Baltimore County Now
Baltimore County Public Safety Information Specialist
Halloween is the time of year when children dressed as monsters, superheroes, animals and the like set out to frighten and delight neighbors, friends and family while collecting as much candy as they can possibly carry.
Although these trick-or-treaters are far too cute to scare us adults, Halloween can be a terrifying night for parents. Why? Because Halloween, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, is the second-deadliest day of the year for pedestrians.
With the threat of vehicles driving too fast, parents should follow these simple steps to protect their little ones while they enjoy their Halloween fun:
- Trick-or-treat while there is still daylight. The sun goes down at 6:08 p.m., and a 5 p.m. start gives the little ghouls and goblins plenty of time to gather treats from the neighborhood. Walking in the dark is dangerous and places your child, and others, in harm’s way.
- It is best to stay within your neighborhood. Remind trick-or-treaters to go to only homes where the porch light is on.
- Provide children with flashlights or other non-flammable light sources so they can see and be seen while walking.
- Tell your kids to walk on the sidewalk. If there are no walkways, stay as close to the curb as possible.
- Many costumes are dark and difficult to see at night. If you’re going to be out after sunset, make it easier for drivers to see trick-or-treaters by applying reflective tape to dark costumes. Use your imagination when placing the tape. If you do it right, children won’t mind wearing it. However, if there is dissension in the ranks, explain to them that the tape will help them avoid being hit by a car or other vehicle.
- Costumes are very personal to some children. Many work on them for days. Kids tend to go for the “cool factor” over safety features, so if a costume includes a mask, ensure that the eyes are large enough to see through, or encourage the use of makeup.
- It goes without saying that parents should walk with their children. It keeps them safe from traffic problems and unwanted overtures from older kids looking for a little mischief. You don’t have to look like a chaperone – make it fun by dressing up, too.
- Be a role model when it comes to obeying pedestrian traffic laws. Cross only at a crosswalk, and only when the light gives you the go-ahead.
- Motorists who are out on Halloween night also should also take responsibility. Speeding through a neighborhood, failure to stop at a stop sign and running red lights increase the odds for a tragedy. Drive as though you lived in the neighborhood. Drive as though your children and their friends were out trick-or-treating.
- Of course, we encourage adults to check little ones’ goodie bags when they get home. If any treat looks suspicious, toss it away.
More useful information on pedestrian safety can be found online at the Baltimore Metropolitan Council’s Street Smart Campaign.
Barbara Korenblit, Chief, Division of Individual and Family Services
Baltimore County Department of Aging
The services available to support older adults and people with disabilities are rapidly changing. Until recently, the only place for seniors to receive long-term care was in a nursing home. Today, seniors have many choices and are receiving help in their homes, retirement communities, and assisted living facilities, to name a few. Similarly, people of all ages with disabilities were once housed in institutions that provided few opportunities for growth. Today, people with disabilities have more choices about where they live, work and play.
Professionals who work with seniors and people with disabilities are now providing “person-centered counseling” and “consumer-directed services” to help people understand their options and develop a plan tailored to meet their needs. Rather than “doing for” people and concentrating on their problems, professionals are supporting them to identify their strengths and take charge of their lives. What an empowering change!
How do professionals – social workers, nurses, case managers and counselors – prepare for this transformation? What knowledge and skills are needed to help people make the most of new opportunities and resources?
To learn the answers to these questions and many more, we invite you to our 11th Annual Advocacy Conference, “Celebrating Independence: Tools for Encouraging Self-Sufficiency for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities,” on November 7 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Hunt Valley Inn in Cockeysville. This dynamic workshop, presented by the Baltimore County Consortium for Professional Education in the Field of Aging, offers cutting-edge presentations on topics that will equip professionals for the future, including “Trauma-Informed Care,” “Sexuality for All: Rights to Intimate Relationships in Any Care Setting,” “Employment and Economic Self-Sufficiency,” and “How to Empower Your Clients and Yourself.”
For those who need a reminder to take care of themselves, we are also offering “Stress Relief for the Professional.” Take a welcome break and learn how to renew your energy and spirit!
The conference is currently accepting registrations. The $65 fee includes continental breakfast and lunch, as well as CEU’s for Social Workers and Nurses. Call 410-887-4200 or click here for the registration form and more information.
Director, Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences
Artwork is blasting out of local studios into Towson and landing in some pretty unexpected places: A radio station. A furniture store. A restaurant. A park.
The gallery scene in Towson offers both traditional and non-traditional exhibition spaces. Here’s a snapshot of just a few of the many places where you can explore the work of seasoned and emerging artists. Most works are for sale, so you can add to your collection or make your first purchase of original art. You’ll be enriching your life while supporting local artists.
- Towson Arts Collective's new Ellene "Brit" Christiansen Arts Center includes a gallery and classroom, plus room for artists to work in front of its street-level windows. The 3,600 square-foot space on 40 W. Chesapeake Avenue triples the size of their previous downtown Towson gallery. Works from Baltimore Watercolor Society artists are on view until October 25.
- Mosaic and mixed media visionary artist Loring Cornish inaugurates a new rotating exhibit space for local artists beginning October 24 at The Sofa Store on Cromwell Bridge Road atop Luskins Hill.
- World-class artists regularly exhibit at the Asian Arts Gallery at the Towson University Center for the Arts. Art Filipino: Works by Master Artists is on view through October 26.
- Goucher College’s Rosenberg Gallery, next to the Kraushaar Auditorium, features the evocative nature paintings of Julia Sutliff: Sundry Moods through November 1. The Silber Gallery regularly shows contemporary works.
- The Holtzman MFA Gallery at the Towson Center for Fine Arts features Alexis Granwell: Traces of Remains through November 2. On view are large-scale etchings that suggest structures within evocative atmospheres and abstract sculptures out of wood, fabric, cardboard and other materials.
- Baltimore artist Charlie Barton’s silk screen prints of local scenes are currently on display at Bread & Circuses Bistro on Delaware Avenue at Chesapeake.
- Atwater’s at the Shops at Kenilworth exhibits a range of work by local artists.
- Visual and performing arts come together at the gallery at the WTMD radio studios at Towson City Center.
If you want to go very old school, stop by the Historic Courthouse gardens on Pennsylvania Avenue. You’ll find a reproduction of Alexander the Great Cutting the Gordian Knot by 16th century Italian painter Giovanni Paolo Panini, courtesy of the Walters Art Museum’s “Off the Wall” program. Okay, it’s not for sale, but the museum just might have a post card you can afford.
Thanks to the creativity of our local artists and partnerships with local businesses, universities, and arts organizations, you never know where you might find inspiration.