Pieces of Column Too Short to Use


August 07, 1994|By KEVIN THOMAS

In the life of a columnist, there are always some odds and ends lying around that need to be noted but don't require a whole lot of space.

So, in the interest of clearing off my desk, the following are some of the things that I've had on my mind recently that don't fall into any particular category:

Out of the Mouths of Babes: Howard County high school seniors are registering overwhelmingly Democratic these days.

Seems that these bright stars of the county's school system favored the Dems over the GOP during registration drives held at graduation practices this spring.

The tally was 541 seniors for the Democrats, and 346 for the Republicans.

But the party that controls the White House ought not get too XTC complacent.

Approximately 391 of the county's young cherubs declared themselves independents.

Now ain't that like being kicked by the mule.

To Auld Lang Syne: Here's hoping that J. K.'s Pub in the Wilde Lake village center of Columbia survives its current transition.

Owners John and Claire Lea have decided to sell their venerable establishment, which has been a neighborhood favorite for 16 years.

It seems the Leas have run out of energy to keep the place going.

Potential new owners, take note:

Pub regulars are not the wood and fern types. They prefer their bars dark and utiltiarian.

And leave the dart boards on the walls.

The Picture of Susan Gray: I've been waking up from nightmares recently that feature Susan Gray as county executive, calling all her friends to see if they would mind doing this week's trash collection because she forgot to sign a new contract with sanitation workers.

Ms. Gray, Howard's die-hard no-growth advocate who is running as a Democrat in the county exectutive race, invites this kind of fantasy.

She was the one who showed up at the county Board of Elections just minutes before the filing deadline without the signature of a treasurer.

So she darted to a nearby beauty parlor, where she enlisted the help of a stranger so she could qualify for this year's election.

In all fairness, Ms. Gray says she was told she didn't need a treasurer's signature in order to file.

She tried to put a good face on things by saying that her quick thinking not only came up with a treasurer, but it was also an example of the kind of "can-do government" she would bring to the county.

Frightening, isn't it?

Whom Is He Fooling?: Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, lone among his House of Representative colleagues from Maryland in his opposition to the Clinton crime bill, tried to shore up his conservative image recently.

He was spotted riding shotgun in a Howard County police cruiser, professing his support for local crime fighters.

The picture I saw of Mr. Bartlett reminded me of a helmeted Michael Dukakis sitting atop a tank during a 1988 presidential election photo opprotunity.

Snoopy rides again.

Chew On This: A friend of mine boards horses because it's cheaper than hiring someone to mow the pasture behind his house a few times a year.

The young man who mows my own lawn does fine work at a reasonable price, so I wouldn't think of replacing him -- even though one small pony could probably do quick work of my little plot.

But I was thinking that with all the open space that the Columbia Association must maintain, there is some potential for cost cutting here.

And I've come up with a better animal for the job, along with a title for the program: Billygoats for a Better Columbia.

Now that's efficiency.

Dusting Off My Cleats: The fall soccer season has already started.

I know this because my nine-year-old daughter started practice sessions last week.

This is my favorite time of year. I can hardly wait for weekends pulling lawn chairs from the trunk of the car, lugging thermoses full of orange slices and cold packs all over county athletic fields.

In fact, the only thing I don't like about the soccer season is that the fields are so far-flung, it's like being on a travel team.

The Soccer Association of Columbia, thankfully, wants to make life a little easier for the city's soccer families.

The organization is proposing a seven-field soccer complex with a stadium and lights at Howard Community College.

Nearby Hawthorn neighborhood residents, however, are protesting the idea.

If they have their way, they may become known as the meanest community in the county.

Come on, folks. Have a heart.

Kevin Thomas is The Baltimore Sun's editorial writer in Howard County.

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