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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Columbia Association clothing drive


 

Winter will be here too soon for most of us enjoying the cooling Fall weather.  It also means a time for the CA clothing drive.  Here is their info:



   "To you, it may just be a winter coat you don’t often wear or a piece of clothing that no longer fits. But to community members in need, those individual donations add up. That’s why collection boxes are being placed around Columbia for Columbia Association’s (CA) seventh annual clothing drive organized by CA’s Youth and Teen Center and its Teen Outreach Committee.

Collection boxes will be stationed in October and November at:

All 10 village community association buildings
Columbia Art Center (6100 Foreland Garth in the Long Reach Village Center)
Youth and Teen Center @ The Barn (5853 Robert Oliver Place in the Oakland Mills Village Center)
Eggspectation restaurant (6010 University Blvd., Ellicott City)

Those donating can bring in new and gently used clothes, shoes and accessories, including but not limited to ties, belts, hosiery, hats, gloves, pocketbooks and jewelry. Also important are coats and socks, children’s clothes, and career clothes for both men and women.

These donated items will then be distributed to community members in need on Saturday, Jan. 16, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Sunday, Jan. 17, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Both distribution days will be held at The Barn, 5853 Robert Oliver Place in the Oakland Mills Village Center. Last year’s clothing drive brought in more than 20,000 items and served more than 1,000 families. The need remains this year as well.

Volunteering opportunities are not limited solely to the youth community. CA welcomes community members and organizations wishing to participate in the project. Those who are interested in earning community service hours by assisting with the collection, sorting, set-up and distribution should contact Safire Windley at Safire.Windley@ColumbiaAssociation.org or 410-992-3726.

The Youth and Teen Center (YTC) at The Barn is a fun, safe way for teens and pre-teens to socialize and participate in recreational and educational programs. Columbia and Howard County kids ages 9 to 18 are welcomed year round with after-school, summertime and some weekend activities and programs that are designed to promote self-esteem and to develop life skills. The YTC is located at 5853 Robert Oliver Place in the Oakland Mills Village Center. More information is available at ColumbiaAssociation.org/YTC. "

#hocoblogs

Monday, September 28, 2015

I will never use a taxi again!!



     I think this is the first time I have ever blogged on a service.  On a recent trip I needed to take a taxi from my hotel to the car rental place-- a distance of about 5 miles.  Taking a taxi cost me $30 with a tip.  On my return trip I decided to try something different.  I signed up for Uber and thought I might as well try it for the first time.  It was easy to use.  I entered the address where I was and then where I wanted to go.  Within 30 seconds I had the name and picture of the person giving me the ride and the amount I would owe.  Same ride using Uber cost me $9.80 including tip!  The driver pulled up within a minute and took me to my hotel in half the time of the taxi ride.  The ride was charged to my credit card I had listed on setting up my Uber account and I had a receipt as I walked into my hotel.
   We have seen how Amazon killed book stores and it seems only a matter of time until taxis go away the same way with Uber and services like Uber.  The world is "getting flat".

P.S.
   If you want to sign up for an Uber account use the code duanes270ue and get a $20 credit for your first ride.  Full disclosure I get a $20 credit for everyone who uses my code.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Want to have a rain garden?



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Library looking for 75 6th and 7th grade students

   To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Howard County Library the Library is looking for 75 students to be "guardians" for the Library for the next 25 years.  Here is the information from the Library:

Howard County Library System (HCLS) is seeking sixth and seventh grade Howard County students who are willing to carry on the HCLS legacy as Guardians of the Chapters-of-Our-Lives Time Capsule.
guardian-pageOn Saturday, October 24, HCLS’ 75th Diamond Anniversary year concludes with Celebrate 75! This community-wide celebration will be held at the Miller Branch from 10 am to 2 pm.
Festivities will begin with an opening ceremony unveiling the HCLS Chapters-of-Our-Lives Time Capsule. Filled with a treasure trove of items representative of HCLS and the year 2015, this Time Capsule is a collection of three containers, all part of a 75-year plan.
To help champion this ambitious undertaking, HCLS is looking for 75 sixth and seventh grade students who will pledge to be Guardians of the first chapter of HCLS’ legacy for the next 25 years.
Do you have what it takes to be a Guardian? We hope so! To qualify, Guardians must:
    • Live or attend school in Howard County
    • Be in the sixth or seventh grade (public, private, or home school)
    • Provide written answers to three questions to be placed in the Time Capsule
    • Agree to take the Chapters of Our Lives pledge (see application)
    • Attend the Time Capsule Ceremony from 10 to 11 am, as part of the Celebrate 75 event on Saturday, October 24, 2015
#hocoblogs

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Learn about the area around Lake Kittamaqundi



      Join Ned Tillman for a walk around Lake Kittamaqundi on Thursday and learn about how our central city will be changing in the near future.  Here is the information from Ned:

"Lake Kittamaqundi now has a wonderful and complete, new paved path all around it with several wooden bridges. Have you walked it yet? If not, come join me as I lead mythird walk of the season for the Columbia Association on Sept 24th at 10 am. Meet me at the People Tree on the Lakefront near Clydes.
We will check out the beautiful new rain gardens built as part of the restoration of the Rouse Building for Whole Foods. We will explore all the new plantings of the Kennedy Gardens as well as the wild, native persimmon trees which should be loaded with fruit this time of year.
We will also discuss how the lake was built in the floodplain of the Little Patuxent River which may be a good thing for the river but not so good for the lake when there is a big storm that breaches the narrow perimeter of land between the two. We will also keep our eyes open for all sorts of birds, insects, shrubs, vines, and trees.
Crescent and PlanIf time permits we will discuss the plans for the rebuilding of Columbia, from downtown to the Crescent and Symphony Woods. There is a lot that will be happening over the next few years so it is important to stay tuned.
Take-a-way: Plan to join me this Thursday, Sept 24th
 at the People Tree. Bring a friend, your walking shoes, and a reusable water bottle."

#hocoblogs

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Columbia Bike About this Saturday


   This Saturday one of the best annual events will be occurring with this year's Bike About.  Here is the information and registration site.

   "Columbia Association’s (CA) annual BikeAbout will be held Saturday, Sept. 26, with riders setting off from the Downtown Columbia Lakefront. The free, fun and informative tour presents Columbia’s history and showcases the connectivity of its pathway system.

Pre-registration is not required but is encouraged via BikeAbout.Eventbrite.com. Columbia BikeAbout will begin at 9:30 a.m. with riders able to start up until 10 a.m. They are expected to complete the ride by 1 p.m.

This year’s route is 12 miles — with the option of adding onto that with a 1.5-mile spin around Lake Kittamaqundi. The course will wind through Town Center, Oakland Mills and Long Reach with interpretive stops that include a 19th century gravesite, a currently struggling village center with an exciting future, and sites of environmental interest that contrast the work done in the early days of Columbia with ideas for protecting the watershed today.

To accommodate families with young children, a 1.5-mile ride is available around Lake Kittamaqundi on the recently completed pathway loop, offering an opportunity to learn about two elements of Columbia Town Center — the built environment and the enhanced natural landscape.

An important aspect of Columbia’s design was preservation of the land. The topography, stream beds and heavily wooded areas were preserved as much as possible. Lakes were created and pathways built to make the natural environment accessible. Columbia BikeAbout is an easy way to explore the extensive 94-mile pathway system, which contributes to the high quality of life that defines Columbia.

Columbia Association also is seeking volunteers who will assist with traffic control and directions along the route. Flexible shifts are available between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. CA welcomes parents who wish to volunteer with their kids. Training and a free T-shirt will be provided. For more information, email Columbia.Archives@ColumbiaAssociation.org or call 410-715-6781.

Columbia BikeAbout is brought to you by Columbia Association’s (CA) Columbia Archives and Open Space Management."


#hocoblogs

Monday, September 21, 2015

Top 15 TV shows all time

     I recently read an article in the Hollywood Reporter on the 100 Top TV shows from one reviewers opinion.  Everyone probably has their top shows so I thought I would post my 20 top favorites.  This includes some old and new shows.  Here would be my list.  With HBO and Netflix the definition of a TV show has changed.  What show have I left out from your list?

1) MASH- I have watched the reruns so much I can do the dialog on some shows with the actors.
2) Homeland-  I have heard people compare this show to 24 but I never watched that show.  No better show for suspend on terrorism.
3) House of Cards-  With Netflix producing this I know that it doesn't make it a TV show but I watch it on my TV so I am including it.
4) Downton Abby-  Of all the Masterpiece Theater shows this has had the biggest following and that includes my whole family.  I will be sad to see it end with this season shows.
5) Modern Family- You can see that the list is favoring current of recent shows.  Best topical comedy since All in the Family.
6) All in the Family- I could relate to "Meathead" in this show.  I knew a lot of Archie Bunkers.
7) Mad Men- Reminding us how sexist the 60's were.  Is this where the Republican candidates want to "restore" us to?
8) Cosby Show- I list it even with the bad news about Bill Cosby.  The show where he shows his son how it is to have to work and pay bills is a masterpiece. Watch it on Hulu is you subscribe.
9) Dick Van Dyke Show-  About time for an oldie show.
10) Mary Tyler Moore- Tie with Dick Van Dyke show
11) 6 Feet Under- R rated cable show available on Netflix.  Funny with a dark side.
If you like Breaking Bad you would like this show.
12) Twilight Zone- 1950's science fiction show that had some interesting plots. Watch on You Tube. The theme music is still eerie after all these year. Rod Sterling was a fascinating man.
13) The Office-  Who couldn't relate to the craziness of working in an office that this show spoofed.
14) Curb Your Enthusiasm- Larry David quirky sense of humor makes this show.
15) The Wire- Rounding out the top 15 is this Baltimore based drug show (interior scenes filmed where our Wegman's is located now) that has done more to damage the image of Baltimore than any other news report could do.

OK your turn.

P.S.
    Special category all by itself is Bill Maher's show Real Time on HBO.  I download the show on Itunes to my MP3 player each week.  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Buying a home in Howard County?

      The Howard County Housing Department will hold its free “HousingMatters” Mini-Fair on September 19, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ascend One Building’s Howard County Public School Conference Center, 8930 Stanford Blvd., Columbia, MD 21045. Anyone who has bought a home here understanding how challenging this can be--especially for a first time buyer. Here is the information on the upcoming workshops.

     "Now in its fourth year, the “Housing Matters” Mini-Fair features educational workshops on the pursuit of homeownership, improvement of an existing home and renter and landlord rights and responsibilities."
   “Our fall mini-fair has become another important community outreach event. Its focus is on education, and it’s becoming almost as popular as our spring fair,” says Howard County Housing Director Tom Carbo, referring to Come Home to Howard County, the state’s largest housing expo. 'There is a real thirst for knowledge when it comes to housing opportunities in Howard County. Not only do people want to know what options they have, but they have a strong desire to understand the home buying process.'”
    To that end, “Housing Matters” will feature educational sessions such as, Managing Your Money; Understanding Your Credit from a Lender’s Perspective; How to Buy Your First Home; andPitfalls to Avoid When Buying a Home, among others.  In addition to the education sessions, realtors, brokers, lenders and bankers will answer questions and meet on-on-one to answer participant’s questions. Credit counselors will also be on hand to provide free credit report consultations throughout the event.
     Door prizes will be awarded at the end of the fair. Free childcare for youth -- ages 3 & up -- will be provided by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks. Interpreters are available for non-English speaking participants who request this service in advance."


For more information about the “Housing Matters” Mini-Fair, and to register for education sessions visit www.howardcountyhousing.com.

P.S.
      Quote of the day:  "I started out with nothing and I have most of it left"


#hocoblogs

Friday, September 11, 2015

New Horizon pictures of Pluto



      I have been fascinated with the New Horizon mission to Pluto and the team controlling this mission mostly live in our community.  How you can accomplish this type of mission is simply amazing. Space continues to surprise us.  Here is the link.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Protecting Social Security numbers

    I talked last week with a person that had their identity compromised when their Social Security number was stolen.  This dramatic action had made their life one of having difficulty with their credit cards, calls from creditors and other endless complications to their life.  You don't realize how much of a problem this is until you talk with someone impacted as this person was.  It is funny how the cards all say that they are not for identification purposes but that is no longer true.  I even remember when college professors would post our grades on their door identified by our Social Security number.  Remember when your health care provider used your Social Security number as your policy number?  Unfortunately you are supposed to still carry your Medicare card with you and your number is your Social Security number.  Maybe it is time to recognize that the use of Social Security numbers are no longer the best way to identify ourselves to government and financial institutions.  We need to develop a system of using a PIN or some other means to make it more difficult to steal and use our Social Security number.  The digital age require a digital solution to improve how we are identified.

P.S.
   The IRS has developed a PIN system to prevent the filing of false tax returns.   I bet you didn't know this.

P.S.1
    Supporters of Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who has refused to issue marriage certificates because she opposes gay marriage, have been comparing her resistance to Martin Luther King when he was jailed in Birmingham in the 1960's,   I think a fairer comparison to that time period is here.




Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lake Elkhorn Alert from Howard County Police

    I wanted to pass along the following from the Howard County Police Department.  As a frequent user of the pathway around Lake Elkhorn this is disturbing news.

HOWARD COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
DAILY CRIME BULLETIN
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2015
Addresses are in hundred blocks.


ROBBERY SERIES ALERT: Howard County police are alerting the public to a series of recent daytime armed robberies around Lake Elkhorn in Columbia, and are working to determine whether they may be connected. While detectives have made an arrest in one case, they are urging residents who walk in the area to be aware and report any suspicious activity.

There have been four robberies over the last month, including two on Labor Day, involving unknown suspects. In each case, there were two suspects described as young black males wearing dark clothes with their faces partially covered.

Sept. 7, 7:10 a.m. An adult male victim was walking in the area of Dockside Lane and Cradlerock Way when he was approached by two suspects matching the above description. One suspect armed with a handgun demanded the victim’s belongings. The victim complied and no one was injured.

Sept. 7, 8:20 a.m. Two adult male victims were walking in the7300 block of Swan Point Way when two suspects matching the same description committed the same crime with a gun. Again, no one was injured.

Aug. 16, 3:20 p.m. An adult female victim was robbed at gunpoint by two suspects in the 9700 block of Broken Land Parkway. The suspects took cash and fled. No injuries.

Aug. 10, 12:15 p.m. Two male victims were robbed at gunpoint in the 9700 block of Broken Land Parkway. Two suspects took wallets and cell phones from victims. No injuries.*

*ARREST: In the Aug. 10 case, police have arrested Shawn Tyree Croston, 17, of 6567 Sweet Fern in Columbia and charged him as an adult with armed robbery, assault and theft. Police are still investigating the second suspect in this case and working to determine if there are links to the other cases. Note: Croston was in police custody at the time of the two Labor Day robberies and continues to be held on no bond at the Howard County Detention Center.

Police are reminding residents in the Lake Elkhorn area to use caution and call 911 for anything suspicious.


P.S.

#hocoblogs

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I'm not "that" person!!!

    For the past couple of years my day has started by deleting 10 or 12 emails from public relations people from the Columbus, Ohio area.  Why am I getting these emails?  Because I am confused for a Duane St. Clair who is a writer for one of the local Columbus, Ohio newspapers.   If you think that opting out of correspondence from these people would end these emails you would be wrong.  I have tried this route but the emails only seem to multiply.   Sometimes I know more about what is happening in Columbus than I do about Columbia.  Are PR people too lazy to do a little research and find out that I am not the person they think I am?
     Of course like most people I have Googled my name and searched WhitePages.com to see how many other Duane St. Clairs there are in the US.  Who would have ever thought that I could find at least 7 other Duane St. Clairs in the US.   In addition to the one in Columbus there is an OB/GYN in Idaho who is involved with Planned Parenthood and has been targeted by anti-abortion advocates.  I guess it wouldn't be safe for me to move to Idaho anytime soon.
     I once sent letters to the 7 other Duane St. Clairs with the addresses I found in WhitePages.com just to say "hi" and comment on how unique it was to share the same name.  I asked each to write back and let me know a little about them.  That must have scared them off because no one wrote back.  I still thought it might be neat to meet someone with whom I shared a name just to compare notes on the name.  Maybe I will bump into them some day.

P.S.
    One other commonality that I have always wanted to find is someone who was born the same day as I was.  I have come close once with a guy who I met and was born the day before me.  I know they are out there and I just have to keep searching.


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Key Lime Pie with blueberries



    It's blueberry season and after a trip recently to Larriland Farm I was looking for a new way to add the blueberries picked to a dessert favorite.  Key lime pie is probably one of my favorite desserts and the addition of the blueberries added some nice sweetness to the tartness of the lime pie.   Add some real whipped cream and you have an easy and tasty dessert for the season.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Arts Council sculptures for 2015


    Once again you are seeing the latest sculptures from the Howard County Arts Council around our County.  Here is some information on this year's sculptures and some photos:
   
    "Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is pleased to announce the 13 sites and sculptures selected for ARTsites 2015, its fourth annual public art initiative in Howard County, MD. The sculptures will be installed in August 2015 and will remain in place until July 2016. About ARTsites: ARTsites 2015 is a year-long outdoor public art exhibit that will take place at 12 sites throughout Howard County. The goal of ARTsites is to place sculpture throughout Howard County in order to engage the community and enhance public spaces. The sculptures will create visual anchor points and increase community access to the arts. The multi-site exhibit will also serve as a visual celebration of HCAC’s more than 30 year history of fostering the arts and bringing the arts to community life. ARTsites Panel: The ARTsites panel selected the host sites and narrowed down the artwork submissions to 30 finalists. The individual sites then selected the work to be installed at their location from among those finalists."


The Artists at Work by Edward Kidera at Columbia Art Center, Long Reach Village Center

Aubergine by Jan Kirsh at Howard County Tourism Welcome Center

Chile Pepper 2 by Jan Kirsh at James and Anne Robinson Nature Center


Sea Glade by Cathy Perry at Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, Howard Community College

Wind Song by Bob Turan at The Arc of Howard County 

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Square Dance by Bob Turan at Howard County General Hospital


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Fork, Knife & Spoon Sun by Andrew Yff at Howard County Library System, Central Branch 

Global Marker by Glenn Zweygardt at Wincopin Lakeside Building, Kincade, LLC

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You’re Doing Great by Zac Benson at East Columbia Branch, Howard County Library System

Symbiosis by Jeff Chyatte at Aida Bistro, Corporate Office Properties Trust

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Chameleon by David Friedheim & Trisha Kyner at George Howard Building, Howard County Government 

Blue Trees & Sky by Cathrin Hoskinson at North Laurel Community Center, Howard County Recreation & Parks

Metamorphosis by Hanna Jubran at Gary J. Arthur Community Center, Howard County Recreation & Parks

 "To learn more about Howard County Arts Council exhibits and programs, visit www.hocoarts.org or call 410-313-ARTS (2787). The Howard County Arts Council is a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve the citizens of Howard County by fostering the arts, artists and arts organizations. The Howard County Arts Council receives major grants from the Howard County Government and the Maryland State Arts Council."


#hocoblogs 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

2015 Columbia Association Bike About


 
     With the return of Fall its time again for the BikeAbout around Columbia sponsored by the Columbia Association.  These easy rides are always fun and educational.  While is it not required it is always good to register for this event.  Here is the information from CA:

 "Columbia Association’s (CA) annual BikeAbout will be held Saturday, Sept. 26, with riders setting off from the Downtown Columbia Lakefront. The free, fun and informative tour presents Columbia’s history and showcases the connectivity of its pathway system.

Pre-registration is not required but is encouraged via BikeAbout.Eventbrite.com. Columbia BikeAbout will begin at 9:30. with riders able to start up until 10:00. They are expected to complete the ride by 1 pm.

This year’s route is 12 miles — with the option of adding onto that with a 1.5-mile spin around Lake Kittamaqundi. The course will wind through Town Center, Oakland Mills and Long Reach with interpretive stops that include a 19th century gravesite, a currently struggling village center with an exciting future, and sites of environmental interest that contrast the work done in the early days of Columbia with ideas for protecting the watershed today.

To accommodate families with young children, a 1.5-mile ride is available around Lake Kittamaqundi on the recently completed pathway loop, offering an opportunity to learn about two elements of Columbia Town Center — the built environment and the enhanced natural landscape.

An important aspect of Columbia’s design was preservation of the land. The topography, stream beds and heavily wooded areas were preserved as much as possible. Lakes were created and pathways built to make the natural environment accessible. Columbia BikeAbout is an easy way to explore the extensive 94-mile pathway system, which contributes to the high quality of life that defines Columbia.

Columbia Association also is seeking volunteers, who will assist with traffic control, directions, registration, and acting as guides at places of interest along the route. Flexible shifts are available between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Training and a free T-shirt will be provided. For more information, email Columbia.Archives@ColumbiaAssociation.org or call 410-715-6781.

Columbia BikeAbout is brought to you by Columbia Association’s (CA) Columbia Archives and Open Space Management."

#hocoblogs