HCPSS meeting on the Chinese AP language teaching

Dear all,

In order for us to have a better understanding how the Chinese Language teaching at the River Hill High School has been changed, I have coordinated a meeting between HCPSS, RHHS and the community.

We are looking forward to seeing you there.

The following individuals from Central Office will be attending the meeting on Tuesday, September 6th at 7:30pm at RHHS in the Media Center:

  • Gina Massella, Administrative Director of High Schools
  • Robert Cole, Coordinator of Digital Education
  • Leslie Grahn, Coordinator of World Languages

River Hill High School Principal Mrs. McKinley will also be present.


Dr. Chao Wu, Vice President of Chinese American Parent Association of HoCo

US Senate gets older and older

I heard the news that Senate John McCain won his primary and he is more than  80 years old. My impression for John McCain is that there is no war he does not like.

Then I checked around and found the average age for US senators is becoming older and older. The trend starts from 1979. What is happening in the society?


US senate gets older and older

For the current US senate age, please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_United_States_senators_by_age.

Some statistics:

There are eight senators who are over 80 years old, six from Republican and two from Democrat. Even they are old, either Republic or Democratic parties seems worried at all about this aging issue. Since the governors from those states probably belongs to the same party as the senators. If the senate position vacant suddenly, those governors can assign a new senator from the same party.

There are 5% senators served more than 30 years. There are 20% senators who have served more that 18 years, another 10% severs more than 12 years. That is 30% serves more than three terms.

There are 13% senators who just served over a year and half.

US senators more than 18 years

Two senators from Maryland are:

7 Barbara Mikulski Maryland July 20, 1936 January 3, 1987 50 years, 167 days 29 years, 241 days 80 years, 42 days Democratic
19 Ben Cardin Maryland October 5, 1943 January 3, 2007 63 years, 90 days 9 years, 241 days 72 years, 331 days Democratic



HCPSS six-year spending review (prologue)

Thank Cindy Vaillancourt for pointing me to this website http://www.hcpss.org/f/vendors/index.html to have a look at HCPSS’s spending.

Unfortunately, the data was not easy to be downloaded. It is non-trivial at all. With my background, I used Python programming language and wrote a script to download all six year’s data from 2010-2015.

A quick glance at 2015 spending, over 5 million items are:

2015 HCPSS Over 5 Million Spending

I will do some basic analysis. In order to help others who are interested in this data, I saved them in spreadsheet format. If you would like a copy, please let me know. The website does not allow me to upload Excel document for the moment.

Please let me know which kind of analysis or which area you are interested.

Our kids supporting Ellicott City

Today after we interviewed another BOE candidate at Savage Library, we saw several kids selling stuff to support Ellicott City just outside the library. I was really moved by  them. Our kids are growing up, caring and helping our community.

From Left to Right:Amanda Wang ,Jean Xu, Ella Jiao,Alex Jiao,Chao Wu, Arthur Wang.


Columbia BikeAbout on Saturday, September 17 and volunteers still needed

Date: August 22, 2016
Contact: David Greisman
Phone: 410-423-4103
Less than a month away: Columbia BikeAbout on Saturday, September 17; volunteers still needed
Columbia Association’s (CA) annual BikeAbout will be held Saturday, Sept. 17, with riders setting off from the Downtown Columbia Lakefront. The free, fun and informative tour presents Columbia’s history and showcases the connectivity of its pathway system.

Preregistration is not required but is encouraged via ColumbiaAssociation.org/bikeabout. Columbia BikeAbout will begin at 9:30am with riders able to start up until 10am They are expected to complete the ride by 1pm.

This year’s route is 10.6 miles. The course will wind through Town Center, Hickory Ridge, Harper’s Choice and Wilde Lake with interpretive stops that include 19th century grave sites; the past and future of Howard Community College; Columbia’s commitment to preservation of the open space, including the creation of Wilde Lake and the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area; and Columbia’s street names.

To accommodate families with young children, a 1.5-mile ride is available around Lake Kittamaqundi on the pathway loop, offering an opportunity to learn about Kennedy Gardens and the natural landscape.

An important aspect of Columbia’s design was preservation of the land. The topography, stream beds and heavily wooded areas were preserved as much as possible. Lakes were created and pathways built to make the natural environment accessible. Columbia BikeAbout is an easy way to explore the extensive 94-mile pathway system, which contributes to the high quality of life that defines Columbia.

Columbia Association also is seeking volunteers, who will assist with traffic control, directions, registration, and acting as guides at places of interest along the route. Flexible shifts are available between the hours of 8:30am and 2pm. Training and a free T-shirt will be provided. For more information, emailColumbia.Archives@ColumbiaAssociation.org or call 410-715-6781.

Columbia BikeAbout is brought to you by Columbia Association’s (CA) Columbia Archives and Open Space Management.

Columbia Archives, which collects and preserves the history of Columbia, is located in CA Headquarters at 6310 Hillside Court, off Stevens Forest Road. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The collection covers the planning and development of Columbia as well as the extensive James Rouse Collection, which chronicles Rouse’s long career that influenced urban and suburban development in the United States and around the world. It is rich with correspondence, speeches, photographs and memorabilia. The public is welcome to visit and spend time researching to get a deeper understanding of the history of Columbia. Appointments are encouraged. For more information, call 410-715-3103 or go to ColumbiaArchives.org.

About Columbia Association

Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit community services corporation that manages Columbia, Maryland, a planned community that is home to approximately 100,000 people and several thousand businesses. Additional information about CA is available at ColumbiaAssociation.org.

Volunteer Registration for Ellicott City moves to CA’s VolunteerHoward.org

Volunteer Registration for Ellicott City Flood Recovery Moves to VolunteerHoward.org
The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, a program of the Columbia Association and a local clearinghouse for volunteerism, will be the new entry point for volunteers interested in helping with flood recovery efforts in Historic Ellicott City.


VolunteerHoward.org, an online service, will make it easier for individuals and groups of volunteers to be organized for recovery missions as they arise.
Ellicott City residents and business owners impacted by the flooding and in need of assistance should continue to use the county’s call center at 410-313-2900.
I am sure we have done much more, but I wanted to share a few examples of our efforts to be a resource to the residents, displaced employees of businesses and business owners in the flood damaged area of Ellicott City.


NATO and the establishment media


Just think about NATO and many Americans defend NATO without a hesitation. The problems are that there are so many unknown dangerous factors in so NATO members. A blank check to defend them should not be correct.

Recently Japan picked up a new female defense minister Ms. Inada. See http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/08/15/japans-new-outspoken-defense-chief-courts-controversy/88753106/. She also denied the World War II atrocity in China. There was a Contest to Kill more Chinese Using a Sword between two Japanese officers. The winner killed 106 Chinese and the loser killed 105 as shown in the Japanese paper. The story was widely published in Japan newspaper to encourage men to join the Japan Imperial Army.

A history replay:

The Japanese newspaper during World War II reported a competition between two generals in China “Who can kill 100 Chinese and hang their heads first?” as following:


In 1937, the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun and its sister newspaper the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun covered a contest between two Japanese officers, Toshiaki Mukai (向井敏明?) and Tsuyoshi Noda (野田毅?), in which the two men were described as vying with one another to be the first to kill 100 people with a sword. The competition supposedly took place en route to Nanking, directly prior to the infamous Nanking Massacre, and was covered in four articles, from November 30 to December 13, 1937, the two last being translated in the Japan Advertiser.

Kill_100Chinese Competition

The Nanjing “Murder Race”, http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/NanjingMassacre/NMHT.html

We should ask ourselves :

  1. If this new Japanese defense minister accidentally/secretly attacks China to promote her agenda and China fights back, should US come to defend Japan?
    1. People should not forget Japan attacked US during World War II even US gave an almost free pass for Japan attacking and evading China for quite a long time.
  2. If German chose a World War II atrocity denier as a defense minister, what will happen to the German government?

There are more and broader benefits for a good US-China friendship.  When the US-China relationship is stable, there will be nothing serious happening in the Pacific. However, when some US politicians or newspapers give a false hope to some Asian countries, they will be bold to attack, just like WWII.


volunteered at Old Ellicott City

Today I spent several hours to help a friend to clean her dad’s business office. The county government is doing a great job by organizing the rebuild effort.

The first time when I was involved in disaster relief effort was more that 20 years ago and I was still in elementary school.My hometown got a flood and the students were called to clean the sand flushed into the rice field.

After the cleaning, we walked around. The damage is tremendous and I hope everybody will stand strong and recover from it soon.


2016 BOE Candidate Interviews starting

We, including Chinese American Parent Association (CAPA) of Howard County, Howard County Chinese School (Howard County campus and Catonsville Campus), Chinese Language School of Columbia and Peiying Chinese School, are starting to interview the six BOD candidates in the following several weeks.

We are going to share our interviews with the community such that our voters will make an informed decision at the voting booths.

Here are the remaining six candidates:

Vicky Cutroneo I have served as parent volunteer for years at my children’s schools as well as volunteer youth sports coach and Girls Director of WHC youth basketball. Recent experience advocating for healthy air quality at Glenwood MS inspired me to run for BOE. I learned first hand that the qualities most important for a BOE member are my strengths: ability to communicate, collaborate and advocate.(vicky@christinaandvicky.com)

 Kirsten Coombs I have been a volunteer in several capacities at my daughter’s schools. I worked on the Citizens’ Operating Budget Review Committee (COBRC) in Spring 2015. I have a BS in Accounting and used my financial skills to analyze the budget and present the committee’s findings to stakeholders. I also have a BA in History and an MBA in International Business, so I appreciate educating the whole child.(kirsten@kirstencoombs.org)

 Christina Delmont-Small My 2 children are in HCPSS schools. I served as PTA Council of Howard County president for 3 terms & also on the Operating Budget Review Committee. I worked for the U.S. House of Representatives & have experience leading successful collaborations between stakeholders that I’ll bring to the BOE. I’ll continue to advocate for complete & accurate information to improve accountability & transparency. (team@ChristinaAndVicky.com)

  Mavis Ellis My 30 years in education includes being a PTA president, high school administrator, and educational evaluator. Currently, as a Pupil Personnel Worker, I daily advocate for students, their families, school staff, and others in the areas of special education, discipline, and education policy. I represent 70,000 Maryland educators on both National and State Board of Directors (NEA/MSEA). (mavisellis@gmail.com)

 Robert Wayne Miller I recently retired after 34 years of teaching in HCPSS elementary, middle, and high schools. My son and daughter attended HCPSS schools from K-12. I have a BS and M.Ed. in Music Education and a BS in Psychology from UM College Park. My perspective from “inside” and “outside” the school system positions me to prioritize initiatives, anticipate unintended consequences, and enable positive change. (miller4boe@gmail.com)

Janet Siddiqui Pediatrician, Experienced BOE member since 2007, past Chairman, Vice-Chairman. Over 30 yr resident Howard County. 21 years at Johns Hopkins, Medical Director & Faculty Teaching medical students/physicians. PTA, Volunteer, Demonstrated Leadership in handling BOE responsibilities. Has a Unique perspective, truly understands the “Whole Child”. Advocate for Children, their Education, Health and Future. (janet@janetsiddiqui.com)

Here are their primary election votes from Ballotopia:

2016 HoCo BOE Primary Election Result

2016 HoCo BOE Primary Election Winner Picture

CA Speakers Series explores racial integration in housing

Columbia Association Speakers Series explores racial integration in housing

Columbia Association (CA) is pleased to present “Sustaining Racial Integration in Housing in Columbia: Exploring the Model of Oak Park, Illinois,” the next event in CA’s Community Building Speakers Series.

The event will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7pm at the Owen Brown Community Center, 6800 Cradlerock Way. The featured speaker will be Rob Breymaier, executive director of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center, where he leads the nation’s most successful effort to promote integration and the affirmative furthering of fair housing in the private housing market.

CA’s Community Building Speakers Series brings thought-provoking speakers on topics that stimulate us to discuss, engage and build our sense of community in Columbia. Columbia’s commitment to being truly integrated is at the heart of the community. Jim Rouse made this absolutely clear to all the developers and sales associates doing business when Columbia was being founded.

“It is important for all of us who are selling houses or lots or renting apartments in Columbia to understand that Columbia is a truly open city,” Rouse wrote in an August 1967 memo, employing the language of the time to emphatically state his intent to build a community based on equal opportunity.

Oak Park, Illinois is located just west of Chicago. Thanks to the Housing Center’s efforts and leadership, it has established and sustained an integrated community that is open, inclusive and prosperous. Breymaier has published articles and opinion pieces and has been interviewed on a variety of media outlets, including Marketplace, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR and the Chicago Tribune.

Advance registration is not required but is appreciated. Register online atColumbiaAssociation.org/speakers. For more information, please contact Scott Templin at 410-715-3166 or Scott.Templin@ColumbiaAssociation.org.

About Columbia Association

Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit community services corporation that manages Columbia, Maryland, a planned community that is home to approximately 100,000 people and several thousand businesses. Additional information about CA is available at ColumbiaAssociation.org.

How to help Ellicott City

Many people already know the devastating flood in Ellicott City and many people want to help. There is a link on how we can help.

How You Can Help Ellicott City

Here are some other ways you can help:

  • Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman says donations are needed in the form of food and cash. To contribute food, you’re asked to contact the Community Action Council of Howard County. To learn more, CLICK HERE. Financial donations should be made to the American Red Cross Greater Chesapeake Region, Kittleman said.
  • The United Way of Central Maryland has established a fund for donations to help those impacted by the flooding, at the request of Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman. 100 percent of all donations will go to humanitarian relief efforts there. To learn more, CLICK HERE.
  • The Ellicott City Partnership has also setup a page to assist the flood victims of Ellicott City. To learn more, CLICK HERE.
  • The destruction wreaked by the storm has left many people, from business owners to bartenders, out of work. If you can help them find work, visit this Facebook page called, “Keep Ellicott City Working.”
  • The Howard County Office of Workforce Development will hold an #ECStrong Job Fair on August 8 for employees impacted by the flood. Workforce Development is partnering with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) and Howard County Economic Development Authority to identify immediate employment opportunities for displaced workers. Businesses seeking to hire individuals on a temporary or permanent basis — contact the Office of Workforce Development at 410 290-2620 or email at owd@howardcountymd.gov.
  • The Heavy Seas Beer Tap Room in Halethorpe will donate 50 percent of revenue made this weekend —  noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday — to the Ellicott City Partnership.
  • A #PrayforEC Community Vigil and Prayer Service will be held at Emory United Methodist Church ( 3799 Church Road) at 7 p.m. Thursday.
  • An Etsy shop has created an Ellicott City “Hope’s Higher Than Water” sticker, and profits will go toward the relief fund. You can find it HERE.
  • Caton Tavern in Catonsville will donate 50 percent of the funds raised from its Aug. 27 Caton Fest to Ellicott City’s recovery.
  • On Aug. 8, Daniel’s Restaurant and Open Air Bar in Elkridge will match 100 percent of its burger sales with donations to Ellicott City relief.
  • On Sunday, August 7, the White Oak Tavern in Ellicott City will donate a portion of the proceeds from Flying Dog Beer and food sales to the Ellicott City Historic District Partnership.
  • Le Garage Beer Bar & Frites in Hampden has extended its Baltimore Restaurant Week offerings, and will donate $5 from every $35 fixed-price meal sold through Sunday to help rebuild Nepenthe Homebrew in Woodberry.
  • A Baltimore design business has created t-shirts in a show of support for Ellicott City. Bearing the message “Rebuild Ellicott City, Rise Above the Water,” the shirts are designed by Mojo Art & Image. Proceeds from t-shirt sales will go to Ellicott City Downtown Partnership to help with flood recovery efforts.

help ellicott city

Traffic Study by Donaldson along Clarksville Pike

Donaldson Funeral is trying to build a Donaldson Mortuary along Clarksville Pike ( Route 108). There have been strong  oppositions from the neighborhood, including several churches, schools and residents.

Last week, they are conducting a traffic study. The timing seems very odd. During summer when the school are closed and many people are on vacation, there for sure will be much less traffic. I am not sure how the authority agreed to conduct the traffic study during this time frame.

The traffic study result will not be convincing because of the flaw how the data was collected. Maybe they do not care too much since it is just a standard procedure and they need to push forward. Or maybe they are afraid to provide evidence which is not good for them if they choose to collect data in a normal working day.

Anyway, a large bulldozer is cleaning the hurdles now on the site.