Grass-roots Pol Finds Himself Out Of Touch

ROUTE 2- A weekly journey through Anne Arundel County

January 29, 1991|By John A. Morris

"Grass roots" was the watch word during the November elections, but the telephone operator says Delegate Charles W. "Stokes" Kolodziejskihas since taken to the bushes.

Stokes and his District 31 runningmates ran a self-styled "grass-roots" campaign last fall to beat back nearly a dozen Democratic and Republican challengers. There were Stokes signs and Stokes bumper stickers. Stokes pamphlets arrived in the mail. Stokes volunteers even reached out and touched thousands of voting someones at home and asked them to cast their ballots for Stokes and the gang.

But the recorded operator's message was clear. Call Stokes' district office number and a phone company recording answers, "The number you have reached, 255-5118, has been changed to a non-published number."

A curious reporter called Stokes' Annapolis office, which he shares with Delegates W. Ray Huff and Joan Cadden. A message on the answering machine instructed him to call Stokes at 255-5118.

PerhapsStokes had had his fill of grass roots?

Nothing of the sort, saysStokes. He did change his district office number after the Nov. 6 election, but it wasn't supposed to be unlisted, he says. That was a mistake, he says.

"I kept getting calls for the Radiology Departmentat Fallston General Hospital in Harford County," said Stokes, addingthat the calls began about two years ago. "I just got tired of it."

The old number for Stokes' district office -- really just a telephone in his den -- was exactly the same as the toll-free, 800-number used by the hospital.

"It was tearing my wife and I up, running across the house to answer the phone only to find somebody who wanted the hospital," said Stokes, entering his second, four-year term.

Stokes said he would try to straighten out the mess with the recordings.In the meantime, constituents can reach him by calling his previously unpublished number, 255-2043.

SOURCE: John A. Morris


Michael King had one of those ideas that briefly skips into the brain and right out again. Only this one wouldn't go away.

"I had an idea and I went for it," says the Baltimore businessman.

It might seem like a big job for one person: motivating thousands of Marylanders to write letters each week to "Any Serviceman," Saudi Arabia, to boost morale and offer a link to the home front.

But fortunately for King, other business people, such as thoseat the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce and Franklin Printing and Office Supply in Annapolis, thought it a good idea, too.

Thus, the Maryland Letters to the Troops Campaign was born.

"In early December, I was looking at the incredible amount of support shown for the troops and I started to be concerned that after Christmas all the outpouring of good will would dissipate," says King, owner of King Accounting Services. "Also, as we stay in the gulf, I felt all of the attention toward our presence start to be more controversial, and I didn't want that attitude to be reflected on the troops."

The Annapolis chamber, the Hecht Co. and Farm Fresh supermarkets have agreed toserve as drop-off points for the letters. King also has asked major employers, such as Anne Arundel Medical Center, to ask workers to take turns writing letters.

So far, King has got a boost from companies that want to help reach his goal of 3,000 letters per week.

Franklin Printing in Annapolis and Pronto Press have donated the response cards King included in letters to employers. Manpower Temporary Services has agreed to pick up letters each week at participating businesses. And Postman Plus, a private mailing service, will ship letters to a Department of Defense office in Pennsylvania that forwards mail to Saudi Arabia.

At the Annapolis Chamber office, at 1 Annapolis St., staff assistant Helen Mignone collects letters each Thursday by 4p.m. and delivers them to Manpower's Annapolis office. She has been getting about 15 letters a week.

"We encourage people to write news from home so it keeps (the troops) feeling like they're connected to us, not that the world is going on without them," she says.

The campaign will go on as long as troops remain in the Persian Gulf.

SOURCE: Lorraine Mirabella


The quaint brick school nestled in Adams Park in Annapolis is the last stop for county students who have been suspended repeatedly, who have cursed at teachers, threatened classmates with weapons or keep interrupting the class.

The method? Strict behavior modification, with a check by teachers every 15 minutes. Good behavior is rewarded with special privileges, while breaking even the smallest rule is not tolerated.

But something is missing. The Learning Center, the school system's arena of last resort, has no counselors trained to ferret out and understand the emotional root of these students' problems.

The county uses the hard-nosed reality therapy espoused by William Glasser, author of "Reality Therapy and Schools Without Failure."

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