Community Notes

COMMUNITY NOTES

June 24, 2007

Columbia's cake-cutting set

The board of directors of the Columbia Association and association President Maggie J. Brown invites the community to join elected officials and community leaders for the association's cake-cutting ceremony and 40th birthday celebration July 1 at the lakefront.

The ceremony will be held on the lakefront's main stage at 1 p.m. The cake will be cut at 1:30 p.m. Residents and guests are invited to participate; more than 3,000 cupcakes will be distributed to those who attend.

The event is part of the City Fair, to be held Friday through July 1 in celebration of Columbia's 40th birthday.

Information: Cynthia Coyle, CityFair@ColumbiaAssoci ation.com.

Woodworking shop open to seniors

The Bain Center operates a woodworking shop equipped with power tools and staffed by volunteers from the Howard County Woodworkers' Guild.

The shop is open to senior citizens working on projects of their own. Hours are from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays.

Information: 410-313-7213.

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 Friday or e-mail, hcpd@howardcountymd.gov.

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 today to aid cancer society

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

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 at 11 a.m. 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 tomorrow; 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 is holding three additional 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.

The dialogue sessions, during which members of the public are invited to present their views, are to be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow 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 cost of fireworks

The Kiwanis Club of Columbia will sell 50/50 raffle tickets through July 18 to help defray the cost of the club's annual 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.

Information: Henry Stern, 410-309-4362.

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