August 16th  Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.
National Night Out Was A Success!

The Harper's Choice Community Association (HCCA) once again, held its annual National Night Out celebration on Joseph Square on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. It was a terrific night with great food, great music, and great fun. This year we added some new mini events including a chili cook-off, a hot dog eating contest, and a dunker tank. 

We had seven entrants in the chili cook-off and this year's winning chili belongs to Winter Growth's chef, Peter Ernest, who won a $25 Maggiano's gift certificate. The other participants included Adam Eldridge, Bob Fontaine, Ruth Griffin, Melanie Jeffers, Cathy Murphy, and Kelsi Williams. Thank you all for taking the time and effort to make and bring your prized chili!

Attendees really enjoyed the dunk tank, including yours truly! We sold tickets for throws with the proceeds going to the Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network (FIRN). Part of the ticket sales also went to a 50/50 raffle. The raffle winner promptly donated the winnings to FIRN! A very generous gesture and greatly appreciated by all. The dunk tank generated $190.00 in donations for FIRN. The dunker participants deserve a big round of applause! They were great sports and made it fun for everyone. The "dunkees" were Terry McAndrews, Eric Ebersole, , Deb Jung, Alan McLaine, and Jim Smith. A special thank you to Jim Smith and the Neighbors for a Vibrant Harper's Choice Committee. This idea was borne by Jim and the committee members, many of whom participated in NNO and helped with the dunk tank.

A big thank you to all of the local organizations and businesses that set up informational tables. The organizations that participated included Hope Works, Howard County Health & Wellness, Jet Driving School, Winter Growth, and SMART Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Former HCCA Board Member and chef-owner of AllSpice Hospitality returned this year to prepare all of the burgers, hot dogs, and pork bbq sandwiches. Thank you Ben! 

Thank you to all of the very generous local food establishments for your support of gift certificates. They include Maggiano's, The Walrus, Cheesecake Factory, Seasons 52, and Uncle Julio. Our Village McDonald's donated 100 apple pies!

Harper'sFarm Overpass Repairs
Extensive repair work began on Harper's Farm Rd overpass on the week of July 16th, 2018. This project will take approximately six weeks to complete, weather permitting. The overpass will be closed to the public for the duration of this project. 

Learn how to use naloxone and you could save a life! 
Using prescription opioids such as oxycodone, morphine, or drugs such as heroin and fentanyl can lead to an overdose. Naloxone is a prescription medication that reverses an opioid overdose by restoring breathing. With naloxone on hand, you will be equipped to respond and prevent death from an overdose. Obtain free naloxone medication and learn to save a life through Howard County Health Department's Overdose Response Program. For more information, or to register for an upcoming class, contact or call 410-313-6202.
HopeWorks Step 1 Training

Click here to register.

Jazz in the Mill Concert featuring Lavenia Nesmith, Sunday, September 16th

Executive Kittleman Announces State-Approved Apprenticeship Program for Facilities Jobs 

ELLICOTT CITY, MD - Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced plans for an apprenticeship program, starting in 2019, to fill electrical, plumbing and HVAC-R jobs in Howard County.  Howard County is among a handful of jurisdictions that recently earned approval from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) to use registered apprenticeships to attract skilled workers in needed employment areas.
"Howard County, among other jurisdictions, is losing some of its best tradespeople in the workforce to attrition and retirement," said Kittleman.  "Before those skills and expertise are gone, we hope to help transfer those abilities to a new generation of electricians, plumbers and HVAC-R technicians.  These are solid career paths that will always be needed in the government sector."
DLLR Secretary Kelly M. Schulz shared that, "Maryland's local governments are discovering what many of our businesses have known for decades. Registered apprenticeship is a great way to build your workforce, whether you are in the private or public sector." 
The three apprenticeships being developed in Howard County for July of 2019 are full-time, paid positions with benefits.  Candidates in the 4-year program also will attend trade school for free with 144 classroom hours per year, as well as complete 2,000 on-the-job training hours, in exchange for a commitment to remain employed with the county for at least two years after the program.
"It is increasingly difficult to compete with the private sector for skilled tradespeople and the technology and energy-efficiency standards are constantly evolving and improving," said Jim Irvin, Director of the Department of Public Works.  "We are looking to develop our own talent to help us keep county facilities operating safely and effectively for our residents, visitors and co-workers."
Apprentices will mainly work for the Bureaus of Facilities, Utilities and Environmental Services within the Department of Public Works to maintain more than 2.5 million square feet of county government facilities among 172 buildings.  Assignments will span residential maintenance at county-owned properties, commercial operations at county office buildings and industrial settings like wastewater treatment facilities and the landfill.  The candidates will be overseen and trained by master tradespeople associated with AFSCME 3085, the local Howard County trade union for public employees of the Department of Public Works.
The positions are included in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget and are expected to be filled in July of 2019.  Details of the policies and procedures for the program are expected to be finalized prior to the end of 2018. 
Current job seekers can learn more about open positions and county benefits, as well as complete online employment applications, through the Office of Human Resources at
About the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) is committed to safeguarding and protecting Marylanders. We're proud to support the economic stability of the state by providing businesses, the workforce, and the consuming public with high-quality, customer-focused regulatory, employment, and training services. The Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program is a Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning. For updates and information, follow DLLR on Twitter and Facebook, and visit the website, .  
Save the date: Columbia BikeAbout returns on Saturday, September 29

Columbia Association's (CA) annual BikeAbout will be held Saturday, September 29, with riders setting off from Oakland Mills Village Center. The free, fun and informative tour presents Columbia's history and showcases the connectivity of its pathway system.

Preregistration is not required but is encouraged via Columbia BikeAbout will begin at 9:30am, with riders able to start up until 10am. They are expected to complete the ride by 1pm.
This year's 13-mile route starts at Oakland Mills Village Center and crosses the pedestrian bridge over Route 29 twice, winding through the villages of Town Center, Wilde Lake, Owen Brown and Long Reach, before returning to Oakland Mills Village Center. Riders looking for a shorter ride - including families with young children - can complete the first half of the ride, ending at Oakland Mills Village Center.

This year's Columbia BikeAbout has a theme of "Ride the Vision," with interpretive signs featuring quotes from Columbia's founder, James Rouse, from his papers held at Columbia Archives. Riders are encouraged to stop at sites along the way to discover the history of Wilde Lake Rock, check out the interesting poster trees at Lake Kittamaqundi, and get a firsthand view of the original village/neighborhood concept and land purchases Columbia was built upon.

An important aspect of Columbia's design was preservation of the land. The topography, stream beds and heavily wooded areas were preserved as much as possible. Lakes were created and pathways built to make the natural environment accessible. Columbia BikeAbout is an easy way to explore the extensive 95-mile pathway system, which contributes to the high quality of life that defines Columbia.

Columbia Association also is seeking volunteers, needed to assist with traffic control, directions, registration, and to act as guides at places of interest along the route. Flexible shifts are available between the hours of 8:30am and 2pm. Training and a free T-shirt will be provided. For more information, email or call 410-715-6781.

Columbia BikeAbout is brought to you by Columbia Association's (CA) Columbia Archives and Open Space Management Division.

Columbia Archives, which collects and preserves the history of Columbia, is located in CA Headquarters at 6310 Hillside Court, off Stevens Forest Road. It is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. The collection covers the planning and development of Columbia as well as the extensive James Rouse Collection, which chronicles Rouse's long career that influenced urban and suburban development in the United States and around the world. It is rich with correspondence, speeches, photographs and memorabilia. The public is welcome to visit and spend time researching to get a deeper understanding of the history of Columbia. Appointments are encouraged. For more information, call 410-715-3103 or visit
Columbia Solar CoOp - Tuesday, October 2

School Supply Donations

Help local students in need by providing donations to Prepare for Success Backpacks for Students. Collection bins can be found at Columbia Gym, Supreme Sports Club, Haven on the Lake, CA Headquarters, the different Villages of Columbia, and various other locations throughout Howard County. Donations are being accepted through Friday, August 24.

The following school supplies are needed:  
  • Backpacks
  • Three-hole lined paper
  • Highlighters
  • Colored pencils
  • Marble composition books
  • Pocket folders
  • Pencil boxes or bags
  • Two-inch three-ring binders
  • Glue sticks
  • #2 pencils
  • One-subject spiral notebooks
For more information, call 443-535-1625, visit or email

They Say It Takes a Village!

Many villages feed students to W ilde L ake H igh S chool (WLHS) and Harper's Choice is one of them!
WLHS is looking for volunteers from the community who would be interested, willing, and able to give of their time during lunch shifts.  The goal is to staff a "Lunch Help" room during lunch which would run from 10:10am - 12:20pm (four 30 minute lunch periods).  T he vision of "Lunch Help" is cross-curricular ; r etired teachers and professors are highly requested as lunch help is part content , but also part delivery of instruction.  However, we certainly won't turn away anyone who is willing to assist us.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jennie Hill at

Crime Prevention Tip 

Auto Theft Prevention Tips 

* Lock your car. (Day and night, at home, at work, at school, etc)
* Park in well-lighted areas and parking lots.
* Never, leave your car running and unattended, even in your own driveway.
* If your residence has a garage, park your vehicle inside of it.
* Don't hide spare keys in your vehicle or on your vehicle
* If your vehicle has an alarm, please activate it when the vehicle is not in use.
* Think about getting a GPS tracking device for your vehicle if it is not equipped with one. Law Enforcement can track the          vehicle if it is stolen.
* Enroll in "The Maryland Watch Your Car Program." This is a program that identifies your vehicle to Police through window       and sticker decals. Police can then stop the vehicle without probable cause, and identify the driver if the car is out between    1 and 5am.
* Vin Etching for your vehicle * Vehicle identification number is etched onto your vehicle's windows to deter theft and helps         police return the vehicle to its rightful owner if stolen.
* Consider a steering wheel lock or kill switch for your vehicle.
* Howard County Auto Theft Prevention information 410-313-4759.
* Always report suspicious subjects and activity to HCPD immediately by dialing 911.

Courtesy of:  Howard County Police Department
Covenant Corner


Get your applications in for those late summer projects! The Architectural Committee will meet on August 21. The deadline for application submissions will be Tuesday, August 7. If you miss that deadline, your application will not be able to be reviewed until September 11 when the AC resumes their regular bi-weekly meeting schedule.  

If you have a desire to have a positive impact in Harper's Choice, this could be the opportunity for you. We are seeking interested individuals who are available the second and fourth Tuesday evening each month to serve on the Architectural Committee. The AC meets twice monthly at 7:30 p.m. to review architectural change applications, discuss covenant violations and keep the guidelines current. Note: persons wishing to serve on the AC must be able to obtain a Letter of Compliance from this office stating that their property is free of covenant violations.  Contact the Covenant Advisor for more information.    

T rees and Tree Maintenance

The trees on our property add to the value of our homes, but without regular maintenance, they can become a liability. Trees should be assessed for health and safety every few years. Proper care and pruning can keep limbs from damaging your home and add valuable sunlight to that shady lawn or garden. If you determine that a tree must be removed, an application is required to be submitted to the Village Architectural Committee for approval. Applications are available on our website.     
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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 Tuesday, August 21st 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 August 14th at 7PM. Approved Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be available on our website.
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* Term expires 4/30/19
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5440 Old Tucker Row  Columbia, MD | 410.730.0770 | Email | Website