The Columbia Association (CA) and Still Point Spas partnered to establish Haven on the Lake, a wellness spa in downtown Columbia, in 2014. Now they are battling each other in court and it doesn’t seem a fair fight. Still Point is accusing CA of “pursuing unrelenting legal actions; CA’s strategy seems to be to ‘bully’ the Still Point into leaving, dragging out the legal process so the costs become too great for a small women-owned business to continue.”
The founders of Still Point, Tori Paide and Marla Peoples, are acupuncturists I know from when I worked at Tai Sophia Institute (now MUIH). They are heart-centered people with the utmost integrity. They are also award-winning entrepreneurs and CA wisely partnered with them for their expertise in creating a healing environment and profitable business model.
Tori and Marla shared their legal struggle with me, and while it’s their side of the story only, many of the elements are indisputable and the overall documentation seems to me compelling. I am sharing their story so that perhaps the court of public opinion might provide some support in their battle against Goliath. Continue reading The partners operating Haven on the Lake are fighting in court
Actually, Howard County is not unusual in the extent of our substance use and abuse. And like everywhere else, addiction follows for too many of us. Whether addiction is to a licit or illicit drug, the results to one’s well-being are much the same. Given that addicts are from all walks of life, all income groups, all races and creeds, it’s difficult to argue that imprisonment is the best solution. And most folks need help to recover from an addiction. Here’s a primer on addiction and what help is available in the HoCo.
Prevalence of Substance Use in the United States
According to SAMHSA’s [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration] National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) – 2014 (PDF | 3.4 MB), about two-thirds (66.6%) of people aged 12 or older reported in 2014 that they drank alcohol in the past 12 months, with 6.4% meeting criteria for an alcohol use disorder. Also among Americans aged 12 or older, the use of illicit drugs has increased over the last decade from 8.3% of the population using illicit drugs in the past month in 2002 to 10.2% (27 million people) in 2014. Of those, 7.1 million people met criteria for an illicit drug use disorder in the past year.
The misuse of prescription drugs is second only to marijuana as the nation’s most common drug problem after alcohol and tobacco, leading to troubling increases in opioid overdoses in the past decade. An estimated 25.2% (66.9 million) of Americans aged 12 or older were current users of a tobacco product. While tobacco use has declined since 2002 for the general population, this has not been the case for people with serious mental illness where tobacco use remains a major cause of morbidity and early death.
[The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.]
Forty-six years ago, as rural Howard County was being inundated by Columbia, a three-day charrette was held to consider what human service needs should be addressed by government and nonprofit organizations. Organized by the Association of Community Services and Howard Community College, the charrette was attended by some 335 people, including citizens, providers, community leaders, new Countians and old Countians.
They overcame distrust, suspicions and competing interests to reach consensus on a report that is excerpted here. Many ideas were visionary, others just practical, some misguided. The goals they outlined are a measure of how far we’ve come in nearly half a century, and point to what more we have to do to create the city and county that James Rouse envisioned – a place that provides for the growth of people.
It all started with James Rouse
In 1969, James Rouse created the Columbia Foundation [now the Community Foundation of Howard County]the first community foundation in the state of Maryland. He and members of the founding board had the prescience to realize that the new town of Columbia would continue to grow and attract new residents and would have pressing needs for decades to come.
[James Rouse stated], “We have always envisaged bringing into being the coordinating leadership, on a continuing basis, to overlook the quality of life of the city; assert entrepreneurial initiative to bring into being new institutions as required; encourage existing institutions to spread their services to areas not covered or avoid unnecessary duplications”.
[In] 1971, the Foundation awarded its first grant to the Association of Community Services of Howard County to “explore human services needs and possible approaches.”
A man was charged with forcing four women into prostitution in Howard County this week. Kudos to the Howard County Police Department for their targeted efforts to arrest human trafficking. This is my post from a year ago, updated with the latest report.
Howard police arrest Baltimore man at Laurel motel in latest human trafficking case
by Andrew Michaels (Howard County Times), August 2, 2017 [ABRIDGED]
A Baltimore man was charged Wednesday with the human trafficking of four women in Howard and Prince George’s counties following a nearly two-week investigation by Howard County police.
Kamal Germaine Dorchy, 43, faces multiple counts of human trafficking, the police announced. He is being held without bond at the Howard County jail.
Howard County is creating a model of collaboration for the delivery of human services. The New Howard County Nonprofit Center has opened at Patuxent Woods Drive in Columbia. My post about the plans for the Center is here. The offices will soon be part of a larger Community Resources Campus when several Howard County government offices move to adjacent buildings.
The Campus will be a one-stop shop for folks in need of assistance. It is centrally located at Broken Land and Snowden River Parkways, and is on several RTA bus routes.
Proximity can serve to enlarge the world view among participants and foster innovation, for the benefit of the organizations and the clients. It requires the commitment of the agencies to make it happen, and our encouragement.
Nonprofit center model comes to Columbia
by Fatimah Waseem (Columbia Flier), April 28, 2017
A vision floated more than two decades ago to bring local nonprofit organizations and human service agencies under one roof is materializing in a small corporate park in Columbia.
Public Charter Schools have the potential to improve our education of elementary and secondary school students. I’ve learned this from my work the last eight years facilitating more effective financial management of these schools. It is disappointing, therefore, that Maryland/Howard County has made so little commitment to Public Charter Schools. It is equally troubling that there is not better understanding of what charter schools are.
I have found that the agencies operating Charter Schools, like the nonprofit world in general, range from ineffective but well-intentioned, to cutting edge and well-managed. The former schools need to be closed by the authorizer. The latter need to be replicated for the good of all our kids. But there are real obstacles to charter schools achieving their potential in Maryland. Here’s a primer on what Charter Schools are all about.
The neighbors on our cul-de-sac in Clary’s Bright Passage, Hickory Ridge, Columbia, Md. are hosting an ice cream social for National Night Out (NNO) on August 2nd. The block party will be great fun, and serve to strengthen our neighborhood with more connections among neighbors.
Howard County Police will also be participating, a great example of community policing (“to protect and serve”). In light of the recent shootings of Cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge, it’s important we thank our First Responders, that they truly get how grateful we are for their protection.
And we need to do our part to establish partnership. Citizens will feel safer, and it makes it more likely a Cop will hear when he or she has screwed up.
There are over twenty other community-hosted parties being organized throughout Howard County. Click here for the local event near you: