COMMUNITY NOTES

The Baltimore Sun

Session's goal is to battle negative thoughts in kids

The Student Services Advisory Committee of Howard County schools will sponsor a workshop for parents and guardians of children in kindergarten through grade 12, "Smashing ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts)."

The workshop, being presented by Nancy Sheain of Building Futures LLC, will provide a tool kit of strategies to empower children to turn negative thoughts into positive self-talk. The workshop will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. today at Homewood Center, 10914 Route 108, Ellicott City.

Information or registration: e-mail, info@BuildingFutures.biz.

Special Education Job Fair to be held tomorrow

Howard County schools will hold a Special Education Job Fair from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow at Harper's Choice Middle School, 5450 Beaverkill Road, Columbia.

The fair is open to those seeking employment in special education, as an occupation or physical therapist, speech-language pathologist, school psychologist, vision teacher, teacher of the deaf or hard of hearing, behavior specialist or alternative education teacher.

There will be opportunities to interview with staff members from the Office of Special Education, hear about programs for special-needs students and meet school administrators.

Information: to request an application packet or register for the job fair: 410-313-6693, or www.hcpss.org.

Soroptimist Interna tional planning a dinner meeting tomorrow

Soroptimist International of Howard County will hold a dinner meeting at 6:15 p.m. tomorrow at Cafe de Paris, 8808 Centre Park Drive, Columbia.

Projects, community service and Soroptimist awards programs will be discussed.

Note that the location for the meeting has been changed; the meeting was originally to have been held at the Bob Evans Restaurant.

The international volunteer service organization for business and professional women works to improve the lives of women and girls around the world. The Howard County group meets on the third Thursday of each month.

Information or reservations: Karen Trennepohl, 410-750-9413.

County set to celebrate King '40 Years Later'

The Howard County Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission will present its 23rd celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at Long Reach High School, 6101 Old Dobbin Lane, Columbia.

This year's theme is "The Importance of the Dream: 40 Years Later." The celebration is open to the public; admission is free.

Featured in this year's celebration are speakers and entertainment from around the Washington-Baltimore region, including musical selections by Annie Dash and Ron Oaks, and a performance by Slam Poet Extraordinaire Gayle Danley. Keynote speaker Carl O. Snowden was appointed by the Maryland attorney general as the first director of civil rights.

Audrey Barnes, a reporter for WUSA9 in Washington, will be master of ceremonies. Barnes, twice nominated, won an Emmy for her documentary on the Joffrey Ballet School.

The Howard County Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission will present its Commission Award to a person who exemplifies the spirit of King's message. Cash awards will be given to student contest winners from Howard County for their essays on King and his legacy.

To highlight the compassion and service of King, the commission is asking that those who attend support its food drive for the needy by taking a canned food item to the event. There will be an opportunity to sign up for community service projects planned for Jan. 21.

Information: Office of Human Rights, 410-313-6430.

Transportation pan el planning 'listening sessions'; first is Tuesday

The Howard County Public Transportation Board will hold the first of several "listening sessions" to hear concerns, comments and recommendations for the future of Howard Transit, the county's local bus service.

The first session will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 in the Tyson Room of the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City.

The sessions will begin a six-month to nine-month process to prepare a transit development plan for the next five years. The plan will examine the route structure, frequency of service, on-time performance, condition of the vehicles, customer service and other factors.

It will also evaluate demand based on projected residential and employment growth.

Ridership on Howard Transit is expected to exceed 900,000 trips during this fiscal year.

To request a sign-language interpreter for the meeting: 410-313-6401 (TDD). Requests should be made at least three days in advance. Requests for transportation should be made at least three days in advance: 410- 313-1921.

Closures scheduled Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Howard County government offices, courts, animal shelter and library branches will be closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The landfill is open, and regular trash and recycling services are in effect. Parking meters must have coins, and parking regulations must be followed.

Deadline for registration in February primary is Tuesday

Deadlines are approaching for the 2008 presidential primary election. The deadline to register to vote and the deadline for certain voters to request a change in polling place is 9 p.m. Tuesday.

To vote in the primary, election, Maryland residents who are eligible but not yet registered (including 17-year-olds who will be 18 on or before by Nov. 4) must complete a voter registration application and mail or hand-deliver it to a the Board of Elections.

A hand-delivered application must be received by the local Board of Elections by 9 p.m. Tuesday; a mailed application must be postmarked by Tuesday.

Registered voters who have moved since the last election must provide their current address information to the local board by the same deadline.

To request a voter registration application: 800-222-VOTE.

An elderly or disabled voter who is unable to reach the assigned polling place must request reassignment to a more convenient polling place by 9 p.m. Tuesday. The form to request reassignment is available at www.elections.state.md.us (type "polling place reassignment" in the search field).

11th Celebration of the Arts to be held April 26 at Rouse Theatre

The Howard County Arts Council has announced its 11th Celebration of the Arts in Howard County, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. April 26 at Jim Rouse Theatre for the Performing Arts in Columbia.

The gala will feature a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a silent auction of work by local artists, gourmet food from area restaurants and caterers and musical performances on the Main Street Stage.

After the reception, guests are invited into the theater for presentation of the Howie Awards and the Rising Star Competition for young performing artists. The audience will choose three winners to receive prizes of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000.

Barbara K. Lawson, president and chief executive officer of the Columbia Foundation, is the gala's honorary chairwoman.

The celebration has raised $741,650 for arts grants in the community in the past 10 years.

Information: 410-313-ARTS or www.hocoarts.org.

Recycle your Christ mas tree at locations through out the county

The Howard County "Merry Mulch" program allows county residents to recycle their Christmas trees at parks, garden centers and at the landfill. Since its inception in 1993, the program has kept thousands of trees out of the landfill, helping the county's budget and its environment.

Recycled trees will be delivered to the composting site at the Alpha Ridge Landfill, to be made into compost and mulch.

Trees can be recycled from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, through Monday, at these drop-off sites:

Kendall's Hardware, 12260 Route 108, Clarksville; River Hill Garden Center, 12165 Route 108, Clarksville.

Cedar Lane Park, 5081 Cedar Lane, Columbia; Grandfather's Garden Center, 5320 Phelps Luck Drive, Columbia.

Rockburn Park, 5400 Landing Road, Elkridge.

Small Circuit Court parking lot on upper Court House Drive, Ellicott City.

Schooley Mill Park, 12975 Hall Shop Road, Highland.

Alpha Ridge Landfill composting site, 2350 Marriottsville, Road, Marriottsville. The landfill is only open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Savage Park, 8400 Fair Street, Savage.

Western Regional Park, 14800 Carrs Mill Road, Woodbine.

Eastern county residents with yard-trimming collection services can set their Christmas trees out on the regular curbside recycling collections days, through Monday.

Trees must be no taller than 4 feet high; taller trees must be cut to 4 feet. Decorations, including lights and tree stands, must be removed. Flocked trees (with artificial sprayed snow) cannot be recycled. Christmas trees and other recyclable items should be put out for collection the night before, or by 6 a.m. on collection day.

After Monday, Christmas trees can be brought to the Alpha Ridge Landfill from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Information: 410-313-6444.

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