Community Notes

COMMUNITY NOTES

June 29, 2008

GGP to hold fourth meeting July 9

General Growth Properties will hold the fourth in a series of meetings that have followed the April 28 presentation of the draft master plan for Columbia Town Center. The meeting, titled "Vision in Focus: The Neighborhoods," will be held at 7:30 p.m. July 9 at the Spear Center, located in GGP's headquarters at 10275 Little Patuxent Parkway.

Representatives from General Growth Properties will examine the Town Center neighborhoods that will be affected by the master plan, and highlight the overall characteristics of each neighborhood, including uses, densities and building-height recommendations. Previous "Vision in Focus" forums addressed sustainability and environment, and transit, traffic and culture.

The meeting will focus on particular aspects the plan envisions for individual neighborhood.

To request transportation: 410-992-6500, by noon July 8. For information about public transportation: 1-800-270-9553 or visit www.howardtransit.com. Those ages 60 and older can arrange transportation with Neighbor Ride, 410-884-RIDE (4733).

Tickets available for Hybrid raffle

Tickets are available for a raffle sponsored by Gilchrist Hospice Care (formerly Hospice of Baltimore and Howard County) to win a fuel-efficient Escape Hybrid, a limited edition Bullitt or a Mustang convertible.

Proceeds will fund Howard County hospice programs.

Tickets, which cost $25 or five for $100, are available online at www.Gilchristhospice.org or by calling 410-730-5072. The winning tickets will be drawn at the 23rd annual Taste & Auction event, to be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 19 at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City. The winner need not be present.

Taste & Auction will feature foods provided by more than 20 county restaurants and caterers, and live and silent auctions. This year's event will have a carnival theme: "Step Right up for Hospice."

Gilchrist Hospice Care provides medical and nursing care, social work services, home health and volunteer assistance and spiritual grief counseling and support. Care is provided wherever a patient and family are most comfortable - at home, in a nursing or retirement community, or at the inpatient facility.

Residents sought to serve on group

The Columbia Association is seeking residents to serve a one-year term on the Senior Advisory Committee, a group that advises the association's board of directors about the needs, interests and concerns of Columbia's senior residents. The committee also seeks to increase public awareness of Columbia's seniors as an active population.

Nominees must be 55 or older, and have demonstrated interest in the senior population.

Letters of interest should be sent to Michelle Miller, Columbia Association, 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 21044. They can also be faxed to 410-715-3043. Information: Michelle Miller, 410-715-3170.

Consulting firm to aid watershed

The Columbia Association has announced that Versar Inc., a consulting firm, will design and help implement a watershed restoration and stewardship plan to improve water quality and habitat in Columbia.

Versar is an environmental planning, engineering and remedial services firm that has performed watershed assessment and restoration planning for more than 30 years. Watershed investigations are to start next month.

Information: Sean Harbaugh, 410-312-6330, Ext. 2516.

Nonprofit returns to Wilde Lake

Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland has returned to its facility in the Village of Wilde Lake after a four-month absence while its building was being renovated. In January, the staff of the nonprofit organization moved to the basement of the Rose Price House, the building next to Oakland Manor in Town Center.

Renovations to the Wilde Lake building, which 40 years ago served as Howard County Library's first Columbia branch, included a new sprinkler system, new acoustical ceiling tiles, new carpeting, paint and windows.

Family and Children's Services provides counseling services, employee-assistance programs and in-home services for older adults and those with disabilities. In partnership with Howard County General Hospital, the organization also runs the Healthy Families Howard County program, which provides home visits, referrals and support groups for parents.

Family and Children's Services also has offices in the North Laurel-Savage Multiservice Center in the Whiskey Bottom Shopping Center in North Laurel.

Information: 410-997-3557 or www.fcsmd.org.

Gehry building photos on display

Photographs of the General Growth Properties building, designed by architect Frank Gehry and built in 1974 as headquarters of the Rouse Co., are on display at the Columbia Archives until Aug. 15.

The photographs, which show the building at different times of day and different seasons, reflect the vision that Gehry shared with Columbia's founder, James W. Rouse.

The Columbia Archives, on the ground floor of the American City Building, 10227 Wincopin Circle, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Information: 410-997-3557 or visit www.fcsmd.org.

4 county libraries to close Sundays

Four Howard County Library branches - the east Columbia, Elkridge, Glenwood and Savage branches - are to be closed Sundays through Aug. 31.

The central library and the Miller branch will remain open on Sundays.

Information: 410-313-7890, or www.hclibrary.org.

Membership help available for pools

Financial assistance is available to qualified families for summer membership in Columbia Association's outdoor pools.

Families are eligible for the Ann Scherr Fund if their income is 50 percent less than the association's reduced-income guidelines. An individual must earn less than $21,525 to qualify for the grant; $23,035 for a person 65 or older and disabled. A family of two can earn $24,600; a family of four, $30,750.

Information or to apply: 410-730-1801.

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