Holland About To Wrap Up His '90 Campaign Against Ahern

ROUTE 2 -- A weekly journey through Anne Arundel County

September 18, 1991|By Robert Lee Chris Kaltenbach

Dutch Holland says he's almost ready to stop campaigning against Buddy Ahern.

It's been 10 months since the upstart Republican soundlyswept the Democratic incumbent out of office and apparently off the side of the planet, and Holland says he's almost ready to stop attacking Buddy in every speech before every civic association in Pasadena.

"I'm just following through on my campaign to prove to people that we are not going to get as nonchalant about elective office as my predecessor. We figured we would let it drop after a year," Holland said, explaining why he is still bashing Ahern at every gathering he attends.

But for now the campaign continues. Recently, Holland had aconniption when he read in these pages that the county intends to name the public golf course on Fort Smallwood Road after James A. Moore, an Ahern adviser who has been dead seven years.

"We're going to take a serious look at that and see if it can be changed," Holland said of the little line hidden on Page 347 of the capital budget that says: "The new North County facility will be named the James A. Moore Golf Course."

Moore was a longtime Pasadena community activist whofounded the Mountain Road Council and nurtured it as it grew into the Greater Pasadena Council. He died of a heart attack in 1984 while on a rescue mission with Westinghouse at a Utah coal mine.

Ahern held Moore in deep reverence as a friend, principled environmentalist and community leader, describing him as his "No. 1 political adviser" in a tribute written shortly after Moore's death.

In his honor, and at Ahern's bidding, the golf course and a pavilion at Downs Park were to be named after him. Both properties had been slated for major development before Moore intervened to save them. The pavilion at Downs Park has already been dedicated.

"I don't think it's right, thisthing my predecessor -- Mr. Ahern -- had for naming public places after private individuals," Holland said. "How many more memorials are we going to erect for this individual?"

Holland said "Ahern cronies" have also been writing letters him to rename the Lake Shore Athletic Complex after Ahern.

"But you can forget that one, don't even pursue that," Holland said. "The whole thing is ridiculous."

A recurring theme of Holland's speeches this year has been that he "is starting with a clean slate."

But old associates of Moore's, such as Sen. Philip Jimeno and Greater Pasadena Council President David Williams, said yesterday that Holland had better not try to wipe James Moore's legacy from that slate.

"James Moore was Mr. Pasadena," Jimenosaid. "A brave man with strong convictions who always worked with the facts. I certainly hope (Holland) takes a second look at this man'slife and his decision to change that name."

"People are getting real tired of Holland's campaigning against Ahern," Williams said. "Itwas James Moore's idea for the county to buy that property and I believe very strongly it should be named for him."


Funny thing about this newspaper: We could say almost anything-- call Bobby Neall the anti-Christ, claim Larry Lorton failed the eighth grade, insist Virginia Clagett starred in X-rated movies, suggest Annapolis be turned into an amusement park -- and probably not hear a peep from anyone.

But just try calling Glen Burnie or Crownsville or Pasadena a town. Hoo-boy! Every once in a while, one of our writers makes the egregious mistake of calling one of our finer Anne Arundel County communities a TOWN. And never do we fail to hear about it.

Sometimes the letters are calm, patiently pointing out to us that since none of the county place names are attached to incorporated municipalities -- except for Annapolis and the bustling metropolis ofHighland Beach -- they cannot properly be called towns.

More often, however, the letters are downright insulting, calling the writer'sintelligence into question, blaming mistakes like this for the decline of national literacy and otherwise taking us to the woodshed. One particularly snotty letter asked contemptuously what kind of school the writer attended.

Enough already!

We know there are few proper towns in this county; we know that, outside of Annapolis, there is no real city government; we know that most place names in the county are little more than handy name tags decided upon by the U.S. Postal Service.

But what other noun can you use to describe a place like Deale or Severn or Brooklyn Park? Neighborhood or community sounds OKat first, but then what do you call places like Berrywood or the Provinces or Annapolis Neck or Southgate? Community subsets? Pseudo-neighborhoods? Communal gathering places? More-than street corners?

Plus, town is a perfectly fine word. It's not dump, or landfill, or alleyway. It does not include the term blight, or ugly, or depraved. "Our Town," a play by Thornton Wilder, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1938 -- nothing untoward there. Town is perfectly honorable -- blimey, it's even been borrowed from the British.

So next time one of us slips and offhandedly refers to the town of Severna Park or mentions how Solomons Island Road in Edgewater runs pretty much though the center of town, forgive us. It's only a noun used for want of something more exact. We're not being stupid or ignorant or lazy.

We're just trying to make sense of a world where a rose, no matter what name one uses, will still make some people sneeze.

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