SWIMMERS CAN dive into their neighborhood pools for the first time this season when the Columbia outdoor pools open this weekend.
John Herdson, the new Columbia Association aquatics director, and his staff have been occupied for the past few months staffing the Columbia pools and scheduling swim meets and other events.
Herdson is missed by swimmers and staff at the Wilde Lake swim center, where he kept the facility running smoothly.
Columbia has 23 neighborhood pools, including 12 in east Columbia.
Many swimmers are loyal to their neighborhood pools, and enjoy cheering their swim teams.
But it is also fun to add variety by trying other pools, taking the opportunity to meet new friends and compare facilities.
This information can be kept handy in case you need to call about water temperature, pool hours, or other concerns at neighborhood pools:
Kings Contrivance -- Dickinson (410-381-3080), Marci Malchak, manager; Huntington (301-490-3310), Dan Coperich, manager; Macgill's Common (410-730-5995), Holly Stover, manager.
Long Reach -- Jeffers Hill (410-730-1220), Alex Htjis, manager; Kendall Ridge (410-715-3074), James Kennedy, manager; Locust Park (410- 730-5621), Kim Schmidt, manager; Phelps Luck (410-730-5621), Meliss Schnaar, manager.
Oakland Mills -- Stevens Forest (410-730-5452), Dee Lenehan, manager; Talbot Springs (410-730-5421), Dan McNeese, manager; Thunder Hill (410-730-5563), Jan Cunningham, manager.
Owen Brown -- Dasher Green (410-381-1461), Steve Schnaar, manager; and Hopewell (410-381-1460), Kelly Krantz, manager.
East Columbia pools supervisor is Ken Zachmann. This is his 30th summer with Columbia Association Aquatics.
The outdoor pool administration office phone is 410-715-3123.
A tip: The pool managers and guards appreciate being a part of a neighborhood and also appreciate a kind word or two. Greet them by name, add a smile of welcome and help them to help you have a great summer.
Surfing for seniors
Seniors are learning to "surf" without a board or water.
Each week, Tuesdays through Fridays by appointment, volunteer Frances Carr gives individual instruction in Internet surfing to senior citizens at the 50+ Center in the east Columbia library, 6600 Cradlerock Way.
Her students research a subject of interest and even learn to locate old friends whose addresses they may have lost.
As the year turns
Summer will be here soon, but fall is on the minds of Barbara Schmeckperper and Claire Alperp. They are coordinating vendors for Oakland Mills High School's PTSA craft fair Nov. 14.
"Many vendors from former fairs have applied," Schmeckperper says. "We always welcome new creative crafts, so this year we have added a cash incentive to any vendor who recommends another artisan."
Information: 410-381-5279 or 410-730-0780.
Young artists recognized
Art teacher Peggy Coulson reports that creative work by Hammond High School art students was exhibited in five shows this spring.
Student Craig Feinberg was guest speaker, representing his fellow artist-exhibitors, at opening ceremonies of the "Senior Portfolio Development" show sponsored by the Howard County Board of Education.
Lauren Mullen's work was selected for the "Eighth Annual Howard County Senior Art Show," and "Informed by the Combination of Image and Text" at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City.
The show has been selected to travel to Frostburg State University, where it will be on exhibit during August.
Five students' work was accepted in each of the above shows as well as "Youth Art Month" at the Howard County Library and the "Annual Columbia Mall Art Exhibit."
Thank you and more
Sarah Uphouse, Long Reach Village administrator, sends "many thanks" to Election Day volunteers Victor Bailey, Frank and Linda Corwin, Jean Grinspoon, Janet Nuse, Mary Ellen Tolbert and Robin Weiss.
She adds "congratulations" to three village board members who were re-elected to two-year terms: Cheryl Borges, Henry Dagenais and John Snyder.
Kathryn Mann, assistant Long Reach village administrator, is accepting applications for the volunteer position of village representative to the Columbia Association's Senior Advisory Committee.
The committee advises the Columbia Council and Columbia Association on senior citizens' needs and concerns.
Information: 410-730-8113 or 301-596-3265.
Plan for fun
In summer, it pays to plan vacations in advance so as not to miss the fun at home.
Long Reach residents can look forward to neighborhood pool parties Saturdays in July.
Kendall Ridge's party will be July 27; Phelps Luck's is the next day; Locust Park's will be July 29; and Jeffers Hill will have its party July 30.
Sign-up for each party begins June 29.
Free summer concerts will be sponsored by all four east Columbia villages.
The 7 p.m. concerts are held in the bowl area of Lake Elkhorn, next to the spillway.