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County Digest

Boating season

The Department of Recreation & Parks has opened its newly renovated boat-launching ramp and fishing pier at Centennial Park. Located on the south side of the park, the ramp and pier improvements include an enlarged pier and an ADA-compliant walkway to the pier.

The start of this year's boating season, which normally begins March 1, was pushed back to April 22 due to the construction project. As a result, the cost of an annual boat permit has been reduced from $35 to $30. Permit is good for the entire season, which ends Nov. 30.

Information: 410-313-7271 or howardcountymd.gov/rap.

Fashion show

Youths ages 5-14 are invited to a model call from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 15, at the Ridgely's Run Community Center, 8400 Mission Road in Jessup, for an opportunity to participate in the Fabulous Fashion Show on June 5. No experience necessary. If selected, participants will attend two additional practices May 22 at the center and on May 29 at the Teen Center, 5853 Robert Oliver Place in Columbia. There is a $10 participation fee for those selected. The fashion show will be held at the Doubletree Hotel, 5485 Twin Knolls Road in Columbia.

Event is sponsored by the Columbia Association Middle School Advisory Committee and produced by Sean Gibson of Model Citizens Models. Information: 410-715-5523.

Business expo

The Columbia Association's Business Expo will be 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 18 at the Columbia SportsPark, 5453 Harper's Farm Road. Informational displays will educate business professionals on the association's offerings available through programs and services. Displays include the Columbia Art Center, Columbia SportsPark, Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, camps, time banking, golf, a physician referral program, Columbia Matters TV show and more. Event will also include a moon bounce for the kids, music and food. Free, but registration is encouraged.

To register and more information, call 410-715-3185 or go to ca4business.org.

'Cinderella'

Howard County Ballet presents its production of "Cinderella" at 3 p.m. May 21-22 at Centennial High School, 4300 Centennial Lane in Ellicott City. Tickets are $19.50 in advance, $21 at the door, $12 for seniors, children and students. Discount for groups of 10 or more. For tickets and more information, call 410-465-9414 or go to howardcountyballet.org. Tickets are also available by mail: Howard County Ballet, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City, Md. 21043.

Vendors for Columbia International Day

The Columbia Association seeks vendors for the 17th annual Columbia International Day, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at the downtown Columbia lakefront. Columbia International Day highlights and celebrates the cultural and ethnic diversity that distinguishes Columbia from other communities. Free event features live music and entertainment representing a variety of cultures; international food and crafts vendors; children's activities and more.

Applications are being accepted from vendors and artisans who would like to display or sell items with an international theme. There is a discounted rate for vendors that apply before June 2. For an application and more information, call 410-715-3161 or go to columbiaassociation.org/events.

Renovation project

The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks has received a $30,000 grant from the National Recreational Trails Program Fund. The grant will be used for the renovation of the Village of Owen Brown's pedestrian pathway system.

The project, scheduled to begin in October, will allow the restoration of the deteriorating east Columbia pathway with a new overlay of asphalt. Howard County will provide $30,000 in matching funds, along with any remaining funds needed for the project.

Renovations will consist of repaving the 3,909-foot pathway that serves the Owen Brown Community Center, Owen Brown Interfaith Center, Owen Brown Village Shopping Center, Cradlerock School, the Howard County Library's East Columbia branch, and the Southwick and Elkhorn housing communities. Anticipated completion date is the summer of 2012.

Information: 410-313-2022.

Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for the annual Columbia BikeAbout on May 14, a free event organized by the Columbia Association and the Columbia Archives. Volunteers will assist with traffic control, directions and registration, and act as guides along the 12-mile route. Flexible shifts are available between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. A free T-shirt and training will be provided.

This year's route, which will start and end at the Town Center Lakefront, winds through Wilde Lake, Harper's Choice and Hickory Ridge. The Town Center walking tour will include the lakefront art and architecture, and Historic Oakland. Information: 410-715-6781.

Disaster information sessions

The Volunteer Center of Howard County hosts monthly disaster volunteer information and orientation sessions to inform community members about how to prepare for and respond to a disaster. Sessions will run 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11 and Tuesday, June 28, at 10221 Wincopin Circle in Columbia. Each session will identify local response agencies and inform participants how they can volunteer, prepare and train to respond in times of disaster.

To register and for more information: 410-715-3179.

Yard waste collection

Howard County's Bureau of Environmental Services will resume weekly yard waste collections through Jan. 20, 2012. Yard waste will be picked up weekly during regular recycling days and should be placed outside by 6 a.m. Allowable yard waste items include grass, leaves, hedge clippings/light brush, small limbs or branches less than 4 inches in diameter and 4 feet in length, dry seed pods, straw, hay and bamboo. Residents are encouraged to use paper bags or reusable containers.

To obtain a free paper yard waste bag (limit two bags per family), go to the Bureau of Environmental Services at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 514 in Columbia, or the Alpha Ridge Landfill at 2350 Marriottsville Road in Marriottsville.

For a complete list of what yard waste is and is not accepted, or for more information, go to howardcountymd.gov/dpw/recycling.htm.

Vacation Bible school

Glen Mar United Methodist Church will hold two vacation Bible school sessions this summer for 3-year-olds through present sixth-graders. The theme is "PandaMania." Session I runs July 5-8 and Session II runs July 11-15. Both are from 9 a.m. to noon at the church, 4701 New Cut Road in Ellicott City. Suggested donation is $25 per child or $50 per family, and includes a T-Shirt. Registration deadline is April 30. To register and for more information, call 410-465-4995, ext. 204, or go to glenmarumc.org.

Summer day camps

Glen Mar United Methodist Church in Ellicott City will hold weekly summer day camp sessions June 27 through Aug. 5 for children entering kindergarten through sixth grade. Full- and half-day sessions are available. Costs are $145 to $225 per week. A $50 deposit is required for each camp at time of registration; balance is due by June 1. Sessions include Pioneer Outdoor Camp; Mix It Up Camp; What's Cooking?; Summer Fun and Games; Lights, Camera, Action; Celebrate; and Talent Camp. Information: Andrea Calomeris at 410-465-4995, ext. 212, or e-mail camp@glenmarumc.org. Registration forms available at glenmarumc.org.

Solar cooking contest

The Columbia Association's Teen Advisory Committee and the Columbia Archives are sponsoring a Solar Box Cooking Contest on May 14 at the Columbia Lakefront. Solar boxes can be used to make hot dogs, cookies and nachos, among other items. Prizes will be awarded. The contest is part of the Save the Planet Day Celebration and the Columbia BikeAbout events. For more information and instructions on how to build a solar cooker, call 410-715-5523.

Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits, a social club for people diagnosed with early memory loss or dementia, will meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays in the 50+ Center at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center at Glenwood. Activities include speakers, discussion of current events, yoga, meditation and art therapy. Daily fee of $26 includes snacks, lunch, coffee and tea. Information: Judy Miller at 410-313-5441 or jumiller@howardcountymd.gov. The program is sponsored by the Howard County Office on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Maryland.

Recycling cans

•Habitat for Humanity and the Boy Scouts of America have placed a collection bin for aluminum cans at the entrance to the parking lot of Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church, 6410 Amherst Ave., in Allview Estates. Information: 410-997-4949.

•Students at Patuxent Valley Middle School have joined the Great American Can Roundup. A collection bin for aluminum cans is outside the school, and proceeds from recycling will be used to fund green school projects and field trips. The school is at 9151 Vollmerhausen Road in Jessup.

Recycle old TVs

The Howard County Bureau of Environmental Services reminds residents to recycle analog TVs rather than throw them away. Options available:

The Alpha Ridge Landfill Resident's Convenience Area, 2350 Marriottsville Road, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and accepts TVs, computers, keyboards, printers, scanners, laptops, VCRs, radios and other electronics.

Best Buy's Customer Take-Back Program allows customers to bring in old TVs (32 inches or smaller) at no charge. Limited to two televisions per person per day. Console televisions are not accepted.

Services directory

The Southeast Howard County Health Services Directory, a guide to resources near North Laurel and Savage, is available free at the North Laurel-Savage Multiservice Center, 9900 Washington Blvd. The directory includes listings of clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, general and family practices, dentists, obstetricians and gynecologists, transportation and crisis contacts. The guide also indicates whether Spanish and Korean are spoken at the facility, as well as the address, contact information and hours of operation. Hours and information: 410-880-5917.

Council seeks members

The Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education is seeking at-large members for the coming school year. The council sponsors educational programming for members and provides the opportunity to study and have input into curriculum, educational policy, redistricting and budget. It meets at 7:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at the Department of Education in Ellicott City. At-large members serve a two-year term. Information: 410-313-6682.

Volunteers

The Howard County Conservancy is seeking Wednesday drop-in gardening volunteers from 9:30 a.m. to noon to help maintain thematic and native plant gardens on the property. All levels of experience are welcome. Also, drop-in workdays in the Children's Garden, within the Community Gardens, are 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. the first and third Saturdays of the month, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays. No experience needed. Meet at the Nature Center. Information: 410-465-8877 or hcconservancy.org.

Theater workers needed

Red Branch Theatre Company is accepting resumes for costume designers, lighting designers and stage managers for the remaining shows this season. Send applications to Jennifer Spieler at jspieler1025@aol.com.

Panel seeks members

The Secondary Language Arts Advisory Committee seeks new members. The committee consists of teachers, administrators, students, parents and other community members who advise, support and advocate for the improvement of educational programs. Meetings will take place four times during the school year at a central location. Information: 410-313-6620.

Call for artists

Slayton House Gallery is accepting applications to exhibit for the coming season. Applications are available by e-mailing cjblack@columbiavillages.org. Information: 410-730-3987.

Spanish speakers wanted

The Foreign Born Information and Referral Network, 5999 Harpers Farm Road, Suite 200-E, Columbia, needs Spanish-speaking volunteers to greet clients, answer basic questions, make appointments and support the staff. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday; other times may be considered. Information: 410-992-1923, ext. 14.

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