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Howard County Opens Second Phase of Blandair Park
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman was joined by county, state and local representatives at a ribbon-cutting on Saturday, March 10, to mark the opening of the second phase of Blandair Park, in Columbia. Following the ribbon-cutting, Kittleman threw out the first pitch for a 14U baseball game.
The newest section of Blandair Park includes a challenge course specifically designed for teens and adults, five tennis courts, a pavilion/shade structure, two synthetic turf baseball fields with shaded bleacher seating, restroom facilities, an open green space and a new parking lot. In addition, this phase of the project included the realignment of Oakland Mills Road from north of Kilimanjaro Road to east of Shadow Fall Terrace. New ramps from eastbound Route 175 (Rouse Parkway), two roundabouts, driveway extensions, entrance parking lots and concrete sidewalk were constructed as part of this construction project.
Cost of construction of the park’s phase two was $7.4 million; the road relocation and ramp connections to Route 175 cost $6.4 million.

Arundel Enters Into Negotiations to Purchase Turtle Run Property
Anne Arundel County has entered into negotiations with Snyder Development Corp. to purchase the 140-acre property in Churchton popularly known as Turtle Run at Deep Cove. The property, which abuts Franklin Point State Park, has been the subject of litigation between the developer and the citizen group South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development (or SACRED).
After 10-plus years of attempts, the project had been granted conditional approval to locate 11 homes on a 40-acre parcel along Deep Cove Creek. That decision was appealed by local residents and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and is now before the Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals.
Should the county obtain the property, it will be a site for passive recreation activities like hiking, preservation of environmentally-sensitive features such as tidal and non-tidal wetlands that feed into Deep Cove Creek, preservation of habitat for bird species that require substantial stands of riparian forest and opportunities for major tree planting efforts.
The plantings would be funded with fee-in-lieu money paid into an account when developers remove trees from their projects.

Arundel Announces $3.8 Million Upgrade to Bell Branch Park
Anne Arundel County has announced a $3.8 million turf field upgrade project at Bell Branch Park, in the Crofton/Gambrills area. The project consists of amenity upgrades and the installation of two synthetic turf fields to address field shortages in West County. The artificial turf fields will replace the grass surface fields, extend the playing season and reduce down time due to waterlogged playing surfaces or lack of grass.
Site amenities include improved field lighting, bleachers, scoreboards, pathways and goals. Bell Branch Park, which is located on Davidsonville Road, is home to three baseball fields, five multi-purpose fields, a concession stand, a dog park, a paved trail, a pavilion and picnic areas.

Large Stream Restoration Project Planned for Three Columbia Villages
A large stream restoration project is planned during the next few years in the villages of Harper’s Choice, Town Center and Wilde Lake. The project is being conducted by Columbia Association (CA), the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and SHA contractor Ecotone Inc. CA’s goal is to reduce the amount of sediment flowing into Wilde Lake and Lake Kittamaqundi. All work is restricted to open space owned by CA.
In total, approximately 6,691 feet of stream channel will be restored by this project. The project area will include the section of stream that flows under Little Patuxent Parkway to Lake Kittamaqundi. The project will skip over Wilde Lake and the section of stream behind Green Mountain Circle and Faulkner Ridge Circle (which is partially on Beaverbrook property) and then will start again at Hesperus Drive.
Restoration work will continue on the main section of stream all the way past Eliots Oak Road to Howard County Parks and Recreation property at Cedar Lane Park. Restoration work also will occur on the tributary between Fallriver Row Court and Mystic Court.
The timeline for this project is between two and three years. Planning has begun, and a design for the project should be available by summer. Permitting will include county, state and federal resource agencies and will take six months to a year to accomplish.
SHA is funding all aspects of this $2.2 million project, at no cost to CA, in exchange for stream restoration credits that will apply towards the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit that SHA is obligated to meet. Maintenance of the restored stream sections will be SHA’s responsibility. For information, email CA’s Open Space and Facility Services Department at OpenSpace.ResourceRequests@ColumbiaAssociation.org.

Howard County’s 50+EXPO to Celebrate 20th Anniversary This Fall
Vendor and sponsorship applications are now being accepted for Howard County’s 20th annual 50+EXPO. Presented by the Department of Community Resources and Services, this event for older adults will take place Friday, Oct. 19, from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., at Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Road, Columbia.
Coordinated by the Department’s Office on Aging and Independence, the 50+EXPO provides a unique marketing opportunity to reach Howard County’s older adults, caregivers, professionals and baby boomers.
Vendor information and forms are available on the Office on Aging and Independence’s website at www.howardcountymd.gov/50plusexpo.
All proceeds will benefit the Vivian L. Reid Community Fund. For more information, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/50plusexpo or call 410-442-3734 (voice/relay) or email lcoster@howardcountymd.gov.

Howard Rec & Parks to Launch Tennis Ball Recycling Pilot Program
As part of its sustainability efforts, Howard County’s Department of Recreation & Parks is launching a tennis ball recycling pilot program this month at Centennial Park. The program will keep used tennis balls out of the landfill and instead recycle them into a crumb rubber product that can be used to create a variety of green solutions.
Two bins have been placed at Centennial Park’s West and North Tennis courts, providing a convenient place for players to recycle their used tennis balls. Each bin holds 200 tennis balls and when full, county staff will collect the tennis balls and ship them using pre-paid postage to RecycleBalls.
To learn more about the Tennis Ball Project, visit http://tennisballcourts.com.

$3M in Improvements in Line for Baltimore & Annapolis Trail
Anne Arundel County will invest more than $3 million to improve the Baltimore & Annapolis (B&A) Trail and Earleigh Heights Ranger Station, in Severna Park. The project includes $900,000 to improve the ranger station, which sits adjacent to the trail, with the work beginning this summer. In addition, the county will make a $2.1 million, multi-year investment to repave the route.
The B&A Trail stretches 13 miles, from Boulters Way in Annapolis to Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie. The ranger station offers parking and a gazebo; horticultural gardens and park benches are found at the Hatton-Regester Green property, which is also in Severna Park.

Kittleman Seeks Members for Consumer Protection Advisory Board
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman is seeking applicants interested in serving on the Consumer Protection Advisory Board.
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m., at the Office of Consumer Protection, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia. Applicants should send a résumé and a brief letter to David Lee by email to dklee@howardcountymd.gov or by mail to Howard County Government, Office of the County Executive, Attn: David Lee, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 20.

2018 Children’s Discovery Fair: Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead
A celebration for children ages 3–5 and their families, “Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead,” is set for Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Cradlerock Elementary School, located at 6700 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. This free event will include hands-on activities relating to preschool science, technology, engineering, arts and math concepts, including interactive games, songs, crafts and stories. A dental van will be on-site for free dental screenings for children ages 2–12 years old.
This event is part of the Launch into Learning school readiness initiative and is sponsored by the Howard County Early Childhood Advisory Council. For more information, call 410-313-1940 or e-mail children@howardcountymd.gov.

Explore Columbia’s Sister Cities Without Leaving Columbia
An event spotlighting the cultures of China, France, Ghana, Haiti and Spain will be held at The Mall in Columbia on Sunday, April 22. “Explore Columbia’s Sister Cities: 5 Countries in 4 Hours” is an afternoon of music, dance and other performances, as well as table displays. It will be held from 1–5 p.m. at the Lord & Taylor lower level court at the mall, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia.
The event features Columbia’s four sister cities — Cergy-Pontoise, France; Tema, Ghana; Cap-Haitien, Haiti; and Tres Cantos, Spain — plus Liyang, China, which has been proposed to become Columbia’s fifth sister city.
In between performances, visitors can speak with representatives from the various sister city committees, explore the different cultures, learn about local events, discover travel opportunities for youth and adults. For more information, visit ColumbiaAssociation.org/multicultural or call 410-715-3162.

CA Climate Change Advisory Committee Seeking Members
Columbia Association (CA) is seeking members for its newly formed Climate Change and Sustainability Advisory Committee. Candidates with an interest and experience in climate change, environmental sustainability and community engagement are encouraged to apply.
Interested individuals should send a cover letter and résumé by April 30 to Energy@ColumbiaAssociation.org.
Members are expected to attend bimonthly committee meetings, engage the community, contribute thoughtfully to discussions and documents being developed by the committee and provide support at committee events.

City of Laurel Schedules Pax River Cleanup Day on April 7
With the arrival of spring, the City of Laurel is gearing up for its annual Patuxent River Cleanup on Saturday, April 7. Mayor Craig Moe announced this would be the City of Laurel’s 14th consecutive year of participating in the statewide event, which is coordinated by the Patuxent Riverkeepers. The staging area will be Riverfront Park, on Avondale Street, starting at 9 a.m.
Volunteers will be asked to assist in removing trash and debris from the river, which will help the river flow better during rain events. Trash bags and gloves, along with some hand tools, will be provided. For additional information, contact the Laurel Department of Parks and Recreation at 301-725-7800.

City of Laurel’s 2018 Open
House Rescheduled
The new date for the City of Laurel’s Open House is set for April 8, and the public is invited to meet local officials and connect with area organizations. Mayor Craig Moe and the Laurel City Council invite the public to attend from 1–4 p.m. at the Laurel Municipal Center, located at 8103 Sandy Spring Road, Laurel. For more information, contact Laurel’s Department of Parks and Recreation at 301-725-7800.

TowerCares Foundation Funds Cybercafés to Help Homeless Vets
The TowerCares Foundation donated $20,000 to the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) to provide funds for three computer rooms at MCVET’s facility for homeless veterans in Baltimore. The new “cybercafés” are equipped with computers, printers, Wi-Fi, computer desks and chairs.
The computers and Internet access will help veterans residing at MCVET apply for jobs, increase work skills, learn new technologies and communicate with family and friends.
Since 1993, MCVET has provided homeless veterans, both men and women, and other veterans in need with comprehensive services designed to help them rejoin the community as productive citizens.

HCPSS Seeks Citizen Members for Ethics Panel
The Howard County Board of Education is seeking citizens to serve on the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Ethics Panel.
Any Howard County resident at least 18 years of age is eligible to serve on the Ethics Panel. Candidates cannot be an employee of the school system, an HCPSS student, an incumbent member of the Board of Education, or an owner or individual employed by an entity doing business with the board. Appointees serve a five-year term.
Howard County citizens interested in serving on the Ethics Panel are asked to send a letter of interest and their résumé to the Office of the General Counsel at Kimberly_Clare@hcpss.org or by mail to the HCPSS, 10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042. The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 30. A complete copy of the Ethics Regulation is available at www.hcpss.org/about-us/ethics-panel.

HHC Offering 200 Free Trees to Howard Residents Via Foundation
The Howard Hughes Corp. (HHC) is providing 200 trees to residents of Howard County through the Community Canopy Project, an Arbor Day Foundation program that helps expand the tree canopies of cities and towns across the United States. Howard County residents can reserve their free trees at www.arborday.org/howardhughes.
Residents of Howard County can reserve up to two trees and are expected to care for them and plant them in the location provided by the online tool. The types of trees offered include Eastern Redbud, Northern Red Oak, Red Maple, River Birch and White Dogwood.
The Community Canopy Project for Howard County will continue until all 200 trees are reserved. The two- to four-foot-tall trees will be delivered directly to customers at an ideal time for planting.

CFHoCo to Hold 36th Annual
Spring Party
The Community Foundation of Howard County (CFHoCo), which raises, manages and distributes funds to support Howard County nonprofits, will hold its 36th annual Spring Party on Friday, June 8, from 5–8 p.m. in the Science Engineering Technology Building at Howard Community College, Columbia.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the foundation’s programs and services that promote local philanthropy and provide grant funding for nonprofit organizations serving Howard County. Tickets cost $100 and include a full buffet and open bar. For more information, tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.cfhoco.org or call Allyson Lestner at 410-730-7840.

Verba Shadow Theatre to Perform at Rouse Theatre
The east coast debut of Verba Shadow Theatre, from Ukraine, will take place at The Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School, Columbia, on Saturday, June 30, at 7 p.m., on the last night of the Columbia Festival of the Arts. Pioneers of this art form, Verba is a new family show that takes its audience on a journey into an imaginative world of storytelling through dance, light, shadow and beauty while visualizing various subjects taken from life, literature and film.
The shadow version of “Titanic” has more than 5 million views on YouTube, and the troupe has performed in India, Argentina, Ireland, Monaco and Germany. Verba recently appeared on “Ukraine’s Got Talent” and “Minute of Fame” in Russia. See its most recent work, celebrating the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeong Chang, at http://bit.ly/2FlYpho and its version of “Titanic” at http://bit.ly/2ijirD0.
The full schedule of 25-plus events to be held from June 14–30 at the 2018 Columbia Festival of the Arts can be found at Columbiafestival.org.

Free Spring Classical Concerts at St. Louis Church
St. Louis Church, in Clarksville, hosts its last two concerts of the season this spring with classical compositions, ranging from European to American styles. The Barclay Brass ensemble, St. Louis Choir and guest artists perform chants of the European Renaissance masters — echoing from royalty to iconic cathedrals — on Sunday, April 22, at 4 p.m.
Then, violinist Destiny Mermagen and pianist Heather Adelsberger perform a violin sonata by Charles Ives, and Henri Vieuxtemps’ “American Bouquet,” a virtuosic suite based on American folk tunes, on Friday, May 11, at 7:30 p.m.
For more information, call 410-531-6040 or visit www.stlconcertseries.org.

HCAC’s Plein Air Events Set for
July 6–9
The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is currently seeking artists to take part in Paint It! Ellicott City 2018, an annual plein air paint-out sponsored by HCAC, Howard County Tourism, the Ellicott City Partnership and the Howard County Public School System.
This year’s paint-out will take place from July 6–8. During the weekend, juried artists will set up their easels throughout Ellicott City’s historic district and “paint the town” as they vie for a minimum of $2,000 in total awards. Community artists are invited to join the event as part of the Open Paint-Out taking place concurrently. The weekend also will include a “quick draw” competition.
On July 9, HCAC will host a special reception from 6–8 p.m. to celebrate the opening of an exhibit of the juried artists’ work at the Howard County Center for the Arts. The evening will feature the presentation of awards, as well as a one-night exhibit of work created during the open paint-out. The juried artists’ exhibit will run through Aug. 17. The deadline for entries for the event is April 27.
Entry information is available in the Exhibit Opportunities section at hocoarts.org. For more information, email info@hocoarts.org or call 410-313-2787.

CAC Announces Holland Humanitarian Award Recipient, Keynote Speaker
The Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC) has selected a 2018 Reverend John W. Holland Humanitarian Award recipient and a keynote speaker for the 23rd Annual Holland Awards Dinner.
Vivian “Millie” Bailey will receive the organization’s 2018 Humanitarian Award. Bailey has distinguished herself for the award through a lifetime of community service. In addition, award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will be featured as the keynote speaker at the event, which will be held on Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Turf Valley Conference Center, Ellicott City. A social reception will begin at 6 p.m., the presentation at 7 p.m.
Bailey, a World War II veteran, has devoted a lifetime to serving the community. In the 1980s, she established a fund at the Community Action Council of Howard County in honor of her late husband, William Bailey. Since its inception, the fund has provided critical support to more than 126 Howard County residents in need of housing assistance; Adichie, who divides her time between Columbia and Lagos, Nigeria, is the leading African writer of her generation. Adichie’s work has been translated into more than 30 languages.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 410-313-6174 or emailing jgrieb@cac-hc.org. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Learn About ‘Maryland’s Mother of Civil Rights’ at LHS
The woman who has been called “Maryland’s Mother of Civil Rights,” Gloria Richardson, will be the focus of a talk by historian Artura Jackson at the Laurel Historical Society (LHS) on April 12, at 7 p.m. The program will explore the life of Richardson, an important, but often-overlooked, civil rights activist.
Her actions with what is known as “The Cambridge Movement,” a struggle for civil rights and economic opportunities in Cambridge, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, during the 1960s deeply affected her community and generated national attention. Sponsored by the LHS in partnership with Black History Program of the Maryland-National Capital Parks & Planning Commission, the event will be held at the Laurel Pool Room, 9th and Main streets, Laurel. Suggested donation is $3 for members, $5 for non-members.

MDOT SHA Launches Maryland TRAC at Laurel’s CMIT Academy
Encouraging education, opportunities and careers in STEM and engineering for Maryland students, Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) Deputy Administrator Jason Ridgway joined teachers, administrators and students at Chesapeake Math and Information Technology (IT) Academy (CMIT), in Laurel, to launch Maryland’s new TRAnsportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) Program.
Chesapeake Math and IT Academy is one of Maryland’s inaugural schools to integrate American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official’s TRAC program into its curriculum.
CMIT students demonstrated the TRAC learning modules for bridge building. In a Maryland first, a CMIT student team has been selected as a national finalist to compete in the 2018 AASHTO TRAC Bridge Competition in Franklin, Tenn., in May. In a competition of more than 115 entries, the CMIT 11/12th team has been chosen as one of 18 finalists from across the country, and is the only school on the east coast representing this grade level.

Whipps Annual Plant Sale Set for May 11–12
On Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12, Ellicott City’s only public garden-park, run entirely by volunteers, the Whipps Garden Cemetery, will hold its annual fundraiser Plant Sale at the First Lutheran Church, located at corner of Chatham and Frederick roads, in Dunloggin.
The sale features many unusual and hard-to-find varieties, including many butterfly, shade-loving and deer-resistant plants. Many of the plants are donated from the gardens of master gardeners. Free compost bins will be available on Saturday from noon–2 p.m.

Human Rights Commission Announces Winners of 2018 Human Rights Award
The Howard County Human Rights Commission has announced that Dr. Yen Li and The Build Haiti Foundation are the recipients of the 2018 Human Rights Award.
Li has spent decades as an advocate for Chinese cultural inclusion in county schools and in the local health care system, as a former principal of the Chinese Language School of Columbia and a board member and volunteer for the Asian American Healthcare Center. With a similar mission to strengthen communities, The Build Haiti Foundation coordinated with Folly Quarter Middle School on a service-learning project related to the impact of poverty on individual health and education.
An award ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Historic Oakland Ballroom. The award ceremony is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited. To reserve your seat, call the Human Rights Commission Award reservation line at 410-313-5906.

Family Fun and Community Game Night Slated for April 14
The 2nd Annual Family Fun and Community Game Night, presented by Getting Ahead graduates, is slated for Saturday, April 14, from 5–8:30 p.m., at the Bain 50+ Center,. Activities include arts and crafts, ice cream sundae station, relay contests, games and prizes, raffle drawings and music. Admission is a suggested donation of $5 per family.
Presented in partnership with the Howard County MultiService Center Office of Community Partnerships, the Family Fun and Community Game Night is a benefit for MakingChange financial wellness programs, which are attended by Getting Ahead participants. For information, call 410-313-0220.

Kittleman Forms Task Force to Recommend Locations for Potential Elkridge High
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman created a task force to advise him on potential locations to build a future high school in Elkridge, charging the group with finding potential sites and determining the costs and unique requirements for each site. Kittleman said those potential sites will include the previously discussed Troy Park location, however he will further direct the task force that Rockburn Branch Park will not be considered.
Kittleman has named Elkridge resident Sandy Roschli to head the task force. Other members are Jose De La Mar, Ananta Hejeebu, Robert Judge, Leslie Kornreich, Julie Merson, Kristy Mumma, Dawn Popp, David Sciamarelli and Becki Vivrette. Renee Kamen, manager of the Howard County Public School System’s Office of School Planning, and Andrew Howard of the Office of the County Executive, will serve as advisers.
Kittleman has requested a full report on or before March 31, 2019.

LHC Recognizes Outstanding Community Leaders
Leadership Howard County (LHC) will honor community leaders for their service at its Annual Awards Dinner & Graduation on June 12, at Ten Oaks Ballroom.
• Distinguished Alumni: James R. Moxley, III, principal, Security Development Corp.
• Unsung Hero Award: Pete Mangione, general manager, Turf Valley Resort
• Leadership Legacy Award: Vivian Bailey
The event also celebrates the graduation of the Leadership Premier and Essentials classes of 2018.
The event is open to the public; alumni and guests are invited. Tickets for the dinner are available at www.leadershiphc.org.