Henry Stern, a resident of Kings Contrivance, will hold a Retire George Bush Party at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 26 at the 50+ Center at the east Columbia library, where he is renting a meeting room for the event.
"I organized and am paying for this rally, not the Democratic Party or the Kerry/Edwards campaign," Stern wrote in an e-mail.
"I'm a naturalized citizen and I love the country, and I hate to see what's happening to it," he said later. "America was the dream of immigrants."
Born in Rohrbach, Germany, Stern came to the United States in 1936.
"My mother's brother and his wife urged the family to leave Germany. And we do believe that directly or indirectly they were responsible for saving over 200 people [from the Nazis]," he said. "We were the first that they brought over, and we lived in their house for a while."
Stern says that when he feels strongly about something, he feels he has to act.
"I voted in all the elections. I take my citizenship seriously. But this administration has been too much. He [Bush] promised he would be a 'compassionate conservative'; he has been compassionate - to his rich buddies!" Stern said.
Howard Rensin, chairman of the Republican Party for Howard County, said the event did not strike him as very productive.
"We're going to be picking someone to lead the country for four years during very difficult times, and we should be thinking about who we want to vote for rather than who we want to vote against," he said. " 'Anybody but Bush' is what you're hearing, but what kind of a decision is 'anybody but?' "
County Council Chairman Guy Guzzone, a North Laurel-Savage Democrat, will speak at the event, and singer-songwriter Yikes McGee said he will entertain with "anti-Bush, anti-right-wing protest songs."
McGee is a stage name of Tony McGuffin of Ellicott City, a folk singer and teacher who has run for public office.
"If you're going after a fictional character, it's easier to use a fictional character," he said. "In my opinion, Bush is a fictional character. In reality, he is the ne'er-do-well son of a mediocre, one-term president with a history of problems. He has been presented as something that he really isn't, and now we see the results of that."
Stern said, "And we'll ask anyone else that wants to say anything to just mingle and talk, and express their feelings."
The east Columbia 50+ Center is at 6600 Cradlerock Way. Admission to the party is free. Light refreshments will be served.
- Fay Lande
Disaster preparedness orientations scheduled
The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, in cooperation with the Community Emergency Response Network (CERN) is recruiting volunteers for local nonprofit and government agencies to help with disaster preparedness and recovery.
A disaster preparedness orientation is planned from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 27 at the east Columbia library, 6600 Cradlerock Way; sessions will also be held tomorrow and Sept. 21 at the volunteer center, 10221 Wincopin Circle.
Space is limited; registration is required.
Chess program slated Thursday at library
The Council Of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County's Chess Program will continue from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the east Columbia library.
The first session was held Aug. 5. Beginners are welcome.
The program is sponsored in partnership with the Black Student Achievement Program and the Columbia Housing Corporation.
Graduates: Army Pfc. John D. Wordlaw, son of John and Laura Wordlaw of Owen Brown, has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. He is a 2001 graduate of Oakland Mills High School.
Book clubs: The east Columbia branch library's Parent-Child Book Club, for those ages 9 to 12 with an adult, is reading Someone was Watching, by David Patenaude, for its meeting from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. today. 410-313-7730. The Never Never Land Book Club, an adult discussion group that explores juvenile and young-adult fiction, will discuss The Gospel According to Larry, by Janet Tashjian, next month. Books are available at the branch. The group will meet at 7 p.m. Sept. 1. 410-313- 7700.
Children's programs: The east Columbia library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, is offering "All Together Now," a program of stories and songs for families of preschool through early elementary school-age children, at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Thursdays, through Aug. 26. The programs are scheduled to coincide with the Farmers' Market, held on the east Columbia library parking lot from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays. Tickets for "All Together Now," which are required, are available at the children's desk a half-hour before the program begins. The program will also be offered at 3:30 p.m. Saturdays, through Aug. 28. 410-313-7700.