Wisdom of The Day (1)

There are many Chinese/Asian wisdoms I would like to share. For now on, I would like to share some wisdoms frequently. These wisdoms usually came with a true story dated many years ago and influenced my thinking when I grew up. I really love to draw a picture for each one and make a comic book based on this. If somebody would like to help, that will be great. We can make a great Children book.

The first wisdom comes from my colleague who began to learn Chinese in college and had a roommate from China in the graduate school. He thinks this is a fun wisdom when I asked him what is his favorite. I actually was surprised by his choice. This types of wisdom is called 成语, Cheng Yu, idiom or proverb.


  1. In English: sandpiper and clam fight each other; neighbors who can’t agree lose out to a third party
  2. In Chinese: 鹬蚌相争,渔翁得利

There is a great website explaining the story and the origin of the quote very well: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/鷸蚌相爭,漁人得利

When Zhao was about to attack Yan, Su Dai spoke to King Hui of Zhao on behalf of the king of Yan. He said, “On my way here today, as I crossed the Yi River, I spotted an oyster that had opened its shell to sun itself. Just then, a snipe began to peck at the flesh inside its shell. The oyster closed its shell on the beak of the snipe so that it could not get away.

The snipe said, “It is not raining today, nor will it rain tomorrow. You shall die, Oyster.”

To which the oyster replied, “You shall not escape my grip today, nor shall you escape it tomorrow. It is you who will die (of hunger), Snipe.” Neither side would yield, at which point, a fisherman came by and snatched them both into his net.

Today, Zhao is on the verge of attacking Yan. Yan and Zhao have been at odds for a long time, and have caused their people to suffer. I am afraid that the fisherman in this case will be the mighty Qin. For this reason, I hope that your highness will give the matter your mature consideration. King Hui said, “ok fine” and called off the attack. (Wiktionary translation)

There is a youtube video:


It is a kind of mutual destruction by not thinking in other people’s shoes.

Religion Debate

There are debates among different religions which still prevail in today’s word. There is a great website talking about the debate between Daoism and Confucianism. Very interesting discussion.

Extracted from https://www.iep.utm.edu/daoism/

8. Daoism and Confucianism

Arguably, Daoism shared some emphases with classical Confucianism such as a this-worldly concern for the concrete details of life rather than speculation about abstractions and ideals. Nevertheless, it largely represented an alternative and critical tradition divergent from that of Confucius and his followers. While many of these criticisms are subtle, some seem very clear.

One of the most fundamental teachings of the DDJ is that human discriminations, such as those made in law, morality (good, bad) and aesthetics (beauty, ugly) actually create the troubles and problems  humans experience, they do not solve them (ch. 3a). The clear implication is that the person following the dao must cease ordering his life according to human-made distinctions (ch. 19). Indeed, it is only when the dao recedes in its influence that these demarcations emerge (chs. 18; 38), because they are a form of disease (ch. 74). In contrast, Daoists believe that the dao is untangling the knots of life, blunting the sharp edges of relationships and problems, and turning down the light on painful occurrences (ch. 4). So, it is best to practice wu-wei in all endeavors, to act naturally and not willfully try to oppose or tamper with how reality is moving or try to control it by human discriminations..

Confucius and his followers wanted to change the world and be proactive in setting things straight. They wanted to tamper, orchestrate, plan, educate, develop, and propose solutions. Daoists, on the other hand, take their hands off of life when Confucians want their fingerprints on everything. Imagine this comparison. If the Daoist goal is to become like a piece of unhewn and natural wood, the goal of the Confucians is to become a carved sculpture. The Daoists put the piece before us just as it is found in its naturalness, and the Confucians polish it, shape it, and decorate it. This line of criticism is made very explicitly in the essay which makes up Zhuangzi Chs. 8-10.

Confucians think they can engineer reality, understand it, name it, control it. But the Daoists think that such endeavors are the source of our frustration and fragmentation (DDJ, chs. 57, 72). They believe the Confucians create a gulf between humans and nature that weakens and destroys us. Indeed, as far as the Daoists are concerned, the Confucian project is like a cancer that saps our very life. This is a fundamental difference in how these two great philosophical traditions think persons should approach life, and as shown above it is a consistent difference found also between the Zhuangzi and Confucianism.

Superintendent Presents Proposed 2019–2020 total $998.4 millions Operating Budget

December 19, 2018

Superintendent Presents Proposed 2019–2020 Operating Budget
Proposal adds 545 staff to serve enrollment growth and student needs including special education and mental health

Ellicott City, Maryland — Superintendent Michael J. Martirano presented his proposed budget for the Howard County Public School System fiscal year 2019–2020 (FY 2020) during a presentation to the Board of Education on Tuesday, December 18.

"Over the last 19 months, we have moved the system from a state of chaos, through a process of re-stabilization, to the point where we can now articulate our true needs," said Martirano. "This proposal serves as a roadmap that links the objectives and strategies laid out in our Strategic Call to Action to the investments and actions that will bring our strategic vision to life in our schools and for students."

The budget proposal–Martirano’s first since becoming permanent Superintendent–totals $998.4 million and represents an increase of $136.1 million, or 15.8 percent, over the FY 2019 budget. Of the total, $722.9 million is requested from the County, an increase of $122.9 million that includes $10.8 million for Maintenance of Effort, $95.3 million to invest in educators and students, $7.9 million for programs that support the community, and a one-time request of $27.0 million to eliminate the Health Fund deficit.

"This budget represents a significant financial commitment, but the stark reality is a growing gap between Maintenance of Effort funding, and a level of funding that is realistic to provide the instructional quality and supports that our children need and our community expects," Martirano stated.

He noted progress in addressing a structural deficit in the employee Health Fund, which accumulated over several years and had been projected to reach $50.5 million during the 2017-2018 school year. The school system fully funded the Health Fund for the current fiscal year for the first time in several years, and through ongoing measures to contain expenses and improve efficiencies, has reduced the outstanding deficit by $13 million to a $37 million balance. Recently, additional savings were identified that will allow a further reduction to $27 million in FY 2020.

The budget provides for new positions and educational supplies to support the expected enrollment growth of approximately 850 students. Howard County is among Maryland’s fastest-growing counties, and HCPSS expects that significant annual enrollment growth will continue for the next several years.

The proposal also targets investments to fulfill the goals and objectives of the school system’s Strategic Call to Action: Learning and Leading with Equity, with funding for additional staffing and services to meet the needs of some of the system’s most vulnerable students. New positions allocated for special education will provide for enrollment growth and increased numbers of students identified as needing special education services or those who are served in home or community settings. Additional positions are allocated to align special education staffing levels to current formulas and provide for more intensive student needs. "HCPSS is committed to providing the best possible education to students receiving special education services, and this budget reflects our full commitment," Martirano noted.

Funding is also allocated to improve services and supports for students challenged by mental health and social-behavioral issues and those affected by poverty, language barriers and other factors that can interfere with learning and well-being. "We must break down the barriers that stand in the way of achievement," said Martirano. "By targeting our efforts on meeting the needs of the underserved, we will find that achievement levels will take care of themselves."

Other priorities identified in the proposal relate to the system’s focus on building a culture that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion, with new positions to support the use of restorative practices and to address discipline disproportionality.

The budget also provides funding to expand innovative career preparation pathways such as dual enrollment, career academy, and pre-apprenticeships programs; upgrading technologies in classrooms, schools and offices; replacing or upgrading essential building services and grounds equipment, and restoring funds for long-deferred maintenance projects. "We cannot afford to postpone these investments further without seriously compromising student and staff well-being and the quality of our learning environments," Martirano stated.

The complete budget proposal, Martirano’s budget presentation and additional information are available online at www.hcpss.org/budgets.

The Board will hold public hearings on the proposed budget at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15 and Tuesday, January 29. Work sessions will be held on January 17, 22, 29 and 31, all scheduled to begin 1 p.m.

The Board is scheduled to adopt its budget request on Tuesday, February 12 at 3 p.m., and to approve the final FY 2020 Operating and Capital Budgets and FY 2021–2025 Capital Improvement Program on Thursday, May 30 at 9 a.m. All hearings, work sessions and meetings will be held at the Department of Education, 10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City.

My BOE cluster and committee assignment for 2019

I will sit in the BOE Audit Committee, Community Advisory Committee, Maryland Association of Board of Education Nomination Committee.

My cluster is Mount Hebron and River Hill. I am getting their PTA contact and plan to attend at least one meeting in each school in the following year.

F – Mount Hebron/River Hill (Chao Wu)

  • Mount Hebron HS
    • Dunloggin MS
    • Patapsco MS
      • Hollifield Station ES
      • Northfield ES
      • Saint John’s Lane ES
  • River Hill HS
    • Clarksville MS
    • Folly Quarter MS
      • Clarksville ES
      • Dayton Oaks ES
      • Triadelphia Ridge ES

Presentation of the Superintendent’s Proposed FY 2020 Operating Budget, December 18, 2018

December 11, 2018

Presentation of the Superintendent’s Proposed FY 2020 Operating Budget, December 18, 2018

Ellicott City, Maryland — Superintendent Michael J. Martirano will present his proposed operating budget for the 2019-2020 school year, during the evening session of the Howard County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, December 18, 2018.

WHO: Superintendent Michael J. Martirano

WHAT: Presentation of the Superintendent’s FY 2020 Operating Budget Proposal

WHEN: Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Board Room, Department of Education, 10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City MD 21042

Board meetings may be viewed live or on-demand online, and during and after each meeting on Comcast channel 95 or Verizon channel 42.

Swear-in speech on 2018-12-3

Chao Wu Swear-in Speech


It is my great honor and pleasure to be a new board member of Howard County Board of Education.

I first would like to thank my family here, my wife, my daughter and my son. Without their support, I would not be able to volunteer at all in the community many years ago. When I first served on the River Hill Village Board, my daughter was 2 years old and my son was not born yet. It is my wife who really managed everything well and smoothly. I own every thanks to her.

I am speaking in Chinese for a few seconds. 我非常感谢我的家庭,我的太太,女儿和儿子。我开始在社区做志愿者活动的时候,我女儿才两岁左右,我儿子还没有出生。是我老婆在家里忙上忙下,使得今天的一切才成为可能。我感谢她为这个家庭所作出的牺牲和努力。十八年前,我和她在中国合肥相识,现在我们两个人远离故土,这个美丽的哈维郡安家乐业,希望我们彼此支持,携手向前。

I would like to thank my campaign team and my volunteer team. It is their strongest support which made today possible.  They believed in me and usually dragged in their whole family (their children and their parents) to support my campaign, whether in the sunshine or in the pouring rain. They helped dropping the literature and greeting voters. They helped organizing greet and meet. They helped funding my event, donating money to my campaign. They sent me many great advices. They put a yard sign in front of their house. Or they simply showed up in my event. Majority of them had never done this before. It was their first time really devoted to a campaign activity because we all believe great education is the bridge to success for our younger generation.

Eventually every little support helped. We won number 4 out of 13 candidates in the primary election in June. We won the second place out of 8 eight candidates in the general election in November.  I am so proud of you and you should also be very proud of yourself. We should be proud of ourselves. We set a goal, worked really hard and made it.  It is a victory for all of us.

Finally I would like to thank our voters who casted their votes for me. No endorsement is better than our voters’ trust. As an independent candidate and non-partisan election, I received 54,254 votes from our voters in our county. You believed in my vision for the school system. and you listened to my personal stories.  Thank you for your trust.

In the following four years, I am looking forward to working with all other board members, teachers, school staff, our students, parents and other stakeholders. We would try our best to provide quality education for all our students.  Keep an open mind, improve the decision and communication process and seek a command ground for common sense solutions for our school system.

Thank you very much.




School overcrowding, APFO and development impact fee

“How successful are Maryland Counties in preventing school overcrowding” is a report  created by Richard D. Klein of COMMUNITY & ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE SERVICES. I communicated with Richard on some other issues while I served on the CA board. He is really a great resource.

Here is the 42 pages report School Overcrowding Problem in Maryland Counties

Right now, Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary proposed a bill to increase the development impact fee (Ho. Co. 3–19). I totally support it and I hope you are supporting it and testifying  ( or writing mails, making phone calls) to support it. When I testified two weeks ago in County Council main meeting room, I said this bill was long overdue and it should be proposed by our delegates at least 10 years ago.  However, developer’s money is a nice cake for political campaign and this fee was arbitrarily set at $1 per square foot and was never revised at all for so many years.

I applauded Delegate Atterbeary’s bold move. I support the $8 per square foot based on many readings. Let’s do it.


2018 HCPSS ESSA report card

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with an embargoed summary of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) report card data.

HCPSS schools received a state star rating ranging from three to five stars with 29 schools at five stars, 38 schools at four stars, and 6 schools at three stars. Detailed breakdowns of the points earned by each school will be available after the state release on mdreportcard.org.

Attached are tables, organized by school level, that summarize the overall rating of each school. Small changes in percentile ranks, star ratings or percentages of points earned, could occur as MSDE finalizes the data. The link is http://reportcard.msde.maryland.gov/

elementary school ESSA report card p1.PNG

elementary school ESSA report card p2

middle school ESSA report card

high school ESSA report card

2018 QuHacks- Hackathon for High/Middle School Students

QuHacks 2018 – hackathon for high school and middle school students

(This message is copied from Howard County Chinese School mailing list)

Time: Saturday, December 8th, 2018 
          9:00am – 6:00pm
Location: Towson University, YR Building
                7800 York Road, Towson, MD

QuHacks is a coding competition run by some Howard County high school students.

Are you a high school or middle school student interested in programming? Do you want to learn something new? Come and compete at QuHacks 2018. No experience necessary!  You can compete in either the Novice or the Advanced divisions, or just attend the Java, Python, and Web Development workshops. Sign up at QuHacks ’18 Sign Ups

Prizes, swag, and raffle items will be available for both divisions. Please feel free to listen in to facebook (@QuHacks), Instagram (@quhacks), or website (http://quhacks.tech/) for any updates!

Science In Society Conference at River Hill High School on 2018-12-3

Conference Registration

The Science In Society conference will take place on December 3rd, 2018 from 6 – 9 PM at River Hill High School (12101 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville MD 21029). It aims to expose high school students to the applications of a STEM-based education as well as the various internship opportunities offered by well-known organizations (NIH, NSA, JHU, UMD). The format includes a keynote presentation, 2 workshop sessions, and a booths fair. You can register for the conference through this form, but note that it will close on November 29th and will be limited to the first 300 entries. Workshop selections are first come first serve.


high school overcrowd relieving options for Centennial, Howard and Marriotts Ridge High Schools

MRHS will host Project Lead The Way Biomedical, Computer Science, and Aerospace Engineering programs focused on pathways in health professions, computer science and engineering.

Rising 9th-12th graders from Centennial, Howard and Marriotts Ridge will complete the online interest form.

*Existing PLTW programs at Howard and Centennial will remain intact. The proposed program, pending board approval, will add additional PLTW opportunities for students who opt to attend Marriotts Ridge.


Resignation from CA board

I am resigning from the Columbia Association board and the River Hill Community Association board, effective on December 1st, 2018.
It has been my honor and pleasure to serve on the CA board since 2015. I benefit tremendously from this journey and truly appreciate our CA staff, other board members and community members’ help during the time.
I will write less about the development, River Hill and Columbia, more about education related issues in Howard County. In the past, I wrote each month and the articles are listed here: https://chaowu.org/articles_in_english/
I am now starting a new journey in our school system as a newly elected board member in our Howard County Board of Education.
Together, we can continuously provide quality education to our students.

Public Notice For Hearing on HoCo Bills in 2019 Legislative session

Public Notice For Hearing on Local Bills (UPDATE 11/20/18)

If you are interested in the update, please email   hoc1@mlis.state.md.us and ask them to include your email.

There are two bills related to education, both are proposed by Delegate Atterbeary. 

Ho. Co. 1–19 proposes 2020 (2024, 2028, etc) BOE board members are elected by council district (2020 BOE candidates can run a smaller scale campaign) .

Ho. Co. 3–19 proposes to raise development impact fee which closely relates to the school capacity( should help to mitigate the school overcrowding problem).

Ho.Co. 8-19: Howard County – Board of Education Redistricting – Requirements, Ho.Co. 08-19 ,By: Chair, Howard County Delegation. Legislation still in Bill Drafting (not sure what will be inside).

The Howard County Delegation of the Maryland General Assembly, chaired by Senator Guy Guzzone and Delegate Terri Hill, will hear testimony from the public on drafted local bills. No testimony on other issues will be permitted as a second hearing devoted to statewide bills will be scheduled.

Any individual may testify for up to 3 minutes, as long as they are signed up.  Signup will begin at 7:00pm in the Banneker Room and will close at 7:20pm.  Advance sign up is not available.  The delegation encourages you to bring written copies of your testimony (preferably 15) to distribute to us, though it is not a requirement to speak.  The hearing is scheduled as follows:

Monday, November 26th, 2018 – 7:30 p.m.

Banneker Room, George Howard Building

3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, MD

The 2018 legislative session will begin on January 9, 2019

Full text of the proposed Howard County bills can be accessed, as they become available from Bill Drafting, beginning Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 6:00pm on the Howard County website (Home>About Howard County>State Delegation>Proposed Local Legislation): https://www.howardcountymd.gov/About-HoCo/State-Delegation/Proposed-Local-Legislation. Please monitor this page regularly for the most recent updates. This list of proposed legislation and the order of presentation at the public hearing is subject to change as determined by the Delegation Chairs. Short descriptions of the local bills are included below.

Bond Initiative Requests

Butterfly Building for Visual Arts Gallery and Guest Services – Design and Build, Ho.Co. 05-19, $2,000,000

By: Delegate Hill

Historic Barnard Fort House Restoration, Ho. Co. 09-19, $150,000

By: Chair, Howard County Delegation

Historic Thomas Isaac Log Cabin Relocation and Rehabilitation, Ho. Co. 10-19, $100,000

By: Chair, Howard County Delegation

Harriet Tubman Community Center and Museum – Development and Improvement, Ho. Co. 16–18, $500,000

By: Delegate Atterbeary


Proposed Local Bills


Howard County Board of Education – Elected School Board, Ho. Co. 1–19

By: Delegate Atterbeary

FOR the purpose of requiring that certain members of the Howard County Board of Education be elected by the voters of certain districts and certain members be elected at large by the voters of the county; providing for the application of this Act; and generally relating to the election of the members of the Howard County Board of Education.

Howard County – Orphans’ Court Judges – Qualifications, Ho. Co. 2–19

By: Delegate Atterbeary

FOR the purpose of proposing an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to prescribe different qualifications for judges of the Orphans’ Court for Howard County; requiring judges of the Orphans’ Court for Howard County to have been admitted to practice law in the State and be members in good standing of the Maryland Bar; and submitting this amendment to the qualified voters of the State for their adoption or rejection.

Howard County – Authority to Impose Fees for Use of Disposable Bags, Ho. Co. 4–19

By: Delegate Hill

FOR the purpose of authorizing Howard County to impose, by law, a fee on certain retail establishments for the use of disposable bags as part of a retail sale of products; limiting the amount of a certain fee; defining certain terms; and generally relating to the authority for Howard County to impose a fee for the use of disposable bags.


Howard County – Alcoholic Beverages – Marketplace License, Ho.Co. 06-19

By: Delegate Hill

FOR the purpose of establishing a marketplace license in Howard County; authorizing the Board of License Commissioners to issue the license to certain individuals; specifying the scope, hours of sale, and fees for the license; authorizing the license holder to sell beer, wine, and liquor within the marketplace under certain conditions; authorizing a license holder to obtain a refillable container permit and a nonrefillable container permit under certain conditions; specifying certain standards to be met by the marketplace; defining a certain term; and generally relating to alcoholic beverages in Howard County.

Howard County – Flood Control Standards – Tiber – Hudson Branch, New Cut Branch, and Plum Tree Branch, Ho.Co. 11-19

By: Delegate Flanagan

 FOR the purpose of requiring the Department of the Environment to adopt regulations that establish certain flood control standards to be adopted by the Howard County Council for a development or redevelopment project located in certain watersheds in Howard County; requiring the Department to adopt regulations that specify that certain stormwater management plans for a development or redevelopment project located in certain watersheds in Howard County be designed to implement certain flood control standards; and generally relating to flood control standards.

Property Tax Credit – Elderly Individuals – Eligibility, Ho. Co. 16–19


FOR the purpose of altering the definition of “eligible individual” by requiring that an elderly individual must live in the same county, rather than the same dwelling, for a certain number of years to be eligible for a certain statewide optional property tax credit against the county or municipal corporation property tax; providing for the application of this Act; and generally relating to the eligibility of certain elderly individuals for a certain property tax credit.

Howard County – Ethics – Limit on Developer Contributions, Ho. Co. 12-19

By: Delegate Miller (ADDED TO THE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA 11/19/18)

 Legislation still in Bill Drafting.

Impact Fees – Calculation, Ho. Co. 3–19

By: Delegate Atterbeary

 FOR the purpose of altering the amount of the school facilities surcharge in Howard County; authorizing the County Council of Howard County to enact a local law providing for the annual alteration of the amount of the school facilities surcharge based on a certain calculation requiring the school facilities surcharge to be used only for the benefit of schools within whose attendance area certain residential construction is located; requiring the County Executive of Howard County to submit a certain report to certain persons at a certain time; defining a certain term; and generally relating to the school facilities surcharge in Howard County.


Howard County – Board of Education Redistricting – Requirements, Ho.Co. 08-19

By: Chair, Howard County Delegation

Legislation still in Bill Drafting.

For further information, please feel free to contact me.


Erinn Camp Mansour

Howard County Delegation Administrator

Maryland General Assembly

The Maryland House of Delegates

6 Bladen Street, Room 214B

Annapolis, MD 21401

phone: 410 -841-3360, 301-858-3360

CA board meeting summaries 2018-11-8

This is an unofficial summary. 

Board Work Session

Resident speakout:

  1. Chris Alleva, missed his talk. In his written testimony, talked about CB73, which was withdrawn and could possibly come back in front of the planning board in next January (Royal Farms SDP 17-041)
  2. Brian England, missed his speech.
  3. Amy Gallagher, talked about mold issues related to the facility they rented and impacted their operation, created extra financial burden and operation hardship.
  4. Alan Klein, representing his village, talking about the mold issue and thanked CA staff.


Howard County Phase 2 Land Development Regulations Assessment:
  1. There are 36 different zoning codes. That is one of the reasons the County Government wants to rewrite the zoning law and recude the zoning category.
  2. Out-parcels with Columbia Planning area: there are 7% ( 365 acres) for undeveloped residential parcel for future residential development.
Discussion of the Most Recent Development Tracker
Capital Projects and Open Space Updates
Four Easement Requests from Howard Count

Board Meeting

The board approved the pathway system in the Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods with condition from board final approval.

Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods


Thank you for the general election win

I am so excited that Team Wu won the second place in the 2018 HoCo BOE election with more than 51000 votes.

Thanks to the voters who trusted me and my volunteers who worked in the rain, in the cold, in the heat and dropped the literature in the neighborhood. It is a collaborative effort to get to this place.

I appreciate other candidates’ effort. Each candidate provides a unique perspective to our school system. I always say “Once a volunteer, always a volunteer”. I am looking forward to working with all of them in the future.

I am looking forward to working with all board members to serve HCPSS. I will not forget “A vote for Wu is a vote for you”.

2018 HoCo general election amendment guide

Amendment 1: (YES)

Let’s fix the loophole and keep the promise (using gambling money to fund education). Even I don’t agree with funding the education by gambling money or marijuana tax.

Amendment 2: (NO)

Same day registration will create much longer waiting line and cost more money. It is unnecessary.

Two thoughts on this:

  1. I feel we need have a study whether eight days early voting is increasing the voter participation or not. We should shorten it to be four days. By the way, I totally support more voter participation/awareness, the better community.
  2. We need make Election Day a federal holiday. If everyone agrees election is so important, and every vote is so important, let’s celebrate election with a day off and offer people more convenience to vote.

Amendment 3: ( YES)

Howard County Council will have more time for a bill. I agree with it. It does not hurt giving them extra days. Last time, they passed a bill which expired and I hope that will not happen again.