I would like to start the column with a wish for everyone to have a very Happy New Year. Do remember, though, no drinking and driving. Howard County Police will be running sobriety check points throughout the county.
Howard County has bought the Beech Crest Mobile Home Park and wants to turn it into a residence for the chronically homeless. These are people who have been homeless for a while and are not those who have hit a temporary run of bad luck.
The county has an emergency shelter in Columbia already. The idea is that we have homeless in this community, so why not provide them shelters here.
They are calling it the Community Enhancement Floating District and the bill is CB35-2012. There was not a hearing on this idea, but the County Council has to vote on whether or not to fund this. Council had a meeting, and, after several members of the community testifying and the council making amendments, council tabled the vote till Jan. 7.
To find out more on this bill, go to cc.howardcountymd.gov/Displayprimary.aspx?ID=4294968832. Then, if you would like to make your voice heard, contact your councilwoman, Jen Terrasa, at 410-313-2001.
AARP is offering free tax preparation for low and moderate income residents at the North Laurel Community Center on Wednesday and Thursdays starting in February. This is available to any resident, not just seniors based on income.
There will be some locations with weekend hours as well. Organizers will start taking appointments at the end of January, but now it a great time to start pulling out your tax information. For more information, call the North Laurel Community Center, 410- 313-0380.
Patuxent Valley Middle School is preparing for its annual International Night on Jan. 30. The school is looking for families in the community to share their cultural artifacts.
Reservoir High School's debate team did very well debating over 20 other schools. Their team came in fourth place.
Joe and Jake Smith won a gold medal in policy debate and Joe also won gold as top policy speaker with Jake taking the silver. Brian Shouse won gold and Zach Blough remains undefeated with a bronze. Puja Trivedi received Honorable Mention.
Their next competition will be at Reservoir on Jan. 26.