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Whatever happened to 'take the wealth out of Commonwealth?'

June 03, 1997

What gives? The last time we heard from County Commissioner Ron Bowers he was greeting us with the witticism "we need to take the wealth out of Commonwealth."

The Washington County Board of Education, of course, being located on Commonwealth Avenue, and the inference being that the board got far too much of the county taxpayers' money.

Funny what an election cycle can do.

An election cycle and about a hundred angry parents and school system employees who attended a recent public meeting, and as John Madden would say, "Boom." Instant change of heart.

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Now, the latest incarnation of Ron is on record as voting against the County Commissioners' budget because it doesn't include enough money for the board of education.

Whatever happened to "take the wealth out of Commonwealth?" More like he's taking the sense out of commonsen... oh, never mind.

Commissioner Bowers also last week took the step of pointing out that the sewer crisis is not a "crisis" after all, but an "opportunity." He then went on to blame the newspaper for creating - creating what, the opportunity?

He also called for an audit of the sewer books - regardless of the fact they've been audited every year for the past three decades. Yikes. Next Bowers is going to call for a "super-like bowl" to determine the best team in the National Football League.

ยท Moving on, like most people, I was shocked at the news last week that human beings shouldn't wear flea and tick collars.

Quoting from the Associated Press, "A University of Maryland entomologist warned campers, hikers and picnickers not to wear flea and tick collars around their ankles to keep bugs off."

Aw man. Does that mean I have to lose the Shell No Pest Strip earrings? And the flypaper? Not only kept insects away, but also held my socks up. What's not to like?

I didn't know wearing a dog collar could get you in this much trouble - unless of course your name happens to be Dick Morris.

But geez, if people are going to be so dumb as to wear flea and tick collars, can we enroll them in the spay and neuter program, too? It might keep the universal gene pool a little less contaminated if they aren't allowed to reproduce.

At least they're easy at Christmas. Instead of jewelry or a wristwatch or something, you can stop by Sheetz and pick them up a six-pack of pork-chop shaped squeaky toys.

This is my favorite line out of the AP story:

"Federal law prohibits humans from using pest collars meant for animals."

What kind of intrusive, over-protective, politically correct, big-brother-knows-best nation have we become when a man can't walk into a store, purchase a flea and tick collar and in the privacy of his own home use it any way he bloody well chooses?

Why if I want to lock myself in my house and wrap a flea and tick collar around my - my nose, I don't want a bunch of federal marshals with Waco-glazed eyes blasting Nirvana 24 hours a day and lobbing tear gas canisters until I surrender.

"All right Rowland, throw the flea collar out on the sidewalk and come out nice and peaceable-like with your hands up."

Haven't these people ever heard of constitutional rights? I think it's somewhere in the back - something about the privileges and insecticides clause.

And who's the wise-guy lawmaker who made it illegal to wear a flea collar? This is a priority? They can't keep Medicare solvent, but they can keep the world safe from would-be misusers of pet products.

And was this a separate bill, or was it a rider on some multi-zillion dollar defense appropriation? Item 823556-G: Purchase of 37 Ultra Nuclear Air to Surface Thunderchucker Stealth Anti-Personnel Missile Ordnance Decal Stickers and Flea Collar Restriction Act.

Makes you want to call for an audit.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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