Community Notes


April 26, 2009

Columbia presents ninth BikeAbout

The Columbia Association's ninth annual BikeAbout will be held at 9 a.m. May 2 at Symphony Woods in Town Center, Columbia.

Bicyclists can begin the bike ride any time between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Incoming CA President Phil Nelson will make his first public appearance as the association's leader by welcoming people to the event.

The BikeAbout highlights the history of Columbia and its open space with a 12-mile marked route, allowing bicyclists of all ages to enjoy a self-paced ride.

Headstrong Cycling, a local, nonprofit organization providing cycling education for county youth, will provide helmet fittings. Chesapeake Physical & Aquatic Therapy, which has clinics at the Supreme Sports Club and Columbia Athletic Club, will offer free mini-massages and answer questions related to physical therapy.

This year's route will take riders through Town Center, Hickory Ridge, Harper's Choice and Wilde Lake. Highlights of the tour include a look at the past, present and future of Symphony Woods; Athol, the home of the Rev. James Macgill, the first rector of Christ Church, and the marker that designated his land grant; public art; the Columbia Association's cherry trees; and the wildlife that visits Wilde Lake, as captured in the photographs of Michael Oberman.

Registration is encouraged; forms are available at, Columbia Association fitness facilities, the association's headquarters at 10221 Wincopin Circle, and the Columbia Archives a 10227 Wincopin Circle.

Information: Barbara Kellner, 410-715-3103, or

Volunteers sought for breast cancer support

The Center for Breast Care at Howard County General Hospital is offering a support program for women with breast cancer, matching volunteer breast cancer survivors with newly diagnosed women for insight and support through the time of the patient's treatment and recovery. Called "Survivors Offering Support," the program was introduced at Howard County General in 2006.

The hospital is recruiting breast cancer survivors to serve as SOS mentors. Volunteers are required to complete an application and attend an initial training session that includes information on therapeutic listening and communications, breast cancer diagnosis and treatments, patient advocacy and support resources for those diagnosed with the disease.

Each year, mentors must also attend two of four training sessions on the latest developments in breast cancer research and treatment. Mentors must obtain a release from two doctors indicating that they are emotionally ready to act as a mentor.

The program is funded in part by Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Information: Tina Beerman, 410-884-8450, or Joan Montanari, 410-884-4574, or e-mail

Rockler named new watershed specialist

The University of Maryland Cooperative Extension's Howard County office welcomes Amanda Rockler as the new regional watershed restoration specialist for Western Maryland.

The new position, one of two in the state, is part of the new Watershed Assistance Collaborative among the Department of Natural Resources' Chesapeake and Coastal Program, the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Cooperative Extension Sea Grant Program to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Before coming to the Cooperative Extension, Rockler served as watershed protection specialist for Rockville.

PFLAG scholarship accepting applications

PFLAG-Columbia/Howard County is offering a $1,000 scholarship to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or heterosexual allies seeking to attend a post-secondary educational institution during the 2009-2010 academic year.

The deadline to apply is Friday. The scholarship will be awarded at the chapter's general meeting on June 9. Information:

Softball league seeking players 19 and older

The Cindy La Rue Co-Rec Softball League is seeking players ages 19 and older from Howard County and neighboring areas. Couples and women are especially welcome.

Slow-pitch, noncompetitive softball games are played Sunday afternoons at Wilde Lake Middle School fields from May to August. Athletic skill is not required; everyone plays. Children are welcome to come and cheer. A league-wide picnic and awards program will conclude the season.

There is a minimal registration fee. Information: Bill Jones, 410-499-9918.

HCPSS-TV discusses new capacity formula

HCPSS-TV's P arent Teacher Connection, a locally produced program for the Howard County Public School System, includes a report this month on the Board of Education's decision to adopt a new formula for determining the capacity of county high schools, and an interview with Joel Gallihue, manager of school planning, on the latest school redistricting plans.

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