Thursday, September 27, 2012

Calling All Kids!

Just in, from the Shameless Commerce Division of Village Green/Town Squared: 

"This Saturday, 9/29, from 12 pm to 2 pm, The Second Chance Saloon in Oakland Mills brings you "A Little Lunch Music."  Come enjoy lunch while Early Childhood Music Specialist Julia McCready plays DJ with your favorite Kids Tunes. Room to move and groove, and hands-on materials to explore! All children attending will receive a prize with their meals." Yes, they have a Kid's Menu!

If you are the parent of a young child, you know what a challenge eating out with your kids can be.  This event is for you.  We have the entire dining room, plus we often spill over into the pool room as well.  Everyone is friendly to everyone else; the wait staff is genuinely happy that you brought your children. The music is chosen with the young ones in mind.  And best of all, they can get up, wander up to the stage and dance, sing, and play rhythm instruments.

Now, this particular Saturday is jam-packed with things to do in our area:  the Fall Festival in Ellicott City, Brian Donoughe's Help-A-Child Fundraiser Happy Hour,  and Ian Kennedy's band Pineflood will be appearing at Sonoma's in the evening. Let me suggest that you start the day off right with a laid-back lunch and an experience designed purely for your children's enjoyment.

Oh, and if you like to plan ahead--my family and I will be giving free wagon rides at the Oakland Mills Cultural Arts Festival from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, October 6th. 


Monday, September 24, 2012

Celebrity Sightings

Brian Donoughe is my kind of celebrity.  Not the red-carpet kind, not the reality show kind, nor the careening-out-of-control kind.  No, Brian is the best sort of celebrity--he does what he does quietly, extremely well, and doesn't go around looking for publicity.

How do I know Brian? Well, not from his frequent appearances at Merriweather, though I'm told it has been a regular gig. I met him on the Oakland Mills Village Board. He's a no-nonsense guy who hates dilly-dallying and time wasting. He wants facts, evidence, and a reasonable amount of discussion.  To my knowledge, he is probably one of the youngest Columbians to serve as chair of an Architectural Committee. He has even worked with the RAC in Oakland Mills to revise and update the rules to make them easier to read and understand. If you've ever engaged in the RAC process, you know how amazing that is.

Why should you know Brian?  What has earned him celebrity status in my eyes?

Well it has to do with his day job.  Brian is a Middle School Math teacher in the Howard County Schools.And he brought some information to the OM Board about a cause of particular concern to him.   His cause:  the Help-a-Child Fund.  I asked Brian to share some information about this charity with my readers.

"The Help-a-Child Fund is a joint charitable project of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and the Howard County Education Association (HCEA). Since 1992, the fund has been the last resort safety net providing retail vouchers for new clothing, coats, shoes, eyeglasses, and more, for hundreds of our students. The fund had 447 requests last school year. So far this school year we have had 112 requests.

100% of the donations go to the students. Donations are tax deductible. There is no administrative cost to the Fund. All labor and materials are donated. Really, it is the ideal charity – close to home, immediately helpful without a lot of red tape, and for children whose specific needs are identified by our own colleagues who know the child’s circumstances."

Wow. Those folks who say that the teachers don't care, that the union doesn't care about the students--do they know about this? I am guessing that they don't, because the business of this group is not to seek publicity, but to help kids.

This Saturday, September 29th, from 5:30-8:00 pm The Second Chance Saloon will be hosting a fundraiser for the Help-A-Child Fund. Don't miss your chance to support this needed (and financially efficient!) charity. Ten per cent of bar sales will be donated.

Your Celebrity Bartender for the event will be Brian Donoughe. If you're lucky you might get an autograph, or maybe he'll let you take his picture while he's mixing drinks.  But, I doubt it.

He's just not "that" kind of celebrity.  He's the Real Thing.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Are we the New American City?

I saw this note from Friends of Bridge Columbia on Facebook:

Howard Hughes Corp. (the developers of downtown Columbia) are holding a meeting about their plans for the pedestrian/bike path connecting the hospital to Blandair this Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 6PM at Slayton House in Wilde Lake. The HHC plan differs from the Bridge Columbia plan and does not include public transit. Please plan to attend to see their plans and advocate for the Bridge Columbia concept.

As I am taking a sabbatical from going to meetings, I have to make a pitch to you folks to go and/or keep yourself informed about this project. I believe it is an important one. I don't think Columbia was called The New American City for nothing.  Innovative, appealing public transit, of which this project would be a part, is essential to our future.  And not just for Columbia, but for the entire county.

As I flipped around the channels last night, I passed a program that described some sort of casino card game which has been transformed into the process of clicking card images on a computer screen.  To be perfectly honest, I do sometimes think I'd rather participate in community meetings like this.  Meetings are over-rated. However, real-live participation remains one of the major ways we do things around here.

So, if you can, go to this meeting. Learn more, think more.  And share your thoughts here.