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Environmental panel plans public sessions

Howard County's Commission on the Environment and Sustainability will hold five open-dialogue sessions during which the public will have an opportunity to meet commission members and learn about its work.

The commission, which was appointed four months ago, is working to identify the best environmental practices to be incorporated into county government operations and all aspects of life in Howard County. The commission is to consider air and water quality, education and outreach, energy, government organization, "green" building and development, open space and local preservation.

Dialogue sessions, during which members of the public are invited to present their views, are to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Glenwood library, 2350 Route 97, Cooksville; 10 a.m. Saturday at the Elkridge library, 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge; 7 p.m. June 25 at the east Columbia library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia; 7 p.m. June 28 at the Miller branch library, 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City; and 7 p.m. July 2 at the central library, 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia.

Information: Joshua Feldmark, 410-313-2056.

Raffle to help defray fireworks display cost

The Kiwanis Club of Columbia will sell 50/50 raffle tickets through July 18 to help defray the cost of the club's annual July Fourth fireworks display at the Columbia Lakefront.

Tickets sell for $2; $5 for three tickets. The winner of the drawing will receive half the money collected.

The daylong festivities are to start at 2 p.m. with games, a magician, a puppeteer and other attractions for children; food and other vendors; and continuous musical performances. Fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m.

More than 20,000 people attended last year's festival.

Information: Henry Stern, 410-309-4362.

Human services and the Assembly

Members of the Howard County delegation will discuss the success or failure of human services initiatives during the 2007 session of the Maryland General Assembly at the next meeting of the Association of Community Services, to be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Meeting House, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, in Oakland Mills village, Columbia.

The delegates will also discuss the 2008 legislative session and how the next budget may affect human services.

Participants are welcome to take a lunch to the meeting.

The association has moved to 10480 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 920, Columbia. The organization's new telephone number is 410-715-9545; fax, 410-715-9547.

Travel to Cooperstown to see Ripken honored

The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks will sponsor a trip to Cooperstown, N.Y., to see Cal Ripken Jr. inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The trip, which includes accommodation for three nights at the Best Western Binghamton Regency, one dinner, three breakfasts and admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the induction ceremony, will run from 9 a.m. July 27 to 4 p.m. July 30.

The cost is $449 for double accommodation; $399 triple; $289 quadruple; and $499 for single. Transportation by fully equipped motor coach is included.

An information meeting will be held at 7 p.m. June 26 at Recreation and Parks headquarters, 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia. Registration is due tomorrow.

Information: 410-313-4634. Registration: 410-313-7275, or

Neighbor Ride needs volunteer drivers

Neighbor Ride, a volunteer-based supplemental transportation program for Howard County residents ages 60 and older, is seeking drivers for daytime, evening and weekend service.

Neighbor Ride volunteer orientations are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday and noon June 29 at the Neighbor Ride office, 8808 Centre Park Drive.

Information: Rosemary Noble, volunteer coordinator, 410-884- 7433, or send an e-mail to volun

Red Cross seeks blood donors

The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region of the Red Cross is urging eligible blood donors to call 800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule a donation as soon as possible. Those who donate blood this month will be entered in a weekly raffle for $250 worth of gasoline.

Platelet donors should call 800-272-2123 to schedule an appointment.

Donors must be in generally good health; at least 17 years old, or in Maryland, age 16 with written parental consent; weigh 110 pounds or more; and have not received a tattoo within the past year or donated whole blood within the past 56 days.

Information: 800-GIVE- LIFE.or

Soroptimist group plans dinner meeting

Soroptimist of Howard County, a local chapter of the international volunteer service organization for business and professional women, will meet for dinner at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at Bob Evans Restaurant, 4900 Beaver Run Court, off Route 100, Ellicott City.

Hanah Cho, a Sun reporter, is to discuss women's earning power and equal pay for equal work.

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