Update on Proposed Legislation – YOUR HELP NEEDED

Efforts to try and control nearshore grass growth have come down to legislation written by State Senator Mike McKay( SB837) and our Delegate Jim Hinebaugh (HB910).

These bills will have hearings in Annapolis on Feb 20 and 23rd respectively. They will require Brookfield Power to lower the lake for at least 30 days during the winter each year. This historically has prevented growth by killing the grass by exposing it to the cold temperatures. Brookfield refuses to do this so legislation was drafted by the County and other stakeholders with the support of Mike and Jim.

Following are the email addresses of both committee chairmen who will hold these hearings. Please write them and express your support for both Bills.

  • HB910 – Marc.Korman@house.state.md.us (Environment & Transportation)
  • SB837 – Brian.Feldman@senate.state.md.us (Education & Environment)

Your support is critical to the Bill’s success.

Be the Change Project Benefits Early Care Program Participants

Be the Change Project Benefits Early Care Program Participants at Deep Creek Lake, MD

Be the Change – The participants of the Garrett County Health Department Early Care Programs are receiving the benefit of a Be the Change project from Mrs. Josephine Fuente’s 4th-grade classroom at Broadford Elementary School. Gracie Stewart collected blankets, backpacks, socks, mittens, hats, and scarves in various sizes for newborns, children, and adults. With the help of her mom, Crystal Stewart, she made her delivery recently to the GCHD Early Care Program. Accepting the donation with Gracie are Early Care Staff members Shawna, Karen, and Leah. “We appreciate her donation, which will be distributed to many families in our community with children birth to age 5,” said Maria Friend, Director of Early Care Programs. For more information call the Health Department at 301-334-7720 or 301-895-3111.

Garrett County’s First-Ever Community Dunk: A Small-Town Celebration with Big Heart

Garrett County’s First-Ever Community Dunk: A Small-Town Celebration with Big Heart

In the picturesque landscape of Garrett County, nestled amidst the Allegheny Mountains, a unique event is poised to make its debut on Thursday, February 22nd at 2:00 PM. It’s the Community Dunk, an initiative driven by the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce and generously sponsored by the Oak-Mar Motel & 3rd Street Diner and Casselman Creamery.

What sets this event apart is its emphasis on fostering local community engagement. Unlike the bustling Saturday Dunks, the Community Dunk promises a more intimate affair, echoing the spirit of the close-knit communities that dot Garrett County.

“This first annual event is a testament to our commitment to celebrating our local talent and supporting our athletes and Unified® teammates of Special Olympics Maryland – Garrett County,” remarked a spokesperson for the Chamber of Commerce.

For many residents, the Thursday timing offers a welcome reprieve from the weekend rush, allowing them to participate without the crowds or scheduling conflicts. It’s a chance to rally around a worthy cause while enjoying the camaraderie of their neighbors.

Proceeds from the Dunk week will bolster the Special Olympics Maryland – Garrett County programming, enabling initiatives like the recent participation in the 2023 Bowling State Championships and the groundbreaking Interscholastic Unified Elementary Bocce County Championships hosted by Garrett County Public Schools.

Andrew Fike, President of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to merge the Community Dunk with the February Business After Hours event, creating a synergy between networking, team-building, and community support.

“On behalf of many community members who, like myself, try to avoid large crowds or work weekends, I would like to thank Special Olympics Maryland for organizing this special weekday event. This is a great opportunity to involve more locals, and we hope to make it a new tradition!” Fike exclaimed enthusiastically.

Indeed, the Community Dunk promises to be more than just a fundraising event; it’s a testament to the enduring spirit of Garrett County—a celebration of inclusivity, support, and local pride.

As residents eagerly anticipate this inaugural affair, the stage is set for a heartwarming gathering where the bonds of community are strengthened, and the spirit of giving shines brightly in the snow-capped hills of Garrett County.

Visit https://support.somd.org/event/2024-community-dunk/e535413 for details and to donate. I’ll see you there!

Local Non-Profit Makes Strides in Protecting Deep Creek Watershed

The Deep Creek Watershed Foundation, renowned for its impactful environmental initiatives, is capturing attention with its innovative approach to water management in the Deep Creek Watershed. Since its inception eight years ago, the foundation, supported by a dedicated team of volunteers, has been driving transformative change in preserving this vital ecosystem.

At the forefront of the foundation’s endeavors is the ongoing completion of the Water Budget Model. The water budget model (WBM) will help predict water levels based on measured and estimated inflows, which would in turn will improve the decision process for the timing and volume of Deep Creek Watershed Management Plan water releases. Collaborating with esteemed partners such as the Maryland Department of the Environment, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, University of Maryland Extension, and Garrett County Commissioners, the foundation is implementing projects aligned with the Deep Creek Watershed Management Plan.

In a new partnership with an engineering firm in 2017, the foundation developed the initial Water Budget Model for Deep Creek Lake, a pivotal step towards effective water resource management. This model, provided to the Maryland Department of Environment at no cost, serves Brookfield Renewable Power, the owner of the Deep Creek Dam and power generation facility, in adhering to water appropriations regulations.

Recognizing the need for enhanced predictability, the foundation invested in upgrading the model, procuring and installing water gauges in strategic locations such as Meadow Mountain Cove, Cherry Creek, Hoyes Run, and the Yough River. This substantial investment, totaling over $100,000 in 2023 alone, has facilitated the collection of crucial data for refining the Water Budget Model.

The latest endeavor of the foundation involves estimating the groundwater recharge rate, an addition to the model that promises to revolutionize water forecasting, potentially extending predictability to unprecedented lengths. With data-driven insights, stakeholders reliant on Deep Creek Lake’s water resources will benefit immensely from this innovative approach.

Beyond its pioneering work in water management, the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation is committed to addressing various environmental challenges, including mitigating acidity in Cherry Creek and promoting native plant restoration along shorelines. These efforts underscore the foundation’s dedication to preserving the ecological integrity of the watershed for future generations.

As the foundation continues to spearhead community-driven initiatives, it stands as a beacon of hope for sustainable environmental stewardship. For more information about the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation and its transformative projects, visit www.deepcreekwatershedfoundation.org.

Deep Creek Daily Notes February 15

Thursday, February 15, 2024: The weather today will be mostly cloudy. Rain is likely in the afternoon. Breezy, with highs in the upper 40s and a low of 23. South winds of around 10 to 15 mph, increasing to southwest 20 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph in the afternoon. The chance of rain is 70%.

GCPS students will have an early dismissal on Friday, February 16, 2024, for staff development, and all schools and offices will be closed on Monday, February 19, 2024, for Presidents’ Day, resuming normal schedules on Tuesday, February 20, 2024. Check the linked article for more details on the schedule.

GCPS seeks applicants for the Superintendent’s Equity Advisory Board, meeting twice yearly, with the potential for additional meetings called by the Superintendent.

Support Meals on Wheels and Garrett County Senior Centers with our homemade soup sale! Pre-order your favorite soups, rolls, and cornbread by today and pick up your treats on February 29th!

Discover the joy of reading with the Reading Buddies program by HART for Animals every Thursday from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Enzo’s Library in their lobby. Bring your children, pick out books, and share stories with our lovable, adoptable dogs. And yes, you can keep the books too!

Come out and skate FOR FREE with Garrett County Health Department today for the final session of Skating into the New Year in Grantsville at JTF Ice Rink. Enjoy an evening skate from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Test your knowledge while enjoying cold brews and good friends at the TEAM TRIVIA event happening every Thursday at 6:30 PM at Mountain State Brewing DCL.

Thursday is LOCALS’ NIGHT at Dutch’s At Silver Tree! Year-long residents, bring your receipts after dinner to get a gift card worth 20% of the subtotal for your next visit!

Tonight at MoonShadow, experience Pirates, Poets & Scribes! It’s an open poetry group where you can share your writings, discuss poetry, and enjoy your favorite poems.

Seniors’ Last Day and Graduation Announced

Seniors’ Last Day and Graduation Announced at Deep Creek Lake, MD

During the February monthly Board meeting, Mr. Paul Edwards, Director of Secondary Education, requested the Garrett County Board of Education (GCBOE) to set the last day for the Senior Class of 2024 on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. This request was approved. This date provides ample opportunity to practice graduation ceremonies, complete final exams, and allow for any necessary make-up work to be completed. Additionally, all testing, including AP exams, will conclude by this date. Graduation for the Class of 2024 is set for June 1, 2024, at the Garrett County Fairgrounds.

Garrett County Public School’s Calendar Reminders and Updated Make-Up Days

Garrett County Public School's Calendar Reminders and Updated Make-Up Days at Deep Creek Lake, MD

All Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS) will dismiss students three (3) hours early on Friday, February 16, 2024, for staff development in the afternoon. In addition, all schools and administrative offices will be closed on Monday, February 19, 2024, in honor of the Presidents’ Day holiday. Schools and offices are slated to resume normal operating schedules on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

Please note: if there is a 2- or 3-hour delay on Friday morning, classes will remain in session for the full day, and the early dismissal/staff development will be canceled.

Please take note of the following GCPS Calendar dates that have been adjusted due to three inclement weather/school closure days that have occurred so far this year. The GCBOE approved these dates during the February 13, 2024, monthly meeting:

  • Thursday, March 28, 2024, and Tuesday, April 2, 2024, will be used as make-up days, reducing Spring Break to Friday, March 29 through Monday, April 1, 2024.
  • June 10, 2024, will be used as a make-up day.
  • End of Grading Period 3 – April 4, 2024. End of Grading Period 4 – June 10, 2024.
  • Report Cards Period 3 – April 11, 2024. Report Cards Period 4 – June 17, 2024.
  • The students’ last day of school has been moved to June 10, 2024.

Any additional school closure days before the above-referenced dates will delay these periods further.

Garrett County Board of Education’s Executive Session Meeting

Garrett County Board of Education's Executive Session Meeting at Deep Creek Lake, MD

The Garrett County Board of Education will meet in Executive Session on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, for the sole purpose of discussing the Interim Superintendent’s mid-year evaluation. The Executive Session will be held virtually and will begin at 5:00 PM.

The meeting is closed to the public.

Garrett County Public Schools is Now Accepting Feedback for the 2024-25 School Calendar

GCPS is Now Accepting Feedback for the 2024-25 School Calendar at Deep Creek Lake, MD

Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS) is now collecting feedback on the proposed 2024-25 school year calendar. Feedback will be provided to the Garrett County Board of Education (GCBOE) members. The calendar may be found under the “Calendars” tab on the Public Relations page of the website https://www.gcps.net/public-relations.

Please review the calendar in its entirety before providing feedback. All information collected will be kept confidential. Please utilize this form to provide feedback about the calendar selections that you feel are in the best interests of students and the school system in general. Written comments may also be submitted via mail or by email to the following address:

Garrett County Public Schools
Attn: Public Relations Office
770 Dennett Road
Oakland, MD 21550

Feedback will be accepted from February 14, 2024, until noon on Monday, March 4, 2024. Each comment that is submitted will be reviewed by the Board.

Garrett County Public Schools to Implement Equity Advisory Board

GCPS to Implement Equity Advisory Board at Deep Creek Lake, MD

GCPS seeks applications from individuals interested in serving on the Superintendent’s Equity Advisory Board. The board will meet twice annually. Additional meetings may be called by the Superintendent, as needed.

Per Policy JB Educational Equity, the Garrett County Board of Education is committed to fostering the success of each student in our schools. For that success to occur for each student in lifelong learning and the world of work, the district prioritizes educational equity by recognizing and removing institutional barriers and ensuring that social identifiers are not obstacles to accessing educational opportunities and supports that benefit each student. Achieving equity means implicit biases and students’ identities will neither predict nor predetermine their success in school. Educational equity should be a lens through which all policies, procedures, and practices are viewed and decided. Additionally, equity is based on the principles of fairness and justice in allocating resources, opportunity, and treatment. It involves creating success for each student and eliminating achievement and opportunity gaps. Educational equity promotes maximizing the academic success and social/emotional well-being of each student as well as between diverse groups of students. Equity strategies are intentional, systemic, and focused on the core of the teaching and learning process.

The Superintendent shall establish an Equity Advisory Board to assist in developing the action plan to implement this policy and advise on educational equity issues within the school system. The Equity Advisory Board shall also assist the Superintendent in developing strategies to ensure that equitable educational opportunities are provided to all students who attend our schools. The Superintendent’s Equity Advisory Board shall include the Superintendent and members from the following stakeholder groups: the faith community, non-profit agencies, public education, business leaders, elected officials, and individuals from the Garrett County community.

Full information surrounding the purpose and mission of the board is available in Policy and Procedure JB  Educational Equity (Policy https://go.boarddocs.com/mabe/garrett/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=BD4LLR56CA13 and Procedure https://go.boarddocs.com/mabe/garrett/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=BD4N9U5EDFB6).

Individuals interested should complete the following form by March 1, 2024: https://forms.gle/hGhGFHHVgmjoLppj7.

Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2024: The weather today will be mostly cloudy in the Morning, then clearing, with highs around 40, except in the mid-30s at the higher elevations. Northwest winds are around 10 to 15 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph. The chance of rain is 30%.

American Dental Association designates February as Children’s Dental Health Month to promote good oral health among kids. Garrett County Health Department’s Dental Care Staff encourage children to limit sugary snacks, brush, and floss twice daily, and visit their dentists twice a year.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported a deer harvest of 72,642 during the 2023-2024 hunting seasons, 5% lower than the previous year’s total of 76,687.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Forest Conservancy District Boards invite all Maryland fifth graders to join the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest. The theme for 2024 is: “Trees Are Terrific…in All Shapes and Sizes!” Entries must be submitted to a local Maryland Forest Service office by noon on March 1, 2024.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and our advertisers have something for everyone! Ace’s Run Restaurant & Pub hosts Valentine’s Day Pasta Night with unique pasta dishes and favorites crafted by amazing chefs. Plus, MoonShadow offers a Wine Pairing Dinner at 7:00 PM, accompanied by live music from Briana Merkel. Apart from these Valentine’s specials, enjoy Wednesday Specials from our advertisers: Wedgie Wednesday at Fox’s Pizza Den in Oakland, Want it Wednesday at Cashmere Clothing, and Locals Night at Mountain State Brewing.

Also… Treat your Valentine to a getaway at Wisp Resort: 1-night stay at the slopeside Lodge, an all-inclusive Learn-to-Ski/Snowboard Package, and Valentine’s dinner at DC’s Bar + Restaurant. Valid today only.

HART for Animals invites you to Enzo’s Library in our lobby every Wednesday, 3:00-4:00 PM, for its Reading Buddies program! Bring your kids, choose books, and read to our adorable adoptable dogs. Plus, take the books home with you!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Deep Creek Pottery with a sweet painting project! Create a gnome hugging a snowman—a perfect couple’s project! Indulge in decadent desserts, hot cocoa, or coffee while painting. Feel free to bring your own snacks and beverages!

February: Children’s Dental Health Month

February: Children’s Dental Health Month at Deep Creek Lake, MD

Pictured above from left to right are Kayley Bittinger-RDH, Amy Paugh-dental assistant, Macey Roszell-Office Secretary, McKenzie Wotring-Program Administrator/RDH, and Regan Harvey-dental assistant.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes February as Children’s Dental Health Month, a month-long campaign used to encourage healthcare providers and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children within their communities. As always, the Garrett County Health Department’s Dental Care Staff encourages children to limit sugary snacks and drinks, brush and floss their teeth two times daily, and see their dental providers twice a year for checkups.

Visit the ADA website (https://www.ada.org/en/resources/community-initiatives/national-childrens-dental-health-month) for FREE printable activity sheets to use to promote these healthy habits for children.

Fat Tuesday

Tuesday, February 13, 2024: “Every year, Mardi Gras falls the day before Ash Wednesday. And this timing is no coincidence. Ash Wednesday marks the official beginning of Lent, a period of prayer, fasting, and repentance that Catholics and some other Christians observe before Easter. While today, Catholics commonly abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent, in the past, Lenten fasting was far more strict.

“Mardi Gras” is French for Fat Tuesday. The holiday is also known as Shrove Tuesday (from an Old English word meaning to confess) or Pancake Day. Historically, people would spend Fat Tuesday (and sometimes the weeks leading up to it) indulging in the foods (and behaviors) they would abstain from during Lent.”

Also, today is Fastnacht Day meaning “fast” and “night” in German where fastnachts are served as a precursor to the start of the Lenten season. Fastnachts are heavy, yeast-raised potato donuts featured prominently in Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. Also, similarly, it’s Pączki Day. Pączki is the specialty fried dough filled with jams or custard served on the last day to indulge in foods before the traditional 40-day period of fasting before Easter.

The weather today will be snow, with a slight chance of rain in the morning, and then a chance of snow in the afternoon. Precipitation may be heavy at times in the morning. Total snow accumulation is of 4 to 8 inches. Breezy, with highs in the lower 30s and a low of 21. Northwest winds 20 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph. The chance of precipitation is near 100%.

Another listing in our Marketplace! Summer Week (June 22nd – June 29th) at Westin St. John Resort Villas. 2-bed, 2-bath Sunset Bay unit near pool & beach. Private beach with free kayak & sailboat usage, tennis courts, disc golf, snorkeling, on-site dining, and boat tours. Car rental is available. Asking price: $5,000. Check it under the Experiences category.

Have you ordered your 2024 Maryland Natural Resource Wall Calendar yet? Experience Maryland’s breathtaking landscapes and wildlife throughout the year with captivating photos. You can order yours at ShopDNR.com.

Garrett 8 Cinemas will have its Tuesday Movie of the Week featuring the movie Mean Girls.

Come and experience Kids’ Night Out at Mountain State Brewing today! Get a free Kids Meal when you buy one (of equal or lesser value)!

There is an available commercial space in Garrett County McHenry Business Park. Check the link for more information.

The JTF Public Skate Session is wrapping up in the final days! Be sure to check their schedule and make the most of it!

Treat your Valentine to a sweet escape at Wisp Resort! Enjoy a 1-night stay, an all-inclusive ski or snowboard package, and a Valentine’s dinner at DC’s Bar + Restaurant. Valid only on February 13 & 14, 2024.

It’s 10 for $10 Tuesdays at The Greene Turtle (Deep Creek) featuring 10 bone-in wings for just $10! Plus, enjoy $2 drafts.

The Garrett County Board of Education’s regular monthly meeting is today at the Dennett Road Educational Complex. It’s open to the public and will be live-streamed.

GC’s Spring Credit Enrollment Grows 14.2%

Garrett College’s 2024 spring enrollment increased 14.2 percent in total students and 8.7 percent in credit hours compared to last spring. This marked the fifth consecutive semester of credit enrollment growth, according to College officials.

A total of 627 students are taking 5,654.5 credit hours this spring compared to 549 students and 5200 credit hours last spring. For Fiscal Year 2024 – which includes summer 2023, fall 2023, winter 2023-24, and spring 2024 – Garrett College’s credit enrollment increased 18.5 percent in duplicated headcount and 14.5 percent in credit hours.

“We’re very pleased with this year’s enrollment growth,” said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president. “We’ve recovered all of our COVID-related enrollment losses. In fact, this marks our highest spring enrollment since 2016.”

Spring enrollment increased in virtually every category the College tracks. GC saw growth in full-time students (+8.8 percent), part-time students (+19 percent), first-time students (+108 percent), and High School Dual Enrollment (+28.4 percent). Male and female students increased by 12.4 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively.

While pleased with this year’s strong enrollment, Midcap said a proposed 21 percent cut in state funding “would jeopardize the College’s continued progress.”

“It’s ironic that Governor Moore is proposing to cut our state funds by a fifth in a year where we’re growing so dramatically,” said Midcap. “Essentially, we’re being asked to serve more students with significantly less state resources.

“I have been pleased with indications from state legislative leaders that the Maryland General Assembly may restore at least part of those cuts,” added Midcap. “The Maryland Association of Community Colleges and the 16 community college presidents are making the case for restoration of those funds in the various legislative committees that have budgetary authority.”

Snow Emergency Plan implemented in Garrett County, Maryland

The Maryland State Police in Garrett County report that due to current weather and road conditions, the Snow Emergency Plan for Garrett County will be implemented at 0215 hours on 2/13/24.

The following highways have been designated as snow emergency routes in Garrett County:

Interstate 68         Maryland Route 38 Maryland Route 495
U.S. Route 40      Maryland Route 39 Maryland Route 546
U.S. Route 50      Maryland Route 42 Maryland Route 560
U.S. Route 219.   Maryland Route 135     Maryland Route 669

Once the Snow Emergency Plan has been placed in effect, Maryland Law requires motorists to operate vehicles that are equipped with snow tires as designated by the manufacturer or equipped with chains. Studded tires are allowed from November 1 through March 31.

During the declaration of a snow emergency, a person may not park a vehicle on any highway designated as a snow emergency route.

Your office will be contacted once the weather and road conditions improve to allow the lifting of the Snow Emergency Plan.

CONTACT: MSP McHenry Duty Officer 301-387-1101