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BY COLUMNISTS

| Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Norman M. Covert | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Tom McLaughlin | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


September 12, 2005

Horses and Horses’ Posteriors

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

HORSES

Well, the Maryland Stadium Authority has reviewed the proposals and evaluated the proposed sites. Frederick County tried hard to make the final cut. Our entry, focused around land bordering Mount Saint Mary’s, met many of the criteria established by the powers-that-be.

Access to a major highway (Route 15), at least 700 acres (more than 900), sufficient visitor amenities in a 20-mile radius (Frederick and Gettysburg), and several other issues all easily accommodated in the Frederick County proposal.

A shout-out is warranted here, notably to Colby Ferguson, our county Agriculture Economic Development specialist. Colby did something few have done before: he got the entire Frederick legislative delegation to agree to something. Even Democrat Del. Galen Clagett and Republican Senator Alex Mooney were on the same side of this one!

Colby’s proposal was excellent. In addition to addressing all of the required categories, he stressed the value of co-locating an equine facility with an institution of higher learning. The benefits would have been significant, and probably didn’t get the attention they deserve.

Unfortunately, the Stadium Authority narrowed the list to two sites, one just outside of Annapolis and one in northern Cecil County.

The Cecil County site is the site I had predicted long ago would eventually win the race. Lest you think I possess insider information, just look at the criteria.

In every case, the Cecil County site meets or exceeds the requirements. Most important, the Cecil County site boasts over 2,000 acres, almost ALL of which is owned by the State of Maryland!

In fact, there’s already an equine facility located up there, and people travel from all over the east coast to visit that site.

The Annapolis site is a joke! You’d gain access to the site by getting off Route 97 at Crownsville. Have you ever tried to use MD 97 on a weekday? It’s literally a parking lot, especially around rush hours.

You could ride a horse there from Baltimore faster than you could drive during morning and evening rush. Who knows, maybe they included that in their application!

I think I know why Annapolis was included. Annapolis already generates tons of horse manure from January through April every year, so adding new tonnage throughout the year wouldn’t be too big a burden!

HORSES POSTERIORS

Mayor Jennifer Dougherty’s Black Book Reference – For the life of me I cannot understand how such a well disciplined, carefully controlled politician could do something so short-sighted. My math had her leading the primary fight by a narrow margin.

Certainly she leads the pack in having her supporters write letters to the newspapers, but we already know that means next to nothing in the final analysis.

Invoking the infamous prostitution ring with a tenuous connection to her primary rival has absolutely backfired, and whatever slim lead she enjoyed has either tightened or disappeared.

Speaker of the House Mike Busch and Maryland Horse racing – Remember Speaker Busch (D., Anne Arundel) claiming that slots had no real bearing on the future of racing; that other subsidies were available to protect the equine industries?

Last week MAGNA Entertainment, the owner of both Pimlico and Laurel race tracks, announced that purse differentials between Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia are causing them to cut the racing days at Pimlico by 50%. How much longer will it be before they decide, using the same logic, to move the Preakness out of Maryland? That may well be Speaker Busch’s legacy, the single-handed demolition of our horseracing heritage.

U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., CA) – I affectionately refer to Representative Pelosi as “Whiner-in-Chief,” and she carries that title with honor (oops, oxymoron).

In her latest media-fueled tirade, Ms. Pelosi is refusing to appoint Democrat House members to serve on a bi-partisan, bi-cameral inquiry into the response to Hurricane Katrina. She railed against what she has already decided is a defense of the Bush administration, ignoring the fact that several Republican congressmen and senators have attacked Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Brown for their agencies responses.

You see, Ms. Pelosi has “special” powers. She can see into the future and predict outcomes, ignoring any facts or truth to the contrary. Many suggest that blame bucket is plentiful, and that the brush dipped in that bucket will splash blame up and down the governmental ladder.

Any environmental activist blaming George W. Bush for Hurricane Katrina/New Orleans levee failure – It goes without saying that these folks are horses’ posteriors, but it’s still fun to put it in writing.

You can blame President Bush for a lot of things, but blaming him for a hurricane and the failure of the New Orleans levee system is just plain stupid. Now if you’ve made these claims, I’m not calling you stupid. To paraphrase comedian Jeff Foxworthy, if you keep saying dumb things on TV, you might just be stupid.



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