Volume II | Issue I| March MMXX
District 2
The Opel Jones Digest

Office: 410-313-2001
3430 Court House Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21043

"We Win Together!"
District 2: Save the Date
Constituent Coffee Series
Village Voice
Long Reach
Upcoming Board Meetings

Interested in learning about what is going on in the Long Reach community? All upcoming board meetings will be held at Stonehouse , 8775 Cloudleap Court, Columbia, MD 21045 , at 7:30 PM unless noted otherwise. The following are upcoming meeting dates:

  • Tuesday, March 3rd
  • Tuesday, March 17th

Village Board Highlights
✓ Approved the purchase of a portable bar replacement
✓ Discussed County’s plans for traffic and pedestrian lanes on Tamar Drive, and effects on safety and traffic flow
✓ Approved $500 donation to Oakland Mills High School PTSA
✓ Approved $500 donation to Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center
✓ Met with Lee Anderson of ManneqART to discuss plans to use the grocery store space at the Village Center

For more information, please visit longreach.org
Master Gardener Series
Butterfly Gardening • Monday, March 23rd at 7 PM
Learn the basics of attracting butterflies to your garden and the types of butterflies that may visit your garden.
Register at LRCA.eventbrite.com

For more information, email or call (410)730-8113
Searching for Spring

Saturday, March 28th at 10:00-11:30 AM
Enjoy crafts, egg hunt, and entertainment for kids at the Columbia SportsPark. Tickets are available at the Stonehouse Long Reach Community Center starting February 28th. This fun filled event is catered to children ages 2-8. Searching for Spring is Co-Sponsored by the Villages of Columbia.
Camp Oasis Registration is Open!
Session 1:
June 29th - July 10th

Session 2:
July 13th - July 24th
Session 3:
July 27th - Aug 7th 
For ages 4 - 13 years old

Camp Hours:
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Before & Aftercare available:
7:00 AM to 8:30 AM 
& 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Receive $100 off
per camper, per session when you pay in full before April 15, 2020
see campoasis.org for details 
Help us become a Soak It Up Community!

A message from the Long Reach Watershed Advisory Committee:  

"We’re looking for townhouse, apartment, and condo communities that may be interested in helping Long Reach become a Soak it Up Community by implementing environmentally friendly storm water practices!"

Learn more about the campaign here . If you are interested in getting involved, contact Mandy Elder at mandy.elder@gmail.com  
To stay updated on Long Reach Community events, visit their  website and follow Long Reach Community Association on Facebook!
Oakland Mills 
Upcoming Board Meetings

Are you interested in learning about the Oakland Mills community? All upcoming board meetings will be held at The Other Barn , 5851 Robert Oliver Place , at 7 PM unless noted otherwise. Upcoming meeting dates are the following:
  • March 10th, 7:00 PM
  • March 24th, 7:00 PM

Oakland Mills Education Committee

Next Education Committee meeting: March 26th, at 6:00 PM
All meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month from 6:00-7:00 PM at The Other Barn.
Important Safety Tips and Reminders
  • Look both ways before entering a crosswalk.
  • Be extra vigilant when crossing in a turn lane.
  • Always cross the street between cross walk markings.
  • Wear light colored or reflective clothing so drivers can see you.
  • REMEMBER Pedestrians DO have the RIGHT OF WAY, but everyone needs to get across the street safely.
  • Always stop for Pedestrians- It's the law.
  • Stop for Pedestrians that are in a crosswalk.
  • Slow down in school zones.
  • Obey traffic signals, yield signs, and street markings.
  • Drive within the posted speed.
  • When turning right on red, be aware of pedestrians crossing.
  • Yield to the car already in the roundabout when entering it.
  • Don't text and drive.
Prevent Auto Theft
In Maryland, cars are stolen every 14 minutes. Keys are left in more than 20% of stolen vehicles. More than 50% of auto thefts occur in residential areas.
  • Always lock your vehicle, making sure the windows and sunroof are closed.
  • Make sure you have the keys.
  • Never leave your vehicle running or unattended.
  • Never hide a spare key in your vehicle.
  • Do Not leave personal documents ie. bills, credit card statements, or mail in the vehicle.
  • Make sure all valuables and other items are not is sight.
  • Always park in well- lit areas.
  • If your vehicle is equipped with an alarm, activate it when your vehicle is not is use.
  • Park your vehicle with the wheels turned toward the curb, and engage the emergency brake.
  • Park in your garage if possible. Lock the garage door, and the interior house door.
  • Register your vehicle with Watch Your Car -a program that identifies your vehicle to the police with window stickers and decals. The police can then stop the vehicle and identify the driver if the vehicle is out between 1 and 5am.
  • Use VIN etching for your vehicle. Your vehicle identification is etched to your vehicle's window to assist police return the vehicle to the correct owner.
  • Call 911 if your car is stolen.
Being Safe at Home
  • Keep all doors, including the interior door in the garage locked.
  • Install motion sensor lights outside of your home.
  • Install timer lights inside of your home, so your home always looks inhabited.
  • Keep bushes trimmed to prevent unwanted visitors from being unseen by you.
  • Do not answer the door without knowing who is there.
  • Chose a neighbor that you can call in case of emergency.
  • Inform your neighbors if you will be out of town.
  • Call 911 if you see suspicious activity
Being Safe On Pathways
  • Try to walk or ride with a group.
  • The paths should be shared by those walking and riding bikes
  • If riding a bike, be aware of those walking.
  • Bike riders should announce when they are approaching or passing those walking.
  • Stay on the paths.
  • Be aware that bridges and wet leaves can be slippery.
  • Report bridges needing maintenance to SeeClickFix.
  • Pathways are closed after 10PM.

OMCA Safety & Security Committee 
Important Safety Tips and Reminders
Judy and Steve Gottsagen, Committee Co-Chairs
OMHS cOMmunity Food Pantry
Donations Needed!
The OMHS Food Pantry is held the fourth Thursday of each month from 3-5 PM and is open to the cOMmunity. Volunteers can drop off goods at The Other Barn during regular business hours.
For more information, please contact the Oakland Mills Village Board (410)-730-4610.
A-OK Mentoring: Volunteers Needed!

A-OK (Assist Our Kids) needs volunteers to serve as mentors and tutors for preschool, elementary, and middle school students in Howard County schools. Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age and available during regular business hours.

For more information, please email  susan@aokmentor.org  or
call 443-895-2457.
Hands-only CPR, AED and Narcan Training

March 14th, at 10:00 AM at The Other Barn
This FREE class will review Hands-only CPR and AED use for those who are 8 years old and above. Please note, this is a non-certification class.

For more information, please email Brigitta Warren at events@oaklandmills.org
For more information, please email Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services at handsonlycpr@hcdfrs.org
Spring Egg Hunt
Jazz in the Mills 2020 Season
To stay updated on Oakland Mills Community events, visit their  website and follow Oakland Mills Community Association on Facebook
Connecting with Our Home Owner Associations
If you are an Executive Board member or member of a Home Owner Association (HOA) please forward your up-to-date officer contact and meeting information to  Michael Harris to update our database when changes occur.
District 2 Updates
Winter Restaurant Week 2020
On January 21st, it was honor to give opening remarks with Howard County Executive Ball, kicking-off Howard County’s Winter Restaurant Week 2020! This year we begin Restaurant Week in Columbia Gateway. As a patron of this establishment, it was a pleasure meeting and conversing with some of the enthusiastic staff that help bring the vision of Joe and Mary alive--coupled with the delicious recipes from Joe’s mother, Barbara Aida! Cheers and Bon Appétit!
Red Sand Ceremony
In January, I joined Howard County Executive Ball, representatives from HopeWorks, the County’s Office of Human Trafficking Prevention, the Howard County Police Department, and other elected officials to raise awareness about human trafficking through the Red Sand Project. The Red Sand Project highlights 40.3 million people worldwide who have fallen through the cracks of our social, economic, and political systems due to human trafficking.
"Living Legend" Honorary Resolution
In celebration of African American History Month, my colleagues and I honored retired Lt. Herman Charity with the “Living Legend” Honorary Resolution for African American History Month. Lieutenant Charity served the Howard County Police Department for 30 years and in that time, he became the department’s first African American corporal, first African American sergeant, first African American detective, first African American vice officer, first African American internal affairs officer and, in 1971, the first African American “Officer of the Year.”
2nd Annual Elected Officials of Color Roundtable
Thank you River Hill Young Democrats for inviting me to participate in the 2nd Annual Elected Officials of Color Roundtable. As an educator, I believe in empowering young people by promoting advocacy for change throughout our communities! I look forward to next year's enlightening discussion.
Long Reach Garden Expansion
On February 10th, I joined  Howard County Recreation and Parks , Columbia Gardeners, and  Howard County Executive Ball  to break ground on four new gardens at the Long Reach Garden. The community garden was expanded in 2010 and currently contains 125 full plots, ten 20 x 12.5 half plots, and five wheelchair-accessible raised beds.
Howard County's garden plots were established in 1977 for residents who lacked the space to garden at home. Long Reach Community Garden has a long-standing partnership with the Howard County Food Bank.
Community Events and Opportunities
#HoCo Counts 2020 Census
Help us raise funds to provide scholarships for deserving students by joining us for a delicious, all-you-can-eat Chinese food buffet. Best of all, 100% of the net profits will benefit Silas Craft Collegians Endowment and program funds!

March 9th at 5:00 - 8:00 PM
Hunan Manor Restaurant
7091 Deepage Drive
Columbia, Maryland

Tickets are $45 per person and include dinner, dessert, beverages, tax and gratuities. Tickets are offered to students and children under ten at a discounted rate of $15. To learn more, purchase tickets, or make a financial contribution in support of the Silas Craft Collegians Program, visit howardcc.edu/sccathunan.
The African Art Museum of Maryland is Moving Back to Columbia
National Museum Day in partnership with Smithsonian Magazine
Date: April 4th
Time: 1:00- 3:00 PM
Ticket Information: Free

"Jazz to Welcome Spring" with Charles Rahmat Woods
Date: April 30th
Time: 6:00- 9:00 PM 
Ticket Information: $40.00/person, includes buffet and cash bar. First beverage is free with admission. Tickets are available online or by calling 301-490-6070

The Community Foundation is now accepting applications from graduating high school seniors for the 2020 scholarship cycle. The Foundation administers many scholarships, some of which are school specific and others that are available to private schools. A complete list of available scholarships and eligibility criteria can be found here
Aging-In-Place Tax Credit
This program provides a tax credit for property owned by an individual:

1)  Who is at least 65 years old by June 30th and has lived in the same dwelling for at least the preceding 40 years OR
2)  Who is at least 65 years old by June 30th and is a retired member of the Armed Forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard) with 20 years of active service OR
3)  Who is at least 65 years old by June 30th, is a surviving spouse of a retired member of the Armed Forces of the United States, with 20 years of active service, and is not remarried.

*The credit is equal to 20% of the eligible County Tax and may be granted for up to 5 years
*You CANNOT receive both the Aging in Place Credit and the Senior Credit on the principle residence in a single tax year.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a 501c3 charity that uses donations and volunteers to build and deliver beds to Howard County children ages 3-17 years old. The local Howard County Chapter has built over 200 beds thus far.  

All beds are delivered with new sheets and comforters. Sleep in Heavenly Peace accepts donated sheet set, comforter, or both.  All bedding MUST be NEW and TWIN size

If you don’t have time to shop, but would like to help, you can make a monetary donation here

Students' Spotlight
School Closures and Delays
School Closure Dates:

April 3rd : Schools close 3 hours early in lieu of Professional Work Day
April 6th-13th : Schools closed for Spring Break

Summer School Registration
Begins February 1st

 School System Calendar
Click HERE .
Board of Education Meetings and Work Sessions

Thursday, March 12th
4:00 PM and 7:00 PM – Regular Meeting
Thursday, March 26th
4:00 PM and 7:00 PM – Regular Meeting

All meetings are held in the Boardroom of the Department of Education
10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Bellows Spring Elementary School
Join the Bellows Spring PTA-- March 27, 2020
Time: 6:30- 9:00 PM
Location: Bellows Spring Cafeteria
Deep Run Elementary School
PTA Family Night Bingo
Come join family and friends for Bingo Night on March 6th. Doors open at 6:30 PM and games start at 7:00 PM. The cost is $3 per person. 5th grade will be selling pizza and snacks.
Read Across Deep Run Elementary! A Celebration of Diverse Books!
March 2nd–6th, 2020
Please help us celebrate with the following activities:
  • Monday, March 2nd-Celebrate YOU day!--Wear an outfit you love that celebrates your culture or interests.
  • Tuesday, March 3rd-History of your name.--Celebrate your name and why you were given that name. Talk to your child about why they were given the name they have.
  • Wednesday, March 4th -Gratitude Day--Our students will read with their buddies and share favorite books. Talk about what kindness and gratitude mean with your child.
  • Thursday, March 5th–Favorite Colors Day and Guest Reader Day!-- Wear your favorite color day!
  • Friday, March 6th–Mismatch Day--Wear mismatched pajamas or mismatched clothes.
Ducketts Lane Elementary School
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 4:00 PM
Chuck E. Cheese Fundraiser
Please join Ducketts Lane Elementary School PTA at Chuck E. Cheese in Laurel, MD
Hanover Hills Elementary School
Save the Date: Barkley Ball
March 20, 2020
We're looking for a volunteer to chair the event.
If interested, please email hanoverhillspta@gmail.com
Phelps Luck Elementary School
Join us Monday's starting March 23rd for our first LEGO Brick Building Club at Phelps Luck Elementary! 

Each week, we will have a short lesson and a LEGO building challenge.

Register your student, and invite friends. Parent volunteers are welcomed for club days. If you are interested in volunteering for the full session, you can receive a free registration for your student. 

Please contact Shannon at scrider@b4kellicottcity.com to volunteer.
Stevens Forest Elementary School
STEM Fair Planning Committee
Do you have a background in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) or are interested in STEM? The SFES PTA is looking for 3-4 volunteers to join the STEM Fair Planning Committee.The committee will meet 5 times between now the March to plan activities, review submissions, and identify judges.  Fair will take place March 5th.

If you are interested, please contact Samuel Pearson-Moore, STEM Fair Planning Committee Chair, at  Samuel.moore27@yahoo.com .  
Talbott Springs Elementary School
DONATIONS NEEDED: Blessings in a Backpack
Talbott Springs is in need of monetary donations to support students who receive Blessings in a Backpack for the 2019-2020 school year. Monetary donations can be made at blessingsinabackpack.org .
For more info, including instructions on how to make an online donation, click HERE .
Thunder Hill Elementary School
PTA Family Formal
March 20th
Get ready to spend a well-dressed evening of fun, dancing, and crafts with your child.
Waterloo Elementary School
International Night
Join us March 13th for a free, family night of fun as we highlight the many cultures of Waterloo. There will be tasty treats in the cafeteria, booths from various countries in the gym, activities, and mini-concerts on the stage. Students and families are welcome to come in "International" attire. This night is usually held the same night as the book fair and the silent auction - so it is an action packed evening!
Ellicott Mills Middle School
Mayfield Woods Middle School
March 6th and March 11th - 6th grade students

If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Stevens. If you would prefer that your child not participate, please contact Ms. Stevens two days prior to the scheduled date so that alternate arrangements can be made.
Oakland Mills Middle School
OMMS Donations
Supply Donations
Want to donate supplies? OMMS is asking for monthly donations as well as art donations. Click here to see the wish list.

Monetary Donations
If you'd like to donate money to OMMS, visit the online donation portal  here
Thomas Viaduct Middle School
The PTSA is always in need of volunteers. We need your talents!
We are still looking for a Hospitality Coordinator to organize/plan Teacher Appreciation Week. If you are interested in helping please email the PTSA at tvmsptsa@gmail.com.
The Quarter Auction is coming!! Please click  here  to find out how you can help and sign up!
Howard High School
Long Reach High School
The Class of 2021 will be selling Krispy Kreme Donuts, March 2 - March 13 as a fundraiser to help keep the cost of Prom down. Students that sell 25 boxes will receive $10.00 off their prom ticket and students that sell 50 boxes will receive $20.00 off their prom ticket. Order forms will be available Feb. 26. See Mrs. Flood or Mrs. Davenport for info.
Oakland Mills High School
OMHS Production: Footloose the Musical
March 5th & 6th, & 7th, 7:00 p.m.
March 8th, 2:00 p.m.
OMHS Auditorium
Becca's Closet's 4th Annual "A Pretty and Polished Affair"
March 28th, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Atholton High School 6520 Freetown Road

This event will help students get a FREE prom dress for this year's prom season! The event is 100% free and not only includes a dress, but accessories, alterations, hair and makeup, refreshments, and giveaways. More info and tickets HERE .
APL STEM: Girl Power
Non-Profit Resources
In Need of Crisis Intervention?
Grassroots is a private, non-profit agency that empowers people in crisis to make positive changes by offering professional 24-hour crisis intervention, shelter, and outreach services. They provide programs and services including 24-hour crisis intervention hotline, Maryland Crisis Hotline, Walk-in Counseling, Mobile Crisis Team, Suicide Prevention, Outreach and Education, a 33-bed Family Shelter, an 18-bed Men's Shelter, a Motel Shelter, Cold Weather Shelter, and a Day Resource Center. The Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Inc. is located at 6700 Freetown Road, Columbia, MD For more information, please call (410) 531-6006 or visit the Grassroots website . The 24-hour hotline is (410) 531-6677 and the MD Crisis Hotline is 1(800)422-0009
Join HopeWorks for Yoga Salutes NonViolence , a charity event to raise awareness and support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Saturday, March 14th at 2 PM

The Yoga Center of Columbia
8950 MD - 108 #109
Columbia, MD 21045

Students and practitioners gather together to participate in 108 Sun Salutations (or as many as they can).The participants, teachers, and students are sponsored by family and friends. Whether you’re a new student, a regular practitioner, or a teacher, you have what it takes to help! All funds raised directly support survivors.
Rebuilding Together Howard County
Rebuilding Together Howard County is accepting applications from Howard County residents in need of home repairs but whom are unable to afford to pay for the repairs. The possible repairs include new roofs, HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, appliances, carpentry and other repairs to enable the homeowner to be safe, warm and dry. 

To apply, visit www.rebuildingtogetherhowardcounty.org . The application takes about 10 minutes to complete online. A representative from Rebuilding Together will call you to process your application. 
Donate or Sponsor Events
HC DrugFree depends upon the generosity of individuals, PTSAs/PTAs, organizations and businesses in the community to support our free services to the community. Please donate today! Consider contacting HC DrugFree to sponsor an event or make a one-time or monthly donation.

HC DrugFree is a 501(c)(3). Donate online or mail checks to HC DrugFree, 5305 Village Center Drive, Suite 206, Columbia, MD 21044.

For more information, contact HC DrugFree's Executive Director, Joan Webb Scornaienchi by email or call (443) 325-0040.

Save The Date! Drive-Thru Medication and Sharps Collection

The next drive-thru medication and sharps (needles, syringes and EpiPens) collection will be held on Saturday, April 25th from 10 AM-2 PM in the Wilde Lake Village Center parking lot. Bring all unwanted and expired over-the-counter and prescription medication. Free. Open to the public. No need to get out of your vehicle. More information and a flier will be shared in future updates. Medication will be guarded and transported by the Howard County Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Plan to volunteer and ask your company to be a sponsor!