Turf Valley Hearing Tonight

The Howard County Planning Board is scheduled to resume a hearing tonight on a proposal to expand the Turf Valley development in western Howard.

The 7 p.m. meeting was shifted from the county government complex to the Centennial High School auditorium, 4300 Centennial Lane, Ellicott City, to accommodate the anticipated large turnout.

The Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center is owned by the Mangione family, which received approval from the county in 1986 to build nearly 1,400 housing units on 689 acres surrounding its golf course and resort. The developer is now asking the county to approve an additional 119 acres and to allow more housing.

The plans face opposition from many neighbors, who question the expansion's impact on public schools, roads and the environment.

Town Center Discussion

The nonpartisan Howard County Citizens Association will discuss the recently concluded Town Center charette and what's next.

The session will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Fulton police station, 11226 Scaggsville Rd., west of Route 29 off Route 216. The discussion is expected to include reaction to the charette, the draft master plan and how zoning regulations might be changed.

The draft plan is available at www.howard-citizen.org. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, call Ray Cole at 443-283-3967.

West Friendship Turns 80

West Friendship Elementary School, Howard County's oldest school, will celebrate its 80th birthday tomorrow.

The school will hold an assembly from 9:30 to 11 a.m. with Howard County Executive James N. Robey (D) and former Board of Education member Sandra French. It will host a "Decades Party" from 7 to 9 p.m. Current and former students and their families are invited to attend dressed in the style of the decade of their choice. The party will be free and will feature dancing, games and refreshments.

West Friendship is also looking for old photos of the school and its students. Contact Kellie Cimerola at 410-442-1053.

Security and Civil Liberties

A panel, "Local Voices: Balancing Homeland Security and Civil Liberties," will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. today in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Dr., Ellicott City. It will be followed by a question and answer session and a reception with the panelists.

The panel will include Kevin Burr, director of Howard County Emergency Services for the American Red Cross; Mary Ellen Duncan, president of Howard Community College; and Lt. John McKissick, a security and terrorism specialist with the Howard County police.

The panel is presented by the League of Women Voters of Howard County and the Howard County Library. For more information, call 410-730-0142.

Veterans Day Closings

All Howard County government offices and library branches will be closed tomorrow for Veterans Day. Regular service will resume Saturday.

Smoking-Cessation Effort

The Howard County Health Department will host a memorial ceremony next week to urge smokers to quit.

"This memorial is a special time to remember those who have died due to tobacco-related illness, of which there are approximately 6,800 adults each year in Maryland," Penny E. Borenstein, a health officer, said in a statement.

The event, which will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the lakefront in Columbia, is part of the Great American Smokeout, a nationwide campaign by the American Cancer Society.

Participants will be able to make a patch for the new Howard County tobacco quilt, register for the health department's smoking cessation classes and learn about the health benefits of not smoking.