Black group is working with Howard GOPNorris West states...


October 19, 1997

Black group is working with Howard GOP

Norris West states that the GOP has done nothing to groom young minorities for public office ("Times are really tough for Howard's Democrats," Oct. 5).

Mr. West goes on to further state that "in spite of the efforts of the African American Republican Club" nothing has been done.

First, a member of the African American Republican Club was appointed recently to the Howard County Republican Central Committee. I believe that puts the GOP on a par with the Democratic Party in Howard County.

Let me remind Mr. West that the AARC is only 16 months old. Black GOP members serve in responsible positions in county government and also serve on numerous boards and commissions.

The GOP has been working very closely with the African American Club to fill postions on commissions and boards as well as other opportunities.

Unfortunately, many black Republicans are reluctant to make their party affiliation known.

Sometimes, we have to contend with hate mail and a skeptical press that are more of a barrier than eschewing public office in order to make money.

Of course, I am not aware that making money honestly and through one's efforts is something to be ridiculed for. Republicans make money and then go into public office -- not go into public office and make money.

How quickly we forget that black Republicans carried the burden of the civil rights struggle in Howard County long before there was a Columbia.

Delroy L. Cornick


The writer is president of the African-American Republican Club in Howard County.

Sun was offsides on Oakland Mills

Every newspaper has a bad day now and then.

An unfortunate example was The Sun's editorial of Sept. 23 ("Football rivalry tells a bigger story: Oakland Mills' loss to Wilde Lake underlies tale of neighborhood troubles").

As a long-time resident of Oakland Mills and the village's elected representative on the Columbia Council, I was appalled.

The editorial stated that the small size of Oakland Mills High School and its loss of a football game were related and somehow reflect "weakness in the surrounding neighborhood."

After reading that, I had to wonder how one could interpret the results of a football game as the true measure of the health of an entire village.

If we are to believe the editorial's premise, then Oakland Mills would now be a better place to live than the Centennial area because Oakland Mills recently beat the Centennial team in football. Better than the Hammond area because Oakland Mills beat the Hammond team in boy's soccer. Better than Wilde Lake because Oakland Mills beat the Wilde Lake team in field hockey. And, better than every other village in Columbia because Oakland Mills' "It's Academic" team excelled earlier this year.

Should these other communities, big and small, feel inferior because their high school teams lost to Oakland Mills? Of course not.

Life is bigger than that. The true measure of a community is neither its size nor the results of a single athletic event, but the talent, vigor and caring attitude of its people.

Sure, there is room for improvement in any fine community, and Oakland Mills is no exception.

But, to their credit, the people of Oakland Mills have constantly risen to the occasion by showing their spirit, their strength of purpose and concern for the well-being of their community.

They have pulled together to press for a revitalized village center, preservation of open space on the Smith Farm and improvements for their schools. And decisions by the Rouse Co. and county government on these issues over the next few months will have the potential for making Oakland Mills better than ever.

That's the hallmark of a strong and involved community, not a weak and apathetic one that the editorial erroneously portrays.

The Sun is a high quality newspaper, and I'm very impressed with its coverage of Columbia news. But, once in a while, it has a bad day.

Maybe Oakland Mills will forgive you, just this once.

Alex Hekimian


Fans may not have been booing Mathews

One can make a case of unfairness regarding the crowd reaction when Terry Mathews took the field against Seattle on Oct. 4.

One is also reminded of poor Eddie Watt, a good relief pitcher, who gave up a game-winning home run in the otherwise successful 1970 World Series and was booed mercilessly forever after.

Everyone knows how Mathews struggled during the second half of the season. No one doubts how hard he has worked to correct the situation.

It seems to me, therefore, that the boos may have been directed at Manager Davey Johnson for putting Mathews in near the end of a close game, by a crowd that had no other way to express its dissatisfaction with the manager's judgment.

I read that some Oriole players were outraged at what happened. If this is true, let them try to imagine how a New York crowd would have reacted had Mathews been a Yankee.

Perhaps the fans should have been more sympathetic. Usually, they are more tolerant where the home team is concerned.

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