Monday, October 31, 2011

Councilman David Marks seeks to amend sign law

A message from Councilman David Marks:

At the next County Council meeting, I will introduce legislation that prohibits electronic signage beyond a certain height in downtown Towson. This bill will amend the recently-passed sign legislation, which has already been approved by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. [Read about the sign legislation here.]

I will make copies of the bill available to the Towson Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Towson Committee, and the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations as soon as it is available. Any citizen can view the bill at the County Council Web Site once it is introduced next Monday (http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/countycouncil/index.html).

While I remain a strong advocate for revitalizing downtown Towson, I have always tried to listen to community concerns, which is why I am taking the unusual step of modifying a bill that was just signed into law.

County Councilman David Marks
dmarks@baltimorecountymd.gov

Historic Courthouse
400 Washington Avenue
Towson, MD 21204
(410) 887-3384

And here's an article on the change by Patch.com.


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Latest crime report

Read it here.


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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Informal tot lot Halloween gathering

FYI, there is a conversation on the RF listserv about getting together at the Tot Lot on Monday at 5:00 PM for an informal Halloween gathering. For details, visit the listserv: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rodgers_forge/


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RFES Halloween Parade

Slideshow in Patch. I love the jellyfish!


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Friday, October 28, 2011

About the sign bill in Towson - update

Update: Apparently this bill has already been signed and is a done deal. Below is an email that was sent to one of the people writing to the county executive to protest it.


County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has reviewed your email and asked that I respond to you.

As you may know, County Council Bill 65-11 was introduced by Councilman David Marks on Monday, September 19, 2011 and a County Council work session was held on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, wherein public testimony was taken. Following the work session, Councilman Marks offered amendments to the Bill restricting the use to commercial development with at least 150,000 square feet of retail and/or office space. Further, this Bill is only applicable to property that is zoned "CT" in the Towson area. This further restricted the application of the Bill. Also, under existing County Law, changeable copy signs may not flash, show videos, blink or show animation.

After discussion between the Count Executive and Councilman Marks and the Council passage of the amended Bill, the Bill was presented to the County Executive last week. Upon presentation and review, the County Executive signed the Bill on October 24, 2011.

Since the County Executive has signed Bill 65-11 and returned it to County Council, the Executive can not veto the Bill. It is to become law 45 days after the Executive's signature.

Thank you.





To clarify, the sign bill that is opposed by the GTCCA, and which they are encouraging the County Executive to veto, affects the Investment Place tower, which is being renovated. (The building pictured above, in the space between York and Dulaney Valley.) Read about the development here.

It's worth noting that under the bill, wall-mounted canopies could be placed on every face of the building, and could be up to 10 percent of the size of each face of the building. As one person mentioned to me: think about how enormous each face of the Investment Building is, and what 10 percent of that would be. The canopies may also be illuminated and may extend up to 6-feet above the roof line.

Also, each wall that fronts a road (York, Dulaney, Joppa, etc.) may also contain up to two illuminated signs that identify the tenants of the building, which may be up to 12 percent of the size of the wall upon which the signs are erected. So it is not only the 300-square-foot changeable copy signs that are in play under this bill.

The GTCCA is asking people to contact County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and urge him to veto the bill. Phone: 410-887-2450 e-mail: kevin@baltimorecountymd.gov


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Last two Loyola soccer games this weekend

Catch the women's soccer team tonight and Sunday. Kids in costume get in free tonight! Details here. And for tickets, click here.



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St. Pius Bull and Oyster Roast

St. Pius X Community will be holding a Bull and Oyster Roast on Saturday, November 12, 2011 from 5:30 until 10:00 p.m. in the school gymnasium. This adults-only event will benefit the Grateful Hearts Fund, which provides assistance to people in need. Tickets are $40 per person/ $300 for tables of 8 in advance, $45 at the door. Advanced ticket purchase strongly encouraged. Music provided by DJ Edge. A great evening for a great cause - come join us! Tickets available at the school (410)427-7400, at the parish office (410) 427-7500, or by contacting Lisa Ross via email at icehead@comcast.net. St. Pius X School is located at 6432 York Road.


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Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Stop Times Square in Towson!"

Below is a message from the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations, which voted unanimously (including a vote by Don Gerding, who represents Rodgers Forge on the association) to oppose a bill to allow flashing signs in Towson. The bill was introduced by Councilman David Marks, whose district includes Rodgers Forge. 

ATTENTION! YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED NOW!


Without County Executive Kamanetz’s veto by December 1, 2011, this bill will become law!!

Make your voices heard! Please forward this e-mail to all Baltimore County voters. Please then forward along with your comments and concerns to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Councilman David Marks:

County Executive
Kevin Kamenetz

Councilman District 5
David Marks

County Executive Kamenetz:

The Greater Towson Council of Community Associations (GTCCA) continues to respectfully oppose Bill 65-11 Zoning Regulations – Signs. Our delegation, comprised of individuals elected from neighborhoods within the greater Towson community, has voted unanimously and requests that you immediately veto this piece of legislation.

Towson community leaders believe more time is needed to discuss this issue before allowing the owners of the newly rebuilt Towson City Center to not only erect multiple signs not previously permitted, but to allow three enormous 300 sq foot digital signs with up to 50% moveable type which could flash ads that will be visible from as far as Cockeysville and the Loch Raven Reservoir. Additionally, this bill could have the unintended consequence of similar signage on buildings throughout Towson.

Our organization submitted a formal letter and publicly testified against the legislation at the County Council's October 11 work session. We then proceeded to attend the County Council's formal vote on Monday, October 17. Despite our opposition the bill was passed. The entire life of the bill was less than one month. This bill will affect the Towson community and we deserve to have our opposition taken seriously.

We believe the current mechanism of requesting a variance when a property owner/developer wants zoning relief provides an important opportunity for the community to review and evaluate each project on its own merits. This bill would provide blanket relief for all buildings that meet the requirements. We understand that the impetus for this bill was the need for zoning relief by one specific project and we are uncomfortable with wide-ranging legislation being enacted to benefit one project.

The GTCCA has been actively involved in revitalization efforts in Towson but we want to retain the ability to weigh in on specific projects when/if they seek zoning relief. If you are to sign this bill into law, you have effectively disenfranchised the very people that will patronize a revitalized downtown Towson. We are open to working with the owners of this building, and any other building in Towson, on variance requests to help spur redevelopment and improve the vitality of the core of Towson.

For these reasons, we respectfully request that you veto this bill. Thank you.

Sincerely,
David S. Kosak
President

Here is a copy of the bill:
Related links:

Towson Patch:

Baltimore Sun:


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Is your power out?

I received this message today: "I thought you would like to know - we lost power up here on the 200 block of Dumbarton around 6 or so this morning (I'm guessing) and it's still out. There was some very bright flashing light outside the windows when it happened and when BGE was here they said it was probably a power arc. The estimates for repair are all different but the latest one I've heard is 10 am." Our clocks were wrong this morning so I think we lost it, too, but it was back on by the time we woke up.


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No Halloween at Tot Lot

I've received a bunch of emails asking if there would be a Halloween event at the Tot Lot. There won't be one this year but the board is hoping to start it up again next year.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Uncle Wiggly's discount

Click here for the deal; it's a groupon-type thing.


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

cat needs a home

Speaking of lost cats ....

Adolescent female cat needs a good home!  Found in an animal crate on the side of the road in Stoneleigh.  Please contact Leigh at LThurmond@hotmail.com if you know of someone who might want to adopt her.

Thanks so much!
Leigh


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Missing Missy


Apropos of nothing and apologies to any lost cats out there, this cracked me up. I think it's funny even for people who have never worked with graphic designers but even more so for those who have. And, now, apologies to graphic designers, too.



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Halloween at Towson Town Center

Join Towson Town Center on Saturday, October 29th at 11am for a festive Halloween Celebration. Miss Julie and Turner Dean of Magic will join in on the fun with their family-friendly entertainment along with free face-painting and giveaways for your little ghouls and goblins. Kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes!

Towson Town Center will offer mall-wide* trick-or-treating on Monday, October 31st from 6pm-8pm, while supplies last. Look for the orange pumpkin in the store windows for participating retailers. For children 12 and under only please. *Select retailers will be participating.

LOCATION: Level 1 Grand Court
TIME: October 29th / October 31st


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Monday, October 24, 2011

Latest crime report

Nothing in Rodgers Forge, but lots of armed robberies and burglaries in the rest of the precinct. Read the report here.


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Poker and Casino Night for kids' cancer group

When: Saturday, November 12
Where: Towson Marriott, 10 W Burke Ave, Towson MD
Casino Night: Doors open at 7pm. 
Poker Tournament: Begins at 4pm

Tickets can be purchased for either event online or at the door, however you get more gambling chips to start with if you buy ahead of time: www.coolkidscampaign.org/poker 

Casino Night features blackjack, craps, roulette, and wheel of fortune tables with professional dealers!
The Poker Tournament boasts a $1,000 Visa Gift Card as the top prize and free admission to Casino Night if you get knocked out of the tournament!

The Cool Kids Campaign is a Towson-based non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives of children living with a cancer diagnosis. Their programs focus on several different areas, but their biggest project to date recently opened this fall.  As you can imagine, children going through chemotherapy spend many weeks outside of school and away from their friends.  The Cool Kids Campaign Learning Center will address both the academic and social implications of the disease through free tutoring and social programs for the kids.


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Spooky Science is this Saturday at the Maryland Science Center

Celebrate the chills and thrills of Halloween at our third annual Spooky Science (Oct. 29), where creepy chemistry and mysterious science combine to provide a hauntingly good time. Our mad scientists will be roaming through the building with hair-raising experiments and fang-tastic demonstrations. There will be glowing slime, mask and pumpkin decorating and a punkin’ chunkin’ contest. Wear your costume to make it a truly spooktacular day.

Be sure to catch a carving demonstration from the Pumpkin Wizard, Brad Miller. Brad has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, In-Style Magazine, Men’s Health, Kiplinger’s, many online publications, and numerous radio and television spots. In 2001, Brad was asked to carve all five of the co-hosts of ABC’s “The View”. He has also carved a portrait for Senator John Edwards’ campaign in 2004 and a series of portraits for the 83rd Birthday Bash of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. The artist will be carving during the event and performing live demonstrations at 12:30, 2:00 & 3:30pm.

Don’t miss live presentations by the mad scientists of the MSC on our demonstration stage at 1:20pm and 3:20pm where you can learn all about the experimental history of the famous Dr. Frankenstein, who first started testing on pumpkins before creating his infamous monster.

All activities are free with paid admission and free for members.

http://mdsci.org/events-calendar/events/spookyscience.html


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Fall Family Campout

Friday, Nov. 4 at 5 PM to Saturday, Nov. 5 at 10 AM
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. 11/5 to Sun. 11/6.
Reservations required. All ages. $15 members/ $20 non-members families.
Willow Grove Family Campsite
http://cromwellvalleypark.org/scheduleOfEvents.html


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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dora the Explorer Pumpkin Day

Saturday, October 29 at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
At the Park, we go on adventures -- just like Dora! Explore the fall garden through games, clues and activities and take a pumpkin from our pumpkin patch home with you! Ages 3-6.
Reservations required. $3 members/$5 non-members.
Willow Grove Nature Education Center
http://cromwellvalleypark.org/scheduleOfEvents.html


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County is considering allowing more liquor licenses

Interesting story in the Sun about Baltimore County looking at easing the process for getting a liquor license. I think this would probably go a long way to spurring development in the Towson area. Remember how so many people have said they'd love a little wine bar on York Road within walking distance of Rodgers Forge? Well, maybe this would help. And maybe more places would open up in Towson. Read the story here.


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Friday, October 21, 2011

missing person


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Towson Community Leaders Vote to Oppose Redistricting Plan

Patch reports: Community leaders say the plan as approved will spread Towson area residents' votes and influence among four different council districts. Full story here.


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Tips and inspiration for great Halloween pumpkins



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Stoneleigh annex approved; other overflow students there too?

BCPS Superintendent Joe Hairston has approved moving Stoneleigh students to the old Carver High for a year while Stoneleigh gets an addition. Read memo here.

As an aside, at several RFES PTA meetings, the suggestion has come up that if West Towson Elementary does face severe overcrowding next year, instead of transferring some of its students Rodgers Forge, which is already over capacity, why not send them to Stoneleigh/Carver, where there is lots of extra space? That is, until the new 700-seat elementary school is built, assuming that happens.


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Living and Working in Space - this Saturday

At Towson University's "Saturday Morning Science." Free and open to all. Click here for details.


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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rodgers Forge set to be split into two Congressional districts


The details are in Patch.com. Does this split trouble you?


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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

GBMC's "Nearly New" sale is coming up

GBMC employees, volunteers, and the general public get an opportunity to buy treasures, trinkets, and necessities from furniture, clothing, jewelry and silver to appliances, sporting goods, toys and games, and much more -- all at nominal prices. Sales have grown substantially over the years, with the semi-annual event (fall and spring sales) raising approximately $250,000 per year, all of which benefits patient care at GBMC.

Public Sale Dates for Fall 2011:
Saturday, October 22 & Sunday, October 23, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Monday, October 24, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Half-Price Days: Wednesday, October 26 & Thursday October 27, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Bargain Bag Day*: Saturday, October 29, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
* (Customers can fill a brown paper grocery bag with any merchandise for $5.00.)

Directions to the Nearly New Sales Building: Enter the GBMC campus via the Charles Street entrance. After passing the gatehouse, take the first left-hand turn, and then take the next left. Proceed to the top of the hill to the parking lot on left. Parking is free for shoppers.

For more information, volunteers for Nearly New can be reached at 410-828-9467.


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Monday, October 17, 2011

Camera found at playground, and latest crime report

Here is the latest crime report. Also, if you lost a camera recently, please see this note that a reader sent in: "I found a camera at the RFES playground on Saturday. Please ask people to contact me if they believe it is theirs. My cell is 443.386.2158. - Jerry"


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Fall hike and campfire at Cromwell Valley Park

Saturday, October 22 at 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Enjoy a crisp autumn evening under the stars at CVP. Join us for a night hike to explore the Park after sunset and have s’mores over a campfire. Feel free to bring your favorite campfire treat! RAINDATE OCT. 29th. Ages 6+.
Reservations required. $3 member/$5 non-members.
Willow Grove Nature Education Center
http://cromwellvalleypark.org/scheduleOfEvents.html


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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Loving Robert E Lee Dog Park

It's gorgeous here. And bonus, there's a gate leading to the water, so you can keep your dog dry or let him take a swim.
doggie drinking fountain


dog swimming hole
http://pawpoint.org/Join

There is also apparently a push, on the park's Facebook page, to allow dogs off leash in the rest of the park during specific times, as is done in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. 


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Friday, October 14, 2011

Joe Hairston's news conference

The Sun reports that BCPS Superintendent Joe Hairston is holding a news conference today to explain why he's decided to step down after 12 years. I'm really confused about why the media keeps saying this is his decision, while always noting lower in its stories that the school board voted to not extend his contract. Isn't this kind of like George H.W. Bush holding a news conference in December of 1992 to explain why he's decided to leave office?

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/bs-md-co-hairston-announces-departure-20111014,0,2055525.story

and here's the story post news conference: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/bs-md-co-hairston-announces-departure-20111014,0,2055525.story


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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's Your Favorite Fall Farm?

My family just went to North Run Farm to enjoy the corn maze there.  I loved it.  I told my kids I was going to go back by myself while they were in school.  We also like to go to Weber's Farm in the fall.  Love those cider donuts and cider slushies!  What's your favorite family fall destination?

-- posted by Belinda


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Principal Deise is retiring

Mrs. Deise's retirement was announced last night at the Board of Education meeting. She has done a tremendous job in advocating for our kids during a very trying time of severe overcrowding and, following that, during the transition back to a neighborhood school, and now in the time of ever-rising enrollment in the York Road corridor. We have all benefitted from her passion for doing what's right for our kids. Here is a letter she is sending to the community and that she shared with me today: 

Dear Rodgers Forge Families,

Please join me and my family as we celebrate my retirement from Baltimore County Public Schools, effective January 1, 2012.  I have enjoyed, during the past 36 years, both personally and professionally an immensely rewarding career as an educator.  My fondest experiences came during the 12 years that I have been privileged to serve as principal of Rodgers Forge Elementary School. As I begin the next chapter of my life, I look forward to retirement and the many opportunities that the future will bring.  I look forward, even more, to having the opportunity to spend more time with my husband, my son and his wife and, especially, with our four year old grandson.  Working with your wonderful children, an outstanding staff and supportive parents has made the decision to retire all the more difficult. 

Although my decision to retire was made at the end of last year, I am delighted that I decided to return to open the school year for the last time. I leave Rodgers Forge in a “good place” and will continue to provide a smooth transition for the new principal. I will introduce you to my replacement when that decision has been made. With new leadership comes the opportunity for new ideas that can only enrich and inspire our students and staff.

Truly, my tenure at Rodgers Forge has been the highlight of my career. I shall miss, but never forget the children, their parents and the Rodger Forge community. What a tremendous honor it has been to work with you and to have played even a small part in helping your children develop into the outstanding young ladies and gentlemen that they have become. The Rodgers Forge community and our beloved school will continue to flourish because of the commitment to excellence that you have come to expect and will continue to demand.  Working together we faced, and overcame, challenging times.  Through it all, you were there to support me and my staff and for that I shall always be grateful.  

I am stepping aside, but I am not stepping down.  I know that I may rely upon you to continue to offer your support to my replacement, our staff and our Superintendent, Dr. Hairston, in the coming months. I am confident that, during my remaining tenure, I can count on you (and you may count on me and our staff) to continue to remain focused, on that which is most important - our students. In the meantime, it is business as usual at Rodgers Forge.  We will devote our professional skills, knowledge and dedication to provide a safe, academically challenging and nurturing environment for your children. Stated simply, we will continue to give our very best to perpetuate the outstanding legacy that Rodgers Forge Elementary School enjoys. You, our students and our community deserve nothing less. 

As I bid farewell, I shall remember with much fondness the children, parents and community of Rodgers Forge.  

I wish you much happiness and continued success. 

Sincerely,


Susan Deise
Principal


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Reminder: Rodgers Forge board meeting tonight

The board has posted a reminder about tonight's meeting, and an agenda, on its blog.


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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Robert E Lee Park opening this weekend, including dog park


For details, click here. For dog park info, click here. Did you know you can get a pet license (required for use of dog park) at full-service Baltimore County public libraries? I got one today at the Cockeysville branch and it was easy peasy dog-toy squeezie. I called the parks department and they said you can bring your application and dog license and proof of vaccine, along with your dog, on Saturday and start using the park immediately. 


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Rodgers Forge board considering allowing screened-in porches


The October newsletter has a piece by the board president explaining why the community association does not approve additions to homes. In the last paragraph, on page 12, there is mention of the fact that the board is reviewing its current guidelines and that "one item for review is screened in porches."

This is welcome news to anyone who is hoping the board will once again start approving screened-in porches. I agree that in most cases home additions in Rodgers Forge would be problematic and, as I've said before, as someone with an inside-of-group home, I certainly don't want my neighbors to build huge additions so that my yard is surrounded by brick walls.

But screened-in porches do not block airflow or light and they are generally smaller than decks, so they actually affect neighbors less than a deck would. I think if the board would work with an architect (and we have some living right here in the Forge) to come up with some general guidelines that would ensure that porches are designed so that they are appropriate for our style of homes and that they are made of quality materials, I don't see a downside.

The president's message concludes by asking people to come to the monthly meetings (there's one tomorrow, Oct. 12, at 7:00 PM in the RFES cafeteria) and make their concerns known. You can also reach the board at board@rodgersforge.org or find the president's phone number in the newsletter or in the front of the directory.


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Monday, October 10, 2011

Baltimore County has low teacher wages, high administrator salaries

The Baltimore Sun reports: Baltimore County's average teacher salary is the lowest among large school systems in Maryland, but its two top officials are some of the highest paid, according to data collected by the state. Read the story here:
 http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/education/bs-md-co-school-salaries-20111010,0,3287223.story


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Local architect argues for smaller, walkable schools

Here's an interesting piece in Patch by Ted Amos of Rodgers Forge: "How do we talk about neighborhoods without talking about schools? If someone points you to a “great neighborhood” isn’t it usually near the good school? Those are the houses where the families live and where they want to live. While modern planning has certainly left some horrific scars over the years, lack of planning is far worse and that’s what we have in the Towson metro area." Read the full piece here.


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Latest crime report

Read it here.


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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Technology and Education

Today's NY Times had an article suggesting that some educational software doesn't really deliver the increased test results or learning results that they advertise.  This is the second article I've read lately indicating that more technology in the classroom doesn't translate to better learning.  I wonder what teachers think about this?  Read the article here.

-- posted by Belinda


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Rodgers Forge board meeting this Wednesday

RFCA meeting, open to all residents, on October 12 at 7:00 pm in the RFES cafeteria.


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Friday, October 7, 2011

Govanspalooza 3 is Saturday, Oct. 15


www.govanspres.org



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The Discoveries and Inventions of Thomas Edison, tomorrow

Looks like a good Saturday Morning Science tomorrow!


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Thursday, October 6, 2011

BCPS officials talk to Rodgers Forge parents and staff about enrollment and capping

Read about it on the PTA website


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Jim Smith's recommendation for school board

Bryan Sears reports in Patch: The 12-member task force is scheduled to meet Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Randallstown Community Center. In an Oct. 5 email obtained late Wednesday night, Smith proposes to other members a smaller, fully appointed school board nominated by a 25-member commission. ... Smith, who does not support any form of elected school board, successfully managed to have the task force kill the possibility that either a fully or partially elected school board option would be part of the panel's recommendations. Read the full story, and see Smith's memo, here.


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Free tickets to Home & Garden show still available


The show sent me five pairs of tickets to give away to readers who want to attend and I still have a few available. Email me at forgeflyer(at)gmail.com if you'd like a pair -- please put "home and garden" in subject line and include your address in the message. If I have more interest than tickets, I'll do a random drawing. The tickets are good for any of the days of the show, October 14-16. Please indicate your interest by the evening of October 8.

"The holidays are a great time to host friends and family, which is why the Maryland Home & Garden Show is dedicating its Fall 2011 show to helping visitors create the perfect setting for holiday living. The “Home for the Holidays” themed Maryland Home & Garden Show, Friday, October 14 through Sunday, October 16, 2011, will feature more than 300 exhibitors and beautiful Fall gardens showcasing the latest concepts for home improvement and entertaining, as well as the hottest trends in interior design, landscaping, cooking, family recreation, and handmade crafts."


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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Coverage of Walk to School Day


and a story in Patch


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How do you handle allowance in your family?

I've looked at this issue before but we've never found a system we like or that we've stuck with and I'm realizing we need to get with the program. There are two basic schools of thought as far as I know: One is that kids should get an allowance and not have it tied to any particular chores, and the other is that they should only get money for doing specific tasks.

I was thinking of doing a hybrid; a base allowance with the expectation of helping out around the house when asked (as is the case now) and then extra chores for extra money.

What's the system in your house? And what's the going rate for, say, emptying the dishwasher or doing a load of laundry?


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Avoid I-83 north

Noon: accident on 83 north just above the beltway; traffic is jammed up.

Sent from my iPhone.


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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Board of Education decision on Hairston

Read about it in Patch.
http://towson.patch.com/articles/sources-hairston-wont-seek-contract-renewal


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Free tickets to Home and Garden Show for Flyer readers


The show is sending me five pairs of tickets to give away to readers who want to attend. Email me at forgeflyer(at)gmail.com if you'd like a pair -- please put "home and garden" in subject line. If I have more interest than tickets, I'll do a random drawing. The tickets are good for any of the days of the show, October 14-16.


"The holidays are a great time to host friends and family, which is why the Maryland Home & Garden Show is dedicating its Fall 2011 show to helping visitors create the perfect setting for holiday living. The “Home for the Holidays” themed Maryland Home & Garden Show, Friday, October 14 through Sunday, October 16, 2011, will feature more than 300 exhibitors and beautiful Fall gardens showcasing the latest concepts for home improvement and entertaining, as well as the hottest trends in interior design, landscaping, cooking, family recreation, and handmade crafts.

Additional highlights of the show will be Brian Santos, “The Wall Wizard,” who will delight and educate with his painting suggestions, decorated holiday tablescapes, demonstrations by local chefs preparing holiday meals, and amateur cooking contests.

The 300 exhibitors filling the halls at the Maryland State Fairground create a one-stop-shop of home professionals—from designers and contractors to landscapers and suppliers of the latest home products. The Show is the ideal place to start, continue, or add the finishing touches to a home improvement project before the guests come to town and the family gets together. Decorators, remodelers, gardeners, and cooks will find an unrivaled selection of the newest appliances and fixtures for kitchens and baths, countertops, hundreds of flooring and tile options, innovative closet and garage organizers, wall treatments and faux painting, high-tech entertainment equipment, and luxurious spas.

The Maryland Home & Garden Show also offers a daily schedule of seminars and activities with great advice from well-known experts. For visitors embarking on paint projects at home, Brian Santos, the nationally known “Wall Wizard,” will offer techniques for improving both the painting experience and producing dramatic results. His tips and tricks can speed up painting and wall covering projects by up to 400%. Visitors will learn about color selection, tools, technique, faux finishing, wall paper stripping, hanging, layouts, preparation, and clean-up."


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The danger of concussions

I heard the author of this new book on NPR recently and it was a bit disconcerting.

Amazon: For far too long, the menace of concussions has been hidden in plain sight. On playing fields across America, lives are being derailed by seemingly innocuous jolts to the head. From the peewees to the pros, concussions are reaching epidemic proportions. This book brings that hidden epidemic and its consequences out of the shadows.

As frightening as the numbers are—estimates of sports-related concussions range from 1.6 million to 3.8 million annually in the United States—they can’t begin to explain the profound impact of a hidden health problem that can strike any of us. It is becoming increasingly clear that concussions, like severe head traumas, can rob us of our memory, our mental abilities, our very sense of self. Because the damage caused by a concussion is rarely visible to the naked eye or even on a brain scan, no one knows how many millions might be living lives devastated by an invisible injury too often shrugged off as “just a bump on the head.”

You can read a Q & A with author at MSNBC.com.


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Monday, October 3, 2011

Latest crime report

Read it here.


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New magazine for cooking healthy and local

Maryland First Lady Katie O'Malley is hosting an event tonight with ChopChop, a new magazine about healthy cooking for families. Read more here, and see the magazine here.


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Reminder: Wednesday is Walk to School Day


The Rodgers Forge Safe Routes to School Committee and the PTA are organizing a RFES Walk to School Day on the morning of October 5th to encourage this fun, healthy activity for RFES kids and families. Rodgers Forge is a ready-made community for walking and virtually all Rodgers Forge households are within a short, pleasant walk of our neighborhood school.

... In order to provide the opportunity for kids who are typically driven to school to experience the benefits and joys of walking, we're organizing "walking school buses" for Walk To School Day on the morning of Wednesday, October 5th. Walking school buses are groups of school children walking together along designated routes, accompanied by parents who volunteer as chaperons - in essence, the walking school bus "drivers." Even kids and parents who already walk, but who want to join in the fun are welcome to walk with the groups!

For details, click here.


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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wow, that is some major pruning






I was just informed by my neighbor, whose husband works there, that this was not the work of BGE but another utility. 


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Fall Harvest Festival at Cromwell Valley

click image to enlarge


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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Found Cat



Sent from my iPhone.

Begin forwarded message:


Hi Kris,
We are on Stanmore and have a cat hanging out around our house who seems to be lost. I am pretty sure it's a male cat. He is black with white paws with some white on his face and chest. He has a blue collar with a bell and is very affectionate. He has some scratches/bite marks on his ears - not sure if he got out and got into a fight - but otherwise seems to be well.
I've attached a picture for you to post on the Forge Flyer. (I had to take the picture through the screen door because he was so affectionately rubbing against my legs that I couldn't get far enough away from him to take the picture!) Hopefully we can find his family.
Jennifer


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Police warn of spike in burglaries in county

From the Towson Police:

Once again we're seeing a spike in our burglaries, particularly in the west & northwest section of Towson along the Falls Rd corridor (Cockeysville & Franklin Pcts are seeing the same trend). I'm sending this message out to all of our communities though to once again remind everyone to be vigilant in protecting their neighborhoods.

Since mid-September there have been close to thirty (30) burglaries along the Falls Rd area between the three Precincts, in almost all of them entry was made either through an unlocked door or forcing open a locked door and half the time the suspect/s have entered through the front door. Thus far Burglary Detectives have little information on a possible suspect or vehicle--in one instance someone reported seeing an unknown race Male wearing a blue, puffy jacket and gloves, nothing further--but most have occurred during daylight hours--primarily while residents are at work and school.

What we're asking from our community residents is to once again be sure to always secure your residences, out buildings (sheds, garages, etc), vehicles to best protect your property and please call 9-1-1 anytime you observe a suspicious person, vehicle and/or activity in the area. If you see an open door or window on a neighbor's house and you know the resident is not presently at home call 9-1-1 immediately so Officers can respond to investigate. This is not the first time we've called upon the citizenry of Towson to help us eradicate a problem in our community and you've always come through with valuable information that has greatly aided this pursuit, we anticipate great results again as we look to eliminate such behavior once more.

As we get more information I will pass it along but for now we greatly appreciate your support in getting the word out to your residents.

Thank You,
Sgt Stephen Fink, PC06 Community Outreach Team


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