Owings Mills: Library nears completion

Owings Mills has reason to celebrate as the new library is nearing completion at the Metro Center. Tentatively slated to open in the spring of 2013, this will be the largest branch in Baltimore County. A joint use facility, the library shares space with the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). The library will occupy the first two floors, and CCBC has the fourth through sixth floor. The third floor is a quiet study area, which will be shared by the library and the college. There will also be other common areas as well. The children's area will be equipped with computers, and 58 public access computers will be available for general use. Over 140,000 items will fill the shelves, with 25 full-time employees to keep everything flowing smoothly. A café adds a new and exciting finish to the facility. Manager Barbara Salit-Mischel is pleased to be back in the area. She was previously at the Reisterstown Library, and most recently at the Randallstown Library. What an exciting venture to manage a brand-new library, one that has been sorely missing from the Owings Mills community.

A big shout out is sent to Irvine Nature Center for partnering with the Gerritsen Beach Fire Dept. in New York, after Hurricane Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey. Irvine was blessed to have survived the storm without a scratch and wanted to help those who weren't so lucky. There was a donation drive to collect canned goods, blankets, towels, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. All donations were collected by Nov. 16 and then transported north before Thanksgiving.

Soldier's Delight has begun a new season of serpentine restoration work and is looking for winter volunteers. Available dates are Jan. 5 and 19, Feb. 2 and 16, and March 2. There will be trees to chip, logs to burn, firebreaks to clear and possibly trail mending. Anyone interested may contact Paula Becker at pbecker@dnr.state.md.us. This Maryland State Park could use your help, and it's right in our own backyard.

New Town High School competed in the Under Armour Finding Undeniable contest to vie for more than $100,000 worth of apparel and athletic equipment. The winning school will actually earn $140,000 of uniforms, apparel, footwear, and accessories.

Points were earned through online challenges and gaining supporters. Some challenges included shout-outs from professional athletes or being mentioned in the local media. The top four teams move to Round Two, with four wild card teams. Stay tuned for the school's final outcome!

For tresidents with a sweet tooth, a new cupcake shop offers delicious treats when Charm City Cupcakes comes to Owings Mills. The store's fourth location will be in the Valley Village Shoppes at 9101 Reisterstown Road. The business was begun in 2005 by Sandra Long, who was the deputy secretary of the Maryland Dept. of Business and Economic Development. She is a 4th generation baker, using fresh home-made ingredients and no preservatives. There will be more than 100 flavors of cupcakes, including the Black-Eyed Susan and the Gourmet Turtle. Pair one with the store's signature coffee blend or hot chocolate, and any sweet tooth will be satisfied!

The store will open in time for the 2012 holiday season. Keep checking their web site for an opening date (CharmCityCupcakes.com).

Ruth's Closet "One Great Thing" was a huge success, netting $16,740 to support House of Ruth programs and services. Preview sales Thursday night sold 58 tickets and accounted for 50 percent of total sales. More than 20 volunteer women solicited donations, prepared merchandise, set up the displays, and worked the sale. Volunteer hours were logged in as 120 hours but represent only a portion of the actual hours it took to pull off this event. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who helped and supported this project.

The VFW Post 521, 214 Tollgate Road, offers acupuncture for veterans in Maryland. This holistic approach can help with stress, and find balance, inner peace, and healing. There is free acupuncture for active duty military, reservists, guardsmen, veterans, and their families. Services are offered on Monday nights from 6-8 p.m., with the last treatment beginning no later than 7 pm. Every third Monday, the time is 5:30-7 p.m.

Condolences are sent to the family of Aime Brayton who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on Nov.23. She was diagnosed in September and valiantly underwent treatment. Her family and friends were shocked and saddened when she died the day after Thanksgiving. She was mother to Paul and Geoffrey Rudolf, and grandmother to little Paul Rudolf. She was also a longtime friend of mine, almost thirty years. This is the second dear friend I have lost in two years, and she will be missed by me and so many others whose heart she touched.

As this holiday season approaches, hug your loved ones a little bit tighter and be thankful for the blessings in your life. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays all around. May 2013 be the best year yet!

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