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Maine News

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Maine News for Thursday, September 20, 2007


New laws taking effect today Scores of state statutes will affect motorists, businesses, consumers, students and others.

Wind farm generates political tempest A federal official's stance on Maine's Black Nubble project is questioned by a California congressman.

Wind-power hearing loses LURC memberWight removes himself but says a complaint from project opponents is full of 'unsubstantiated' claims.

EDITORIAL: Shootout in Iraq raises serious questions about security firms If Blackwater's guards overreacted violently, the firm deserves to have its contracts deep-sixed.

OP/ED: Shootout in Iraq raises serious questions about security firms If Blackwater's guards overreacted violently, the firm deserves to have its contracts deep-sixed.

LTE: War deadlines come and go, and we're still in Iraq


Compromise SCHIP in the worksWASHINGTON - Millions of children across the country, including thousands in Maine, would lose their health insurance if the federal program paying for their coverage expires Sept. 30. bolsters Allen's campaign coffers
Rep. Tom Allen, who is seeking to unseat incumbent Sen. Susan Collins in the 2008 election, has received nearly $250,000 in campaign funds generated by the liberal Web site MoveOn.Org.

Leaders tilt toward Bass Park for new Bangor arenaBANGOR, Maine - Most of the roughly 40 people who came to City Hall on Wednesday to weigh in on plans to replace the aging Bangor Auditorium told a city consultant that a new facility should be built at Bass Park, as opposed to downtown.

Somerset County jail construction continuesThursday, September 20, 2007SKOWHEGAN, Maine - All three Somerset County commissioners came to Wednesday night's meeting prepared to shut down construction of their $30 million jail, which is about one-third complete.

Saufley fights bid for cuts to courtsThursday, September 20, 2007AUGUSTA - Maine Chief Justice Leigh Saufley is rejecting a request from a legislative panel to identify $2.7 million in cuts from the court system's budget as part of $30 million in state spending reductions.

New bicycle laws include helmet requirementThursday, September 20, 2007Beginning today, your child can be fined for not wearing a helmet while bicycling.

Maine drivers under age 18: Silence your cell phones Thursday, September 20, 2007AUGUSTA - Like other driving instructors across Maine, Dwight Hawkins has a new lesson to add to his course this fall: If you're under 18 and behind the wheel, lose the cell phone.

Verizon-FairPoint merger focus of hearingThursday, September 20, 2007FORT KENT - A majority of speakers voiced their support for the proposed Verizon-FairPoint telecommunications merger at the first of three Maine Public Utilities Commission public hearings Tuesday night at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.


Today's Editorial:
FairPoint Deal PrioritiesWhile a campaign heats up to stop FairPoint Communications from merging with a Verizon spinoff of its land lines in northern New England, the public would be best served if the debate remained on the company's expected quality of service, rates and the capacity for investment.

George Will: New AG faces major questionsMichael Mukasey, the retired judge nominated to be attorney general, is called a 'law and order' conservative.

Thursday's Letters to the Editor … Iraq, al-Qaida link false … Selling the war in Iraq … Pro-war nonsense


HOUSE 83: Pat Jones wins Democrats' nod AUGUSTA -- Local Democrats have chosen Pat Jones, widow of Rep. Deane Jones, to be their nominee for the House District 83 seat.

SYLVIA VILES LUND 1932-2007A lifetime of commitmentAugusta city councilor, former legislator succumbs to illness AUGUSTA -- Sylvia Viles Lund -- a two-term legislator, three-term Augusta city councilor and mother of six -- died Tuesday at the age of 75.

MaineGeneral plan fueling skepticismAugusta obstetricians say in-patient service move is impractical AUGUSTA -- The three local obstetricians who deliver babies at MaineGeneral Health's Augusta hospital said they are leery of an idea to move all in-patient services -- including obstetrics -- to the medical center's Thayer campus in Waterville.

Many details are awaiting discussion WATERVILLE -- MaineGeneral Health is exploring consolidating full service, in-patient care into a single hospital in Waterville.

King talks leadership at UMA AUGUSTA -- Maine's own Joshua Chamberlain stood on top of Little Round Top in the Battle of Gettysburg, in what many believe to be the turning point of the Civil War, and led his ragged band of Maine soldiers -- desperate and out of ammunition -- in a surprise charge down the rugged slope and into the face of attacking Confederate soldiers with just one word.

BRUNSWICK NAVAL AIR STATIONPanel approves development plan BRUNSWICK -- An office park, resort hotel and golf course, general aviation airport, college campus and hundreds of acres for recreation are key features of the plan that will guide redevelopment of Brunswick Naval Air Station after it closes in 2011.

LURC official steps away from wind talks CARRABASSETT VALLEY -- A longtime member of the state's Land Use Regulation Commission removed himself from the discussion of a proposed wind power project at the start of a three-day hearing on Wednesday.

Correction A column on page A7 on Wednesday should have said a bill extending medical insurance to retired police and firefighters requires the state to provide 45 percent of the costs for that insurance, not 100 percent. The insurance is for police and firefighters who choose to have this benefit. It is not automatically extended to all of them.

Augusta keeps its school leader in calculated risk Augusta School Superintendent Cornelia Brown has done a fine job over the last nine years. She is by all accounts an ace manager and a crackerjack financial analyst. She knows when to lead: Her work on the construction of a new Cony High School was essential to its success. And she knows when to follow: The members of the Augusta Board of Education have high praise for her, even in the rare instances when they don't agree with her ideas.

JIM BRUNELLE : Nov. 6 ballot revives moral dilemma of racinoPassamaquoddy Indians resubmit gambling plan Maine voters will face an unusual moral dilemma when they go to the polls Nov. 6 to participate in this year's referendum balloting.


Senate denies access to courtsWASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate narrowly rejected legislation on Wednesday that would have given military detainees the right to protest their detention in federal court.

Postman earns national honorLEWISTON - Mail carrier Wayne Viger remembers vividly the afternoon he stepped into the burning apartment on Knox Street in search of people. It was April 3, 2006, and he was at the end of his route.

LTE: Osama and Bush in cahootsOsama bin Laden and President Bush are playing good cop, bad cop.

LTE: Stand up, America"I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States." That's what U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud said upon taking office.


OP/ED: My cash won't fund military-industrial complex...(full story)

LTE: Chilling, not thrilling...(full story)


More Thorough Reports From Lobbyists Required

AUGUSTA — A new law goes into effect this week that requires lobbyists to report not only the time they spend talking to legislators about bills, but also their interactions with policy makers in the executive branch.

LTE: Protest Is the Lifeblood of Democracy
In the words of Ronald Reagan, there you go again! Two weeks ago, I wrote a letter (“Now Collins Knows How We Feel” Aug. 30) suggesting that in an editorial about Tom Allen’s “tracking” of Susan Collins (“A Deplorable Practice,” Aug. 23) you had missed the underlying point at issue.

LTE: Impeach Bush
Our Constitution sets out the way to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home: impeach the regrettable President who started the war.


TALKING POLITICSNot accepted anywhere: Politics and other mistakesI admit Winkle — it’s OK if I call you Winkle, isn’t it, Mr. Paw? — doesn’t have a lot to do with Maine politics.


Allen: Expand health insurance coverageCongressman Tom Allen speaks at Friday's Eggs and Issues meeting at York County Community College in Wells.

OP/ED: You're probably paying too muchTom Allen's formula for fixing the health care crisis for small businesses and the middle class reminded us of another item we recently came across. ...


Who Knew? Susan Collins Sure Didn't
Comparing the Senate to middle school -- not a terribly big stretch -- the two senators from Maine, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, would be those girls who endlessly compete by mimicking each other.


Senate’s War Critics Still Short of Votes to Force Major Policy ...A rival proposal from Susan Collins , R-Maine, and Ben Nelson , D-Neb., would change the mission to fighting terrorism, providing border security and ...


Filibuster Tactic Kills Troop Rest BillAmong the Republicans who voted for the bill, four -- Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Gordon Smith of Oregon, John Sununu of New Hampshire and Susan Collins of ...


UPS scores big on HRC corporate index despite earlier troubles
"The Corporate Equality Index is an excellent tool for us to use on Capitol Hill," said Herwitt. "Especially as we try to move [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act] through the House and the Senate ... [to] show Congress that corporate America is moving past Congress on this issue." … Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) will lead the bill on the Senate side.


Senate Approves Whistleblower Protections for Defense Contractors
The Government Accountability Project (GAP) today applauded the U.S. Senate for approving Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Sen. Susan Collins' (R-ME) whistleblower protection amendment for employees of Department of Defense (DoD) contractors (S.Amdt. 2617).


Habeas Corpus and a Senate Race in MaineGOP Senator Susan Collins votes against the Constitution, in stark contrast to Democratic challenger Tom Allen -- and Maine Republican Olympia Snowe.

Susan Collins: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Habeas Corpus
The Senate narrowly rejected a bill allowing ‘war on terror’ prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to challenge their detention in federal courts by restoring habeas corpus. While senators voted 56-43 in favor of the bill, but the final ...

Habeus Corpus Passes in the Senate, but not the Filibuster
And Susan Collins of Maine also voted against it, the centrist Republican who will be in the political fight of her life next November. The full roll call is here. "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary ...

Susan Collins votes against the Constitution
Collins was one of four votes preventing restoring habeas corpus. And to add insult to injury:. Collins’s chirpy little staffer didn’t even know that’s how she voted. I guess her office thinks restoring Constitutional government isn’ta ...

Republicans Whining in Their Nooses
Republicans willingly signed up for the worst spree of spending and debt the country has ever seen in the last six years, but now Susan Collins is angry Bush is being the authoritarian hypocritical prick he’s always been?

GOP filibusters habeas restoration
Republican senators supporting the filibuster who are retiring included John Warner of Virginia and Wayne Allard of Colorado. Susan Collins also supported the filibuster - we hope Tom Allen doesn't let the people of Maine forget that.

MORE ON DC VOTING RIGHTSAs Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine said in voting for the bill in committee last week, "I have concluded that the constitutionality of this legislation is a close call and is best resolved by the courts and not by this ...

Baldacci on WVOM: Schools, Jails, Special Session 9/19
Guest Gov. Baldacci talking about school/jail consolidation, special session. The George Hale/Ric Tyler Show.

Collns, Snowe Vote "Yea" on Webb Amdmt to Defense Bill
Sen. John McCain said this amendment is unconsitutional. Sens. Collins and Snowe are supporting McCain for U.S. President - so why did they vote “Yea” on the Webb Amendment?

AG Sec Johanns Preparing for US Senate Run?
A state GOP official said Johanns was planning to announce his bid to replace outgoing Republican Chuck Hagel as early as Monday.

John Frary Column: The Jailhouse Crock
Last month Governor Baldacci proposed consolidation and centralization of the state’s fifteen county jails into a single state prison system.

LL Bean Head: Stop Global Warming, Vote for Ethan Strimling

Deane Jones's wife seeking Democratic nomination in HD83

Republicans view our soldiers as their own personal work horses…
Need your lawn mowed? Call a US Soldier! Need someone to wash your car? Call a US Soldier! Need someone to continue to fight an illegal occupation with a civil war center for you, because you don’t want your kids to and because you want to save your own ego? Call a US Soldier!

Senate 2008 Guru: Wednesday Round up
Maine: The Bangor Daily News gets half-credit for their article on Susan Collins breaking her own term-limits pledge, while other Republican Senators who made similar pledges at the same time Collins did, including Colorado's Wayne Allard and Nebraska's Chuck Hagel, are honoring their pledges. Why only half credit? Because the headline reads: "Democrats say Collins broke two-term pledge." This isn't a political attack that Democrats are waging. It is a fact.

Reporting on The Pledge
Give the Bangor Daily News credit for paying attention, this early in the race, to Sen. Collins pledge to serve no more than two-terms. (We discussed the pledge here.) That said, Tom Groening's reporting leaves a lot to be desired. Start with the headline: "Democrats say Collins broke two-term pledge." Well, did she or didn't she? Why the suspense? Unfortunately, the article itself is similarly non-committal:

This Is Leadership?
Sen. Collins is nominally in favor of the Webb amendment.
And yet, when she's asked about its chances of passage, does she work to rally support for the measure? Does she use the opportunity to underscore the dangers of stretching our military too thin?
Of course not.

Should Collins honor her pledge?
(Vote now, and tell your friends! - promoted by ruthlessliberal)The BDN has an article about Collins' pledge to serve only two terms, plus an online poll:

I hate to do this, but I really really hate sockpuppets. First off, let me explain what a sockpuppet is. When you sign up for TMB, you have one account, and you only post under that one account. If you create another account to either backup your claims on your first account, or use the other account to bash other people in hopes that it won't come back to you...that's a sockpuppet. We have one of those on our site right now, and here it is.

"The Fat Lady has not Sung Yet"Susan Collins, had even attached an amendment calling for "expedited" judicial review in an attempt to assuage her colleagues concerns.