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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why is traditional business afraid of innovation?

       
      A favorite blogging topic of mine is how organizations and businesses develop a new product or service that threatens their existing business and lose the opportunity to grow.  The latest example of this is Kodak filing for Chapter 11.  For those of us that grew up with Kodak Instamatics in the 60's and 70's and Kodachrome 64 film (couldn't help but do this link on Kodachrome too) it is hard to believe that this company that defined photography for over a hundred years could have fallen so far.

     We all now know that Kodak's slow response to digital photography set the stage for their demise.  So who invented digital photography?  It was Kodak. Two engineers at Kodak in 1978 received a patent for a digital camera.  Instead of embracing a potential new technology Kodak saw it as a threat to its profitable film business and lost the opportunity to exploit the new technology.  The Japanese company Fuji and others were the ones to fully embrace the digital technology and the decline of Kodak began.  Kodak now hopes to reorganized as a company selling printers and printer photo paper.

     Does this all sound familiar?  Who invented the digital watch?  In 1973 a Swiss watchmaker developed the digital watch but again lost the opportunity to be a leader in the new technology to the Japanese company Seiko.  Which car company produced the first mass produced electric cars in the 1990's?  How about General Motors. For three years GM produced the EV-1 electric car that was only available to lease and not to buy.  The plan was to develop the technology before producing the cars for purchase. GM decided that the market was unprofitable and ended the experiment after three years and took all the leased cars and destroyed them so that they wouldn't be reproduced.  A good movie to watch on this is available from Netflix "Who Killed the Electric Car?" Again a company lost an opportunity in marketing a new product to the Japanese companies of Toyota and Honda.  This leads to the phrase "The World invents and Japan mass produces."

So how does a business stay innovative?  The following is from a Bloomberg Business Week report on 3M:

So how does an old company stay so inventive? Larry Wendling, vice-president of 3M's corporate research labs at its St. Paul (Minn.) campus, thinks he knows. In fact, Wendling, an engineer who joined 3M right out of graduate school in 1977, has boiled it down to a seven-point list. You might call it "The Seven Habits of Highly Innovative Corporations."

1. From the chief executive on down, the company must be committed to innovation. One sure way to show that is with money. In 2005, 3M spent $1.24 billion on research and development, or 6% of its $21.2 billion in revenue. That's an unusually high amount for an industrial manufacturer. And of that R&D outlay, a fifth went to basic research or pursuits that have no immediate practicality. "If you're going to be an innovative company," Wendling says, "organic growth and new products have to be what drives the company."

2. The corporate culture must be actively maintained. Though 3M has had a new CEO every five years on average over the past 40 years, the philosophy of William L. McKnight, its inspirational leader from 1929 to 1966, is passed along by old-timers like Wendling to every new scientist or engineer. In a nutshell: "Hire good people and let them do their job in their own ways. And tolerate mistakes." Newcomers also quickly learn the stories of how 3M developed the first audio tapes, for instance, or Scotchgard. Tribes and peoples keep their cultures alive through oral histories; so does 3M.

3. Innovation is impossible without a broad base of technology. For instance, 3M claims to have leading know-how in 42 diverse technologies. That allows researchers to take an idea from one realm and apply it to another. For example, 3M scientists have used a technology behind layered plastic lenses to make more durable abrasives, more reflective highway signs, and golf gloves that allow you to get a tighter grip without squeezing as hard. Companies that remained "unidimensional," as Wendling puts it, typically run out of ideas after their first success.

4. Talk, talk, talk. Management at 3M has long encouraged networking -- formal and informal -- among its researchers. Wendling calls this 3M's secret weapon. The scientists themselves formed an organization called the Technical Forum in 1951. It invites all of the company's 9,700 R&D personnel to an annual symposium, where everyone can see what everyone else is working on. Labs also host their own conferences and Webcasts and elect representatives to a governing body to set policy. The formal structure enables researchers to get to know one another informally, as well, so they know whom to call for advice or to team up with on a project.

5. Set individual expectations and reward employees for outstanding work. The folks who call themselves 3Mers take pride in discoveries that lead to real-world products. Management reinforces this by fostering a dual-career ladder so veteran researchers can continue to move up without becoming managers. It also honors hundreds of employees -- nominated and selected by their peers -- for scientific achievements every year. And it gives the top 20 overachievers and their spouses a four-day holiday at 3M's corporate retreat in Park Rapids, Minn.

6. Quantify efforts. 3M tallies how much of its revenue comes from products introduced in the past four years to judge whether its R&D money is being spent wisely. That way management can assess which lab is hitting its mark and which may be falling short. After reviewing its data, the company centralized basic research from 14 centers around the world to its headquarters campus in 2003.

7. Research must be tied to the customer. Employees spend a lot of time with customers to understand what their needs are so they can go back to the labs to come up with valuable products. The Post-it Photo Paper came out of such research. While digital photography is easy, 3M researchers learned that most people store their images on a computer, which means they might have to scroll through them all to find a particular shot. And if consumers do print out their favorites, they often stuff them in a drawer, where they're just as hard to find. The solution: Photos that are as easy to display as a Post-it note.

Of course, results will vary. Still, Wendling says his points have made the difference at 3M. "We do think innovation is more than an accident," he says, "and that you can create the environment for innovation by paying attention to these seven things." 

 

P.S.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, Feb. 28th to eat at the Green Turtle (8872 Mcgaw Road, #C - Columbia, MD 21045). 10% of the days proceeds will be donated to Neighbor Ride to support their volunteer-based senior transportation program.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Helping Young People Understand Finance

On Saturday I had a chance to go over to Howard Community College to see an event that makingChange and Junior Achievement sponsored for young people to understand the financial decisions families make every month in developing a budget. Every young person was given a scenario that told them what monthly income they had and information about their family.  They then had to visit each of the tables that represented another monthly expense such as housing, entertainment, cable, savings, food, clothing and even philanthropy.  They had a range that they could choose to select how much they wanted to spend on that expense.  What most people found out was how limited their choices were on the incomes they had.  They could clearly see what a luxury it was to have parents paying for most of their essentials and how they spent most of their money on items that really are luxuries.   What you need and what you want become clearer.

Below is the case scenario I was given:
Your Life Situation Credit Analyst
Age: 25
Married: No
Ages of Children: N/A
Career Cluster
Business Management & Finance
Education Background/Cost
I am a graduate of a North High School, which cost nothing to attend. I also earned a bachelor's degree in accounting, which cost $23,456 with a partial scholarship.
Employment Background
During summers in high school and college, I answered phones for a local credit bureau. I found analyzing finances to be interesting and realized I wanted to work in this kind of environment. A friend told me about the job I now have.
Education/Employment Objective
I love working in my company's underwriting department, making decisions, reviewing credit information, and approving loans for customers and businesses. Since I am in such a competitive field, I plan to take evening classes to begin working on my master's degree.
Gross Annual Income (GAI)      $41,316
Gross Monthly Income (GMI)   $ 3,443
(GAI divided by 12 months= GMI)
Federal Taxes
Monthly Federal Income Tax  $ 112
Monthly Social Security Tax $   91
Monthly Medicare Tax           $  51
Total Monthly Federal Taxes  $ 254
Net Monthly Income Calculation
Gross Monthly Income         $ 3,443
Monthly Federal Taxes           254
Net Monthly Income (NMI)=  $3,189
After paying off student loans, rent, car payment and food I didn't have a lot to spare for much else.

P.S.
After more than a year, the draft Aquatics Master Plan is ready for public review. The community is encouraged to attend a public meeting/work session on the draft plan on Tuesday, January 31st, 7:00PM at Claret Hall in the River Hill Village Center. This meeting is hosted by the CA Board of Directors Planning and Strategy Committee. There will be a brief presentation by CA staff, remarks by the Chair of the Aquatics Master Plan Task Force and then then time for resident speak-out followed by Board discussion.

While registration is not required, it is appreciated. Please visit http://draft-aqua-plan-review.eventbrite.com/ to register for this event. For more information on this project, please visit ColumbiaAssociation.org/AquaticsMasterPlan.

P.S. 2
Is Fracking in Maryland's Future?

TOWN HALL MEETING

Tuesday, January 31, 7 p.m.

East Columbia Library

6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia


Maryland is studying whether to allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract natural gas. 

The public is invited to join experts on natural gas issues for a town hall meeting to discuss environmental concerns, economic impacts and more.
Panelists are:

• Maryland Delegate Heather Mizeur, sponsor of the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Act

• Mike Tidwell, Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network

• Harry Weiss, a member of the state panel studying natural gas drilling and an attorney with Ballard Spahr who has represented both landowners and oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania.




Sunday, January 29, 2012

Northern Italy Pizza

Years ago when I visited Italy I landed in Milan and expected the kind of Italian food that we Americans associated with Italy.  What I was surprised about was that the food in Milan was more French than what I thought to be Italian.  Until I reached Rome and Naples did I find the Italian food I expected.  Pizza in Milan and Venice was not quite what I expected.

Yesterday I recreated the pizza that I remember from Milan.  It had a tomato sauce with a beef stock and burgundy flavor.  I sauteed some mushrooms, added beef stock, garlic, red wine vinegar and a little plum sauce to cut the vinegar.  After sauteing  I added the tomato sauce.  For the cheese I used a mixture of goat cheese and mozzarella. I always put the cheese down first and then squeeze the tomato sauce on top.  I put the sauce in a zip lock bag and snip the corner of the bag to squeeze out the sauce. Put some sliced cherry tomatoes and smoked pancetta on top and cooked at 550 degrees on a pizza brick.  Good pizza.

P.S.
About 10 years ago I noticed that landscaping companies were using pansies for some color during the winter.  I have done a little research and found that we are in what is considered Zone 7 of the plant hardiness map.  This puts us right at the edge of the region for being able to use pansies in the winter.  Above Baltimore you won't see many of the pansies. This year our temperatures have been closer to the normal temperatures probably 200 or 300 miles South of here.  The pansies sure looked nicer than the winter cabbage that had been used before in the winter.  With the mild winter and lack of snow I have been noticing how well the pansies are holding up.  Usually by now the color has faded from the pansies because of cold weather and snow.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Howard County Library System and Howard County Schools Partner on the A+ Programs at the Library

Howard County Schools have partnered with the Howard County Library on a number of programs to make learning fun.  These programs are all part of the Library's A+ program. If you know of kids in a Howard County School encourage them to participate in one of these programs.
 
BumbleBee Awards Ceremony 
 
Join us for the sixth annual BumbleBee Celebration. A companion to the HCLS Spelling Bee, the BumbleBee inspires first through third grade students to build vocabularies, learn spelling tips, and gain confidence in front of an audience.
HCLS, Miller Branch
Monday, March 5
7 pm
Sponsored by The Columbia Rotary Club, Rotary Club of Columbia-Patuxent, Columbia Town Center Rotary Club, Elkridge Rotary Club, Ellicott City Rotary Club, Rotary Club of Clarksville at Maple Lawn, and Rotary Club of Ellicott City-Sunrise.
HCLS Spelling Bee 
Cheer on the county’s outstanding spellers (fourth through eighth grade students) as they compete for the county crown. Winners from 64 public and private schools and homeschool association bees will spell off for the chance to advance to the National Spelling Bee! 
Reservoir High School
Friday, March 9
7 pm
BB&T, Title Sponsor
Friends of Howard County Library, Queen Bee Sponsor

DEAR Graduation 
Congratulate third grade students who improved their reading skills by reading to a therapy dog in Dogs Educating and Assisting Readers (DEAR).

HCLS, East Columbia Branch (50+ Center)
Saturday, March 24
11 am
Sponsored by Friends of Howard County Library.

Money Matters Fair 

Kick off Financial Education month with a fun-filled line-up of activities to learn smart ways to stretch your money! The fair includes free shredding by Incred-A-Shred, Mind Your Pennies with Buck for kids, Y-Fi interactive activities for teens, free credit reports, tax advice, and information about personal finance and financial aid for college.
HCLS, East Columbia Branch
Saturday, March 31
10 am - 1 pm
Cosponsored by Howard County Council member Calvin Ball, Howard Community College, Howard County Public School System, makingCHANGE: A Financial Wellness Center, and Friends of Howard County Library.  
 

Mark Your Calendars 

April 14
Children's Discovery Fair
HCLS, East Columbia Branch
 
April 20
Battle of the Books
Atholton, Long Reach, and Oakland Mills High Schools
 
May 8
Rube Goldberg Challenge Awards Ceremony

HCLS, Miller Branch

June 2
Summer Reading Kickoff
HCLS, Miller Branch

Friday, January 27, 2012

K.D. Lange---simply the best

 End of the week and listening to one of my favorite performers--K.D. Lange.  Thought I would share some of her vocals with everyone.
Constant Craving

Hallelujah


Thursday, January 26, 2012

The New Miller Library--Not your Grandfather's library

I did a brief blog a couple of weeks ago about my first visit to the new Miller Branch Library in Ellicott City but I wanted to go back and take some pictures to show some of its unique features.  This branch brings new meaning to the three pillars of the Library System: Self-Directed Education, Research Assistance & Instruction, and Instructive & Enlightening Experiences.  Howard County has a new reason to be proud of our County.
The main entrance to the Library has a frog to greet you and some river stones to remind you of the rivers in the area.
Right inside the entrance you can see that this is a 21st Century library with the wall of touchscreen panels that attract library patrons in an interactive manner.
One of the unique ways the Library attracts young patrons is to have special areas for different age groups of young people. This area is for young readers.  The Tech Lab should be popular with teens with changing coloring of the lighting system that has to also be seen.
The Enchanted Garden will be dedicated this Spring.  This area will be a community based teaching garden which will focus on health, nutrition, and environmental education.
The Terrace Overlook allows customers to read and work outdoors while enjoying the green vegetated roof and views beyond. Designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification from the United States Green Building Council, the energy efficient new Library includes 72 solar panels and ample natural light.
One of the most unique aspects of the Library is in its title--Miller Library and Historical Center.  It houses the new home of the Howard County Historical Society.  I found it fascinating to look at the old pictures taken from around the County.  Definitely stop in to chat with the folks staffing the Historical Center on the second floor.


P. S.
Learn about NeighborRide from a new YouTube video. Watch and maybe consider being a volunteer driver.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Homeless in Howard County


       Last Sunday the Baltimore Sun highlighted the fact that many people using the Cold Weather Shelter program are young people and families with children. Grassroots operates the shelter in partnership with religious congregations in Howard County. As the Grassroots website explains:

"The cold weather shelter is a partnership with the faith community and Howard County government which provides overflow shelter from November through March. Congregations host the shelter for one or two weeks and provide volunteers for transportation, meals, laundry and to work shifts in the shelter. Grassroots provides administrative coordination and a staff person to act as the team leader during the hours that the shelter is open.  For more information on the Cold Weather Shelter program, please contact Anna Katz, the CWS Coordinator at 410-531-6006 or anna@grassrootscrisis.org."

     The Sun story reported that over 200 students attending Howard County schools are classified as being homeless and eligible for transportation to their home school even if they are now temporarily living out of district or even out of the County.  Somehow most people's image of a homeless person is a man with an addiction sleeping or panhandling on the street in Baltimore.  Certainly not a child who is attending a school with your child or the family that lived next door to you until recently.

      What for most of us was a  recession was a depression for many Howard County families barely making it in normal times. Over 7,600 families in Howard County, about 10% of all families, have a income under $25,000 a year according to the Howard County Self Sufficient Index Report released last year. The Report also indicates that in the past 4 years the number of County residents applying for food stamps has increased by 146% and the same increase has been seen in people using the Howard County Food Bank. The Howard County General Hospital has seen almost a 40% increase in uncompensated care.  In just the past 2 years there has been a 45% increase in eviction prevention grants.


       In Howard County we are fortunate to have a resource such as Grassroots that provides so many valuable resources for the homeless.  If you are interested in becoming involved in addressing this issue with Grassroots click on this link.

P.S.
Howard County PFLAG has indicated that the Maryland Senate will hold a hearing on the Marriage Equality bill next Tuesday at 9 am. You can RSVP if you want to join them in Annapolis.

P.S.2
Howard County Schools are hosting an educational session on their career academies tomorrow 1/26 at 7 pm at the East Columbia Library.  These academies are career choices that we all used to know as part of the old Vo-Tech programs and some new ones.

P.S.3
The Journey camps for 8th and 9th grade girls are now accepting applications.  These are camps sponsored by the Women's Giving Circle.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Horizon Foundation transitions

 Today the Horizon Foundation announced the new President and CEO, Nicolette Highsmith Vernick. As a major institution in Howard County any change in leadership at Horizon is big news.  The impact of the Horizon Foundation is widely felt in the County and it has provided leadership in addressing the well being of residents of Howard County.  I am sure that the new President will find Howard County to be a welcoming resource rich community with a wide diversity of residents.
However the transition is also a melancholy one with Rich Krieg moving on to new adventures in the next phase of his life.  While the day to day responsibilities of the Foundation will no longer be his I am sure that Rich will find new ways to contribute his talents in our community and the broader world. A conversation with Rich was always stimulating in an exchange of creative ideas.  Good luck in your new ventures--you will be missed.   

P.S  
Recreation and Parks is taking a survey of how County residents use their parks. Take their customer satisfaction survey.


P.S. 2
Couldn't help but noticed the depressed mood of many folks yesterday with the results of the Ravens game.  Sometimes it is easier to get blown out than to lose a close one.  But hey it is only two and a half months to baseball season.  Oh wait---we live in Oriole country.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Connecting Columbia Bike and Walking Path System


I recently blogged on how much I missed our paths when I was away from town for three weeks. I was interested in attending a recent meeting hosted by the Columbia Association to outline their plans to:

  "develop an Active Transportation Action Agenda to create a more interconnected and comprehensive bicycling and walking circulation system for health, recreational and transportation purposes. This project will result in a list of action items that will improve safe pedestrian and bicycle connections throughout Columbia, with an emphasis on CA's pathways. This project will be coordinated with the County's Bicycle Master Plan initiative, which will focus more on the county's roadways."

The Howard County Bicycle Master Plan initiative  will look at how a path system within the County can make bike transportation more a reality for commuting and other short trips.  This of course will strongly depend on the path system in Columbia but hopefully provide biking lanes along other major routes to provide a safe way to bike to many places in the County.  As our once lightly traveled roads continue to carry more and more traffic having designated lanes for bikes it now a necessity.  No other metropolitan area has developed this more than Seattle.  When I have been in Seattle it is amazing how many bikes come into the city during commuting times.

At the Connecting Columbia meeting attendees could identify areas for improvements in the path system.  You can take a survey to tell how you use the path system.

So what is the hoped for outcome of all this work?  The goals and objectives are this:

Goal:
To create a more interconnected bicycling and walking circulation system in Columbia for health, recreational, and transportation purposes

Objectives:
  • Increase the amount of bicycling and walking throughout Columbia among people of all ages and abilities
  • Improve the safety of the pathway system
  • Increase connectivity to key destinations
  • Make Columbia's pathway network is easy to navigate
  • Coordinate this project with the County's Bicycle Master Plan.
  Desired Outcome: Desired outcomes for this project include an implementable action agenda that establishes priorities for Columbia bicycling and pedestrian network improvements; identifies implementation projects, including a pathway signage/wayfinding pilot project; creates a series of route maps; recommends partnerships; and identifies responsible parties for the implementation projects.
 Timeline: November 2011 to June 2012.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

TV worth watching--Nature on PBS

With the proliferation of cable channels like the History Channel and the Discovery Channel the question is the Public Broadcasting System necessary?  Shows like Nature on PBS show why the PBS system is still relevant.  If you haven't been a viewer of this program you have missed one of the best shows on television.  This week at 8 pm on Wednesday the show is about bears in Alaska that shows the quality of the show.  Watch it and see what I mean.

One of the best shows they have had on this year is about an elephant named Echo.

P.S.
Enjoy Etta James who died this week.
Sunday Kind of Love
The Very Thought of You
At Last

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Savory Pancakes

When you think of pancakes we all think of a sweet breakfast food with syrup.  But the basic pancake mix can be made into a much different experience for breakfast or dinner that is more of a savory dish than sweet.  Here are some examples.

1) Ricotta  Cheese Pancakes

Makes 20 (3-inch) pancakes
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Preheat oven to 200ºF.
  • Cook onion, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in 2 tablespoons butter in a small heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, then add cottage cheese, eggs, flour, 1/4 cup butter, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper and whisk until combined.
  • Brush a 12-inch nonstick skillet with some of remaining butter and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 5, scoop 1/8-cup measures of batter into skillet and cook until undersides are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook until undersides are golden brown and pancakes are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Brush skillet with butter between batches if necessary.
    2) Carrot and Sweet Potato Pancakes
    Pureeing cooked carrots and cooked sweet potato and adding to any pancake mix with a little vanilla makes a great way to add vegetables to your diet in a delicious way.  Add a little crushed drained pineapple and syrup as a topping and you have your fruit too.

    3) Mexican Pancakes
    1/2 cup salsa
    1/2 cup cooked onion
    1/2 cup cooked green peppers
    1/3 cup chopped ham
    Mix ingredients into pancake batter
    Pour batter with ingredients on hot pan and drop a cracked egg in the middle of each pancake
    Flip pancake to cook egg well
    Top grilled pancake with more salsa and sour cream

    4) Decadent Pancakes
    These  are pancakes I haven't tried but had a friend once told me about.  He took a Cinnabon and sliced it into 3/4 inch slices and dipped it in pancake batter and grilled them.  He called them decadent pancakes.  Maybe I will try them some day.

      

Friday, January 20, 2012

What if there was no Internet--We got a small taste of it yesterday

I mentioned in yesterday's blog how much we have all come to rely on Wikipedia for information on just about any subject.  Not having that available for only one day brought many of us to recognize how dependent we are on the internet to do the things that we do everyday. Remember not having Google, Wikipedia, Craigslist, Amazon, podcasts, You Tube, Facebook, LinkedIn or blogs?

Yesterday's online protest was directed at legislation in Congress to protect copyrights of proprietary information that was promoted by companies which own a great deal of this information such at TV networks, movie and record companies.  Legislation that had gathered a great deal of support suddenly lost that support with the onslaught of phone calls and emails to Congressional offices yesterday when Wikipedia shut down for the day and Google had a piece of tape over their name to symbolize suppression of information on the internet.

The new rules for sharing information, music, pictures and other proprietary material online is a battle that will continue to be fought as the digital age continues.  How the owners of the proprietary material accept the general public having access in a manner that expands their business and not contract it will continue to be a work in progress.  Napster evolved into ITunes.  Book publishers are now trying to determine how they will grant library patrons the ability to directly downloaded from library sites.  Eventually a system will be developed granting libraries the ability to purchase a limited number of licenses for books which can be downloaded by library patrons. The downloaded copies of books would disappear from an eReader after 3 weeks and not be copyable. No owner of proprietary material wants to go the way of Border's or Kodak.

P.S.
This Sunday, frozen footprints provide special clues about winter wildlife at the Robinson Nature Center in the Making Tot Tracks program. 4-6 year old children can be detectives for an afternoon in which games, stories and a short hike lead to discoveries of how animals survive the cold weather and harsh conditions of this season. You must pre-register your child for this program by calling 410-313-0400.

The Robinson Nature Center will begin accepting registrations for student field trips beginning March 1. The Center will hold free teacher open houses on the following dates: 
·        Wednesday, January 25, 3-5 p.m. – secondary educators
·        Thursday, January 26, 4:30-6:30 p.m. – elementary educators

Middle school educators may attend either session; each session will include a tour, planetarium show and a time for questions and answers.  Due to limited parking, a third open house for pre-school educators will be scheduled in February.  Check the website at www.howardcountymd.gov/RobinsonNatureCenter.htm for a date and time
P.S.2
HISTORIC HOUSE LOVER ALERT! --
Burleigh Manor -- one of Howard County's most beautiful and extraordinary historic homes -- is going to be open to the public for a cocktail reception this weekend. It is a Federal-style brick dwelling built about 1810, laid in Flemish bond. The probable builder was Colonel Rezin Hammond (1745–1809), who constructed it for his grandnephew Denton Hammond (1785–181...3). It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Click on the link included in the video to RSVP to this event hosted by The Northrop Team.

Burleigh Manor Mansion
3950 White Rose Way
Ellicott City, MD 21042

Saturday, January 21, 2012 from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM (ET)
See More

www.youtube.com
Click the following link to RSVP for this event! http://3950whiteroseway.eventbrite.com/

P.S. 3
County Executive Ulman and County Council invite you to join them for a celebration of the Lunar New Year 4710, the Year of  the Dragon. The event will be held at George Howard Building, Banneker Room Friday, January 20th at 4 pm. Its address is 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City. It will feature cultural performances and ethnic food. FREE and OPEN to the public.


 P.S.4
Join the Howard County Department of Citizen Services, Office of Children's Services this Sat (1/21) for their annual "Children on Board” Child Care and Preschool Info Fair from 9 am-1 pm @ Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville. The Fair provides parents, guardians, grandparents and child care personnel w/ a “one stop shop...” for info on child care and pre-school programs, as well as the opport. to talk face-to-face w/ teachers and program directors. Admission is free; however, attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the HoCo Food Bank. For more info, contact the Office @ 410-313-1940.
P.S.5
       On June 5, 2012, Howard County will recognize the achievements and contributions of its foreign-born community at The Tenth Annual American Success Awards Dinner, sponsored by FIRN, Inc.        Since its beginning, immigrants have come to America with dreams of success for their new life. Here in Howard County, immigrants from around the world have seen that dream come true through satisfying and worthwhile jobs, outstanding professional careers, prosperous businesses, and generous civic involvement.
 They are asking for your help to identify nominees who embody the spirit of “American Success.”

The award criteria are that recipients must:
 1) be foreign-born individuals who live or work in Howard County
 2) be either the owner of a successful Howard County business or have achieved a high level of success in his/her chosen profession
 3) have made a significant contribution to either the ethnic or general community through his/her volunteer services in Howard County.
 To download a nomination form from our website, please click here
Please note that nominations are due to FIRN by February 8, 2012.