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Maine News

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Maine News for Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Baldacci cuts $38 million from budget Social services take a fairly large hit as the state deals with a $95 million shortfall.

PUC to meet Thursday to discuss phone deal It's likely that final action in the Verizon-FairPoint case won't be taken until early January.

No matter the owner, waterfront land matters Phineas Sprague has had his ups and downs with City Hall, but his land commands attention.

Congress should call time-out on passport rule expansion Applying it to air travel hurt, and extending it to land and sea entry will replicate the pain.

Iraqi Kurds should be pressured to stop terror attacks on Turkey If Kurdish security forces cannot stop the incursions, they should let the Turks act.

Sen. Beth Edmonds: Top education leaders focused on progress It's one thing to conduct endless studies, and quite other to meet face-to-face.

LTE: Elect good role model in 2008

LTE: Press Secretary Perino should take history lessons

LTE: Answer to gun violence shouldn't be more guns


Maine flu protection faultedWednesday, December 19, 2007WASHINGTON - Seven states have yet to participate in a federal program to buy antivirals for a potential influenza pandemic. Thirteen states, including Maine, do not have adequate plans to distribute vaccines and medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile.

Baldacci orders $38 million in cutsWednesday, December 19, 2007AUGUSTA, Maine - With more money going out the door than coming in, Gov. John Baldacci on Tuesday ordered $38 million in state spending cutbacks, saying they avoid hitting Maine’s most vulnerable residents and will cause no layoffs.

$13.5M taken from DHHSWednesday, December 19, 2007BANGOR, MAINE - Gov. John Baldacci's announcement Tuesday of nearly $38 million in General Fund reductions hit a nerve among Bangor-area providers of mental and behavioral health services.

EDITORIAL: Spending ControlWednesday, December 19, 2007The emphasis in solving the state's current budget problems has been to find ways to cut ongoing costs to shrink expected future shortfalls. Gov. John Baldacci moved the state in this direction Tuesday.

OP/ED: Creating a jail plan to satisfy state, countiesSeveral years ago, Somerset County was at a critical state of affairs with its county jail. The Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) declared Somerset's jail in noncompliance with state standards and issued a clear directive for the county to pursue building a new jail or face closing the existing one.

Wednesday's letters to the Editor … Day late, dime short … Liberating Iraq … By and for the rich


For Mainers living on the edge, rising heating costs are a crisis AUGUSTA -- Leona Aguilar and Larry Ohl don't know how they'll warm their tiny, three-room apartment when they run out of the 100 gallons of kerosene the Salvation Army gave them last month.

Baldacci orders spending cuts AUGUSTA -- The state is curtailing, capping or delaying a range of social services under $38 million in statewide spending cuts that Gov. John Baldacci announced Tuesday.

Reductions to take heavy toll on human services The youngest, oldest and poorest of Maine's residents will feel the brunt of cuts ordered Tuesday by the governor to offset a projected $38 million shortfall in this year's budget.

Congress OKs plan to increase fuel economy WASHINGTON (AP) -- It was in response to the early 1970s energy crisis and gasoline lines that Congress in 1975 directed automakers to improve the fuel efficiency of their cars.

On Maine Politics
Maine's Ron Paul fans get organized

EDITORIAL: BALDACCI BUDGET CUTSParing down to the core Facing a $38 million hole in the state budget this fiscal year, Gov. John Baldacci acted prudently and decisively this week and cut that amount from state spending.

GEORGE SMITH : George's Wish List: What if it all happened? What if the people of Iraq were able to secure their country so our soldiers could come home?

LTE: Clergy feels need to advocate for mentally ill Funding from the Maine state budget in support of mental health care has been eroding steadily over the past five or six years. It is obvious that the recurring budget deficits have brought about the need for significant fiscal belt tightening across the board. I am sure that the Legislature has spent many hours of deliberation about how best to make ends meet.

LTE: Creative suggestion concerning consolidation Regarding school consolidation: Why not name the new school Smernor Elementary? This would reference all three communities.

LTE: How has Taft-Hartley Act affected our borders? When I was discharged from the service in 1945, there was between 30 and 40 percent of the work force that were card-carrying unionists.


PUC will lay groundwork for Verizon-FairPoint sale State utility regulators will meet on Thursday to lay the groundwork for a decision in the proposed Verizon-FairPoint Communications sale.

LTE: Bali conference proves global warming a myth The press hasn't been reporting that international scientists are exposing man-made global warming myths at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali.


Baldacci: It's time to tighten our beltsAUGUSTA - With more money going out the door than coming in, Gov. John Baldacci on Tuesday ordered $38 million in state spending cutbacks, saying they avoid hitting Maine's most vulnerable residents and will cause no layoffs.

LTE: Revisionist historyBruce Mitchell is typical of the far left (letter, Dec. 16). Where did he get his information?LTE: Immediate obsolescenceTo add to the Dec. 13, 2007 editorial (Wishing for winter warmth from Washington), I would like to suggest a proposed revocation of the state and federal fuel taxes paid when purchasing oil.LTE: Brand me a socialistIn recent letters, members of the insurance industry and their supporters say we must pledge allegiance to the American for-profit health care system, or be branded socialists.


Rockland creates heating assistance program
ROCKLAND — The mammoth one-two punches of record high oil prices coupled with an unseasonably cold December have prompted the city to create an emergency heating assistance program.


Governor orders immediate spending reductions
AUGUSTA – Gov. John E. Baldacci today issued an executive order directing state agencies to reduce the rate of spending in the current fiscal year by $38 million.


Collins Troubled By Saudi Rape Case
WASHINGTON -- The case of a Saudi Arabian woman who was gang-raped is drawing strong reactions from the United States -- including the White House and one of Maine's senators.


Baldacci orders spending cuts
Gov. John Baldacci has ordered the state agencies to cut a total of $38 million in the current fiscal year, as a measure to balance the budget after the recently reported $95 million revenue downturn.


Heating aid tied to war fundsSusan Collins and Olympia Snowe said the new funds will allow Maine to receive a minimum of $25.5 million in base funding for fiscal year 2008.


Thompson: US must 'protect our citizens'
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who worked with Thompson when he served as chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, said she never saw him unprepared for hearings that often required hours of poring through documents and witness interviews.
"He always had a detailed grasp of the facts and was impressive," Collins said.


Dems Lose Defense, Foreign Policy Debate
Left on the cutting room floor were other bipartisan proposals, including one by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Ben Nelson, D-Neb., that would have restricted the mission of U.S. troops to non-combat roles in Iraq but not set a date for troop withdrawals.


Baldacci Issues Executive Order Curtailing State Spending $38M
“I have a Constitutional duty to balance the budget,” Baldacci said.

Rep. Josh Tardy Commends Governor for ‘Judicious’ Spending Cuts

Wal-Mart Donates $10K to Operation Community Support
"This is a great organization that works to bring happiness to the families of Maine's military men and women. What better time of year to thank those serving our Country," said Philip Serghini, Senior Manager of Wal-Mart Public Affairs.

Christmas Cards for Wounded Troops c/o Red Cross
It seems the USPS no longer forwards cards to "Any Wounded Soldier," etc. due to ongoing anthrax fears. The Red Cross has stepped in.

Butch Moore: Where is SAM Heading?
Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine v traditional anglers in the state. This past legislative session provided more fodder for this debate with a barrage of anti-traditional angler legislation presented by SAM’s Fishing Initiative Committee (SAM-FIC).

SKF: When Politicians Say, "I Intend to," They're Really Saying...
When a politician tells me they intend to do something I hear them saying, "I'm not going to commit to what I'm telling you.”

Generational Fight of Century Looms as Taxpayers Revolt
The main event's coming much sooner than expected. A bruising taxpayers' revolt between arch-enemies older and younger America. Destined to emerge as an ugly war.

Michaud/Allen Vote No New Money for Iraq War

KJ Misses ID'ing State Rep Endorsement of Collins
This letter is from a Maine State Representative endorsing Sen. Collins for the U.S. Senate. You’d never know the letter writer is the House District 55 legislator representing Albion, Benton (part) and China, plus the unorganized territory of Unity Township. Why not?

Open Thread
Happy Holidays!
Gov. John Baldacci has ordered state agencies to cut spending by $38 million in the current fiscal year as the first step in grappling with a $95 million shortfall in the $6.3 billion two-year budget.

Collins and Astroturf
Collins Watch points to a second incident in the past week in which the Kennebec Journal has run a letter to the editor in support of Susan Collins in which the letter writer is not identified as a state Republican Party official. From today's edition you find this letter by David Cotta, who happens to represent District 55. (You may recall that last Saturday the chair of the Maine College Republicans at UMF, Keith Mahoney, had his own LTE published.)

Why Maine (and other late states) should back Chris Dodd
Let's face it, folks. Right now, Maine is looking fairly irrelevant in the nomination process. We're all going to go to caucus and look pretty, and get elected to the Convention, and have a fun few days.

Joe: Then and Now
Joe Lieberman just one year ago:
Lieberman: "I want Democrats to be back in the majority in Washington and elect a Democratic president in 2008. This man [Ned Lamont] and his supporters will frustrate and defeat our hopes of doing that."
Joe Lieberman yesterday:
"I know that it is unusual for someone who is not a Republican to endorse a Republican candidate for President. And if this were an ordinary time and an ordinary election, I probably would not be here today. But this is no ordinary time -- and this is no ordinary election -- and John McCain is no ordinary candidate."
And Joe is actively fundraising for Susan Collins. The people of Connecticut made a mistake when they re-elected Lieberman. Maine, and our nation, cannot afford to make the same mistake with Collins.

Stop Foreclosures! By Maine US Senate Candidate Dobson

Mike Michaud
The Constitution gives Tom Allen, Mike Michaud and Congress the tool of impeachment to address the problem that a majority of Americans now recognize. This impeachment tool is designed to keep our rulers’ power in check — to prevent .

Senate passes $555-billion spending bill
Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), set a goal of completing the transition by the end of 2008. Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), who has not previously voted for legislation challenging the president’s war strategy, ...

Whither the Senate?
Maine - Susan Collins (R) is a dying breed in the Senate, a moderate Republican. She is facing off against Maine's lone Congressman and could get knocked off. Still rated as a toss-up.

With Regard to Our Position On MoRons And The Unsolicited Media ...
Third, when Susan Collins was being blocked from running ads on Google that referenced, David was pretty quick to rationalize Google’s cop-out and set himself up as the out of the box thinker with the strategy around the ...

What Liberal/Progressive Columnist Should My Local Paper Carry?
So my question to you is:. Who should I suggest? Please provide links if possible. I appreciate your help! (The irony is that my hometown paper, the Rockland Courier-Gazette, blasts Bush/Cheney and Susan Collins every few weeks.)

Pro-R Google Ads on DailyKos
Senator Susan Collins Learn more about Susan Collins' bipartisan record of accomplishment. And of course, people at DK aren't into re-electing vulnerable Republicans to the Senate, are they? Yeah, there are the good ads, ...

Dr. J.'s 'He Really Said That': Joe Lieberman "I endorse McCain ...
As noted on BuzzFlash yesterday, Joe Lieberman has endorsed John McCain for the presidency. "Oh gosh," one might say, "there he goes again, right off the reservation." But just which reservation might that be? If this fundraiser for Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in her campaign against a viable Democratic candidate wants to be part of any Presidential campaign with any kind of a chance, he really had no other choices. Consider.