Baltimore County Now
by Tim Murphy
Baltimore County Department of Economic Development
From the World Trade Center at the Inner Harbor, visitors can take in a long view of the natural waterways and man-made infrastructure leading into Baltimore. From this perch, the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) recently gathered economic development professionals to look at how a major expansion of the Panama Canal can lead to economic expansion here at home.
In just two years, the Panama Canal will open new shipping lanes capable of handling vessels with three times the current cargo loads. These so-called “super ships” will make it cost-effective to carry goods from the Pacific Rim, through the Canal, and directly to customers along the East Coast.
A new Towson University RESI report, commissioned by the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore (EAGB), studied the local impact. The Port of Baltimore is one of only two Eastern seaports currently capable of handling these vessels. According to the RESI study, “the growth and investment in the supply chain will be exponential, impacting everything from shipping and rail line construction to warehousing and terminal development.”
Baltimore County Department of Economic Development’s Strategic Operations Plan, released earlier this year, intentionally aligns with these high employment clusters, including manufacturing, port-related industries, logistics, and distribution centers. Economic Development is also focusing on nine business investment areas, including Sparrows Point. A Sparrows Point Partnership advisory group is providing guidance to the County on the specific types of businesses and new jobs that will benefit from an expanded Panama Canal and Port.
Attendees at the MEDA conference agreed that “opportunity knocks,” but to take full advantage, it will take a coordinated, focused and planned effort. Baltimore County is already ahead of the game.
by Jordan Fish
Baltimore County Office of Tourism
Baltimore County is in the holiday spirit! Be sure to check our list of the many events and programs going on around the County during the month of December. From train gardens to choral shows to tree lightings – it’s the most wonderful time of the year in Baltimore County!
SATURDAYS IN DECEMBER
Holiday Train Garden at the Fire Museum of Maryland Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Kids of all ages will enjoy the rebuilt Holidays Train Garden at the Fire Museum of Maryland. Featuring the Bromo Seltzer Tower and a burning building, complete with fire engines and hoses crisscrossing the fire ground. Watch Antique O-Scale trains and a street car wind their way past Baltimore neighborhoods, the Zoo, Gwynn Oaks Amusement Park and the Viaduct.
Wine Country Christmas Saturdays through December 22, 1-5 p.m. (free)
Boordy's Barn is the perfect setting for seasonal merry-making with traditional music, a tour of the winery, and steaming Wassail (a specialty from Boordy for over twenty-five years). A Wine tasting of six samples and a wineglass is available for $5. Wines may be purchased by the glass or bottle for enjoying in the barn with your friends. The wineshop will be brimming with gifts for hard to please wine lovers!
Saturday, December 1
Holiday Lights Community Open House at CCBC Catonsville 12-3 p.m. (free)
The CCBC Catonsville Foundation hosts a “Holiday Lights” community open house in the historic Hilton Mansion on the Catonsville campus of the Community College of Baltimore County, 800 S. Rolling Road. The open house will offer activities for adults and children of all ages including face painting, craft stations, balloon art and a visit by Santa’s elves. Join us for tours of the Hilton Mansion, an early 20th century, Georgian-revival mansion farmhouse. Light refreshments with a seasonal flair will be served.
6th Annual Holiday Hoopla & Cookie Tour 4-7 p.m. (free)
This is the stuff happy holiday memories are made of. Come for the legendary Christmas Parade, Santa and Ms. Claus, the free cookie tour and Center Place transformed with lights and decorations – and hot cocoa all around!
Glyndon by Candlelight 4-8 p.m.
A self-guided tour of unique and varied houses in Baltimore County's First Historic District, decorated for the holidays. Limited tickets are available. Non-refundable ticket donation: $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Baltimore County Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 6-8 p.m. (free)
Baltimore County Tree Lighting at Olympic Park, near Towson Circle. Bring the entire
family for an evening of fun and festivities which include: Santa’s arrival by fire engine, Christmas tree lighting ceremony, opening of Santa’s Workshop at the old Hutzler’s on Towson Circle with reindeer, Beau & Tinsel. Receive reduced parking rates at the parking garage located at Nottingham Center, 502 Washington Avenue.
Sunday, December 2
Children’s Chorus of Maryland & School of Music present “Winter Joy” 3 p.m.
Children's Chorus of Maryland is pleased to be joined by special guests Leslie Margolis, flute, Eyal Bor, clarinet, Jacqueline Betz, violin, and Kenneth Whitley, cello as we present "Winter Joy." From Johannes Ockeghem to Irving Berlin, from a rousing Wassail to subtly nuanced jazz chords to soothing Handelian strains, celebrate with us as we hail the delights of the winter season. Gordon Center for Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave.
Friday, December 7
Holidays at Hampton December 7-9 (free)
Get into the holiday spirit early with "Holidays at Hampton" where the public can celebrate the season at Hampton National Historic Site. Visitors will experience 2 centuries of holiday traditions at Towson's only National Park - all of the festivities are free and open to the public. Special evening tours, carriage rides, period crafts, musical & dance performances, African-American storytelling and unique holiday shopping in the Museum Shop are just part of the revelries taking place during the "Holidays at Hampton" Yuletide weekend of Friday, December 7 through Sunday, December 9, 2012. To commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, there will be a special emphasis on the fashion, music and dancing of "1812" during "Holidays at Hampton."
Fire & Ice at Night 6-9 p.m. (free)
View the ice sculptures located around Downtown Towson! There will also be street performers, and free roasted chestnuts and s’mores offered by area restaurants. Visit www.towsonchamber.com for a map of ice sculptures or just come to Downtown Towson!
Saturday, December 8
Breakfast with the Grinch 9 a.m.
For a memorable holiday breakfast, bring your kids to eat along with the holiday character, The Grinch. Souris’ Saloon, 537 York Road/Towson Circle. $5 Children $10 Adults
Holiday Movie & Santa's Workshop 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. (free)
Kids can shop for holiday gifts at Santa’s Workshop where gifts are priced from $1 to $2. At 10:30 am, enjoy watching The Grinch together. 1 E. Joppa Road/Towson Circle.
Benjamin Banneker Planetarium Show – “Christmas Story” 10 a.m. (free)
The Christmas Story displays the sky from Bethlehem around the time of Jesus’ birth and presents possibilities about what astronomical events could have been a Christmas star. D Building, D-003, CCBC Catonsville, 800 S. Rolling Road.
Music Forum at CCBC Essex – CCBC Chamber Singers 7:30 p.m. (free)
This select choral ensemble, under the direction of CCBC faculty member Monica Otal, will present diverse music of the holiday season, including excerpts from Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio. E Building Recital Hall, CCBC Essex, 7201 Rossville Blvd.
Friday, December 14
Street Performers 6-9 p.m. (free)
Enjoy a variety of street performers located throughout Downtown Towson as you shop for the holidays, eat and celebrate in one of the many locally owned restaurants!
Saturday, December 15
Breakfast with Frosty 9 a.m.
For a memorable holiday breakfast, bring your kids to eat along with Frosty the Snowman. Strapazza, 12 W. Allegheny Ave. $5 Children $10 Adults
Holiday Movie & Santa's Workshop 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. (free)
Kids can shop for holiday gifts at Santa’s Workshop where gifts are priced from $1 to $2. At 10:30 am, enjoy watching Frosty the Snowman together. 1 E. Joppa Road/Towson Circle.
Thursday, December 20
Men’s Shopping Night 5-8 p.m. (free)
Men, tonight is your shopping night! Locally owned shops in Downtown Towson will offer specials and promotions and help you select the perfect gifts. Souris’ will even wrap your gifts for free!
Contributed by Mother Nature
Psst, come closer. I want to share a well-kept secret with you - “Leafcycling.” Haven’t heard of “Leafcycling?” Well, you’re not alone. So let me tell you a little story. To start, we must go back to spring when the deciduous trees are emerging from their long winter “sleep” and their leaves begin to grow.
Leaves take in sunlight and carbon dioxide, and through an amazing process turn it into the food that a tree needs to thrive. Leaves also produce life-giving oxygen for the planet and help to moderate its temperature. Leaves perform this task day in and day out from spring to fall.
When summer ends and temperatures drop, these hard-working little gems provide a magnificent show of colors. But even as these little wonders fall from their branches, they still have much to offer when given the chance. That is where “Leafcycling” comes into play.
Instead of wasting your leaves by raking, bagging and putting them out for the County to collect, put these little gems to use enriching your yard. The easiest way to “Leafcycle” is to run your lawnmower over the leaves where they have fallen and leave the clippings on the lawn. These clippings will decompose over time and enrich the soil with valuable nutrients.
There are a few simple rules that you should follow when “Leafcycling” to obtain the best results:
- Instead of waiting for all of the leaves to fall and mulching them in one cutting, do multiple cuttings. This is especially true if you have a lot of leaves.
- Chop the leaves as finely as possible. The finer the particles, the quicker they will decompose. A mulching mower will assist in this process, but any mower can be used.
- Make sure the leaf particles don’t cover the tops of the grass blades. You don’t want to smother your lawn.
If the mulched leaves are higher than the tops of the grass blades, you can place the excess around your annual plants, shrubs, hedges and trees. A six-inch layer of mulched leaves will quickly settle into the ideal three-inch layer that will help to keep soil moist and protect the plants’ roots through winter.
Make it easy on yourself and give your lawn, garden and the environment a boost by using these little gems as I intended.
Thanks from Mother Nature and the Baltimore County Bureau of Solid Waste Management, Recycling Division.