County clerics' group plans prayer service, symposium...


County clerics' group plans prayer service, symposium for peace

The Howard County Clergy for Social Justice will sponsor an interfaith prayer service and symposium for peace, in celebration of Focus on Peace Week, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. today at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Road, Columbia.

The service will be led by the Rev. Betty Ure of the United Church of Christ and cantor Jan Morrison of the Columbia Jewish Congregation. The topic will be "How Religion and Faith can be Positive Forces for Peace in These Times."

Speakers will include Suheil Badi Bushru'i, who holds the Baha'i Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland; Imam Khalil Majdalawi of the An-nur Mosque in Carney; Rabbi Martin Siegel, president of the Institute for Behavioral Health and Spirituality in Baltimore; and the Rev. Richard Tillman, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Columbia.

Information: George Martin, 410-730-7862, or gwmartin@erols .com or Susanne Waller, 410-730- 9132, or

Environmental groups to lobby in Annapolis

A coalition of environmental groups will visit and lobby senators and delegates in Annapolis tomorrow on issues related to transportation and bills now before the legislature on enforcement of environmental laws.

Preparation for the visits begins at 4 p.m. in Annapolis. Visits with lawmakers will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Howard County residents are invited to participate. Carpools will leave from the Columbia area at 3:15 p.m.

Information: 301-776-6846.

Bobo to discuss bills before General Assembly

Del. Elizabeth Bobo, a Howard County Democrat, will hold a community meeting to discuss bills before the General Assembly at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Kahler Hall, 5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia.

Bobo represents much of west Columbia as well as part of Ellicott City and Elkridge.

Information: 410-997-2626 or 410-841-3205.

Seniors, their children focus of support group

SPRING (Senior Peer Resources, Individuals, Networks and Groups) will sponsor a new support group -- SPRING Relatively Speaking -- to enhance communication between seniors and their children. The group, which is focused on fostering understanding and appreciation between generations, will meet from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, this week through April 24.

Seniors and their adult children are welcome. Admission is free, but registration is required.

Information: 410-313-7213.

Festival of the Arts fund-raising gala today

Columbia Festival of the Arts will hold its midwinter fund-raising gala, "Salsa Fest," with the music of Nestor Torres and salsa dance band Orquesta la Romana, from 8 p.m. to midnight today at The Mall in Columbia.

Tickets, available at the door, are $60; half of the ticket price is tax-deductible. Proceeds will go to Columbia Festival of the Arts.

Columbia villages schedule blood drive for Thursday

The 10 villages of Columbia and the Columbia Association will sponsor a Columbia-wide blood drive in response to an urgent request by the American Red Cross.

The drive will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Historic Oakland, 5430 Vantage Point Road, Columbia.

Information or to schedule an appointment: 410-730-4744.

The Red Cross seeks volunteer drivers to assist medical staff members at blood drives by transporting the collected donations to laboratory headquarters in Baltimore. Drivers will also transport other volunteers to work at blood drives.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, with a Maryland driver's license, two years of driving experience and a safe driving record.

Information: Terry Karloff, 410- 764-4602.

Pension panel seeks applicants for vacancy

Residents knowledgeable about pension administration plans or actuarial funding are encouraged to apply for a vacancy on the Howard County Pension Oversight Commission.

The commission examines the workings of the county government pension plan, makes recommendations and publishes an annual report evaluating the plan's performance.

The group meets quarterly for about an hour, and members serve overlapping five-year terms. The county executive appoints members, and the County Council confirms them.

Applicants should send letters and resumes to County Executive James N. Robey, c/o Herman Charity, Executive Office, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City 21043.

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