SMART GROWTH IS the dynamic for regional planning in Maryland. Residents can discuss how Smart Growth initiatives will affect them and their North Carroll neighbors at a public forum at 7 p.m. Jan. 11 at St. George's Episcopal Church, 2434 Cape Horn Road.
The free forum is co-sponsored by St. George's and Manchester. The public is encouraged to participate.
"We have three panelists and a moderator who represent a broad ideological spectrum. They offer different points of view, and will give an opportunity for people to engage in a positive civic dialogue," said organizer John Springer of Manchester, who recruited the panel members.
The forum will not be a debate.
Manchester Mayor Christopher B. D'Amario will serve as moderator for the panel, which consists of Republican state Del. Joseph M. Getty; Steven Horn, Carroll County's director of planning; and Matthew Weinstein of Citizens Planning and Housing Association.
The idea behind Smart Growth is that existing population centers should be reinforced, and new growth in rural areas should be carefully managed, Springer said. The forum is meant to foster positive interaction between those in charge and the average citizen.
"From the church's point of view, we serve a larger community. The community needs the opportunity to talk together. We can try to have the atmosphere where difficult and volatile issues can be dealt with in a constructive manner," Springer said.
The forum is the second in a series sponsored by St. George's. The church sponsored a forum on child abuse. A third forum, to be held this year, will focus on estate planning.
"I'm interested in Smart Growth because of the question, 'Who is my neighbor?'" Springer said. "Smart Growth is really about our region and how our county fits into the region, and how we relate to people in Baltimore City. Since I work in the city, I look for ways to develop constructive relationships between the city and county."
To ensure adequate seating and refreshments, those who plan to attend are asked to call the Manchester town office at 410-239-3200.
Artists show their skills
It's always fascinating to watch an artist at work. That's why the Winter Demonstration Day at Hanover Area Arts Guild is a hit with children and adults.
This year Demo Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 13 at the gallery, 32 Carlisle St., Hanover, Pa.
While they work, artists and craftspeople will answer questions about their creations.
On exhibit is the annual watercolor show, works in various media and fine crafts.
Super Bowl spirit
Hampstead Elementary School offers pupils an opportunity to celebrate Super Bowl excitement Jan. 19 and 26.
On those two Fridays, pupils may dress in Super Bowl colors. It's not a costume day, but a chance to choose a jersey or T-shirt, hat and sweat pants in the colors of favored teams.
Nature center election
The election of officers to the board of directors of Pine Valley Nature Center will be held at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the nature center, 3400 Wilhelm Lane.
Chairwoman Charlotte Collett and Treasurer Sharon Hughes are up for re-election.
Other trustees are Ellen Rugemer, Rob Shreeve and Charlie Pearce.
Pine Valley is a nonprofit public facility that depends upon volunteer staffing and is funded through donations.
In case of inclement weather, the meeting will take place at the Manchester town office on York Street.
Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.