The Mall Kicks Off Columbia’s 50th Birthday Celebration
The Mall in Columbia will kick off Columbia’s six-month 50th Birthday Celebration with fanfare on Sunday, March 19. Opening ceremonies start at 11 a.m. in the Outdoor Plaza in front of Maggiano’s and Seasons 52 restaurants. Mall-wide entertainment starts at 11:30 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
The opening ceremony features brief remarks by elected officials and Columbia 50th Birthday Celebration organizers. Representatives of each of Columbia’s 10 villages also will participate in the pageantry celebrating this milestone anniversary for the community. The Mistress of Ceremonies will be Barb Nicklas, senior general manager of The Mall.
Entertainment for all ages inside The Mall will include a kids’ rock band, Milkshake; and Sons of Pirates, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band. Other performers include Teelin Irish Dance Company, Kalinka Dance Ensemble, Lee Hee Kyung Korean Dance, Cultural Plenera, Muvva Kuchipudi and Howard County Chinese School. They will entertain on the Main Stage in the Lord & Taylor Court.
Four other areas of entertainment inside The Mall will feature Fritere African Dance Company, Tres Amigos, Arte Flamenco, Mianaja Oriental Dance, Latin Zone Entertainment, Konark Dance School, Lake Elkhorn Middle School, Acoustic Wheelhouse, Brown Smith Vibrations, U.S. Jow Ga Martial Arts and Brianna & Allison Gonzales.
For updated information and calendar of events, visit www.columbiamd50.com.
Arundel P&Z Officer Tom to Retire
County Executive Steve Schuh has announced the retirement of long-time Anne Arundel County Planning and Zoning Officer Larry Tom. Tom has been Planning and Zoning officer since May 2007. During his time in office, he oversaw the preparation of the 2009 General Development Plan and worked with the county council to implement comprehensive rezoning legislation in 2011.
Other accomplishments during his tenure include the 2009 and 2016 updates of the Odenton Town Center Master Plan, and working with the county council to pass significant legislation to improve the county’s zoning code and subdivision regulations.
“Larry Tom has provided a steady hand of leadership for nearly a decade to one of our county’s most important land-use departments,” said Schuh. “His expertise in responsible, reasonable land management has shaped the destiny of our growing county, and I thank him for his years of service.”
Since his re-appointment by Schuh in 2014, Tom has helped implement a series of land use reforms. These reforms include shifts in personnel between the Planning and Zoning and Inspections and Permits departments to increase efficiency and the implementation of the county’s Expedited Review Program. Prior to his service with the county, Tom served as chief of community development for the city of Annapolis for nearly seven years, and also served as the senior project manager for facilities design and construction at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.
Howard Spending Affordability Advisory Committee Submits Report for Fiscal 2018
The Spending Affordability Advisory Committee appointed by Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman has presented its annual report, forecasting moderate revenue growth that will require fiscal discipline to keep up with the county’s increasing financial demands.
The 17-page report, which reviews future county revenue levels and other financial indicators for fiscal years 2018-2022, concluded that the county will face significant challenges to both its capital and operating budgets in the upcoming fiscal year as well as future years. Such immediate and long-term challenges emerged from an aging population, a shift in housing development from single-family dwellings to multi-family units and likely cuts in federal and state expenditures.
“We have a responsibility to spend taxpayers’ dollars efficiently and effectively,” said Kittleman. “Our prudent approach over the last two years has helped us close a deficit and not only plan for, but also successfully manage emergencies without cutting services. The Spending Affordability Advisory Committee’s work has been critical in implementing this approach.”
Without additional revenue sources or adjustments to projected expenses, county services and capital improvement needs will outpace revenue growth, making current spending patterns unsustainable, the report indicated. It also cautioned, as it has for the previous two years, that should the county provide education funding in excess of Maintenance of Effort (MOE), it could compromise other needs in the county. County funding to Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) is nearly 58% of the total General Fund. HCPSS’s fiscal 2018 request for county funding is $64 million more than its fiscal 2017 budget. That amount is $57 million more than the county’s $7.7 million MOE for fiscal 2018.
The complete Spending Affordability Advisory Committee Report is available online from the county’s website at www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/County-Administration/Budget/Spending-Affordability-FY-2018 .
HCC, Carroll Community College Receive NSF Grant for Entertainment Tech Programs
Carroll Community College (CCC) and Howard Community College (HCC) have received a joint award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education program to support associate degree and certificate programs that train students for in-demand careers as audio-visual systems specialists.
Over three years, the $427,583 grant award – divided and granted individually to the two colleges – will fund equipment, staffing and assessment. HCC and CCC collaborated on the grant application, titled “Addressing the Need for Innovative Education of Audio-Visual Specialists.” Both CCC and HCC are creating parallel programs – known as entertainment technology – that will share research and resources. As a result of this partnership, CCC and HCC offer the only public, associate degree programs for multimedia and presentation technology in the mid-Atlantic region.
Courses will be taught by faculty members with substantial industry experience. They will educate students on the application of electrical, lighting and acoustical theories and designs.
“The grant will provide rigorous hands-on training to help meet the demand of this industry,” said Bill Gillett, chair of dance and theater at HCC. “Audio and video systems specialists are in demand to support live presentations at convention centers, colleges and universities, corporate events, government events and in theaters.”
CCC and HCC have already formed partnerships with more than 20 local businesses and organizations to offer students training opportunities that may lead to employment.
Angola Cables Selects Ciena for MONET
Subsea Cable System Angola Cables, a dedicated wholesale carrier, has selected Hanover-based Ciena’s GeoMesh and Blue Planet solutions to support its new service launch on the MONET subsea cable.
This 10,556-kilometer route will provide more than 25 terabits per second of traffic on Angola Cables’ network between the U.S. and Latin America’s major business hub of São Paulo, Brazil. Angola Cables’ wholesale customers can utilize this additional connectivity to support surging bandwidth demands driven by on-demand applications such as over-the-top (OTT) video and cloud computing.
Join in Columbia Cleanup Day on March 25 in All 10 Villages
Columbia can be even more beautiful – and the environment can be more healthy – after just three hours on Columbia Cleanup Day.
Columbia Cleanup Day will take place on Saturday, March 25, with volunteers simultaneously picking up trash that has accumulated at open space locations in all 10 villages. Nine of Columbia’s villages are scheduled to work from 9 a.m. to noon, while the Kings Contrivance event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This is the eighth year that Columbia Cleanup Day has been held since 2009. People who would like to participate can show up at the meeting locations. The meeting locations and clean-up areas are the following.
Dorsey’s Search: Park at Dorsey Hall Pool (4649 Columbia Road). Clean at the open space behind Dorsey Hall Pool and the playground area.
Harper’s Choice: Park at Swansfield Neighborhood Center (5659 Cedar Lane). Clean at the open space area behind Green Dory Lane and Berrypick Lane, ending at Harpers Farm Road.
Hickory Ridge: Park at Hawthorn Center (6175 Sunny Spring). Clean at the open space around the center.
Kings Contrivance: Park at Amherst House (7251 Eden Brook Drive). Clean at the open space and natural areas behind Amherst House and near Dickinson Pool. Please note that Kings Contrivance’s cleanup will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Long Reach: Park at Jeffers Hill Neighborhood Center (6030 Tamar Drive). Clean around Waiting Spring Pond.
Oakland Mills: Park at Oakland Mills Village Center (5851 Robert Oliver Place). Clean along the pathway from Stevens Forest Road going toward Route 29.
Owen Brown: Park at Lake Elkhorn at the Dockside Lane lot off Cradlerock Way. Clean around Lake Elkhorn and the Forebay area.
River Hill: Park at Claret Hall in the River Hill Village Center (6020 Daybreak Circle). Clean along the pathway behind Columbia Gym and the pathway loop at Linden Linthicum Lane.
Town Center: Park at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront (10227 Wincopin Circle). Clean around Lake Kittamaqundi.
Wilde Lake: Park on Hyla Brook Road. Clean around Wilde Lake Park.
Broken Land Parkway Paving Project Begins
A Howard County construction project to pave eastbound Broken Land Parkway between Route 29 and Guilford Road, and westbound Broken Land Parkway between Guilford Road and Snowden River Parkway, has begun. Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed by mid-May.
Milling operations will take place Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Flagging operations and signs will be in place to direct traffic as needed during construction hours. Motorists are advised to follow the message signs for updates regarding changes to construction hours. For questions or concerns about Capital Project H-2014, contact Lisa Brightwell, Public Works Customer Service, at 410-313-3440 or email email@example.com.
From MarylandReporter.com …
Redistricting reform gains some Senate support:
Gov. Larry Hogan is again pushing to create an independent commission to draw congressional and legislative district lines. The retired federal judge Hogan appointed to head the commission that made the recommendation said the state needs to fix its oddly shaped, highly partisan congressional district lines or federal judges will do it for Maryland. Read more: http://marylandreporter.com/2017/03/05/redistricting-reform-gains-some-senate-support
MarylandReporter.com is a news site for government and politics in Maryland that is published and edited by Len Lazarick. For more information or to sign up for the daily e-news, visit www.marylandreporter.com .