State Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery) will discuss issues facing the upcoming Maryland General Assembly session -- particularly environmental, education and judicial issues -- at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the Blackistone Room of Anne Arundel Hall on the St. Mary's College of Maryland campus. He will also discuss the state's 2006 elections. An item in the Southern Maryland Notebook in Thursday's Extra included an incorrect day for the event. (Published 10/16/2005)

Efforts to preserve Southern Maryland tobacco barns may soon get a boost from the structures themselves, in the form of a poster depicting nine of the barns -- three each from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties.

The Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium announced this week that it is producing the poster, which will be sold to raise funds to support protection of the barns and to raise awareness of the preservation efforts.

Last year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the area's tobacco barns among the most endangered historic sites in the country. Since the 17th century, the barns have been used to cure tobacco.

The posters are being sold at the historical societies of all three counties and by the consortium's office in Hughesville.

In a statement announcing the poster, Roz Racanello, executive director of the consortium, said, "These posters are the first of several planned projects that will show everyone what we have to lose if we can't keep these beautiful barns standing."

The consortium said the number of tobacco barns in Southern Maryland was recently estimated to be 5,000 -- but that number is probably shrinking as time passes and they fall into disuse by farmers who no longer grow much tobacco.

"A barn left standing and unattended has a short life span. Vines take over, and wildlife moves in. Soon the weather starts to take its toll," Racanello said. "The barns need our help now, or they'll become just a memory."

In another fundraising effort, the consortium is sponsoring a barn dance Oct. 22 at the barn at historic Sotterley Plantation in Hollywood.

The evening will include dinner, live music for dancing in the barn and an auction. And there will be an opportunity to purchase the barn posters.

"We hope to make a big splash, to show everyone that they can have a lot of fun and help support our heritage at the same time," Racanello said in the announcement.

Frosh to Hold Discussion

State Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery) will discuss issues facing the upcoming Maryland General Assembly session -- particularly environment, education and judicial issues -- at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Blackistone Room of Anne Arundel Hall on the St. Mary's College of Maryland campus. He will also discuss the state's 2006 elections.

The presentation is sponsored by the college's Center for the Study of Democracy and is free and open to the public.

Frosh was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1986 and to the Maryland Senate in 1994. He chairs the Judicial Proceedings Committee, the Executive Nominations Committee, the Legislative Policy Committee and the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

Town Halls Planned

The Charles County commissioners have planned three town meetings in the county during November.

The meetings are all scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m., for residents who can't meet with the commissioners during regular business hours.

At each meeting, the commissioners will present a brief overview of county government matters. Residents then will have an opportunity to voice their concerns in an informal atmosphere. The meetings will be taped for broadcast on Cable Channel 95 .

The meetings will be at the following locations:

* Nov. 8 -- Benedict Volunteer Fire Department, 18210 Hyatt Ave. in Benedict, for residents in District 1, which encompasses Bel Alton, Benedict, Bryantown, Cobb Island, Hughesville, La Plata, Newport, Port Tobacco, and parts of Brandywine and Charlotte Hall.

* Nov. 15 -- Village Green Pavilion, 100 Walter Thomas Rd. in Indian Head, for residents in District 2, which includes Bensville, Bryans Road, Hilltop, Indian Head, Marbury, Nanjemoy, Pomfret and parts of Waldorf.

* Nov. 29 -- Patuxent Room, Middleton Hall, 4045 Renner Rd. in Waldorf, for residents in Districts 3 and 4, which include Waldorf, St. Charles and White Plains.

For more information about the meetings or accommodation of residents with special needs, call Nina Voehl, public information officer, at 301-645-0580 or 301-870-3000, or via the Maryland Relay Service TTY at 711 or 800-735-2258.

New Board Appointments

The Charles County commissioners announced the following appointments to boards and committees:

* Area Council on Aging -- Suzanne M. Carr of Waldorf, Maurice B. DiPoli of Waldorf, Ronald Lee Heath Sr. of La Plata, Bruce Patterson Kirk of La Plata, Elaine J. Lancaster of Newburg, Jessica E. Schroeder of Waldorf and Maureen Ann Swymer of La Plata.

* Homeowners' Association Dispute Review Board -- Rochelle Marie Creighton-Tompa of Bryans Road, Michael Stephen Dupuis of Newburg, Jason Irwin Henry Sr. of Waldorf, Candice Hume of La Plata, Craig J. Renner of Waldorf, Aaron Ross Tyler of La Plata and Lynn F. Wilson of Bryans Road.

* Human Services Partnership -- Maureen Flynn Golding of La Plata.

Summit Taps Coletta

Carol Coletta, host and producer of the "Smart City" radio program, will be the keynote speaker at the eighth annual Charles County Economic Development Summit this month.

The summit -- co-sponsored by the Charles County Economic Development Department and the Charles County Chamber of Commerce -- is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Waldorf Jaycee Community Center, the department announced last week.

Coletta's radio program is syndicated nationally on public radio stations. On it, she interviews innovative experts and officials about urban life and opportunities for cities.

She has directed a number of economic development projects related to urban competitiveness, creative communities and other issues.

Other speakers scheduled at the Economic Development Summit include:

* Aris Melissaratos, secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, who will address Charles County's business opportunities within the state's economic development plan.

* Jack Kasprzak, managing director of BB&T Capital Markets Industrial Services, who will speak on the impact of home building in the economy.

Tickets to the Summit are $40 per person and include a continental breakfast and lunch.

Registration is available by calling the Charles County Chamber of Commerce at 301-932-6500, or by visiting the Economic Development Department Web site at www.CharlesCounty.org/TheBest.

Joint Meeting Rescheduled

The St. Mary's County commissioners and the county's delegation to the General Assembly have rescheduled their joint public meeting to review 2006 legislative proposals at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Governmental Center in Leonardtown.

Public comments will be accepted at the meeting.

Officials said scheduling conflicts forced the change from the original Oct. 25 date announced for the session.