Dating back to 1808, when it was founded by the Union Manufacturing Co. as a company town, the village of Oella has seen its share of adversity.
Every time the administration of Arundel High School holds another graduation ceremony outdoors on its own Carroll Field, Andrew Pruski has the same thought that other members of the community, no doubt, have: “What if it rains?”
It’s a technology that has been considered “disruptive” — but in a good way.
The 2013 Entrepreneur Expo marked the culmination of the Pitch Across Maryland initiative, an event created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs that spanned from the shore to the mountains, spotlighting entrepreneurs, innovations and resources that have the potential to become the next flight of Maryland’s high-growth companies.
More than 400 of the region’s aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned business leaders gathered at the BWI Airport Marriott in Linthicum Heights last month for the 2013 Entrepreneur Expo: “E2E: Entrepreneurs Inspiring Entrepreneurs.”
Digital signs. They’re popping up here and there at Anne Arundel County businesses, and even at some churches. They’re not seemingly everywhere yet, but they can be found around Metro Baltimore and other locales in the region, country and world.
NSA, DHS Partner to Retool Cybersecurity Programs The National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have established new curriculum standards for cybersecurity training programs for approximately 181 colleges and universities across the United States. The programs, which cover topics from white-hat hacking to basic coding, are designated by members of [...]
The chairman of one of Maryland’s largest health insurance brokerage firms predicted small businesses would begin to feel the real effects of Obamacare when they get their renewal notices Jan. 1, which will bring higher rates and fewer benefits.
While checking out the books at Costco, I happened upon The Enchanted Forest, written by local historian and writers Janet Kusterer and Martha Anne Clark, who is also the owner of Clark’s Elioak Farm. Almost anyone who lived in Maryland (or even surrounding states) has heard of The Enchanted Forest.
Patrick Donoho is president of the Maryland Retailers Association (MRA). MRA has members at approximately 1,200 locations, with a membership that encompasses all segments of the retail industry, from national and regional retail chains to local merchants. The organization provides a variety of programs and services, including serving as its public voice before Maryland’s General Assembly and the media.
The Arc of Howard County has hand-delivered Employer Appreciation Awards to 47 businesses in Howard County. The local companies are being recognized for their “inclusive employment practices and work environment,” according to certificates signed by The Arc Executive Director Carol Beatty and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.
The endless campaign that the contest for president has become has now been duplicated in Maryland. In each party, three serious candidates for governor are on the campaign trail. A fourth Republican, Larry Hogan, who runs an Annapolis real estate services firm, will formally announce in January.
The nonprofit organization Bicycling Advocates of Howard County (Bike HoCo) held its fourth annual advocacy forum on Oct. 30 at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s Parsons Auditorium in North Laurel. The event presented an update on initiatives, programs and lobbying efforts to make the county’s roads safer and its pathways more accessible for bicycling commuters and enthusiasts.
Much of the organization’s focus has been on the network of bicycling routes within the county, according to Bike HoCo President Chris Tsien.
In addition to helping Columbia Association (CA) develop its Connecting Columbia Active Transportation Action Agenda during the past several years, Bike HoCo also has been working closely with the Howard County Office of Transportation to help develop the county’s first Bicycle Master Plan.
The effort is starting to pay off. Following a review of the county’s accommodations for cyclists, the League of American Bicyclists this year awarded Howard County an honorable mention as a Bicycle Friendly Community.
“We were hoping for at least bronze, so we’re going to be shooting for that next year,” Tsien said.
Addressing statewide advocacy and lobbying efforts that affect Howard County, Bike Maryland Executive Director Carol Silldorff said her organization recently formed a partnership with the University of Maryland School of Law.
“Two directors and two third-year law students volunteered to research how many other states, counties and cities have a four-foot passing law,” she said.
Maryland currently requires vehicle drivers to give bicyclists three feet of clearance when passing them.
“Howard County’s police force has ticketed violators in regard to that law, but that hasn’t really happened in many other places throughout Maryland, and we want the law to be enforced,” Silldorff said.
Bike Maryland is considering auditing other counties to see if the law is being enforced, and also thinks the law should be clarified to allow drivers to cross double yellow lines when passing bicyclists on narrow roads, when it is safe to do so.
“We don’t necessarily want more pro-bike laws, we want laws on the books that really make a difference,” Silldorff said.
Updating the community on the Connecting Columbia initiative, CA Director of Community Building and Sustainability Jane Dembner said action is now being taken on some of the recommendations in CA’s plan.
CA began posting directional signage and mile markers in September along a 1.5 mile route between Wilde Lake and Lake Kittamaqundi, and plans to expand to other pathways soon.
“That’s relatively inexpensive for us,” she said. “Now that we know how to do it, it will go faster.”
CA also released a mobile phone application that assists pathway users with location finding and routing to specific destinations, and plans to conduct a pathway count project this spring to determine the volume of usage on its pathways.
Additionally, CA has hired an engineering company that will begin completing a pathway all the way around Lake Kittamaqundi next year after permitting has been issued, and will eventually address pathway standards.
“The plan calls for a 10-foot width on our primary and secondary paths,” she said.
Schmidt Vying for District 1
Republican Kevin Schmidt announced his candidacy to run for the open District 1 seat on the Howard County Council. The Ellicott City resident serves as vice president of government relations for the Smiths Group in Washington, D.C., a supplier of advanced technologies for security, inspection, medical, energy, communications and engineered components.
“I’m running to provide balance to the county council,” Schmidt said. “Right now I don’t think there is enough critical oversight being done of the budgets.”
Born in Rhode Island, Schmidt moved to Ellicott City four years ago with his wife and their two children, who study within the Howard County Public School System.
“I grew up in a single-parent household, put myself through college and have a small-business background,” he said.
Schmidt served as director of intelligence and operations in the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and previously worked for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as a professional staff member for the U.S. Congress and also worked in the personal office of former Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Illinois).
He was program monitor for the DHS Security Program, the Coast Guard Intelligence Program, and the counter narcotics account under the national Intelligence Program, responsible for budget oversight.
“Many businesses are in survival mode; we have to provide them [predictability] so they can plan for growth,” Schmidt said. “I also believe the county council has to become more engaged in the community than it is. We shouldn’t be at the point where people are signing petitions to get their voices heard.”
Sigaty Seeking Reelection
Incumbent Councilmember Mary Kay Sigaty (D-Dist. 4) has announced her bid for reelection, and she will be seeking a third term in 2014.
“I decided to seek another term because I love my community and the opportunity I have to work with my neighbors and friends on issues that affect our quality of life,” Sigaty said.
Looking back on the major legislative challenges of her previous two terms — the General Plan Update, Comprehensive Zoning and the Downtown Columbia Master Plan — Sigaty said her strength lies in being able to bring considerable experience in those processes to bear on future planning processes.
“I’m thinking specifically of the future of Columbia and the New Town zoning,” she said. “It’s a huge issue that’s waiting to be dealt with as we move forward. I’ve experienced the growth under the existing zoning conditions, and I’ve participated in making similar adjustments, so I believe I’m able to understand these challenges and address them.”
According to a report from Giving USA, charitable giving grew by about 3.5% last year, totaling $316.23 billion. Much of the giving takes place during the holidays and businesses often lead the way.
Thirty-year-olds with no executive experience don’t often get hired at $98,000 a year to run a $96 million corporation that provides diverse services that range from transportation to security.
BWCC By Walt Townshend The delight of my work at the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber (BWCC) is the variety of activities, projects and programs in which I get to participate. These past several weeks have been incredibly enlightening, and I believe emblematic, of the dynamism within this region. In late October, I was privileged to [...]
The federal contracting community is in a state of constant change after more than a decade of virtually unchecked growth. According to USASpending.gov, in 2000 the federal budget spend with contractors was $220 billion, and had been fairly flat in the preceding years.
A few years back, I had the pleasure of trying Armagnac for the first time. It was a blended Bas Armagnac being shown by a sales representative, just as summer was giving way to autumn.
“The Lions do glasses. Shriners do hospitals. Rotary does polio.”
Arundel Inspections and Permits Enhances Services The Anne Arundel County Department of Inspections and Permits has announced a technology enhancement that will allow permit application comment letters to be sent electronically; this move is designed to shorten agency response time. “We continue to implement changes throughout the county to improve how we serve the community,” [...]
As 2013 draws to a close, the last thing anyone wants to think about is taxes. But if you are looking for potential ways to minimize your tax bill, there’s no better time for planning than before year-end. And, with the higher rates put in place with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, being tax-efficient is more important than ever.
Poiana Nail Spa Opens in Annapolis Poiana, a fully licensed salon with an experienced staff of eight, is open in Annapolis. Owners Tiffani Tran and Melissa Nguyen remind residents that Poiana Nail Spa specializes in hand and foot care of all kinds, waxing, threading, eyebrow tinting, creative freelance nail art and individual eyelash extensions. The [...]
ADG Creative Adds Trio Columbia-based ADG Creative has announced the addition of three new team members. They are Charles Grigg, a developer who previously served as a web site and app developer at Varen Technologies; Wendy Steere, an instructional system designer, who will support ADG’s security awareness and training projects; and Kimberly Folk, a designer [...]
TFCU Participates in Great American ShakeOut Earthquake Drill Tower Federal Credit Union (TFCU) recently joined more than 1.9 million businesses, organizations, families and individuals throughout the southeastern region of the United States for the Great American ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. The drill was held at TFCU’s headquarters in Laurel. Before it began, local fire marshals requested [...]
As we reach the end of the calendar year, Columbia Association (CA) is busier than ever. Allow me to take this time to fill you in on some of the major projects that CA has going on right now.
When it comes to estate planning, executing your will and other estate documents is only the first step. To help ensure that your estate plan stays in tune with your goals and needs, it’s important to review and update it on an ongoing basis. Working with your financial adviser and attorney, use this checklist as a starting point to keep your estate plan in good shape.
Once again, ’tis the season. To us, that means not only Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Cathy Yost’s and my 11th anniversary of owning The Business Monthly.