Community Notes


May 18, 2008

Trips to highlight importance of bay

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is planning its weeklong Bay and River Sojourns, beginning June 15 with a kayaking trip on the Susquehanna River and a June 19 trip on the Patuxent River. Registration is open for both trips, and beginners are welcome.

The trips highlight the importance of the two rivers to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, the nation's richest estuary, and encourage residents to take an active role in environmental education and advocacy. The trips include historical tours, discussions of Native American heritage, visits to museums and environmental film night. Participants will be able to speak with residents along the riverbanks, business owners and elected officials.

Participants can choose canoeing, camping and other activities for one day or a full week. The cost is $60 a day for adults; $30 a day for children.

The organization will offer its first Patuxent Teen Paddle, an educational four-day paddling and camping trip on the Patuxent River that includes work on restoration projects and programs on historical, cultural and ecological topics. The trip, which is only open to youth groups, begins July 29 and costs $50 a day. Tents and gear are not included.

Information: 410-377-6270 or visit

Commission seeks nominations

The Howard County Commission on Disability issues is accepting nominations for its 2008 awards program. Awards are given annually to recognize outstanding efforts to advance participation in community life. The deadline to submit nominations is July 31.

Nominees can be employers, service providers, and those promoting access through universal design and community inclusion. Awards for individual achievement are given to adults, youths and educators.

Information or to download a nomination form: http:/ and click on the link to the nomination form. Or call 410-313-6402 to request a form.

Completed forms should be sent to Howard County Commission on Disability Issues, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 300, Columbia, MD 21046, or faxed to 410-313-6424.

Second bus planned for seniors' trips

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman has announced that a second bus will be added to the HT Ride Baltimore City Shuttle for medical trips.

Demand has increased for the curb-to-curb transportation service for seniors and people with disabilities in Howard County; the second bus is expected to provide greater access to patrons and reduce travel time.

Until now, the county has provided one vehicle on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for medical trips to and from Baltimore, sometimes starting at 6:30 a.m. There are two morning trips to Baltimore and two afternoon return trips to Howard County.

The county was awarded a Federal Transit Administration grant earlier this year that will be used to purchase a vehicle and add service on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The expanded service is expected to begin in late summer.

Information: 1-800-270-9553 or visit

GGP to discuss draft master plan

General Growth Properties will continue its community discussions of the draft master plan for Columbia Town Center, Many Voices, One Vision, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Owen Brown Community Center; 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Hawthorn Center in the Village of Hickory Ridge; 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday at The Other Barn in Oakland Mills; and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Historic Oakland in Columbia Town Center.

The plan is available at

Spring Social to be held tomorrow

The Howard County Advisory Board of Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland will hold a Spring Social from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow at Victoria Gastro Pub, 8201 Snowden River Parkway in Columbia.

The event is designed to introduce the agency's services to the community and raise funds.

Admission is $50. Sponsorships, which include on-site recognition and two tickets, are $500.

Family and Children's Services offers counseling, employee assistance, in-home services for elderly and disabled people and the Health Families program for first-time parents. The agency accepts third-party insurance; uninsured clients pay on a sliding scale.

Family and Children's Services has offices in the Wilde Lake Village Center in Columbia and the Whiskey Bottom Shopping Center in North Laurel.

Tickets to the Spring Social, e-mail or visit Information: 410-997-3557 (Columbia) or 410-880-5917 (North Laurel).

Nominees sought for county awards

The Community Action Council of Howard County MD Inc. is seeking nominations for awards for county residents and organizations for their outstanding community service.

One person will be recognized with the Rev. John W. Holland Humanitarian Award, and two organizations will receive Community Service awards. The honors recognize selfless service to the needy in the county, following the example of the Rev. John Holland, who served on the council's board for 17 years.

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