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Maine News

Monday, December 17, 2007

Maine News for Monday, December 17, 2007


Houlton High graduate dies in Iraq Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan A. Lowery, 38, dies of wounds from a gunbattle in Mosul.

School officials like the idea of delaying votes on budgets Lawmakers will consider putting off by a year the rule requiring public votes.

EDITORIAL: Federal climate change action will help Maine A new energy bill and a ruling by a federal court in California move in the right direction.

Leigh Donaldson: Hispanic growth will change America's cultural fabric Americans shouldn't forget that all kinds of immigrants have made us stronger, not weaker.

Sen. Bill Diamond: Tasers only legal under strict circumstances While they offer a safer alternative to guns, the law strongly penalizes any misuse.

LTE: End public discourse about personal religious beliefs

LTE: Use anti-hate policies to combat terrorism, violence


Soldier killed in Iraq had Houlton ties Monday, December 17, 2007HOULTON, Maine - A 38-year-old soldier with ties to Maine was killed in Iraq on Friday when his unit was attacked by small-arms fire, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Plum Creek hearing shows great divisionMonday, December 17, 2007PORTLAND, Maine — State regulators wrapped up the first leg of their marathon review of Plum Creek’s development proposal Saturday as the largest crowd to date voiced hopes and concerns about the future of the Moosehead Lake region.

Fuel costs imperiling businessesMonday, December 17, 2007SKOWHEGAN, Maine — After 33 years, high diesel fuel prices have driven John Harriman out of the construction trade. His eight trucks have been parked for two weeks and 16 people laid off because he can’t afford to stay in business.

Budget-fixing efforts put Maine business leaders on edgeMonday, December 16, 2007AUGUSTA, Maine — With lawmakers looking to cut at least $111 million in spending over the next 18 months, business leaders are worried they may be hit with new fees and taxes or both to balance the budget. And that is just one area of concern.

Editorial: Buying the Presidency Monday, December 17, 2007Sponsors of a new bill to fix the system for public financing of presidential campaigns are right that the present system has collapsed. Their plan for fixing it deserves careful consideration but has some problems.

Benjamin Schaefer: LD4 to benefit physicians and patientsIn recent days, two OpEd pieces have discussed LD 4, a bill intended to reduce health care costs by curbing the pharmaceutical industry’s aggressive marketing of expensive drugs. Dr. Lisa Marrache and Sharon Treat support the law "LD 4 a step in the right direction" (BDN, Dec 4). Tarren Bragdon’s piece, "A bad pill for health care reform in Maine" (BDN, Nov. 30) is very misleading. We would like to offer a third perspective.

Monday's Letters to the Editor … State undoes fed raise … In support of Plum Creek


2006 CONSENT DECREE AGREEMENTFormer judge: State not obeying law AUGUSTA -- Daniel Wathen, charged by the courts with overseeing Maine's mental health system, said the state violated a court-ordered agreement when it awarded a contract to an outside firm without his permission.

Schoolplandelaybacked Some school officials support what could be a reprieve from holding local votes on their budgets next year.

UMaineexpandsaccess toresearchMiddle schoolers cantap supercomputer ORONO -- Maine middle school students will be able to tap into world-class research tools next year as part of a giant leap forward in access to the most powerful class of computers.

Gas pricesite abig help While visiting the Midwest last week, the Kennebec Commuter found a pleasant surprise (besides a Starbucks): Gas was under $3 per gallon.

EDITORIAL: Revised FairPoint deal heads in right direction We'll never know what the Maine Public Utility Commission would have done about the proposed Verizon-FairPoint acquisition.

RICHARD BARRINGER OF PORTLAND : Maine's quality of place linked to our economic challenges So, how is it that the New England Patriots remain the only undefeated team in the NFL and now approach professional football's most cherished record -- an undefeated season, achieved just once in history?

LTE: Farm subsidies vote a major embarrassment for Democratic Party I enjoyed Mary Anne Libby's commentary (Dec. 9). It harkened back to childhood.

LTE: Bush misleading country about Iran This week, we have learned that George W. Bush has been actively misleading all by lying about Iran. More lies to get us into another terrible war.


High oil prices cause crisis for some MainersPORTLAND (AP) - With heating oil prices 37 percent higher than they were a year ago, some of Maine's social service agencies are being bombarded with requests for home heating assistance.Soldier from Houlton dies in IraqAUGUSTA (AP) - A career soldier from Houlton has died in Iraq, Gov. John Baldacci said Sunday.

LTE: Who is the real enemy?With the release of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, the Bush administration and those who supported him in his quest for war with Iraq, such as Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Olympia Snowe, have been made to look even more foolish than previously.LTE: Conscience, be their guideWhen did it become acceptable in America for those in government to lift themselves up on the backs of the American people? To give themselves all the benefits of a comfortable lifestyle when the needs of others are so great?


Houlton, Maine, soldier killed in Iraq
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A career soldier from Houlton has died in Iraq, Gov. John Baldacci said Sunday

Some Mainers in 'panic' over fuel
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — With heating oil prices 37 percent higher than they were a year ago, some of Maine's social service agencies are being bombarded with requests for home heating assistance.

Authority lobbies for Downeaster funding
PORTLAND, Maine — As Amtrak's Downeaster marks its sixth anniversary, the rail authority that runs the Portland-to-Boston service is preparing to roll into the Legislature to lobby for funding to keep the trains running in July 2009.


TALKING POLITICSTear me apart: Politics and other mistakesAre people in southern Maine finally smartening up?


Senate Gives Final Approval of mccaskill Provisions in Defense Bill
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 included the following provisions sponsored by McCaskill: … An amendment sponsored with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) providing whistleblower protections for employees of Defense Department contractors and grantees. The amendment provides for expanded contractor accountability and is an improvement over current law.


Senate Rankings: December 2007
10) (10) Maine (Collins-R) Compared to the Senators ranked ahead of her, Collins' 20 point lead looks pretty impressive. Sure, Democratic Rep. Tom Allen is doing just about everything right so far, Collins' support is a little soft given Maine's Democratic lean, and Allen will almost certainly close the gap to some extent between now and Election Day. But you don't often see incumbents who start off in the mid-50s lose without making some major mistakes.

Bob Hastings on Treasurer Lemoine- “Blame it on the dog”
Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Bob Hastings has a great post over at his No Pecksniffery blog, titled ‘Blame it on the dog‘:

Susan Collins' BFF Joe Lieberman to endorse John McCain
Startling news, I know. From McCain's own campaign site:

I get (xenophobic) letters
by: Ethan Strimling
Cross-posted at DailyKos
On Wednesday, Republican congressional candidate Dean Scontras sent a letter to me and my fellow Democratic Congressional candidates, asking us to join him in calling on Maine Governor Baldacci to rescind the April 2004 executive order that bars state employees from inquiring about people's immigration status.

Sunday Tidbits
Thank you so much! On the Expand the Map! ActBlue page, Tom Allen has reached the 10 contribution plateau and Rick Noriega has reached the 20 contribution plateau. My last ask for a while: Larry LaRocco is just one contribution away from the 25 contribution plateau. Can we get Larry LaRocco one more contribution?

One Way Street
The junior senator has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with President Bush these last seven years: On Iraq, tax cuts for the super-rich, smashing habeas corpus, Samuel Alito and corrupt defense contracting.
And part of the unspoken justification for her alliance with the President is that it serves Maine to have the ear of the White House. When crisis strikes, Mainers want representatives with clout and influence.

Bride of Joementum
You know, there is one bright spot to the spectacle of Joementum trying to make himself relevant again by endorsing McCain in NH tomorrow.
It does wonders to remind me how much stronger our field of candidates is this time around.
First Susan Collins, now John McCain; can John E. Sununu be far behind?

Southern Captivity
If you're Gordon Smith or Susan Collins or Norm Coleman the difference between the Republican nominee being Romney/Rudy/McCain or being Huckabee is enormous. Whenever the Republican Party is in trouble, it's always worth revisiting ...

Bush and the surge and the status of the Iraq war
Following some intense questioning by Republican Senator Susan Collins and Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton about the lack of political reconciliation, General Petraeus conceded that he would be “hard-pressed” to justify America’s presence in Iraq if there is no political progress in Iraq over the next year.

Senators Launch New Effort To Put CRS Reports Online
Introduced Tuesday by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Lieberman and ranking member Susan Collins, R-Maine; Judiciary Chairman Leahy; Agriculture Chairman Harkin; Senate Armed Services ranking member John ...

Sometimes some of the candidates Blue America endorses ask me how we managed to raise so much money for Donna Edwards, Darcy Burner and Tom Allen (and, last year, for Ned Lamont-- over $70,000). All of our endorsees stand for the same progressive values and principles so why do some inspire so much generosity from our community?

Allen votes for $189.4 for wars; Michaud votes against...Please ...
It sure wouldn't do any harm to call Mike and thank him for his vote on this. And call or email Tom and express your disappointment in his vote. Congress still must pass a separate appropriations bill before that money can be spent. So there is still work to do on this. (See the bottom of this email for the vote count...G)

embracing your native english speaker
A) Based on the compilation of links I am showing you below, I have drafted an open letter to Senator Susan Collins and Representative Jane Harmon which I am posting to the web, making a clear statement that when using the word ...