Editorial Cartoon

Editorial Cartoon

Citizens frequently write letters to the editor and complain to their elected officials about situations that have a bad smell to them.

One such complaint, made recently by a Potomac Park resident, caught the attention of Delegate Wendell Beitzell, who asked the State Highway Adminstration to investigate whether improperly disposed road kill was causing a stench at three locations along State Route 36.

The Gunther Grizzwell of our comics pages who glories in harvesting fresh road kill does not exist in real life. Therefore, state highway employees must collect it and bury it - which, as an Allegany County Health Department official said, is better than leaving there.

Our area has an abundance of deer, and road-killed deer are in more than one way the biggest part of the problem. Disposing of road-killed deer is a particular problem for state highway officials nationwide. Deer carcasses are larger and less easily transported than those of raccoons, groundhogs or the squirrels that might actually have made it across the road before maddeningly changing directions and darting back into traffic.

In the matter Beitzel and his constituent asked about, deer carcases had in fact been improperly buried. The SHA immediately corrected the situation, expressed regret and said it will take "strong measures" to keep it from happening again.

And the agency is seeking permits from the Maryland Department of the Environment to operate incinerators that will eliminate road-killed carcasses cleanly and efficiently.

That should give us one less problem to raise a stink about.

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