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APL creates ‘Cool Tool’

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Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel have developed a new device for controlling and measuring qubits inside of a cooler environment; the new device can be manipulated at lower frequency, without the need for microwave lines, thus reducing cost and complexity.

Before quantum information sciences and quantum computing can revolutionize tasks ranging from chemistry and pharmaceutical design to sensing and decryption, scientists need a better way to manipulate the critical elements of a quantum computer – known as quantum bits, or qubits – and their control components.

Currently, this process must take place outside of the low-temperature environment that superconducting quantum computers need, meaning every control and readout component must run microwave signals out of and back into a refrigerator. That can add time, cost and complexity to an already complicated operation.

All of this can be done inside of a dilution refrigerator that is 20 thousandths of a degree above absolute zero, where traditional ways of doing this aren’t possible. “It’s an entirely new approach to device control that will be an important piece of scaling quantum computer systems to the larger sizes needed for more complex applications,” Shrekenhamer said.

The research also represents a jumping-off point for designing new quantum information technology devices.

ADM acquires Laser Skin & Vein Center

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Anne Arundel Dermatology Management (ADM), a portfolio company of NMS Capital that operates several locations in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor and the general area, has partnered with Laser Skin & Vein Center of Virginia. Founded in 1983 and led by Dr. David McDaniel, LSVC serves its patients from one location in Virginia Beach, Va., and has been providing cosmetic dermatology patient care for more than 35 years. Dr. David McDaniel will continue to lead LSVC.

With the addition of LSVC, ADM now provides support services to 49 clinic locations across three states and more than 125 providers. As part of the affiliation, LSVC will benefit from ADM’s extensive administrative and support services, including investments in information technology and electronic medical records, revenue cycle management, payer credentialing and other functions.

Casinos generate $145.2M in April

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Maryland Lottery and Gaming has announced that April 2019 gaming revenues for the state’s six casinos – which include Live! Casino & Hotel, in Hanover; the MGM National Harbor, in Prince George’s County; and Horseshoe Casino, in Baltimore City; were $145,236,133. The total represents a $1,744,942 (1.2 percent) increase, compared to the April 2018 total of $143,491,191.

Contributions to the state of Maryland from April 2019 casino gaming revenue totaled $60,237,473, including $45,205,542 for the Education Trust Fund. Casino gaming revenues also support local communities and jurisdictions where the six casinos, which also include Hollywood Casino, in Cecil County; Ocean Downs Casino, in Berlin; and Rocky Gap Casino Resort, in Allegany County, are located, as well as Maryland’s horse racing industry.

The revenues for the Corridor area casinos are as follows:

MGM National Harbor (3,138 slot machines, 200 table games)

$60,804,670 in April 2019, an increase of $3,061,170 (5.3 percent) from April 2018.

Live! Casino & Hotel (3,830 slot machines, 197 table games)

$47,836,955 in April 2019, an increase of $1,035,342 (2.2 percent) from April 2018.

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore (2,120 slot machines, 151 table games)

$19,677,184 in April 2019, a decrease of $2,081,282 (-9.6 percent) from April 2018.

Fiscal and calendar year-to-date totals are available at www.mdgaming.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/April-2019-Casino-Revenue-Data.pdf.

Pittman presents ‘Move Anne Arundel’ plan

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Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman unveiled the first draft of the county’s Move Anne Arundel transportation master plan. Pittman encouraged residents to provide feedback on the plan during the 45-day comment period prior to introduction to the County Council for final adoption.

Move Anne Arundel addresses traffic congestion and the need for additional transit and transportation infrastructure to improve reliability and connectivity.

“Many plans just sit on the shelf gathering dust,” said Pittman. “Traffic congestion and long commutes destroy the quality of life for families in the county more than anything else. As funding accrues in the proposed Reserve Fund for Permanent Public Improvements, the plan provides us with a road map for prioritizing the county’s most pressing infrastructure and transit needs.”

The plan focuses on five key transportation areas that will be integrated into the county’s comprehensive plan: bicycle and pedestrian paths, transit development, corridor growth, major intersections and the county’s Complete Streets policy.

The planning process recently completed a round of eight community forums held in each district throughout the county that gave citizens a chance to discuss key components of the draft document. In addition to online comments, county residents are invited to talk face-to-face with a county transportation staff member, who will be attending an ongoing series of public meetings on the General Development Plan into which the transportation plan will be integrated.

The final plan will also include a set of performance metrics designed to capture data that will improve overall travel system reliability, reduce fatalities and injuries, improve water quality, increase ride sharing in high traffic areas and maintain county-owned transportation assets in good condition.

For retirees, is Maryland the worst?

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Moneywise has combined the results of three studies of the best and worst states for retirement and have consolidated the rankings into one master list of the 16 states (including one tie) on the bottom overall.

The publication added each state’s retirement ranking from Bankrate, WalletHub and Kiplinger to create scores out of a possible 150. The higher the score, the worse the state is for retirees. Maryland topped the list with a score of 187.

Moneywise offered that “Maryland is steeped in history and culture; it offers great golfing, mountains, beaches; and you’re never far from a major population center. So why is it the worst place for your retirement?” It went on to say that a “scenic drive to the beach might be ruined by some of the most congested roads in the country, or a surprise tornado or a winter storm blasting in off the Atlantic.”

As a retirement destination, Bankrate and Kiplinger rank Maryland the no. 48 state, and WalletHub ranks it no. 41 – adding up to Moneywise’s score. It went on to opine that retiring in the Free State could mean that you would find “your retirement savings demolished by the state’s high cost of living (17% above average), its taxes on IRAs and its above-average health care costs.”

Maryland was followed in the list by New York, New Mexico, Louisiana and Rhode Island, at nos. 2-5, respectively.

Is Maryland the most innovative state?

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The recently released Bloomberg U.S. State Innovation Index shows Maryland among the top five states for innovation.

Bloomberg’s newest U.S. State Innovation Index, which ranked Maryland fifth, is based on six equally-weighted metrics: research and development intensity, productivity, clusters of companies in technology, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs, populous with degrees in science and engineering disciplines, and patent activity.

The report shows Maryland ranking first in the concentration of STEM professionals; and third in R&D intensity, tech company density, and science and engineering degree holders. It also ranked 14th in productivity and 40th in patents.

Bloomberg ranked California ranking as the most innovative economy in America. The Golden State was followed by Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut at positions 2-4, respectively, with Maryland rounding out the top five. The bottom four states were unchanged from three years earlier, with Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana ranking from 50-47.

Yoga for seniors- Bending, stretching for longer, better life

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Seniors should be focusing on working large muscle groups; oxygenating the brain through interval training and improving balance to prevent falls.

Jeff Smith, a personal trainer at the Colosseum Gym in Columbia, said fitness trends have evolved over the 38 years he has been in the field. He works one-on-one with seniors and, with people living longer in an affluent area, it’s an ideal place to sell his services.

“Around here, seniors want to travel, and they want to be upright and mobile as long as they possibly can,” said Smith, and that means he works more on functional training than he ever has, keeping his clients on their feet to use their large muscle groups.

The largest muscle group? Your glutes, or your butt, Smith explained. Not just the seniors but “ninety percent of the general public don’t use their glutes.” The result is an increase in knee and lower spine pain and injury.

“We tend to put our weight forward on our toes,” said Smith. “I teach people to keep their weight back more on their heels. If you learn to use your large muscle groups – like your glutes and your upper back muscles – to keep the body upright, you’re independent for a much longer period of time in your life. You can travel; you can get on and off boats.”

After the age of 60, there’s only so much muscle you can build, said Smith, “so I teach people how to use the muscles they already have.”

Easing the fear

Many people fear Alzheimer’s and dementia, particularly if the diseases run in their families. While people don’t have a lot of control over what heredity deals them, they can offset or delay the onset of dementia by oxygenating the brain.

After reading up on research from the National Institutes of Health, Smith
started urging his clients to do aerobic exercise with higher intensity. “This really has to be done with interval training. You have to push yourself,” said Smith, who requires his clients receive clearance from their doctors first. “I do this very carefully and I monitor people very closely.”

A fear of falling also starts to work its way into the senior psyche. “I work every day with people on balancing boards or a balancing apparatus,” said Smith, as well as simpler exercises such as heel-to-toe walking.

“Improving dexterity and coordination is important at any age,” he said. “I’ve seen incredible improvements in balancing. You can be in perfect health at age 70, and then you take that one fall, and other diseases occur after that because you’re bedridden. I’ve seen people who would have lived longer – and pain free.”

Getting stronger, for longer

Barbara Bury, a 76-year old student at the Yoga Center of Columbia, started doing yoga when she was 60. “I had done some form of aerobic exercise pretty much all of my life,” she said. “Yoga, however, opened up a new world for me … one in which I could connect my body, mind and breath.”

Little by little, Bury felt herself getting stronger, more flexible and more focused. “I was gradually introduced to meditation, which has also enhanced my life,” she said. “Over the years I’ve developed a home practice of yoga and meditation, but I still find that the social and community aspects of showing up each week to be with my teachers and friends is immensely important to me.”

Yoga instructor Barbara Day believes that yoga offers seniors an opportunity for physical vitality and for appreciating their wisdom and expressing a sense of peace. “Yoga practice informs safe movement in daily activities, and practicing in community builds community,” she said.

Bury is among an increasing number of seniors practicing yoga, said 66-year-old Kathy Donnelly, owner and director of the center, which has been in business for 27 years. “I have seen a huge increase in seniors practicing yoga,” said Donnelly. “The first gentle classes that we started 20 years ago were for cancer survivors, but as the baby boomers have reached retirement, we now offer extra gentle yoga, chair yoga and yoga for caregivers.”

Donnelly said yoga helps seniors stay strong in their core and legs, keeps the joints moving, and improves range of motion and balance. “All yoga poses can be adapted to account for any student’s limitations,” she said. “We have a very vibrant senior community here.”

Northrop Grumman expands AI research

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Northrop Grumman Corporation launched a new research consortium with universities to advance machine learning and artificial intelligence programs.

The REALM consortium is an industry-academia partnership to advance research, foster collaboration and address technological challenges due to advances in machine learning, cognition and artificial intelligence.

As part of the consortium, Northrop Grumman has selected three research teams to collaborate on applied research that addresses key customer applications including multiple sensor track classification, identification and correlation; situational knowledge on demand; and quantitative dynamic adaptive planning.

Each team is comprised of multiple universities. All three teams, including researchers from Carnegie Mellon University; Johns Hopkins University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Purdue University; Stanford University; University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Maryland, College Park received a total of $1.2 million research funding from Northrop Grumman.

“In today’s environment, machine learning, cognition and artificial intelligence are dramatically reshaping the way machines support customers in their mission,” said Eric Reinke, vice president and chief scientist, mission systems, Northrop Grumman. “The highly complex and dynamic nature of the mission demands an integrated set of technologies and we are excited to partner with academia to enhance our customers mission.”

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.

Stronach breaks ground on Laurel Station

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Officials from The Stronach Group were joined in early May by Maryland Senator Guy Guzzone and Howard County Council Chair Christiana Rigby for the groundbreaking of phase 1 of Laurel Park Station, a mixed-used transit-oriented development located adjacent to Laurel Park Racetrack.

Laurel Park Station will feature a new MARC train station, which will be linked to the surrounding community. Phase 1 of the development will feature 220 condominiums and two-over-two townhomes, a community garden and sports park. As the homebuilder for Phase 1, Ryan Homes expects to deliver the first units in spring 2020.

At full build-out, in addition to a new MARC rail station, the 63-acre Laurel Park Station will include 1,000 residential units, 127,000 square feet of retail space, 650,000 square feet of commercial/office space and 22 acres of open space that will feature a kayak launch on the Patuxent River and walking and running trails.

“We see Laurel Park Station as transformational for North Laurel, Route 1 and the greater southern Howard County area,” said Bill Hecht, CEO of Stronach Properties. “The scale of the project sets the stage for a major impact on the local economy resulting in community interaction, active living and environmental sustainability. Laurel Park Station is a great example of smart growth that will enhance regional transit offerings and improve access to transportation for the region while creating a high quality, connected community.”

Howard House to fight opioid epidemic

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Howard County has opened Howard House, the new 16-bed treatment facility for substance use disorders, including opioid addiction. The mission is to provide a natural, safe, and supportive setting for beginning a structured progression toward a sober lifestyle.

“Since 2016, over 130 people have died in Howard County from the totally preventable cause of opioid overdose. This fact is tragic, it is painful, and it is unacceptable,” said Howard County Executive Ball. “That is why we are treating this problem like the public health crisis that it is … we open Howard House to provide a safe and healing place right here in Howard County.”

The Howard County Government funded the remodeled new Howard House on Route 108, a location that is owned by the Department of Recreation & Parks. At Howard House, clients will receive step-down care, including peer support, case management services, therapeutic behavioral health sessions, skill building and other outpatient treatment and supportive care.

With the goal of proving the full continuum of care to those in need, Ball also announced a comprehensive vision for fighting the opioid epidemic in Howard County, including:

● Establishing a 24/7 crisis support hotline at Grassroots

● Building a new, residential treatment center through a partnership with Delphi Behavioral Health Group. The center will serve women and men of all income levels to help them move toward full recovery. Ball has committed $3 million over four years to form this first-of-its-kind partnership in the state between a local jurisdiction and a private treatment provider

● Continuing proper emergency room referrals to peer recovery specialists

● Funding for behavioral health navigators at both the hospital and Health Department

● Continuing to support naloxone training and distribution across the county. In addition, all fire stations are now available for safe prescription drug disposal

● Strengthening community partnerships with the Opioid Crisis Community Council, the Opioid Intervention Team, emergency responders, providers and most importantly friends and family

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