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Community Foundation names board chair

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The Community Foundation of Howard County, which raises, manages and distributes funds to support Howard County nonprofits, named Peter Panepento chair of the board of trustees.

Panepento is co-founder of Turn Two Communications, a Columbia-based public relations and communications firm that specializes in working with community foundations, nonprofits and socially minded companies.

Panepento lives in Columbia and has been a member of the board of the Community Foundation of Howard County since 2016.

The Community Foundation of Howard County, founded in 1969 as The Columbia Foundation, has awarded more than $17 million in grants to Howard County nonprofit organizations delivering human service, arts and cultural, educational and civic programs. Money for the grant programs comes primarily from income generated by the foundation’s endowment supported by more than 300 funds established by Howard County businesses, families and individuals.

For more information, visit www.cfhoco.org or call 410-730-7840.

HCEDA completes phase one of Innovation Center

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The Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) announced the completion of the first phase of the Howard County Innovation Center (HCIC) project with the conclusion of third floor renovations and the relocation of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE) and the Howard Tech Council to the facility.

The third floor of 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive was fully renovated and converted into a 16,000-square-foot business incubator space, featuring private offices, co-working space, conference rooms and two multi-use classrooms. It is now home to the MCE’s 19 resident companies, multiple business support organizations and four HCEDA staff members, enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem being created in the building.

As part of the relocation of the MCE, the HCEDA’s Catalyst Loan Fund also moved to the HCIC. The Catalyst Loan Fund is part of Maryland’s Video Lottery Terminal Small, Minority and Woman-Owned Business Account initiative. The fund is a locally managed source of capital used to finance start-ups and expanding businesses statewide whose projects will create permanent jobs and leverage private sector investment.

BWI Marshall launches aircraft noise tracking tool

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BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport unveiled a new interactive system that provides the public with detailed information about airline flights near the airport.

WebTrak is an online tool that provides data about airline operations, including noise measurements from permanent monitors in communities near BWI Marshall.

The WebTrak system provides historic and near real-time flight tracking information, as well as noise level data for users. The tool displays airline flights, weather information, BWI Marshall noise monitor locations and aircraft noise levels on a user-friendly map. The flight tracking system includes specific details about flights associated with BWI Marshall, as well as information on air traffic transitioning through the region.

The system can be accessed at www.bwiairport.com/flying-with-us/about-bwi/airport-noise-webtrak.

Hogan, Frosh speak on BWI Marshall noise case

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh issued a joint statement after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) filed a motion to hold Maryland’s case in abeyance while the agency reconsiders Maryland’s September 2018 letter challenging the state’s case.

“The FAA’s decision to reconsider Maryland’s Administrative Petition is a welcome step forward for thousands of Maryland residents who are impacted by the constant flight of aircraft over their homes. Changes to flight paths at BWI were made without adequate notice and outreach to surrounding communities, and without sufficient environmental impact analysis. We are hopeful the FAA’s request to hold the case in abeyance and undertake a thorough review of facts will ultimately lead to changes in flight paths at BWI.” 

In June 2018, Maryland submitted an administrative petition to the FAA requesting that the FAA review certain environmental determinations the FAA had previously made regarding revisions to area navigation routes and flight procedures at BWI Marshall and asking the FAA to revise those routes and procedures.

On Sept.18, 2018, the FAA wrote a letter to Maryland advising that the FAA was declining to respond to Maryland’s June 2018 administrative petition. On Nov. 8, 2018, in response to the FAA’s September 2018 letter, Maryland filed a Petition for Review with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

On May 24, 2019, Maryland filed its opening brief with the court arguing that the FAA’s failure to respond to the administrative petition was arbitrary and capricious, and that the FAA has unreasonably delayed reviewing its prior environmental decisions as required by law. After reviewing Maryland’s Opening Brief filed with the court, the FAA decided to reconsider its September 2018 letter and filed a motion with the court to hold the case in abeyance while the FAA reconsiders the September 2018 letter.

If the court grants the motion, the FAA will have to file a status report every 60 days with the court. Maryland will have discretion to file motions with the court if it believes the FAA is taking an unreasonable amount of time to conclude its reconsideration process.

Ball Issues Statement on BWI noise case

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Howard County Executive Calvin Ball released the following statement after the FAA filed a motion to hold Maryland’s case in abeyance while the agency reconsiders its letter challenging the state over the issue of new flight patterns.

“[The] news is a step in the right direction to help our residents who have suffered from unacceptable aircraft noise over their homes.

Previous changes to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) flight patterns, made without proper notice or environmental consideration, led to terrible noise pollution in some neighborhoods. We received consistent feedback from our residents that the situation was insufferable. In response, we filed multiple legal petitions against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and worked with our State partners to help alleviate the noise issues.

In September 2018, the FAA wrote a letter to the state of Maryland declining to respond to their administrative petition requesting more review of the flight patterns. But after local and state officials continued to fight for our residents, the FAA today filed a motion signaling it will reconsider its position. I want to thank Attorney General Frosh and Governor Hogan for their support in addressing this problem and standing up for Maryland residents.

On the Howard County side, we have filed our Reply to FAA’s Answer to our Principal Brief in the NextGen Case and we expect oral argument, if held, to be in the fall or winter. In the other FAA 4th Circuit case, concerning the Midfield Cargo Improvements, we can expect briefing to close around the end of October and oral argument in that case, if held, would likely be in the late Winter or Spring. We are also monitoring a third matter, the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for 2016-2020 Proposed Improvements. We will publicize further developments as they occur, and we remain dedicated to fighting for our residents in all these cases.

Today’s news moves us closer to a permanent solution and we will continue working to make things right.”

 

Casinos raise $142.9M in June

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Maryland Lottery and Gaming announced that June 2019 gaming revenues for the state’s six casinos were $142,890,570. The total represents a $6,013,447 (-4.0%) decrease compared to the June 2018 total of $148,904,017.

Contributions to the State of Maryland from June 2019 casino gaming revenue totaled $60,075,138, including $45,084,912 for the Education Trust Fund. Casino gaming revenues also support local communities and jurisdictions where the six casinos are located as well as Maryland’s horse racing industry. The numbers of the three casinos in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor are as follows.

MGM National Harbor (3,138 slot machines, 205 table games)
$56,881,267 in June 2019, a decrease of $2,435,642 (-4.1%) from June 2018.

Live! Casino & Hotel (3,779 slot machines, 191 table games)
$48,984,379 in June 2019, an increase of $813,583 (1.7%) from June 2018.

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore (2,202 slot machines, 147 table games)
$18,686,750 in June 2019, a decrease of $4,145,728 (-18.2%) from June 2018.

Fiscal and calendar year-to-date totals are available online at www.mdgaming.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/June-2019-Casino-Revenue-Data.pdf

Kaii-Ziegler to run P & Z, Hager moves to Exec’s office

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Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced that Steven Kaii-Ziegler will be the new director of the Office of Planning and Zoning, beginning July 31.
Kaii-Ziegler has three decades of planning experience in the region.
Phil Hager, the county’s current planning director, will move to a new role working directly with Pittman’s Office on redevelopment projects.

“Steve is a forward-thinking professional who has led the planning offices in four Maryland counties,” said County Executive Pittman. “He is an innovative leader with expertise in climate change, smart growth, sustainable infrastructure and community engagement. Steve shares my passion for land preservation, environmental protection and sustainable growth, and he knows how to get there.”

Kaii-Ziegler is currently the director of the Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management. During his tenure, he supervised the adoption of small area plans and oversaw a major overhaul of the development review process to improve efficiency and reduce review times. He has also been a supervisor for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and a division chief for the City of Alexandria Department of Planning and Zoning. He has also served as planning director for Frederick, Harford and Queen Anne’s counties.

Pittman also announced a town hall meeting to introduce the new director for Thursday, Aug. 1, at 6 p.m. at Severna Park High School.

Howard launches virtual workshop for Route 1 Master Plan

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The Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning launched a public virtual workshop for Phase 2 of the Route 1 Corridor Master Plan. The plan will activate transportation, infrastructure, land use and economic development implementation strategies to improve vibrancy and livability throughout the Route 1 Corridor. It will be open through July 31 and can be found at https://hocogis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=04d8a4e47d4c485aa300f354d8e58542

The site is an online version of the recent public workshops held in Elkridge and North Laurel that included an informational presentation, stations to browse and survey questions. The goal of the virtual workshop is for residents to share what they know about the corridor and their ideas on how it can be improved.

The Virtual Workshop includes all the stations from the public workshops, including the following.

● Overview of the Project, Schedule, & Team

● What We Learned

● Land Use & Existing Conditions

● Character Areas

● Transportation

● Implementation Strategies

To fully experience the Virtual Workshop, it is recommended that visitors reserve 20-30 minutes to read the narrative and answer all the survey questions. For more information, contact Peter Conrad at 410-313-2350 or pconrad@howardcountymd.gov.

HCIC to showcase Startup Grind

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On July 31, Startup Grind Columbia will hold its third Annual Startup Showcase at the all new Howard County Innovation Center (HCIC). This event will draw 200-plus regional business-leaders to network and watch Mid-Maryland startups pitch their businesses for prizes.

Startup Grind is an independent global community of more than 3.5 million passionate and creative entrepreneurs in 640 chapters and 130 countries. The Columbia mid-Maryland chapter includes 1,800-plus entrepreneurs, founders, startups, emerging and high growth companies, investors, educators and influencers.

The HCIC is a new service offering for the businesses and entrepreneurs of Howard County and the surrounding region. The facility, located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, houses the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship, the Howard County Economic Development Authority, the Howard Tech Council, Howard Community College, the Small Business Development Corp., SCORE and the MITRE Viking Lab.

Designed to be a one stop shop for business, the center provides a wide variety of services and events to support the growth of businesses in every stage. To learn more, visit www.startupgrind.com/columbia-md.

New App locates financial assistance for seriously ill patients

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A Washington, D.C., nonprofit foundation has collaborated with a Millersville app developer to help eligible patients, caregivers and providers find financial assistance for out-of-pocket medical costs. The Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation brought in Summit Business Technologies, a company experienced in developing custom and complex apps that do not conform to off-the-shelf solutions.

The PAN Foundation FundFinder provides a critical safety net to patients with life-threatening, chronic and rare diseases. Until now, there has been no mechanism to inform patients when a new fund opens or an existing fund is depleted. Patients and caregivers have had to manually monitor the PAN Foundation website and those of seven other patient assistance organizations to find and track hundreds of disease-specific programs.

The FundFinder is the first free web-based application to help simplify the search for financial assistance for this patient population. Users are instantly notified by email or text message when a disease program they follow opens, eliminating the need to manually monitor each of the eight websites.

The PAN Foundation reported that one email prior to launch generated 1,000 registrations on Day 1; to date, there have been more than 9,000 registrations.

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