June 26, 2014
Harper's Choice Voice
The e-newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice

Keeping You Informed
This weekly e-newsletter serves as a recap of news and events we share with our community throughout the week via other social media channels. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to receive more regular announcements and information from us.
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Keep Reading. Stay Connected. Win a Prize!

Thank you for playing our games this month to win a Rita's gift card. Stay connected! We have more give-away ideas planned. Some will be unexpected, random, and unannounced!  


Like us on Facebook 

And the Winner is...
Donna R!

Congratulations on winning last week's Rita's Gift Card!

Did You Know...
You Can Protect Yourself When You Need Auto Repairs?

Many of us feel that we're at the mercy of the repair shop when we have car trouble. Since few of us fully understand how cars work, we generally need to trust the shop to give us accurate information and make the repairs correctly. So, how can you protect yourself? Check out "4 Ways to Protect Yourself When You Need Auto Repairs" - the first in a series of Quick Tips from the Howard County Office of Consumer Affairs

You Can Help With Voter Registration at National Night Out?
We are looking for volunteers who want to assist with Voter Registration on Tuesday, August 5 as part of our National Night Out event. Please call Susan at 410-730-0770 or email us if you are interested in this non-partisan volunteer opportunity.
Covenant Corner
Covenant Violation vs Noise Complaint

All calls/complaints that come into the Village office are handled confidentially. In order to properly respond to complaints, we need to have some way to contact the person making the complaint. Sometimes the issue is one of several where we have no authority, such as animal control, noise, rental housing, and parking. In these cases, we would refer the person with the complaint to the responsible authority, such as Police, County Rental Housing, Highways, etc. If we receive an anonymous letter with no return address or contact information, we have no way to try and help and the person who sent the letter may be feeling that their Village does not address their concerns.      


Below is an excerpt from an anonymous letter we received recently. In this case, we would have recommended that the resident call the Police when noise is excessive. The County noise ordinance is enforced by the Police, not the Village covenants. The Village has no authority to address this issue.   Do you have questions about the complaint process? Call, stop by or email us!


It seems the property at... has become a blemish when it comes to community standards in Columbia. It seems to have been rented... to people who have no regard for the other residents...People come and go from that house in different cars at different times, and sometimes their visitors are outside in the middle of the night making a lot of noise.


What was particularly upsetting recently was the fact that they had a party... and the music was so loud beginning around 6PM to 12AM that we could...hear and feel... Other neighbors were talking about it and at first they thought it was coming from Merriweather Post Pavilion, until they realized it was a party at that house. That is absolutely absurd and is so disrespectful, and it clearly shows that the people there and the homeowners do not care... Can you please contact the owners of that house and ask them to address this problem so our street does not have to be continually subjected to people who... do not care about their surroundings?


Grant Funds for Rain Gardens
The Columbia Association, through a grant from MD Department of Natural Resources (DNR), will pay 75% of the installation costs of rain gardens and has a landscape firm on contract for installation. This program serves Columbia residents whose property is located in the Little Patuxent Watershed.  All of Longfellow and parts of Swansfield (east of Cedar Lane) qualify in our Village. We have several brochures available at Kahler Hall that explain the program, and show costs, templates and photos. Contact CA's Watershed Manager, John McCoy, at 410-312-6336 for more information.  
Pool Hours
June 21 - August 10
Here are the hours of operation and closed days for the pools in Harper's Choice from June 21 - August 10.

12PM - 8PM Tuesday - Saturday
12PM - 7PM Sunday
CLOSED on Monday

Please note: Longfellow Pool closes for the season on August 3 so that renovations to the pool area can be completed prior to the start of the new school year.

12PM - 8:30PM Monday - Saturday
12PM - 7:30PM Sunday
CLOSED on Thursday

Hobbit's Glen
11PM - 8PM Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
11AM - 7PM Tuesday, Sunday
CLOSED on Wednesday
Architectural Committee Meetings
Changes made to the exterior of homes in Harper's Choice require the approval of the Village Architectural Committee. The AC meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:30 PM to review applications. The deadline to submit applications for approval is two weeks prior to the next meeting date. The committee meets only once in August. Please plan your summer alterations with the following meeting schedule in mind: 7/8, 7/22, 8/19. 

Village Board Meetings
The Village Board meets the 1st Tuesday of every month at 7:00PM. The next meeting is scheduled for July 1. Agendas and Meeting Minutes can be found on our website.

Columbia-Wide Events
4th of July Parade
The 44th Annual Longfellow Friends of the Traditional 4th Parade will take place on Friday, July 4, rain or shine, at 10AM. All are welcome to participate, or just come and watch. No advance registration!
Line-up begins at 9:15AM in the parking lot of Longfellow Elementary School. The parade will travel from one end of Hesperus Drive to the other, and return to the school via Eliot's Oak Road. Retiring Delegate Liz Bobo is this year's Grand Marshal.

Canned goods will be collected for donation to Food for Tomorrow

The parade will be followed by a softball game at noon between the Eliot's Oak Nuts and the Hesperus Wrecks, to be held on Field #3 at Cedar Lane Park entrance on Cedar Lane.
Columbia Lakefront 4th of July Family Festivities
July 4, 5PM-10 PM

Fireworks at Dusk
Rain date: July 5 (Fireworks Only)

Inclement weather line: 410-313-4451  

The 2014 Festival and Fireworks includes performers and activities.


Note: Those wishing to place a blanket or sheet may do so beginning at 8 AM on July 4. Those wishing to place a tarp on the grass may do so beginning at 3 PM. Placement of tarps must wait until 3 PM in order to protect the grass. For more information on your tarp, contact the Columbia Association at 410-312-6330. No boats are permitted on the lake July 3-5.


Little Patuxent Parkway is most likely closing at approximately 7PM and will not be reopened until the conclusion of the fireworks. 

Harper's Choice Events

Please call Susan at 410-730-0770 or email us to register for our pool parties. These events are organized especially for Harper's Choice residents.

Longfellow Pool Party
July 8 from 6PM - 9PM
Awesome DJ and
FREE Rita's!
Additional food available
for purchase through the Longfellow PTA.

Swansfield Pool Party
August 7 from 6PM - 9PM
Awesome DJ and
FREE Rita's!

Hobbit's Glen Pool Party
August 14 from 6PM - 9PM
DJ, food and fun. Watch for more details for this event.
Shred & Give Back Day
July 19 from 9AM - 1PM. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more information about a day of giving in Harper's Choice.

We will have a shred truck on site to take care of your confidential documents and a trailer from Goodwill to take donations of clothing and small household goods.

If your group collects items as a fundraiser and you would like to be a part of this event, please call Susan at 410-730-0770 or email us with more information.

National Night Out
August 5 from 6PM - 9PM in the courtyard on Joseph's Square in the Harper's Choice Village Center.

The Unity Reggae Band will perform and we are holding a blood drive at Kahler Hall from 4PM - 8PM in cooperation with the American Red Cross. We encourage you to schedule your donation in advance to assure your spot. Walk-ins are welcome.

Join us for this annual event designed to empower and encourage our community to stand up together against crime.

Youth & Teen Events
Drop-In Recreational Programs for Youth 9-18

The Youth and Teen Center (YTC) at The Barn is a fun, safe way for teens and pre-teens to socialize and participate in recreational and educational programs. Columbia and Howard County kids ages 9 to 18 are welcomed now from 2PM - 7PM on weekdays for Drop-In fun. Weekend activities and programs are designed to promote self-esteem and to develop life skills. Check the Registration Form and July Activities and Events schedule for more information. 


YTC @ The Barn is a multi-purpose, two-story facility where teens can access a computer lab, watch movies, play Wii or XBOX on a large flat screen TV, or enjoy billiard tables, air hockey, ping pong and various board games in the recreation room. Upstairs features a mini-gym for basketball, volleyball and other games and activities, as well as a snack bar run by the entrepreneurial program.


Registration is required for The Drop-In. Serving all of Howard County and Columbia, the program operates year round, after school, during the summer and some weekends. Recreational and educational programs are designed to promote self-esteem and develop relevant life skills. Check YTC Monthly Activities calendar for the special activity planned for each day. The program is open to registered YTC participants ages 9-18 years old. Registration fee is $25.
Senior Events
Ask the Pharmacist
June 30 from 10AM-11AM. Do you have questions regarding medications you are taking? With allergy season here, find out if you should take an over-the-counter medication or something prescribed by your physician.

Get answers to your pharmacy questions.

Pharmacist Don Hamilton will be on site for your one-on-one session.

Call the Bain Center at 410-313-7213 for details and to register. 


Senior Housing Seminars

Facing an empty nest and wondering about the future? The Hickory Ridge Community Association and Long & Foster Realtors Columbia are co-sponsoring a series of three seminars to help older adults plan for the transition into senior life. These informative seminars are FREE, but pre-registration is required. You can register for one or both events.  Dates and topics are:


July 22, 4:30PM-6:30PM

Legal and Financial Issues

Register here.   


August 27, 5:30PM-7:30PM

Senior Housing Options

Register here.  


Details about the content of each seminar are available through the registration links listed above. If you prefer to register by phone, call the Hickory Ridge Village office at 410-730-7327. Questions about seminar content and speakers should be directed to Nancy McCord at 443-285-9209.  


Stay Connected
Village Manager
Cathy Murphy
Facility Manager
Covenant Advisor

Community Outreach Coordinator

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5440 Old Tucker Row  Columbia, MD 21044  410-730-0770  [email protected]