BOE Gives Student the Vote

The Howard County Board of Education voted unaminously last week to support partial voting rights for the board's student member, but the change will not take effect until the spring of 2007.

A group of students has been pushing for a change that would allow the student member to vote on issues other than redistricting and budget and personnel matters. The students hoped that the board would seek to have the change approved during the General Assembly, which convenes in January.

Some board members, however, said they wanted more time to develop specifics of the change. A committee, which will include student participants, will be asked to make a recommendation to the board before May.

Guide to Charitable Giving

Howard County's Holiday Gift Guide 2005 is available online at The guide lists more than 50 organizations' needs for the holidays. Needs include clothing, furniture, unwrapped toys, non-perishable food, and volunteer time and talent. A copy of the guide and more information can also be obtained by calling 410-715-3172.

Helping Students Graduate

Civic organizations and community groups will come together next week to look at ways to help high school students meet the new Maryland graduation requirements.

The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Sheraton Columbia Hotel.

The keynote speaker will be Patricia Martin, assistant vice president for School Counselor Advocacy at the College Board. She will speak about Howard's changing demographics and ways to address the needs of its students.

During afternoon sessions on math, science, English and social studies, students will discuss their experiences with "high stakes tests."

Ecumenical Service

The 38th annual Columbia Interfaith Thanksgiving Service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way.

The service typically draws several hundred people and borrows from the traditions of many faiths. Last year's service opened with the blowing of a shofar (a Jewish tradition), followed by a Hindu prayer song and a talk by an African Methodist. Interfaith centers are located in five of Columbia's villages, with another center planned for the village of Kings Contrivance. Each center provides facilities for up to six religious congregations.

Asthma, Allergy Workshop

Instructors from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America will lead a special workshop for parents and child-care providers. The workshop will teach the basic anatomy of the respiratory system, signs and symptoms of asthma and allergies, and ways to control the environment to reduce the risk of attacks.

The workshop will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Child Care Resource Center, 3300 N. Ridge Rd., Suite 380, Ellicott City. The cost of the workshop is $20. Financial help is available. Call 410-313-1940 for more information.

Closings for Thanksgiving

The following Howard County offices will be closed next Thursday for Thanksgiving: the Howard County government, animal shelter, libraries, and circuit and district courts.

The landfill will be closed, and there will be no trash orrecycling pick up. The Howard Transit service will not run. Street parking will be free.

On Nov. 25, government offices, courts and the animal shelter will remain closed. Libraries, the landfill, trash collection, Howard Transit and parking meters will return to regular operation.

-- Compiled by JOSH ZUMBRUN