New Year’s Eve, Monday December 31, and, New Year’s Day, Tuesday January 1

Happy New Year from Deep Creek Lake, MD

We definitely had a mix of weather over the past few days, with Sunday warming up nicely.

Today’s weather will be rain, mainly before 4pm. High near 52 and low around 43. Breezy, with a south wind 15 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 48 mph. New Year’s Day will be a chance of light rain, mainly before 10am then mostly cloudy, with a temperature falling to around 38 by 5pm. Breezy, with a west wind 14 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. Overnight, a slight chance of rain, mixing with snow after 10pm, then gradually ending. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30.

The State Police have been increasing roadside enforcement efforts during the holidays to ensure our safety.  I have seen a bunch of folks pulled over by troopers the past few days.  Please drive safely and respect the law during this New Year’s holiday.

The Garrett College Foundation has announced that Dr. Robert W. Smith has received the Dr. Jeanne H. Neff Award for Distinguished Service.  He was nominated on behalf of the Garrett College Foundation Board for his strong leadership and tireless commitment to the students and future of Garrett College. Thank you for your efforts and congratulations Dr. Smith.

So many folks pledge to quit smoking for their New Year’s resolution I thought I would include this in Notes.  The Garrett County Health Department can help you quit this year with three group classes scheduled to begin the first three months of the year.  The three Tobacco Cessation Classes will be held at the Health Department’s  Oakland office and leverage findings that indicate group sessions are more effective helping folks quit.

Every New Year the fireworks start around the lake about 10:00 pm and I don’t expect this year to be any different, so here’s some practical suggestions from the Maryland State Fire Marshall relative to fireworks if you don’t attend a public, professional fireworks event:

  • Purchase the fireworks in the location where you intend to discharge them. Check with the local municipality to determine what fireworks are considered legal for use in that area.
  • Read and follow label warnings and instructions.
  • Do not allow small children to use fireworks.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages while using fireworks.
  • Have a bucket of water or hose available
  • Fully extinguish the remains of fireworks in water before disposal.

Don’t forget that there are still plenty of outdoor and outdoor-related activities available around the lake this time of year.  Here’s what’s available at the Deep Creek Lake State Park, including their First Day Hike on Tuesday.

Monday December 31

11:00 a.m. Hungry Critters

Meet us inside the Discovery Center as we feed the critters! You will be given a chance to touch a live reptile or amphibian!  

1:00 p.m. Self-Guided Scavenger Hunts

Take this self-guided trip around the Discovery Center to answer questions like “What color eyes does a Box Turtle have?”.

Tuesday January 1

10:00 a.m. First Day Hike

Get outside and hike on this national day of hikes and walks for a guided hike of our Beckman’s Loop and finish off your experience with complimentary hot chocolate.  Hike is approx. 2.5 miles and will take 2 hours.

Talk to you again on Wednesday! Have a great holiday.

Friday December 28, Saturday December 29, Sunday December 30

The weather for today will be scattered showers, cloudy, with a high near 57 and a low around 32. Breezy, with a west wind 16 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. Saturday will be partly sunny, with a high near 34 and a low around 25. Sunday will be partly sunny, with a high near 39 and a low around 33. Chance of precipitation after 5am.

On Saturday, the Oakland Branch of the Ruth Enlow Library will be holding a Board Games event open to all from Noon until 4:00 pm. There will be many old and new games available or you can bring your own.  Sounds like a fun way to play games and meet new people.

There are some good high school sports events at our local high schools this weekend.  Check out our Events calendar for a listing of home and away events, including the Snowball Classic Basketball Tournament at Southern High School on Friday.

HART for animals is holding their Fur Ball Casino 2018 on New Year’s Eve at Dutch’s from 6:00 pm – 11:30 pm. These are great events and always a good time AND proceeds go to help support the great work HART does on behalf of our furry friends.

Here’s something different: Deep Creek Lake-based A Touch of Class Limousines has a Holiday Lights Group Tour leaving from the Marriott in Frederick on Saturday evening.  The tours cover Seneca Creek State Park,  Festival of Lights at the Mormon Temple and the National Christmas tree at the Ellipse.  You can find more information on their website or by calling them at 301.845.5059.

The Maryland Department of Planning has sent a reminder and an apology for the broken links they had in their December 21st announcement, all pertaining to their Better Maryland Plan feedback and listening sessions.  They have two online listening sessions scheduled for January 10th.  Here’s the link to their page that covers the whole program including the updated links to register.

We are really lucky to have such great State Parks in Garrett County.  Caroline Blizzard has sent over programs for Deep Creek Lake State Park for the remainder of this month and the beginning of January and I am listing them here. They are open every day through the holiday and have some nice programming planned:

Friday December 28

11:00 a.m. Snowshoeing for Beginners

Learn the    basics of snowshoeing and join the Naturalist for a trek around the Discovery Center. Snowshoes are provided. Free—please call for reservations.

1:00 p.m. Hungry Critters

Meet us inside the Discovery Center as we feed the critters! You will be given a chance to touch a live reptile or amphibian!  

Saturday December 29

11:00 a.m. Tracks and Trails Walk

Join the Naturalist for a 1-hour walk looking for animal tracks and signs of wildlife. Dress for the weather!

 2:00 p.m. First Impressions

Some animals are born with a bad reputation.  This interactive program shows that even creepy crawlies have their own important role in nature.  Get the opportunity to meet one of the animals behind the misconceptions!

Sunday December 30

11:00 a.m. What’s that Reptile?

Come to the Discovery Center to learn about the reptiles and amphibians in the center and you may have a chance to touch these amazing cold-blooded creatures!

 2:00 p.m. Aviary Feeding

Join us to learn some interesting facts, hear each bird’s story, and watch these amazing raptors eat!

Monday December 31

11:00 a.m. Hungry Critters

Meet us inside the Discovery Center as we feed the critters! You will be given a chance to touch a live reptile or amphibian!  

1:00 p.m. Self-Guided Scavenger Hunts

Take this self-guided trip around the Discovery Center to answer questions like “What color eyes does a Box Turtle have?”.

Tuesday January 1

10:00 a.m. First Day Hike

Get outside and hike on this national day of hikes and walks for a guided hike of our Beckman’s Loop and finish off your experience with complimentary hot chocolate.  Hike is approx. 2.5 miles and will take 2 hours.

 

 

 

 

Thursday December 27

The weather for today will be partly sunny during the day and then changing to rain tonight. A high near 41, falling to near 37 by 8pm, then rising to around 47 during the remainder of the night. Southeast wind 16 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

I saw “The Mule” last evening at Garrett 8 Cinemas with my wife Jean. Good movie, directed, produced and starring Clint Eastwood, and also starring Bradley Cooper.  Certainly interesting, even if a bit “dark” in an effort, I think, to get viewers thinking about life and how they live it, along with the consequences of their decisions along the way.

It’s Team Trivia tonight at Mountain State Brewing Company in McHenry from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.  It’s free and any number can play on a team and win prizes.

A reminder that the Allegany Arts Council’s Holiday Market Artisan Village is still running until December 30th at their gallery on Centre Street in downtown Cumberland. If you like nice artwork from local artists, you can see it and purchase it there.

Speaking of artwork, and this time much closer to home, don’t forget to check out the Garrett County Arts Council’s Gallery Shop on second street in downtown Oakland. They always have a great selection of locally crafted art at attractive prices. While you are there, don’t forget to check out some of the downtown museums and other local retail shops and eateries. You can easily spend a very nice few hours in downtown Oakland. Check it out!

Here’s one for our readers with serious artistic ability and you definitely have our stamp of approval.  The State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced the twenty-third annual Maryland Black Bear Conservation Stamp Design Contest. The contest is open to artists that submit an entry by March 8th.  I know we have some very talented artists in Garrett County, one of which has already designed some US postage stamps.

OK, one last thing on the local arts scene, this time the performing arts. Our friend Mary Callis at the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF) asked us to remind everyone that GLAF’s 2019 schedule is now set and tickets are for sale. If you enter the special code holiday18, Mary will even give you $10 off the season subscription price.  Check out this link to GLAF’s site for “the scoop.”  It will be another great season and I will be there as often as possible.

Wednesday December 26

We hope you all enjoyed your holiday! We sure did! The weather today will be sunny with a high near 37 and a low around 27.

We have had some snow! Remember to check in with our snowfall page for periodic snowfall reports.

Look at this gorgeous “white Christmas” we had! Photo by Marissa M:

If you have about 20 minutes; Photographer Leo Beachy documented early life here in our area and Southwestern PA— here is the WQED documentary “Leo Beachy: A Legacy Nearly Lost” from writer/producer David Solomon, videographer/editor: Paul Ruggieri.

Christmas Day December 25

Merry Christmas to all…
Sarah and Mike

The weather for today will be partly sunny with a high of about 30 degrees. With the snow on the ground it is bright out there.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday December 24

The weekend had a mix of all types of weather for us, from sun, to rain, to snow.  Today’s weather will be cloudy with a high near 29 and a low around 21. Breezy, with a west wind 17 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.

Christmas Day will have a chance of light snow, mainly between noon and 2pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 31 and a low around 26.

Well, Christmas Eve has finally arrived. I, along with all kids (you know who you are), am really getting excited for the visit from the big guy and all the presents he (hopefully) brings. That must be why the Walmart in Oakland was crazy-busy yesterday afternoon, with the parking lot almost full and the store the most crowded I have seen it. I was in Morgantown Saturday and our Walmart seemed much busier. Just my observation.

Apparently, Santa is running ahead of schedule, as he and his helpers will be making a stop at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Lake Vacations today from 10:00 am – Noon.  They will have cookies and hot chocolate and opportunities for photos with Santa. Thanks Santa… and Taylor-Made!

Just a heads-up here:  If you are planning on dining out Christmas Eve, note that a number of local establishments are closing early (or closed completely).  A number appear to be closing at 6:00 pm or earlier, so please plan in advance.  You can check our Area Dining Guide for phone numbers and website links.

Crossroads Church has announced that they will be hosting a Jingle Mingle Social Hour at 4:00 pm this afternoon followed by a candlelight service at 5:00 pm.  NOTE: Both events are at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry.

Here’s a link to the State of Maryland Board of Public Works agenda for their January 2nd meeting in Annapolis.  While state-wide in scope, these meetings and their topics definitely impact us here in Garrett County.

Speaking of the state, all citizens are invited to participate in one of two upcoming online listening sessions for the new state development plan, A Better Maryland.  The online sessions are being held Thursday, January 10, at 1:00 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… 🎶🎶

This photo from Marissa M.was taken yesterday;

Christmas Weekend 2018 in Deep Creek Lake, MD

Merry Christmas to all! Talk to you on Wednesday!

Friday December 21, Saturday December 22, Sunday December 23

The weather for this weekend will be rain and snow – depending on how temperatures develop this evening and into tomorrow, especially, we could see some quick snow accumulation: Today will be rain with a high near 48 and a low around 30. Breezy with snow tonight with a west wind 11 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. On Saturday, snow showers likely, mainly before 11am and a high near 30 and a low around 26. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible during the day. Sunday has a slight chance of rain and snow showers but, otherwise, partly sunny during the day with a high near 38 and a low of 26. Some snow showers expected through Sunday night.

Don’t forget that the LED Community Christmas Tree, with accompanying music you can receive on your car radio, will be up all weekend.  The tree is in front of the Oakland Community center on 8th street.  That is the “old armory building” for those that know that location.

Rural Matters, a digital publication of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) just came out on Thursday.  They always have some good, relevant stories for communities such as ours. This issue, for example, has stories on community water sharing and the joy of retirement. Click here to go to their latest digital edition.

The Winter Mountain Fresh Farmers Market will be open on Saturday in the Community Action Building on Center Street in Oakland from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.  Always some nice, locally made/grown goodies available.

Here’s something different, inexpensive and family-oriented for you to consider this weekend: The Southern High School Boys Basketball team will be hosting Notre Dame (the high school, not the college) Saturday evening at 6:00 pm. Why not bring the family and any guests in town and root-on the home team.

The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area’s Mini-Grant Program is now accepting applications on a rolling cycle. The mini-grant program is a dollar-for-dollar matching grant, up to $2,000.00, designed to provide funding for non-capital projects including innovative exhibits, tours, events, planning and projects which build upon interpretive themes identified in the Heritage Area’s Management Plan.

Governor Hogan has declared Monday, December 24, 2018, as a holiday and all state agencies will be closed.

John R Miller is playing at MoonShadow Friday evening at 8:00 pm. Day Old News is playing there on Saturday evening from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm. And on Sunday, Jim Neville will be playing there at Noon for free. You can check out their live music schedule on their page and also on our events page.

I know, I know.  It’s the weekend right before Christmas, so you are thinking about technology transfer and the National Security Agency (NSA). Aren’t we all? Well if you are a Garrett County citizen or business owner or thinking of becoming one, the NSA has a very rich tech transfer program that can connect you to their patents and inventions for you and your business to commercialize.

Thursday December 20

Yesterday was a nice day at the lake. Today’s weather will be mostly cloudy with rain likely after 3pm; a high near 44 and a low around 40 degrees.

On Saturday, Garrett County hosted the 3rd Annual Police Providing Presents event.  Volunteers from all five (5) Garrett County law enforcement agencies along with the Garrett County Department of Social Services, Garrett County Board of Education, Garrett County Health Department and AmeriCorps partnered together to help make the event possible. Here’s a photo of a few of Garrett County’s Finest with Santa. Thank you all for all you do every day.

Deep Creek Lake, MD Police Providing Presents event

Did you know you (and maybe a friend or two) can bring your own needlework – whether it’s knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, embroidery, or lap quilting and join others for two hours of relaxation and fun this afternoon from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Oakland branch of the Ruth Enlow Library? Well you can and it’s free and there is no registration necessary. To me, this is a kind of laid-back networking event for folks with needlework skills.  Good idea.

Our Town Theatre opens their stage to anyone who has something to share this evening from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm as part of Open Mic Night. Music, short stories, poetry, dance, skits, etc are all welcome. So come out and share your talent and have some fun.

The Allegany Arts Council is hosting their Holiday Market Artisan Village at their gallery on Centre Street in Cumberland through December 30th. There will be local handmade items, jewelry, goodies and seasonal activities for you to enjoy.

The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) is hosting their 2019 Legislative Outlook for Economic Development Conference in Annapolis on January 10th from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. Here’s a link to the draft agenda for the event. MEDA is THE organization for economic development in the state and I am sure there will be representatives from our county government there. I wanted to make sure our readers are aware as economic development is a critical topic in Garrett County and other parts of the state.

Wednesday December 19

Today’s weather will be sunny, with a high near 49 and a low around 32.

I had the pleasure of attending the Civic Club of Oakland’s annual holiday party yesterday. The lunch at Dutch’s was really good, but the real story was the awards given to three deserving members of the club. “Woman” of the Year was awarded to two worthy individuals: Marilyn Ruyman and Judi Merriman.  Volunteer of the Year was Karen Lauer.  I know all three of these wonderful, giving winners and offer a hearty congratulations!

Nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic governors and the Mayor of Washington, D.C. announced yesterday a decision to move forward with a regional clean transportation initiative. These 10 members of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) will now transition from a year-long public comment phase, which engaged communities, businesses and stakeholders across the region, to begin crafting policies and programs to address their transportation challenges, improve mobility, provide more transportation options and curb the largest source of pollution that contributes to climate change.

MoonShadow Cafe is hosting its monthly Acoustic Rock Jam this evening from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm.  Just bring your instrument and jam on. If trivia is more your thing, the Greene Turtle is hosting Team Trivia from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

Garrett Lakes Arts Festival has released its 2018 annual report with recaps of this past season and a look at the 2019 season. Next season looks to be another strong one, with Walt & Jackie in April, The Maryland Symphony returning in June with a Russian inspired concert, August has Seldom Scene and a return engagement by the Maryland Ballet Theatre of Aladdin and the Prophecy of the Ring. Wow!

The Community Trust Foundation recently granted $20,000 to Music at Penn Alps for their K-12 Tutoring Program. This was made possible through the Naylor Family Trust Fund and will provide private instrumental or vocal music lessons to youth in the region.

The holiday season is a great time of year but, as we have seen with our mentions of fire safety and portable generator safety in recent Daily Notes, there can be risks associated with some holiday or cold-weather activities. Yesterday, the Garrett County Health Department issued a release – Celebrate with Safety in Mind –  on the impact of alcohol consumption and related safety tips for the holidays. It’s a good reminder.

Here’s an interesting one for you: Candystore.com recently asked 13,000 customers what the worst Christmas candies were and they got a mouthful (yes, that was a joke). I found the list surprising.  The worst candy as voted on by the respondents was…  Christmas Nougat Candy!  Surprisingly, candy canes came in 13th.  You can click here for the full report. Now, if you want to know the favorites, you can click here.  Hint, the favorite in Maryland is Reese’s Cup Minis. You can click here for the full story on Christmas candy favorites.

Tuesday December 18

Yesterday was breezy but sunny. Today’s weather will be partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 34 and a low around 20.

I know I don’t have a lot of readers that are between the ages of three and five years old, but this post is for them (and their parents and grandparents). The Kitzmiller branch of the Ruth Enlow Library is holding its Children’s Story Time this morning from 10:30 am -11:00 am. Kids can look, listen, sing, and play while learning through stories, crafts, and other fun activities.

The County Commissioners invites the public to their Holiday Open House at the Courthouse today from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm. You can browse the new art installation and there will also be entertainment and light refreshments. Now, if you have a few outstanding warrants for your arrest, you may want to pass on this one. Only kidding…

The Cindy’s Fund Cancer Support Group meets this evening from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm in the Garrett Regional Medical Center’s boardroom.  This is open to all that are dealing with cancer, in recovery or providing support.

If you are planning to stop by the Garrett County Chamber’s Visitors Center please note that it will be closing at 2:00 pm on December 24th and closed all day on December 25th. It will also be closing at 2:00 pm on December 31st and closed all day on January 1st.

The office of the Maryland State Fire Marshall has some good advice on holiday fire prevention for all of us. Their information release yesterday covered everything from frying turkeys (never when frozen) to keeping your live Christmas tree fresh. You can check out their tips here.

Well, the holiday season is always followed by the tax season. Fortunately, Garrett College has two courses to help you become more knowledgeable about taxes:

  • Income Tax Preparation 101 – January 8th and 19th, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Garrett College McHenry campus; and
  • Tax Reform with AARP Maryland – January 18th, 10:00 am – 2:30 pm, Grantsville Senior Center

Please contact the college’s Continuing Education & Workforce Development department at 301.387.3069 for more information.

The Garrett County Board of Education (GCBOE) is seeking a professionally-qualified consultant/firm to work with its members to create a strategic plan to address its strategic issues through a comprehensive, data-driven, and community-engaged planning process. The deadline for receipt of a proposal is Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 5:00 P.M. (EST)

Monday December 17

The weekend was rainy but not as rainy as some places downstate, where the ground is truly waterlogged, with severe runoff issues. Today’s weather is partly sunny, with a high near 35 and a low of 22. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph.

We just received the latest Dispatch (Fall/Holiday edition) from the Property Owners Association of Deep Creek Lake.  This issue covers some important updates and information for all that live on/around the lake and/or use it for recreation.  You can find the complete edition here 

The Garrett County Department of Solid Waste & Recycling  announced their Holiday Hours on Friday:
-The landfill will be open normal hours on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day
-The refuse collection sites will close at 12 noon on Christmas Eve and remain closed on Christmas Day
-The Landfill and collection sites will also be closed New Year’s Day

Governor Larry Hogan will join Dr. Karen Salmon, Maryland’s State Superintendent of Schools, on Tuesday to announce the newest Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools. I will keep an eye out to see if any Garrett County schools make it this year.  Some visitors and second homeowners may not realize we have some exceptional schools and a highly regarded school system here in the mountains around the lake.

State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci is reminding the Citizens of Maryland to take care in the use of portable generators.  Many people use portable generators during power outages.  The most common risks of using the generators are carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shock, electrocution, and fires. The photo they sent is a bit fuzzy, but here’s a link to their page for a better view.

Maryland Generator Safety

Did you know that the average American expects to spend $633 on Christmas in 2018, with $341.82 (54%) going towards gifts, $132.93 (21%) going towards travel, $88.62 (14%) going towards other expenses, and $69.63 (11%) going towards decorations? With Christmas so near, I thought I would share that little factoid from LendEDU along with the rest of their recent study on holiday spending. Remember, there are plenty of great small shops in Garrett County that have great, unique gifts for sale.

Its half-price pizza Monday at Brenda’s every Monday, and the Greene Turtle has their senior night buffet from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm this evening. Check out our Dining Specials for some other listed specials on pizza, wings, etc. from other local establishments.

Friday December 14, Saturday December 15, Sunday December 16

This weekend’s weather will be mostly rainy. Rain today, mainly after 1pm. A high near 43 anda low around 38. Saturday will be periods of rain. High near 46 and low around 47. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Sunday, rain likely, mainly before 10am then cloudy, with a high near 40. East wind around 6 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible and a low around 31. Rain and snow showers possible into Monday morning.

Wisp Resort is opening today from 9am-9pm for the 2018-2019 season! The Mountain Park will open on Saturday, December 15 from 10am-7pm and Sunday, December 16 from 10am – 5pm with Snow Tubing and Mountain Coaster. Here’s a photo I took one evening this past week:

Wisp Resort at Night at Deep Creek Lake, MD

Interesting facts: Wisp Resort began snowmaking on Wednesday, November 21 and as of 6:00 am Thursday, December 13, a total of 56 million gallons of water had been pumped equating to approximately 367 acre feet of snow while running the system for 319 total hours.

As of Thursday evening (when I write these Notes), Maryland and Pennsylvania police are still searching for a suspect believed to have been involved in two armed bank robberies in Garrett County.  The robber allegedly “hit” the First United Bank in Friendsville and then the M&T Bank in Grantsville.  Area schools were locked-down and police rallied to the scenes. Interestingly, M&T Bank’s Oakland branch went ahead and hosted the Chamber’s Business After Hours last evening, which was well attended and well done.

Congratulations are in order for Alice Blayne Allard, whom Sarah and I first had the pleasure of working with through the Power of Possibilities entrepreneurship program and business plan competition (which Alice won in 2016).  Alice just purchased a site to construct her new building in the McHenry Business Park to build her cooperage business. She will be making barrels there for the local and not so local distilled spirits industry. We are very proud of her.

The Grantsville branch of the Ruth Enlow Library will be having their Christmas Open House Friday from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm.  They will have live music, crafts, prize drawings, refreshments and (based on a tip from an elf we know) a special visit from Santa.

Proposed new textbooks for the elementary band program are on display for review by the general public on the first floor of the Central Office and at Accident Elementary School. Please feel free to provide comments about these textbooks on the comment sheets provided at each location or contact Mrs. Penny Proudfoot, Director of Elementary Education, at 301-334-7644, for questions or for more information.

Local pet adoption center HART for Animals has a holiday tree with wishlist items for adoptable animals. Stop by and pick up a tag.

Also of note and deserving of our congratulations are those recently recognized by the Oakland – Mt. Lake Park Lions Club: Eric Robison, Gene Flinn, Regis Marucci, Mark Marucci and Chuck Olssen. The Lions and these fellows do some important work making our community a better place and we tip our respective hats to them!

Don’t forget that there will be s’mores, store specials, Santa, sleigh rides, a petting zoo and music in downtown Oakland on Saturday from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm as part of their Great Small Town Christmas celebration.

Even though it’s winter, there are still fish looking to be caught in the lake. According to the latest edition (and last of the season) of the Maryland Fishing Report, fishing for yellow perch and walleye along the steeper shorelines has been good with minnows under a slip bobber or fishing close to the bottom with a lip hooked minnow on a jig head. The report also comments on fishing action for other lake fish. I always thought the fish went down to Florida for the winter! Who knew?

Thursday December 13

The weather for today will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 41 and a low around 33.

Speaking of the weather, I noticed the Wisp has been taking advantage of the cooler weather and making snow on their slopes.  Their tube park, which is a lot of fun for us non-skiers, also looked covered and groomed yesterday evening. Yeah!

Garrett County has some great things going on all around for the holidays, but if you live downstate or are traveling there for the holidays, there’s a lot of things going on state-wide this month, some of which might be of interest to our readers.

In nearby Cumberland, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is hosting “WinterLand on the Western Maryland” train rides Friday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s through December 23rd.

The Hickory Environmental Center’s Open House is this afternoon from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Guests are welcome to tour the nature hall and see short demonstrations in the planetarium. There is no admission fee, and all are welcome.

Garrett 8 Cinemas is upgrading the seating in each of their theaters.

Like games? You can come out to Mountain State Brewing Company this evening at 6:30 for a free and fun game of Team Trivia! Team Trivia allows you and any amount of players on your team to compete and test your knowledge for some nice prizes. It’s free and they have great pizza and make their own beer.

The Community Development Network of Maryland is hosting Western Maryland Community Stakeholder Meetings on December 20th in Cumberland and Frederick. You can register for either session here.

The PACE Committee is excited to share that registration for the 43rd Annual Mountain Maryland PACE event held in Annapolis is now open! You’ll find all the details you need on their website.  By the way, PACE stands for Positive Attitudes Change Everything.  Isn’t that the truth!

Wednesday December 12

Today’s weather will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 37 and a low around 31. A slight chance of snow and freezing rain from 11pm through Thursday morning.

The Lake is beginning to freeze in places, too. I’ve even seen a few coves with people standing on the ice so far this year. As a reminder, the ice thickness can drastically vary so PLEASE be cautious if you are venturing out onto the ice at any time. Here are the MD DNR guidelines for lake-ice safety. You can see our Lake temperature reading is hovering right at 32 degrees.

The Polar Express Pajama Party arrives this morning at 10:00 am at the Oakland branch of the Ruth Enlow Library and then proceeds to the Oakland B&O Railroad Museum train station. There will be stories and crafts at the library followed by a movie and activities at the train station.  Sounds cool for all the young ones in town.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has released the results of a survey of 2,200 Maryland residents regarding deer hunting. More than 70 percent of those surveyed think that deer should be hunted to help manage for a healthy population and over half of those surveyed think the department does a good job conserving and managing the deer population. Click here to read more.

Don’t forget that the LED Community Christmas Tree along with music is still around every evening from 5:00 pm – 11:30 pm. You can pull up and tune your car radio to 87.0 for the rolling 45 minute show.

Like the library? Want to play a role in making it even better? Join the Friends of the Library and share your ideas for fundraising and for programs this evening from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm at the Oakland branch. They do a great job and want to keep giving the community what they want and need, so go over and share your thoughts and ideas.

Don’t forget that there is Team Trivia this evening at the Greene Turtle in McHenry from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm.  It’s free and fun and they have good food and nice beverages.  Any number can play.

Tomorrow — the Hickory Environmental Education Center is holding their annual Christmas Open House. Tour the nature hall and see short demonstrations in the planetarium. I heard they have a few really great murals to see, too!

The Deep Creek Watershed Foundation does some great work for us all protecting the lake and the surrounding area and asked me to post this Holiday Greeting to all our readers.  I urge you to go to their site to learn more about the organization and their work and also to please consider a donation.

Tuesday December 11

The weather for today will be sunny, with a high near 30 and a low around 24. West wind gusting as high as 29 mph.

I bet you didn’t know that today is International Mountain Day! Well, it is, as it was designated by the United Nations General Assembly back in 2003.  There may be bigger or taller mountains in the world, but we are the only mountain with Deep Creek Lake “on top.”  The theme for this year’s International Mountain Day is mountain farming, which is very appropriate for our area.

Here is a photo from @jwampler14 on Instagram:

jwampler14 at Deep Creek Lake, MD

The Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF) is holding its annual meeting and open house this afternoon from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm in the office of GLAF Executive Director Mary Callis (room #329 at Garrett College, across from the new STEM building).  There will be free cookies and hot chocolate and you can ask questions and learn about the upcoming 2019 season, which should be another great one.

There was a propane leak on Glen Meadow Road last evening. A faulty check valve was to blame; HazMat teams, EMS and several Fire Departments were on site about 7 hours. There were no injuries.

On Friday Garrett County officials met with representatives from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Deep Creek Lake Policy Review Board, the Deep Creek Lake Property Owners Association, the Friends of Deep Creek Lake and the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation to discuss developing the scope of work for a Deep Creek Lake Sedimentation Plan. Here’s the summary from that meeting.

State Comptroller Peter Franchot has announced that nominations for the Cornerstone Award for Local Business Excellence are now being accepted. This new award celebrates businesses that strengthen Maryland’s economy, generate jobs and tax revenue, develop new ideas and are a leader in their local community.  I can think of at least a dozen Garrett County businesses that are deserving. The nominating period closes the end of December.

There’s a “Stand Together – Opioid Town Hall Meeting” this evening from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Bloomington Volunteer Fire Department. I continue to be impressed with our county’s response to the Opioid crisis and this is one more example.

Also on the Opioid front: We just heard that the county has received a federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration called the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Planning Grant.  The grant runs for one year and will address the gaps in opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and/or recovery services and access to care. The Health Department, along with other county groups are the recipients of the grant. That’s good news indeed and congratulations are in order.

The Chamber of Commerce is hosting their December Business After Hours on Thursday, December 13th, from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at M&T Bank in Oakland. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for the local “Toys for Tots Campaign” to this Business After Hours and you will receive a free ticket to a future Business After Hours event.