- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 8, 2005

A candidate for the Virginia House planned to spend Mother’s Day giving flowers to women in Northern Virginia.

Ed Robinson, a Republican from Fairfax County, delivered small pots of flowers to women in Vienna last week. Volunteers helped him go door to door with his deliveries.

“I don’t know if we can honor mothers enough,” he said. “They are the glue that holds our society together.”

Mr. Robinson is running in the June 14 Republican primary for the seat held by Delegate Stephen C. Shannon, a Democrat who is serving his first term.

Also running in the Republican primary are Arthur G. Purves and James E. Hyland.

• Debating debates

Warrenton Mayor George B. Fitch challenged former Virginia Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore to debate him before the two meet in the June 14 Republican primary for the gubernatorial nomination.

Mr. Fitch said Friday on WTOP Radio’s “The Politics Program” with Mark Plotkin that he thinks Mr. Kilgore should debate the issues so voters understand the differences between the two men.

“I’ve been calling for debates,” Mr. Fitch said.

Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, unopposed for the Democratic Party’s nomination, also has asked Mr. Kilgore to debate, and has a Web site accusing Mr. Kilgore of ducking debate challenges.

Mr. Kaine and Mr. Kilgore both will appear at one debate in July, but so far Mr. Kilgore has not accepted other debate invitations.

Mr. Fitch said several weeks ago that he appeared at a Virginia Federation of Republican Women event where Mr. Kilgore also was appearing. Mr. Kilgore soon left the event, saying he had an “emergency meeting” in Richmond, Mr. Fitch said.

Kilgore campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh responded to the Fitch debate challenge: “Our opponent is Tim Kaine.”

• Timely talk

Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley last week talked privately with former President Bill Clinton during Mr. Clinton’s visit to the city, O’Malley aide Steve Kearney said.

Mr. Kearney said he didn’t know if Mr. Clinton, a former governor of Arkansas, gave Mr. O’Malley any advice on the mayor’s likely run for governor, but he did say the two Democrats talked for 90 minutes about the direction of the country, the state and the city.

Mr. Clinton was in Baltimore to give an address at a health care conference sponsored by Deutsche Bank.

• Trespassing?

Police in Centreville, Md., last week said two men who had been reported trespassing at the town’s new spray irrigation site last month turned out to be U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest and a local activist.

A Queen Anne’s County sheriff’s deputy and a city police officer questioned the two men briefly.

Mr. Gilchrest, Maryland Republican, said he and activist Sveinn Storm had permission to inspect the property from Town Council member Mary McCarthy.

There was no word about who lodged the trespassing complaint.

Mr. Gilchrest is asking federal regulators to investigate complaints about pollution caused by the spray irrigation system. He said a video recorded by Mr. Storm shows apparent erosion and runoff of treated water into a tributary of the Corsica River.

Town leaders are arranging a May 17 tour of the site for county, state and federal officials.

• Homelessness plan

Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim has outlined the city’s first action plan to end homelessness.

It includes 19 proposals, ranging from a 24-hour service center to a trust fund to prevent homelessness.

On any given day in Norfolk, there are estimated to be 600 to 800 homeless people, including children.

Recommendations include creating more transitional housing, opening an intake center that could refer homeless people to services they need and a day center to give people a place to get off the streets when night shelters are closed.

The plan doesn’t give cost estimates for any of the initiatives, nor does it specify how to pay for them.

Mr. Fraim says that solutions will require partnerships among all levels of government, the private sector, service providers and charitable foundations.

• Say what?

The mayor of Hagerstown, Md., has struck out in his quest to put Willie Mays’ name on Municipal Stadium to honor the Hall of Famer who made his minor-league debut at the baseball field in 1950.

The measure failed to make it to the City Council floor Tuesday after the council member who had endorsed the plan withdrew it.

Mayor William M. Breichner said afterward that the city should “sit back and think about it, and let it go for now.”

He had promised Mr. Mays to name a street after him during Mr. Mays’ return to the city last year.

But the proposal to rename Memorial Boulevard for the ballplayer ran afoul of local war veterans, who said the street honored World War I veterans.

Mr. Breichner then proposed naming the field at Municipal Stadium for Mr. Mays.

Mr. Mays visited the city in August for the first time since 1950, when he endured racial jeers at the game and was forced to stay in a separate hotel from his white teammates.

• Not running

State Sen. John J. Hafer says he won’t seek re-election next year to a fifth term representing far Western Maryland, citing family factors and his frustration with increasingly partisan politics.

Delegate George C. Edwards, a fellow Republican from the region, said he would run for the Senate seat.

Mr. Hafer, 73, represents District 1, spanning all of Allegany and Garrett counties, as well as western Washington County.

He told the Cumberland Times-News last week that his decision was partly a result of the tension between Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

• Christina Bellantoni contributed to this column, which is based in part on wire service reports.

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