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Maine News

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Maine News for Wednesday, October 31, 2007


For 407 bills, a no-go in 2008 State House: Lawmakers decide to consider about 150 pieces of legislation in next year's short session.

School merger foes circulate repeal petitions The Maine Coalition to Save Schools must gather 55,087 signatures to put the issue before lawmakers.

EDITORIAL: Study should quell anti-Portland bias An examination of Portland's impact on the state shows the city is vital to all Mainers.

Rep. Thom Watson: Longer term limits would benefit state Question 5 on Tuesday's ballot would give lawmakers four more years to be effective.

LTE: Right time to extend term limits


Group looks to revive conservation panelsA newly re-formed statewide organization is attempting to bring back municipal conservation commissions, which at one time helped guide land use and protection decisions in communities throughout Maine.

Maine troops in S. Korea get visit from governor SEOUL, South Korea - Maine troops stationed in South Korea caught a glimpse of home Tuesday with a visit from Gov. John Baldacci and other state officials.

Unemployment insurance taxes dropAUGUSTA, Maine - Instead of an expected tax increase to fund the state unemployment insurance system, employers will see a decrease in 2008, even with a new training fund and other changes adopted by the Legislature earlier this year.

For schools, cheaper not always betterAUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Heritage Policy Center has released a report claiming that bigger school systems may be cheaper to operate, but that the state's smallest schools regularly outperform them.

DHHS enlists private partnerMainers with chronic illnesses who are enrolled in MaineCare, the state's Medicaid program, are beginning to see a change in the way their health care is managed.

EDITORIAL: FairPoint questionsThe Maine Public Utilities Commission is required to ensure that transactions it approves do not adversely affect ratepayers and the companies' shareholders.

Editorial: A dollar value on IraqThe ultimate cost of war is, of course, the untimely death of young men and women serving their country, and of civilians who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Wednesday's Letters to the Editor … Calais supports racino … Problems on Question 1 … Faircloth clarifies … Historical inaccuracies … Bring GIs home


ELECTION DAY SIGNATURE DRIVESPetitions: Repeal school mergers AUGUSTA -- Alan Morse of Phillips said it's easy to get people to sign a petition to repeal Maine's school district consolidation law.

On Maine Politics: House 99: Will it be close?

AUGUSTATIF subsidy would make housing 'affordable' AUGUSTA -- Homes in the proposed Cony Village housing development are expected to be sold for a full market price of around $175,000.

EDITORIAL: No expansion of gambling in Maine In 2003, Maine voters approved a Bangor racino. That vote was promoted as a way to help the state's struggling harness racing industry. While it led to a resurgence in that industry, it also led to construction of a $131 million racino complex in Bangor and explosive growth in the amount of legal gambling in the state.

GEORGE SMITH : Montana's got answers to recreational land conflicts The snow-capped Rocky Mountains were off in the distance as I gazed out of my Wingate hotel room in Bozeman, Montana. I could just make out the mountains over the top of a shopping mall anchored by huge Target and Costco stores.

LTE: Maine should have signed Jessica's Law I am responding to the letter that was written by Michael Johnson of Windham (Oct. 23).

LTE: Constituent grateful for help from Sen. Collins I am writing to express my appreciation and gratitude to Sen. Susan Collins and her Augusta staff for all they have done for me. I have been struggling with the Social Security Administration and it has been very difficult.

LTE: Question 1 is about more than slot machines In his "A Maine Notebook" column of Oct. 25, my old friend Jim Brunelle waxes on about his reasons for not supporting Question 1 on the ballot this November. I respect Brunelle's reasoning, but in this case he is wrong.

LTE: Fiscal responsibility lacking at MSEA The Maine State Employees Association has once again proposed to increase membership dues. -- A dues increas which is not necessary or justified at this time.


SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION LAWMerger opponents eye Election Day petitions AUGUSTA -- Alan Morse of Phillips said it's easy to get people to sign a petition to repeal Maine's school district consolidation law.

LTE: Brunelle's thinking about racino hits the mark Thank you to columnist Jim Brunelle for articulating in a single sentence (Sentinel, Oct. 25) the thinking a lot of us have about the proposed racino in Calais: "I'll vote against (it) . . . because it will lead to a cheapening of the quality of this state and because it masquerades as an economic development program that is nothing of the kind."


Collins' pitch for state security advisers gains backersPORTLAND (AP) - U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has introduced a measure to beef up homeland security by requiring the federal government to provide a security adviser for Maine and nine other states that don't have one.

Consolidation foes tout state networkAUGUSTA (AP) - The chief organizer of a drive to repeal Maine's new school system consolidation initiative says petition circulators will be out in force at state polling places next week.

Study: More veterans are uninsuredWASHINGTON (AP) - About one of every eight veterans under the age of 65 is uninsured, a finding that contradicts the assumption many have that all vets qualify for free health care through the Veterans Affairs Department, says a new study.

LTE: Knows the jobOn Nov. 6, voters in House District 93 have the chance to elect a candidate who will put their interests first in the Maine state Legislature. Sheryl Briggs deserves their support at the polls.


Conservation of Maquoit Bay properties celebrated...(full story)
Bond questions 2 and 3 target economic growth...(full story)

OP/ED: 'Yes' on 5 would correct term limits' unintended consequences...(full story)

EDITORIAL: A moral dilemma...(full story)

LTE: 'Yes' on Question 1...(full story)

LTE: Brothel would be better...(full story)

School Consolidation Opponents Challenge Governor's Plan

Analysis Reveals Portland's Strong Impact on the Maine Economy


York community development director addresses Nov. ballot issues at forum
YORK, Maine — Two dozen voters gathered at St. George's Church on Sunday to learn more about important local issues voters will decide on Election Day, Nov. 6.

Maine and national health care outlook grim, official says
WELLS — A representative of Gov. John Baldacci had a grim message about the state of Maine and national health care for listeners gathered at a health forum at the Village By the Sea hotel on Oct. 24.

York area legislators support extending term limits Nov. 6
YORK — When voters in southern Maine turn their thoughts to Question 5, a referendum about extending legislative term limits, local lawmakers hope they will consider experience.

York voter turnout expected to be low Nov. 6
YORK — November's general referendum warrant will ask voters to decide 11 comprehensive plan and ordinance amendments and five state ballot items.

Groups debate value of racinos before Nov. 6 vote in Maine
YORK — With questions of economic development, crime and business in Washington County, will the racino get a yes or a no?


Election briefsMerger repeal effort winning fans
Lawmakers mull single bill for school merger amendments
Voters to settle racino, bond, term-limit questions


Senate considers econ. development billSenators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins recently introduced the Northern Border Economic Development Commission Act, ...


A Union With Clout Stakes Its Claim on PoliticsIt is gearing up to help Democrats running for the Senate including Tom Allen in Maine, Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire and candidates in Colorado, ...


Iraq, Up Close and Personal, in Maine House Race
While Iraq War veterans have offered themselves as candidates through multiple congressional election cycles, the 2008 House contest in Maine’s 1st District stands out with two candidates with Iraq War experience — one in each major party — who bring different perspectives on the conflict to the election campaign.


State would get security adviser under proposalSusan Collins requires the federal government to provide a security adviser for states that don’t currently have one. The bill authorizes $40 million for ...


Mexican businessman's TB case frustrates senatorsJoe Lieberman and Maine Republican Susan Collins, wrote Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Tuesday seeking answers.


Answers sought on TB flierJoe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, and Susan Collins, Maine Republican, both members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, ...


Calling out ‘wrongdoers’ backfiresSusan Collins, R-Maine, has a perfect voting record in the Senate, which I find pretty admirable regardless of how she voted.


SENATE COMMITTEE STRESSES NEED FOR GREATER PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN LAW ...... Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) called for enhanced engagement by local law enforcement agencies and Muslim American communities.


Conservation of Maquoit Bay properties celebrated
Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both R-Maine, and US Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine, strongly supported the Maquoit Bay project and were instrumental in securing ...

Susan Collins (R) holding a lead over Congressman Tom Allen (D). The numbers: Collins - 56%, Allen - 33%. Considering the poll was conducted for the liberal website, the Collins-Allen fight thus far is not living up to the ...

Senate measure aims to beef up homeland security in Idaho and ...
Maine Senator Susan Collins has introduced a measure aimed at beefing up homeland security by requiring the federal government to provide a security adviser for Maine and nine other states that don’t have one, including Idaho.

A Union With Clout Stakes Its Claim on Politics
It is gearing up to help Democrats running for the Senate including Tom Allen in Maine, Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire and candidates in Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon and Virginia.

Conservation of Maquoit Bay properties celebrated
Tom Allen, D-Maine, strongly supported the Maquoit Bay project and were instrumental in securing those funds. Additional funding was provided by the Land ...

MERCURY: Export ban clears House energy panel
The House Energy and Commerce Committee today voted to block the federal government from selling, transferring or exporting elemental mercury. Rep. Tom Allen's (D-Maine) "Mercury Export Ban Act of 2007,"…

Maine AFL-CIO Endorses Rep. Allen for Senate
Tom Allen (D) in his campaign for a seat in the US Senate. With the union movement in Maine committed to fighting hard in the 2008 elections, the Maine AFL-CIO's endorsement is the beginning of a large-scale mobilization of the state's ...

Tuesday Briefs
Maine: Tom Allen will have labor kicking butt for him with the MSEA-SEIU behind him and now with the Maine AFL-CIO having voted unanimously to back him. New Mexico: Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez' own polling has him in a statistical ...

Keyword News: [Susan Collins]
The Maine AFL-CIO is throwing its support behind Democrat Tom Allen in his bid to unseat incumbent Republican Susan Collins in ...

RECALL!!! Update (Portland School Committee)

O'Reilly on WGME
Bill O'Reilly, America's favorite blowhard, appeared on WGME-13 last night during the 5pm broadcast to weigh in on the birth control issue. It comes as no suprise to me that a station owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, who's VP Mark Hyman was the former *star* of the right-wing "The Point" editorial, would bring on such a jackass to weigh in. I imagine the mute button came into very good use last night for a lot of people. For those of you with a strong stomach, you can catch Falafel Bill over at WGME's horribly designed and layed out website.

Governor Baldacci Says Economy and Environment are Tied Together -