Thursday, July 30, 2015

Curbside Food Scrap Composting in Howard County

Did you know that Howard County has a limited-area curbside food scrap collection program they call "Feed the Green Bin"?

Areas with curbside collection of food scraps shown in red (as of 7/26/15)

The organic waste matter including fruit and vegetable scraps, yard trim, coffee grounds and filters, and even chopsticks that might normally go into the landfill or down a disposal, is instead collected from green recycling bins and taken to an $800,000 composting facility at the Alpha Ridge Landfill.

According to The Baltimore Sun, only 3% of the 34 million tons of food waste nationally in 2010 was sent to a composting facility, mostly on the West Coast.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Reporting Street Light Outages

You can report street lighting outages on the BG&E site:

You will be asked to provide the pole number and address, as well as your own name and address.

This form was used to report a couple of lights being out on our street over the past year (including one just this month), as well as to get a pole replaced when it was knocked over.

Routine outages such as burnt-out bulbs are generally addressed within 72 hours, weather permitting.

The BGE link is also listed on Autumn Walk's "Maintenance Tips" page linked at the top of this site:

A well-lit street contributes to the safety of our neighborhood!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Repairs to Autumn Walk Common Areas

On Thursday, a local contractor repaired the stone retaining wall around the tree in the common area between Autumn Walk and Skylark Ridge.

Retaining Wall (Before Repairs)

Retaining Wall (After Repairs)

They also took care of miscellaneous repairs such as filling the cracks in the sidewalks near the mailboxes.

Your HOA Dollars at Work

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Autumn Walk Picnic Changed to August 30th

(Update: The After Picnic Report was posted on 9/1/15)

Due to a scheduling conflict, the proposed date for the Autumn Walk 2015 Picnic has been moved up to Sunday, August 30th from 3 PM to 6 PM. (There will be no rain date.)

In addition to hamburgers and hot dogs supplied by Autumn Walk, several fun activities are planned and the rest of the food, drinks and supplies will be potluck.

(Update 8/9/15): Activities I've heard rumored are:

  • Face Painting
  • Cake Walk
  • Water Balloon Toss
  • Cornhole
  • Mystery activities?

Hopefully all of you will be back from your summer vacations by that date!

The Picnic will be held at the end of the cul-de-sac again this year (the same location as the first picnic in 2012).

RSVP and Sign Up
You can RSVP and also sign up to help or bring supplies on SignUpGenius:

We request:

  • Please include a house number or otherwise let us know who you are
  • Tell us the number of adults and children expected
  • Please view the list of items as only suggestions - it is all of you who make this a success!

Although Autumn Walk HOA is providing a very small amount of funding for hamburgers and hot dogs, this event as always is a joint effort of a small group of volunteers among your neighbors, and all of you for your potluck contributions.

Thanks go out to Bindu, Kelly, Allie, Daphna, Jenny, Adrienne, Jamie, and Pam for organizing this year's Picnic!

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. This is a great way to meet your neighbors and continue to make this community a wonderful place to live!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

(Draft) Revised Emerson Architectural Guidelines Posted

Emerson has posted the DRAFT revision of the Architectural Guidelines for comment.

To access the 9 MB PDF document:
  • Log in to the Emerson Community web site
  • Click on the "Resources" tab
  • On the ensuing pop up menu, click on "Architectural Design Guidelines - 2015 Revised"
The Emerson Board of Directors will be voting whether to accept these changes (highlighted in RED) at the September 28th Board Meeting.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Howard County Restaurant Weeks 7/20 - 8/3

Howard County's Summer 2015 Restaurant Weeks will run from Monday, July 20, 2015 through Monday, August 3, 2015.

As always, restaurants will offer multi-course specialty menus priced from $15 to $45, with lunch typically cheaper.

This year, a few Baltimore restaurants are also participating.

Howard County Restaurants:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Howard County Flood Information

Be careful: There have been two incidents of flooding in our area due to heavy rain, including a flash flood that led to a rescue from a stranded vehicle trapped by swift water from The Little Patuxent River near Savage Mill.

Stephens Road Flooding
The temporary flooding of Stephens Road on June 27th underscored the need for Howard County's project to raise the bridge out of the floodplain. That project is expected to begin preliminary work this summer and to be completed by the end of 2016.

The impact on traffic and the plans for any closures have not been announced yet.

For those interested in floodplain information from FEMA, you can go to Howard County's interactive map at:

Additional information is available from Howard County's FIRM page.

Some notes from the interactive DFIRM map shown above in the screenshot:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Beware of Distraction Scams

Howard County Police Department is warning residents of a "distraction scam," where an individual posing as a water company employee engaged a homeowner while an accomplice slipped in behind and stole valuables.

Residents should:
  • Always ask for ID and call the company if you weren't expecting anyone
  • Avoid letting strangers into your home where possible
  • If someone claims to be selling something, they should have a Howard County-issued solicitor's license
You can call police at 410-313-2200 to report suspicious incidents, or dial 911 if the incident is in progress.

On a related note, Autumn Walk has finally posted a "No Soliciting" sign as requested by a number of our residents, especially those living near our entrance.

If someone still comes to your door, please keep the safety tips above in mind.

From Howard County Police Department's warning on Facebook reporting this incident on 6/30/15:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy Fourth of July!

We hope you are enjoying your Independence Holiday weekend! Have a Happy Fourth of July!

Flags fly on the I-95 Overpass

Because the holiday falls on a Saturday, all trash collection including recycling on Friday is on a normal schedule.

Related Posts:

Maryland E-Z Pass and Toll Fees Reduced

The State of Maryland announced that reduced tolls and E-Z Pass fees took effect on July 1, 2015.

Notably, E-Z Pass no longer charges a $1.50/month maintenance fee to Maryland residents or those who had at least three trips in Maryland in the previous statement period.

Below is the partial text from an email sent to Maryland E-Z Pass customers: