CA Seeking China Sister City Planning Committee Members

Columbia Association’s (CA) International & Multicultural Programs Advisory Committee is seeking volunteers to join the China Sister City Planning Committee, which is exploring the possibility of a sister city relationship between Columbia and Liyang, China — a city of more than 780,000 people located in Jiangsu province, between Nanjing and Shanghai. The China Sister City Planning Committee consists of Columbia and Howard County residents who are working on developing a proposal that will be presented to CA’s board of directors. Committee members should have a genuine interest in China, be able to participate actively as a member of the committee and attend monthly evening meetings. The committee will include residents who are of Chinese heritage, as well as community members with an interest in Chinese language and culture.

If the CA board approves the request to establish a sister city relationship, then committee members will assist with the development of international exchange programs for youth and adults in areas such as art, music, dance, education, sports, architecture and cuisine.

For more information, contact Laura Smit, program manager for CA’s International Exchange and Multicultural Programs, by calling 410-715-3162 or sending an email to International@ColumbiaAssociation.org.

Network 2000 Accepting Grant Proposals

Network 2000 is accepting proposals from nonprofit organizations for Network 2000’s grant program, as well as applications from professionals.

The program awards $5,000 or $10,000 grants to eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in Maryland that align with the organization’s mission of promoting the advancement of women. Eligible projects will prepare and promote women to achieve their full potential. Guidelines and grant applications are available at www.network2000md.org. The application deadline is March 4, by 5 p.m. The program lasts through April 2017.

Sixth Chili Cook-Off to Benefit Bridges to Housing Stability

Bridges to Housing Stability, in partnership with 18 local congregations, will host its 6th Annual Hotter Than Thou Chili Cook-Off fundraiser on Sunday, March 6, at Church of the Resurrection, 3175 Paulskirk Drive, Ellicott City.

The family event will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will feature the special recipes of participating chefs from local congregations, as well as a silent auction. Guests will vote on their favorite recipe by placing cash and/or checks in tip jars; the congregation that raises the most money will be the winner.

All proceeds will benefit Bridges to Housing Stability. The participating congregations are Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Bet Aviv, Bet Chaverim, Catonsville Presbyterian Church, Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church, Church of the Resurrection, Columbia Jewish Congregation, First Presbyterian Church, Glen Mar United Methodist Church, Grace Episcopal Church, Lisbon United Methodist Church, Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, New Hope Lutheran Church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rockland United Methodist Church, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, St. John United Methodist Presbyterian Church and Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia.

Additional prizes will be awarded to congregations in the following categories: Best Tasting Chili, the Best Decorated Table and the Most Team Spirit shown. Guest judges for the tasting are County Executive Allan Kittleman; Lance Cook, Tino’s Italian Bistro; Michael Graham, Stella Notte, and Council Member Jon Weinstein. Bridges to Housing Stability is a partner in Howard County’s Coordinated System of Homeless Services (CSHS). If you are homeless, or need services, call CSHS at 410-531-6677. For information, call 410-312-5760, ext. 100.

BWCC Seeking Auction Items for March 10 Gala

The Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber (BWCC) Foundation and the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber are planning the 59th Annual Gala, which will be held on Thursday, March 10, from 5:30–9:30 p.m. at The Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane, Clarksville. Tickets are $75 per person (business attire). Attendees can register at www.bwcc.org.

In addition to an evening of hor d’oeuvres, drinks, dessert and silent and live auctions as the main event fundraiser for the Scholarship Fund, the entertainment for the evening will be provided by ventriloquist Taylor Mason.

The proceeds from the auctions will be dedicated to scholarships for corridor area high school seniors pursuing a higher education and other educational programs. For more information, contact Shirley Redd in the BWCC office at 301-725-4000 or 410-792-9714, or Shirley.redd@bwcc.org.

The Arc Maryland Annual Awards Program

The Arc Maryland is preparing for its awards program, which is designed to recognize those individuals, groups, communities and local chapters of The Arc whose contribution in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities represent meritorious service or achievement and warrant special statewide recognition.

Nominations for annual awards must be received by March 14. Awards will be presented during The Arc Maryland Convention on May 13. For more information, contact The Arc Maryland at 410-571-9320 or info@thearcmd.org.

Howard County DPW to Host Public Meeting on Port Capital Drive Mini-Roundabout

Howard County’s Department of Public Works (DPW) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, March 9, from 5–8 p.m., in the media center at Deep Run Elementary School, 6925 Old Waterloo Road, Elkridge, to discuss the final design and construction of a proposed mini-roundabout at the intersection of Port Capital Drive, New Colony Boulevard and Harbour Drive.

The project will include the addition of about 400 linear feet of missing sidewalk on the north side of Port Capital Drive (Capital Project J-4168). While there will be no formal presentation, the proposed design/construction plans will be available to view, and staff members will be on hand to explain the proposed plans and answer any community questions and gather public comment.

Those unable to attend the meeting who would like to view the proposed plans and/or who have questions should contact Abeye Girma with the Department of Public Works, Transportation & Special Projects Division, at 410-313-6143 or email abgirma@howardcountymd.gov.

Annapolis Regional Library to Remain Closed Through March

After inspections from numerous architectural and safety experts, repairs may soon begin on the roof of the Annapolis Regional Library. Following the roof work, interior repairs and remediation would start. This process is expected to last through the month of March with a possible reopening set for early April.

The facility, located at 1410 West Street, suffered significant water infiltration and damage to the roof from last month’s record blizzard. Library staff and county officials have been diligently working for the past two weeks to determine the scope of the damage and explore plausible options for repair and reopening of the building.

Vendors Wanted for Howard County Veterans Resource Fair in April

Vendor applications are now being accepted for the annual Veterans Resource Fair, hosted by Howard County’s Commission for Veterans and Military Families, on Tuesday, April 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City.

Although geared toward veterans living in Howard County, all veterans are invited to attend this free event. Organizations and businesses that provide services, resources or employment opportunities for veterans or military families and that are interested in participating may contact Lisa Terry with the Howard County Office of Military Affairs at 410-313-0821.

Maryland MEP Offering Summer Internship Program

Maryland MEP (MD MEP) has announced its 2016 Manufacturing Summer Internship program for college students. The new program will match college students spending this summer in Maryland with the best and most innovative manufacturing companies in the state.

In addition to on-site internship experience, all selected applicants will be offered the opportunity to share experiences with interns working at other companies throughout the state. Regular soft-skills training will be provided to help interns learn how to meet expectations and develop valuable project management and communication skills.

For the 2016 Manufacturing Summer Internship Program, MD MEP is seeking rising juniors, seniors or graduate students who are majoring in engineering, marketing, business or other related fields. Selected applicants will be paid at a rate decided by the company they are paired with. Interested parties may apply to Kerry McManus at kmcmanus@mdmep.org.

Annapolis Receives Grant for Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan

The City of Annapolis will receive a grant totaling $106,612.50 to update the Annapolis Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan and enhance the “Weather it Together” program. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant was presented to the city by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

The city’s Office of Emergency Management, which developed and oversees the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, and the Department of Planning & Zoning’s Historic Preservation Division, which oversees the city’s “Weather it Together” program, both will benefit from the grant. The grant will include a Cultural Resources addendum to the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan and will include a vulnerability assessment and mitigation strategies for the protection of cultural resources in the Annapolis Historic District and the Eastport Conservation District. The plan will also address other disaster threats including earthquakes, fire, storm, hurricanes and other storm-related emergencies.

The plan will build on the research completed to date regarding threats of sea level rise and tidal flooding. It also will provide property owners the necessary information and treatment strategies that will increase the historic district’s resiliency in the face of natural disasters.

Uniting, Interacting With the People of Laurel

The Laurel Arts District Committee and the Laurel Historical Society are asking the community to participate in a creative interactive exhibit that will introduce individuals to their unique neighbors who are located in all four corners of Laurel. Once the project is completed, the accumulative individual records will go into the permanent collection of the Laurel Museum.

Called “People of Laurel: Share and Connect,” the project also will provide historic information to add to the Laurel Museum’s constantly growing collection of recorded life in Laurel. The project is open to all who consider themselves a part of Laurel’s story. Individuals are asked to submit a selfie and a brief story about their life, work or whatever other detail they wish to focus on as their story relates to Laurel. Selfies and stories will be collected through March 15.

The effort coincides with a new exhibit at The Laurel Museum, “Behind the Bricks: Twenty Years of the Laurel Museum,” which explores the evolution of the Laurel Museum’s 20-year history as a community organization, displaying Laurel’s history in a different way each year. For more information, call 301-725-7975 or 301-332-7583, or visit www.laurelhistoricalsociety.org.

HCAC’s Celebration of the Arts Set for March 19

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) has announced that Elizabeth and Kenneth Lundeen will serve as honorary chairs of the 2016 Celebration of the Arts in Howard County. The celebration gala will be held on Saturday, March 19, from 6–10 p.m., at the Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual & Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College.

The Lundeens will make opening remarks in the Smith Theatre during the 90-minute program, which features the Rising Star Competition. Both are long-time residents of Howard County, are active consumers and supporters of the arts, and have attended every Celebration of the Arts from 2000.

The celebration is the HCAC’s major source of annual corporate support. In 18 years, the event has netted more than $1.3 million. A highlight of Celebration 2016 will be the Rising Star competition for emerging performing artists. Dick Story, senior vice president, community relations and government affairs, and business development liaison, for Howard Bank, will serve as emcee. Tickets are $100 (reception and Smith Theatre) and $50 (reception and Studio Theatre). For more information, call 410-313ARTS (2787) or visit hocoarts.org.

Special Olympics Howard County Offers Scholarships

Through the generosity of three families, Special Olympics Howard County will award three scholarships to outstanding student volunteers who have been committed to the Special Olympics Howard County program as volunteers and advocates of the athletes.

The Jackie Burk Memorial Award for Outstanding Student Volunteer for Special Olympics Howard County ($1,500) was created in 2004 by Jack and Linda Burk in memory of their daughter, Jackie, a special friend and volunteer to Special Olympics Howard County; the Allan Homes Award ($1,000) was established in 2005 by Allan and Kathy Waschak. Allan Waschak is a member of the Special Olympics Howard County management team and the aquatics team coordinator; the Kathy Lindner Memorial Award ($500), in memory of Special Olympics Howard County’s first volunteer coordinator, was created in 2012. Linder was a dedicated volunteer in a number of sports, including the annual softball invitational tournament.

High school seniors and college students are eligible to apply. Applications and details can be found at www.somdhc.org. Completed applications can be mailed to Special Olympics Howard County, Attn: Scholarship Committee, 8970 Route 108, Suite A-1, Columbia, MD 21045; or emailed to info@somdhc.org. Applications must be received by April 1. For more information, call 410-740-0500.

CCTA Receives Cherry Adler Award

The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) has awarded the Cherry Adler Award to the Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts (CCTA), which was founded in Columbia by Toby Orenstein. The 40-year-old CCTA educates children, from preschoolers to teens, in the arts by creating theatrical experiences that inspire thought, action, creativity and change.

The award is named for the late Charlotte “Cherry” Adler, a former MSAC chair who also founded and directed the Library Theatre in Montgomery County. A $3,000 prize funded by the Adler family accompanies the honor.

County Extends Deadline for OTC Oversight Committee Applications

Anne Arundel County is extending the deadline until March 9 for applications for two vacancies on the Odenton Town Center (OTC) Oversight Committee.

The nine-member Oversight Committee is a volunteer advisory committee that works with county officials, development and business interests, and citizens to implement the goals and objectives of the Odenton Town Center Master Plan, which is promoting development of a transit-oriented, mixed-use community in western Anne Arundel County.

Candidates should be local residents, business owners or developers in the Odenton community.  The committee meets on the last Tuesday of each month at the Western District Police Station in Odenton.

Interested parties are invited to email a letter of interest and résumé to pzmill03@aacounty.org or mail it to the Anne Arundel County Office of Planning and Zoning, Attn: Lynn Miller, 2664 Riva Road, 4th Floor, Annapolis, MD 21401.

Kittleman Schedules Second Fiscal ’17 Citizens’ Budget Hearing for March 14

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman will hold his second Citizens’ Budget Hearing for the fiscal 2017 budget cycle on Monday, March 14, at 7 p.m., in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City. Residents can sign up online to speak at the hearing by going to www.howardcountymd.gov/budgettestimony. Those who do not wish to sign up online will still be able to do so in person on the night of the public hearing, beginning at 6 p.m.

For more information, call the Department of Citizen Services at 410-313-6400 or use Relay at 7-1-1. If additional accommodations are needed to attend the hearing or for more information, call 410-313-2077.

Vendors Sought for Howard County’s 8th Annual WomenFest

Howard County’s Department of Citizen Services is inviting businesses that offer products or services that promote women’s health, wellness, fashion and beauty to register for exhibit space at this year’s WomenFest.

Back for its eighth year, this wellness event for women will be held on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m., at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center in Glenwood, 2400 Route 97, in Cooksville. Admission and parking are free.

Vendor and exhibitor applications, sponsorship opportunities and full event details are available online at www.howardcountymd.gov/WomenFest. Applications may be faxed to 410-313-5950 or mailed to WomenFest 2016, c/o Donna Tugwell, Howard County Office on Aging, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 211, Columbia, MD 21046.

For more information about WomenFest, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/WomenFest or www.facebook.com/HoCoCitizen, or contact Courtney Barkley at 410-313-5957 or cbarkley@howardcountymd.gov.