Death of former Columbia Council chairman leaves huge void WEST COLUMBIA

NEIGHBORS

September 08, 1993|By LARRY STURGILL

The death of John M. Hansen, former chairman of the Columbia Council, leaves us all to wonder what could have driven him to take his own life.

We knew him as a quiet, kind, honest and reserved man who chose to focus much of his time and energy upon the problems of his community.

When something like this occurs, it is impossible to fully comprehend any answer to the question, "Why?" because there is no acceptable answer.

Beyond the finality of John Hansen's death, there is one other certainty: all of Columbia lost a fine advocate, and the Harper's Choice community in particular, lost a good friend and neighbor.

Inclusion, the policy of main-streaming children with learnin disabilities and special needs into the general school population, is a hot topic these days.

In recent years, pressures brought by parents of learning disabled children have forced the school boards of most Maryland counties to confront the subject of inclusion more realistically.

For the last few years, Dan and Gail Fournier have championed inclusion in Howard County schools. The Wilde Lake couple, whose 8-year-old autistic son, Matthew, was mainstreamed at Running Brook Elementary last year, have formed a support group, W.I.N.S. (Working for Inclusion in Neighborhood Schools), for parents.

Parents with learning disabled children, or those just interested in learning more about inclusion, are welcomed to attend the monthly W.I.N.S. meetings.

Information: 992-5273.

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Carole Black, the program coordinator of Slayton House, in Wilde Lake Village Center, has announced the offering of two excellent student theater workshops.

They will be taught by Pam Land, the director of the very successful Camp of the Arts program held at Slayton House this past summer.

The Musical Theatre Workshop is a 10-week course for students in grades six and up. They will learn drama, dance, voice, music and other basic theater skills.

Classes begin Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The cost is $120.

The Creative Dramatics Workshop is a five-week course for younger students, grades two through five, and will teach basic techniques of acting and improvisation.

Two sessions will be offered. Session I begins Sept. 11; Session II begins Oct. 16. These Saturday sessions are between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The cost for each session is $40.

For more information, or to register, call 730-3987.

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Slayton House will also host "A Harvest of Harmony," a concert of contemporary music, on Tuesday from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The concert is presented by the Columbia Church of Religious Science, and will feature performer Tracy Ryan.

L The musical concert is free, but offerings will be accepted.

For more information, please call 750-8559.

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The Columbia Film Society will screen nine foreign or independently made films during this year's series. All are widely acclaimed, or have won awards, but had only limited runs in film art theaters in the Baltimore/Washington area.

The current series opens this Friday and Saturday, 8:30 p.m., with a screening of the Oscar-winning "Indochine" in the Communication Arts Building at Howard Community College.

Subscriptions for the entire nine-film series are available for $24. Information: Robert Keller at 730-0123.

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"Tales From the Land of The Rising Sun" isn't the title of the latest book by James Clavell. It is the name of the latest children's program to be offered by the Howard County Library.

The Central Library, in Columbia, will present this highly informative program on Sept. 30, from 4:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. Designed for children ages 6 and up, it will offer stories and activities which focus on the land, the people and the culture of the island nation of Japan.

Registration will begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 20, and may be made in person, or by calling Children's Librarian Jo Puckett at 313-7880.

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If you are looking for a good book to read, check out the 18th Annual League of Woman Voters Book Sale, starting tomorrow and continuing through Saturday, at the upper level Center Court in The Mall in Columbia.

This is the major fund-raising event for the organization, and the proceeds raised are used to fund many of the League of Women Voters' community projects.

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