Community Notes


June 30, 2006

Red Cross seeking blood donations

In response to a sharp decline in blood donations as the July 4 holiday approaches, the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region of the Red Cross is urging eligible donors to schedule an appointment to donate blood.

Those who do will be offered a "Be the One We Count On" T-shirt and a chance to win $100 worth of gas in a weekly raffle.

Donors must be in good health, at least 17 years old (16 with written parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more, have not received a tattoo within the past year and have not donated whole blood in the past 56 days.

To schedule an appointment: 800-GIVE-LIFE. Platelet donors should call 800-272-2123. Business and community groups can call 800-787-9282, Ext. 4925 to schedule a blood drive.

Habitat for Humanity to hold open house

Habitat for Humanity of Howard County Inc. will hold an open house and public meeting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 8 at 6570 Dobbin Road, Columbia.

The group will explain its work and invite people to participate. Light refreshments will be provided, and a raffle for a children's playhouse is planned.

Information: 410-997-4949.

Ground-based sparklers prohibited

Howard County police and the county Department of Fire and Rescue Services remind residents and businesses that legislation passed in 2003 prohibits the sale, possession and use of ground-based sparklers.

The police and fire departments are contacting retailers to ensure that the illegal fireworks are not sold. Violators will be subject to a fine of up to $250.

The Howard County bill was introduced after the General Assembly added certain ground-based sparkling devices to the list of legal fireworks in 2002. As a result of the change, the fire department responded to numerous calls for brush fires and other emergencies.

The law does not affect the sale or use of other fireworks, such as hand-held sparklers, party poppers, ignitable "snakes" and "snap 'n' pops."

Information: 410-313-2236.

Independence Day closing information

County government offices, courts, libraries, the animal shelter and the landfill will be closed Tuesday for Independence Day.

There will be no trash or recycling pickup. Tuesday trash collection routes will be picked up Wednesday; Tuesday recycling and yard-waste routes will be picked up July 11.

Parking meters will be free Tuesday, and Howard Transit bus service will run limited routes. For schedule information: 800-270-9553.

For emergencies, call 911. For nonemergencies, call 410-313- 2200. Police, fire and 911 services are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Candidate forums set in Columbia

The Association of Community Services will hold the third in its series of candidate forums, for candidates for school board, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. July 12 at Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia.

Information: www.acs (click "public policy").

County to allow mixed recyclables

Howard County residents soon will be able to recycle metal cans, plastic and glass bottles and jars along with mixed papers, without needing to bag or bind paper separately. Starting tomorrow, recyclable containers and mixed paper can be placed in a single bin or see-through bag; yard waste will still be required to be put out separately.

Waste Management Recycle America, a subsidiary of Waste Management, is under contract to Howard County to process and market recyclables. The company has completed a processing facility near Elkridge that includes equipment to sort mixed paper from other recyclable materials.

Information: 410-313-6444.

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