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Arundel’s Pittman to file for reelection

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman has filed for re-election at the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections. With the announcement, Pittman’s office released the following statement:
Pittman was elected to Anne Arundel County Executive after his first run for political office in 2018. He was born and raised in Davidsonville on a family farm and went on to graduate from the University of Chicago and worked as a community organizer in Chicago and Des Moines. As a community organizer he built neighborhood organizations, tackled environmental hazards and brought investments into underprivileged communities. 
After moving back home to Anne Arundel County, he coordinated for the National Low-Income Housing Coalition and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) before starting his own business as a farmer and horse trainer. In 2010 he created the award-winning Retired Racehorse Project that is a national nonprofit dedicated to transitioning racehorses into second careers. 
As a farmer, he understands working hard against onerous regulations that have no public benefit and promoting policies to make the industry commercially viable. As Director for the Anne Arundel County Soil Conservation District he pushed for protections for local waterways. Now, as county executive, Steuart has pledged to make Anne Arundel County the best place for all by putting our communities first. 

City of Laurel mourns passing of former mayor Duniho

Former Mayor Doris (Dani) Duniho who passed away in late November. Duniho served as the City of Laurel’s first female Mayor from 1986 to 1990. 
Duniho also served as a member of the Laurel City Council from 1980 to 1986. She was only the fourth woman to serve on the City Council-becoming its president in 1983. Prior to becoming mayor, she was the chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Public Works and Chair of the Public Safety Committee. She also served on the Parks &Recreation Advisory Committee and was a charter member of the Laurel Oratorio Society.
Duniho was the daughter of the late Col. And Mrs. Peter Negri and was raised in Ocala, Fla. She was married to Michael “Mickey” Duniho for more than 55 years, and they were blessed with two sons. She and her husband Mickey were retired and living in Tucson, Ariz. The City of Laurel will fly flags at half-staff through 5 p.m. on Dec. 12. 

Hogan administration announces $9M-plus to revitalize historic buildings

Photo courtesy National Governors Association.

The Hogan administration announced that the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), a division of the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), has awarded six projects more than $9 million in tax credits through the Historic Revitalization Tax Credit, leveraging more than $64 million in additional investment. Among the six projects are buildings in Ellicott City and Annapolis.

“The tax credits will help revitalize communities, strengthen Maryland’s economy, and bring new housing, commercial, and arts opportunities throughout our state,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “Our administration is proud to provide this funding, which will preserve Maryland’s historic buildings for future generations to come.”
The Historic Revitalization Tax Credit, administered by MHT, has invested more than $425 million in Maryland rehabilitation projects since it began in 1996. The investments have helped make improvements to 5,194 homeowner and 796 commercial historic structures, preserving buildings that contribute to the distinct character of Maryland’s towns, cities, and rural areas. 
According to a study by the Abell Foundation, the program has helped to create an estimated 30,000 jobs through construction and new or expanded occupation of these significant historic resources. 
The six projects selected for the tax credits were based on an established set of criteria, including those outlined by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior for historic building rehabilitations. They include:
Wilkins Rogers Mill – Frederick Road, Oella 
$3 million awarded; estimated total cost: $35 Million 
Located on the site of the historic Ellicott Brothers’ Grist Mill, the Wilkins Rogers Mill sits on the banks of the Patapsco River, across from the historic core of Ellicott City. The current mill complex dates from 1916-1917, with additions made in 1918 and 1941, and features large silos both on the exterior and interior.
It remained in operation until 2020, and was the last active flour mill in the state. Historically an industrial complex, it will be rehabilitated into a mixed-use property with residential apartments and amenities, retail spaces, a restaurant, and a small museum highlighting the history of the site and the importance of flour production in the surrounding region.
Randall House – 86 State Circle, Annapolis 
$194,074 awarded; estimated total cost: $970,370 
Located in the Colonial Annapolis Historic District, and facing the Maryland State House, 86 State Circle is a significant example of Queen Anne/Eastlake-style architecture. The duplex is one of the first of several large residences situated to face the circle and North Street. It survives as a significant example of the influence British architecture had in the late-19th century, and a well-designed addition on the North Street side dates to the mid-20th century. 
The project will convert one side of the duplex into a boutique hotel by removing non-historic interior partitions and adding new partitions to create nine guest suites. The windows and exterior features will be cleaned and repaired as necessary. 

France Institute: TEDCO Generates $2.3B in Economic Benefits in Maryland

The Columbia-based Maryland Technology Development Corp. announced the findings of an independent study detailing the impact of its six core programs to the state. Conducted by the University of Baltimore’s Jacob France Institute, the study found that TEDCO provides significant value to the state’s start-up community, supporting 10,433 Maryland jobs and more than $2.3 billion in statewide economic activity as of 2021.
“This study reinforces the role TEDCO has played in the state’s innovation ecosystem,” said TEDCO CEO, Troy LeMaile-Stovall. “By creating a more connected suite of funding and resources, TEDCO is able to provide significant value to the state’s startups. It’s encouraging to see the continuous growth in our economy from the support provided by our programs.”
The study states that TEDCO has generated significant economic and fiscal returns to the state. Reviewing the change from 2018 to 2021, the job creation impact of the portfolio of companies supported by TEDCO’s six core research and investment vehicles increased from 7,746 in 2018 to 10,433 in 2021.
Similarly, the economic impact of these companies has also seen a significant increase from $1.6 billion in 2018 to $2.3 billion in 2021.The jobs supported by these companies earn $885 million in labor income and generate an estimated state and local government revenues of $100.1 million, according to the study, including estimated State of Maryland revenues of $57 million, an amount greater than TEDCO’s appropriation.
The previous study in 2018 projected that by 2023TEDCO’s economic impact would increase to $2.4B and will support a total of 11,812 jobs. TEDCO is set to achieve these projections nearly two years early.
“It’s exciting to see the changes the organization has brought to our community,” said Omar Muhammad, TEDCO Board of Directors chairperson, director and EN-TRE-PRE-NEUR for the Entrepreneurial Development and Assistance Center at Morgan State University. “Where the greatest impact is seen through its growing portfolio of companies. At the time of this study, TEDCO’s programs have supported the formation and growth of 366 active Maryland companies with 4,845 employees. These technology-based start-ups will be leading the state through continuous innovative growth for years to come.”

MDOT seeking proposals for TOD at Dorsey MARC station

The Maryland Department of Transportation Office of Real Estate and Economic Development, the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration, and the MDOT State Highway Administration, are seeking interested developers to respond to a public Request for Proposals for a transit-oriented development. It is to be constructed on 18.055 acres of state-owned property at the Dorsey MARC Station, located at 7000 Deerpath Road, Elkridge.
Prospective developers will work with a variety of stakeholders, including the local community, transit commuters and state and local agencies, to develop a mixed-use TOD, utilizing existing surface parking areas and unimproved land. The developer community is invited and encouraged to present innovative proposals that will enhance the community and transit ridership at the Dorsey MARC Station.
The release of the RFP follows community outreach efforts including an informational meeting held on Feb. 19, 2019, prior to the release of a Request for Expressions of Interest, and a community informational meeting held virtually on Sept. 21, 2021, to update the public and discuss MDOT’s intent to solicit requests for proposals through the RFP process.
Interested developers can visit the project website HERE for additional project information and documentation. A site visit for prospective developers is planned for mid-December. For details and to register, contact Gaylord Dutton at gdutton@mdot.maryland.gov in the MDOT Office of Real Estate and Economic Development.
The official RFP responses are due no later than Monday, Feb. 28, 2022.

New guide explores the importance of forestry in Maryland

Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

Forestry grows food, creates hundreds of products and materials, supports the environment, and builds careers. Nearly 40 percent of Maryland is forested. As the single largest land use in the state, forests are vital to the health of the Chesapeake Bay and offer numerous environmental and economic benefits.
To promote and support this important industry, the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission and Annapolis-based Grow & Fortify teamed up to develop a new resource guide An Introduction to Southern Maryland’s Forestry Industry, to highlight how responsible forest management benefits our state’s ecology and economy. The guide also encourages consumers to identify and seek out products made from locally sourced wood and explores forestry career opportunities.
Many climate experts believe that a responsibly managed forest offers one of the best and least expensive ways to mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon and using carbon-neutral renewable energy. “Forests also provide a viable timber market, incentivizing landowners to retain and care for their trees ensuring the overall health of their forests and habitat for wildlife,” said Kelly Dudeck, chief strategy officer at Grow & Fortify.
In 2017, the statewide forestry industry directly contributed about $4.2 billion and supported 18,046 jobs in the Maryland economy. In Southern Maryland, forestry businesses contribute over $585 million to the state economy, supporting more than 3,000 jobs. “Forests provide much-needed employment and economic sustainability for our rural communities,” said Shelby Watson-Hampton, SMADC Director. “And here in Southern Maryland, we are very fortunate to have the Dr. James A. Forrest Career & Technology Center, which offers students a wide variety of career-specific programs in natural resources, including forestry.”
The new guide is available as a digital educational resource for residents, entrepreneurs, and commercial interests. A brief video announcing the launch of the guide will be premiered for attendees at the 2021 Rural Maryland Council Summit on Dec. 2. To view the guide and to learn more about the important role forestry plays in Maryland, visit www.growandfortify.com or SMADC.com.


Equity Consortium completes Inovalon acquisition

Bowie-based Inovalon has completed its acquisition by an equity consortium led by Nordic Capital, and joined by Insight Partners, as lead co-investor, 22C Capital, and Inovalon Founder and CEO Keith Dunleavy, M.D., and certain Class B stockholders of Inovalon.
The acquisition was approved by Inovalon’s stockholders on Nov. 16. In accordance with the terms of the agreement, Inovalon stockholders will receive $41 in cash for each share of Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock. As a result of the transaction, Inovalon is now a privately-held company and shares of Inovalon Class A Common Stock are no longer listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
“The importance of leveraging data and advanced analytics to drive improved health care outcomes and economics continues to grow,” said Deven Parekh, managing director at Insight Partners. “As new partners to Inovalon, we look forward to supporting the leadership team and exceptional associates across the organization as they continue to empower customer success through data-driven health care.”

St. John Properties celebrates 50 years

Photo courtesy St. John Properties.

St. John Properties, Inc., a commercial real estate development, management and investment company founded in 1971 in Baltimore by Edward St. John, is celebrating its 50-year anniversary with a renewed focus on building sustainability and growth. Its 21 million-square-foot real estate portfolio is valued at more than $4 billion, spans eight states and serves more than 2,500 clients.

St. John Properties is one of the top five developers of LEED space nationally, and intends to continue to be a leader in sustainability innovation with a mission to deliver buildings that produce more energy than they use, and to further refine processes that improve indoor air quality while boosting employee wellness and productivity.
“The conservation of energy and natural resources, along with the ongoing need to develop and innovate environmentally-friendly buildings have become a priority in attracting new tenants,” said Ed St. John, founder and chairman of St. John Properties. “We have become the gold standard in formulating and executing a feasible and sustainable plan for green architecture and will continue evolving in the future.”
St. John Properties has constructed 87 buildings comprising more than five million square feet of LEED certified space. Last year St. John Properties received the Maryland Chapter of U.S. Green Building Council’s Community Change Agent award for outstanding efforts in designing and constructing healthy buildings and for the company’s overall impact and leadership in the LEED initiative.
The company’s innovative UV Whole Building Air Purification process, announced earlier this year, is a multi-step strategy that features the installation of UV-C light disinfecting systems designed to eliminate airborne pathogens such as fungal spores, bacteria and viruses that can pass through a building’s HVAC equipment.
The process involves replacing existing HVAC air filters with higher-efficiency models that capture more airborne particles; upgrading coil cleaning and HVAC system sanitation, resulting in increased air flow; and utilizing longer HVAC runtimes, allowing for more frequent fresh air circulation throughout a building.
To date, St. John Properties has installed these upgraded HVAC systems in 23 of their multi-story office buildings, comprising nearly 2.4 million square feet of space. The company plans to implement these systems during the construction of all new multi-story office buildings going forward.
In an effort to support the use of energy efficient electric vehicles, St. John Properties has installed electric vehicle charging stations at all newly constructed multi-story office buildings across their portfolio. Forty-six charging stations have been installed since 2011, and the company has committed to ensuring all new office and flex/R&D buildings will be EV-ready by proactively installing infrastructure to support future demand for charging equipment.

HCPSS seeks members for grading, reporting policy committee

The Howard County Public School System is seeking county residents to take an active role in developing and revising school system policies as members of policy advisory committees.
HCPSS wants candidates for membership on the advisory committee for the revision of Policy 8020 Grading and Reporting: Middle and High School. The committee will include at least one member representing the general resident stakeholder group. Members of this committee attend 3-4 meetings to discuss and make policy recommendations to the Superintendent.
Meetings will be held virtually and are tentatively scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Jan. 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2022. Committee members are expected to attend/participate in all committee meetings.
Residents interested in participating may submit a statement of interest online by Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. A confirmation email with additional details will be sent to the individual selected to participate on the committee.

Howard’s Ball appoints Der as Police Chief

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball appointed Gregory Der chief of police in Howard County. Der currently serves as chief deputy in the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office and his appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2022. Chief Lisa Myers, who announced her retirement earlier this month, will remain in the post until Dec. 31.

Der will be first person of Asian descent to lead the Howard County Police Department. In his current position, Der has primary oversight of all sworn and civilian staff, supervisors, and managers stationed at six regional offices throughout Maryland. He is responsible for the progression and resolution of statewide fire, arson, and explosive investigations, coordinating with other local, state, and federal resources. He also oversees preparation of the agency’s annual budget for legislative approval.

Der started his career in 1997 as a narcotics detective and patrol officer with the Easton (Md.) Police Department before joining the Howard County Police Department in 1999. Der served as a school resource officer, hostage negotiator, property crimes detective, and fire and explosives investigator. He retired in August 2017.

Der received many honors during his more than 19 years of service with the Department, including five Unit Citations, two Certificates of Appreciation, 11 Commendation Certificates, an Investigative Award, and numerous Memorandums of Recognition and Letters of Appreciation.

Der graduated from Mt. Hebron High School in 1989. He obtained his Associates of Art Degree in Criminal Justice from Carroll Community College in 2009, and his Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership from The Johns Hopkins University in 2019.

Howard County has seen trends of decreasing crime across many categories since 2017, including robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft. County Executive Ball attributed the success in part to strong public safety partnerships and community bonds, and the leadership of departing Chief Lisa Myers.


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