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Maine News

Friday, November 30, 2007

Maine News for Friday, November 30, 2007


Athenahealth a healthy boost for Belfast The company is expected to bring jobs for young people, help businesses and put the vacant MBNA site to good use.

Investment tie-up not likely to cost state The state should get its frozen $20 million back, but the problem brings a call for changing the law.

Lawsuit seeks to relax petition rules A Rumford lawyer sues shopping malls, businesses and four Maine cities, including Portland.

LTE: Keeping constituents informed a top priority

LTE: Dechaine commission's records should be disclosed

LTE: Remove tolls, use gas tax to maintain our highways


Belfast health care firm to bring 100 jobsBELFAST, Maine - The blizzard of paperwork involved with processing health care claims is like a truck buried up to the axle in Maine mud and it's well past time to pull it out. That was the analogy used by Jonathan Bush, chairman and chief executive officer of Massachusetts-based athenahealth, when he announced on Thursday his firm's decision to purchase a large office building that is part of the Bank of America complex.

State CDC launches AIDS Web siteFor the 1,200 people throughout Maine who are living with HIV-AIDS, the Internet has become a wonderful mechanism for support.

Hearing to focus on Guard healthAUGUSTA, Maine — Maine residents who have lost a service member in a noncombat death or who have been affected by a noncombat disability through service in the Maine National Guard are invited to present their stories to a special commission.

EDITORIAL: Wage hike rationaleA proposal to raise Maine's hourly minimum wage from $7 to $8.40 by 2009 will be the center of heated debate in coming months. But a dispassionate examination of the proposal, with attention to the reason a minimum wage exists in the first place, ought to lead legislators to approve the change.

EDITORIAL: Investment lessonsMuch has been made in recent days of the state’s "loss" of $20 million in risky investments. Further examination shows that the state treasurer followed the state’s investment protocol, which allows participation in only top-rated investments and requires purchases to undergo several layers of review.

Charles Krauthammer: Bush took wise course on stem cellA decade ago, Thomson was the first to isolate human embryonic stem cells. Last week, he (and Japan's Shinya Yamanaka) announced one of the great scientific breakthroughs since the discovery of DNA: an embryo-free way to produce genetically matched stem cells.

Tarren Bragdon: A bad pill for health care reform in MaineOften when politicians take aim at the latest political health care boogeyman, they end up hurting the patient. This time, they are hurting a close family member of mine with a rare cancer.

Friday's Letters to the Editor … Drug program works … Chavez and Citgo … Collins and gay rights …


Group asks for more spending on children AUGUSTA -- A panel looking for ways to improve the lives of young children is recommending that the state spend $700,000 to get a new program off the ground.

MAINSAIL IIExpert: Freeze of funds is 'rare' AUGUSTA -- A University of Maine finance professor said Thursday he sees no reason why the state won't get its money back from the Mainsail II investment, saying the freeze put on the fund is a "rare occurrence."

Maine corrections commissioner says consolidation could save money AUGUSTA -- Martin Magnusson, commissioner of the Maine Department of Corrections, said Thursday that he's searching for a middle ground with county officials over the proposed jail consolidation issue, but he stressed a unified system would save taxpayers money.

ATHENAHEALTH COMES TO MAINEOfficials welcome new business tenant in Belfast BELFAST -- Walter Ash Jr., Belfast's new mayor, spends most days repairing cars at his garage. So when he got up Thursday and donned a suit and tie, it was apparent that this day might be special.

PETITION SIGNATURESSuit targets restrictions PORTLAND (AP) -- A Rumford lawyer involved in an initiative to bring a resort casino to Oxford County has gone to court in an attempt to ease restrictions on where petitioners can gather voter signatures.

O’Brien says Collins race bigMaine Republican Party Executive Director Julie O’Brien said it won’t be long before the Senate race in Maine starts heating up.

EDITORIAL: FairPoint good for Verizon, not so good for us Is it better to be a wallflower than to marry the wrong guy?

JOSEPH R. REISERT : Israelis, Palestinians must make their own peace At the beginning of President Bush's term of office, he criticized President Clinton for too aggressively seeking to push the president of the Palestinian Authority and the prime minister of Israel into a peace settlement.

LTE: Article neglected Green Party caucus Susan Cover's recent article "Parties Ready for Caucuses" (Nov. 18) failed to include information about the Maine Green Independent Party's presidential caucuses, to be held on Feb. 10. One point of the article was that early primaries give voters less time to learn about presidential candidates. By not including Green candidates, Cover missed a prime opportunity to better inform your readers.

LTE: Illegals can break laws, law-abiders punished We are told that we must ignore the breaking of immigration laws by illegals because they are here only to do jobs Americans will not do and besides, many do pay taxes.


Upward Bound kids meet with BaldacciAUGUSTA - "Use Your Words" was the message of the day for the 150 high school students who visited the State House on Nov. 16.

EDITORIAL: Suffering is not 'the Maine way'John and Charlene Messinese, of Rumford, had just finished telling Sen. Olympia Snowe about their appreciation for the government aid they receive for heating oil. John, a retired law enforcement officer, then leaned his crewcut head toward Snowe, and said, "It's still so hard to ask."

Protect the unprotectedI'm writing in favor of a law stating if a pregnant woman is murdered, it counts as a double homicide, not a single murder. Recently, a woman who was seven months pregnant was murdered in Lewiston; the fetus she was carrying also died. The perpetrator will be held accountable for the murder of the woman, but not of the fetus.


Winter tales become horror stories

Consultant offers rosy long-term BNAS vision...(full story)

GOP blasts Lemoine for cash flow woes...(full story)

Upbeat Economic Announcement at Former MBNA CampusMany in midcoast Maine have been wondering what would happen to the huge, well-wired building that credit card company MBNA built when it first moved to Belfast in 1996. In an upbeat ceremony today, a Massachusetts company that provides Internet services to the health care industry announced that it is buying the building, and bringing 100 jobs to Belfast. Murray Carpenter reports.


Athenahealth buys Phase 1; announces 200 jobs in '08
The decision was hailed at Thursday's press conference by Gov. John Baldacci, Sen. Olympia Snowe, Congressmen Tom Allen and Mike Michaud, and new Mayor Walter Ash, who said the announcement is exciting for both Belfast and the state.


Health co. brings 200 jobs to Belfast
Athenahealth's new Maine Center will be its second operational service site, according to a press release. The new facility will create at least 200 jobs, according to a press release from Sen. Susan Collins.


Attorney sues to allow petitioners on private property
A Rumford attorney is suing a host of towns and companies in effort to allow petitioners to collect signatures on their property.

Another challenger for Michaud
There is a second Republican candidate eying Rep. Mike Michaud’s seat, according to the Bangor Daily News. In a Nov. 12 guest column, Thomas Cornelius Mooney identified himself as a candidate for the Second Congressional District.

High court considers open meeting case today
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is deciding today whether the Portland School Committee was violating the Maine Freedom of Access laws when they held a closed door meeting this summer.

No endorsements in 1st district, DCCC Chairman says
The Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today praised the field of potential candidates for Tom Allen’s first district seat, but said he wouldn’t commit to a DCCC endorsement of anyone in the primary.

Chellie Pingree’s pollster tells Pingree she is way ahead in the polls!
Roll Call Magazine (A DC beltway paper) covered a story about an early poll released by the Pingree camp. Of course, the most interesting part about the poll that was not covered by Roll Call is that the Chellie Pingree and Celinda Lake (Pingree pollster) routine played out in the ... >


Letters to the Portland editor: November 30, 2007: Nix the saleHow will an unhappy Verizon act?

Elect the dead: Politics and other mistakesBefore they can be taken seriously, candidates for Congress ought to meet certain stringent criteria. Such as: having a pulse.


Governor and First Lady open economic summit on Early Childhood in Rockport
ROCKPORT — Gov. John E. Baldacci and First Lady Karen Baldacci opened the two-day Governor’s Economic Summit on Early Childhood at the Samoset Resort, Thursday, Nov. 29.


athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush reflects on bumpy road to success
BELFAST — Jonathan Bush says he caught the health care bug that eventually led to starting a business called athenahealth while working on an ambulance in New Orleans in 1989.

Sen. Collins welcomes athenahealth to Belfast

Governor Baldacci Introduces Business to Belfast

EDITORIAL: Welcome to Belfast, athenahealth!
“Belfast could not have done better.”


EDITORIAL: The day-care priority
There is an effort under way in Maine to have day-care workers form a labor union.


Rights advocates target domestic terrorism bill in Senate
Several privacy and civil liberties groups are taking aim at legislation targeted at preventing violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism inside the United States. … The ACLU is now focusing its strategy on the Senate, where Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee ranking Republican Susan Collins of Maine has introduced companion legislation, S. 1959. That bill has been referred to the committee.


John Nichols: Feingold must block bill assaulting liberties
Of course Harmon and her Senate allies -- Maine Republican Susan Collins and Connecticut Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman, two of the chamber's most resolute authoritarians -- deny any such intent. Backers of the bill claim they only want to address what they describe as "threatened" force.


Members of Bipartisan Alzheimer's Study Group Announced; Political ..."Our nation's investments in Alzheimer's research have begun to pay dividends and effective treatments are within our grasp," noted Senator Susan Collins.


Maine Awarded $2.1 Million for Affordable HousingBOSTON, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (the Bank) awarded $2.1 million in grants, loans, and rate subsidies to fund 127 units of affordable housing in Bangor, Harpswell, Perry, and Portland. … "Maine faces a critical shortage of affordable housing, and the Federal Home Loan Bank's AHP grants help to make good housing available to more families in Maine and across New England," said Congressman Tom Allen.


Away Game
In Susan Cover's interview with Maine Republican Party Executive Director Julie O’Brien, we learn:
Early in 2008, Republican incumbent Sen. Susan Collins will open her campaign headquarters in Portland, and O’Brien expects national attention to follow soon thereafter.“I do know people on the national level will be playing in Maine with resources,” she said.

Impeachment Proclamation Post, Day Seven, Nov. 29
Well, it is Day 7 of my hunger strike for impeachment, to get the Maine candidates to demand thatTom Allen take a stand on impeachment and I have heard nothing back from any of them. Nada.

Logger Coalition to Lower Maine Fuel Prices Meeting, 12/1
I would invite anyone reading AMG that feels high fuel prices need to be lowered and are willing to fight the sources behind their escalation to attend the next meeting of the Coalition this Saturday, 12/1st in Damariscotta.

Maine Investment Officer: State Treasurer Lemoine Must Be Asked to Resign Now!
Basically, Lemoine is using the "Mommy, it wasn't my fault! I did everything you told me to do!" argument. The problem is the legislature elected him, and won't 'fire' him or ask for his resignation. They're Democrats too.

Republicans have no sense of humor nor do they understand the 1st Amendment
“It is simply inappropriate to have political attack art, in the form of egregious doctored photographs of the President and other high-ranking officials who have dedicated their lives to public service, in a taxpayer-funded building frequented by schoolchildren and the general public.”
Dedicated their lives to public service? Oh please! You’re making me laugh till my sides bust!
A republican communications director uttered these words after an artist depicted George W. Bush and others in a mugshot for the public to view. Here’s one of the photos from the art exhibit:

3/4 of Maine's Members of Congress Applaud New Jobs in Belfast
Three out of four of Maine's congressional delegation, as well as Gov. and Mrs. Baldacci, were on hand to welcome a new company to Belfast (via the Republican Journal & Waldo Independent):

SMART Economic Development (not just economic development) - By Alex Hammer
Remember when Maine used to be more fundamentally afraid of looking like MA, CT or (perish the thought, no slight intended) New York.

National Fallout from Maine $20 Million Investment Potential Loss
National:INTERVIEW-Maine Treasurer Criticizes Merrill for Subprime Bet - ReutersMaine: $20M State Investment Questioned - Motley Fool

A Time for a Change
It is time for change and we can start by electing Tom Allen as our next US Senator. Susan Collins likes playing the role of the moderate/maverick, but that is all it is for her -- a role. Time after time (81%), she voted with her ...

[Ed- The best of the Democratic field so far, Andrews Rice, Tom Allen, and Rick Noriega have been endorsed by Blue America and you can learn more about them-- and how to help them oversome Bush rubber stamps Inhofe, Collins and Cornyn-- ...

Trent Lott’s brother-in-law, nephew indicted for bribery
In March he donated $28500 to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, according to the Center For Responsive Politics. This election cycle he has given to candidates from both parties, including Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. ...

Illegal Discontent
The Senate version is being drafted by Susan Collins of Maine, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is chaired by the hawkish Connecticut independent, Sen. Joe Lieberman. ...

Ag News Rounduup
Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe will do as they have often done, and seek the commonsense middle ground which would allow the Farm Bill to be taken up again. That, in turn, will move this country a little bit closer to adequately ...

Don't let the door hit you in the ...
Susan Collins (R-Maine), another SASC member, is a proponent of the DDG-1000 program, which is being built at Bath Iron Works. She is locked in a tough re-election battle against Rep. Tom Allen (D-Maine), who is capitalizing on anti-war ...

I was encouraged reading this story, the abandoned Phase 1 of MBNA ...
Olympia Snowe, Congressmen Tom Allen and Mike Michaud, and new Mayor Walter Ash, who said the announcement is exciting for both Belfast and the state.

Richard Moore’s Dickie Scruggs problem
Among those he’s contributed to are Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Fred Thompson and GOP heavyweights Trent Lott, Arlen Specter and Susan Collins, not to mention the $25000 he gave the Mississippi Republican Party in ...