Baltimore County Digest

Baltimore County Digest

July 11, 2006

Candidates are urged to back park funds

Environmental and conservation activists gathered yesterday in Towson to call on candidates for governor and the General Assembly to pledge not to divert state funding from parks and recreation.

At a news conference at Towson Manor Park, activists said public opinion polls show that Maryland voters overwhelmingly support Program Open Space, the state program that since 1969 has financed park and recreation land purchases around the state with tax revenues from real estate sales.

About 20 percent of the state's land has been preserved for playing ball, picnicking, hiking or just enjoying nature, about the amount that has been developed, said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, staff attorney for Environment Maryland. The remainder of the state "hangs in the balance," she said, with 1.5 million more people expected to move to Maryland over the next 25 years.

Marcia Verploegen Lewis, executive director of Partners for Open Space, representing 140 community and conservation groups, said Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and lawmakers removed hundreds of millions of dollars from the program over the past four years to help balance the state budget. Though officials restored funding levels last year, she warned that the program's future is uncertain because the state faces a long-term structural budget deficit that might tempt them to tap the land conservation fund again.

Nine candidates from both parties appeared at the rally, most of them from Baltimore County but including hopefuls from Harford County and Baltimore. All pledged their support for open-space funding, though some incumbents -- including Sen. James Brochin, a Baltimore County Democrat, and Del. Adrienne A. Jones, a Baltimore County Democrat and House speaker pro tem - emphasized that the governor controls the budget far more than the legislature does.

Timothy B. Wheeler

Public schools

Open house on curriculum tomorrow

Parents and others are invited to learn more about the development of Baltimore County public schools' curriculum at an open house tomorrow.

Educators are preparing for the coming school year by reviewing and refining curricula at workshops. More than 90 workshops are scheduled until July 28.

At the open house, teachers, administrators and workshop leaders will be available to speak about curriculum development. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Towson High School, 69 Cedar Avenue.


Information, registration offered

Community College of Baltimore County will have information and registration tables in the malls at Owings Mills, White Marsh and Towson this month for its campuses at Catonsville, Dundalk and Essex, and for its extension centers in Hunt Valley and Owings Mills.

Information will include academic degree and program options, financial aid and other college services. Currently enrolled students can also register for classes.

The tables will be set up from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Owings Mills Mall, 10300 Mill Run Circle; and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 21 and July 22 at White Marsh Mall, 8200 Perry Hall Blvd., and July 28 and July 29 at Towson Town Center, 825 Dulaney Valley Road. Information: 410-869-7153.

Seniors event

Former Colt Lenny Moore to speak

The Parkville Senior Center will host author and football Hall of Fame member Lenny Moore, a former Baltimore Colts running back, as part of the Department of Aging Senior Box Office's speaker series.

Moore will speak at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the center, 8601 Harford Road in Parkville. Information: 410-887-5399.

High schools

Two honored for anti-drug efforts

The Maryland State Department of Education has recognized two Baltimore County high schools for their students' participation last year in an anti-drug campaign.

Franklin High School and Western School of Technology and Environmental Science each received $500 to be used toward another anti-drug or anti-drinking activity.

The schools - among 10 honored statewide from more than 50 schools participating in the program, organized by the Education Department and the first lady's office - had a large number of students sign pledges to discuss drug and alcohol openly through the "I WANT TO KNOW/LIVE CLEAN" campaign.

Students also agreed to avoid drugs and alcohol, and received wristbands to increase awareness of drug and alcohol abuse.

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