Community Notes

October 31, 2007

New grocery store is opening Friday

A Trader Joe's market will open Friday morning at the new Gateway Overlook shopping center in Columbia.

Billed as a "unique, neighborhood grocery store with foods and beverages from the exotic to the basic," the store plans to hold a ceremonial lei-cutting at 8:30 a.m. It will be open to shoppers at 9 a.m.

The 11,100-square-foot store is at 6610 Marie Curie Drive, off Route 175. Operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Store decor features cedar-covered walls and a mural of scuba-diving cows and chickens.

Dan Gustavson, formerly of Trader Joe's in Annapolis, is store manager, and Kevin Risser, formerly of the Rockville store, is assistant store manager. Staff members will wear Hawaiian shirts.

The chain offers branded and upscale food, purchased in quantity and sold under the Trader Joe's label, as well as kosher, vegetarian and organic products.

"About 85 percent of what's in the store you can't get anywhere else -- private label," Risser said. "Nothing with the Trader Joe's label has additives or preservatives."

Information: 410-953-8139.

Association begins fitness program

The Columbia Association has launched a program called Fit Beginnings, a physician-referral fitness initiative that links patients with personal trainers at the Columbia Athletic Club.

Patients who are referred to the program by their primary-care doctors will meet for 30 minutes twice a week with an association sport and fitness specialist over 60 days for a one-time fee of $60. The specialists, who are all certified personal trainers, will design a program based on the referring physician's guidelines. Participants do not have to be Columbia Association members to take part.

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive $30, or half the fee, as a reward or can credit the entire amount toward a Columbia Association membership.

Information: Carol Binzen, 410-715-5514.

Readiness Week under way in county

County Executive Ken Ulman has proclaimed this week Community Readiness Week in Howard County. Events are planned to emphasize the importance of preparing for possible disasters.

The James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center in Marriottsville was dedicated and named Monday. The road leading into the facility was named in honor of police Cpl. Scott Wheeler, who was killed while on speed-enforcement duty in June.

A Volunteer Mobilization Center workshop for nonprofit and governmental agencies is planned from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at the Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia.

"Emergency Preparedness: Communication is Key," a workshop on developing a family emergency communications plan, creating an emergency document binder and establishing a neighborhood network of support, will be offered from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow at Historic Oakland, 5430 Vantage Point Road, Columbia. A sample tool kit will be provided.

The event is sponsored by the county Community Emergency Response Network and the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program.

Information: 410-715- 0311.

The county's automated telephone "Community Notification System" will be tested during the week, and its Emergency Services Command Unit, which provides first-responders with advanced on-the-scene technology, will visit county libraries.

Information: 410-313-2022.

Public meeting set on `Vision' paper

The Columbia Association board of directors will hold a meeting at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow to hear comments from residents on Downtown Columbia: A Community Vision, a document released Sept. 28 by Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.

The document establishes a framework for the next 30 years of development in Columbia's Town Center and outlines a three-step implementation process.

The Columbia Association board plans to respond to the proposal and include comments from members of the community. The board will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 8 to discuss comments received from the public. Individuals who attend tomorrow's meeting will be allowed to speak for three minutes; representatives of groups will be allowed to speak for five minutes.

To access Downtown Columbia: A Community Vision: The document is also available at Howard County libraries and at County Council offices.

The meetings will be held at Columbia Association headquarters, 10221 Wincopin Circle, above Clyde's Restaurant.

Information: 410-715-3111.

Laughter program for seniors offered

Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks will sponsor "Laughter The Best Medicine," a program for seniors ages 55 and older, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. today at the Kiwanis Wallas Recreation Center in Ellicott City.

Laughter-based exercises are said to strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure and promote emotional healing.

The program is not based on joke-telling.

The cost is $4.

Information: 410-313-7320 or 410-313-7279.

Women sought for Hall of Fame

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