Are you ready for the second annual Baltimore Grand Prix presented by SRT this weekend? Woodbridge Valley resident Laverne Holland is, especially after she volunteered last year and had a blast.

"My son, Brian, is a big racing fan and he suggested I volunteer," said the retired federal government administrator, who also volunteers at CCBC and her church.


Laverne worked at the office services station, assisting the staff at the race.

"It was great to meet so many race fans from the U.S. and worldwide," she said. "It's a big rush, even if you're not a race car fan."

She said she is confident everyone will enjoy the races this weekend, including Saturday's American Le Mans Series race and Sunday's IZOD IndyCar Series.

The 2-mile circuit course has 12 turns as it works its through the streets of Baltimore and around the Inner Harbor, according to the race website.

"The Andretti Sports Marketing Group organizes races worldwide. They know what they're doing," she said. "They make the spectator experience a great one."

For information about the race and tickets, which range from $15 for general admission on Friday to $145 for reserved weekend ticket packages, go to http://www.raceonbaltimore.com.

Art and crafts

The work of local artists Lyman Goon and Vickie Cearfoss will be on display as part of Christian Temple's Art for Art Lovers Series for the month of September.

Meet the artists at a special reception Saturday, Sept. 1, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Viewing hours at the church, 5820 Edmondson Ave., Sept. 1-17 are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.

The exhibit space at Christian Temple is inside the front door in the Gathering Room, very spacious and full of light and windows.

For information, email janebyers@me.com.

I love the food, fun and the crowds during the annual Catonsville Arts and Crafts Festival. The 39th annual version on Frederick Road is scheduled for Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Be sure to stop by and enjoy the live music on two stages, a KidZone, a farmers market and the work of more than 200 crafters.


In addition to festival treats such as gyros and fried Oreos, this year's menu includes:

• crab cakes and seafood from Catonsville Gourmet;

• funnel cakes from Ships Café;

• gourmet pizza from Peace A Pizza;

• grilled cheese sandwiches from Grilled Cheese & Co.;

• crab pretzels and smoothies from Cold Drink Systems.

• hamburgers and hot dogs off the grill from Taneytown Deli;

• fruit delights from Edible Arrangements;

• Hershey's ice cream from You Scream Ice Cream.

Hitting the street

Runners and walkers and zumba dancers are invited to sign up for the Sept. 29 Catonsville Fall Into Fitness 5K Run / 10K Run / 5K Fun Walk / Zumbathon.

Registration is at 7 a.m. Race starts at 8 a.m. on the CCBC Catonsville campus, 800 S. Rolling Road.

Registration is $30 advance, $35 day of event for adults; $15 advance, $18 day of event for ages 14 and younger; and $20 for CCBC students.

Free stainless water bottles and grocery tote bags for first 1,000 registered runners.

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Catonsville, The Community College of Baltimore County and Baltimore's Boys of Summer, the event brings together competitive runners, fitness runners and walkers for friendly competition, exercise, live music, dancing, awards, trophies and exciting door prizes.

The Zumbathon for those who enjoy the dance fitness program is a new component for the event, which was first held in 2006 at Matthew's 1600 on Frederick Road.

Proceeds from this year's event will benefit the CCBC Mansion Restoration Fund, the CCBC General and Athletic Scholarship fund, the Wounded Warriors Program and other local charities supported by the Rotary Club of Catonsville.

There will be live music, complimentary hamburgers, hot dogs, snacks, fruit, beer and beverages for the runners and many door prizes from local merchants.

For information, go to http://www.catonsvillerun.org.

Coming back

Matas Webb traveled west to Washington this summer to climb Mount Adams in the southwestern section of the state. The Catonsville resident had been planning the trip for 20 months and was joined by two buddies, one from Tennessee and one from Oregon

Last summer, he got ready to climb the 12,281-foot mountain, but had to turn away due to concerns about a possible avalanche.

In June, he climbed Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, the highest point east of the Mississippi.

Webb, who likes to mountain bike in Patapsco Valley State Park and hike when he's home, is already planning a trip for next April to Colorado for some more climbing adventures.

Going away

Friday, Aug. 31, is the final day for comments to be accepted at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/bloededam/index.asp regarding the removal of the Bloede Dam.

Owned by the Maryland State Department of Natural Resources, the dam in Patapsco Valley State Park is being considered for removal as part of a larger, more comprehensive effort to restore 43 miles of stream habitat for migratory and resident fish.

The Patapsco River restoration project started with the removal of Union Dam in September 2009.

"It is thought that the Bloede Dam restricts fish and aquatic organisms from moving freely throughout the river," said DNR Secretary John Griffin. "While the dam is a special feature of the park, its elimination would also make the area safer for boaters, swimmers and other recreational users."

Approximately 60 people have submitted their comments on-line and others have mailed letters, mostly in favor of removing the dam.

Questions have been brought up regarding alternative ways to remove the sediment, fix the fish ladder and preserve the historic and cultural aspects of the dam.

"The Patapsco River Restoration partners are in the process of compiling the comments and preparing additional information on the three general topic areas that have arisen due to public comment. We will be meeting in September to determine next steps in the process," said Nancy Butowski of the department, in an email.