Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Pet Ordinance is a laughable waste of time by our commissioners

Ever get that feeling that people are talking about you behind your back. That passing snicker when you walk by a group? A giggle as you walk out of the room?

Often times it’s childish behavior, but the actions find their way into adult life, too.

Well in the case I’m speaking of, everyone is laughing at us — and “us” is Anaconda.

For the better part of two months, our county commissioners have toiled over the Deer Lodge County Pet Ordinance, something that could be taken care of, in my opinion, by a handful of students at Head Start in one afternoon.

How can you continue to squabble over something so simple and so utterly unimportant in the big scheme of things?

Even a child knows big dogs in city limits should be on leashes. Some big dogs need it, some don’t. But put it in front of our commissioners, and it turns into fodder for other communities around Montana to laugh at us.

It’s getting to the point where it’s beginning to affect the true issues facing the community.

How about going on a field trip around the county to count the number of potholes that need fixing.

On that same trip, count the hundreds of blighted yards filled with debris violating laws already in place.

But no, we get eight weeks of arguments, testimonials and tabled conversations over putting Sylvester and Mr. Bojangles on a string.

Leash laws for cats? Yes, who knows when the frisky tabby hell bent on milk consumption and tail rubbing will go mental and attack with no provocation.

With all due respect to those who spoke out against the insanity of putting a collar or leash on a cat, all you did is fall into the commission’s trap. You brought light to the sheer boredom of our commissioners by giving them feedback, albeit all ridiculously negative.

In the past year, the biggest issues tackled by our commissioners have been the pet and trailer ordinances and the months of work sessions directed at granting themselves travel allowances and increasing their salary.

Forgive me for possibly overstepping my boundaries, but the absurdity of leashing cats is akin to adorning shock collars to the county’s ever increasing deer population.

On Facebook, former residents are embarrassed to say they are from Anaconda. Usually, I’m the first one to stand up for my city, but not this time.

I can’t believe you all think you’re doing our county a service by spending so much time on an issue that, honestly, can be solved by a toddler touching crayons to construction paper.

Chain your dogs. Keep track of your cats. Limit your breeding fowl within city limits to where it doesn’t cause a disturbance to your neighbors. Simple.

And to dumb it down even further, if you are going to own a pet, do it as a responsible adult.

While we’re at it, I think bird owners should affix homing beacons on their wings in case they fly the coop. You know, that way we can keep track of any pigeons that may put their name on the ballot for future openings in commission seats.


Local bowling legend rolls his last frame

When news of Butte’s Bill Meagor passing surfaced Thursday morning, I couldn’t help but fondly remember the exception to the rule.

What rule, you ask? He was a Butte guy.

All kidding aside, Meagor’s contributions to his fellow man were only trumped by his dedication of growing the game of bowling throughout Southwest Montana.

The former educator and principal at Butte East Middle School, Meagor could not only bowl with the best of them, he taught the game that way as well.

I first met Megs bellied up to the bar at Star Lanes in Butte, introduced to him by my aunt, Diann Hall. From that day forth, I considered Megs a good buddy.

The more I think about it, I must have been nuts to rub elbows with a man wearing the Godforsaken colors of the Chicago Bears. I’ll blame it on the alcohol.

Megs did more for bowling in Butte than any other human. Starting as a pinboy earning a mere 7 cents a line in the 1950s at Winter Garden Lanes (now known as King Pin), Meagor cultivated his love of the game from cleaning the gutters and wallowing in the pits before the days of the automatic pin setter.

“My fondest memory was when the pinboys went on strike to get a dime a line,” Meagor laughingly told me in 2009. “Nobody dared to cross our line.”

At the ripe old age of 16, Megs bowled in his first Montana State Bowling Tournament as a substitute, filling in for a team that was short one bowler.

From then on, he not only bowled in several leagues per week, he also served as a delegate and league officer.

Giving back to the game he loved, Meagor has been a part of running five state tournaments — one as an assistant to Ed Markovich in 1972 along with being tournament director four other times — along with serving on the American Bowling Congress (ABC) state board two different times for six years apiece.

He has presided over or been secretary of too many leagues to mention, and his contributions to the game over the years earned him the prestigious accolades of being inducted into Butte’s City and the Montana State Hall of Fame in 1989 and ’91, respectively. He credits all his achievements to the friends he has met along the way while bowling.

“There are so many good people I’ve met over the years it’s unfathomable,” Meagor said. “I’ve had the pleasure of bowling with many state hall of famers, and between golf and bowling, they’ve been the best friendships I’ve had.”

Megs was a tough customer on the lanes, too. He regularly rolled younger, more talented bowlers into the mud.

Even though health issues stole from him a golden right-handed stroke off the corner in recent years, it never robbed him of his competitiveness.

That drive for perfection followed him on the golf course as well, even if he never found a lie in the fairway he liked.

Although the years were rough on the guy, he never let it get the best of him. He still managed to travel in any weather condition from his bar, the Cribbage Board in Jefferson City, to bowl in Anaconda Tuesday nights at Cedar Park Lanes with friends, not to mention rolling in leagues in Butte.

Megs leaves behind a legacy that will never be tarnished. Among being one of the best ambassadors of the game, he was also a man that would bend over backwards to ensure others were enjoying themselves as well.

During trips to nationals in either Reno or Las Vegas, Megs was our ball rep, toting enough rocks in the back of his truck to set the scales off in Rocker.

But what’s eating at me the most is this year would’ve marked his 60th consecutive state bowling tournament in Montana, a feat that could be the longest such streak in the state.

Star Lanes already has a tournament named in his honor, and I’m sure there will be another to send him off properly in the near future. But anything less than his name being etched on a pair of lanes wouldn’t do his name justice.

If you are traveling to the state tournament in Great Falls this weekend, make sure everyone knows that one of the legends of bowling in Montana rolled his final ball Thursday.

Anything short of a moment of silence observed in his honor during Saturday night’s team shift would be unacceptable.