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Public meeting on Baltimore County land preservation to be held

The Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks will hold a public meeting on Nov. 21 beginning at 6:30 p.m. The topic will be land preservation efforts in the county’s parks and scenic vistas.

The goal is to use the public testimony to help form policies and objectives for the 2012 Baltimore County Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan. The meeting will be held in room 104 of the Jefferson Building at 105 W. Chesapeake Ave. in Towson.

In the meantime, the Valleys Planning Council, a county-based land preservation advocacy group, sent out an advisory last week for landowners who may be considering placing conservation easements in 2011.

Easements donated in 2011 are eligible for a federal income tax deduction of up to 50 percent of the landowner’s adjusted gross income, with a potential carry-forward of up to 15 years.  With the economic climate remaining strained, VPC officials warn “there is no guarantee that this benefit will be renewed in future years.”

More information may be obtained by contacting Ann Jones at the Baltimore County Land Trust Alliance at 410-229-0532.

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Over the past few weeks, Loyola University of Maryland has celebrated the completion of its $12 million Donnelly Science Center expansion with tours, presentations, and panel discussion.
The 15,000-square-foot center is located off of North Charles Street. It has added class and research laboratory space as well as offices and a conference room and even a robotics laboratory.

“The expansion and improvement of the Donnelly Science Center gives Loyola the vital space and resources needed to provide the most advanced learning environment possible for all of our students, particularly those who plan to pursue careers in science and technology at a time when the United States is facing a critical shortage in those fields,” Loyola University President Brian F. Linnane, S.J., said in a statement.

The university’s five-year strategic plan calls for a renewed emphasis on the sciences. Last October, the university received a $500,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation’s Clare Boothe Luce Program. The grant allowed for a computer science and engineering professorship for women in the sciences.

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Another school project is taking place at the city’s only independent Jewish high school, the Shoshana S. Cardin School.

This week, the school broke ground on a new athletic field for soccer, lacrosse and other activities on its campus at 7310 Park Heights Ave., furthering the school’s expansion plans. The field will be dedicated in early 2012 to John Evan Bearman.

“Our new athletic field will not only provide students with a place to play sports and participate in other activities, but it will also provide the perfect location for students, faculty, families and community members to interact, share and learn,” Barbie Prince, head of school, said in a statement.

The field is in development by Levin/Brown & Associates and will be built by Gray and Son.

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On Monday at 11 a.m., state housing Secretary Raymond Skinner will join a handful of Anne Arundel County officials and representatives from Enterprise Homes and Capital One Bank for the grand opening of The Greens at Hammonds Lane Apartments.

The $14.5 million development features 90 affordable rental homes for seniors in a four-story building with amenities that include a multi-purpose room, fitness center, media center, library with cyber cafe, walking paths and a garden.

The Greens at Hammonds Lane is located at 602 Hammonds Lane in Brooklyn Park.

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TIDBITS: Happy 60th birthday to Dr. Ben Carson, the legendary pediatric neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins Hospital. A celebration will be held at Towson Town Center Oct. 23 from noon to 2 p.m. on Level 1 of the Grand Court. A giant birthday card will be available to sign and well-wishers can donate $25 to the Carson Scholars Fund in return for a gift bag that includes Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands.” The scholars fund awards high-achieving students $1,000 college scholarships. Carson has received more than 60 honorary degrees and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008 … The Friends of the Roland Water Tower and the Greater Roland Park Master Planning Committee will hold a local festival at the 106-year-old water tower on Oct. 22 beginning at noon in an effort to reclaim the area as a community park. Live music will wail from Howard Markman, the Corn Colonels and the Happy Houlihans. The tower is located at the corner of Roland Avenue and West University Parkway. It was built in 1905 on one of the city’s highest points. Today, the terra cotta tower stands as a landmark, but has fallen into disrepair – with pigeons roosting in the upper portion and the old water tank inside the tower reportedly loose … Last week, Gold and Co., of Mount Washington, reported it had sold a 25,000-square foot warehouse at 1403 Rome Rd. in Arbutus. The property was previously the home of United Rentals and was purchased by contractor Roy Kirby and Sons.