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This Week in Potomac 11-30-05

FREE HOLIDAY CAB RIDES

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program's SoberRide program will operate Dec. 9-Jan. 1 between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. each night.

The program offers free taxi rides, up to a $50 fare for residents of Montgomery County, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia, age 21 and older, who are celebrating the holidays with alcohol and might otherwise drive home.

To use the service, call 800-200-TAXI or #-TAXI on a Cingular Wireless phone.

The program, supported by corporate sponsors and local taxi companies, has provided more than 30,000 free rides since 1993. For more information, visit www.soberride.com.

CHILDREN'S ALMANAC

It’s time to send in artwork and other material for the Children’s Almanac. The deadline for artwork and writing is Dec. 7.

The last week of the year, The Potomac Almanac turns its pages over to the children and students of the community. The entire publication will be filled with artwork, poetry, short stories, commentary and photographs produced by local students.

We’ll receive many submissions from teachers who will include artwork from many students. We are also delighted to get submissions from individual students, from students who are home schooled, from nursery schools, from high school students.

We prefer to receive submissions via e-mail or on CD. Each submission should include the student's full name, age, grade, and school. Send digital photos, scanned artwork or text to PhotoP@connectionnewspapers.com or mail or hand deliver hard-copy material to 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102. Questions? Call 301-983-2600.

CANAL PHOTOS BENEFIT CANAL BOAT FUND

A new exhibit of color photos of the C&O Canal, particularly scenes from the Great Falls area, is now on display in the Historic Tavern at the Great Falls visitor center of C&O Canal National Historical Park. Photographer/author Dorothy Camagna will donate all proceeds from photos ordered to the Canal Boat fund. The Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern have raised more than $340,000 to date in their effort to replace the 30-year-old Canal Clipper replica boat that will no longer float. It is estimated that it will take an additional $160,000 to build a double-decked replica packet boat. Until three years ago, the canal boat carried more than 18,000 passengers each year through the original lift lock in front of the tavern. See www.BuildACanalBoat.com.

'LUNCH AND LEARN' WITH MELISSA CHECKER

Melissa Checker, an ‘86 graduate of Winston Churchill High School and a professor of anthropology at the University of Memphis, will visit Busboys and Poets, 14th and V Streets, Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 12-2 p.m. The event is a “lunch and learn/book signing,” featuring Checker’s recently published book, “Polluted Promises,” about environmental racism in Augusta, Ga. It is free and open to the public. Call 202-387-POET (7638) for more information.

PEAK TIME FOR DEER-VEHICLE COLLISIONS

The Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group reminds county residents that it is once again the peak time for deer-auto collisions in the county.

Deer-mating season runs from October to January with a peak of activity the first three weeks of November. During this time deer are more active than usual and less wary of their surroundings, posing a greater than normal danger on the roads.

During the last 15 years, auto collisions involving deer have risen as both deer and human populations have increased in the county.  Since 2000, the accidents have leveled off, but remain common. Montgomery County Police reported about 2,000 deer-auto collisions last year.

The most important thing drivers can do to reduce the chances of being in anPEAK TIMEe the speed limit. At night reduce speeds below the limit, especially during rain or fog.

Other things to keep in mind:

• Deer are most active at dawn and dusk.

• Watch for deer where roads pass through wooded or rural areas.

• Deer crossing signs indicate where heavily used deer trails cross roadways. Slow down and watch for the eye-shine of deer near the road edges.

• Deer usually travel in groups. If you see a deer cross the road, slow down and use caution; more are likely to follow.

If a deer jumps in front of your car, brake in a controlled manner. Deer are quick and agile; it is more likely that they will leap out of your path than that you will be able to brake and steer around them. Most serious injuries occur when a driver skids out of control and leaves the road or swerves into oncoming traffic.

DEER HUNTS IN BLOCKHOUSE, MUDDY BRANCH

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announced plans Monday to expand its managed deer hunt program.

New hunt locations include the Serpentine Barrens Conservation Park and Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park in Potomac as well as the Dry Seneca Stream Valley Park in Poolesville, portions of the Great Seneca Stream Valley Park and North Germantown Greenway Park in Goshen.

This decision follows recommendations from an inter-agency work group commissioned to help reduce deer-related traffic accidents and other negative impacts.

Hunts in Potomac will take place at the Serpentine Barrens and Muddy Branch Parks, and Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (an existing hunt location) Tuesdays Nov. 8 and 22 and Dec. 13.

The parks will be closed from sunrise until sunset those days, and closure notices will be posted.

For more information, visit www.mc-mncppc.org/environment/deer/index.shtm or call the Commission’s deer information hotline at 301-495-3585.