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Baltimore County Now

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Keyword: kamenetz

photo of high school girlsStay on Track

It’s that time of year again: the sun sets a bit earlier, the weather gets a bit cooler, and “back-to-school sale” ads are constantly running on television and in our news feeds online.

School has become the focus for kids and families everywhere, including me, as I start my junior year of high school next week. Stores are packed with shoppers, and students are rushing to complete the homework packets they were supposed to work on all summer long. A little switch turns on inside students and parents alike, making us shift gears from leisure mode to work mode for the next nine months.

Tips for Students

With the new school year comes new ideas, new people, new challenges, and new experiences. Here are my back-to-school tips for students. And actually, most can apply to grownup endeavors too! Head back with a new attitude and challenge yourself with a new routine. Set goals like keeping organized, creating study guides for every test, accepting a few more AP classes, and even expanding your group of friends or challenging the status quo. This can keep your ideas fresh, help you stay on track, and create a sense of accomplishment that will last the whole year.

Suggestions

My suggestions include:    

  1. Get plenty of sleep. Students need lots of rest to stay alert and focused in class. Make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep a night to help you perform your best each day.
         
  2. Stay organized. Organization is important for having a successful year. Classes can become overwhelming sometimes, but if you keep a neat locker and organized binders, school will flow more smoothly.
        
  3. Set goals. This will keep you on track and focused throughout the year. As American author Earl Nightingale put it, “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” Let your goals be your guide.
       
  4. Manage time effectively. Time management of academic life and social life can be difficult, but it’s the key to good grades and a great school year. In other words, do your homework and limit your daily social activities as needed. Managing your time well helps you meet deadlines and stay on track.
       
  5. Start your daily routine in advance. Going back to school can be a shock to your system after a few relaxing months off. Ease back into things by getting up early and starting your morning routine a few days or even a week before school starts.
        
  6. Remain positive. Writer Anthony J. D’Angelo once said, “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your sunshine.” With intense classes and tons of homework, school can get a little stormy. Everything may not go your way all the time, but staying positive will help you push through the year with confidence and success.
       
  7. Establish a close rapport with your teachers. Participate in class and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Teachers are there to guide you with advice and encourage you to succeed. Also, don’t forget about those all-important colleges recommendations!   
        
  8. Make new friends. High school is the perfect opportunity to form lifelong friendships. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, speak up and reach out to new people. In the words of Italian Renaissance writer Francesco Guicciardini, “Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.”
        
  9. Prepare the night before. Mornings can be hectic. Choose your clothes and pack a lunch the night before for a stress-free start to your day. And of course, make sure to eat a healthy breakfast!
        
  10. Create a homework zone. A well organized, spacious area at home is essential for a getting your homework done. Designate a quiet, well-lit spot to help you do your work thoroughly and efficiently. 

Sure, this time of year can certainly feel like a hassle, but laying down some smart ground rules and challenging yourself with new goals will get you back into the swing of things at school in no time flat. The best part is, you’ll return wearing a confident smile. Now that's how to go back-to-school in style!    

Rashi Pachino, Intern
Baltimore County Office of Communications


Regional Transportion Issue

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz issued the following statement in reaction to Maryland Secretary of Transportation Rahn’s meeting with Baltimore lawmakers regarding regional transportation issues this morning:

“It is clear that the administration is not interested in taking a comprehensive look at 21st century transit options for the Baltimore region. Instead, they have redistributed virtually all mass transit funding to the rural counties and forfeited significant federal funds. Without a real fiscal commitment, thousands of commuters will remain stuck in traffic and hard- working citizens will be left without access to meaningful employment. The administration should have had a plan in place before torpedoing the Red Line.”


Land Preservation Commitment is State and National Model

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced today that the County’s land preservation program has been recognized for its achievements and recertified for three years, allowing the County to retain the lion’s share of local agricultural land transfer fees to invest in land preservation.

The State Rural Legacy Program has also awarded funding to two Baltimore County land trusts and Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation made easement offers to seven Baltimore County farms.

"Preserving rural land in Baltimore County continues to provide many benefits to the citizens of the County. From maintaining a source of local food, to preserving forests that enhance the water quality of our drinking water reservoirs, to reducing the cost of sprawl, Baltimore County remains a national leader in land preservation,” said Kamenetz.

Under Kamenetz, County Has Invested $9.7 Million, Preserved Nearly 5,000 Acres

The State recognized the success of the County’s land preservation strategy that combines restrictive zoning with a growth boundary and acquisition of easements. Since entering office, County Executive Kamenetz has maintained his commitment to land preservation with a total of 4,867 acres preserved in the past five years moving the County closer to its goal of 80,000 acres. For the past five years the County has preserved almost six acres for each acre converted to development.

In approving the County’s request for recertification, the Maryland Department of Planning recognized that even though it is the third most populous jurisdiction in Maryland, Baltimore County has set aside more than 135,000 acres – one third of the County – for agriculture, forestry and open space. Baltimore County has placed 62,828 acres under easement and is ranked first among counties for Maryland Environmental Trust donated easements, third for Rural Legacy and fourth for agricultural easements.

Only 2 Percent of Permit Requests in Protected Agricultural Areas Approved

Over the reporting period, Fiscal Year 2012 to 2014, the County approved only 2 percent of all new permits within the 135,000 acres designated as Agricultural Preservation Area. It retained its protective agricultural zoning and committed $9.7 million of county funds for land preservation during this period.

Carol West, Executive Director of Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation praised the County’s work saying, “The MALPF Board of Trustees and the Maryland Department of Planning were pleased to recertify Baltimore County for another three years. Recertification allows the County to retain more of their agricultural transfer taxes to be used for preservation in any of the many active programs within the County. They continue to demonstrate their commitment to the preservation of farmland and support of farmers in the County. They have committed more funds for the current acquisition than any other county.”  

“I am very pleased that the County is partnering with the State to preserve farmland and open space — one of the best ways to protect our water quality,” said County Council Chair Cathy Bevins.

$3.8 Million in State Funding For Preservation of 1,000 Acres

Subject to Board of Public Works approval, the State Rural Legacy Program has awarded $1.1 million to two Baltimore County Land Trusts. These awards were out of a total of $10 million statewide, for which there were 26 applications. These land trusts will seek to preserve land as soon as the funding receives final approval. The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation Board of Trustees approved an allocation of $2.63 million in state funds, and, with $1.3 million in County matching funds, they made offers to seven farms, subject to Board of Public Works and County Council approvals. Preservation from these two programs is expected to protect 1,000 acres of rural land in the County.

"We greatly appreciate the continued support by the State, County Executive and County Council for farmers seeking to permanently preserve their farmland," said Gail Ensor, Chairperson of the Baltimore County Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board. "Farming, and the many agriculture related industries, are an important part of the County's economy as well as a key component of the rural landscape.”

Land Preservation Has Moved to Promote Better Coordination

The County’s Land Preservation function has recently been relocated to the Department of Planning. This has created the opportunity to better integrate land preservation with land use planning. It has also provided the opportunity to make its programs more consistent with the County’s Historic Preservation program, which is also housed in Planning. “We are pleased to have the land preservation program in Planning where we can integrate many of its functions into rural planning. We are especially pleased to work with the dedicated Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board,” said Planning Director Andrea Van Arsdale.

Find Out How to Preserve Your Rural Land

Information is available on applying to donate or sell an easement.


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