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Maine News

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Maine News for Wednesday, January 2, 2008


From Today:
MAINE VOICES: Allen may be misreading discontent over warIraq doesn't seem to have been the driving issue for Maine voters in 2006, and likely won't be this year.

Petitions for recall election fall shortThree Portland School Committee members appear likely to withstand an effort to remove them from office for their support of a controversial birth-control measure.

Rise in number of Maine drug killings worries policeA shootout in which a man was gunned down over a drug debt in a Saco parking lot underscores an alarming trend: drug killings increased in Maine in 2007.

EDITORIAL: Situation in Somalia calls for humanitarian aid -- and caution — Competing rallies by Somali refugees in Portland recently carried a message to policy-makers: There's no easy solution to the current fighting in Somalia, and not every Somali thinks the return of Islamist rule is the best guarantee of progress.

EDITORIAL: Towns should pay for seawall upgrades themselves Federal disaster funds should be used to repair damage, not make improvements.

LTE: Plum Creek plan a quality investmentI am writing on behalf of Raft Maine, an association of professional white-water rafting outfitters, in support of the Plum Creek concept plan.

LTE: Feed-in tariff law would help cut cost of electricity Maine can produce clean, green electricity and take a step toward energy independence.

From January 1, 2008:

EDITORIAL: U.N. force may be too small to stop violence in DarfurThe Sudanese government's limits could hamper a peacekeeping mission.

EDITORIAL: Time for new starts and old businessMaine's elected officials will be busy finishing the work left over from 2007.

MAINE VOICES: State needs to rebuild transportation bureaucraciesWidening roads is an outdated solution to this century's problems, and doesn't serve Mainers.


New federal budget slashes MDEA fundsPolice across the state are reeling from a huge cut in federal funds used to pay for the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, a cut that some believe threatens the ability of law enforcement to wage any sort of significant war on drugs.

Bucksport seeks new sources of energy In an effort to counter rising energy costs, the town of Bucksport is set to look at ways to produce and distribute its own lower-cost power using wind, natural gas, tidal power or a combination of those sources.

EDITORIAL: Disrespecting Ron PaulRon Paul is the Rodney Dangerfield of Republican presidential candidates: He can't get no respect, especially from the media.

Steve Cartwright: The train solutionThe haunting, wistful whistle of the Maine Eastern Railroad drifts three miles from the crossing to my house. It's a pleasant sound, and a reminder that midcoast Mainers are missing a good bet.

LTEs: Shortsighted cuts; Lay off sick leave


Lawmakers back to work today AUGUSTA -- Five new lawmakers, including Pat Jones of Mount Vernon, will be sworn in today as the Legislature begins the 2008 session.

System angers soldierVisit to Togus failsto provide pain help RANDOLPH -- U.S. Army Cpl. Travis Berry was in pain and needed to refill his prescription.

First Alfond grant goes to Waterville baby WATERVILLE -- Gabriella May Frain entered the world just two hours into the new year and already she has $500 saved for her college education.

New parents facedaunting costs Congratulations! The child has arrived. But did you plan for the cost of raising that kid?


COLUMN: Consolidation turns out to be enemy of freedom Local control is the casualty of consolidation. Your voice is being muted; your influence is waning. Bigger is better. Small is no longer beautiful.

COLUMN: Another way to solve consolidation problems LTE: Foreign policy decisions by U.S. shameful


In N.H., same-sex couples' wait ends Dozens of gay and lesbian couples celebrated the arrival of civil unions in New Hampshire in the early moments of New Year's Day, bundling up against below-freezing temperatures for a group ceremony as soon as the unions became legal after midnight.

Primary system has U.S. fed upCONCORD, N.H. - All eyes may be on Iowa and New Hampshire, but many of them are rolling.

COLUMNIST: Bhutto's death a warning; will anyone heed it? On Friday, the day of Benazir Bhutto's burial in her ancestral village, Pakistanis were still struggling to grasp that she was dead.

LTE: We don't need border wallPeople may not realize that the U.S. government wants to build a wall from California to Texas, along the border with Mexico, to keep out illegal aliens. History has shown that high walls have not kept the intended people out.

LTE: We must get involved in DarfurWhen it became clear that the Nazis were responsible for the deaths of millions of Jewish people, the world was horrified. Everyone wished there could have been intervention before this tragedy occurred. Yet today, something reminiscent of the Holocaust is unfolding before our very eyes.


Will merged districts keep local school boards? Stay tunedThere will be a battle over allowing some local school committees to maintain control over their kindergarten-Grade 8 schools in newly formed regional school units when legislators return this week to continue their debate on the new school consolidation law.

Laws governing big-box development could be tweaked A law passed in 2007 designed to make it tougher for big-box stores to come into town and take business away from local retailers will be up for discussion again in 2008, with an amendment proposed to allow communities to opt out of the new rule.


Low fuel assistance funds may leave some Mainers in coldFor 26 years, The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has helped low-income residents curb high energy bills for 26 years, but this year may be different.


SYSTEM ANGERS SOLDIER: Visit to Togus fails to provide pain help U.S. Army Cpl. Travis Berry was in pain and needed to refill his prescription. So his grandfather, Charles Berry of West Gardiner, drove him to the nearby veterans hospital at Togus. But officials there last week refused to refill his grandson's medication because he is an active-duty soldier, the elder Berry said. They also declined to help him find another way to get more medicine.


As Maine Goes: ME's Subprime Foreclosure Rate Forecast at 22.8 PercentA Senate committee recently estimated that Maine has 24,460 outstanding subprime loans and expects 5,583 to end up in foreclosure between July of this year and the end of 2009. While the raw number of expected foreclosures here is tiny compared to California (191,144 foreclosures expected) and Florida (157,341), Maine's foreclosure rate on subprime loans is forecast to be 22.8 percent, above a national average of 18 percent.

Turn Maine Blue: How not to announce a candidacyFrom my e-mail today. This was sent to every county officer an e-mail could be found for across the state, it looks like.

White Noise Insanity: Ralph Nader throws his support to John Edwards?


Bill a threat to civil libertiesAs the media daily reports government abuses of individual civil and constitutional rights in the name of the "war against terrorism," and as the now Democratic-controlled Congress continues to hold public hearings on the worst of these abuses, a new threat to the civil liberties of Americans quietly wends its way through the halls of Congress.