CLARY'S FOREST resident Michael Washington led the Pledge of Allegiance at the 19th annual National Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance program on Flag Day, June 14, at Fort McHenry.
Michael, who has completed eighth grade at Wilde Lake Middle School, was chosen for the honor from students throughout Maryland.
Sitting with him on the platform were several relatives, including his mother, Sharon Washington, and his grandmother, Beth Turpin of Town Center.
On June 9, Michael represented Howard County schools at the Maryland Salute to Flag Day ceremony in Annapolis.
Michael carried the Howard County flag and received a Governor's Citation.
After the ceremony, Michael and his family attended a luncheon and toured Government House and the State House.
At Wilde Lake Middle School, Michael was president of the town council and participated in MESA, an engineering and science program.
He played bass in the school orchestra and acted in several plays. In March, he was the narrator for a production of "The Three Musketeers."
An excellent student, Michael earned an African-American student achievement award, as well as awards for social studies and drama.
In the fall, he will attend Wilde Lake High School.
A member of the Young Columbians, Michael is performing in the musical "School House Rock" at Toby's Dinner Theater this week, as part of the Columbia Festival of the Arts.
Behind the scenes
Several west Columbia residents have been working behind the scenes on the first production of the Columbia Community Players to be included in the Columbia Festival of the Arts.
"Love," an evening of three short love stories, will be presented at 7: 30 p.m. today and tomorrow at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre.
Included are William Saroyan's "Hello Out There," David Ives' "The Universal Language" and Stephen Sondheim's "Side by Side by Sondheim."
Bob Russell, who lives in Longfellow, is one of the directors. Other Longfellow residents working on the production are stage manager Randy Dunkle and sound designer Michael Kushner.
Gwen White of Hickory Ridge is props mistress.
In addition, Mo Dutterer of Longfellow will perform in "Side by Side by Sondheim," while Russell's 13-year-old son, Danny, has a bit part in "The Universal Language."
Tickets are $10 each and are available by calling PROTIX at 410-481-6500.
Summer programs set
Running Brook Elementary School is sponsoring several free, drop-in programs during the summer for children and parents in the Running Brook community.
Media specialist Leslie Green is coordinating a summer story time from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, beginning today.
The program, new this year, will be in the school's media center. It runs through July 29.
Guest readers will include teachers and community members.
Preschool summer play groups for 3- and 4-year-olds will be coordinated by volunteer Nancy Berla.
The groups will meet from 9: 30 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. Monday through July 30.
One group will meet Mondays and Wednesdays at the Howard County police satellite office in Rideout Heath, while another group will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at the school.
Berla is also coordinating English classes for parents of Running Brook students from 9: 30 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. Fridays through Aug. 31 at the school.
Beginning and intermediate levels are being offered. Child care is provided.
A series of parent workshops began yesterday and will continue from 9: 30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays through July 14 at the school.
Topics include communication between home and school, strategies for working on reading and math at home and discipline at home and at school.
Berla is coordinating the series with Assistant Principal Jason McCoy.
Golfers add to traffic
West Columbia residents may encounter heavier than normal traffic next week during the State Farm Senior Classic at Hobbits Glen Golf Club.
Boo Corrigan, assistant tournament director, said 20,000 to 25,000 visitors are expected each day from July 3 to 5, with perhaps 5,000 a day earlier in the week.
County officials said all traffic going to the tournament will be routed on state roads, such as Route 108, rather than on Columbia streets.
Traffic lights on Route 108 will be timed to keep the traffic flowing.
Parking for the tournament will be provided on 40 acres off Manorstone Lane. Spectators will be bused to the course.
In case of heavy rain, spectators will park at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Cedar Lane Park will be used for valet parking for VIPs.
The park will remain open for all activities, but there will be no parking for the public during the hours of the tournament, which will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 1 and 2, 7: 30 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m. July 3, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 4, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 5.
Police officers will direct traffic at Harper's Farm Road and Willow Bottom Drive, permitting only tournament personnel with clubhouse passes and residents into the Hobbits Glen neighborhood.
Parking will be restricted on some residential streets.
Cpl. Karen Johnson of the traffic enforcement section of the Howard County police said rush-hour traffic is not expected to be a problem on Route 108 because most people will not be at work July 3 to 5, the busiest days of the tournament.
Drive to aid needy
River Hill Village Board teen representative Katie McDermond is heading a drive to collect personal hygiene items and canned goods for clients of Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center.
Residents can drop off items throughout the summer at the River Hill Meeting Room or at the village pool.
Road work update
Improvements to Harper's Farm Road near the Harper's Choice Village Center should be completed by mid-July, according to Liz Calia, chief of Howard County's Division of Transportation Projects and Watershed Management.
BGE is relocating a gas main and electric lines near the village center.
Then paving will be completed to add an extra lane on Harper's Farm Road westbound at the intersection of Cedar Lane.
The final phase of the improvement will be the addition of a raised median with trees directly in front of the village center, replacing a median that was painted on the road last year.
Pub Date: 6/24/98