Community Notes


July 06, 2008

July is Recreation and Parks Month

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman has announced that July will be "Recreation and Parks Month" in Howard County. The proclamation coincides with the National Recreation & Park Association's annual awareness campaign encouraging people to visit parks.

The county's Department of Recreation & Parks has planned "31 Ways to Celebrate" Recreation & Parks Month; activities include visits to historical sites and a concert series.

For information and a complete list of events: 410-313-4700.

The department is seeking volunteers. Information: 410-313-4624 or visit

County plans to expand transit

Howard County is undertaking a comprehensive assessment of its local bus service, Howard Transit, with the goal of developing recommendations for expanding service and making capital improvements.

A consultant's interim report, presented June 24 at the meeting of the Howard County Public Transportation Board, is available at, under "What's New." Printed copies will be available at Howard County libraries, senior centers and at the reception desk of the Department of Planning and Zoning, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City.

The county invites the public to submit comments regarding the findings and options described in the report.

Comments should be sent to Fred Fravel, KFH Group, at

School supplies, backpacks needed

The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, in conjunction with many nonprofits and the Howard County Public School System, is again supporting the annual "Prepare for Success" backpack and school-supply drive.

Monetary and in-kind donations are needed to provide backpacks and supplies to students from low-income families. Donations of school supplies can be dropped off July 7 to Aug. 8 at boxes in Howard County government office buildings, county libraries, Columbia village community centers, Columbia Association health clubs and the Art Center.

Information or for a list of needed supplies: 410-715-3172.

Winners get vehicles in hospice 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 help fund Howard County hospice programs.

Tickets, which cost $25 or five for $100, are available online at 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, Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care.

Neighborhoods focus of Columbia meeting

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. Wednesday at the Spear Center, in GGP's headquarters at 10275 Little Patuxent Parkway.

Representatives from General Growth Properties will examine each of 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 neighborhoods.

To request transportation: 410-992-6500, by noon Tuesday. For information about public transportation: 1-800-270-9553 or visit Those ages 60 and older can arrange transportation with Neighbor Ride, 410-884-RIDE (7433).

Ground sparkler fireworks prohibited

The Howard County Departments of Police and Fire and Rescue are reminding residents and businesses that the County Council passed legislation in 2003 prohibiting the sale, possession and use of ground-based sparklers. Violators will be subject to a fine of up to $250.

The Howard County bill was introduced after the Maryland General Assembly added, for the first time in 60 years, certain ground-based sparkling devices to the list of legal fireworks in 2002.

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