biking and small home improvement projects. [Mike is the one who arranged to have the home-security consultant speak at RFES to show us how to keep our homes protected from break-ins.]


WILLIAM A. GROTHMANN, running for at-large seat
I was born and raised in the Towson area, growing up across York Road from Rodgers Forge on Regester Avenue in Stoneleigh. I have been a part of the local community my entire life, minus my college years and a brief post-graduation "experiment" in Atlanta, GA. As a boy I may have spent more time at the Rodgers Forge Tot Lot and the Dumbarton Rec fields than I did in my own house.

My elementary school years were spent at St. Pius X, where my family were members of the parish. I attended Loyola Blakefield in Towson for middle and high school. Then it was on to Washington College in Chestertown, MD where I played lacrosse and came away with a BA in business. My wife Alicia and I moved into Rodgers Forge with our daughter Georgia (18 months), when we purchased 32 Murdock in May of this year. Our second daughter, Andy, was born on September 1, 2010. We are looking forward to raising them in the Forge.

I am currently employed in the construction/home building industry as a salesman for an interiors company.

My interest in becoming a board member is centered around my general concern for keeping Rodgers Forge, it's homes and public spaces, a desirable and valuable place to live and to invest in homeownership. [William is the RF resident who spoke at the June RFCA meeting and encouraged cleaning up the Tot Lot.]


DEL SCHMIDT, running for an at-large seat
I was born and raised in Roland Park and attended school at Gilman where I graduated in 1999 and currently serve on the Alumni Board of Governors and assist with annual giving efforts. I then went to the University of Maryland where I met my now wife, Meghan, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2004.



We spent our first 4 years out of college living in Federal Hill. Once the two of us were engaged to be married we decided that we wanted to purchase our own house and live in a more family oriented quiet neighborhood. Without thinking twice, we landed here in the Forge in November of 2008 on Overbrook Rd. We couldn't be happier. We now live here with our yellow lab, Bodhi and are looking forward to spending many years here raising a family.



What turned us on most about the Forge was its centrality to the City and County urban centers while maintaining county property taxes, top notch public schools, a safe environment to raise children and a general sense of community amongst its residents.



I currently work at my family's real estate firm, Chase Fitzgerald & Co., based out of Roland Park. I am the 4th generation in a long line of family members to own and operate the company. It was started by my great-grandmother Dorothy Fitzgerald in approx.1930 and is currently run by my mother Carol Schmidt as well as my grandmother Patsy Ross serving as the office manager. We have deep seeded roots in the North Baltimore City/Central Corridor of Baltimore County for nearly 80 years.



I was approached by a friend of mine, Tyler Mays, treasurer of the RFC board about running for an at large position. I noticed that most seats are going unchallenged and figured that it is important for any governing body to keep a cycle of fresh blood circulating with new ideas. If elected I look forward to providing my input in making this community the best it can possibly be. Because I am still relatively new to the neighborhood, I felt the at-large positions would be the best fit for me to learn the processes and inner-workings of the board. Using my expertise of the current real estate climate of the neighborhood and past experiences serving on other boards, my contributions will most certainly be an asset. Going forward, if I felt my contributions could be greater, I would most certainly consider running for higher positions.


STUART SIROTA, running for an at-large seat
Stuart Sirota has lived in Rodgers Forge since 2005, with his wife Lisa and three young children. Two of his children attend RFES. Stuart is a professional urban planner who been recognized nationally for his work as an innovator in planning walkable communities. Stuart is the president of a planning consulting firm located in Rodgers Forge in the Tasco Building at 6600 York Road. He can often be seen on his daily commute which is a short walk or bike ride down Hopkins Road between his home and office.

Stuart has volunteered a great deal of his time to local Rodgers Forge civic issues, including:

- Representing the Rodgers Forge PTA on the elementary school redistricting committee. If not for his individual efforts on the committee to stand up for the Rodgers Forge community, many children who live in Rodgers Forge would have been bussed to the new West Towson Elementary school.

- Initiating a new “Safe routes to School” program at RFES.

- Assisting residents with Stevenson Lane traffic calming issues.

- Assisting the Rodgers Forge Board in preparing a guidebook for homeowners relating to the National Register District designation and in developing a high quality reference map of the District.

Stuart believes that his background and expertise in community planning would be an asset to the Rodgers Forge Board of Governors. He is particularly interested in the following topics:

- Improving communication between the Board and residents through greater use of web-based media tools;

- Fostering greater responsiveness to Rodgers Forge among County and State officials;

- Promoting new opportunities for civic engagement and social interaction in our community;

- Enhancing walkability and creating more sustainable transportation options for Rodgers Forge residents.
[You'll remember Stu's name from the whole redistricting process; he made sure there was at least one scenario that didn't cut Rodgers Forge in half.]


KAREN RODRIGUEZ, running in the 1st district
Karen Rodriguez lives in the 400 block of Dunkirk Road in District 1 with her JHU Police Officer husband, four children, and one cat. She works full-time as a Marketing Analyst for ViPS, a healthcare IT company in Towson; is an active member of Woodbrook Baptist Church, where she chairs the Annual Ladies’ Tea and coordinates monthly Family Fun Days (both of which are open to the community); organizes monthly clothing drives for a women’s shelter in Baltimore; and arranges self defense opportunities on behalf of the Rodgers Forge Citizens on Patrol. She drinks copious amounts of caffeine and isn’t afraid to admit she likes Barry Manilow. [Karen is the one who organized those self-defense trainings at Woodbrook for Rodgers Forge residents.]


If you are running for a board seat and want to send me your bio, I'll add it to this list and post again. forgeflyer(at)gmail.com.


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

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Public Safety Day

This year marks the 6th Annual “Public Safety Day” in Baltimore County. The Baltimore County Police Community Relations Council has announced that this year’s event will take place on September 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The public is invited to come to the Hunt Valley Towne Centre located at 118 Shawan Road, in Hunt Valley, Md. 21030, to view high-tech equipment used by trained staff for safety at home, at work and at play. There are other demonstrations that will inform and entertain all who attend Public Safety Day. Click here for details.


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

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Organized play at recess

A friend of mine sent this to me, saying she wishes our school utilized something like this to ward off bullying and clique building. It's a group that facilitates organized play at recess. I tend to be more of a fan of free play, but when I ran the idea past my son he said it sounded neat and started naming the various games he'd like to play.

http://www.playworksusa.org/about


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

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Meet the candidates

Here are all the bios of RFCA candidates that I've received so far. Some of these people I know and some I don't (except for phone conversations to discuss bios) but I'm really excited that we have all these new faces and fresh energy for the board.

See you at the election and annual meeting this Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 7:00 PM in the RFES cafeteria! All Rodgers Forge residents can attend and vote, as long as they've paid their dues, which can even be paid that night.

JESSICA BROWN-STROTT

I have been in around RF since 2001 having lived on Stanmore Road and now Regester Avenue. I grew up in Newark, DE, earned my bachelor's degree in English from Towson University and my master's degree in teaching from Johns Hopkins University. I am currently an adjunct English professor at the Community College of Baltimore County and an active member of the Rodgers Forge Elementary School PTA.

Prior to joining CCBC, I was an elementary school teacher and academic coach in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore City. Additionally, I worked in public relations and spent five years at BGE/Constellation Energy in corporate communications. I'm married with two kids, 9 and 2 years old.

I am a resourceful and optimistic person and I hope to bring some new perspective and ideas to the board. Rodgers Forge is a great neighborhood -- I'd like to do my part in keeping it that way.
[Jessica is the one who spoke at Back to School Night on Tuesday and who somehow made the PTA election entertaining.]


MIKE CALWELL
I moved to Rodgers Forge in 2000 and live here with my wife, Bess, and two daughters, who both attend Rodgers Forge Elementary. I grew up in Homeland and attended Calvert Hall College and University of Phoenix. I'm a Principal Consultant at an IT integrator in Columbia, MD.

I've been active in the Rodgers Forge Citizens on Patrol for several years and have represented the COP at events throughout the area as well as patrolled the neighborhood on numerous occasions. My interest in joining the board relates to my desire to keep Rodgers Forge a safe and stable place for the great families who are drawn to this excellent neighborhood. In my free time, I enjoy golf, mountain biking and small home improvement projects. [Mike is the one who arranged to have the home-security consultant speak at RFES to show us how to keep our homes protected from break-ins.]


WILLIAM A. GROTHMANN
I was born and raised in the Towson area, growing up across York Road from Rodgers Forge on Regester Avenue in Stoneleigh. I have been a part of the local community my entire life, minus my college years and a brief post-graduation "experiment" in Atlanta, GA. As a boy I may have spent more time at the Rodgers Forge Tot Lot and the Dumbarton Rec fields than I did in my own house.

My elementary school years were spent at St. Pius X, where my family were members of the parish. I attended Loyola Blakefield in Towson for middle and high school. Then it was on to Washington College in Chestertown, MD where I played lacrosse and came away with a BA in business. My wife Alicia and I moved into Rodgers Forge with our daughter Georgia (18 months), when we purchased 32 Murdock in May of this year. Our second daughter, Andy, was born on September 1, 2010. We are looking forward to raising them in the Forge.

I am currently employed in the construction/home building industry as a salesman for an interiors company.

My interest in becoming a board member is centered around my general concern for keeping Rodgers Forge, it's homes and public spaces, a desirable and valuable place to live and to invest in homeownership. [William is the RF resident who spoke at the June RFCA meeting and encouraged cleaning up the Tot Lot.]


DEL SCHMIDT
I was born and raised in Roland Park and attended school at Gilman where I graduated in 1999 and currently serve on the Alumni Board of Governors and assist with annual giving efforts. I then went to the University of Maryland where I met my now wife, Meghan, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2004.



We spent our first 4 years out of college living in Federal Hill. Once the two of us were engaged to be married we decided that we wanted to purchase our own house and live in a more family oriented quiet neighborhood. Without thinking twice, we landed here in the Forge in November of 2008 on Overbrook Rd. We couldn't be happier. We now live here with our yellow lab, Bodhi and are looking forward to spending many years here raising a family.



What turned us on most about the Forge was its centrality to the City and County urban centers while maintaining county property taxes, top notch public schools, a safe environment to raise children and a general sense of community amongst its residents.



I currently work at my family's real estate firm, Chase Fitzgerald & Co., based out of Roland Park. I am the 4th generation in a long line of family members to own and operate the company. It was started by my great-grandmother Dorothy Fitzgerald in approx.1930 and is currently run by my mother Carol Schmidt as well as my grandmother Patsy Ross serving as the office manager. We have deep seeded roots in the North Baltimore City/Central Corridor of Baltimore County for nearly 80 years.



I was approached by a friend of mine, Tyler Mays, treasurer of the RFC board about running for an at large position. I noticed that most seats are going unchallenged and figured that it is important for any governing body to keep a cycle of fresh blood circulating with new ideas. If elected I look forward to providing my input in making this community the best it can possibly be. Because I am still relatively new to the neighborhood, I felt the at-large positions would be the best fit for me to learn the processes and inner-workings of the board. Using my expertise of the current real estate climate of the neighborhood and past experiences serving on other boards, my contributions will most certainly be an asset. Going forward, if I felt my contributions could be greater, I would most certainly consider running for higher positions.


STUART SIROTA 

Stuart Sirota has lived in Rodgers Forge since 2005, with his wife Lisa and three young children. Two of his children attend RFES. Stuart is a professional urban planner who been recognized nationally for his work as an innovator in planning walkable communities. Stuart is the president of a planning consulting firm located in Rodgers Forge in the Tasco Building at 6600 York Road. He can often be seen on his daily commute which is a short walk or bike ride down Hopkins Road between his home and office.

Stuart has volunteered a great deal of his time to local Rodgers Forge civic issues, including:

- Representing the Rodgers Forge PTA on the elementary school redistricting committee. If not for his individual efforts on the committee to stand up for the Rodgers Forge community, many children who live in Rodgers Forge would have been bussed to the new West Towson Elementary school.

- Initiating a new “Safe routes to School” program at RFES.

- Assisting residents with Stevenson Lane traffic calming issues.

- Assisting the Rodgers Forge Board in preparing a guidebook for homeowners relating to the National Register District designation and in developing a high quality reference map of the District.

Stuart believes that his background and expertise in community planning would be an asset to the Rodgers Forge Board of Governors. He is particularly interested in the following topics:

- Improving communication between the Board and residents through greater use of web-based media tools;

- Fostering greater responsiveness to Rodgers Forge among County and State officials;

- Promoting new opportunities for civic engagement and social interaction in our community;

- Enhancing walkability and creating more sustainable transportation options for Rodgers Forge residents.
[You'll remember Stu's name from the whole redistricting process; he made sure there was at least one scenario that didn't cut Rodgers Forge in half.]


KAREN RODRIGUEZ
Karen Rodriguez lives in the 400 block of Dunkirk Road in District 1 with her JHU Police Officer husband, four children, and one cat. She works full-time as a Marketing Analyst for ViPS, a healthcare IT company in Towson; is an active member of Woodbrook Baptist Church, where she chairs the Annual Ladies’ Tea and coordinates monthly Family Fun Days (both of which are open to the community); organizes monthly clothing drives for a women’s shelter in Baltimore; and arranges self defense opportunities on behalf of the Rodgers Forge Citizens on Patrol. She drinks copious amounts of caffeine and isn’t afraid to admit she likes Barry Manilow. [Karen is the one who organized those self-defense trainings at Woodbrook for Rodgers Forge residents. Oh, Mandy, you came and you put me in a choke hold...]


If you are running for a board seat and want to send me your bio, I'll add it to this list and post again. forgeflyer(at)gmail.com.


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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fireworks at Towson U on Sept. 4

On Saturday, September 4th, 2010 Towson University’s Unitas Stadium will serve as the venue for the I-95 Football Classic, a high school football event.

The event’s organizers have added a fireworks display which is expected to occur between approximately 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The fireworks will be launched in Lot 19, which is located west of the stadium and just off of Auburn Drive.


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Hampton Elementary addition is now a go

A little sunlight courtesy of Towson Families United and things are moving forward.
http://towsonfamiliesunited.com/blog/?p=575


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About AC and school closings

Some people were wondering, on the Flyer and on the sidewalks at early pickup yesterday, why BCPS can't just close the schools without AC on hot days -- why close schools that are perfectly cool? Here is a response from spokesman Charles Herndon:

Hi, Kris,

I hope your summer has been a pleasant one; it’s been a stubborn one with the heat, that’s for sure.

The simple answer to your question is that it is a matter of logistics – mainly revolving around the issue of transportation. Because our buses and drivers serve a variety of schools and schedules, it is problematic to try to unravel the routes, stops, and schedules for schools that are air conditioned and schools that are not. Closing one school is not an issue; closing 50 or 60 while 100 remain open makes matters far more daunting and confusing for parents and schedulers, esp. parents who may have one child in an air conditioned school and one child in another that does not have air conditioning.

I don’t have the exact number of schools with/without air conditioning – and as you know there are gradations of air conditioning with some schools that have wings that have a.c., some that are fully air conditioned, and others that have only some areas with a.c. – but it’s somewhere around half to 2/5th of our schools that have no or only partial classroom air conditioning.

Hope that helps a little bit. Thanks so much, and take care.
- CH


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A message from Rodgers Forge Apartments

Note: I just got clarification from Councilman Gardina on a question I had. His recent bill that beefs up penalties for problem rentals does not apply to large complexes like the RF Apartments. Only to rentals with six or fewer units.

Hi Kris,

I wanted to send you out a quick update about the happenings here at our apartments – thought you may be able to mention some items in the forge flyer.

We are currently wrapping up demolition and renovations on the last phase of our project. The final 89 apartments will be available for rent between October and the end of the year. We are really looking forward to the completion of the project! As our occupancy increases we are doing our best to accommodate and address concerns from all of our current and new residents as well as the surrounding neighborhood.

We have begun towing all our parking lots, grassy areas and alleyways. Only Rodgers Forge Apartment residents with parking permits displayed in their rearview mirrors will be allowed to park in these areas. Greenwood Towing (410-669-1661) patrols the lots and all our property 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can’t control the county streets so those are open parking for everyone. (We’ve had several community members get their cars towed when they parked on our property and I hate to see that happen.)

With all our new residents moving in we expect an initial wave of excitement here and are doing our best to be proactive in our efforts to have the entire Rodgers Forge Community live in a happy, peaceful environment. I was hoping you could direct any concerns to our website at www.rodgersforgebaltimore.com. There is a contact us tab at the top that comes directly to my email.

I am sure the whole community is looking forward to the completion and finally having Rodgers Forge Apartments be a part of the community!

Please feel free to email me with any additional questions or concerns!

Thank you!
Alina Graham
PMC Property Group
http://www.pmcbaltimore.com
410-377-2172 office
-------------------------------------------

Thanks, Alina!

Are you guys doing anything to try to place the students in apartments that are more separated from the Rodgers Forge community? I would imagine residents would be delighted if students were in the apartments that were not right up against their homes, such as on the north/west side of Rodgers Forge Road. TU students have really caused some problems in other residential neighborhoods with lots of keggers, loud music, peeing and vomiting. Not to be too negative about students, but that's just not the behavior people want in their neighborhoods.

Do your residents have guest parking passes for visitors? As you know, street parking is an issue in this area and if visitors could park in your lots that would be very helpful.

Let me know, and I'll pass all this along.

Thanks so much for reaching out.

Take care,
Kris
----------------------------------------------

Hi Kris,
Unfortunately I can’t guarantee that students will be in the specific location requested. If community residents encounter behavior that violates county ordinances concerning loudness or public urination then they should call the local police department. As a management company we will be enforcing the requirements of our lease as signed by the residents. Also, there are no guest passes for visitors to park in the lots on our property – the lots are for Rodgers Forge Apartment residents only. Feel free to contact me with any additional questions.
Thanks again,
Alina Graham


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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Baltimore and teenagers

This horrible story about the man who drowned after he was allegedly pushed into the Inner Harbor by some skateboarder has me thinking again about how terrified I will be when my kids are old enough to run around town without me. I was just talking to a woman in Rodgers Forge the other day who is moving out of state and she said she and her husband were afraid of the idea of their daughter, now a preschooler, hanging out in the Inner Harbor when she's older. (That's not the only reason they are moving but it was a factor.)

I've had the same thoughts. Baltimore can be so violent (just ranked 5th highest murder rate in the country) and I fear that when our kids are teens they may do something stupid, like venture into the wrong neighborhood or run into the wrong crowd on the street, and very bad things could happen.

Parents of teens -- what do you do about this in terms of keeping your kids safe and at the same time not going crazy with worry? I'm not generally a super fearful person, but I really can't watch local TV news or I start to freak out about all the crime and despair that is just a few miles away.


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Rodgers Forge board election is in one week

Wednesday, September 8th at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Rodgers Forge Elementary. All current residents of RF who have paid dues (you can even pay them that night) are eligible to vote.

I've collected a few bios of the candidates and am waiting on a few others. If you are running for a seat on the board and want me to post your bio, feel free to send it to me at forgeflyer(at)gmail.com.

See you at the meeting!


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Towson Times' endorsements

The Towson Times came out with its list of endorsements today. Read them here, though they are not the most in-depth endorsements I've ever seen. Note: Rodgers Forge is in the County Council's 5th District and in the 42nd District for State Senate and House of Delegates.


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Schools closing early today

Because of heat.
http://www.bcps.org/status/

Sent from my iPhone


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