Cumberland Times-News

Jan Alderton - Opinion

July 30, 2009

Is the Legislative Forest dead?

You can’t see the forest because of the trees. That’s unfortunately the case, as 20 Japanese trees planted in Constitution Park to honor members of the Maryland General Assembly appear to have died.

Known as the Legislative Forest, the Japanese trees were planted several weeks ago in connection with the annual Day of Caring and Sharing. The project is actually an outgrowth of the 2009 PACE theme: Think Green — Think Mountain Maryland.

Every year, PACE acknowledges members of the General Assembly. This year it was decided to establish a Legislative Forest in Cumberland, emphasizing green aspects, past, present and future, of Allegany and Garrett counties.

The trees — Hinoki Cypress, Sand Cherry, Kousa Dogwood and Katsura Dogwood — are on Reservoir Avenue inside the park and adjacent to the city reservoir. But all are brown and show no signs of life....

While last Wednesday’s rainfall was welcome because it has been so dry recently, no where was the precipitation appreciated more than in Waynesburg, Pa. That’s because July 29 was observed as Rain Day in the town.

The community celebrates Rain Day because legend has it that it nearly always rains on the 29th. Records show that it has happened 111 times in the last 135 years. The streak continues....

Do the cool temperatures this summer signal a frigid, snowy winter ahead?

Maybe so, according to Joe Bastardi, chief meteorologist for AccuWeather. He said July’s below-average temperatures could mean heavy snowfalls and bitter cold this winter along the Eastern Seaboard if the pattern continues.

But Bastardi and other meteorologists all agree it is way too early to predict what is ahead this winter, so at this point it is all speculation....

The region will have yet another gambling place to visit in a couple of weeks. Rivers Casino and its 3,000 slot machines will debut Aug. 9 in Pittsburgh. The facility also will have nine bars and restaurants and 1,100 employees....

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Jan Alderton - Opinion
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