Nov. 6, 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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Recycle Household Hazardous Waste
Recycle Hazardous Waste at Alpha Ridge on Saturdays
There are only four Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection days remaining this year. Collection days are Saturdays ONLY from 8AM - 4PM from April through November at the Alpha Ridge Landfill.

If you have chemicals, rechargeable batteries, insecticides, paint, etc., that you want to clear out of the house before the winter holidays, take advantage of these final collection days this year. For more information about HHW, visit the County's Household Hazardous Waste website. 
Leaf-Raking Fundraiser Supports Local Robotics Team
Local Students Earn Money Raking Your Leaves

Team Ursa Major, a high school robotics team with students from Hammond, Centennial, and Wilde Lake High Schools, is pleased to offer leaf-raking for the community. Three or four students will rake your yard for a two-hour block period on Saturday, November 15 or Sunday, November 16. The team will only rake leaves in acceptable weather conditions.


The Team is glad to provide this service for free, though donations are greatly appreciated. This activity is a key fundraiser, as robotics is a very expensive activity. To schedule an appointment by email, please contact

Columbia Speaks. CA Listens: A ReCap
There's Still Time to Share Your Thoughts
On October 18th, CA held Columbia Speaks. CA Listens - an event designed to give Columbia residents an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Approximately 100 people attended the event.

You may view video coverage of the event here. The discussion topics and slide presentations shown at the event are posted on CA's Columbia Speaks site.  As a follow-up to this event, residents may add additional comments on CA's online community forum at Comments will be collected through November 13th.

All information provided at the event, along with these additional comments, will be compiled and made available in a Summary Report posted on CA's Columbia Speaks website in early December. Additional coverage of event discussions and follow-up information will appear in upcoming issues of CA Monthly.

Beware of Scams During Open Enrollment Season
Stay Alert During the Medicare and ACA Open Enrollment Periods

The Howard County Department of Citizen Services is warning both Medicare recipients and residents who qualify for health coverage through Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care exchanges of misleading and sometimes illegal offers of help that may crop up during open enrollment seasons. Open enrollment for Medicare is from October 15 to December 7, 2014. The ACA health exchange enrollment period is from November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.


"Con artists saw last year's open enrollment periods as opportunities to take advantage of people who were unfamiliar or confused by the new health exchanges and changes to Medicare," said Lois Mikkila, Director of the Department of Citizen Services. "Crooks exploit this vulnerability to sell non-existent or unneeded products. Sadly, many people weren't aware of the free and reliable assistance that is available through state and local agencies and often became the targets of unethical or illegal offers."


Last year, the Department's Office on Aging was alerted to insurance representatives who made illegal door-to-door "cold calls" to Medicare recipients, pitching supplemental insurance that did not meet their needs. Meanwhile, the Office of Consumer Affairs learned that misleading information about the ACA enrollment period and the penalties for failing to enroll were used to create a sense of urgency so that consumers would make hasty and costly decisions. Many other types of scams were reported in other areas of Maryland and around the United States.

This year, the Office on Aging and the Office of Consumer Affairs have joined forces to help consumers identify and avoid health insurance scams. "Avoiding Medicare and Health Insurance Scams during Open Enrollment" provides guidance on what to look out for and how to stay safe from the most common scams. 


Consumers looking for free, confidential and unbiased Medicare information can contact the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at 410-313-7392 or by e-mail.        


Consumers who receive suspicious offers of help to enroll in the exchanges can contact the Office of Consumer Affairs at 410-313-6420 or by e-mail.

Register for Health Care and Apply for Financial Assistance for 2015
Open Enrollment to apply for Health Insurance for 2015 under the Affordable Care Act begins November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015. If you are currently enrolled in a plan, your coverage will automatically continue into 2015.

If you need financial assistance, you must apply for insurance by December 18, 2014 to qualify for coverage beginning January 1, 2015. If you received assistance in 2014, you must re-apply for aid by December 18, 2014 for the 2015 plan year.

Please visit the Maryland Health Connection website for additional assistance.

Eagle Scout Thanksgiving Holiday Food Drive
Donations Accepted at Kahler Hall Through November 20
Local Eagle Scout Franc LeFors is coordinating a holiday food drive to provide complete Thanksgiving holiday meals to families in need. Each family will receive a Thanksgiving bag that includes all of the items needed to make a family meal. Here are items needed: 
  • 15$ gift card to Giant/ Safeway / Wegmans (For 10lb turkey)
  • Canned Evaporated Milk
  • Canned Sweet Potatoes
  • Packaged Cornbread Mix or Dressing Mix
  • Canned Cranberry Sauce
  • Canned Pumpkin Pie Mix 
  • Boxed Pie Crust (Betty Crocker and Jiffy both have a dry mix)
  • Boxed instant potatoes
  • Canned Gravy
  • Canned Apple Sauce or Fruit
  • Canned Soup

Donations will be accepted at Kahler Hall through Thursday, November 20. Please contact Franc LeFors if you have any questions.
Toys for Tots Collection at Harper's Choice Middle School
Donations Accepted Through December 12
The mission of the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Harper's Choice Middle School is a collection site for the Toys for Tots program through December 12.

Please consider donating a new, unwrapped toy to help the Marines reach their goal and bring smiles to the faces of many children in our community.
Did You Know...
Chip Bags and Foil Wrappers Can Be Re-purposed?

Chip bags and wrappers are not recyclable in your curbside bin. Please be sure to place all crinkly type foil wrappers and bags in the trash. 


But, through companies like TerraCycle, chip bags, wrappers, and other hard-to-recycle items can get re-purposed, re-used, or recycled! This company provides fundraising to participating organizations and uses the old wrappers and bags to make folders, lunch boxes and backpacks.
Sending those crinkly wrappers and bags to TerraCycle is currently the only way for those items to be recycled into something new.

Now is the Time to Prepare for Winter?
When The Sky Turns Gray - Animated Video
When The Sky Turns Gray - Animated Video
Winter has already greeted many people across the US. Since Maryland has yet to experience the first snow and ice of the season, there is still time to prepare your home for winter. Here's a quick reminder on getting ready for the colder months.

Ben Franklin said it best: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Covenant Corner
Recycling Reminders

With the new food scrap recycling in our village, some households now have three or more trash and recycling bins that must be stored between collections. As a general rule, recycling bins and trash cans must be stored out of view from the street and neighboring properties, with the best location being in a garage or carport. If that is not an option, bins may be stored neatly at the side or rear of the home with tight fitting lids, not overflowing. Bins should not be stored at the front of the home or the driveway. Landscape screening may also be used to shield cans from view. Place your cans out curbside for pick-up no earlier than 6PM the evening prior to your collection day and promptly remove them from view after they have been emptied. 


Check Your Outdoor Lighting

The arrival of Daylight Saving Time is a reminder to check your outdoor lighting. For safety and security, reset lights on timers, complete any needed maintenance to your fixtures, verify that the lights are working properly and they give off sufficient light. Consider converting an older gas fixture that is not functional to electric. If you plan to replace your post lamp or other exterior lighting, don't forget that replacement may require Architectural Committee approval. Please contact the Village Covenant Advisor with any questions.


Not-To-Miss Events!
Artfully Wilde Fine Craft Show: November 7 & 8 at Slayton House
The 22nd Annual Artfully Wilde Fine Craft Show is on Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8 at Slayton House in the Wilde Lake Village Center at 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, MD. Many artists will showcase handmade aesthetic and functional artwork in everything from clay to fiber, jewelry, pottery, glass, wood, metal, paper and more! Please stop by Friday evening from 5-9PM or Saturday from 10AM-4PM and meet the artists while you shop for yourself or for early Holiday presents.

Longfellow Nursery School Holiday Open House Fundraiser
When: Saturday, November 8, 2014

Time: 10AM - 1PM

Where: Longfellow Nursery School at 5267 Eliots Oak Rd.

What: Shop for your friends and loved ones with your favorite consultants, including representatives from Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Thirty-One, Premier Designs, and Party Lite! Maybe even pick up something for yourself! Tis' the season to shop and raise money for a wonderful cooperative preschool! Don't forget to sign up for the awesome door prizes. 

Thanksgiving Celebration
The Howard County Office on Aging invites you to a Thanksgiving Celebration on Thursday, November 13, at Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane in Clarksville. The Giving Thanks Luncheon and Dance will feature a festive meal with turkey and all the trimmings, plus a special performance by the Retro Rockets.

Doors open at 10:30AM and lunch is served at 12 noon. Tickets are $13 per person and are on sale now at Howard County Senior Centers.  Attendees are asked to bring nonperishable food items to be donated to the Howard County Food Bank.

Teen Opportunities Fair
Are you the parent of a teen and looking for a one-stop-shop of community resources in Howard County? Plan to attend the Teen Opportunities Fair on Saturday, November
15 from 11AM - 2PM at Long Reach High School.  This event for students aged 11-17 connects youth with organizations that provide volunteer, leadership or recreational services.
Holiday Events
Pizza with Santa
Our annual Pizza with Santa event is scheduled for Saturday, December 20 at 11AM at Kahler Hall. This favorite holiday tradition is planned especially for Harper's Choice residents. Space is limited and reservations are required. Please visit Kahler Hall beginning November 10 to RSVP and pick up your free tickets.

We encourage attendees to bring one non-perishable food item for the food bank per ticket. Items collected will be given to the Howard County Food Bank.

Jazz in the Mills Presents a Holiday Jazz Extravaganza

Jazz in the Mills at The Other Barn in Columbia, MD presents its Annual Holiday Jazz Extravaganza on Sunday, December 7, 2014 featuring the melodious sounds of Davey Yarborough and Esther Williams.


Showtime is 5PM - 8PM. Soft drinks, wine and snacks will be available for sale. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $15 at The Other Barn and are available online. Tickets will be available at the door for $20.


Jazz in the Mills is sponsored by Lavenia Nesmith and the Oakland Mills Community Association.


For more information, please contact Lavenia Nesmith at or call 301-596-5128 or 410-730-4610.

Colonial Holidays at Belmont Manor
Enjoy colonial holiday decorations, period reenactments, music, food and drink at the Belmont Manor House on Sunday, December 7 from 3PM - 6PM.

For more information and to register, visit the Howard County Conservancy website. All proceeds benefit the Conservancy's educational programs at Belmont.

Upcoming Meetings
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. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for:
11/11, 11/25, 12/9 

Village Board Meetings
The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for November 11 at 7PM. Agendas and Meeting Minutes can be found on our website.

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