City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

September 01, 2006

Bush plans economics pitch during Maryland visit

WASHINGTON -- President Bush plans to promote his economic policies in a Labor Day visit to a maritime training center in Southern Maryland's Piney Point, keeping an appointment he had to cancel last Labor Day for a tour of the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast.

Bush's stop at the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Education and Training is part of an election-year push to convince voters that his policies have boosted the economy and are a key reason to elect Republican candidates. The school is on 60 acres in Southern Maryland.

Bush has maintained close ties with the Seafarers International Union, which helps run the school and has supported his efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

Bush invited Michael Sacco, the union's president, to a 2002 economic summit in Waco, Texas. This year, when Bush spoke at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., he took Sacco on Air Force One for the trip.

Julie Hirschfeld Davis

Baltimore: Courts

Ehrlich picks lawyer to fill judgeship

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. named attorney Charles G. Bernstein to a seat on Baltimore Circuit Court yesterday, effective with the Oct. 1 retirement of Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan. Bernstein, 66, will serve until Nov. 4, 2008, when he would have to win election to a full term. The state's mandatory retirement age for judges is 70. In private practice since 1980, Bernstein was formerly an assistant Baltimore state's attorney, assistant U.S. attorney and from 1974 to 1980 Maryland's first federal public defender. His name emerged as a candidate for U.S. attorney in Maryland in 2000. "Mr. Bernstein brings to this position a solid legal background gained from more than 35 years of public service and private practice," Ehrlich said in a statement announcing the appointment. "His commitment to the community and his varied experience in civil and criminal matters will combine to serve the citizens of Baltimore City well."

Hampden

Faulty switch blamed in sewage overflow

A faulty pressure switch was blamed for an overflow at the Jones Falls Pumping Station yesterday that sent an estimated 500,000 gallons of raw sewage flowing into the stream in Baltimore's Hampden neighborhood. The Department of Public Works said the problem occurred at the Ash Street pumping station, which is undergoing an $11.3 million renovation that includes more pumps and a backup electrical supply. The improvements are designed to prevent such spills in the future, the department said. Signs are being posted urging people to avoid contact with the water at the spill site and downstream.

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