Lafarge operations, Fort Howard fires discussed at NPC meeting
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 12:55
 by John G. Bailey

    During the North Point Peninsula Council’s general meeting in January, area residents learned about a local business and heard the latest news on ongoing issues.  
    Lafarge site manager Ray Hespen,  the guest speaker at the meeting, discussed the company’s product and manufacturing process, its recent challenges and its environmental impact on the area.
    Lafarge, which has operated a plant on Wharf Road on the Sparrows Point peninsula since 2001, processes molten slag into a high-strength cement compound called NewCem.
    Slag is the material that is left over after limestone is mixed with raw ore to remove impurities in the steel manufacturing process. Lafarge transforms molten slag into granules that are then ground into a powder which, when mixed with cement, produces a construction material that can withstand pressures as great as 14,000 per square inch [psi]. Portland cement, by contrast, has a maximum strength of 5,000 psi.
    With the demise of steel manufacturing at Sparrows Point and the loss of a nearby source of raw materials for Lafarge, the costs of raw materials — which now has to be imported — has risen. Concurrently, the recession of 2008 and the resultant affect on construction has led to a decline in demand for the company’s product. Higher costs and a cutback in manufacturing led to a sharp reduction in the number of employees at Lafarge. In 2013, the number of workers at the Sparrows Point plant fell from 28 to 17, according to Hespen.
Norwood Elementary teachers, students stay busy as new year dawns
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 12:51

Events promote positive behavior, thinking skills

 by Nicole Rodman

    Norwood Elementary School’s staff and students are recharged and ready to take on a new year and new challenges.
    The school has hosted a variety of events in recent weeks designed to address behavioral issues while also reinforcing key educational concepts.

The Virtues Project
    In an effort to reduce bullying and promote positive behavior among students, Norwood is taking part in an international grassroots effort known as The Virtues Project.
    The project offers strategies for individuals of all ages to practice compassionate, virtuous behavior in school, at work or at home.
    Students and teachers got the chance to practice these strategies on Jan. 9.
    Students learned how to deal with bullying and replace agression with acts of kindness at an assembly led by behavioral interventionist Michael Gorecki.
     “We want our kids to learn all about ways to be kind ... so that’s what they do instead of the impulsive reactions,” Norwood principal Pat Goldys said.
    Meanwhile, Norwood teachers got the chance to learn more about The Virtues Project with trainer Dara Feldman.
    According to Feldman, the goal of the project is “to help people know their inherent worth and live to their highest potential.”
    In schools, this means helping students “understand that they made a mistake, not that they are a mistake,” Feldman explained.
    For teachers, the project provides strategies to foster positive characteristics in children.
    This includes acknowledging positive behaviors, setting clear boundaries and correcting students in a positive, constructive manner.
    Goldys eventually hopes to share the lessons of The Virtues Project with parents as well.
    “We’re all in this together,” she noted.

Lions rout Delaware County to give coach Rob Long his 100th win
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 12:38

Dundalk hands Baltimore City its first conference loss, 77-73

 by Bill Gates

    It was a Thursday night game against an overmatched opponent in a non-conference game.
    It was also CCBC Dundalk women’s basketball coach Rob Long’s first opportunity to get his 100th career win as coach of the Lions.
    There wasn’t much suspense involved,  as Dundalk rolled to a 79-28 win over visiting Delaware County (Pa.) Community College.
    Hey, you can’t choose who your opponent happens to be when your career record hits 99 wins.
    “I wish my 100th win came against Baltimore City Community College,” Long said. “But that was number 99.”
    Dundalk (10-7) defeated visiting Baltimore City (14-6) 77-73 on Jan. 10.
    It was the first Maryland JuCo league loss of the season for Baltimore City.
    Long reached 100 wins during his seventh season at CCBC Dundalk.
    “I feel fortunate, blessed”, he said. “They’ve put up with me around here long enough to collect 100 wins. It feels good.”
    Long didn’t mind that his 100th win wasn’t exactly scintillating to watch.
    “We had enough drama on Saturday [against Baltimore City],” he said.
    Long entered this season with a 90-70 career record at Dundalk.
    He came to Dundalk in 2004 and coached for two seasons, with the team finishing 19-5 and 13-12.
    Long then left to take the head coaching position at the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore.
    He took that program to the NCAA Division III national tournament in 2007, then decided to return to CCBC Dundalk in 2010.

TALK OF THE TOWN: Hogan, legislators should balance anti-tax fervor with precedent
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 12:44

 by Steve Matrazzo

The idea is likely as old as humanity itself, though the source of the precise words is hard to ascertain. Some attribute the phrase to Goethe, others to St. Teresa of Avila. The notion appears in everything from Aesop’s fable “The Old Man and Death” (“We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified”) to The Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House” (“Watch out, you might get what you’re after”).
    The more familiar version — perhaps most famously repeated in W.W. Jacobs’ short story “The Monkey’s Paw” — may be echoing in Larry Hogan’s head as he ponders the job ahead of him.
    “Be careful what you wish for; you may receive it.”
    Having sought and won the governorship, Hogan comes into office facing fiscal shortfalls estimated at $4.3 billion over the next six years.
    Causes for the ballooning figure can be boiled down to unchecked spending commitments and a sluggish economy that hasn’t produced revenues to match the spending. Some can be laid at the feet of outgoing governor Martin O’Malley and his fellow Democrats in Annapolis. Others can be blamed on those who crashed the national economy seven years ago, stifling taxable incomes and home values.
    For Hogan, however, the apportionment of blame is likely a secondary consideration. He is faced with the Herculean task of bringing the state’s books into balance — and somehow squaring that effort with his oft-stated desire to dramatically cut state taxes, particularly on corporations and the investing class.

DHS Alumni Association honors Grosscup as Alumna of the Year
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 12:30

Longtime Dundalk resident recognized by former classmates

 by Nicole Rodman

    Each year, the Dundalk High School Alumni Association honors one former student with the Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus of the Year Award.
    “DHS alumni are asked to nominate someone who they feel has made noteworthy contributions (time, enthusiasm, effort) to their community or career and represent a positive image to others,” Alumni Association president Janice Evans explained.
    The recipient of this year’s award is longtime Dundalk resident Etta Grosscup.
    Grosscup’s journey to becoming a Dundalk alumna was longer than most.
    She grew up in North Carolina, attending high school there until she moved to Dundalk for her senior year.
    Though she would have graduated in 1958, there was a discrepancy between the credits she earned in North Carolina and the credits she needed to graduate in Maryland. She left Dundalk at the end of her senior year without a diploma.
    From there, Grosscup went on to marry and have two sons. Life went on for more than a decade before Grosscup decided to finish what she had started. She went back to night school, earning her diploma in 1972.
    “I knew I could do it,” she explained. “I did not want the GED; I wanted to get the full diploma.”
    In addition to her academic accomplishments, Grosscup (along with her husband David and one son) is a blackbelt in karate.
    She became interested in karate after her husband and sons took an interest.
    “Since the family was involved, I decided I would be too,” she said.
    Grosscup and her husband opened their first karate studio in 1971. They followed it up with Maryland Professional Karate Association on Holabird Avenue in 1977.

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