May 14, 2015
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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Use Caution When Donating for Disaster Relief
Howard County urges residents to use caution when donating money for disaster relief.


The Howard County Department of Citizen Services' Office of Consumer Affairs is warning residents to be on the lookout for scams when donating to relief organizations that aid the victims of natural disasters, such as the recent massive earthquake in Nepal.


"While it's only natural to want to respond to a disaster immediately, impulsive giving can result in none of your money reaching the victims you want to help," said Consumer Affairs Administrator Rebecca Bowman. "Fraudulent charities not only rob donors of their money, they also rob the victims for whom the donation was intended."


The Office of Consumer Affairs recommends that residents take the following steps before making charitable donations:  

  • Do your homework. Utilize web sites like Charity Watch and Charity Navigator to learn more about specific charities. Such sites provide everything from lists of charities working on behalf of victims of specific disasters, to breakdowns of how your donations are spent (such as salaries of executives rather than assistance to victims). 
  • Be wary of high pressure tactics. Scammers will say anything to get you to send money before you can do any research or think over your donation. Remember that disaster victims will need help over an extended period of time, so you do not have to act immediately. Solicitations that ask you to send money through wire transfer or pre-paid cards are usually scams. These payment methods are just like cash - there's no way for you to trace where the money goes or to get it back.
  • Look out for imposter charities. Con artists pick names that look like or sound like well- known organizations. They often make effective emotional appeals, but they do not provide details on who they are or the kind of aid they will provide. Ask any telephone solicitor for the charity's legal name, address and telephone number and compare that information with what you find independently through an internet or phone book search. 
  • Make sure the charity is registered. In Maryland, charities must register with the Office of the Secretary of State before asking for donations. The Secretary of State's website allows you to see if a charity is registered and provides links to other sites that will assist you in making your donation decisions. 

For more information and/or to report a potential scam, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs at 410-313-6420 or visit the Office's "Scam Alert!" website.


Residents who have lost money or feel their personal safety is at risk due to a scam, should contact the Howard County Police Department's non-emergency phone number at 410-313-2200 to file a report.

Memorial Day Recycling & Trash Collection
Slide schedule in effect for Memorial Day Holiday


There will be NO COLLECTIONS on Monday, May 25. All recycling, trash and yard trim collections will slide and be made one day later that week. Visit the  Slide Schedule website for a handy chart.


The Alpha Ridge Landfill will be closed Monday, May 25th.
Did You Know...
You Can Trade Your Old Window A/C or Dehumidifiers for $25?

Do you have an old working room air conditioning unit or dehumidifier to recycle? BGE residential customers can stop by the Columbia Athletic Club on Saturday, June 13 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and drop off up to two room air conditioning units and/or dehumidifiers and receive a $25 reward per appliance! The units must be in working condition to be eligible. Customers will receive their reward check approximately four weeks after the event. A free LED bulb will also be provided to each participant!


Rain or shine, representatives will be on hand to unload units directly from vehicles. The event will be held on Saturday, June 13 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Columbia Athletic Club located on 5435 Beaverkill Road in Columbia, MD.


Call 866.898.1901 or visit for more information.



Covenant Corner
Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

We love yard sales! However, yard sale signs left up past the date of the sale contribute to visual clutter in the community when not removed promptly.


Please be sure to make a note of all of the locations where you post signs, and remove them the same day at the conclusion of your event.    


Columbia RV Park has Spaces Available to Rent

The parking and storage of boats, trailers, RV's, Jet Ski's, and other similar vehicles is prohibited on property in Columbia without the prior written approval of the Architectural Committee. Section 8.01 of the Harper's Choice Village Covenants states:  


Without the prior written approval of the Architectural Committee: (d) No boat, boat trailer, house trailer, trailer or other similar items shall be stored in the open on any lot.  


The Columbia RV Park has spaces available for rent to Columbia Lien payers; contact 410-381-0194.


Weed Warrior Program

The Columbia Association (CA) Open Space Management department is pleased to announce the next CA Weed Warrior Program Certified Leader training session.


The program will supplement efforts to remove non-native, invasive plant species on designated CA open space properties. Certified volunteer leaders, who complete CA's training program and meet specific requirements, will supervise and "lead" groups of volunteers onto the open space to perform specific, designated invasive weed removal tasks. CA Open Space Management is working cooperatively with the University of Maryland Extension Services and the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) Weed Warrior Program to provide in-class and outdoor field training to certify leaders volunteering for the program. Here is general information about the program.

  • Individuals must be at least 18 years of age, able to work independently and perform work of a physical nature in an outdoor environment.
  • The classroom training is scheduled on Sunday, 6/14/15 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Claret Hall located at 6020 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville, MD 21029. The required follow-up outdoor field training date is Saturday, 6/20/15 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the stormwater management pond located next to the Columbia Gym at 6151 Daylong Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029.
  • Volunteers interested in participating in the program may register via The Volunteer Center website.
  • Participants must bring a completed and signed Weed Warrior Volunteer Application and Agreement form to the in-class training. Please click here to view and download the form. Website registration is required.
  • Participants volunteering for the program may be subject to a background check.
If you have any questions, please contact the Open Space Management Office at (410) 312-6330 Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Greater Howard County CROP Walk

Join local congregations and social groups in a community-wide walk to fight hunger, one step at a time! Registration is at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 17 at the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, and the 3-mile walk begins at 2 p.m. after the opening ceremonies. Participants can join an existing team or start a new one. All funds benefit local and international hunger relief. To register, find the Greater Howard County CROP Walk in Maryland at or contact Bob Jordan at or 410-245-9056.

Use of DNA in Genealogy

Join the Howard County Genealogical Society (HCGS) monthly meeting on May 20 to hear The Use Of DNA in Genealogy by guest speaker Dr. Margaret McMahon. After earning her PhD in computer science and engineering and working 25 years, Dr. McMahon uses her education and experience to research family history. As an experienced college and graduate school professor, she is familiar with teaching in a manner that creates a comfortable and enjoyable learning environment for all participants. Her two books will be available for purchase at the meeting.  


The meeting will be held at the Bain Center (5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia). Plan to arrive at 7 p.m. to browse and enjoy free refreshments. At 7:15 p.m. members will share their research stories. A short meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. followed by the lecture at 8 p.m. HCGS meetings, refreshments, and lectures are free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome. 

Upcoming Conservation Stewardship Programs
The mission of the Howard County Master Gardeners is to educate residents about safe, effective, and sustainable horticultural practices that build healthy gardens, landscapes, and communities. The Master Gardener program is administered by the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Service. Please join them for these upcoming events.
Milkweed Planting & Butterfly Talk

When: Tuesday, May 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  

Where: Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA), Trotter Road entrance at 5795 Trotter Road, Clarksville, MD


Come out this day and help plant beneficial milkweeds and also learn about the Monarch Waystation Program. Learn two easy things that you can even do at home to help Monarchs!
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 p.m. to review applications. The deadline to submit applications for approval is two weeks prior to the next meeting date. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for: 5/26, 6/9, 6/23.  

Village Board Meetings
The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for June 2 at 7 p.m. Agendas and Meeting Minutes are available on our website.