Christmas Caring Program

The community services division of the St. Mary's County Department of Recreation, Parks and Community Services and the county's Department of Social Services will sponsor the Christmas Caring Program again this year.

The program matches needy local families with businesses, churches, organizations and individuals wishing to provide holiday gifts of toys, clothing or food.

To help a family, contact community services at 301-475-4200, Ext. 1851, or commserv@co.saint-marys.md.us.

College Geometry Lecture

Susan Goldstine, a mathematician and assistant professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland, will deliver a lecture titled "The Discovery of Non-Euclidean Geometry" at 4:40 p.m. Wednesday in Schaefer Hall.

The free event is sponsored by the college's Natural Science and Mathematics Colloquium Series.

Goldstine will discuss aspects of the controversy within mathematics over Euclid's fifth (or parallel) postulate, tracing its history over more than 2,000 years.

The inability to prove or disprove the principle, Goldstine said, "yields a new and radically different form of plane geometry."

Goldstine, who has been at St. Mary's College since August 2004, earned her master's degree and doctorate in mathematics from Harvard University.

Hunters Report Their Kills

Hunters reported taking 23,114 deer during Maryland's early bow, crossbow and muzzleloader hunting seasons in September and October, state Department of Natural Resources officials said.

A total of 3,138 antlered deer (97 sika) and 5,987 antlerless deer (89 sika) were killed during the bow season from Sept. 15 to Oct. 29.

Hunters reported taking an additional 206 antlered deer (4 sika) and 476 antlerless deer (6 sika) during the Oct. 1-15 crossbow season.

Deer hunters finished out the early seasons by reporting 4,401 antlered deer (183 sika) and 8,906 antlerless deer (126 sika) during the October muzzleloader season.

Fall turkey hunters reported taking 137 wild turkeys during the one-week season that ended Nov 5. Fall turkey hunting is permitted only in the state's three westernmost counties.

'Garden in Lights'

The annual "Garden in Lights" holiday light show will open Dec. 9 at Annmarie Garden.

Coinciding with the start of the Solomons Christmas Walk, Garden in Lights will run from 6 to 9 nightly through Jan. 1, weather permitting.

This year's light show will feature several new displays and decorations. New themed areas include "A Trip to the Zoo," complete with elephants, giraffes and other zoo creatures; and "Rockefeller Center," featuring skaters and fountains amid a city skyline.

"Ann's Art Gallery" will showcase famous paintings, such as the "Mona Lisa" and "American Gothic," re-created in lights. Visitors' cars become submarines in "An Undersea Adventure" filled with mermaids, jellyfish and a variety of sea life. "Fantasyland" features fairies, gnomes, dragons and other mystical creatures. The tour ends with a drive through a tunnel of brilliant lights.

The "Holiday I Spy" game also will be back with a new list of creations to find. Each area will have several hidden decorations for visitors to spot as they drive through lighted scenes.

Decorating the Garden for the annual holiday light show takes over a month. There is a suggested donation of $5 per car. Anyone donating the full $5 will receive a pass allowing unlimited visits during the three-week event.

Annmarie Garden is at 13480 Dowell Rd., just off Route 2/4, in Solomons.

Leaf Burning Safety

As trees have dropped their leaves over the past few weeks, the St. Mary's County Health Department is reminding residents of safe leaf burning procedures.

Ann Rose, environmental health supervisor at the department, said fall leaf burning does not require a permit, but residents burning leaves should consider the health of their neighbors.

Anyone burning leaves should be aware of when people are active in the area, wind conditions and the dryness of the material being burned, Rose said.

The Health Department does require non-renewable 30-day permits for land development burns and homeowner burns of trash and debris. Standard approval for land development burns allows burning from 6 a.m. Monday until 6 p.m. Friday. For a homeowner or residential burn, burning hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Permits are available on the St. Mary's County government Web site at www.smchd.org. In addition, residents may obtain a permit at the Health Department in Leonardtown.

For more information, call 301-475- 4321.