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By Benn Ray, benn@atomicbooks.com | December 2, 2013
'Tis holiday season in Baltimore's most holiday-happy neighborhood! Walking the Avenue (West 36th Street) at this time of year is especially magical. Sidewalks are filled with shoppers who appreciate and value small, locally-owned businesses. Light poles and storefronts are decorated with lights, shiny bulbs and tinsel. Is there really any place better to be than Hampden? Careful how you answer that, because I am fully prepared to debate anyone who answers that question "yes. " The most immediate excuse to come to Hampden is for the 41st Annual Mayor's Christmas Parade, Sunday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m..
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October 6, 2014
I would like to sit down with Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and explain to him the permanency of death ( "Olympian Michael Phelps arrested for drunken driving a second time ," Sept. 30). In 2004, my son had just graduated high school and had his whole life ahead of him - until a drunk driver hit and killed him in November. Maybe Mr. Phelps would like to explain to me, since I have never received any explanation from the 55-year-old woman who struck my son, why he is above the law. What gives him the right to jeopardize everyone else?
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Editorial from The Aegis | December 6, 2012
In announcing her congregation's decision this year to have a public menorah lighting celebration to mark the Hanukkah season, Rabbi Gila Ruskin made a key observation that is a painful reminder of the not-so-distant past. "Some of the old-timers in the congregation said there was a time when they were trying to keep their identity not secret but very low-profile, because there just weren't a lot of Jews in Harford County," the rabbi from Temple Adas Shalom in Havre de Grace told an Aegis reporter, adding, "I think it's a real step for them to feel comfortable having a public menorah like other synagogues do. " An unfortunate reality of American culture is the fear of minority groups by so-called majorities.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman and The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2014
Kohl's Department Stores plans to hire roughly 2,300 people at its Edgewood facility in anticipation of online holiday orders, the company said Thursday. The jobs are part of some 67,000 the Wisconsin-based firm expects to add during the holiday season, including roughly 50 people per store and 9,300 at distribution centers, the firm said in a release. Kohl's has roughly 1,160 locations in 49 states. Seasonal hiring at the Edgewood e-commerce fulfillment center will finish in November.
BUSINESS
By Andrea Walker, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | December 14, 2010
From The Consuming Interests blog: All you big spenders out there are making retailers very happy this holiday season. So much so that the National Retail Federation is raising its sales outlook for the season. The trade group said that it is revising its forecast to 3.3 percent, up from 2.3 percent. Improvement in several economic indicators prompted NRF to issue the better forecast. Stock market gains, recent income growth and savings built up during the recession are all giving consumers better capacity to spend, the group said in a press release.
TRAVEL
By Megan Brockett, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2013
There's no place like home for the holidays - and if home is more than a few miles away, you know that there's no experience quite like holiday travel.  If you're looking to avoid costly airfares or long drives through road-rage-inducing traffic, here's a deal for you: Megabus.com guarantees at least one $1 seat on every bus, every day through Jan. 7. The company recently announced ticket sales for the holiday season and booking now gives...
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By Mike Giuliano | November 22, 2012
The holiday season calendar tends to fill up pretty quickly, so it's not too soon to start your shopping for classical music concerts in December. One classy upcoming program to keep in mind is the Columbia Orchestra's next concert on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School. Just as chestnuts are roasting on an open fire at this time of year, the program ignites with beloved musical chestnuts by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. However, it also includes the Maryland premiere of a short piece by New York-based composer Nkeiru Okoye.
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By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | December 26, 2012
The holiday theater season in Anne Arundel County started early in December and lasted through this past week, with festive and sacred concerts, "The Nutcracker" ballet and annual favorites showcasing the talents of local children. Memories of these shows bring smiles that should last into the new year, and while that holiday glow lingers, we reminisce. For many, the holiday season began at Eastport United Methodist Church on Dec. 2, when the Arundel Vocal Arts Society's "A Symphony of Song" concert, conducted by JoAnn Kulesza, opened the society's 30th season.
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By Louise Vest | December 18, 2011
100 Years Ago Paying a call From the Times' social column: "Miss Marie Wylie of Fairview has returned home after visiting Mrs. Estelle Bach of Walbrook. Mrs. Ella Tillman of Baltimore, visited her mother Mrs. Samuel Longfelter last week. Mr. and Mrs. F. Parhim Scott are spending the week in Philadelphia. Miss Amelia Pickett spent Friday last with Elsie and Dora Chaney. Miss Edith Christian spent Sunday at the home of her parents Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Christian" 1911 Version of The Mall: Seems one could find everything their family and their horses needed for the season at this Hammonds, as this December 1911 Times ad describes: "XMAS!
SPORTS
Kevin Cowherd | December 17, 2011
As usual, it looks like the Orioles are celebrating this holiday season on the cheap. No big-name free agents under the tree to energize the fan base. No va-va-voom trades to get folks counting down the days until spring training. Instead, here's a sample of who the O's have acquired thus far to reverse 14 straight losing seasons: A light-hitting backup catcher. A soft-throwing lefty starter from Japan. A journeyman lefty starter who has kicked around six other major league teams.
NEWS
By Sarah Polus, Capital News Service | December 30, 2013
The weeks leading to the holidays tend to be the most active for oyster poachers in the Chesapeake Bay, but the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and state police were hoping in recent days that new technology and harsher penalties would help them crack down on illegal oyster harvesting. Poaching includes harvesting undersized oysters, exceeding bushel limits or harvesting in areas designated as sanctuaries, said Natural Resources Police Capt. David Larsen said. Mostly due to overharvesting and disease, "currently less than 1 percent of historic levels of oysters exist in the bay," said Sarah Widman, a Department of Natural Resources Fishery spokeswoman.
NEWS
December 27, 2013
Here are but a few items I wish for Baltimore and Maryland as we quickly approach the coming year: •A resolution for Baltimore's speed camera debacle. Can't you just get it fixed? •Leaders for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services who can wrest back total and unfettered control of our beleaguered prison system. •Patience for Ravens fans. If they would accept this current season as a rebuilding year, it seems to make things a bit more palatable.
BUSINESS
By Colin Campbell and Krishana Davis, Baltimore Sun Media Group | December 26, 2013
Reggie Arthur pulled an electric Razor scooter he'd bought his 8-year-old granddaughter, Shay Divers, for Christmas into the Mondawmin Mall Target store Thursday. The scooter — bright purple, her favorite color — was great, Arthur said, but it had a defective back wheel. Arthur and his granddaughter were two of the thousands of area shoppers lured back to stores the day after Christmas to return gifts, cash in gift cards and look for bargains. The stores, many with expanded hours, are hoping to attract shoppers this week to remedy what has been a so-so holiday season.
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By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | December 24, 2013
At this time of year, as Morstein's Jewelers fields calls from shoppers trying to make the Christmas Day deadline, third-generation owner Sonny Morstein finds himself asking the same question. "This is probably over 45 years of saying, 'Why are they waiting until the last minute!'"he said, estimating that about 40 people swung through his doors on Light Street in Federal Hill Tuesday. "They call and we say, 'Well, if you're coming, we'll wait for you.'" As a slower-than-expected holiday season winds down, many retailers may be wishing they had Morstein's problem.
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By Jonathan Pitts, The Baltimore Sun | December 19, 2013
For the Douglas clan of Nottingham, the most magical time of the year doesn't start until they spend a morning oohing and ahhing their way through the aisles of the glittering winter wonderland that is the annual Christmas display and sale at Valley View Farms in Cockeysville. For more than 40 years, employees at the popular garden and nursery center have started as early as the summer to transform its interior into a holiday cavalcade, including aisle upon aisle of ornaments from around the world, heavily laden trees as tall as 12 feet, and shelves of gifts that range from $400, hand-carved German nutcrackers to $19 stockings festooned with crabs.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | December 19, 2013
Connie Rhodes had an extra incentive to head to North Carolina from Dundalk this holiday season. Three of her grandchildren got married this year, and for their first Christmas with their spouses, "they wanted Grandma there," the 64-year-old said Wednesday as she waited for a train at Penn Station in Baltimore. "It made me feel good," she said, a neat, snowman-embroidered bag at her feet. From now until New Year's Day, nearly 2 million Marylanders are expected to hit the road, catch flights and settle into train cars en route to holiday destinations, about the same number as made trips last year, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
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By Bob Allen | December 3, 2013
After 20 years, Catonsville's annual lighting of the town's Christmas Tree and welcoming of Santa easily qualifies as a cherished tradition for this tightly-knit community. The Nov. 30 event was ample proof of that. Greg Morgan, the spark plug behind Catonsville's annual Yuletide celebration since its outset, was overcome with emotion as he stood on a portable stage and welcomed more than a thousand people, young and old, to Saturday evening's event in the 700 block of Frederick Road.
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December 3, 2011
SYKESVILLE - The Town of Sykesville will host its Merry Main Street event Saturday, Dec. 3 from 2 to 9 p.m. The event kicks off the holiday season in Sykesville. As part of the event, the Sykesville Town House, 5747 Main St., will be open from 2 to 5 p.m. with children's activities, a visit by the "Grinch" and music by String Echoes. Shops will be decorated throughout the town, and Santa will arrive by fire truck at 6 p.m. Other events on Main Street include ice sculpting demonstration, carolers, the town's model railroad display, photos with Santa in the Pullman Car, refreshments and additional live music.
BUSINESS
Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella | December 18, 2013
Consumers who want guaranteed Christmas delivery on their online purchases better act fast. Most retailers -- 84.2 percent -- say guaranteed delivery for the holiday will end before Dec. 20, according to Shop.org's eHoliday survey, completed by Prosper Insights & Analytics. And nearly three quarters of online sellers plan to end free shipping promotions on or before Dec. 20th. "With Christmas falling on a Wednesday this year, we expect to see numerous offers from retailers for expedited and express shipping as we head into the final stretch and potentially biggest weekend of the holiday season," said Vicki Cantrell, executive director of Shop.org.
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Susan Reimer | December 18, 2013
It is old-school, all right, but one of the traditions columnists observe at this time of year is to highlight a favorite charity, reminding readers who have donated in the past to do so again. So again this year I will focus on "Be a Santa to a Senior," a holiday fund-raising campaign to provide a little something to those who are the most vulnerable among us - the aging poor. It was begun a decade ago by Paul and Lori Hogan, founders of Home Instead Senior Care, which provides nonmedical, in-home care for seniors.
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