Quick Summary of meeting between BOE and County Council on 2018-1-30

School redistricting, school site selection and JumpStart were discussed among BOE and County Council members.

In my opinion, if the BOE chooses Troy Hill site for High School 13, they should still press for the Mission Road for purchase if that site is a good site. We should plan asap.

Future school redistricting

Renee Kamen(Manager of School Planning)

1) in the process of redistricting analysis and developing it now

2) elementary school 43 will be online in 2023, high school 13 on 2024, no middle school.

3) no large redistricting will happen next year (Dr. Martirano)

4) three board members volunteered to be in the next redistricting committee, Coombs, Small, and (?).

5) redistricting committee composition was discussed

to have representation.

6) how APFO was played in redistricting? (Greg Fox). not discussed at BOE(Marvis)

School site selection

Ball: Turf Valley site, downtown site, troy park, etc. what is going on?

Martirano: February 1st meeting. mission road is potential for High School 13. Troy Hill Park is another option for High School. Hammond High was promised renovation last year and did not happen. He is reviewing CIP. At opening of High School 13, CIP will be reviewed.

2022 deadline for High School 13 is impossible to achieve now, will continue to push for it. 2023 is more realistic.

Coombs: high school 14 is not on the table in six years. Hammond High renovation and High school 13 are in 2023.

Martirano: five year period for new school s.18 month design, 16 month for others 3 years build(Scott). site selection needs at least one year. 2022 could be done if every things is ready, but the window was closed because BOE did not select the site before last December, 2017.

It took the state 120 days to approve the new school plan(Scott).

In the past, development overtook renovation in the school system such that CIP, capital investment project , should be revised.

Martirano: the BOE board will decide Mission road or Troy Hill for High School 13. But he would recommend county purchasing Mission road even Troy Hill is selected for High School 13 because Mission road also has land for a future elementary school.

Ball asked how much needed. Kirsten: Troy Hill is owned by the county, so it is free for site purchase.

Martirano: Troy hill will have no impact on open space.

Kirsten: current CIP for high school is 124 millions.

Karmen: HCPSS has the right to reserve school site up for school years. She failed to reserve one in the past.

Timeline on Turf Valley Elementary School: Community meeting on Feb 1st. The school is scheduled to open in 2027.

Jump Start Program Update:

Total number: 850 applicants ,over 450 from overcrowded schools. Still not final yet.

Utilization rate is discussed extensively.

Martirano: JumpStart will not go to Glenelg High School according to previous fine analysis.

Left at 5:35.

Summary of CA Board Meeting 2018-1-25

Resident Speakout

  1. Linda Wingel, from Town Center Village Board, talked about the Lakefront development. The new plan was quite different from original plan (2010). She did not like it.
  2. Marcie White, from Oakland Mill, supported Inner Arbor Trust funding, expressed satisfaction with CA’s pathway improvement along Lake Kittamaqundi.
  3. Tim Lattin, talked about Climate community activities happened after CA endorsed the Paris Climate Pact.
  4. Joel Hurwitz, HoCo Indivisible, talked about climate committee, lakefront design, possible handling of American City.


The board heard reports from the presidents, Inner Arbor Trust and

Update from Lakefront Design Guidelines.

  1. One 1/18/2018, DPZ recommended approval of the Lakefront Core Neighborhood Concept Plan, Neighborhood Design Guidelines, Implementation Plan and Final Development Plan.
  2. The scale and height (both in meter and in story) has been a debating topic.
  3. Parking is another debating issue.  There will be no public parking, but private parking public available.
  4. Wincopin Connector will come back. “The Wincopin extension will improve connectivity for all transportation modes and increase the viability of retail uses along the new street. This new portion of Wincopin, adjacent to the Lakefront Plaza, should be designed to extend the plaza up to the building face of the future development, with corresponding design elements that could include flush curbs, special paving/pavers, and/or bollards. Having the ability to close down this section of the street will allow for greater flexibility for programmed events, temporary outdoor dining, and community festivals.”
  5. People Tree will stay in the Lakefront Area.

Board Action:

  1. The board approved the appointment of the Kings Contrivance Representative to the Watershed Advisory Committee.
  2. The board approved transfer of capital funds in watershed-related capital projects between fiscal years.
  3. The board approved several land easements.
  4. The board asked staff  to draft a charter for a climate advisory committee for approval in February board meeting.

Board Discussion:

  1. Organization to invite to the April 2018 Stakeholders Dinner: Board of Directors of Howard Community College, Executive of Howard General Hospital.
  2. CA Dashboard (700-800 employee membership)

3. The staff will come out with a metrics or an indicator how our members participates.


3. The average NPS score is 43.














An overview of JumpStart Application Result

From HCPSS MPIA website, I obtained a copy of JumpStart Application Summary.  Looking at the application number, it seems the initiative is very successful and attracts enough students. Sure, there is still improvement to make: for example, Howard High still has 127% capacity.  The next important indicator will be how many students will take the program when it starts.

Here I am provide some basic overview:

jumpStart program summary 1.JPG

jumpStart program summary 2.JPG


jumpStart program summary 3.JPG

jumpStart program summary 4.JPG

jumpStart program summary 5.JPG

The full document can be downloaded at HCPSS website or here.Summary of Jump Start 011018.


Summary of 2018-1-18 CA Budget Public Forum

I am just capturing some key points from everybody who spoke that night.


  1. Town Center Village Association, Lynn Foehrkolb. They are requesting a playground in 2019-2020 year in the Symphony Woods. They want to work with Inner Arbor Trust to expedite the pathway there.
  2. Oakland Mill Village Association, Jonathon Edelson, They talked about contingency fund and assessment share causing issue to their village. They wanted a second-level restroom ,  replacement floor covering the Loft, dumbwaiter replacement, security system upgrade, replacement HAVC in the Loft, Assessible restroom in Talbott Springs neighborhood center, funding for a property standards evaluator and continuous ice rink improvement.
  3. King’s Contrivance, Briand Dunn, ( speak on be half of himself), support funding for Columbia Downtown Partnership and IAT.
  4. Howard County Economic Authority, Larry Twele, asking for continuous support on the Columbia Council of Arts and Columbia Downtown Partnership
  5. Howard County Pickleball Association , Joanne Grcisser . They have 150 members now, around 17 showed up in the meeting, 14 are CA members. They want share space with tennis court or concert some tennis court to pickleball court.
  6. Columbia Festival of Arts, Director, Dave  Phillips, Director, Susie, Board of Trustee,
  7. Howard County Citizen Association, JD Smith, Brian England (they were not representing HCCA board). They wanted CA to stop giving IAT more money until it proves it can raise substantial private funds., support Cy Paumier’s original plan (this is not HCCA board stand), enforce covenant at industrial and business area, connect business with safe side walk and pathway in Columbia.
  8. CA Aquatic Advisory Committee, Bill Santos, he stated 2013 study found no options for 50-meter indoor pool, supported a 25-yard indoor pool, either in Locust Park Pool or adjacent to the Dasher Green Pool. Feasibility study will cost 50,000.
  9. Columbia Downtown Partnership, Phillip Dodge, executive director. talked about thriving downtown and need support.
  10. CA Health and Fitness Advisory Committee, Jessica R., support Athletic Club renovation


11)  Karen Douglus, volunteer of Columbia Festival of Arts, found 200 volunteers for the event.

12 ) Jervis Dorton, against more money to IAT, like to serve in an advisory committee for IAT if such committee exists

13) Joel Hurewitz, a) the overpass bridget at Harper’s Choice should be repaired (cheaper) b) against money to IAT (IAT should be self financed now) and encouraged supporters donating the home at will c) Phase out money to Columbia Downtown Partnership, d) get more electric utility cars/trucks

14) Bill Woodstock ( left earlier)

15) Cy Paumier, promoting the original Symphony Woods Plan

16) Heidi Knott, Oakland Mill, supporting Oakland Mill board budget request. Older village need more repairs now.

17) Nina Basu, Inner Arbor Trust President and CEO, support investment/funding to IAT, festival of arts and downtown partnership, can build a playground if the money is there( cost  1 million dollars for 1 acer playground) , request funding for pathway and rain garden ( half a million dollar)

18) Deb Jung ( pronounced Young), talked about great downtown events, Athletic Club needs a social space, support IAT plan, and promoting leaf collecting service to CA resident.

2018 CA Budget Public Forum 3


Partisan Fight and Two Dynasty Collapses in China’s History

Seeing the US’s partisan fight unfolding in front of everybody, I feel I need write a piece of history from China’s Song Dynasty (BC 960-1279) and Ming Dynasty (BC 1368-1644). During both dynasties later stage, both experienced severe partisan flight which accelerated the demise of both governments. Mongolia invaded and killed Song Dynasty and Manchu invaded and killed Ming Dynasty.

The parties in the fights both declared they were fighting for the best of the country’s interest. In reality, they were some kind of coups fighting for the establishment’s interest only ( There were definitely some positive outcomes from the fight without doubt). When the outside forces invaded and they still could not unite such that both of them were destroyed at the demise of the dynasty.

Partisan flight in China’s Song Dynasty (Year 960-1279)


The high echelons of the political scene during the Song dynasty left a notorious legacy of partisanship and strife among factions of state ministers. The careers of low-grade and middle-grade officials were largely secure; in the high ranks of the central administration, “reverses of fortune were to be feared,” as Sinologist historian Jacques Gernet put it.[97] The Chancellor Fan Zhongyan (989–1052) introduced a series of reforms between 1043 and 1045 that received heated backlash from the conservative element at court. Fan set out to erase corruption from the recruitment system by providing higher salaries for minor officials, in order to persuade them not to become corrupt and take bribes.[129] He also established sponsorship programs that would ensure officials were drafted on their merits, administrative skills, and moral character more than their etiquette and cultured appearance.[129] However, the conservatives at court did not want their career paths and comfortable positions jeopardized by new standards, so they rallied to successfully halt the reforms.[129]

Inspired by Fan, the later Chancellor Wang Anshi (1021–1086) implemented a series of reforms in 1069 upon his ascendance to office. Wang promulgated a community-based law enforcement and civil order known as the Baojia system. Wang Anshi attempted to diminish the importance of landholding and private wealth in favor of mutual-responsibility social groups that shared similar values and could be easily controlled by the government.[130] Just as scholar-officials owed their social prestige to their government degrees, Wang wanted to structure all of society as a mass of dependents loyal to the central government.[130] He used various means, including the prohibition of landlords offering loans to tenants; this role was assumed by the government.[130] Wang established local militias that could aid the official standing army and lessen the constrained state budget expenses for the military.[131] He set up low-cost loans for the benefit of rural farmers, whom he viewed as the backbone of the Song economy.[131] Since the land tax exacted from rural farmers filled the state treasury’s coffers, Wang implemented a reform to update the land-survey system so that more accurate assessments could be gathered.[131] Wang removed the mandatory poetry requirement in the civil service exams, on the grounds that many otherwise skilled and knowledgeable Confucian students were being denied entry into the administration.[131] Wang also established government monopolies for tea, salt, and wine production.[131] All of these programs received heavy criticism from conservative ministerial peers, who believed his reforms damaged local family wealth which provided the basis for the production of examination candidates, managers, merchants, landlords, and other essential members of society.[130] Historian Paul J. Smith writes that Wang’s reforms—the New Policies—represented the professional bureaucratic elite’s final attempt to bring the thriving economy under state control to remedy the lack of state resources in combating powerful enemies to the north—the Liao and Western Xia.[132]

Winston W. Lo argues that Wang’s obstinate behavior and inability to consider revision or annulment of his reforms stemmed from his conviction that he was a latter-day sage.[133] Confucian scholars of the Song believed that the ‘way’ (dao) embodied in the Five Classics was known by the ancient sages and was transmitted from one sage to another in an almost telepathic manner, but after it reached Mencius (c. 372–c. 289 BC) there was no one worthy of accepting the transference of the dao.[134] Some believed that the long dormant dao could be revived if one were truly a sage; Lo writes of Song Neo-Confucianists, “it is this self-image which explained their militant stand in relation to conventional ethics and scholarship.”[134] Wang defined his life mission as restoring the unity of dao, as he believed it had not departed from the world but had become fragmented by schools of Confucian thought, each one propagating only half-truths.[135] Lo asserts that Wang, believing that he was in possession of the dao, followed Yi Zhi and the Duke of Zhou‘s classic examples in resisting the wishes of selfish or foolish men by ignoring criticism and public opinion.[135] If unflinching certitude in his sagehood and faultless reforms was not enough, Wang sought potential allies and formed a coalition that became known as the New Policies Group, which in turn emboldened his known political rivals to band together in opposition to him.[136] Yet factional power struggles were not steeped in ideological discourse alone; cliques had formed naturally with shifting alliances of professional elite lineages and efforts to obtain a greater share of available offices for one’s immediate and extended kinship over vying competitors.[137] People such as Su Shi also opposed Wang’s faction on practical grounds; for example, Su’s critical poem hinting that Wang’s salt monopoly hindered effective salt distribution.[131]

Wang resigned in 1076 and his leaderless faction faced uncertainty with the death of its patron emperor in 1085. The political faction led by the historian and official Sima Guang (1019–1086) then took control of the central government, allied with the dowager empress who acted as regent over the young Emperor Zhezong of Song (r. 1085–1100). Wang’s new policies were completely reversed, including popular reforms like the tax substitution for corvée labor service.[131] When Emperor Zhezong came of age and replaced his grandmother as the state power, he favored Wang’s policies and once again instituted the reforms in 1093.[138][139] The reform party was favored during the reign of Huizong (r. 1100–1125) while conservatives were persecuted—especially during the chancellery of Cai Jing (1047–1126).[139] As each political faction gained advantage over the other, ministers of the opposing side were labeled “obstructionist” and were sent out of the capital to govern remote frontier regions of the empire. This form of political exile was not only politically damaging, but could also be physically threatening. Those who fell from favor could be sent to govern areas of the deep south where the deadly disease malaria was prevalent.[131]

Partisan flight in China’s Ming Dynasty (Year 1368-1644)



The Donglin movement (Chinese: 東林黨; pinyin: Dōnglíndǎng; Wade–Giles: Tung-lin-tang) was an ideological and philosophical movement of the late Ming and early Qing dynasties of China.

The movement was established in 1604, during the Wanli era of Ming, when Gu Xiancheng (1550–1612), a Grand Secretary, and Gao Panlong (高攀龍, 1562–1626), a scholar, restored the Donglin Academy in Wuxi with the financial backing of local gentry and officials.[1]

The motivation for restoring the Academy was concern about the state of the bureaucracy and its inability to bring about improvement. The movement represented a resort to moral Confucian traditions as a means of arriving at fresh moral evaluations.[2] Thereafter the Academy became a centre of dissent for public affairs in the late Ming and early Qing periods. Many supporters of Donglin were found in the bureaucracy and it became deeply involved in factional politics. The movement got momentum when the Donglin Academy in Wuxi was joined by the academies of the nearby Wujin and Yixing.[3]

Many of the academy’s creators were among the mandarins who a few years previously had forced the Wanli Emperor to appoint his first-born son, Zhu Changluo (the future Taichang Emperor) as the heir to the throne, even though the emperor himself would rather have the throne go to Zhu Changxun (the emperor’s son from his favorite concubine, Lady Zheng).[4]

During the reign of the Tianqi Emperor, Donglin opposition to the eunuch Wei Zhongxian resulted in the closure of the Academy in 1622 and the torture and execution of its head, Yang Lian, and five other members in 1624.[5] The accession of the Chongzhen Emperor restored the fortunes of the Donglin faction.[6] Later during Chongzhen’s reign, Donglin partisans found themselves opposed to the Grand Secretary Wen Tiren, eventually arranging his dismissal in 1637.

The Donglin movement represented growth of the literati influence on the political life in late Imperial China. In this, it was inherited by the Suzhou-centered Fushe movement (復社) before the fall the Ming dynasty, and by the Changzhou School of Thought during the Qing. China’s defeat in the Opium War (1839–42) served for revival of interest to the Donglin movement, as a prominent instance of literati solidarity.[7]

My Thought on Proposed HCPSS FY 2019 Operating Budget

I am sharing some of my thoughts on the superintendent Dr. Martirano’s proposed 2019 HCPSS operating budget.

  1. It is great that he proposed something reasonable than previous superintendent did. A 3.9% increase of funding request will be more likely funded by the county government and others. In the previous year, a nearly 10% increase of funding request was proposed and they knew it would not be approved. Then some people played political games. I wish in the future, they always come out with a reasonable funding request. It will be even better that they consult with the county government on the possible funding.
  2. I am glad to see that a four-year plan to address the Health Fund structural imbalance and deficit is proposed, especially Dr. Martirano will be the superintendent for the next four years. The deficit balance has accumulated over several years and is projected to reach a balance of $50.5 million by year end FY 2018. So HCPSS spent around 150 million dollars on the employee’s health care yearly (?). While I sat on the BOE Operating Budget Review Committee in 2017, I immediately realized how serious the deficit problem would be. I believe the HCPSS health care plan should be restructured. Incentives should be given to those staff who may use some high detuctble insurance plan, etc.
  3. I am glad that teachers’ salary increase is on the table. We should always treat our teachers with respect and pay them well.

Several considerations from myself:

  1. The HCPSS transportation issue was not discussed. I wish they continue to optimize the bus service such that they increase the safety of bus service (hiring more staff from last year ORBC recommendation), increase the efficiency of the bus service ( route planning/optimizing using high technology). This is also related to the “start high school later” movement which I believe in. A reasonable school start time for all schools between 8:00-9:30 is more acceptable. The number one concern is that doing so will increase the transportation cost dramatically so I wish optimization and technology will find a way to implement this change.

What is your thought?

Our first campaign finance report is out

I am so grateful for the vast support from the community. Until 1/10/2018, I received 144 donations, total of $11,267. The maximum donation is $500 and the minimum is $10. The average donation is $78 and the median donation is $50.

Thank you so much for all of your support and trust in my campaign. I believe I will make a great BOE board member with my three main focuses:

  1. Building Trust with a Collaborative and Open Mindset
  2. Providing Equitable Learning Opportunities for All by Informing and Empowering Students, Parents and Families
  3. Motivating Students to Achieve Their Success

For details, please look at my platform www.chaowu.org/issues/

For donations, please visit www.chaowu.org/donate

New Issue with HCPSS New High School 13

Update on 3/9/2018: The high school #13 was chosen to be at the Mission Road during 3/8/2018 board meeting.

Last week, the HCPSS board of education has officially rejected two potential sites ( one is near Rockburn Park and the other is near Mission road (with an active quarry there) for consideration of high school 13.  With the current situation, the originally conceived to be opened in 2022 High School 13 seems far from settled.  It seems that it will take much longer to find a suitable site for this school. Unless we select the site, we will not be able to get the Maryland state funding for this construction.

Considering the huge impact generated by last year (2017) HCPSS school redistricting, the high school #13 is at least a consensus for many county residents and politicians. In reality, the site selection should start much earlier before this crisis.

This is actually not the only issue of high school 13. We are facing a problem of long term planning for high schools.  We need an immediate high school 13 to relieve the overcrowding issue in several high schools. We need high school 14 very soon to accommodate our annual student growth ( by 1000 a year at least).

If I am elected as board member this November of 2018, I will keep new school constructions on the board agenda all the time. We need at least focus on the following issues:

  1. Looking at different school models, for example, expanding existing old schools, building larger schools or smaller schools depending on the land purchase situation.
  2. Purchase/reserve future school site(land) now with consideration of population growth. If we only purchase land when needed, the land price will be much higher at the time. With a potential site determined earlier, it will also help guide future county development.

I am looking forward to hearing from you as well.