Baltimore County News
Kamenetz Chief of Staff Will Complete Term
May 24, the Baltimore County Council elected Donald I. Mohler III as the 13th Baltimore County Executive to fill the remaining term of Kevin Kamenetz who died on May 10, 2018. Mohler served as Chief of Staff to Kamenetz since 2010. He previously served as County Executive Jim Smith’s Acting Chief of Staff and Communications Director.
“I am truly humbled,” said Mohler. “This wasn’t supposed to happen. My friend and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz should be finishing his second term in office. Baltimore County has been through a lot over the last few weeks, including the tragic death of a police officer and the sudden loss of our County Executive. This is a time for everyone -- County employees and communities -- to come together and heal. Baltimore County is strong. As Jill Kamenetz so bravely said at her husband’s funeral service, ‘we will be okay.’ County government will continue to provide the services and public safety that our residents deserve. I am committed to making that happen.”
Mohler’s resume follows:
Doctor of Education Nova Southeastern University 1999
Master of Education Loyola College 1978
Master of Liberal Arts Western Maryland College 1977
Bachelor of Arts Western Maryland College 1972
Chief of Staff for Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz - 2010 - 2018
Communications Director/Acting Chief of Staff for Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith- 2009-2010
Communications Director for Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith - 2004-2009
Chief Operating Officer, Alternatives Unlimited - 2002-2003
Executive Director, Student Support Services Baltimore County Public Schools - 2001-2002
Northeast Area Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools - 1998-2000
National Faculty Member for Doctoral Studies in Educational Leadership Nova Southeastern University - 1999-2003
Instructor, Excellence in School Administration Goucher College - 1998-1999
Assistant Superintendent, Communications and Special Projects Baltimore County Public Schools - 1995-1998
Principal, Baltimore County Public Schools
Catonsville High School - 1992-1995
Sparrows Point Middle School - 1990-1992
Assistant Principal, Baltimore County Public Schools
Dundalk High School - 1985-1990
Guidance Chairman, Baltimore County Public Schools
Dundalk High School - 1983-1985
Guidance Counselor, Baltimore County Public Schools
Lansdowne High School - 1978-1983
Social Studies Teacher, Baltimore County Public Schools
Lansdowne High School - 1972-1978
Social Studies Teacher
St. Mark’s School - 1971-1972Thu, 24 May 2018 18:30:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/donald-i-mohler-voted-baltimore-county-executive-by-county-council
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Baltimore County officials recognized the five recipients of the 2018 Baltimore County Asian American Excellence Award on Wednesday evening at a ceremony at the Owings Mills branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. The annual recognition event is held in May, which is designated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Chief of Staff Don Mohler presented the awards as a representative of Acting Baltimore County Executive Fred Homan.
This award is presented to individuals whose life work has successfully contributed to the socioeconomic vitality of the greater Baltimore region, and whose efforts inspire others to strive for success and to celebrate diversity and achievement.
The 2018 Awardees are:
Bel Leong-Hong is a mathematician and computer scientist. She worked at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for 30 years where she held numerous high-level posts: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence; Principal Deputy Director of the Defense Security Service; and Deputy Commander of the Joint Inter-operability and Engineering. She was appointed the first Department of Defense Data-Wide Administrator and created the DOD Center of Software Excellence in Defense Information Systems Agency.
Sudip Patel is a successful entrepreneur and community benefactor. He owns 15 Dunkin' Donuts franchises between Baltimore and Washington D.C., employing more than 150 workers. He is a longtime community supporter, helping local schools and non-profits raise funds.
Marianne Brackney is a highly regarded community advocate. She was the lead liaison for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues for the Social Security Agency. Marianne was instrumental on the White House Initiative on APPIs Interagency Implementation Team and has made significant contributions in upgrading Social Security data for Asian and Pacific Islander language access and preferences.
Ravilal Sunar, an entrepreneur and father of four children, migrated from Nepal in 1996. Growing up in the Himalayan foothills, he fought against caste-based social injustice and ethnic discrimination for equity and human dignity. As a member of the Baltimore Association of Nepalese in America, he helped purchase the first Nepali Community Resource Center in Baltimore County. Similarly, as a Trustee of Nepali American Culture Center of Baltimore, he spearheaded the campaign to acquire the center’s 31-acre property in 2018.
Rosa Cruz Penafiel, an expert in economic and community development, is the Vice President of Communications for the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC). She supervised the marketing campaign of AAEDC’s VOLT Fund, a state-backed loan program funded with casino revenues to benefit small, minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. Since 2013, AAEDC has approved financing totaling $10.7 million, and is credited with retaining 378 jobs, creating 338 jobs, and spurring capital investment of almost $29 million.
About Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
May is designated nationally as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are among the many organizations paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success.
In June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage week. The following month, Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Spark Matsunaga from Hawaii introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed and on October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed a bill passed by Congress to extend the week-long celebration to a full month. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law.
According to the Asian American Heritage Month website, May was selected to recognize the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, which was constructed primarily by Chinese immigrants.Thu, 24 May 2018 15:07:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/county-recognizes-2018-baltimore-county-asian-american-excellence-awardees
Extends Condolences, Hails Effective Response by Baltimore County Police
Acting Baltimore County Executive Fred Homan released the following statement in response to the line-of-duty death of Police Officer First Class Amy Sorrells Caprio:
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss of one of our dedicated and talented police officers, and extend our condolences to her colleagues, family and friends,” said Acting Baltimore County Executive Fred Homan. “The professionalism, teamwork, swiftness and effectiveness of our public safety and police responders, while coping through a loss even greater than ours, has been absolutely first-rate.”Tue, 22 May 2018 19:30:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/homan-statement-on-line-of-duty-death-of-police-officer-amy-sorrells-caprio
Equine Arena and Learning Center Offers Programs for Veterans and Others
Baltimore County officials celebrated the grand opening of an equestrian and learning center at the Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park in Cockeysville, announcing that it is named in honor of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who passed away suddenly on May 10. Baltimore County Council Chair Julian E. Jones, Jr. led the ceremony, which featured the unveiling of a banner depicting the name, Kevin Kamenetz Arena.
The Kevin Kamenetz Arena is a multi-use facility that primarily serves as an equine arena and learning center hosting ground-based equine experiences for veterans and others, including programs operated by the New York based non-profit, Saratoga WarHorse. The overall equine operation occupies 12.7 acres including two barns, pasture and paddock space and a 9,600 square-foot arena with classrooms. The arena features a sandy surface, and it is available for equine programs as well as other events.
“Opening the Kevin Kamenetz Arena is a natural expansion of the educational mission of our agriculture center and it will provide powerful therapeutic and mental health resources to help veterans and others overcome obstacles in their lives,” said County Council Chair Jones. “Naming it the Kevin Kamenetz Arena is a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life to serving the public and making sure that government fulfills its role of helping those most in need,” he said.
The grand opening event, held in May, which is Military Appreciation Month, comes one day after the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore.
Saratoga WarHorse Foundation Program at Kevin Kamenetz Arena
Baltimore County executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Saratoga WarHorse Foundation for them to assist veterans who are suffering from psychological wounds by providing a confidential, personalized equine-assisted experience that has proven to be effective for those struggling to adjust to life after military service.
The equine-assisted experience is an immersive program where a handful of veterans participate as a cohort group for a three-day program of classroom and one-on-one ground-based sessions with a horse. The equine programs do not involve horse-riding.
This life-changing program is available free of charge to participants. Saratoga WarHorse Foundation is privately funded through donations and assumes the cost of operating the equine programs, including off-site room and board for participants. Per the terms of the MOU, Baltimore County pays no operating costs for the equine programs, but the County funded the $2.96 million construction of the equine facility and pays for maintenance and the care and feeding of the rotating herd of horses.
“Saratoga WarHorse is so thrilled and honored to have this collaboration with Baltimore County,” said Bob Nevins, founder of Saratoga WarHorse Foundation. “This will ensure that the program will be open to assist more veterans in need.
The Kevin Kamenetz Arena adds a third location for Saratoga Warhorse to operate, in addition to their current locations in Saratoga Springs, New York and Aiken, South Carolina. Saratoga WarHorse plans to begin with two sessions per month at Kevin Kamenetz Arena, with the first session beginning on Monday, May 21.
Some Enthusiastic Program Testimonials
Former Saratoga Warhorse program participant, Gail Watts, spoke during this afternoon’s event. Watts is Baltimore County’s Director of Corrections and a retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant who served overseas in multiple deployments. “When you come home from deployment, it’s a very hard transition and soldiers who have experienced trauma often feel that they can’t really talk about it with civilian family and friends, and there can be a stigma about talking to doctors,” Watts said. “I was skeptical when I went through the program, especially having had no previous experience with horses, but I can’t even put into words the unexplainable connection I had with my horse and the amazing breakthrough I experienced. It was almost like the horse could relate to what I had been through.”
Baltimore County Fire Lieutenant Steve Mooney, who serves as a Chief Master Sergeant with the Air National Guard, and has been deployed five times, also participated in the Saratoga WarHorse equine experience. He said, “When you get in that ring with a 1,300 pound animal, it’s intimidating, but the next thing you know your horse is following you around like a puppy and it’s an amazing feeling. I never thought it would be such a game-changer, but I recommend it to any veteran. I think that anyone who has been deployed experiences some level of anxiety and this type of program offers a different perspective on how you look at things and it’s a great tool for dealing with stress.”
About the County’s Herd of Horses
The County’s rotating herd of thoroughbred horses at the Kevin Kamenetz Arena will range from 10 to 18 retired racehorses. The horses are provided by:
- The Foxie G Foundation, a local non-profit that provides rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of thoroughbreds through a permanent retirement and adoption program, and
- Sagamore Racing, a thoroughbred horse breeding farm on Belmont Avenue in Reisterstown owned by Kevin Plank.
Other Equine Programs Planned for Kevin Kamenetz Arena
In addition to the MOU with Saratoga Warhorse, the County is talking with representatives of EquiTeam Support Services, a southern Pennsylvania program that practices programs of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association. Discussions are underway about the possibility of their providing equine-assisted therapy for veterans that incorporates professional psychotherapy and offers a continuum of care for participants.
The County is also in discussions with the Connected Horse Project about the option of their expanding their operations to add programming at the Kamenetz Arena, where they would work with individuals with early stage dementia and their caregivers.Sun, 20 May 2018 17:00:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/county-officially-opens-kevin-kamenetz-arena