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Baltimore County News

Baltimore County News

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  1. Baltimore County Offices Closed for Presidents’ Day Holiday –

    Trash and Recycling Collection Normal, Drop-off Facilities Open

    Baltimore County government offices, and the District and Circuit Courts, will be closed on Monday, February 20 in recognition of the Presidents’ Day holiday. Health Department clinics, libraries and senior centers will be closed, and CountyRide vans will not operate.  Parking meters must be fed and Baltimore County Revenue Authority parking garages will be open as usual.

    Trash and recyclables will be collected according to the normal schedule.  The County’s trash and recycling drop-off facilities will be open.  Residents can log onto for more information about recycling and trash collection, including schedules and drop-off center locations and hours. Residents may also call the Bureau of Solid Waste Management at 410-887-2000.

    Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:00:00 GMT
  2. Kamenetz recognizes highest ranking woman in Fire Department’s history, Assistant Chief Jennifer Aubert-Utz

    Baltimore County is a national leader in terms of diversity in public safety agencies

    This morning, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Fire Chief John Hohman honored Assistant Fire Chief Jennifer Aubert-Utz, whose recent promotion makes her the highest ranking woman in the history of the Baltimore County Fire Department. Assistant Chief is the second highest rank in the fire department.

    The Baltimore County Fire Department is recognized nationally as a leader in promoting gender diversity, with women making up some 20% of its sworn members, compared to the national average, which is in the single digits. The previously highest ranking female was A. Danelle England-Dansicker, a Division Chief, who retired in 2005.

    “I am very proud of Assistant Chief Aubert-Utz’s achievement, and now little girls all around the County know that they could grow up to one day become the Fire Chief,” said Kamenetz.

    Aubert-Utz holds a master’s degree in management with a concentration in public safety leadership from Johns Hopkins University, and she completed the four-year Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy in 2015. She has devoted time to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and has taken a particular interest in pedestrian safety concerns, serving on pedestrian safety committees for the County and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. A Parkville resident, she has served in the Fire Department for 17 years.

    “In addition to being extremely conscientious, forward-thinking and a real self-starter, Assistant Chief Aubert-Utz is a natural leader who has a uniquely effective way of mentoring people to draw out their individual strengths and inspire them to succeed,” said Fire Chief John Hohman.  “She has earned the respect of our personnel with her vision and skills, and it is not so remarkable that she is a woman, but that she is so talented. She is recognized across the country for her leadership and is a role model and leader for both men and women in the fire service.”

    “I feel honored to be chosen as the first woman to attain the rank of Assistant Chief," Aubert-Utz said. "I hope I can inspire other young women to pursue careers in community service."

    "I'm familiar with Chief Aubert-Utz's excellent reputation from when she worked in my district and congratulate her on her quick ascension through the ranks," said Baltimore County Council Chair Tom Quirk.


    Thu, 16 Feb 2017 18:02:00 GMT
  3. Exploring nature in the winter. Or how to keep the kids busy this holiday weekend.

    Cold winter weekend, kids in the house and that constant refrain “There’s nothing to do around here!”

    Are you prepared?  Because, you know, it is coming. President’s Day weekend is just around the corner. Followed by another winter weekend and another and another…you get the idea.

    Baltimore County Recreation and Parks to the rescue.

    We put the word out to several of our outstanding naturalists and rangers and came up some fun things to do that are also great teaching moments.  Here are some super places to visit, recipes for the birdies, winter scavenger hunt ideas and fun stuff to make that holiday weekend one to remember.

    Saturday, February 18  Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and MuseumTracks and Trails Detectives.  1:30 – 3 p.m.  Winter animals are out and about even in winter’s cold. Learn about the clues they leave and join us on the trails to practice your animal detective skills.  Dress for the weather.  Children ages 5 – 10 with an adult.  $2 per child; $5 family rate.  Register in advance.  410-887-1081

    Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19  Marshy Point Nature CenterMaple Sugar Time.  11 a.m. to 4 p.m. How do you get sap from a tree; how is maple sugar made; who made maple syrup and sugar? Join us for this ongoing weekend program where we’ll tap a tree, taste sap and boil up maple syrup.  Tree tapping hikes every hour until 3 p.m.  Free.  410-887-2817

    Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19  Lake RolandBird Extravaganza.  10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Live birds, crafts, birding hikes, campfire, hot drinks and kids’ games.  All these great activities as you search for birds in the “Great Backyard Bird Count”.  No pre-registration, no cost and open to everyone.  410-887-4156

    Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19  Oregon Ridge Nature Center. Maple Sugaring Weekend10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Come on down to our Sugar Shack to learn the magic behind the fascinating process of making maple syrup. Take an invigorating guided hike to the sugar bush to tap a tree for sap. Then, taste maple syrup and sugar. Hikes on the hour. Sugar on the snow demos at 12:30 and 3:45. Sugar time activities are free. Pure Maple Candy and Syrup will be sold in the Nature Center.  410-887-1815

    Saturday, February 18  Cromwell Valley Park. Dead Leaves, Cheese, Butter and Kimchi. 1 to 2:30 p.m. What do they all have in common?  Fermentation. Learn how fermentation allows our planet to work and then make your own fermenter. Bring a one gallon jug.  $3 members; $5 non-members. Space is limited.  Ages 8 and up. 410-887-2503

    Sunday, February 19 Cromwell Valley ParkTracks on T-Shirts. 1 to 3 p.m. Learn to identify animals by the clues they leave behind and make your very own animal track t-shirt. Bring a light color t-shirt from home. $2 members; $4 non-members. All ages. 410-887-2503

    Monday, February 20 Lake Roland. School’s Out Day. 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Unplug the kids and let them spend the day exploring nature at the park. Bring lunch, snack, and water. Ages 6-12. $25 per child for the day from 8:30 to 2:30. Additional $10 for extended hours from 2:30 to 4:30. Registration required. 410-887-4156


    Fun for any weekend

    How about a day at one of our parks and nature centers.  Click here for a list of Baltimore County parks that can fill your day with fun and adventure.

    Here are some nature projects if staying home or near home might be more your style.

    So there you have it – your weekend is all planned.  Like vegetables, don’t tell your kids that it’s good for them too!

    By Michael Schneider, Baltimore County Department of Recreation & Parks 

    Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:30:00 GMT
  4. For love of the arts

    Arts are all around you.” Yes, this brazenly borrows a theme from Love Actually’s signature song.  But look around.

    Paintings by Baltimore County artists hang on restaurant walls, in community galleries and performing arts center lobbies. Kids watch their first play, young men discover ballet, and fifth graders swirl to ballroom dancing. Jazz fills senior centers, chamber music comes to chapels and choral choirs sing at colleges. A modern barn mural and land art surprise us at the Baltimore County Agricultural center. 

    At a time when the arts could feel like a luxury, their value is greater than ever.

    Bottom-line economic impact

    More than 5,900 people work in 1,853 arts-related creative businesses in Baltimore County, according to Dunn & Bradstreet. So whether you are an artist at a game development studio, photographer, theater director, musician, advertising writer, designer, television producer or on the film crew, you’re in good company in Baltimore County.

    The arts help us learn, and there’s data to prove it.

    Low-income Baltimore City Public Schools students who participated in a 2016 arts-related summer academic program from Young Audiences avoided summer learning loss and, in many cases, gained ground on their national peers in standardized testing, according to evaluations. 

    Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, 3rd graders who participate in high-quality music programs score higher on reading and spelling tests, according to a study published in Advanced Cognitive Psychology.

    Students who study art are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and three times more likely to be awarded for school attendance, according to The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

    The arts enrich our lives. 

    As part of an exhibition at the Asian Arts & Culture Center at Towson University, visitors were asked to share their thoughts around this idea:  “People around the world create art in order to _____.” Here are just a few of the more than 200 responses.

    Have fun. Be creative. Maintain sanity.

    Express their deepest struggles and greatest joys for others to see.

    Set themselves free. Be heard.

    Teach. Believe. Inspire.

    Open minds to new ideas. Make the world more beautiful. Encourage happiness. Speak one soul to another. Unite communities. See the world in a different way. Deliver a message that can’t be said otherwise.

    Share life stories and testimonies. Express universal truth.

    Relax. Live fully. Connect.  

    At a time when having a good connection means having good Wi-Fi, the arts make the case for human connections. Today is an especially good day to love the arts. 

    By Fronda Cohen, Director, Baltimore County Arts & Sciences Commission

    Tue, 14 Feb 2017 13:30:00 GMT
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