These are not the best of times for Prince George's County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan. Ever since the start of the county's recent congressional race to determine a successor to Gladys Spellman, the man has had no end of troubles. First, number one son Larry Jr. was beaten and bruised in the primary election by Bowie mayor Audrey Scott, who then lost to Democrat Steny Hoyer.
Then, county Republican Central Committee politicos started grousing in public that Larry Sr., Prince George's one and only elected GOPer, had not done his best to help Scott after she whipped his son. Now comes word that State Republican headquarters has gotten a number of calls from party members expressing their ire over a recent newspaper photograph showing Hogan smiling during Hoyer's Capitol Hill swearing-in. Some callers, have wondered if Hogan can be removed from his other post as Maryland national committeeman for what they consider an embarrassing display of party disloyalty. . . .
Across the county line in Montgomery, 32 educators headed by chief union man David Eberly . . . and representing the local chapter of the National Education Association . . . have flown off to convene with 10,000 other NEA activists -- including groups from Virginia, D.C. and other Maryland school districts -- in Minneapolis. In between sightseeing tours and other Twin City diversions the conventioneers plan to discuss cuts in federal aid to education . . . the fiscal crunch that's squeezing many states, most notably the Free one . . . and what NEB can do to "fight back," as a press release put it. . .
Which is exactly what a group of protesters calling themselves American Atheists did at Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va. About 30 of them, vigilantly spurning coffee, doughnuts and invitations to church services, marched in front of the place Sunday morning, with picket signs and all, to protest Falwell's "political activities" on behalf of the Moral Majority. Employes of Falwell's "Old-Time Gospel Hour" television program and church members provided snacks, as well as religious pamphelts, throughout the demonstration . . . and one churchgoer tried to preach to a demonstrator in an effort to "save his soul" but the marchers declined to listen, eat or drink. . . Said one demonstrator, Art Schlumpf, 29, of Lynchburg, "I resent his [Falwell's] jumping into politics and trying to endorce his morals on everybody else." At the church service, meanwhile, Falwell asked the congregation to pray for the atheists. . .
As the gubermatorial race lumbers along in Virginia, Republican candidate Marshall Coleman, the state attorney general, has collected the support of a number of Virginia artists . . . thanks to his wife, Niki Coleman, a painter and board member of several museums. Bill Nelson, a Richmond artist whose illustrations have appeared in several national magazines, donated to the Coleman campaign a portrait he drew of the candidate and his wife . . . and the campaign, eager for bucks, promptly printed up 2,000 posters of the portrait last Tuesday, to be sold for $25 -- yes twenty-five dollars -- apiece. So far, reports Coleman spokesman David Blee, the campaign has been able to sell nary a one. . . "But we'll do a direct mailing about the offer," said he, "and get the word out". . .
And in the District of Columbia, Alan Grip, Mayor Marion Barry's former official spokesman, will be taking over as director of public affairs for the new D.C. Convention Center. Grip, whose final week in office at the District Building was rudely disrupted by the Barry shooting hoax, said that episode firmly convinced him, again, that he was making the correct decision to get out of the daily grind of City Hall and into something less strenuous. . .
Finally, in Ocean City, real estate agents are slowly getting over a bad case of "June Bugs," the less-salty epithet they use to describe teen-aged renters who vandalize property and cause all sorts of other havoc there each June when school lets out. . . Said James Church, head of the local board of realtors, "Some of these young people seem to leave their brains behind them when they cross the bridge to Ocean City". . .
Church, who'd like to see a change made in state law so that realtors could refuse to rent property to young people they regard as potential vandals, said Ocean City condominium managers have so far complained this summer that rowdy young folk have thrown beer bottles, assaulted other youths, destroyed furniture, stolen fire extinguishers, hosted wild parties . . . and urinated from high-rise buildings.