Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Return of the Columbia Poinsettia Tree

The Poinsettia Tree is up in The Mall in Columbia -- so the holidays must be here!

For those who don't know the story, when Columbia was founded almost 50 years ago, the Rouse Company wanted to find some kind of signature display to mark the holiday season.

The Poinsettia Tree under construction in The Mall in Columbia

The company's chief horticulturist Leroy J. Brown created a steel structure to hold a multi-tiered series of poinsettia plants of varying heights, along with an elaborate system for watering them.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Emerson Now Has a Facebook Page

Emerson also now has a Facebook Page!

Please "Like" the page to keep up-to-date on events in Emerson, and also to ask and answer questions of your neighbors.

And please also tell all of your friends who live in Emerson to Like the page as well. It will help us build out this great community we live in!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving Week Trash Schedule + Yard Trim

Please remember that due to the holiday, recycling collection will be on a "slide" schedule this week.

  • Trash collection will be on Tuesday as normal (11/24). 
  • Friday's recyclable collection will slide to Saturday (11/28). 

Trash and recycling containers should not be placed on the curb prior to 6 PM the night before a collection date.

Last week Autumn Walk's landscaping contract made a pass through the neighborhood with blowers and a mulching mower for the leaves that have fallen.

Also, when trimming your own bushes, please note that Howard County has changed its policy for yard trim and will no longer allow plastic bags to be used. Our street's transition date is January 1, 2016.

Going forward yard trim should be placed in paper bags or bundled with twine.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Santa Heim, Merrieland (aka Savage, MD)

(Note: Savage will hold its annual Historic 1869 Bollman Bridge Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 5:30 PM, followed by the Tree Lighting at Baldwin Hall near Savage Mill.)

It's an odd part of local history that when the fabric mills at Savage Mill closed down at the end of World War II, the town of Savage, MD briefly became a year-round Christmas Village that produced as much as one-third of all of the handblown Christmas ornaments sold in the US, including ornaments on the National Christmas Tree in 1948.

And, in a bit of self-referential promotional hype, the new proprietor Harry Heim declared that the town would be Santa's home south of the Mason-Dixon Line, or "Santa Heim".

Savage Mill
For almost a century and a half the rushing water from the Little Patuxent River coursing through a 30-foot water wheel powered fabric looms at Savage Mill, creating the factory town of Savage that supplied workers to the mills.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Minutes: Autumn Walk HOA Annual Meeting 11/9/15 - Draft

Autumn Walk HOA held its budget meeting in the Emerson Clubhouse on Monday, November 9, 2015.

Topics Discussed:

  • Current Financial Status
  • FY16 Budget
    • New landscaping contract 
  • Monument Sign
  • Reserve Study
  • Maintenance issues
    • Some houses need to take remedial action
  • Parking issues
    • Fire Marshall is going to declare new firelane 
  • Miscellaneous
    • Solar Panels
    • Snow removal
    • SHCCA


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Flamingos of Autumn Walk (Saturday)

Bindu and Dharmesh have invited everyone over for what may be the last Flamingo Friday, er, Saturday,  of the season!

Date: Saturday, November 14, 2015
Time: 7 PM-ish
Location: At the Flamingo (9811)

In addition, Bindu encourages everyone to come and bid a fond farewell to Chinar and Vaibhav as they get ready for their next adventure.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Notes: Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman Talks About Redevelopment

Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman was the featured guest at the November 3, 2015 meeting of the Southern Howard County Civic Association (SHCCA) meeting in the North Laurel Community Center (NLCC).

The meeting was an open forum for the approximately 50 members of the community in attendance to ask questions of Mr. Kittleman and express their concerns.

The main topics centered around redevelopment in the southeast corner of the County, the current review of the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) developer fees, and how new budget constraints will affect Howard County's ability to address the lack of a long-promised swimming pool at NLCC.

  • Tuesday, December 1, 2015 @ 6:30 PM: SHCCA Meeting, Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) Director Valdis Lazdins 
  • TBD in 2016: Town Hall with Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman in North Laurel/Savage

Redevelopment in Savage/North Laurel

Mr. Kittleman expressed concern that too much commercial zoning had been changed to residential zoning along the Route 1 corridor, which he feels should be one of the economic engines of the County.

He cautioned it is the Howard County Council that controls zoning and not the Executive, and that furthermore there are a number of residential projects already in the pipeline, but stated he would like to see more commercial office and manufacturing development along Route 1.

Another complication is that Route 1 requires coordination with Anne Arundel and Prince George's Counties, as well as the Maryland State Highway Department and Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT).

Mr. Kittleman was also asked about specific issues:

CANCELLED: 2015 Lisbon (MD) Old-Fashioned Christmas Horse Parade

Update: This year's Lisbon Christmas Horse Parade in Lisbon, MD originally scheduled for Saturday, December 12, 2015, has been cancelled due to insurmountable logistical problems from the rapid growth of the parade. The organizers expect to bring the horses back in 2016.

Instead, there will be an alternate parade on December 12th of decorated tractors and farm equipment to continue the original goal of raising funds for local food banks.

The original post for those who were interested in the event:

Over 500 decorated horses, ponies, donkeys and mules are expected Tractors and farm equipment that have been decorated for the holidays will be featured in this annual Christmas Parade in Western Howard County.

The parade is free to spectators, and entry fees from the riders benefit Howard and Carroll County Food Banks and the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department (40/40/20 split).

Tips from the organizers:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Laurel Featured in Washington Post "Cheap Eats"

Several Laurel restaurants were featured in a preliminary article by the Washington Post's primary food critic, Tim Carman, as he began researching a "Cheap Eats" series for the Washington, DC area.

Mentioned in the article were:
  • Curry Leaf (Indian, 13919 Baltimore Ave., 301-497-2017)
  • More Than Java Cafe (Coffee & Sandwiches, 358 Main St., 301-490-3200) - owned by an Emerson resident
  • Olive on Main (Greek and American, 504 Main St., 240-280-8560)
  • Pasta Plus (Italian, 209 Gorman Ave., 301-498-5100))
  • Sapphire Restaurant and Lounge (Thai-Indian, 13308 Laurel Bowie Rd., 301-490-0555)
  • Sarita's Chicken and Grill (Peruvian, 15101 Baltimore Ave., 240-264-6313)
  • Tampico Grill (Mexican, 42 Washington Blvd., 301-490-5200)


(Thanks go out to Daphna for the link!)

Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 Autumn Walk Halloween Block Party

Thanks to hosts Allie and Daphna and everyone who made chili for the contest, dressed up in costumes, brought supplies and food, or who simply stopped by to say hello -- the 2015 Autumn Walk Halloween Block Party was another great success!

There were a dozen terrific chili entries, and Bindu's "B" Chili took the prize in the vegetarian category while Kelli S.'s recipe (#7) was the voters' choice among the meat entries.

The Smith Family took home the prize in the costume contest, dressed as a full set of Power Rangers!

Many dozens of children and adults stopped by from throughout Autumn Walk and Emerson to sample the food, vote for their favorite chili, and get some treats on a crisp Fall day.

Once again all of you have created a fun event and shown what a friendly, hospitable neighborhood we have!

More pictures are below (go to Facebook for the full set):

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween is Saturday!

Don't forget to sign up for the Chili Cook-Off on Saturday!

Everyone is welcome to stop by and taste the chili, vote, or just socialize!

For those interested in the Adult Costume Contest, be there at 7:30 PM and Daphna and Allie will announce the winner at 8 PM along with the winners of the Chili Cook-Off.

Let's hope the forecast holds. Presently they're calling for a crisp, dry Fall day!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman Visits North Laurel on Tuesday (11/3)

(Update: See the notes from this meeting at Notes: Howard County Exec Talks About Redevelopment)

Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman will be the featured guest at the next meeting of the Southern Howard County Civic Association (SHCCA) on November 3rd.

Southern Howard County Civic Association Meeting
Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: North Laurel Community Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel, MD 20723

Featured Guest:
  • Mr. Alan Kittleman, Howard County Executive


This is an Open Forum discussion with Howard County's Chief Executive.

Mr. Kittleman was elected to the post in November 2014, and previously served on the Howard County Council (1998-2004) and in the Maryland State Senate (2004-2014).

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Daylight Savings Time Ends November 1st

It's time to "Fall Back"!

Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 AM on Sunday, November after the Halloween festivities, set your clock back one hour (and get an extra hour of sleep!).

Friday, October 23, 2015

Local News & Events: Emerson, Savage, & Columbia

Just a reminder of upcoming HOA meetings in Emerson:

  • Monday, October 26, 2015 @ 7 PM: Emerson October Town Hall (Clubhouse)
  • Monday, November 9, 2015 @ 7 PMAutumn Walk Budget Meeting (Clubhouse)
  • Monday, November 16, 2015 @ 7 PM: Emerson Annual Meeting (Clubhouse)

Other meetings of interest to our community:
  • Tuesday, November 3, 2015 @ 6:30 PM: SHCCA Meeting, Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman 
  • Tuesday, December 1, 2015 @ 6:30 PM: SHCCA Meeting, Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) Director Vladis Lazdins 
  • Saturday, December 5 @ c. 5:30 PMSavage Bollman Bridge and Tree Holiday Lighting Ceremony (with cider, Santa, and caroling) 

In other local news:
  • A bill is being proposed in the Maryland General Assembly that would require 5 of the 7 Howard County School Board members to be elected by district, with the other two members still elected at-large.
  • Howard County Library System is celebrating its 75th Anniversary with a festival on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at 10 AM at the Miller Branch Library in Ellicott City. They will also seal a time capsule.
  • HCPD Bike with a Cop (October 31st from 9 AM-11 AM): Children ages 5-12 can ride with the Howard County Police bike patrol around the Columbia Lakefront starting at Whole Foods, and can trick-or-treat there while waiting for their time slot. Call (410) 313-2207 to register for a time slot (not required but appreciated). [Video]
  • The annual Symphony of Lights holiday display in Columbia benefiting Howard County General Hospital will be postponed one year till 2016 due to work on the redevelopment of Merriweather Post Pavilion.
  • Ash trees are being removed throughout Howard County due to an insect infestation. Residents can contact Maryland Department of Agriculture at 410-841-5920 if they believe a tree is infested.
  • An owl has been attacking joggers in Montgomery County

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Autumn Walk HOA Budget Meeting on 11/9

(Updated 11/8/15 with proposed agenda topics)

The next meeting of the Autumn Walk Board of Directors will be on Monday, November 9th in the Emerson Clubhouse.

Date: Monday, November 9, 2015
Time: 7 PM
Location: Emerson Clubhouse

  • Autumn Walk FY16 Budget
  • Reserve Study
  • Monument Sign
  • Parking
  • Miscellaneous Topics
  • Open Forum for Community Concerns 

The Autumn Walk Board of Directors will discuss and vote upon the Draft 2016 Budget commencing January 1, 2016 (mailed separately to all homeowners).

Due to the ability to keep operating expenses at a modest level, the Board has determined that assessments will remain the same ($75 per month) in 2016.

If you have questions or comments regarding the budget, you should attend the Board Meeting on November 9th.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Notes: Howard County Officials Talk About Route 1 Revitalization

HCEDA CEO Larry Twele
[from HCEDA's web site]
Larry Twele, the CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) was the featured guest at the October 6, 2015 monthly meeting of the Southern Howard County Civic Association (SHCCA).

Other officials included Mark Thompson of HCEDA as well as Erik Gillenwater, who is the Howard County Police Department (HCPD) Community Resource Officer for our area.

The focus of the meeting was upon redevelopment in Southeastern Howard County (in particular, the Route 1 Corridor), with Officer Gillenwater answering questions about crime as well. 

Southern Howard County Civic Association (SHCCA)

SHCCA meets on the first Tuesday of each month in the North Laurel Community Center, hosting Howard County officials in an open forum discussion with residents and business owners.

Upcoming events:
  • Tuesday, November 3, 2015 @ 6:30 PM: SHCCA Meeting, Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman 
  • Tuesday, December 1, 2015 @ 6:30 PM: SHCCA Meeting, Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) Director Valdis Lazdins 
  • Saturday, December 5 @ c. 5:30 PM: Savage Holiday Bridge and Tree Lighting (with cider, Santa, and caroling) 

North Laurel Community Center (NLCC)


Mr. Twele talked about the tools available to Howard County and HCEDA to promote development, as well as the constraints the County faces in redeveloping Route 1.
  • Howard County has two primary tools: zoning and tax policy 
  • Need for a long-term plan for the entire area 
  • Responded to concerns about the impact of the Coastal Sunbelt facility being built on Whiskey Bottom (especially on traffic) 

Mr. Twele encouraged the audience to return on December 1st when DPZ will be able to address the long-term vision more directly. HCEDA will also return at that time.

Officer Gillenwater answered questions about crime in the area, and talked about HCPD initiatives to address muggings in Columbia and Laurel with the increased use of plainclothes officers on footpaths and on bikes.

HCEDA’s Mission 

According to Mr. Twele, HCEDA’s mission is to promote business in Howard County. To that end he has a small staff of 17 that administers small business loans and tax credits, helps with marketing, and has a business development team that just increased from 2 to 4 staff members.

Monday, October 12, 2015

2015 Halloween Chili Cook-Off and Block Party with Costume Contest!

(Updated 10/25/15 with info about the Costume Contest)

It's that spooky time of year again!

Following up on last year's successful Halloween Block Party and Chili Cook-Off, Allie and Daphna will host it once again at Allie's house (9832).

And this year, they also are adding an Adult Costume Contest!

Prizes will be awarded to the best costume as well as the best vegetarian chili and best meat chili.

Otherwise, everyone is welcome to drop by and if you'd like, you can bring treats to hand out to the trick-or-treaters.

  • If you want to enter the chili contest, please send an email to Allie at Please provide your name and the category you want to enter (vegetarian or meat).

Autumn Walk Halloween Block Party and Chili Cook-Off
Date: Halloween! (Saturday, October 31, 2015)
Schedule of Events: 

5 PM - 6 PM: Set-up
  • Bring your treats, tables, and chairs to 9832 (Allie's house) by 6 PM (sunset is about 6 PM)
  • Bring your chili also by 6 PM in a crockpot
    • Two categories, vegetarian and meat
    • Give your chili a name to inspire the voters, and write it on a card in front of your entry!
    • To enter, email Allie at
6 PM - 8:30 PM: Halloween Block Party & Chili Cook-Off
  • Chili tasting and voting between 6:30 PM and 8 PM
  • Adult Costume Contest
    • Be present at 7:30 PM
    • The hosts will select a winner!
  • Food, drinks, treats, and a friendly "howdy" for everyone who comes by!
  • Prizes awarded at 8 PM:
    • Best Adult Costume
    • Best Vegetarian Chili
    • Best Meat Chili

Friday, October 9, 2015

Normal Trash Collection for Columbus Day

Just a reminder that despite the Columbus Day Holiday next week, trash and recycle collection will be on a normal schedule:
  • Tuesday, 10/13/15: Trash Pick-up (normal schedule)
  • Friday, 10/16/15: Recycle Pick-up (normal schedule)
Trash and recycle containers should not be set out on the curb until after 6 PM on the night before a collection day.

For the complete slide schedule (which will also be updated to include snow events and other unplanned changes):

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Howard County Officials to Address Route 1 Redevelopment, Crime on Oct. 6th

The new Southern Howard County Civic Association will be hosting Howard County officials to address redevelopment and crime along the Route 1 corridor in southeastern Howard County on October 6th.

Southern Howard County Civic Association Meeting
Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Time: 7 PM
Location: North Laurel Community Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel, MD 20723

  • Mr. Larry Twele, Howard County Economic Development
  • TBD, Howard County Police Representative

Discussion: Economic development in the southeast area of Howard County with focus on Route 1 and crime.

For more information:

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Notes: Emerson HOA Board Meeting 9/29/15

The Emerson HOA Board of Directors met on Monday, September 30, 2015 in the Emerson Clubhouse at 7 PM.


  • Emerson Facebook page approved
  • Still no recommendations on Clubhouse Renovation (cost & scope)
  • Emerson looking into improving safety patrols, examining other vendors as well
  • New Architectural Design Guidelines approved
  • Board approved repair of broken sidewalks in Emerson common areas. Whether/how to include sub-HOAs and homeowners and/or reimburse them is TBD.
  • Emerson HOA Board terms of office will be staggered at next election.
  • Board voted to have Howard County Fire Marshall mark fire lanes. Garden Ranges asked for clarification.
  • Meeting dates set:
    • Next Town Hall: Monday, October 26, 2015
    • Annual Meeting: Monday, November 16, 2015 (moved up one week)


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Autumn Walk Friendly Lawn Care Reminders

Recently you should have received a Friendly Lawn Care Reminder in the mail to clarify the maintenance responsibilities of residents.

The majority of the community keeps a beautifully landscaped yard (a huge thank you!), but there seems to be some confusion about what the HOA contract covers and what is the homeowner/resident's responsibilities.

I wish my yard looked this good

Handy Dandy Maintenance Chart

Homeowner Responsibility
HOA Landscaping Contract
Weeding of flowerbedsMowing (22x per year), roughly every 7-10 days
Trimming of shrubs and bushesEdging (11x per year)
Remulching as needed (probably 1-2 times per year)Spring Only: one-time mulching and trenching of flowerbeds
Removal and/or replacement of dead shrubs or plantsLeaf removal (3x per year)
Ensure proper drainage, correctly position splash blocks, regrade soil to slope away from house*Fertilizer and weed control
(Optional**) Tree TrimmingAeration and slit seeding

Because our townhouses share common foundations, it's important that all of us ensure that our downspouts and splash blocks direct water away from the foundation. Water sitting against the foundation can wash away support and also lead to cracking during freeze-thaw cycles. 

** The street trees in front of our houses are public trees maintained on a 12-year cycle. Homeowners are encouraged to perform minor trimming to keep clearance of 12'-14' over roads and 8' over sidewalks.

Your Maintenance Responsibilities
In short, the HOA contract does not cover maintenance of certain items in your yard.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Gorman Crossing Yard Sale at Emerson on Saturday 9/19

Gorman Crossing Elementary School PTA will be sponsoring a Yard Sale and Vendor Fair at the Emerson Clubhouse on Saturday, September 19, 2015.

Date: Saturday, 9/19/15
Time: 8 AM - 12 PM
Location: Emerson Clubhouse, 8400 Upper Sky Way, Laurel, MD 20723

To sign up for a space:

Spaces are $25 for vendors and free to families. The fees can be paid by cash, check, or credit card at the event.

Gorman Crossing is the elementary school for Autumn Walk, and one of two elementary schools for the Emerson Community.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Papal Visit Expected to Impact DC-Area Traffic 9/22-9/24

AAA Mid-Atlantic is warning residents that Pope Francis' visit to the United States is expected to impact traffic in the Washington, DC area next week (Tuesday, September 22 through Thursday, September 24).

Pope Francis arrives at Andrews Air Force Base on Tuesday at 4 PM and will visit the White House on Wednesday, followed by a parade down Constitution Avenue in the Popemobile to St. Matthew's Cathedral. On Thursday, the Pope will be on Capitol Hill.

The effects of the visit are expected largely to be due to some security closures in DC and New York City.

However, Philadelphia is expecting 2 million visitors from across North America during the Papal Visit on Saturday and Sunday (September 26-27, 2015) with major disruptions to traffic.

An excerpt from an email sent to AAA Mid-Atlantic members on 9/16/15:

In the coming week, nearly two million people are expected to travel from around the country and throughout the world to take part in Pope Francis' first visit to the United States.

Whether you plan to take part in the Papal Visit events or need to adjust work and/or leisure travel accordingly, as a AAA Member, you can count on us to help.

Know Before You Go - Papal Visit Cities/Dates 

Emerson Board Meeting Rescheduled to Tuesday 9/29

Emerson HOA has announced a date change for the next Emerson Board of Directors Meeting.

The new date:

Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Time: 7 PM
Location: Emerson Clubhouse

From Emerson's Management Team:

Emerson Board of Directors Meeting
Date Change!

The Board of Directors Meeting, normally scheduled for Monday September 28th has been moved to Tuesday evening September 29th. Start time is 7pm and location is still the Clubhouse.

Agendas will be available at the door and on the Website that day.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Konterra Opening Delayed to 2018

In an article on June 11, 2015 in the Prince George's edition of The Maryland Gazette, representatives of the Gould family (the developers of Konterra) and several local officials discussed the current state of the project.

From the Konterra Fact Sheet

The opening date for Konterra Town Center East, planned as a mixed use retail center with office space and some residential housing, has been pushed back from 2015 to 2018.

Work is proceeding on building the east entrance to the Konterra development, with more construction expected this summer.

Several buildings have already been built on the 2200 acres of scattered parcels that comprise Konterra, straddling I-95 between MD-198 south to MD-200 (the Intercounty Connector). Town Center is expected to be about 740 acres in size.

The overall plan for Konterra includes:
  • 1.5 million square feet of retail (comparable in size to The Mall in Columbia)
  • 3.8 million square feet of office space
  • 4500 multifamily rental and condominium residences
  • 600 hotel rooms

Other Laurel Projects
As the local market has recovered in the last few years, several other Laurel developments have been revitalized.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

So Much Fun: 2015 Autumn Walk Picnic!

The 2015 Autumn Walk Picnic was a fabulous success! The weather was perfect, the food was wonderful, and everyone had a great time.

Check out our unofficial neighborhood Facebook page for about 150 pictures (and one video) to see just how much fun it was!

Many thanks to the dedicated crew of volunteers who planned and organized the Picnic over the past 2 months: Bindu, Kelly H., Allie, Daphna, Jenny, Adrienne, Jamie, and Pam, as well as the site hosts and grillmasters: Kelly and Randy R., Fred, Charles, and Dharmesh.

The dunk tank obtained by Charles and Pam was a huge hit, with a long line of mostly kids waiting to be dunked (and to do the dunking).

So was the water balloon fight, er, I mean toss. Charles also set up the inflatable water slide tower seen above that the little kids scrambled up and down.

Trash Schedule Slides for Labor Day

Just a reminder that the Holiday Slide Schedule for trash pickup is in effect next week due to the Labor Day holiday:
  • Wednesday, 9/9/15: Trash Pick-up (slides one day)
  • Saturday, 9/12/15: Recycle Pick-up (slides one day)
Trash and recycle containers should not be set out on the curb until after 6 PM on the night before a collection day.

Meeting Notes: Emerson Town Hall #2 on 8/24/15

The second Emerson Town Hall was held on Monday, August 24, 2015 in the Clubhouse.

Emerson HOA Board President Jack Jurgensen and the Emerson CMC managers (Channel and Steffanie) attended, as did a light turnout of 5 residents (perhaps because it was also the first day of school).

  1. Fire Lanes - including our street
  2. Emerson Draft Design Guidelines
  3. Security Contract
  4. Route 1 Revitalization Plan
  5. Miscellaneous Q&A

  1. Fire Lanes
    1. Emerson's Board has decided to ask Howard County to designate fire lanes in the community
      1. A list of problematic streets was provided to the Howard County fire marshal, who reviewed every street in the community on various days (weekdays, weekends, morning and evening) to gauge traffic load
    2. Surprisingly, the fire marshal also added our street to the list and recommended that the inner curb on the large island at the end of the street be designated a fire lane (no parking)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Autumn Walk Picnic: Sunday

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

The 2015 Autumn Walk Picnic is on this Sunday, August 30th!

Right now the forecast looks good (mostly sunny with a slight chance of rain), so let's hope that holds up.

The Picnic will be at the end of the cul-de-sac with Fred's and Kelly & Randy's houses serving as the host sites.

The Picnic starts at 3 PM and set-up will begin roughly an hour prior.

Everyone in Autumn Walk is welcome! Come out, meet your neighbors, and have a little fun!

Here's the RSVP link again to sign up to bring supplies and side dishes:

Related Posts: 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

BWI Cell Phone Lot

If you're picking someone up at BWI Airport, you can use the free BWI Cell Phone Lot to avoid having to keep circling the terminal while waiting for the arrival of the flight.

Located on Scott Drive just to the right of the Daily Parking Garage entrance, the Cell Phone Lot has enough room for dozens of cars and is located only a few minutes from the arrival area of BWI Airport.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Autumn Walk Yard Sale on Sun., Sept. 6th

A little birdie has told me that there are plans for another multi-family Autumn Walk Yard Sale on Sunday, September 6, 2015!

Hopefully buyers will be in the mood to shop the day before Labor Day.

Autumn Walk Community Yard Sale
Date: Sunday, September 6, 2015
Time: 8 AM to 12 Noon
All are welcome!

There was surprisingly heavy traffic the last time and it was almost an impromptu Block Party, so you might want to start gathering your items to sell...and celebrate Labor Day!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Air Duct and Dryer Vent Cleaning

A couple of months ago Jenny did the research to find a contractor to clean air ducts and dryer vents, and negotiated a fixed price.

She posted the information to Facebook and several homes in the community used the service. (Other homes have used different contractors as well.)

Air Duct Cleaning
The ducts in different units had varying amounts of dust, construction debris, and (especially in floor registers) objects that had fallen into the ducts including children's toys.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

2015 Emerson Tennis Tournament

(Updated 9/30/15 with prizes and signup information.)

Calling all tennis players in Emerson! 

Emerson HOA has announced its first tennis tournament will be held October 9th to October 25th with matches scheduled in evening slots during the week, and in morning slots on weekends.

Both singles and doubles brackets are planned. The doubles bracket winner will receive a $200 giftcard and the singles winner will receive $100.

More information is posted on the Emerson HOA front page, including rules and a release form. Sign up on SignUpGenius.

As an aside, those are Aru and Ajay's tennis racket and tennis balls posing modestly on the Emerson courts in the pictures. :)

Emerson 2015 Tennis Tournament

Dates: October 9-25, 2015
Location: Emerson Tennis Courts
Complete Rules: Rules
Release Form: Release
For More Information and to Submit Release Form:

Click image for larger version

North Laurel, MD: #23 Money Magazine Best Places to Live

Our own North Laurel, MD is #23 on Money Magazine's ranking of the best small towns in America under 50,000 for 2015! This is the highest ranking in the Baltimore-Washington region.

North Laurel was cited for its excellent location midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC, its low unemployment rate, and of course, the high-performing Howard County Public School System.

It also didn't hurt that we are adjacent to Columbia, MD, a Top Ten choice for best small cities (50,000 to 300,000) in America for the past decade (and #6 in the last rankings in 2014).

We knew we had a great place to live, and now the rest of the world does too!

External Links:

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Next Emerson Town Hall: August 24th

The second Emerson Town Hall will be held in the Clubhouse on Monday, August 24, 2015 at 7 PM.

This is your opportunity to ask questions of the Emerson Board of Directors and CMC, Emerson's management company, as well as to offer your ideas and suggestions for improving our community!

Emerson Town Hall

Date: Monday, 8/24/15
Time: 7 PM - 9 PM
Location: Clubhouse

Related Links:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Corn Mazes in Maryland

Multiple corn mazes and pumpkin patches open on a seasonal basis in the Fall on farms in Maryland and nearby sections of Pennsylvania.

Typically these venues start up in mid-September and run for about 6 weeks until around Halloween.

The mazes vary in size and complexity, and sometimes provide customers with a flag on a stick to raise in case they get lost and need to exit.

Some of these operations have become fairly sophisticated, with GPS-equipped tractors cutting the corn maze and additional activities such as hayrides, play areas, and pumpkin cannons.

External Web Links:

Since we haven't visited any of these locations, these are just some examples to give you an idea of what's available in the area!

Lawyers Farm (2014 Video):

Farmers Turn to Professionals to Cut Corn Mazes (

Friday, August 7, 2015

Final Emerson Movie Night on Aug. 14

The final Emerson Movie Night at the Pool will be next Friday, August 14, 2015.

  • 7:30 PM: Doors open
  • 8:30 PM: Movie begins

No RSVP is required but an Emerson ID or Pool Pass is required to attend. Guests will not be admitted in the Pool after 6 PM that night.

The movie will be Disney's "Maleficent" and volunteers are sought to assist with staffing the event, to include set up, handing out refreshments, and clean up.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How to Use This Site

I've gotten feedback that sometimes it can be hard to find things on this web site.

That's an artifact of using a blogging service to host the site, but it was the fastest (and cheapest) way to build a site for our community, that I can maintain quickly and easily.

With that said, here are a few tips on how to most effectively use the site and to find information. Let me know if you have any more questions!

1. Static Pages
Across the top of the site, you will see five fixed "static" web pages linked (on a mobile device, you will need to access them from a pulldown menu):

  • About Autumn Walk - overview of Autumn Walk, Emerson, and the area
  • Flamingo Fridays! - what they are and how they work
  • Landscaping - information about the landscaping contract
  • Maintenance Tips - collection of all posts related to maintenance of our homes and community
  • Contact - how to contact me, the Board, and the Community Manager (CAS)
The static pages are where you will most likely find useful information that has been posted in the past.

2. Sidebar
Down the right side of the desktop version of the site, you will see links and information about Autumn Walk and Emerson:

Monday, August 3, 2015

Southern Howard County Civic Association Meeting (Aug. 4)

Another event has been scheduled concurrent with National Night Out (NNO) at the North Laurel Community Center (NLCC) tomorrow (Tuesday, Aug. 4th).

The Southern Howard County Civic Association, an organization formed to track issues in the southern part of the County including Emerson, will hold their regular monthly meeting at 7 PM at NLCC as well.

The main topic is expected to be school bus drop off and pick up, though other issues can be raised as well.

Southern Howard County Civic Association (monthly meeting)

Date: Tuesday, 8/4/15
Time: 7 PM
Location: North Laurel Community Center (NLCC), 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel, MD 20723

Hello Fellow Southern Howard County Resident,

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Howard County Board of Education Meeting Near Emerson in August

We have a rare opportunity to attend a Howard County Board of Education meeting close to home on Thursday, August 13, 2015.

Due to renovation of their usual facilities in Ellicott City, the Board is holding its regularly scheduled meetings in schools in different locations around the County, and this month will be at Forest Ridge Elementary School on Gorman Road.

One of the residents of Emerson has been tracking BoE issues and Southeast Howard County has been asking the Board to hold meetings that are easier for residents to attend.

We know that many of you chose to live in Emerson because you prize Howard County's high-performing schools.

This is your opportunity to hear directly from the Board that most directly affects the management of those schools.

Howard County Board of Education

Date: Thursday, August 13, 2015
Time: 4 PM and 7:30 PM (see below)
Location: Forest Ridge Elementary School (Cafetorium), 9550 Gorman Road, Laurel, MD 20723

There will be two sessions on August 13:

  • Afternoon Session (4 PM): Regular Board Meeting
  • Evening Session (7:30 PM): Pre-Development Public Work Session on FY17 Capital Budget & FY18-22 Capital Improvement Program

From Howard County: