Friday, October 26, 2007

Slot Machine Madness

I think I'm going crazy. Listen to my hallucinations and then tell me I'm not as nutty as a West Laurelite at a pro development breakfast ...

Hallucination 1 - Maryland has enjoyed a decade of unprecedented growth. Property values and income levels are skyrocketing. So I think we should be in fat city. But I must be as mad as a dingo dog because they tell me we have a $2 billion dollar "structural" deficit.

Hallucination 2 - The Maryland General Assembly has a regular gig. They meet at the same time every year. They hang out in Annapolis from January to April and do the people's business. They write laws, go to dinners, find facts and other very intense things. Annapolis has been this way since lobbyists wore expensive powdered wigs.

But I must be nuts because I heard that the governor called for a special session next week. He must be crazier than me if he thinks Barbara Frush and Jim Rosapepe will roll over any easier on Halloween than on Valentine's Day.

Hallucination 3 - This is my big kahuna bad trip. Please follow me closely, because this is the raving of a lunatic.

  • Gambling is bad.
  • It's said to be addictive and hard on the poor.
  • But the state allows lotteries, keno, horse racing, and scratch offs because the state is addicted to money.
  • Slots are just another type of gambling.
  • But slots are banned in Maryland.
  • The governor says the state is now poor so he's in favor of slots.
  • The state is therefore poor and addicted to gambling.
  • People are fighting like hell to stop slots because slots are gambling and must be banned.
  • Nobody is fighting to get rid of the other forms of gambling.
  • Except barge fulls of lobbyists are grabbing fistfulls of money to lobby both sides.
  • Lobbyists are addicted to money.
  • Therefore lobbyists must be the same as gambling.
  • Maybe we should ban lobbyists?

Please help me.

Please take the Laurel Connections Poll on slots on the left side of this screen. I also encourage you to leave your questions, rants and raves in the comment section.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Urban Turkey Attack & Radar Moms

Astute readers may have noticed that the Laurel Connections Blog has been on hiatus since August. Astute readers with good taste have been quietly applauding.

While we had hoped to remain in hiding at an undisclosed location until after the upcoming special "bleed us dry" session of the Maryland General Assembly. More on the tax, tax, slot, slot, fizz, fizz session later, two news stories today simply begged for a Connections post.

Red Dawn with a Gobble

The Boston Globe reported today that flocks of wild turkeys are terrorizing Brookline, Mass.
"The turkey eyed Jean-Felix. Jean-Felix eyed the turkey. It gobbled. She gasped. Then the turkey proceeded to follow the Dorchester woman over the Green Line train tracks, across the street, through traffic, and all the way down the block, pecking at her backside as she went."

Wild turkey's are not strangers to Laurel. (No, not the 80 proof kind.) The Laurel Leader reported last April on an incident that city officials then considered a fluke ... but now we know it was a clever poultry reconnaissance mission. Before we are gobbled and pecked into submission we must prepare.

I recommend that our police officers and firefighters be issued shotguns. Billy Miles' freezers at the Meat Market should be readied as cold storage. (Thanksgiving is only 4 weeks away!) And because I'm sure that all our officials will want to help, we should issue turkey calls to all city, county and state elected representatives. N.B. Citizens are advised to avoid locations where shotgun toting fire fighters and turkey calling elected officials are known to congregate.

Smile, You Are on My Radar Sucker - Revenge of the Moms

Speeding was my most common complaint as city council member. Neighbors want the police to strictly enforce the 25 mph speed limit. Small police agencies can't be everywhere. A story reported in USA Today described a win-win solution to the problem.

Police departments across the country are loaning residents radar guns and turning them into neighborhood speed watchers. The volunteers radar gunslingers can't ticket the drivers but their reports can result in warning letters.
Laurel has used the "Drive 25" signs for quite awhile. Traffic calming experiments are now underway on a couple of streets. But talk to most mothers in Oldtown and you will get an earful about speeding on Fourth, Fifth and Montgomery Streets.

I say let's arm them with the technology they need. Give them a radar gun, a digital camera and a lawn chair and we'll have the speeding problem cleaned up before the ice melts at the corner lemonade stand . "Do you feel lucky, speeder?"

There was an error in this gadget