July 2012 Newsletter - MWHOA

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July 2012 Newsletter - MWHOA Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                 MWHOA Board of Directors:
                                                          President                 Donna Harding
                    Summer                                Vice President            Charles Kortlang
                                                          Treasurer                 Paula Oas
                 Newsletter                               Secretary                 Kevin Kenealy
           July – September 2012                          Member at Large           Elizabeth Hobbins

                                                                   How to Reach the Board:
                                                          Address:                  Post Office Box 2645
                                                                                    Laurel, MD 20709
                                                          Voice Mail:               (240) 554-2438

                                                               MWHOA does not necessarily endorse
                                                                advertisers’ products and services

From the woodpile…President’s Article                  7. Note that replacing the garage door with a high
 Summer is officially here, and we have all                end one also adds curb appeal, and generally
enjoyed a very pleasant spring. It’s time to remind        returns more upon selling than what it cost.
all of our homeowners that maintaining “Curb           8. Did you know that a new wood deck usually
Appeal” and Covenants is about more than                   earns back 70% of its cost at resale?
following rules, it is about our investment in our     9. Effect a minor kitchen remodel by adding a
homes and our community. In order to retain the            new (midrange) sink, faucets, and appliances.
value of our homes, even in hard economic times,       10. You can add living space to your home in an
we need to keep up with property maintenance.              economic way by using space already there.
                                                                a. Remodel an attic into a bedroom by
 Replacement projects make a house look good                       popping out a dormer for a 5-by-7 foot
immediately. New windows, new siding, and a                        bathroom, then insulate and finish the
new front door not only make a house look great                    walls and ceiling, extend heat and air
while we live there, but it will sell faster and for               conditioning, and improve the wiring
more money.                                                        and lighting.
 The top 10 remodeling projects listed below are                b. Remodel the basement - the next most
all projects that replace worn items, bring parts of               cost efficient way to add living space.
the home up-to-date, or add living space without
expanding the home’s footprint:                        A word on the Common Areas
1. Replace exterior siding with upscale fiber            Several homeowners have expressed concern
     cement.                                           that trash, tree cuttings and limbs have been
2. New midrange replacement vinyl or aluminum          dumped in many of the common areas in the
     siding upgrades the look of the house.            neighborhood. This is against our covenants, and
3. New foam backed vinyl siding replacement            certainly not to be condoned; it will be an ongoing
     keeps the house warm and can cut down on the      issue until all of us in this beautiful community
     utility expense.                                  recognize that the common grounds are here to be
4. Upscale vinyl replacement windows can be            enjoyed by all, and not used as a dumping ground
     very cost effective as well as improving the      because it is easier or less cost to “me.” Quoting
     curb appeal of your home. New windows have        from our Architectural Control Guidelines:
     low emission glass, which helps save on              12. Common Areas
     heating and cooling costs.                               No structures of any type, vehicles, trash, or
5. Replace an entry door with a midlevel 20-              other materials will be placed in common land
     gauge steel door.                                    area parcels of the MWHOA. Homeowners are
6. Replace the garage door with a mid-range door          also instructed to notify the Architectural
     to increase curb appeal and function.                Committee, in writing, of any such items or any
                                                          unsafe conditions noted in common land parcels.
    Though              Note: There will be a vacancy on the Board this fall; your nomination form is after p. 6
   guideline #12
   does say to contact the architectural committee
   in writing, neighbors should first talk to each
   other about the situation. As a board, we can
                                                                       It’s really easy.
send individual letters, write newsletter articles,
and hold meetings. The bottom line is that we are                        Bulk trash collection is provided by the
each adults responsible for our own actions.               County by appointment only. To schedule an
         ~Donna Harding, President                         appointment, homeowners should call 301-952-
                                                           7600 Monday through Friday, between 7:30 a.m.
Home Modifications                                         and 4:00 p.m. Appointments may also be
  The Board appreciates all of you who have taken          scheduled electronically at
the time to communicate with us regarding planned
exterior modifications to your homes or requests
for operating a home business. We are aware that             If the County fails to make the scheduled
homeowners may not always get the response they            collection date due to inclement weather, the
would like, most often because the request is a            collection will be rescheduled for the next day. If
violation of our covenants or architectural                the homeowner fails to place the items at the curb
guidelines. However, as long as we are able to             by 7:30 a.m. on the scheduled collection day and
discuss these matters, we work hard to arrive at a         the items are not picked up, the homeowner has to
solution that is acceptable for both the homeowner         reschedule for the next available date AND the
and the community at large.                                items must be removed from the curb until the next
                                                           scheduled pick-up. Homeowners must not leave
             Grinder Pumps                                 bulky trash items at the curb or outside their homes
                                                           past the pick-up date.
                Some homeowners have contacted
             the Board about problems with grinder           A list of acceptable and non-acceptable materials
pumps Not all houses in the neighborhood have              and more can be found on the County’s website:
these, but some do. The company that installed the
original pumps for the Montpelier Woods builder is:        asp
Freemire & Associates, 1215 Old Dorsey Road,
                                                             We again ask all homeowners to adhere to these
Harmon, MD. 21077, phone 410-768-8500.
                                                           guidelines for handling and disposing of your bulk
  They are still in business and have spare parts to
                                                           trash. Please be considerate of your neighbors.
repair these pumps. Note: This is being provided
for informational purposes only and is not an
                                                           Looking Ahead…
endorsement of the company.
                                                             We are now reaping the benefits of our mild
Bulk Trash Reminder                                        winter. If you have been looking around the
                                                           neighborhood lately you have probably noticed the
  The Board continues to receive complaints about
                                                           abundance of small animals. The squirrel
homeowners in our neighborhood who deposit and
                                                           population --which has definitely grown in leaps
leave bulk trash (furniture, refrigerators, tires,
                                                           and bounds almost reminiscent of its movements--
water heaters, mattresses, etc.) in front of their
                                                           may even have tripled its numbers. The rabbits,
homes for days and sometimes weeks at a time.
                                                           not wanting to be left out, have multiplied like…
              Not only is this an eyesore that affects
                                                           rabbits. A sharp eye will discover them hopping
              property values, in some cases this is
                                                           here and there in search of food on almost all the
              potentially hazardous, especially to
                                                           lawns. These are but two examples of the many
              children and animals.
                                                           species that live among us in Montpelier Woods.
                The Board has previously included
newsletter articles that outlined PG County                  As squirrels, rabbits, and their friends have
requirements for handling and disposing of bulk            multiplied, so have the predators that prey on them.
trash. As we continue to spruce up our homes and           Foxes, owls, snakes, and others also benefited from
put bulk items out, we would like to remind you of         the mild winter. So, while we continue to enjoy
the County guidelines for disposing of bulk trash.         our view on the world around us, now is the time

to prepare for these animals looking for a warm          I’ve received many calls and comments about
place to stay in our homes during the next winter.     illegally parked vehicles, and the answer is:
                                                       please call the County Community Standards

                                                       Office at 301-883-6100 (also on the web site,
 Trim back any overhanging tree branches that          under frequently called numbers). The inspectors
will allow easy access to your roof for an animal      will ticket/tow unlicensed and improperly parked
looking for a warm spot. Check all gaskets, seals,     vehicles. And don't park on the street going against
and weather stripping on all outside doors. Don’t      traffic - you will get a ticket!
forget to check the door that goes into your garage.
Make sure the screen is in place on gable vents.        Speeding continues to be a problem as well as
Have your chimney checked before using it:             failing to stop at stop signs. The speed limit on
squirrels and raccoons love to hide there. When        every street of Montpelier Woods is 25 mph.
checking your gutters, also check the leaders for      Please respect the safety of your neighbors;
smaller woodland friends.                              children and adults alike. Also, do not park in
                                                       your driveway so that you block the public
  So, enjoy your cup of coffee this summer while       sidewalk. The sidewalk is County property, and
watching our four-footed friends, but also take the    you may receive a citation. It's the law.
time to think of ways to protect your house from
these unwanted houseguests this winter.                 Good news: we have two new block captains
                                                       for our Neighborhood Watch. Debra Kelly for
                  ********                             Amblewood Drive and William Berkson on
                                                       Blackwood Court. Thanks for volunteering.
         NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH                            Block Captains are still needed on Basswood
        Promoting Harmony and Security                 Drive, Basswood Terrace, Bignonia Drive, and
                                                       Balsamwood Terrace. Have a safe and secure
 Before writing this article, I reviewed the past 3
                                                       summer: be careful out there.
year's July Newsletters. Some things haven’t
changed, and that’s a good thing. Major crime rates            Dale Good, Neighborhood Watch Chairman
this year continues to drop significantly: murder,
assault, rape, kidnapping, and robbery are down                    **National Night Out **
50% in the county, and our area (District VI)                    Tuesday 7 August, 6:00-8:00 pm
continues to experience the lowest rates.               District VI police station, 4321 Sellman Rd, Beltsville
                                                         This awesome event is great fun, and the activities,
 However, we still have a problem with                 food, games, police and fire displays are all FREE
commercial robberies and home breaking and
entering (B&E). Commercial robberies are up 14%         Want to volunteer? You can help set up from
over last year, while B&E's are up only slightly.      4:00 to 4:45 or 4:45 to 5:30; assist with the food from
                                                       5:30 to 6:15, 6:15 to 7:00, or 7:00 to 7:45; or assist
          The police have had some success in          with clean up from 7:45 to 8:45. Email your name,
          catching commercial robbers. One 7-11        contact number, and shift time to Karen Coakley at
          robber arrested recently is believed to by 1 August.
have robbed over 40 stores in the MD/DC/VA              As officer Hibbert and officer Woody say: “Let’s
area. Also, shoplifting in department/chain stores     show everyone how a strong community comes
is a major crime activity. Recently a gang working     together to make it work, and have a lot of fun too!”
the Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and
Washington areas was arrested and over $100,000                            ******
of merchandise was recovered. A major police                            News you can use
task force (FBI/State/Local Police) was formed to
counter large store robbery, and many under cover
                                                       Reflections After the Storm
officers are now in large stores in our area.
                                                        The latest round of challenges that the residents
 We did have two thefts from autos on                  of Montpelier Woods experienced began on the
Aspenwood Lane in June. Please make an effort to       eve of June 29th. I was watching television and
secure your property, and report suspicious people     knew that a storm line was approaching. As is my
immediately to the police. Call 301-352-1200.          habit when trying to get an idea of the strength of
There are many good tips to secure your home,          an approaching storm, I switched from time to time
auto, and person at our web site (          to the weather radar station. No, not the weather
channel, the radar station on television (FIOS). It      ~Vice President, Charles Kortlang
soon became apparent that we were in for another
round of bad weather.

 I grabbed our emergency battery / solar powered
NOAA weather radio and started listening to the
                                                                  Need lawn services?
emergency weather reports, and watching the radar
closely. When the radio said there was some
rotation in the approaching storm, just north of the
District that was it. I woke my wife up with the
news that the storm coming in had some potential
for really bad weather. We sat in the living room
watching the storm on the TV, listening to the
weather radio, flashlights by our side. Though
hoping for the best, we were ready to head for the
basement if a tornado was observed close by.
                                                         Vacation specials for MWHOA residents!
  The wind was heavy, rain light, lightning strikes
spectacular. At times the lightning was almost
continuous. When the lights started to go out I
made it to the AC switch and turned if off by the      On Being Neighborly
time the lights flickered for the second time. Then      The HOA Board of Directors has recently
all went dark; fortunately for us it was only until    received several letters/emails with requests to
Sunday. Many were out of power longer.                 address varying issues that, upon further reading,
                                                       seem to address issues between specific neighbors.
 This was not the first storm that has hit             While board members are here as a resource to
Montpelier Woods. There have been previous             help keep Montpelier Woods a welcoming and
power outages, blizzards, trees down across            friendly community to live in, we also
roadways, and other major inconveniences that          want to remind residents that the best way
have been thrown our way. The question is, how         to resolve specific issues is to discuss
prepared were you, and your family for this last       them with your neighbors first. By
power outage?                                          keeping those lines of communication
 Did you know what to do? Or did you have to           open, both parties can often find a solution that
run around and find things? Some of our                they can live with.
neighbors took the outage in stride, even though
they were without power until Wednesday. Others        Helping Yourself and the Environment
were at their wits’ end. The point is we cannot         Looking to cut down the number of catalogs you
foretell when the next “disaster” will strike. The     receive that just end up in the recycle bin? Try
question is how prepared will you be? NOW is  -- the website is easy to
the time to plan for the next storm.                   use, and free to join.
                Go to the Federal Emergency              Just enter the appropriate info from the mailing
               Management Agency site                  label into the system -- customer number, key
      for information, and      code, source code. This should be on the label, but,
               begin to get ready. The site gives      you can file a request without it. Then, Catalog-
               recommenda-tions for preparedness       choice forwards that info to the catalog company,
supplies, as well as guidelines to follow for          and tracks the receipt and response to the request.
specific types of emergencies. Download the             You will be notified when the company removes
pages today. Remember, no electricity - no             you from the mailing list. If you continue to get
internet. Don’t count on that cell phone connection    catalogs after 90-days (which they all say is needed
either, the cell towers need power also.               to get your name off the list), then catalogchoice
 If you prepare now, the next incident won’t be so     offers an avenue for a formal complaint. Catalog-
stressful.                                             choice does NOT use your email address when
                                                                dealing with the companies.
  And by the way, our neighborhood did look great
lit just by moonlight…

 After using this website for a little over a year,       I hope everyone is enjoying the summer so far.
my catalog volume has gone down at least 85%.           Many thanks for those who turned out for our
        ~Liz Hobbins, Member-at-large                   spring cleanup. I would like to thank Dale Good,
                                                        Dave and Sue Straney, Donna and Bud Harding,
                   ********                             Jim and Paula Oas, and my husband Charlie for
What are the community’s expenses?                      taking time out of their busy schedules. This is a
 Much of it is what you’d expect – upkeep of the        great way to meet new neighbors, get some
common areas, removing dead trees, printing and         exercise, and make our area a little nicer too!
mailing of the assessment notices and the quarterly
newsletter, and maintaining a community website.
                                                         The next project is our entry signs. I will be
                                                        sprucing them up over the next couple of weeks.
 It’s surprising that the neighborhood has had to pay   We have been trying to make our entrances more
out a lot in attorney’s fees in repeated attempts to    welcoming, especially during the various holidays,
collect overdue assessments from a few households.      but unfortunately there are people who think the
Here’s how you can help keep expenses down:             Christmas wreaths and American flags we put out
       Pay your annual assessment on time.             by the signs are worth stealing. If you see
       Pass on the MWHOA documents to the              someone doing that, please call 911 – while that
        new owners when you sell. This is required      may seem like overkill, it is a crime and it is in
        by law.                                         progress. Please get the tag number if you can
                                                        without putting yourself at risk.
 MWHOA Financial Update                                   The walkers in our community would appreciate
                                                        it if homeowners would trim back trees on their
         Balance Sheet
                                                        property that are encroaching the sidewalks.
         As of 5/31/12
                                                        Homeowners can call the county to come out and
 Assets                                                 trim the trees that are located on the strip of grass
 Bank, Savings & Investment Accounts                    between the road and the side walks in front of
 Checking – Bank of Am       $ 8,645.20                 their home. If you do trim bushes or trees on your
 Savings – Bank of Amer        5,102.24                 property, be sure to tie the pieces into bundles no
 Money Market - E-Trade      $11,574.17                 longer than 3 feet long. The county will not pick up
 CD - Risk Free - Bank of Am $ 9,318.16                 debris just lying alongside the road, but will if it is
 CD - Reg. - Bank of Am      $40,934.95                 tied in bundles.

 Other Assets                                            Thanks for doing your part to make our neighbor-
                                                        hood a great place to walk!
Assessments receivable            $ 1,839.81
Late fees receivable              $ 540.00                ~Betty Ann Kortlang, Beautification Committee
Legal fee receivable               $2,750.90
Liened amounts receivable                                       *************
 for pre-2005                     $ 1,461.24
Certified mailing cost/                                                       Welcome to our New
                                                                              Welcome to our New
 NSF receivable                    $ 322.81                                   Neighbors
Lien recording costs receiv.       $1,802.68
                                                                              Thank you for joining us
Total Assets                     $ 84,292.16                                  in Montpelier Woods!
Liabilities and Owners Equity                           Alice Cole Williams      12105 Amblewood Dr.
Prepaid Owner Assessments     $ 37.00                   Julio Benitez             11901 Blackwood Ct.
Owners Equity                $84,255.16                 Leonardo Hernandez-Torres 11509 Basswood Ct.

Total Liabilities and                                                      ********
Owners Equity                    $ 84,292.16                   THINGS TO DO IN PG COUNTY
  -- Paula Oas
         Beautification Committee Note
                                                            From hoops and sticks to fifes and drums,
                                                           come experience life in from Maryland 200
                                                           years ago on Montpelier Mansion's grounds.        5
                                                           9650 Muirkirk Road, 301-377-7817
                                                            Residents $1/day; Non-Residents $2/day
                                                                      A Midsummer Night's Dream
                                                                      Thursday thru Sunday, 27 – 30 Sept, five performances
                       Have A Blast in the Past:                       A co-production of UMD School of Theatre, Dance,
                       Hands-on History Playground                    and Performance Studies and The National Academy of
                       19 July - 11 August                            Chinese Theatre Arts
                       11 am -3 pm, Fridays to 7 pm                    William Shakespeare's whimsical tale of love and
                                                                      mistaken identity comes to life in a completely new way

                                                                      in this bilingual Chinese and American co-production.
 Hispanic Festival
                                                                      The cast includes Chinese and American actors, who
 Sunday, 16 September, 12 noon-6 pm
                                                                      will each perform in their native language.
 Lane Manor Park
                                                                      $35 Check the website for evening and matinee show
 7601 West Park Dr. and University Blvd. Adelphi
  Bring the family! Celebrate the rich
 heritage of our Hispanic communities.
 Carnival games, crafts to make, music,                                    Smithsonian Resident Associate Programs
 entertainment, delicious ethnic food,                          
 displays/exhibitors, crafts for sale, face
 painting, pony rides, and much more!
 FREE admission!                                                        Julia Child’s Bon Appetit for Life
                                                                                   Wednesday, 8 August, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
 Kinderfest                                                                          Julia Child was a tall, irrepressible woman
 Sunday, October 7, 2012                                                           who laughed easily, dabbled in espionage,
               Come to the 32nd annual family                                      became a world-class chef, and changed
              festival at Watkins Regional Park                                    America’s attitude toward food.
              301 Watkins Park Drive,                                                Biographer Bob Spitz portrays her life as
              Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20774                                       an adventure story from working for the
                FREE admission; fee for some                                       OSS, spying in Ceylon with husband Paul
              activities and food concessions.                                     Child, attending the Cordon Bleu in Paris
              No pets.                                                             where her idea of adapting French cuisine
                                                              In her kitchen in    for main-stream America began, and a long
                                                                 Paris, 1950                     career on public TV.

Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, U. Md
                                                                      Art Treasures of Italy’s Cathedrals and Basilicas (301) 405-ARTS
                                                                      Saturday, 8 September, at 9:30 a.m.
 No matter how you experience the extraordinary -                       In this richly illustrated
    with your eyes, ears, heart, or mind - you’ll                     seminar, Eric Denker, senior
  recognize it throughout our 2012–2013 season                        lecturer at the National Gallery
                                                                      of Art, discusses some of the
                                                                      greatest repositories of
 Iron Cross – 20th anniversary tour                                   ecclesiastical art in Italy: the
 Saturday, 11 August 6:30 PM, Dekelboum Concert Hall                  churches of Venice, Rome, Siena, and Florence.
                    Iron Cross is a rock band from
                  Myanmar. The band has been touring
                  around the world on their musical                                  The High-Tech Behind Secret
                  journey and the 20th anniversary                                   Operations (3-part series)
                  album will be released in the coming                               Thursdasy, 13, 20, and 27 Sept,
                  months.                                                            10:15 to 11:45 a.m.
                  Ticket prices: $40 - 70                               This three-part series, cosponsored with the
                                                                      International Spy Museum, features distinguished
 A Soldier's Tale                                                     experts and notable former intelligence personnel who
 Monday, 24 Sept 8:00 PM - Dekelboum Concert Hall                     will introduce you to some of the coolest uses of
   Michael Votta leads the U.S. Army Field Band and                   technology from airborne intelligence to geospatial.
 Soldiers' Chorus, along with members of UMD
 Chamber Singers, in an all-Stravinsky program
 featuring L'Histoire du Soldat (A Soldier's Tale).
                                                                      D.C. Duck Tours
 A Soldier's Tale uses three actors in the story of a
                                                                       Set in a WWII-era amphibious
 soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for a book that
                                                                      vehicle, the 90-minute D.C.
 predicts the future of the economy.
                                                                      duck tour covers both land and
                                                                      sea. The first leg hits the history-

packed National Mall, then switches to a scenic river      Bowie Chapter, NSDAR, will host Lucia St. Clair
trip.                                                      Robson, author of historical novels including
  The boat also pauses at Gravelly Point, a park located
just a few hundred feet from the runway at Reagan
National Airport, so you can watch roaring planes take
off and land. Save some $ if you buy on-line, at:

From the Editor’s Desk:                                    Shadow Patriots. Learn how she makes history
                                                           come alive, from ideas to research to storytelling,
  Would you like to give back, and get far more
                                                           to enduring the editing process.
than you give? There is a real need for volunteer
Math and Reading tutors for the Student, Teachers            Washington D.C. Historian Joan Chaconas will
Achievement Retention (STARS) program at the               speak on 9 October on spiritualism -- a popular
Woodland Job Corps. Job Corps is at 3300 Ft. Meade         practice in 19th Century America, dabbled in by
Rd, just off the Parkway, before you get to Rt 32.         President and Mrs. Lincoln as well as other famous
Want to join the STARS team? Contact Gloria                people. On 13 November, the Deputy Commander
Coliton, STARS Coordinator at 301-362-6045 or              of the “Old Guard” will discuss the history of the You’ll be glad you did!        regiment that guards the Tomb of the Unknowns.
  These students not only ask to be tutored but              This series of programs is presented at the Belair
Gloria personally interviews each one before they          Mansion, 12207 Tulip Grove Drive, Bowie, MD
are accepted into STARS. The students are                  (301-809-3089), between 7:30 and 8:30 pm. You are
motivated and very much appreciate not only your           cordially invited to the lectures, plus the engaging
knowedge but also your personal interest. This is a        Q&A. For details on the DAR, you can check out
great return on investment!                      
                                                           or email
Fall Programs at the Belair Mansion in Bowie
                                                            I hope to see you in STARS, and at Belair Mansion!
  Calling all aspiring novelists and historical fiction        - Deborah Barrett, Newsletter Editor
readers… On 11 September, the Governor Robert

        Look Inside For:
       * President’s Article
     * Common Areas and more             NEXT MWHOA MEETING DATE
       * Neighborhood Watch
* News you can use: storm reflections,
      neighbors, and recycling
  * Lawn Service ad – check it out!        Deerfield Run Community Center
                                              13000 Laurel Bowie Road
          * New Neighbors
         * Financial Update                   Monday, 27 August
                                              Meetings begin at 7:30 pm
  * Beautification Committee, and
     walking in the community                Please check
                                                for future meeting dates.
            *Things to do
                                         Homeowners are encouraged to attend!
       *Letter from the Editor
        * Tower FCU Offer

  Montpelier Woods
  Homeowners Association, Inc.
  Post Office Box 2645
  Laurel, MD. 20709


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