Community Notes

COMMUNITY NOTES

March 03, 2004

Marriage equity for gays, lesbians to be PFLAG topic

The Howard County chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) will hold a town hall meeting to discuss marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia.

Jean Moon will be the moderator for a panel discussion that will include Rabbi Sonya Starr, the Rev. Paige Getty, County Councilman Guy Guzzone, Dan Furmansky of Equality Maryland, a lesbian couple and a gay couple.

The event is co-sponsored by Equality Maryland, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, Metropolitan Community Church of Columbia and Howard County National Organization for Women.

Information: 410-290-8292, or www.pflagmd.org.

S.P.R.I.N.G. holding three open houses

S.P.R.I.N.G. (Senior Peer Resources, Individuals, Networks and Groups), a program of the Howard County Department of Citizen Services' Office on Aging, will hold open houses at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Elkridge Senior Center (410-313-5192); at 11 a.m. March 16 at Ellicott City Senior Center (410-313-1400); and at 10 a.m. March 30 at Western Howard County Senior Center (410-313-5440).

S.P.R.I.N.G. offers support groups, activities, social events, trips and opportunities to volunteer and make friends. Registration is suggested.

Information: 410-313-7213.

Seminar's focus: financial plans for special-needs kids

The Arc of Howard County will offer a seminar to help families of children with special needs plan for their children's financial future.

The seminar will be held at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Arc headquarters.

Financial planner Victor A. DiBattista of MetLife, a specialist for the company's Division of Estate Planning for Special Kids, is to be the featured speaker. He will provide information on preserving government benefits, meeting long-term-care needs and structuring a plan to provide funds when needed, and he will answer questions.

Admission is free. The Arc is at 11735 Homewood Road, Ellicott City.

Information: Cathy Hiett, 410-730-0638, Ext. 242.

Volunteer naturalists sought by conservancy

The Howard County Conservancy at Mount Pleasant Farm in Woodstock is seeking volunteer naturalists to serve as educators for the conservancy's school programs.

The volunteers will assist staff members in leading hikes on the conservancy's 232-acre nature reserve in Woodstock, which includes woodlands, meadows and wetlands.

Training will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon Thursdays, tomorrow and March 11, 18 and 25. Participants will receive a manual and have an opportunity to learn ecological concepts and the history, wildlife and plants of Mount Pleasant.

The cost is $10 for materials.

The Howard County Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust, offers educational programs for children and adults.

Information: Martha Moore, 410-465-8877.

Stress, depression in teens to be discussed March 10

HC DrugFree, a partnership of parents, schools, county agencies and community organizations addressing teen substance abuse, is presenting its free spring speaker series for Howard County parents and students.

"Teen Stress and Depression" will be the topic March 10 at Reservoir High School, and "Ask the Counselor," with a panel of Health Department, school and private counselors, is planned March 18 at Mount Hebron High School.

The series is to run through April 28.

Information: Laura Smit, 410-799-4879, or www.hcdrug free.com.

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