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Maine News

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Maine News for Thursday, November 15, 2007


Democrats explain views and tout abilities A forum in Portland gives candidates for Tom Allen's 1st District seat a chance to make their pitches.

Activists oppose Verizon sale Vermont's governor gets 2,600 postcards. Maine foes had delivered 5,000 to Gov. John Baldacci.

Developer: Brunswick complex in good shape The Maine Street Station design, to be unveiled Nov. 29, must meet standards set by the town.

Fuel costs sapping profits for truckers Log haulers say they're squeezed to the breaking point with diesel up 60 cents in two months.

League Urges Collins To Not Protect Evil, ENDAThe Christian Civic League of Maine calls upon the people of Maine to contact US Senator Susan Collins and urge her to stop her support of the federal ...

Sales-tax revenue lags behind projections State House: Lower than expected fuel taxes cause a Highway Fund shortfall, a new analysis says.

Activists oppose Verizon sale Vermont's governor gets 2,600 postcards. Maine foes had delivered 5,000 to Gov. John Baldacci.

OP/ED: Coal plants can no longer be merely local issues A gasification facility in Wiscasset will have statewide and even global impact.

Walid Mazraany: Cluster bombs bad for children, bad for all humanity Bills in Congress would rein in their construction and distribution, and they deserve to pass.

Harry Shain: State doing fine in LNG permitting process A developer's contention that Maine is anti-business is far from telling the whole story.

LTE: Gas tax could break oil addiction

LTE: Maine should repeal law that consolidates schools

LTE: Portland voters erred by not re-electing Cloutier

LTE:U.S. has no role in nations' nuclear-power industries

LTE: Waterboarding debate sign of country's moral decline

LTE: Elected officials should keep religion out of politics


Maine’s clean-energy efforts laudedMaine was recognized Wednesday by a national environmental advocacy group for the state’s efforts to promote clean energy and conservation measures.

Bus tour offers help with Rx drugsBANGOR, Maine — Eastern Mainers traveled miles Wednesday to seek assistance from the "Help is Here Express," a tour bus sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry offering relief from high drug prices for low-income people.

State may help poor Mainers pay heating bills AUGUSTA, Maine — With home heating oil prices significantly above those of last year and appropriations for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program undetermined at this point, politicians on both sides of the aisle in Augusta are recognizing that state funding will be needed to help poor Mainers stay warm this winter.

Border crossing rules focus of conferenceCALAIS, Maine — More than 150 tourism, education, trade and legislative representatives from Maine and Canada gathered Wednesday to learn about new and coming border patrol regulations and to review their potential economic impacts.

Slots construction site bans smoking Thursday, November 15, 2007BANGOR, Maine - An innovative safety and health program implemented last week at the Hollywood Slots at Bangor construction site has some workers fuming over being told they can't smoke on nearby public property.

EDITORIAL: Sears Island port potential A container port on Sears Island in Searsport would be well-positioned to catch the rising tide of cargo being shipped to U.S. markets from Asia and elsewhere, according to a study commissioned by the Department of Transportation.

EDITORIAL: Better contractingLegislation, recently unanimously endorsed by the Senate, would ensure that government contracts are scrutinized and bids solicited and reviewed — and that federal personnel are trained and available to do this work — before disasters strike and before billions of federal dollars are spent.

George Will: A second Clinton in office is hardly inevitableAmericans say they are weary of political polarization and pugnacity. If so, the current situation in presidential politics is unstable: The leading Democratic and Republican candidates, Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, are the most polarizing and pugnacious candidates, respectively.

Thursday's Letters to the Editor … Student on free speech … UMaine and free speech … If racino were a bond … Misleading headline … Government blogs work


Democratic candidates for U.S. House debate issues A half-dozen Democratic congressional candidates debated how best to address rising college costs during a wide-ranging forum Wednesday night at the University of New England in Portland.

Local Dems host debate
Kennebec County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Rita Moran knows Hillary, Barack, John and the others aren’t going to come to Augusta for a debate. So she’s lined up surrogates to represent them, and is holding a debate of her own on Thursday.

Cribbage 'bust': Dump dumb law The recent crackdown by Maine State Police on illegal cribbage games at a Gardiner American Legion post was not a Baldacci administration plot to dishonor veterans.

Strict rules needed to protect organic crops Farmers are constantly struggling to maintain their livelihood while ensuring a supply of nutritious food for residents of Maine and people throughout the nation.

LTE: MSEA critic invited to get involved in union Contrary to Wendy Waltz's assertions (letter, Oct. 31), my union, the Maine State Employees Association, is well run. Union members determine the organization's priorities. Union members determine the annual operating budget. Union members determine the dues rate.

LTE: GOP vote across board would straighten out state I found the article regarding the so-called civil rights lawsuit against the 16-year-old young man from Messalonskee High for calling another person a "faggot" very disturbing.

LTE: Cribbage? Are you serious? This letter is in regard to the shutting down of the cribbage game at the American Legion.


House oks Iraq bill with troop recallTom Allen and Michael Michaud were among the 15 Democrats who voted against the measure. The legislation, passed 218-203, was largely a symbolic jab at Bush ...

LTE: Maine deserves better than Collins' tricks It didn't take long for Sen. Susan Collins to borrow the Karl Rove re-election playbook.

LTE:Please get your facts straight about Roosevelt This letter is in response to Jeffrey K. Jacob's letter (Nov. 9) regarding Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his unnecessary declaration of war on Germany: "Hitler had never done a thing to us and there was absolutely no reason to declare war on Germany."

LTE: Afghanistan, then Iraq; please, no sabers for Iran While the Bushies gloat over the "success" of the surge, The Associated Press announced that the death toll of our troops in Iraq this year recently rose to 852, making 2007 the worst year for American casualties since the war started and the year is not yet over.

House OKs Iraq bill with troop recall WASHINGTON (AP) -House Democrats pushed through a $50 billion bill for the Iraq war Wednesday night that would require President Bush to start bringing troops home in coming weeks with a goal of ending combat by December 2008.

Call center coming to CalaisCALAIS (AP) - A Canadian market research firm has announced plans to open its first U.S. call center in this eastern Maine city and hire more than 200 employees.

Maine sales tax receipts laggingAUGUSTA (AP) - Days ahead of a review that could prompt new adjustments to Maine's state budget, lawmakers are being told overall General Fund revenue is just about keeping pace with projections but that sales tax receipts are lagging and likely to drop more.

LTE: Government failuresThis is in response to Judson Duncan's letter, published Nov. 12.LTE: Meandering senatorSen. Susan Collins is at it again! Ostensibly unaware of constituent woes - high taxes, fuel costs and a declining economy - she seems determined to dwell upon lesser matters. Indeed, the staunch advocate of laissez-aller bipartisanship is now ready to compromise the values of this nation.


'Enron loophole' driving oil prices up?...(full story)

EDITORIAL: Life after oil...(full story)

LTE: A new crusade?...(full story)


Consequences of Phone Company Deal Questioned
The plan to sell Verizon's telephone and internet service to Fairpoint Communications, according to one Portland weekly, is based on several questionable assumptions. The Portland Phoenix reports today that in briefs filed with state regulators, Fairpoint officials assume, among other things, that they will not issue any raises for employees for the next seven years. A.J. Higgins reports.

Young Voters Group Flexes Political Muscle
Portland voters elected several new names and faces--and a couple of familiar ones--to the city council, the school committee and the water district. Nothing unusual about that, except that all six candidates were endorsed by the League of Young Voters. So who are they? For starters, they're a group of under 35-year-olds who say they want a voice at the table. And as Susan Sharon reports, they're starting to be heard loud and clear.


Library trustees: Bush, Cheney collages return, forum planned
KENNEBUNK, Maine — In what has been deemed a victory over censorship, the Kennebunk Free Library Board of Trustees voted late last week to leave artist G. Bud Swenson's collages hanging in its gallery — and to replace two collages that...


Mass gathering ordinance tabled in Port
KENNEBUNKPORT — On Nov. 6, Kennebunkport residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of a proposed change to the mass gathering ordinance, 957-542. The amendment would take the permitting process out of the chief of police's hands and put it...

Letters to the Editor … Home Health & Hospice Month: To Senator Collins,


Exclusive: No raises for seven years: That’s just one way FairPoint plans to pay for northern New England's Verizon buyoutShareholders will be worse off than customers — apparently even more so than they’re expecting.

Anti-activist bill backed by Collins, Allen, and Michaud: Thought policeUS Senator Susan Collins and both of Maine’s US representatives are backing legislation that could result in more incidents like the November 2 run-in between police and eco-activists in Greenville.

TALKING POLITICSStay away from me, baby: Politics and other mistakesImagine a Maine in which almost everybody is over the age of 40.


EDITORIAL: Do-nothing government
For many families with low or moderate incomes, this will be a difficult winter.


EDITORIAL: Less not more
We have been required, lately, to learn how to spell the word “consolidation” — occasionally we cheat and use the word “merger” instead — because it is an idea that is very much in vogue.


Heating Oil Spike Alarms Downeasters

ELLSWORTH — With the cost of crude oil approaching $100 a barrel and Mainers paying more than $3 a gallon for heating oil, the state’s oil dealers want to know why.

Oil Dealers Join Crusade Against Energy Traders

AUGUSTA — Maine’s oil dealers have joined a national movement urging Congress to crack down on non-regulated traders in the energy market.

Koffman Proposes 20-cent Fee on Each Plastic Grocery Bag

AUGUSTA — The chairman of the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee is on a mission to eliminate 90 percent of those ubiquitous plastic grocery bags Mainers now use by the millions each year.

Leaving Well Enough Alone

Maine voters made clear in no uncertain terms last week that they weren’t interested in extending from four to six the number of consecutive two-year terms that can be served by Maine legislators. The referendum proposal, which originated not from the public but from the legislature itself, was rejected by a margin of 67 to 33 percent. That lopsided majority was, by far, the largest recorded for any of the five ballot questions.

National Debt Keeps Growing

Blame President George W. Bush. Blame the United States Congress. Blame the public for its apparent lack of concern and continued belief in the free lunch. But no matter where one points the finger, the facts are inescapable. The national debt of the United States is now more than $9 trillion (that’s the number nine followed by 12 zeros), an obligation of almost $30,000 for every man, woman and child in this country. And that debt continues to grow at a frightening rate. The Congressional Budget Office projected in August that the national debt will exceed $10 trillion by 2010 and $12.8 trillion by 2017.

Unintended Consequences

President Bush and Vice President Cheney should have received the Nobel Prize for environmental activism rather than Vice President Gore. Together, they will go down in history as having singlehandedly saved the polar bear and stopped global warming. Future generations will worship their memories as today we revere John Muir, Ansell Adams and Teddy Roosevelt as pioneers in the effort to save our planet. Although currently misunderstood, their invasion of Iraq will be recognized as the tipping point in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2. They will achieve these laudable goals by simply destroying the American economy and ushering in the next Great Depression.

Time to Look at the Real Health Care Crisis

With regards to Canadian vs. U.S. health care, I believe you missed a crucial point in your recent article about the pros and cons of Canada’s health care system as opposed to the U.S.

Tired of the Double Talk

An article in the Oct. 31 issue of the Bangor Daily News (the Halloween issue) discussed a report by the Maine Heritage Policy Center finding that bigger school systems may be cheaper but the smaller school systems regularly outperform them.


Camp Ellis celebrates
At Wormwood’s, U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, who helped push the funding through Congress, applauded the work of the Camp Ellis property owners who helped bring attention to the erosion issues.


House votes to ban mercury exportsTom Allen, D-Maine, a sponsor of the bill, cited estimates that up to one-third of US mercury air pollution travels into the country from Asia, ...


Pork Alert: Pork Landing With a THUDCitizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its preliminary analysis of H.R.3074, the Fiscal 2008 Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (THUD), and Related Agencies Act. … $150,000 to the Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor, Maine to renovate the Bangor Opera House, added by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Rep Michael Michaud (D-Maine);


War Funding Vote Seen as First MoveNelson is crafting language with Susan Collins , R-Maine, which they will offer if and when the supplemental funding bill stalls and is taken off the table.


Protesters urge Allen’s support for impeachment, police are called

1st Congressional District: Social issues a priority for college students

A presidential debate in Augusta… sort of

The 2010 Race for Governor: Democrat update
Lots of reader traffic on my prognostications for the 2010 democratic primary. First of all, Congressman Michael Michaud either: (a) loves Congress, has a great committee assignment and will never leave; (b) he is going to run for Olympia's Senate seat in 2012; or (c) He is ... >


Allen/Michaud Vote NO on House Dem Troop Withdrawal Bill

MHPC: ME Govt Has Above Average Employment Levels

Collins Still Opposes Iraq Timelines
Just in case there was any doubt:

Grandma cuffed at Tom Allen’s office
WGME has a story on impeachment protesters getting the police treatment again at Maine Congressman Tom Allen’s Portland office. Note the blue masking tape keeping grandma attached to her chair: ...

Protesters again led from Allen’s office
We are still occupying the office of Tom Allen[our Rep] who keeps funding the War and won’t sign on to the Impeachment statement in Congress. You know that it is only the House that can start Impeachment proceedings and not the Senate.

Protesters again led from Allen's office
By ELBERT AULL, Portland Press Herald. Police removed protesters from US Rep. Tom Allen’s office in Portland on Tuesday, after a sit-in that lasted almost five hours. The group called on Allen to shift course and support efforts to.

No arrests at Allen's office
The cops told the Portland Press Herald they didn't want to "waste" time and jail space if the charges were just going to be dropped; but WGME (Channel 13) has a different take, saying US Rep Tom Allen didn't want to press charges ...

A group of protesters spent much of Tuesday night inside Congressman Tom Allen's Portland office. They want the congressman to vote to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney over the war in Iraq. One grandmother wanted to be ...

Houses Passes War Funding Bill
Tom Allen (D-Maine)- opposes all funding Brian Baird (D-Washington)- supports funding, after opposing it in the past Dan Boren (D-Oklahoma) Jim Cooper (D-Tennessee) Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) opposes all funding Nick Lampson (D-Texas) ...

Senate Homeland Security Committee approves bombing prevention ...The Senate Homeland Security Committee has overwhelmingly approved legislation authored by the Committee’s Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chairman ...

Senate committee passes IG, telework, e-gov billsSusan Collins (R-Maine), the committee’s ranking member, added that the bill strikes the right balance to increase igs’ protection without giving them full ...

Cherryfield Fire Department Awarded US Grant
The announcement was made Wednesday by US Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. The Department will receive funding through the Operations and Firefighting Safety Program, which consists of ...

Compete Search Analytics - My Review
Based on a report I ran for Commerce360's website, you might think Maine Senator Susan Collins was on Commerce360's board. Actually, she was the subject of a post at the Commerce360 blog.

Former FCNL Executive Secretary Ed Snyder joins fellow Maine resident Jim Matlack in a meeting with Maine Senator Susan Collins. A panel of congressional staff from both the House and Senate and both political parties briefed Annual ...

Reaching the Magical 60? Probably not.
7) Maine - Tom Allen over Susan Collins. Allen is very popular in Maine's 1st Congressional district which he represented, he has been raising good money, and Bush is well hated in Maine, but Collins is still very much a centrist with ...

Senate 2008 Picture One Year Out
Maine (Republican Susan Collins, incumbent): Popular Democratic congressman Tom Allen is challenging Collins, and this campaign was widely expected to be very competitive. However, in poll after poll, Collins is over 50% and ahead by ...

Iraq: The Real Dollar Cost
Susan Collins, on the other hand, seems to live in a dreamworld, denying the reality that invading Iraq was unnecessary and a mistake, and clings, like so many other supporters of this failed policy, that a magic pony will be found to ...

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., Wednesday successfully reported out of committee several pieces of legislation central to the effective stewardship of the federal government.