Women doing fine in GOP, thank you
I found the letter "Doing another count of Democratic women" (April 7) by Carole Fisher to be an interesting spin on the role of women in the Republican Party. Ms. Fisher, who is listed on the Maryland State Democratic Web site as the state party secretary, a fact left off of her Letter to the Editor, missed some points when responding to the letter by Louis Pope [properly identified as the Howard County Republican Central Committee Chairman].
She mentioned that Sen. Sandy Schrader and Del. Gail Bates were not elected but appointed by the Central Committee. I don't believe their votes in Annapolis were counted differently because they were appointed.
It should be noted that the Central Committee, which appointed Sen. Schrader and Del. Bates, is made up of nine members, four of whom are women, all of them selected by the Republican voters of Howard County.
In addition to the women currently serving in office listed by Louis Pope, the announced Republican candidates in Howard County include three women: Diane Wilson for Council District 3, Joan Lancos for Council District 4, and myself for State Delegate, District 13. This is hardly the face of a male-dominated Republican Party that is often portrayed. So, in addition to those Republican women already serving, more of us will appear on the ballot in November. Republican women have an "excellent prospect to be elected" and to subsequently serve in the courtrooms and council chamber of Howard County and in the State House in Annapolis.
September's primary elections in Howard County will prove whether Democrats themselves will choose to have women represent their party in the general election in those races in which women are running. Until then, Howard County will be ably served by women of both parties.
Mary Beth Tung
Clarksville(The writer is a Republican candidate for state delegate, District 13.)
Recreation softball gets poor treatment
This letter is in response to Lowell Sunderland's article "Here's the pitch on softball" (April 14).
I have coached fastpitch softball for the past five years with AYRA girl's softball and currently have a daughter playing 8U recreation ball with HCYP and another playing travel ball with the Maryland Chill fastpitch organization. Mr. Sunderland touched base on a very real problem in Howard County recreation level softball. I know first hand, because I was forced to fold my 8U team with AYRA this year after only five kids signed up for that age bracket.
What he failed to do was to look completely into the situation and identify what's really going on. If he had looked deeper, he would have found that many people are leaving the county's recreation-level softball because it's treated by many organizations as a second-class sport, and they are sick of it.
Organizations such as Columbia Youth Baseball Association, which was mentioned in the article, provide their baseball teams with plenty of fields, quality equipment, professional umpires and small manageable teams. Their softball teams, on the other hand, are given inadequate fields, hand-me-down baseball equipment (often not made for use in fastpitch), untrained or no umpires and teams which are so large that coaches can't work properly with all of the girls, and playing time becomes an issue.
Even organizations like HCYP, which have wonderful people like Rich Francis working hard to promote the sport within their organization and the county, don't put softball on a level playing field with baseball. The baseball fields at the HCYP-run Kiwanis Wallas Park have enclosed dugouts, elevated scorer's rooms, and well-maintained bleachers. Their girls softball fields on the other hand have rusted backstops, small bleachers in need of repair, and instead of having a dugout, the girls sit on a metal bench behind a 5-foot fence without shelter from the sun. On opening day of the softball and baseball season this year, they made announcements over the PA introducing the baseball teams playing on the various fields, but there was no mention whatsoever of softball. Is it any wonder that girls are looking for other sports to play when they have to be treated like this?
The other thing that Mr. Sunderland would have found is that there is a very large and thriving community of travel ball. Over the past three years the Maryland Chill fastpitch organization, which is based in Howard County, has grown to be one of the largest in the state. They are fielding teams in every age bracket except one this year, two of which have already qualified for the National Softball Association's "A" National Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee.