Community Notes


HC DrugFree to start speaker series at 7 p.m. Feb. 18

HC DrugFree, a partnership of parents, schools, county agencies and community organizations addressing teen substance abuse, is presenting its free spring speaker series for Howard County parents and students.

"Developing Leadership and Character in Teens," an interactive program led by Marcy Leonard, assistant principal at Wilde Lake High School, is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at the school.

"Teen Stress and Depression" will be the topic March 10 at Reservoir High School, and "Ask the Counselor," with a panel of Health Department, school and private counselors, is planned for March 18 at Mount Hebron High School.

The series is to run through April 28.

Information: Laura Smit, 410-799-4879, or www.hcdrug

Backyard bird count to be held this weekend

The National Audubon Society's Great Backyard Bird Count will be held Friday through Sunday.

Expert or novice birdwatchers can add to a national database on bird population trends by counting birds on their own or with the Audubon Society of Central Maryland.

A demonstration count will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday on the parking lot above the concession stand at Centennial Park in Ellicott City.

Information: 410-381-0449, or

Retirement facility sets open house for Monday

Vantage House Life Care Retirement Community in Town Center invites the community to a "Presidents Day Open House and Parade of Homes" from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.

The retirement facility is entering the final stage of a $12 million renovation that includes a renovated dining room, cafe, fitness center, computer room, auditorium and a newly designed lobby that includes a library and living room with stone fireplace.

The renovation is expected to be completed next month.

Vantage House offers a continuum of care, from independent-living apartments to assisted living and comprehensive nursing care.

The facility is owned and operated by Columbia Vantage House Corp., a nonprofit, nonsectarian, charitable corporation, overseen by an independent, 17-member board of directors.

CA budget work session to be held at 7 tonight

The Columbia Council will hold an additional work session on the Columbia Association's capital budget for fiscal year 2005 and fiscal year 2006.

The session will be held at 7 p.m. today at Columbia Association headquarters, 10221 Wincopin Circle.

Residents are welcome to attend.

Information: 410-715-3000.

Singing valentines available for weekend

Tuxedo-clad barbershop quartets from the Heart of Maryland Chorus will be available to deliver singing valentines Friday and Saturday.

The group, part of a society for the preservation of barbershop singing, will sing two love songs and present a rose and a card from the sender. There is a fee.

Information: 410-788-4595.

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