Sunday, September 30, 2012

Power out?

A reader just posted on the Flyer's Facebook page about a power outage. I wonder if it's related to the downed wire that's on fire on Lake Avenue at the edge of the country club (which we just drove by after coming home from watching the Os cream the Red Sox!).


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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Reunited and it feels so carbon neutral

I posted in August that Stu Sirota, who was voted the president of the Rodgers Forge board earlier this month, was missing his bike after inadvertently leaving it in his alley, and was hoping for its safe return. Well, here's a pretty crazy update from Stu:

During the first week of school a few weeks ago, I was walking from my home to work (my office is in the building facing York Road right at the end of Hopkins Road) and I ran into an individual who lives near the end of my street near my office. We began talking about the funeral at the Mitchell-Weidefeld funeral home which had been held the previous day across from my office, and had enormous attendance. The funeral was for Patrick 'Scunny' McCusker, the much-beloved owner of Nacho Mamas restaurant who was tragically killed in Ocean City while riding his bike. After the service, hundreds of his friends and family held an impromptu tailgate party in the parking lot, which spilled out into our street and neighborhood. It was very touching and Governor O'Malley even came. You can read about it here.

I mentioned to this individual that I had become aware of the tragedy only a few hours after it occurred through social media because I’m involved with cycling advocacy. When the conversation turned to biking, this individual, out of nowhere, asked me if I needed any extra bikes. I immediately got a strange feeling and responded, "Possibly...why, do you have any?" He then inferred that he picked up discarded bikes in the alleys. I asked him if he happened to pick up a green hybrid with a rack in the rear of 200 Hopkins the previous month. He said he thought he might have. I said it might be mine and asked if I could go see it, to which he agreed.

We walked over to his house and back to his garage. I remember thinking to myself as we approached the garage, "Please let it be my bike"…and upon opening it, there it was!! I was so elated to see it that I just thanked him and didn't give him a hard time about taking it.

I rode my bike home and on the way called my wife on my cell to say, "Go out on the porch...you won't believe this." The look of surprise on her face as I arrived was priceless. Then later that day I hooked up the tandem third wheel (which I had been unable to use since the connector hitch had been on the bike) to pick up my son who just started kindergarten. The surprise on the faces of all three of my kids when they saw me arrive at school on the bike was also priceless. Pretty cool.

So I'd like to dedicate this story to the memory of Scunny McCusker. While I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I understand that he was a very generous and giving person, and he was also one of my peers. It was through his tragic death while riding his bicycle that led to this chain of events that ultimately caused me to get my bike back.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Author Steven Galloway at Notre Dame on Oct. 4

"The Cellist of Sarajevo" Author Steven Galloway
Thursday, October 4 at 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Notre Dame of Maryland University, LeClerc Auditorium
4701 North Charles Street

Meet Steven Galloway, author of "Cellist of Sarajevo," the Maryland Humanities Council’s One Maryland One Book selection for 2012 and the common reading choice of many area schools and book clubs. Featuring a lecture and discussion by Galloway, Q&A and a live performance of Albinoni's haunting Adagio in G Minor featured in the story. This program is supported by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council. Admission is FREE, but register at events.ndm.edu to let us know you are coming!


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Careful driving on York near Bosley



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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Living Social deal for Science Center



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Monday, September 24, 2012

Peanut butter recall expands

Huffington Post: The large-scale recall for Trader Joe's-brand Valencia peanut butter, announced Saturday, now applies to nut butter sold under 14 different brand names at stores around the country, including almond butter and peanut butter with flaxseed sold under Target's in-store brand Archer Farms. Read more here.

And if you're interested, here's info about making your own peanut butter. We do it all the time and it's really easy.


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Rodgers Forge Apartments hiring off-duty officers

"We are excited to announce that we have hired two off duty police officers to help all our residents enjoy their community! They will work a variety of hours and focus specifically on crowd and noise control."
http://www.facebook.com/RodgersForgeApartments


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Gunshots and chaos in Towson

Sounds like things went from bad to worse on Saturday night:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/towson/bs-md-co-towson-crowd-20120923,0,6345250,full.story


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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Message from police about Idlewylde assault

From Towson Police:

On the evening of Wednesday, 9/19 a member of the Idlewylde Community Association was walking home from the meeting when he was physically assaulted by four subjects upon their exiting a vehicle. The incident was documented as a First Degree Assault (a Felony) with the Victim receiving treatment at an area Hospital.

Officers and Detectives from PC06 canvassed the neighborhood of the attack searching for the suspects and vehicle. Thursday morning Officers were directed to a suspicious vehicle parked in the 900 block of Overbrook Rd. Upon investigation this vehicle had been reported stolen to Baltimore City PD a few weeks prior to this incident. Detectives observed the parked vehicle and when several subjects approached and entered it they were arrested. At the conclusion of the investigation it was determined that these individuals were the ones responsible for the assault of the victim thus they were charged. The victim was released from the Hospital following treatment and is recovering at home.

Several points we would like you to disseminate to your fellow residents: Anytime you observe criminal or suspected criminal activity please call 9-1-1 so that we can respond and investigate. In all neighborhoods properly lock and secure all property in and around your residence. This includes locking all vehicles and taking all keys out of the vehicle.


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Friday, September 21, 2012

Nuala Kennedy Trio - tonight



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Thursday, September 20, 2012

New leadership of the Rodgers Forge board

Stu Sirota was voted in as president of the Rodgers Forge board on Wednesday evening. Here's a statement he sent me, along with a list of the other officers:

I am honored to be the new President of the Rodgers Forge Community, Inc. Board of Governors. I have lived in Rodgers Forge since 2005 with my wife Lisa, and our three children, Julia, Kate, and Evan, all of whom attend Rodgers Forge Elementary School. I joined the Board in 2010 because I believe strongly in the power of civic engagement, and felt I could make a positive impact in this wonderful community that we all call home.

During my first two year term on the Board, I was able to establish two new committees with the help of other volunteers: Safe Routes to School and Tree Rodgers Forge, and I feel like we have just scraped the surface of doing great things. Now as president, I look forward to working together with my fellow Board members, residents, our great community schools, and our elected officials to not only expand those initiatives, but also to work on broader issues that affect Rodgers Forge in ways that can strengthen our sense of community, security, and quality of life. I certainly cannot do this alone, and will be relying on the incredible talents and contributions of other community members, just as I did during my first term.

In the coming months, I will be actively reaching out to residents in various ways to solicit ideas and engage in dialogue about how we can make this great community of Rodgers Forge even greater. Please feel free to drop me an e-mail at stusirota(at)gmail.com, as I'd love to hear your ideas!

Respectfully,
Stu Sirota
President
Rodgers Forge Community, Inc.


President - Stu Sirota
Vice President - Jennifer Helfrich
Treasurer - Janice Moore
Recording Secretary - Carol Zielke
Corresponding Secretary - Jay Dunn


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Have you seen Boo?


Hi Kris! My cat, Boo, has wandered off somewhere. The last time anyone saw him was out back in the alley on Sunday morning. He’s an indoor/outdoor cat, so it isn’t unusual for him to be out all night, but it is unusual for him to be gone for days. He’s all white – 2 years old – green eyes. We live on Stanmore just behind the university. jilldfisher(at)hotmail.com Thanks!


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Soup 'N Walk at Cylburn this Saturday



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Curb your enthusiasm

As you may or may not recall, at the Rodgers Forge annual meeting John Rinehart, who was later voted onto the board, asked Councilman Marks about problem curbs in Rodgers Forge. Councilman Marks forwarded this update to me: 
Good afternoon Councilman Marks,

Thank you for your email on behalf of your constituent, Mr. John Rinehart.

Our Inspector, Mr. Hargis, met on-site with Mr. Rinehart on September 17, 2012 and assessed the condition of the curbs within the Rodgers Forge Community.  Mr. Hargis determined that there were some areas that were in need of repairs and are still covered under warranty with the contractor.  These repairs will be made during the 2012-construction season. 

The additional areas that Mr. Rinehart was concerned with were aesthetic issues and not in need of repairs at this time.  However, we will continue to monitor the area and make the appropriate repairs when necessary. 

I hope this information has been helpful.  If you have any questions, or if we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact our offices on x-2230.

Thank you.
James Lathe, Chief
Bureau of Highways


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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Latest crime report, including incident at Rodgers Forge Apartments

September 17: Commercial Burglary, 800 block of Dulaney Valley Road, 21286
At 1:40 a.m., two juveniles were observed jumping over the counter of The Great Cookie inside Towson Town Center. Mall security officers confronted the suspects, who fled on foot. Both suspects, two 16 year old males, were arrested by responding officers.

September 15: First Degree Assault, Unit block of Dowling Circle, 21234
At 12:45 a.m., the victim was attending a party when she was shot with a pellet gun. The suspect is unknown and the victim was transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

September 14: Robbery, Hillsway Avenue and Solar Circle, 21234
Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., three suspects approached the victim and asked him for a cigarette. They assaulted the victim and took his wallet. The suspects are three black males, 17 to 20 years old.


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Rodgers Forge board to elect president tonight

The meeting is open to the public, but no other board business will take place and only board members may vote. Tonight, Sept. 19, in the RFES library.


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

BCPS cancels activities today

Inclement weather means all afternoon and evening activities are cancelled. The Board of Education meeting is also postponed. Details: http://bcps.org/


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Monday, September 17, 2012

Why kids hate school - subject by subject


The Washington Post's Valerie Strauss writes: "A little while ago I published a post by cognitive scientist Roger C. Schank who wrote that contrary to popular opinion, algebra is not necessary and STEM education is overrated.

In this follow-up piece, Schank goes subject by subject explaining why he thinks they are useless and why so many kids hate learning them. Schank, also an artificial intelligence theorist and education reformer, has taught at Stanford and Yale universities and is the John Evans Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Psychology, and Education at Northwestern University."

Read the piece here in which he explains why high school chemistry, history, English, biology and other subjects are a waste of time -- at least the way they are traditionally taught. Do you agree?


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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Accident on Dumbarton

From a Dumbarton Road resident:

Kris, In case you were wondering about noise this morning on Dumbarton after 1am - sounded like a plane crash. A college guy in a blue car driving toward York jumped the speed hump at Pinehurst and broke an axle. He hit the first car across from the fields, glanced off the second then scraped his way almost to Dorking. About five cops agreed he was drunk.


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Friday, September 14, 2012

A fun way to connect with other parents and kids

The Children of the World Co-op is a great place to meet other families with kids ages 1-4. I took my son when he was 1 year old and we're still friends with some of the people we met there.




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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Possible-scam alert from Stoneleigh

This was just posted on the Rodgers Forge listserv via a Stoneleigh resident:

I would like to let others be aware of a probable scam artist in the neighborhood. Yesterday, my elderly neighbor saw a white male around 40, wearing bermuda shorts and a Hawaiian shirt knocking on 2 residents doors on Ridgeleigh Rd. He was calling, by name, someone who does actually live at these two houses.

 No one was home. The man approached my neighbor on his porch, called him by his name and identified himself as a neighbor on Rich Hill. (The man gave the name and address of an actual resident) He told my neighbor that his wife's car had broken down up on Hatherleigh and the tow company would only take cash. He said he had $35 and needed another $40. My neighbor did give him the $40. He said he was nice, but, that he got him a bit rattled because he was on his porch and so gave him the money. This was reported to the police. Today on his way to the bank, he saw the same man, in the same outfit walking along the 900 block of Kingston Rd. My neighbor was quite upset and asked if I would call the police for him. I spoke to an operator who took the information and said she would have a car sent to that area.

This man has all the names and addresses on our streets. He is correctly identifying people with their homes.


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Air conditioning at Dumbarton Middle said to be a "top priority"

Councilman Marks spoke at the Rodgers Forge annual meeting last night and said getting air conditioning at  Dumbarton Middle is a top priority for Kevin Kamenetz, with whom he had just met. Marks said his understanding is that the time frame to get it done is two to three years.

I asked afterward about a report by BCPS that puts Dumbarton behind all high schools and elementary schools in terms of AC priority; it is the top priority of middle schools. (See page 41 of this report.) Marks said he confirmed with a high-ranking official in the Kamenetz administration that DMS is a top priority and that the two to three year time frame still stands and that there is work being done on this independent of BCPS to identify money.

The above post is excerpted from the Annual Meeting recap; it will be of interest to more than just the residents of Rodgers Forge.


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Annual Meeting election results and recap

To start, here are the election results. There were about 25 to 30 people in attendance at the meeting, in addition to most members of the board. On the ballot were 13 candidates with 12 slots open. The winners of the election, in order of highest vote count to lowest, were:

Stu Sirota
Jennifer Helfrich
Dave Crockett, Del Schmidt, Mike Calwell* (tied)
Bryan Tillman
Ginny Allen
Eric Helfrich, John Rinehart (tied)
Kate Glorioso
Roxanne Rinehart, Jean Duvall (tied)

* Mike Calwell's house is under contract and he will be moving out of Rodgers Forge soon. When he does, the president of the RFCA appoints his replacement and the choice must be approved by the board. The replacement serves on the board until the next annual meeting when he/she may run for a seat.

Christiane Rothbaum was not elected. She is the resident who sought a variance for a small deck in her back yard and whose request was fought by the board and its attorney. She told the gathering that if elected she would decline to sign the "loyalty oath" (Conduct of Board Members Statement). It can be read in full below. She also praised the board for many of its good work over the years.

The above results are unofficial; the official results will be announced by the board some time soon.  This is important because last year two candidates that were said to have won at the annual meeting in fact had not won once the votes were double checked later.

You can find the candidates' bios here.

Here's what else happened at the meeting:

Sen. Jim Brochin spoke at the meeting, mostly about Question 7 on the ballot (adding a 6th casino in Maryland). He said he’s against it because it not only lowers the tax rate on casinos from 67% to about 50%, it also would eliminate personal property tax for casino owners while keeping it in place for all other businesses. He acknowledged that politicians always say that gambling money will be used for education but in fact they can use it for anything. He also re-stated his support for a hybrid school board – half appointed by the governor and half elected by voters. Currently all school board members are appointed by the governor.

Board president Jennifer Helfrich gave her report and noted that the board has tried to be more open in communications via the website and the blog and by publishing minutes online. She also pointed to, among other things, the Tree Rodgers Forge committee, the board’s work on vacant homes and the improved relationship with Towson University.

Resident Kathy Kolish said that the annual meeting should not coincide with Back to School Night at Dumbarton Middle as it frequently does. Helfrich said that changing the date would require changing the bylaws but resident Art Buist read from the bylaws and said it did not. Helfrich apologized for the mix up.

Chris Bieneman, co-president of the RFES PTA, asked about how the landscaping could be improved and funded at the school, which he noted was a centerpiece of the community. Nothing definitive was said in response.

Councilman Marks spoke and said 14 roads in Rodgers Forge will likely be resurfaced soon. He also said getting air conditioning at  Dumbarton Middle is a top priority for Kevin Kamenetz, with whom he had just met. Marks said his understanding is that the time frame to get it done is two to three years. I asked afterward about a report by BCPS that puts Dumbarton behind all high schools and elementary schools in terms of AC priority; it is the top priority of middle schools. (See page 41 of this report.) Marks said he confirmed with a high-ranking official in the Kamenetz administration that DMS is a top priority and that the two to three year time frame still stands and that there is work being done on this independent of BCPS to identify money.

John Rinehart said he has noticed that curbs that were re-done recently are already showing cracks. Marks promised to investigate.

Marks also said he wants downtown Towson to be designated a business improvement district, and he acknowledged that Towson Commons (where the closed theater is) is an “enigma” and a problem.

He then gave Helfrich and Jean Duvall county proclamations for their service to Rodgers Forge, noting that Duvall has been on the board for 41 years. The board then also presented Duvall with a plaque to honor her service. Duvall said it’s important for people to know that because of Rodgers Forge’s recent historic designation, they may be eligible for tax credits for home improvements. Details are here.

Board attorney J. Carroll Holzer was in attendance but his presence was not announced. Helfrich said later he was there only to answer any procedural questions that might have been raised but none were.

Helfrich also said later that the new format for the newsletter (color images, a new layout and different fonts and graphics) cost about $100 more than the old newsletter and was paid for from discretionary funds the newsletter has, but that if the board moves forward with that format it will need to vote for a budget increase. She praised the new look but said Lisa Beyer, who revamped it, will not have time to take on the job on a permanent basis but will offer advice from time to time.

The meeting ended with the election, the results of which are noted above. Next week the board will vote on its new leadership (president, treasurer, etc.) The meeting is open to the public but I don’t know where or when it will be held: I will post an update when I know.  However, only board members may vote and no other board business or votes will take place.

Conduct Of Board Members Statement

1. Board members may not present their views as representative of those of the RFC, Inc. Board of Governors where this is not the fact.

2. While serving as a Board member, one may not present oneself or one’s views in such a way wherein it could be inferred that these views represent those of the Board of Governors of the Rodgers Forge Community.
 

3. Board members may not usurp the authority, position, or responsibility of any individual on or any committee of the Board of Governors.
 

4. Board members will not undermine Board determinations. Important decisions are typically made via a board vote, with each issue being discussed and every member present having one vote. It is inappropriate to work against a Board decision because one disagrees with any particular outcome.


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Author John Feinstein at The Ivy Bookshop this Friday


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Sen. Brochin and Councilman Marks will be at annual meeting tonight

Sen. Brochin is the main political speaker at the Rodgers Forge annual meeting tonight. (7:00 PM in the RFES cafeteria.) He will do a legislative wrap up and take questions from the audience. Councilman Marks will give an update on roadwork on York Road and on renovations at Dumbarton Middle School.


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Monday, September 10, 2012

Info about Rodgers Forge board candidates; meeting is this Wednesday

The Rodgers Forge blog has published the bios of candidates for the board. (Read the bios here.) Candidates include two sets of husbands-and-wives.

Some are new to the board or people who are not serving now but have served in the past: Dave Crockett (who helped organize the annual picnic this year), Kate Glorioso (who came up with the new slogan for Towson), Eric Helfrich (husband of the current president and designer of the RF website), John Rinehart, Roxanne Rinehart, and Christiane Rothbaum (she lives on Hopkins and sought a variance for a deck off of her porch and the board hired an attorney to oppose it).

Running for re-election are: Ginny Allen, Jean Duvall (head of the architecture committee), Jennifer Helfrich (the current president), Del Schmit (head of the guideline-review committee), Stuart Sirota (Safe Routes to School), Bryan Tillman, and Mike Calwell (head of Towson's Citizens on Patrol). Mike's house is under contract and he's moving out of Rodgers Forge so it's not clear to me if he'll be on the ballot.

There's a lot of talk in the bios about upholding the neighborhood's covenants. It will be interesting to see if people keep in mind that the covenants and the guidelines are separate. (Most homes' covenants only cover changes to the structure of a home; not the yard or lawn ornaments or what kind of bench people might want to place on a porch.) Read more about Rodgers Forge covenants here.

The annual meeting will be this Wednesday, September 12, at 7:00 PM in the cafeteria of Rodgers Forge Elementary. Only one vote per household and you must live in a house where dues ($25/year) are current. If you haven't paid yet this year, you can pay at the meeting by cash or check.

http://rodgersforgecommunity.blogspot.com/2012/09/annual-meeting-of-rfc-election.html


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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ring found at Tot Lot

Ring found buried on Tot Lot. If you think it might be yours please e-mail tcharris365@gmail.com and describe it.


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Friday, September 7, 2012

It's the last Friday night concert of the summer at Belvedere Square

Tonight it's the Kelly Bell Band. Details are here.


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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Parent-child classes at Ascension



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Meadowbrook will be open this weekend

Because of the bad weather over the summer, Meadowbrook is extending its summer season. The pool will be open 10 AM to 8 PM on September 8 and 9.


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How hot will it get in your child's classroom?

 From Laurie Taylor-Mitchell:

Anyone who has a child in a school without air conditioning in Baltimore County needs to be aware of the high heat and humidity for the rest of the week.  Please send me information on temperatures and any health problems or illnesses with children at particular schools. ltmitchell4(at)comcast.net

You can calculate what the temperature and humidity actually feel like by using the Heat Index Calculator: http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/html/heatindex.shtml

Enter the temperature and the relative humidity and you will see the temperature that it feels like to your child or to a teacher or staff member working outside of an administrative office.  All administrative offices in BCPS are air conditioned.

Tuesday, in Towson, by 10:00 a.m., with the high humidity, it felt like 91 degrees.  By 2:00 p.m., it felt like 99 degrees.

These are the temperatures endured by the teachers and children in Pleasant Plains Elementary, Westowne Elementary, Hampton Elementary, and Pikesville High School, just to name a few of the 40% of BCPS schools without adequate climate control.


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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Michael Phelps to be honored Monday

Details are in The Sun.


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St. Pius parishoner carjacked outside Govans church

Read about it in the Catholic Review.


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Accident on York just above Stevenson

Takes up both lanes of southbound traffic. 12:30 pm.

(Short and sweet from my phone.)


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Try out a Music Together class (free!)


Music Together of Charm City has free demo classes September 8 and September 11 at 10:00 AM in Roland Park.  To register for one, click here.


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Dumbarton Middle closed today

No water. www.bcps.org/status


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Defenders' Day celebrations this weekend at Fort McHenry

In commemoration of the defense of Fort McHenry on September 13 and 14, 1814, Fort McHenry will be hosting the annual Defenders' Day Weekend on September 8 and 9, 2012. Events will include musical performances, author presentations, artillery and musket firing, and fireworks. Details are here.


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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New story-time play group at Brown Memorial (it's free!)


Details here.


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Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy 50th, Eddie

A note from Kate Glorioso

Kris,

Hi! I just saw Eddie Plummer and he told me today is his 50th birthday. If you don't know who he is, he's the wonderful Rodgers Forge resident that is always out and about doing some type of yard work (mainly down at the funeral home). Hope you can post on the Forge Flyer that today is his birthday and have people wish him Happy 50th if they see him.

Thanks,
Kate


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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Towson Presbyterian hiring preschool teachers

Towson Presbyterian Preschool is looking for two teachers to start immediately:

  • a morning preschool teacher, hours M-F 8:30-12:15 teaching a class of three year olds on MWF and a class of two year olds on TTh.
  • a teacher in our After School Program, hours M-F. 11:30-5:30.
A BA or BS degree is required for both positions along with at least 15 credits of Early Childhood Education. If interested please contact us at towsonpreschool@comcast.net or 410-337-2762.


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Runners and walkers needed for charity team at running festival

Towson-based Maryland CASA Association, a non-profit organization that recruits and trains volunteers to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates for children under court protection due to abuse and neglect, is seeking runners and walkers to join its charity team at the Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival on October 13, 2012. 

Team CASA needs 50 more members to reach the 150 minimum required to qualify as a charity team.  Team members may compete in the 5k, half-marathon, full marathon or team relay.  There is also a Kids Fun Run.  Team members will receive an official Team CASA performance race shirt and access to the Team CASA tent in Celebration Village for food and drink throughout the day.  Incentive prizes will be provided for team members who reach designated fundraising levels and there will be top prizes for the top fundraisers.  Corporate sponsors and individual supporters are also needed to support our team.  We are also seeking volunteers to help at a water stop on the race route. 

To register, please visit http://www.goteamcasa.org/ or call 410-828-6761 for more information.


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