September 21st  Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.
Harper's Choice Presents Mark Twain's Traveling Theatre
"Stowe's War," An Original Work
Sunday, November 19, 2017 5pm - 6pm
Kahler Hall 
Tickets $5 each, $18  for four
To purchase tickets, click  here.
For more information  call Melanie Jeffers at 410-730-0770
or visit the scrolling link on HCCA's homepage at

Stowe's War casts actress Susan Chase as Harriet Beecher Stowe and actor Rick Bonnette as Mark Twain. The play brings two of America's most consequential authors together in a fictional test of wills.

"So, you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this Great War!" This remark, attributed to Abraham Lincoln, may not be historically accurate, but the perception that Harriet Beecher Stowe's book, Uncle Tom's Cabin, fanned the flames of our Civil War certainly is!

Stowe's War begins twenty years after the Civil War, with Harriet struggling with the loss of her husband, two sons, and her health.  At age 74, her "quirky" behavior has become something more than just neighborhood gossip.

In a twist of fiction, her friend and neighbor, Mark Twain, seeks her help to finish his master work, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

In her time, Stowe was universally both revered and reviled. Today, she is merely ignored. And while Twain may be beloved for his wit and humor, his moral evolution seems to escape the modern reader. It can be argued that Stowe and Twain have never been more relevant! With Stowe's War, their genius will emerge again, timely and timeless.

Red Ribbon Yard Sale September 23rd 

The Red Ribbon Yard Sale is taking place this Saturday, September 23rd. The following streets will be participating.

Round Tower Place
Berrypick Lane
High Tide Court
Eight Bells Lane
Even Star Place
Green Dory Lane
Swansfield Road
Hildebrand Court
Mystic Court
Hesperus Dive
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.
Police Issue Warning about Skimmers at Gas Pumps

After charging two men with installing a skimming device inside a gas pump in Ellicott City, Howard County police are warning drivers and station owners to be aware of this crime. 
Skimmers are hidden illegal card readers attached to ATMs and gas pumps, often inside the cabinet, that take data from a credit or debit card, including PIN numbers. Criminals sell the stolen data or use it to drain bank accounts. Consumers typically don't know their information has been stolen until they get their bank statements or an overdraft notice. Skimmer technology has made the devices smaller and harder to find.  To date in 2017, police have investigated 19 skimming cases in Howard County, which resulted in the recovery of nearly 30 devices. D etectives are reminding drivers to look for anything suspicious at the gas pump and follow these tips:
  • Choose a pump within view of the gas station attendant.
  • Look for signs of tampering: Is there is a security seal over the cabinet panel? Is the card scanner or keypad loose or crooked?
  • If you use a debit card at the pump, run it as a credit card instead of entering a PIN.
  • Consider paying for your gas inside the station or kiosk.
  • If you discover fraudulent activity on your card, contact your bank immediately, then call police.

A-OK Volunteers Needed!!!

A-OK Mentoring-Tutoring, Inc is actively seeking volunteers!   

We welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences
to participate in the organization!
A-OK Volunteers serve as mentors and tutors for elementary school children and middle school youth  in Howard County schools and in community after-school programs.
Information Sessions are held regularly to learn more about
A-OK Mentoring-Tutoring and available volunteer opportunities.
Upcoming Information Sessions
Thursday, October 5th at 11am
Hawthorn Center
6175 Sunny Spring, Columbia
Wednesday November 1st at 1pm
Hawthorn Center
6175 Sunny Spring, Columbia
*Volunteer work with A-OK requires weekday, daytime hours.  Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age.
Let us know if and when we can expect you:
Phone:  443-895-2457
Oakland Mills Fall Festival

Seeking Performers and Exhibitors for Oceania CultureFest on Oct. 22

CA is seeking musicians, dancers, exhibitors and food vendors for the upcoming Oceania CultureFest, which will celebrate Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The event is hosted by CA and the Howard County Library System.

This free family event will be held on Sunday, Oct. 22 from 1:30-4:30pm at Howard County Library System's Miller Branch, 9421 Frederick Road in Ellicott City (this CultureFest was originally scheduled for May of this year).

Performers (dancers, musicians, singers, haka) and exhibitors from Oceania are invited to participate and show the Howard County community what makes their countries and cultures unique. Representatives from Australia, New Zealand and all of the Pacific Islands are invited to participate, including but not limited to, the islands of Fiji, Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tahiti/French Polynesia, and Tonga. Performers can be children or adults. 
Exhibitors are often local residents who set up tables to display cultural items from their country. Vendors may not sell items or services unless they are vendors or food trucks selling food outside of the library. There will be no payment for performances. Families who attend will be able to pick up a CultureFest Passport upon arrival and complete it for prize drawings.

Interested parties should contact Laura Smit, program manager for CA's International Exchange and Multicultural Programs, at 410-715-3162 or
CarnEvil at Merriweather Park is Maryland's Premiere Halloween Festival

On select nights from October 13th through November 5th, 2017, Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods transforms into the ultimate Halloween event. The park comes alive with horrifying mutant sideshow freaks, demented clowns, escaped circus animals and so much more. Halloween will never be the same. Buy your tickets and learn more about this festival online at:

Little Ones Are Welcome Too. The first available trip into the Abandoned Circus for EACH evening is a "kid friendly" show. Kid friendly means no live actors and no animatronics will be used. It also means there will be no abductions, human sacrifices, fire breathing dragons, monsters under the bed or guest appearances by the boogey man. We strive to make our kid friendly experience as least scary as possible, but understand, this is a creepy CarnEVIL themed Halloween attraction. Use your best judgement as the adult.

CarnEvil at Merriweather Park is a fully immersive entertainment experience, but your dollars go to more than just entertainment. The CarnEVIL production serves to support funding for first responder equipment and training through Disaster Preparedness DC Incorporated, a nonprofit public charity.

CarnEvil Days are for giving back. Daytime is when Merriweather Park transforms and the real magic begins. CarnEVIL Days supports local school children with physical disabilities by ensuring ALL children get to experience the joy of a field trip to the farm. Yes, CarnEVIL transforms into an authentic, ADA compliant, farm experience complete with pumpkins, games, and even a hay maze. Everyone matters, or no one matters. This motto is the driving motivation behind the forces that have come together to create such a unique experience.
2017 Hop & Harvest Festival 

Develop a Story That Resonates - Wednesday, October 18

October 18th 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
NonProfit Collaborative
9770 Patuxent Woods Drive
Columbia, MD 21044

Telling a compelling story is critical to garnering the support - financial, volunteer, community - that every organizations needs to succeed. Come to this special membership meeting to work on developing and fine-tuning your story to resonate with the audiences that you need to engage.  Register here
We will be collecting School Supplies and Food Pantry items to be distributed to local nonprofit organizations.

Members: Free
Non-members: $20
October 25th Enhancing Columbia's Neighborhood
"Enhancing Columbia's Neighborhoods: Learning from Best Practice" will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7pm at the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia. Advance registration is not required but is appreciated. Register online at

The event will feature Paul Brophy and Mark Sissman, two noted experts with deep roots in Maryland, to help frame both the challenges and the opportunities for renewing older neighborhoods. These neighborhoods still offer a good quality of life and are more affordable - but may be in danger of decline unless steps are taken to improve investment conditions. Brophy and Sissman will discuss best practices to address the community's aging housing stock and sustain strong neighborhoods.
Covenant Corner
Bulk Item & Scrap Metal Collection
If you have large items taking up space in your home that really need to go to the landfill, don't pay to have them hauled away. Call the county or go online to schedule a bulk item pick-up curbside, in front of your home. Up to four items per household per collection; any items too large to be collected by two workers will be tagged and left for the homeowner to remove. For a list of items that will not be collected or to schedule a pick-up, call 410-313-6444 or visit

Tree Care and Maintenance

As fall approaches, it's a good time to think about tree maintenance. This time of year, we often see Tree Care companies out soliciting work, door to door. They'll give you a great price if you can do the work now, because they are "in the area." Use caution; some of these companies may not be licensed tree experts. You might think, why does that matter? According to Maryland state law, any company that is paid to do work on trees 20 feet or taller needs to be a Maryland Licensed Tree Expert. Any company that does work without a license or violates any regulations would risk fines, penalties, and prosecution through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Avoid that worry and find a Licensed Tree Expert here:

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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 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 October 3rd 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.
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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