The Columbia Association invites the community to a "Group Fitness Expo" from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Columbia Gym. This free event highlights the association's group fitness program, and a variety of fitness classes will be offered. In addition to the free fitness classes, the event will include door prizes and vendors from the community. Pre-registration is required and closes at 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. To register and more information, call 410-531-0800 for adult classes and 410-531-8984 for children's classes.
The Columbia Foundation has hired April Wainwright as office administrator. The Columbia resident is a former freelance writer and a community organizer with the Columbia Association. She has more than seven years of nonprofit administrative experience, most recently with Reading Is Fundamental in Washington. In her new position, Wainwright will provide support for the Columbia Foundation's operations, including event planning, donor database administration, supply and equipment procurement and website content and management.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Howard County offers several support groups each month. Sessions include groups for family and friends of adults with a mental illness, groups for parents of school-aged children with mental health issues, a group for young adults (18-30) living with a mental illness and a weekly group for adults of any age living with a mental illness. For times and locations, call 410-772-9300 or go to nami.org/sites/namihowardcounty.
St. Louis Church Concert Series presents "Keeping it Close to Home," featuring musicians from county churches, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at 12500 Clarksville Pike. Admission is free. Information: 410-531-6040.
The Howard County Conservancy's Fall Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock. Visitors can enjoy a working blacksmith shop, hay rides, pony rides, a native plant sale, children's crafts, historic house tours, live music and food. Admission is $10 per car. Information: 410-465-8877 or hcconservancy.org.
Women and divorce
A class will be held Saturday, Oct. 15, at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway. Registration, times and information: 443-518-4974.
The Community Action Council will hold its 16th annual Holland Awards Dinner at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at Turf Valley Country Club in Ellicott City. UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski III will be the keynote speaker. David Weeks from Glenelg Country School will receive the Humanitarian Award, and the Howard County Arts Council is the Service Award winner. Tickets are $75, $650 for a table of 10. RSVP by Sept. 30. Please advise if any meals should be vegetarian.
Information: 410-313-6440 or go to cac-hc.org.
Organization seeks residents to serve a two-year term on the Senior Advisory Committee. Goal of this committee is to advise the association on the needs, interests and concerns of Columbia's senior residents. Nominees must have demonstrated interest in the senior population, be at least 55 years old and be knowledgeable of senior programs and services in the county. Letters of interest should be mailed to: Columbia Association, 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, 21044, Attention Michelle Miller, or e-mailed to Michelle.Miller@ColumbiaAssociation.com. Information: 410-715-3170.
Howard County Conservancy seeks volunteer naturalists for its fall field trip programs. Naturalists assist conservancy staff during field trips by leading nature hikes on the property. Field trips are offered during October and November, and naturalists are asked to lead a minimum of three hikes. Training takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays in September for the elementary program and Tuesdays for the secondary program. Participants will receive a manual and learn ecological concepts as well as the history of plants and wildlife in Howard County. Cost for materials is $10.
To register and more information, call 410-465-8877.
The county Legacy Leadership Institute for the Environment is recruiting for the 2012 Class of Legacy Leaders.
The program is designed for people 50 and older who want to gain skills and knowledge and create a legacy through their volunteer work with partner organizations. Classes are held for six weeks, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays beginning Feb. 1. After completion March 14, Legacy Leaders begin 150 hours of field placement with partner organizations from March to September.
Classes meet at the Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Lane in Columbia, the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt and the Howard County Conservancy at Mount Pleasant Farm in Woodstock. Field trips to significant local environmental sites are part of the program. A $50 fee is required at enrollment.
Partners are Climate Change Initiative of Howard County, Department of Recreation and Parks Robinson Nature Center, Howard County public schools, Howard County Conservancy, University of Maryland Extension Howard County, James and Anne Robinson Foundation, and the Friends of Patapsco Valley and Heritage Greenway.
More information and application forms can be obtained at howardllie.com. To apply for the institute, call Barbara Schmeckpeper at 410-381-5279 or Cathy Hudson at 410-796-7232.
A-OK (Assist Our Kids) Mentoring-Tutoring Inc. seeks adult volunteers to work in Howard County public schools and in after-school programs. Volunteers may work with individual students and/or small groups during and after school. Volunteers are asked to commit for one hour a week for a minimum of one school year. Among the schools the organization is associated with are Atholton, Bryant Woods, Cradlerock, Longfellow, Phelps Luck, Running Brook and Stevens Forest elementary schools, along with several new partner schools in North Laurel. Information: 410-730-6030 or 410-740-3850.
Teen advisory committees
The Columbia Association is recruiting youth ages 11-19 to become members of its Middle School and Teen Advisory Committees. The association is looking for teens who want to make a difference, get involved in their community and be a part of the solution. As members of the committee, teens can create and implement events and programs for their peers. Past activities have included the Teen Idol Competition, Teen Role Model Competition, Battle of the Dance, charity fundraisers, Teen Tuesdays concerts at the lakefront, a free college fair and Save the Planet Day. Information: 410-715-5523.
The Howard County Conservancy seeks Wednesday morning drop-in gardening volunteers to help maintain thematic and native plant gardens on the property. All levels of experience are welcome. Call Chris Garbart at 410-465-8877 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Howard County construction project to replace a water main along Ducketts Lane, between U.S. 1 and Kyle Leaf Court in Elkridge, is under way. The project will include the installation of approximately 14,000 linear feet of PVC pipe. Construction will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays with a minimal effect on traffic in the area. Signs will be in place to advise motorists. Weather permitting, the project should be completed by late September. Information: 410-313-3440.
The Howard County Conservancy offers free guided hikes and talks on the second Saturday of the month. Visitors can enjoy an easy walk in the meadows and woods and along stream banks of the conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock. Information: 410-465-8877 or go to hcconservancy.org.
The Howard County Arts Council has announced the availability of the Black Box Theatre for rental. It is a 98-seat multipurpose performance space and is equipped with professional sound and lighting equipment, nearby dressing rooms, padded seats, black stage curtains and a sprung dance floor. A performance grand piano is also available for rental through a separate agreement with the Howard County Music Teachers Association. All renters of the theater are required to carry a commercial liability insurance policy of $1 million. Other requirements and rental request forms and rates can be found at hocoarts.org. Rental request forms should be mailed to Room Rentals at the Howard County Arts Council, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City, 21043.
The Department of Recreation and Parks has opened its newly renovated boat-launching ramp and fishing pier at Centennial Park. Located on the south side of the park, the ramp and pier improvements include an enlarged pier and an ADA-compliant walkway. The start of this year's boating season, which normally begins March 1, was pushed back to April 22 because of the construction project. As a result, the cost of an annual boat permit has been reduced from $35 to $30. Permit is good for the entire season, which ends Nov. 30. Information: 410-313-7271 or howardcountymd.gov/rap.
The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks has received a $30,000 grant from the National Recreational Trails Program Fund. The grant will be used for the renovation of the Village of Owen Brown's pedestrian pathway system.
The project, scheduled to begin in October, will allow the restoration of the deteriorating East Columbia pathway with a new overlay of asphalt. Howard County will provide $30,000 in matching funds, along with any remaining funds needed.
Renovations will consist of repaving the 3,909-foot pathway that serves the Owen Brown Community Center, Owen Brown Interfaith Center, Owen Brown Village Shopping Center, Cradlerock School, the Howard County Library's East Columbia branch, and the Southwick and Elkhorn housing communities. Anticipated completion date is the summer of 2012.
Yard waste collection
Howard County's Bureau of Environmental Services will resume weekly yard waste collections through Jan. 20, 2012. Yard waste will be picked up weekly during regular recycling days and should be placed outside by 6 a.m. Allowable yard waste items include grass, leaves, hedge clippings/light brush, small limbs or branches less than 4 inches in diameter and 4 feet in length, dry seed pods, straw, hay and bamboo. Residents are encouraged to use paper bags or reusable containers. To obtain a free paper yard waste bag (limit two bags per family), go to the Bureau of Environmental Services at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 514 in Columbia, or the Alpha Ridge Landfill at 2350 Marriottsville Road in Marriottsville.
For a complete list of what yard waste is and is not accepted, or for more information, go to howardcountymd.gov/dpw/recycling.htm.
Kindred Spirits, a social club for people diagnosed with early memory loss or dementia, will meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays in the 50+ Center at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center at Glenwood. Highlights include speakers, discussion of current events, yoga, meditation and art therapy. Daily fee of $26 includes snacks, lunch, coffee and tea. Information: Judy Miller at 410-313-5441 or email@example.com. The program is sponsored by the Howard County Office on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Maryland.
Habitat for Humanity and the Boy Scouts of America have placed a collection bin for aluminum cans at the entrance to the parking lot of Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church, 6410 Amherst Ave., in Allview Estates. Information: 410-997-4949.
Recycle old TVs
The Howard County Bureau of Environmental Services reminds residents to recycle analog TVs rather than throw them away. Options available:
The Alpha Ridge Landfill Resident's Convenience Area, 2350 Marriottsville Road, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and accepts TVs, computers, keyboards, printers, scanners, laptops, VCRs, radios and other electronics.
Best Buy's Customer Take-Back Program allows customers to bring in old TVs (32 inches or smaller) at no charge. Limited to two televisions per person per day. Console televisions are not accepted.
The Southeast Howard County Health Services Directory, a guide to resources near North Laurel and Savage, is available free at the North Laurel-Savage Multiservice Center, 9900 Washington Blvd. The directory includes listings of clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, general and family practices, dentists, obstetricians and gynecologists, transportation and crisis contacts. The guide also indicates whether Spanish and Korean are spoken at the facility, as well as the address, contact information and hours
of operation. Hours and information: 410-880-5917.
Theater workers needed
Red Branch Theatre Company is accepting resumes for costume designers, lighting designers and stage managers for the remaining shows this season. Send applications to Jennifer Spieler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Panel seeks members
The Secondary Language Arts Advisory Committee seeks new members. The committee consists of teachers, administrators, students, parents and other community members who advise, support and advocate for the improvement of educational programs. Meetings will take place four times during the school year at a central location. Information: 410-313-6620.
Call for artists
The Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House, formerly Slayton House Gallery, is accepting applications to exhibit for the coming season. Applications are available by emailing email@example.com. Information: 410-730-3987.
Spanish speakers wanted
Latest Howard County
The Foreign Born Information and Referral Network, 5999 Harpers Farm Road, Suite 200-E, Columbia, needs Spanish-speaking volunteers to greet clients, answer basic questions, make appointments and support the staff. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday; other times may be considered. Information: 410-992-1923, ext. 14.