Back to School!
September is around the corner and that means the start of school! Howard County Community College (HCC) students were welcomed to the campus on Monday. Two ribbon cuttings occurred there last week; the first broke ground for the combined math-and-gym building and the second introduced the community to the new bike/pedestrian path that provides a safe crossing to HCC on Hickory Ridge Road.

On another school-related topic, the County Council recently approved funding for school bus cameras to record those drivers who refuse to stop for buses that are loading and unloading students. The penalty for passing a stopped school bus is $570 and three points on your license. Let's hope this will make drivers think twice before passing a school bus.

As many of you know, the school district is in the midst of determining a new school boundary plan. I feel confident that our school board will take into consideration all of the factors that go into keeping the Howard County Public School System one of the best in the nation during their deliberations. I co-sponsored a resolution that calls for HCPSS to rebalance schools based on socioeconomic factors. District 4 is a microcosm of the issues facing the County as a whole. Many of our Columbia schools have a higher concentration of poverty than the County average, due in part to land-use policies and neighborhood demographics.  As a County Council member, it is outside of my purview to require the school district to take any specific action. Rather, my intent with the resolution was to make sure that these factors are considered when the School Board is drawing new boundaries.

Finally, one last school-related item: Councilmember Mercer Rigby and I co-introduced a bill to raise the school impact fee from $1.32 a square foot to $6.80 on new residential construction. These fees will help the County and school district build new schools that are desperately needed in Howard County. At present, 41% of our schools are over capacity and closed to new development. This bill is also co-sponsored by Councilmembers Walsh and Jones.

Keeping Up with Deb
Below are some of the events and meetings I have recently attended. Let me know about your community activities so I can stop by, if my schedule allows.

08|01 - Story Time at Dasher Green Elementary School
08|06 - National Night Out
08|07 - Agricultural Leaders' Appreciation Luncheon
08|14 - Summer MACo
08|22 - Pathway Event at Howard Community College
Left: National Night Out Town Center and Hickory Ridge; Right: Agricultural Leaders' Appreciation Luncheon; Summer MACo with Baltimore County Executive, Johnny Olszewski; Pathway Event at HCC
Community Affairs
Open on Monday, September 2
County Parks
Roger Carter Community Center
RTA will operate on a “Sunday” schedule
All parking regulations and fees will be in effect 
Labor Day Openings & Closings
Closed on Monday, September 2 
County Government Offices
Animal Shelter
50+ Centers
Landfill and all trash and recycling services
Cedar Lane and Schooley Mill Activity Rooms
Gary J. Arthur and North Laurel Community Centers
County Historic Sites
Kiwanis-Wallas Hall
Meadowbrook Athletic Center
Robinson Nature Center              
The Changemaker Challenge: For the Big Thinkers of Howard County
The Horizon Foundation and United Way of Central Maryland want to hear YOUR innovative ideas to make Howard County better! The annual Changemaker Challenge welcomes your idea that could benefit intellectual or developmental disabilities, public health, the environment, social justice, economic opportunity, teens or older adults. And the winning idea could win grant money to make it a reality.
Four grants totaling $60,000 will be given in the amounts of: $25,000, $15,000, $10,000 and $10,000. Apply by Sept. 16.

Click here for more.
Concerned about flooding? Want to be a part of the solution? Become a Master Watershed Steward through the Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy (HoCoWSA) certification class for 2019.  This course will teach the skills needed to assess residential stormwater issues such as understanding soil profiles, GIS land application, and other citizen science-based tools required to apply best management practices to help treat stormwater-related conditions. Certification connects you to a network of local professionals and volunteers who work to reduce stormwater pollution.

Classes start September 3 and enrollment is currently open.

Click here for more.   
The Longest Table
September 21, 2019, 5-8pm
Howard Community College
Tickets $15    

Mix, mingle and meet new friends at this fun, uplifting community gathering. Share a meal, explore common topics, and add your voice to this unique communal experience. Social hour with music and interactive art from 5 to 6 pm. Dinner served at 6 pm. This beloved event is sponsored by Columbia Association, Friends & Foundation of HCLS, Howard Community College, Howard Hughes Corporation, Maryland State Library/IMLS, and Roving Radish.
Click here for tickets.
HopeWorks’ Emergency Pantry accepts in-kind donations to help our clients meet their needs. Because of the generosity of our community we work to keep our pantry stocked throughout the year with essential non-perishable food items, personal-care, and household products.
The Emergency Pantry serves our crisis shelter residents, including women, men, and children impacted by sexual and intimate partner violence, as well as the clients of our advocacy, legal, clinical, and community engagement departments.
Urgent Pantry Needs Can You Help?
*****Items Urgently Needed!*****

·    Toilet paper (packs of 4 or 6 units)
·    Paper towels
·    Canned tuna/chicken
·    Cold cereal
Deliver to:
inside the Nonprofit Collaborative
9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 300, Columbia (410) 997-0304
Hops and Harvest Festival

What: 80+ Maryland artisans, breweries, distilleries, & wineries - unlimited tastings, live entertainment, games & more.

When: October 5th, 12-5pm

Where: Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods, Columbia

Tickets: General admission, $40 in advance; $50 at the door

District 4 constituents can receive $5 off by using this custom code: DISTRICT 4.

Click here for more.
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Concert season
Check out the full 2019 calendar of live music for an endearing Howard County tradition.
Click here for the calendar.
Chrysalis Events
More outdoor shows, more intimate setting. Columbia is blessed with fine arts and cultural performances.
Click here for the calendar.