Community solar could shine in Western Maryland

Gary Skulnik is working to bring solar energy to consumers who don’t have panels on their roofs.

Skulnik is CEO of Neighborhood Sun. The startup company, based in Silver Spring, Md., is signing up subscribers for what is known as a “community solar” project near Williamsport, Md. The 20-acre tract will host a 1,980-kilowatt facility, serving some 350 subscribers.

“This has been tried in a few states. It started in Colorado. … You don’t actually get the power from this solar plant. (The power) goes into the grid,” he said of community solar.

The idea is to replace “dirty” energy in the grid with power from renewable sources. […]

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Maryland Chamber lobbyist: ‘We’re going to have our work cut out for us in 2019’

After talking about the Maryland General Assembly for about an hour, Lawrence A. Richardson Jr. turned his remarks to business leaders. “They (state lawmakers) see us all the time,” said Richardson, vice president for government affairs for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. It’s more effective, he said, when lawmakers hear directly from business leaders in their districts. “We know it’s a hike to Annapolis,” he said. “We know it’s a pain … .” But it often takes testimony from real business leaders to get a point across, he said. That thought was echoed by Paul Frey, president and chief executive […]

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‘We need caring people to help other people’

Joseph ‘Jake’ Jacobs, high-school health and physical education instructor and adjunct college professor   Joseph “Jake” Jacobs believes your coffee break should improve your health. “I’m a big advocate for ‘active’ coffee breaks,” he wrote in an email, whether that’s a 20-minute yoga session or 20 minutes of hitting golf balls on the driving range. Jacobs is health and physical education instructor at St. John’s Catholic Prep in Buckeystown, Md., and an adjunct professor at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md., and Penn State Mont Alto.  He holds a doctorate in the psychology of sport from the University of Maryland, College Park. […]

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Medical moves: Satellite health facilities expand area hospitals’ reach

Hospital organizations in the Crossroads area are offering an array of off-site services — from urgent and primary care to X-rays and specialized practices — as one way to adapt to the increasing need for, and expense of, health care. On May 30, Summit Health broke ground on a $15 million, three-story, 45,000-square-foot medical office building in Greencastle, Pa. Meritus Health is working on a $15 million outpatient center north of Hagerstown, Md., anticipating a November or December opening. In early May, WVU Medicine opened a $13.5 million, 40,000-square foot medical building in Spring Mills, W.Va. These additions are just […]

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Washington County, Md., business development department vows to listen

The Washington County Department of Business Development has promised to do a lot of listening. Representatives of the department spoke at a Washington County Chamber of Commerce “Eggs and Issues” breakfast recently. Susan Small, the department’s business leader, said the department will work on that team approach moving forward. “Our biggest charge this year, for our department of business development and working with our Economic Development Commission, is going to be partnerships, internally and externally,” she said. Small joined Linda Spence, the business and event coordinator, and Leslie Hart, the agriculture business specialist, in speaking at the breakfast. “You will see […]

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Time off for some means business opportunity for others

Leisure time for some generates millions of dollars for area businesses, according to tourism reports for the Crossroads region. Tourism leaders say that’s because of the area’s mix of historic sites, parks and activities. “History is our hook, but recreation is what people do,” said Janet Pollard, executive director of the Franklin County (Pa.) Visitors Bureau. That sentiment also was expressed, in one way or another, by several other tourism leaders throughout the Crossroads area. They said they market their communities’ ties to history — such as Civil War sites — as well as state and national parks and activities […]

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Expert: Businesses need to adapt to workforce changes

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Like customers, workers change over time, and businesses that don’t adapt to those changes risk missing out. That was one of the messages Kathy George of Spherion Staffing Services delivered at a recent Leadership Washington County (Md.) event. The staffing company is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Emerging Workforce Study. Every year since 1997, George said, the study has dug into the changing workforce. Much of her talk in Hagerstown, Md., focused on “Connecting the Generations.” And she went over some of the popular generational differences, parsing out concerns and priorities for baby boomers, Generation X, […]

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Harpers Ferry park leader: Pleasure to interact with visitors

Tyrone Brandyburg, superintendent at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia, is a 33-year veteran of the National Park Service. Born in Orangeburg, S.C., Brandyburg graduated from Branchville High School in Branchville, S.C., and received a bachelor’s degree in American history and education from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. As an undergraduate, Brandyburg started his National Park Service career through a co-op program at Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston, S.C. “After graduation, I worked as a park ranger for three years while gaining experience in collections/museum management and supervision,” he wrote in an email. “I transferred to Tuskegee […]

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‘We can tell our client’s story’

Scott Bowen of MSB Architects   From the fish tank in the wall to the guitars by the desk to the trademark bow tie he wears, Scott Bowen’s office atmosphere reflects a bit of his personal story. The architect, based in Hagerstown, Md., said that’s what his firm tries to do for its clients — to blend practical needs with an artistic vision that tells a client’s story. Three-dimensional models and large photographs show off some of those projects, such as the picture of the Lucy School in Frederick, Md., and the model of the planned expansion of the Schmankerl Stube […]

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Grocery pickup, delivery could fuel Walmart’s online growth

Walmart’s plans for online growth start with everyday items like groceries in everyday places like Hagerstown, Md., and Charles Town, W.Va. The world’s largest retailer plans to reach a 40 percent U.S. online growth target by next year. In a note to clients, Seth Sigman, an analyst at Credit Suisse, said Walmart’s latest moves — which include pickup service and a delivery option in many cities — might help it hit that target. Market Insider reported that Sigman considers online grocery sales “largely an untapped market.” “For (Walmart), given how early it is, we think it can lead to growth, […]

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