RELIEF IS in sight for drivers struggling to make left turns into and out of Harper's Choice Village Center.
Howard County's Department of Public Works has begun construction on the first phase of a project to improve safety on Harper's Farm Road between Beaverkill Road and the Amoco station.
In the first phase, the roadway is being widened in front of the village center, from Cedar Lane west to just beyond the Amoco station. A traffic signal will be installed at Harper's Farm Road and the driveway between the Amoco station and McDonald's.
West of the new traffic signal, a left-turn lane will be added for eastbound traffic going to the village center.
There will be two through lanes in each direction.
Only right turns will be permitted into and out of the Amoco station and McDonald's from Harper's Farm Road.
Eventually, a raised median will be built in front of the village center between the two traffic signals. At first, the median will be painted on the road.
The first phase is scheduled for completion in September, according to Elizabeth Calia, chief of the Division of Transportation Projects and Watershed Management, which is overseeing the project.
"Traffic will be channeled during construction," Calia said. She expects that lanes will not need to be closed, except for short periods, such as when the traffic signal is being installed.
The second phase will continue east to Beaverkill Road.
An extra lane will be added so that there will be two through lanes and a left-turn lane westbound at Cedar Lane.
Some utility lines will be relocated, and some trees will be removed.
In this phase, the raised median will be constructed in front of the village center. It will be landscaped to be compatible with plantings at the center.
Also in phase two, the traffic signal at Cedar Lane will be coordinated with the new signal near the Amoco station.
"There may be some periods of inconvenience," said Calia, "but we will try to minimize the disruption to the community."
When the project is finished, she added, "We're going to have safety improvements, including less confusion for drivers and more protection for left turns. There will be a new signal so people can exit the shopping center without taking chances. There will also be aesthetic improvements."
The county's roadway improvements coincide with the renovation of the village center. Plans include demolition of the former Valu Food store and the existing McDonald's, construction of a new McDonald's and a Safeway store, and parking and lighting improvements.
Four area residents were among 17 faculty members recently promoted by Howard Community College.
Victor H. Cummings, who lives in Hawthorn, was promoted to professor of English as a second language. A faculty member since 1992, he created materials to improve the placement of students and the use of computers in language classes.
Bryant Woods resident M. J. Patricia Harley was promoted to associate professor of computer systems. On the faculty since 1989, she helped develop the computer support technology program. She also developed two Microsoft certification courses and one course on multimedia.
Patrick J. O'Guinn of Pointers Run was promoted to associate professor of criminal justice and business law. A faculty member since 1993, he developed an advanced criminal justice course on evidence and procedure.
Consuelo F. Stewart, a Dorsey's Search resident who joined the faculty in 1991, was promoted to associate professor of mathematics. She developed a program for students at two area high schools to take placement tests in math and English and to receive an explanation of their scores.
Searchers called in
Members of Explorer Search and Rescue Post 616 were among the rescuers called in July 3 to help search for Chris Belknap, the 13-year-old Boy Scout who got lost in a swamp in Dorchester County.
Responding to the call for help were adviser Peter McCabe and young adult members Ian Ross, Bethany Smith, Katrina Krasnonsky, Katie Annelli and Aron Rosenberg.
McCabe said they received the request for aid at 2 p.m. July 3. The boy had been missing since the previous morning. McCabe left his job in Washington and drove the local group to the Eastern Shore.
The lost youngster was found early that evening, taken to a hospital in Salisbury and later released.
Post 616, which meets in Columbia's Town Center, is affiliated with the Boy Scouts and is a member of the Appalachian Search and Rescue Conference. Members are volunteers who are trained to meet state and national standards for rescue operations.
Arts campers perform
The Slayton House Conservatory Camp closed last week with two performances of "Free to Be You and Me."
Directed by Pam Land, the four-week camp offers a theater experience for 11- to 18-year-olds. Campers must audition to be accepted.
Among the performers were Emily Biondi, Meredith Brenner, Martha Cargo, Toby David, Allison Davis, Erica Finkel, Allison Greuter, Becky Kavanagh, Nicholas Klingaman, Drew Koshigarian, Valerie Kuehne, Bia Lewis and William McLaughlin.
Also in the cast were Brittany Newsome, Brianna O'Brien, Daniel Pieper, Sara Potler, Sara Red, Danny Robertson, Jessica Soule, Jessica Straub, Paige Usyk, Michael Washington, Samantha Waters, Stefanie Wolk, Mary Beth Wood and Diette Yoshioka.
Free lessons at pools
There is still time to take advantage of swimming lessons being offered free at Columbia's neighborhood pools this summer.
The Columbia Association is offering lessons at all 23 outdoor pools through Aug. 8. The classes are open to members and to all Columbia residents.
Children under age 5 must be accompanied in the pool by an adult.
Pub Date: 7/16/97