Friday February 22, Saturday February 23, Sunday February 24

Yesterday was “the great melt!” With temperatures in the 40’s and sunny, a lot of the snow melted, but there is still a nice base at Wisp (there were folks on the tube park and slopes and even a few ice fishing on the lake).  This weekend’s weather will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 40 and a low around 30. Saturday is a chance of freezing rain before 10am, then rain likely. Overall, cloudy, with temperatures holding steady near 39. Sunday will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 50 and a low of 23. Winds could gust as high as 55 mph and a slight chance of snow showers before 11pm.

The big story this weekend is the Maryland State Police Deep Creek Dunk for Special Olympics Maryland. today is preregistration and “Goosebumps, Grapes & Growlers” as well as local student dunks and tomorrow (Saturday) is “the main event” when hundreds of folks will take a dip in the (very cold) lake. And it’s all to help the 7,782 Special Olympics Maryland athletes who train and compete year-round.

If you are going to the Dunk, don’t be in a rush and get there in plenty of time.  If you are traveling on 219, North or South, near Garrett 8 and Arrowhead, expect delays/congestion, especially on Saturday late morning and most of the afternoon. Above all, please be courteous! Just thought I would remind everyone, as it gets a little hectic every year around this great event.

There is a new wood stove and a set of 8 dining chairs added to the furniture section of our online marketplace – check it out!

While many of us don’t think of February as prime fishing season, there are some opportunities for some nice “hits” even during these colder months, including from some trophy-size fish.  Here’s the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Fishing Report issued yesterday.  Note that they urge caution on the current ice conditions on Deep Creek and elsewhere. There’s lots of open water!

There is a lot going on in the area this weekend, from music to sports, fundraisers and nature education, so I suggest you go to our Upcoming Events section where you will find details on all of the events, including locations, directions and event-specific details. Have fun.

Congratulations to our friend, previous Garrett County resident, and local investor: Dorothy Andreas. Her book Streamline Success: Eliminate Chaos from your Service Business is now available for purchase! Dorothy is a seasoned business leader with great insight — she has started 9 businesses over the course of her career!

It’s almost time for Military March.  This is an annual promotion sponsored by Mountain State Brewing and the Chamber that provides discounts to active military members at various entities around the lake and in the county. Here’s the link to the Military March section on the Visit Deep Creek website.

Bats in the belfry?  Hopefully not.  But, here’s an interesting piece on squirrels in the attic (February is actually the prime season when they head to our attics) and create havoc.  This piece and additional links gives some practical insight and tips. Note: Erie Insurance is not an advertiser and we do not get a commission. Just trying to help our readers out during “squirrel season!”

Finally, I thought I would share the legislative priorities of the Community Development Network of Maryland, as they are strong supporters of our Garrett County communities and have some priorities that seem to align with those of the Deep Creek Lake area. Click here for a link to their site.

Have a great weekend folks!

Thursday February 21

Well, we received about four inches of snow yesterday, then a few hours of sleet and some freezing rain on top of that. Lots of local organizations closed and cancelled events.  Today’s weather will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 41 and a low around 26. West wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

Speaking of snow, one of 2018 contest winners, Chuck C., used his Wisp passes to hit the slopes this past weekend! Here’s a photo of him and his “gang” with smiles on their faces. Glad you all had a great time!

Deep Creek Times Contest Winners

Speaking of Skiing, Herrington Manor State Park reports good conditions on their cross county trails, with about four inches of fresh granular snow and sleet down. Rentals are available seven days a week when snow conditions are favorable. On weekdays, when the Lake House is closed, rentals are available at the Ranger Station. Rental hours are 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. For more information and to confirm conditions and if they are open, call them at 301.334.9180.

You want Coffee? Books? Even More?  The Accident branch of the Ruth Enlow Library is hosting “Coffee, Books and More” this afternoon from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm.  You will be able to relax with your fellow book lovers as the librarians and others share their latest reads. You just may discover a new favorite author or book.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) will be holding their February “Cocktails and Convos” event at MoonShadow this evening from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. This is as an informal get together for members and guests to meet and chat. They will also be collecting recipes for their cookbook fundraiser, so be sure to bring your favorite recipe on an index card to share and maybe be included.

Sarah and I founded and co-directed the Power of Possibilities (POP) initiative for the county and Jodi McClintock has now taken over and run with it, with continued success. Dozens of small businesses have been formed and helped by the POP effort, that includes mentoring, workshops, business plan competitions and regular conferences among other components, all designed to help build entrepreneurial spirit and success in the county. Here’s a link to an article on Discount Duo, last year’s business plan competition winner. Good stuff.

It’s Team Trivia night this evening at Mountain State Brewing Company from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. House prizes are awarded for first, second & third places! Check it out and their great flatbread pizzas as well. 

There’s a Women’s Networking Happy Hour coming up on March 7th from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at Black Bear Tavern in McHenry.  The host is Terah Beitzel-Crawford and here is the evite with more information and registration details. It is open to all women. Sorry guys.

Here’s some research that is just a little bit different: With Mardi Gras coming up, the personal-finance website WalletHub was moved to determine the most and least sinful states (based on their criteria) and they released the report yesterday.  Well, here’s a shocker, Nevada is most sinful.  Wonder where Maryland (or another state) falls in the ranking? Here’s a link to the full report. They certainly utilized some interesting criteria and I will let our readers decide for themselves if they would structure the methodology differently. Happy reading.

Wednesday February 20

As I write these Notes Tuesday evening, there is no precipitation falling. But according to forecasts, that will be changing.

The weather for today will be snow, freezing rain, and sleet before 10am, then freezing rain and sleet. High near 32. Breezy, with a southeast wind 20 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime ice accumulation of 0.1 to 0.3 of an inch possible. Total daytime snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Tonight will be rain, mainly before 2am. Temperature rising to around 43 by 3am. Breezy, with a southeast wind 14 to 20 mph becoming west after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

The snow emergency plan went into effect at 0600; Garrett County Public Schools, Garrett College and the Health Department are all closed today.

Don’t forget to check our weather center throughout the day today for a multitude of current data and forecasts.  We use multiple sources to provide what we think is the best “mix” of local insight for our area.  Here’s the link to our weather page. Our video cams also provide a real-time visual of conditions. I hope you all stay warm and dry!

There was a local meeting held recently regarding a new post office for Bittinger. The United States Postal Service send a representative to the area to conduct a listening session to gain citizen input on potential sites.  The Republican had a nice write-up on it.

Here’s a tip on TIPS: If you serve alcohol at events, this class (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) can help you learn more about maintaining a safe and responsible environment at your licensed events. In addition to gaining knowledge about the affects alcohol has on people, you can also keep updated on the legal responsibilities for servers of alcohol. The class will be held this evening at the Bloomington Fire Hall from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm.

Also this evening at 5:30 is “A Thirst for Art” at MoonShadow, a belated “Galentines” event for ladies and girls that involves fun, painting and Camaraderie. Get more information here. And, bring a friend, sister, mom or daughter.

Garrett College is hosting the upcoming Garrett County Job Fair slated for Wednesday, April 24th from 1:00 pm. to 6:00 pm in the Garrett College CARC Gymnasium. The job fair is open to any employer expecting to hire employees within the next few months as well anyone looking for a full- or part-time position.

Here’s some sobering statistics on population decline in the state of West Virginia, as tabulated by Pew Research and reported by Generation West Virginia.  Garrett County has been flat population-wise for a few years, but W.V, appears to be experiencing a downward trend. West Virginia is a beautiful state, but I think they will need a more diversified and invigorated jobs foundation to turn things around. Many don’t realize that Garrett County “has” West Virginia to the west of us, to the south of us and to the east of us, so they are an important (and good) neighbor!

Tuesday February 19

Yesterday was overcast, cool and windy, with some flurries in the afternoon. The weather for today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 30 and a low around 23. Snow likely before 4am, then snow, possibly mixed with freezing rain and sleet. Little or no ice accumulation expected. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

I hope you all had a nice, relaxing President’s Day Weekend. We sure did. The lake and environs were certainly abuzz with visitors and activities and all seemed in good spirits. While many of us look forward to warmer weather, there is still plenty of winter fun to be had around the lake. I am always enthralled when I see the the ice fishing “camps” spring-up on the ice. There has been a large concentration near the Deep Creek Lake State Park on weekends (visible from Glendale Bridge area).  If you know anyone fishing (and actually catching fish!) on the ice, tell them to send us a photo and we will share with our readers.

Speaking of the Summer, I thought our readers might enjoy this fun graphic from Blue Ridge Outdoors, a great publication for outdoor enthusiasts in the region. The graphic appeared in an article on the lake about eight years ago.  I uncovered it and thought I would share. Yes, that is me skiing down Wisp Mountain. Good eyes!

Deep Creek Lake, MD by Blue Ridge Outdoors

The Cindy’s Fund sponsored Cancer Support Group meets this evening from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the hospital boardroom. It is open to everyone – people with cancer, caregivers, kids, relatives, friends, anyone. They sit and vent and laugh and eat, etc. It’s very informal and comforting and open to all.

The Garrett County Board of Education will hold a Special Work Session on Monday, February 25th, to discuss the FY 2020 Operating Budget. The meeting will be held at Central Office in the Board Room. Public comment will begin at 4:00 pm after which time the Board of Education will meet in executive session until 4:55 pm. The Board of Education will reconvene for the public Special Work Session from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm. Because this is a Work Session, times are approximate.

The Grantsville and Oakland branches of the Ruth Enlow Library will offer free one-on-one tech help with your laptop, tablet or smartphone on Thursday February 28th. An expert will help you overcome obstacles and get the most out of your device. Half-hour slots will be available at the Grantsville branch from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm and at the Oakland library from 4:00 pm -5:30 pm. Bring your own device or use the library’s computers. Please contact events@relib.net or call 301.334.3996 x0017 to request a 30-minute appointment. Here’s your chance to get some help with your new device.

The Mid-Atlantic Panel on Aquatic Invasive Species (MAPAIS) is offering a small grants competition to encourage interested groups and individuals to submit proposals for possible funding. All proposals are due in by 5:00 pm on March 11th.  Here’s a link to all the details. 

You can join Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) on March 22nd in Columbia for a one-day training session, Primer for Economic Development, that has been created to provide participants with an introduction and overview of how Maryland practices economic development. The course is designed for those who are new to economic development in Maryland and also strategic partners in collaborative industries.

Monday February 18

The freezing rain held off until mid-afternoon yesterday with lots of folks ice-fishing and on the slopes.  Today’s weather will be a chance of flurries, mainly before 5pm; otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 29 and a low around 14. West wind around 18 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.

A winter storm warning is issued for tomorrow night through Wednesday as we could see significant snowfall changing to ice. Be careful out there!

I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of Sipside Lounge in Oakland Friday evening.  What a nice place.  It was quite packed with well-wishers and the curious and it had great atmospherics and traditional drinks.  They bill themselves as “a place to pause and unwind” and I can see it becoming just that for locals and lake visitors/second-homeowners alike. Well done folks.

The 12th Annual Oakland Winter Fest was also underway this weekend and it was a success. In addition to the amazing ice sculptures, they had snowball fights, sleigh rides and the first-ever Winter Fest Wine Walk, which I heard was sold out. Oakland is such a nice little town, and one that seems to be gaining momentum all the time.

This photo is from Nanette Snyder taken on a walk along Snowy Creek. I just love it:

Nanette Snyder on Snowy Creek in Oakland, MD

The Friends of Deep Creek Lake just sent us their latest communication, “Watershed Wisdom Update: Lake Lovers in Annapolis,” that shared their legislative agenda for this current session and also asked for support from lake supporters.  Their primary priorities centered on securing funding and also attaining financial accountability and responsibility for the lake. It is worth a read and you can access it right here.

The proposed school calendar for 2019-2020 was presented to the Garrett County Board of Education at its February 12th meeting. The calendar can be reviewed by visiting the school system’s website via this link. The Board is requesting that the public review the proposed calendar and submit any comments by noon on Friday, March 8th to the Public Information Office at public.info@garrettcountyschools.org.

Bittinger Volunteer Fire Department recently earned their first documented successful cardiac arrest save since beginning ambulance transports. Thank you to all first responders who volunteer their time day in and day out! THANK YOU!

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported Friday that deer hunters harvested 77,382 deer during the combined archery, firearms and muzzle loader seasons, from September 7th through January 31st. There were 4,973 deer harvested in Garrett County, a decline of 7% from the prior season.  The totals for the state and most counties were down from last season, which the DNR attributes to the weather.

Speaking of the DNR, The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has launched a new award program to celebrate the state’s anglers and the diverse species of fish they catch.  Called FishMaryland, the new program recognizes anglers in a variety of categories and levels.

Friday February 15, Saturday, February 16, Sunday February 17

I hope you all had a nice Valentine’s Day. We sure did. While overcast, it was not a bad day at all and there was no precipitation. Today’s weather will be scattered showers, mainly before 2pm. Cloudy, with a high near 44 and low around 21. Wind gusts as high as 30 mph. Saturday will be a slight chance of snow before 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 31 and low around 20. Sunday will be partly sunny with a chance of snow and freezing rain before 3 pm, then a chance of rain after 3pm with a high near 37.

Photo of ice fishing at Deep Creek Lake, MD by Nick Atkins:

Nick Atkins at Deep Creek Lake, MD

Congratulations to John Bray, who has been named Director of Food & Beverage at Wisp Resort.  With over 20 years of experience in the ski industry, John will lead the multi-faceted food and beverage operation at Wisp Resort starting this holiday weekend. Good luck John.

STEAM and kids really do go together.  The Oakland branch of the Ruth Enlow Library will be hosting their monthly S.T.E.A.M for Kids this afternoon from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm.  This program offers some nice Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics activities for children age six and older.

Don’t forget Bill’s Marine Service will be hosting an open house on Saturday from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, with locally brewed beer, wine tasting and boat show pricing.

Later Friday evening, Northern Garrett High School will be holding their presentation of Beauty and the Beast from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm in their auditorium.  We have some very talented students so I am sure it will be a nice production, as always.

Environmental Health Services of the Garrett County Health Department reports the first case of laboratory-confirmed rabies in the county for 2019. A raccoon, submitted from the Accident-area to the Maryland Department of Health laboratory, was confirmed positive for rabies in the past week.  Remember: If you suspect your pet has been in contact with a wild animal, do NOT handle the pet for at least two hours, and if you must, wear protective gloves and wash immediately and then call authorities.

The North Glade Inn will be hosting a Chocolate and Wine Tasting event on Saturday from Noon to 7:00 pm at their inn in Swanton, just off Glendale Road.

Snakes Alive!  The Discovery Center at Deep Creek Lake State Park will be hosting their Snakes Alive program on Saturday from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. This is a great chance for adults and children to get “up close and personal” with the center’s snakes and to learn more about these interesting critters. Did you know some pythons can drive a car? No? That’s because that is a myth (that I just made up).  Find out more on Saturday!

Paul Burger will be performing at Black Bear Tavern Saturday evening and Pickin’ Empty Pockets will be at MoonShadow that evening as well. Check out those acts and others this weekend on our Entertainment Guide and Events pages.

Southern Garrett High School is holding their Winter Homecoming Dance Saturday evening starting at 8:00 pm. I believe it is open to all with a connection to SHS (past or present) so why not go and experience a nice, local school event.  The theme is a “Black and White Affair” with black and white outfits encouraged but not required.

Don’t forget that Mountain State Brewing Company hosts Bingo from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm on Sunday.  You can win prizes in the form of MSBC gift cards!

Thursday February 14th

The weather for today will be partly sunny, with a high near 47 and a low around 40. Southwest wind around 11 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Tonight has a chance of rain, mainly after 3am. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our readers and their loved ones!

Did you know that History’s first valentine was written in one of the most unromantic places: a prison? According to History.com, Charles, Duke of Orleans wrote the love letter to his second wife at the age of 21 while captured at the Battle of Agincourt. As a prisoner for more than 20 years, he would never see his valentine’s reaction to the poem he penned to her in the early 15th century. I wonder why he didn’t send something from 1.800.flowers or from the local florist?

So, I know that most readers are now probably thinking “gee, I wonder what Mike wants for Valentine’s Day?” Please feel free to send any chocolates, flowers or even a nice new sports car to me via email, and thanks in advance! If those things don’t work for you for some reason, I suggest we all give one another continued focus on, enjoyment of and sustainable caring for, this wonderful gift we all have – Deep Creek Lake and its surroundings!

Here’s a link to the Deep Creek Video from a talented videographer and editor, Adam Satisky, who has allowed us to re-post his great video for all to enjoy.  Thanks Adam!

If you want to try something new and different for a post-Valentine’s Day drink, check out the new Sipside Lounge, which has its grand opening at 3:30 pm on Friday. Sipside is a relaxed venue to enjoy wine, liquor, and craft beer right in the heart of historic Oakland and is owned and managed by the same great folks that own Flipside Sounds.

The Chamber is holding its February Business After Hours event this evening at Mountain State Brewing Company in McHenry.  Here’s the link for more information and to register or you can just show-up at the door.  The event begins at 5:30 pm.

It’s Team Trivia Night this evening at Mountain State Brewing Company in McHenry from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Here’s the link for more information.

Well, the annual Deep Creek Dunk is coming to the lake on Saturday, February 23rd in Arrowhead Cove and to celebrate, and The Lodges at Sunset Village is offering a two night lodging special along with two free movie passes to Garrett 8 Cinemas for that weekend.

Wednesday February 13th

Yesterday was colder and had freezing rain which left everything coated in ice (see my photo at the bottom of today’s Notes).  The weather for today will be snow showers likely, mainly before 9am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27 and a low of 24. Breezy, with a west wind around 24 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

I want to give a quick shout-out to all three of our great museums (Garrett County History, Transportation and B&O Railroad) in downtown Oakland.  I just received a message from Terry Helbig, whom we could easily call “Mr. Museum” for all his efforts, that outlined some of the planned events for Spring. These included middle school student visits, high school student visits, special presentations from noted historians, etc., etc. I suggest a Saturday visit downtown to check out all three and the other nice, local Oakland attractions and small businesses. A nice, inexpensive day for the family.

Not 100% sure if the Ruth Enlow Library “Friends of the Library” meeting scheduled for this evening is cancelled or not.  It was scheduled for this evening, but we saw at the last minute that it may be canceled. These sessions provide a nice opportunity for members of the community to have a say and provide feedback relative to library programming, so give them a call and see if they are holding if you are interested – (301) 334-3996

It’s Open Mic Night this evening at MoonShadow from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm and I hear they still have some open slots for those of us that have some talent to share.  So, check out our events page on the event, contact them, and then go over tonight and knock everybody’s socks off!

If you read or surf the web a lot, this could be the event for you. Tonight is the monthly Team Trivia at the Greene Turtle in McHenry. Play starts at 7:00 pm and goes through 9:00 pm and is open to anyone.  They hold a six-round game and there are prizes.

Here’s a photo of the ice-coated trees yesterday afternoon. The picture does not do it justice as it was beautiful, especially at dusk. When I went out on my porch to take this photo a tree branch snapped and fell, so I scrambled inside.  Please be safe this morning and today.

Ice Coated Trees in Deep Creek Lake, MD

Tuesday February 12

Today’s weather will be snow and freezing rain before 11am, then freezing rain between 11am and noon, then rain after noon. High near 37 and low around 24. Breezy, with a southeast wind 13 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime ice accumulation of 0.1 to 0.3 of an inch possible. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Tonight, rain before midnight, then rain and snow likely between midnight and 3am, then snow likely after 3am. Winds could gust as high as 41 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Garrett County Public Schools are closed today with many other organizations having delayed openings. Check before you travel out today.

There’s free TIPS Training this evening from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm at Uno’s Restaurant.  Attend and you can learn more about maintaining a safe and responsible environment at your licensed events. Why not refresh your knowledge of how alcohol affects people, signs of intoxication to look for, and relevant information about alcohol you can use to serve more responsibly.

It’s free Trivia Night at MoonShadow this evening from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm. They run a few rounds as we explain in our Events post. They will also be running Happy Hour all night long for Trivia that means $2 off draft beers and glasses of wine, $1 off bottled beer, and a Trivia Night special of $1 off liquor.

Bill’s Marine Service is hosting an Open House this Saturday, February 16th, from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm.  They will have Boat Show Pricing, wine from the Toasted Goat and local brews from Mountain State Brewery.  Here’s a link to some more information, which is worth a click if just to see the family boating on the lake on a warm Summer day!  Ahhh…

The County Commissioners have announced the agenda for their next public meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, February 19th at 3:00 pm at the Courthouse in Oakland. There are a number of topics on the agenda and note that the public portion starts at approximately 4:00 pm.

This is interesting: Garrett College’s Mountain Top Driving Institute was able to acquire a “new” dump truck with the assistance of a Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund grant, to aid in instruction for the Class B CDL truck driver training program. So, why is a dump truck so exciting you ask?  Well, in one word, JOBS! The trucking industry is experiencing a crisis – there are simply not enough workers to fill jobs. The latest data reports a national driver shortage of approximately 48,000 drivers. And, the Maryland Motor Truck Association, known as MMTA, recently reported the trucking industry in Maryland alone provides over 116,000 jobs, or one out of 18 in the state.  Total trucking industry wages paid in Maryland exceed $6.1 billion. Keep on truckin’ dear readers…

A man wanted for two recent Garrett County bank robberies, and more, is arrested in California.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a great partner to Garrett County, just released Strengthening Economic Resilience in Appalachia, which identifies factors common across communities experiencing persistent economic growth in the aftermath of the 2008 economic recession and other economic disruptions.  The research includes a statistical analysis of key factors common to economic resilience, as well as a guidebook featuring ten communities that have rebounded after experiencing significant economic shocks.  The study found some key findings that drive economic resiliency in Appalachia, including:

  • Investing in education, technology, infrastructure and broadband;
  • Engaging the community over the long-term;
  • Growing youth engagement and next generation leadership;
  • Identifying and growing the assets in the community and region;
  • Building networks and fostering collaboration;
  • Moving multiple sectors forward for economic development and growing value chains; and
  • Cultivating entrepreneurs and developing resources for business start-ups.

 

Monday February 11

As I write these Daily Notes Sunday evening we are getting a dusting of snow, with the temperature just at the freezing mark. Today’s weather will be rain and snow, becoming all rain after noon. High near 36 and a low around 30. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Tonight snow and freezing rain, becoming all freezing rain after 8pm with new ice accumulation of 0.1 to 0.3 of an inch possible but little or no snow accumulation expected.

Our congratulations to Phyllis Trickett, who has been recognized for her many contributions to the Garrett County community and to the State of Maryland, by being inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame!  The induction ceremony will be held on March 21st at the Miller Senate Office Building in Annapolis and is open to all that register. For more information, visit the Maryland Commission for Women’s website or call 301.610.4522.

I went to a movie at Garrett 8 Cinema’s Saturday – the film was called “Glass.”  It was a little strange, as in keeping with most of M. Night Shyamalan films, but if you like supernatural and super hero “hybrids”  that take a while to develop, you might enjoy Glass. Definitely not mainstream entertainment, but an enjoyable escape.

The Ruth Enlow Library, Grantsville branch, is hosting a workshop on Bullet Journaling this evening starting at 6:00 pm. Planners/to-do lists typically only focus on what you’re doing in the future, and diaries typically focus on what you did that day. Bullet journaling is different. Learn streamlining tips to record what is happening in your life and keep track of your future goals.

Thanks to Bill Stevenson for sharing this sunrise view from the Turkey Neck Cove:

Bill Stevenson Sunrise off Turkey Neck Cove in Deep Creek Lake, MD

The Maryland Board of Public Works is hosting their next meeting in Annapolis on February 20th.  If you have an interest in what they will be discussing or in attending the meeting, please follow this link to see the planned agenda.

The local Garrett County Lions Clubs are holding an information night on Wednesday, March 20th, from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at the Garrett College Auditorium in McHenry.  The Lions are an important part of our community and they do some great work for those in need. They are holding this event to share more about what they do and to also engage with prospective members.

If you have a child who is not already enrolled in school, but is ready and/or required to attend school during the 2019-2020 school year, please fill out the school system’s Kindergarten Registration Form. Follow this link to the form, which you can either mail in or fill out on the County’s website by following the links to Kindergarten.

Friday February 8, Saturday February 9, Sunday February 10

This weekend’s weather will be colder! Friday will be partly sunny, with a temperature falling to around 24 by 4pm and a low of 8 overnight. Windy, with a west wind 25 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Saturday will be sunny, with a high near 23 and wind chill values as low as -11. Northwest wind 9 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Overnight will be clear, with a low around 12. Sunday brings a slight chance of rain and snow after 5pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 37 and a low around 26. Maybe a quarter inch of precipitation.

It’s Hands on Science Room day today from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm at the Deep Creek Lake State Park’s Discovery Center. Tell the kids and grand kids (and all the big kids you know) that they will be able to meet and shake hands with the new Giraffe that is staying at the Discovery Center over the winter! OK, there is no Giraffe at the center, but it sounds good and it will get all “the kids” out to experience some great science stuff!

Don’t forget that the Oakland Jazzercise Center is holding its annual February Heart Health Challenge through February 28th.  New/returning customers can sign up for just $50 and get unlimited classes now through 2/28 and also earn a chance to earn a limited edition Heart Challenge tank.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Garrett Regional Medical Center’s CT Scanner Campaign.

Check out this classical labyrinth Shane Odom (of Mythical Designs by Miscellaneous Oddiments LLC) stepped out in the snow on the lake the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center. He is a regular artist at the annual Art In The Park event.

Shane Odom Labyrinth at Deep Creek Lake State Park

Last evening, I was a participant in a session at Southern High School on opportunities for county high school students to take college courses while still in high school (and with very limited cost). Students earn college credits while also fulfilling the requirements for high school graduation, which saves money, limits college loan debt and helps students complete their degrees sooner.  Contact the Garrett College admissions office (301.387.3044) for the next information sessions, one to be held at Northern High School in March and one to be held at the college in April.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment on the draft 2019-2023 Land Preservation and Recreation Plan, which identifies essential and contemporary issues impacting outdoor recreation and natural resource protection in the state. The public comment period ends at Noon on March 8th.

Lots of stuff going on all weekend all around the lake.  On Friday, Jeff Grable is playing at Black Bear Tavern and Restaurant from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Also on Friday evening, there’s a Bell’s Brewery Tap Takeover from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm at the Wisp. Still later Friday evening, Scott Ross will be playing at the Moonshadow Cafe from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm.  Please check out our Upcoming Events and Entertainment sections for all sorts of other events going on this weekend.

I just heard that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering training and certifications in Maryland Biological Stream Survey sampling protocols. Two training opportunities will be held at Howard County Community College, one in February and another in May. This actually sounds very interesting.

For the calendar year 2018 the Maryland Insurance Commissioner issued 64 civil orders and 12 criminal orders totaling $320,671 in fines, penalties and restitution. Insurance fraud is one of the most costly crimes in the country, costing consumers directly in the form of higher premiums. I don’t know of any cases in the Garrett County area, but I thought I would share this link to the Maryland Insurance Administration landing page that covers some information readers might find interesting and useful. Like me, I am guessing you don’t think about this every day.

Thursday February 7

Yesterday was very rainy and warm.  Today’s weather will be cloudy, with a high near 56 and a low around 32. Change of rain mainly after 1pm and tonight between 1am and 5am. Winds could gust as high as 32 mph.

There are no Salmon in or around Deep Creek Lake, except maybe on the dinner table, but I really like the NOAA Fish News newsletter, which has lots of interesting stories on fisheries, habitat and restoration management, topics that definitely resonate with our readers. Fish News is celebrating the International Year of the Salmon in 2019 and they discuss that and a number other interesting topics in their latest issue, which you can find here.

Speaking of newsletters, this one by the Deep Creek Watershed Association covers topics a little closer to home.  Here it is.

The lake has been a source of a lot of fun over the last week or so since it has been frozen; Eric Williams grabbed this snap for us:

Deep Creek Lake, MD by Eric Williams

The Maryland Office of Tourism Development is planning to transform the Sideling Hill Rest Area (on I68) into a one-of-a-kind gateway attraction that promotes Maryland’s mountains, valleys and waterways, from the mountains near Frederick all the way west into Garrett County, with exhibits, programming and on-site transactional opportunities. They held a workshop on the topic on January 17th at Frostburg State University and are asking for further comments from the public.  Here’s a link to the notes from the workshop.  Public comment is open until April 15th.

You may have heard about the “Instagram Effect” relative to certain global tourist destinations. Basically, so many individuals go to a destination and utilize Instagram and other social media platforms to share their great experiences that the place becomes overrun with tourists seeking the same great experience.  While the Deep Creek Lake area provides many natural and even man-made experiences, I don’t think we have been affected in a negative way by social media.  Still, an interesting phenomenon I thought I would share.

Don’t know much about it, but I just heard Frostburg has declared this coming Saturday, February 9th, as “Sweetheart Saturday.” Downtown businesses will be offering discounts and promotions all day! I checked out a Facebook link for it and it was dated, so visit “at your own risk.” 🙂

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources puts out a brief news video every month.  It is called Access DNR and the February edition just came out.

February is Black History Month and Garrett College has two interesting speakers scheduled: Tristian Williams is speaking on February 21st at 3:00 pm in the auditorium.  The topic, “Is This America,” looks at the “history of race” in the US through the performer Childish Gambino.  Stephen Scott will be speaking on February 28th, also at 3:00 pm.  The topic is “Racism in Daily Conversation.”

At Potomac State University (which is about 45 minutes from the lake), The HBO documentary “King in the Wilderness” will be screened free to the campus and to the community on Monday, February 25th at 7:00 pm in their Davis Conference Center. This documentary, released last year, explores the rarely discussed last three years of Dr. King’s life, exploring his perspective on nonviolence and how it drew him into conflict with the Black Power movement, as well as his anti-Vietnam War stance. The trailer can be viewed on YouTube

Wednesday February 6

Yesterday started off misty, but turned into a nice day by the afternoon, and it is still unseasonably warm temperature-wise. If you want to see how beautiful the recent snowfall made the area, check out the video below.

Today’s weather will be rain, mainly after 10am; a high near 51 and a low around 48.

Here’s a great video from NBC4 Washington from a commercial shoot with the Chamber last week:

Sarah and I are pleased to announce that Deep Creek Times will be a sponsor of the upcoming Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF) fundraiser, “A Night on Broadway” The event will be held at the Garrett College Special Events Center on Saturday, March 30th from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Dinner will be catered by Savage River Lodge, with show tunes provided by the very talented Sean & Debi Beachy and Friends.  A silent auction will include a painting by Bob Yonke. Here’s the link for more information and ordering.

Dot Sisler asked us to post this invitation for her fundraiser in Grantsville on February 23rd in support of The American Cancer Society/Relay for Life. Here goes and happy to help Dot!

For a great cause…

The Garrett County Health Department has scheduled its next blood drive for Friday, February 15th, from 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm in the first floor conference room. To schedule an appointment, please download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App on your smart phone, call Venessa at 301.334.7730 or 301.895.3111, or visit www.redcrossblood.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.

The Property Owners’ Association of Deep Creek Lake needs YOUR help.  Senator George Edwards and Delegate Wendell Beitzel have introduced bills in the new legislative session to increase State’s Lakes Protection and Restoration Fund (SLPRF) funding to $3M/year and remove the “sunset” clause of three years. This is very important for the lake on a number of levels and our legislators need letters of support from YOU to help the cause. Here’s the link for more information and they even provide a sample letter. Thanks!

Tuesday February 5

Yesterday was a beautiful day on the mountain.  The temperature reached 60 degrees and it was sunny all day. Today’s weather will be cloudy with a chance of showers before 2pm. High near 49 and a low around 40.

Garrett County Public Schools Special Education Department just announced the 2019 Cool Schools Dunk on February 22nd at Uno’s. You can now “Do the Dunk” with your school! Take a daring dip into Deep Creek Lake with teachers and students. All funds raised support Garrett County Schools and the Unified Sports programs. Students must raise a minimum of $50 to participate.  Just. Do. The. Dunk.

Did you know that Maryland ranks as the third toughest state to obtain a drivers license? Click here to find out why Maryland is so tough and which states are number one and two. Hint: in one of the top two states, you must be over 90 years old just to take the test and then you must be accompanied by a parent! Only kidding, but you can check out the article for the facts. Note that Joe Widmyer, owner of local Widmyer Driving School, is featured in the piece.

Hospice of Garrett Co. will be conducting upcoming projects that will require the use of magazines, so If you happen to have any that could be donated for a wonderful cause please let them know. They can be dropped off at their office at 203 South 2nd Street, Oakland or given to their staff or volunteers!

Oakland’s GOBA just issued a “final call” for ice sculpture sponsors for Winter Fest 2019! If you would like to reserve a sculpture please contact Michelle Ross ASAP. GOBA would like to have two additional live sculptures that are carved that day for the public. And, Michelle says photos of those are most likely to show up in the newspaper! You can contact Michelle at Oakland City Hall or at 301.334.2691.

Calling all entrepreneurs or want-to-be entrepreneurs!  Jodi McClintock, at Garrett College, still has some openings for aspiring entrepreneurs in the upcoming Power of Possibilities Business Plan Competition. This is a great program that can help almost anyone take their new business from the idea stage to reality in a few short months. Really! I believe the first session starts on February 26th.  Contact Jodi at 301.387.3142 or jodi.mcclintock@garrettcollege.edu for more information on this program.

And, speaking of Jodi, she is also offering a four-session workshop called Stepping-up to Supervisor.  This course is designed to help new or aspiring supervisors learn to coach for performance, overcome difficult personalities, motivate a team and hone communication skills.  It is taught by local coach Jeannette Fitzwater and Gary Durr. Get your boss to pay for it! 🙂  Call Jodi at 301.387.3142 for more insight.

Monday February 4

Yesterday was a fabulous day around the lake. It reached 50 degrees and was sunny, so some of the snow melted. I saw lots of skiers and tubers enjoying the slopes at Wisp and so many people enjoying the frozen lake along with the warmer temperatures.

Today’s weather will be sunny, with a high near 59 and a low around 47. South wind around 6 mph. Showers likely, mainly after 1am – new precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Looks like we received a total of 9.5″ of snow so far in February.

Congratulations to HART for Animals! HART has been awarded a 2019 grant by the Maryland Department of Agriculture as part of their Spay and Neuter Program designed to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs euthanized in shelters across the state. This is the fifth year in which HART has been awarded the grant, which to-date has provided 2,123 no-cost spay/neuter surgeries to low-income Maryland residents. To learn more about income requirements and to schedule an appointment for your pet, please call 301.387.7729.

Speaking of HART For Animals, I bet you didn’t know that February is National Pet Dental Health Month and that HART is offering free dental screenings for pets and 15% off of your fee for dental health appointments within sixty days of your pet’s screening.  That is great!  One question: how do they train dogs and cats to floss?  Just asking.

We just received the latest “Watershed Wisdom Update” newsletter from the board of Friends of Deep Creek Lake non-profit. It covers everything from the recent emergence of our northern friend Punxsutawney Phil (I think he has a cabin at the lake), to a new opening for the Chair of the DCL Policy and Review Board, to an Annapolis legislative update and more.

Well, that last “blip” on FoDCL got me thinking about that famous fur ball Punxsutawney Phil and his weather forecasts.  I just did a little research to see how his forecasting record compares to professionals (like the ones we use to populate our weather page). What do you think?  Click here to find out how the pros compare to the fur ball.  Hint: Science rules, fur ball Phil drools! (probably literally). Sorry Phil. 

Don’t forget to check out this month’s Cover Story, written by the folks at Deep Creek Watershed Foundation.  They are an emerging and important force in protecting our watershed here at the lake. The old saying “it takes a village” (or maybe a support ecosystem of engaged, caring people and organizations) certainly applies to our lake and the surrounding area.

There has been a court “settlement” in the “locally infamous” dispute between local builder Gregory Mortimer and 84 Lumber.  The suit and counter-suit related back to the 2008 agreement for construction services concerning some town homes in the Timberlake and Cedar Creek developments around the lake. I hope this provides closure for all involved, including any homeowners that were affected.  Click here for the story link.

Here’s a pic of the winter lake from 20,000 feet – courtesy of Mark Richards — do you see the slopes?

Deep Creek Lake, MD from Mark Richards at 30,000 Feet