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Columbia Digest

Meet the author

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia presents an evening with David Robinson Simon at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way. Simon's book "Meatonomics" is an exploration of the unseen economic forces that drive our animal food system and how these forces affect spending, eating, health, prosperity and longevity. Free. Information: 410-381-0097.

Suicide prevention

The Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center will host a Suicide Prevention Symposium from noon to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Lane in Columbia. The symposium's workshops and panel discussion include:

Suicide Assessment Five-step Evaluation and Triage will feature tools for conducting a suicide assessment, estimating suicide risk, identifying protective factors and risk factors and developing interventions, 12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m.

Supporting Suicide Survivors: An Introduction will explore the journey of those grieving a loved one to suicide loss, 2 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

Survivors of Suicide Loss: A Panel Discussion will feature personal stories of losing a loved one to suicide, followed by a Q&A; session, 3:30 p.m. -4:30 p.m.

Cost is $25, registration required. Information: 410-531-6006 or

Art exhibits

•"Perspectives," a mixed-media exhibition by Karen Carpenter and Irene Whitaker, will run Sept. 12 through Oct. 19 in the Bill White Room and Lobby Gallery at the Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House, 10400 Cross Fox Lane in Columbia. A reception with music and refreshments will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays. Information: 410-730-3987.

•"Nature's Kaleidoscope," an exhibition of paintings by Marian Gliese will be on view through Friday, Sept. 27, at Artists' Gallery, American City Building, 10227 Wincopin Circle in Columbia. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays. The gallery is also open by appointment. Information: 410-740-8249 or

Around town

Stepping out The Long Reach Community Association offers classes in Chicago-style stepping for adults from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays. The class offers fellowship opportunities while exercising to music. Information: 410-730-8113.

Guitar lessons Fred Petrogallo, a retired Harford County Community College instructor, teaches how to read music and tune a guitar at 10 a.m. Mondays at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way. Students must furnish their own guitars and purchase the training manual. Registration is required. Information: 410-313-7469.

English conversation The Howard County Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, offers Let's Get Together: English Conversation Club, an opportunity to practice speaking and understanding English in a group setting, for those who speak English as a second language. It meets at 9:30 a.m. Mondays and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays. Register with the library before your first meeting. Information: 410-313-7850.

Single Again Changing Focus: Single Again, a nonprofit program for adults who are separated, widowed or in the process of divorce, provides weekly presentations and small-group discussions in a confidential, comfortable atmosphere. The group meets at 7 p.m. Mondays at First Presbyterian Church, 9325 Presbyterian Circle. An orientation for new members is offered at 6:30 p.m. Information:

Chair yoga The East Columbia 50+ Center at the East Columbia branch of the Howard County Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, offers chair yoga, an introduction to yoga aimed at easing the pain of arthritis, reducing fatigue and improving circulation and breathing, at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Reservations: 410-313-7680.

Also at the 50+ Center

•Age Well Exercise classes with Joyce DiTomaso will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost for an eight-week session is $35.

•A belly dance class will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesdays. Learn hip movements, stretches, arm and hand techniques, and veil dancing. First class is free, then a monthly fee is due.

•A yoga class will be offered at 11 a.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. Tuesdays. Cost is $24 per month.

•A chess club for novice and veteran players meets at 1 p.m. Thursdays. Free.

•View newly released DVD movies on a big screen at 7 p.m. Thursdays. Free.

Singles social group

The Phoenix Cultural Singles Group, a Columbia social group for those 50 and older, meets from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Sundays at the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, 5885 Robert Oliver Place in the Oakland Mills Village Center. Coffee, tea and a light snack are served. The group plans events and trips. Information: 410-997-0739.

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