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COL Ban lawn signs, limit campaigns

OK, lawn sign planters, and campaign literature spreaders -- bring 'em on! I guess.

Late last month, I wrote a column pleading with candidates to refrain from campaigning for just a little while longer so I could enjoy the waning days of summer.

Well, summer's over, at least for school-age children and their parents. So, I suppose it's OK for candidates to try to win me over. After all, the primary is just a week away, and I have no clue who about eight of the 12 candidates for Rochester School Board are. So it's time to get cracking with some homework.

Several readers responded to that column, all of whom agreed that campaigns are too long. They included a legislative candidate who said lawmakers have at least discussed limiting the length of campaigns by law.

"I, for one, would like to spend my summers with my wife and friends," the candidate (who I won't identify for fear of being accused of playing favorites) wrote. "We are not getting people to run for office for this reason! ... No one wants to take five months of their life to campaign. Have you ever thought of doing a column on how normal folks are being shut out of the process?"

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He's right. Campaigns are way too long, and I'd certainly support a length limit. I'd also support a ban on lawn signs.

I know, I know, it would be unconstitutional and un-American and unreasonable to tell people what they can and can't put up on their own property. But geez those things are unsightly, and they stay up for months. A ban would force lazy voters to do a little research on the candidates instead of voting for the person who has the most, or most colorful, signs.

The reader is also correct when he says that average folk are being shut out of the process. I think we need to find a way to return to the concept of a "citizen Legislature" that's representative of the public at large. We need more clerks, truck drivers, farmers, small business owners and teachers, and fewer financially secure retirees, lawyers and financiers representing us.

There, that gives me a few things to talk about when the next Mr. or Mrs. Candidate stops by to ask for my vote.

•••

; I always appreciate the feedback I get from readers. But sometimes it can be a little scary. An e-mail I received from Bill McWatters is a case in point. It was prompted by the reference in my Aug. 15 column to a giant ant I'd found in my home.

Halloween is still nearly two months away, but his story might help get you in the mood.

Bill said that several years ago he noticed several large black ants in his home, and he didn't think much of it, but then ....

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"One night I had just gone to bed and heard this scratching sound coming from my window. For several nights I heard the sound and just thought it was bugs flying into the glass. Then one morning I woke up to this scratching sound and inspected a little closer. The sound was coming from the window. ... I grabbed my crowbar and pried off the window casing, and suddenly out dropped hundreds of big black ants and their eggs! The scratching sound was the sound of them gnawing away at my wood windows and studs. ..."

YEEEEEIKES!!!!

Greg Sellnow takes and gives advice on things that walk, crawl or gnaw on Tuesdays and Saturdays. He can be reached at 285-7703 or by e-mail at sellnow@postbulletin.com.

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