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Anne Arundel County Digest

December 21, 2012

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Baysox gift package

The Bowie Baysox offer a "Home for the Holidays" ticket package that features eight undated box-seat tickets and a Manny Machado bobblehead. The package is available at baysoxshop.com until Jan. 4 for $88 plus $7.95 for shipping and handling. Information: 301-464-4880.

Free parking

Two hours of free parking are available to Annapolis shoppers at all two-hour metered parking spots through Jan. 1. Spaces on Main Street, Francis Street, West Street, Maryland Avenue, Prince George Street, City Dock and Market Space, as well as the Donner lot adjacent to the former Fawcett's on Compromise Street, are available. Motorists are not allowed to leave their cars in one spot all day.

'Garden of Lights'

Brookside Gardens' winter walk-through holiday lights display, with more than 1 million twinkling LED lights shaped into forms of flowers, animals and other natural elements, is on view through Jan. 6 at 1800 Glenallan Ave. in Wheaton. There will be nightly musical performances as well as refreshments and shopping. Hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and until 9 p.m. New Year's Eve. Admission is $20 per car/van Monday-Thursday; $25 per car/van Friday-Sunday. Advance tickets are $20 and good for any night. Only cash is accepted at the entrance; the last car is admitted 30 minutes before closing. Group tours must book and pay in advance. Information: 301-962-1453 or brooksidegardens.org.

Vocal competition

Applications for the 25th annual Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition will be available beginning Jan. 2 at annapolisopera.org. Applicants must complete the form and submit a CD containing three to five arias by midnight Feb. 12. Applicants must be at least 20 years old and no older than 35 as of April 1, and be residents, students or working in Maryland, Delaware, Washington, Pennsylvania, Virginia or West Virginia or attend Westminster Choir College or Rutgers at New Brunswick. A $30 nonrefundable application fee is required. Payment must be made during the application process. Information: 410-267-8135 or email vocalcomp@annapolisopera.org.

Lecture

Harvard professor James Wood will explore "The New Atheism and the Modern Novel" when he gives the Steiner Lecture at 8 p.m. Jan. 11 at St. John's College's Francis Scott Key Auditorium, 60 College Ave. in Annapolis. Wood is a professor of the practice of literary criticism at Harvard University as well as a staff writer and book critic at The New Yorker magazine. Admission is free. Information: stjohnscollege.edu.

Fingerprinting service

The Annapolis Police Department has resumed fingerprinting services to the public at 199 Taylor Ave. The services are available from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Saturday of the month. For fees and more information, call 410-268-9000 or go to http://www.annapolis.gov/police.

New website

Fort Meade, in partnership with the Fort Meade Community Covenant Council, has launched a new website designed to help the community take advantage of the resources in the region. For more information, go to http://www.ftmeade.army.mil/community.

Holiday food drive

Donations of nonperishable food items will be collected at the Chesapeake Hearing Centers' six locations until the end of the year. The goal is 1,000 pounds of food. Donors will receive a free pack of hearing aid batteries. For more information or to find a drop-off location, call 410-647-7795 or go to helpyourhearing.com.

Rotary gala

The Rotary Club of Annapolis' annual "Black Tie and Diamonds" event will be held from 6 p.m to 11 p.m. March 9 at the Loews Annapolis Hotel on West Street in Annapolis. The gala includes a cocktail hour, silent and live auctions, a raffle, dinner and dancing to the music of NightLife. Tickets are $1,500 for a table of 10 and are on sale now. Individual tickets at $150 per person go on sale after Jan. 1. To purchase a full table, contact Rebecca Tingle at 410-267-7877, ext. 6; email Rebecca@aacasa.org; or call Ron Baradel at 410-268-6600. Information: 877-333-9667 or annapolisrotary.org.

Tax season

Volunteers are needed to assist with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program to help seniors and low-income adults with their 2012 tax returns. Participants will be trained by the IRS and the Maryland comptroller's office. They will help only with simple 2012 income tax returns, which will be filed electronically. Volunteers do not do tax returns involving partnerships or corporations, self-employed persons or rental properties. Volunteers are not required to have a financial background, but certified public accountants, attorneys, bookkeepers and those with financial training are encouraged to volunteer. Volunteers will be stationed at county senior centers and will be available by appointment between Feb. 4 and April 5. For more information, call 410-222-6717.

Human relations panel

The county Human Relations Commission is seeking applicants to fill a vacancy. The 11-member commission is a volunteer body established to promote fairness, eliminate discrimination and harassment in public and private sectors, and advance understanding and effective communication among people of different backgrounds and cultures. Applicants must be at least 18, county residents and able to attend evening meetings on the third Wednesday of the month. Legal experience is desirable but not required. Applicants should send a resume and letter of intent to: Johnelka Stafford, 44 Calvert St., Room 330, Annapolis 21401. Information: 410-222-1234.

'Operation Paperback'

This nonprofit organization collects used books nationwide and sends them to American troops deployed overseas. Since 1999, more than a million books have been shipped to military personnel around the world. Organizing the effort in this area is Sandy Marron of Annapolis. She can be contacted at opbooksmilitary@comcast.net. Put "books" in the subject line. More information: operationpaperback.org.

Resource guide

The Anne Arundel Volunteer Center has released a Youth Resource Guide, with information about nonprofit and faith-based organizations in the county. A free copy is at volunteerannearundel.org. Printed copies can be purchased at the center, 2666 Riva Road, Suite 130, for $5 each. Information: 410-897-9207.

Disability issues

The Anne Arundel County Commission on Disability Issues has added an email notification feature to its website that provides information on disability issues. Sign-up and information: http://www.aacounty.org/aging/disabledadults/commdis.cfm.

Tours of historic house

The Ann Arrundell County Historical Society has opened the historic Benson-Hammond House and North Browse and Buy Shoppe at Aviation Boulevard and Andover Road in Linthicum for the season. Tours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 3 p.m. Sundays. Group tours are by appointment.

Historical research

The Kuethe Library's Historical & Genealogical Research Center, 5 Crain Highway S.E., operated jointly by the historical society and the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday all year. Information: 410-760-9679.