Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book signing this Sunday (bring your dog!)



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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Latest crime report

August 18: Third Degree Burglary, 1000 block of Donnington Circle, 21204
The suspect broke into his stepdaughter's boyfriend's apartment and assaulted the boyfriend. The suspect, Steven Howard Rowe, 43, of the 600 block of Freeland Road, Freeland, was arrested at the location.

August 17-18: 1st Degree Burglary, 1900 block of Clearwood Road, 21234
An unknown suspect stole tools and spray paint from a shed.

August 17: Bank Robbery, 6300 block of York Road, 21212
The suspect presented a note threatening the teller at the PNC Bank, inside the Giant grocery store, with bodily harm. He obtained an unknown amount of money and fled on foot. The suspect, Jonathan David Bailey, 27, no fixed address, was arrested shortly thereafter.

http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/police/pc06/index.html


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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gratitude for Perry Hall guidance counselor

If the reports are true, this guidance counselor deserves the highest praise and appreciation for his quick actions. I sure hope the victim pulls through. Read about the counselor here.


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Free trees for Rodgers Forge residents

The "Tree Rodgers Forge" group is coordinating more tree plantings. Submit your request by Aug. 31 to receive a free tree. Details are here: www.treerodgersforge.org/plant-a-tree


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Monday, August 27, 2012

Crime alert

From the Towson police: 
 
Please get the word out to your community members to always lock their doors and windows to prevent burglaries and thefts of property.  Between 08/22 & 23/12 there were three burglaries in the Murdock Rd and Overbrook Rd neighborhoods.  These incidents are being investigated but presently no suspect information is known.
 
6XX Murdock-window screen partially pried open but entry not gained.
7XX Murdock-removed window screen to enter through window and steal property
7XX Overbrook-pried window screen, entered through unlocked window to steal property.
 
Thank You, 
Sgt Fink, 
PC06 COT


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Have you had The Talk with your kids?

Not that talk. This talk. Apropos for today's news out of Perry Hall.

... We do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and we don't care if you win a single one of them. We don't care if you get straight As. We don't care if the girls think you're cute or whether you're picked first or last for kickball at recess. We don't care if you are your teacher's favorite or not. We don't care if you have the best clothes or most Pokemon cards or coolest gadgets. We just don't care.

We don't send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn our love or pride and you can't lose it. That's done.
We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.

Kind people are brave people. Brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd. ...

Read the full piece here.


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Shooting at Perry Hall High School

http://www.wbaltv.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/Student-shot-at-Perry-Hall-HS-Shooter-in-custody/-/10136486/16279650/-/xgi2l0/-/index.html


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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Trouble at Charles Street near Bellona

Lots of ambulances, police, and fire trucks. Don't know what happened but hope everyone is OK.

(Short and sweet from my phone.)


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Friday, August 24, 2012

Yard sale

Yard sale Saturday the 25th from 8-12. Tons of women's clothes in new condition plus all sorts of other yard sale treasures at wonderful prices. Corner of York and Chumleigh.


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Residents report car break ins

Hi Kris,

Can you put out an alert on your site to remind residents to lock all doors at night. My neighbor and myself on Murdock Rd have both had very valuable items stolen from our cars over the span of 5 nights. We both felt that we had locked our doors but there were no signs of forced entry. These robberies took place in the overnight hours. In our case, several fraudulent attempts with check cards and credit cards were reported. Perhaps a reminder is needed to alert everyone that deviant people are walking our streets at night checking our car doors.

Thank you,
Scott
Unit block Murdock Rd


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Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Arc's "Backyard Fest" is Sept. 7


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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Black cat missing from Blenheim

Update: Ani is home.

We live on the 6400 block of Blenheim. We have a solid black cat, goes by the name Ani (Anakin Skywalker) that went missing. He does not have a collar on as he is an inside cat. We are not sure when or how he got out but know he is missing. We are asking the neighborhood residents if they could contact me if they find our cat. Our cat is very loved and I am very worried about him!

Thank you,
Erika


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Where do you stand on phones and electronics for kids?

I'm curious to know if your kids have cell phones, and at what age you think it's appropriate for a child to have a phone. And do they have other gadgets like an iPod touch or a DS? Are your kids then free to roam the Internet and download songs, games, etc.?

There's been some heated debate in our house lately about the percentage of kids who have these things and the percentage that don't, and I'm wondering what other folks are doing in this arena.


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Monday, August 20, 2012

Latest crime report

August 15: Second Degree Burglary, 1700 block of Wentworth Avenue, 21234
Between 2:20 and 3 a.m., an unknown suspect broke into the shed and removed two dirtbikes and a lawn mower.

August 14: Robbery, 1300 block of Taylor Avenue, 21234
At 4:39 a.m., a man entered the 7-11 store, chased the clerk to the rear of the store, and then went around the counter. The suspect took money from the register and fled on foot. The suspect is a black male, approximately 40 years old.


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Deal on Uncle Wiggly's ice cream

Details are here.


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Friday, August 17, 2012

Free service sends library due-date reminders

A friend of mine was just saying the other day that he wishes the Baltimore County library would send out reminders of upcoming due dates. A free service called Elf (which was brought to my attention by our friend Maria W.) is the next best thing. From the website:

Avoid overdues with email alerts
Check multiple library cards
Track books, DVDs, CDs, videos, etc.  
Join for free

Who uses Elf?
    •    Anyone who wants to reduce overdues
    •    Families with children and lots of books
    •    Individuals with several library cards
    •    Anyone who requests a lot of holds

What's delivered?
    •    Email and/or RSS alerts before items are due

    •    Email and/or RSS alerts on overdues and holds
    •    Consolidated list of yours or your family's library loans and holds
    •    Cellphone text message alerts for holds (US and Canada)
    •    Real-time checking by browser

They have a free service and a premium service. I just signed up and will let you know how it goes. I generally try to note due dates on my online calendar but sometimes things slip through the cracks and I end up making what I like to think of as very generous "donations" to the library. This sounds like it might be a good solution. libraryelf.com


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Thursday, August 16, 2012

The renovated Pinehurst Wine Shoppe is gorgeous; beer tasting Aug. 17


My husband stopped into the Pinehurst Wine Shoppe, at Bellona and Gittings, a few months ago and came home raving about the place. I hadn't been until a few days ago when I needed to make a beer run and decided it'd be easier to drive down Bellona and try Pinehurst than to deal with York Road.

The place is under "new" ownership; Bob Schindler had worked there for years and recently bought out the owner. He renovated the shop and it looks gorgeous (I snapped these photos just before they closed the other day).

Tomorrow night, Aug. 17, they're having a free beer tasting from 7:00-9:00 pm, and you can also buy a growler and come back later to get it refilled.

Schindler said he's also planning an arrangement to offer a discount to Rodgers Forge residents in the future. Stay tuned for that.

Cheers!


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HomeGoods opening in Towson on August 19

I hadn't heard of this store but lots of people have been telling me how great it is. The Towson location will be on Goucher Boulevard in the shopping center just adjacent to Target.

http://www.homegoods.com/locator/?searchLocStr=21286#map_top


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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Only three homes for sale in Rodgers Forge

In a neighborhood of more than 1,700 homes, that is amazing. Here's a recent blog post from real estate agent and Rodgers Forge resident Jean Ottey: "I have never seen this happen for as long as I have been tracking sales in the neighborhood. There are only 3 homes for sale and 14 under contract, most of which were sold in way less than 30 days. This indicates a very, very strong market for sellers." Read more here.


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Groupon for the International Spy Museum

Maria W. is looking out for you again by passing along another deal: half off at the Spy Museum in DC. (Have you been? We haven't gone yet. A friend went a few months ago and said it was very text-heavy and that her kids -- in kindergarten and 2nd grade -- weren't into it. I was hoping it'd be neat. I think I'll still give it a shot.)


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B of A cardholders: Get into American Visionary Art Museum free

On the first full weekend of every month, people with Bank of America credit or debit cards can get into many museums free. Luckily in Baltimore, many museums are already free. But this deal will get you into the AVAM at no charge; adult admission is usually $15.95. One free pass per cardholder. (Thanks, Maria W., for passing this along!)

http://museums.bankofamerica.com/


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tornado warning

Sirens say seek shelter immediately.

(Short and sweet from my phone.)


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BCPS eyes overcrowding in Towson area


No word yet on what kind of remedy they'll propose for the "West Towson cluster," which they define as Rodgers Forge Elementary, West Towson Elementary and Riderwood Elementary. Maybe an addition at RFES? The cluster is projected to be overcapacity by 458 students by 2021. Download the exhibit here.


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Latest crime report

August 12: Attempted Burglary, 1300 block of West Lake Avenue, 21210
At 11:39 a.m., the suspect entered the backyard and attempted to open the patio door. A resident was home and challenged the suspect, who fled on foot northbound on Falls Road. The suspect is a black male, 40 to 45 years old, 5'6", with a thin build.

August 10 to August 11: First Degree Burglary, 100 block of Solar Circle, 21234
Between 12:30 a.m. on August 10 and 6:30 a.m. on August 11, an unknown suspect unlocked the victim's front door and took her purse. The victim had recently lost her keys.

August 8: Armed Robbery, 6600 block of Wycombe Way, 21234
At 11:50 p.m., a delivery driver for Domino's Pizza met the suspect in the parking lot to deliver food. The suspect displayed a knife, and stole money and food. Detectives identified and charged three suspects and the investigation is ongoing.


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Monday, August 13, 2012

Your local school could win Target gift cards


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Captain Quint at Boordy Vineyards on Saturday


MIDSUMMER EVENING CONCERTS

Saturdays June 9 - September 1

Dance Lesson at 6pm

Music plays from 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Concerts are held outdoors, rain or shine

Enjoy a unique concert experience at Boordy!  Start your evening with your own picnic or purchase food from Carl's Catering - and spread your blanket or folding chairs on Boordy's lawn, under the trees or in the open grass.  The music ranges from big band to old rock'n'roll.  You can try the wines to find one you like - and purchase cold bottles to share with your friends.  Before you know it, the stars are out and you are dancing with the happy crowd! Details are here.


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Rodgers Forge board now publishing minutes online

In 2005 the Rodgers Forge board voted to start publishing their minutes online. It took seven years, but  it has finally happened. Find the minutes, which detail board actions, on their blog or website.


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1911 Airplane Visits Museum

The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum located at Martin State Airport is celebrating National Aviation Day on Saturday, August 18 from 11 am to 3 pm. The Museum will also be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Glenn L. Martin Company. Joining the Museum for this event will be the 99's, Silver Wings, the Baltimore Chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association, and 21st century space technology pioneer Blaze Sanders with Solar Systems Express.

On exhibit for this special flying holiday is a replica of a 1911 Ely-Curtiss Pusher aircraft built by Bob Coolbaugh and provided by Ely-Curtiss Aerial Exhibitions LLC. At 11:30am Fred Hall, the Museum's Volunteer Coordinator will share his experiences with the Berlin Airlift. At 12:30pm, the Museum's theatre-in-residence Thirst 'n' Howl Musical Productions will present its original musical "Right Place, Right Time, Wright Brothers" as it shares the story of Orville and Wilbur Wright and their quest to design and build a successful flying machine.

A visit to the Museum offers the opportunity to launch a dream and capture a memory as visitors
can climb aboard the 1952 passenger airliner the Martin 404 and sit in the pilot's seat of a jet fighter. The Museum's new exhibit "They Answered the Call," a salute to the World War II workers of the Glenn L. Martin Company will be open as visitors are greeted by "Hazel," a Martineer Rosie. This celebration of aviation is provided in part thanks to the support of the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences. For additional information call 410-682-6122 and visit www.mdairmuseum.org.


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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Last Ladew concert is August 12

Psycho Killers: Tribute to the Talking Heads

Sunday, August 12 (Rain date: August 19)

This Baltimore tribute band performs the music of the infamous Talking Heads. Their new wave sound combines elements of avant-garde, pop, funk and world music. We are thrilled to have them debut at Ladew and play one of only a handful of tribute shows this summer. Expect a shockingly fun, upbeat show that will jog your musical memory with Talking Heads classics. myspace.com/psychokillersband

Details are here.


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Friday, August 10, 2012

Details on the payouts to two BCPS employees

The Baltimore Sun has info on the money paid to the two employees that former superintendent, Joe Hairston, tried to protect in an unusual contract. Here's the story.


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stella and Dot event at Crush, August 13

sponsored post
Stella & Dot is looking for flex-time, part-time and full-time stylists in the Baltimore metro area to join its team.  Swing by Crush on E Belvedere Avenue from 6-7pm on Monday, August 13th to learn how this opportunity might work for you. Find details here:
http://sdlocaloppbaltimore.eventbrite.com/

"Our mission is to give every woman the means to style her own life.  We get great joy out of designing irresistible jewelry.  And yet, jewelry is just the tangible expression of something much greater we are creating.  We have a vision of the world where strong women live bold and joyful lives.  They know what they want and they work for it.  They inspire each other.  Passion and joy are their best accessories."

Sound empowering?  It is!  That's Stella & Dot's manifesto, and it's changing women's lives.  From the single gal working a demanding 60+ hours in a corporate job with glass ceilings above her, to the stay at home mom who just needs to get her mojo back, this fresh and fun social selling jewelry company provides its salesforce with everything they need to run a successful and lucrative business on their own terms.  But what sets Stella & Dot apart in the sea of direct sales companies?  CEO Jessica Herrin says it best:  "There's no game.  There's no long presentation.  There's no heavy sales pitch.  We aim to get over the ick factor that people associate with home-based businesses."

This boutique-style jewelry and accessories line is available exclusively through in-home trunk shows by independent stylists (aka consultants) and online. The collections are designed by celebrated New York designers and featured in Gossip Girl, In Style and Lucky Magazine as well as on the wrists and necklines of today's hottest celebrities. The Today Show, Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have praised Stella & Dot for our innovative social shopping concept which brings together the best of ecommerce, social media, personal service and passionate earning to create the ultimate home based business for today's modern woman.

Check out the line at www.stelladot.com/kristademcher and then contact Krista  at bkdemcher@comcast.net if you'd like more information.


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Support their what?

Calling all grammarphiles: The Towson Chamber of Commerce just posted this photo on its Facebook page. What do you think it is that the farmer has, or should have, that we are being asked to support? Any guesses?


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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dr. Dance!

Remember how former BCPS superintendent Joe Hairston gave contracts to two employees promising them huge payouts should his replacement, Dr. Dallas Dance, fire them?

They're gone.

No word yet, though, on what BCPS might have had to pay in association with their departure. (I smell a FOIA!)

Here's the story in The Baltimore Sun.


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Baltimore County Public Schools launches new blog

BCPS says: Baltimore County Public Schools has launched its first ever blog, Deliberate Excellence, www.deliberateexcellence.wordpress.com, as a forum for exploring trends in public education, analyzing data, highlighting school system operations, and discussing the role of community in strengthening schools. The blog can also be accessed by clicking on the purple "b" logo on the BCPS' Web site, www.bcps.org.

Each week, the blog will feature new posts from Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance and other school system leaders. The first post is an entry from Dr. Dance regarding the need for more focus on middle school education.

Expanding social media activities is part of the school system’s effort, led by Dr. Dance, to have timely, transparent, and clear communications, and to be responsive to community requests and interests.

The Deliberate Excellence blog is the newest element of BCPS' social media initiative, which includes a BCPS Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BaltCoPS ), a BCPS Twitter account (www.twitter.com/BaltCoPS ), and a Superintendent's Twitter account (www.twitter.com/DDance_BCPS).

More communication is always better than less and this is a good step. Let's hope we get meaningful information and a dialogue and not just a lot of education speak. 


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Monday, August 6, 2012

Latest crime report

July 29: First Degree Burglary, 1700 block of Ryewood Road, 21234
Between 2:30 and 10:30 p.m., an unknown suspect entered the home through an unlocked rear door. The suspect removed money and a computer.

July 29: Armed Robbery, 600 block of Walker Avenue, 21212
At 1:35 a.m., three suspects approached the victim and asked for money. Two of the suspects began kicking and punching the victim. They stole his cell phone and fled on foot. All three suspects are described as black males in their 20s. One suspect was 5'7" tall.


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Do you have Phelps Phever?

My kids are already psyched for whatever kind of parade/celebration local officials have planned for him. Here's a Sun article on life after the medals.


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Dr. Dallas Dance on WYPR right now

If you want to ask the new BCPS superintendent anything, this might be a good opportunity. To call into the show: 410-662-8780 locally, or toll-free at 1-866-661-9309
midday@wypr.org


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Mark your calendar for Back to School nights, Sneak a Peek and more

Read the county-wide schedule here.

Rodgers Forge Elementary:

Back-to-School Night, Kindergarten, 8/23/12, 6:30 pm

Take a Peek at Your Seat, K-5, 8/24/12, 2:30-3:30 pm

Back to School Night, grades 1-5, 8/28/12, 6:30 pm

Ice Cream Social, K-5, 9/21/12, 5:00-7:00 pm

Dumbarton Middle:

6th Grade Orientation is Friday, August 24th from 9:30 to 12 noon

6th Grade Pizza Social (with DJ, dancing, games, etc.) is Friday, September 7th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm

Back-to-School Night is Wednesday, September 12th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm

DMS Volunteer Training is Wednesday, September 19th at 6:00 pm


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Green Schwinn missing

My trusty Schwinn hybrid bicycle (dark green, Transit model) has gone missing...I think I must have inadvertently left it out back in our alley in the 200 block of Hopkins/Dunkirk one evening after riding with the kids and of course now it's gone. Best I can determine, this happened on or around the evening of July 12th. I only discovered it today because it is my secondary bike that I use to tow our tag-a-long tandem bike, and hadn't planned on using it until today. The tag-along itself wasn't lost thankfully, but the hitch that joins the unit to the bike was, as well as a nice rack system, light, and trip computer.

While it was likely stolen, there's also an outside chance that someone living nearby saw it leaning up against the fence close to our trash cans and perhaps thought it was being discarded. If anyone has claimed it or saw anything, please contact Stu Sirota at 410-377-2815 or stusirota@gmail.com.


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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Missing two beagles?

There were just two beagle-type dogs running near the intersection of Dumbarton Road and Regester Avenue.

Update: Owner found.


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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Community Play School has two openings left for next year

A friend of mine runs this school and it looks so awesome: http://communityplayschool.wordpress.com/about/


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Friday, August 3, 2012

Recap of latest Rodgers Forge board meeting

The Rodgers Forge board met on Aug. 1 and it was a pretty interesting meeting that included discussions about guidelines, rats, court actions, parking pads and more. Here's a recap:

Resident Kathy Kolish spoke first and proposed that the issue of allowing screened-in porches be put to the community as a whole via canvassing or some other means. (The board recently looked at the issue of allowing porches but decided against them.) She volunteered to help in this effort. "Instead of a handful of people making the decision, are we open to finding out what people think?"

Board president Jennifer Helfrich said they would discuss the matter at the end of the meeting because they had a full agenda. See below for info on that.

Helfrich said she spoke with a county official who told her that there will be another anti-rat sweep of Rodgers Forge whenever it can be put on the inspectors' schedule. This time no warnings will be issued and tickets will be given on the spot. Despite a growing rat problem, some residents are still not covering their trash cans, picking up dog feces from their yards, or keeping bird seed (aka rat food) off the ground.

She also said that two anonymous residents have asked that the board's attorney, Carroll Holzer, come speak at the annual meeting in September to discuss the board's actions regarding the deck at 300 Hopkins. She said he has agreed to do so at no charge to the community, and the board voted to have him there, with Carol Zielke and Stu Sirota abstaining.

Helfrich reported that resident Rob Williams asked that the board include detailed recycling info on a flier that would be inserted into the next version of the directories. He said it would cost $180 and he offered to pay for it. The board instead voted to print the info in the directory itself.

As part of Jean Duvall's report from the architectural committee, she reported that she had received eight complaints about a home with a new feature that some people don't like. (Apologies for being mysterious here but A) I don't like singling out individual homeowners and B) the board asked that I not publish this info immediately.) This sparked a conversation about guidelines and how to enforce them.

Board member Stu Sirota said: "I don't want to get into whether I personally think (the feature) is right or not. This is a symptom of things coming to a head and we have a strong need to have a clarification process to work through things like this. It doesn't technically violate the guidelines but it violates their spirit and intent. We need to address this is a robust way. ... We need to go back to the guidelines and update them and clarify them."

Board member Jill Fisher asked if any of the complainants had approached the homeowners directly and Jean said none of them wanted to do so. The board eventually voted to approve writing a "friendly" letter asking the homeowners to change the feature and that Sirota would talk to them in person. Jay Dunn and Scott Carlson abstained from the vote.

Jay Dunn, the current newsletter editor, then introduced Lisa Beyer, a Forge resident (and a friend of mine) who has agreed to become the new newsletter editor. It is a paid position but Helfrich did not disclose the compensation level.

Larry Fogelson said the Tree Rodgers Forge project is moving along and the group is still in discussion with the county about revamping its tree-removal policy so that healthy trees are not so readily chopped down.

Stu reported that Rodgers Forge will finally be getting a second bike rack but not without plenty of headaches and tons of cash. His Safe Routes to School committee secured a $1,000 grant for a bike rack, which is now sitting in storage. The group had wanted to anchor it outside RFES with four cement footers, similar to how decks are installed, but Baltimore County Public Schools insisted it be installed on a full cement pad and that the pad be installed by a BCPS-approved contractor.

Only one contractor responded to requests for proposals and the quote was $8,200, which Stu felt was outrageous. An anonymous donor who had read about the issue on the Flyer then, amazingly, stepped up and offered to pay for it out of his own pocket, and the contractor finally dropped the price to $6,900. (Does anyone else find this ridiculous and maddening? Come on, BCPS, work with us here!)

That brought the meeting to about 8:55 PM and it had to end at 9:00 PM because that's when RFES staff were told to lock up. Helfrich suggested the board vote to discuss the screened-in porch issue at the October meeting, after the September board election. The board voted to discuss in October.

Helfrich then brought up the issue of 300 Hopkins and said she was advised to not speak even to board members about it until after the deadline to appeal had passed. (As you may recall, the homeowner sought a variance to keep her deck and the board hired Carroll Holzer to fight it. The variance was denied but the judge said she didn't need a variance in the first place because her home pre-dated the creation of setback rules.)

Board member Ruth Roberts said she felt the issue of covenants and enforcement still needed to be discussed publicly, and Sirota agreed. There was a question of making a motion to discuss covenants at the October meeting but no one made the motion so there was no vote. Helfrich said she feels the covenants are enforceable even in areas where the covenants state they will "cease" in 1960 and that in her opinion only a court ruling could change that.

Sirota then said he wanted to go on record as opposing a parking pad that was recently installed on a homeowner's front yard. (The board had told the homeowners they couldn't have it, Duvall said, but both the county and the state apparently told her the board couldn't stop its installation.)

"I have to say that I see that as having the most egregious negative impact to Rodgers Forge since I've been here, in terms of aesthetics and the adverse impact to our goals of walkability," Sirota said. "And I would like to see the board take up the issue where things like this come up where the county actually agrees with us but does nothing about it. We should address that going forward."

The next time the board meets is September 12 at the annual meeting, at which dues-paying residents can vote for their leadership.


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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dance camp still has openings

Move and Groove Dance Camp for Kids at Lynne Brick's, Belvedere Square

August 13 - 17

This 5 day dance camp for kids ages 6-10 incorporates Hip Hop, Jazz, Line Dancing, Latin, Crafts, Games, & more!
9am-Noon. 
Sign up online or at service desk.
 Deadline to register is Aug. 9.

$139 for members $169 for non-members.


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