August 24th  Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.
Violence in Game of Thrones:  Engaging with a "Problematic Fave"


HBO's hit show "Game of Thrones" is beloved by fans, but it is also well known for graphically portraying sexual and intimate partner violence.
Here are the questions we ask about the show  itself: Do the depictions of rape and abuse open up the conversation around violence in a positive way, or do they only serve to glorify and  normalize rape culture?
Then there are the questions we ask ourselves: What does it mean to be a person committed to anti-violence work in the real world who loves a violent and problematic fictional show?
Join us for a round table conversation about the issues brought up by the show, their relationship to the work we do in the real world, and how we can responsibly engage with "Game of Thrones" as advocates against violence.
Light refreshments will be provided.
Merriweather Movies  

Enjoy Merriweather Movie Night featuring food and beverages from Manor Hill Brewing and
Manor Hill Tavern. Tickets are free for general admission or $10 if you want to reserve a seat and get access to the new VIP party deck.

August 30 - School of Rock

Doors open at 5:30pm and showtime is at 7:30 pm. For tickets and more information click here.
Join Howard County Police Department & Harper's Choice Community Association For Rita's With a Cop

Join HCPD for Rita's with a Cop (CWAC) on Thursday, August 31st at Rita's in Harper's Choice Village Center from 3pm - 5 p.m. 

This event offers the community an opportunity to meet face-to-face with police personnel in a neutral environment to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know our officers while enjoying free Rita's samples.

For more information, call the Police Department's Community Outreach Division at 410-313-2207.

Hope for Recovery: Understanding Mental Illness
Presentation by: National Alliance on Mental Illness of Howard County (NAMI HC)

Monday, September 18, 2017 6pm-8:30pm
Kahler Hall
5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia, MD 2104

Today, we know so much more about how to identify and treat mental illnesses. Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding mental illness prevents many people from seeking help early. This presentation will discuss what mental illness is and will seek to dispel the myths and stigma surrounding mental illness. We will also provide information about resources available in our community.

For more information, contact Melanie Jeffers at 410-730-0770 or email
Save the Date: 2017 Columbia BikeAbout
Saturday, Sept. 23 at 9:30am

The annual Columbia BikeAbout will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, with riders setting out from the dock at Lake Elkhorn. The new 10-mile route winds through neighborhoods in Owen Brown, Oakland Mills and Long Reach. In celebration of Columbia's 50th Birthday, the theme of the BikeAbout is "appreciate the past and imagine the future." 

Along the route, riders will get the answer to why our power lines for the most part are underground, insight into the origin of some of Columbia's unique street names, visit a cemetery that pre-dates Columbia, and discover early attempts to manage stormwater and how technology has changed current practice.

Young families will be guided around Lake Elkhorn, which will be filled with fun facts about Columbia and some fun things to do. Following the ride, participants have the opportunity to refuel and have fun at the Owen Brown Festival, which begins at noon.

To register, click here.
Exploring Columbia On Foot, Outdoor Walks

 Walks will begin at 10am. Registration is not required.
  • Thursday, Aug. 31, Kings Contrivance - meet at Huntington Pool (7625 Murray Hill Road)
  • Thursday, Sept. 14, Harper's Choice - meet at Hobbits Glen Pool (11130 Willow Bottom Drive)
  • Thursday, Oct. 12, Downtown Columbia - meet at Lakefront Plaza (10275 Little Patuxent Parkway)
  • Thursday, Oct. 26, Hickory Ridge - meet at Hawthorn Center (6175 Sunny Spring)
Howard County Autism Society Announces 11th Annual Autism Walk & 5K Run 

Proceeds Will Support Programs & Services for Howard County Families Living With Autism

The Howard County Autism Society (HCAS), a trusted resource to hundreds of individuals and families living with autism in Howard County, MD and the surrounding area, will hold its 11th Annual One Step Closer Walk and 5K Run on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Centennial Park in Ellicott City, MD. Proceeds from the event will support HCAS' programs and services for individuals on the autism spectrum, their families and the local community.

This annual event brings together those touched by the autism spectrum disorder in a supportive, energizing and fun environment. HCAS provides a place where the local community can benefit from families' collective experience and expertise, helping others navigate the path they themselves have traveled on this journey. All proceeds from the event stay in Howard County and directly impact the lives of children and adults with autism.

The event will feature a timed 5K run around Centennial Lake, a "Lake Walk" of the same distance, and a shorter three-quarter mile "Piece of Cake Walk." We have runners and walkers who participate individually as well as in teams to harness their fundraising power and make this a spirited, hands-on experience! There will be children's activities, including face painting, Star Wars costumed performers, a moon bounce and other inflatable games. The event also features a variety of exhibitor tables for local businesses, organizations and health & human service agencies. Microbusiness owned and operated by those on the autism spectrum will again be highlighted.

Online registration is available at through October 4th. Race day registration is available on-site.

Event timeline is as follows: 
9am Registration and packet pick-up, complimentary breakfast for runners, walkers, sponsors. 9:40am Welcome and introductions 
10am Starting time for 5K race participants
10:10am Starting time for walk participants 
11:15am Awards and closing remarks.
Harper's Choice Middle School News

Grade 6 and New Student Orientation is Thursday, August 31 at 1:00 p.m. Students will meet the teachers, receive their schedule, try out their locker and tour the building.  Following the orientation, parents and students are invited to join us for the PTA Meet and Greet at 3:00 p.m. on the blacktop. 

HCMS PTA Meet and Greet will be on Thursday, August 31 at 3:00 p.m. Join us on the blacktop for popsicles and playground games.

The 2017/18 School Supply List is available on the  HCMS website.

View the  bus route schedule  here.

HCPSS utilizes  Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information. Parents/guardians must verify and/or update information annually for each child, and can do so by logging in to  HCPSS Connect.

Just a friendly reminder that all students entering 7th grade must have their Tdap and Meningitis vaccinations by the first day of school. Students that do not have a copy of their vaccinations by the first day of school will be sent home until they are received. Immunization records can be faxed to 410-313-5612.

08/31/2017  Grade 6 and New Student Orientation 1:00-3:00 p.m.
08/31/2017  PTA Meet and Greet, HCMS Blacktop 3:00 p.m.
09/05/2017  School begins for students, Doors open at 7:55 a.m.
09/14/2017  Student Picture Day
09/14/2017  Back to School Night 6:30 p.m.
10/30/2017 - 11/01/2017 6th Grade Outdoor Education Trip to Northbay
Longfellow & Swansfield Elementary School News

Update Your Family File Information Before School Begins!

1. Log in to  HCPSS Connect  and select the Family File tab and then clicki on Family File.
2. Once logged in, parents/guardians will be asked to provide or update the following information:

Student information
Parent/guardian contact
Emergency contacts
Medical information
Arrival/dismissal procedures
Media release (photo approval)
Data confidentiality
PTA/PTSA directory

Resources on how to access Family File may be found  online . Parents who have forgotten their login credentials may click the "Forgot Password" link on the sign in page. If you need additional assistance, please fill out this  Connect Help Form .

2017-2018 Bus Schedules Now Available
Our new and improved School and Bus Locator is now  online. The new locator offers an enhanced map, pop-up messaging, same day updating capability, and additional school information. Type in your address to see your child's school and bus schedule.
Covenant Corner
School will be back in session soon and there will be a lot of foot traffic along the sidewalks in the community. For the safety of our children and to reduce your liability, assess the condition of the sidewalks all around your home, prune back overhanging hedges or bushes, edge those sidewalks, and limb up the tree branches to a height of at least seven feet. Sidewalks adjacent to one's home in the public right-of-way are the homeowner's responsibility to maintain. Please keep an eye out for stopped school buses, children crossing streets, and children playing on cul'de sacs.

When trash is being stored in cans, be sure to have tight-fitting lids to discourage crows, rodents, and other pests from getting into the trash and making a mess. If you take out your trash in bags, be sure to tie the bag tightly and place out no earlier than 6 p.m. the evening prior to your collection day. Any trash left behind by the collection crew must be cleaned up by the residents.
Longfellow - Trash day is Monday, recycling is Thursday.
Swansfield - Trash day is Friday, recycling is Wednesday.
Most of Hobbit's Glen* - Trash day is Monday, recycling is Thursday.
*Hobbit's Glen addresses off Route 108 - Trash day is Tuesday, recycling is Friday.

Don't wait for trouble; now is the time to assess the trees on your lot for dead limbs or branches that may need pruning. Also, look at the storm drains near your home. Are they free of trash and debris? If blocked, this could cause street flooding in a severe storm. If you are aware of a storm drain that may be blocked, please contact the Dept. of Public Works at 410-313-7450.

Athletic Club Temporary Closing 
The Athletic Club will be closed this summer and will re-open Monday, August 28.
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 September 5th at 7PM. Approved Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be available on our website.
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.
Subscribe to Our e-Newsletter
Was this message forwarded to you from a friend? You can subscribe to this newsletter directly so that you can receive it straight to your inbox from us! You may also text HCCANEWS to 22828 and follow the prompts to register.
Stay Connected
Village Manager
Facility Manager
Covenant Advisor
Melanie Jeffers
Event & Community Outreach Coordinator

Your Village Board
Village Board Member
Village Board Member
Village Board Member
Erik Avant**
Village Board Member
Alan Klein *
Columbia Council Rep

Village Board Member

* Term expires 4/30/18
** Term expires 4/30/19

5440 Old Tucker Row  Columbia, MD | 410.730.0770 | Email | Website