Garrett Co. Man Lobbying For Maryland TV Viewing Capability

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Dec. 30, 2010

A Deep Creek Lake resident has a seemingly simple aspiration – to watch a television station that offers Maryland sports, Maryland news, Maryland weather, and even Maryland campaign commercials. But complicated Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules are impeding Chuck Hoffeditz’s wish.

“People in Maryland, especially Garrett County, want to watch Maryland television,” he told the county commissioners last week during a meeting with state Sen. George Edwards and Del. Wendell Beitzel.

To illustrate his point, Hoffeditz showed the officials a petition containing the signatures of more than 500 people who, indeed, would like to watch Maryland TV. Several of those petition signers attended the meeting and voiced their concerns to the local officials.

Because FCC regulations about only allowing one Designated Market Area (DMA), most local residents can only receive Pittsburgh, Pa., channels through their cable and satellite companies. Even Maryland Public Television is not available to many Garrett Countians, despite the fact that a MPT tower is located on Eagle Rock.

A few Comcast customers in the Finzel/Frostburg area, however, are more fortunate. Their DMA is larger, so they are able to view Pittsburgh, Johnstown (Pa.), Washington, D.C., and Baltimore stations. Hoffeditz would like to have that option, too.

Read the full article here.

Jay’s note: I remember the days where you could get both Pittsburgh & Washington/Baltimore TV stations – that’s how I cam to love the Steelers & the Redskins. I agree with Chuck, give us the choice!

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Deep Creek Do It All specializes in cleaning services in Garrett County & @ Deep Creek Lake. Give them a call (301-501-0217) or visit the website – competitive rates and quality results from a locally owned & operated company!

Backyard Astronomers Discover Black Holes and Other Wonders


Photo: VOA
Backyard astronomer Gus Johnson

Laurel Bowman | Swanton, Maryland

Amateur astronomer Gus Johnson didn’t set out to witness what scientists say is the first ever observed birth of a black hole. But that’s just what he did in 1979. His discovery of Supernova 1979c was only the third supernova in another galaxy ever detected by an amateur. But it has become one of the most important and studied since. Amateur astronomers have been making discoveries for at least 400 years, dating to Galileo’s spotting of Jupiter’s moons. The hobby helps professional scientists every day.

Johnson likes the quiet and he likes the dark. But clouds and sub-zero temperatures are working against him as he stargazes near his home in Western Maryland.

“Well, Jupiter went behind a cloud so we have the moon,” said Johnson.

Johnson has been stargazing for 50 years, and tonight he’s invited some kids to join him. He has a near photographic memory of hundreds of star positions and he loves to share what he knows.

Read the full article here.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Deep Creek Do It All specializes in cleaning services in Garrett County & @ Deep Creek Lake. Give them a call (301-501-0217) or visit the website – competitive rates and quality results from a locally owned & operated company!

McClive's Painting Makes National Show

“Brown Pelican” by Rebecca McClive was recently accepted into the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society’s “Best of America 2010” Show. With this acceptance, McClive also gained membership into the NOAPS Signature Artist Guild. “I am pleased to be one of the 111 members who has achieved the prestigious honor,” she said. The former Garrett County resident now resides in Fort Collins, Colo. The show traveled to several different galleries in the state of Missouri, and the painting was sold to the vice president of the NOAPS organization for $2,450. Prints are available through at rebeccamcclive.com. McClive will participate in the Southeastern Wildlife Expo in Charleston, S.C., Feb. 16–20, 2011, and the Western Masters Art Show and Sale in Great Falls, Mont., March 16–20. Interested persons are invited to visit McClive’s web site to see more of her paintings and to sign up for her newsletter to see new works.

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Residential property values drop 22 percent in Maryland

— ANNAPOLIS (AP) — The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation says real estate values on residential properties have dropped by 22 percent in the past three years, the largest decline in the history of the department.

The department mailed notices on Tuesday to about 739,765 property owners that reflected the drop.

Maryland reassesses properties every three years. The new assessments are based on the sales of about 50,650 properties over that time.

While the assessments play a role in determining local property taxes, next July’s tax bills will be calculated with tax rates set by local governments.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Deep Creek Do It All specializes in cleaning services in Garrett County & @ Deep Creek Lake. Give them a call (301-501-0217) or visit the website – competitive rates and quality results from a locally owned & operated company!

Which bat is which?

Michael A. Sawyers
Cumberland Times-News The Cumberland Times-News Tue Dec 28, 2010, 07:50 AM EST

— SWANTON — A biologist with the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service said Monday that it is so difficult to distinguish hibernating Indiana bats from little brown bats that there is uncertainty about the number of the former in Garrett County’s John Friend Cave.

That cave is mentioned in a federal lawsuit complaint as having a robust population of the federally endangered Indiana bats. The recently filed suit asks the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to delay the startup of Constellation Energy Group’s wind turbine project on Backbone Mountain until the company obtains an incidental take permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Constellation has hoped to begin operating the 28-turbine Eagle Rock project at the end of this month. Spokesman Kevin Thornton said the company has been in contact with the federal wildlife agency and is in the process of applying for the permit.

“In John Friend Cave we haven’t had a substantiated record of the Indiana bat for a long time,” said biologist Dan Feller. “But unless we go pluck every bat off the wall and spread the wings and look for the color of the hairs at the base of the fur it is hard to tell. We generally say they are little brown bats, but there could be Indiana bats in there.”

Feller enters Maryland’s bat caves once each winter to count the animals. He said John Friend Cave is among the top five locations in the state with an average of 300 various bats.

At Crabtree Cave, near the Savage River Reservoir Dam and about 10 miles from the wind turbine site, Indiana bats were observed swarming outside the cave in the autumn in the 1990s, according to Feller. “We have no substantiated records of Indiana bats at Crabtree since then,” he said.

Feller said radio tracking studies have shown that Indiana bats, mostly females and young, use Maryland forests and ridge lines during the summer.

“One study tracked an Indiana bat from a hibernaculum in central Pennsylvania to Carroll County, Md., 120 miles away,” Feller said. “We know that Backbone Mountain is within 100 miles of a number of Indiana bat (caves) in West Virginia.”

The plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit are the Baltimore-based Maryland Conservation Council, the council’s Vice President Ajax Eastman, the Oakland-based group Save Western Maryland and D. Daniel Boone, Bowie, an environmental activist.

Frank Maisano, a spokesman for Constellation and other wind energy developers, said Monday that the start-up of the Eagle Rock project is imminent.

“The turbines have already been pushing power, but it has all been for required testing,” Maisano said. “It is about to start up.”

Maisano said the lawsuit may delay the project, but is unlikely to stop it. He said other wind energy projects such as one in Greenbrier County, W.Va., have been faced with the same roadblock, but were able to move forward after obtaining the take permit, which, in essence, accounts for the killing, injuring or perturbing of bats.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Deep Creek Do It All specializes in cleaning services in Garrett County & @ Deep Creek Lake. Give them a call (301-501-0217) or visit the website – competitive rates and quality results from a locally owned & operated company!

As temperature drops, ice fishing heating up


Brrrr…Brrrr…Brrrr.

This remarkable cold spell has not done a lot to contain my wood or heating oil use, but it has produced a dazzling early-winter season of ice fishing. Heck, up above Scranton, ice fishing actually began several days before last week’s official start of winter. That is remarkable.

To dole out some important ice information first, the trout stocking at Lower Lake at Promised Land State Park, originally scheduled for early November, has been completely cancelled. The 173-acre lake is being drawn-down. Read the full article here.

Check out Deep Creek Lake ice fishing.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Deep Creek Do It All specializes in cleaning services in Garrett County & @ Deep Creek Lake. Give them a call (301-501-0217) or visit the website – competitive rates and quality results from a locally owned & operated company!

Local Lawmakers Slate Prelegislative Event For Jan. 8

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Dec. 23, 2010

Sen. George Edwards and Del. Wendell Beitzel will hold their annual prelegislative public meeting on Saturday, Jan. 8, starting at 10 a.m. in the Continuing Education building at Garrett College.
The local lawmakers will be available to discuss any questions pertaining to state issues or legislative matters that may be addressed in the upcoming General Assembly session, which begins on Jan 12 in Annapolis.

The prelegislative meeting is open to all citizens. Beitzel and Edwards encourage the public to attend and contribute any comments, questions, or suggestions.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Deep Creek Do It All specializes in cleaning services in Garrett County & @ Deep Creek Lake. Give them a call (301-501-0217) or visit the website – competitive rates and quality results from a locally owned & operated company!

Commissioners Name Nominees For Board Of Ed

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Dec. 23, 2010

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners is in the process of nominating the Board of Education member-at-large that was created when Jim Raley was elected as county commissioner.
The commissioners received letters of interest from the following persons: Robert Quick, Bill Meagher, Gary Barlow, Josh Hinebaugh, Matthew Paugh, Darlena Grady, Pamela Livengood, Jodi Nichols, John Pucciano, Sadie Liller, Jerome Lynch, Ruth Hinebaugh Umbel, Cynthia Downton, Jack Riley, and Rodney Reckart.

The commissioners will review all the names on Dec. 28 and take action on the appointment on Jan. 4, according to county administrator Monty Pagenhardt.

The BOE’s next public meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 11.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Deep Creek Do It All specializes in cleaning services in Garrett County & @ Deep Creek Lake. Give them a call (301-501-0217) or visit the website – competitive rates and quality results from a locally owned & operated company!

Slopes cure cabin fever

Journal photo by Chris Jackson

Three area ski resorts just a short drive away
December 27, 2010 – By Edward Marshall, Journal Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG – With schools closed and students home for holiday break, families may be getting a little cabin fever now that the Christmas holiday is officially over….

…Those up for a slightly longer drive also can hit the slopes at the Wisp Resort, tucked away in the mountains of Western Maryland near Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County.

Located at 296 Marsh Hill Road in McHenry, Md., Wisp Resort is about a two-hour drive from Martinsburg.

With more than 100 inches of annual snowfall in Garrett County, Wisp’s 132 acres of ski terrain provide snowsport enthusiasts the perfect winter playground. The resort’s trail system features 32 slopes and trails totaling 10.5 miles on 132 acres of skiable terrain. The resort also features Bear Claw Adventure Park, which includes snowtubing lanes, a mountain coaster and an ice skating rink.

Through Jan. 2, the resort will be operating under peak holiday hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Daily rates for skiing and boarding range from $36 to $65 depending on age and the amount of time you want to spend on the slopes. Snow tubing rates for holidays are $25 per person for two-hour sessions. When traveling from Martinsburg, take I-81 North toward Hagerstown, crossing into Maryland. From I-81 North, take I-70 West’s Exit 4 toward Hancock. Once in Hancock, merge onto I-68 West via Exit 1A on the left toward Cumberland. From I-68 West, merge onto U.S. 219 South via Exit 14A toward Oakland. Turn right onto Sang Run Road. Take the third left onto Marsh Hill Road. The resort will be on your right.

For more detailed information about Wisp Resort, visit www.wispresort.com

Read the full article here.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Deep Creek Do It All specializes in cleaning services in Garrett County & @ Deep Creek Lake. Give them a call (301-501-0217) or visit the website – competitive rates and quality results from a locally owned & operated company!

Garrett County Recycling Rate Ranks Fourth

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Dec. 23, 2010

The Garrett County Solid Waste and Recycling Division announced Tuesday that the county’s recycling rate ranks fourth in the state, just behind Charles County; the MidShore Regional Recycling Program for Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties; and Hartford County.
Garrett County achieved its ranking by having a recycling rate of 47.7 percent, with a source reduction rate of 48.7 percent for calendar year 2009, as reported by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) after a complete review of the county’s Maryland Recycling Act (MRA) Tonnage Report.

The MRA requires that Garrett County divert at least 15 percent of its waste to recycling programs. All counties in Maryland report their recycling tonnages to MDE for review and approval.

“It is our goal to continue to educate and encourage the residents and businesses to not only recycle, but to also reduce waste at the source,” said Kimberly Madigan, recycling coordinator for the Garrett County Solid Waste and Recycling Division.

Source reduction, she said, means the design, manufacture, purchase, or use of materials or products to reduce the amount of waste generated. It includes reuse, waste elimination, package reduction, and substitution.

Read the full article here.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Deep Creek Do It All specializes in cleaning services in Garrett County & @ Deep Creek Lake. Give them a call (301-501-0217) or visit the website – competitive rates and quality results from a locally owned & operated company!