Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Towson bike beltway receives grant

Good news. Biking in Towson could soon be easier. From Councilman Marks: I just wanted to inform you that the state has awarded Baltimore County a grant to implement the Towson Bike Beltway.

I am thrilled by this announcement. Towson has a lot of congestion, but it is difficult to add highway capacity. Bike lanes will hopefully persuade more motorists, including students, to use bicyclists instead of their cars.

Rodgers Forge resident Stu Sirota co-chairs the Fifth District Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee and was central in writing the application.

County Councilman David Marks

I asked Councilman Marks if this means the beltway is a done deal or if more approvals are needed:

It's a done deal as far as the funding. We'll look at the roads that need resurfacing and compare them with the plan, and that may be a good start as far as the restriping for the bike lanes. Our committee will also probably have at least one community meeting in case there are any questions. We have a year to spend the grant money.

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

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hairston gave contracts to two aides before retiring

And now because of those contracts, Dr. Dallas Dance, his replacement, must keep employees he apparently doesn't think should be in their jobs. So the two get to keep their generous salaries while BCPS will also have to pay their replacements. Read about it in the Sun.

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

100% of Rodgers Forge Elementary students pass MSA

This is pretty incredible, and I say that as someone who is actually not a fan of standardized testing:

Rodgers Forge Elementary was the only school in the county where 100% of the kids tested at or above the "proficient" level. High fives to the students, teachers, parents and administrators!

Read the report card here, and read Dr. Dallas Dance's statement here (RFES is mentioned near the end).

And not to rain on the parade, but here's an interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post that says standardized tests benefit everyone but the students.

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

New group fighting for AC at Dumbarton Middle School

So glad someone took up this cause. It could be a long process; if you have any kids in the pipeline, better get active now.

"Dumbarton United is committed to our children and to excellence in education. We believe that the lack of climate/ventilation control has a significant adverse effect on the scholastic success of Dumbarton students. Our primary goal for the 2012-2013 school year is to achieve the installation of air conditioning throughout the school. 

We are grateful for the efforts made thus far to improve our rapidly deteriorating school infrastructure throughout Baltimore County. As a part of these efforts, we would like to see central air conditioning installed at Dumbarton Middle School as soon as possible. Additionally, Dumbarton United will advocate for a solution to the impending middle school overcrowding in Northern Baltimore County projected by BCPS. Together as a community, we can ensure that every child has a safe and healthful environment in which to reach his/her potential in a high quality school. Thank you for your support."

You can read an article about the group in the Baltimore Sun and see, and like, the Facebook page here.

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

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rodgers Forge board says no to screened-in porches; asks for your feedback

On Friday, Del Schmidt posted on the official Rodgers Forge blog that a committee tasked with considering screened-in porches, which he headed, has decided they should not be allowed.

The committee decided this in February, and at the April meeting the board voted to publish the findings in the newsletter and ask for resident feedback. Unless I missed it, that hasn't happened.

To read the report where the board lays out its rationale for rejecting screened-in porches, click here.

Del writes on the blog: "After proposing this [rejection of porches] to the board, there was a minor opposition to the decision. A discussion ensued and it was decided that we would allow the community to provide input on the topic. While we can't make any promises that the decision will be changed, we do encourage community members who have constructive ideas on the topic to post them here, in the comments section, as we do recognize that this is a hot button issue within our neighborhood."

I don't think the current board will ever approve screened-in porches, even though the covenants do not prohibit them. Although some on the board might favor them, they are in the minority. But it's worth spending a few minutes sharing your thoughts, pro or con.

If you do want a porch, your best bet would be to get like-minded members on the board, or amend your covenants to allow them without board approval. Read how to do that here, in the section titled "changing the covenants."

(BTW, full disclosure: We live in a row of seven attached homes, two of which have screened porches and third that has a porch but no screens. We applied for permission to tear down our huge deck and replace it with a much smaller screened porch that would look just like those of our neighbors, and we were denied. Additionally, I contacted three real estate agents who often sell in Rodgers Forge and asked if they think a screened porch adds value to a home and all three said definitely.)

Here is Del's full post:

You are welcome to share your thoughts here, but be advised that only comments on Del's blog will be taken into consideration by the board.

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