Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Waverly Wonderland

Miracle on Main Street Flyer 2009

Come on out to Waverly Main Street and vote on your favorite holiday window display! What a great excuse to get out and do some holiday shopping right in your neighborhood. Download your ballot here and come out to vote on December 12!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

American Education Week at Guilford Elementary/Middle

Submitted by Shana McIver

Happy American Education Week! Yes, starting yesterday, Guilford is celebrating American Education: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility. All week long, it's open house and parents are welcomed to visit classrooms. On Thursday at 5:30 PM, the PTO will host a Thanksgiving Feast for Guilford families. We welcome support and merely your attendance as we engage new and existing parents through meaningful involvement, fellowship and fun!

On Friday, we'll honor our community partners by inviting them to sign up to read in a classroom. Several classes still need readers, so if your schedule allows and you want to spend some time with Guilford's awesome students, contact Shana McIver at 443-277-8273 for more details.

Check out some of the other activities which will be taking place:
  • Monday- Guilford Grandparent's Day
  • Tuesday- Achievement Awards Assemblies / middle school College Chat with Loyola students
  • Wednesday- Parent Workshop: Making The Home School Connection, 10:00 a.m.
  • Thursday- PTO Thanksgiving Feast (Board Election and food drive), 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday- Community Partner Day
Want to see what great things are happening at Guilford? Drop in and visit us during American Education Week!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tour de Greater Homewood: Success!

81 bicyclists came out to enjoy a sunny, warm November day in Baltimore and ride in memory of Jack Yates on Sunday. The Tour de Greater Homewood was a great success thanks to the efforts of our local cycling community.

We thought we'd share a few highlights from the ride, including:
Here are some photos from the day:

Tour de Greater Homewood/Jack Yates Memorial Ride

Northern District police officers were on hand to engrave bikes with their owners' drivers license numbers -- a good idea to protect against theft!

Tour de Greater Homewood/Jack Yates Memorial Ride

A few words from Jack's family before the ride began.

Tour de Greater Homewood/Jack Yates Memorial Ride

They're off!

Tour de Greater Homewood/Jack Yates Memorial Ride

Friday, November 6, 2009

Heroes in Our Midst: Ted Smith

Submitted by Shana McIver

October 25 Heroes in Our Midst

If you missed the event at the Walters Art Museum on October 25th, Sunday afternoon, then you missed a great time! Ted Smith, teacher and National Academic League leader, was of 12 Baltimore City Schools heroes receiving special recognition for their commitment to uplifting the lives of children.

A display of artwork created by Guilford students and a brief bio of Mr. Smith are on display at the Walters on the fourth floor. Everyone was very proud of the spectacular dramatic performance by Guilford’s own student performers, who were instructed for only a few weeks prior to the big event by theater teachers from Run of the Mill Theater.

Many of Mr. Smith's current and former students -- totaling about 50 supporters -- spent the afternoon at the Walters in a show of support for their teacher and mentor. Those who came out to share in this recognition event included students, alumni, colleagues, volunteers, parents, and community partners. City Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso addressed the audience and with much energy and excitement, describing event as "BIG fun."

This project was coordinated at Guilford by GHCC's Community School Site Coordinator, Shana McIver. She began the coordination of this event last spring and has brokered the relationship between the partners, families, and the school to add to the huge success of this event.

Everyone present enjoyed the ceremony and the gallery's art as well. Do yourself a favor and check out the City School students' artwork on the fourth floor in addition to the international exhibition, Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece, on the first floor. Please spread the word about the FREE opportunity for families to explore, learn, and have fun at the Walters Art Museum!

Also, click here for a video biography of Ted Smith.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Biking in Baltimore: Part II

TiVo the Ravens game on Sunday and join us for north central Baltimore's biggest bike ride: the Tour de Greater Homewood! This year's ride will honor fallen cyclist and former GHCC Board of Directors member Jack Yates, who was killed in a cycling accident in August. To gear up for the big ride this Sunday, we're featuring some guest writers representing Baltimore's bike scene. To learn more about the Tour de Greater Homewood, visit our website or check out the event on Facebook.

Submitted by Johnny Gamber

Greater Homewood is a great place to cycle!

What makes Greater Homewood's 48 neighborhoods a great place to ride your bike?

Greater Homewood has increasingly great bike infrastructure. As you may have read in Nate Evans' post, Baltimore City is doing a lot to make this city a safer and easier place to ride a bike for transportation. There are signs reminding autos to "share the road," bike route markers or "sharrows" and dedicated bike lanes. As you may have noticed, a lot of this good work gets done in Greater Homewood, since much of the area is a major north-south bike route, bringing folks from the county to midtown and downtown. If riding your bike in traffic makes you nervous, perhaps the infrastructure in place and the new bike routes and bike lanes in the works might entice you to put feet to pedals and wheels to asphalt.

Greater Homewood has great hills! Anyone will tell you that riding your bike down a nice, long hill is one of the most exhilarating experiences of cycling. I mean, environmental, social and fitness reasons aside, isn't the main reason most of us choose to ride our bikes around Baltimore because it's just plain fun? Still, what goes down must come up, right? Well, nothing builds character like cycling straight up Charles Street or University Parkway on a chilly morning. Nothing.

Greater Homewood has excellent places to get your bike fixed! On Lanvale St. in Charles North, there's the Velocipede Bike Project, a collectively-run nonprofit dedicated to getting people on bicycles as transportation. At Velocipede, you can even learn how to work on your bike yourself! Nearby, just off of the Jones Falls Trail, is Baltimore Bicycle Works, Baltimore's only worker-owned, full-service bike shop. BBW was named in the City Paper this year as the Best Bike Shop in Baltimore! At BBW, you can find everything from a rig to ride down a mountain to the fenders and pantsclips you need to ride your bike to work in the rain.

Greater Homewood has, most of all, incredible diversity in our swath of north central Baltimore City. There are tree-lined parkways, blocks of historic rowhomes, large apartment buildings, green spaces, main streets, and public green spaces. There are truly folks from all income levels, all ethic backgrounds, all religious affiliations. Greater Homewood represents the diversity of Baltimore City itself, both in the terrain and the people who call these neighborhoods home.

Riding your bike on new bike lanes, winding down a steep hill, on your way to pick up a new bell for your bike and doing it all while experiencing the myriad venues and faces that Greater Homewood has to offer, why wouldn't you want to ride you bike in Greater Homewood?

Johnny Gamber is an AmeriCorps VISTA with Maryland Campus Compact and Co-Founder of North Baltimore Bike Brigade.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Biking in Baltimore: Part I

TiVo the Ravens game on Sunday and join us for north central Baltimore's biggest bike ride: the Tour de Greater Homewood! This year's ride will honor fallen cyclist and former GHCC Board of Directors member Jack Yates, who was killed in a cycling accident in August. To gear up for the big ride this Sunday, we're featuring some guest writers representing Baltimore's bike scene. To learn more about the Tour de Greater Homewood, visit our website or check out the event on Facebook.

Submitted by Nate Evans, Baltimore City's Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner.

Baltimore can be one of the hardest cities to bike in. From angry drivers to bad pavement, old streetcar rails and wheel-eating storm grates, cyclists have many obstacles to overcome to reach a destination safely. Despite the challenges, Baltimore is becoming an easier place to ride.

With the Bicycle Master Plan of 2006, the city now has guidelines and goals to improve bike infrastructure and safety. The city’s first major bike project was the Collegetown Bike Network, which installed bike lanes, sharrows, and signed routes connecting the colleges of central Baltimore. Expansion of the bike network continues with Operation Orange Cone, the city’s street resurfacing program, by bringing bike lanes to Park Heights, Hanover St., and Loch Raven Blvd. The city maintains a free bike rack program that has installed some 200 racks, including the city's first on-street bike parking in Charles Village .

Aside from new infrastructure, more events and information are available to help citizens discover biking. The new Bike Baltimore website is a one-stop shop for cycling in Baltimore, complete with news updates, detailed description of bike facilities, route information, and a list of biking groups and bike shops around town. The Baltimore Metropolitan Council published the Bicycle Commuter Guide, which lays out all the information necessary to transition to cycle commuting. Along with the annual Bike To Work Day celebration, Baltimore ’s Department of Transportation hosted the Bike Blast, which brought together local shops and advocates to promote biking with guided bike rides. The Bike Summit was a day long event to envision just how big biking could be in town, hearing from residents and learning from Chicago ’s example.

While we’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go to normalize cycling in Baltimore. Along with two new bike networks in Southeast and Park Heights, new sections of the Jones Falls Trail are scheduled for construction beginning next year. A bike safety campaign will be promoted by the city and new policies promoting cycling are in the works. No doubt this is an exciting time to be on two-wheels in B’more!