Baltimore County Now
To Dr. Dance and his administrative team: Thank you for creating such a positive school climate all across Baltimore County. Team BCPS is a reality, and it’s making a difference in our children’s lives.
To all of the administrators, teachers and support staff: Thank you for all you do for Baltimore County’s students each and every day. I know that many of you worked all summer preparing for the 2013-2014 school year, and as I drove by schools this weekend, I saw the parked cars of many educators who were putting the finishing touches on classrooms and getting ready for the most exciting day of the school year.
To our students: I know that many of you are very nervous, particularly our kindergarten students, 6th and 9th graders. Thank you for taking school so seriously. As I go from school to school, I’m always incredibly impressed by how hard students are working. Keep up the good work!
And finally, to our parents: I want to thank you most of all. You have been there from the beginning. You were the first to teach your sons and daughters their numbers and letters. You read them their first books. You take them to band practice and pick them up from student council. You take them to the zoo, science center and aquarium. You make them do their homework, make sure they have a good breakfast, and you work hard to teach them the difference between right and wrong. You are the foundation upon which BPCS rests.
I hope all of you have a wonderful year, and let’s continue to make the Baltimore County Public School System one of the best in the nation.
Baltimore County Executive
One of the great pleasures as Baltimore County Executive is the opportunity to share great news that will have a positive impact on everyone living in our County. I just had the pleasure of unveiling Towson Row, a $300 million development project at the southern gateway to downtown Towson.
There are a lot of things I particularly love about this announcement. First, this is truly a transformational private investment in downtown Towson and in our County. The offices, apartments, student housing, hotel, shops, restaurants, an upscale grocery with plenty of parking will truly transform our County seat into a vibrant downtown center.
It’s a bit difficult to visualize where all this development fits into downtown Towson. Towson Row will be bounded by York Road, Towsontown Boulevard, Chesapeake, Susquehanna, and Washington Avenues. Right now, there are mostly older office buildings and parking lots on these five acres, but since they sit behind other buildings, it’s a bit hard to see from the major roads. But don’t worry, once the project is built, you won’t be able to miss it! You’ll start to see construction in 2015.
Second, Towson Row will be developed, owned and managed by Caves Valley Partners. This is the team that transformed the former Investment Building at the Towson traffic circle into the gleaming, fully leased Towson City Center. Caves Valley Partners is based in Baltimore County and brings development expertise and success, plus a vision and commitment to excellence from a team that lives and works here.
Third, Towson Row is $300 million in private sector investment. This project will bring millions in new property tax revenue to Baltimore County, which will help us support public safety, public education, and restore our aging infrastructure, and help us continue to hold the line on income and property tax rates. It will also provide construction jobs and new employment opportunities.
Fourth, Towson has become a “hot spot” for new development. Over $600 million in private investment is taking shape in downtown Towson just in the past three years. We now add Towson Row to Towson City Center, residences at The Palisades and 101 YORK, and the Towson Square movies theatres and restaurants. Take a virtual video tour of new development in downtown Towson.
I’m pleased and proud to say “it’s Towson’s Time.”
Baltimore County Recycling & Waste Prevention Manager
As I joined County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Council Chair Tom Quirk today in Catonsville to announce that County residents have recycled a record-breaking 52,500 tons of curbside recyclables, I couldn’t help but think back a couple of decades when recycling first got its start here – and realize how much easier it is now!
Oh, how far we have come! On June 23, 1990, at the Giant Food parking lot at the corner of Loch Raven Boulevard and Taylor Avenue, a surprisingly large contingent of Baltimore County residents arrived in 600 vehicles during a three-hour period. These residents brought with them recyclable paper and bottles and cans to the County’s first volunteer-operated, County-assisted, recycling drop-off center (“Towson-Parkville”). Residents waited patiently in long lines, sometimes for a half hour or more, to hand-deliver their recyclables. Over several years, nine different volunteer organizations ran recycling drop-off centers all around the County. Back in the day, at each center there were seven different drop-off receptacles (one each for mixed paper, tin cans, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and jugs, and three colors of glass), each watched over like a hawk by a volunteer to ensure against cross-contamination. Recycling progress was measured pound by pound.
Fast-forward to today. No more long lines, just the distance from your home to the closest curb or alley. No more having to separate recyclables into seven different receptacles (one will do just fine with the County’s “single stream” collection program). And progress is no longer measured in pounds, but in tens of thousands of tons. On March 7, 2013, the County Executive announced an all-time, annual County record for recycling – more than 52,300 tons in 2012! Are you and your community recycling all you can? Find out at bcrecycles.com.
Before the end of 2013, the County expects to open its own single stream recycling sorting facility, which will usher in yet another exciting chapter in the County’s environmental leadership.
Here’s to Baltimore County’s rich recycling history, proud present, and especially its promising future.