A Statement Regarding Candidates’ Night.

A Statement Regarding Candidates’ Night.

On behalf of the Long Reach Community Association and the Election Committee, we want to both express our deepest regret and explain what occurred on the virtual candidate’s forum last night.  The candidate’s forum was infiltrated approximately 35 minutes into the event.  The forum was then closed and restarted at 8:10 in a webinar format.

What happened:

  • LRCA hosted a public candidates forum starting at 7 p.m. with approximately 30 attendees
  • LRCA posted Zoom sign-in information on our website, which was shared widely for candidates night.  The event was planned as a Zoom meeting (with a passcode) rather than a webinar or other limited broadcast experience to try to give residents the greatest opportunity to meaningfully participate.  As a public, open meeting, LRCA allows users to join by telephone and without being logged in to Zoom.
  • 35 minutes into the meeting during the Question-and-Answer portion of the meeting, several anonymous users joined and began to disrupt the meeting by:
    • Screaming
    • Instructing LRCA to end the meeting
    • Making derogatory and hateful comments
    • Recorded and/or live lewd video
  • LRCA staff attempted to mute and remove the infiltrators, however, it became clear that multiple users were engaged in a coordinated attack.
  • LRCA elected to end the Zoom meeting.
  • LRCA quickly set up a webinar-format Zoom event requiring registration and that attendees were logged into Zoom, and attempted to distribute that information for a relaunch of candidate’s night at 8:10 p.m.
  • In webinar format, only the candidates, LRCA staff, and election committee chair were visible and the candidates night was completed with a much smaller audience (13 attendees).  We sincerely regret that the original event was disrupted and all residents were not able to continue.
  • Candidates night continued and candidates were able to provide their closing statements.  Candidates were asked if they wished to record the closing statements, and respectfully declined.

Next steps:

  • LRCA is working to report the incident to both Howard County Police and the FBI and will update the community with more information when it becomes available.
  • LRCA will discuss additional security measures to avoid such an incident, while trying to make our Zoom meetings as accessible as possible to our residents.  We will also discuss other platform choices, and how to best create an open meeting that is accessible while reducing the chance of a similar attack in the future.

Our reaction

We are upset that this incident happened, and deeply regret the trauma that has been felt by our residents, the candidates, Long Reach staff, and our board members.  The actions of these anonymous users were heinous.  For some, the experience was of witnessing a silly, childish prank, to be easily brushed off and forgotten.  For others, the experience was far more hurtful and traumatic – particular due to the nature of the attack.  We recognize that not everyone experiences the same events in the same way, and we offer our sympathy, support, and regret for the experience.  

We want to thank the village board members and members of the election committee for their quick pivot, the LRCA staff for their level headedness and valiantly reaching out to as many attendees as they could, and the candidates for their grace under pressure and their willingness to continue with the forum under the conditions.  Thank you especially to the residents who attended and then logged back into a webinar as the event was restarted.  

Thank you for the support and grace that you have shown Long Reach, and for your understanding.  Please feel free to contact info@longreach.org with any feedback or comments.

David Wissing, Chair, Long Reach Election Committee 

Native Tree & Plant Giveaways!

Native Tree & Plant Giveaways!

As a part of Long Reach Village’s 50th anniversary and election day celebration we will be distributing 50 native plants and 50 native trees!
Mark your calendars – registration is now open at LRCA.eventbrite.com.
Pick-up will be at 6110 Foreland Garth between 9:30am and noon on April 24, 2021.
Residents will have the choice of one of the following:

  • Quart-size golden ragwort (Packera aurea)
  • 5-gallon Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
  • 5-gallon Dogwood (Cornus Florida)

Advance registration is required. Supply is limited. Limit one plant per household. This giveaway is open to residents of Long Reach Village only.
Questions? Email events@longreach.org

Bluebird Monitors Needed

Bluebird Monitors Needed

The Long Reach Watershed Advisory Committee is looking for volunteers to help monitor 6 bluebird nest boxes this spring and summer.

Monitoring training will be provided- no experience needed! Nest boxes will be checked at least once a week during nesting season per north American bluebird society guidelines. Nest boxes will be located on CA property in Phelps Luck, Jeffers Hill and Kendall Ridge. Any interested monitor under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult for each nest box visit. We are planning on asking volunteers to commit to 4 week blocks of monitoring for each box.

Please email LR WAC (Wac@longreach.org) if you are interested!

Weed Warriors Invasive Plant Clean-ups

Weed Warriors Invasive Plant Clean-ups

Meet up with us to pull invasive plants and weeds from an area in our village.

We plan to have recurring Weed Warrior events approximately every 2 weeks in various locations.

Know before you go:

  • Wear long pants and long sleeves. Bug repellent recommended.
  • Bring your favorite gardening gloves and pruners or loppers.
  • Masks will be required during interactions. We hope to be able to work while spreading out.
  • Please sign in with a Weed Warrior Leader in a yellow vest when you arrive.

Registration is recommended so that we can share any last minute updates due to weather or other circumstances.

For dates, locations, and to register visit LRCA.eventbrite.com

Organized by the Long Reach Watershed Advisory Committee and the Long Reach Community Association.