In Maryland, There's a Town That Simply Will Not Drown

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Photo credit: Katherine Frey - Getty Images
Photo credit: Katherine Frey - Getty Images

(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To This Post)

Being our semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states where, as we know, the real work of governmentin’ goes on and where yonder stands your orphan with his gun.

It’s pretty much all-COVID, all-Crazy-People out there in the states, but let’s start in Maryland, where the Baltimore Sun brings us a genuinely epic saga of the town that wouldn’t drown. Ellicott City was founded in 1772, four years after the area had been struck by a massive flood. Since then, there have been 30 serious flooding events in Ellicott City, including two very bad ones in the past decade. Water is a rather constant presence in the town.

Nestled between the Hudson, Tiber and New Cut branches of the Patapsco River, Ellicott City sits in a valley of granite with walls that funnel the branches’ waters through the community to merge with the Patapsco. On a quiet day, it would be hard to tell that water flows under and around the mix of specialty stores, restaurants, galleries and antique shops along Main Street. Glimpses of yellow signs featuring a figure running to higher ground are the first clue. The 10 vacant buildings at the bottom of Main Street — gutted by deadly floods in 2016 and 2018 — solidify water’s dangerous presence in the historic district.

It looks like Maryland is preparing to do something about Ellicott City’s regularly scheduled appearance as a tributary.

A groundbreaking ceremony attended by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball earlier this month marked the start of the multi-phased Ellicott City Safe and Sound flood mitigation plan. Estimated to cost between $113 million to $140 million, the plan includes the creation of several dry ponds, the installation of a milelong underground tunnel and the demolition of four Main Street buildings to provide space for the creation of a new culvert.

It’s going to be Infrastructure Week in Ellicott City for quite some time.

The state has committed more than $20 million to Howard County to assist in flood mitigation and resilience efforts, including $2.4 million for the creation of the 13-acre-foot H7 pond, which began Aug. 16 at the Route 40/Route 29 interchange. Designed to hold water and then release it slowly once the danger has passed, five dry flood ponds, ranging in size from the 10-acre-foot Quaker Mill pond off Rogers Avenue to the 70-acre-foot T1 pond on the Tiber tributary, are included in the plan. Each acre-foot is approximately 326,000 gallons of water…

The north tunnel, which Ball calls the “single most impactful project in our Safe and Sound plan,” will be buried 60 feet to 80 feet down, starting at the 8800 block of Frederick Road and running parallel to Main Street for 5,000 feet to exit at the Patapsco River. Ranging between 12 feet and 15 feet in diameter, the tunnel will help maintain the Hudson’s water levels by splintering the water flow during heavy rains to prevent the branch from flowing over its banks.

The local citizens are ready for anything that keeps the water where it belongs.

“All my floors have sump pumps,” Gibson said.

Be foolish not to.

We leave the waters of the Patapsco and move all the way up to Alaska, where the demand for horse pills has managed to beat us there. From the Peninsula Clarion:

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce….

Wait a damn minute here. What? WHO?

… has continued to defend the use of ivermectin — last week at an assembly meeting and again Monday when he made an appearance on Duane Bannock’s Sound Off radio show on KSRM. “What I’m asking for is that the … world view of the various treatments that are being researched and looked at outside of and including vaccinations be looked at from a more open perspective,” he said on air. “Let the doctors experiment with perhaps some things that haven’t been signed off by the Food and Drug Administration.” He backed the use of ivermectin, saying it is “a very inexpensive medication” and encouraged listeners to research the drug further.

People of the Kenai Peninsula, let me have your attention, please. I am not that guy, OK? And none of you are horses. I don’t care if you listen to this Charlie Pierce. Just, for the love of god, don’t listen to that one.

Photo credit: NurPhoto - Getty Images
Photo credit: NurPhoto - Getty Images

We move along to Texas, where the state legislature has pretty much surrendered to the virus while fighting off the scourges of brown people voting and banning subjects that are not taught in the public schools anyway. It turns out that, because of the latter scourge, one middle-school had to drop what sounds like a very cool elective. From the Texas Tribune:

Every year, students researched current issues, proposed and debated their own public policy, and competed in a mock legislature and elections process for statewide offices. Since the program’s arrival to McKinney in 2005 as a club, seven of the district’s middle school students have been elected governor — the program’s top honor — at the statewide conference in Austin. In 2017, the district added an elective option: Seventh and eighth graders in two of the district’s middle schools could now receive course credit for participating in the program.

But in June, the district canceled the elective option in response to a social studies law passed during this year’s regular legislative session. In an email to middle school administrators obtained by The Texas Tribune, a social studies curriculum coordinator wrote that “in light of” the new law’s ban on political activism and policy advocacy, “we will no longer be allowed [to] offer Youth & Government as an elective course for credit.”

Oh, man, I would have killed to have a program like that when I was in school. But the bluenosed stick-up-the-ass white people in the Texas legislature with their cancel culture have proven themselves to be devoted disciples of the Gospel According to Dean Vernon Wormer:

NO MORE FUN OF ANY KIND!

And we conclude, as is our custom, in the great state of Oklahoma, where Blog Official Horse Pill Narc Friedman Of The Plains brings us a tale of sorrow, woe, and livestock potions. From News8 in Tulsa:

Dr. Rosslyn Biggs, veterinarian and director for continuing education at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine, said the drug should be used for the species on the label…We commonly would see it in dogs and cats for heartworm prevention would be a common use for ivermectin," Biggs said. "And we regularly use it in other species like cattle and horses to treat internal and external parasites."

And now the animals have to suffer because humans are stupid.

While there is a form of ivermectin that can be prescribed for humans in a one-time dose to treat worms, Biggs said, what people are buying from local farm supply stores isn't it. "Any of our animal products, they always, on the label, say, 'Not For Human Consumption,'" Biggs said. Four Green Country (northeast Oklahoma) Tractor Supply stores said they were out of ivermectin and that sales and demand increased during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sorry about your heartworm, Bossy, but Doctor Internet Guy told us this here medicine will make us whole again.

This is your democracy, America, Cherish it.

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