Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rodgers Forge illustrator has new book out

Baltimore Sun: The turbo-charged guy with a head full of swirling salt-and-pepper hair sitting at the lower end of Grand Cru busily sketching most Saturday afternoons, dressed in faded blue jeans, bumpy tweed sport coat, Irish country farmers' vest, shirt and tie, is the loquacious Kevin O'Malley. ... He's a self-employed professional artist, illustrator and author of children's books. He also travels and lectures widely throughout the country on his work.,0,7559755,full.story

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Debbie Phelps trades Rodgers Forge for Inner Harbor glitz

Read about, and see, Michael Phelps' mom's new digs in The Baltimore Sun magazine.

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

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lavish pay for administrators while teachers get cut and class sizes go up

Liz Bowie of the Sun reports: The Baltimore County school system has some of the highest spending among the state's districts on top-level administration and has just added a new deputy superintendent at an annual salary of $214,000, even as it plans to cut teaching positions in middle and high schools.

... Renee Foose, who worked as a Montgomery administrator, has been hired as a deputy superintendent in Baltimore County and will be paid $214,000 a year when she begins her job next month. She will be one of the better-paid deputy superintendents in the region. In Montgomery, a school system that has about 50 percent more students than Baltimore County, the deputy makes $202,000 a year. In the city, the next-highest-paid administrator below Alonso receives $175,000, and in Anne Arundel, the deputy is paid $164,000.

... Baltimore County Superintendent Joe A. Hairston, who earns $307,000 a year after a decade in the job, is the highest-paid superintendent in the state.

Full story:,0,1998922.story

Cake, anyone?

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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ridgely AC postponed

A message from Friends of Ridgely Middle School:

URGENT – Ridgely will not have AC in the spring and may not have it before school starts again next fall: We need to act!

We have just received information that the current BCPS schedule for installing AC at Ridgely has slipped -- from this spring to this summer. They are not guaranteeing completion until mid-September of next school year!

This is a serious setback. We were given the impression the students would not have to suffer through 100+ degree heat index classrooms after fall 2010. It now appears definite they will endure extreme heat this May and June and quite possibly next August and September.

BCPS had the money in hand in July 2010 and the contractor's bid was approved in January 2011. This is completely unacceptable.

Please call the following lawmakers and tell them that your children and teachers cannot suffer through another hot season at Ridgely because of BCPS delays. It has been 3 years. Enough is enough!

- Councilman Huff’s office: 410-887-3387 (3rd County Council district)
- Dr. Hairston’s office, 410-887-4281
- Board of Education Office, 410.887.4126
- Kevin Kamenetz's office, 410-887-2450
- Jim Brochin’s office, 410-841-3648

Thank you for advocating for our kids!

(PS: Dumbarton Middle also doesn't have air conditioning.)
(PPS: In answer to the question of why it's a priority at RMS, Ridgely was renovated a year or two ago and the new windows barely open and AC was supposed to be installed. The county didn't spend the money on actually getting chillers for the AC system, so now the school has windows that basically don't open and no AC. A real d'oh moment, if you ask me.)

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

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

RF resident working for more speed humps

From a Dunkirk resident: I have applied for the county to consider ways to slow traffic and increase safety along my street, Dunkirk Road. The Department of Public Works guy I talked to has asked me on which other streets neighborhood residents are interested in having traffic calming measures installed.

So here's my question to you, Rodgers Forge: where in our neighborhood do you want the county to consider? You can comment back here or send the neighborhood association board your thoughts at

The levels of traffic calming measures could be:
- passive (periodic police enforcement, changeable sign displaying speed),
- standard (pavement markings, turn restrictions) or
- physical alterations such as speed humps or traffic chokers, such as at the intersection of Pinehurst and Dumbarton Roads.

Here’s how the process works:
1. A street must be mostly residential and 1,000 feet long and meet additional basic requirements.
2. The county monitors traffic volume and speed for a 48-hour period, assigning points based on average vehicle speed and the highest one-hour traffic volume.
3. The county studies the origin and destination of vehicles and assigns points based on the results.
4. Depending on the total points, the county selects and designs traffic calming measures at a passive, standard or physical level.
5. A community member then must get approval of 75 percent of residents along the street where improvements are proposed. If households immediately adjacent to proposed calming devices do not approve of the plan, it cannot go forward. (A speed hump, for example, could be relocated to another part of the block.)
6. Based on funding availability, construction can begin.

There are now speed humps on Dumbarton Road and part of Heathfield Road. Stevenson Lane does not qualify as a local street (but it does have a speed camera).

Which Rodgers Forge streets do you think the county should study?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Another kitchen remodel to get your creative (or envious) juices flowing

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