Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Notes From My Knapsack 11-6-05
Jeff Gill

Feeling at Home

One thing that lets you know you’re at home is being able to play your own music.
For some of us, that means we feel most at home in our cars (which is another column, I suppose), but whether it’s Bach or "Roll Over, Beethoven," we make a space around us by the tunes we fill it with.
"Phil Dirt and the Dozers" are a popular act in the central Ohio region, with regular gigs farther afield. I’ve heard them compared to a Jimmy Buffet concert or listening to a Little Feat show, with dancing down front no matter what the venue. But while I’ve heard about them for years, I’ve never heard them.
That will change for me, and maybe some of you, on Friday Nov. 11. They are doing a benefit concert for the Licking County Coalition for Housing that night at 8 pm in Adena Hall of OSU-N. It will wrap up "Homelessness Awareness Week" which will again mark Courthouse Square with some informational displays including "Shoes On the Square" (of which more in a bit).
For $25, or a table of eight at $200, and refreshments you can buy there which also serve the Coalition’s cause, you can have a great evening of boogeying to the music that makes you feel at home even in Adena Hall, and help provide housing for people from Licking County who need a transitional time and space to get back into a home of their own.
Fiberglass Federal Credit Union is the sponsor of this great evening, and they have tickets available . . . or call 345-1970 and ask at the Coalition for assistance not in finding housing, but in getting your ticket!
You do know that the pollworkers will be waiting for you Tuesday, don’t you? From 6:30 am to 7:30 pm the polling places will be open and the candidates want to hear from you, as do many ballot questions having to do with funding or maintaining a number of important civic institutions. Do your research, ask questions, and vote on what you know – and you can skip stuff you just have no idea about. This isn’t a test, y’know.
What would make an interesting ballot initiative is the deer situation. A few days ago I was passing Fackler’s Garden Center, and a field across the road had, near sunset, at least 47 deer. I had to speed up and couldn’t keep looking, or I may have passed 50; a few hundred yards further I saw eight deer on the other side of the road. These deer looked scrawny and parasite ridden, as well as traveling in literal herds.
Along Newark-Granville Road alone we’ve had numerous car-deer encounters, and the next fatality is only a matter of time; that would be a human fatality, not deer, who already litter the shoulders of Licking County roads from I-70 to Rt. 13 heading to Utica.
While there are refined ethicists like Peter Singer of Princeton and no doubt a few locally who would say I commit a grievous moral error in placing human life higher than animal lives, I’m here to blunder my way into a further offense: I say we shoot the deer.
Shoot the deer. Yep, Bambi’s mom. There are so many, legs propping up the weight of the carcass right at windshield height, and don’t tell me there won’t be many, many asking why we didn’t do this when the first child is killed in a car seat by a hurtling deer smashing through the passenger compartment.
If we had a vote on how many are willing to take the small chance of a crew of carefully screened and selected hunters sent into municipal woodlots to shoot the deer, I think it would win in a landslide. My wife is a trained environmental educator who worked for the National Park Service, and I lead all kinds of nature hikes and woods-walks in parks around Licking County, and want to respect nature. But . . .
But we need to shoot the deer. Not wrap bushes with netting or plant birth control in feed for the packs of cervids who trample through the fields, nor do we need to study the "human-deer interaction" any further.
We need to shoot the deer. Not all of them, but quite a few. We tried importing lions into the wild (wait, that wasn’t a deer management plan?), and we’re spraying gallons of coyote urine around our gardens (how do they collect it, anyhow?), but it isn’t working. They have no predators but radiator grills and windshields, and that ain’t gonna solve the problem without taking quite a few drivers and passengers with them.
Until we get to vote on that one, would you thank any hunter you know getting ready for deer season in a few weeks, since they may be saving your life?
And sure, send your angry "don’t kill the deer" e-mails to disciple@voyager.net. I’ll open them with an asbestos mouse . . .

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