Cecil Council Going Digital, Will Live-Stream Meetings

Cecil County Council meetings will be live-streamed on the Council’s webpage starting Tuesday, October 16, 2018.

According to a press release:

“By clicking on the link, you will be redirected to our provider, Zoom Video Communications. On your first visit, you will be prompted to ‘download & run Zoom.’ After the brief download, you will then be instructed to provide your email address and name, and that’s it. The livestream will start as soon as the meeting begins.”

Tome added that a separate download will be required for each electronic device.

“It is exciting to offer innovative technologies within the county that will not only benefit government efficiencies but will also help citizens stay engaged and have more awareness,” said Brian Miller, Director of Information Technology.

“The application also enables county employees to meet virtually with other counties, state agencies and businesses via audio and video teleconferences which will helps reduce travel costs.”

The live internet streaming source is included in the audio-video (AV) system upgrades recently completed in the Elk Room at the Cecil County Administration Building. The AV upgrades were part of the approved FY18 budget.

Links to the live-streaming service can be found on the Council’s webpage located at http://www.ccgov.org/government/county-council.

Virus Shuts Down Anne Arundel County Public Library Computers

Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) officials recently announced that its public computers were exposed to the Emotet virus, an especially deleterious program that spreads via infected email attachments. As a result, some 600 computers are expected to be offline for at least two weeks as officials work to eradicate the virus and scrub the network.

According to a press release:

On October 11, officials discovered that a database of customers who used library computers or the business services kiosk for copying, faxing printing was exposed to the virus. This database, dating back to November 2015, contains library card numbers, customer names and birthdates. No other information, including social security or credit card number, is stored on library servers or is at risk for exposure. However, customers should remain vigilant about their personal information and change any account passwords if they used AACPL computers or the library’s copying, faxing or printing business services kiosk.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this attack may have caused our customers,” said AACPL CEO Hampton “Skip” Auld. “Along with many organizations, we’ve discovered vulnerabilities through this breach and are taking comprehensive steps to prevent any future incidents. The library is committed to protecting customers against the misuse of their personal information and we take security issues very seriously.”

If you believe you’ve been affected by this breach, visit the consumer page of the library’s website at www.aacpl.net/consumer for more information.

Conduit Street Podcast: New Laws Take Effect, Internet Regs Spark Latest Clash Over States’ Rights, & More!

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Michael Sanderson and Kevin Kinnally discuss a handful of new Maryland laws, which took effect this week, explain why California’s new net neutrality law sparked the latest debate over states’ rights, and examine the impact of congressional action (or inaction) on state laws.

Listen here:

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast.

You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website.

State Launches “Safe Schools Maryland” Tip Line

New School Safety Tip Line and Mobile App For Reporting Threats

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the launch of “Safe Schools Maryland,” a tip line and mobile app designed to streamline reporting of possible threats to students school facilities. Hogan made the announcement at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, who will be responsible for monitoring the tip line and forwarding credible information to local law enforcement agencies and local school boards.

According to a press release:

“Incidents of targeted violence at our schools are rarely sudden impulsive acts; instead, in the majority of these incidents, another person was aware of what the student was thinking or planning to do,” said Governor Hogan.

Students, family members, parents, teachers, administrators, and other community members can anonymously report information to Safe Schools Maryland via a mobile app available for download through the Apple App Store or Google Play, online at www.SafeSchoolsMD.org, or by calling 1-833-MD-B-SAFE (1-833-632-7233). Trained technicians will respond to reports 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The tip line staff will share incoming information with appropriate school system officials and staff; law enforcement personnel; fire, emergency, behavioral health, and medical staff; and other partners to help prevent violent or dangerous incidents at schools around the state and provide assistance to students in crisis. Students, parents, teachers, administrative staff, and others should be vigilant and report any activity that makes them feel uncomfortable, nervous, or frightened about the safety of their school, themselves, or others.

In many recent school violence incidents or threats, assailants have exhibited behavior that signaled a potential for violent activity or discussed such activity on social media. Some potential incidents around the country have been thwarted because alert students, parents, school staff, or others reported suspicious behaviors to appropriate authorities.

“We are honored that Governor Hogan has asked MEMA to coordinate the new safety initiative,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “This is aligned with MEMA’s mission to coordinate resources from multiple agencies and to be the authoritative source of 24-hour information gathering and dissemination. We are excited to take the lead to help our state, local, and non-government partners make Maryland schools safer as the field of emergency management broadens.”

Read the full press release for more information.

Cecil Bolsters Communications for First Responders

Back row (l. to r.): Jeff Tillinghast, Pres. Delmarva Communications Inc.; Bruce Fryer, Motorola Strategic Projects Sales Manager; Al Wein, Director of Administration; Chief Richard Brooks, Director of Department of Emergency Services (Photo courtesy of Cecil County Government)

Cecil County today finalized an agreement with Motorola Solutions to purchase over 1300 mobile and portable radios that will allow all County services to operate seamlessly on the statewide Maryland First Responder Radio System Team 700 MHz radio system.

According to a press release:

The new technology will replace Cecil County’s 12-year-old radio system that has extended beyond its life expectancy. The Motorola radios will support the operation of the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies, the Cecil County Department of Emergency Services and the volunteer fire services in the county, as well as all public works, transit, health department and public school operations.

Cecil County has been working to replace the legacy system for the past three years. After investigating the purchase of a new system, the County decided it was more fiscally responsible to operate on the State’s system. ‘Maryland First’ is already supporting state agencies in the county and will be enhanced to ensure the first responders and county workers are in constant contact with one another. The state system is a fully interoperable system that will allow Cecil County personnel to communicate with their partners from other state agencies and our surrounding counties.

“Motorola Solutions is proud to partner with Cecil County to provide the first responders of the County with a next generation, state-of-the-art mission critical communications system. Having reliable portable and mobile radios in the hands of Cecil County’s first responders provides improved interoperability and a higher level of safety,” stated Bruce Fryer, Strategic Projects Area Sales Manager.

The $8.85M contract includes not only radios for the subscribers to the system, but upgrades to the primary and back-up 9-1-1 centers, and enhancements to the radio tower sites around the county. Once complete, the system will insure that our first responders and all county workers have the improved coverage and reliable radios to keep them safe and provide the coordination they require.

“After reviewing all of the options, we selected Motorola Solutions to ensure that the system operates seamlessly and efficiently and provides our responders with the best available and most reliable technology to assist in serving our citizens,” said McCarthy. “We are pleased to be partnering with Motorola and the ‘Maryland First’ radio communications.”

Motorola Solutions is a MACo Silver Corporate Partner.

Read the full press release for more information.

Maryland Tech Council Appoints Marty Rosendale Chief Executive Officer

The Maryland Tech Council (MTC), the state’s largest trade association supporting the technology and life sciences sectors, today announced the appointment of Marty Rosendale as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective immediately.

According to a press release:

“Marty is a long-time member of MTC and served as senior executive advisor of the Tech Council of Maryland (TCM) in 2016, playing a key role in fostering the successful merger of the TCM with the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council, which was effective on January 1, 2017,” stated Rene B. LaVigne, MTC Chairman and President and CEO of Iron Bow Technologies. “He is an excellent choice to serve MTC as CEO. He knows the organization intimately, understands the business sectors of our membership as well as the constituents’ focus, has a visionary mindset, and brings extensive C-level experience.”

Marty Rosendale (photo courtesy of the Maryland Tech Council)

Marty is a 35-year veteran of the life sciences industry and through his collective experiences and specific efforts with the Newport Board Group, a national professional services firm, he provides expert advisory services to CEOs, board directors, and executive leaders addressed with navigating major industry and organizational inflection points. With more than 15 years of C-level experience, he has led several successful businesses in various market sectors including medical biologics, drugs, medical devices, and plastics.

Marty has launched, branded, acquired or commercialized more than 10 products and companies. He has raised equity-based capital for public and private companies and non-dilutive capital through strategic partnerships. He has also provided technical support or corporate advice to companies in the biotechnology, food preparation, and plastics engineering market sectors. Marty has been a Board member for Nuo Therapeutics, the Transplant Recipients International Organization and the American Red Cross, San Jose Region. He also served on the Health Advisory Committee for past California State Senator Diane Watson.

“I am honored and excited to accept the appointment as CEO of the Maryland Tech Council and for the opportunity to lead the team that has built this amazing organization and supported our more than 450 members across the life sciences and technology sectors in Maryland,” said Mr. Rosendale.

The MTC is a collaborative community, actively engaged in building stronger technology and life science companies by supporting the efforts of its individual members. The MTC is the largest technology trade association in the state of Maryland with over 450 members. The Council supports its member companies who are driving innovation through advocacy, education, workforce development, cost savings, and connecting entrepreneurial minds.

For more information, visit http://www.mdtechcouncil.com.

Conduit Street Podcast: Headlines & Happenings – Education, #NG911, Goucher Poll, Disaster Response, & Small Cells

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Michael Sanderson and Kevin Kinnally discuss the latest news and happenings around Maryland.

Listen in to hear updates on the [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, the Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland, interesting tidbits from the most recent Goucher Poll, mutual aid in the wake of natural disasters, and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC)proposed order intended to streamline and reduce industry’s costs for the deployment of small cells in local right of ways at the expense of local authority.

Listen here:

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast.

You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website.

Useful Links

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Conduit Street Podcast: Keeping up with Kirwan

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Kirwan Commission Aims to Revamp “At-Risk” Funding Formulas

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Commission to Advance #NG911 Holds First Meeting

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Questions About #NG9-1-1? MACo Has You Covered

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: MACo Submits Concerns to FCC Over Small Cell Order

MACo Submits Concerns to FCC Over Small Cell Order

MACo submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on a proposed order intended to streamline and reduce industry’s costs for the deployment of small cells in local right of ways at the expense of local authority. The FCC will vote at its September 26, 2018 open meeting on the order.

From MACo’s letter:

Expanding broadband access is an essential component for a county’s economic development and for the socio-economic advancement of its communities. However, MACo is concerned that the proposed language significantly impedes local authority over the expansion of broadband in public rights of way. It does not properly balance industry desires and public welfare.

Local governments are owners and guardians of taxpayer-funded infrastructure inside the local rights of way. Local authority and community decision-making are crucial to the deployment of small cells or any facilities in the local rights of way. Local governments must be able to protect the safety and interest of their communities.

As previously reported on Conduit Street, that the proposed FCC order would create new categories of “shot clocks”, limit application fees for all small wireless facilities, limit recurring fees for small cells in public rights-of-way, and limit allowable local aesthetic requirements among other limitations on local governments. Local governments are bound to manage deployments under FCC requirements.

Prior coverage from Conduit Street:

NACo Prompts County Action to Comment on FCC Small Cell Order

Questions About #NG9-1-1? MACo Has You Covered

Questions about NG9-1-1 and what it means for county governments? The MACo NG9-1-1 White Paper has you covered.

The Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) Across Maryland, a 2018 MACo Legislative Initiative that will help Maryland prepare for the deployment of a statewide Next Generation 9-1-1 system that our residents expect and deserve, held its first meeting, September 20, 2018, in the Joint Hearing Room in Annapolis.

In its 2018 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed HB 634/SB 285, a MACo Legislative Initiative to establish Commission to Advance NG9-1-1 Across Maryland. The Governor signed the bill into law on April 24, 2018.

The Commission’s December report must cover seven subjects, the first of which, is the needs, both capital and operating, to bring efficient and effective NG9-1-1 technology and service across Maryland, and estimated costs required to effect this priority outcome.

Because county governments are at the heart of 9-1-1 service delivery, MACo prepared and submitted to the Commission a Next Generation 9-1-1 White Paper. MACo hopes to continue to serve as a resource for additional information from county governments throughout the Commission’s deliberations.

This report is intended as an informational document on Maryland’s 9-1-1 structure and anticipated needs as the State moves to NG9-1-1 service. MACo has gathered this information about Maryland’s county public safety answering points from county governments and other sources. MACo submits this collection of data toward the Commission’s exploration of NG9-1-1 and hopes that these are helpful ingredients for the Commission’s future findings.

Several years ago, Ross Coates, the Manager of Harford County’s Emergency Services Communications Center, approached MACo and the Maryland Association of County Emergency Managers about creating a statewide group of county PSAP Directors. The Emergency Communications Committee of the Maryland Association of County Emergency Managers is now a vibrant and active association that gives an opportunity for PSAP Directors to share information, lessons learned, and to provide information and support on advocacy topics in emergency communications to MACo’s Legislative Committee and Policy Team.

The Emergency Communications Committee, under the leadership of Ross Coates, has been a primary and essential resource for this report.

MACo’s Legislative Committee voted at their September 12, 2018 meeting to adopt the Association’s four priorities for the 2019 Session. Updating state laws, and the 9-1-1 financing system, to provide the flexibility and resources needed for the transition to NG9-1-1, will again be a top priority for county governments.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Useful Links

MACo NG9-1-1 White Paper

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Commission to Advance #NG9-1-1 Set to Convene

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Hogan Signs MACo’s 9-1-1 Initiative Bill

Workgroup to Consider Western Maryland Autonomous Tech Center

Governor Larry Hogan today announced a workgroup to consider the recommendations of a recent feasibility study on the development of a Western Maryland Autonomous Technology Center.

The study considered incorporating all types of autonomous technology, from drones to automated vehicles, as focal points of the training center.

According to the Cumberland Times-News:

As part of the feasibility study, the Maryland Transportation Institute at the University of Maryland evaluated the technical, economic and regulatory feasibility of a potential training center in Western Maryland. The study included identifying industry interest, analyzing market potential, selecting technology areas and determining facility needs.

The new work group will make recommendations based on the initial findings of the feasibility study, such as determining a potential site location, identifying possible funding sources and refining design and cost estimates for construction. The work group will also identify partnership opportunities and establish specific needs based on feedback from the entities that would use the facility.

The workgroup will also collaborate with local community colleges to develop workforce training programs and build relationships with local businesses.

Read the full article for more information.