Our final winter snowfall tally was 113 inches which is about 10 inches less than our average since 1940 and about 44 less than our average for the past 10 years. Of course, it is likely we'll some snowfall in April to adjust those totals a bit, but those are our "winter fun" totals.

Open water on the lake!  One of my favorite times of year is the thawing of lake.  Of course, there's the obvious reason -- water life is back -- but it always interesting to watch.  Cracks form, plates shift -- ever-changing.  And, we get some pretty cool ducks, too.

The fracking/natural gas controversy is such a divisive issue around here.  I know people on both sides  -- good people with the good intentions --  at each other's throats.  I've tried to remain open-minded.  I understand land owners have rights to profit from their property, but neighbors have a right to peace and safety.  I don't think every well site turns into a toxic waste zone, but I do question the long-term effects.  Beyond all that, we, in Garrett County, are a unique situation.  Tourism is our current economic force. If we allow fracking... Can tourism and natural gas development co-exist?  Will the inevitable truck traffic be a deterrent to visitors?  Will property values decrease, thereby lowering the tax income?  Will potential recreational visitors be unable to find a room because they are filled with transient workers? Will events like The SavageMan Triathlon have to be cancelled for traffic safety/road condition concerns?   I don't have the answers, but someone should before we even consider proceeding.  I wish I had a crystal ball to look ahead 15 years and see if the statement 'We owe it all to natural gas development' has a tone of pride or regret.  As a person with nothing to gain and everything to lose, I wouldn't mind stepping back for a while.

One more thing to clarify on  this and then I'm done. I'm just considering what the economic boom from gas may do to the economic future of tourism.  The health, well-being and quality of life of every citizen in every corner of this county counts, not just the one's around the lake.  My statements are made with the assumption that any project that may go forward adheres to the strictest regulations to ensure safety.

Onto good news...

The town of Grantsville has applied for designation as a Arts & Entertainment District in the state of Maryland.  A successful application will establish the first district in Garrett County.  The results will be announced on July 1.

What a great winter on the ice!  Sasquatch even showed up for fun.  (photo courtesy of Boo Boo Rogers)

 Madison Sines, a Northern High School graduate, will serve as squad leader of the color guard for the University of Maryland Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band.  As you may recall, Elizabeth Green, also a Northern grad will serve as drum major.  Garrett County nicely represented!

Another Northern student recently performed at the Wheeling Jamboree.  Ellie White, a sophomore, appeared with Steve Smith and also sang three solos. 

Lou DiCarlo's entire inventory at the Stained Glass Gallery is now 50% off! 

Take note that DC's Restaurant at Wisp will be closed from April 12 until April 30 for scheduled maintenance and cleaning.

Spring golf rates at Oakland Golf Club are $25 for 18 holes and $15 for 9 and that includes a cart. 

The DNR is asking Deep Creek anglers to fill out  this survey regarding Northern Pike management in the lake.  Speaking of...  Wow!  (photo courtesy of Andrew Eiswert,  Railey Realty)

The 4th annual GC SING Flea Market will be held on June 6.  If you are interested in setting up space as a vendor, registration forms are available online.  If you're a shopper only, mark your calendar.

April showers? No problem, if you're staying in a Railey Mountain Lake Vacations home. Up-to-date  movies  -- two at a time -- and free of charge.  What?!?


Grand Central Home Furnishings is having Spring into Spring sale.  Huge savings storewide and 50% off mattresses.  Also, there are a few spots available in the Indoor Flea Market at Dry Dock Plaza. Call 240- 488-1055 if you're interested.

The sausage at Working H Meats is getting rave reviews -- actually all their meat is.  Stop by. 

About 2 months ago a Barred Owl struck a bus chasing prey. The folks at Camp Hickory and the 5th grade class from Accident elementary became involved in getting the bird help. The crew at the Discovery Center aviary were called and transported the Owl to the ACCA at Cheat Lake. Dr. Fallon found not only trauma to his eyes from the strike but discovered he had been shot.  Fortunately his head injuries were taken care of and the pellets had to be left in his head. Despite this he has recovered beautifully and can fly and hunt and he was released last month back into the wild. Great work by all involved.  (photo courtesy of the Deep Creek Discovery Center)

Time to put the docks in!  Don't forget to see our friends at Deep Creek Docks, Inc. if its time to upgrade. 

See you on the water.

Marta Schroyer