Transition team schedules forum

Members of County Executive-elect Ken Ulman's transition team will hold a forum for those who wish to comment on a variety of topics at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Elliott City.

A nine-member committee will use the forum to gain insight from the community in preparing a report for the new county executive. Each member of the transition team has been assigned to a subcommittee focused on county administration (Guy Guzzone); citizen services (Vic Broccolino); economic development (Mukesh Majmudar); education (Patti Caplan); planning and zoning/housing (C. Vernon Gray); public safety (Tim McCrone); public works/inspections, licenses and permits (Maurice Simpkins); recreation and parks (Jean Parker); and technology/finance (Mary Ellen Duncan).


The session will be televised live on Gtv Comcast channel 70. Written comments related to the transition can be sent by e-mail, through Dec. 22, to

A final report, which will be available to the public, is expected to be issued by the end of next month.


Cold-weather shelter program under way

Grassroots' cold-weather shelter program has begun its fourth season. This year, 15 churches are hosts for the shelter for one or two weeks through March 25.

Last year, congregations provided shelter, meals, transportation, clothing, medicine and laundry services for 97 homeless Howard countians and families unable to get into the Grassroots shelter.

Grassroots provides the county's only shelter for homeless people and is headquarters for the county's Mobile Crisis Team, which responds to psychiatric emergencies and family crises.

Information: 410-531-6677 or 800-422-0009.

Hospital auxiliary holding book sale

The Howard County General Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary will sponsor a book sale from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday in the main lobby of the hospital, 5755 Cedar Lane, Columbia.

Proceeds will benefit the hospital's expansion program.


Information: 410-312-9140.

Service group wants nominees for award

Soroptimist of Howard County, a chapter of the international volunteer service organization, is seeking nominations for the Violet Richardson Award, which recognizes a young woman, ages 14 to 17, who volunteers in her school or community.

Applications, which are due by Jan. 3, are available from school counselors or from Eileen Singleton, 410-461-5486. The winner will receive $200, and an additional $300 to go to a charity of her choice. The winning application will be entered into the Soroptimist South Atlantic Region competition.

Applications also are being sought for the Woman's Opportunity Award, which helps women who are heads of households and must work to support their families. Applicants must show financial need, be enrolled in a vocational or undergraduate degree program and be motivated to succeed.

The winner of the competition will receive $1,250; regional awards are $3,000 and $5,000. Applications are due by Jan. 15.


Information: 410-461-5922, or write to Soroptimist of Howard County, 8321 Main St., P.M.B. 101, Ellicott City 21043.

Information: Karen Trennepohl, 410-750-9413.

Columbia program seeks teenagers

The Columbia Association is seeking high school students interested in exploration, creative activity and community service to participate in a Teen Vision Program.

The goal is to encourage teens to expand their understanding of Columbia's vision and structure and, as a team, develop a book, digital video disc or compact disc to educate other teens about the planned community.

An information meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Columbia Association headquarters, 10221 Wincopin Circle. There is no cost.


Information: Carol Wasser, 410-715-5523.

Sierra Club to hold like-new gift swap

The Howard County Sierra Club will hold a Gift Swap & Recycle event for buying, selling and trading unwanted gifts and other like-new items that can be put to good use, at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Department of Recreation and Parks Headquarters, 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia.

Admission is free to sellers and buyers. Sellers should call 410- 379-1075 before the event.

Caregivers-aid group will meet tomorrow

Jewish Family Services in Howard County offers a support group for adults caring for an elderly family member or friend. The group will meet from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at federation offices, 8950 Route 108, Suite 115, Columbia.


The cost is $15 a person; $22.50 a couple.

Information or registration: Liz Schoen, 410-730-4976, Ext. 25, or

Comments sought on bus service

The Howard County Public Transportation Board is inviting public comment on changes in bus service.

The changes, which are to be implemented in March, eliminate less-used or redundant route segments and restructure services to offer shorter waiting times, earlier morning and later evening hours and service to new destinations. For a route map of proposed changes, visit and click on "current news."

Information: 800-270-9553.