Community Notes

COMMUNITY NOTES

June 22, 2007

County is eligible for anti-crime grant

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and Police Chief William J. McMahon have announced that the county is eligible for a U.S. Department of Justice/Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant of $61,743 for programs to combat major crime and improve public safety.

The community is invited to submit suggestions and comments and discuss priorities for how the money should be used.

To comment, contact the Office of the Chief of Police (410- 313-3377) by June 29 or e-mail, hcpd@howardcountymd.gov.

Phelps Luck student wins poster contest

Eiryn Griest-Schwarzman, a fourth-grader at Phelps Luck Elementary School, is winner of the 2007 Villain of the Valley Poster Contest sponsored by The Friends of the Patapsco Valley and Heritage Greenway.

The contest, part of the organization's annual Garlic Mustard Challenge event, is designed to draw attention to environmental problems caused by the invasive, non-native garlic mustard plant.

Eiryn attended the Garlic Mustard Challenge on May 6 and helped to pull out more than a ton of the weeds from Patapsco Valley State Park. She chose a $50 gift certificate from Toys "R" Us as her prize; as part of her prize, two computers were presented to Phelps Luck Elementary by the Lazarus Foundation.

Have cable TV? Be aware of `opt-out'

The Howard County Office of the Cable Administrator and Office of Consumer Affairs advise residents who are Comcast Cable subscribers to review a notice that is included in their latest billing statement that allows customers to choose to opt out of the company's preferred method for resolving disputes.

The notification is contained in a pamphlet, "Arbitration Notice." Arbitration, an informal process, has been chosen by Comcast as its preferred method to resolve disputes with customers. If subscribers do not opt out of this choice by letter or online, they will be obligated to resolve all disputes with Comcast by arbitration.

Those who opt out can choose to resolve disputes through Howard County's Office of the Cable Administrator or Howard County's Small Claims Court.

Customers who want to opt out must send a letter within 30 days of receiving the notice, stating explicitly that they do not wish to resolve disputes with Comcast through arbitration. The letter, which must include the customer's name, address and account number, should be sent to Comcast, Attn: Legal Dept./Arbitration, 1500 Market St., Philadelphia 19102. Customers can also choose to "opt out" online at www.comcast.com/arbitration optout.

Information: 410-313-6420 or 410-313-3318.

Lake walk Sunday to aid cancer society

The Columbia Association's Middle School Advisory Committee will sponsor a Cancer Walk around Lake Elkhorn in Columbia at noon Sunday.

The walk is to start at the Lake Elkhorn Pavilion and continue on the two-mile scenic path around the lake.

The cost is $20. Registration can be completed in advance or at 11 a.m. on the day of the walk. Proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

Information or registration: 410-715-5523.

Rep Stage offering summer classes

Rep Stage, Howard Community College's professional theater-in-residence, is offering summer classes and performance opportunities for preteens and teens.

One-week sessions for ages 9 to 13 and 14 to 18 are to start Monday; two-week sessions are to begin July 9, and a three-week session for ages 9 to 13 is scheduled for a July 23 start.

"Start up" (7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.) and "Wind-down" (4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) programs are also available.

Classes will be held in the college's Smith Theatre and the Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center. Acting experience is not required.

Information or registration: 410-772-4587, or www.howardcc .edu/visitors/rsai.

Environmental panel plans public sessions

Howard County's Commission on the Environment and Sustainability will hold five open-dialogue sessions during which the public will have an opportunity to meet commission members and learn about its work.

The commission, appointed four months ago, is working to identify the best environmental practices to be incorporated into county government operations and all aspects of life in Howard County. The commission is to consider air and water quality, education and outreach, energy, government organization, "green" building and development, open space and local preservation.

Dialogue sessions, during which members of the public are invited to present their views, are to be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Elkridge library, 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge; 7 p.m. Monday at the east Columbia library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia; 7 p.m. Thursday at the Miller branch library, 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City; and 7 p.m. July 2 at the central library, 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia.

Information: Joshua Feldmark, 410-313-2056.

Raffle to help defray fireworks display cost

The Kiwanis Club of Columbia will sell 50/50 raffle tickets through July 18 to help defray the cost of the club's July Fourth fireworks display at the Columbia Lakefront.

Tickets sell for $2; $5 for three tickets. The winner of the drawing will receive half the money collected.

The daylong festivities are to start at 2 p.m. with games, a magician, a puppeteer and other attractions for children; food and other vendors; and continuous musical performances. Fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. More than 20,000 people attended last year's festival.

Information: Henry Stern, 410-309-4362.

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