This and that . . .

What's all this foot-dragging by the state parole board about granting a pardon to convicted murderer John Snowden?

Snowden was a black man who apparently received the usual treatment afforded by the southern justice system in the early 1900s. A white woman was murdered, Snowden lived nearby, he was black, he was guilty, he was hanged. Things sure were simple then.

Today, more than a shadow of doubt exists as to his guilt.

An Annapolis alderman brought the case to the attention of state parole people last June.

A parole board spokesman says "it's still under investigation."

Come on, guys, what's there to investigate? Willie Don recently freed ahandful of women convicted of shooting, bludgeoning or stabbing to death the men with whom they lived. All claimed to have been the victims of abuse.

The gov heard their stories, had someone do a quick background check, and sprung them from the hoosgow, to the dismayof the relatives of the dead men.

So why can't things move as swiftly for John Snowden? What's there to check? He's dead. What harm could itpossibly do to admit the system back then stunk?

Let's get on with it.


If he's got a few spare minutes, Secretary of State James A. Baker III might want to fly into BWI and mediate what appears to be a border dispute brewing between Anne Arundel and Howard counties.

Drivers westbound on Dorsey Road will notice that our neighbors have a sign proclaiming the entrance to Howard County on this side of the railroad tracks.

Drivers eastbound, or westbound drivers looking in the rear-view mirrors, will note an Anne Arundel marker on the other side of the tracks.

I'm no Mercator the map maker, but itseems to me that both counties are claiming the railroad tracks and an itty-bitty strip of adjacent soil as part of the mother land.

What makes matters worse is that Howard County recently replaced its ratty little marker with a bold, fancy one that has the official seal and everything.

Anne Arundel, which has made a hobby of announcingits turf with handsome brick facades (whatever happened to the way dogs mark their territory?) has missed the boat on the Dorsey Road entrance.

If possession is nine-tenths of the law, Howard is better than half-way there.


Birds gotta fly and fish gotta swim and the school board nominating convention has gotta begin its annual selection process to find people who are not going to serve on the board.

Every year, the convention chooses the people it feels are best suited to make decisions about the education of kids.

And every year, Willie Don Schaefer picks someone else.

Perhaps this year will be different now that former County Executive Jim "Vanity Press" Lighthizer has hit the roads and will no longer be offering his advice. But at the end of the pipeline is Willie Don, so perhaps not.

To save everyone some time, I have collected some names for Himself to consider:

* Hilda Mae Snoops. A natural. Knows the governor. Has a town house in Pasadena. Could redecorate all the schools without spending a dime of county money.

* John Leopold. A Republican, but so what? Willie Don's got no argument with the GOP; just ask County Executive Bob Neall. Campaign experience on street corners makes him a natural to study school bus routes.

* John Brady. Annapolis High hoopscoach. Has a job, but I wanted to get his name in before Pat O'Malley stuck it in his column.

* Dr. Larry Lorton. School superintendent. Hey, why not? Has a working knowledge of the school system. Majored in dumb

rules. Contract runs out this year. Needs to hook on somewhere. Possible high gratitude factor.

* Bernie Walter. Arundel High baseball coach. See John Brady.

* Barry Louis Polisar. Folk singer banned by school system. Will work to undo stupid rules (see Dr.Larry Lorton). May remind uptight school administrators that they draw a paycheck to educate kids.

* Al Hopkins. Mayor of Annapolis. Will return the school system to the good old days of one-room school houses. Should save tons of money.

* Dennis Callahan. Former Annapolis mayor. Needs a political platform. Must build up core of supporters who know nothing of his past. Schools provide unlimited numbers of future voters.

* Elizabeth "Sweet Mama" Parker. Restaurateur. Never spends more than she has. Her own woman. Hugs 'em when they need hugs. Whacks 'em when they need whacks.

* Emir of Kuwait. Knows the governor. Needs change of scenery. Has personal wealth. Could spot the school system a couple of million.

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