Early Voting Runs Through Thursday
For the first time in a general election, eligible Maryland residents can register to vote and registered voters can make address changes during early voting. If all of the requirements are met, the voter can complete or update the registration, mark and tabulate his or her ballot at the early voting center.
To register and vote during early voting, an individual must be eligible to vote in Maryland, go to an early voting center in the county where he or she lives, and bring a document proving residency. The documents that prove residency are a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) issued driver’s license, ID card, or change of address card, or a paycheck, bank statement, utility bill, or other government document with individual’s name and current address.
If a voter is registered but has moved, election officials can process this change at an early voting center. This voter must go to an early voting center in the county where he or she lives and bring a document proving residency, as listed above.
There are 69 early voting centers in Maryland, and each center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., through Thursday, Nov. 3 (including Saturday and Sunday). A list of the early voting centers is available at www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/early_voting.html; for more information, voters may contact the State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-VOTE (8683) or visit www.elections.maryland.gov.
M&T Bank Increases Small Business Lending, Becomes No. 1 Lender in SBA District
M&T Bank ended the 2016 federal fiscal year ranked as the sixth largest U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the nation, rising from seventh in 2015, based on the total number of 7(a) loans made. Total dollars loaned to the bank’s small business customers through the 7(a) program increased by more than 20% during the fiscal year.
With 1,739 7(a) loans totaling $200.4 million, M&T is the No. 1 lender in the Baltimore market, with 302 loans for $39.5 million, and has issued almost 48% of the 634 total number of 7(a) loans made throughout the district. The bank holds the same distinction in the Washington, D.C., SBA District, where it is the leading issuer of SBA loans in terms of both loans made and dollar volume, with 172 loans for $30.2 million in 2016. M&T made one out of every four SBA loans issued in the Washington, D.C., district.
M&T was also first in the Buffalo, Philadelphia and Delaware SBA districts, and was among the top 10 lenders in both units and dollar volume in Newark, N.J., New York City, Syracuse, N.Y., Pittsburgh, Pa., Connecticut and Richmond, Va., districts.
“We believe deeply in the role that small businesses play in driving job growth and economic activity in our communities, but new businesses can’t form or grow without access to capital. So we work closely with our partners at the SBA to help our customers access these loan programs,” said Neil Hosty, senior vice president for retail and business banking at M&T Bank.
MCE Resident VitusVet Reaches 25 Million Pet Medical Records Shared
Columbia-based VitusVet, a veterinary technology company founded in 2013 by emergency veterinarian Dr. Mark Olcott and business school classmate Kalpesh Raval, has announced that more than 25 million pet medical records are currently being shared with pet owners through VitusVet’s cloud-based system.
The company, a resident at the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE), has developed an app that pet owners can use to download medical information through participating veterinary offices. This allows owners access to necessary and sometimes critical medical information in the event of a medical emergency.
“[Twenty-five million records shared] means so much more to us than an endorsement of our platform’s value. It proves that veterinarians are ready to embrace technologies which simplify their daily workflow and add value to their business,” said Olcott, who is CEO of the company. “Faxing is an anachronism, as are phone calls for routine requests. We’re working tirelessly to make the customer service tools that other industries have enjoyed for a decade the new standard of care for veterinarians, and this vote of confidence is electrifying.”
Last Year’s ‘Dear Jerry’ Concert at Merriweather Available in Various Formats
“Dear Jerry: Celebrating The Music of Jerry Garcia,” created and produced by Blackbird Presents and the Jerry Garcia Family – and recorded at Columbia’s Merriweather Post Pavilion – has released worldwide by Rounder in multiple formats, including Blu-ray, DVD, CD and digital download.
On May 14, 2015, an array of musical artists from rock, folk, R&B, reggae, bluegrass and country converged on Merriweather for a once-in-a-lifetime concert event taping to pay tribute to the enduring musical and cultural legacy of the late Garcia, who died in August 1995.
The two-and-one-half-hour concert film and companion audio recordings feature more than 20 performances from this event by Phil Lesh & Communion, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann’s Billy & the Kids, Mickey Hart, Eric Church, Jimmy Cliff, The Disco Biscuits, Peter Frampton, David Grisman, Jorma Kaukonen, Los Lobos, Buddy Miller, moe., O.A.R., Grace Potter, Allen Toussaint, Trampled By Turtles, Widespread Panic and the Yonder Mountain String Band.
The concert film and audio recordings include some of Garcia’s most beloved songs, including “Touch of Grey,” “Friend of The Devil,” “Sugaree,” “Uncle John’s Band,” “St. Stephen,” “The Wheel” and many more.
COPT Launches Research Platforms
Columbia-based Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) has issued three research reports in the Investors section of its website, http://investors.copt.com/GenPage.aspx?IID=103010&GKP=329103, under COPT Research, as follows.
● Defense & Intelligence Budget Updates
● Fort Meade and The National Business Park
● Cyber Valley in Maryland’s B/W Corridor
The three reports constitute the beginning of COPT Research, through which the company will analyze and report on trends that affect COPT’s defense/information technology locations, as well as new and evolving real estate dynamics that affect the company’s non-defense, urban real estate locations.
MDOT Announces $5.2 Million for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects
Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn has announced the Hogan administration’s commitment to provide $5.2 million in grants for transportation alternatives and improvements to bicycle and pedestrian safety and connectivity across the state.
Included in that total is $1.97 million in Bikeways Program Grants to fund 18 projects, including those that will create design plans and acquire easements for a connection between the B&A Trail, Anne Arundel Community College and the Broadneck Trail; design and construct a bicycle boulevard along Covington Street in South Baltimore; and install 20 bike racks, on-road “sharrows” and automated permanent bike traffic counters at the University of Maryland College Park;
Continuing its commitment to making connections statewide, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is awarding a total of 71 grants to transportation agencies, local jurisdictions and nonprofit organizations, from three separate state and federal grant programs: Maryland Bikeways Program, Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Alternatives Program.
MVA Opens Self-Service VEIP Kiosk in Columbia
The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) have opened the 10th self-service Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) kiosk, located at 6340 Woodside Court, Columbia, at the full-service Howard County VEIP station.
Like the other nine self-service kiosks, which are installed at existing VEIP and MVA offices throughout the state, the new Howard County self-service kiosk is available 24/7. As part of Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to reduce fees, the emissions test cost at the kiosks was reduced from $14 to $10 in February 2016, and has resulted in a savings of $45,252 for Maryland residents. The kiosks have performed 13,246 VEIP tests and have an overall customer satisfaction rating of 89%, with a 90% customer satisfaction rating in September.
Local Businesses Help Eliminate Homelessness at Just Jazzin’
Affordable housing and homelessness remain a challenge in Howard County, and local businesses are stepping up to raise awareness and support to end homelessness. Andrews Equipment Co., Backstage Dance Studio and Source One are major sponsors of the first annual Just Jazzin’ fundraiser, which will support Bridges to Housing Stability.
Just Jazzin’ will feature three local and international jazz artists at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, located at 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, on Saturday, Nov. 5. Participating jazz artists include the Gail Marten Quartet, the Ron Holloway Band and jazz vocalist Wake Campbell. Tickets for Just Jazzin’ are $65 each and can be purchased online through Eventbrite or www.bridges2housing.com. You can also contact Bridges to Housing Stability at 410-312-5760.
Astrophotography by Local Astronomy Enthusiast on Display at Robinson Nature Center
Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks’ Robinson Nature Center, in partnership with the Howard Astronomical League (HAL), will open a limited-time astrophotography exhibit at the Nature Center from Nov. 2 to Dec. 31. The exhibit will feature images of galaxies, nebulae, moon craters, planets and more taken by high-powered telescopes.
On Thursday, Nov. 17, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Nature Center and HAL will co-host a free exhibit reception. HAL’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting will follow the reception in the Nature Center’s auditorium. A number of the photographers featured in the exhibit will offer their photos for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting programs at the Nature Center.
KatzAbosch to Hold First Government Contracting Symposium
To help business leaders grow and advance in the government contracting space, KatzAbosch, a regional CPA and business consulting firm, is holding its first annual Government Contracting Symposium. The free seminar will be held on Thursday, Nov. 10, at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve, Hanover.
The seminar is designed to help business leaders overcome the challenging issues in government contracting. The one-day program will address critical issues around trends occurring in the industry, creating marketplace diversification, growing your business through teaming arrangements and the new GSA reporting requirements.
Yoga Salutes Non-Violence (YSNV) Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary
Yoga Salutes Non-Violence (YSNV) is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary. This charity event, which benefits Howard County’s rape crisis and domestic violence center, HopeWorks, originally began at the Yoga Center of Columbia. Over the years, the number of studios involved in the program has grown, and this year there are four locations participating in the event.
The event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the following yoga studios.
9160 Rumsey Road, B4
Columbia, MD 21045
The Happy Yogi
11200 Scaggsville Road
Fulton, MD 20723
The Yoga Center of Columbia
8950 Maryland Route 108, #109
Columbia, MD 21045
13380 Clarksville Pike
Highland, MD 20777
BYC Yoga 26
8935 Oakland Mills Road
Columbia, MD 21045
Yoga novices, students and practitioners are sponsored by family and friends to gather for this event to participate in doing 108 Sun Salutations. Local businesses are invited to offer gift baskets or certificates for raffle. During the past nine years, this event has raised close to $100,000, with 100% of the funds raised directly supporting survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence.
WMATA’s Wiedefeld to Address the BWI Business Partnership on Nov. 16
Paul Wiedefeld, general manager and CEO of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), will be the keynote speaker at the BWI Business Partnership’s Signature Breakfast, to be held Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 7:45 a.m., at the BWI Airport Marriott, 1743 West Nursery Road, Linthicum.
Wiedefeld will provide a briefing on WMATA and the Metrorail and Metrobus system of Washington, D.C., Included will be an update on SafeTrack, an accelerated track work plan to address safety recommendations and rehabilitate the Metrorail system to improve safety and reliability.
Advance registration for the breakfast is required by Monday, Nov. 14. To register, members should visit www.bwipartner.org. Non-members may attend for $75 if space is available, and must call 410-859-1000 to register.
Kidera and Students at the Bernice Kish Gallery
The Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, has announced a group exhibit in the galleries through December. Brenda Kidera and Students will show their work in the Lobby and Bill White Room galleries. The exhibit, titled “Oil and Water,” will run until Dec. 17.
Kidera and her students meet weekly to hone their skills in oil and watercolor. Many of these artists are professional in their own right, as signature members of arts organizations. The 25-plus exhibiting artists include Cindy Aaron, Janet Arsenault, Mary Jeanne Coles, Karen Schuster and Brenda Kidera. For more information, call 410-730-3987 or 301-596-4883.
From MarylandReporter.com …
Why Margaret Flowers is such a troublemaker: Margaret Flowers probably got more coverage from being hauled off the stage by campus cops at the University of Baltimore last week than she did in a whole year of campaigning for U.S. Senate. Flowers was protesting her exclusion from what was likely the one and only TV debate in the race to replace Barbara Mikulski. The irony was that Flowers was being shut out by the League of Women Voters, founded to give women the right to vote; a public university; and that “Light for All” daily newspaper, the Baltimore Sun. Read more: http://marylandreporter.com/2016/10/30/why-margaret-flowers-is-such-a-troublemaker-green-party-nominee-for-u-s-senate-crashed-debate
MarylandReporter.com is a news site for government and politics in Maryland that is published and edited by Len Lazarick. For more information or to sign up for the daily e-news, visit www.marylandreporter.com.