Five Organizations Receive 2017 Audrey Robbins Collaboration Award
The Association of Community Services (ACS) is honoring the public-private collaboration that created the response and restoration efforts after the July 30, 2016, Howard County flood.
The 2017 ACS Audrey Robbins Collaboration Award recognizes the commitment of, and coordinated planning and execution by, the county’s elected officials, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and faith community. Representing the relationships fostered, alliances formed and team approach forged across dozens of organizations in response to the flood are the Office of the Howard County Executive, Howard County Council, Howard County Office of Emergency Management Command, the Ellicott City Partnership and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
For more information, visit

HCAC Seeks Artists for Paint It! Ellicott City 2017
The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is currently seeking artists to take part in Paint It! Ellicott City, 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 7–9. Over 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 in as part of the Open Paint-Out taking place concurrently. The weekend also will include a quick draw competition.
On July 10, 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 juried artists’ exhibit will run through Aug. 11.
The deadline for entries for the juried portion of Paint It! Ellicott City 2017 is April 28. Entry information is available at For more information, email [email protected] or call 410-313-2787.

New Timeline for Annapolis Library Project Unveiled
Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) officials announced an updated timeline for construction of the new Annapolis Regional Library. Demolition of the current facility will take place in March 2018 with the new building expected to be open in late 2019.
The new, 32,500-square-foot facility will nearly double the size of the existing library and provide more meeting room space, a teen zone, an increased children’s area, outdoor space, a vending café, tinker area, a quiet room, comfortable furniture, a tech zone and collaborative workspaces for small groups.
Public comment on the proposed project design is welcome at a permitting hearing to occur in the near future (the first meeting was postponed by the recent snow) at the Annapolis City Council Chambers, at 160 Duke of Gloucester Street. Residents also can review the proposed site design, landscape plan and landscape mitigation plans on

CEI Awards to Be Presented at Howard County GreenFest
On Saturday, April 22, the Community Ecology Institute (CEI) will present its first annual awards to local environmental leaders at the Howard County GreenFest, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Howard Community College, Columbia. Awards for 2017 will be conferred in five categories.
• The Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to Elizabeth Bobo.
• The Experiential Education Award will be awarded to Akiima Price.
• The Community Outreach Award will be awarded to Jodi Rose.
• The Ecosystem Restoration Award will be awarded to the Cunningham Family of Mary’s Land Farm.
• The Youth Leadership Award will be awarded to Katie Elicker.
Activities will include a natural play space sponsored by the CEI, as well as a rain barrel workshop, native plant sales, and information booths of green vendors from throughout the area. For more information, visit

Registration Opens for Glen Mar Golf Classic to Benefit Grassroots
Registration is open for the 6th Annual Glen Mar Golf Classic, which is set for Monday, May 22, at the Timbers of Troy Golf Course, in Elkridge. The event, hosted by Glen Mar United Methodist Church, will benefit Grassroots, which shelters individuals and families who are homeless.
Registration and breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The tournament fee is $135 per player. Non-golfers may attend at $25 per person to join the luncheon and participate in the silent auction. A buffet lunch, silent auction and awards program will begin at 1:30 p.m.
Golfers can register online at Sponsorship information is also available at

Jess to Read at HoCoPoLitSo’s 9th Annual Blackbird Poetry Festival
HoCoPoLitSo’s guest for its ninth annual Blackbird Poetry Festival is award-winning writer and slam poet Tyehimba Jess. The Festival, to be held April 27 on the campus of Howard Community College, is a day devoted to verse, with student workshops, book sales, readings and patrols by the poetry police. The Sunbird poetry reading, featuring Jess, as well as Washington, D.C., writer and literary activist Ethelbert Miller and Howard Community College students, will start at 2:30 p.m.
Jess will read from and discuss his most recent work, Olio, as well as leadbelly, winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series, during the Nightbird Poetry Reading, starting at 7:30 p.m., in the Smith Theatre of the Horowitz Center for Visual and Performing Arts. Nightbird general admission tickets are $15 each (students and seniors are $10) available online at or by sending a self-addressed envelope and check payable and mailed to HoCoPoLitSo, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Horowitz Center 200, Columbia, MD, 21044.
For more information, visit

PNP Announces 4th Annual
DMV 5K Run/Walk
Project New Promise (PNP) will be conducting its 4th Annual DMV 5K Run/Walk and breakfast fundraiser on Saturday, May 6. This event will raise money for PNP’s educational, health and social programs. For more information or to register, visit

HCPSS Crisis Intervention Team Earns National Recognition
The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Crisis Intervention Teams have been recognized by the National Association for School Psychologists with its School Safety and Crisis Response Award. It recognizes outstanding commitment to advocating for, and supporting, comprehensive school safety and crisis response efforts that balance physical and psychological safety.
The award specifically recognized the HCPSS Crisis Intervention Leadership Team, which includes Atholton Elementary School Psychologist and HCPSS Crisis Intervention Teams Chairman J.T. Ridgely, Mayfield Woods Middle School Psychologist Dan Carr, Longfellow Elementary School Counselor Lori Jenner, Stevens Forest Elementary School Psychologist Keren Kreitzer, Waterloo Elementary School Psychologist Jeff Leard, Centennial High School Counselor Jennifer McKechnie, Atholton High School Psychologist Michael O’Shaughnessy, HCPSS Resource Psychologist Ivan Croft and HCPSS Coordinator for School Psychology Cynthia Schulmeyer.

HCPSS Seeks Citizen Members for Attendance Area Committee
The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) has invited citizens to take an active role in school attendance area adjustments (redistricting) and school boundary alternatives as a member of the Attendance Area Committee (AAC).
The AAC is an advisory committee to the superintendent and provides suggested attendance area adjustments. Elementary School attendance area adjustments are under consideration for the 2018–19 school year.
Interested citizens may submit a statement of interest to [email protected] or send a printed copy to the HCPSS, Attention: Renée. Kamen, Office of School Planning, 10910 Clarksville Pike Ellicott City, MD 21042. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 28.

Arundel DOH Launches Most of Us Binge Drinking Prevention Campaign
The Anne Arundel County Department of Health is distributing informational coasters, posters and rack cards to licensed beverage establishments countywide to help reduce the occurrence of binge drinking. The Most of Us binge prevention campaign also includes educational presentations by the department’s Strategic Prevention Framework coalitions: Annapolis Substance Abuse Prevention, Northern Lights Against Substance Abuse, South County Bridges to a Drug-Free Community and Western Anne Arundel Substance Abuse Prevention.
According to the Maryland Young Adult Survey on Alcohol (2016), 73.12% of Anne Arundel County youth ages 18–25 reported drinking daily, weekly or monthly during the past 12 months. More than half of the youth who drink are binge drinking — and don’t realize it.
For more information or to request Most of Us coasters and posters, visit or call the department’s Prevention Services Office at 410-222-6724.

Events Planned to Build Autism Awareness in Howard County
The Eastern Bunny, Chipotle, Giant Food, Talbots, Glenelg Country School, AMC Theatres, Turf Valley and Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority will all be part of a month-long celebration in April in Howard County in recognition of National Autism Awareness Month.
A sensory-friendly shopping night on Wednesday, April 27, will be held at the Centre Park Giant from 7–9 p.m. It will offer grocery shopping without music and intercom, with candy-free lines, and additional help in aisles and curbside for families with autism.
The month culminates in the organization’s 12th Annual Pieces of the Puzzle Gala on April 29, 7 p.m.–midnight, at Turf Valley. A complete list of events and programs is online at

JAMA Cites Soda Sales
Drop in Howard
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, a major peer-reviewed international medical journal, has published a new study showing the dramatic decrease in sugary drink sales in Howard County, including a 20% drop in soda sales. The study, from the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut, is the first to use objective retail sales data to measure the effectiveness of a community-led campaign to reduce consumption of sugary drinks.
The study can be found in JAMA Internal Medicine: Association of a Community Campaign for Better Beverage Choices With Beverage Purchases From Supermarkets.

Make Howard County Cleaner, Greener — In 20 Minutes
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman is urging everyone to step outside on Thursday, April 20, for just 20 minutes to pick up litter and help clean up our community. Now in its eighth year, more than 11,000 people have participated in Howard County’s “20 Minute Cleanup” program since it began in 2010.
Participants are urged to simply do their part of the cleanup, then share their results via email at [email protected] or on Twitter by using @livegreenhoward. The hashtag #20minutecleanup can also be included. To help spread the word or learn more about the 20 Minute Cleanup, visit and click on “Events.”

Rebuilding Together Howard County to Transform 30 Homes
Rebuilding Together Howard County (RTHC) will again help neighbors live in homes that are safe, warm and dry after hundreds of volunteers repair 28 houses and two nonprofit facilities in Howard County during National Rebuilding Month, on April 29.
Throughout April, RTHC and volunteers will serve veterans, older adults, low-income families with children and victims of the Ellicott City flood by providing them with a variety of home repairs, including roofs, new HVAC systems, weatherization repairs, plumbing, electrical, carpentry repairs, accessibility modifications, painting, landscaping and other major home rehabilitations.
The repairs are provided free of charge to the homeowners who are often faced with diminishing resources.

Monarch Academy Receives Holocaust Education Award
Monarch Academy Public Charter School, in Glen Burnie, received this year’s Ponczak-Greenblatt Families’ Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education from the Baltimore Jewish Council’s Holocaust Remembrance Commission. The award recognizes Monarch Academy’s eighth grade teachers for their work helping st-dents understand the Holocaust.
The Ponczak-Greenblatt Families’ Award, which includes funds to purchase Holocaust resources, memorializes Holocaust survivors Morris J. and Anna Greenblatt and their daughter, Frieda Greenblatt Ponczak.
The Baltimore Jewish Council will present Monarch Academy with a plaque on April 23 during a ceremony recognizing Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, at Beth El Congregation in Pikesville, installing Monarch Academy in The Ponczak-Greenblatt Families’ Honor Roll of Schools.

Howard Wins Stormwater Management Project Award for Ellicott City Staircase
The Lot E Staircase and Water Quality Improvement Project in Historic Ellicott City have won the Best Urban BMP (best management practice) in the Bay award from the Chesapeake Stormwater Network (CSN).
This project connects Main Street with the upper courthouse area and, more importantly, serves an important role in managing stormwater for the town and treating runoff from two acres of impervious surface at the courthouse site.
“It is rewarding to have an organization of 10,000 stormwater professionals recognize the innovation that went into this project,” said Kittleman. “While the original need was to address the safety issue of storm-damaged retaining walls, this project took the area to a new level by rerouting stormwater to help alleviate future flooding, providing access to nearly 200 courthouse parking spots and creating an attractive feature that fits the Historic District. I thank county staff and project partner, consulting firm McCormick Taylor, for the efforts to make this a reality.”
The design treats polluted runoff in a two-tiered system of bioretention cells, along with densely planted native species that use the runoff while being visually appealing and supporting the environment. The Ellicott City project will be featured on the CSN’s 2017 Webcast Series.