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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Hiking the Patapsco Mckeldin trail

    With our recent cold weather hiking in the winter may seem like something you wouldn't consider.  But winter can be a great time to explore our local park areas.  The lack of leaves on the trees gives you views of the parks that you might miss in the summer.  I recently visited the McKeldin Area of the Patapsco State Park.   This area is just off of Marriottsville Road. 

   The map below show the trail along the Patapsco River. 
   This 16 mile trail is one that can be a full day hike over some hilly areas but for any experienced hiker it provides some scenery that makes the hike very enjoyable.

     Most of the trail is easy to follow by dirt trail

  At some points the trail climbs the rolling terrain high above the river.

   At most points it stays very close to the river.

     Along the trail you can see the granite outcroppings that once were the basis for the granite industry in the area and gave the name to the town of Granite.

   There are even some caves along the trail like the one shown below.


       Great volunteer opportunity if you would like to share your love of nature in Howard County.   The Howard County Conservancy is now looking for volunteers to take their naturalist training in March.  Check it out here

 #hocoblogs #hocomd

Friday, February 27, 2015

House of Cards is back!!!

     OK for those of you who have not watched the first two seasons of House of Cards on Netflix you probably don't realize how many of us political junkies will be binge watching the latest episodes of House of Cards today.   It maybe far fetched how Frank Underwood operates in the rough and tumble would of our Capitol but it is great fun to watch how ruthless a politician can be.  This show is worth a year subscription to Netflix.

    Another side in the immigration debate.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gun reality in Howard County

     Just over a year ago we were all shocked with the shooting that took place in the Columbia Mall.  Gun violence is something that is still rare in Howard County.  But as Tom Coale recently pointed out in his blog HoCo Rising there is no County law against bringing a gun into a County building.
For this reason a bill has been introduced in the Howard County Council to make it illegal to bring a gun into a County building.  Public safety officers would be exempted.
      As noted in an article in the Baltimore Sun, counties in our area have different rules for bringing a gun into a County owned building.  It is good to see that soon Howard County will join the other "sane" counties in outlawing guns in our County buildings.

     I couldn't help with making my political comment in the last sentence.  I can't image why any "sane" jurisdiction would not have this type of legislation.

#hocoblogs  #hocomd

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Howard County Book Connection


    Each year the Howard County Community College, Howard County Library and other community organizations come together to read and discuss a selected book.  The book selected for this year is Tribes by Nina Raine.  The book selected for the 2015-2016 year will be Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
     Join the Book Connection on Monday, February 23, 2015, 2-3:20 PM, in Smith Theatre, for a lively panel discussion of the play Tribes, as well as performances by hearing and deaf actors/faculty and a virtual meeting with author Nina Raine.

      Then on Friday, February 27, 9:30-11:00 AM, in Monteaboro Recital Hall, watch as Peter Cook, an internationally known Deaf performing artist, showcases his original stories with versatility by incorporating pantomime, acting, and movement in an innovative style told in American Sign Language (ASL). More information about these events     
     For more information on the program click here.   

     To nominate a book for the 2016-2017 year click here.

#hocoblogs #hocomd

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fuel fund

   We received our gas and electric bill last week and it was the highest I remember in a long, long time.   Our cold weather has put a dent in everyone's monthly budget but for many low income families in Howard County it has led to some very tough decisions.  Rent or utility bill or medicine.  The Fuel Fund of Maryland provides financial support to those families to try and cushion the high utility bills in our County.  Here is some information about the program and how to apply.

FUEL FUND: Assists residents with fuel bills after MEAP or FEMA programs have
been exhausted. The utility company will give $1 in bill credit for every $2 that
the Fuel Fund gives. The client is asked to pay something according to their

ELIGIBILITY EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015
Monthly Annually
1 $1,945.00 $23,340.00
2 $2,621.67 $31,460.00
3 $3,298.33 $39,580.00
4 $3,975.00 $47,700.00
5 $4,651.67 $55,820.00
6 $5,328.33 $63,940.00
For each additional person, add $338.33 monthly and $4,060 annually.

ELIGIBILITY: Will qualify for assistance if your income is within Fuel Fund
 guidelines and you have a turn-off notice and you have not received help
from the fuel fund in the past 12 months.

Howard County Community Action Council

6751 Columbia Gateway Drive 2nd Floor
Columbia MD
21046  View map of this locationHours of operation:
Mon: 8:30AM 4:30PM
Tue: 8:30AM 4:30PM
Wed: 8:30AM 4:30PM
Thu: 8:30AM 4:30PM
Fri: 8:30AM 4:30PM  

     The Fuel Fund is sponsoring a run at Schooley Run Mill Park here in Howard County.
Fuel Fund 5K Trail Run
Share the Power, Share the Hour
November 1, 2015 at 9am
This family friendly event at Schooley Mill Park in Howard County will include a timed 5K trail run and a 1 mile fun run, as well as activities for kids and great exhibits about energy. It takes place on Sunday November 1, day light savings day. Participants will be called to use their extra hour to share the power with others, power that the time change and Fuel Fund programs help us conserve, power that is unaffordable for many families in Maryland. Registration will be available late March.  Follow the Fuel Fund on facebooktwitter or on our website for updates.