Community Notes

COMMUNITY NOTES

March 05, 2006

Food drive being held through Saturday

Harvest for the Hungry, the U.S. Postal Service, Boy Scouts and other partners are sponsoring the annual Harvest for the Hungry Letter Carrier Week Food Drive through Saturday.

Residents can leave a bag of nonperishable food items by their mailboxes, and Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and letter carriers will collect and process it. The food will be delivered to a local food bank. Food can also be dropped off in marked containers at post offices or at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage offices.

Needed are meats, peanut butter, nuts and seeds; breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables (canned fruits and vegetables and juices); powdered milk and infant formula; and items such as diapers, toilet paper and plastic or paper plates and cups.

County Web site has video streaming

Howard County government is introducing video streaming to its Web site, www.co.ho.md.us. As a first step, the Department of Planning and Zoning's presentation of the draft Columbia Downtown Master Plan is to be available online.

The Feb. 27 public presentation described continuing refinements that are being made to the Columbia Downtown Master Plan since ideas for it were first developed at the community "charrette" Oct. 15-22. Draft versions of the evolving plan, design guidelines and implementation strategy will also be available.

The video streaming presentation is an initiative of the county's public information office.

Preservation panel to meet Thursday

The Columbia Association's Woodlawn Slave Quarters Preservation Task Force will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at the association's headquarters, 10221 Wincopin Circle, above Clyde's restaurant.

The association's board of directors created the task force to recommend a plan for the slave quarters and the site.

The meeting is open to the public.

Information: 410-715-3103.

Scholarship deadline extended

The Columbia Association's board of directors has extended the deadline for the Spirit of Columbia Scholarship Award to March 15.

The program provides up to six $2,500 scholarships each year to graduating high school seniors who have shown exceptional effort in serving the community.

Eligible students must attend a Howard County public or private school, live in Columbia or have a parent working full time on Columbia Association-assessed property, maintain at least a C average in school; and have a history of voluntary service to the Columbia community.

Applications must be submitted to Spirit of Columbia Scholarship Award, c/o the Columbia Association, 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia 21044. Forms are available at high schools, community centers and Columbia Association headquarters. They can also be downloaded at www.columbiaasociation.com.

Information: 410-715-3175.

Chinese Feast to aid HCC program

Hunan Manor Restaurant in Columbia will hold its seventh Chinese Feast to benefit Howard Community College's Silas Craft Collegians program, an academic program and supportive learning community designed to help recent high school graduates reach their full potential.

The gourmet dinner will be served continuously from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets are $35 and include a buffet, beverages, dessert, tax and gratuity.

All proceeds will go to provide scholarships for Silas Craft Collegians.

The restaurant is at 7091 Deepage Drive.

Information: 410-772-4450, or www.howardcc.edu/special events.

Essay contest deadline is March 15

Howard Transit, the county's public bus system, is celebrating a decade of service this year with an essay contest, open to customers ages 16 and older.

The "Howard Transit - Real People" contest asks customers to tell in 200 words or less how access to the service has affected their lives. Creativity and a personal touch are encouraged. The contest ends March 15. Winners will be announced in April.

All participants will receive a free one-week pass on Howard Transit, and five winners will receive two airline tickets to anywhere in the United States, or dinner at Toby's Dinner Theatre, Waterside Restaurant, the Melting Pot, or an overnight stay at Henderson's Wharf Inn.

Information: 800-270-9553, or www.howardtransit.com.

County offers help to needy taxpayers

The Howard County Tax Counseling Program is offering free tax preparation services to senior citizens and low- to middle-income taxpayers at the Bain Center and other Howard County locations.

Trained volunteers prepare each tax return in about an hour. Tax returns with complex financial transactions or self-employment expenses in excess of $5,000 are not eligible.

The program is jointly sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, which provides materials and software, and the AARP.

Appointments are available between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays. To schedule an appointment: 410-313-7387. Take tax records and the previous year's returns to the appointment.

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