Achieve Success Together

2017 Fall AST Registration


Welcome to the online registration for the Achieve Success Together (AST) Fall 2017 classes! We offer public speaking, writing, and math classes to 2nd-5th graders. All classes are taught by high-achieving high school tutors that are chosen through a competitive selection process. Each class is only offered once a week for 10 weeks.

Classes will be held on the weeks of 10/02, 10/09, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/06, 11/13, 11/27, 12/04/, and 12/11. Make-up classes will be held on the week of 12/18 if necessary. Classes will take place at Centennial Elementary School.

Registration link:

The tuition is $80 for CAPA senior members, $100 for CAPA general members, and $120 for non-CAPA members. You can become a CAPA member here: Tuition will be collected either by cash or check in the first class by the tutor.

This form needs to be completed by Sunday, September 24, 2017.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact us at

Thank you for your interest in us and our program!

Best Regards,
Tess Yu

achieve success together 2017-2018


Compromised Data Integrity in Student Enrollment Projections for HCPSS School Redistricting from Polygon 147

The titled “Compromised Data Integrity in Student Enrollment Projections for HCPSS School Redistricting” was shared by Polygon 147.

Three highlights:

  1. In 2017 Feasibility Study and AAC process, OSP ( Office of School Planning) was using outdated 2014 and inaccurate new housing unit data at the polygon level, even they had access to the 2016 data.
  2. 45% of all the ES-level enrollment projections fluctuate by more than 10% just between the 2016 Feasibility Study and the 2017 Feasibility Study, while these projections should be very stable in consecutive years.
  3. Evidence therein shows that OSP used the wrong inputs data for 45% of all polygons when projecting student enrollment data, and the project errors can be larger than 50% for some polygons.

How can it be? Where is the accountability if these three claims are true?

polygon 147 presentation

The presentation is linked here: HCPSS Student Enrollment Projection Data Integrity Analysis – the Full Story – 09-15-2017

There is another link

Chrysalis International Movie Nights

The Inner Arbor Trust with the Chrysalis Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods to partner with Asian Pacific American Film – APA Film to co-host, and to partner with IONHoCo, KSM 메릴랜드한인회 – Korean Society of MD, and Howard County Chinese Cultural Center (H4C), our community hosting sponsors.

The films are as follows:

3 Idiots (Hindi) on 9/29 (gates 6:30, show 7:30),

Miss Granny (Korean) on 9/30 (gates 6:00, show 7:00),

When Ruoma Was Seventeen (Chinese) on 10/1 (gates 6:00, show 7:00).

Free and open to the public.

There are still Sponsorship and vending opportunities available!!

Please get FREE tickets to be assigned parking here –

CA board working meeting summary 2017-9-14

Resident speakout:

Several people talked about concerns related Lakefront Core Neighborhood Design. Joel Hurewitz proposed to put a library in front of the Lakefront. I really love this idea.

Budget inputs:

  1. Town Center Community Association proposed to build a playground in the Symphony Wood. CA has never provided any play areas for the Warfield neighborhood, which within a year will be adding an additional 650 units to the already existing 795 units at the Metropolitan. The Downtown Plan does not provide land for a playground except for the Promenade in front of the Metropolitan. The Town Center Community Association also requests that CA work with the Inner Arbor Trust to expedite the completion of a pathway to make Merriweather park at Symphony Woods accessible and user friendly asap. Further, tomorrow ( 9/16) 11:00-3:00PM, Wilde Lake Old-Fashioned Family Pinic welcomes you.
  2. Wilde Lake Community Association has a list of projects needing CA support.
  3. Oakland Mills Community Association also submitted their budget request. They wish the proposed neighborhood sign across CA will finish in 3 years, not in 10 years. I totally agree with them.
  4. Columbia Housing Center is requesting 200,000 for two years (total 400k. Their proposed annual budget is 600k) to promote integrated racial families move to Columbia. This is following 40 year Oak Park Regional Housing Center model outside of Chicago. They are actively looking for funding.

Board Discussion

The board discussed concerns with the Lakefront Core Neighborhood Design.





My County Council Testimony on Tightening APFO NOW

I testified in front of Howard County Council around 11:00 PM last night. It was a special night. It was 9/11. A terrorist group bombed the World Trade Center, Pennsylvania, and Pentagon in the US 16 years ago. I wore a yellow coat to support our tighten APFO cause. The coat was bought 16 years ago when I graduated from college. We were asking the legislators to tighten APFO (Adequate Public Facility Ordinance) .

Here are my talking points to ask our county council to tighten APFO NOW.

Three loopholes should be removed:

  1. high school should be included in the capacity limit test. I just could not image why high school was not included in the first place.
  2. waiting time should be removed. Right now when a development did not pass a capacity test, it will pass after waiting for four years automatically ( in reality, three years) without a second test.
  3. Includes the Medium and Low Income Housing (MLIH) in the development unit cap. For each new development, it is required there are 15% of MLIH. However, this 15% ( i.e.,around 300 units) are not counted in the annual 2000 unit cap.

Two Numbers should be looked at:

  1. The school capacity limit should be set at 100%, not 115% nor 120%
  2. The developer fee should be raised substantially. Look at my previous post (, for the same housing unit, the developers are paying less than 10% of development fee in Howard County than that of in Montgomery County. The housing price in Howard County is not cheaper than that in Montgomery County either.

I support development since only continuous economic, social and housing development and improvement will solve many problems we are facing today. However, the development should be planned with a long term vision. Unregulated development will lead to chaos such that nobody will be able clean the mess. Tightening APFO now will give our legislators a rare opportunity to clean the mess created more than 10 years ago.

What Columbia is all about (by Dick Boulton)

What Columbia is all about

by Dick Boulton, Columbia Association Board Member , from Village of Dorsey’s Search

When you are in Columbia, you know you are in Columbia.

There is a cohesiveness, a sense of place. Columbia does not look or feel like a typical suburb where multitudes of developers have strived to maximize ROI on their own little pieces of turf. It does not look like Route 40 where every property jarringly competes for individual attention. Instead, synergy prevails.

Stuff fits together in Columbia. There is a calmness, dignity and continuity to the overall design. Things appear in the places they ought. Residential areas, village centers and the urban core are segmented to complement but not intrude upon one another. Commercial areas are visible but compact and unobtrusive. Major throughways wind through the terrain with attractive landscaping and limited access. Driveways are restricted to secondary roads. Unsightly distractions are set back and screened from view. Utilities are buried underground. There are no billboards. Signage is discrete.

In Columbia, the natural landscape is treated with respect. Open space has been set aside. Wetlands are preserved. There are beautiful lakes and many miles of walking trails and bikeways. There are also playgrounds, swimming pools, tennis courts, playing fields, fitness facilities and other recreational amenities – all designed and situated to meet the lifestyle needs of Columbia residents.

While outparcels occasionally intrude, they are fortunately scattered and only serve to contrast with and prove the appropriateness of the Rouse master plan.

The beauty of the Rouse plan is that it was built around people. Ours was to be a community where people could live, grow and prosper. Commerce was secondary to the concept. Businesses were for providing services and employment opportunities to residents, but residents were the primary concern. Rouse even put making a profit fourth on his list of four key objectives. The Rouse organization has since been divided between outside enterprises that feel varying degrees of stewardship over the original vision. It is for this reason that the County and the Columbia Association must step up and step in to assume responsibility. Rigorous oversight is essential; wise development must be the norm.

Columbia has grown dramatically over the past 50 years, but growth has been largely well-managed. With most of the residential areas built out, focus is now on development of the urban core. This seems to be working out well enough, but care needs to be taken to see that further construction remains within the context of the Columbia vision. This should apply as well to the Gateway area, which is also being eyed for development. Too much of the easternmost section of Columbia demonstrates the effect of lax enforcement of codes and covenants. Snowden River Parkway is a case in point.

Central to Columbia’s urban core is the Symphony Woods/Merriweather Pavilion acreage. The present scheme needs to be reviewed for feasibility and affordability. Rouse had intended this land to become Columbia’s Central Park, and It is critical to the function and vibrancy of our urban core that this expectation be met. We also need to improve public transportation to reduce local traffic congestion and provide high-speed connections to Baltimore and Washington.

Columbia began as a utopian dream, but with inspired leadership, it has been surprisingly successful and is today a model for building other communities that focus on inhabitant wellbeing. Columbia has prospered for over fifty years. It is now our responsibility to make sure it continues to for the next 50.

By Chao Wu: Considering the heated debate (on Industrial Mulching and APFO, school redistricting) on Howard County Council on 9/9/2017, the issue is really that we need a planned development and a long term strategy for our county. Then what is the status of implementing the Plan Howard 2030? We need hold politicians accountable.