For the second time since the General Assembly opened five weeks ago, Gov. William Donald Schaefer paid a personal visit Monday night to the marble chamber of the House of Delegates.

The occasion was a star-spangled ceremony to dedicate a postage stamp. With images of the State House Dome, St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Annapolis, and a skipjack, the official state boat, the 22-cent stamp marks the 200th anniversary of Maryland's ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

And the governor used the festive occasion to muse about the virtues -- and the perils -- of democracy.

"Some of you give me a hard time," Schaefer told the 188 senators and delegates before him. "I give some of you a hard time.

"Where else in the world," he asked, beaming broadly, "could you say the governor doesn't know what he's doing?"

There was a solemn note related to the commemorative stamp. Annapolis artist Stephen Hustvedt, who designed the stamp, announced that he was Grapevine items were written by staff writers Robert Barnes and Amy Goldstein and by the Associated Press. dedicating it to his son Tom, a 25-year-old artist who died this month of a heart attack.

Maryland sports trivia: What's the annual demand for golf in Western Maryland?

Answer: 120,000 rounds.

The estimate comes from the National Golf Foundation, which supplied the information last week to the General Assembly and the Board of Public Works. It was contained in a report that advocated building a state-owned golf course in Rocky Gap State Park in Allegany County, to be designed for $1 million by golf pro Jack Nicklaus.

A spokesman for the foundation was a little vague on how the number was reached, but said it involves a formula that takes into account such factors as income, population and age groups.

Oh, and the National Golf Foundation? It's funded by the manufacturers of golf equipment and the designers of golf courses.

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"This is creeping socialism, or in terms environmentalists would understand, eroding democracy."

Sen. Walter M. Baker (D-Kent), on a bill that increased the powers of sediment control boards