December 09, 2013Community
By Hayley Gable BowermanDid you know the first record of a decorated Christmas tree came from Riga, Latvia, in 1510? Did you know that Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii? Did you also know that the first artificial Christmas tree was sold by Sears, Roebuck & Company in 1883?
- Last year, hundreds of local residents congregated in Lake Shore Plaza for the third-annual Pasadena Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. After a crowd-enthused countdown from 10, the tree was illuminated in all its glory, the crowd erupted in cheers, and before the excitement from the town tannenbaum could pass, Saint Nicolas himself arrived via fire truck to greet all the children.
By Dylan RocheIn addition to his twice-checked list keeping track of who’s been naughty and nice, Santa Claus keeps a detailed list of where he has to be throughout the busy weeks leading up to Christmas. When he isn’t supervising operations at the North Pole, the merry old man has to make...
By Zach SparksNothing brings more Christmas cheer than a glimmering display of holiday lights, and neighbors engaging in a competitive yet friendly contest to see who can illuminate more yuletide objects. Around the holiday season, some homeowners go all out, ensuring that their decorated homes radiate the area...
By Meredith ThompsonWhether it’s of an extended family gathering, a holiday meal gone haywire or an opportunity to give back to someone in need, everyone has a favorite Christmas memory. The Voice recently compiled a collection of Christmastime anecdotes from residents throughout the Pasadena community, and they...
By Dylan RocheWatching Christmas movies on television and listening to carols on the radio have a special magical way of putting us in the holiday spirit. This season, add a live performance to your traditions, and enjoy some of your favorite stories and much-loved songs in a wonderful new way. Here’s a...
By Elizabeth TarrierThese days, the holiday season can easily become overwhelming. Even something as seemingly simple as decorating for Christmas can become quite stressful. But worry not, we have you covered with some fun, easy, do-it-yourself projects. These projects will make it possible to have fun, stay sane and...
By Meredith ThompsonNo one ever knows what to get dear old dad for Christmas. He doesn’t use anything he’s given, and he refuses to provide a wish list. Everyone has that one person who’s impossible to shop for – whether a family member, longtime friend, coworker or neighbor – but fret not: The Voice has compiled several suggestions sure to help you shop for every person on your list.
The Techie: Following Maryland’s October rollout of the new hands-free cellphone law, your tech-savvy driver will love Belkin’s TuneBase Hands-Free Direct ($69.95, store.apple.com). The smartphone holder, designed for use with the iPhone 5 series, connects to a vehicle’s auxiliary...
By Hayley Gable BowermanFrom pumpkin to peppermint to pecan, pie recipes are anything but boring this time of year. Whether you need to whip up a dessert to take along to the neighbors’ Christmas party or just feel like baking something festive for your sweet-toothed family, these quick and easy recipes are sure to...
By Elizabeth TarrierWe all want a perfect-looking Christmas tree in our home, but how do you take care of it? What’s the best way to keep it looking fresh and alive? We asked around and got advice on how to have the best-looking tree in the neighborhood.
So, how do you know what type of tree is best for your...
By Zach SparksEach year, the generosity of local residents becomes contagious as they selflessly give their time to ensure that everyone gets to enjoy the holidays. But there are still families and children who need help, so they can have presents under the tree and dinner on the table. Collecting winter clothes...
By Sharon MagerThroughout Anne Arundel County, train gardens offer a look into a whimsical, miniature world of mountains, valleys, tunnels and towns. These winter wonderlands are put on display each season by local organizations, businesses and residents.
In Pasadena, a phenomenally popular train garden is...
By Sandi ParrishThe hustle and bustle of the Christmas season will be upon us before we know it. Christmas is a great time to thank our local community businesses for all they do throughout the year. Remember to look for a local business when purchasing your tree or decorations. When shopping for your Christmas...
By David ToppChristmas shopping, check. Wrapping the presents, check. Picking up the kids, check. Cooking a good meal? There’s no time for that! The holidays are hectic enough without having to worry about making sure mouths are fed and stomachs are full. Sometimes such mundane activities as cooking can...
By John SingletonNeed some help in the kitchen this season? Look no further than a few local restaurants and catering companies to assist you with feeding all those hungry mouths this month.
“At Lauer’s, our thin-cut Christmas cookies are a holiday tradition,” explained Lauer’s co-owner...
By Rhea PechterWondering how you can be kind to the environment this holiday season? Here are some different ways to celebrate the season while also keeping the planet in mind.
If you have a green thumb, consider buying a live tree with the roots intact. A live tree can be replanted and bring beauty to your yard...
By Voice Staff15. Bolivians celebrate Misa del Gallo - or “Mass of the Rooster” - on Christmas Eve. Some people bring roosters to the midnight mass, a gesture that symbolizes the belief that a rooster was the first animal to announce the birth of Jesus.
14. Santa Claus is based on a real person, St...
By ProvidedThe timeless magic of “The Nutcracker” will continue to delight audiences this holiday season with Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s traditional performance set to run December 14-22. The enchanting professional production will take the stage at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts,...
By Peter CrispinoSend Us A Photo Of Your Decorations And You Could Win!
This holiday season, we want to find out who has the best Christmas lights in Pasadena, and we’re letting our readers be the judge!
If you think you have the most awe-inspiring Christmas lights around, snap a photo of your display and...
By Darrell MakDespite cutthroat competition from neighboring big-name grocery chains, two of Pasadena’s independently owned stores – Lauer’s Supermarket & Bakery and Angel’s Food Market – have experienced growth and success over recent years. The grocers credit their success to...
- Photo by Meredith ThompsonSisters (l-r) Bernie Snoops and Babbie Poyer have managed Pasadena’s two Lauer’s Supermarket & Bakeries since they took over the business from parents Ed and Helen Lauer.
- Photo by Meredith ThompsonThe team at Angel’s Food Market on Mountain Road has provided friendly, personalized service at the family-owned store for over half a century.
- Photo by Meredith Thompson
By Meredith ThompsonUnsuitable Conditions, Safety Hazards Plague Davidsonville Training Facility
- Photos by Meredith ThompsonThe Anne Arundel County police academy’s semi-enclosed firing range, though constructed just 15 years ago, poses maintenance issues of its own: Wooden beams are rotting away and the ballistic panels that serve as a roof are cracked and peeling.
- Characterized by rusted sinks, cracked and tiles and missing urinals, the men’s locker room at the Anne Arundel County police training academy lacks functioning showers.
- Vibrant red rings of rust encircle every sink and toilet throughout the training facility; no amount of scrubbing can make white again the archaic fixtures.
- In the men’s restroom, a blue placard mounted over a mirror reads, “The image you project is a reflection of the entire police department.” Ironically, the image reflected in the mirror below it depicts a locker room and adjoining bathroom that have long out-served their usefulness and have fallen into disrepair.
- Commanding Lt. Daniel Rodriguez highlighted that, among the few improvements underway at the police academy, a water-treatment system is in the works. Poor water quality leaves toilets and sinks discolored and recruits showering under sulfur-smelling trickles in the facility’s ancient bathrooms.
- Lt. Rodriguez explained that, maintenance issues aside, the police academy’s biggest issue is classroom space: In addition to the nearly 1,000 sworn and civilian officers who use the facility annually for training, classes of 20-40 recruits – sometimes two or three at a time - undergo 27-week training sessions, all within the academy’s three modest classrooms. Above, Joelle Ridgeway, Anne Arundel Commission on Disability Issues chair, provides instruction for the academy’s 79th recruit class.
- The ballistic panels that comprise the firing range’s roof prevent stray rounds from going outside the enclosed space. Installed in 1998, they have begun to crack and peel over the years.
- Lt. Rodriguez, commander of the academy, explained through a mask that high levels of mold have rendered the academy’s underground gym unsafe. Located in a former missile silo, the dank fitness space also poses a fire hazard, as it offers only one way in and out.
- While Howard County’s Public Safety Training Center furnishes officers with simulated environments including a mock Columbia Bank, Greene Turtle, hotel room, townhome and 7-Eleven – realistically equipped down to a functioning hot dog griller and coffee maker – situational training is confined in Anne Arundel to a half-dozen dilapidated trailers.
- Despite the academy’s overcrowding, Lt. Rodriguez maintained good training ultimately boils down to good people. “We can go outside and train sitting in the grass, as long as I have a quality instructor, a quality lesson plan and students who are engaged,” he illustrated. “The quality of the officers and the recruits that come through here is the highest you can imagine, and the instructors are … some of the best in the country.”
- Lt. Rodriguez noted all of the staff vehicles at the academy have over 100,000 hard city miles on them; many have long since tripped past 200,000 on their odometers.
- With doors propped open, parts of the academy’s mold-plagued old firearms building are used for teaching space when classrooms are at capacity. The academy is in the process of installing dehumidifiers to make it a safer environment for the recruits and staff.
- The building that served as a gym before its mold issues became too severe for officers to enter it was originally purposed as a missile magazine under Project Nike following WWII. Built in the early 1950s, Nike base W-25 (today, the academy) housed an air defense system to thwart bomber strikes on neighboring cities including Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
- Just as the interior of the former gym and missile silo poses health and safety risks, the exterior has maintenance issues of its own.
- No way out: Lt. Rodriguez explained the defunct fitness center – accessed solely by a concrete flight of stairs leading down from ground level – would be rendered a burial site if a fire broke out. “There’s only one way out of the place, so if God forbid there’d be a fire in there it would be a tomb,” he illustrated. “Everybody would be trapped in there.”
It’s like putting lipstick on a pig.
That’s how Lieutenant Daniel Rodriguez, commander of the Anne Arundel County Police Academy, noted countless people have described the few cosmetic improvements made over...
- Photos by Meredith Thompson
By Peter CrispinoTo tackle a $1.3 billion problem that could jeopardize Anne Arundel County’s financial wellbeing, the county council will spend the coming weeks and months tackling perhaps the most impactful legislation it has faced in years.
The issue at hand is the health care package offered to retired...