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Maine News

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Maine News for Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Turnpike authority scraps toll study
Gov. Baldacci's opposition to fares on I-295 and I-95 north of Augusta is cited.

Question 4 asks voters to repair parks, save open spaces
The $35.5 million bond also includes funding for riverfront development.

Top presidential fundraisers
Barack Obama brings in four times as much as Hillary Clinton in Maine, and the state's GOP donors favor Mitt Romney.

Laptops enhancing students' writing, study finds

Educators' belief that the program is a great benefit to middle schoolers is now backed by test scores.

Recall group to push its petition
Portland Republicans plan to gather signatures during tonight's School Committee meeting.

EDITORIAL: Smoking ban in cars with kids crosses line of privacy
There are good reasons to worry about secondhand smoke, but this is a step too far.

Rep. Stan Gerzofsky: Let Legislature do its job on prison consolidation
There is an established process for dealing with such ideas, and it takes time and leadership.


$35.5M bond aims to spur land conservation
One of Maine's most successful land conservation programs is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

State officials target sex offender registry scofflaws
AUGUSTA, Maine - Lawmakers were told Tuesday that about 300 convicted sex offenders are not following the state sex offender registry law, even as the legislators consider changing the structure of the registry.

3 gas line ruptures in Bangor projects prompt PUC to fine three companies

BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Public Utilities Commission has cited three local companies for causing three separate gas line ruptures — two at the Hollywood Slots construction site — that have occurred in the last seven weeks.

Editorial: Don't hang up registry
When millions of Americans put their phone numbers on the national do-not-call list they likely assumed the dinnertime telephonic interruptions were a thing of the past. They aren’t, and the unwanted calls could start coming again this spring. They shouldn’t.

Wednesday's Letters to the Editor … It’s our war … Slots opportunities


Political blogger's fans don't allow him to quit
For Bill Harnsberger, writing a regular feature for the top Democratic blog on the Internet was always a labor of love, a time-consuming passion that paid nothing.

Authority douses plan to study toll expansion

The Maine Turnpike Authority has scrapped an unpopular plan to study whether tolls should be collected on Maine's interstate system.

Young bucks to lead city Dems

The Augusta Democratic City Committee chose three new leaders Tuesday evening — all under the age of 33.

EDITORIAL: Moving Maine's economy into the future
Manufacturing accounted for 24 percent of employment in Maine in 1980 and 24 percent of gross state product that year, according to Charles Colgan, a University of Southern Maine economist.

GEORGE SMITH : Counting marbles in the 1st Congressional District
The one with all the marbles wins the game. This applies to most games including politics. Money drives your votes and rarely does the underfunded candidate win.

LTE: For a clean environment and 'green' legislation
As I know, and others know, as well, a clean and healthy environment is of the essence, and necessary for all living things. Within the next couple of weeks, I, for one would like to see a bill passed regarding clean energy of all descriptions! Does this not sound good? It does to me, and I am of the opinion that there are many others that would agree, so let us get together and work with our government officials to maintain clean energy and, in so doing maintain a clean, healthy environment.

LTE: At least 1 early vote for the Washington Co. racino
I plan to vote "yes" on Question 1, the ballot initiative to allow the Passamaquoddy Tribe to open a harness racing facility in Washington County. My support for the initiative does not come as the result of my personal support for gambling, which I have serious concerns with. Nor does my support come as a result of the clear economic benefits that will be realized by both the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the residents of the economically depressed Washington County.

LTE: Taxes and planning will keep MaineCare healthy
Recent legislative sessions have been dominated by the Dirigo Ponzi health-care scheme and have ignored MaineCare. This lack of focus has assured this program designed for the poorest and weakest has been exploited by political whims and special interest groups. Legislative leadership must begin to understand MaineCare does not make people healthy, that is the sole ownership of the individual regardless of the psychosocial babble expressed by current administration.

LTE: Vote no on state bonds -- focus on other issues
The future is now. On Nov. 6, you are being asked to vote on multi-millions of dollars in bond issues for Maine's future at a time when we are laying off teachers, cutting our mental health benefits, our bridges and roads are going to pieces and crude oil prices are almost up to $100 a barrel. It is predicted gas will be $4 a gallon by next June.

LTE: The state doesn't really invest
The Oct. 11 Kennebec Journal had an article titled "Maine urged to invest more." I note with great humor the term "state-funded private non-profit" in reference to an entity the state created, regulates and funds (an oxymoron if I've ever heard one). So the state takes our tax dollars, starts a company, pays higher-than-normal salaries, and does not allow the company to make a profit.


Maine donors like Obama, Romney
Hillary Clinton leads the Democratic presidential pack in fundraising nationally, but Barack Obama is the favorite among Democratic contributors in Maine, according to new finance reports that track donations to the campaigns through Sept. 30.

Madeleine Albright to speak at Colby
Former secretary of state to discuss current events; hasn't told college her exact topic

WATERVILLE -- Former U.S. Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright will discuss current events at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Colby College's Lorimer Chapel.

LTE: One vote for Pat Jones
I am writing in support of Pat Jones as representative for District 83. I first met Jones a decade ago when she approached me about co-sponsoring the local Alive & Well project to provide summer work for youth through our market-garden. At the end of each of the two-season projects, the young growers had harvested and shared crops with the local food bank. From this came a relationship with Jones that centered on local alternatives and energy reliance. No surprise then that we have recently had important discussions about the energy situation.


Bangor racino seeks change in how Maine taxes its operation...(full story)


Changes Considered For Maine's Sex Offender Registry


Federal Sex Offender Statute May Force Revisions at State Level

Supporters of Natural Resource Bond Rally on Penobscot Riverbank

School Wins Funding for Solar Energy


Maine bills to amend school merger law pile up for '08

School district consolidation has rapidly become the biggest issue confronting the Maine Legislature this fall, with at least 60 bills filed that address the controversial law.

Money Matters: New Maine law targets predatory lenders

Earlier this year, Gov. John Baldacci signed the Maine Homeowner Protection Act into law. This legislation, which is scheduled to take effect in January 2008, has been hailed as one of the toughest state laws targeting predatory lending practices in...


January school merger vote unlikely for most districts

Go figure - Maine lauded, then scolded, for food stamp efforts

Study tracks growth in higher-paid state jobs

Baldacci a 'one-man band' on consolidation





Terror watch list swells to more than 755000 names
Susan Collins, R-Maine, says "creating and maintaining a comprehensive terrorist watch list is an enormous endeavor fraught with technical and tactical ...


Throw out old anthrax vaccine, expert tells US
Susan Collins, a Maine Republican said: "This GAO report makes clear that the federal attempt to proctre an improved anthrax vaccine has yielded not a new ...


Lawmakers press for curbs on DoD personnel reforms in bill
Tom Allen, D-Maine, and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., urged the House’s top conferees negotiating the final version of the Defense authorization bill to retain ...


Sharp Drop Seen in U.S. Deaths in Iraq

House Dems to Push SCHIP Wreck Again

H.R.3835: The American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007

H.R.3835 is a bill that would “restore the Constitution’s checks and balances and protections against government abuses as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.” Sponsored by Texas Representative Ron Paul

BREAKING NEWS: Rahm Emanuel Endorses Tom Allen

Rahm Emanuel is one of the top Democrats in Congress, and just like Tom Allen he is a leader who never backs down from a tough fight. And he was crystal clear about why he is endorsing Tom Allen, saying “Nobody would do a better job ...

Updates on the US Senate races in North Carolina and Maine

Emery made a series of stupid mistakes, just like Susan's recent attack on Tom Allen for missing votes because Allen was at a family funeral. Like Collins, Emery was exposed as a very negative campaigner. Also, Emery was tied to an ...

Democrats Recruit a 12-Year-Old to Combat Bush on Kids’ Health

“Let us not jeopardize a successful, effective program for
low-income children because we want to have a broader debate,&39;
said Senator Susan Collins of Maine.

Bar Harbor: Feds deny crisis funds for fishermen

Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins issued a joint statement Monday indicating they were disappointed with the finding. They have asked NOAA to further justify ...

Senator? Do you have a square to spare?

Maine - Susan Collins (R) is a dying breed, that of a moderate Republican. Tom Allen (D), one of Maine's two Congressmen is already running and it will definitely be a close race. I say Democratic pickup.

ME Sen: Research 2000 (commissioned by Daily KOS) sez Collins 56 ... If the 2008 election for US Senate were held today, would you to reelect Susan Collins, would you consider voting for another candidate, or would you vote to replace Collins?

Eleanor Clift, Unclearly

Regarding RGJoe’s support of Maine Republican and war-enabler Susan Collins, Clifty sez it’s all about “good character:”. Lieberman doesn’t feel obliged to do the Democratic Party’s business and help knock off Collins.

Post-Katrina … but Still No Plan

chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee; Susan Collins (R-Maine), ranking member of that committee; and Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chair of a disaster recovery subcommittee, expressed disappointment in the ...

Video: SENATE '08: Can Mark Warner Be Stopped? Collins Safe ...

John and Amy talk about the latest in the Senate races in Maine and Virginia.

The pork dishonor role

This editorial in The Examiner describes two interesting and somewhat distressing pork-related votes in the Senate. Sen. Jim DeMint proposed an amendment to kill a provision in an appropriations bill directing $2 million to three construction projects for a college in Harlem, all to be named after Rep. Charles Rangel. Two Democrats -- Russ Feingold and Evan Bayh -- broke ranks with their party to vote in favor of DeMint's amendment. Meanwhile, 16 Republicans voted against the amendment and in favor of Rangel's pork project. The 16 were: Lamar Alexander, Kit Bond, Thad Cochran, Trent Lott, Susan Collins, Larry Craig, Pete Domenici, Chuck Hagel, Orrin Hatch, Richard Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, Ted Stevens, Richard Shelby, Arlen Specter, George Voinovich, and John Warner.

A Little Govt Waste

Susan Collins (R-Maine), ranking member of the homeland security committee, said in a statement. "HHS must learn the lessons from past failures so that we can improve our preparedness for a possible terrorist attack using biological ...