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Remembering the early days of Metrorail

201002 metro19761215Metrorail map from Dec. 15, 1976. COURTESY PHOTO  “What took you so long?”

That was part of my reaction to Metrorail when I started using it regularly in 1977. I grew up on Long Island, and often visited New York City, where I took the subway all around Manhattan and to summer jobs. So with my New York background, it felt funny to be in a major city with no subway when I moved to DC in 1969.

Metrorail opened on March 27, 1976, with just five Red Line stations: Farragut North, Metro Center, Judiciary Square, Union Station and Rhode Island Avenue. Gallery Place opened in December 1976. (NoMaGallaudet did not open until 2004.)

When the Dupont Circle station opened on Jan. 17, 1977, I became a regular Metro commuter. I lived in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, and worked at the D.C. Council as a legislative aide for John A. Wilson, after whom the District’s city hall, the Wilson Building, is named.

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County Joins Top Locations for Vaccine Research

  • Published in Local

Montgomery County, particularly Gaithersburg, has become a central hub for vaccine research and development, and to a lesser extent for vaccine manufacturing.

The County is a key vaccine development center “not only for the country, but the world,” said Brad Fackler, senior director for life sciences at the c.

There are no figures available for revenues brought into county companies for vaccines, or number of people employed here in the industry. However, the state Department of Commerce website says that the overall life sciences industry was responsible for $17.42 billion in gross state product (2015), 41,570 jobs with $4.28 billion in wages (2016), and $1.55 billion of federal procurement to contractors in the state (fiscal year 2016).

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Women-owned firms get federal contract tips

  • Published in Local

Women leaders in business management gave presentations on marketing, federal business procedures, and leveraging women-owned and small-business statuses during a July 20 conference at the Silver Spring Civic Center.

By About 300 people turned out for the event, primarily women but a significant number of men as well. The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce sponsored and marketed the meeting, along with American Express OPEN (the small business division of the financial services company), Women Impacting Public Policy, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Defense Department Office of Small Business Programs.

The forum, entitled “ChallengeHER,” also aimed to help women-owned small businesses obtain and market SBA’s WOSB certification. Amy Kim, who heads the SBA WOSB program, gave detailed pointers on how to benefit from the certification.

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Medical Marijuana on hold

  • Published in State

Medical MarijuanaThe first availability of Maryland-licensed medical marijuana appears likely to be in November, a couple months later than the state government’s earlier forecast of “late summer.”

On July 6, Gov. Larry Hogan appointed nine new Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission members, and reappointed one member. Hogan’s appointees collectively comprise a majority of the 16-member Commission.

As of July 11, only one grower and one dispensary had gotten final or “Stage II” license approval from MMCC. The MMCC website said from March through May that the Commission’s target date for first availability was “late summer.”

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Bethesda proves to be “Ground Zero” for hotel businesses

Bethesda is one of the top places in the country for companies on both the ownership and management sides of the hotel business.

J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., CEO of Marriott International Inc. from 1972 to 2011 and still executive chairman, led the lodging industry’s separation of management and ownership functions for larger, higher-end properties. Until the 1980s, hotel owners in all price ranges generally managed their own properties, and chains had either central ownership or franchising deals holding them together.

Marriott concentrated on the management side of the business, developing the powerful marketing synergies of nationwide and worldwide hotel brands, as well as expertise and cost savings in hotel operations.

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Council and businesses consider innovation to bring in the jobs

Founders of successful Montgomery County businesses discussed why they’re in the County and how they thought it can maintain the inflow of innovative businesses and jobs in a June 20 learning session with all nine County Council members.

David Petr, CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, who organized the event, said the many key components of an attractive package for innovative businesses include: (1) a talented workforce; (2) good real estate space in which to locate; (3) capital access through banking and venture capital; (4) good transportation within the jurisdiction and to the rest of the country and the world; (5) clusters of expertise in particular businesses; (6) good local education systems, both K-12 and university; (7) an effective workforce development program; (8) openness to change and innovation; (9) nurturing small businesses and incubator programs in fields with special promise; (10) and a good community in which to live.

“We crush Fairfax County” on standards such as place to live, education systems, work-life balance and traffic, said Tien Wong, founder/CEO of Opus8 in Chevy Chase, a statement that brought smiles and support from Council members.

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Eight years after Metro crash, families start to ‘grieve healthy’

  • Published in Local

MPI LegMem 0009 bRaja Williams (left) and Ava DeBose, children of crash victim Veronica DuBose, stand by the memorial dedicated to their mother in Legacy Memorial Park. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  The last thing Victor Fernandez told his mom, Ana, was “I love you,” and she said it back. The last thing Sergio Fernandez did was hug his mom, and she kissed him on the forehead.

Shortly thereafter, Ana Fernandez died in Metrorail’s catastrophic 2009 Red Line crash that took nine lives.

The accident’s eighth anniversary was recognized June 22 at Legacy Memorial Park on New Hampshire Avenue in Northeast D.C., just above the tracks where it happened. The families and friends of three of the deceased held an informal remembrance and prayed together.

Sergio, who’s now 18 and just graduated from Northwood High School in Silver Spring, said it’s been hard growing up without his mother, “But you gotta move on. You have to grow up.” Victor, 20, who graduated from Northwood last year, said, “We do everything in honor of her, like she was here.”

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Council, CEOs Explore Turning Innovation Into Jobs

  • Published in Local

Founders of successful Montgomery County businesses discussed why they’re in the County and how they thought it can maintain the inflow of innovative businesses and jobs in a June 20 learning session with all nine County Council members.

David Petr, CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, who organized the event, said the many key components of an attractive package for innovative businesses include: (1) a talented workforce; (2) good real estate space in which to locate; (3) capital access through banking and venture capital; (4) good transportation within the jurisdiction and to the rest of the country and the world; (5) clusters of expertise in particular businesses; (6) good local education systems, both K-12 and university; (7) an effective workforce development program; (8) openness to change and innovation; (9) nurturing small businesses and incubator programs in fields with special promise; (10) and a good community in which to live.

“We crush Fairfax County” on standards such as place to live, education systems, work-life balance and traffic, said Tien Wong, founder/CEO of Opus8 in Chevy Chase, a statement that brought smiles and support from Council members.

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