Friday, December 21, 2012

Speed Limit Reduced to 15 mph

You may have noticed that the speed limit has been reduced to 15 mph, in response to our request that the County evaluate our traffic conditions.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Case of the Mysterious Night Visitor

Last month some of our residents reported mysterious nocturnal visitors who were leaving shallow cuts of rolled up turf in their backyards:

One of them sent the pictures to a friend who came back with the verdict: Raccoons!

Apparently, raccoons search for grubs under the turf, which we are particularly susceptible to because of the newly-laid sod. According to eHow:
"Raccoons enjoy eating grubs and worms. Consider raccoons as your pests if you know you have problems with grubs in your lawn. Shredded grass or patches of rolled grass are signs of raccoon activity."
Our lawncare contractor says, however, that the grubs are probably not near the surface at this time of year, and the animal is probably searching for where it has found grubs in the past -- and because it is not finding them, it is ranging over a wide area.

Although this specific issue belongs to the individual homeowners, we understand from those who have done some gardening that there are lots of grubs in our soil (probably from Japanese beetles), and that it won't be effective to treat only a small area.

Our course of action:
  • Next year we will add a couple of pesticide treatments for the entire community to the lawn program, which will help the roots of your grass, and follow up with annual applications each summer. Fortunately, this fell within the lawn maintenance budget as the mowing contract was lower than planned for.
  • In the meantime, putting the turf back in place and/or applying repellent will be up to the homeowners affected.

For those interested in the full recommendation from our contractor:

Monday, December 10, 2012

All Things Trash

Update 2/4/13: We've been asked to pass on some tips on how to secure your recyclables, because the loose trash is blowing around every Friday and being cleaned up by your neighbors:
  • Use an enclosed recycling container (free from Howard County). Please -- don't just place your recyclables on the curb in a box.
  • The small, skinny 35-gallon bins, however, are prone to tipping over on windy days. If you cannot use one of the large 65-gallon carts (upgrade is also free, see below) please secure the lid with a bungy cord. If need be, this will also let you lay the cart on its side.
  • Break down your boxes and if they won't fit into your bin, lay them flat on the ground with the cart/bin on top of them.
If you see trash blowing around, please help pick it up. Other suggestions are welcome. Thanks!

Some reminders about trash and recycling, which probably rank as your favorite subjects:

  • On Recycling Collection Days there has been a lot of recycled material blowing around the area near the small traffic island. We have been asked to suggest that:
    • Residents please do not overfill your recycling bins, and
    • If your bin is regularly overflowing, that you request a free upgrade from the County to a larger bin. (The largest size is 65 gallons and would cost $45 to purchase otherwise.) You can call Howard County at 410-313-6444.
    • (Note that some of the smaller bins in particular seem to blow over easily.)
  • Remember that with two holidays coming up, both trash and recycling will slide one day during the weeks of Christmas and New Year's.
    • Trash on Wednesday
    • Recycling on Saturday
  • If you have large bulk items to dispose of, you can contact Howard County to pick them up on your regular scheduled trash day: