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Tennis tournament shifts from Troy Park to College Park -- temporarily, it is hoped

Let's just say that I hope the decision to relocate the World Tennis Association's tournament scheduled for the "new" Troy Park Tennis and Sports Center off Route 1, in Elkridge, in July to College Park will turn out to be a bump in the road. The investment from non-rated bonds simply did not materialize.

Art Tollick, president of the Howard County Tennis Patrons, explained it to me this way: "The market for those types bonds was impacted by the economy and we learned last fall that the financing was not available." The backing of a third party was then sought and the county was was asked to support the bonds.

County executive Ken Ulman has asked the Maryland Stadium Authority to look into this matter and make recommendations. According to Tollick, the Patrons expect the MSA review to confirm that previous economic impact study done for the Patrons which stated that the new tennis facility will generate 79,000 new hotel nights and $69 million in economic activity for this area in just three years of operation. Right now the grading for the facility hasn't even begun so the tournament scheduled for July had to be moved.

In the meantime, new sources of investment dollars are being sought. What will happen from this point on is anyone's guess, but Tollick remains upbeat that this problem is a temporary setback and nothing else. I personally worry about people or organizations taking on debt during uncertain economic times. I may be an old curmudgeon when it comes to thinking big dollars when they don't seem to be there. Right now, all we can do is wait for the reviews to come back and hope for the best. Tollick has put time his reputation and his optimism on the line. I hope it works out well for him and the Patrons.

Nuts win annual game, 14-7

The Elliot's Oak Nuts scored eight runs in the second inning on nine consecutive hits to win the Friends of the Traditional 4th of July softball game, 14-7. It was the Nuts third win in a row over the Hesperus Wrecks and their 12th win of the last 13 contests. The rivalry dates back to 1971.

Singles by Mike Sauer, Greg Thomas, Brandon Cozad, Greg Thomas, David Jun, Paul Rizzo, James Shulgold, Matt Rockmore and a double by Ed Conway preceded an apparent home run by Jim Nelson resulting in the eight-run second second inning. Nelson's home run was disallowed when he failed to touch second base.

Bruce O'Keefe unloaded a pair of triples for the Nuts accounting or four runs. Patrick O'Keefe chipped in with a first inning home run.

The Wrecks made a late comeback in the bottom of the seventh when Matt Russell blasted a long home run with Grodeon Kiefer on base.

The Nuts now lead the series, 23-17, with one game called because of bad weather.

Like father, like son

Atholton graduate Steve Lombardozzi, Jr. has been promoted to the Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Steve hit better than .300 prior to his promotion. Look him to move up to the Nationals in the near future. He is a slick fielding infielder with some pop in his bat.

Steve's dad, also Steve, played in the Majors from 1985 to 1990 with the Minnesota Twins and the Houston Astros.

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