Paddle boats back in action at the harbor

May 22, 1999|By Tom Pelton | Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF

The Inner Harbor paddle boats are back.

After an 11-day shutdown of the tourist attraction caused by a legal battle over ownership of the docks, the 50 brightly colored boats were back in action Thursday under the management of the Living Classroom Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization.

The owner of the boats, Ed Kane of Harbor Boating Inc., donated them to the foundation after losing a public bidding process for the franchise off the city-owned waterfront.

Although Kane on Thursday filed a $1 million claim against the city for damages caused by what he called an unfair bidding process, he said he decided last week that the public should no longer suffer from the shutdown.

"We appreciate Ed Kane's generosity and we are excited to have the paddle boats back in full swing," said James Piper Bond, president of the foundation.

The organization is using the boats for an inner-city job-training program and is using revenue from the business to support a tour of historic sites ringing the harbor called the National Historic Seaport of Baltimore.

Kane said his fight is with the city and not the nonprofit organization.

In a counterclaim filed this week to respond to the city's successful May 6 lawsuit to evict Kane from the docks, Kane argues that he owns the 120-foot-long dock adjacent to the city waterfront.

The city should have taken account of Kane's ownership when they evaluated his bid for the franchise April 14, Kane claims.

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