New activities at Ivine Nature Center begin as summer ends [Column]

School is back in session and it's hard to believe that the easy, breezy days of summer have given way to schedules, appointments, and activities to fill the calendar. That's not the case for Barbara Cohen, of Owings Mills, because, after 40 years of teaching, she retired in June. Teaching first grade at Eldersburg Elementary for all of those years, Cohen has seen many changes in the curriculum with technology at the forefront. Students today are taught to access and solve problems, going beyond the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic.

While leaving the classroom is bittersweet, Cohen plans to travel the country and reconnect with family and friends. When she returns home to Owings Mills, chances are she will be found working with children in some capacity because, as the sayng goes, once a teacher, always a teacher.

Congratulations to Dr. Linda Jacobs, of The Harbour School, on being named treasurer of the Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities (MANSEF). She has served on this board in other positions, including president. MANSEF is a vital resource for the special education community in nonpublic schools, and strives to improve services for these students. This is indeed the heart of what The Harbour School does, so it is a rewarding partnership.

Our very own Maryland Public Television received eight Emmy Awards at the 55th Emmy gala recently. Work is reviewed from 2012 in 90 categories, with 774 entries submitted from TV stations, companies, production houses, and independent producers from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. MPT earned 14 nominations! An added bonus was the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Community Service Award for the station's "Concert for the Chesapeake Bay" volunteer-a-thon.

MPT is located off of Owings Mills Boulevard. . Many locals realize it is there but there are others who are surprised when they drive by and see the sign. Congratulations to our hometown station for this well-earned recognition and thank-you for bringing quality, informative TV viewing to our area.

Irvine Nature Center has developed its first-ever Children's Nature Semester and has already sold out for the Wednesday fall classes. Thursday classes will be opening, and also a spring, 2014 semester. Toddlers will explore nature with their favorite adult for outdoor learning. Miss Stephanie will host live animal encounters, nature walks, and art projects. Geared for ages 2-3, the class hours are 10-11:30 am. The Thursday classes run from Sept. 12 to Dec. 19. Call 443-738-9200 to reserve a spot for this fall or next spring.

Irvine will also be having a Trash to Treasure tent event on Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors may arrive at 8:15 a.m for set-up and $20 reserves a 10x10 space. Spots are first-come, first served and the event is free to the public. Vendors keep all proceeds from their sales as well. Contact Clare Naldrett at 443-738-9220. Irvine is located at 11201 Garrison Forest Road.

Good news for book lovers; the Baltimore County Public Library has announced expanded hours on Sundays from 1-5 p.m. This change took effect Sept. 8 and will be year-round. Now all the libraries in the system will have Sunday hours.

Congratulations to Matthew Suber for being selected as the new program director at West River Center. He will begin in mid-September. West River Center is a nonprofit organization owned and operated by the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. Located on 45 acres on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, just 20 miles south of Annapolis, the center offers camping experiences for the entire family. It also offers retreats and other activities. Check out the web site at

Matthew's parents, Tom and Donna Suber, and his grandmother Ruth Sedicum, all of Owings Mills, are excited for his new venture. Matthew and his wife, Carissa, are currently living in D.C. while Carissa attends Wesley Theological Seminary.

A quick note about Foundry Row: It is amazing how fast the old Sweetheart Cup Company (Solo Cup) has been demolished. Residents are getting a birds-eye view of how vast this parcel is. My first encounter was at night, while making a right-hand turn onto Reisterstown Road from St. Thomas Lane. The landscape looked totally different and it took me a minute to realize that the massive building was gone! Residents are anxiously awaiting the construction part of this project.

Attention Maryland Lottery players. Did you know that by purchasing your lottery tickets at Liberty Post 122 of the American Legion that the post benefits? Even if the tickets aren't bought there, they can be redeemed there and the post will still benefit. Maybe it's time to change your luck and buy tickets from a new source.

Happy, happy birthday to very special ladies in the community, Erica Wertlieb and Vivian Freeman. They celebrate their birthdays on Sept. 22 and 23, respectively, and the best part is that they are mother and daughter. Just a few days later, Jeff Freeman celebrates his special day on Oct. 3. No doubt his wife, Vivian, and daughter Erica will shower him with gifts ( as he will them!) It is truly is a family celebration.

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