Howard County Briefs

Film series

Tickets are available for the Columbia Jewish Congregation's annual film series, continuing Saturday, March 10, with "A Hebrew Lesson." All screenings take place at the Columbia Jewish Congregation, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Room 200. Tickets are $24 for the remaining two films, or $17 for two showings. Single tickets will be available at the door for $9. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; screenings begin at 8 p.m. Refreshments and post-film discussion included. Information: 410-381-4809, 410-997-0694 or SBloch@comcast.net.

Cancer fund seeks exhibitors

The Children's Cancer Foundation Inc., a local nonprofit that awards grants to fight childhood cancer, is seeking exhibitors for its annual "Child-Fest," held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Reservoir High School in Fulton. For more information on being an exhibitor, call Diane Perry at 410-486-4744 or email her at dperry@childrenscancerfoundation.org.

"Healthy Food in Our Schools"

The Howard County Conservancy presents the former director of food and nutrition for the Baltimore City school system and nationwide childhood nutrition consultant, Anthony Geraci, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock. Geraci's high-energy presentation encourages the nation's school systems to provide fresh and local foods to children every day. Points of interest: What are our kids choosing to eat today? What's happening to them as a result? How can we introduce and support healthy eating habits and menus? What does it take to change school cafeterias and home lunch boxes? Cost is $5 per family, free for all students. Information: 410-465-8877 or hcconservancy.org.

Benefit concert

The Howard County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness presents a benefit concert featuring the Fabulous Hubcaps at 8 p.m. Friday, March 23, at the Bridgeway Performing Arts Theatre, 9189 Red Branch Road in Columbia. Event begins with a silent auction at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $25 and may be purchased by calling 410-772-9300 or going to nami.org/sites/namihowardcounty. Tickets are $30 the day of the concert.

Sports Hall of Fame

The Department of Recreation & Parks has made available nomination forms for its 2012 Community Sports Hall of Fame inductions. The hall recognizes individuals who have gained prominence in or made substantial contributions to community recreational sports in Howard County.

Athletes, coaches, managers, league officials or even behind-the-scenes contributors closely identified with community recreation sports can be nominated. In addition, nominees must be either county residents or made their sports contributions primarily in the county.

Nomination forms are available online at hcrpsports.com or by calling the department at 410-313-4711. Also, nominators must provide the nomination committee with an essay, limited to four double-spaced, typed pages, demonstrating the nominee's community sports background. All forms must be delivered or postmarked by Friday, April 13, to: Howard County Community Sports Hall of Fame, 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia, 21046. Individuals chosen for this year's class will be inducted at the annual Celebration of Sports Ceremony on Oct. 16.

Musical production

Silhouette Stages presents "Avenue Q" at Slayton House Theatre, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia through March 11. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 3 p.m. matinees on Sunday. Tickets are $18, $15 for seniors and students. Information: silhouettestages.com.

Etiquette for children

The Etiquette School of Maryland is offering classes for boys and girls ages 8-12 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays this month at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Dates are March 10, 17 and 24. The program includes instruction on social etiquette, communication skills and table manners. Cost is $300. To register and more information, call 410-465-4969 or go to etiquetteschoolmd.com.

Gala

Tickets are available for the annual "Celebration of the Arts in Howard County," March 24 at HCC's Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Tickets are $50 and $100. The event includes a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., along with a silent auction of artwork by local artists, food from area restaurants and caterers, and live performances. For tickets and more information, call 410-313-2787 or go to hocoarts.org.

Softball registration

Registration is open for Howard County Youth Program's coming season for girls 6-17 years old. League is for girls, from beginners to experienced players. League play starts in early April. To register, or for more information, go to hcyp.org.

Tax assistance site

The county's first Volunteer Income Tax Assistance office has opened at the North Laurel Community Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, and will remain in operation throughout the tax season. The site offers free tax assistance preparation and free electronic filing to most taxpayers who earned up to $49,000 last year. Hours are 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. For appointments and more information, call 410-313-0386 or go to howardcountymd.gov/vita.htm. This year's tax-filing deadline is April 17.

Call for artists

The Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House is accepting applications for artists to exhibit in the galleries for the 2013 season. The Gallery Screening Committee will begin reviewing applications in the spring. Deadline for applications is June 1. For applications and more information, go to wildelake.org. Mail applications to gallery director Carole Black at Bernice Kish Gallery, Slayton House, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, 21044; or send email to cjblack@columbiavillages.org.

GreenFest vendors

Vendor applications are being accepted for the annual GreenFest, to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 14 at Howard Community College's Burrill Galleria, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Vendors and exhibitors with information on green products, ecological home cleaning and lawn care, alternative energy, water conservation and reuse, and tips for greening everyday activities are encouraged to apply. Other topics of interest include energy efficiency, green buildings, green consumer products, green landscaping, wildlife exploration, children's activities and information on local green organizations. Each exhibit space includes a 5-foot table and two chairs. Cost to nonprofits is $25 per space; $35 for others. An additional $10 late-application fee now also applies. Preference will be given to local businesses and organizations that promote environmentally friendly goods and services. Applications are available at hcgreenfest.org. Information and applications: Lindsay DeMarzo, 410-313-4374 or ldemarzo@howardcountymd.gov.

Support groups

National Alliance on Mental Illness of Howard County offers several support groups each month. Sessions include groups for family and friends of adults with a mental illness, groups for parents of school-age children with mental health issues, a group for young adults (18-30) living with a mental illness and a weekly group for adults of any age living with a mental illness. For times and locations, call 410-772-9300 or go to nami.org/sites/namihowardcounty.

Tutors needed

A-OK (Assist Our Kids) Mentoring-Tutoring Inc. seeks adult volunteers to work in Howard County public schools and in after-school programs. Volunteers may work with individual students or small groups during and after school. Volunteers are asked to commit for one hour a week for a minimum of one school year. Among the schools the organization is associated with are Atholton, Bryant Woods, Cradlerock, Longfellow, Phelps Luck, Running Brook and Stevens Forest elementary schools, along with several new partner schools in North Laurel. Information: 410-730-6030 or 410-740-3850.

Guided hikes

The Howard County Conservancy offers free guided hikes and talks on the second Saturday of the month. Visitors can enjoy an easy walk in the meadows and woods of the conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock. Information: 410-465-8877 or go to hcconservancy.org.

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. Howard County will provide $30,000 in matching funds, along with any remaining funds needed.

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. Completion is expected this summer. Information: 410-313-2022.

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. Highlights include speakers, discussion of current events, yoga, meditation and art therapy. A daily fee of $26 includes snacks, lunch, coffee and tea. The program is sponsored by the Howard County Office on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Maryland. Information: Judy Miller at 410-313-5441 or jumiller@howardcountymd.gov.

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.

Recycle old TVs

The Howard County Bureau of Environmental Services reminds residents to recycle electronic devices rather than throw them away. Dropoff locations include the Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Area, 2350 Marriottsville Road. The facility is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and accepts TVs, computers, keyboards, printers, scanners, laptops, VCRs, radios and other electronics. Also, Best Buy's Customer Take-Back Program allows customers to bring in old TVs (32 inches or smaller) at no charge. Offer 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 providers 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.

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.

Spanish speakers

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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