Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rodgers Forge resident pleads guilty to child porn charges

Read about it in The Sun.

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rodgers Forge board hires lawyer to fight homeowner's plans

(proposed back porch, above)

(existing back porch, above)

Note: The original photo I had posted of her planned porch was incorrect; what is pictured above now is correct.

The Rodgers Forge Community Association has hired an attorney to fight a homeowner's request to the county for a variance that would allow her to enclose her back porch.

The owner of 300 Hopkins wants to extend her kitchen so she can add a small powder room against the wall that is shared with the living room. She has a letter from her doctor stating that for medical reasons she needs a bathroom on the first floor. Last year she submitted a proposal to the board, which was denied. She modified the plan and was denied again. She submitted a third modified plan (her current plan, pictured above) and was denied again. She then decided to work directly with the county, as the covenants in that section of Rodgers Forge have expired and she doesn't need board approval to make changes to her home.

However, even though she is not extending her porch, the fact that it would be enclosed means she does not meet the county's setback requirements -- that is, the amount of space required between a home and the street or alley. So she has requested that the county give her a variance. The Rodgers Forge board is fighting that request.

Board president Jennifer Helfrich said she could not comment other than to say, "We [the board] don’t want her to have the variance granted. We support the county’s laws without a variance.”

This isn't the first time the two parties have disagreed about changes to the home. About 15 years ago the homeowner requested approval from the architectural committee to enclose her front porch with glass. Her request was denied, but because the covenants were expired, she got a permit from the county (there were no setback issues) and built it anyway. She said she now spends most of her time on the porch because it is filled with light.

The variance hearing had been set for May 27 but the board's attorney, J. Carroll Holzer, asked the county to postpone it because it did not work with this schedule. A new date has not yet been set.

Holzer is the same attorney who represented the board when it sued the homeowners at the corner of Murdock and Pinehurst over variance issues there. The owners wanted to extend their kitchen, which they said meant extending into their side yard; that met county setback rules. The board argued they were really extending the back of their home, which did not meet setback rules. (The house fronts Pinehurst but the board argued it faced Murdock.) The board lost the case, then appealed, and also lost the appeal. The homeowners have since moved. (Read about that case here.)

The owner of the Hopkins Road house, Christiane Rothbaum, said she has resigned herself to the fact that the county will probably defer to the board's wishes, although she has hired an attorney. Her architect also said she might lose, but he has taken photographs of other RF homes with similar additions that he hopes will bolster her case. See them here:

"I wish that the [Rodgers Forge architectural] committee would work with an architect first rather than a lawyer," said Rothbaum, whose native language is French. "I wish they would make some designs, and I know it’s complicated, but try to create some sort of lines that within you have to work. That would make people happy."

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

Friday, May 13, 2011

Will new Towson Green development help downtown?

As you've probably noticed, there is a new housing development coming to Towson, behind Wilson Lighting, off York Road. What do you think, will this help liven up downtown Towson? (Which is in desperate need of livening up.)

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

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Free Comic Book Day is May 7

Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE to anyone who comes into their stores. Check with your local shop for their participation and rules.

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Urban Outfitters coming to Towson

Read about it here. I personally am reminiscing about the days when I could fit into their clothes.

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

Correction: No appliances or electronics at Dumpster Day

No computer equipment, cords, televisions, VCRs, DVD players, telephones, cell phones and the like. Nothing that could contain hazardous waste. There was a misprint in the newsletter but please note that these materials will *not* be accepted.

For information on what to do with old electronics, you can visit this Baltimore County site:

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

Volunteers needed for Dumpster Day

It's this Saturday morning. If you can assist with this very helpful and popular event, contact RFCA board member Janine Schofield at jcschofield(at) Be the "someone else" who does it!

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

In praise of Maryland Poison Control

From a friend of mine in Rodgers Forge:

At 730a yesterday my husband called me at work to tell me that a bottle of children’s liquid medication was sitting on the bathroom sink, lid off, contents gone…did I know anything about this? I had given my feverish, 2-year-old daughter the recommended dose for her age/weight at 5am, put the childproof lid back on and left it in the box and on the sink as a reminder for my husband should she need follow up dosing.

We determined that sometime between 645a (when I left for work) and 730a (when my husband entered the bathroom and found the empty bottle), our 4-year-old son had consumed 2 to 3 ounces of the medication. Either I did not have the cap on securely, or as my new BFF Eric at Poison Control suggested, since children have a much higher frustration threshold than adults, my son worked it until it came off.

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

Oceanic does have cheaper gas

JAG wasn't kidding in his comment when he said they consistently have lower prices. At York and Seminary.

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Community yard sale this weekend

Gaywood Community Yard Sale—HUGE!
Sat. 5/7 8am-1pm
200 & 6400 blks Blenheim Rd; 200 blk Gaywood Rd
(Raindate 5/21)

Also this:
"Sat May 28th 9AM-3PM
100 block of Brandon Rd. North of Stevenson Rd.
All the things I never got around to selling on EBAY!

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

Gas prices in the Towson area

I did a post recently about the discount you can get at Shell gas stations using points from Giant stores (read it here). Someone commented that Shell gas prices are higher than other places so you're not necessarily getting a deal. I wondered if that was true so I zipped around to a few stations today to check it out. These were all taken within 15 minutes of each other. I know gas prices can change, but this is what I found in my little expedition.

Above is the Gulf at York and Stevenson. (Their digital sign didn't show up in photos.)

Above is the Exxon at Charles and Stevenson.

Above is the Sunoco at Charles and Stevenson.

Above is the Exxon station at York and Bosley.

Above is the Shell at York and Fairmount.

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

Reminder: Dumpster Day is this Saturday

May 7, 8 am to noon in front of RFES. You must be a Rodgers Forge resident to use the dumpsters, so bring your driver license.

Acceptable items: yard waste, paper, mattresses, carpet, and metal waste.

AmVets will be there to take reusable furniture and working computers.

The Loading Dock will take undamaged wood and most other materials that can be used in the building and home-construction trades.

Unacceptable items include: tires, paints, gasoline containers, propane tanks, anything explosive, and electronics.

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

Cylburn Arboretum Market Day is this weekend

Preview sale is Friday, May 6 from 4 pm to 7 pm

Market Day is Saturday, May 7
8 am to 3 pm

Offering Annuals & Perennials, Native Plants, Shrubs & Trees, Vegetables & Herbs Gardening Demonstrations, Mother's Day Gifts, Kid's Activities, Used Book Sale & Raffle, Food & Drink. Details here.

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

Monday, May 2, 2011

Holistic Wellnes Fair at Govans Presbyterian this Saturday

Saturday, May 7, 10am-4pm

Holistic Wellness Fair FlyerEnjoy talks, workshops and information tables about holistic practices for all ages - including special activities for kids! Topics/workshops include reiki, accupuncture, yoga, tai chi, nutrition, spirituality and wellness, and many more. Before you leave, take some time to walk in our outdoor labyrinth.

This fair will be a service to our community by exposing people to the wide variety of physical and spiritual paths to wellness.


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

Latest crime report

Looks like the Royal Farms was targeted again, but this time the police caught the suspects. Read the report here.

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

Garden Festival at Ladew

May 7 -- Join us for an exclusive collection of dealers featuring hard to find perennials and annuals, unusual exotics and container specialties plus decorative furniture, urns, statuary and other architectural treasures.

Priority Preview Sale: 8 am – 10 am; $75 for members, $100 for non-members, includes Ladew membership, first chance shopping, continental breakfast, and lecture with Founding Director of Horticulture, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY, and Honorary Chair Marco Polo Stufano.

General Admission Sale: 10 am – 5 pm; $15 for Sale, $25 Sale + Lecture (seating is limited). please note: Admission to Ladew on Saturday, May 7 is $15 for all visitors, members included.

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

The Sound of Music starts this weekend

The Children's Playhouse of Maryland, in residence at the Community College of Baltimore County, Essex, presents The Sound of Music 1 p.m. weekends May 7-8, 14-15, 21-22. A special 4 p.m. May 15 show will be Sign Language Interpreted by student interpreter interns from the CCBC Interpreter Preparation Program.

Performances will be given in the J Building Lecture Hall, CCBC Essex, 7201 Rossville Boulevard. Tickets, $10 general admission and $8 for birthday parties or scout troops, are available from the CCBC Box Office at 443-840-ARTS (2787) weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and at the door, space permitting.

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

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tortoise found

(Image has been removed because the tortoise is now home. Not everyday you see a "tortoise found" sign, though.)

We spoke to the woman posting the signs. She found him in the middle of the road in Rodgers Forge.

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

Rodgers Forgian comes up with new official slogan for Towson

Read about it in Congratulations, Katie!

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