Back-to-School-Night Monday at Glenwood Middle School brought unwanted surprises to some parents who parked on the east side of Route 97 -- they received $24 parking tickets for parking in a zone labeled "No Stopping Anytime."
It was a surprise because it's customary for people to park on both sides of Route 97, despite the signs that most of us probably never noticed. A large meeting at Bushy Park Elementary School and practice for several soccer teams left only a few parking spaces at the middle school.
With a school population of more than 580 and most parents attending the meeting, parking spaces were at a premium. The overflow cars were parked along Route 97 after grassy areas at the school were filled. At 8 p.m., a police officer wrote tickets for some cars parked on the east side of Route 97. When they left the school for the evening, parents were howling under the harvest moon, for the evening had become costly.
Police officers are not required to warn people before they issue parking tickets. It would have been a nice gesture had the police officer on Route 97 Monday evening gone to the school and asked that someone announce that illegally parked vehicles were about to be ticketed. But the officer was well within the law to handle things as he did. The cars were parked illegally, and more than one activity was taking place.
When schools or PTAs expect crowds larger than their parking facilities can hold, perhaps they could find an alternative way to handle parking. A volunteer parking coordinator, a call to the Howard County police before a meeting or a plea to parents to car pool might help avoid parking tickets.
Police Chief James Robey suggests that schools and PTAs advise the Police Department if they expect large crowds. The department may assign someone to help with overflow parking problems.
Glenwood Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association President Sheila Nixon will meet with the Police Department's traffic control division to establish safe and orderly traffic and parking patterns at the school.
If you received a ticket, you can pay the fine or let a judge in traffic court hear your plea. Money from parking tickets goes to the general fund in Howard County. Much of that fund pays for our schools, so eventually your money will go for a good cause.
Local elementary schools will hold their PTA back to school nights next week. Here are the dates: Bushy Park Elementary School, Tuesday for kindergarten and grades one and two, and Wednesday for grades three, four and five; Clarksville, Lisbon and Manor Woods elementary schools, Monday night for all grades; Pointers Run Elementary School, Monday for kindergarten and grades one and two, and Tuesday for grades three, four and five; West Friendship Elementary School, Monday for kindergarten and grades one and two, and Oct. 5 for grades three, four and five. All meetings begin at 7 p.m. Watch where you park.
The Department of Recreation and Parks' Barbara Patterson has planned a day-sailing trip to Annapolis Oct. 2. You can leave by van from the George Howard Building at 9 a.m. and enjoy a three-hour sail to Annapolis, where you'll shop, see the sights or dine. You'll return at 6 p.m. The cost of $40 per person includes lunch. Call Barbara Patterson at 313-5421.
Try a wilderness experience on horseback in beautiful Appalachians this fall. Adults 18 and older will leave the Hebb House on Route 144 in West Friendship Oct. 18 at 8:30 a.m. for a three-hour guided trail ride in the mountains and eat lunch on a mountaintop, returning home by 5 p.m. The cost, including transportation, is $50. To go, you must register with the Department of Recreation and Parks by Oct. 11.
Call Barbara Patterson at 313-5421.
Lisbon United Methodist Church will hold its semiannual oyster and ham supper Oct. 15 from 1:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Church members will serve freshly patted oysters family style with homemade cole slaw, applesauce and potato salad.
You'll also enjoy ham, green beans, corn, rolls, relishes, iced tea and coffee. You may eat at the church on Route 144, between Routes 97 and 94, in Lisbon or carry your dinner home.
Tickets are $9 for adults, $4 for children. Call 489-7245 or (301) 831-3639.
The Ladies Auxiliary to the 5th District Volunteer Fire Department has scheduled a spaghetti dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Clarksville Fire Department Banquet Hall. On the menu are spaghetti with meat sauce or tomato sauce, salad, garlic bread, dessert and beverages.
The dinner is $5 for adults, $2.50 for children.
Call 531-3984 for more information.
Shepherd of the Glen Lutheran Church members will paint the exterior of their building beginning at 9 a.m. Oct. 1. Call 442-1204.
Cub Scout Pack 702 finished its summer activities with an August fishing derby at Scott's Pond in Clarksville. A total of 26 Scouts participated, reeling in 10- and 11-inch bass.
Congratulations to Webelo Shawn Ward of Den 4 who won the general fishing competition with 36 fish. Webelo Ricky Brenton and Wolf Nicky Lowman captured the prize for largest bass at 11.5 inches. Bear Mike Clements won the award for largest blue gill at 6 inches.
Summer activities for Pack 702 included a June camp-out, a trip to a Frederick Keys game, and a Sports Sampler Night.
If you would like to join Pack 702 before the fall activities begin, sign up at Pointers Run Elementary School at 7:30 p.m. tonight. The Cub Scouts will have a campfire meeting Sept. 30 and a camp-out at Rocky Gap Park in early October.
Call Wes Earp at (301) 776-1130 for more information.
Girls ages 5 to 18 in the Bushy Park and Glenwood area who would like to join the Girl Scouts may call Linda Kuba at 442-1247. Troops are forming now.
It's time to start saving cash register tapes for local schools again.
All the schools collect the tapes, so choose one near you and mail your tapes there or send them with a student. Schools receive laser disc players, software, monitors, books, musical instruments and other items.
As part of its educational partnership with Mount View Middle School, the Olive Branch Restaurant will be holding a Mount View Night on Monday.
Mount View staff members will be serving as hosts during the evening. Some proceeds from the event will be donated to Mount View. The Olive Branch Restaurant is at 8480 Baltimore National Pike.