Wednesday August 12

Yesterday was another nice day at the lake, great temperature and sunny.  Today we will have patchy fog before 9:00 am and scattered showers and thunderstorms after 2:00 pm and into early evening.  The temperature will reach about 80 degrees, with a low around 65.  Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Well, on a national level, and no, not talking about Joe Biden’s VP pick, the Big 10 and Pac-12 conferences have cancelled their fall football season. 🙁 They are hoping to play in the spring.  This is perhaps one more sign of a “new-normal” at least for the short- and medium-term. Obviously, player and personnel health is a much more important factor, but I will miss what I am guessing will be no college football in the fall.

The Mountain Fresh Farmers Market will be at the Pavilion in downtown Oakland today from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.  Check out all the goodies and remember to follow the safety guidelines during the pandemic.  Here’s the scoop on everything.

Lebanese Taverna, a well known restaurant in the DC area is taking orders for pickup at the lake this friday between 2:00 and 2:15 (by the Garrett 8 movies).  I hear they have great food and Jean and I will be ordering for sure.  Something different and a different model for them delivery-wise I am sure.  Here’s the link for more information and to order.

Speaking of new, we are pleased to welcome a new advertiser and business to the lake area.  Ileana Evans, owner of AMS Consulting and Design, is a recent transplant to Garrett County from California and she has a lot of experience in design and construction (residential and commercial).  Give her a call if you need some design help or construction. Here’s her information:

AMS Ad - Ileana

New Business in the County

Don’t forget to check out the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine raffle for wine and weekends at the lake. The ticket price goes to help GLAF and HART for Animals and the prizes look awesome. Here’s the link.

Here’s an interesting tidbit for readers working from home at the lake and elsewhere.  The Washington Post reports that a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that the average workday lengthened by 48.5 minutes in the weeks following pandemic-related lockdowns and stay-at-home orders and that the number of meetings increased by 13 percent!

And finally today, here’s a historical tidbit: Over the nine years (1933 – 1942) the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) operated in Maryland, there was an average of twenty-one CCC Camps in the state at any given time, with 15 of these camps sponsored by the State Board of Forestry and located in State Forests and State Parks. Yes, there were CCC camps in Garrett County and they also did work in the state parks at the time.  Here’s some cool insight into these regimented, military-like camps in western Maryland along with some photos.



Tuesday August 11

Yesterday, as forecast, it turned out great weather-wise at the lake.  Today we have a chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 4:00 pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83 degrees and a low of 65. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

This week a bunch of dedicated folks are trekking, mostly on-foot, from Wisp to the Eastern shore as part of the 2020 Maryland Trek.  They started Sunday from Wisp, all in an effort to raise money to help children with cancer.  Last year they raised $100,000 through pledges.  Here’s the site link.

Here’s a link to the August Habitat News from NOAA that wraps up their July Habitat Month efforts.  There’s some good embedded links to stories around the nation, including one on Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.

The Garrett County Health Department has received positive COVID-19 results for three additional persons, bringing the current county total positives to 54. The new cases included a male in his 20s, a female in her 20s and another male in his 40s. The next community testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26th, from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm in the parking lot between the Health Department and Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland. For more information, call 301.334.7770 or 301. 895.3111.

Heard from the Springs Historical Society, which this year because of Covid-19, have cancelled the Springs Folk Festival. However, they are taking the opportunity of this down year to make needed improvements to the property and are setting up painting days. I will send more information when I know more.  I am thinking they will be looking for some volunteers for their efforts and we certainly support them.

I am going to bet that you didn’t know that Alaska has the lowest share of childbirths with low birth weight, 5.85 percent, which is 2.1 times lower than in Mississippi, the highest at 12.12 percent.  Well, the latest WalletHub study analyzed dozens of factors to determine the best and worst states for new borns and their parents.  Where did Maryland land in the rankings? Well, go here to find out and see the full report.

Monday August 10

The weather for today will be sunny, with a high near 83 degrees and a light south wind. The evening will be partly cloudy, with a low around 64.

The weather was beautiful and the lake (and the lake-area) was busy this weekend.  This nice photo provided by Eric Willams taken from Wisp supports both of those statements.  Thanks for the great photo Eric.  Much appreciated.

From Wisp by Eric Williams

The Lake as Viewed From Wisp

Took a drive to Morgantown yesterday and we came upon a terrible accident scene on Eastbound 68.  As I write this Sunday evening, both directions are still closed hours after we passed the scene. It was a tractor trailer and I believe involved a fatality. Hopefully, all of our readers are safe and were not caught up in the many hours of road closures. FYI, if I68 is ever closed, you can always come back to Garrett County via Eastbound route 7, which will take you down into Terra Alta and then into Oakland.  That’s what we did to get back to Swanton.

I have heard that the lake level has been lowering, as is usual for this time of year. My HOA board just decided to add a section to two of our three dock clusters to push them out a bit more.  Please be aware of shallow spots, especially as summer progresses, and of course, depending on rainfall and lake drawdowns.

Yesterday, the Baltimore Sun announced that Maryland reported eight new COVID-19 related deaths and 922 new cases. I know this is a contentuous subject among some, but I believe that mask wearing and social distancing will go a long ways towards getting us all out of this national mess. I have certainly seen an increase in mask use among individuals at local retailers of late.  Keep it up…

Sarah mentioned a job opening at the Ruth Enlow Library in Daily Notes last week.  They have another opening now as well, for a library assistant. It is for 16 hours per week at the Ruth Enlow Library in Oakland.  Starting pay is $13.50/hr. You can pick-up an application at any location of the Ruth Enlow Library in Garrett County.  Applications are due by August 21st.

Here’s a nice photo taken by William Heinz of the sunset over Penn Cove.  Thanks for sharing William! I like the way the trees, homes and lake all “combine to black.”

Penn Cove Sunset


The Grantsville Lions Club will hold a pre-order chicken BBQ on August 22 in conjunction with the National Pike Festival. The dinners are carry out, pre-order only and can be picked up from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Grantsville Park chicken BBQ building.  The deadline for ordering chicken dinners is August 14th. To order a chicken dinner, download the order form on the Grantsville Lions Facebook page. Click on the chicken BBQ photo and go to tickets. There will also be town-wide yard sales throughout the town.
Here’s a link to the latest issue of the Maryland Department of Education’s COVID-19 Response and Continuity of Learning newsletter.  It includes information on opening plans for all of the state’s school districts.
Have a great Monday folks…

Wednesday August 5

Yesterday was windy, but overall very nice, if a bit cooler.  Today we will be mostly cloudy through mid-morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 75 degrees. West wind 5 to 7 mph. Increasing clouds, with a low around 58 in the evening.

Wishing a Happy 42nd Anniversary to my wife Jean. She sat in front of me in senior English class, I asked her to the prom, she said yes, and the rest, as they say, is history!  Getting up the courage to ask her to the prom was the best decision I ever made! Life is good.

The Deep Creek Lake Lions Club offers an annual program for visually impaired campers as one of our signature service activities! Last week, we brought visually impaired kids and their families to the area for camping, boating and fun! Cudos to my colleagues that did a great job (as ususal) with this wonderful event.  And, cudos to all of our donors throughout the year whose donations support this great effort.  Check out this link for more information and photos! 

Yesterday I mentioned the new 20,000 square foot spec building in the McHenry Business Park. I just heard that availalble building services include propane gas, broadband, and high-capacity electric.  There is also planned space onsite for additional expansion of the building. In addition, Garrett County Economic Development may provide interest-free leasehold improvement loans up to $10 per square foot.

Don’t forget that the Mountain Fresh Farmers Market is open today at the pavilion in downtown Oakland from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.  They always have good, healthy goods and it is a nice environment.

And, before or after you go visit the farmers market, take a few minutes to nominate your favorite local organizations, professionals, products, services and places in the 2020 Deep Creek Times Peoples’ Choice Awards.  Nominations close soon!  Just. Do. It. Now.

Here’s a link to some important and interesting information from the American Health Care Association and the National Association for Assisted Living. It shows a state-by-state breakdown of COVID-19 testing positivity rates among the general population. Check it out!

The Health Department will be holding two by-appointment immunization clinics for students in need of these vaccines for school entry.  The first clinic is August 18th from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Health Department location at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland.  The second clinic is August 28th from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Grantsville location at 28 Hershberger Lane.

I heard from fellow Deep Creek Lake Lion Ed King that he is planning on holding a yard sale on August 22nd.  He will have some good stuff at his place at 680 State Park Road in Swanton.  You enter the garage from Toothpick. Tell Ed Mike at Deep Creek Times sent you and you will WIN…well nothing… but it got your attention, and Ed will be impressed that I sent someone his way!

McHenry Spec Building Completed


Sarah Myers
Communications Coordinator
Garrett County Government
203 South Fourth Street
Oakland, MD 21550

 McHenry Spec Building Completed

August 4, 2020, Oakland, MD – The Board of Garrett County Commissioners is happy to announce the completion of a spec building in the McHenry Business Park. Located just off Bumble Bee Road, the business park will have direct access to the Garrett County Airport in McHenry.

The project is a partnership between the County and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO). The building, which consists of 20,000 leasable square feet of flexible space, is now available by contacting Garrett County Economic Development.  Tenants may be able to choose to rent all or part of the space (from 5,000 to 20,000 square feet).

Building services available include propane gas, broadband, and high-capacity electric.  There is also planned space onsite for additional expansion of the building.

The building also has an existing 120/208 volt service and a 300 kVA pad-mounted transformer. Upgrades are available for larger uses.

Garrett County Economic Development may provide interest-free leasehold improvement loans up to $10 per square foot.

“This spec building is just the start to prove our commitment to critical infrastructure to support businesses and jobs here in the County,” said Michael Hough, Director of Garrett County Economic Development.

The Commissioners would like to thank our local contractors and Bob Brennan, the Executive Director of MEDCO, and his staff for their help and support for the much-needed project in Garrett County.

For availability details and additional questions, please call 301-334-1992 or visit




About Garrett County Economic Development: The Department of Economic Development works to attract, retain, and expand businesses in Garrett County, Maryland. Our workforce, location, and affordable community-owned business parks have attracted some of the best business that Maryland has to offer. In Garrett County, we continue to define what it means to live, work, and play. For more information, contact Michael Hough, Director, Garrett County Economic Development, via or 301-334-1991.

Health Department Schedules Back to School Immunization Clinics

News Release

For Immediate Release:  August 4, 2020

Contact Person: Diane Lee, PIO, 301-334-7689

Health Department Schedules Back to School Immunization Clinics

By Diane Lee, Public Information Officer, Garrett County Health Department

The Garrett County Health Department reminds parents of the following required vaccines for school students.

  • A single dose of Tdap and Meningococcal vaccine is required for all students entering 7th through 12th
  • Two doses of Varicella vaccine are required for students entering Kindergarten through 6th

These requirements went into effect 2013 as per the Code of Maryland, COMAR

The Health Department will hold two by-appointments immunization clinics for students in need of these vaccines for school entry.  The first clinic is August 18th from 8:30 am to 4 pm at the Health Department location at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland.  The second clinic is August 28th from 8:30 am to 4 pm at the Grantsville location at 28 Hershberger Lane.

Tdap, Meningococcal, and Varicella vaccine will be offered free of charge and there will be no administration fee.  Parents are asked to bring a current copy of the student’s immunization record.  To schedule an appointment at one of the clinics, please call 301-334-7770 or 301-895-5355.

Also, available at these clinics will be Gardasil®, the Human Papillomavirus or HPV vaccine, to age-eligible students.  HPV vaccine is recommended for girls 9 to 26 years of age and boys 9 to 21 years of age to help prevent certain cancers caused by HPC infection including cervical, vulvar, vaginal, oral, penile, and anal cancers.  Gardasil® will be offered at no charge for Vaccines for Children eligible students which includes those who have Medicaid, are uninsured, or whose insurance does not pay for the vaccine.  There will be an administration fee for these students.  Students with commercial insurance should bring a valid insurance card so their insurance can be billed for Gardasil.

For more information, call the Health Department at 301-334-7770 or 301-895-5355.

Tuesday August 4

Yesterday was beautiful and the rain held off, at least in Swanton.  Today we have a chance of showers, then showers and thunderstorms likely after 11:00 am. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 72 degrees. In the evening, showers and thunderstorms are likely before midnight, then a slight chance of showers between midnight and 1:00 am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 60.

Speaking of the weather, here’s the official July weather summary for Garrett County as submitted by Glenda Chandler of Garrett Regional Medical Center:  The average high temperature for the month was 85 degrees, with an average low of 62.5 degrees and 3.79 inches of rainfall recorded. Thanks Glenda!

Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) has opened a new primary care facility on Wolf Acres Drive in Oakland. Garrett Family Medicine will provide comprehensive primary care services for people of all ages, from infants and children through those in need of geriatric care. The new practice is located in the same building that previously housed the primary care practice of Dr. Daniel Miller, who recently retired

The Garrett County Health Department received a positive COVID-19 result for one additional person, bringing the current county total to 46. The new positive COVID-19 case is a male in his 30s who has symptoms and is isolating at home.

Heard yesterday that the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association has postponed the fall and winter high school sports seasons due to the pandemic.  I know there will be a lot of dissapointed student athletes (and parents and fans), but this is not at all surprising based on the current situation.  I heard that from a news feed from the Baltimore Sun, but the release was not up yet on MPSSAA site last evening when I wrote these Notes. 

Here’s a link to the August newsletter from the Maryland State Department of Natural Resources.  Some good content for all and some nice photos as well.

The MEDCO spec building located in the McHenry Business Park adjacent to the Garrett County Airport, is now available for lease. The building consists of 20,000 square feet of flex space, and tenants may be able to choose to rent all or part of the space (from 5,000 to 20,000 square feet).

Monday August 3

Another great weekend at the lake folks.  Saturday had some late rain, but the rest of the weekend was wonderful  Today’s weather looks like it may be of the “wet” variety. There’s a  chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 1:00 pm with a high near 75 degrees. In the evening, showers and possibly a thunderstorm before 2:00 am, then showers likely with a low around 63.

Happy first Monday of August!  I have posted the August Cover Story here, and it provides an update on the state of the county relative to my take on the impact of the pandemic on  the economy and businesses. I spoke to both Railey and Taylor Made for this cover story and provide some additional insight from both of those important to-the-community organizations.

With the current pandemic, many local charities have had their fundraising plans change.  I know Sarah reported on this, but I wanted to also cover the replacement “event” for Art & Wine.  You can click here to find out more about their innovative approach!

Congratulations to Steve Green of High Mountain Sports who was named the 2020 Heise Award Winner!  Congratulations to Steve and very well deserved. Steve is a true entrepreneur.

Hearty congratulations also go out to Brenda McDonnell of Brenda’s Pizzeria, who was named to Maryland’s Top 100 Women and Dr. Dana McCauley of Crellin Road Elementary School, who was also named.  Both are VERY deserving of this honor and we salute them here!

Since we are recognizing those in the community, we would be remiss if we did not give a shout-out to Connor Norman, who was named Friday as Diplomat of the Year by the Garrett County Chamber.  Connor is a hard-working, smart, great fellow that I had the pleasure of teaching at Garret College.

Here’s a link to Issue 12 of the Maryland Board of Education COVID Response & Continuity of Learning Success newsletter.  There’s some good information and updates here for all you parents and grandparents.

Fellow Deep Creek Lake Lion Barry Krewson and his wife Mary Ann are co-directors of golf operations at Alpine Lake Resort, just south of Oakland. Barry said if any readers mention Deep Creek Times when they play they will give give them a free soft drink and snack to complement their already very low prices for 18 holes.  You have to play on a Sunday through Thursday this week to get the deal. The cost for 18 holes is only $33 for those under 55 and is even lower, $25, for those of us better than 55!

Don’t forget to nominate your favorite buisness, service, professional or place in this year’s Deep Creek Times People’s Choice Competition.  Here’s the link.  We plan on doing things a little different this year so be sure to get your nominations in before they close and follow the progress.

That’s it for today.  Have a great Monday folks…

August 2020 Cover Story

Deep Creek Times August Cover Story

State of the Deep Creek Lake Area During the Pandemic

By: Mike Tumbarello

I think most readers would admit that these times, whether locally at the lake, regionally, nationally or globally, are unique and challenging on many fronts and for many complex reasons. Fortunately, the local scene may be the least disrupted of all the levels indicated above.

A look at the national scene shows a divided population, some “interesting” political divisions and developments, a bounce-back of COVID-19 in some areas of the country and a challenging, uncertain economy.  Examples of the national economy’s challenges include:

  • Recent bankruptcies and closures among some major US business enterprises, including retailers Neiman Marcus, J. C. Penney, GNC, J. Crew, Pier 1 and Modell’s, with over 15 others filing for bankruptcy in 2020 so far;
  • Those numbers being clearly impacted by shrinking consumer spending due to the coronavirus pandemic, with consumer spending down 34.6% in the second quarter, on top of a 5% decrease in Q1;
  • US exports falling in Q2, down by 64.1% due to economic downturns and lockdowns in the economies of our global trading partners;
  • Government spending by the federal government increased by 17.4%, even while the recently robust housing and renovation market posted a 38.7% decrease in Q2; and
  • The all-inclusive measure – US gross domestic product – in Q2 reflected all of the collective challenges, posting a record decline of 32.9% (seasonally adjusted, annual rate).

I thought I would look at Garrett County and the Deep Creek Lake area to see how we are doing locally, thinking of the business adage: “Think globally but act locally.” Well, compared to other communities across the country and across the globe, we seem, at least on the surface, to be holding our own these days.

The summer crowds are here in force and our restaurants and other retail establishments mostly appear to be busy. While I still see lines outside Lakeside Creamery, Arrowhead is busy, especially on weekends, Brenda’s carry-out is going gangbusters and Walmart seems packed, I worry about those restaurants and service businesses that were closed or remain closed, especially smaller restaurants and retailers, including in Oakland and outside the immediate lake-area.  I also worry about the service workers in those businesses and all of the independent contractors, including waitstaff, chefs, musicians, artists, and others.  It may take a while for the full, complete story to form even if the Deep Creek Lake area has apparently emerged and appears to be gaining momentum.

Rather than rely on observation or anecdotal, second-hand insight, I thought I would go out and ask a few bellwether businesses what they are experiencing. Here’s some additional insight from the lake-area’s economic “front lines” to add a little “color” and depth to the situation.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Judy Devlin, owner of my favorite bookstore, the Book Mark’et, on South Second Street in Oakland on Saturday. According to Judy, “While we were closed for a while and offer limited hours at present, business has really picked up in recent weeks and is looking good. I must also comment that as we strictly follow the governor’s guidelines, our customers have been following our in-store “rules” relative to masks, social distancing and limits on the number of people present at any time. Things are good for us and will hopefully continue.”

From my travels around Oakland on Saturday and the county on Sunday, things for the most part look robust, even as some entities are known to be feeling the effects of the pandemic. I thought I would also reach out to some of our real estate-related businesses, as real estate is closely tied to tourism and of course, the county’s economic well-being.

Real Estate

I contacted Kristin Skeweris, Media & Marketing Director at Railey Realty and she offered the following insight into the marketplace for both real estate sales and vacation rentals:

“After a momentary stall, the real estate market picked up in a big way around the entire county at the beginning of May. As the need for privacy and a safe getaway home increased, we began seeing competing offers on new listings and properties located on acreage. After months of lower than average listing inventory and relatively flat new listings coming on the market, the sudden surge in buyer interest pushed our market into a state of very low inventory. In June 2020, 226 homes were for sale – an 85% drop from the 5-year-average for June of 417. Conversely, new pending sales last month were up 50% from the 5-year-average. Comparing the first half of 2020 to the first half of 2019 shows moderate increases in dollar volume and units sold. We look for sales to pull further ahead of 2019 as we continue through summer and into fall.

In the past 7 days (as of July 23rd), 21 new homes were listing in Garrett County, and 31 homes went under contract. That’s only 7 days! In total, there are 212 homes for sale in Garrett County, 145 of which are under contract. It’s a GREAT time to sell your home! You can get more stats from our most recent market update , it breaks everything down more :

I also reached-out to Taylor-Made Real Estate, where Jay Ferguson, Owner and Sales Agent, had this to say: “From a real estate perspective, we are seeing an increase in people who want to relocate to Garrett County/Deep Creek Lake. The lifestyle here is more desirable than ever. Virtual school and work from home opportunities are giving people the freedom to live wherever they would like.”  

Vacation Rentals

According to Jodi Refosco, Owner of Taylor-Made, “Year-to-date, our reservations are up 36% compared to last year. Much of that increase can be attributed to a surge in summer stays. We are also seeing significantly more fall reservations than we’ve had in the past. September and October weekends are pacing ahead of last year by as much as 20%. Higher demand creates a need for additional staff. We have more than 200 employees. Plus, a busier fall season gives us the ability to offer employment opportunities that are long term and not just seasonal.”

Skeweris from Railey had this to say about the vacation rental market: “Similar to what Deep Creek saw post-9/11, there’s been a large spike in interest for vacations and getaways to Deep Creek Lake from cities and suburban areas within a five-hour driving distance. As more families are wary of traveling by plane or to larger destinations, the quiet and small-town appeal of Deep Creek Lake draws them to us.

Vacation Rental Homes, due to their privacy and efficiency as functioning homes, are more desirable in the era of COVID-19. Guests are able to arrive at their home and enjoy their vacation without sacrificing usable amenities. In comparison, staying at a hotel at the beach provides much less privacy, no private kitchen, and more contact with other guests. We believe this is why we’re seeing such high demand for guests coming to Deep Creek in lieu of their beach vacation.

Where most homes may have sat empty during the week and only rented on weekends, we’re seeing a rise in mid-week stays as the desire to get away outweighs the regular plan to get away on the weekend. The more flexible arrival days and shorter stays help space out the turnover days for our cleaning vendors and allow for them to perform the necessary and heightened cleanings between guest stays. {We have} already seen tremendous interest in stays for September and we have less than 25 homes remaining for Labor Day Weekend”

It looks like the pandemic has helped many people find or re-discover real estate purchases and vacation rentals at Deep Creek Lake.  This is good for our real estate companies and the many other businesses, contractors and employees that support them and their customers throughout the season.  Perhaps that is a small silver lining for the area as the nation continues to battle COVIC-19 and so many businesses and individuals are impacted.

I thank all of our front-line business owners and employees that are helping us serve the needs of our community and wish all of them, our local citizens, second home owners and all of our many visitors a safe, healthy and rewarding experience. Let’s all be nice to one another, be safe, and make the best of these challenging times at the lake and elsewhere.




Wednesday July 29

We had some localized rain storms in the area yesterday, but the rest of the day was really nice and the early evening was really beautiful.  Today we’ll have patchy fog before 7:00 am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 82 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low of 63.

Here’s a photo Sarah took in my yard after the rain yesterday.  It’s the little things…

After the Rain SM 7-28-20

After the Rain

The Mountain Fresh Farmers Market is on at the pavilion in downtown Oakland today from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.  Check out the fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods and other neat items.

A hearty shout-out to my fellow Deep Creek Lake Lions Club members hosting our annual Blind Camper event at our park on Mosser Road this week.  Chris and the gang work really hard to give our campers a great experience.

The virtual Chautauqua Fannie Lou Hamer Portrayal and Q&A:  Raising Their Voices is on this afternoon from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.  Go to our event listing for more information and for information on how to sign-up.

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. he act provides prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life.

Recent evidence shows that millennials are fleeing large, more expensive cities for more affordable, smaller locales (like the Deep Creek Lake area). The COVID-19 pandemic may continue to fuel this trend as dense city living becomes less attractive. Additionally, the economic and financial uncertainty that many Americans now face will make buying a home in pricey, large cities less feasible. In Maryland, 42.8% of millennials own their homes. Check out this new study for more insight. 

And, here’s a photo of a triple bloom that my wife took yesterday in our yard after the rain. This one even has an added bonus with the grasshopper included at no extra charge.

Triple Bllo JT 7-28-20

Triple Bloom Day Lilly

Tuesday July 28

The weather for today includes a chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2:00 pm. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 77 degrees and a west wind around 9 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Tuesday Night will be partly cloudy, with a low around 62

Well, I guess it’s time to pass the buck!  No, these are real bucks photographed by local photographer and loyal reader Dee Dave.  She says they have been hanging out on Harvey’s Peninsula eating everything in sight.  Sounds like the deer…and woodchucks… and rabbits… and chipmonks around my house.  Nice photo Dee and thanks for sharing.

deer 7-25-20 dee dave

Young Bucks at Harvey’s Peninsula

Hey there folks, you too can contribute a nice wildlife, nature, location or family action photo to Deep Creek Times.  We can’t publish them all but we try to get them in and it really adds some additional context to these Daily Notes.  Submit any photos to  Thanks, we appreciate it and so do our other readers.

The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for six additional persons yesterday, bringing the current county total to 44. Four of the new cases were reported at Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home, with three residents and one staff member included. Maryland reported 1128 new COVID-19 cases on Monday. We wish all a speedy recovery.

The Garrett County Board of Education will meet today in Executive Session from 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm then will reconvene for the public session portion of the meeting from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm and will take action in the Public Session on certificated recommendations, negotiation parameters, and the plans for reopening of 2020-2021 school year. The Board will also discuss the draft five year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). There is no public comment at this meeting and it is virtual. Click here for more details.

A recent reader poll by Kiplinger found that 26% of respondents answered “yes, but I’m driving” when asked if they have plans to travel this summer. Almost two-thirds, 63%, answered “No, I’m staying close to home” and only 10% plan on flying.  The Deep Creek Lake area is well positioned relative to the new normal travel-wise.

The next public meeting of the Board of County Commissioners will be Monday, August 3rd at 3:00 pm.  It will be live-streamed.  Here’s a link to the agenda and connectivity information.

A new report by CoPilot identifies the states with the worst roads. Researchers analyzed road quality statistics from the Federal Highway Administration to rank states according to the percentage of all major roads in poor condition. In Maryland, 18.4% of all major roads are in poor condition, less than the national average of 26.4%. I do think Garrett County roads are even better, with limited potholes, which is surprising considering our winters.

Monday July 27

Another great weekend weather-wise and all around I think.  Today’s weather will be sunny, with a high near 83 degrees. West wind 7 to 9 mph. There’s a chance of showers and thunderstorms, with increasing clouds, and a low around 67 in the evening.

The lake was very busy, as were surrounding areas and establishments, over the weekend.  I think people are so happy to get out of their houses and be in the open air. I have spoken to a number of local real estate professionals and also some restaurant and other entertainment venue owners and they are crazy-busy.  I hope for our collective health and  for the economy’s sake that we do not get any large bounce in cases locally and that things can stay robust.  I note that unemployment claims in some areas of the country have been increasing again due to second-wave business closures. Let’s hope for a great finish to summer here at the lake. With only 38 cases in the County, we are very fortunate!

Here’s an important message from the desk of Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany Counties. Diagnosing COVID-19 requires either a PCR test or an antigen detection test. The PCR test is the type of test used for the majority of people diagnosed with COVID-19. The community needs to be aware of the imperfections of these tests. Recently there has been a lot of chatter about so-called “false positive” PCR tests. The likelihood of a false positive PCR for COVID-19 test results is exceptionally low. PCR tests are fraught with a different problem, however, in that they produce an abundance of false negatives. Check out the full press release here fin our Latest News section for the complete story.

There’s a lot of talk locally (and all over) about school reopening plans. Here’s a statement and a link for information on state school openings from Dr. Karen B. Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools: “With the state firmly in recovery, local systems will have the flexibility to determine, in consultation with their local health officers, how they will open, and which groups of students and staff will be able to re-enter buildings. Some systems have begun to lay out a path to begin the year all-virtual, and some plan to move forward with a ‘hybrid’ approach. Our job is to help systems succeed and keep staff and students safe with established guardrails, regardless of which path they choose.”

Speaking of education, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Tuesday, July 28, 2020, meeting of the State Board of Education will be conducted entirely via livestream, and there will be no public access to the Nancy S. Grasmick State Education Building. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., State Board members and presenters will participate in the virtual meeting, and members of the public will be able to hear the audio and see presentations in real time via live stream.  Click here for more information including details on how to call in.

The Mountain Laurel Garden Club is sponsoring a Garden Art & Collectibles Sale (rain or shine, no pets) on Saturday, August 1, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., in the parking lot of Crossroads Church, Route 219/Sand Flat Road. The sale features items donated or made by members that were originally slated to be part of the boutique associated with the garden tour canceled earlier this summer. All workers and shoppers must wear masks and appropriate social distancing measures will be observed.

I read this (really!) in a fortune cookie I received recently at a Chinese restaurant in the Cumberland area and thought I would share:  “You must get off your bottom to get to the top.” Well, I don’t know what philosopher came up with that, but I like it, as it reflects my own philosophy on life and business and is one I share with my consulting and coaching clients. Life can be tough and “you don’t have to be great to start, but you must start to be great.”  You get it…

Have a great week dear readers…


Understanding COVID-19 PCR Testing



Understanding COVID-19 PCR Testing

By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team

From the desk of Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany Counties. Diagnosing COVID-19 requires either a PCR test or an antigen detection test. The PCR test is the type of test used for the majority of people diagnosed with COVID-19. The community needs to be aware of the imperfections of these tests. Recently there has been a lot of chatter about so-called “false positive” PCR tests. The likelihood of a false positive PCR for COVID-19 test results is exceptionally low.

PCR tests are fraught with a different problem. They produce an abundance of false negatives. This means people are given news making them think they do not have COVID-19 when in fact they do. You can only imagine how this results in further undetected spread. Anyone who has had one positive PCR test is by definition, a COVID-19 case. It does not matter if the person has symptoms or not.

Usually, there is no need to repeat a PCR test, but some have had their tests repeated. If a repeat test is done and it is negative, one of two things has occurred.

Option one: the person has convalesced in the interval and is no longer shedding the virus and the test is truly negative.

Option two: the person is no longer shedding the virus at detectable levels of the test itself (some tests only detect viral levels at relatively higher concentrations and some tests are more sensitive and detect viral levels at lower levels for example). The test is false negative.

Once you test positive, you isolate for a designated period of time, and a subsequent negative test does not change that recommendation.

False negatives occur frequently. There are people in some hospitals on ventilators who have false negative COVID-19 results! Eventually, when retested, you will find (if you take a sample from deep in the lungs) the test is finally positive. Our testing situation is imperfect, but it’s all we have.

So how do we manage this imperfect situation with regard to testing? We wear masks, distance and wash our hands. We act as if we might have it and we protect ourselves and our families from others who might have it. That’s the state of the world. We are coexisting with COVID-19 indefinitely and balancing risk and benefit. We have all of our eggs in one basket, the vaccine basket. Until an efficacious and safe vaccine becomes available, we need to use the only tools we have in our toolboxes.

Antibody tests are a different topic entirely, and I have not addressed it here.

For more information call the Garrett County COVID-19 hotline at 301-334-7698.




Wednesday July 22

Today’s weather includes a chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 5:00 pm. Sunny, with a high near 83 degrees and a mild southwest wind of 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. There’s a chance of evening showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 3:00 am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67.

I thought I would start you off with a nice sunrise photo today.  It was submitted by Elizabeth DeVoss and taken in the Wisp area.  Nice job and thanks for sharing Elizabeth!

Liz Devoss sunrise at lake 7-20-20

Sunrise at the Lake

Good news for Garrett College and our community. Garrett College’s accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), one of six regional accrediting bodies across the nation. MSCHE’s accreditation decision covers the next eight years, with Garrett College’s next reaccreditation visit set to take place in 2028.  The Commission granted reaccreditation with no additional requirements.

The Mountain Fresh Farmers Market is open today at the pavilion in downtown Oakland from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.  They are following some specific precautions due to the pandemic.  Click here for details.

As of yesterday afternoon, the Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for three additional people, bringing the current county total to 34. The new positive COVID-19 cases include:  An asymptomatic female in her 50’s, staff member at Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home, isolating at home; A male in his 50’s, with symptoms, isolating at home; A female in her 20’s, with symptoms, isolating at home.

Here’s a link to a great Deep Creek Lake vacation video as submitted by Karl Schmitt.  Looks like Karl and his family had a GREAT time!  Thanks for sharing Karl.

Here’s a link to another video, this time to a video of a bear and a lady with the bear really close.  This video is not from the Deep Creek Lake area, but I thought it was interesting.  I am not sure I could or would be so calm if a bear came right up next to be like that.

Finally today, the 2020 People’s Choice Challenge is starting soon.  This is Deep Creek Times’ exclusive and original celebration to recognize Deep Creek Lake area attractions, organizations, products/services and professional favorites. Nominations will be from July 29th through August 12th and voting will take place from August 17th through September 7th. More to follow in coming Daily Notes.

Tuesday July 21

Yesterday proved to be a nice day at the lake.  Today we have a slight chance of showers, then showers and thunderstorms likely after 11:00 am. Partly sunny, with a high near 81 degrees. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Mostly cloudy, with a chance of showers and thunderstorns in the evening, with a low around 67.

Here’s a great photo of some “docked” sailboats as submitted by Kellie Zbignewich yesterday.  Thnks for sharing Kellie!

sailboats Kellie Zbignewich


Congratulations are definitely in order here: Garrett Regional Medical Center’s Subacute Unit has won its sixth Best Nursing Home award from US News & World Report, receiving a five out of five-performance rating for short-term rehabilitation care. Winning this award means of the 226 nursing home facilities in the state of Maryland, Garrett Regional Medical Center is one of only 67 to achieve a top performance rating. This year the Short-Term Rehabilitation Ratings incorporated several measures of quality including consistency of registered nurse staffing, use of antipsychotic drugs and success in preventing falls. Way to go GRMC!

This is an interesting tidbit from State Attorney General Brian Frosh: Although around 160 million “stimulus” payments have been made to eligible U.S. residents, a recent report estimates that 12 million people, including 147,000 Marylanders, are missing out on receiving a payment. The payments yet to be distributed add up to around $12 billion, $157 million of which is owed to Maryland residents.

According to an online post by the Baltimore Sun, The rise in coronavirus cases in Maryland slowed a bit on Monday, when the state reported 554 new cases.

The Garrett County Health Department, in cooperation with state and local partners, tested 527 participants at a community COVID-19 testing event in Oakland on Friday. Of the 527 persons who participated in testing, 443, or 84% were from Garrett County. Marylanders from outside of Garrett County and West Virginia residents each made up a total of 25 participants. A few of those tested were from Virginia and Pennsylvania, and the rest were from across the U.S. All tests are currently pending.

Here’s another nice photo as submitted by regular contributor Dee Dave.  Thanks Dee!

button buck dee dave 4-19-20

A young local fellow