Multiple Winter Storms to Cross US Through Christmas

As many as three storms with snow, ice, rain and thunderstorms may affect areas from the South Central states to the Northeast through the weekend and after Christmas.

Mother Nature will provide a stormy weather pattern over the next couple of weeks.

While details including timing, track and exact precipitation type for the storms have yet to be determined, the storms will bring enough precipitation to slow travel as they move along.

According to AccuWeather.com Long-Range Expert Paul Pastelok, “The storms will develop in the Southern states and then track northeastward. How far north the storms track into the cold air will determine the extent of snow.”

Read More Here:  http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/multiple-us-winter-storms-christmas/39058689

Maryland gas drilling propsects may improve with incoming governor

CUMBERLAND — The new administration of incoming Gov. Larry Hogan could revive the chances for drilling for natural gas in Western Maryland. That drilling should take advantage of technology developed by Alliant Techsystems Inc., said Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine. Valentine would like the first test well in Allegany County to use that technology, he said.

That’s at the same time that Gov. Martin O’Malley is being ripped by environmentalists for promulgating rules for hydraulic fracturing, which, when in place, could allow drilling to begin. O’Malley will leave office in mid-January. This week, Hogan said he didn’t like O’Malley issuing major regulations on gas drilling and other issues in the last few weeks of his administration.

Valentine and Del. Wendell Beitzel say O’Malley’s proposed rules are so restrictive that they would make drilling cost-prohibitive, but they think a new administration might be willing to offer safe regulations that would make it worthwhile for gas companies to consider drilling in Garrett and Allegany counties.

“It’s an issue that would have a tremendous economic impact,” Beitzel said. “As we go along technology will improve even further and risk will be reduced. There are risks in any industrial activity,” Beitzel said.

Read More Here:  http://eaglefordtexas.com/news/id/142276/maryland-gas-drilling-propsects-may-improve-incoming-governor/

Fracking in W. Maryland is not a done deal

I am sending this letter out as a mother, as a small farmer, as a Garrett County property owner and tax payer, and as a member of a community that I care deeply about.

Maryland gas drilling propsects may improve with incoming governor

CUMBERLAND — The new administration of incoming Gov. Larry Hogan could revive the chances for drilling for natural gas in Western Maryland. That drilling should take advantage of technology developed by Alliant Techsystems Inc., said Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine. Valentine would like the first test well in Allegany County to use that technology, he said.

That’s at the same time that Gov. Martin O’Malley is being ripped by environmentalists for promulgating rules for hydraulic fracturing, which, when in place, could allow drilling to begin. O’Malley will leave office in mid-January. This week, Hogan said he didn’t like O’Malley issuing major regulations on gas drilling and other issues in the last few weeks of his administration.

Valentine and Del. Wendell Beitzel say O’Malley’s proposed rules are so restrictive that they would make drilling cost-prohibitive, but they think a new administration might be willing to offer safe regulations that would make it worthwhile for gas companies to consider drilling in Garrett and Allegany counties.

Even in making their own snow, ski slopes relying on Mother Nature

“…..Wisp Resort in Garrett County is holding its official season opening Saturday, and while Whitetail Resort and other Pennsylvania resorts have opened sporadically so far, they hope to stay open for good starting Saturday — if the weather cooperates.

“It’s an industry that is a bit of a guessing game and a bit of a gamble,” said John McCracken, a spokesman for Wisp Resort. “Even though the meteorologists say one thing, it could do a totally different thing.”

Read More Here:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/weather/weather-blog/bs-md-ski-season-20141211-story.html

Inaugural Benefit Day

Wisp Resort Announces the Inception of Benefit Day
Garrett Lakes Arts Festival named inaugural recipient of the 2014 Wisp Benefit Day

 Wisp Resort announces the inception of Benefit Day, an annual philanthropic event to benefit a non-profit organization each year within the Garrett County community.  The 2014 Benefit Day is slated for the day before the official opening day of the 2014.2015 Winter Season. The date is weather dependent but is anticipated to be December 12.  All proceeds from Benefit Day ticket sales will go to the named benefactor.  Tickets are $20 per person for adults and children 6 and older or 38” tall and include all-mountain lift ticket access for skiing and snowboarding, unlimited snow tubing and a mountain coaster ride.  Tickets will be sold on-site at Wisp Resort, online at wispresort.com and through participating partners.

Garrett Lakes Arts Festival has been named the inaugural recipient of the 2014 Wisp Benefit Day.  “Wisp Resort has been collaborating with GLAF for many years in their efforts to bring arts and entertainment to Garrett County.  One of Wisp’s goals is to help foster continued high quality musical and cultural events and GLAF is a great resource. We are pleased to use our first Benefits Day as a major GLAF fundraiser,” stated Jerry Geisler, Wisp Resort’s General Manager.  Garrett Lakes Arts Festival is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting cultural and artistic activities in Garrett County.  Mary Callis, Executive Director of GLAF commented “The Garrett Lakes Arts Festival is proud to partner with Wisp Resort to showcase the beauty of Garrett County along with the enchantment of high quality performing arts.”

More Information Here: http://deepcreektimes.com/outdoor.asp

Commissioners approve revised Water and Sewer Master Plan

The Garrett County Water and Sewer Master Plan has been revised based on preliminary comments from MDE, and is provided below for general review and comment. This is the version to be presented to the Board of County Commissioners for adoption during a Public Hearing at a time and place yet to be determined.

Read More Here:  http://www.garrettcounty.org/public-utilities/water-and-sewer-master-plan

 

Garrett County Tourism Outpaces Maryland Tourism Growth

Margot Amelia, Executive Director of the Maryland Office of Tourism, presented an update on the state of Maryland tourism at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s Business Before Hours – Tourism Update on November 18 at Wisp Resort. According to Amelia, there has been considerable growth for Maryland tourism in recent years and Garrett County tourism has steadily outpaced the state’s increases.

During her presentation, Amelia tracked the progress of tourism since 2009. She stated that Maryland has grown tourism sales tax revenues 15.9 percent, while Garrett County has grown tourism sales tax revenues 21.8 percent during the same time period. Maryland has grown visitor spending 21 percent and Garrett County has grown visitor spending 38 percent. Maryland has grown lodging sales 14 percent while Garrett County has grown lodging sales 35 percent. Maryland has grown second home revenue 22 percent and Garrett County has grown second home revenue 39 percent. Maryland has grown hotel tax revenue 22 percent and Garrett County has grown hotel tax revenue 50 percent.

Read More Here:  http://deepcreektimes.com/news.asp

Check out who made one of the three cities!

Big US cities like New York City and Los Angeles get a lot of attention from vacation seekers every year. However, such big cities aren’t always the perfect travel destinations for every occasion. So if you’re looking for a new place to visit sometime soon, check out the three under the radar cities in the US you need to see.

 

Read More Here:  http://www.shapemindsoul.com/3-cities-you-must-visit-in-the-us?fb_action_ids=10205107260700946&fb_action_types=og.shares&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210205107260700946%22%3A1008861562461054%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210205107260700946%22%3A%22og.shares%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Garrett Commission votes to endorse findings on shale gas drilling

OAKLAND — The Garrett County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to endorse the findings of the Garrett County Shale Gas Advisory Commission to further explore the impacts of drilling.

The commissioners also voted to forward the report to the incoming commissioners for a decision on how to best implement policies and procedures for Marcellus shale moving forward.

“There has been some selective follow-up discussion, but it is recognized that any definitive further action will logically await engagement of the new board of commissioners,” states the report.

SGAC recommends that the county further explore the fiscal impacts; public safety; public health; property owners’ safety; the county’s character and appeal to tourists as well as second home/retirement home owners; and minimization of the impact of industrialization, according to the report.

The report includes a compilation of seven smaller reports that have been delivered over the year, three of which deal with comments and input on the state’s safe shale drilling initiative studies, according to John Quilty, chairman of SGAC. The SDI studies were forwarded by the commissioners to both the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Read More Here:  http://eaglefordtexas.com/news/id/141328/garrett-commission-votes-endorse-findings-shale-gas-drilling/

Some proposed ‘fracking’ rules in Maryland go too far

MARYLAND GOV. Martin O’Malley (D) plans to lift a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” next month, regulating rather than prohibiting a controversial drilling process that energy companies have used to retrieve massive quantities of natural gas from shale rock formations. But Western Maryland landowners looking for drilling royalties and local laborers looking for jobs should check their excitement. The rules that the outgoing governor plans to impose on Maryland fracking would be so tough that they would make it impossible for drilling to begin in the next two years and would diminish the likelihood that operations will happen in earnest after that.

Larry Hogan, the incoming Republican governor, has promised to review “every single one” of Mr. O’Malley’s regulations. That’s warranted — but his review should be based on the evidence. He must take care not to go too far in the other direction, scrapping many good proposed rules because some might be too strict.

 

Read More Here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/some-proposed-fracking-rules-in-maryland-go-too-far/2014/11/29/79984f84-75b4-11e4-9d9b-86d397daad27_story.html

Maryland Governor O’Malley is Ready to Allow Fracking in His State

Outgoing Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has frequently been mentioned as a top-of-the-list contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, should Hillary Clinton’s bid fail to materialize. But he just made himself more controversial within the party—and raised the ire of environmentalists—with his announcement that he is ready to allow fracking in the state, where it has so far been banned.

Natural gas companies have been casting a longing eye at Maryland since the fracking boom started. The state’s western panhandle sits on the natural gas-rich Marcellus shale formation, which has proved such a money-maker in Pennsylvania just to its north.

O’Malley said that energy companies that want to frack in the state will have to abide by restrictive environmental and public health regulations, including limits on drilling locations and oversight of risks to air pollution and water contamination. He said he will unveil the final regulations in mid-December before leaving office to be succeeded by Republican Larry Hogan in January. Hogan has made it clear he’s chomping at the bit to open the state to fracking, calling it an “economic gold mine,” and saying during the campaign “States throughout the country have been developing their natural gas resources safely and efficiently for decades. I am concerned that there has been a knee-jerk reaction against any new energy production.”
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/maryland-governor-omalley-is-ready-to-allow-fracking-in-his-state.html#ixzz3Kej6i3pt

MARYLAND MARCELLUS SHALE SAFE DRILLING

BALTIMORE, MD (November 25, 2014) – Reflecting extensive consultation with scientists, public health professionals, economists, industry experts, environmental and community advocates, and the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, today the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources presented a draft Final Report on Marcellus Shale drilling. The three-year-long study recommends that Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling be permitted provided that stringent comprehensive best practices are followed.

The draft Final Report – required by Governor Martin O’Malley’s Executive Order establishing the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative – concludes that the risks of Marcellus shale development can be managed to an acceptable level, similar to other industrial activities, provided that the State rigorously inspects sites and enforces compliance with applicable regulations and stands prepared to adjust policies and regulations as needed in the future. The report recommends best management practices that, taken as a whole, are at least as stringent, if not more stringent, than those required anywhere else in the nation.

“After three years of exhaustive study, we’ve compiled what many believe to be the gold standard for best management practices in the country,” said Governor O’Malley. “We’re committed to ensuring that Marylanders have access to the economic opportunities associated with fracking while also putting the most complete practices into place to ensure the highest level of protection for Maryland residents.”

“This report strikes the right balance, ensuring that Allegany and Garrett counties realize the economic benefits of fracking without sacrificing public health, the environment or the vibrant tourist economy of Western Maryland,” said MDE Secretary Robert M. Summers.  “With these highly protective standards, and working with local governments to maximize investment opportunities and review Comprehensive Gas Development Plans, Maryland is better positioned to manage this new frontier in energy development.”

 

Read More Here:  http://news.maryland.gov/mde/2014/11/25/md-report-recommends-permitting-marcellus-shale-development-under-health-environmental-safety-rules/

Area ski resorts open for winter season

Wisp, Seven Springs, Ski Roundtop, and Ski Liberty and Whitetail all opened Friday.

The people who run the ski resorts said the extreme cold and the combination of natural and man-made snow helps them create and maintain a solid snow base.

“The day after Thanksgiving is great for us, and we’ve done it two years in a row, so we’re really happy about that,” said Roundtop Mountain Resort spokesman Chris Dudding. “This probably happens once every five or six years, so having it happen two years in a row is great.”

The parking lot at Pennsylvania’s Ski Roundtop was packed Friday.

 

Read More Here:  http://www.wbaltv.com/news/area-ski-resorts-open-for-winter-season/29970698

Firearm deer season opens in Maryland

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Maryland’s two-week firearm deer season opens today as more than 40,000 hunters are expected head into the woods and get situated in tree stands across the state.

“This is our Super Bowl of deer seasons,” said Brian Eyler, deer project leader for the Wildlife and Heritage Service of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “We’ll harvest in these two weeks probably about a third of our total deer harvest for the year. It’s still the main event.”

 

Read More Here:  http://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/local/firearm-deer-season-opens-today/article_1dde7ca1-ea81-5fdc-897c-f43627fa645d.html

Snow hampers holiday travel in Maryland

Photo: Living in a Winter Wonderland today @ Deep Creek Lake! Plus a little Snowbird just told us that Wisp will be opening on Friday!! Not to late for a last minute Snow Holiday getaway! 1-866-351-1119!
Posted: Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

HAGERSTOWN, Md. A snowfall of up to 7 inches across central and western Maryland is making travel difficult on the day before Thanksgiving.

Police reported minor accidents on slippery roads Wednesday in Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties.

The National Weather Service says 7 inches of snow were reported near Mountain Lake Park in Garrett County. Other snowfall amounts included 3 inches in the Harford County community of Jarrettsville and 2.5 in Carroll County near Manchester.

Fracking moves forward

A week ago, a failed switch in a home along the shores of Deep Creek Lake caused 1,700 gallons of raw sewage to accidentally spill into the water, enough that health officials had to monitor local water quality and post warning signs nearby after the cleanup. The episode was uncommon, but it demonstrated how much the Garrett County resort area depends on pristine water not only at Deep Creek but at the wild and scenic Youghiogheny River, which is considered one of the Mid-Atlantic’s best spots for kayaking.

Ready, set, go: Cyber Monday travel deals

Practically everybody knows that Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is when folks can score some of the season’s best prices on items like electronics and fashion. Now savvy travelers have discovered that they too can land sensational deals if they wait just a few days later, for Cyber Monday, held this year on Dec.1.

Of course, there are countless travel websites broadcasting great deals every day. So, are Cyber Monday deals really that extraordinary by comparison?

“Yes, I can say absolutely,” says Robert Firpo-Cappiello, editor in chief of Budget Travel magazine. “Last year we saw Starwood Hotels [including the W, Westin and Sheraton brands] offering all of its Caribbean hotels for 50 percent off, and Liftopia [a ski website] held a week-long sale offering 75 percent off lift tickets at 120 ski resorts.”

For More Information:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/travel/bs-tr-cyber-monday-deals-1123-20141119-story.html#page=2

 

Residents hope that newly elected commissioners will reconsider maintenance of Overlook Pass

Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 3:42 pm

ELAINE BLAISDELL TIMES-NEWS STAFF WRITER The Cumberland Times-News

MCHENRY — The current Garrett County commissioners are not planning on maintaining Overlook Pass and Judy Pitman of High Line Property Owners Association is hopeful the newly elected commissioners will reconsider the decision not to maintain the road and will make it a priority.

Commissioner-elect Paul Edwards indicated that he is aware of the issues with Overlook Pass but declined to comment on the matter until he is officially sworn in. Attempts to contact Commissioners-elect Larry Tichnell and Jim Hinebaugh on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

“With Thanksgiving next week and rentals and homeowners having to use this road, it is of great concern that the county will not maintain it,” said Pitman. “There are rental and sales agencies that are contacting the incoming commissioners and having meetings on this issue.”

Public Hearing Notice – Proposed Revision of the Garrett County Water & Sewer Master Plan

Garrett County Sanitary District
Proposed Changes for the Public Hearing

Boundary Change for the Garrett County Sanitary District

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 9-503(c) of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland Notice is hereby given that a public hearing of the Board of County Commissioners of Garrett County, Maryland, is scheduled for  Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 10:45 a.m. in the Board of County Commissioners of Garrett County, Maryland, public meeting room, located at the Courthouse, Oakland, Maryland, to consider the proposed revision of the Garrett County Water and Sewer Master Plan.

Read More Here:  http://www.garrettcounty.org/public-utilities