April 13th Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.
HCCA 2017 Village Board Candidates

Current two-year terms of office for three Village Board seats expire on April 30, 2017. Four nomination petitions were received for the Village Board seats from  Robert T. Fontaine , Erik M. Avant,  Stephen  Cook , and Benjamin S. Rubin. The terms of office for those elected will be May 1, 2017 through April 30, 2019. Village elections will take place Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 9am-3pm at Kahler Hall.

Important Election Dates:
April 18th
Meet the Candidates, 7pm - 9pm, Kahler Hall
April 28th
Absentee ballots accepted up to 5pm
April 29th
Election Day, 9am - 3pm

For more information contact Village Manager Steve Ingley at 410-730-0770 or via email at manager@harperschoice.org.

Community Shredding / e - Cycling & Red Ribbon Yard Sale

The Red Ribbon Community Yard Sale will be held on Saturday, May 6th  throughout the Harper's Choice community. Participation is simple: Click here to register your street to let us know at least one home will have a yard sale on the big day. We handle the advertising and promoting for you and your neighbors. Email or call us at Kahler Hall to sign up. Stop by Kahler Hall before May 3rd to pick up your red ribbon so eager shoppers can find you on the big day!

Community Shredding and e- cycling will also take place Saturday May 6th in the parking lot of the Bain Senior Center from 9am -1pm. 
Columbia Half Marathon
On Sunday, April 23, 2017, the Columbia Half Marathon will be run on the streets of Columbia. This email is to inform you of the impact to neighborhoods and roads. 
The 13.1 mile run course will pass by through the 4 Columbia Neighborhoods (Hickory Ridge, Wilde Lake, Town Center and Harper's Choice). On roads which have only one lane of travel in each direction, runners will occupy the shoulder of the road. On roads which have two lanes of travel, runners will occupy the lane closest to the curb. Traffic cones will be placed along the 13.1 mile course to provide safety for all runners. There will be no road closures; however, vehicle traffic may experience delays. The official start of this race is 8:00 AM. We anticipate the conclusion of this race to be around 11:00 AM. You can expect to see VMS board notifications starting Thursday, April 21 in and around Town Center. Additionally, yard signs will be placed at all major intersections and turns along the course notifying the community of this race. These yards signs will be removed no later than 7:00pm on Monday, April 24.
We thank you in advance for your understanding and support of this community-based event. Additional information can be viewed at www.columbia-halfmarathon.com.
Danny Serpico
Race Director, Columbia Half Marathon, Rip It Events

Good Pizza Great Cause! Longfellow PTA

Join Longfellow Elementary PTA and Mod Pizza for their upcoming fundraiser. Click here for flyer to receive 20% off all day, Thursday, April 25th.

HC DrugFree will present "Not My Child" on April 25 at River Hill High School at 7:00 p.m. All parents are strongly encouraged to attend to learn more about the drugs abused in Howard County, what we all need to know and do about the rise in overdose deaths happening here, how parents and the community can better arm ourselves to help our children (whether pre-teens or adult children), and much more. Speakers will be announced in April. Visit www.hcdrugfree.org.

Medication and "Sharps" (needles, syringes, and EpiPens) Take Back Day will be held on April 29 at the Wilde Lake Village Center near the UPS Store and Slayton House between 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Because 3 out of 4 people using heroin began with the use of prescription medication, HC DrugFree and the Howard County Police urge you to clean out your unneeded or expired medications and join your friends at HC DrugFree's quick and convenient drive-thru collection of medication and sharps. There's no need to get out of your vehicle. Just look for the teens in bright green shirts holding the signs and directing traffic around the parking lot. Howard County Police will receive, secure, and transport your medications for proper disposal. Medical personnel will receive and handle all of your sharps for proper recycling. Be sure to secure your medications to keep them out of the hands of everyone for whom they are not prescribed. If you have questions, visit www.hcdrugfree.org and go to the Drug Take Back page or contact HC DrugFree at 443-325-0040 or email.

Cheers! For a Good Cause

Vino Scholastico is an annual fete held to raise funds for scholarships at Howard Community College. This year's event, which takes place on Friday, April 28 from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m., features tasting of fine wines and craft beers, as well as delicious gourmet food. 100% of sponsorships goes directly to help HCC students with their educational finances. Visit the event website for more information on how you can help the Howard Community College Educational Foundation.
The Columbia Orchestra: Bluebeard's Castle  
Columbia's 50th anniversary celebration continues on Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jim Rouse Theatre (5460 Trumpeter Road, Columbia). Allow the Columbia Orchestra to take you on a fantastic journey as you explore the story of Bluebeard.

Robert Cantrell and Kyle Engler join the Columbia Orchestra for a concert version of Bartok's dramatic opera. Unlock the mysteries of Bluebeard's past in a ravishing score colored by the folk music of Bartok's native Hungary. Plus, the winners of the Young Artist Competition will dazzle you with their performances. Tickets range from $10.00 to $28.00. Visit the website or call 410-465-8777 for more information.
Anatomy of a Scam: 
A Presentation by the Howard County Office of Consumer Protection and Howard County Police
Anatomy of a SCAM , learn all you can to protect yourself from various types of SCAMS - telephone, online, door-to-door, theft, skimming, and online dating.  Rebecca Bowman, Administrator of the Howard County Office of Consumer Protection and HCPD Officer Andre Lingham, Police Senior Citizen Liaison, will discuss these very important topics.  This is one presentation you don't want to miss.
DATE:   Wednesday, May 17, 2017
TIME:    6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
LOCATION:   The Other Barn, Oakland Mills Village Center, 5851 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD  21045
Free program .  Registration is preferred. Contact Oakland Mills Community Association for details;
oaklandmills.org ., manager@oaklandmills.org , or 410-730-4610. Sponsored by the Oakland Mills Community Association's Safety & Security Committee.
Abandoned Property Concern?

Is there a house on your street that is vacant and not being maintained?  Although the Real Estate market is strong in Harper's Choice, we still have a few vacant properties in the Village that can be an eyesore when not maintained by an absentee owner, or in the case of a foreclosure, the lender or servicing company.  If you see a property with tall grass that appears to be vacant, please contact the Village Covenant Advisor. 
The ten Village Associations and CA have partnered on a policy that may allow for CA to mow and/or maintain some items on the exterior of the home to prevent the property from being a sustained, unattractive nuisance.  That said, the Villages must make reasonable efforts to try and locate an owner, lender or servicing company and failure to do so before CA will take on this added work for the Open Space team and the added legal and maintenance fees to the budget (your assessment dollars in use.) 
We strongly discourage neighbors from mowing or entering onto property that is vacant; contact us so we may begin the process and try to minimize the time that the property is not maintained.
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." 
Exterior Alteration Application forms should be used to apply for approval.  Also, the Columbia Association maintains a gated, secured RV Park where they rent spaces for long-term storage to Columbia Lien payers.  Please call 410-381-0384 or email  RV.Park@ColumbiaAssociation.org to receive rates or check availability.  There may be a wait list, so plan accordingly.  
Local Job Opportunities 

Covenant Advisor
Oakland Mills Community Association seeks a part-time
Covenant Advisor for Covenant Violations and Property Concerns.
Strong interpersonal and written communication skills a must.
Familiarity with Columbia's covenant process preferred.
Applicants should request job description from and submit
resume to, manager@oaklandmills.org.  Due to the volume of
inquiries, only qualified candidates will be contacted.  No walk-ins
Administrative Assistant
Oakland Mills Community Association seeks part-time, 18 hours/week.  Must be available the
2nd and 4th Tuesday evening of each month and some weekdays.
Microsoft Office Suite skills required. 
Ability to take meeting minutes, assist with community programs and events,
and handle office tasks.  Familiarity with WordPress  and graphic design a plus.  Applicants should request job description from and submit
resume to, manager@oaklandmills.org.  Due to the volume of
inquiries, only qualified candidates will be contacted.  No walk-ins
Preventing Identity Theft After A Loved One's Death

Identity theft can happen even after death by using the Social Security Number of a recently deceased individual to gain access to credit accounts. The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a national file of reported deaths, however, potential delays in reporting can provide time for identity thieves to collect enough personal information to open credit accounts or take other fraudulent actions using the deceased's information.

It is important to notify SSA about a recent death. You can make a report directly by calling 1-800-772-1213. The next step would be to notify credit bureaus, creditors, and other entities so that they may provide added protection to the deceased's SSN. The surviving spouse or executor would need to notify the three national credit bureaus in writing. This will ensure that the deceased's files are flagged with a "deceased" notation.

For more information on how to protect against identity theft after the death of a loved one, please read the Office of Consumer Protection's full report here.

Donate a Meal to Grassroots

Grassroots Crisis Center provides three meals daily for up to 50 shelter residents in their on-site commercial kitchen. Feeding that many people means they rely heavily on community support to feed their residents. There are a number of ways that individuals and organizations can help support the meals program. They would greatly appreciate volunteer assistance with any of the following:

Prepare (offsite) and deliver a full meal for 50 people to the kitchen at Grassroots.

Prepare (offsite) and deliver part of a meal - just the entrée, for example - for 50 people to Grassroots.

Provide the ingredients for a meal to be prepared by Grassroots' staff.

Prepare sandwiches or other lunch items with fruit, chips, granola bars, or other sides.

Prepare or purchase snack foods for guests.

Have a food drive to collect necessary items for the pantry.

Dinner is served approximately from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. If meals are delivered at 3:00 p.m. or after, Grassroots staff can keep them hot on a steam table, but if they are delivered much earlier, it would be best that they were delivered chilled, to be re-heated for 5:00 p.m. dinner. For more information on how to donate a cooked meal, please visit Grassroots' website. If you are not able to cook a meal but would still like to find a way to help out, Grassroots' website lists plenty of opportunities to donate items or money, and to volunteer.
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Architectural Committee Meeting Date Change

**The Architectural Committee will meet next week on Wednesday April 12 and not Tuesday April 11.   No other changes have been made at this time.  

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 April 4th at 7PM. Approved Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be available on our website.
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* Term expires 4/30/17
** Term expires 4/30/18

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