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‘Changing of the guard’ in Prince George’s

crossroads from C1

and a master’s in management from the University of Maryland University College. “I am a propo- nent of public schools. But we have to think about private.”

June Martin, whose three sons are grown, has helped organize candidates’ forums at the Laurel Boys and Girls Club and recently traveled to Largo to listen to can- didates at a forum sponsored by the NAACP at Prince George’s Community College.

She heard June Martin

county execu- tive candidate Del. Gerron Levi talk about lower- ing the schools’ sus- pension rate but wonders if that leaves disruptive

kids in classrooms. “I know as a teacher, when I had tried every strategy to keep a child in the classroom, when I send a kid out of the classroom, I have tried everything,” she said. “What would she do with kids who are suspended, that is what I would like to know more about.” Martin, a social worker, is keen on reducing teen pregnancy, helping unwed parents and im- proving the environment in pub- lic schools so teachers and stu- dents can perform well. She also wants a clearer understanding of the county’s system for handing out contracts to social service nonprofit groups. She said her involvement with the Boys and Girls Club as a vol- unteer has spurred her to get more engaged in discussions about the county’s future. As for the candidates, she will evaluate them “on what they are inter- ested in personally, where they have made their commitments, and what we know about what they have supported.”

Ray Fenster, the auto industry consultant, has lived in Prince George’s since 1994. Remarried, he is back in the parenting role, and he worries about the future for his 2-year-old son.

He thinks

county gov- ernment

could do much more to go green by making better use of the Internet

Ray Fenster with residents and save the high

cost of producing and mailing no- tices. He also said the emphasis should be on recycling more and throwing away less, something he wants the county to promote. “You don’t have to pick up my trash twice a week; why not pick up my recycling twice a week in- stead,” he said. Like many in Prince George’s,

he’d like to see the next group of elected officials turn around the school system. “I believe in public education,

but . . . unless something chang- es, I’ll send my kid to private school,” he said. He also hopes those elected will be responsible stewards of county finances. Although Prince George’s has

kept its spending nearly flat for three years, the economic down- turn continues to affect county coffers. And the county’s ability to increase revenue is limited be- cause it is barred from raising property taxes without voter ap- proval. Fenster is not eager to pay more, but he wonders how the challenges will be met. “There are big revenue issues;

it’s all about spending. I want to know how they are going to bal- ance the budget, pay for schools, police,” he said.

Inside the Beltway in Mount

Rainier, Krista Schlyer said she couldn’t be happier in her neigh- borhood, where she and her boy- friend moved about six years ago from Columbia Heights in the District. An eclectic, artsy place, it is affordable, friendly, diverse and welcoming, she said. Schlyer worries about the im-

pact of foreclosures on the county and hopes Prince George’s offi- cials can take steps to ensure neighborhood security. “Abandoned houses draw

crime,” she said. However, her experiences with crime — a break-in at her house, drug busts not too far away — ha- ven’t deterred her, and she said she feels safe walking around the neighborhood, part of the grow- ing arts community along Route 1.

Countywide, crime has de- creased steadily in the past five years and is down 6 percent for the first six months of this year compared with a year ago. It is the lowest in 34 years, but the homicide rate is among the high- est in the region, according to county police.

Although Schlyer has been sat- to

more effi- ciently com- municate

isfied with local government in Mount Rainier, one of Prince George’s 27 municipalities, her dealings with county bureauc- racy have sometimes been frus- trating. She ran into a slow per- mitting system on a home reno-

ROBERT McCARTNEY A strategy, then action to get D.C. its due mccartney from C1

steps are needed to raise public awareness in the District and nationwide about the problem. A prolonged campaign of civil disobedience could help, as such acts did in the historic campaigns to end apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow in the South.

If he were elected and went through with it, Gray wouldn’t be the first mayor to break the law for the cause. Sharon Pratt, in whose administration Gray served, was arrested in 1993 for participating in a sit-in on Independence Avenue. Still, I’ve got one reservation about Gray’s position. He says the immediate goal should be full statehood. That would depart from the District’s strategy of the past seven years: Start small by first getting a voting seat in the House. That quest was crippled and perhaps killed in Congress in April, so now Gray and some other political leaders want a new approach. I’m fine with pushing for

statehood, even quickly, but on one condition: Explain how we’re going to pay for it, because it would cost a lot. With statehood, the District would take on the burden of some services now handled by the federal government, particularly courts and prisons. It also would have to shell out more for Medicaid. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi estimates the total price tag to be about $1.2 billion a year, or more than a tenth of the total budget.

Statehood advocates say the

city could pay for it in large part by levying a commuter tax on the large number of people who work in the city but reside in Maryland and Virginia. But for that very reason, the Maryland and Virginia congressional delegations, which have been leading advocates of a D.C. vote in the House, could resist statehood. Gray says that as mayor, he would establish a statehood transition group that would study such questions. If statehood is the goal, then it’s critical to provide a straightforward, transparent explanation of where the money will come from. What’s most important is for the District’s leaders and friends to agree on a common approach to voting rights and then commit to it for the long term. If there’s going to be civil disobedience and it’s going to take years to win the battle, then advocates need a simple, single goal to rally around. For instance, an alternative to seeking statehood could be a push for a constitutional amendment to grant a House seat and two Senate seats to the District, without making it a state. That’s nice and clear but also terribly difficult to achieve, because it would require the support of two-thirds of both chambers of Congress plus three-quarters of the state legislatures. For his part, Fenty is sticking to the strategy of pushing first for a House vote and later for statehood. That’s the approach

favored as well by the District’s nonvoting delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D). “Our 600,000 tax-paying citizens deserve nothing less than full statehood. The first step on that path is a vote in the House,” Fenty said in a written statement. At the Ward 4 forum, Fenty

didn’t say whether he would commit civil disobedience, but he criticized Gray for making it an issue now, when he hadn’t done so in nearly four years as council chairman. In any case, a Fenty campaign official said, civil disobedience is “a style that’s just completely not the mayor’s.”

Regardless of who is the next

mayor, he should play a more assertive role in pushing the issue of voting rights, whether through statehood or otherwise. Fenty has mostly deferred to Norton, and perhaps that made sense as long as the House vote bill seemed to be moving forward. Now that it has been blocked, though, new energy is needed. Gray’s willingness to court arrest is welcome in that sense, and Norton endorsed it even if she differs with him on what goal to seek first. Noting that she was a veteran

of many sit-ins, Norton said “of course” she would support civil disobedience. “I come out of the movement where, as we called it, direct action was the way to get movement on issues,” she said. “The point is that nobody has ever won their rights because somebody just gave it to them.”

vation project, a concern also voiced by many in the building industry, who say that the ap- proval system is one of the re- gion’s most burdensome. Also, she thinks the adminis-

tration of County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), who is barred by term limits from seeking reelec- tion, has fostered an environ- ment of “cronyism.” Johnson has been accused by some fellow Democrats of using his office to reward loyal support- ers and contributors, an accusa- tion he has dismissed as un- founded.

But she is uncertain who will

get her vote. “It is tricky,” she said. “I am in the middle of trying to figure out what everybody is about.”

Longtime residents Eddy and Linda Campbell live near the county’s southern tip in Marlton, a golf course community off Route 301. They

say Prince

George’s has much to offer. Besides looking for an innova- tive, energetic leader, they want the next county executive to ag- gressively market the county’s as- sets.

Among them: the University of

Maryland at College Park, Bowie State University, Prince George’s Community College, NASA, the Census Bureau, a well-regarded performing arts program at Suit- land High School and improve- ments in some public schools’ standardized test scores. “There are so many good things here,” said Eddy, a busi- ness manager who commutes an hour each way to his job at Walt Whitman High School in Mont- gomery County. The Campbells would like more economic development, be- lieving that also will help in- crease funding for schools. The next executive should work to at- tract more businesses, jobs and retail; to build the tax base; and to create an environment where residents won’t leave the county to work or shop, they said. The Campbells propose that

the next county leader set up more business incubators to spawn smaller companies, even if some of the big ones have shied away, and do more to help local entrepreneurs thrive. “More innovation and no more

status quo,” said Linda, who is high school principal at Riverdale Baptist in Upper Marlboro. “We need to be moving ahead.” It would help, Eddy said, if the

next executive “will do what’s right now and not be so con- cerned about the next election.” If that happens, Linda added,

“everything else will fall into place.”



He really knew the score I

by Timothy R. Smith

t was an unwanted present. A day before his 22nd birthday, George E. Catloth, the score- board operator for the Washing- ton Redskins, saw his beloved hometown team historically dis- mantled.

On Dec. 8, 1940, the Chicago Bears played the Redskins in the National Football League cham- pionship game at Griffith Stadi- um, where Mr. Catloth slid num- bered placards in trays for all spectators to see. Back then, foot- ball games were usually low-scor- ing affairs. After the Redskins had beaten

Chicago three weeks earlier, Washington owner George Pres- ton Marshall rashly called the Bears “quitters” and “a bunch of crybabies.” Chicago had a new formation for the championship game and was heavily favored. The Bears scored in the first minute, and the touchdowns kept coming: runs, passes, double reverses, intercep- tion returns — 11 touchdowns in all. Mr. Catloth almost lost track of the score.

Early in the game, Redskins wide receiver Charlie Malone dropped a sure touchdown pass by quarterback Sammy Baugh, and Washington never came close to scoring again. By the game’s end, the Bears

won 73-0, the most lopsided victo- ry in professional football history. After the game, Baugh was asked whether Malone’s dropped touch- down pass would have made a dif- ference. “Sure,” he said. “The final score would have been 73-7.” On Nov. 27, 1966, Mr. Catloth had another busy day when the Redskins defeated the New York Giants, 72-41, in the highest scor- ing game in NFL history. Red- skins quarterback Sonny Jurgen- sen threw three touchdown pass- es as several NFL records were set, including the most points scored by a team in a regular sea- son game and the most combined points, 113. When Mr. Catloth started as the Redskins’ first scoreboard opera- tor in 1937, he kept track of the scores manually. At Griffith Stadi- um, he worked above the bleach- ers in a dark room among the sta- dium’s steel girders. He had a small window to look through. From his perch, he watched a man on the sideline who would use hand signals to tell him where the ball was. When D.C. Stadium — later re- named Robert F. Kennedy Memo- rial Stadium — opened in 1961, the engineers forgot to install a window for Mr. Catloth. Using a headset to talk with his man on the field, he posted scores without seeing the game. By the time Mr. Catloth retired in 1998, after 61 years, he was op- erating a computer at the present- day FedEx Field. Mr. Catloth died July 19 at age


George E. Catloth was a batboy for the Washington Senators in the 1930s. He later operated the Redskins’ scoreboard for 61 years.

91 of complications from diabetes at Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham. For many years, his son and grandson, George Catloth Jr. and George Catloth III, joined him as scorekeepers. But his son left within two years of his father’s retirement. “It wasn’t fun anymore,” George

Catloth Jr. said. George Edward Catloth, born in the District on Dec. 9, 1918, had an abiding love of sports. He played sandlot baseball growing up and had grand dreams of a palmy sports career while attend- ing Central High School. He spent six years in the 1930s as a batboy for the Washington Senators. He would sweep the clubhouse, shine players’ shoes and collect their bats from the field.

Once, when he was 14, he ac- companied the team to Florida for spring training. As the club barnstormed its way north, Mr. Catloth drove a player’s car back to Washington.

Although baseball took a lot of his time, Mr. Catloth started dat- ing Kate Sunday, a student at Mc- Kinley Technical High School who often sat in the bleachers at Grif- fith Stadium and watched him as batboy. She found she often had to share him with the team. There were road games, spring training down south and late-night bend- ers with the ballplayers, to which he was sometimes invited. At one point she wrote a poem: “So all of you ballplayers heed



Guido De Marco, 79, a former president of Malta who helped the island nation win European Union membership, died Aug. 12 at his home in the capital, Val- letta, after a heart attack. A veteran Nationalist Party

leader, Mr. De Marco was foreign minister when he submitted Mal- ta’s application for EU member- ship in 1990. The tiny Mediterra- nean archipelago joined in 2004, the last year of Mr. De Marco’s five-year term as president. Mr. De Marco, a top criminal

lawyer in Malta, was first elected to parliament in 1966. He also served as president of the U.N. General Assembly in the 1990s.

Antonio Pettigrew OLYMPIAN

Antonio Pettigrew, 42, a sprint- er stripped of an Olympic gold medal after admitting to doping, was found dead in the back seat of his locked car Aug. 10 near his home in Apex, N.C. Authorities said they were unsure whether his death was accidental or a sui- cide. Mr. Pettigrew’s death was con-

firmed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was an assistant track coach. Mr. Pettigrew was part of the

1,600-meter U.S. relay team that won the gold medal in the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The Interna- tional Olympic Committee stripped the team of the medal


Sprinter Antonio Pettigrew, 42, was stripped of an Olympic gold medal for doping.

two years ago after Mr. Pettigrew admitted to doping during a trial against former coach Trevor Gra- ham, who was convicted of lying to federal investigators about his relationship to an admitted ster- oids dealer. At North Carolina, Mr. Pet-

tigrew focused on sprints, hurdle and relays. He graduated in 1993 from St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C., where he was an all-American and won four NCAA Division II championships in the 400-meter dash. Mr. Pettigrew said in a state- ment issued by the university in August 2008 that his actions were “100 percent wrong” and

that he appreciated getting a sec- ond chance. “I have an obligation and duty to speak out against the use of banned substances,” Mr. Petti- grew said. “I want to play a role in teaching people, especially young athletes, to know that the nega- tives far, far outweigh the ben- efits these substances may give you.”


Former Delaware governor Sherman W. Tribbitt, 87, a Demo- crat who led the state through a bank crisis in the 1970s, died Aug. 14. He had Alzheimer’s disease. Mr. Tribbitt was born in Den- ton, Md., and ran a hardware sup- ply store with his father-in-law, who had served in the Delaware legislature. Mr. Tribbitt served five terms in the Delaware house and as lieutenant governor be- fore being elected governor in 1972. His greatest test as governor came in 1975 when the heavily state-owned Farmer’s Bank lost millions in bad loans. Mr. Tribbitt worked with bankers and federal officials to restore the bank’s sol- vency. He lost a 1976 reelection cam- paign to Republican Pierre S. du Pont IV. After leaving office, Trib- bitt served on the Delaware River Basin Commission, the multi- state agency that manages water resources in the Delaware Basin, and worked as a consultant. — From news services


Or you’ll pay for the rest of your Don’t play the tenth inning in a


When you should be at home with your wife.” She and Mr. Catloth were mar- ried in 1937. Besides his wife and son, both of Bowie, survivors in- clude two daughters, Mary Cat- loth of Bowie and Diana Rich- ardson of Englewood, Fla.; three grandchildren; and five great- grandchildren. Mr. Catloth served in the Army during World War II. Afterward, he joined the Army’s Institute of Heraldry at Fort Belvoir, which is- sues contracts for the minting of military medals and sets guide- lines for official government flags, such as those used by Cabinet sec- retaries. He eventually became the in-

stitute’s chief technician, respon- sible for the overall quality of medals. He retired in the 1970s. As a young man, Mr. Catloth

played semi-pro baseball in Wash- ington. He was an aggressive fielder who could catch pop flies and scoop grounders with ease, but he had a weak throwing arm. “One of the things is, you have to throw the ball, too, after you field it,” Mr. Catloth told The Washington Post in 2005. During games when he played

shortstop, he could barely throw to first base. “What I should have been all the time,” he said, “was a second baseman.”

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