Between The Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

August 09, 2004

Similar yet different

During his lengthy tenure as head of Baltimore's Republican Party, David Blumberg was known as much, if not more, for his self-deprecating comments about his lack of political success as his partisanship.

Blumberg, appointed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to chair the Maryland Parole Commission, has given up his GOP post, but he hasn't lost his sense of humor about himself. Introducing Ehrlich last week as the "special guest and featured speaker" at the monthly board meeting of the Roland Park Civic League, league President Blumberg said there were "strong similarities" between the two 40-something Baltimore-born graduates of city private schools:

"Robert Ehrlich went to Princeton University. David Blumberg worked a summer at Princeton Sports."

"Robert Ehrlich graduated from Wake Forest School of Law. David Blumberg had his 11th birthday party at the Enchanted Forest."

"Robert Ehrlich never lost an election for House of Delegates, Congress or governor. David Blumberg never had anyone run against him for chairman of the Baltimore City Republican Party."

And finally, "Robert Ehrlich talks to a man named Steele almost every day. David Blumberg talks to men who steal almost every day."

- Eric Siegel

Free publicity

One of Mayor Martin O'Malley's primary duties is to sell the city. But a development company is using his office as a selling point for downtown condos.

Breco Condos' banner hanging from a brick warehouse at 234 Holliday St., one block north of City Hall, advertises its new loft condominiums with the slogan: "Live next to the mayor."

Another use of O'Malley's name, however, is far more interesting. A car driving along Guilford Avenue last week displayed a bumper sticker on its back window that read: "2006 O'Malley for Governor."

- Doug Donovan

Weather bug

Commuters heading to the city on Interstate 97 may be confused by the giant electronic message board at the side of the road near the airport. Amid the ads for computer repairs and other services, the sign occasionally flashes the message "Brrrrr!!!!!" even on blazing hot August days.

The message isn't a subtle plug for an air conditioning company, but a glitch with the thermometer that provides the sign's temperature readout. Hot or cold, rain or shine, the sign thinks it's a bit cool for this time of year - negative 196 degrees Fahrenheit.

- Andrew A. Green

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