BCPS Breaks Ground for New Northeast Elementary School

Baltimore County Public Schools broke ground to their new northeast elementary school on Monday, Nov. 20. The new school is being built to relieve overcrowding at Perry Hall, Joppaview, Chapel Hill and many other elementary schools in the area.

While most groundbreakings are ceremonial, this groundbreaking was extremely ceremonial as both structures of the new school are near completion and it appears workers are close to focusing on the exterior and interior of the two buildings. The new school is scheduled to open on Sept. 4, 2018.

As a parent of students in Perry Hall Elementary, I can tell the public firsthand that this new school is necessary. Overcrowding at our elementary schools (middle and high schools too) is a huge problem and this school is much needed.

 

 

Councilman Marks to Hold Public Safety Town Hall Meeting

Councilman David Marks announced that he will host a town hall meeting on public safety on Monday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Perry Hall Library.

The Councilman announced a five-step plan on social media that he will detail more during the Town Hall.

First, he plans to continue to remain in contact with local police precincts in the area. Next, he will invite members of the Towson Area Citizens on Patrol (COP) to the meeting on Monday to help other communities set up COP programs in their neighborhoods.

Marks also wants to work with his fellow council members on a plan to incentivize Baltimore County police officers to live in Baltimore County neighborhoods. It would not be a requirement, but a possible property tax-credit for those officers.

In addition, the councilman explained that the county council does not determine the budget and hopes to encourage the County Executive (and the next County Executive) to fund the hiring of more police officers.

Finally, he calls to improve and strengthen the relationship with law enforcement in surrounding jurisdictions, the state and federal governments.

Sadly, crime appears to have increased over the past few years and I commend Councilman Marks for taking a proactive approach.

His plan has some good ideas and I look forward to hearing more details on Monday.

Two Eastside Art Teachers to be Honored

Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) announced a list of art teachers that will be honored this Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore by the Maryland Art Education Association (MAEA) at their annual awards ceremony.

According to a BCPS news release, six BCPS art teachers will be honored with district recognition and two teachers have been nominated for statewide awards.

One of those teachers is Perry Hall Middle School’s Michele Momenzadeh. She has been nominated for Maryland Middle School Art Teacher of the Year. Momenzadeh was not the only eastside art teacher to receive high honors.

Michele Momenzadeh -BCPS file photo-

Tess Stoner of Halstead Academy in Parkville was one of the six art teachers to be honored with district recognition. Stoner was nominated for Baltimore County Career Elementary Art Teacher of the Year.

“The individuals being honored exemplify not only outstanding teaching in the arts, but also the power of community building within and outside of our schools,” Sherri Fisher, BCPS coordinator of visual arts said of all the nominees in the BCPS new release. “I am proud that our students are able to benefit from their professionalism, dedication, and expertise.”

Congratulations to Ms. Stoner and Ms. Momenzadeh on their awards.

Kamenetz Publicizes Code Violations from Jared Kusher’s Company

Politics is a game that most elected officials play. It comes with the territory, but Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz does not try to disguise it.

On the Baltimore County Government website, there is a big headline “Jared Kushner-Owned Company Fined as Negligent Property Owner in Baltimore County.”

The article (written by Baltimore County) explains that there are more than 200 code violations in apartments owned by the Kushner Cos. Of course, Kamenetz mentioned that the company is owned by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Some of the allegations include more than 200 code violations that were observed by County inspectors within the past year.

Fontana Village and Commons at White Marsh are among the 13 apartments that Kushner Cos. Owns in Baltimore County. The article did not mention that which apartments were in violation of Baltimore County Code Enforcement.

I am sure the county’s allegations of Kushner Cos. are true , but I’m confident that Kushner Cos. is no better or no worse than any of the other apartment complexes in the county. I’m sure the county has investigated and found issues with other apartments (at least I hope they are not singling out Kushner Cos.) so why is there only an article written about Kushner Cos? We know why because it is Jared Kushner’s company.

I’m sure there are some community leaders that are hopefully that Baltimore County Code Enforcement is spending the same amount of time investigating all the property owners of vacant or rundown properties throughout Baltimore County as they are spending on Jared Kushner’s company.

Vehicle Break-ins Reported at Perry Hall and Honey Run Regional Parks

There have been some scary moments in the Perry Hall area as Baltimore County Police reported on Sept. 28 that a Jeep window was broken out and a purse was stolen out of the vehicle at Honeygo Run Regional Park at 9033 Honeygo Boulevard in White Marsh. Then an hour later the same police officer was called to Perry Hall Park at 9650 Honeygo Boulevard for a theft from another vehicle.

According to police, the victim of the vehicle at Perry Hall Park had received an alert on her phone that her credit card was declined at Best Buy at 5200 Campbell Boulevard. When she returned to her vehicle, she discovered that her purse was stolen.

Police discovered that the victim’s credit cards were used at Best Buy in White Marsh and a nearby gas station on Campbell Boulevard. According to police, the victim used the power of Facebook to track down two suspects thought an anonymous tip, and the police investigation also confirmed that information.

Baltimore City Police arrested Charles Allen Fry (39) of no fixed address and Lauren Michelle Richardson (30) of the 300 block of Hidden Valley Road in Tracys Landing in Southern Maryland on Oct. 11 during a traffic stop after a report of a stolen truck out of the county.

Police said that some of the items stolen from the Perry Hall thefts, drug paraphernalia and tools to break into vehicles, were recovered during the arrest.

The press release also mentioned that a similar incident of theft was reported at the White Marsh LA Fitness, located at 8221 Town Center Drive.

Many Perry Hall residents, such as myself, use these Perry Hall parks and it is scary that this type of crime takes place.

Police advise citizens not to leave valuable items in their cars and to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity in the parks.

Perry Hall Football and CCBC Soccer Continue to Win

Everyone thinks of my blog as news and politics, but I’m also a big fan of local sports.

As a resident of Perry Hall, I follow some of Perry Hall High School’s football games. The Gators have the highest population in the county, which means they are able to field a deep football team along with a state championship soccer team in 2015. The down side is that Perry Hall High’s population puts them in the 4A classification with all of the top teams in the state.

The Gators are usually good enough to get to the playoffs, but have lost in the first or second rounds. This year’s team got off to a slow start at 2-2, but they have been on fire with five straight wins. Those wins include Franklin (a state semifinalist in 2016), Dundalk  (a state semifinalist in 2015) and a 49-0 win over a decent Parkville team. Patrick Taylor of the East County Times said he “was slightly disappointed that it turned into a route.” and I agree. Parkville was 6-2 going into that game, but Perry Hall was too strong.

Maybe this is the year where Perry Hall football gets to the state finals and perhaps brings home a state title?

On the college level, Bill Gates of The Avenue News reports that CCBC Essex soccer will play Schoolcraft College in Detroit this Saturday for the NJCAA North Central District Title. According to The Avenue, CCBC Essex got there after beating Frederick Community College in penalty kicks to win their sixth consecutive Region XX title.

CCBC Essex Soccer has made some deep runs too, but has not brought home the national title. Could this be their year?

Another Oak Crest Resident Stays Fit

There must be a fountain of youth located at Oak Crest Retirement Community in Parkville. Last week, I found a Baltimore County profile on an 100-year old Oak Crest resident Evelyn Schroedl who still plays tennis.

Over the weekend, I came across an Avenue News article that another Oak Crest resident is young beyond his years. Bob Gralley is a 91-year old Oak Crest resident that competed in a half marathon during the Baltimore Running Festival back on Oct. 21.

The article stated that Mr. Gralley competed in 42 marathons and competes with his two sons. He also trainings for his races at Oak Crest.

 

Avenue News Profiles Dean Crawford

The Avenue’s Lisa Harlow, who is one of the most underrated reporters in the area, wrote a great feature about Maryland country music star Dean Crawford. In 2016, he was named by the Maryland Music Awards as their Country Entertainer of the Year.

Dean Crawford and I are pictured at his summer concert in Carroll County.

Dean is a big star in the Baltimore area, but is a local celebrity here on the eastside. Dean plays monthly at Pops Tavern in Dundalk and the Crazy Tuna in Essex. He also plays every year at the Dundalk Heritage Fair and he has played at Essex Day.

Lisa’s article was actually a preview of his Oct. 14 performance at Sunset in the Country, another eastside event in Middle River. Many people believe that Dean is a resident of the east side, but he is actually from Reisterstown.

Dean Crawford is so well-known on the east side that there were rumors in 2014 that he was going to run for public office in the Dundalk/Essex area. Even though he lives in northwest Baltimore County.

I have known Dean for over 10 years now and he is a true class act.

I encourage everyone to read The Avenue News article.

Happy 100th Birthday to Active Tennis Player – by Ben Boehl –

Happy 100th Birthday to Oak Crest resident Evelyn Schroedl. Michael Schneider from Baltimore County Recreation and Parks wrote an excellent article about Ms. Schroedl on the Baltimore County Government blog.

Many of us hope to make it to 100 in any type of capacity, but Ms. Schroedl is still an active tennis player at that historic age. The article stated that she plays once a week at The Northeast Regional Rec. Center in Parkville, but she didn’t start to play tennis until she turned 65 when she started at CCBC Essex in 1981.

Ms. Schroedl has a remarkable story and I encourage everyone to read Mr. Schneider’s article

 

Naming the New Northeast Elementary School – by Ben Boehl-

BCPS has announced that they are inviting the public to submit name ideas for the new northeast elementary school in Perry Hall.

Community members can submit their name ideas with an online form You may also submit more than one name.

I wrote a blog about this in the spring. I like the name Honeygo Elementary with the irony of Honeygo ES being located on Joppa Road as Joppaview ES is already located on Honeygo Boulevard.
BCPS also announced that Charlene Behnke is the new principal at the school. She was the principal at Vincent Farm Elementary.