January 18th  Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.
Board Elections are Coming and We Need You!

Have you considered volunteering your time on behalf of your community? The current two-year terms of office for three Village Board seats and the Columbia Association Council Representative seat expire on April 30, 2018. Village Board members attend one meeting a month where they oversee village finances, advise and take action on such matters as street and house maintenance, and advocate for changes that will benefit Harper's Choice. The Columbia Association Council Representative serves on the Village Board as an ex officio (non-voting) member and also serves as a voting member of the Columbia Association's Board of Directors.  The nomination period runs from March 1 - March 14, 2018 .  Information and nomination petitions will be available at Kahler Hall and for download on our website  on March 1; a maximum 150-word CANDIDATE'S STATEMENT is due at Kahler Hall by 5:00 pm on March 14.  The STATEMENTS may be emailed to manager@harperschoice.org , preferably in a MS Word document.    For more information, contact Village Manager Steve Ingley at 410-730-0770 or via email.

HCCA is looking for volunteers to help us count ballots on Election Day, Saturday, April 28 at 3:00 pm at Kahler Hall.  If you are available and would like to assist the Election Monitor Committee with this task, please contact Village Manager Steve Ingley at 410-730-0770 or manager@harperschoice.org.

Columbia Association (CA) will host two information sessions in February for those who are considering serving the Columbia community by seeking an opportunity to become a member of CA's Board of Directors.

The sessions will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 7pm and Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10am, both at CA Headquarters, 6310 Hillside Court, located off  Steve ns Forest Road and Broken Land Parkway.

CA's Board of Directors has 11 members - one representative from each of Columbia's 10 villages plus CA's President/CEO. Representatives from the villages serve either a one- or two-year term, depending upon each village's bylaws. In late April 2018, six villages will hold elections for their representative to the CA Board of Directors: Harper's Choice, Hickory Ridge, Oakland Mills, Owen Brown, Town Center and Wilde Lake.

Pursuing election may not be a simple decision, and CA recognizes that potential candidates may have questions or need information before filing the necessary forms. Potential candidates are encouraged to attend and learn more about Columbia Association, the role of its board members and how service on the board impacts the community. The goal of the sessions is to have a conversation with residents, including addressing their questions about this opportunity so they can make an informed decision about seeking a seat on CA's Board of Directors.
Columbia Solar Coop - Information Session
February 20, 2018; 7-8pm at the Owen Brown Community Center
(6800 Cradlerock Way)

Columbia residents can now join a local Cooperative to go solar as a group and get a discount! By going solar through the CoOp, participants will save approximately 25% off the cost of a solar system. Columbia Association is partnering with Civic Works' Retrofit Baltimore program to promote this unique opportunity to the Columbia community. Retrofit Baltimore will provide you with trusted information, guide you through each step of the process, and connect you with a vetted and screened contractor.
 
If you want more information about Solar energy, consider attending the information session on February 20, or visit our partners at Civic Works/Retrofit Baltimore:  http://retrofitbaltimore.civicworks.com/columbia  .


Cedar Lane Water Pumping Station Meeting

Howard County's Department of Public Works (DPW) will hold a public meeting on Thursday, January 25 at 7:00 p.m. in the Swansfield Elementary School cafeteria, 5610 Cedar Lane in Columbia, to discuss construction of a new water pumping station and associated water mains to service the Elevation 630 West water pressure zone. This zone extends from Centennial Lane to Guilford Road and encompasses the Villages of Harper's Choice and River Hill and portions of Hickory Ridge and Wilde Lake.
 
A formal presentation, including the proposed design plans and anticipated construction schedules, will start at 7:00 p.m. After the presentation, DPW staff members and consultant engineers will remain on hand to explain the proposed plans, answer questions and gather comments.
 
Those unable to attend the meeting who would like to view the proposed plans and/or have questions regarding the water project should contact Ms. Kerri Dinsmore with DPW's Utility Design Division at 410-313-5819 or emailkdinsmore@howardcountymd.gov. For questions or more information about Capital Project W-8328, contact Lisa Brightwell, Public Works Customer Service, at 410-313-3440 or emailpublicworks@howardcountymd.gov.


HCCA To Host Pizza & Movie Night 
Friday, February 9th 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Kahler Hall
5440 Old Tucker Row
Since showing the Polar Express at Pizza With Santa was such a success last month, we have scheduled a Pizza & Movie Night featuring The Incredibles. This event is free, but seats are limited;  advance registration is required. To register for this event, click here or call Melanie Jeffers at 410-730-0770.

HCCA To Host: 55 & Better Lunch & Movie Featuring The Shawshank Redemption
Monday, February 19th Noon - 3pm
Kahler Hall
5440 Old Tucker Row
Tickets $7
HCCA is hosting our first 55 & Better Lunch & Movie featuring Shawshank Redemption, with Academy Award Winner Morgan Freeman. Lunch will be provided by Michael's Deli. Click here to register for the event.
Howard County Conservancy
Dreaming of warm summer days? Camp Registration opens January 24, 2018!


Longing for traditional camp values in a day camp setting? Make new friends, play among the trees, learn survival skills and more.  This summer, become  Rooted in Nature  as you sneak through the forest to find animals unaware, jump from puddle to puddle like a frog, learn about soil through mud tie-dying, and get your hands dirty exploring outdoors! Explore, play, design, hike and have a wild summer! T o be the first to get registration information, email  camp@hcconservancy.org  !


Winter Family Yoga

Saturday January 20th, 10am
Belmont
6553 Belmont Woods Road 
Elkridge, MD 21075 United States

Come out of hibernation and warm up with family yoga with Mary Lavin! We will breathe, flow and move through an invigorating sequence designed to take you out of your winter cocoon. Geared for parents and children (preferably ages 6+) to practice and enjoy yoga together. Register here

Spotted at the Conservancy: Red Fox
Red Foxes are highly adaptive. They can be found in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia and live in diverse habitats including open fields, small woodlots, forests and wetlands. They can adapt to city, town and rural settings. Although related to wolves, coyotes and domestic dogs (social animals), red foxes tend to be solitary, cautious and tense, except when raising their young. During cold winter weather, red foxes use their big bushy tails to keep warm.

Volunteer at the Howard County Conservancy!
Looking for a fun way to stay involved in your community and make a tremendous difference? Consider joining the Conservancy volunteer "family!" Opportunities include:


 
Drop in gardening (Wednesday mornings)

Greeters welcoming visitors (weekdays 9am-3pm, office work)

Habitat restoration work groups (monthly)

Education programs for preschool thru high school (weekdays 9am-3pm)


 

For more informationvolunteer@hcconservancy.org or 410.465.8877
Interactive Mystery Theater at Historic Oakland
Wednesday, February 14, 7:00 pm
Unique Valentines Day gift!

The crowd was hushed as the manor proprietor got ready to unveil the prized display of the evening, the Lickety-Split Diamond, only to find it had been stolen while the crowd mingled in ignorant bliss. Now it is up to you, your guests, and the detective to find the thief and restore the diamond to its rightful place, getting the unveiling back on track.

Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres with dessert, and coffee will close the evening. Tickets must be purchased in advance: $35 per person for those who reside on Columbia assessed property (i.e., Columbia lien payer), or $45 per person for all others.  You must be 21 to attend. Singles welcome!

Purchase tickets here.


Senior Rangers: Exciting Opportunity for Adults 
Thursdays 2-3:30 p.m.
Spring: April 26-May 31
Fall: Oct. 4-Nov. 8
Save your spot now by calling 410-461-5005



Maryland Natural Resources' Senior Rangers Program is for adults looking to experience life as a park ranger and who enjoy the wonders and benefits of nature.
 
They are offering  six, 90-minute   sessions this spring and fall, which will include exercise, expert-led talks, fellowship, games and hikes. Topics will cover conservation, history, and native animals and plants.

Why Senior Rangers?

Encourages physical activity and engagement. Accessibility to parks and open spaces encourages seniors to get outdoors. This then motivates them to be active physically, spiritually and socially, which can offset chronic illness, disability and isolation. Spending time outside fights boredom and raises self-esteem. Outdoor spaces encourage multigenerational interactions, which are emotionally nourishing for most seniors.

Increases energy .  Nature is fuel for the soul. Often when we feel depleted, we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.

Fights depression.  Seniors are at higher risk of depression, which can lead to a spiral of decline if not addressed. Spending time in a natural setting has long been "prescribed" to boost our mood. We are inspired by the beauty of nature, the clean air, and the sounds and sights. It has been found that going for group walks in a natural setting could be an alternative to medications for older people who are dealing with stressful life circumstances, such as loss of a loved one or serious illness.

Boosts memory.  Research has found that interacting with nature improved memory performance and attention by 20 percent. Experts think this is in part because natural environments are far less stressful. Urban environments, they say, feature a relatively complex and often confusing pattern of stimulation, which requires effort to sort out and interpret. Parks and natural environments, however, permit folks to replenish their capacity to attend and thus have a restorative effect on mental abilities.

Improves physical health.  Spending time in nature has been shown to boost the immune system. Being outside with lots of trees can help improve our cardiovascular and metabolic health, as well as lowering our blood pressure and stress levels. 

For more information, please email  Jamie Petrucci or call 410-461-5005.
Apply to be a Vendor for GreenFest

Vendor applications are now being accepted for Howard County's 11th annual GreenFest, back for its consecutive year on Saturday, April 21, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Howard Community College's Burrill Galleria (10901 Little Patuxent Parkway). Last year's event drew more than 2,000 attendees and featured nearly 80 commercial and nonprofit vendors with information about how to live a more ecologically sound lifestyle. Apply now to become a vendor to showcase your 'green' at this popular event.
Covenant Corner
 
HARPER'S CHOICE WINTER STORM PREPAREDNESS:

Parking on the main roads throughout the Village is not permitted during a snow emergency. Plan now and make space to park all of your vehicles in your driveway or even (gasp!) in your garage.
In townhouse and condominium parking lots where the parking is not reserved, the "saving" of parking spaces with chairs, buckets, etc. is discouraged. In the event of a blizzard, this is common for a short time after the snow event to allow for all the spaces to be shoveled out. Common courtesy is always appreciated in these high stress events. 

If you want to help others who may be unable to shovel themselves out, please contact the Village covenant advisor who will be keeping a list.

Kahler Hall typically follows County Government for snow closings, not the School System. The Columbia Association Open Space crews do an excellent job of keeping our parking lots and sidewalks open in all types of adverse weather and we have staff who are dedicated to keeping our doors open as much as possible. If you have questions whether your favorite exercise, martial arts or folk-dance class is being held, please call your instructor as they may decide to cancel even if we are open. An inclement weather message will be posted on our website if we are closed.

Holiday Decorations

Please note that all exterior holiday decorations and lighting should be removed by the end of January. We enjoyed the displays; thank you for sharing your holiday spirit with us!

The Post Office does not complete snow removal at any of the cluster mailboxes in Columbia. We ask that residents who use the cluster boxes take some time to ensure that the area in front of the box is shoveled and salted for the safety and convenience of all.
Of similar concern are the storm drains on our streets. If you have a storm drain adjacent to your property, please ensure that it is shoveled open to allow the melting snows to drain and prevent street flooding. If you notice that the storm drains are blocked or clogged, please call Highways at 410-313-7450 or go to http://www.howardcountymd.gov/tellhoco.htm to report.
Have you visited us on Facebook lately?
 
Please join us on Facebook for up-to-date information about what's happening in and around the Harper's Choice Community.

Architectural Committee Meetings

Please check the calendar on our website for the latest meeting dates.
 
Changes made to the exterior of homes in Harper's Choice require approval of the Village Architectural Committee (AC).
 
The AC will meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays 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.
Village Board Meetings

The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for February 6th at 7PM. Approved Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be available on our website.
Keeping You Informed
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* Term expires 4/30/18
** Term expires 4/30/19

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