Archive for September, 2011
The Chris O-pinion: When will real estate come back? Who are the celebrities who read Arundel Business News? Today is the annual Ask a Stupid Question Day, an occasion begun by teachers in the 80s because kids can fear asking questions if they think they’ll appear stupid. If you have a zinger, let us know and we promise not to identify you.
Bonus Chris O-pinion: If you have something to say to your elected reps, attend Friday’s Legislative Breakfast of the AA Co. Council of Chambers, 8:30-10:30 am at Hella’s Restaurant in Millersville. A Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly is planned for October covering potential issues of redistricting, transportation funding and tax increases. If you don’t participate now, don’t complain later.
At the latest meeting of the BWI Business Partnership, guest speaker Mark Webb described how his employer British Airways estimates a $110 million a year impact to the Maryland economy because of its presence at BWI (beginning in 1995). This will increase in part because of the 2010 Open Skies Treaty that allows government workers to fly European Union airlines.
Webb outlined airline industry issues such as heavy reliance on rewards programs, fuel costs (up 35%), bankruptcies, M&A, weather and even volcanic ash that requires adjustment to operations. At BA, recent alliances with International Airlines Group give it extended reach, and one with American Airlines means there are 100 transatlantic flights every day between the two.
But the most interesting part of the presentation was his offering the audience two tickets to London in an auction format with the proceeds going to a charity. When he hit the end of the bidding around $1,400, he magically produced two extra tickets, gave them to the two highest bidders and doubled the donation. Well done.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Anne Arundel Community College was awarded $19,730,281 in grant funds to train displaced workers for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The school will partner with employers to provide job opportunities to program graduates. U.S. Senators Mikulski and Cardin secured the funds from the Depts. of Labor and Education.
Maryland is one of five states that gets credit for tracking how transportation investments create a return for taxpayers, says a report from Pew Center on the States and the Rockefeller Foundation. Maryland’s DBED piled on showing that every $1 million investment in state projects creates an average of 7.3 construction jobs. Maryland spent an estimated $3.37 billion on transportation in fiscal year 2010, including federal funds.
COLUMBIA – The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors honored the One Maryland: Inter-County Broadband Network with the Community Broadband Fiber Network of the Year. The Network, comprised of 10 central-Maryland jurisdictions, will provide every county with high-tech infrastructure including a total of nearly 4,000 fiber miles connecting 715 anchor institutions.
ANNAPOLIS JUNCTION – Astrum Solar is offering solar leasing to homeowners through Constellation Energy. Electricity generated by the solar panels is purchased at a rate locked in for the next 20 years, and leasing is designed to lower upfront costs. The company claims that solar can cut electricity purchased from the grid by 40 to 50 percent for the average homeowner.
LAUREL – LINE-X Protective Coatings, maker of spray-on coatings for pickup truck bedliners and other military, industrial, and commercial applications, provided its excellence award to the local franchise LINE-X of Laurel, owned by Thomas Harr.
The Chris O-pinion: People actually click on links from strange-sounding names promising riches, leisure and enhanced libidos. For business users, there’s a companion problem equally as sinister as spam: the misdirected email. You type the recipient’s name, your email program populates the field and you click send before realizing it was Mary instead of Mark. That’s more than an “oops” when it contains patient data, social security numbers or other confidential details.
MailArmour fixes that. Pre-screening and one-time pass codes between senders and recipients authenticate each other, which creates a certain and secure pathway for future emails. Look up South River Technologies to find out more about MailArmour and avoid costly disclosures.