Annapolitans speak out on parking plan
A proposal designed to ease parking in downtown Annapolis has drawn the support of residents who want to see stepped-up enforcement, while business owners say it needs more work to ensure that employees and customers aren't driven away.
At a public hearing on Monday night, about two dozen people spoke out on the bill that would raise fines for parking violators, create a parking fund to pay for a more efficient shuttle system and establish a parking committee and full-time parking coordinator who would report to the mayor.
Alderman Richard E. Israel, a Ward 1 Democrat who sponsored the bill, is also lobbying to have the surface parking lot adjoining the House Office Building open to the public after business hours and on weekends to increase the number of spaces.
Grants offered to small nonprofits
The Carl M. Freeman Foundation is seeking applications for mini-grants from small nonprofit organizations in Anne Arundel County.
The F.A.C.E.S. (Freeman Foundation Assists Communities with Extra Support) grants of $500 to $2,000 are designed to support initiatives that may not cost a lot of money, but are integral to meeting community needs, said foundation executive director Cheryl Kagan.
"We are proud to provide this funding opportunity to community-based organizations in Anne Arundel County. These grants have proven to help smaller non-profits making a real difference," she said.
Guidelines and the application are available at www.freemanfoundation.org. A volunteer F.A.C.E.S. Advisory Board, comprised of local leaders, will work closely with Foundation staff to select the organizations that will receive funding this spring. Winning organizations will be announced in June.
Libraries extend Monday hours
Starting this week, all Anne Arundel County Public Library branches will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays.
The change adds four more hours of service to the Broadneck, Brooklyn Park, Eastport-Annapolis Neck, Edgewater, Linthicum, Maryland City at Russett, Mountain Road, Provinces, Riviera Beach and South County branches.
The remaining five libraries in the system already opened at 9. All other operating hours will remain the same. Monday is typically the busiest day of the week at the branches, library administrator Marion Francis said. On average, between 500 and 800 patrons visit each of the branches on that day.